In love with Iceland
(if you love this place you just have to go back and enjoy every minute there)
If someone asks us what is our most popular destination we have already visited, without hesitation we would say Iceland. Our first trip together to the island of ice and fire was this January. It was wonderful winter time which we mostly spent on Snæfellsnes Peninsula. During this trip we had regular car and slept in hostels or guesthouses – it was really nice and comfy, but we were pushed by our accommodations to follow the exact way we planned before our trip.
This April we found low-cost flying tickets for 5 days in May, so we just looked at each other, smiled and bought the tickets in a minute. After that we had just 2 weeks for planning everything and made decision about the accommodation and car which we could rent. The possibility of renting a camper van was on top of our list, because of the fact you have “all in one” – place for sleeping, car and kitchen even those! According to the reviews we chose Rent.is unhesitatingly. And it was really good choice!
After landing in Iceland we bought couple of beers at the airport (the cheapest way of buying alcohol in Iceland). Few minutes later we were picked up by Rent.is agent because the rental company office is about 10 minutes from the airport. We took over our Nissan NV200 camper and our adventure could begin! The first stop of our trip was in Bónus shop to buy groceries and other supplements for tour days. After that we went to the road trip to the Southern region which started with our visit of the Keldur Turf house. Unfortunately it was closed because of the off season, but the church nearby was pretty too (and Icelandic sheep everywhere…).
Next stop was Seljalandfoss which is absolutely amazing cause you can go all around the foss (waterfall) – be prepared for getting completely wet, but you can’t miss it! There was also time for our first Skýr, which is one our favorites in Iceland. The weather was pretty rainy and windy so we decided to go to the our first hotpot Seljavallalaug (the oldest mountainside man-made pool). Before we came there the weather completely changed to the beautiful sunny evening and we had there an hour for relaxing and thinking where we going to spent our first night in our mobile home. We wanted to be a little bit wildly, without any other people around us, but also we didn’t want to break the law or disturb the residents, didn’t want to destroy nature anyway, so we care a lot about the place to stay and follow up cleaning to be sure nothing left there behind us.
Our first night at camper van was warm and calm (be sure you use the curtains in car properly – there is almost whole night sunlight during the day) and we woke up to sunny day which we used for preparing food for the whole day – we had pasta with Bolognese sauce (bought in Bónus), sandwiches with our favorite tuna salad. Also we had wonderful breakfast with mountains sight. We wanted to use good weather as much as we could so we were going straight to the “secret” waterfall which is next to the popular Skógafoss.
The way from the car-park took us about 15 minutes and the view of that waterfall was breathtaking. Seriously one of the most beautiful thing in Iceland 🙂 Because of the quick change of the weather (yeah as usual in Iceland from sun to rain) we decided to drive to Vík (it should took us few hours, so the raining was fine for spending longer time in the car. During our way we wanted to take a small track to see the abandoned wrecked plane on Sólheimasandur, but the rain was so heavy that we decided to continue our drive and took the next stop on the Reynisfjara Black sand beach where we were amazed by the scenery of enormous waves which hit the cliffs and nearby beaches so much that we could not believe someone want to go near it just for the best shot or whatever. Don´t break the law! Don’t step out of the marked line! Our trip continued to the Reynisfjara black sand beach which is well known for its enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves and stunning panoramas with Reynisdrangar sea stacks.
Hugely disappointing was the closed area of Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon – people please be nice to the nature and do not cross the marked lines. I know, all of us want to have the best view, the best pictures etc., but is really necessary to destroy the nature?
Help Iceland’s nature: The Icelandic Pledge
We spoke with ranger who look after the Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon entrance and stopping tourists which do not respect the law and despite the entry ban, which is already in the parking lot, continue on the way to the canyon, she said that huge amount of tourist which came last year to this area did not follow the instructions and restricts and destroyed vegetation which will need next 60 years for recovery – sixty years!!!! It is really sad, don’t you think?
Where we going to sleep our second night in Iceland? We continued our drive to the glacier lagoon area – still accompanied by rain and decided to parked our car at the end of path with small parking lot nearby the Fjallsarlón glacial lagoon (there wasn’t any restriction or something else). Because it was only around 8PM we drove another 15 km to the Diamond beach and it was our best decision that evening.
