IcelandSouth - West Iceland

Iceland

Hopefully this blog post isn’t super long.
I’ll try to be as informative as possible.
I can’t really do justice with descriptions so I hope the photos inspire you to go 🙂

I have a lot of photos, so please ask me if you’re interested in seeing them all.
I’ll write my first section, add photos, and then if you’re interested, all the information about my trip is below.

 A few things to be mindful of:

We went during the end of March so everything in the post reflect this time frame.
Northern Lights were brightest around 10:15pm – 11pm – be prepared at 10pm to see them for about an hour at their full capacity.
It is windy and cold; but windier than cold – boots, good wool socks, layers + layers.
It’s definitely a country run on tourism so be prepared to spend money on food (most surprising), lodging, etc.
Get a car rental; don’t take a tour – go on your own time and explore; an SUV might be a better idea?
Good luck with names of places; I just gave up trying to pronounce things probably a ¼ of the way through.

My first observation was that everything looks IKEA based.
The airport, the houses, furniture – Wes Anderson on everything.

I took WOW airlines – with some gripes along the trip (you can ask me about this), but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s like Spirit Airlines 🙁

Day 1

Reykjavik (I’ll get back to this on the last day)

Day 2

Seljalandsfoss – You will get soaked, so be prepared – but I loved it; there are trails to other spots so take the extra 30 mins or hour to walk.

Skógafoss  – 5 minutes prior to arriving, it was completely overcast. Somehow the sun poured through and we got an epic double rainbow for a good duration.
There is a hotel of some sort next door so if you want to avoid all crowds; stay there and do an early morning?

Skógar Museum – folk museum adjacent to the waterfall showing how people lived in past centuries in Iceland.

Vík – We stayed in this little town and there wasn’t much we could do.
Everything closed early; I went for a late night walk and found absolutely nothing lol.
There is a nice view from the church though.

Black Sands Beach / Reynisfjara Beach / Hálsanefshellir (So many names for this place) –
We didn’t make our way here, but I have seen some amazing wedding photos here; so maybe next time.

Day 3

Skaftafell National Park – There is a lot here, but we weren’t able to hit up all the locations.
We did the short hike to Skaftafellsjökull.
Not exactly sure, but I believe a part of Interstellar (Svínafellsjökull) was filmed here.

Ice Caves were closed and we didn’t make our way to Svartifoss (Black Fall).

Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon – we spent a pretty good amount of time here and were able to peacefully sit and listen to some calming music and enjoy the views / reflections.
I want to say this may have been the best place to go to.

Fjaðrárgljúfur Gorge – Did not make it there, but we literally stayed at a location next to it (Hunkubakkar).
Total fail on my part and total fail since I couldn’t wake up for sunrise the next day.

We were able to see a little bit of Northern Lights there, but what was more surprising was the red moon that rose from the opposite direction.

The day after we were right next to some mossy areas and did a short detour of the area 🙂

Day 4

Geysir – I was surprised how close you could get to the Geysir.
Places like Yellowstone will have you around 100 feet from these types of places lol – oh liabilities.

Gullfoss Waterfall – I think by this time, we had already seen a lot of waterfalls and it was windy so we decided to make a short trip of it.
Not shown in my photos (just ask me if you want to see it)

I think we were preparing to see the Aurora that night but I miscalculated the time.

Day 5

We moved toward West Iceland (no photos shown on this blog).
Take the road with the toll; it’ll take longer, but you it should be the safest route.

Thingvellir (apparently you can scuba dive here???)
Hraunfossar
Deildartunguhver (never went here)
Reykholt (never made it here)

Borgarnes – to stay the night and we saw the most amazing, national geographic style – planet earth – like Aurora Borealis.
I finally planned this one correctly and we got super lucky with the clear coverage.

Use this site for cloud coverage + chance of seeing the northern lights – anything above a ‘3’ might be a solid one.
Take a moment to study it and figure it out. Good luck trying to avoid any moon light too!

Day 6

We planned on going to Snaefellsnes and Snaefellsjökull, but decided to take it slow.
We ended up going to only Stykkishólmur where a part of Walter Mitty was filmed (the café scene where he meets the drunk pilot).

We walked around the town to find some interesting museums and light house area.

We made our way back toward Borganes and had to chase the Northern Lights this time around.

Day 7

We slowly made our way back to Reykjavik that day.

We stopped by the Blue Lagoon; which was alright.
Not absolutely necessary, but if you’re coming off a long flight, this would probably be really refreshing.
It was busy, so be prepared lol.

Our only big plan was to attend a Jazz concert at the Harpa Concert Hall – drink some wine – and enjoy our last moments there.
Glad you found that Yumi~!

Overall, we stayed at some great places and were very happy with our visit!
Everyone was friendly and it was perfect.
Weather was beyond perfect.
We had 1 hiccup, but that was due to our GPS trying to give us the fastest route through some crazy mountain route hahaha.

A few places that I definitely want to visit, weren’t mentioned above, and didn’t have the chance to do so were:
Seljavallalaug, Hornstrandir, Kirkjufell