Balkan, Voyage de groupe Mémorable

UN AUTRE VOYAGE DE GROUPE MÉMORABLE

!Quel magnifique voyage dans les Balkans !!! En effet, nous avons visité la Croatie, la Bosnie-Herzégovine , le Montenegro et la Slovénie. Nous en sommes revenus le coeur et la tête remplis de merveilleux souvenirs.De la Croatie,nous avons ramené le souvenir de sa magnifique côte, la troisième plus longue de la Méditerranée.

La Croatie offre huit (8) parcs nationaux et 11 parcs naturels dont le plus réputé, le parc de Plitvice avec ses 16 lacs en cascades. Sa gastronomie particulièrement riche et variée, combinant les saveurs méditerranéenne, centre-européenne et balkanique, en font une destination touristique très prisée, accueillant près de 14 millions de visiteurs chaque année.

La Bosnie-Herzégovine est un pays reconnu pour son commerce ; conséquemment, sa population est formée de diverses ethnies. Ce n’est pas inhabituel d’entendre des mosquées appeler à la prière à peu près en même temps qu’on entend sonner les cloches d’une église. Plusieurs langues y sont parlées dont le bosniaque, le croate, le serbe, l’allemand et le turc. L’anglais est aussi beaucoup parlé surtout chez les jeunes. Il a été très émouvant de visiter certains endroits qui arboraient des signes de guerre et de chagrin.

Au Montenegro, il y a 300 kms de côte le long de la mer Adriatique. Cette côte est parsemée de villages de pêcheurs et de petites îles. On y retrouve plusieurs stations balnéaires ; il y a 117 plages! Les personnes au Montenegro sont les plus grandes de l’Europe. C’est le paradis des observateurs d’oiseaux. Le plus vieil olivier se retrouve au Montenegro. Voici un autre fait intéressant pour les adeptes de films : Brad Pitt a joué son premier rôle dans un film tourné à Kotor, une petite ville côtière située dans un coin retiré du golfe de Kotor.

La Slovénie est l’un des pays les plus respectueux de l’environnement au monde. En effet, 53,6% de la Slovénie sont des terres protégées faisant ainsi de la Slovénie l’un des pays les plus verts au monde. Il y a plusieurs beaux villages historiques entourés de vignobles. En effet, il y a trois régions principales où l’on fait le vin ainsi neuf districts. Leurs vins se classent parmi les meilleurs au monde en tant que qualité. Dû aux différences de sol, de climat et de fabrication, chaque région viticole a sa propre collection de vins.

LJUBLJANA (Slovénie)

Bienvenue à Ljubljana, la capitale de la Slovénie. Elle est la plus grande ville de ce pays. Elle est connue pour sa population étudiante et ses espaces verts, dont le vaste parc Tivoli. 
La rivière sinueuse Ljubljanica est bordée de terrasses de cafés. Elle sépare la vieille ville de son quartier commercial. On y retrouve de nombreux musées, dont le musée national de Slovénie, consacré à l’histoire, et le musée d’Art moderne où sont exposées des peintures et des sculptures slovènes du XXe siècle

MOTOVUN

L’un des villages les plus pittoresques de la Croatie ! Les Véniciens ont fortifié la ville au XIVe siècle de deux épaisseurs de murs. À l’intérieur des murs, vous y trouverez des édifices de style romain et gothique abritant des studios d’art, des restaurants et des boutiques de toutes sortes pour les touristes. Des nouvelles maisons et de nouveaux petits magasins se sont construits sur les pentes menant à la vieille ville. Motovun est reconnue pour sa forêt environnante, riche en truffes.

POREC

Porec a près de 2 000 ans ! Au centre de la ville, on y retrouve d’anciens temples et forums, lieux où se tenaient les assemblées du peuple. La Basilique d’Euphrèse dont l’intérieur est décoré de mosaïques spectaculaires a été classée sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO ; elle est le plus important monument culturel de Porec.

