August 7, 2018

Iceland Trip – Part 3 | North Iceland, West Fjords, and Blue Lagoon

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If you need to catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 of my trip to Iceland, be sure you do that first!

There is just so much to see in Iceland it’s hard to encompass it all into just one post (or two posts…haha!). So here we are to part three on my Iceland trip in July 2017. This part you will get to experience hot springs, craters, waterfalls, lava formations, thermal springs, the blue lagoon and lots, lots more!

Day 6 | Krafla, Námaskarð, Dimmuborgir, and Goðafoss

On day 6, we decided to stick in the northern region of Iceland and our first stop of the day was at Krafla. Krafla is a caldera of about 10 km in diameter with a 90 km long fissure zone, in the north of Iceland in the Mývatn region. We did some steep climbing up along the side of it to get some better views, and boy was the water filling this crater the prettiest shade of turquoise that you ever did see!

The view from atop the ridge along the Krafla crater in Mývatn region of Northern Iceland by Tami Keehn. The view from atop wit tiny flowers of the ridge along the Krafla crater in Mývatn region of Northern Iceland by Tami Keehn. The view from atop the ridge along the Krafla crater in Mývatn region of Northern Iceland by Tami Keehn.

Next, we headed to Námaskarð where we viewed the hot sulfuric mud springs. Word to the wise…be prepared for the stench of rotten eggs here due to the sulfur. It was almost unbearable at first for me (like to the point of tears), but I gradually adapted to making sure I breathed with my mouth only! Lol. Also, the water here is boiling HOT. Pay attention to the signs and do not touch the water.

Checking out Námaskarð - a sulfuric martian landscape that smells of rotten eggs by Tami Keehn. Checking out Námaskarð - a sulfuric martian landscape that smells of rotten eggs by Tami Keehn. Girl cringing at the rotten eggs stench at Námaskarð in Northern Iceland by Tami Keehn Checking out Námaskarð - a sulfuric martian landscape that smells of rotten eggs by Tami Keehn. Steam blowing Námaskarð - a sulfuric martian landscape that smells of rotten eggs by Tami Keehn.

Then we headed to Dimmuborgir, which is a large area of unusually shaped lava fields east of Mývatn in Iceland. We had fun climbing in and around these formations and even found some of the mythical creatures living within the caves here (aka…not the trolls they tell you about, but lots of sheep! Lol)

Dimmuborgir - a large area of unusually shaped lava fields east of Mývatn in Iceland by Tami Keehn. Dimmuborgir - a large area of unusually shaped lava fields east of Mývatn in Iceland by Tami Keehn. A girl posing at Dimmuborgir - a large area of unusually shaped lava fields east of Mývatn in Iceland by Tami Keehn. The mythical trolls - aka - sheep hiding in the caves at A girl posing at Dimmuborgir which is part of Mývatn in Iceland by Tami Keehn.

Then we finished off our day at Goðafoss waterfalls. What a breathtaking sight to see and we managed to be at the foot of the falls with this one so you really got a visual of the of how massive it really is!

Girl standing a top looking out at The Goðafoss is a waterfall in Iceland. It is located in the Bárðardalur district of Northeastern Region by Tami Keehn. The Goðafoss is a waterfall in Iceland. It is located in the Bárðardalur district of Northeastern Region by Tami Keehn. Redhead girl sitting at the foot of The Goðafoss by Tami Keehn. Brunette girl sitting at the foot of The Goðafoss by Tami Keehn. Blond girl jumping for joy at the foot of The Goðafoss by Tami Keehn.

Day 7 | Siglufjörður, Hofsos, + Glaumbær Turf Houses

We left our accommodations in Akureyri (one of the larger towns we stayed in while in Iceland) at the Acco Guesthouse to continue through northern Iceland on our westward track. The first place we stopped at was the cutest little fishing town called Siglufjörður. So many pretty colored houses here! But I will say…the long 1-lane tunnels on the way here and out of town…a wee bit scary at times! Haha.

A search and rescue boat at its mooring in the harbor at in the small fishing village of Siglufjorour, Iceland by Tami Keehn. A boat docked in Siglufjörður is a small fishing town in a narrow fjord with the same name on the northern coast of Iceland by Tami Keehn. Colorful houses in Siglufjörður - a small fishing town in a narrow fjord with the same name on the northern coast of Iceland by Tami Keehn. A girl walking up the dock in Siglufjörður - a small fishing town in a narrow fjord with the same name on the northern coast of Iceland by Tami Keehn. A girl and her camera on the dock in Siglufjörður - a small fishing town in a narrow fjord with the same name on the northern coast of Iceland by Tami Keehn. A blonde girl on the dock in Siglufjörður - a small fishing town in a narrow fjord with the same name on the northern coast of Iceland by Tami Keehn. A redhead girl on the dock in Siglufjörður - a small fishing town in a narrow fjord with the same name on the northern coast of Iceland by Tami Keehn. A yellow light Siglufjörður - a small fishing town in a narrow fjord with the same name on the northern coast of Iceland by Tami Keehn. Colorful houses in Siglufjörður- a small fishing town in a narrow fjord with the same name on the northern coast of Iceland by Tami Keehn. A boat docked in Siglufjörður is a small fishing town in a narrow fjord with the same name on the northern coast of Iceland by Tami Keehn. Colorful houses in Siglufjörður - a small fishing town in a narrow fjord with the same name on the northern coast of Iceland by Tami Keehn.

After this cute fishing town, we made a quick stop in the town of Hofsos. Here we did a visit to the Icelandic Emigration Centre – which was chopped full of lots of really cool fun facts and fun old photos (so I was in heaven!). But I didn’t really take any photos here on my camera. Oops!

As we got close to our hotel for the night (Hotel Varmahlíð), we came across the prettiest little church on the side of the road, along with the coolest looking turf houses! We found out it was part of glaumbær farm. So we HAD to stop to take photos! And we, of course, came across some more Icelandic horses – including some ponies – so more horsey photos for you! 😉

The glaumbær church in Northern Iceland by Tami Keehn The glaumbær turf houses in Northern Iceland by Tami Keehn The glaumbær turf houses in Northern Iceland by Tami Keehn The glaumbær turf houses in Northern Iceland by Tami Keehn A small child reaching through a fence to pet an Icelandic horse at the glaumbær farm in Iceland by Tami Keehn. An Icelandic pony at the glaumbær farm in Iceland by Tami Keehn. A small child reaching through a fence to pet an Icelandic horse at the glaumbær farm in Iceland by Tami Keehn. Icelandic horses at the glaumbær farm in Iceland by Tami Keehn. Two women reaching over a fence to feed an Icelandic horse at the glaumbær farm in Iceland by Tami Keehn. Icelandic horses at the glaumbær farm in Iceland by Tami Keehn. Icelandic horses at the glaumbær farm in Iceland by Tami Keehn.

 

Day 8 | Eiríksstaðir (Viking house), Guðrúnarlaug (natural hot tub), Snæfellsjökull National Park

Our first stop on day eight was to Eiríksstaðir – which is a living Viking museum where actors brought us back to the days of Eiríkr Þorvaldsson, known as Erik the Red, and father to Leif Eiríksson (first European explorer of the Americas).

Statue of Leif at Eiríksstaðir living Viking museum in Iceland by Tami Keehn. Eiríksstaðir living Viking museum in Iceland by Tami Keehn.

Next stop was to Guðrúnarlaug – a natural hot spring jacuzzi. The little hut is where you changed and then we enjoyed the intimate little hot spring with a few other travelers. It was a bit slippery from moss, but it was so cool that it was all natural and you got to enjoy nature in a relaxing way! It’s a little tricky to find but here are the coordinates: 65°14’42.5″N 21°48’09.8″W.

Enjoying an natural hotspring at Guðrúnarlaug in Búdardalur Iceland by Tami Keehn

We spent the remainder of day eight traveling around the Snæfellsjökull peninsula within the national park. Probably my favorite part was at Djúpalónssandur beach – which is a black pebbled beach where people laid lots of rock stacks and there were all kinds of really interesting shipwreck debris.

A sign welcoming us to Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. The open road ahead of us on a foggy day in the Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Craters created by volcanos at Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Two women at the top of Craters created by volcanos at Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Two women at the top of Craters created by volcanos at Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Sitting on top of mossy volcanic rock Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Standing on top of mossy volcanic rock Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Sitting on top of mossy volcanic rock Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. A view from atop at Djúpalónssandur in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. A view from atop at Djúpalónssandur in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. A view from atop at Djúpalónssandur in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. A view from atop at Djúpalónssandur in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. A view from atop at Djúpalónssandur in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. People walking on Djúpalónssandur black pebble beach in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. People walking on Djúpalónssandur black pebble beach in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Someone jumping on Djúpalónssandur black pebble beach in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Rock stacks on Djúpalónssandur black pebble beach in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Rusty shipwreck debris on Djúpalónssandur black pebble beach in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Rusty shipwreck debris on Djúpalónssandur black pebble beach in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Rusty shipwreck debris on Djúpalónssandur black pebble beach in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. The crashing waves at Djúpalónssandur black pebble beach in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Lighthouse in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Volcanic rock in Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn. A sign bidding us farewell from Snæfellsjökull National Park in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn.

As we headed towards our AirBnB in the town of Grundarfjörður, we quickly realized that we were a short drive away from Kirkjufellsfoss – one of the most picturesque and photographed waterfalls in Iceland! So even with as exhausted as we were from our day of travel, we headed to the waterfall at sunset (which was close to midnight at that time of year in Iceland) and were able to get some great shots! I wish I had had a wider lens than my 35 mm, but I’m still happy with what I was able to capture!

Beautiful rainbow over a farm house as we headed into the town of Grundarfjörður in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn Beautiful rainbow over a farm house as we headed into the town of Grundarfjörður in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn Rain clouds in the distance over the mountainous landscape as we headed into the town of Grundarfjörður in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn Beautiful rainbow over Mt. Kirkjufell as we headed into the town of Grundarfjörður in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn Kirkjufellsfoss waterfalls in the town of Grundarfjörður in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn Kirkjufellsfoss waterfalls in the town of Grundarfjörður in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn Mt. Kirkjufell at sunset as we headed into the town of Grundarfjörður in Western Iceland by Tami Keehn

Day 9 | Fossatún, Deildartunguhver, + Grindavík

We started day nine checking out Fossatún waterfalls – which and a cute little story all about trolls that we got some funny photos of. The hotel right there served us up some delicious lunch with a wonderful view of the falls.

 A stone troll statue at Fossatún waterfalls in western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Fossatún waterfalls in western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Taking our worries away at the stone cairn at Fossatún waterfalls in western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Being cooked by a troll at Fossatún waterfalls in western Iceland by Tami Keehn.

Next stop was to Deildartunguhver – a thermal spring pipeline in Reykholtsdalur, Iceland. These waters heat up to 97 degrees Celsius so you definitely don’t want to touch here! (Again, we got hit with the sulfur smell, so we didn’t last long! haha.)

Deildartunguhver hot springs in western Iceland by Tami Keehn. Getting a sniff of the sulfur at Deildartunguhver hot springs in western Iceland by Tami Keehn.

From there, we headed early to our last Airbnb of our trip in Grindavík, Iceland. This is a small fishing down in the southern part of the country and is where the Blue Lagoon is located! We got settled into our home for the evening and then set out to explore the town. We got to see more Icelandic horseys, lighthouses, and shipwreck debris. It just goes to show you that the waters can get pretty rough around Iceland!

Icelandic horse in Grindavík Iceland by Tami Keehn Icelandic horse in Grindavík Iceland by Tami Keehn Feeding the Icelandic horse in Grindavík Iceland by Tami Keehn Feeding the Icelandic horse in Grindavík Iceland by Tami Keehn Orange lighthouse in Grindavík Iceland by Tami Keehn Orange lighthouse in Grindavík Iceland by Tami Keehn Shipwreck debris in Grindavík Iceland by Tami Keehn Shipwreck debris in Grindavík Iceland by Tami Keehn Choppy waters at sea in the southern region of Grindavík Iceland by Tami Keehn

Day 10 |Langjökull (glacier), Barnafoss, Hraunfossar, + Blue Lagoon

On day ten we were going to head inside of a glacier at Langjökull! I mean, how cool is that?! We booked our excursion via Into the Glacier – and I HIGHLY recommend them and the experience they provide! Not gonna lie, I was a little anxious about traveling on top of the glacier (where conditions can turn to complete whiteout in a matter of seconds) and then proceed to go beneath layer of the glacier (that is gradually melting away to nothing with global warming), but I did it and I’m so glad that I did!

Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn White out conditions at Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn Into the Glacier tour at Langjökull in Iceland by Tami Keehn

After the glacier tour, we headed to see our last set of glaciers – Hraunfossar and Barnafossar

Visiting Barnafoss and Hraunfossar waterfalls in western Iceland. Visiting Barnafoss and Hraunfossar waterfalls in western Iceland. Visiting Barnafoss and Hraunfossar waterfalls in western Iceland. Visiting Barnafoss and Hraunfossar waterfalls in western Iceland.

And we saved one of the most iconic spots for last on this trip. The place everyone dreams of when heading to Iceland – The Blue Lagoon! This geothermal spa experience is as wonderful as everyone says it is! We chose the “comfort level” which was €54 and plenty enough for us. We had hoped to see the sunset with our evening time spot, but it actually ended up drizzly while we were there, so we missed it. But it was still so relaxing!

Drinks and mud masks at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. The Blue Lagoon at night in Iceland by Tami Keehn

As you can see, there is so damn much to see in Iceland! We jampacked 10+ days with stuff as we traveled the loop around the country and I know there is still so much we probably missed. But Iceland is such an absolutely beautiful country and will leave you wonderstruck. I’m so fortunate to have gotten to experience its magnificence, and I can only dream that I will get to go back again someday (hopefully during the northern lights!)

I hope that these trip posts will help those of you out thinking of traveling there. If you are planning a trip to Iceland and have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at tami@tamariephotography.com.

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