Our flight arrived at Keflavik Airport around 6:30am, Iceland time, and we hopped on the Flybus Airport Shuttle – an easy and popular way to get into the city (it takes about 45 minutes to get from the airport to Reykjavik). The shuttle stops at a bus terminal in Reykjavik before you can catch the next bus to your hotel or wherever you’re going next. We had some time to kill between rides, so we checked out a few of the conveniently-displayed brochures about what to do in Iceland. The brochure for helicopter tours by Norðurflug caught Chris‘ eye and before I knew it, we were booked for an afternoon ride!
Neither of us had been on a helicopter ride before, so we were a little giddy, especially because the day was gorgeous: sunny with clear skies. While we waited to depart, I chatted with one of our fellow passengers, John, from Arizona. We also rode with a couple from Sweden who were enjoying a long weekend. Our pilot, Guðjón, had us draw cards for seating assignments, and I was lucky enough to draw the high card so I got to sit in front on the way up. This also meant I was in the middle in the back on the return trip but that was totally fine with me because it still offered a fantastic view.
We climbed up the mountainside and took some sharp turns to circle the tops of some craters – so much fun! I expected my stomach to turn, but I was surprisingly comfortable the whole time. Guðjón pointed out various peaks, and told us a little about the history of the area and how the landscape arose. Iceland was formed because it’s where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet, so the island has a mix of inactive and active volcanic areas. We landed on a level area at the peak of one of the dormant volcanoes and broke out the bubbly to cheers to a lovely day and flight.
The temperature was probably around 10F, so the champagne was quite welcome, and we lingered to watch the incredible sun set. This time of year, the sun rises around 11am in Iceland and sets close to 4pm. As a Minnesotan, it’s hard to deal with the lack of sunlight in the winter, but Iceland takes it to a new level since it’s so close to the Arctic Circle. Chris and I both agreed we’ll have to go back during the summer at some point.
We zipped along the coast briefly, and all too soon it was time to touch back down at the airport. Chris and I both took some video that he’ll post on Everyday Riding, and I’ll let you know once he does. We both agree that this Norðurflug helicopter tour was a highlight of our trip and can’t wait for our next helicopter ride, wherever that may be.
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