Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Ytri Vik

We, the dwellers of concrete jungles, harbor this deep desire to be find escape, even if for some time to a faraway place where you feel one with the earth and its elements. Your imagination will paint a picture of a beautiful quaint cottage by the seaside with the view of snow clad mountains that rise above the clouds. The place so tranquil that it is the sound waves that put you to sleep in the night and the greet you first thing next morning.

Our stay in Ytri Vik brought those fantasies to life. It was by far one of the most beautiful settings that we had stayed in.
Ytri Vik is in Hauganes, Iceland; a 30 minutes' drive  from Akureyri is a spectacular option to spend some time in North Iceland.

As the pictures reveal, you would stay in the most beautiful of setting. The cottages come with a kitchen and you can truly feel at home here.  A hot bath tub comes with all cottages and is a stroke of genius.

You are just 30 minutes away from the main city of Akureyri. Your other key tourist spots in North Iceland are few hours' drive from this place and you can easily plan your day trips to Gulfoss, Lake Myntra from here.

We stayed for 5 days here and had a wonderful time waking up to such amazing views. We cooked our own food and enjoyed all the meals out in the open surrounded by mountains.There are grocery stores in Akureyri ,you need to buy all the stuff from there. If you are following us on snapchat,you would have seen videos and pics of our 5 days stay.
If your doing a road trip and have hired a car,its quite easy to reach this place.It can be a challenge otherwise.It's definitely worth all the money, Iceland is a gem and this stay just made the trip a lot more special.

You can book by clicking here.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Diamond Beach,Iceland

The Diamond beach is by Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and Iceland's greatest wonders of nature.Jökulsárlón ( "glacial river lagoon") is a large glacial lake in southeast Iceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. Situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, it developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. There are massive chunks of glacier falling off regularly and dozens of them floating in the lagoon before they slowly glide out into the ocean.

The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the glaciers.It recently became the deepest lake in Iceland, at over 248 metres (814 ft), as glacial retreat extended its boundaries.The size of the lake has increased fourfold since the 1970s.Although the sight of glacier breaking off and floating is surreal,it is disheartening to think that we are not taking care of such wonders of nature.

How to reach -

The drive from Reykjavik takes just under 5 hours (231 miles /372km), and from Vik just over 2 hours (119 miles /192km).If you are driving from m,its better to stay here overnight.The weather in Iceland could be very harsh,we had planned to see the beach during sunset and sunrise but it kept raining the whole day ,the day we reached.We could only see the beach the following day.So it's better to stay there overnight.The next day happened to be quite sunny and the ice chunks literally looked like diamonds.

Seal spotting -

The lake is filled with fish that drift in from the sea along with the tides. Seals gather in large numbers at the mouth of the lake to catch fish during the winter. We happened to spot quite a few .

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Golden circle,Iceland

The Golden Circle (Icelandic: Gullni hringurinn) is a popular tourist route in southern Iceland, covering about 300 kilometres (190 mi) looping from Reykjavík into the southern uplands of Iceland and back. It is the area that contains most tours and travel-related activities in Iceland.[1]
The name Golden Circle is a marketing term that has no roots in Icelandic history.
The three primary stops on the route are the Þingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall, and the geothermal area in Haukadalur, which contains the geysers Geysirand Strokkur. Though Geysir has been mostly dormant for many years, Strokkur, on the other hand, continues to erupt every 5–10 minutes

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Manarola, Cinque terre

The Cinque Terre ( Five Lands) is a part of the coastline of the Italian region Liguria that includes five villages: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Monterosso and Vernazza.
The coastline and the hillside has been a natural reserve since1997 to preserve this reign made of wild scents, and they are part of the UNESCO world heritage list.
There is not much to do in the villages except to sit back and enjoy the beauty around you. You can actually trek and explore all the 5 villages as they are connected along the coast., Sentiero Azzurro ("Azure Trail"), connects the five villages. This treks runs along the coastline and offers a fantastic views all throughout.
If you prefer mechanical means,  Cinque Terre trains connect the La Spezia train station to all five towns. Unlimited day passes are available , and the trip from one village to another is five minutes or less. Manarola train station is on the cliff overlooking the sea and here you would never mind waiting for a train :)

We are sure that all the towns are charming in their own right but we can attest to Manarola's picturesque beauty and the mesmerizing sunset. We actually sat down for a good 3 hours and watched the sunset and the colours change till late night. The views captivate you and the time flies by. We almost missed our dinner, a trade off we were willing to make. The view was spell binding and it was not difficult to forget everything else. 
We did manage to get a pretty good meal in the end though. There are many restaurants lining the street as you walk towards the coast, with a few sea facing ones as well. Picture this, sound of waves crashing against the coast in the distance, comforting breeze caressing you, table by the side of road sloping and curving on its way up the hill, flanked by traditional colourful houses - dimly light by the moon and the night lamps and an delicious meal on the table. If this does not relaxes you down to your bones then nothing will.

We would strongly recommend a walk in the morning; with far less crowd on the street the place presents itself in a different light. For breakfast, the cafes serve freshly baked croissants,breads and of course  coffee (after our travels I can safely say that Italians make the best coffee).
Also, don't miss a Gelateria right opposite to the station and a take away shop Pan &Pumate which serves amazing focaccia. 
There isn’t any sandy beach here but that does not mean there is nothing to do - there is sea after all. You can go for a swim or jump off the cliff into the water. This in addition to delicious meals, picturesque treks and mesmerizing vistas.

Nestled cozily between sea and mountains, it is a place which offers escape from the frantic pace of our daily lives and cradles us to a state of mental relaxation that is so rare and precious.

How to reach- Nearest airport is Pisa and you can then take a train from Pisa to La spezia and from there to Manarola.Its around 45 min by train from Pisa . The train network is really well connected.

Where to stay- Its best if you stay in one of the villages. The prices are steeper in comparison to La Spezia but you will find the stay here worth it. We stayed at Giovanni Rooms.
The view was pretty amazing from our room and it was right in the center of the village.