By: Ashton Mace
Our stay in Iceland was breathtaking as we explored a landscape that seemed familiar, yet foreign.
Spending our entire trip on the southern half of the island, part of me felt like I was right back home in the Midwest, with vast flatlands that stretched for miles and miles in every direction. I was quickly brought back to reality when I first laid eyes on the seemingly never-ending mountain ranges.
Our first few days of our trip were spent visiting some of the more well-known attractions like Skógafoss and Seljalandfoss. I was completely in awe of the constant power and energy these waterfalls created. It’s no wonder at any given hour of the day there are 500 or more people lined up to take in the view of these wonders.
After enjoying the sights, we escaped the crowds and explored some hidden waterfalls like Kvernusfoss. A lot of people don’t know this, but it is only about 1,000 feet from Skógafoss. A short, ten-minute hike led us to one of my favorite locations on the island. We had the entire spot to ourselves, except the birds, of course. Hundreds of them swarmed the cliffs on both sides of the canyon as we walked along a quiet stream.
We spent the rest of the trip aimlessly wandering around the western region of the island. A day trip around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula took us to the fishing village of Arnarstapi. We took in gorgeous views of glaciers, walked down winding roads, and visited Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. We even got to pet the famous Icelandic horses!
This island consists of so many sights and locations that it was impossible to experience a fraction of this country’s beauty during our short, ten-day trip. Iceland is a European must-see; put it on your bucket list!
*All photos were submitted by the writer unless otherwise noted.