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Making luxurious household journeys significant

Making luxury family trips meaningful

When it involves planning a luxurious household trip, there are countless potentialities to select from. Whether you’re on the lookout for an action-packed getaway crammed with journey and pleasure, or a soothing retreat the place you possibly can merely unwind and recharge, there’s something on the market to fulfill your wants.

However, this isn’t your typical submit offering you with ‘run of the mill’ luxurious household trip concepts; fairly now we have targeted on offering inspiring concepts based mostly on sustainability, eco-luxury, and making luxurious journey significant. So, seize a cuppa, and let’s check out these concepts.


Kenya is extraordinary, with vibrant individuals, beautiful coastlines, towering mountains, and naturally, chic wildlife. Your youngsters will love Nairobi’s Giraffe Center, in addition to the Rhino orphanage, and be enthralled by the sight of tens of 1000’s of wildebeest and zebras doing their nice migration from the Serengeti into the Maasai Mara. But your loved ones will love Kenya at any time of yr, particularly after they get to interact with the individuals. The Maasai communities surrounding the Mara ecosystem are dealing with quite a lot of challenges. Many of those issues stem from a scarcity of schooling and assets, making it troublesome for these communities to enhance their scenario.

However, you and your loved ones will help to show this example round by funding and constructing a brand new classroom for the native colleges. By offering entry to high quality schooling, you possibly can assist to put the inspiration for studying and provides these kids the talents they should construct their lives and higher their communities.

Luxury family volunteer vacation Kenya

Sustainable growth can be important if we need to make sure that these communities proceed to thrive lengthy into the longer term. To this finish, you might select to companion with the Masaai individuals to put in eco-friendly stoves in villages.

Where to remain for eco-luxury: Basecamp Masai Mara

Bali, Indonesia

Bali – an island paradise the place your loved ones can expertise a lot, from studying to surf, to rafting on thrilling rapids, to Balinese cooking classes. When most individuals consider the Balinese, they consider their heat and mild nature, their stunning tradition, and the pure allure that appears to imbue every little thing they do.

However, what many individuals don’t know is that many Balinese really see disabilities as a karmic results of previous wrong-doing. As a end result, disabled individuals in Balinese society are seen as outcasts who reside troublesome lives with little to no authorities assist.

Many of them rely solely on their households for care and help, which locations an incredible burden on these already susceptible people.

Despite this bleak actuality, there may be hope: your loved ones could make an actual distinction within the lives of disabled Balinese individuals.

How we do that is by funding and putting in accessible bogs for paraplegics residing in distant and really poor villages; along with your assist, we are able to make sure that all members of the neighborhood have entry to important assets like restrooms that meet their wants.

Where to remain for eco-luxury: Amankila


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Romania is an interesting European treasure, with various landscapes and wealthy cultural traditions, and naturally Dracula and his fortress. But what actually units this nation aside is its abundance of wildlife.

Home to Europe’s largest inhabitants of untamed European brown bears, Romania is actually a nature lover’s paradise. And but, regardless of this, searching continues to be permitted right here, placing these majestic animals in danger.

If we need to make sure that the bears of Romania flourish for generations to come back, then it’s as much as all of us to take motion now. Your household can accomplish that by spending a number of days volunteering at a Bear Sanctuary in Romania: sustaining the enclosures, making ready their meals, and creating ‘enrichments’ to stimulate the bears and maintain them engaged.

Where to remain for eco-luxury: Viscri 125


So, why not take into account taking your subsequent luxurious household trip to considered one of these sustainable, eco-luxury locations? Not solely will you may have a singular and unforgettable expertise, however you can even make a constructive affect on native communities and the surroundings. Together, we are able to work in the direction of making a extra sustainable and equitable world for all. Be the change.

Christopher Hill is Founder and CEO at Hands Up Holidays. Hands Up Holidays is an award-winning journey firm specialising in tailored luxurious household journeys that mix sightseeing with hands-on service tasks.

If you wish to be a visitor blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in an effort to increase your profile, please contact us.

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Short keep: Topaz Suite, Diamond Suites, Keflavik, Iceland

Short stay: Topaz Suite, Diamond Suites, Keflavik, Iceland

Occupying the uppermost ground of the already-renowned Hotel Keflavik, Diamond Suites Luxury Boutique Hotel is Iceland‘s first five star hotel and consists of a collection of individually-decorated suites. Whilst the building’s exterior may appear moderately unremarkable, every suite is ultra-luxurious and has its personal distinctive character and theme for travellers who demand the very best.

The welcome

Tucked away on the highest ground, Diamond Suites is totally personal and separate from Hotel Keflavik, and even has its personal small reception desk. This was unmanned on the time of our go to, with a clean and seamless check-in carried out as a substitute on the principal lodge reception space on the bottom ground.

The room

The door into Diamond Suites initially takes you into a non-public space shared by all of the suites. Think of it as being like a Club ground in a bigger lodge.

Versace marble flooring, snug leather-based seating and a kitchenette are among the many facilities out there for the unique use of Diamond Suites visitors.

We stayed within the first suite on the best – the Topaz Suite – which can also be essentially the most fashionable of the suites, protecting an space of 420 sq. ft.

The Queen Size Bed, dressed with luxurious mattress linens, assured us with a superb evening’s sleep.

The suite enjoys hardwood flooring and a chic design with up to date fashionable furnishings, showcasing genuine Icelandic art work on the partitions.

There’s in depth use of know-how throughout the suite from the 42“ Bang Olufsen flatscreen TV and Apple TV leisure system to the iPad controls on the door with SONOS music system. LED temper lighting, underfloor heating, distant managed curtains and electrical black-out blinds, in addition to a free personal WiFi connection unique to every suite are additional examples.

Red leather-based seating and matching foot stools are eye-catching objects of furnishings that allow you to chill out in entrance of the TV.

Other extras embody a protected, cordless telephone, Nespresso machine, kettle and each day housekeeping.

The rest room

The modest rest room options luxurious fixtures together with a rain bathe head, luxurious whirlpool bathtub, heated Duravit rest room seat and a really fancy faucet designed by Philippe Starck. There’s additionally an amazing high quality shaving mirror, and tremendous fluffy towels and flannels.

A really good boxed toiletry set is provided, full with shampoo, conditioner, physique lotion and bathe gel, but additionally a complete host of extras together with bathtub salts, stitching package, bathe cap, shaving package, comb, toothbrush, self-importance package, ear plugs and pen. Bathrobes and slippers are additionally provided.

The services

Although the suites embody entry to their very own kitchenette, you’d be lacking out should you didn’t attempt dinner at KEF Restaurant again on the bottom ground.

The lobster soup, flavoured with chilli, cilantro, ginger, lemongrass and star anise is a deal with for the tastebuds.

The stand-out principal dish for me was the monkfish with chorizo, olives, tomatoes, nut pesto, pearl onion, potatoes and yuzu hollandaise.

Meat eaters will love the grilled leg of lamb – served pink – with yellow beet purée, grilled yellow beet, rainbow carrots, herb crust, fondant potato, herb and date demi glace.

Sweet treats included this chocolate and caramel brownie served with vanilla ice cream and forest fruits.

