Iceland – Land of Ice and Fire. Much of the land ‘North of the Wall’ in Game of Thrones TV series was filmed in Iceland, but in summer this is less of an icy wasteland, with flower meadows, fresh water off the glaciers creating huge waterfalls, hot water geysers and geothermal natural pools to bathe in. The population of Iceland is very small and there are few roads, so almost everywhere is off the beaten track.
Iceland has been winning ‘Best Country to Visit’ top ten lists for travel awards for several years. So if Iceland is a ‘hot’ destination for outdoor enthusiasts, what makes it a great mid-summer sailing ground?
Firstly it is not as cold as the name suggests. You can find patches of snow and glaciers, but there are also waterfalls, wildflower meadows with gambolling arctic fox cubs. Norse Vikings thought it was paradise when their longboat prows first touched the black sands. Many settled here including Erik the Red. Like Scotland the weather can be fickle but the wildlife or scenery never disappoints.
The 18 islands of the Faroes are hard to miss as a landmark for sailors sailing between Iceland and Scotland.. The cliffs of Slaettaratindur rise almost vertically from sea level to 882 metres and are the highest sea cliffs in Europe. Facing the full fury of the Atlantic Ocean these islands have endured and life here is still tough. If you love wild locations teeming in seabirds with a brooding sense that the vikings have never left, then the Faroes should be on your bucket list.
The Faroes are a place of dramatic sea cliffs, swirling mists and legend. The cliffs of Slaettaratindur are 882 metres high and the tallest sea cliffs in Europe.
There are 18 islands in the Faroes group and they all stand fully exposed to the fury of the North Atlantic. It is a windswept place, and not a destination your average yachts person cruises, so you need a bit of a pioneering spirit for these voyages, similar to ocean crossings. Stopping on the Faroe Islands is always special. At least two or three islands will be visited, depending on wind and weather.