My Sea Kayak Experience in Iceland
On June 9th, 2017, I had the amazing opportunity of trying sea kayaking offered by Arctic Adventures. This was probably one of the most memorable outdoor activities I was able to experience.
How I planned my solo trip to Iceland
I started planning my trip to Iceland 3 months ago. Since I was traveling solo, I wanted to be prepared so I booked excursions every day except for Friday. I wanted to keep that day for something special but nothing had caught up my eyes so far. One day, I received an email from Wow-air (my airline for this trip). This email was filled with cool excursion ideas and so I went on Wow website and as I scroll down I saw it! Sea kayaking! 6 hours of pure joy. I live in Montreal, Qc Canada, and Kayak is a popular activity. It’s also one of my favorite. When I saw the sea kayaking I was thrilled because I had never done sea kayaking before! I went directly on Arctic Adventure to get more information about who they were and what other tours they were offering. I soon realized that they were offering much cooler activities than a lot of other agencies. At first, I was a bit sad that all my other days were booked because, I saw that they were offering activities like diving expedition, 2 days kayaking tour, kayaking with the seals, ice cave tours, caving tours, snowmobile tours, etc. After reviewing everything that they had to offer, I knew that the day tour kayak excursion in the Fjord was the perfect plan for me. I had a few questions before buying the activity because I had concerns that my hotel was not on the pick-up location list. I was immediately assisted through a chatting option. The agent was very kind and she was able to find the closest hotel from mine. I went on and booked my day trip! I was so excited!!!
Preparing for my kayaking adventure in Iceland
Before going to Iceland, I took my membership for kayaking here in Montreal and I started training about 9 hours per week but to be honest with that serenity tour you don’t need that much training! Haha, beginners can easily do that tour, you just have to feel comfortable on the water. On Friday morning, the pick-up was at 8:30 am. The good news was that the pick-up location was about 8 min of walk from my hotel. I waited a bit and then a nice man came to pick me up. As I entered the caravan there was only 1 other passenger on board. The driver let us know that he was also the Guide and that for the trip that day there would be only the three of us. My first reaction was WOW! I had a feeling that it was going to be a wonderful day. I was fortunate enough during my stay in Iceland it had been sunny all week and particularly on Friday, it was a bright, not too windy and the water was calm. It was the perfect day to do kayak! The guide explained to us that we were going to the countryside to kayak, about 1 hour to 1h and a half of driving. It was a 6 hours activity but what I did not realize when I bought this trip, was that it was not 6 hours of kayaking but 6 hours in total. We drove a bit, we made the first stop on the way to pick-up the equipment and then we were back on the road in no times! At some point, we made a stop to a gas station so that we could get a bathroom break. We arrived on scene probably around 11 am. The area was so quiet I had this feeling that it would be a wonderful adventure. We started unloading the kayaks off the van, the guide gave us some gears, there was a sprayskirt, a splash jacket, and a life vest. Since I’ve been doing kayak for a while, I would suggest you to bring some gears in extra to feel maybe even more comfortable on the water. For example: I brought with me a dry-bag to keep my personal belongings dry, I also had a dry case for my phone, I had a waterproof camera (I bought the new Fujifilm Xp120 for this trip and I was extremely happy) I had also sunglasses, a hat, neoprene boots and the essential like water bottle and a lunch. I also brought extra clothing that I left in the car just in case something would happen. What I wished I had brought with me was neoprene gloves, because the water was extremely cold and my hands were wet when I was paddling so having that would have made my experience even better.
A unique way of exploring the Icelandic nature and wildlife
Before going into the water, the guide gave us a few instructions and also showed us how to paddle. Like I said earlier you don’t need to be training for weeks for this excursion! We were paddling very slowly so that we could enjoy the area and also as we were kayaking, the guide was giving some very interesting information about the wildlife in the area, the mountains and the sea. I was so impressed by all the knowledge that he had about birds, it was really fascinating. After an hour of kayaking, we made a stop on a beach so that we could have lunch. After lunch, we went on a bit further before turning around. I will never forget the second part because we saw a big eagle flying with his baby and I also saw jellyfishes in the clear water. I felt like we were so lucky to be kayaking on this day. I was surrounded by nature and I felt like I was absorbing all its great energy. The sun was touching my skin so softly, sometimes I would just stop paddling to enjoy the quietness of my surrounding. It was almost 2:30 when we arrived on shore. I probably could’ve stayed all day on the water. The view was truly mesmerizing.
You will soon realize that in Iceland the sheep are running free. They live their lives like they should be. They eat grass, explore the land and the parents have this amazing chance of seeing their babies growing up. Some of them were on shore, I was able to get close and take pictures and just contemplate that present moment with them. We eventually left behind that beautiful scenery to go back in Reykjavík. Overall, I had an amazing experience with this tour and I would highly recommend it. It’s a different way of exploring Iceland and it creates unique memories. I feel so grateful for this trip it allowed me to find peace of mind, I was able to practice mindfulness and just be there and enjoy the present moment.
Glymur. The second tallest waterfall in Iceland, originating in Hvalavatn (Whalelake), the water plunges down a drop of 198 meters (620 feet). It's impossible to hike up this path without knowing the story about how Glymur got its name. The story is quite long but we will do our best to get the important parts across clearly.