Aujourd’hui, c’est une ville moderne active qui vacille entre le présent et le passé. La langue parlée est le croate mais vu son histoire, il n’est pas rare d’entendre parler italien dans les rues.

Porec est une destination touristique populaire à cause de son beau paysage naturel, ses nombreux complexes touristiques et son climat méditerranéen.

Jamaica, come and visit!

Thinking of travelling but are concerned about safety measures and guidelines? let me put your minds to rest.

The feeling of safety began at the Ottawa Airport. Everyone wore masks, sanitizing stations were everywhere, a nurse takes your temperature and asks you to fill out a questionnaire and understand the rules and expectations.

The flight was filled to 50% capacity, which gave each passenger the comfort of social distancing. The transfer from the airport to the resort was once again filled to 50% capacity. Hands are sanitized upon entering the bus and masks are kept on. When you arrive at the Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica, your temperature is once again taken, your luggage is sanitized, and everyone is wearing masks.

Masks are mandatory everywhere on the resort, except for in your rooms, or outside. Masks must be kept on when ordering drinks or food. When entering either the restaurants or buffet area, they check your temperature, direct you to the sanitizing station then to your table. Masks can be removed once you are seated. Restaurants are at a minimal capacity and the buffet is available, but the staff serves the food. Lunch is only served at the Beach Area.

The Jerk Chicken was amazing and was pretty much my daily lunch choice. There is a different theme every night for dinner which was a la carte due to low occupancy. I have visited many all-inclusive resorts and have to say that the food here was by far one of the very best. (the few extra pounds that I brought back was an attestation to this).

There are several beach options from large sandy, seaweed and rock free to smaller, snorkeler’s paradise ones that are filled with an abundance of colorful fish. All the beaches were clean, the water was warm and clear.

The entertainment was mostly bands playing by the Lobby Bar, however, there is a Congo type show one night a week with lots of pyrotechnics. That was pretty cool! This resort has an air-conditioned indoor theatre where social distancing is always enforced.

While in Jamaica, Christopher Linton and I booked a 3-hour tour with #chrisjamaicatours to Bob Marley’s birthplace. This was a must-do experience.

I must admit that I felt safer at this resort than shopping at Costco or Walmart back home.

I practiced physical distancing, wore a mask, washed, and sanitized my hands often and I disinfected my insides with amazing Jamaican Rum.

As we all know, there is a mandatory 14-day quarantine when returning home. I spent this time catching up on emails, and yes, possibly having a few beers.

My final thought is this…. If you are interested in travelling, then hit me up as there are many amazing deals right now.

#makingmemories.

Vacances de groupe en Italie du Sud et en Sicile!

D’abord, laissez-moi vous dire qu’un voyage de groupe est tellement amusant! Une participante qui était hésitante à se joindre au groupe a dit, dès le premier jour : “Nous ne voyagerons jamais plus, seuls ! On a tellement de plaisir!”

En effet, on rit beaucoup en groupe, on s’échange toutes sortes de choses même des médicaments! Il y a aussi un sens de sécurité car il y a toujours quelqu’un qui veille sur vous.

CAPRI

Le nom à lui seul est magique !! Quelle île enchanteresse. Dès que le bateau s’est approché de l’île, ce fut l’extase. Tout le monde s’est mis à chanter “Capri, c’est fini…”. Tout de Capri est spécial – les couleurs, les fleurs même l’air qu’on respire est ensorcelant!

MONT ETNA

Majestueux! Ce volcan, situé en Sicile, à proximité de la ville de Catane, la deuxième ville la plus peuplée de Sicile, a une altitude de 3 350 mètres. C’est le volcan le plus haut d’Europe et l’un des plus actifs au monde avec près de 80 éruptions au cours du XXᵉ siècle.

Un téléphérique nous conduit jusqu’au sommet. Les plus braves et les plus en forme choisiront d’escalader le mont.

Au pied du mont, une panoplie de boutiques nous offrent toutes sortes de produits faits de la lave durcie. Toutes les femmes se sont acheté une bague en souvenir!

