Anniversary Surprise in Iceland
My name is Stéphanie, for the thirty years of my life I decided to make an unforgettable trip to Iceland.
The trip was short but rich in surprise. Luck was with us and we had no rain during the stay with a clear sky every night to realize our dream and see the Northern lights. Renting a camper van even in November is feasible and I do not regret my choice at all.
Thanks to the heating and duvets, we have never been cold ! The WiFi in the camper van (which works perfectly) allows you to go and look at the condition of roads, which is very important in winter, some roads are closed. I had been very ambitious and had planned to go to the glacier Jökulsárlón but because of meteorological conditions the roads leading to the glacier were closed except the penultimate day but for fear of not being able to come back we did not go over there.
Day 1 : ARRIVAL
We landed at the end of the day, so it was already dark! And yes not much sunshine a day at this time of the year ! We were greeted by an employee of the camper van rental company at the airport. We did not waste time, very punctual, the employee took us to the rental agency and showed us our vehicle which was also our room for the next four days!
We got our camper van and went to visit Reykjavik. This city is very pretty day and night. It is very easy to park at Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral and it’s free. The shops are numerous and some close quite late but be careful all the same because others close at 5pm. There are also plenty of choices for dinner. In Iceland the food is expensive, we were quite surprised by the first bill but it was very good. We then drove to sleep in Selfoss.
Day 2 : BEGINNING OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
The awakening was late, the sun rising is late (10 am) and it is difficult to get up sooner! We had lunch at Selfoss before heading towards Kerið crater where we could walk because the water is frozen. Access to the crater is paid to participate in the preservation of the area. Beware of ice during this period, when you go around the crater, there is a high risk of falls! My buttocks remember it! 🙂
Then we went to the waterfalls of Faxi, it is very pretty and possibility to go almost to the foot despite the snow there is no ice in contrast to other places of visits. This place is nice because there are very few people compared to other more tourist sites. The flow of the waterfall is very important so the water is not frozen.
In Iceland the sun is very low, we had the impression that there was sunset all day. This effect is surprising when you are not used to it. We continue the Golden Circle by the mythical cascades of Gullfoss, grandiose, I have no other word. But beware the wind blows very hard ! We end the day’s tours with Geysir geothermal area. Waiting to see an explosion is worth it even if it was a little cold. The Geysir center is also very nice. Possibility of eating, drinking, shopping and warming up. Then the night stops us in our visits. But we have the chance to see our first small Northern lights, very difficult to take a picture because of the wind that makes the tripod fall but it is only part of the delivery!
Day 3 : END OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
We started the day with a stroll at Laugavatn Lake in Vigðalaug, the sunrise is beautiful. The lake seems very big. There are small pools bubbling on the side of the pool is pretty impressive. We finish the Golden Circle at Öxaráfoss where we take a long walk despite the snowstorm and the strong wind. The waterfall was frozen but it’s still beautiful. We went to the little church and to the lake where is the fault between Europe and America.
Traveling in camper van is really a pleasure, the scenery is beautiful all along the road and the vehicle behaves very well.
We went to the coast between Álafoss and Grundarhverfi. We wandered and went to sunset in Reykjavik. We then decided to wait until night falls and the Northern lights find us 😉 and luck smiled on us ! This moment when we see the first green glow and then observe them moving in the sky is unforgettable. The pictures speak for themselves.
We took the road to eat and sleep in Kjósarhreppur.
Day 4 : ALWAYS THE LAST DAY
And yes the stay was short but so rich! For this last day, we did some shopping in Álafoss and Reykjavik. Very good address to Álafoss for local souvenirs and a cute little waterfall are worth seeing.
In Reykjavik we went to the cathedral which was open this time. The organ is really amazing. Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral square is frozen and as it is high the wind blows hard enough, so be careful walking down this square.
Then we went to the Blue Lagoon (try to get there before the night falls to really see this beautiful blue !). We had taken the formula including a drink. It’s great to have a drink in these hot baths and this without leaving the water once. Coming out of these relaxing baths we had the surprise and the chance to see the magnificent Northern Lights more intense than the previous ones, it was magical. Relaxed baths, we took many pictures, the Blue Lagoon is poorly lit so the place is ideal.
All this opened our appetite, and that’s when we wanted to cook our pasta. It must be said it is a little difficult to cook with stoves at this time especially because of the wind but with a little patience and safe from a bus stop we still could eat them.
We enjoyed every moment of this trip and thanks to the camper van we were free of our travels and free from our sleeping places, it was perfect ! Each of the places we visited was equipped with free parking, visits are therefore without fear.
Whether in winter or in summer we highly recommend renting a camper van to visit Iceland!
Read more: Exploring Iceland by yourself
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