If you’re fearful concerning the kilos gained from the restaurant, the lodge additionally has a 7,000 sq. ft. health centre, full with treadmills, cross trainers, train bikes, energy bench presses and an assortment of free weights, resistance bands, flexion machines and weight machines.


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Diamond Suites is a well-liked selection due to it handy location, only a 6-minute drive from Keflavik International Airport and inside strolling distance of Keflavik’s facilities, not forgetting additionally the Atlantic Ocean which is only a two-minute stroll away. Both The Blue Lagoon and Grinadvik, from the place you may discover latest volcanic exercise on the south of the Reykjanes Peninsula, are every only a 20-minute drive away.

Other good touches

An further particular profit to staying right here is entry to 2 personal out of doors sizzling tubs located on a balcony overlooking the ocean.  These are for the unique use of Diamond Suites visitors.


Suites begin from round 140,000 ISK, together with breakfast.

The greatest bit

The smartest thing concerning the lodge is its luxurious and opulent suites. In addition to the Topaz Suite described above, there may be an Emerald Suite, Pearl Suite, Sapphire Suite and Ruby Suite.  All 5 suites could be employed collectively solely as a collection mixture often known as the Diamond Suite.

The closing verdict

A keep at Diamond Suites is an additional particular deal with and a good way to both begin or end your journey to Iceland.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here:

Disclosure: This publish is sponsored by Diamond Suites Luxury Boutique Hotel. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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Short keep: Hotel Keflavik, Keflavik, Iceland

Short stay: Hotel Keflavik, Keflavik, Iceland

We arrived at Hotel Keflavik forward of our return flight again to the UK for which we had a really early begin. (The resort is only a 6-minute drive from the airport.) The constructing truly homes two lodges, each beneath the identical administration – the 4 star Hotel Keflavik and, on the uppermost ground, Diamond Suites Luxury Boutique Hotel. Many of the services are frequent to each lodges. We are in a position to carry you particulars on each lodges since our sons stayed in a room at Hotel Keflavik, while we stayed within the Diamond Suites.

The welcome

Two giant stone lions stand on guard at both facet of Hotel Keflavik’s important entrance. Parking near the resort entrance was free, with loads of areas accessible after we arrived.

Inside, an ethereal lobby and unexpectedly glitzy reception desk was the place we had been effortlessly checked in earlier than making our method to our respective rooms.

The room

The comfy room consisted of dual beds, a chair to calm down and a desk space.

An amalgam of muted tones had been interrupted by a collection of fancy lampshades that supplied a splash of color.

Icelandic art work adorned the partitions and the room additionally got here with a TV, telephone, secure and Nespresso machine.

The room seemed out over over a few visitor homes and to a fishing pier and a sheltered bay within the North Atlantic. The title Keflavik interprets to ‘Driftwood Bay’.

We discovered it to be a quiet neighbourhood so you ought to be assured night time’s sleep.

The rest room

The room’s rest room was compact however with every thing wanted for a brief keep: WC, basin, bathe and tub, hair dryer, bathmat, flannels and towels.

A toiletry pack got here full with bathe cap, tub salts, stitching equipment, shoe mitt and Diamond Suites branded shampoo, conditioner, physique lotion, bathe gel and cleaning soap.

The services

Dinner at KEF Restaurant, the place the emphasis is on contemporary Icelandic components, is a particular a part of any keep at Hotel Keflavik.

The lobster soup, flavoured with chilli, cilantro, ginger, lemongrass and star anise is a deal with for the tastebuds.

The stand-out important dish for me was the monkfish with chorizo, olives, tomatoes, nut pesto, pearl onion, potatoes and yuzu hollandaise.

Meat eaters will love the grilled leg of lamb – served pink – with yellow beet purée, grilled yellow beet, rainbow carrots, herb crust, fondant potato, herb and date demi glace.

Sweet treats included this chocolate and caramel brownie served with vanilla ice cream and forest fruits.

If you’re frightened concerning the kilos gained from the restaurant, the resort additionally has a 7,000 sq. ft. health centre, full with treadmills, cross trainers, train bikes, energy bench presses and an assortment of free weights, resistance bands, flexion machines and weight machines.


Set on the Reykjanes Peninsula only a 2-minute stroll from the North Atlantic Ocean, one of many huge attracts of Hotel Keflavik is its location. The resort’s proximity to Keflavik International Airport is a serious plus. Whether you’re arriving into Iceland fairly late at night time, or leaving on an early morning flight, you’ll benefit from the comfort of being only a 6-minute drive from airport.



Standard double or twin rooms begin from round 25,000 ISK, together with breakfast.


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The finest bit

The neatest thing concerning the resort is its location and particularly its proximity to the airport.  It is just a brief taxi trip away and near a petroleum station must you be needing to return a rent automobile with a full tank. It can be a 20-minute drive from the Blue Lagoon and a 45-minute drive from Reykjavik.

The closing verdict

Hotel Keflavik is a clear, funky and well-located 4-star resort with restaurant. For us, it was good place to base ourselves for our final night time in Iceland provided that we needed to be up early the following morning so as to return our rental automobile and arrive on the airport in loads of time for our flight, and meant that we didn’t must rise fairly as early as we’d have completed if we had been nonetheless primarily based in Reykjavik.  For an much more luxurious keep, contemplate Hotel Keflavik’s sister resort, the Diamond Suites, which occupies the highest ground of the identical resort.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here:

Disclosure: This publish is sponsored by Hotel Keflavik. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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FlyOver Iceland in Reykjavik – what to anticipate

FlyOver Iceland in Reykjavik - what to expect

FlyOver Iceland is certainly one of Reykjavik’s newer sights, having opened within the Autumn of 2019 within the Grandi Harbor District, a couple of 20-minute stroll from town centre. This indoor attraction consists of two pre-shows, however the spotlight of any go to is a motion-seated flight simulation over Iceland‘s many pure wonders, made attainable with an unlimited 20-metre wraparound spherical display screen.

FlyOver Iceland is the results of years of collaboration spearheaded by Creative Director Rick Rothschild who was a artistic govt at Disney for greater than 30 years. His work mixed with that of expert helicopter pilot Jón Björnsson, who shot some scenes in Game of Thrones amongst others, eminent composer Kjartan Holm and illustrator Brain Pilkington, comes collectively for the extremely immersive attraction that you may go to right now.

We have been invited to reach roughly half-hour earlier than our experience was as a consequence of start in order that we may get booked in and use the Kaffi Grandi espresso home previous to our flight. They serve mild snacks and all the same old belongings you may anticipate. Because we travelled to the venue by electrical scooter, we made good time and arrived even earlier so our reserving was helpfully and effectively moved to the an earlier flight to save lots of on extreme ready.

About 10 minutes earlier than the experience, everybody was known as upstairs the place there’s a inexperienced display screen and we may have {a photograph} of our group taken – one {photograph} of us simply standing usually, and one other of us with our arms outstretched, pretending to fly. These are optionally accessible for buy, in opposition to quite a lot of Iceland backdrops, on the finish of the expertise. No pictures is allowed contained in the expertise, so that you’ll must make do with inventory imagery and my description from hereon in.

In the primary of the pre-shows, we entered a darkened room which seems to be an historical Viking longhouse the place an Icelandic storyteller tells certainly one of his hearth tales as shadows come to life on the wall behind him.

