Ice in Iceland

One of the most impressive places on our trip to Iceland was the Jökulsárlón Ice Lagoon. It is very easy to reach just by the main road and it is certainly worth to stop there. For photos the best time is sunset or sunrise. Here are some pictures from both sunset and sunrise.

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Overnight at Oratunturi

I did a one night trip to Oratunturi when I was staying in Sodankylä. It is pretty close to Sodankylä, but still a very nice location, where you have the feeling of being in the middle of nature.

Northern Lights close to Oratunturi

I started the late in the evening and was skiing in the dark. I was planning to just ski straight to the open shelter to sleep, since the forecast was cloudy until early morning. But the sky was quite clear already as I started skiing. There were some Northern Lights, but not very bright ones.

Moon rising behind the trees

And the moon was super bright. As I got higher up I didn’t even need my head torch to find my way. But it took me way longer to get to the open shelter, because I needed to stop to take pictures so many times.

Open shelter at Oratunturi

This is where I spent the night. A had two candles and I made a fire. It was really nice to sleep here, but it was much colder than I expected. The forecast was – 8 degrees Celsius, but it was actually – 23 degrees, because of the clear sky.

Sunrise at Oratunturi

It was a bit cold sleeping outside, but the sunrise in the morning made it more than worth it!

Oratunturi open shelter

This is the open shelter coming back from the Oratunturi fjell. I just love it when all the trees are covered with snow.

Enjoying the sunrise

Skiing back as the sun was rising was great. It was just a great trip. I really recommend just doing short adventures like this. And for this Oratunturi is a great destination from Sodankylä.

Northern Lights in Sodankylä

During my stay in Sodankylä in January I only managed to take pictures of the Northern Lights a couple of times. These pictures are just north from the village of Sattanen. It is along the main road, so you can see the car driving past in the last picture.

Now I am back in Helsinki and won’t be able to get to Lapland this spring anymore. So it’s nice to look at these pictures and dream about a real winter. Here in Helsinki the weather has been pretty miserable the last week.

Northern Lights in Sodankylä 1

Northern Lights in Sodankylä 2

Northern Lights in Sodankylä 3

Northern Lights in Sodankylä 4

Northern Lights in Sodankylä 5

Iceland in January

I am just packing my things here in Sodankylä and ready to get back to Helsinki for the rest of the spring. Even here it’s raining now and the temperature is above zero. So it’s a good time to think about our trip to Iceland.

Solfar in Reykjavik

There are straight flights from Helsinki to Reykjavik and the flight time is only a bit over 3 hours. So it was easy to get there. This is Solfar in Reykjavik, in my opinion one of the coolest pieces of art in the city. Northern Lights in Reykjavik

On the first night in Reykjavik we could see the Northern Lights even in the city. THe next morning we picked up our rental car and headed along the south coast.

Strokkur in Geysir

First we drove along the famous Golden Circle. This is Strokkur in the Geysir area!

Gulfoss in Iceland

Gullfoss is one of the most impressive waterfalls I have ever seen!

Seljandsfoss in Iceland

Another great waterfall was Seljandsfoss. There is a path behind the waterfall, but eventhough we had spiked shoes, it was too slippery to go completely around.

Northern Lights at Skyrhusid Guest House

We drove along the south coast and stayed in small guesthouses. This picture is from a gueshouse called Skyrhusid close to the Vatnajökull Glacier.

I have so many good pictures from the trip, that I need to write a few more post from the trip. Here is the last picture from Reykjavik. You can take a lift to the top of Halgrimskirkja church. The views are really good!

View of Reykjavik from Halgrimskirkja

A short guide to Hiking in Gran Canaria

I have only been hiking in Gran Canaria for 6 days, so I don’t have a lot of experience. But here are some of my impressions and thoughts about hiking on the island.

The hiking route leading to Cruz de Tejeda

General information

Gran Canaria is a small island, but close to half of the island is protected. So there is a lot of nature if you just get out of the coast. There are hundreds of different paths. Some are marked, but it does take a bit of work to find your way around. I recommend having a good map to help you with the orienteering. Discovery Walking Maps has made a map of Gran Canaria. You can buy it from Amazon or it is also available on the island.

Guided hiking trips

If you get lost easily or don’t want to but your energy in finding the best routes, there are also guided hiking tours available. We will be running a trip for our Finnish group in November 2016. But if you go there by yourself, you can book a tour from Walk in Gran Canaria. They offer daily tours or also packages with accomodation etc. Have a look at their webpage about everything they offer.

Pico de las Nieves

Getting around

There are a lot of places to start your hiking trips and for me the easiest way was to rent a car. The rental cars are fairly cheap. My Fiat Panda was about 20 € per day. The roads are generally in good condition and the traffic wasn’t bad. Some of the mountain roads are very narrow and have a lot of turns. So even if the drive isn’t long in kilometres, it does take a lot of time.

My trusted Fiat Panda in Gran Canaria

Having a rental car means, that you need to do circular routes or walk the same route back to the starting place. This of course limits your options a bit, but if you are fit and have time it doesn’t really matter.

Where to go

It is hard to choose just a few hikes to recommend. I won’t go into detail about the routes, but here are a few places I liked a lot!

 

Pico de las Nieves, the highest place on the island. A great place to start a hike. I hiked from here to Roque Nublo and back. Also the place to take sunset pictures, as you can see from this picture and my previous post.

Hiking close to Cruz de Tejeda

Cruz de Tejeda. Lots of nice hiking routes starting here.

Firgas. A lot of good hikes in this area also. I did Azuaje-hike, but you can find 6 different route suggestions at the local tourist office.

On the ridge of Caldera de Bandama

Caldera de Bandama. You can walk on the ridge around the Caldera or you can walk the trail down to the base of the Caldera. I recommend doing both! This area is also famous for the local wine, so maybe you should take the tour with Walking Gran Canaria, which includes the wine tasting. This way you don’t need to drive back to the hotel.

The Guigui beach. You can read all about this in my previous post.

Hiking in Gran Canaria

I am very much looking forward my next visit to Gran Canaria, so I can see more of the beautiful island.