southcoast adventure

Blog Overview - Southcoast Adventure

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!”

1st November 2020
Arctic Fox in Þórsmörk valley/ Picture taken by Jallen. November is here –referred to Ýlir according to the old Norse traditions.  It is the second so called month of winter and traditionally begins in the fifth week or around about the 20th to the 27th of November.  This is then taken over by Mörsugu in late December.  To quote Snorri-Edda´s saga, : „From the equinox of autumn until the sun sets when it rises, winter will be the same day.  It continues into the spring months and until summer arrives and back to autumn again."  From the middle of November until the end of January the daylight is only about 4 – 6 hours. Fostinn & Stella in Þórsmörk Valley. Picture taken by Tomas Tonon A very popular topic in Iceland is the weather – understandably as it affects our daily lives with great fanfare in the forms of blizzards in winter and 24 hours of sunshine in the winter.  There are many instances of snow in May and June!  We therefore have many words to describe snow .... snjór, snær, hjarn, mjöll, fönn, lausamjöll, nýsnævi, krap, snjókoma, bylur, drífa, él, fannkoma, fjúk, hraglandi, hríð, kafald, kóf, ofanbylur, skafrenningur, snjómugga, hundslappadrífa  to name a few 😉 November in Iceland is a special and wonderous time.  Winter has arrived and so manynew activities are waiting to be enjoyed and partaken in.  The "busy-ness" of Christmas is still a month away.  Many of the lowlands are still snow-free and the mountains and glaciers thick with fresh new snow and so it makes an ideal time to still travel relatively easily around Iceland.   Care still needs to be taken as roads will be slippery at times – the air is crisper and winter coats, hats, gloves and warm woolly scarves become best friends! In November the amount of daylight really starts to become noticeable – at the beginning of the month, we have about 8 hours of good daylight. By month end, we are down to about 5 – something that travellers need to keep in mind when planning trips.  The temperatures drop rapidly as well, often adding a very "fresh" wind chill as we get more storms and winds from the cold Arctic.  The average temperature is 4°C /40 F – our advice to you is dress warm friends, dress warm!  Layers are also a good idea as we often get snow, rain and fog in the same hour – as the famous saying goes, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!" Winter time activities and the new adventures awaiting you are very broad: super jeep tours, hiking, relaxing in geothermal pools cocooned in warmth.  There are many activities that are possible throughout the year leaving you with unforgettable memories and your adrenaline coursing through your body.  Glacier hiking and ice climbing gets you up close and personal with the majestic Icelandic nature.  Glacier hiking has really become popular in the last few years.  All hiking tours are operated by very experienced mountain guides whose top priority is your safety.  No experience is needed and you can choose a tour depending on difficulty levels....so strap on your crampons and be ready for anything!  This activity is a lot of fun, suitable for all levels of experience with our guides.  Glacier hiking and ice climbing is available all year round and is based out of Sólheimajökull, a tongue of the massive Mýrdalsjökull- glacier. Of course then there is snowmobiling  Iceland has many glaciers and  snowmobiling is a breathtaking way of seeing their vast beauty – an opportunity not to be missed! It is weather dependent but we provide all the right gear. Difficult to find a better way to experience the tranquility of Icelandic nature and to escape the hustle and bustle of busy lives....swopping instead for a snowmobile ride on a glacier! The only thing required for these tours is a valid drivers license and a desire for adventure. We will provide snowsuits, gloves, helmets and boots.  During the winter months, we advise that you dress for the weather.  Each tour is anything from 1 to 3 hours depending on what you are looking for. Snowmobiling tour on Eyjafjallajökull / Picture taken by Magnus Thoroddsen Now for some very exciting news.... It is always a cause for celebration for a company to achieve it´s projected goals and make a profit...especially in 2020 which has been a year of extreme hardship for companies around the entire globe. To be successful and achieve these goals, many strict conditions need to be met. A vital part of the success is linked to high achieving staff that the company feels will help them attain the success they are looking for.  The company including the staff, needs to be able to withstand the extra pressures and stresses when the market itself is under extra pressure and stress. Creditinfo conducts annual analyses of Icelandic companies and their operations and based on the outcome, awards are offered to those companies who have met their criteria.  These awards also help towards building a stronger credit foundation in the companies and it is therefore a very desirable goal to strive towards and achieve. Companies therefore need to be stable and show a progressive and steady profit and above all conduct themselves in a professional manner. To be considered an outstanding company, many standards need to be met. Southcoast Adventure ehf has recently received recognition for their operations in 2020 from Viðskiptablaðið and Keldun here in Iceland.  A notable achievement as only 2% of companies achieve that list annually. The conditions that needed to be met are similar to those of Creditinfo.  As mentioned before, staff play a vital role in the success of a company.  Southcoast Adventure ehf are very proud of our achievements and our growth in satisfaction, experience as well as providing an excellent service to our clients. We hope that you are enjoying our monthly blog posts....we wish you all well and look forward to welcoming you back again in the future. Our warmest regards Southcoast Adventure team

Kornskurðamánuður senn á enda. / Harvest time is coming to a close.