In the second pre-show, often called Well of Time, we delve additional into Iceland’s historical past, guided by an area troll named Sú Vitra, who led us by way of three completely different acts. First, you’ll really feel the ability of the land because the sturdy and sometimes violent forces of nature take form. Next is the arrival of man and the introduction of Þetta Reddast (a commonly-used Iceland phrase which suggests “it will all work out ok”). Finally, uncover how Icelandic folks have made a life on this island. Life continues, it doesn’t matter what.

With the pre-shows full, it’s time for the principle occasion – the immersive flight expertise! We have been led by way of to a line of seats the place we may sit down and buckle up. Yes, you put on seat belts for this half!

We may go away any belongings beneath our seat however, as soon as the simulation will get beneath means, our seats rose slightly from the bottom and the barrier we noticed earlier than us fell away to offer the total flying expertise.

With our toes dangling beneath us, we had that actual sense of flight.  And the views and video footage that we skilled are second to none.

We visited FlyOver Iceland in the direction of the tip of our time in Iceland, which I believe was the proper means round, because it meant we may relate extra intimately to lots of the scenes that we noticed, such because the scenes of Reynisfjara seaside and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

And what’s vital to attempt to get throughout (however you’ll want to go to your self for the total expertise) is that FlyOver Iceland is not only about sitting in an elevated chair and watching a big display screen. It’s a lot extra immersive than that.  Our seats twisted and turned as we have been cooled by the coolness of the Arctic wind, took within the scents of lupins while flying over a flower-filled meadow, and our faces felt the cool mist from a close-by waterfall.

In truth, the expertise is so bodily lifelike, utilizing state-of-the-art expertise that had us swooping throughout magical landscapes, that some folks do really feel nauseous from it – fortunately, that didn’t occur to any of us (or to anybody else that I may visibly discover) however it’s one thing to keep in mind if you’re liable to movement illness.

The experience itself is exhilarating and enjoyable, even at one level passing beneath a pure arch, and the surroundings all through is nothing in need of breathtaking. And after our flight, we may see a map of the places that have been coated throughout the expertise. These embrace the Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, the mountains of Hörgársveit, the Island of Elliðaey, the Aldeyjarfoss waterfalls, town of Reykjavík and extra. There can also be a present store.

FlyOver Iceland opens at 10am and the experience operates each quarter-hour till 6.45pm. The expertise prices 4,990 ISK for ages 13 and over, or 2,495 ISK for kids aged 12 and beneath. (Children should be accompanied by an grownup or guardian (14 years or older) and be no less than 100cm (40 inches) tall.)

Some may assume that is fairly expensive for an expertise that takes 35 minutes (simply 8.5 minutes of which is the flying experience).  However, nothing is affordable in Iceland and, in contrast with a helicopter flight expertise, which might value you upwards of ten occasions this quantity, then it’s actually not so unhealthy. And after all you cowl a lot greater than may probably hope to expertise from a single helicopter flight.

For extra of an concept of what to anticipate, see the trailer beneath:


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Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here:

Disclosure: This submit is sponsored by FlyOver Iceland. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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Whale watching from a luxurious yacht off Reykjavik, Iceland

Whale watching from a luxury yacht off Reykjavik, Iceland

The chilly waters off Iceland‘s coast support a variety of marine life and provide the perfect opportunity for whale watching, particularly during the period from April to September. Whales, dolphins, seals and porpoises are regularly seen in their natural environment on boat trips out of Reykjavik. And sometimes, if you’re very fortunate, chances are you’ll even see basking sharks.

Whilst there are a lot of whale watching companies working out of Reykjavik, figuring out who to decide on could be a problem. With the bigger vessels, your view is likely to be slightly extra distant and the flexibility to maneuver to get one of the best view is likely to be considerably restricted. With smaller boats reminiscent of ribs, you’ll have higher manoeuvrability and may need a higher likelihood of getting ‘up close’, however this not give you the your required degree of consolation, significantly if the climate is unfavourable.

We went with Harpa Yachts, who supply the proper mixture of fine visibility, consolation and manoeuvrability, aboard a luxurious yacht the place you possibly can escape the crowds and profit from an expertise with fewer passengers, and with native and private service on board.

Harpa Yachts is a household firm that has been providing snug whale, dophin and puffin watching cruises from Reykjavik since 1998. The founders and homeowners have been pioneers of whale watchting journeys in Reykjavik. Their foremost focus has been on a private, high quality serivce aboard their well-maintained 70-foot MY Harpa yacht, absolutely outfitted with a salon, lounge, bar and a fly bridge with 360-degree views. They even have MY Amelia Rose which is 108 toes lengthy, usually used when the climate is much less good, and their latest addition, the 50-foot MY Axel Rose used for smaller teams and unique journeys.

Cruises depart from Reykjavik Old Harbour in downtown Reykjavik and head out to Faxaflói Bay, a big bay in south-west Iceland, between the Reykjanes and Snӕfellsnes Peninsulas.

“Welcome aboard this one-way trip to Greenland…” stated Capt Einar over the tanoy system as we departed the harbour at Reykjavik. By this time, we’d obtained used to Icelanders having fun with a joke or two from different excursions we’d been on, however we did marvel if another passengers have been momentarily barely panicked by the announcement!

We departed Reykjavik, hopeful of seeing whales however on the similar time realising that we have been coping with nature and a profitable sighting was under no circumstances assured. That stated, most journeys are profitable, significantly within the peak Summer months of July and August.

The vessel is gorgeous and was initially inbuilt Italy by Cantieri di Pisa. She was purchased by Harpa Yachts in 2012 from homeowners in Greece and sailed to Iceland, earlier than being modernised in 2017-2019. She can maintain as much as 35 passengers, guaranteeing that you’ve a reasonably intimate whale watching expertise.

As we ventured out into the bay, we noticed occasional puffins – usually stretched out in a line of half a dozen or so – with many carrying sand eels of their beaks, little question taking them to their younger. Iceland’s nesting grounds account for round 60% of the worldwide inhabitants of Atlantic puffins through the Spring and Summer, so there’s a excessive likelihood you’ll see some, even when it’s from a distance.

Of course, the principle function of our journey out to sea was for a whale sighting and that was up to now eluding us, regardless of one of the best efforts of our captain and crew. As many as 23 completely different whale species have been recorded off the shores of Iceland, however solely 12-14 of those are thought-about to be common inhabitants.

The vessel has an remark deck on the high and passengers have been suggested to say a time on the clock if they need to spot something (for instance, “3 o’clock” if there was a sighting on our starboard facet) to assist others know the place to look.

Everyone was scouring the ocean hoping to see one thing but it surely appeared we have been out of luck.

Then unexpectedly, we had a sighting. A humpback whale!

Everyone’s gaze tranfixed on the place we’d simply seen it. There have been three or 4 boats searching for whales and one of many smaller boats re-positioned itself for a greater view, earlier than we noticed it come to the floor once more some minutes later.

Here’s one other model of the identical {photograph}, cropped slightly tighter.