MATERA

Quelle ville!! Visiter Matera est une expérience unique et captivante. Cette ville est reconnue pour ses habitations troglodytiques appelées “sassi” qui signifie “cailloux”. En effet, ces maisons superposées ou grottes sont creusées directement dans la roche et le tuf de la montagne. En 2019, on a décerné à Matera le titre de “Capitale européenne de la culture”. De plus, en 1993, elle a été classée au patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO.

Lorsque nous y étions, on était en train de filmer le dernier film de James Bond “Mourir peut attendre”. Voyez les installations sur la première photo. Nous étions très excités de pouvoir être témoins du tournage!

CALTAGIRONE

À notre plaisir, un petit train touristique nous a baladés dans la ville ! On la nomme la capitale de la céramique sicilienne. En effet, les escaliers, les ponts, les façades, les balustrades et autres objets décoratifs sont garnis de céramique!

L’attrait le plus célèbre est le majestueux escalier Santa Maria Del Monte qui compte 142 marches parées de céramique de toutes les couleurs.

Quelle chance d’avoir été témoins d’une publicité sur une fameuse liqueur sicilienne, AVERNA, tournée directement sur les marches du superbe escalier!

PALERMO

Visiter Palerme, c’est se confronter à chaque coin de rue aux contrastes de la ville. De somptueux palais côtoient des monuments en ruine.

C’est une ville riche pour son histoire, sa culture, son art, sa musique et sa gastronomie.

Étant située au bord de l’Europe et près de l’Afrique et de l’Orient, Palerme a été conquise plusieurs fois. On retrouve cette diversité de cultures dans le marché où des épices exotiques sont vendues à l’ombre des cathédrales de style baroque et de l’architecture arabe. L’atmosphère y est fébrile, bruyante et conviviale!

ALBEROBELLO

Quelle ville unique ! Ses habitations appelées “trullis” sont faites en pierre sèche retrouvée dans les champs. Elles ont été construites selon une technique préhistorique encore utilisée aujourd’hui dans cette région. En fait, ce n’est que dans cet endroit paisible du sud de l’Italie que l’on peut retrouver des trullis.

Il y a près de 1 500 trullis !! Il n’y a que quelques familles qui demeurent encore dans ces habitations aujourd’hui. Elles ont été transformées en boutiques, en restaurants et en ateliers de tous genres. Ces bâtiments
coniques blanchis à la chaux avec des toits en pierre grise ont été classés au patrimoine mondial en 1996.

Quelle expérience que celle de marcher le long des ruelles pavées nous permettant de vivre bien humblement une page du passé !

ROME

Le nom à lui seul nous fait rêver ! Rome, la ville éternelle ! En effet, son incroyable histoire s’étend sur plus de 2,800 ans ! Il y a tellement de choses à voir et à faire dans cette ville, l’une des plus belles au monde!

Ses splendides sites romains, ses églises richement décorées, ses monuments emblématiques et ses magnifiques fontaines valent tous le détour.

C’est dans cette magnifique ville que notre formidable voyage s’est terminé. Nous avons chanté “Arrivederci Roma” d’une voix mêlée de tristesse et de gratitude ainsi que de souvenirs impérissables de notre séjour dans le sud de l’Italie et de la Sicile.

Portugal; Lisbon, a getaway to beautiful Sintra and more.

There are many wonderous destinations to travel to, but I have to admit, Portugal was one of my very favorite. We were based in Caiscais, which allowed for easy access to Lisbon, Sintra, Porto and The Algarve.

Lisbon, Portugal city skyline over the Alfama district.
Commerce Plaza, Lisbon
Belem tower, Lisbon
Padrao dos Descobrimentos at the river Tagus, Lisbon

Caiscais offers a small but extremely clean beach, Old Town, and an amazing Art District. The people, food, architecture, sculptures, and colorful murals all contribute to making this city a little gem. Caiscais is located only 30K from Lisbon which is easily accessed by local train or tour bus. A must see in the capital city is the National Azulejo Museum which displays over 5 centuries of decorative tiles. Another must see is the Pink Street in Cais Do Sodre. Originally, this was Lisbon’s “Red” District. Being a port city, many sailors made their way to this area to unwind, gamble and drink. Today, this area offers bustling night life for locals and tourists alike.  

