This was the view from our cabin while in port in Reykjavic, and I just had to grab a shot of this building on the rich green landscape.
A cruise around Iceland has always been a dream of mine. The land of fire and ice is such a mystical and enchanting place.
With cruises just starting to pick back up again, I was thrilled to be an invited guest on Viking Sky on the “Iceland’s Natural Beauty” cruise itinerary.
As you may have seen from our recent
posts and tweets, this cruise has had some itinerary changes, and we were not able to visit a few ports in the latter half of the cruise. Even though we missed being able to see Seydisfjördur, Djúpivogur, and Westman Islands (Heimaey) on foot, I still wanted to show some of the wonder of Iceland that we did see.
This Iceland cruise began in the capital city of Reykjavík and continued on to ĺsafjördur and Akureyri. My flight was delayed a day because of a storm in the US, but I was still able to visit some sites surrounding Reykjavík on a guided tour.
Enjoy this photo tour post of Iceland’s Natural Beauty captured with my camera.
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The bubbling geothermal mud pits around Reykjavic offer a surreal look at what helped create this land. Most of Iceland’s power comes from this free resource in the ground as well.
The volcanic rock stretches for miles in this area. These lava fields are often covered in moss. With over 600 types of moss in Iceland this organic material helps prevent erosion in the lava rock and is best left alone.
This was taken on the “Iceland Through the Lens” tour with Viking. Our guide explained this is part of a collapsed crater from an old eruption. Many such collapsed craters can be seen throughout the country.
There are several black sand beaches around Iceland. This black sand emanated from volcanic eruptions and is rich in minerals. I loved the contrast of the black sand and these beautiful purple flowers that sprung up in Iceland’s brief summer.
This little bridge actually connects two continental tectonic plates: The Eurasian plate and the North American plate. This line travels from the Southwest of Iceland all the way through to the Northeast and most all the volcanoes in the country come from along this fracture.
This was the scene as Viking Sky came into port at ĺsafjördur, Iceland, one of my favorite stops on this journey.
ĺsafjördur, Iceland is a town of around 2,500 -3,000 people, depending on what time of year it may be. Our guide explained that avalanches in the winter are a major concern and many steps have been taken to limit their impact.
I found this little trail while moving away from the group in ĺsafjördur. “Forests” are not common as the environment is not conducive for trees, so little groves like this are rare and enjoyable.
In the same area as the last picture, this waterfall is less than a mile from the city center of ĺsafjördur, Iceland. The guide let us even take a drink of water from the stream and it was absolutely delicious and refreshing. This is pristine water.
This mountain is in Bolungarvik, Iceland. I really liked the contrast of the bright yellow flowers and green grass to the rugged grey mountain in the background.
One of the fish drying houses in Bolungarvik, Iceland, which was only a short drive from ĺsafjördur.
I found this little paved path along the shoreline in ĺsafjördur, Iceland and was captivated by the leading lines and mountain ridge line half decorated in lush greenery.
Some of these old houses in ĺsafjördur, Iceland date back to the 19th century. Most of them have a date on the building so you can know for sure. Their bright colors and metal roofs are iconic and well worth a look throughout the downtown area.
This is another of the old houses in ĺsafjördur, showing it’s brilliant red hues to the quiet streets of this Icelandic town.
This was the view as our Viking cruise ship sailed away from ĺsafjördur and out of the majestic fjord.
The weather is constantly in flux in Iceland. Watching the clouds push through the mountainous skyline was such a thrill as we enjoyed the changing views from Viking Sky.
Viking Sky in port in Akureyri, Iceland. We didn’t see much of the town because of the excursion we took outside of town, but driving through it was very pleasant. The traffic lights were very interesting. Instead of just a red light, the red lights were in the shape of a heart, something unique throughout Akureyri. This is Iceland’s second largest city and is often called the capital of the North.
The lava rock formations at Dimmuborgir are simply fascinating. Steam pushing through lava caused these columns of lava that then hardened into intriguing shapes. This hole in the lava rock was a great photo op, as was evidenced by Ben’s picture here.
More of Iceland’s geothermal activity can be evidenced at Hverir, which is right near Lake Mývatn. These sulfuric mudpits and steaming outflows made this landscape look more like mars or a movie set than anything placed in reality on earth. The smells were a bit strong, but the awesome experience well made up for that.
The steam was coming out of this lava rock at Hverir with such force that you could hear it from hundreds of feet away. Some stood in front of the steam, but most just wanted a photo next to it.
Another shot of Hverir which shows a mars-like surface. In fact our guide told us that some scientists and researches use this area to practice collecting samples from other planets. You can definitely see why.
The Goðafoss Waterfall was the highlight of the day for many of us. This majestic waterfall is a very popular attraction in the Iceland’s Natural Treasures excursion with Viking. Even from where this photo was taken you could feel the mist spraying you in the face.
I had to cross the bridge to get an angle from the other side of Goðafoss Waterfall. I liked how these yellow flowers and green grass looked as a foreground for the beautiful falls.
The bridge built over the river from Goðafoss Waterfall. This river was created by a melting glacier and has a wonderful hue to it.
Traveling on Viking Sky away from Akureyri and out of the fjord offered some wonderful scenery of these mountains. In the winter they are covered in snow, but in the summer you can see the contrast of the pristine white snow and the lush green grass creeping up the mountainside.
Table for two? Viking Sky offered so many great places to sit and watch this majestic beauty pass by. I posted a tweet on a few of my favorite places to watch the views from the ship here.
I just really liked how the cool blues looked in this scene as the fog rolled along the base of the mountains near Akureyri. Sidenote: the infinity pool is always warm and a spectacular place to watch the views in comfort.
The sun barely sets in Iceland this time of year. This picture was taken at 11:00 pm. Once the sun goes below the horizon it popped back up around 3 hours later, so it never actually gets dark. This was taken just outside the cafe on Viking Sky.
I had to hold myself back to only put two sunset pictures in this post, so forgive me for including another one. We had a few cloudy days so it was nice to see a great sunset while on this voyage.
This mountain and water fall in Seydisfjördur was looking oh so inviting as our ship sat in port. We weren’t able to get off the ship this time, but I look forward to sometime in the future.
A close up view from the shot above with a slower shutter speed to get a smoother waterfall motion.
This scene captivated me. A red house at the bottom of a snow capped mountain, so isolated from the rest of the world and yet having the most amazing view. This was seen as our ship was leaving Seydisfjördur, Iceland
Here’s a wider view of the above photo to give it some context. It’s simply amazing how some Icelanders live and they have my awe and admiration. The green sloping mountain before the snow capped mountain behind it truly show the contrast this country provides.
Another view as leaving Seydisfjördur, Iceland. This is from the Explorer’s Lounge on Viking Sky, one of my favorite places to take in the sights and enjoy a warm cup of coffee.
I hope you enjoyed this little photo tour of my Iceland cruise. It was not exhaustive and as I mentioned we did miss a few stops along the way. But maybe this will whet your appetite for coming to this incredible country and having a journey of your own.