We try for a caravan adventure each year and, although the Iceland & Faroe trip is somewhat shorter than our others in towed distance, we're really looking forward to this one. Apart from Iceland being a truly fascinating and challenging destination, we're picking up one of the Swift Group's innovative 'timber free' elegance caravans from the factory on the Tuesday before we depart. Although that's tight, we are really looking forward to putting the 'van through its paces in this challenging environment, including non-metalled roads, as we circumnavigate the entire island. We're doing this as part of the Camping and Caravanning Club's tour but, as ever, there will be scope for a little adventuring of our own in the choice of routes and perhaps some more adventurous sightseeing with our trusty VW Touareg.
The 'Latest' tab on this blog will feature images and updates on progress, subject to the availability of WiFi/3G, so please join us as we travel through this amazing land.
Geoff & Sue
It's far from the norm in so many ways...culture, geology, finance... That makes this a fascinating trip. We'll try and unpick some of this on the adventure and perhaps post a few thoughts here.
Try these (I don't necessarily agree with the content or tone)
on culture on finance on geology
Much has been written about this unique High-Tech GRP, polyurethane, aluminium and Styrofoam device from the Swift Group but, despite intensive testing on the test track, this is perhaps the first time that this design has been put through the rigours of a real adventure in a challenging environment.
Must say, it looks good (unless you're Jeremy Clarkson, that is). Can't wait:
Link: Practical Caravan: How it's constructed
Not forgetting our much adventured Touareg, seen here in the land of the Tuaregs:
It's a 2009 Altitude 3.0 TDI and we've put 50,000 miles on it since new. It hasn't missed a beat on our other adventures, which include lugging our 8m Sterling Searcher twin axle caravan around Morocco, over the Atlas Mountains, into the Sahara, around Turkey, around Switzerland and many others. Let's hope that hasn't jinxed it....
Here's the Itinerary, thanks to the Camping and Caravanning Club, who are leading and organising the tour:
1615-1700 check in at Harwich ferry port. 1745 Depart Harwich aboard DFDS luxury ferry Dana Sirena.
1 night aboard Dana Sirena.
Day 21300 Arrive Esbjerg on Danish west coast. Drive to Ribe (19 miles). Welcome meal near the campsite. Afterwards, why not walk into town to join the Nightwatchman on his rounds of this historic town?
1 night at Ribe campsite.
You have the whole day to drive up through Jutland to Hirtshals, either taking the motorway or ambling along the North Sea coastal route (202 miles).
1 night Camping near Hirtshals.
Day 4-50830 check-in at Hirtshals ferry port. 1130 Depart Hirtshals aboard Smyril Line luxury cruise ferry Norröna. Stay aboard for a brief stop at Tórshavn, Faroe Islands.
2 nights aboard Norröna.
Day 6 - 9
0930 Arrive Seyðisfjörður in east Iceland. Take your time driving to Lake Mývatn (125 miles) via Jökuldalur valley and Möðrudalsheiði plateau heath. Side trips include Fljot lake and valley.
Day 71630: a real treat on the eve of the longest day, with a whales and puffins cruise starting from the port of Húsavík, about 35 miles and one hour’s drive from lake Mývatn, and less than 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle.
There is also ample time to enjoy the very many attractions of the Lake Mývatn area. Visit Krafla, the site of eruptions as recent as the 1980s, the Námaskarð solfataras, the nearby local thermal pool, Dimmuborgir Lava Labyrinth or the craters at Skútustaðir. Be sure to visit Dettifoss, one of Iceland’s mightiest waterfalls, and the horse-shoe shaped canyon of Ásbyrgi and even prettier waterfalls.
4 nights at Lake Mývatn campsite.
Day 10Head to Hrafnagil (62 miles) via Goðafoss (Waterfall of the Gods). A short side trip up the Eyjafjörður fjord to the Laufás turf farm is well worthwhile. Akureyri, ‘The Capital of the North’, includes a botanic garden and some good shopping, with a factory outlet for Icelandic woollens.
1 night at Hrafnagil campsite.
There is plenty of time for you to take over your routeto Blönduós (98 miles) today, perhaps going via the famous turf house museum at Glaumbær. Highly recommended is taking the long way around (145 miles), by the coast and tunnels of the Trollaskagi peninsula, via Dalvík, Ólafsfjörður and Siglufsfjörður.
1 night at Blönduós campsite.
