I hate Iceland – When you are the only ginger in Iceland
I definitely do not hate Iceland, we were lucky enough to get through a 6 day trip without any volcanic eruptions or earthquakes which was a bonus! However we did arrive as Storm Barbara hit HARD. Thanks Barbara for a wet and windy drive down the south coast. You know it’s not good news when the car hire lady say “tomorrow is not a good day to drive”…but we went anyway.
What to pack –
– warm, weather proof shoes e.g. Hiking or snow boats
– warm jacket (wind/waterproof and lined)
– layers ( the weather changes a lot)
– lots of socks
– a nice top or 2 for going out in Reykjavik
– a small backpack for walks
– a road map of Iceland or guidebook with a map if you are self driving
– a sat nav or get a package in your phone with Internet so you can use this, seriously useful when on the go
– FOOD (Seriously buy snack and bring them, we bought 4 things at the local shop to snack on for £27…Everything in Iceland is expensive FYI)
we were recommended to bring food as snacks are really expensive, we eat ALOT so we brought:
– porridge pots
– cheese (pre sliced pack)
– fruit (apples and oranges are best)
– mixed nuts
– duty free gin – Iceland is outside the EU so you can go wild in duty free,
What you should know –
1. its expensive
2. People are really friendly and speak amazing English!
3. Icelandic place names are seriously difficult to pronounce
4. All cold water from the tap is drinkable, some of the best in the world, similar taste to Scottish tap water, bring a bottle and refill, save yourself the cost
The route we took:
There are loads of options to take the Ring Road and the Golden Circle, we chose to rent a car (£210 for the 6 days, plus £110 of diesel for the trip)
Day 1 – arrived late so picked up the car and drove from Keflavik to Reykjavik, checked in to the Brim Hotel, had a wander around in the rain then headed to bed.
Day 2 – drove round the first leg of the Ring Road towards Skaftafell National Park, we stayed at Foss Hotel Nupar for 2 nights – simple but nicest place we stayed, great breakfast 🙂
Black Beach at Vik
On the way we stopped at Hveragerio, Selfoss, along with a million different waterfalls (they are stunning but you get pretty waterfalled out by the end of the trip) – Seljandsfoss was a favourite of mine.
We also stopped off at Dyrholaey and Vik – there is a beautiful rock formation, black sand beach and a lovely lighthouse here.
You will also drive through huge areas of nothing called “Sandur”…basically a desert. You need good music.
Day 3 – we went hiking at Skaftafell, walked to the Svartifoss (a big waterfall with an impressive rock formation) as well as a big walk up to the glacier. This is a great place if you want to go ice climbing or glacier exploring – you NEED a guide though, seriously dangerous without!
First glimpse of the Glacier
Ice from the Glacier
The lake at the Glacier
Cheesy tourists in our Fiat 500 – LARGE
We also drove round the coast to Jokulsarlon – impressive but also slightly sad – you see huge icebergs and pieces of glacier floating down into the Atlantic…pretty much watching global warming happening, incredibly beautiful nonetheless. We also spotted some seals
Day 4 – golden circle
After being so remote and peaceful by the glacier it was a bit of a shock to the system getting to Gullfoss (Icelands biggest/most famous waterfall) and being surrounded by aggressive tourists trying to get the best selfie at the waterfall. Worth the trip, but we warned, it’s not a peaceful place. We also visited Geysir and it started snowing as the geysers were going off.
Tectonic plates! WAH!
Next on the trip was Pingvellir, the place of Iceland and Europes first democratic parliament. As well as where the Eurasian and American continental plates meet and are drifting apart at a rate of 1-8mm a year! Very interesting place!
We then headed back to Reykjavik and stayed at Bus Hostel – this place was fine, very basic, overpriced in my opinion but we had a bed and a shared bathroom so all we needed. We then went on the hunt for the famous Fish and Chips van…and failed so got pizza instead!
– we then headed up the north west coast, around the Hvalfjordur, you can either go through a tunnel for 1000kr (5.6km) or the 80km scenic route, we took the long route on the way to Akranes and Borgarnes then the short route on the way back. Nothing specific to report but would recommend the scenic route if you have the time, it’s beautiful! We then went to Icelandic Fish and Chips down by the harbour for tea in Reykjavik – amazing. Have a look around the volcano house after your food. We then went into the Harpa – the Concert Hall – very impressive glass structure then wondered round the streets on the way home
A way to a man’s heart…FOOD!!!
Day 6 – we had a 9pm flight so had a relaxing final day, late check in at the Foss Hotel Lind so had a long breakfast, lie in then drove out to Laugavatn to the spa and spent the day soaking our bodies and minds. Beautiful place.
had the lake to ourselves
The blue Lagoon
Iceland we will be back!