The humpback whale (or hnúfubakur as it’s referred to as in Iceland) usually stays underwater for five to fifteen minutes. They are characterised by lengthy flippers and usually stay in solitude or small, unstable teams. There are regarded as as much as 100,000 humpbacks worldwide and so they migrate a distance of 6,000 kilometres a method – the longest journey identified for any mammal. They will be something as much as 17 metres lengthy (that’s concerning the size of 10 adults laid on their facet in a single line!) and as much as 40 tons (the mixed weight of three double decker buses!).


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With a big time period having handed, and no additional sighting, it appeared our pleasant whale had moved on. An alert got here via on the radio {that a} whale had been sighted elsewhere so all of the boats left to attempt to make the most of that sighting. We stayed the place we have been and our captain’s persistence was rewarded when the whale appeared as soon as once more, simply as the opposite boats left!

Humpback whales are well-known for his or her breaching acrobatics – while we by no means noticed this whale breach, we have been fortunate sufficient to see it come to the floor on a number of events. That alone was a really particular expertise.

There was one closing wave of the whale’s tail, generally known as a fluke, as if taunting the boats that had chosen to look elsewhere. Lifting the fluke like this earlier than a dive is one thing that’s significantly attribute of humpbacks.

With Harpa Yachts, we obtained to expertise a enjoyable small group tour, with seating choices each indoors and outside while on board. Warm blankets can be found, as is free WiFi, a bar and lounge, a restroom {and professional} and skilled crew. In the occasion of no whale sightings – which may occur on uncommon events as nature shouldn’t be at all times 100% predictable – a free ticket can also be provided.

Whale watching in Iceland is a singular expertise that you just received’t wish to miss!

Sadly, whales are nonetheless hunted in Iceland regardless of a global settlement by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to cease all industrial whaling by 1986. However, the observe of whaling in Iceland has seen a pointy delcine and the nation has introduced that, as a result of falling demand, it’ll now not hunt whales from 2024. Hopefully it will make whale watching journeys out of Reykjavik much more rewarding sooner or later.

As nicely as whale watching excursions, Harpa Yachts additionally supply a Northern Lights yacht cruise in addition to non-public yacht excursions alongside the shoreline of Reykjavik, with distinctive seaside views of town. On a non-public cruise, you are able to do something from deep-sea angling to skeet capturing to golf driving competitions.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here. Footage from our whalewatching tour will be seen between 5m 56s and 6m 03s:

Disclosure: This publish is sponsored by Harpa Yachts. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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8 life-enriching household holidays in Ecuador and its Galapagos Islands

8 life-enriching family vacations in Ecuador and its Galapagos Islands

Disneyland is ok, however for a household journey expertise that’s illuminating in addition to entertaining, think about South America. Ecuador specifically is a vacation spot that mixes sheer enjoyable and fantasy with life-changing encounters.

Imagine you and your loved ones biking down a volcano to fathom the bodily energy of nature; or image yourselves coming face-to-face with unique wildlife species, or making direct contact with various cultures firmly rooted in historic traditions. Undoubtedly stronger bonds can be fashioned by these shared experiences that crystalize into cherished reminiscences.

And think about the advantages of your kids’s training and their skill to adapt socially as they take part in new sports activities, choose up just a few phrases in a brand new language, or expertise totally different customs and various methods of life. Visiting Ecuador just isn’t solely in regards to the pure enjoyment all of us discover in journey, it’s additionally about widening one’s views by exploring a dissimilar world.

Here we proceed from our earlier article on family-friendly locations in Ecuador to current eight extra concepts for an entertaining and enlightening adventures for you and yours.

1. The Amazonian Rainforest: A jungle tour with all of the creature comforts

The mere considered occurring an Amazon jungle tour can conjure up each concern and fascination in even essentially the most intrepid explorer. Yet lately, journey to right here gives you and your loved ones an opportunity to securely immerse yourselves within the rainforest and uncover a digital Garden of Eden that’s dwelling to the world’s most unique wildlife.

As we all know, the Amazon is essentially the most bio-diverse space on the planet because of its unimaginable array of unique crops and bewildering animal species. Given this, a wildlife-watching itinerary could be designed so that you can encounter the hair-raising roar of a troop of howler monkeys excessive within the forest cover, spot the glowing eyes of caimans on the riverbank throughout a nighttime jungle safari, and observe households of Giant otters as your canoe crosses a lake.

In addition to jungle sports activities similar to ziplining, bungy leaping and blowgun observe, a novel cultural expertise awaits you within the rainforest, given the extraordinary indigenous peoples who populate the area. Visit a distant indigenous neighborhood and participate in a magical ceremony led by a standard shaman. And maintain your digital camera on the prepared, as nothing compares to experiencing an Amazonian river and the rainforest first-hand.

La Selva Lodge

The luxurious La Selva (“Jungle”) Lodge is the right Amazonian base for any form of adventurous traveler, be they households, {couples}, buddies or teams, and other people of all ages. Situated deep within the Amazon rainforest, the lodge is on the border of Yasuni National Park, round sixty miles from the city of Coca, in north-eastern Ecuador. Winner of the Ecotourism Award from the World Congress on Tourism, La Selva Lodge is stylistically rustic, supremely snug and offers absolutely appointed cabins reached by boardwalks overlooking the lake.

During this Amazon rainforest trip — which incorporates climbing, canoeing, hen watching, swimming, fishing, and far more — friends are divided into small teams, every with its personal native and naturalist information. After climbing within the rainforest, remember to get pleasure from a calming therapeutic massage on the lodge’s Butterfly Spa.

What higher method to dispel the jungle’s foreboding picture than by experiencing the Amazon first-hand? An expertise not often discovered elsewhere, the Amazon holds surprises of wildlife, flora, and fauna that may amaze and captivate even youthful kids.

2. Cotopaxi National Park: Explore the volcanos

Exploring the Ecuadorian Andes with children wouldn’t be full with out witnessing no less than one volcano up shut. This is why Cotopaxi National Park, with its namesake Cotopaxi Volcano, is yet one more good spot to go to on your loved ones tour.

The second most visited vacation spot in Ecuador after the Galapagos Islands, the reserve’s major attraction is the Cotopaxi Volcano, which itself is the biggest energetic volcano on the planet and the second-highest mountain in Ecuador. Cotopaxi’s proximity to Quito offers this easy accessibility for a fast go to or an prolonged keep, relying on the sort(s) of actions you and your loved ones take into account. Create eternal reminiscences together with your children as they be taught in regards to the energy of pure phenomena when exploring numerous volcanic terrains, climbing round Lake Limpiopungo, going horseback using, or daring a quick and livid “volcano biking” tour.

Cotopaxi Pungo Finca Lodge

The postcard-perfect Cotopaxi Volcano could be noticed at its greatest from Cotopaxi Pungo Finca, a lodge located a mere 18 miles (31 km) from the town of Quito. In reality, this strategic location locations guests smack in the midst of the “Avenue of Volcanoes,” an space with eight of Ecuador’s ten highest summits. From this vantage level, your loved ones can absorb a panoramic view of all of the volcanoes within the central Andes. This expertise combines journey, nature and the tradition of the inhabitants of the Andes whereas permitting all of you to get pleasure from all of the comforts and culinary delights on the lodge.

