In Iceland: 6 New Things

I have mentioned before that there were certain things that I missed out on the last two times I was in Iceland so I had to go back and do them. These are the 6 things I found on my final trip to Iceland this year.

KeriðPhoebeGill1509181259

Along the Golden Circle route along road 52, there is this amazing attraction. Now if you go on a bus tour it’s likely they will drive by this but I needed to go see it, you see I don’t like when my list isn’t complete! So when I had the opportunity to drive to this place myself I jumped at the chance. PhoebeGill1509181359There is a small car park at the crater and you have to pay to see it. It’s $3, €2 or 300 kr. So really cheap! I think it is well worth it to maintain this amazing site. You get an information leaflet when you pay so I wont spoil all of the wonderful information it gives you.

Öxarárfoss in ÞingvellirPhoebeGill1509181307

I had constantly seen pictures of the waterfall in Þingvellir and because I only had a half an hour when I was on the bus tours I couldn’t wander off and explore this are properly. So again when I had the chance I spent hours wandering around Þingvellir and I am so glad I did. The waterfall is beautiful and peaceful. It’s really amazing.

Walking Between Two ContinentsPhoebeGill1509181230

Again because there was no time to explore Þingvellir when I went on the tours I decided to do something that I had wanted to do for a long long time. I decided to ignore everything else and go for a walk. I passed by all the crowds and walked through a fissure in the earth. No one else was walking this path, it’s not a new path many people have done this walk but it felt like I was the only one who knew about it. Thousands of people were in this area during my time at Þingvellir but I didn’t see one other person on my walk. It was wonderful, peaceful and beautiful.

Standing Behind SelandjafossPhoebeGill150917033

South Iceland is an amazing part of Iceland, there are lots of people on this route so people free shots may be difficult but sometimes that doesn’t matter. Sometimes taking pictures isn’t important, sometimes you just need to be in the moment. Thats how I felt when I was sitting on the moss covered wall behind Selandjafoss. I didn’t bring my big camera, I only had my phone, I didn’t care if I got an amazing shot or the best angle. Standing behind that waterfall is amazing, everyone else thought it was amazing, everyone was polite and smiling and letting people take pictures. For a few minutes everyone was in agreement, standing behind a waterfall was humbling and wonderful.

Found A Hidden FossPhoebeGill150917023

Very close to Selandjafoss there is a hidden waterfall, except it’s not really that hidden, there is a campsite in front of it and its got tourists coming to it all the time. It’s not a secret to tourists or the Icelandic people but it’s as if the earth wants to keep it a secret. You are definitely going to need your waterproofs if you want to see it but it is a lot of fun going into the rock to see this hidden gem. Although I could get a good picture of this with my GoPro it was still beautiful to see.

Going Down The Road Less TravelledPhoebeGill1509161072

I was trying to find a somewhere, that I will have to go back to because I didn’t have a 4×4 car, but as I was driving around I went down a road and found this beautiful waterfall. All I could imagine was camping here and paddling in the water. (Except I would probably get frost bite, I mean Iceland may look like a Hawaiian setting but it doesn’t have the weather) What I loved is that I didn’t see this waterfall in a guide book, I didn’t hear about it on the internet, I don’t even know where it is. So my beans, find it, come upon it naturally and enjoy it.

There is so much more to see in Iceland and I am very happy I get to see more coasts, more roads, more attractions and more hidden gems. Iceland is always somewhere you can go back to. I love it there. Knowing me, I will be back sometime soon but for now I am very happy.

Happy Travels!

In Iceland: A Taste of The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

PhoebeGill150917120If there is one thing I wanted this time round in Iceland, it was to go further, to push outside of where I have been and to explore more. Going west was something that I really wanted to do. There was one sight in particular that I was desperate to see and I have to say, it was utterly stunning.PhoebeGill150917049The  Snæfellsnes Peninsula is like Co. Kerry on crack. It has got that luscious green colour with mountains and stunning beauty but it’s also something out of Lord of the Rings. You go from normal green mountains, to red soiled peaks, to moss covered lava fields that looks like the perfect Orc dwelling. You go from towering mountains to beautiful small towns and then you get to the most incredible postcard view.PhoebeGill150917713I pulled up to the most beautiful view and I got my camera gear ready. I then walked to the site with the fog rolling in and turned around to see the most iconic mountain in the  Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Kirkjufell.PhoebeGill150917013Keep in mind this is just off the road. You don’t have to trek to see it, there is a car park. If you get the chance. Go. It is beautiful. It is so close to Reykjavik, so easy to get to, the drive is amazing. I am already missing it. I will be back.

Happy Travels!

In Iceland: 3 Spots on the South Coastline

Being able to explore the South Coast of Iceland is a wonderful experience. The scenery along the ring road is stunning and there are so many stops along the way. I definitely recommend you pull off and explore these beautiful spots.

