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Iceland Circumnavigation

Abby Suplizio

Scenic Exploration Vessel

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Iceland Circumnavigation

Abby Suplizio

Traveling to the country of Iceland (spelled “Ísland” in Icelandic) was an extraordinary experience. On my 12-day circumnavigation around the island nation, I sailed aboard the 200-passenger Spitsbergen Arctic and had an incredible adventure.

Iceland is simply amazing with some of the most raw geological features to behold on our planet: sprawling emerald-green valleys, icy glaciers, dynamic volcanoes, and thundering waterfalls.

Quaint towns, bordered by steep mountains and fjords, peppered the outer rim of Iceland the entire way around the country. One of my favorite things to see was the multitude of cool little churches in every town and even in-between towns where there were no other buildings.

Rich with history, this is the country that was settled by Vikings, inspired Jules Verne’s book “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, and whose people believe in elves, Hidden People, trolls, and ghosts. Unique street art adorned every single town we visited. No matter how small, houses were painted (streets too), and town centers were teeming with troll sculptures.

The incredibly sweet and friendly horses are one of the highlights of the country. Beautiful and much smaller than other horse breeds, they have a unique gait called the Tölt that you can experience on any ride. There are around one million sheep, 100,000 horses, and hardly any trees. In a country with a population of 330,000 and growing, it’s a good thing everyone has plenty of room to roam.

We came across four arctic foxes on our Hornbjarg cliff hike. They had no fear of humans at all and walked right up to us on the trail. Puffins were plentiful and there are a variety of locations around the country in which to view them.

Snowmobiling on the Vatnajökull glacier was an experience I will not soon forget. At 3,300 feet thick, we were traveling on top of it without ever seeing the edge—so exciting!

I am already planning my next trip back to this friendly and incredible country!

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