1st October 2020
Dear friends We hope that you are well during these unprecedented times.  Southcoast Adventure follow all guidelines and instructions, imposed by Directorate of Health and The Icelandic Tourist Board. All of our vehicles are sterilized with a steam machine after every tour. We put the safety of our guest first!   This has proved to be an unfamiliar and uncertain time for the world as we face this global pandemic. Our thoughts and support are with anyone that has been affected by the virus. We are monitoring the situation closely and making our best efforts to keep our visitors and staff safe. We warmly welcome guests travelling during these unusual circumstances and are eager to offer them a comfortable stay and a pleasurable trip. Tvímánuður/ Twin months  In traditional Viking times, the months were named according to the seasons and festivals and not as we know them now....so as you can see from the title of this blog, we are now ending the autumn harvest, sheep and horse round ups and the farmers are readying their stock and supplies ahead of the long, harsh winter. The "twin months" is the fifth so called summer month according to the old Norse calendar.  This time always begins on the Tuesday of the 18thweek of summer around about 22 – 28thof August.  In Snorra-Eddu (manuscripts from the Prose Edda), the months following are known as Kornskurðarmánuður or Harvest months. The Viking or Norse calendar was recorded in 2 manuscripts.  A manuscript called Bókarbót written in 1220 and another one known as Snorra-Edda and the months were named in accordance to Skáldskaparmálum (Prose or manuscript scribe).  The time frames for the months of the Viking and Norse calendar are not the same in both manuscripts.  In Bókarbót the fifth summer month falls between the 4thand 7thmonth of summer.  The name kornskurðarmánuður (Harvest months) is self explanatory as it is the time, as explained above, when the farmers bring the harvest in and do the livestock round ups. Páll Vidalin one of the writers of the manuscript, called them the "twin months" as there were 2 months left of the summer months as opposed to "one month" which marks the time when there is one month left of winter. Gormánuður was the first month of winter and always began on the first day of winter which traditionally fell on a Saturday between 21stand 27thof October .  The name is loosely based on the slaughter time of livestock which were grass fed.   Once the slaughter was done and the first winter nights and the actual official first day of winter had arrived then it was time to celebrate and good food and homemade alcoholic drinks were consumed in vast quantities. So, a little history and some interesting facts for you! Southcoast Adventure specializes in day trips as well as multiple day travels throughout Iceland.  Many options are available combining both the southern coast and the interior highlands.  Our superbly experienced guides are mostly based here in Hvolsvöllur and have an incredible amount of knowledge of the area as for many of them this is where they were born and raised and know the land very well. We use specially upgraded and designed super jeeps for most of our trips and have all the equipment on board to tackle even the most challenging landscapes both in the summer and winter months. We are up for most anything – the more exhilarating the better!  The trips we offer or tailor make are very often based on trips that we ourselves love to do or have interest in – places that we love and activities that thrill us as locals.  Taking our guests to both popular areas as well as hidden gems.  Our trips and itineraries are therefore both enjoyable for us and we are proud to offer them to friends, family and new guests. Summer 2020 started off quieter than normally due to Covid 19, but then took off to a flying start once the borders were opened in mid June.  Our guests this summer also changed as many Icelanders were encouraged to travel "home" this year and this was also an exciting change for us.  These trips with locals put us in a good stead for the coming autumn and winter months and especially so when the country´s borders were tightened again and extra restrictions were put into place in late August.  Onwards and upwards as the saying goes and we are preparing for our winter guests. Winter is often considered to be the best time of year to catch a glance of the magnificent Northern Lights.  We never get bored of the Northern Lights!  They are a must see whilst in Iceland and is one of the top reasons why people make a visit to Iceland in winter. However, please be aware that this natural phenomenal cannot be controlled or guaranteed.  This time of the year is always a fantastic time to go on a glacier hike or visit a ice cave . This early in the winter the glaciers are transforming with the changing season. They begin to show their incredible bright blue colors again with the approaching cold weather.October- November is when the ice caves become accessible, but our great Katla ice cave is open all year around. The blues, textures and colors will leave you in awe.  We are eagerly looking forward to brighter times and continued good working relationship. If you have any questions regarding the situation in Iceland or want to take full advantage and start planning your trip to Iceland later this year or 2021, you can get in touch with your travel expert today. Our team of local guides cannot wait to show you our country's unforgettable natural beauty and adventures. We look forward to meet you all again when times gets better. On behalf of Southcoast Adventure Ársæll Hauksson (Sæli)-Owner Hvolsvöllur- 01.10.20