Along with its 20 snug rooms—every with both a balcony or a terrace for taking in much more of the superb surroundings — Cotopaxi Pungo La Finca Hotel gives friends quite a lot of actions similar to horseback using, biking and volcano climbing. The employees can be more than pleased to study your pursuits and enable you prepare a personal tour of this magical place for stress-free, unwinding and discovering nature.

NOTE: Twice a yr (May & September), guests can benefit from the “Chagra” (Ecuadorian cowboy) Festival. This consists of native cowhands using for greater than 4 hours by the realm carrying conventional outfits. Their parade passes by the lodge grounds, the place you too even journey a horse together with the cowhands.

3. Mindo Cloud Forest: An enchanted pure world of mega-biodiversity

Ecuadorian cloud forests are mystical places. Located alongside the slopes of the Andean Mountain vary, these mossy woodlands are clocked within the canopy-level mist that offers these forests a surreal, nearly supernatural character. The Mindo cloud forest, positioned solely 2½ hours from the Ecuadorian capital, is considered one of these gorgeous settings. This vacation spot is in style for the superb organic variety that surrounds the pint-sized pueblo of Minda, which serves as the bottom for adventurous households searching for to expertise this area.

Not solely is the Mindo space dwelling to 428 totally different species of birds — together with the unique umbrella, the cock-of-the-rock, and mountain toucans, in addition to greater than 20 species of hummingbirds — this cloud forest boasts upwards of 35,000 species of crops (greater than 50% endemic) and greater than 664 of various species of amphibians – the best selection per sq. mile on the planet! What this implies for vacationers is that kids of all ages — from 8 to 80 — have probabilities to witness a mess of hummingbirds, go to a butterfly farm, and even get pleasure from a frog live performance. For the extra energetic, the cloud forest offers a formidable vary of actions, the whole lot from rafting, canyoning and tubing to waterfall treks, ziplining and sky gondola rides by the forest cover. All of this makes Mindo an incredible spot for household journeys in Ecuador.

For visiting the Mindo cloud forest, we advocate your loved ones keep on the Sachatamia Lodge, positioned in a privately owned ecological reserve close to the city of Mindo and solely an hour and a half from Quito. Nestled within the cool cloud forest, the lodge’s reserve covers 120 hectares (300 acres), with a median altitude of 1,700 meters (5,575 toes) above sea degree.

The lodge consists of snug however merely embellished rooms and conventional wood cabins, in addition to a restaurant serving savory meals. While eating, you’ll have an incredible view over the gardens, the place a calming pond, quite a lot of tropical flowers and tons of of hummingbirds are there to seize your pursuits. The surrounding space is famend as one of many richest when it comes to the biodiversity of its wildlife and is an incredible place for birdwatching. At Sachatamia, friends might stroll by a pure subtropical jungle, passing pristine rivers whereas having fun with and observing quite a lot of endemic timber, plant and wildflower species similar to orchids, bromeliads, heliconias and anthuriums, amongst others.

4. Baños: Ecuador’s adventure-sports capital

For households searching for the freshest air and loads of outdoorsy actions, the Ecuadorian mountain city of Baños has loads to maintain adults and kids of all ages energetic. Known as Ecuador’s adventure-sports middle, Baños has all of it – from mountain biking and whitewater rafting to ziplining, climbing, jungle excursions and waterfall visits. Also, on the base of a volcano is the well-known scorching springs after which the city is known as, in addition to a small however fascinating zoo that youthful ones particularly enjoyment of visiting.

Though you’ll be surrounded by nature, you’ll additionally be capable to benefit from the city’s extra urbane options, together with a number of upscale eating places and numerous boutiques and outlets. And for these of us who marvel at South American conventional tradition, you’ll be able to go to any one of many city’s craft markets which might be brimming with distinctive objects similar to elaborately designed handwoven rugs, carved wooden and leather-based items. Have little question, everybody in your loved ones is bound to utterly love the city of Baños.

Samari Spa Resort:

Located near Baños and ideal for these searching for leisure and a few critical pampering, the Samari Spa Resort is a chic and opulent spa resort. Built across the remnants of a 300-year-old Jesuit monastery, Samari Spa Resort gives among the most refined and opulent lodging within the Baños space.

Rooms characteristic red-tile flooring, brick partitions, and exquisite stonework within the loos. This fashionable and well-equipped spa is constructed round a big, inviting, heated indoor swimming pool set beneath a glass roof, to not point out Samari’s sauna, Turkish bathtub, hydro-massage, polar bathtub, and particular person sauna containers.


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5. Otavalo & the Highlands: The coronary heart of Ecuadorian artisanry

The Ecuadorian Highlands, simply an hour to the north of Quito, is the artisanry coronary heart of the nation, set amid a panorama of mountain lakes and a patchwork hillside crops. The highland city of Otavalo is greatest recognized for its well-known artisans’ market, the place expert indigenous craftspeople have traded their handicrafts for tons of of years – even earlier than the arrival of the Incas.

Today, the sprawling array of distributors, stands, and retailers commerce every kind of regionally produced crafts similar to colourful blankets, handwoven shawls, scarves and sweaters, in addition to paintings, jewellery, and fantastic leather-based items. Here, you and your children can discover far more than distinctive souvenirs of your time in Ecuador. By visiting Otavalo and its surrounding communities, your loved ones can have an opportunity to discover workshops the place trades have been handed down for generations – it’s an interesting perception into these historic handicraft traditions. Surrounding this city, which is arguably the perfect handicraft market in all of South America, you’ll additionally discover rolling hills, lush forests, waterfalls, world-class haciendas, and loads of exercise choices too.

The expansive although rugged terrain of the area is splendidly scenic, with picturesque lakes making approach for sharp cliffs and volcanic peaks. The wider province can also be recognized for its working haciendas and horse ranches that dot the panorama; Throughout the realm, it’s not unusual to see farmers herding cattle and sheep on the roads. We extremely advocate staying just a few days to get a full and genuine expertise of this wild and exquisite place.

Hacienda Cusin

For a household trip that features Otavalo and the highlands, you’ll discover a keep at Hacienda Cusin gives a peaceable and excellent getaway. With all of the appeal of an previous colonial dwelling, this accommodating hacienda is about inside expansive and well-landscaped gardens the place the rooms are quaint however neatly embellished. Hacienda Cusin has 30 individually embellished rooms, some are positioned inside the home itself, others within the charming buildings subsequent to the home and others in small cottages positioned within the lovely gardens.

A brief stroll away however nonetheless inside the grounds of the Hacienda, the homeowners have transformed an previous monastery into separate lodging – excellent for bigger teams and incentives excursions. Overall, you’ll discover Cusin to be family-friendly, with options like llamas, a playground and a basketball courtroom, and a secret room that children can’t wait to find. There are additionally loads of alternatives right here for horseback using, biking or climbing within the surrounding countryside or maybe even a go to to a rose plantation.

6. The Tren Crucero: Exploring the Andes by prepare

Exploring by prepare is an effective way for kids to see the nation and have enjoyable alongside the best way. Several day tour rail routes could be discovered all through Ecuador, and plenty of are appropriate in your complete household. A custom-designed locomotive, the 50-passenger Tren Crucero (the “Cruise Train”) is at the moment essentially the most gorgeous instance of classic transportation. With its strains utilizing both fashionable electric-diesel engines or lovingly restored vintage steam locomotives, these prepare journeys take you on distinctive cross-country journeys, permitting you to expertise totally different locales and ages of the Ecuadorian previous and current.