Day 12 - 13A gorgeous, long drive, via the Laugarbakki area, to north-west Iceland’s beautiful Snæfellsnes peninsula and the charming fishing village of Stykkishólmur. There are two possible routes, both of them with very rewarding scenery: the route along the lovely Skógarströnd follows the north shore of the peninsula (129 miles); alternatively take a loop to the south along faster road, with views of the Langjökull ice cap, and finally the north shore (151 miles). During yor stay, don’t miss the fascinating shark curing museum at Bjarnarhöfn. Explore the end of the peninsula – the lava fields, Djúpalónssandur beach, the Þúfubjarg cliffs and the Arnarstapi basalt columns where many kittiwakes nest.
2 nights at Stykkishólmur campsite.
Day 14 - 17Cut across the peninsula via the impressive Gerðuberg basalt columns, on to the village of Borgarnes, to your site in Akranes (83 miles).
A great side trip leads up the lovely Hvítá valley from Borgarfjördur to Hraunfossar where multiple small waterfalls tumble out of the lava. Return along the Hvalfjörður fjord to Akranes.
Day 15, 0900: coach pick-up from the campsite for a day trip to Reykjavík, with tourist information and a hop-on/hop-off sightseeing bus included.
Visit the Reykjanes peninsula’s Bessastaðir church, or Krísuvík’s steam vents and boiling mud pools, or pamper yourself with a dip in the famous Blue Lagoon hot springs.
4 nights at Akranes campsite.
Day 18 - 19Travel on into Iceland’s Golden Circle, via Þingvellir National Park, seat in 930 of the world’s first parliament, and where the Eurasian and North Atlantic plates pull apart – walk across the continental divide! Continue on to Geysir and visit the geyser Strokkur, which conveniently erupts every few minutes. (72 miles).
Explore the mighty Gullfoss waterfalls – also among Iceland’s most beautiful – and the lovely valley of Þjórsardalur. Visit the excavated ruins and reconstruction of the farm of Stöng and the nearby twin falls of Hjálp, or the falls at Háifoss.
2 nights at Geysir campsite.
Day 20A very pretty journey towards the south coast and the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss falls area, where you could also visit the Skógar Folk Museum (67 miles).
1 night at Hámragarðar campsite.
Day 21 - 22
Continue along the astonishing south coast, via black beaches and outwash plains, Dyrhólaey’s puffin cliffs, lava fields, basalt columns and waterfalls, and Núpsstaður’s tiny chapel, to Skaftafell glacier (123 miles).
Enjoy the Skaftafell National Park – drive to the tongue of Svínafellsjökull glacier or walk to Svartifoss waterfall. Guided walks may be available on the glacier.
2 nights Skaftafell campsite.
Day 23 - 24Continue to the wonderful Jökulsarlón glacier lagoon – look out for seals, and maybe take a lagoon boat trip – and on to the port of Höfn (84 miles). Two nights here means you can further get the most out of the incredible coast and glacier region fringing the huge Vatnajökull ice cap. Quad biking, glacier activities and many other trips can be booked from the site.
2 nights Höfn campsite.
Day 25Meander past Lónsvík Bay, with its outwash plain and barrier islands, then via the cliffside roads and fjords, to the little port of Djúpivogur (64 miles).
1 night at Djúpivogur campsite.
Day 26Continue winding along the coast and fjords. The Stone Museum of Petra, in the tiny Stöðvarfjörður, is full of colourful, sparkling Icelandic semi-gemstones, with a lovely garden. Circle around the fjords and via the Fagridalur valley to Egilsstaðir and back to Seyðisfjörður (70 miles).
1 night at Seyðisfjörður campsite.
Day 270830 check in at Seyðisfjörður ferry port. At 1130 say farewell to the Land of Ice and Fire, as we depart Seyðisfjörður aboard Norröna for the Faroe Islands.
1 very short night aboard cruise ferry Norröna, with early hours disembarkation.
Day 28 - 29
0300 Arrive Tórshavn, on the island of Streymoy in the Faroe Islands. A gentle early morning drive to Skáli, on Eysturoy, via the Nesvík-Oyrabakki bridge (37 miles). Settle in and catch up with a nap, or start to explore the Faroe Islands.
2 nights at Skáli campsite
(any units reliant on pegging will instead be booked into a Tórshavn campsite).
Day 30 - 31
Plenty of time for some more exploring or relaxing, before a late evening departure from the Faroe Islands. It may be possible to stay on site until the evening sailing check-in at 2030 at Tórshavn ferry port (37 miles). 2330 Depart Faroe Islands.
On your final evening aboard ship there is a farewell tour buffet dinner.
2 nights aboard cruise ferry Norröna.
Day 320930 Arrive Hirtshals, with plenty of time to drive down the Jutland peninsula to Esbjerg (214 miles). You could visit the original Legoland at Billund on the way.
1715-1800 check in at Esbjerg ferry port. 1845 depart for Harwich.
1 night aboard Dana Sirena.
Day 331200 Arrive Harwich. End of tour arrangements.