Highlands of Iceland: like space travel, but on earth

Highlands of Iceland: like space travel, but on earth

Highlands of Iceland: like space travel, but on earth

Highlands of Iceland: like space travel, but on earth

Our trip to the highlands of Iceland will forever hold a special place in my heart. It was the first international trip we ever put on, giving us the confidence and energy to offer international experiences to more people.

People often ask me, "Why Iceland?" or about how we pick our travel spots. Honestly, there's no elaborate plan behind it. We just go with places that genuinely interest us, those that feel like they’ve got something real to show us about themselves. Over time, we've built up this amazing network of guides and partners across Europe, America, and Africa. But really, what drives us is this itch to dig up those one-of-a-kind, local experiences that get you right into the heart of a country and its culture. We’re all about dodging the usual tourist traps that just skim the surface and don't really tell you anything true about the places you're visiting.

We are adventurous people, and that’s reflected in how we design our trips.

Back to Iceland though.

The highlands are as close to space travel as you'll get on Earth, with its otherworldly landscapes. Most people visiting Iceland stick to the popular spots along the coast but overlook the more remote and wild highlands, which, in my opinion, are what make this little island so unique and special.

Our journey started in Reykjavik, the small capital of Iceland. And when I say small, I mean it – the population is about 140k, and the entire island's population is around 380k. Because everyone there is largely Icelandic with a long lineage, there's a relatively small dating pool. So much so, I learned from a local that there’s a registry to check how closely related you are to someone you're dating – just to make sure you’re safe to proceed!

It's moments like these, and conversations with our local liaison, Beggi, that really give our trips the most meaning. Learning stories you won’t find in guidebooks or from guides shuffling large groups around the island.

One of my favorite things I learned from Beggi is about the importance of the Icelandic sheep. They are a great representation of the tenacity and determination of the Icelandic people to survive on this volcano in the North Atlantic. There’s a saying that if you're ever lost in a forest in Iceland, just stand up – and it's completely true. It's an island where nearly nothing can survive due to its harsh weather conditions, except for the people and the sheep.

Over our days of riding through the highlands, we traversed rugged mountain roads and single tracks carved by herding sheep. These paths are not the work of any local trail association, but a product of nature and necessity.

Each day unfolded like a nearly psychedelic journey. We were surrounded by geothermal vents, a palette of vibrant colors, stretches of black hardened lava flows, and iconic snow-capped volcanoes like Mt. Hekla. Immense glaciers loomed in the distance, giving the illusion of clouds due to their sheer size. Our lunches were often on warm geothermal spots, and the days ended with beers and soaks in geothermal pools.

The experience was a feast for all five senses. In the remoteness of the highlands, far removed from the rest of the world, we were able to fully immerse ourselves in and appreciate the natural wonder and beauty that Iceland offers.

Iceland has etched itself deep in our hearts. It's a destination we eagerly look forward to revisiting each year. Without exception, everyone who joins us is utterly captivated by its natural beauty.

Until next time,

Collin Daulong

Founder & Owner

KC&E Adventures