Located on the Portugeese Riviera, you will find Sintra. The Romanticist architecture, palaces, gardens, and the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES deserve a couple of days stay. Although impressed with several palaces and castles, the one that pulled at my heart strings was Pena Palace. Originating in the Middle Ages as a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena, this breathtaking site offers multi-architectural influences. 

Sintra, Portugal old town skyline with the National Palace.
Sintra, Portugal at Castle of the Moors wall with Pena National Palace in the distance.

If you enjoy visiting castles, palaces, breathtaking scenery, wonderful people and great food, then Portugal is the place for you.  

Jasper, absolutely spectacular

Jasper

The Rocky Mountains are absolutely spectacular.  It’s hard to establish my favourite place in the mountains.  However, Jasper in my opinion has the most to offer and is less busy compared Banff.  The Town of Jasper is in the National Park.  A national park pass is required to visit/stay.  Below are recommendations of things to do and accommodations.  Most of the things to do are free. There are additional advanced hiking trails available that not listed below.  Please keep in mind some actives and roads are open seasonally.  

Things to Do

Day #1

The Town of Jasper

  • Walk around town
  • There are cute boutique stores to shop
  • Stop for a bite to eat. My top three places to eat are the Olive Bistro and Lounge, Jasper Pizza Place, and the Raven Bistro.
  • The best raspberry, white chocolate scone I have ever had is at the “Bear Paw”

Miette Hot Springs

  • Man made hot spring with beautiful views of the mountains. Fees apply
  • Advance hiking trails
  • Approx 1hr from Jasper

Day #2

Athabasca Glacier

  • Glaciers
  • Ice hiking
  • Ice Explorers bus tour. Fees apply.
  • 1hr from Jasper
  • There is a restaurant on site

Athabasca Waterfall

  • Quick stop to see the waterfall

Sunwapta Waterfall

  • Quick stop to see the waterfall
  • There is restaurant near by for food

Day #3 (This is an ambitious day if hiking at Edith Cavell)

Mount Edith Cavell

  • My favourite place in the Rocky Mountains because every time I go it looks different.
  • Angel Glacier. First place in the world where I have seen a snow falls.  It is amazing watching the snow trickle down the glacier.  Viewing times are in the fall.  
  • Small cave. Viewing is based on low water levels.
  • Advance hiking trail
  • Powder blue lake
  • Cavell Rd is a no exit road and is closed during the off season.

Valley of the Five Lakes

  • Moderate to easy hiking trail
  • Five lakes that are brilliant green, blue, and emerald lake colours
  • Swimming for the adventurous types

Horseshoe Lake

  • Literally in the shape of a horseshoe
  • One side of the lake has picturesque cliffs. People do cliff jump, but it is not permitted by the National Park.
  • Nice spot for a picnic lunch

Day #4

Maligne Lake

  • Picturesque drive and wildlife sittings are common
  • The Maligne Lake Rd is a no exit road and is closed during the off season.
  • The lake is at the end of the road
  • Boat cruises are available depending on the season. Fees apply.
  • Maligne Canyon has a waterfall and hiking trails

Annette Lake

  • Lake with beach
  • Quick sand. The quick sand, I have to admit, is a little underwhelming.
  • Easy walking trail

Sky tram

  • Recommend for people who have never summitted a mountain before.

