Adventure Islands here we come. But first…..
Mum’s going to Iceland. Yes I know we were only there in April. But that was more of a city break, in Reykjavik. This time the plan is to tour the island, camping and biking in the wilder parts and searching out adventure all the way around. Which won’t be hard for the Wickes crew; even when we’re not looking for it seems to find us. So, after months of planning, the car is fixed and branded, the new Thule backup box is full, the bikes are finely tuned and on the roofrack, the kids are stoked, the website is relaunched (did you notice?) and Stuart is knackered….
We’re all biked up and on our way
The time has finally come. We’re off on an extended adventure to visit two Adventure Islands – Iceland and The Faroes. But it’s not easy to get there with tandems and trailers. You can’t fly with that kind of gubbins so we’ve got to go the long way round. Firstly by DFDS ferry to Amsterdam, and then after a drive across Northern Europe, on a Smyril Line ferry from Northern Denmark to Iceland.
Of course we could have just driven the thousand kilometres across Holland, Germany and Denmark in a day, but then think what we’d have missed? There’s a lot of fun to be had between Amsterdam and Hirtshals, especially when you know you’re heading into the wilderness after that. So we hatched a plan to give the kids a few treats on the way to the back of beyond; well seven treats in seven days. Will it make us sick? Maybe, we’ll let you know.
Our Adventure Islands tour begins… on the mainland
So unusually for us, we start with a road trip, a week of thrill seeking in Europe, taking in…
- The Floriade World Horticultural Extravaganza. We’ll be spending a day in the ‘greenest office in the Netherlands’, buzzing in and out of 100 gardens, pavilions and futuristic domes exploring Holland’s unique theatre of nature.
- Centerparcs at Het Heijderbos. We’ll be advancing straight into their Jungle Dome and Aqua Mundo water park. Hannah will become a painter for a day while the boys and their Dad go paintballing. We’ll also be doing some wild water rafting and zip wiring. Our aim is to see what a Netherlands Centerparcs can offer a family with pre-teen children.
- Did you know that Hamburg has more canals than Venice? On our 24 hour stop in Hamburg we’ll explore this thriving city by boat, bike, foot and rail. Well not exactly by rail; but we will come over all train spotter when we pay a visit to Miniatur Wunderland; the largest model railway exhibition in the world. And to continue the water theme we’ll be staying in a four star converted water tower; the Mövenpick Hotel Hamburg.
- Did you know that there’s more to Billund than the HQ of Legoland? We thought Billund was Legoland until now. The final stop of our drive across Europe (before the ferry to Iceland) will see us not just sampling the thrills of Legoland, but also some other gems like Lalandia; the largest waterpark in Europe. And Givskud Zoo with its tweeting otter keeper. And we hear there’s even more, like gravel pit sculptures, a buried Bronze Age girl, and a lake that appears and disappears on a regular basis. Nothing to do after a day at Legoland? I think you’d be surprised.
And then the adventure really begins…
And after all that (I’m exhausted just writing it) the ‘real’ expedition starts as we head across the North Atlantic for five weeks exploring Iceland and the Faroes. We’ll be touring right around Iceland checking out the four points of the compass:
- In the East the plan is to get on our bikes, check out a little of the interior and ride out to the Eastern fjords.
- In the North we’re hoping to do some whale watching, river rafting and test our skills at 4WD expeditioning on one of the interior routes.
- In the West, we’ll be exploring the remote Western Fjords, checking out a unique eco tourism fishing project and biking the Dream Road.
- And in the South we’re hoping to visit the Westman Islands and get up and onto some glaciers and volcanos and down into some lava tubes.
- After all that we’ve a week in the Faroe Islands. They were rated number one island destination by National Geographic Traveller in 2007 for their authentic, unspoilt character. So we’ll be checking out life in the middle of the North Atlantic and trying not to spoil it.
Why don’t you join us for the ride?
So the kids have i-pods loaded with music and stories and the adults are primed to blog, Tweet and Facebook our summer adventure. This year, working with Berghaus, we’ll also be giving behind the scenes updates live from the field using Punkt. You can follow our journey on our own Punkt map with geotagged picture, video and text updates as live as we can make them. Check out The Family Adventure Project Punkt map here and you can get a taste of what our last week of preparations has been like.
We aim to post here on the blog at least a couple of times a week. Or you can catch and chat with us on any of our social media channels. And throughout August we’ll also be writing for the Berghaus Live For Adventure blog where we will be guest bloggers for the month. If you’d like to join the adventure, why not leave a comment, tweet us or connect with us on Facebook? We’d love to have you along.
This post is part of our 2012 Adventure Islands Season. We spent summer 2012 exploring Iceland and The Faroes, researching what’s on offer for adventure seeking families. We’re grateful to Smyril Line for help with transport, to Berghaus and Thule who helped equip us for the journey.
You can see a map of our journey on The Family Adventure Project Punkt! and view some exclusive behind the scenes photos and video of what we got up to.