When your round trip turns into a south-west trip
As my boyfriend (Josh) and I (Lina) started our trip in Reykjavik we were quite ambitious to see as much of Iceland as it is possible to do in 7 days. For us this meant, to go all around this beautiful island.
After we picked the camper van up, we started our trip very „un-Icelandic“, we went to IKEA. We didn’t want to buy something and just eat some Köttbullar, but of course I ended up with a candle and a bag at the end. But afterwards the journey could start!
We first headed to Snæfellsnes, a quite unique half island. On our way we were very euphoric and stopped at every hill and even the smallest waterfalls.
For our first night we decided to park at Arnarstapi at a parking lot where it was allowed to stay over night with your camper. It is a very nice spot, because there is a nice walking trail to Hellnar, where we got our first impressions of the Icelandic nature. Harsh cliffs, a wild sea and just stunning surroundings.
As I woke up the next morning I even saw a beautiful sunset out of the window, but I decided to snuggle a little longer in our cozy camper and enjoy sleeping in, because we are on a holiday!
Unfortunately the sun just wanted to wake me up on the morning, the rest of the day it was just stormy, rainy and cold. So therefore the best idea was to warm up in a hot tub. The good thing is in every small village there is a swimming pool with nice hot tubs. We stopped at Stykkishólmur and went swimming. This village is the biggest on the half island and it has a pretty Harbor from where you can see the Westfjords and all the tiny islands in front of it. If you want you could also take a ferry to one of them.
In the evening we decided to drive some further towards the Westfjords and for this night we wanted to stay at a campsite. We picked one at Búðardalur, there we had running hot water and showers. It felt like a really luxurious gift for us.
The way to the Westfjords was a really exhausting one and we almost stayed all day in the camper driving, the roads are mostly gravel roads and you have to drive every fjord up and down. But the nature is an experience which makes it worth it. It was remarkable that there were almost no people, you drove long ways without seeing other cars or villages. Sometimes there where even some abandoned ships or planes, interesting but also scary.
We wanted to head to the western tip of the fjords, but the roads sadly were closed. So our over night stay turned out to be in Patreksfjörður. And after the long and exhausting drive, this campsite was a pleasure for us. We had a fully equipped kitchen, toilets and showers. And the best part was, we had it all for our self, there were no other guests.
But on this evening we also decided to turn our round trip to a south west trip. For us it was more important to be outside and really enjoy nature, rather to drive a long time and just stay in the car.
So the next day we took our time to see some places of the Westfjords and stop again at every small waterfall and nice hill. But we also stopped at a very big and impressive waterfall, Dynjandi. You have to take a small hike up to it and on its way up there are even more small waterfalls. Afterwards we had lunch in view of the waterfall.
It was a bit cold to sit there and eat, but we were looking forward to go into a natural hot pot. The hot pot was near by Flókalundur. It was under a rock just next to the sea. We were lucky, we were the only ones there and the sun came out. This was a big highlight on the tour, and we would recommend going there.
Soon it got dark and we headed south. We drove through the darkness to Hveragerði. Sadly it started to rain and we weren’t able to cook. But we sat down in the camper, drank some wine and just ate bread while the rain was pattering on the car. Very romantic.
In Hveragerði we went for a long walk up to the geothermal fields. We enjoyed staying outside for the whole day, even though we could smell the geothermal fields and weren’t the only ones anymore as we were on the Westfjords. The reward of this long walk was a hot river were we went bathing. It is really worth it to walk all the way up, you get a nice view from up there and the river is relaxing.
For the night we drove to Vík to a campsite. Because at the next day we wanted to see the black beach. As we were at the black beach we were again the only ones there, but when we drove to the more popular Reynisfjara beach which was just around the corner, all of the sudden it was crowded.But we could see why, those big cliffs and caves where incomparable.
We went further on the so called „perfect circle“. The next stop was the glacier tongue of the Sólheimajökull glacier. You were able to walk very close by to the glacier, for us this was totally enough. But it is also possible to book a glacier walk right there and go onto the glacier.
Our last „circle“ stop was at the Skógafoss. We missed Seljalandsfoss, which is a waterfall where you can walk behind the water.
Instead we drove to a natural hot pot. This one was near by Flúðir and when we arrived it was already dark. But we brought a candle with us and enjoyed the view at the stars. Later on we even saw some bright Northern lights. It was the perfect ending for the day.
On our last day we were doing the Golden Circle. For us it was not as impressive as the rest of our tour and it was crowded. We talked to other people and would now recommend to go there in the evening or maybe on a weekday, we were on a Sunday noon. But anyways it was a nice ending for our trip.
In the evening we went out for dinner for the first time. We went to a restaurant in Keflavik and had some fresh and delicious fish.
As a conclusion we can say that we think there is no comfortable, easier and cheaper way to get around iceland, than with a camper. You can be super flexible and can sleep where you want (and where it is allowed of course). We never had to spare on good food, the equipment which is provided is perfect to cook some good meals. But we would definitely recommend to go to campsites, often you get a place to cook inside and to wash your dirty dishes.
We would also recommend to go to many hot tubs and swimming pools. There you can warm yourself up, especially when it gets cold outside.
Read more: The Classic Iceland adventure
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