10 days around Iceland
We arrived at Reykjavik at 3 am after a long but magic flight in which we could even observe the Northern Lights through the plane´s window (The trip looked very promising…). It was a cold and raining night but we had a very warm welcome at the hotel. The owner was very kind and answered all the questions we had about our next 10 days around Iceland.
After visiting the city center of the Icelandic capital and buy some ice clothes we needed for be totally prepared, we picked up our nice campervan rental at 6:30 pm. It was an exciting moment, we had been waiting for that moment during several months.
It was always a big deal to establish our route, but after reading a lot about the different options we decided to travel around the island to see as much as possible. Our first stop was the Snæfellsjökull national park because we wanted to find the entrance to the center of the Earth according to Jules Verne book.
Unfortunately we couldn´t find it but we will try again on our return to Iceland. The next day we move to Akureyri, the main city on the north. During this long but impressive car ride we enjoyed the vastness of the peacefully landscapes in the north, including the famous waterfall Goðafoss.
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Over the two days, and after ruling out the possibility to do whale watching tour in Húsavik due to bad weather, we spent most of the time enjoying the amazing region surrounding Lake Mývatn. Undoubtedly, the diamond circle circuit was one of our favorites routes. There, one can easily realize the great contrast of landscapes, switching between moon areas, such as the road to Dettifoss and martian soil like Hverir or the Krafla fields.
Moreover, driving around the lake we took the turnoff towards Dimmuborgir (The Dark Fortress) to enjoy the wonder of nature of this lava fields, which make you feel like stepped into a weirdly fantasy world.
On the fourth day we arrive to Egilsstaðir. There we took a walk in the Selskógur forest, where we could see something similar to a gnome house, and we came to the big waterfall of Hengifoss. It was not an easy walk but the effort was worthwhile.
Leaving the north and with the impression that we should spend more days there, we drove through the East fjords to Höfn. It was a big contrast to what we previously saw in the north. Green mountains bathed by the sea and covered by white clouds all the time and dark sand beaches. What the fjords clearly proved to us was that, even with bad weather, Iceland is wonderful!
We were disappointed because we couldn´t do any seal watching tour in Breiðdalsvík but fortunately we observe several “types” the next day in our visit to the Jökulsárlón glaciar lagoon. Since we had never seen a glacier we decided to do a zodiak bout tour to get closer to the icebergs. It was a great experience because we could even see how a piece of the glacier breaks down into the lake. However, it was also sad to know that this phenomenon occurs through the global warming.
After spending all morning on Jökulsárlón, we continue visiting other glacier tongues such as Fjallsárlón or Svínafellsjökull. Even though they were smaller, since there were few people, we could enjoy the silence only disturbed by the iceberg cracking. Leaving behind the Vatnajökull National Park we drove until we arrived to Skaftafell, where we could explore a quite route around this area and see Svartifoss waterfall and enjoy the fantastic views over the mountain.
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Our next day started in Vik, a small and peaceful village next to the sea, where one could find one of the most famous black sand beaches of Iceland. After eating ta asparagus soup and salmon filet we recovered strength to move toward Selfoss. Along the way we stopped in several in different places like the Skógafoss waterfall which is, apart from a huge waterfall, the end of the Landmannalaugar hiking tour.
Probably one of the most amazing areas in the island that we would like to visit on our next trip! However, during our way to Selfoss we could see the Eyjafjallajökull (unfortunately we still can´t pronounce the name properly…) and, a bit far away, the Katla volcano, one of the most actives volcanoes of Iceland. The weather was very unstable, so we could enjoy spells of sunshine and hailstorms in a few minutes; that was really unexpected. At the end of the day we finally arrived to the town on the banks of Ölfusá River.
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We were in a perfect point to go to different areas. The first we choice was the Golden Circle, situated no more than an hour by car from the campsite. There, we could see Þingvellir National Park where one can find the Þingvallavatn, the largest glacial lake, the geothermal zone Geysir with lots of fumaroles and hot springs, and Gullfoss waterfall.
At the afternoon we went to Hveragerði to do an excellent hiking trail through a different area also surrounded by many hot springs, the best option to finish our day.
After returning to Selfoss we went to Grindavik to spend our last day in Iceland. At night, in the campsite, we met an old man who explained us that he was 25 years visiting Iceland with his wife. He invited us to have dinner together and tasting the salmon he fished at the afternoon. That night was a very wonderful and very interesting experience and the fish tasted excellent!
From there we went in search of Arnarker cave, an interesting place surrounded by lava fields. The place was dark and we had to use lanterns, that was even more fun. We also saw the place where the tectonic plates have been separating, pulling away the Euro Asiatic and the North American plate 2 cm every year!
Our trip came to an end in Reykjavik again,where we could buy some souvenirs for our family and a nice handmade blanket for our cold nights in Barcelona. Then we had time to take a hot coffe in “Joe and the Juice” and enjoy for the last time the kindness of the Icelanders, the magnificent views of the mountains surrounding the city and the peaceful sound of the rain. It was a big placer to stay in Iceland, and hopefully we´ll be back soon!
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