3 in 1 Iceland Road Trip in 4 Days for 2
My first trip to Iceland was with my boyfriend exactly one year ago, in May 2017. Since Iceland is expensive, even for Finnish citizens, we decided to keep it short and efficient. So off we went to explore the South-West area of Iceland. Four days. Three road trips. The two of us. One big adventure.
We flew with Icelandair from Helsinki to Reykjavik. Their planes are amazing! Not just did every seat had its own entertainment system, everything had a name like an Icelandic version of IKEA, from the coffee cup to the plane itself. It was cloudy throughout the flight, but luckily when we reached Iceland, the clouds opened up just enough to give us a little preview of what we will see the next few days.
Road Trip 1 - Southern Peninsula
After arriving at Keflavik Airport we went to pick up our rental car and started right away with our first little road trip to explore the southern peninsula.
We drove through endless lava fields, which allow almost no vegetation and the eggy smell was distinguish when we passed smocking sulphur springs. A little down the road, we saw a tiny parking lot to our left and were wondering what was that for, since it feels like being in the middle of nowhere. We stopped, went up the path and arrive at the Bridge Between Continents. Which is basically a bridge across what looks like a river made of fine black sand, Eurasian tectonic plate on one side and the North American plate on the other. Between all those lava rocks I found beautiful little pink flowers.
After going to the ocean on the right side of the road, we went to the famous Blue Lagoon. After enjoying a face mask, swim and the lovely wooden steam room it was finally time to go to our hotel.
Road Trip 2 - South Coast
The goal of our second road trip was to see Vík and whatever we can find on the way. So we started heading east on road 1 and before Hveragerdi we bumped into a little rest spot right next to curvy street. Even though it was super windy, we enjoyed the wide view to the mountains on the left and flat landscapes and ocean on the right. It was once again pouring when we stopped to fuel up the car and have a little breakfast, which included black lava bread rolls.
Back on the road, ocean to the right and mountains on the left, we saw from far away a cliff and a waterfall. As we arrived and inspected the area it turned out to be Seljalandsfoss and we found 4 other waterfalls. The last one was the hidden waterfall called Gljúfrabúi, which is in a cave like stone formation. We stopped for a little break at the Eyjafjallajökull Museum, passed the Solheimasandur Plane Wreck and finally arrived at the famous Black Sand Beach. The weather was harsh and it was so windy that you occasionally got hit by a stone. But the Basalt Columns of Reynisfjara were stunning and totally worth the pain. From here Vík is just a stone throw away. We went to see the church of this town and enjoyed the scenery before we started heading back to the hotel. On the way, we saw a herd of Icelandic Horses just next to the street. Only one was curious to seek out to interact with us, the others were busy grazing in the slowly setting evening sun.
Road Trip 3 - Golden Circle
On the third day, we went again towards Selfoss, but this time we were turning left and headed north on road 35 to explore the Golden Circle. Our first stop was the Kerid crater, which was formed by eruptions and is now filled with water. Besides the Blue Lagoon, this was the only place where we had to pay an entrance fee. On our way to the Geysirs we stopped at one of those lovely little black churches and the 80 m wide Faxafoss. We went on further to see Gullfoss, but it was somewhat stormy that you could barely stand and taking a photo was impossible. Our last stop for this day was the Thingvellir National Park. There we could take a look into the deep clear water in the continental ridge and then went up to see Öxarárfoss.
After coming back to the hotel, we used the rest of the evening strolling through the old town. Just when decided it’s enough for the day, we found out that the church right next to our hotel had a little concert that day. So spend our last evening listening to the Icelandic pianist Ólafur Elíasson playing Bach.
We had to get up around 5 o’clock in the morning to head to the airport and returned our little rental SUV. Before getting on the plane back home to Finland, I needed to buy some books (as usual). And since I was in Iceland and I hope to learn a little bit of Icelandic, I bought one book in Icelandic called DIMMA from Ragnar Jónasson and an English version of The Elder Edda.