Your locomotive journey from the Andean mountains all the way down to the Pacific coast begins in Quito, the place you’ll head south alongside the “Avenue of the Volcanoes.” That was the title given by explorer Alexander Von Humboldt to this stretch peppered with greater than 20 volcanoes and mountains, amongst them being the Chimborazo Mountain, whose summit is the earth’s closest level to the solar… given our planet’s equatorial bulge. On this journey, you’ll be taught extra about Andean cultures and their specific worldviews. In reality, whereas visiting the genuine indigenous native market of Guamote, you’re prone to even really feel a part of it.

Embark on board the legendary prepare to the “Devil’s Nose” and expertise unparalleled journey as you descend this intricate zigzagging route into scenic Sibambe valley. As the journey concludes, you’ll journey by lush sugarcane fields and in depth banana, cocoa and rice plantations as you uncover the fascinating landscapes of the Ecuadorian coast. Come alongside and luxuriate in this magical journey!

7. Papallacta Hot Springs: The Andean pampering you deserve

Thanks to the tectonic and volcanic origins of the mountainous Andes, scorching springs are frequent all through this area. And, as a result of these waters have numerous medicinal and therapeutic properties, resorts and spas have sprung up, welcoming vacationers who want to endure hydrotherapy remedies throughout their journeys to Latin America.

In Ecuador, the city of Papallacta is considered one of these locations. This small mountain city possesses volcanically warmed mineral waters containing sulfates, sodium, calcium, chloride and magnesium, which give the water traits which might be anti-allergic, de-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-rheumatic and sedative, and are even stated to enhance bowel motion. To journey to this mountain village, your tour operator will meet you within the morning at your lodge in Quito after which drive you throughout japanese Ecuador by way of an inter-oceanic route that hyperlinks the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Termas de Papallacta Resort & Spa: Once you attain Papallacta, you’ll be able to soak, swim, play and loosen up within the medicinal scorching springs of the exceedingly pure setting of the Termas de Papallacta Resort & Spa. If the sky is obvious, you’ll have a spectacular view of the Antisana Volcano looming above your pool. Depending on the season, the common exterior temperature ranges from 50° to 57°F (10° to 14°C); nonetheless, the water temperature can attain a soothing 104°F (40°C).

During your go to to the Termas de Papallacta, if you want, you’ll be able to get pleasure from extra elective actions that embody hen watching, climbing and the therapeutic massage of your selection on the spa (these embody hydro-massage baths, physique remedies with medicinal Andean mud, strain massages, aromatherapy and therapeutic massages, face and physique remedies, and extra!)

Sound fascinating? Just get in contact with an skilled Ecuadorian tour operator that may get to work organizing a household tour that’s only for you.

8. The Galapagos Islands: A enjoyable and adventure-filled instructional expertise

Marvel at awe-inspiring landscapes and meet the unique endemic wildlife on a luxurious household tour of the Galapagos Islands. A cluster of volcanic outcrops strewn off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are dwelling to among the most extraordinary wildlife on the planet. This is owed to their normal isolation up till the mid-Twentieth century, permitting an astonishing array of creatures and flowers to evolve based on the distinctive geography of those far-flung islands.

So, you’ll be able to anticipate the surprising within the Galapagos, with the whole lot from languid Giant tortoises to playful sea lions, loved-up Frigatebirds to brightly-footed Boobies; and far more in between. A household within the Galapagos means snorkeling with turtles in crystalline seas; climbing over lava-sculpted landscapes; getting up near Marine iguanas, and snorkeling to your children’ delight. You can get up in a special location every day on a luxurious cruise, or keep on terra firma at one of many many luxurious lodges discovered throughout the area, hopping from island to island and benefiting from implausible day journeys. In no matter approach you determine to find the Galapagos, put together to enter an completely distinctive world, beloved by explorers, scientists and Charles Darwin himself.

Hotel Safari Camp

For your Galapagos journey, Hotel Safari Camp is a good place for a land-based household keep. This 130-acre farm is a fabulous instance of what could be carried out with a little bit of creativeness blended with an excellent dose of dedication and loads of love. What the homeowners did was to create a grand “African-style” safari camp within the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, with large Galapagos tortoises taking the place of the massive cats. Indeed, the thought appears to have labored, as this camp — the primary eco-luxury tented camp in Ecuador — has been named among the many “101 Best Hotels in the World” and was cited as considered one of The 18 Best Family Summer Vacations to Take by Conde Nast Traveler.

Located within the highlands of the central island of the Galapagos archipelago — Santa Cruz Island — Safari Camp Hotel Safari Camp has 9 luxurious “tents,” all with personal balconies and completely gorgeous views. As a substitute for these plush luxurious tents, Galapagos Safari Camp now gives a three-bedroom suite. It’s located adjoining to the central lodge, making it a really perfect possibility for households preferring extra privateness whereas retaining all of the conveniences. This household suite sleeps six folks, that includes a master suite and two twin rooms, all with en suite loos.

The space across the farm is a combination of wealthy vegetation, agricultural land and the Galapagos National Park. There are quite a few points of interest, from the tortoise reserve to lava tunnels and extinct craters. Walking, biking or horse-riding journeys could be organized upon request. As the lowlands of Santa Cruz Island boast pristine turquoise waters and white sandy seashores, which means that you and your loved ones can even snorkel, dive, kayak, surf, swim or simply work in your tan as you be taught the true that means of “glamping” (glamorous tenting) – offering upmarket experiences, facilities and repair that make life simpler for kids, mother and father and grandparents.

Conclusion: Ecuador checks all of the containers

While many individuals planning a household trip would possibly think about the Galapagos Islands, most individuals overlook the wonders additionally in retailer on mainland Ecuador. Few understand that each the islands and the continent are family-friendly and brimming with actions for spending every week or extra. The actuality is {that a} household tour in Ecuador and its Galapagos Islands gives you and yours a variety of enjoyable and academic experiences. All you must do is attain out to native Ecuadorian journey consultants who can give you tailored and customised excursions to fit your household’s precise trip wants.

Alfonso Tandazo is President and CEO at Surtrek Tour Operator. Surtrek Tour Operator is a well-established agency, specializing in custom-designed luxurious excursions in Ecuador, the Galapagos and all through the remainder of South America.

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Seljalandsfoss waterfall in South Iceland – the whole lot you might want to know

Seljalandsfoss waterfall in South Iceland - everything you need to

The extraordinarily lovely Seljalandsfoss waterfall tumbles right into a flat space of meadowland and lies on the River Seljalandsá which emanates from the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. It is situated in southern Iceland, a 1¾ drive from Reykjavik  and will be seen from the Route 1 ring highway. From Route 1, simply observe Road 249 (which results in Þórsmörk) for a brief distance and you can see a carpark close by.

Seljalandsfoss is much less highly effective than different waterfalls similar to Gullfoss and Dettifoss and comparatively slim, but falls a considerable distance of 60 metres, cascading over a cliff that was as soon as a part of Iceland’s southern shoreline.

