Iceland…

Would you like to go to space? Did it seem very impossible? Then go to Iceland, you will definitely understand that it is not from this world…

North is usually cold, it is not even preferred when chosing a house facade . When pronounced it does not warm you inside like the South.

Let’s start with the question “Why Iceland?”. How does it feel to be alone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Do you have the beauty of other northern countries? What is it like to host enough supernatural events to cover the European airspace? You are not the polar, but there is ice on you! What about having a geography similar to a crumpled paper that someone tried to make stright again! If you have such many questions in your mind; and If you watch the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, you realize that you should not waste more time to go to Iceland.

The first thing to do is visa. Does Iceland require a visa? Yes, in order to enter Iceland, citizens of our country need a visa. Although it is not a member of the European Union, it is allowed to enter with a schengen visa as it is a schengen country. Visa procedures are also carried out by the Danish Embassy, as Iceland has no representation in our country.

There is no direct flights from our country to Iceland yet. It is possible to reach the country by connecting flights. The two best alternatives are; Copenhagen and Oslo. The most convenient and has the most convenient departure hours are from Copenhagen. You can reach it by about 3 and a half hours flight from Copenhagen and about 3 hours from Oslo.

As the plane approaches the ground if you start noticing the dominance of the dark green and coal-black color on a asymmetric landforms then you came to the right place, this differet land is iceland.

The airport is very small and cute. You can enter the country without a passport check because as there is no direct flights you must have came from a schengen country. In addition, it is not possible to put an Icelandic stamp on your passport as you arrive from a schengen area. If you have such a dream, I say forget it. By the way, there is free internet at the airport. You can use it for your needs in the first steps.

Like other northern countries, Iceland is an expensive country. You can understand this before even leaving the airport yet. The currency used is Icelandic króna. You can easily convert the American Dollar, Danish Krone, Norwegian Krone or Euro you will have with you. Credit card usage also is extremely common. You can easily use your credit card even in the smallest matter.

The distance between the airport and the capital Reykjavik is about 50 km. Alternatives for transportation are; taxis or renting a car like in our country. The most economical solution is buses; (You can get your tickets either online before arriving or at the airport from the vinding machines) In the meantime, you should have the opportunity to hitchhike. (Iceland is one of the countries where hitchhiking is used the most. They see it as a social responsibility project.) The journey takes about an hour.

You can see from the first minutes that you have come to a different place by seeing the formation of volcanic remains along the route, the different vegetation and strange birds. There are many alternatives for accommodation in Iceland. From the very luxurious hotels / hostels to beautifully designed houses, to countless camping sites to local people’s houses, you can choose your accommodation for any budget. We prefer a house. The reason are beacuse its the most economical and to to be able to see how it feels and to see how these northern people are living closely.

Icelanders who never follow the “northern people are cold” pattern are extremely optimistic and always smiling,. They are especially curious about us, the Turks. The reason is that due to the negative events they experienced in the 1600s, as they were given the permession to kill Turkish in Iceland. This law was cancelled in the 1970s. Since it is removed, you can go with without worrying.

After finishing the general information, let’s go and visit this beautiful country.

Reykjavik

As a starting point, Reykjavik is a pretty good alternative. You can easily visit this city which is very modern, clean, plain and flat on foot in a day. Even if you come on long summer days, which is the highest season in the year, the city is not as crowded as you think. Because the people who come to Iceland are not in the center since they come for it’s nature more than the city. Hallgrímskirkja church with its different architecture is at the top of the places to see in Reykjavik. Since it is the highest building in the city, your eyes will catch it from anywhere. You can climb to the top of this wonderful church and watch the unique Reykjavik view. After the church, Laugavegur Street, Harpa Art Center, Perlan Building and Sun Voyager monument are among the other places to see. You can also find great restaurants, cafes and bars in Reykjavik; you can also buy beautiful souvenirs.