Day #5

Mount Robson

  • Located in British Columbia approx. 1hr from Jasper.
  • Easy to moderate 7km hiking trail to picturesque Kinney Lake

Overlander Waterfall

  • Quick stop to see the waterfalls

Other Attractions

  • Dark sky preserve
  • Golfing
  • Helicopter tour
  • Horseback riding
  • Ice climbing and walking
  • Ice skating at Pyramid Lake and Mildred Lake
  • Jasper Food Tour https://jasperfoodtours.com/
  • Rent a bicycle
  • Skiing and snowboarding at Marmot Basin
  • Snow shoeing
  • White water rafting on the Athabasca River

 

Accommodations

  • Alpine Village Jasper
  • Fairmount Jasper Park Lodge
  • Mount Robson Inn
  • Pyramid Lake Hotel
  • Wapiti Campground

Jamaica – No Problem!

Jamaica

In my opinion Jamaica is a wonderful Caribbean island.  In fact, it is one of my favourite areas to visit in the Caribbean.  For some reason, people either love Jamaica or dislike it.  I haven’t figured out why.  Jamaica is part of the British Commonwealth, which explains some of its culture.  The official language is English which is great for language barrier purposes, at least if English is your first language.  However, driving may provide challenges because they drive on the left hand   side of the road where in Canada we drive on the right hand side of the road.  

            I recommend first time travellers to stay in Montego Bay.  The reason is because the area has nice beaches, close to the airport to avoid additional travel time, and within driving distance to wonderful things to see.  Second time travellers to Jamaica, I recommend staying in Negril.  Negril has better beaches and a little less touristy.      

My favourite excursions are the Blue Hole and the Luminous Lagoon.  The Blue Hole consists of approximately 7 powder blue lagoons in the middle of nowhere.  My husband and I rented a car for the day and got lost many times trying to find the Blue Hole.  We even questioned our location when driving down a dirt road through a hydro field prior to arriving.  The guides at the Blue Hole are amazing and well worth the minimal price, which also includes the entrance fee, because they guide you through the lagoons and submerged rocks.  Throughout the lagoons, there are many areas to cliff jump and swing off a Tarzan rope into the water.  The waterfall is accessible from behind by going feet first into a rock formation hole about 4 feet wide. After wiggling through the rock formation, one can walk through the waterfall.  The Luminous Lagoon is algae that glows in the dark when activated by movement.  We purchased an excursion to visit the lagoon.  A boat picked us up at our resort just before sunset.  The boat ride took approximately 1 hr.  Upon arrival, the boat anchored in the lagoon and passengers jumped off the boat into the water. This is a very unique experience and is only available in few areas around the world.  This excursion is recommended for confident swimmers and who don’t mind touching a sludge like bottom on their feet.
            Other things to do in Jamaica are the Appleton Rum Distillery, Dunn’s River Falls, the Green Grotto Caves, river rafting and the Jamaican Bobsled Rollercoaster.

When travelling to Jamaica, one must try jerk chicken.  On our way to the Blue Lagoon, we stopped at a restaurant on the side of the road for lunch.  We ordered jerk chicken, rice, and a garden salad.  The food was fresh and delicious.  I have to admit the jerk chicken was too spicy for me, but to be fair I can’t handle a lot of spice to begin with.  Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the culinary experience.  

            I hope when travelling to Jamaica you experience the same amazing adventures as I did.  I feel as though the island has something to offer everyone. Bob Marley sang it best.  “One life.  One heart. Let’s get together and feel alright”. Ya’ mon! 

A Cruise to The Big Island

Hawaii, Island of Inspiration! 

So many wonderous sites to behold in this part of the world. The lush landscapes in Hilo, the massive volcanos on “The Big Island”, the black sands of Punaluu Beach, the lava trees and rock formations or simply the majestic beaches. All these sites were foreign to me but will forever be imprinted on my heart.  

There is something for everyone in Hawaii. World known for its massive waves in Oahu, this destination is a surfer’s paradise. If you prefer to scuba or snorkel, I highly recommend the Maui Snorkel Tours company, we were entertained by a large variety of curious fish for over 2 hours and the guide was patient and knowledgeable. For those who are adventurous but prefer to sight see, a day trip to The Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park or a tour of The Rainbow Falls in Hilo will be a worthwhile venture.  

