Situated south of Iceland, we took an hours drive through vast snowy landscapes and icy mountains before pulling up at the riverside hotel. With Ranga oozing a traditional log cabin feel, it’s easy to feel incredibly cosy and at home from the minute you arrive- with it’s deep mahogany details and twinkling candles lining the hall. Not only that, but being situated next to Ytri-Rangá means it feels thoroughly integrated into the landscape- standing alone with breathtaking views of active volcanoes and sweeping mountains on the horizon. It honestly felt like arriving into some kind of outback- and knowing that we had a chance of seeing the northern lights and a sea of stars from their observatory only made it all the more magical.
And that’s just one of the things that makes this part of the world so special. With the uncertain promise of being able to catch the night sky dancing with green, orange and pink lights over a deep blue; the hotel promises to send wake up calls to any guests requesting sightings if they happen to come out overnight.
Fortunately for us, it was during our dinner on the first evening that we were ushered outside, and after popping on snow suits for warmth (and then all offering one another advice on valuable camera settings), we stood back and attempted to soak in the magic of the northern lights and the tiny twinkling stars peppering the blanketed blue sky.
After out first day out at Ranga, I was particularly excited to catch some of the other treats southern Iceland had in store for us. I mean, if I learnt anything from last weeks trip to Iceland, it’s that I’m probably a bit more of an outdoors girl than I’d ever really imagined. Sometimes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be a really incredible thing- so when I was presented with an itinerary including hiking a glacier and then riding a snowmobile across the top of one, it felt like an apt time to try and bottle up being a nervous Purvis, if only for a morning. Although I was the only person to slide over before we even made it onto the glacier (apt, I know), it was incredible seeing these incredible icy structures up close, admiring their intricate formations and stunning details- I also became very familiar with crampons, which made me feel very Millets indeed too.
Before we knew it, our final day in Iceland had rolled around- with one thing left on our agenda to tackle; The Blue Lagoon. Despite hearing that this could be a bit of a tourist trap (or even a theme park), we were set on giving it a visit, and seeing it in real life before we headed to the airport. And? In honestly- it was better than I’d expected. Having expected floods of people, considering it was busy it really was quite manageable- and at no point did we find ourselves waiting around (or not being able to take an infamous blue water photograph)! Although I’ve been told there are plenty of other geothermal pools and lagoons around Iceland, I wouldn’t be put off from visiting here- because the water, temperature and experience really are quite special (and I promise there are small pockets where you can avoid others too)!
And that pals, is a wrap for Iceland! I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures as much as I’ve enjoyed documenting them. It truly was a sensational few days with some incredibly special ladies- so check out Amy, Emily and Small Luxury Hotels for more details (and other posts) about the trip! Thank you again SLH for having me as a guest on this unforgettable trip!