I came back from Iceland on Monday and I still have the blues. I love cold places, I love snow and ice, I love mountains and those nights so dark you can see the milky way. And in Iceland I saw all of this. Wanna know how I travelled? Here’s my story!
We followed an itinerary that we designed using my maps, which can be found here. In this map you can find all the names of the places visited and the campsites in which we stayed. We travelled for 10 days, and the most we drove in a day was 3 hours.
We decided to hire a campervan, which, really, was a van with a bed on its back and kitchen supplies. No heating, but that we solved with a duvet, sleeping bags and warm pajamas. No toilet, but that can be found in camping sites. The van costed 380£ in total for 10 days, what a bargain. Not a wonder the company is called cheap campervans.
In Iceland it is forbidden to camp in the wild, so we had to stop at camping sites, which had kitchen and laundry facilities, toilets and showers. Careful on where you want to stop as some do no have hot water or an indor kitchen area. I recommend to look in advance. We only needed to book to camping sites, the rest accepted travellers on the day they arrived. The prices vary from 12£ to 16£ per night per person.
A couple of nights, though, my boyfriend, who was driving, felt very tired as sleeping in the van can sometimes be very uncomfortable, especially because it is cold. Not to mention the shock when you have to get out in the cold to go to the toilet! So we booked a couple of hostels on the way to make sure we had at least two nights of good sleep.
Everything in Iceland is expensive, even food. What I recommend is to buy food at the beginning of the trip to cook it on the way to save money. We bought ours at Bonus, which is cheap fo the prices around.
Then, we finally started our trip! There is a number of places to see, and I will list the ones I enjoyed the most. Everything can be found in the map above.
1. Geysir geothermal area
In this area there are multiple geysirs, but one in particular is the most interesting one, as it is till active, and it erups every 5 to ten minutes.
2. Seljalandfoss waterfall
A great waterfall which has a path that goes right behind it. You will feel like you are under the waterfall!
3. Kvernufoss waterfall
This is my favourite waterfall. We go lucky enough we saw a rainbow in front of it, and it has a path that leads you behind it. It is also less touristy than the other one, being at the end of a moss canyon.
4. Black beach
With its basaltic formations and its black volcanic sand this beach is certainly a very peculiar place to see.
5. Glacier lagoon
In here icebergs float peacefully from the lagoon to the sea. We got on a boat tour and floated in wonder while a guide told us about icebergs.
6. Diamond beach
This beach is located just a short walk away from the glacier lagoon. After years of seeing videos and pictures of this place and dreaming to see it with my own eyes, I finally did. It definitely stands up to the hype. My favourite place of the whole trip.
7. The northern lights
This has been a tricky one. The northern lights span from September to March, and require a clear sky and no light pollution to be seen. Unfortunately, me and my boyfriend had clouds all over the places we have been to sleep. So one night, after checking the northern lights activity on this website, we drove half an hour away from out campsite at night to see them. We managed! It was so moving. Did you know that if you look at them with your naked eye, the lights are actually white? It is only through your camera that they acquire their green colour.
8. Myvatn nature baths
There are many places in which you can take a warm bath, but we decided on this one because of the price. We paid 35£ for an adult and 25£ for a student, which is a price that is significantly lower than other well known establishments to get a similar beautiful experience. Their smoked fish and geysir bread is very tasty! Book the baths here.
This town is know for its whale watching tours, which bring you out in the sea to see these majestic animals. Unfortunately we were out of whale season, which runs from April till September. We would have definitely done it! Those tours depart from the little harbour, they are hard to miss.
Other than that really much to see in this little town unless you are a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest: the story of Fire Saga. If your are, well, you are then in the right place, as they filmed several scenes of the movie in this little place. To find them all I followed a very useful post by Almost Ginger, managing to take a picture of every place. There is even a bar with a museum dedicated to the Eurovision Song contest and the movie. I was so happy! They also filmed the beautiful Húsavík (my hometown) song video by My Marianne. Awesome!
Reykjavík is the capital of Iceland, and the biggest city there. There is a number of activities you can do. the photo above was taken from the viewing platform of the Perlan museum. It was expensive to get in (27£ a ticket), but I believe that it is worth it as you can visit, among other exhibitions, a real ice cave! Tours to go into the wild ones are more expensive, and if you do not want to venture that far you can go inside this cave at -10 degrees.
The cathedral is pretty cool, altough it took me a while to understand that it was not designed after a spaceship, but rather after basalt formations.
In the capital we gifted ourselves with a wonderful meal at Svarta Kaffid, which serves soup in bread and it is not expensive. They offer a vegan and a meat option.
In Reykjavík there are many wonderfully coloured streets which give the cold and grey weather city a beautiful touch.
11. Other reasons to go to Iceland
There are a number of places I have not mentioned in this post that can be found in the map. We even saw a reindeer! It was too distant, though, so the picture is not great. And the car views… a different panorama every hour.
So, what are you waiting for? This is your sign to pack your things and go to Iceland!
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