Iceland: The unusual north ! - The360 Travel

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  • Sunday, December 15, 2019

    Iceland: The unusual north !

    Iceland: The unusual north !

    Forget about Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon in Southern Iceland: from the Eyjafjördur Fjord to Raufarhöfn, via Lake Myvatn, the northern "face" of the country promises as many spectacular landscapes as surprising activities.

    Land art in the land of herring

    The tip of Rifstangi, in the north-east of Iceland, is just a few kilometers from the Arctic Circle. Going on the route 85 leads to Raufarhöfn, the northernmost village in the country. Very peaceful today, it had its hour of glory at the time of the lucrative herring fishery, until the 60s. All islands, peninsulas and canals, the region offers a unique natural setting that begin to discover the tourists, attracted by the somewhat crazy project of a villager: building a land art work over Raufarhöfn, with 360-degree views. Far from being finished, the Arctic Enclosure already impresses. Five arches in large blocks of stone point to the sky, facing each other at a good distance. The whole offers amazing perspectives, especially when the games of shadows and natural light get involved.

    Food and beer pairing, on beer background

    At the Bjordödin restaurant in Arskögssandur, on the edge of the Eyjafjördur fjord, each dish is paired with a Kaldi beer from the local microbrewery, the first in Iceland! The view of the fjord is admired with a Kaldi burger with beer-marinated meat. Before or after your meal, experience the adjoining "beer spa". It is in a barrel-tub filled with beer and mountain water where you relax while drinking (at will) a fresh Kaldi.

    From the cowshed to the café au lait

    Going beyond the city of Akureyri, then the bottom of the Eyjafjördur fjord, a more rural and marine landscape is revealed. Garour farm raises dairy cows in an automated barn. It is upstairs that climbs to observe the "merry-go-round" of cows who go (alone) to the milking machine when the need arises. All while enjoying a fresh coffee or a dish prepared on site. At Kaffi Ku, you can admire a wide valley or choose rather the unusual glazed dining room overlooking the barn. The dishes served are all products of the farm. The beef and the famous Icelandic skyr (traditional fresh cheese) are in the spotlight, as are the waffles with rhubarb compote and homemade whipped cream.

    Rye bread "geothermal"

    Near the tourist lake Myvatn, Namafjall Hverir fumarole field is very impressive. With a Geo Travel guide, you'll see it all as part of a daily package including tastings of local produce. On the small road leading to Namafjall Hverir, we see the opening of funny kilns excavated underground heated by natural geothermal steam. They are used by families in the region to cook the traditional Icelandic rye bread, called Geysir bread. It takes 24 hours of cooking in a simple "box" of cardboard milk placed in one of these ovens. It is still hot with Arctic char. A pure delight!

    A plunge into the bowels of the Earth

    On the heights of Husavik, the eye is first attracted by the lighthouse mustard color placed on a green plateau overlooking the ocean. Then we see behind the concrete openings through which we enter the bowels of the Earth to the Geosea baths. Almost troglodyte, the establishment has been open since 2018 and promises to become the ultimate in Icelandic geothermal baths! Once underground (condition put by the inhabitants of the village not to deteriorate the landscape), we are struck by its sleek design. On the ocean side, large bay windows open onto an outdoor pool with, as a gift from the sky, the splendid view of Husavik Bay and the lighthouse, playing the sentinels in the background. To recommend at sunset!

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