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The Golden Circle – Iceland Plus Greek Islands

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Gott kvöld (good evening) from the Snaefellsnes Peninsula! It has been an action-packed week and we have been having quite the adventure since we last checked in. We spent the first half of the week in Reykjavik, taking day trips to the surrounding area and exploring the Golden Circle. The highlight for many of us was our glacier hike on the Sólheimajökull glacier – it was an amazing journey. If you were not able to watch our takeover, please check out the highlighted story on Instagram at @westcoastconnection.

This hike was a once in a lifetime experience: we strapped on crampons, grabbed an ice pick, and trusted our guides to show us the spectacular views of the glacier. We scaled the side of a glacier and enjoyed over an hour traversing the surface, drinking fresh cold water, and looking at the crevasse that made up the ashy surface. Joe L. said, “It pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it was amazing and I never would have done this otherwise.”

While in Reykjavik we also enjoyed our day trips to see the sights of the South Coast. We spent the afternoon “chasing waterfalls”, horseback riding, and even went rafting down the Hvita River. It was an amazing experience and one that bonded our group together! The water and the weather were cold and we all worked together and enjoyed the amazing scenery. Scenic rock formations and steep cliffs surrounded us as we floated to our destination.  

One night in Reykjavik, after dinner, we had an ice-cream surprise in the lobby of the hotel and we played trip trivia. Each trip member and staff submitted an anonymous fun fact about themselves and we took turns guessing which fact belonged with each trip member. We all laughed trying to figure out who has a habit of falling down the stairs and who got stuck on a rollercoaster on their birthday.

We thought the scenery around Reykjavik was like nothing we had ever seen, but we were even more amazed by the scenery in our next destination. Our hotel in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula faced the sea, when looking out one window, and mountains, when looking out another. It is gorgeous and because it’s in a national park, there is so much room for us to run around and gather as a group. We spent our first day on the Peninsula exploring the gorgeous landscape of our new area.

The next morning we arrived at the 3,000 year old Saxholl Crater. Sam reflected on the experience saying, “Exploring the crater was so cool. It was beautiful and scenic, and we also got to climb around and explore which made it an awesome adventure too. 10/10. I’d recommend!” In the afternoon, we took a leisurely hike along the coast of the Peninsula, and Joey reflected, “It was awesome because it wasn’t too hard and you could really enjoy the scenery.” The sun came out and the group was in high spirits, reflecting that it was probably the best scenery day we had yet!

The next day in the Snaefellsnes, we had a leisurely morning at a local rec-center. In the afternoon, we boarded a boat for our Viking sushi tour. We enjoyed the gorgeous scenery while a net was dropped into the sea. After pulling up the net, all of the fish that was caught was released on a table on the back of the boat. Then they opened up scallops and sea urchins for everyone to taste. It was not long before Michael learned how to shuck a scallop, and was serving them to other trip members.

On another night in Snaefellsnes, we had a blast cooking in our guesthouses. After dinner, the staff of the hotel made a bonfire for us. It was weird because the bonfire started close to 10:00 PM but the sun was still up. Everyone enjoyed sitting around the fire, listening to music, and roasting marshmallows.

Our time in the Snaefellsnes peninsula was incredible and we’re already enjoying our next stop… Akureyri!

The Westcoast Blogger

Looking for a golden adventure? Read all about our 24-day Iceland Plus Greek Islands trip!