First of all, it’s impossible to describe the beauty of Iceland and the feeling of immersing yourself in the atmosphere. That’s why we recommend every nature loving adventurer to visit this country to experience this unforgettable island.
Travel date: 25th of March – 06th of April, 2018
Who we are: Couple, Lara and Doma
Route: Golden Circle, almost the whole Ringroad, North Coast, approx. 2200km
Van category: Happy 1 EX (experienced)
After we stocked up our food supplies in Reykjavik, we went straight to Þingvellir National Park. It’s very impressive that you can see the flow-structure on the rocky ground and the cracked plateau due to the geographical predestined location.
Enjoy the amazing view and don’t forget to look at the details around you! The beauty of nature is hidden in every inch.
GEYSIR AND STROKKUR
Even though the weather is very cold, the heat of the earth shows its power through a geyser in such an amazing way. That was a surreal experience. Every small hole on the ground with its bubbly noise and smoking breath was impressive. Strokkur erupted irregularly every 3-8 minutes and we got a glance at its ice blue color and its amazing power.
GULLFOSS AND KERID
The day we visited Gulfoss was very windy and it was fun to see the dance between the wind and the spray. Because of the spray, a lot of frost was built up on the close track near the waterfall and unfortunately it was too slippery and dangerous to walk on it. But safety comes first!
During the whole trip, we saw about five cars stuck in the snow beside the streets. Never underestimate the weather and know your limit.
Kerid has a lot of different colored lava stones in red, purple and orange. Because of the frozen water, Kerid showed us an interesting contrast. To estimate how gigantic Gullfoss and Kerid are, take a closer look at the tiny people in the background.
Half of the day we had to stay put because of sandstorms. The black sand in Vik came in waves with the wind, which made it nearly impossible to get our camera out without risking a scratch on the camera lens. Our next travel destination also had a sandstorm warning. After the storm had passed Vik, we drove away from the coast and waited until the sandstorm in the next town went by, too. We have never felt the force of nature like this before.
We wanted to see the northern lights but the clouds which were there all the time ruined our plans. But we also had to change our trip due to sandstorms, blizzards and winds with 146 km/h. So remember, the weather can sometimes make your plans for you.
Before we reached Vatnajökull, we stumbled upon a shocking fact. One kilometer in front of the glacier there is a marker which stands for the previous position of the Vatnajökull in 2013. The glacier is shrinking each year, so hurry and don’t miss this incredible view of hundreds-of-years-old blue glowing ice. Again, there was an incredible contrast to the black environment which is just indescribable.
Tons of ice flow from the Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon out to the ocean and some of it is stranding on the black coast, which is known as the Diamond Beach. We spent more than six hours at this location because every ice formation was unique and fascinating in its on way. You should be on the lookout for both the small details as well as the obvious beauty so that you can capture it with your favorite camera. We were lucky and saw one seal splashing in the lake.
PICTURES ALONG THE ROAD
It was like in a fairy tale. We would have not been surprised if we had seen a real troll or even a dragon coming around the next hill or mountain. The nature will inspire you everywhere.
The tourist attractions are very impressive, but a lot of our stops were non-tourist places and it was absolutely amazing and worth the detour!
Talking about detours, Hvitserkur is one of the most impressive cliffs we saw in Iceland. It’s hard to believe that nature created this abstract formation. We loved seeing the seagulls playing with the wind and flying circles around the area. With every leaving wave the other small birds at the beach searched for alluvial food. If you like Hvitserkur then you should visit the cliffs around Vopnafjöldur, too.
This gorgeous lake was not even an hour away from the Keflavik Airport. For the first time the wind stood still and with the combination of a shining sun our hearts melted away.
GRJOTAGJA AND DIMMUBORGIR
As big Game of Thrones fans you don’t want to miss these places! Beneath this very long cracked rocks lies the Grjotagja. Steam comes out of the rift and there are three entrances that lead to a very blue hot spring. You are not allowed to swim in Grjotagja because of falling rocks and the temperature. I put my finger in, to test the temperature and couldn’t even hold it in there for ten seconds. It’s better to go in the morning, so the sun will shine through the entrance and you’ll have the chance to get some great pictures.
Nature is a really creative architect Dimmuborgir is yet another evidence of that fact. The formation of the lava spikes is unbelievable and what’s even better is that you can follow hiking trails among these curious lava formations.
The air in Hverir was literally breathtaking (that’s a joke – yeah it smells very bad. There were small volcanoes erupting everywhere and the colors that the stone got from the steam and sulfur were fantastic.
DETTIFOSS AND SELFOSS
This picture shows only Selfoss, which is smaller than Dettifoss. We were a little bit too late for Dettifoss and the sun had already set behind the mountain. But we got a lucky perspective of Selfoss with a rainbow coming out, thanks to the spray and wind!
Another worthwhile detour on our trip was this cozy hotpot. It’s hidden beneath the Hotel Edda on the Route 589. On the left you can see a small waterfall in the background and in the middle of the picture was an old rebuilt viking house, which is now a changing room. We couldn’t believe we were the only people around and that this place was free of charge. But the experience was priceless!
Two weeks have been too short for every single sight. There were many other unknown beautiful places we went by, but we didn’t have enough time to see them all. We truly enjoyed our trip and smile every time we look through our photos. Our advice: take your time. The moments are worth it.
We will definitely come back to see whales, northern lights, puffins and maybe some trolls and dragons! 😉