Iceland in six days
We are sisters from Finland and this is our Iceland story. Warning: after reading this you definitely want to visit Iceland. And with a camper van. This is how we used six days on the roads of Iceland…
Day 1 – Snæfellsnes
We started our journey from Reykjavik. The Rent.is office was easy to find. We got there by local bus (stræto). Also the renting itself went smoothly and by no time we got on the road. Our plan was to explore the West side of Iceland first.
As we got on the road, the best thing with the camper van was that we could stop anywhere and anytime we wanted. Example we stopped quite a few times to catch geocaches or to take photos with Icelandic horses.
Our first planned stop was the hot springs of Landbrotalaug. We changed our clothes to swimming suits and we dived in to the little hot spring (see the photo). No words can describe the feeling of our first experience of natures own baths.
From Landbrotalaug we continued our journey to Kirkjufell. While driving we were amazed by the beautiful landscapes of the West: little waterfalls and mountains everywhere. When we reached Kirkjufell, we stopped to took some photos of the waterfalls and the mountain and then we headed to Grundarfjörður (right next to the Kirkjufell) to stay the night. At Grundarfjörður there was a nice camping site where we parked our van. On the first night we were little afraid to sleep because this was our first camping trip.
Day 2 – Snæfellsjökull National Park
After the rough night with little sleep, we managed to cook some breakfast. The camper van had it all for that! Camper van included all the necessary kitchen tools, table and the chairs. It was nice to cook and eat outside in beautiful landscape.
After breakfast we headed to Snæfellsjökull national park. As we drove we stopped at Saxhóll which is a little volcano. We climbed on it and checked out the crater. Then our journey continued to the lighthouse of Akranes. The weather was perfect: sun was shining. The coast line of Western Iceland was epic. The cliffs and the waves of the Atlantic ocean were superb to watch. You could spend hours (or days) watching towards the ocean. Check out our pictures from the Snæfellsnes!
Snæfellsnes was so beautiful that we were wondering could anything else anymore amaze us in Iceland like the Western region. But yet more was to come. We drove ourselves to Þingvellir and looked the area very quickly and then headed to Geysir camping site to stay the night.
Day 3 – The Golden Circle
The second night went smoothly, and we got to see even the Northern lights during the night. We sat on the van and just stared at the sky. It was incredible! As the morning came, we (as usual) cooked our regular breakfast: porridge with jam and banana and bread with hummus/tuna. It was again nice to sit down and only hear the silence.
Our first stop on day three was, as guessed, the famous Geysir. It was perfect choice to stay the night at Geysir camp site because it allowed us to see the Geysirs before the tourist masses (see the photo). After checking those beauties out, we headed to Gullfoss. Gullfoss was only 10 km away from Geysir, so it was easy to reach. Gullfoss as all the sight seeings on the Golden Circle was definitely worth of visiting.
After Golden Circle and a couple of days without a shower, we decided to take a hike to Hveragerði. After 4 kilometers of hiking the hot river was waiting for us. It was so relaxing to swim there. We got some nice photos over there!
The last thing to see on day three was the Seljalandsfoss, the high waterfall. The unique thing with Seljalandsfoss was that you could walk behind it. Take your raincoat with you, unless you want to get wet! As the sun went down we parked our camper van to the nearest camp site and cooked some dinner under the stars.
Day 4 – South Iceland
We started the engine at 8 am and headed towards the Seljavallalaug, the hidden pool, which has been there since 1923 (see the photo). It was in beautiful and calm landscape. If you are planning to go there, go early. When we were leaving the place, several other tourists started to come there.
The next stop on day four was Skógafoss, yet another waterfall. This one was special because of the dark sand and rainbows next to it. Take your raincoat with you if you want to go near as possible to the waterfall! Luckily sun was shining all day long so we could see the rainbows of Skógafoss.
Our journey continued to village of Vik. There we visited first Dýrhólaey, which is the beautiful cliff. There were nice views over to the black sand beach. It was really windy up there, so make sure you have enough clothes on you and keep tight on your hat. After viewing the black sand beach from above we drove to it and took a walk by the ocean. There were a lot of tourists that time we visited the beach but we got some nice photos over there (see the photos). The contrast between the black sand and the whitecaps of the ocean was just stunning. After visiting Vik our final destination was the Fjaðrárgljúfur. It was a canyon where the river floated. It showed again the beauty of the Icelandic nature.
We spent our night at Vatnajökull national park. This was the first camping cite where we had to pay for the night (camping fee includes the parking!). Our earlier night stops were also camping sites, but nobody came to ask any permission. We were happy to pay for campsite in Vatnajökull, because the area was clean and all services (toilets etc.) were functional.
Day 5 – Jökulsárlón
Our final planned destination was the Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon. The day was super windy and driving wasn’t easy. We stopped from time to time and slowed down the speed. Finally when we reached the glacier it was magnificent. Like from a fairy tale (Frozen example :D). You can see from the photo that the ice floes were beautiful light blue. From the near cafe we picked up two postcards and wrote them down. We left the postcards on the cafe and they promised to send those forward.
After Jökulsárlón we had to drive as near as possible to the Keflavik airport, because we had to drop off the car on the next day at 12 am. With Rent.is it was super nice that we could choose the pick up and drop off location and time. For us the best combination was to pick up the van at Reykjavik and leave it at Keflavik.
We decided to stay the night at Grindavik, where it was just 20 minutes drive to Keflavik airport. We were also planning to visit Blue Lagoon on the last day and it was only 8km away from Grindavik.
Day 6 – The Blue Lagoon
On our final day we drove to Blue Lagoon to check if there is any tickets available for short notice. We tried to book tickets online one day before but online booking service said the whole day was full booked. Despite of that, we wanted to do the final try and went to ask if there was any chance to get in (cancellations etc.). At reception we were told that the lagoon was really full booked. We were sad because we couldn’t get in, but luckily there was a walking area around the milky water where we managed to get nice photos. Lesson learned: book the tickets to Blue Lagoon at least one week before hand!
Because we missed the Blue Lagoon, we had to think new ideas what to do before the drop off. We looked TripAdvisor and it said that there were some hot springs near to Grindavik: Gunnuhver hot springs and also a sea pool called Brimketill. Both of them were worth of visiting!
Finally we drove to Rent.is office in Keflavik. The drop off was easy and fast! It’s walking distance from the office to Keflavik’s airport.
Last words: if you haven’t visited Iceland, you should do it now.
Tips for travelling in Iceland and with a camper van:
- Take aux plug with you so you can listen to music in the van.
- You can pay almost everything with debit- or credit cards.
- Book Blue Lagoon tickets as early as possible .
- The roads are super safe to drive.
- Take a raincoat with you so you can walk under the waterfalls. And also a lot of warm clothes!
- October is a good season to visit Iceland: the weather is still nice, less tourists and you might see the Northern lights!
- Google the hot springs in Iceland so you can refresh yourself while camping!
- Buy Icelandic chocolate covered licorice to enjoy it on the road!
Enjoy the beauty of the nature!
Always loving Iceland,
Outi and Maija Polvinen, Finland
Happy Camping! #CamperStories
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