When Chad Pike, owner of Eleven Experience, established Deplar Farm in the Troll Peninsula in Iceland, he had in mind people who loved next-level adventure and in particular lovers of fishing and skiing. So we’ve established before on this blog that I’m scared of everything, not exactly an outdoorsy person, I’ve never been skiing and fishing isn’t exactly one of my hobbies either.
Yet I knew Deplar Farm was perfect for me too, despite my inclination to unadventurous adventure…and do you know what? I loved the outdoor activity and opportunity to experience authentic journeys in this beautiful country. Seeing pictures of me engaging in outdoor pursuits (particularly climbing mountains!?!) my sister kept texting me say, ‘but are you really enjoying yourself?’ and yes I truly was.
And that’s because the Experience Managers at Deplar Farm cater the itinerary to suit the needs of the guests. In other words they saw I was a bit pathetic and came up with a plan for someone that was scared of everything but liked seeing beautiful scenery and wildlife so I was still getting my ’11 out of 10′ experiences that the company is known for.
As soon as stepped off the plane in Akureyri we were whisked off on our first excursion. Whale Watching Hauganes are the oldest whale watching tour operator in Iceland so they know a thing or two about spotting those huge mammals.
You’re taken on board a traditional Iceland Oak boat and provided with a cosy onesie to wear on board! Wear appropriate footwear though, I didn’t know we’d be getting straight on a boat after landing from our flight so I was stuck in ballerina pumps!
On the tour you can expect to get up close and personal with Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, Harbour Porpoise and White Beaked Dolphins – if you’re lucky you may even see a killer whale.
And while you’re on board you can enjoy coffee and homemade pastries to warm from the inside out.
We didn’t see any whales breach (jump out of the water) but we saw lots of humpbacks and tails from the comfort of the boat.
After seeing the whales, guests have the opportunity to try sea angling. I didn’t expect anyone to catch anything but huge fish were hauled out of the water by several people; these were filleted on board so that people could take them home with them.
We also got to practice our wildlife photography on the flock of seagulls that joined us along the ride.
If you’re hungry before or after you can stop at Baccalá Bar located near the Whale Watching Hauganes office.
It’s nothing fancy but they do a fantastic fish and chips and a hot chocolate guaranteed to warm your cockles.
Take a Soak in a Geothermal Pool
The idea of taking a soak in a hot bath that’s been created by nature is rather wonderful thought. There are lots of hot springs in Iceland that are geothermally heated and have high mineral content with numerous healthy benefits. You don’t need to visited the crowded and touristy Blue Lagoon to experience nature’s bathtubs as they can also be found off the beaten track.
Our guide at Deplar Farm led us to this one which was super relaxing and incredibly atmospheric. Though do be warned, these really are nature’s bathtubs and it was a little muddy at the bottom plus we had to hide behind a towel to get into our swimwear as there’s no changing rooms. Also be aware that some of the geothermal pools are boiling hot and not suitable for bathing.
Go Chasing Waterfalls
For me a waterfall is one of the most beautiful of the natural wonders and there is definitely no shortage in Iceland.
The waterfalls in Iceland were seriously some of the most breathtaking I’d seen in my life. I don’t think these photos can do them justice so check out my video below too!
Take a Hike!
The great thing about staying at Deplar Farm is that your experience is tailored perfectly for you so that you can be as active or as lazy as you like. I think our Experience Manager could tell I wasn’t a three hour long hike type of person so instead we were taken on gorgeous scenic walks which allowed us to enjoy the fresh Icelandic air and admire the landscape.
After our ‘hike’ we were taken to the lodge’s Ghost Farm for a glass of wine, some snacks and a spot of archery.
For people who really want to test their walking shoes, the guides at Deplar Farm can take them to explore valleys and cliffs with not a single other person in sight. Make sure you check the video below to see Mr S’s serious archery skills!
See Puffins at Drangey Island
The boat trip to Drangey Island is one of the signature experiences offered from Deplar Farm. Here you will be led through a dramatic hike with the opportunity for some fantastic birdwatching as Drangey is home to a colony of puffins.
Our trip to Drangey was so memorable that I plan on covering it more fully in a separate post.
Icelandic Horses are a very unique breed of small horses and is one of the purest breeds in the world. Once a horse has been exported from Iceland, it can’t return meaning there are virtually no diseases.
Mr S and I are definitely amateurs when it comes to horse riding but the Icelandic horse was small and friendly and we had a very relaxed and enjoyable hour long ride.
Basalt columns are yet another wonder that you can see in Iceland; lava cooling over time creating geometric patterns and beautiful long columns of hexagonal basalt rock. A natural phenomenon in the land of fire and ice!!
Check out the Views
With no one else for miles around, few roads and only very small villages, visitors change enjoy incredible uninterrupted views.
As well as these excursions off shore and lake fishing are offered at Deplar Farm during the summer months. There are also many activities offered in and around the lodge such as skeet shooting, kayaking, biking, surfing and paddle boarding. The key activity in winter is skiing be it heli-skiing, ski touring, or snowmobiling; they can also organise dog sledding. There’s plenty to do back at the lodge with a spa being unmissable (I’d dedicate at least an afternoon to just enjoying the property), a bar with games, a multimedia room, library or just enjoying the farm to table dining in the company of other guests.
However you chose to spend your time, I can absolutely guarantee that there’s something for everyone at Deplar Farm, including those in search of unadventurous adventure! Deplar Farm I give you 11 out of 10!
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