After seven months of non stop work, it was time for a bit of R&R. It was a bit tough to pack for this trip with our limited baggage allowance, but we managed to squeeze in some warm clothes, a new tent to break in, our cosy sleeping bags, and some cooking supplies (stove & dishes) before setting off on a new adventure. Thanks to recommendations from a couple of our friends, we bumped Iceland to the very top of our bucket list. After reviewing details of their trips, scouring travel blogs and reading several guide books, we planned out a general itinerary for a month long journey to take in the most popular destinations around Iceland. We chose to visit during the month of July as it promised to deliver relatively warm weather (albiet rainy), the interior mountain roads would become passable (the summer months offer a small window of opportunity), and puffins *should* still be around before disappearing come August. Fortunately, we had reserved a Suzuki Jimny 4X4 beforehand, a low cost alternative to an SUV with the added bonus of being relatively fuel efficient (very important in pricey Iceland). Having a 4WD vehicle also allowed us to drive the rugged interior roads to access some of the island’s remote destinations. Armed with details of how to visit Iceland on the cheap, we made our way around ring road in a counter-clockwise route. Iceland’s annual camping card is quite possibly the country’s best bargain…for the cost of one night at a hotel, we had unlimited camping at 44 camp sites throughout the island. We really loved camping in Iceland as all the camp sites were clean, safe, conveniently located, and many offered decent facilities. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that most of Iceland’s spectacular sights are completely free, so other than the cost of our rental, fuel and food, our trip to Iceland was quite manageable on a tight budget. Major highlights from our trip include a 25km hike from Skógar to Þórsmörk, exploring Vestmannaeyjar, admiring countless waterfalls, visiting colorful sleepy fishing villages, watching puffin antics, reveling in the natural beauty of Kerlingarfjöll, and spending a full day soaking in the Blue Lagoon. Iceland exceeded our expectations and is top of our list of favorite places in the world. Iceland rocks! Go visit…you won’t regret it one bit.
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