Black Sand Beach In VíkPhoebeGill150916718

There is a small residential area just behind this beach, for my Irish readers, it reminded me of the area around Brittas Bay, Wicklow. It’s a quiet beach full of couples, holing hands, having a walk. I loved walking to the big cliffs at the end of the beach and looking at all the nesting birds soar above.

Reynisfjara

PhoebeGill150916908PhoebeGill150916685*Be careful at this spot! Tourists have been swept away and have died from the current. Don’t be foolish and read the signs. This area is wonderful. A beautiful beach to watch a sunset and go for a walk. This amazing basalt rock formation looks like it was man made, it is that beautiful. Like the giants causeway these amazing formations are stunning, along with the caves and the sea stacks this area is steeped in natural beauty!

DyrhólaeyPhoebeGill150916613

PhoebeGill150916508This cliff top site has some amazing views. Take the time to actually explore this area. I didn’t and I do regret it, I will just have to go back! There is lots to see and places to walk but be careful as this area doesn’t have many barriers are there are lots of people climbing precarious looking routes!

Definitely check out these spots and I am sure there are more hidden and secluded areas along the South for you to explore. If you know of any leave them in the comments! 

Happy Travels!

In Iceland: Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck

*Note that this land has been modified for tourism, you can no longer drive to the site, you can now park and walk to it.

I have seen so many photos of the plane wreck and I decided that it is something I had to go see. And I did. There are lots of different versions of the story behind it, regardless, it is an epic find and worth the search.
PhoebeGill1509161097PhoebeGill150916580

Happy Travels!

(Also: I win.)

In Iceland: Svínafellsjökull

I have seen people go on glacier walks and I just thought it would be an amazing thing to do but it is very pricy and I just don’t have the money. So this trip I wanted to touch a glacier, not get on one, just put my hand on it’s amazingness.PhoebeGill150916239panoSide note, never get on a glacier if you don’t have a guide. Glaciers are incredible but they are also dangerous. There is a memorial to two people who never made it back as you are walking on the path down to this glacier, remember them if you think about going on to one.PhoebeGill150916778Vatnajökull is the the biggest glacier on the island and it branches down over so many mountains it’s pretty unbelievable. So I was driving along the south coast of Iceland and looking at all the glaciers around me, so much beauty in one drive!PhoebeGill150916113I pulled into a rest stop and saw the symbol for a tourist attraction down a unnamed road. You can drive this in a two wheel drive, I had a van with three cracks in the window and the sheet metal would shudder and sound like thunder if I drove over bumps quickly so I drove very slowly.PhoebeGill150916817I parked up and walked to the site and it was just absolutely incredible. Glaciers have to be the most beautiful natural thing. Compacted ice and that gorgeous soft blue colour, it was just simply stunning.PhoebeGill150916930I sat there for a good while listening to the noise a glacier makes, the creaking and the ice dropping into the water. I could listen to that all day. Although I didn’t get to touch it. I am thrilled that I got to get so close. Like with so many other places in Iceland, I will be back.

Happy Travels!

In Iceland: Jökulsárlón and the Iceberg Beach

I tried to drive here in January but it was impossible with the amount of light in Winter and the snow. This time, I was determined to get there, it was the first place on my list. The first place where I was heading.

I arrived at Jökulsárlón at 10pm so it was dark and the only thing I saw were a couple of icebergs illuminated by my headlights. I was knackered so I went to bed and when I woke up I saw the most amazing thing. A huge lagoon full of icebergs. It was amazing.PhoebeGill150916805

This place is incredible. It really is. I can’t wait to go back already! I once again feel like I missed something or I didn’t take enough photos of it. (I’m sure I did but I love going back anywhere in Iceland)PhoebeGill150916986

Top Tip:

When you are standing at the shore of the lagoon, the sun will rise behind you so it will be a bit darker early in the morning until the sun fully rises. For the best pictures I recommend around 10am (in September). Although, sunrise on the iceberg beach next to the lagoon is pretty gorgeous!PhoebeGill150916833There weren’t any icebergs close to the shore for me to get close to and try and get scale but when you see chunks of ice break off and float down stream it shows you the scale of these hunks of ice. Watching an iceberg float out to sea is just amazing! Seeing it rock like a boat and then stop. It is just awesome.PhoebeGill150916596I would love to do a boat tour next time. Going through the lagoon would be immense. It’s been a dream of mine to go to Antarctica like my father so maybe it would be like a teeny tiny version of that.PhoebeGill150916987I am so excited I got to see this incredible place. Definitely worth the wait!

Have you been to Jökulsárlón? Is there any place like this that you have been to? 

Happy Travels!