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Iceland – A Feast for the Senses – By Sabrina Johannsson

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Blogs | 0 comments

As soon as you land at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, the fresh air greets you. The cool, breezy air is a revelation – crisp and fresh with a slight hint of salt from the nearby sea. It rejuvenates and wakes you up after a long flight. It is the first sign that Iceland is a feast for the senses that forces you to connect with nature, more than most of us get to in our daily lives. From the sky to the birds and the geothermal activity underground, there is plenty to experience.

Photo by Helga Stina

The daytime sky is worth spending time gazing at, whether cloud covered or revealing vibrant hues of orange, pink and purple. Even on cloudy days, a break in the clouds exposes hidden, untouched landscapes. The nighttime sky in winter is a chance to get lucky and see the northern lights dance.  They are elusive. After being a frequent visitor to Iceland for over 20 years, I still have not cracked the code to predicting when they will reveal themself. All the more reason to be present and recognize that nature is in the driver’s seat.

Photo by Piotr Krajewski

Puffins may be the star among birds in Iceland, but they are not so easy to observe. I have had the privilege of visiting them on a tour in their natural habitat. But now I prefer to let them be. Instead, there are some other birds that provide the soundtrack to my everyday. Redwings are my constant companions; their melodic chirp ever present outside my window in Reykjavik. Their melody intertwines with the subtle jingling bells around the necks of neighborhood cats. Not far from the city, rock ptarmigans announce their presence with their signature croak. Winter is finally over when the golden plover calls out a piercing „ki-wheet“ song. On long sunny summer nights, the common snipe identifies itself by its characteristic winnowing sound as it shallow dives in the bright night sky.

Photo by Helga Stina – Hofsós

Finally, there is the hot water and steam that rises up from the ground. Nothing beats the cozy feeling of sitting in a hot tub, steam rising around you, while snowflakes or drops of precipitation gently fall on your face. The contrast between the crisp, frigid air and the soothing embrace of the warm water reminds you of the harmonious coexistence of fire and ice that is so iconic in Iceland.

Photo by Helga Stina – Gljúfrabúi

In Iceland, it is easy to be mindful and present in every moment. To be in Iceland is to immerse yourself in an extraordinary sensory experience that connects you to the land, making it not just a destination, but a journey that lingers in your senses long after you’ve left.

Sabrina H. Jóhannsson is the owner of Bite sized Iceland where you can go for unique food tours in Reykjavík.

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