Vesturland ViewsPublished: 22. August 2018
My girlfriend, Anya, and I have been together for over 3 years. We just graduated college together in May. We both love to travel; throughout the course of our relationship, some of our best memories have taken place whilst traversing foreign lands. Traveling together during college, we saw cities in France, Germany, and Canada. Not long after we graduated, we decided it was time to take another trip with what little money we had. Anya had been to Iceland once with her family about 9 years ago, so she had fond but faint memories of the island, but I had never been. Once the destination was set, it was time to plan logistics. Anya and her family had used Happy Campers for their trip when the company was just starting out, so that's who we booked our camper van with. It turned out to be a great decision! We only had 6 days total and 3 nights in the camper, but we made the most of it, as we drove just short of 600 miles and experienced much of what the Western Region of Iceland has to offer. Now, let me get to specifics.
We chose to start out in the capital. After a red eye flight from New Jersey, we got to Reykjavik early in the morning. We wandered around the city in a daze (I'm terrible at sleeping on flights) until our hotel room was ready for a long nap. We stayed at Alfred's Studios, a great hotel in an even better location. We were in Reykjavik for two nights and we saw some of the most famous sites: Hallgrímskirkja, Harpa, the Sun Voyager, the National Museum of Iceland, and of course, the Penis Museum. For food on the cheap, I'd recommend Braud & Co. for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch, and Íslenski Barinn for dinner. After Reykjavik, we headed to the Keflavik Airport to catch a shuttle to the Happy Campers headquarters.
After consulting with the very helpful staff about the best way to make use of our 3 days in the camper, we decided we would start by taking on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. After stopping in Borgarnes for lunch, we made it to our first stop: Stykkishólmur. The town is absolutely stunning. We walked around and took in the sights for a while, and then made our way to Sjávarpakkhúsið for dinner. This seafood restaurant on the pier isn't cheap, but it is definitely worth it. Finally, we made our way to the Stykkishólmur campsite to get some much needed rest.
After waking up, we set out to drive around the peninsula. The drive offered some beautiful, dramatic views of the Western coast and of the Snæfellsjökull Volcano, which is topped by a glacier. Along the way, we stopped at Saxhóll Crater and did a hike along the Lóndrangar basalt cliffs; I would definitely recommend seeing both. We took the whole day to make it around the peninsula, after which we drove to the Akranes campsite to sleep.
We chose to take on the most touristy destinations last. The Golden Circle may be touristy, but the sites were breathtaking and absolutely worth seeing. We spent about an hour at Þingvellir National Park and then headed to Geysir Hot Spring Area to see some cool eruptions. We then ventured to the Secret Lagoon (whoops, the secret is out) which I highly recommend as an alternative to the Blue Lagoon if you don't feel like spending too much. Finally, we visited Kerið Crater, which may have been my favorite site. It's the only one you have to pay to see (400 kr), but after seeing it, I now understand why. We stayed overnight at a campsite in Reykjamörk, a convenient drive to the Happy Campers headquarters.
What a trip.. I feel very lucky as I sit in Keflavik Airport and reflect on the short but sweet journey I just completed with my lovely girlfriend. We really only saw 1 of the traditional 8 regions of Iceland, but what we did see was spectacular. The camper van we rented with Happy Campers allowed us to make the most of our time and made our trip very comfortable. Thank you to Anya, thank you to those who helped us along the way, and thank you to Happy Campers.