Well there’s nothing like a good road trip! Especially when driving past roaring waterfalls, active volcanoes, crushing icebergs, gigantic glaciers and a landscape that seems so vast and unreal! In August I had the chance to do exactly this – I’ve spent 4 weeks in Iceland and it completely blew my mind!
I ran into Leah at the airport and we decided to explore the South Coast together for a week – but before we went to Downtown Reykjavik to check out the pub scene. Suffering from a heavy jet lag we had some booze with the locals and Reykjavik turned out to be a real party city compared to its size!
We hired a car the next day and started to drive along the south coast – Iceland’s most scenic route! You will drive along glacial lagoons, thousands of waterfalls, volcanoes and huge fields ash covered with unreal green moss. Our first stop was Seljalandsfoss – one of Iceland’s best known waterfalls. It drops over 60 m over the cliffs of the former coastline. And the best thing: it’s possible to walk behind the waterfall and get completely soaked – worth it!
Often overlooked and located inside a cave there’s Gljúfrabúi – right next to the famous Seljalandsfoss! You need to get your feet wet and walk through a small canyon in order to get there – but again, it’s worth it!
We continued along route 1 – the ring road – next destination Skógafoss. This waterfall is one of the biggest in the country. With a width of 25 m and a drop of 60 m there is a huge spray that the waterfall produces and where we – of course – walked into.
Next we drove direction Skaftafell national Park where we planed to spend the night. The landscape that flies is simply stunning. Mountains, glaciers, green moss, black beaches and much more – it’s breathtaking! We drove into an everlasting sunset and came across this beautiful moss field. The light was perfect and we couldn’t resist to follow a path along it.
While driving along the South Coast you’re constantly surrounded by massive glaciers. Every glacier has it’s own lagoon and by far the largest of them is Jökulsárlón. Fed by large blocks of ice breaking off from Breiðamerkurjökull this lagoon marks Iceland’s deepest lake with 250 meters. I decided to camp on the shorelines to hear the constant breaking of ice.
The next days we’ve spent driving to Höfn and back to Reykjavik. Near the small township of Vik we found a crashed Navy Plane in the middle of a black sand beach!
Back in Reykjavik the original plan began! I’ve teamed up with Maike and together we wanted to drive all around the Island on Highway 1.
First stop we went towards Snæfellsnes Peninsula. On the way we hiked into a canyon which ends on a waterfall. And I probably had my most exciting lunch break spot so far – right on an edge!
The night we spent close to Kirkjufell – a famous photo spot in Iceland. The weather looked promising the night we went to bed somewhere on a saddle of mountain close by! The next morning we were greeted by sun and headed to the waterfall.
Many people skip the West Fjords as it’s a detour of many hundred km from the normal road. It’s exhausting to drive as you go into many fjords, over lots of mountains passes and all on gravel / dirt roads! But anyway, it’s spectacular!
On the North Coast we found some pretty nice campsites along the mountains but after seeing the West Fjords and the South Coast, the Northern part couldn’t compete! It got better when we came to the East Coast and it’s stunning mountain range.
There can’t be an Iceland trip without trying one of the many natural hot pools! This one was fed by the boiling water from a nearby volcano and thanks to the heavy rain we had this place entirely to ourselves!