Backpacking in Iceland: My Top 5 Memories

Backpacking in Iceland: My Top 5 Memories

Backpacking in Iceland: My Top 5 Memories

My recent trip to the fabulous Faroe Islands reminded me of a similar trip, eight years ago (to the exact month) when I visited Iceland. Although I wrote a fair bit about Iceland at the time, I never dwelled on it, nor did I ever compile a top sights type of post. These are my top 5 memories from my visit to Iceland, a country with immense countryside and terrain.

Backpacking in Iceland: My Top 5 Memories

Backpacking in Iceland: My Top 5 Memories

We did some of these as part of an organised Iceland Golden Circle Tour of the country, which tends to be a fast and easy way to tick off the top sights. I was there with my football friends.

1.Gullfoss Waterfall
Simply stunning, the Gullfoss Waterfall once made my list of favourite waterfalls and it’s easy to see why. The lack of tourists at this one (at least back in 2007 there were less than 10 of us when we went), the wild, gushing waters that never seem to cease. Either drive here yourself or get it included in your Golden Circle Tour. It’s magnificent.

Gullfoss in Iceland in 2007

Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland – amazing – don’t worry I had already got my fix of the sights before I messed up and missed my flight.

Pingvellir is a national park and also the venue where the Icelandic government was formed. There was a cool museum here, some obscure countryside and a walk past some waterfalls. The countryside is breathtaking, I wrote a bit about backpacking in Pingvellir before.

The hike at Pingvellir, Iceland

The hike at Pingvellir, Iceland

2007 was a year of geysirs on my travels. I made it to some geysirs in and around Rotorua and Taupo when backpacking in New Zealand. But the one in Iceland erupts with a squirt of water once a minute and was worth the trip out to. There is the Great Geysir and also a smaller one with hot natural pools all around.

One of the hot pools near the Geysir in Iceland

One of the hot pools near the Geysir in Iceland

4.Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon trip was memorable for me not because of the Blue Lagoon itself. On this particular trip I had forgotten to pack any kind of swimming shorts (which was a stupid novice backpacker mistake to make).

pink ladies pants blue lagoon

With my pink pants.

So on the way to the Blue Lagoon, we stopped off in a shop at Gullfoss where I searched in vain for a pair of swimming trunks. All I could find was a tight pair of ladies pants, so I bought them and wore them to the Blue Lagoon.

gay pink pants iceland

Loving the hot thermal water of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, in my PINK PANTS.

I was talk of the Lagoon for a while, but it was worth it to get a visit to this famous venue.

pink pants

In the MEN’s changing room in the Blue Lagoon in my PINK ladies pants – not even swimming trunks!

5.Football Stadiums
The actual football match we went to, wasn’t a happy one as Northern Ireland lost the match 2-1 to a late own goal despite once being 1-1. However I toured 2 football stadiums in Reykjavik, including the FC Valur venue where Glentoran once played and 1 football stadium in Keflavik, where Una Harkin of Northern Ireland ladies was playing.

Touring Valur's stadiums with Gavin

Touring Valur’s stadiums with Gavin

At the Stadium in Keflavik

At the Stadium in Keflavik

Marching to the stadium with Lewie Caple

Marching to the stadium with Lewie Caple

At the time I also backpacked in Reykjavik and we did an organised tour to see a lot of these sights in bulk. However, Guide to Iceland have Iceland self drive tours, which means that you are in control of your time and vehicle and have more flexibility. If I do head back to Iceland someday, I will probably hire a car like I did recently in the Faroe Islands.

Drinking with Michael McClelland and an Iceland fan

Drinking with Michael McClelland and an Iceland fan

There were a few crazy moments in Iceland though – I had a mega crazy night out in Keflavik and ended up missing my flight. Something which I learned my lesson from and didn’t repeat!

Drinking in Keflavik Iceland

Having a night out in Keflavik Iceland with the ladies but unfortunately I missed my flight the next morning.

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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
This entry was posted in Blue Lagoon, Europe, Geysir, Gulfoss, Haukadalur Valley, Iceland, Keflavik, Pingvellir, Reykjavik. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Backpacking in Iceland: My Top 5 Memories

  1. Iceland is amazing! And I agree. Gulfloss is absolutely wonderful…But it seems like others have caught on to the country’s stunning and diverse landscapes. I visited earlier this year, and the tourist destinations (especially along the Golden Circle) were PACKED!
    Erika (Erika’s Travels) recently posted…Rediscovering Paris in 24 HoursMy Profile

  2. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Erika, thanks for the comment. Wow – Iceland in packed now?! Crazy, there weren’t many people about when we were there. It’s funny how cheap flights and word of mouth spread popularity. In which case, I’d recommend the Faroe Islands – a brilliant place and still not too busy. Safe travels. Jonny

  3. Heather says:

    Iceland seems so much like far southern Patagonia, where I am at right now … can’t wait to see Iceland in the flesh soon!

  4. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Heather thanks for the comment. Patagonia is a cool spot too – hope you can make it down to Antarctica when you are there. Iceland and the Faroe Islands are marvellous spots. Safe travels. Jonny

  5. I visited Iceland this past August and I loved it! I was only there for 5 days but got to explore the Golden Circle a little bit. The Blue Lagoon was definitely one of my biggest highlights, it’s so beautiful and relaxing.

    Oh, nice pink panties by the way, they really suit you 😉
    Claus Gurumeta recently posted…Efes Beer at the “Beach Club” in Kaş, TurkeyMy Profile

  6. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Claus thanks for the comment. Yeah it’s a nice country. I don’t like the pants – it was just because I didn’t pack any on that trip and it was the only option to buy them to get into the Blue Lagoon. Safe travels. Jonny

  7. Pingback: Greenland Ranked in the World's Top 20 Destinations - Don't Stop Living

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