A large cavern undercuts the cliff and what’s distinctive concerning the waterfall is that you would be able to stroll beneath it, with Summer guests in a position to observe a path that encircles this magificent cascade. Waterproofs are advisable as there’s numerous mist and spray. The path can be fairly moist and will be slippery in locations so care must be taken alongside the route. It is closed within the winter months as a result of falling ice and was additionally closed for a interval in 2017 when rocks falling down from above introduced a big threat.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall is likely one of the most well-known falls in all of Iceland and featured in Justin Bieber’s I’ll Show You music video, together with numerous different landmarks such because the airplane wreck and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, in addition to in episode one of many third season of Star Trek: Discovery and within the sixth season of US actuality TV collection, The Amazing Race.


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The waterfall will be seen from all angles however top-of-the-line views is from behind it, notably in the event you’re in a position to seize the setting solar on the identical time.

There are few industrial institutions within the neighborhood which additional provides to the allure and enchantment of the waterfall. Visitors travelling a brief distance north of Seljalandsfoss can even see the lesser-known Gljúfrabúi waterfall down a slim canyon, though entry to it’s a little much less straightforward and requires you to wade by the gorge in entrance of it. Once once more, watch out of slippery rocks.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here. Footage from Seljalandsfoss will be seen between 5m 48s and 5m 55s:

Disclosure: Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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Seljavallalaug swimming pool in South Iceland – all the things it’s essential know

Seljavallalaug swimming pool in South Iceland - everything you need

Seljavallalaug swimming pool is one and a half hours east of Reykjavik alongside the Iceland‘s Route 1 ring highway that encircles the nation. From there, observe Route 242 to the small automotive park that’s utilized by guests to the pool and positioned simply to the south of it. This fairytale location might be discovered between Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, that are a 15- and 10-minute drive respectively.

Built in 1923 by a neighborhood man with the intention to educate Icelanders easy methods to swim, Seljavallalaug swimming pool is one the oldest swimming swimming pools in Iceland, however pre-dated by the Secret Lagoon in Flúðir which dates again to 1891. It is 25 metres lengthy and 10 metres huge, which implies it was the biggest swimming pool in Iceland till 1936. It has skilled few adjustments since its building 100 years in the past; it was full of volcanic ash after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, making it unusable for a short interval till volunteers cleared it out the next yr.

Hidden away within the mountains of south Iceland, it’s widespread with Instagrammers for its iconic location however typically ignored in favour of different points of interest within the space such because the aforementioned waterfalls and the aircraft wreck, all of that are very shut.

From the Seljavallalaug automotive park, it’s only a 20-minute stroll to the swimming pool. The route is pretty apparent, helped partly by following different individuals taking the identical route.

If it helps, right here’s my Strava recording of our stroll to the pool:

It’s just below two kilometres a technique and totally on the flat.  If you’re feeling uncertain in your route, observe that you’ll not see the swimming pool till you get to the each finish of the stroll.

The solely barely difficult a part of the stroll is a rocky stream that you just’ll have to cross. Depending on the time of yr, this might be icy overfoot in Winter, or wider than regular in Summer.

The pool is fed naturally by geothermally heated water is in a magical setting on personal land however there is no such thing as a admission payment. You enter the pool at your personal threat and there are not any lifeguards.


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Just earlier than you attain the pool, you’ll see a tank and pipe on the left which feeds geothermally heated water into the pool at its deepest level.

The mountain types one facet of the swimming pool and the water is contained by the opposite three constructed sides. Although heated geothermally, the water shouldn’t be that sizzling like a few of Iceland’s swimming pools – round 20° to 30°C or 68 to 86°F, that’s all. We had come armed with swimming issues and towels with the intention of taking a dip. The water appeared stuffed with algae, although, and fewer than clear (regardless of a handful of individuals bathing in it), with minimal recent water flowing out and in of it, so in the long run we selected to not swim. We had a peek contained in the altering rooms they usually had been finest averted fully… definitely NOT what you’ll name luxurious! The luxurious right here is within the distinctive and picturesque panorama that surrounds the pool, and sadly not the services themselves. The pool and the altering rooms are cleaned simply annually and sadly not taken care of by what might be a minority of vacationers. If you do go to, please you should definitely go away no hint – convey all of your issues and any litter again with you in order that the pool might be loved by others.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here:

Disclosure: Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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Snowmobiling in Iceland – a snowmobile journey on Mýrdalsjökull glacier

Snowmobiling in Iceland - a snowmobile adventure on Mýrdalsjökull glacier

One of the highlights of our journey to Iceland was a snowmobile journey on Mýrdalsjökull glacier, Iceland’s fourth largest glacier, with Icelandic Mountain Guides. If a snowmobile tour in Iceland is one thing that appeals to you, learn on to study extra about what you possibly can anticipate.

Icelandic Mountain Guides’ foremost base is at Ytri-Sólheimar 1 in Mýrdalur, about 25 km west of Vík and about 11 km east of Skógar. If travelling from Reykjavik, the gap is round 160 km and the driving time is roughly 2 hours. From the primary Iceland ring highway to the bottom, it’s a 1.2 km drive on highway 222.

You’ll more than likely have to e book upfront however, as soon as on the base and your reserving verified, the very first thing you’ll do is get kitted out. Icelandic Mountain Guides give you an general that goes over the garments you’re already carrying, boots, a balaclava, a helmet and gloves… after which you’re good to go!

There’s a big truck ready to take you and your fellow snowmobilers as much as the glacier.

It’s round a 30-minute drive over tough terrain after which on to the glacier itself.

There are a lot of snomobiles ready for us on the finish of the truck journey, and we’re accompanied by two instructors who present us with an introduction to the machines and a security briefing.

First, we’re proven the way to swap the snowmobile on. We flip the ignition midway to show the electrics on, wait a short time after which flip it absolutely to start out it up. Similarly, we use the important thing to show it off or, within the occasion of an emergency, an enormous crimson button that kills the machine. Once on the snowmobile, we don’t want to interact it gear – we simply press a button to use fixed, regular stress – that approach you have got a pleasant and regular journey. The best option to cease is to launch the gasoline however there’s a brake that can be utilized in case of an emergency. There are hand heaters additionally – put them to the correct and so they get actually heat, put them to the left and so they get slightly bit heat, center they’re off

With the fundamentals lined, we’re on to the topic of security. The one actually essential security side to cowl is what occurs when you fall over the machine. It can occur and apparently really occurs fairly ceaselessly (though there have been no such incidents from anybody on our journey). But you continue to want to recollect a number of actually staple items and, do you have to be ready, falling over will simply be one thing to chortle about fairly than one thing severe.

The one most essential factor to recollect is that, if the machine is falling over, you don’t stick your arm or your leg out to catch it. If you try this, the machine weighs about 350kg (roughly 600 lbs) and all of that weight goes on to your arm or onto your leg which, as you possibly can think about, just isn’t enjoyable.

So, what do you do? As the driving force, you’re holding on to the handlebars – you merely seize them actually tight, and preserve your legs to the centre of the machine, brace your self and fall over holding on to the machine. For the passenger, you have got some handles close to your hips that you just equally maintain on to (fairly than holding on to the driving force in entrance). As lengthy as you do that, you may be completely protected. Snowmobiles are constructed as crash packing containers and are designed to guard you. Just don’t stick your limbs exterior of the machine and also you’re going to be protected. Your intuition shall be to be put your hand or leg out, so it’s essential to be fairly conscious so that you don’t let this occur.