Time to get out of Reykjavik. A ring-shaped road called “Ring road”, which travels across the country, forms the basis of all travel plans. If you go without any deviations from this road, you can travel all over the country and return to your starting point. There are two different ways in Iceland. Including national way and other ways. Ring road is a national road and open for all vehicles. While following the ring road route, do not forget to see the other beauties on the road’s sides. If the route you want to go is not a national road and the vehicle you drive is not 4X4, you are not allowed to enter these other roads (F roads). What’s meant by from F roads, terrain roads. Bad roads where your vehicle won’t go even if the entrance is free.

You can enter all the roads that have asphalt and traffic signs and markers with a normal vehicle. As it can be understood from here, the best way to travel Iceland is to rent a car or by hitchhiking. In addition to the countless companies that you can rent a car from, there are also opportunities to rent the vehicles of the local people. At www.carrenters.is, you can see the vehicles you can rent from local people. The question of whether is there public transportation may come to mind, of course there is, but it is not suitable for tourists because they go from one point to another and pass dozens of beauties during that route. (It is useful to underline that, if you are a caravan enthusiast, you can enjoy this pleasure in Iceland in the best way. The most important thing is early booking!

Time to get out of Reykjavik. A ring-shaped road called “Ring road”, which travels across the country, forms the basis of all travel plans. If you go without any deviations from this road, you can travel all over the country and return to your starting point. There are two different ways in Iceland. Including national way and other ways. Ring road is a national road and open for all vehicles. While following the ring road route, do not forget to see the other beauties on the road’s sides. If the route you want to go is not a national road and the vehicle you drive is not 4X4, you are not allowed to enter these other roads (F roads). What’s meant by from F roads, terrain roads. Bad roads where your vehicle won’t go even if the entrance is free.

You can enter all the roads that have asphalt and traffic signs and markers with a normal vehicle. As it can be understood from here, the best way to travel Iceland is to rent a car or by hitchhiking. In addition to the countless companies that you can rent a car from, there are also opportunities to rent the vehicles of the local people. At www.carrenters.is, you can see the vehicles you can rent from local people. The question of whether is there public transportation may come to mind, of course there is, but it is not suitable for tourists because they go from one point to another and pass dozens of beauties during that route. (It is useful to underline that, if you are a caravan enthusiast, you can enjoy this pleasure in Iceland in the best way. The most important thing is early booking!

How is the weather in Iceland?

One of the things that can mislead you most in Iceland is that its weather can change in a very short time. The situation is a little different for this place if you are one of those (like me) who plan to go here today and go there the other day today. When you think of going, you should check the weather of the place that you’ll be going to. It is a life matter. My advice, when you go to Iceland, you should examine the weather of the days you will be there. Meteorology systems are very advanced and today they can make really accurate predictions. Weather can vary greatly from region to region. Flexing your plans and going for places that are beautiful rather than where you already planned but having bad weather, that will make you happier.

Best routes for Iceland

GOLDEN CIRCLE

You can start your tour with “Golden Circle”, which is a pleasant route that you will be on when you leave Reykjavik in about 1 hour and which contains more than one surprise on the route. The first point you will encounter on this road is the Thingvellir national park. This is a large place where two tectonic plates are separated from each other with deep cuts. It is an important place in the history of the country. It is also very important for Icelanders because the country’s first parliament was created at the location of the Iceland flag in the park. You can visit the national park, its historical ruins and its charming church.

Our second stop is Gaysers, a great surprise that nature offers us. Pressurized water coming from the depths of the underground at 80-100 ° C, every 5-10 minutes, up to about 75-100 meters into the sky. It’s like firing upwards from an underground water gun. It is possible to find big and small gaysers in different places in the region. The two biggest of them are; Geysir and Strokkur. You can get the most beautiful visual show by watching these two.

Another beauty waiting for you on the route is the enormous Gulfoss Waterfall. You can go to this waterfall, which gives you the opportunity to have it watched from different viewing points. Do not return without taking a photo of the rainbow formed inside it. If you love waterfalls, you can also visit Bruarfoss and Faxi (Vatnsleysufoss) waterfalls on the same route.

Another beauty offered by the Golden circle route is Kerid crater lake. You can walk around this volcanic crater lake, admire the contrast of blue water with the red soil surrounding it.

WEST

Ytri Tunga Beach, where you can see the sea seal, is the first point waiting for you when you go west, for us saying that the west Icelandic weather is sunny or more suitable for us today we head there. You can continue towards Arnarstapi and watch the seal fish settlements there. You can watch the view from the Gatklettur point, see the seagull nests closely, visit the stone-built Bardar saga monument. Finally, you can continue your journey by scraping the memory of the wonderful view from the viewing terrace in front of the harbor in your mind. The Djúpalónssandur beach, which you can reach by walkng on foot among the volcanic tuffs, awaits you in a spectacular way. As you continue your journey, you can see Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall, one of the most popular spots in western Iceland, and the Mount Kirkjufell behind it. If you have a limit time, I recommend that you spend the most time here for the west of Iceland.

SOUTH WEST

When you head towards the southwest, like you are heading to Keflavik Airport you can go to Gardur Lighthouse and Hafnir Church. Great places for photography lovers. You can take lots of photos and then visit Midlina, where European and American plateaus are separated. It sure sounds really different. When you see it, you can easily understand how different the place is. You can pass the bridge over the slit, go under the bridge, play with black sand and enjoy the difference.

You can see Krysuvik, which is smoked by hot water vapors on this route. It is as if there is an underground factory and these are the chimneys. Undoubtedly, the most beautiful example of boiling waters in the whole country is Blue Lagoon. This blue lagoon, which is a natural pool, taking its name from the blue color formed by the underground boiling water, is waiting for you at a distance of 50 minutes from Raykjavik. Blue Lagoon; a geothermal spa where the locals come regularly, even some doctors recommend it as treatment. In addition, there are not only local people, but also people from all over the world who come here only for this place.

The clay, called silica, is said to be beneficial. The main season of this place, which has a very modern facility, is winter, not summer. It must have another taste to be in the ice-cold weather, under the falling snow, in a warm pool, among the vapors. Don’t forget to make a reservation for Blue Lagoon in advance and take your swimwear or bikinis with you.

SOUTH

It’s time to go south, perhaps to explore Iceland’s most magical places. Moving south, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall will tell you; “Welcome south!” it will greet you from afar. The most beautiful aspect of this waterfall, which is very fancy, is that it can be passed behind it.

If you are a climber or hiker, you can visit the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano and glacier after the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which caused the entire European airspace to close for a while because of it’s explosion in 2010, and its name is pronounced right only by Icelanders. If you are not, you can find movies, photos etc., which are located on the roadside, created of shooting with amateur cameras at the time of the explosion. Eyjafjallajökull Erruption Center is where you can go.

While driving on your route, Rutshellir Cave, where the former Icelanders lived, is waiting for you, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. In a country where the waterfalls are abundant, you can have the opportunity to see this waterfall, which is one of the most beautiful with its width and height, also you get to see it from above by going up the stairs right next to it.

If you say that the waterfall was not enough for me and isn’t there other waterfall that is less known and that I can pass behind, you should definitely visit Kvernufoss Waterfall just a little ahead of Skogafoss. In the meantime, if you are tired of waterfall visits, Eystri Skogar natural pool, one of Iceland’s first pools, is a good choice for you to relax. While continuing on your route, Solheimasandur Plane Wreck is a great spot for photographers. Standing on the black sands on the beach, this plane wreck is one of the most iconic landmarks of the country.

Next is Dyrhoaley, the only place where you can see the cutest heron birds named Puffin, which lives in Iceland. In this secret temple, which you will reach by leaving the main road, you can see the puffins approaching their nests and flying fast with fish in their mouths. These cute birds really know the thing because they have set up their nests in such a beautiful place that they keep watching the incredibly beautiful Reynisfara Beach, which is consistently made of black sand.

Never forget to watc this fascinating view from above for a short while. Next to the black beach of Reynisfara Beach, make sure that you see the basalt rocks which are in order as if you have placed legos on top of each other, i am pretty sure you haven’t seen this view elsewhere. When you continue on your way, definitely visit the Vik Town and its church with it’s wonderful view.

After Vik, as I said in the first paragraph, it’s one of the most beautiful places that will make you feel like you’re in space; Fjadrargljufur Canyon. With its depth and magnificent panoramic view, it is awaiting you in a beauty that can turn your head. If you are not geting dizzy with the beauty of the canyon, you will definitely experience this feeling with Svartifoss Waterfall. This waterfall, created by the enormous lining of the basalt rocks and the bursting water flowing over it, is a complete desktop wallpaper. Athough transportation takes a bit long until here but  I recommend you not to ignore this waterfall.

If you are one of those who think that ice caves are only in movie studios, you can find ice caves, one of the most interesting places in the country, on this route.

Jökulsárlón. Another of the extraordinary things Iceland offers us. You can watch the giant ice pieces coming out of Vatnajöküll, the biggest glacier in Europe, pass in front of you and join the ocean, and you can touch some of them when hitting the beach next to you. You may not be able to leave this place for a long time, Because of the diamond gloss which stands on the jetty beach and captivates its visitors with the contrast they create, it is useful to make your plans accordingly.

EAST

As you go to the east, beautiful fishing towns will attract you with their sweetness. You can visit Viti Crater Lake, Hengifoss Waterfall and Laugarvellir geothermal pool and taste delicious seafood in these fishing towns.

I would like to remind you to visit Studlagil Canyon, which is has became one of the most popular Icelandic photos recently. You will have the feeling that you are not in this world once again by standing next to the basalt rocks, which feels like it has been carefully cut.

Also remember that you should not ignore the glaciers that will accompany you along the way.

NORTH

Akureyri, the second largest city in Iceland, will be waiting for you when you continue north from the Ring Road. You can also stay here even if it’s not as great as Reykjavik. You can see Dettifoss, Iceland’s biggest waterfall, while coming north. Also, don’t forget to add Godafoss Waterfall to your list. It is also worth noting that Akureyri is a very good northern light viewing point in the dark winter months.

If your time and budget are suitable, you can take part in whale watching tours in Akureyri. Here is one of the best places you can see Humpback whales.

Northern Lights

If your trip coincides with the period of northern lights, Iceland is perhaps one of the most beautiful places to watch this wonderful natural phenomenon. Due to the Gulf Stream currents passing by the country, it is less cold than any other country where northern lights are seen. With an average air temperature of -5 to -10, you will not feel too cold. Since it is located right in the middle of the Aurora Oval which is supposed to pass, you have a high chance to see the northern lights.

Another important factor for the Northern lights to be seen is the lack of light pollution. Light pollution is almost negligible, since very few people live in a scattered way outside Iceland, Reykjavik. For this reason, you can easily find dark places that you can reach with a short drive outside Reykjavik in order to see the northern lights clearly.

Besides, if you want to see Iceland from the air, there are many helicopter companies that provide this opportunity. In direct proportion, the prices are also quite high. But I can say that it fully worths it for this beautiful country.

I guess it is necessary to live there for a long time to see all the beauties the country has. In cases where this is not possible, I recommend you to make a good dialy plans to see at least many of them. Because with the increasing tourist potential, keep in mind that Iceland has become a high seasoned place.

Do not return without doing: without entering the Blue Lagoon, tasting Shark or whale meat, seeing Puffin / whale, exploring at least two waterfalls, visiting Gaysers, touching ice pieces.

Have a good trip.

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