A tale of a Brit and American reuniting at the edge of their continents.
Top tips from our trip:
- Get a camper van! The freedom and flexibility to explore Iceland was amazing and really made our trip.
- Get away from the crowds! So this one might be more down to personal preference but some of our highlights were in the areas away from the main sights and hoards of coaches.
- Keep your eyes peeled! The scenery whilst on the road is just breathtaking and it’s definitely not the time to sleep. There is also plenty of wildlife to keep an eye out for.
- Shop at Bónus! The supermarket became our best friend in stocking up and making some great meals. The van is complete with all the equipment you need to rustle up something great.
- Go to the hot pots! We missed some beautiful spots before realizing what a perfect end to a day on the road they are. They vary hugely from secluded and almost impossible to find to local swimming pool hang outs. Also a great opportunity to shower for free if the campsites charge you for the pleasure.
- Keep an eye on the sat nav! There were a few occasions where you actually have to take turns to stay on the main ring road. We often missed them and ended up going in completely wrong direction. All part of the adventure if you don’t have a super strict itinerary.
Day 1: Reykjavik to Búðardalur
We spent our first day in the Camper van driving north from Reykjavik to the Snæfellsnes peninsula, an area of the most varied landscapes to blow our socks off. It adds on to the miles but is definitely worth it. We caught the sunset at Lónsdrangar Basalt Cliffs and then got to Búðardalur Camping Ground to spend our first night…
Day 2: Búðardalur to Akureyri
We started the day hanging out with some Icelandic horses and found a spot for lunch with a pretty incredible view over the mountains. We ventured off the ring road again (due to a combination of poor navigation and having no fixed plan) and headed up to the beautiful fishing town of Hofsós. We drove past the most incredible looking hot pot but decided to give it a miss to avoid driving in the dark! Probably our biggest regret of the trip so do go check it out if you go up there! We spent our second night in Akureyri…
Day 3: Akureyri to Mývatn
On our way to Goðafoss Falls we had a quick stop at Lake Ljósavatn; the most incredible reflections in the still waters, a stark contrast to the amazing force and spray of the waterfall. From here we drove to the unworldly pseudo-craters at Skútustaðagigar of Lake Mývatn. Next on to the Dimmuborgir lava fields and the Grjótagjá cave (one for the Game of Thrones fans). In the evening we went to the Mývatn Nature Baths and enjoyed a few glasses of wine whilst the sun went down…
Day 4: Mývatn to Djúpivogur
Day 4 started with a trip to the geothermal springs of Námaskarð; a phenomenal landscape with pungent sulfur smells that become so familiar on a trip in Iceland. We then ventured on to Dettifoss but found the road to be closed so unfortunately had to skip it. We spotted another little secluded waterfall on the roadside so had a little walk up to it to get our waterfall fix for the day. We eventually reached the town of Egilsstaðir where we watched the sunset over the water. But our final destination was Djúpivogur, so after another nighttime drive, we rewarded ourselves with a hotpot, this one rather hidden from the main road…
Day 5: Djúpivogur to Skaftafell
We decided to get up early to catch the sunrise at the hotpot but the winds were so strong we didn’t brave getting in again and stayed securely in the van. The drive towards Skaftafell had some breathtaking views across the vast glacier filled landscape. We also spotted reindeer on our drive so stopped the van and settled in the grass to watch them graze for a while. Next we reached Jökulsárlón and Diamond Beach and after having troubles booking an afternoon glacier tour we stayed to watch the sun set over the icebergs and watch the seals swimming in the distance. We arrived at the campsite at Skaftafell after dark and made a camp fire to enjoy smores after dinner…
Day 6: Skaftafell to Skógafoss
We woke up to some bad weather and our back up plan to go on a glacier tour bright and early was quite literally washed away. After a lazy morning we drove towards Skógafoss with a stop at Reynisfjara beach where we endured high winds, huge crashing waves and a hail storm. We opted for another stop at the local baths before arriving at the campsite at Skógafoss after dark. With only the sound of the powerful waterfall to guide us, we set up camp in anticipation of the stunning view that we would wake up to…
Day 7: Skógafoss to Skjól
We weren’t disappointed when we woke and rushed to beat the crowds trickling out from the coaches to reach the foot of the waterfall. After breakfast we braved the steps leading to the top. Back on the road, we drove to Seljavallalaug, a beautiful spot with a hidden hotpot up towards a collection of waterfalls. Although we didn’t swim as the water wasn’t hot, it was a definite highlight away from the hoards of tourists we had started to encounter in previous days as we neared Reykjavik. From here we went to Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall which you can walk behind, albeit whilst getting very wet. We then stopped off at Kerið Crater before making our way to the campsite in Skjól…
Day 8: Skjól to Reykjavik
We started the day with, you guessed it, a waterfall. But Gullfoss was still as breathtaking as you could imagine and winter was starting to set in and the water starting to freeze. We had another stop to feed some horses and then moved on to Strokkur geothermal fields to watch the phenomenal geysers erupt. We drove through Þingvellir National Park and enjoyed our lunch overlooking the lake. After a little walk to enjoy the views we were ready to make our way back to Reykjavik…
Read more: When dreams coincide
Happy Camping! #CamperStories
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