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Keflavik - A travel report by Filippo
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Keflavik,  Iceland - flag Iceland -  Gullbringusysla
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inzaghi's travel reports

The Definitive Guide to Iceland in 7 Days (Day 1)

  8 votes
Besides Easter Island in South America, the only other place that I had always dreamt of going to was Iceland. In June 2004, my friend and I were fortunate enough to chance upon an excellent airfare to Reykjavik, so we soon found ourselves all packed and ready to leave. Since IcelandAir is the only carrier to Iceland, we had to bus down from Montréal to New York JFK International Airport to catch the flight. A flight which took barely five hours transported us to a strange land whose geography appeared more like that of the moon, or of some other outer planet, rather than that of the Earth.


Day One - Reykjanes Peninsula and SouthWest Iceland Just a day before I left Canada, I popped by the local Chapters store and got myself a copy of Lonely Planet's Guide to Iceland (May 2004 Edition) which turned out to be one of the best investments I ever made in a book. The authors, Paul Harding and Joe Bindloss, made accurate and detailed descriptions of this marvellous island and all that it had to offer. I read the book in the bus to New York but did not manage to get past the Reykjanes Peninsula. Upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport in Iceland, I had mapped out the route for Day One, as well as highlighted the interesting sites which I did not want to miss. As we arrived earlier than expected, the car rental agent did not arrive until about 45 minutes later. Within an hour and a half of landing, we found ourselves driving along the deserted streets of the town of Keflavik, a 4-6 minutes' drive from the airport. Breakfast was not to be had anywhere since nothing seemed to be open at 10am on Sunday morning. We drove along the harbour and up a cliff where we enjoyed a panorama of the area as well as watched a fisherman cast his nets. The wonderful feeling of finally being in Iceland was overwhelming and beyond description.

Favourite spots:
Meeting place between the American and European continental plates
Meeting place between the American and European continental plates
We finally had a hearty breakfast (800 ISK) at Hotel Keflavik, then headed out into the Reykjanes Peninsula towards the famous Blue Lagoon. The rest of the day was spent driving around the vast Reykjanes Peninsula, stopping at numerous locations and marvelling at the incredible geothermal activity going on under our feet. The Bridge between Two Continents was pretty interesting and definitely original!

What's really great:
Bubbling hot Seltun
Bubbling hot Seltun
However, we particularly enjoyed Krisuvik and nearby Seltun which offered numerous hot springs and bubbling solfataras. Travellers who take route 41 from Keflavik Airport directly to Reykjavik would miss this wonderful attraction. It is definitely worth the detour, driving south along route 43, then east along route 42 to get to Krisuvik and Seltun. Route 42 then heads north towards Reykjavik, cutting through the amazing terrain of the Reykjanes Folkvangur as well as passing by the extra-terrestrial Lake Kleifarvatn with its black lava bank and eerily still waters.

Sights:
The famous Blue Lagoon
The famous Blue Lagoon
Innri-Njardvik
Blue Lagoon
Valahnjukur
Gunnuhver Hot Spring
Bridge between 2 Continents
Krisuvik and Seltun geothermal area
Kleifarvatn Lake

Restaurants:
Gunnuhver Solfatara
Gunnuhver Solfatara
If you arrive from the States you will probably get into Keflavik International Airport very early in the morning. The town of Keflavik will be very dead when you arrive so the only place for breakfast is at the Hotel Keflavik. It's only 800ISK per person for a hearty breakfast buffet spread.

Other recommendations:
Reykjanes Peninsula - South Western Iceland
Reykjanes Peninsula - South Western Iceland
Reykjanes Peninsula and South Western Iceland

Published on Thursday July 15th, 2004


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