Amazing honeymoon in Iceland
Amazing and beautiful honeymoon
Around Iceland in 8 days
In our eyes the best way to visit Iceland was being flexible, and renting a camper van was an amazing way of satisfying our needs! We were already looking forward to the trip, but it even exceeded our expectations. With the flexibility that the car provides, we drove around Iceland and stopped and continued, and stopped and continued, and… (well, you get it ?) whenever we wanted. After each turn the view dramatically changed, keeping us entertained the whole trip long. The comfortable bed (travelling with us) was a really efficient way to get our rest as we could stop driving and immediately jump into the bed without any effort needed.
We did the road trip counter clock wise around the island, which we highly recommend for hikers like us. Most of the hiking trails (well-signaled and multiple difficulties) are located in the south of the island. Therefore, we did most of them when our energy was at the max, which happened to be at the beginning of our trip ?.
The Golden Circle
The company has the amazing service of delivering the car where hotel/hostel/B&B you are staying! We decided to take this service, however, the whole procedure took 45-60min which is much more than we expected. Thus, our trip already started with quite some excitement because we needed to kind of rush to our snorkeling appointment (for the record, the whole procedure for getting the car was smooth and the personnel was super friendly and reachable, it just took longer than we had planned). We arrived at Silfra (a must see in the Golden Circle) and had an amazing snorkeling tour. Even though it was not a sunny day the view underneath the water was crystal clear, showing us green, blue and yellowish colors, what an experience!
Snorkeling in Silfra
We must confess that the water is rather cold, even when we had good equipment (included in the tour). After heating up with a delicious mushroom soup, we walked around and in between the tectonic plates and continued our car journey to the geyser. It is really exciting to see this very active natural geyser from that close (it gives an unpredictable performance every 8 minutes or so).
The first waterfall stop, of many to come this holiday, was Gullfoss an impressive amount of water coming down and steaming up giving you and your camera several splashes of water. One of the advantages of having rented such a camper van is the possibility to cook our own food; however, we were not really prepared yet for this, missing a key ingredient… or all of them.
We just made it to the supermarket called Bonus (one of the cheapest in Iceland) before closing time, so we could stock up food for the first part of our driving holiday. Skýr with muesli for breakfast, wraps with Nutella and salami for lunch (easy and fast to prepare), pasta and gnocchi for dinner (pasta takes very long to boil so in hindsight we would take noodles instead next time).
Don’t forget to buy a lighter or take one from home because the only one we bought broke down a few days before the end of the trip. With the convenience of the car we still had time to visit the Kerið crater (worth the stop as the lake within the crater was pretty). This was the only attraction (for us) that charged entrance fee (about 4 euro pp). Time for our first cooking experience. We took out the boxes and explored the wide range of cooking utensils that were provided with the car. As it started to rain just after we cooked we enjoyed our dinner (pasta pesto with bacon) inside the car. We bought two bottles of wine and a bottle of rum from the tax free store at the airport which we enjoyed every evening while planning the next day of our trip (just before going to bed so no driving left).
For the sleeping: they provided sleeping bags, but as we had our own we used those to sleep in. The sheets were clean and the pillow and matress were comfortable. We closed the curtains and slept very well.
Waterfalls, plane and black beach
Well rested, we started day two with a short drive to Seljalandsfoss waterfall. With the rising sun it was difficult to take pictures but we enjoyed the beauty of walking behind the waterfall and feeling the power of it. We also climbed to the top of the waterfall 500 meters down the road but as it was very slippery we suggest you only to do it if you are sort of experienced and have proper hiking shoes. We used the free WiFi of the car to look up the exact location of the plane wreck. The car parking is easy to miss otherwise. After walking four kilometers we arrived at the plane wreck which is a nice location to take pictures. We could enter the plane and walk around freely, but be careful though, because we saw somebody who wounded her head while walking inside the plane.
With a bit of a challenge to get out of the parking we headed towards the black beach at Reynishverfisvegur, where we could see pillar stones and of course a black beach. Our final destination of that day was the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. We first cooked a delicious dinner after which we walked for a bit less than an hour while overlooking the canyon. It is very convenient that it stays light till so late so we can really get the most out of our day.
Read more: Camping in Iceland
Waterfalls and Glaciers!
We started the day with a visit to Skaftafell waterfall. We originally planned to hike around that area for 6 hours, but because of an injury (as a result of a four-day hike before we started our camper journey) we returned after seeing one of the main attractions of this park, a waterfall (still was worth the visit). The good thing was that now we were ahead of schedule and with the sun shining we decided to go to the next highlight, the impressive ice rocks floating by at Jökulsárlón were super beautiful with the sun light on top of it. So cool how we could see the ash lines alternating with lines of ice.
The costal line was impressive as well as we drove in and out the fjords. The mountains were intriguing as they revealed horizontal lines of rocks. We stayed at a nice camping Berunes where we could cook inside and enjoyed a hot shower (at hindsight we should have prepared more pasta here so that we could have had an easier dinner the next evening).