With that defined, we’re advised how to not fall over within the first place. We study that, everytime you’re driving, you want to counteract the drive that’s attempting to drag you off the machine. If you flip to the left, the drive will pull you to the correct, so that you lean to the left along with your physique. The reverse, after all, is true when you flip to the correct. Similarly, if you’re driving up a hill, gravity will attempt to pull you backwards, so you’d lean to the hill to counteract this drive. And even when you ought to fall over, the employees are readily available that can assist you if that occurs.

With all that defined, we drive in single file, with one teacher on the entrance and one on the again. We preserve to paths within the snow, sustaining a protected distance of a minimum of 5 metres between one another.

There’s no overtaking as this may be fairly harmful. And, if we should always have an issue, we’re advised to simply cease and lift a hand, and so they’ll be with us shortly.


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The complete operation could be very slick with a minimum of one cease within the journey the place we are able to change drivers.

The climate had turned slightly from the way it was earlier within the day, and visibility was fairly poor. This didn’t spoil our enjoyment nonetheless!

We observe an ‘out and back’ route – climbing from a peak of 915 metres as much as simply over 1,290 metres, earlier than switching drivers and heading again down the glacier. It’s an exhilarating journey and ou can see the precise route we took right here:

No earlier snowmobiling expertise is required, however all drivers should be 17 years of age or older and have a full, legitimate driver’s license. A learner´s allow, tractor or bike license just isn’t ample in accordance with Icelandic regulation. Fortunately for our eldest son, he handed his driving take a look at not lengthy earlier than our journey to Iceland, so this was an important expertise for him!

Ordinarily on this tour, you’d be capable to benefit from the glacial landscapes and surroundings over south Iceland, however the climate was sadly not in our favour for that.

The lack of views facet, this was nonetheless a extremely enjoyable excusion and, for us, a totally new expertise as a household. We would soar on the alternative to do it once more sooner or later, as a result of the situation is reportedly very scenic, with completely incredible views on a sunny day!

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here:

Disclosure: This put up is sponsored by Icelandic Mountain Guides. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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Krauma Natural Geothermal Baths & Restaurant – what to anticipate from considered one of Iceland’s latest geothermal spas

Krauma Natural Geothermal Baths & Restaurant - what to expect

The journey from Reykjavik to the geothermal baths at Krauma is just below an hour and a half, so that is simply a spot you could possibly go to on a day journey out of the capital. For us, the journey was a fair shorter one, as we occurred to be travelling from close by Húsafell. Although solely 25 minutes away, we selected to soak up two of Iceland‘s iconic waterfalls alongside the way in which – Hraunfossar and Barnafoss – an space that was declared a nationwide monument in 1987.

You can simply go to each falls on foot from a parking lot located simply off route 518, following marked trails and a sequence of viewing platforms. The Hraunfossar waterfalls are the primary that you just’ll come to; these falls encompass quite a few springs of clear water that emerge from the Hallmundarhraun lava discipline earlier than flowing into the River Hvitá amongst rocks and birch-scrub vegetation. Surface water and meltwater from the glaciers runs between layers of pillow lava, forming the 1km-wide Hraunfossar falls

The Barnafoss waterfall, or Children’s Falls, however, is a a lot narrower, extra violent torrent of water that rushes via rocks and stone arches, sculpting them with its pressure. The common circulation price is 80 cubic metres per second, however in flood it has reached as much as 500 cubic metres per second.

There’s a tragic story that accounts for the waterfall’s identify, and for the disappearance of the stone arch that used to bridge the waterfall. One Christmas day the family at Hraunsás went to attend mass, except for two youngsters who had been to remain at dwelling. When they returned, the kids has vanished however their tracks led right down to the river. Very sadly, the kids had fallen off the stone arch and drowned. Their mom then had the arch destroyed to forestall the recurrence of such a tragedy.

With our detour full, we continued alongside route 518, having fun with the open street, stunning surroundings and a few large, dramatic skies.

If you need to expertise sizzling spring tradition in Iceland, then you definitely’ll need to search for Krauma, however first take a second to admire Deildartunguhver, the very best flowing sizzling spring in Europe, producing 180 litres of sizzling water – 100°C (212°F) – per second. Afterall, it’s the rationale why Krauma exists.

Situated in Reykholtsdalur (the valley of the river Reykjadalsá), between Borgarnes and Husafell, Krauma opened in late 2017. Today, with its minimalist black design, it blends in actually properly with the encircling panorama.

The water in Krauma’s geothermal baths comes straight from Deildartunguhver. It isn’t combined with chilly water and no extra chemical substances are added to the water. The purity is ensured with excessive water circulation into the baths. And the new water is wealthy in minerals comparable to iron, calcium, magnesium and sulfur, all of that are parts which can be additionally widespread in Icelandic soil.

On arrival, you’re welcomed and given a towel and bathrobe and directed to the altering rooms. As with all swimming pools in Iceland, it’s essential to bathe beforehand.

There are 5 totally different sizzling swimming pools to select from, every of various temperatures (every labelled). There’s loads of house and it didn’t really feel too busy after we had been there, making it the proper place to unwind, admire the panorama and absorb Iceland’s pure magnificence in a very relaxed setting.

There is a chilly pool as effectively – immersion in chilly water is nice for lymphatic drainage. It causes your lymph vessels to contract which in flip pumps lymph fluids all through your physique, serving to to flush out metabolic waste. This in flip has a optimistic impact on the immune system, which in the end retains you feeling wholesome.

Additional services at Krauma embrace a steam tub and infra-red sauna, in addition to a rest room with comfy lounger chairs. You received’t need to go away!


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But, as soon as you’re feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, how about dinner at Krauma’s restaurant? The surroundings from the restaurant is spectacular and appears again in the direction of Deildartunguhver, with seating outdoors for these hotter days.

The restaurant serves Icelandic delicacies from the freshest native farm produced elements, with the menu accessible on-line by way of a QR code. Between us we had the scrumptious Sólbyrgi salad (Sólbyrgi is a small 10-hectare natural farm only a 2km drive from Krauma) with baked beetroot, pickled purple onion, grilled paprika, croutons, sunflower seeds, ricotta cheese and a lemon and dill dressing.

The Caesar salad – additionally from Sólbyrgi – got here with grilled rooster breast, cucumber, purple onion, tomato, croutons, Parmesam, bacon and aioli.

If you’re vegan, you’ll need to strive the ‘Krauma Vegan’ which consists of various mushrooms, salt baked beetroot, lentil and bean salad, and a carrot purée with a lemon and dill sauce.

Also extremely really useful is the slow-cooked cod – the stand-out dish for me – offered in that occasion with creamy brussel sprouts, mushrooms, bacon, celery root purée and a garlic balsamic sauce. In my ebook, it’s an Icelandic traditional that’s at all times a successful dish.

Dinner at Krauma Restaurant was a good way to spherical off a very pleasurable and memorable day, earlier than a scenic drive again to Reykjavik.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here. You can see Hraunfossar, Deildartunguhver and Krauma between 54s and 1m 06s inside the video:

Disclosure: This put up is sponsored by Krauma. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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