Salut les pitchous, here we are at the second part of our road trip to Iceland, and these three new days were great!
As usual, a short video to get on, come and discover the atmosphere of this country out of the ordinary …
DAY 4 – Landmannalaugar
Hvolsvöllur -> Landmannalaugar ( 2hours45)
On Googlemap they say 2:18, but the obstacle is the F roads (in Iceland there is a main road, the road 1, which goes around the island by the coast, and the other roads are roads F). The F roads slow down a lot because they are mostly not in tarmac, but in land / pebbles / big hole … We took from Hvolsvöllur the road 1 to Hella, then we took the 271 and 26 / F26 to reach the mysterious Landmannalaugar in the center of Iceland. Small precision – 4×4 obligatory! (you will understand why with the video). Just the road to go is impressive, completely volcanic, black, with green moss, the sky totally cloudy, yellow, red, something crazy! This is clearly a must in Iceland, you have to take the time to go. You can make the round trip in the day (starting early to be able to enjoy a maximum on the spot) or while sleeping down there – not in a luxury hotel with bed – but in a campsite rather … hostile : D If you sleep down I advise you to take a thick mattress to avoid the big pebbles in the back, a good good fluff, and a solid tent! The shower and toilet are not free, but there is a natural hot bath, and wooden cabins and some kind of foodtruck to buy food.
But the bottom line is the hikes. You have at the entrance two panels with fauna and flora present in this massif.
The duration of the different hikes goes from 2hours to 6hours, without forgetting the trek over several days, but for that I strongly advise you to buy a special card, and to be well informed before doing it, again it is a ground very hostile and you have to pay attention to changes in weather, rain, fog etc..
For » small » hikes, I put you a link here. You have different hikes with the plan, and the difficulties. If you can, print it before you go, it’s still useful.
We did the hike #1, but upside down. Starting from Graenagil and ending with Laugahraun. To be honest, we started with Bláhnúkur, it starts directly with the ascent of a small volcano, and I have so much vertigo, I have not managed to do it. It’s really on a ridge, wind, for all people like me, I do not recommend it even if there is a magnificent view from above (that I could see between two crises of crying – yes I ‘ really have vertigo;))
So down, just before there is the Graenagil hike. It’s like being in the lord of the rings, we’re right in the lava flow, I let you see the pictures …
Puis nous sommes arrivés au volcan entourée de fumée qui sent l’œuf mais on s’y habitue, nous avons eu le droit à un arc en ciel, splendide ! Et enfin nous sommes redescendu et avons pris le chemin du retour pour finir la boucle, en passant par un gigantesque champ de coton !
Arriving at the camp of Landmannalaugar we were really lazy to get a hot bath, but we put our feet in the river of hot water, and we ate our sandwich, I was so hungry! We left, and even if we lost the return by car, we were tired but so happy.
We returned to Langbrók camp, and we collapsed in our » beds ».
DAY 5 – Vik
Hvolsvöllur -> Vík (1hour)
After having collected our Pachin (our friend who joined us 4 days later to do the rest of the trip with us) we settled at the Vík camp – Klettsvegur 7/870 Vík í Mýrdal – and for short I think you can to find much better on Vik or next. The only ‘plus’ of this campsite is that it has a large common room to make food, quite warm. Otherwise pay shower (cold depending on time), manager really not nice, and not a lot of « charm » in this place.
– What to do in the surroundings of Vik i Myrdal –
Reynisfjara beach -> Black sand beach with huge basalt rocks, the » basalt organs » from their shapes. A lot of tourists, but impressive, and filled with puffins 🙂
Seljavallalaug -> Route 242, outdoor hot water pool, between the mountains, the place is superb, but unfortunately the pool was empty when we were there! But the place is worth the shot in any case. It takes 20 short minutes to walk.
Skogafoss -> Cascade, nothing exceptional, but it never hurts 😉
Sólheimasandur -> Plane of the US Army who crashed on this huge beach of black sand. Plan on a 45 minute walk just to go, it’s a long straight so it can get a little painful quickly, but when you know that there is so much time to go, it probably goes better. It’s pretty cool to see this plane, and see the inside.
Icewear factory – THE Icelandic brand, which sells sweaters / jackets / everything you need for cold and rain. And as usual, it costs an arm. But the quality is great, so go to this factory is cheaper and you can bring a nice memory.
