The Gentlemanblogger’s guide to Iceland
It has already been two months since I visited Iceland, this incredible country famous for its mystifying views and its rare natural surroundings. Upon my return and all the messages I got from you guys requesting my route, I decided to share with you my 6-day special guide: the Gentlemanblogger’s exclusive guide to Iceland. So, pack your bags with cosy outwear, get ready for some lifechanging roadtrips and let’s find out why lately Iceland is on everybody’s bucket list.
Day One Reykjavik – Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
First stop, the beautiful city of Reykjavik. This is the country’s capital and the largest city in Iceland. We took a quick stroll and discovered some of the city’s best cafes – you will find great ones here – and prepared ourselves for the ultimate experience; The Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. This spectacular natural attraction, created from Seljalandsá river, is 60 metres high. Don’t forget to walk behind the waterfall, not for an imitation of the classic “Last of the Mohicans scene” but, because you might be extra lucky and get to see a rainbow.
Distance: 120km (1 hour 30 minutes)
Where to stay: We stayed at this lovely Airbnb house – It’s 5-minute drive from the town of Hvolsvollur and a convenient base for exploring Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss Waterfalls and the Black Sand Beach. Moreover, it’s dark enough to see the Northern Lights!
Our next stop, Hvolsvollur, a small town in the south of Iceland and a great base for visiting another natural wonder in Iceland, the Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool. This forgotten swimming pool in a hidden valley is probably one of the most beautiful landscapes you will ever come across. It nestles in the mountains and overflowing with hot springs. Good news as it’s free to use and not almost never crowded.
Distance Seljavallalaug – Skogafoss Waterfall: 10km (10 minutes)
Extra tip: Park your car. It’s an easy 15-minute walk to the pool. The earlier you get there, the more chances you have of taking your bath in privacy.
After our bath we stopped at Skogafoss. The waterfall is situated on the Skógá River and is one of the biggest in Iceland. Skogafoss also offers camping sites and hiking tours for the more adventurous visitors. If you want a pit stop, then Vik is the absolute place to be. A small village on the South shore, with great restaurants (my favourite is Suður-Vík) and superb shops and modern guest houses. The Black Sand Beach is to be found near the village and is the most impressive black-sand beach in Iceland. An exceptional beach, featuring an incredible cliff and if you are lucky enough to go on a windy day, some pretty impressive waves. If your timing’s right you may even enjoy photoshop sunset from those cliffs.
Skogafoss – Vik Distance: 35km (30 minutes)
Extra tip: 4×4 recommended but you can also get there in a regular car, if you take it slow.
The next stopover is maybe a once in a lifetime experience. The Dyrholaey Lighthouse, the only active lighthouse open for guests in Iceland, even offers accommodation. This historic lighthouse is located on the edge of Dyrhólaey peninsula and its view is truly one to remember.
Vik – Dyrholaey Lighthouse distance: 19km (20 minutes)
Where to stay: Farmhouse Losge
Day Three Farmhouse Lodge – Sólheimasandur Plane Wreckage
Distance: 10km (6 minutes)
On the next day, get ready for another classical Icelandic adventure. Put on your comfy shoes and dress warm, cause this day is all about hiking and exploring a plane crash. The famous Sólheimasandur Plane Wreckage, is one of Iceland’s most recognised landmarks. The US Navy airplane was forced to crash in November 1973. Surprisingly, its crew survived but the plane remains abandoned for over 4 decades. If you love photography and especially Instagram, this is a must spot!
Extra tip: The road leading up to the wreckage has been sealed off, so it’s a 4km walk and takes just under an hour. The plane isn’t visible until you are very close.
Where to stay: Hotel Katla (With an outdoor naturally-heated hot tub, the remedy after a tiring day).
Wearing: Merrell boots
This was the longest driving day but worth every mile. I suggest you come prepared with your Spotify playlist and all your favourite songs. We left Vik and headed to the Lava Fields. This sight is the result of many combined eruptions dating all the way back to prehistoric times until today. The only certainty is the Lava fields are a unique and captivating destination.
Vik – Lava Fields distance : 60km (40 minutes)
These line both sides of Route 1. After the Lava fields we headed towards the Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. This is a large canyon, 100 meters deep and about two kilometres long. The river Fjaðrá runs through it and there are many spots offering magical views.
Lava Fields – Fjaðrárgljúfur (Canyon) distance: 12km (15 minutes)
Our next and last stop for the day was the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. If you missed my post on this great location read it here Icelandic Vol2 This lagoon is a must – see stop when in Iceland. See the icebergs floating on the glacier lagoon and get swept off your feet from the glorious scenery and sounds. On our way back we stayed at a traditional wooden guest house, Hotel Laki.
Fjaðrárgljúfur – Jökulsárlón (Glacier Lagoon) distance: 130km (1 hour 40 minutes)
Jökulsárlón – Hotel Laki distance: 126km (1 hour 30 minutes)
Where to stay: Hotel Laki
After a great adventure, full of great images, it was time to drive back to Reykjavik, return the car and head back home! I feel so blessed making this trip. There’s no place like Iceland, a country of stunning natural sights and endless adventures.
Suggested Car Rental company – http://www.isak.is
Until the next adventure, vertu blessaður!