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!
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!
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.
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)
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!
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.
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! 😉
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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!
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!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.