Read more: What to pack for camping in Iceland
East Fjords and Waterfalls
After enjoying more fjords, we arrived at Hengifoss. A beautiful 40 minutes walk (even though not really required, hiking shoes are an advantage) brought us to one of our favorite waterfalls. The iron of previous volcanic eruptions made a clear timeline of history. The walk took us about 1.5 hours in total as we took many pictures. We arrived at Dettifoss that day but decided to stay nearby and visit the waterfall in the morning. There was lots of wind so it was very difficult to cook and keep the flame on. Later we saw in a promo video that there is a table that you can slide out at the back of the car which would have made the cooking probably much easier (if we would have known).
Waterfalls and boiling mud
After an early start at Dettifoss we took a very bumpy road to Ásbyrgi the views were nice but if it rained a lot before we don’t think this road would be accessible with a 2×4 vehicle (we didn’t know an alternative route). We treated ourselves with one really good coffee in Húsavik (Bakari café) together with a good piece of cake.
As the day had still many hours of sunlight to go, we decided to continue and visit around in Mývatn. It is actually a whole day program but we managed to do it from 1:00pm onwards and finished at about 10:00pm.
We went to the tourist information center and they provided us a map with all the highlights on it. From the tourist information center towards Hverir (mud pits) we saw a super blue lake with a lot of steam that looked like was used for a power plant. Very beautiful spot that we nearly missed.
Then we went to Krafla area where we did a quick peek at Viti but we thought the crater from Day 1 looked better than this, so we decided to leave our walking time for the Leirhnjúkur area where you can see still-hot lava fields. The walking path is a bit unclear here so keep your eyes open for the signaling sticks.
More walking to come at Dimmuborgir where we took the long route hoping to see all the rock formations… super cool and again each formation was very different. We cooked our meal here as, again, there was a lot of wind. We finished up with a very short walk at Höfði and Skutustaðagigar after which we got a very well deserved good night off sleep with Goðafoss laying in front of us.
Read more: Camp like a boss
Whale watching in Dalvík
What is a better than waking up with a great view?! Again another plus point of renting this van! We arrived at Godafoss just before all the big tourist busses did which made the view a lot better 🙂 We originally had planned a flight to see Mývatn area from the air but due to unpredictable weather forecast and highly likely bad weather we decided to cancel that trip… it was a pity because we were looking forward to a different view of Iceland. Anyway, this gave as plenty of time for the best coffee we had in Iceland at kaffihus Bakkabræðra (Dalvík).
Just to confirm how unpredictable the weather can be, the sun started to shine and we enthusiastically booked a whale tour with arctic sea tours so off we went fully packed in a nice and warm outfit (even though the sun was shining the wind was sometimes cold so we were happy with the suit and some layers we had underneath). We spotted several whales (probably all them were humpbacks) and one white-beaked dolphin. As we already did some whale spotting in Argentina we very much enjoyed the addition of sea angling (fishing) with the explanation and demonstration of the guide on how Icelanders prepare the fish. As a bonus point we were allowed to taste the bbq-ed fish whenever we arrived back on land… delicious!
Whale spotting in Dalvík
Mountains, crater and hotspring
Most of the roads in Iceland are paved, but the part between Borðeyri and Grundarfjörður was mainly gravel. A long and bumpy way to go. As we already saw the fjords at the east we may have better taken road 1 instead. Kirkjufell was yet another impressive mountain with the horizontal rick stripes and a particular shape. The waterfall next to it was cute. To avoid any more unpaved roads we continued next to the coastline and in the meantime visited another crater. With the highlight of our day being the hot spring close to Eldborg. We were very lucky that it was not busy at all so we could take our time, relax, enjoy the view and think of all the beautiful moments we had had in Iceland.
Hot springs by Landbrotalaug GPS: N64°49.933 W22°19.110
Waterfalls and drop-off ?
Our final day began with a visit to the last waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. It is interesting that after seeing so many waterfall you can still be impressed. One of the two waterfalls appears to come from nowhere and the other is again super powerful. We were happy and felt like we took the most out of our trip and returned to Reykjavik where we delivered to van approximately at 3:00pm… so no stress.
+ The chairs were very comfortable, we could sit inside the car for dinner and driving, no problem to sit on it for 8 day
+ Matress also very comfortable, we took our own sleeping bags and slept on top of the sleeping bags provided, very soft
+ The wireless works nearly in the whole of Iceland but sometimes you lose the 3G signal.
+ Order some plokkfiskur (fish stew) if you ever go out for dinner
+ Some evenings are not suitable to cook (rain or wind) so prepare more food at places where it is easy to cook. In zip-lock bags (not provided so bring them yourselves) you can store the food in the small fridge provided with the car
+ Take your own music in a USB/CD/Phone… do not expect to have radio signal everywhere in Iceland.
+ We already saw glaciers in Argentina so we did not include them in our Iceland program, if you have never seen glaciers you may want to add them in the first part of your program.
Have a great trip!
Read more: Iceland in 3 days
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