If a relaxing outing is more your choice of the day, a luxurious swim in one of Hawaii’s hot ponds is highly recommended. Unfortunately, the one that we had visited, Ahalanui Hot Pond at Pualaa County Park, was destroyed by lava after the 2018 eruption of Kilauea, but there are several more that will definitely compare.

What is visiting Hawaii, without attending a “lūʻau”. The dancers, the music, the fire! This traditional Hawaiian feast is without a doubt one of the highlights of visiting Hawaii. 

Spending some time in this tropical destination was on my “dream” list and I must admit that visiting Hawaii during my 15-night cruise onboard a Princess Cruise Line ship made it all that more memorable. From the moment we boarded in Los Angeles CA to the moment we debarked, we were treated like royalty

The food was exceptional, the staff friendly and helpful and the accommodations were perfect. Although a little chilly during the crossing of the Pacific Ocean, the cruise line offered many activities during the day and evenings, including Movies Under the Stars, served with hot chocolate and a warm blanket. I personally enjoyed this time to unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and catch up to some “me” time.  

If, like us, you would like to visit Hawaii during the Christmas Holidays, you have to wish everyone a “Mele Kalikimaka” or  “Merry Christmas”.  

5 Things That Surprised Me About My Trip to Maldives From Canada

Trip to Maldives from Canada

#5 – Ocean Front 1 Bedroom Villa or Over the Water Bungalow?

How to decide…how to decide? Budget alone can be the decision factor as there is a large cost difference. One would think to themselves “I am travelling all this way this. I have to get an over the water bungalow”.  My choice was an ocean front villa. I did like the idea saving some money, but I wanted the feeling of walking out of the villa, feeling the sand between my toes, and then the water on my feet. I do not regret my choice.

The over the water bungalows did have some additional features such as a glass bottom floor, extra privacy, and direct access to the water. However some of the bungalows were a far walk along the dock from the beach and other amenities. When I am on a beach vacation I go into the ultimate lazy mode. No extra walking for this traveller. Most travellers do not consider this when looking at photographs.

#4 The Outdoor Bathroom

I know…who talks about a bathroom travelling to the Maldives and I do realize this topic is based on the resort and not the country. The bathroom in our villa was half outside and half inside. The toilet and sink were under a roof that extended from the villa. The walls were concrete, painted white and approx. 10ft high with no roof. It may sound like a prison, but there was as sense of freedom and at one with nature. Within the concrete walls there was shower, private hot tub and chaise lounge.

One of the purposes of the chaise lounge was to allow guests to sunbath in the nude. The Maldives is a Muslim country and does not permit women to sunbath topless. The outdoor bathroom allows an alternative option. Ever since this experience, I have wanted my husband to build an outdoor shower at our cottage but seems a little impractical as it only could be used 2 months of the year.

#3 – Wild Animal and Marine Life

We stayed on Meeru island for 2 weeks. There was some concern about getting bored lying on the beach all day, every day. Although the R and R was much needed, it wasn’t boring at all. As I lay in the sand, the water splashing on me, reef sharks and sting rays swam up and down the shore line without a care in the word. Herons strutted in the water looking for food and flew above the ocean. Lizards ran up and down the paths. Geckos crawled near the exterior light of our villa at night. 

Bats hung upside down in the palm trees.  Every day I would go snorkelling and see many different types of fish of brilliant colours.  We went scuba diving a couple times and came close to sea turtles. Lastly on our sunset boat ride, we saw a pod of dolphins playing in the water. The wild animal and marine life definitely added to our experience.  

#2 –  The Maldives could Disappear

The Maldives is located southwest of India.  If you’re looking for a trip to Madives from Canada you should know that the country is made up of approx 1200 islands. The average elevation is 1.5m and therefore with rising oceans levels, one day the islands will be submerged. Our particular resort is an island itself. It is 1.2km long and 350m wide. It was like being on our own private island.  