DAY 6 – Höfn
Vík í Mýrdal -> Höfn (3h20)
– ON THE ROAD BETWEEN VÍK AND HÖFN –
Systrastapi -> Very beautiful waterfall, we did not do it because I did not know it yet, but afterwards I discovered it and it really looks to be done.
Vatnajokull -> You can see a tiny part of this huge glacier at some point on Route 1 – you can not miss it – you have a very small road full of holes to see this place. And if you can, in terms of time and money, go hiking on the glacier (it’s expensive because you need a guide and the equipment but I think it’s worth it!). Either this park is huge, but we have just seen the glacier which is impressive. By taking other paths you can access hiking, and discover this park.
Jökulsárlón -> Huge glacial lake, with seals! Very beautiful memory of this trip, you have to be patient to see them but they are there. The ice is blue, white, surrounded by green hills and brown, still a beautiful combination of color, we take full eyes, even in the rain and cold!
We went to the campsite Höfn – Höfn Camping Ground / Hafnarbraut 52 – this campsite is very good, small indoor room to eat, a place also outside, pay but hot shower, clean toilets, lots of spaces, games for children, everything you need.
DAY 7 – Seydisfjordur
Höfn -> Seyðisfjörður (3hours10)
We start the fjords of the East, still different landscapes, the coast with fog, boats, cliffs and waves. Our goal of the day is to get to Seyðisfjörður through the small fjords below. It’s very easy, just follow the road 1.
We stop at Breiðdalsvík to admire the ‘famous’ wooden boats, but we only saw one. I think that with good weather and energy, the fjords of the East are very nice, but with the fog, rain and tiredness, it did not really want to get out of the car …
Then in the afternoon the good weather came back. After making a dirt road (but it was still road 1), past a mountain, and fog, we arrive in the sun at Egilsstaðir. It is not a very interesting city but there is plenty to do in shopping, gas and all the rest. This is one of the » big » cities of Iceland.
On the other hand, Lagarfljót Lake, surrounded by the Hallormsstaður Forest, is one of the only forests in Iceland. Even though we were just starting September, it was already autumn and the colors of the leaf were beautiful. We had the choice between hiking in this forest, or making a hike to the Hengifoss Waterfall. We chose the second solution, and we have not regretted it. With this sun, we were the happiest after the last three days of rain. To get there take the road 931, there is a small car park, a small wooden door, and go for 1 to 2 hours of walking back and forth – with a good steep – in a splendid scenery. With this view of the lake, and the majestic waterfall on the other side, it was more than relaxing.
We decided to sleep in Seyðisfjörður, which is said to be the most beautiful fjord village in the East. And even if we did not do them all, the one was really a big crush. This village is adorable, full of colors, everything is pretty, very pleasant. Take the opportunity to have a good beer in happy hour in the bar that you can not miss, and right next to a great camping to spend the night – Seydisfjordur Camping Site / Ranargata 1/710 Seydisfjordur – one of the best campsites that the we did.
- Camping is the only cheap way to sleep in Iceland. The hotels and motels are overpriced, but the campsite is 10 dollars per night per person. Often the shower is paying, but it adds 1 or 2 euros. With a stove and Bonus races, we’re doing really well and it’s a great adventure. (But take a fluff very warm anyway ;))
- To buy alcohol, you will not find in Bonus, Kr or any other supermarket. You have to go to the Vinbudin, it’s shops dedicated to alcohol, a little austere, with red circles on the front. This is the only place where you can buy some. And for cigarettes, they are hidden, there is no tobacco shop but you will find in gas stations for example. You have to ask and he takes them out of a drawer. And yes this is the result of years of prohibitions – go here to learn a little more about the history of alcohol in Iceland, it’s interesting.
- This may seem obvious, but I prefer to specify it. Buy rain pants before going to Iceland. Do not wear jeans, it never dries! And good waterproof shoes. Comfort, it changes the deal.
- In these articles, not good restaurants or bars, because it is too big a budget for us, and suddenly it changes the points of interest compared to others trip. But remember that in Iceland, with or without money, the most beautiful and the most important are the landscapes, you will always take full view.
We finish this second episode on a nice note in this particular village, we come back very quickly for the third and last episode of our road trip in Iceland. Do not hesitate to ask me questions in comment, because I forget surely many things which you could need. Peace.
Other articles on our road trip in Iceland: