I came, I saw, I conquered North Iceland with a Happy Camper…Finally! One of my oldest friends, Sarah, visited me for the first time since moving to Iceland and it was the perfect moment to plan a trip to the North. It’s somewhere I’ve been dreaming of travelling to since I moved to Reykjavík, so I booked a Happy Camper and off we went for 4 days into the world unknown. We were lucky to have great weather through the entirety of our road trip and experienced so much in so little time.
A couple of tips: Be prepared to drive and make a lot more stops to sightsee than intended! I drove a total of 1500km and couldn’t choose just one thing to share, so here’s my highlight reel of our special road trip in North Iceland.
Our first point in the north was Þingeyrakirkja, a church on the North West side of the island. I couldn’t resist adding this to my must-see list after a Happy Camper told me her grandparents wed right here. And you can say Sarah and myself weren’t disappointed with either the church or the views.
We took a dip in one of the more spectacular pools of Iceland on our first night. Hofsós pool is unique in that it sits high above the ocean, making an infinity pool advantageous to take in the stunning mountains and background. A highly recommend destination to chill out and let the time pass.
If this isn’t an inspiring view to wake up to, I don’t know what is! Sarah and I chose Húsabakki as our base camp for the evening and didn’t regret it the moment we set up camp. The weather was absolutely incredible that morning, so we took our time getting ready, using the clean facilities and enjoying the scenery.
Before our next stop, we needed to fuel up with a nice lunch. After hearing recommendations of Akureyri Fish & Chips, I had to visit and see the hype. The interior is homey and chic, while the food was exactly what it needed to be: lots of fish and lots of chips. Yum!
Horseback riding is one of the more popular activities to participate in Iceland. Up until now, I never got the chance, but thanks to Pólar Hestar I can cross “tolting with an Icelandic horse” off my bucket-list. Can you tell we had a sunny day, too?
Goðafoss, Goðafoss, Goðafoss. This waterfall has now gained top spot for my favourite waterfall in Iceland! The translation is “waterfall of gods” and as you can tell, I don’t quite fit in with its splendour (can you see little ol’ me?).
If I were to highlight only one of these incredible sights and experiences, I’d have to say, hands down, our whale watching tour with Gentle Giants far exceeded my expectations. Sarah and I just couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw so many, and for the first time nonetheless!
According to Norse mythology, Odin’s horse, Sleipnir, ran across Iceland and left an imprint of his horseshoe on the ground, only seen fully from the sky. Sometimes you have a moment where you feel like, “dang, I feel so small in this world”. Well, this was one of them, smack dab in the center of Ásbyrgi canyon (45 minute hike).
Hafragilsfoss waterfall was also breathtaking. Located in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, its one of three waterfalls which run along the canyon beside Selfoss, and Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe.
Myvatn Nature Baths was our final activity for the trip and it was well deserved after all the driving and exploring Sarah and I managed to accomplish. The experience was rejuvenating and perfect for a midsummer’s evening.
Final base camp: Lónsa only a couple of kilometers from downtown Akureyri. It was a bit of a drive to get there, but once again the landscape impressed. We parked up beside a stream and a whole lot of purple lupines!
Akureyri was a quaint town to walk around in our last hours roadtrippin’ in the North of Iceland. We saw the church, old school house, and wandered through Akureyri Botanical Gardens to take in the fresh air and scents.
And finally, my road trip couldn’t be complete without sampling some ice cream! Although icier than hoped for, this soft serve cone was a delicious treat covered in dark chocolate dip and coated with peanuts.
Overall, this road trip with Sarah had adventurous moments, fun times, and certainly added value to our list of memories over the years. Most tourists I know prefer to visit the south. However, the north is highly underrated/underestimated with so much to offer as I quickly learned. It was such an incredible road trip and I hope to inspire even just one person to consider heading in that direction. If you have any tips to share with our readers, please offer your thoughts in the comments below and as always, I’d love to answer your questions!
As always, Happy Travels!
To read more about Lea’s Happy Camper Adventures in Iceland check out these articles:10 Free Things to Do & See in ReykjavíkReykjavik Food WalkSouth Iceland’s Slakki Petting Farm Experience