#1 – Not Wearing Shoes

On Meeru Island, the entire island is sand including the restaurant areas.  Going for meal there was no need to wear shoes.  Flip flops were acceptable, but not required. It certainly was a weird feeling a first, but then super cool. This was also a bonus when it was high tide and the water was blocking are path to the dining area. Don’t worry there was another path, but who wants to take the “boring” way.  No need for stilettos at this resort.   

The Golden Circle Tour – Iceland

I simply love Iceland! I can go on and on about Iceland.  I am sure I have bored my family and friends numerous times.  The country has so much to offer and there are many ways to visit the country. 

Stay in Reykjavik for 7 days or travel around the entire island along the ring road for 2 weeks.  When I went to Iceland I stayed in Reykjavik because I did not have the time or budget to travel for 2 weeks.  Choosing the option to stay in Reykjavik, I rOTAmmend visiting in November or March to view the Northern Lights and it’s not too cold, so you won’t freeze your touchy off. 

Keep in mind, the winter months are not puffin season.  Puffin season is in the summer.  Choosing the option to travel around the country I rOTAmmend travelling in summer for driving safety purposes.  The last thing you want to happen on your vacation is getting into a vehicle accident due to poor weather conditions. 

From the Keflavík International Airport to Reykjavik it is 50min drive.  The city of Reykjavik is very accessible by walking and provides beautiful mountain and sea views.  There are wonderful stores to buy some wool products and restaurants to eat in. 

When planning my trip, I was unaware of the wonderful cuisine.  I had some amazing meals which included; pizza, sandwiches, and fish.  I visited the Hallgrimskirkja church.  It’s not like most churches I have seen in Europe.  It was very concrete like, inside and out, but in its own beauty.  The inside reminded me of the La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.  The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa, but unfortunately, I ran out of time to go.  It is located near the airport, so plan your visit accordingly.    

From Reykjavik, there are several day excursions.  A ferry to Greenland, boat tour to see the Northern Lights, visiting the “Golden Circle”, and exploring the south shore of the island.  I can’t speak about the ferry to Greenland because I never went, but it is a great opportunity to visit another area.  I also never went on a boat tour to view the Northern lights.  Instead I viewed the lights from the city near the harbour. 

The Golden Circle Tour has a lot to offer travellers and is full day trip.  The area includes Gullfoss Falls, Thingvellir National Park, and Strokkur Geyser.  Thingvellir National Park is pretty cool because it’s where two (2) tectonic plates are dividing.  The Strokkur Geyser is a little underwhelming for me because I saw geysers and opals pools during my visit to Yellowstone National Park.  But don’t get me wrong, Storkkur Geyser is still a marvel and it’s not very often one gets to see a geyser. 

My favourite part of Iceland was visiting the south shore.  We rented a car and drove along the coastline for the entire day.  It is very easy to drive around Iceland.  The landscape was nothing I have ever experienced before.  It felt barren because vegetation is limited due to being above the frost line, but magical because of the thousands of rocks covered in a moss like material.  Along the south shore we stopped at the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, Sólheimajökulll glacier, and the black sand beaches in Vik. 

My favourite waterfall that I have seen in world is the Seljalandsfoss waterfall because people can walk behind the waterfall.  I was amazed at the black sand beaches in Vik because I have never seen black sand before.  Sitting on the beach, in -10 degree weather, watching and listening to the ocean was heaven for me.  The only thing missing was some Icelandic blueberry liquor.  The beautiful rock formations in the ocean also add to the scenery. 

One day I plan on returning during the summer to drive around the island for 2 weeks.  Hopefully I will have the opportunity to see puffins and other landscape features, especially an active volcano.  The first time I travelled to Iceland, some locals provided a location of a natural hot spring, meaning one in mother nature instead of a man-made pool that is filled with geothermal weather.

We ran out of time to go and it’s one item that is at near the top of my bucket list. Thanks for reading my article.  Hopefully it will give you some inspiration to travel to Iceland.