The rain stopped and the beach was absolutely stunning! Large pieces of glacier was everywhere and sunset which started to play with all colors made our visit even more romantic and unforgettable. Nearby the Diamond beach is the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon where you can also see floating icebergs in the glacier blue water and also seals! Real wild seals which trying to catch the birds 🙂
When we came back to our parking spot sun was almost gone, but there was still sunlight enough to went for short walk and drank our favorite Einstök White Ale beer with wonderful view to the glacier.. When we came back to the camper we sat outside of the car and watched the glacier silently – that was one of the most powerful moment in our lives.
Third morning in Iceland we started with breakfast in our camper – there was enough space for sitting, preparing and eating properly 🙂 after that we went back to the Diamond beach and took a short walk around the lagoon. But it was rainy…
Next stop was Svartifoss – a waterfall in Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. We planned to go for 20 km track around the glacier and finished the trip at this waterfall but cause of the bad rainy and windy weather most of the tracks was closed, so we had to go straight to the waterfall and back.
We had more time for visiting the tourist center and for planning of our next stop which should included Reykjadalur – hot springs at the end of the day. What was the shock when we found out that it was also closed because of zero respect for the nature by the thousands tourists who destroy part of the path there – seriously?! This made me cry… One more time, please be more eco-friendly and sensitive to the nature and respect the restrictions! Instead of Reykjadalur we found another hot springs – Hrunalaug nearby the Golden Circle which we wanted to see during our last day. Alright we had the aim of our way but long way to went so we stop at Skógafoss again (during our last visit there was filmed some Chinese TV show and we couldn’t take any nice pictures). We were lucky at this time – no one was there.
Eyjafjallajökull the volcano you can’t miss. From the main motorway is perfect view to the farm which was covered completely by the volcano dust. The visitor center is situated nearby.
On our way to the Hrunalaug we stopped for Pylsur – the best food you can buy on petrol station and it’s really delicious! We chose the the one without bacon, just covered with fried and fresh onion and local sauce.
After few hours we were parking nearby the Hrunalaug (we found parking space for overnight staying in the middle of nowhere and it was close to the hot pot too – miracle 🙂 ) Ten minutes later we were having a bath in hot pot and because we found out we know each other exactly one year that time we opened the Ölvisholt Lava beer for celebrate and enjoy the moment.
Last whole day of our journey we started with another bath in hot pot and after that we planned to visit the Golden Circle. During the way to the Gullfoss we had to stop because of the herd of Iceland’s horses in the pens next to the road – this animal is just perfect! We took some pictures, pet them and drove again.
Weather was absolutely wonderful so the scenery of Gullfoss was priceless. The waterfall is so enormous that we just stood there and watched as hectoliters of water flowed to the canyon of river Hvítá. Next point on the map was Geysir Area. The cool thing on whole Geysir area is that the famous Geysir do not shoot no water anymore – is the Strokkur which do all the show. 🙂 But don’t be sad, it is safer for the visitors and you can see the shooting of water almost every few minutes (do not forget to follow the wind direction – believe or not, the hot water falls to the ground where the wind blows 😉 ).
The last part of Golden Circle ist Þingvellir also known as Þingvellir national park, where you can walk “between two continents”, find the Alþingi (Althing), the site where the national parliament of Iceland was established in 930 AD. We took short walk through the park to visited the Öxarárfoss and on our way back to the parking lot we went around Þingvallakirkja (Þingvellir church).
On our way to Reykjavik we drove on road 36 and what a surprise?! In one minute there was rain, hail, snow and sun – it was nearby crossroad with road 48 where we were stuck for four hours in snowstorm this January – big thank again to Icelandic rescue team for helping us! This time we drove safely to Reykjavík where we took some sightseeing – don’t forget to visit Harpa concert hall, Hallgrímskirkja – church, the Sun voyager – Sólfar and one of the best ice cream we have ever eaten – Joylato. It’s suitable for vegan and really delicious.
Because our flight back to Prague was about 9 AM we wanted to spent our last night nearby the Keflavik airport. We found beautiful spot for camping in Gardskagi Campsite – it wasn’t officially opened yet, but there was really nice view to Gardskagavíti lighthouse and for our last night was this place just perfect!
Returning of the camper was quick and easy and the guy who took the car from us gave us a lift to the airport so we have been there in time we needed.
We spent wonderful springtime in Iceland. Thanks to the Rent.is and especially to our little camper van which took us everywhere we wanted! Next time we want to spent more time in Iceland and it will be with camper van again for sure! 🙂
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