- Date: 17. June – July 2, 2023
- Direction: Wizzair Katowice – Keflavik
- Car: Toyota RAV4 4×4
- Accommodation: Camping, one time – depending on the weather – a hotel
- Route: 4050 km, of which approx. 350 km are on “F” roads
- Cost per person: approx. 4,000 PLN + flight ticket
Due to NATO manoeuvres, we leave Katowice with a two-hour delay. By the way, it turns out that contrary to what the Wizzair hotline in Katowice says (perhaps it is organized differently at other airports), the passenger should appear at the airport regardless of the delay of the flight Original schedule, and then wait and wait. So we would hardly fly at all. Well, budget airlines, so don’t be picky. Anyway, we manage to reach Keflavik and pick up the car. Since it’s still light – it’s white Icelandic nights – we drive to the campsite in Grindavik through the Reykyanes Peninsula and reach the bridge between the continental plates Brú Milli Heimsálfa, geothermal power plants Reykjanesvirkjun strong> and Gunnuhver fumaroles and the Valahnúkamöl cliffs.
In the morning we pass the foggy Meradalur valley where the Fagradalsfjall volcano erupted on the two previous trips. We drive to Kerid Cretan and from there to Þingvellir National Park on the north shore of Iceland’s largest lake Þingvallavatn, where a waterfall falls between continental plates Oxarfoss. From here we make our way to Hraunafossar and Barnafoss waterfalls and the excellent hot dogs from the Staldrið Food Truck, which you will find just next door can enjoy a greenhouse heated with geothermal water from Deildartunguhver. Sometime around sunset – although opinions are divided as to whether it actually happened (we were quite high in the mountains, and there was a mountain where it should have happened while in front of and behind it was somehow moving too parallel to the horizon ). ) – we drive across the Snæfells peninsula and stay overnight in Grundarfjörður.
The tour of the Snæfellsnes peninsula begins with the famous Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. Next up are the Bæjarfoss waterfalls and the slightly longer Svöðufoss walk along the basalt colonnade. Fields of purple lupines spread out around the Ingjaldshólskirkja Church. We stop at the Saxholl volcanic crater and the impressive volcanic forts of Londragar. We then descend through a passage between bizarre lava ridges to the black beach of Djúpalónssandu. strong>. It’ll be a while before we find the Gattlekur rock arches. Finally we reach the hot spring of Sturungalaug, lost at the foot of the volcanoes. Camping in Sælureiturinn Árblik greets us with gusty winds.
For the next night we stay in Sælureiturinn Árblik, only visiting the local shops with Icelandic wool sweaters and local products – the Rjómabúið Erpsstaðir farm and Búðardalur. In the morning the next day, those willing have the opportunity to ride Icelandic horses at the Dalahestar farm, after which we head north to the Westfjords. Along the way, some of the crew stays in the Hellulaug hot springs, while others continue to the Garðar BA 64 shipwreck washed up at the end of the Patreksfjördur fjord. On our way back to Hellulaug, we stop at an unnamed waterfall, unless you assume it is called… a waterfall (Fossa) and an unusual delta (?), a tidal plain of the Hagavaðall river, in whose sands reflect the sky. Finally, through the highlands of the Wesfjords, we reach Dynjandi,which cascades over the waterfalls Háifoss, Úðafoss, Göngufoss, Hundafoss and Bæjarfoss. Overnight at Bolungarvik campsite.
We head along the north-western fjords to Drangsnes, stopping along the way at the historic Littlebaercafé and sorcerer’s hut (Kotbýli kuklarans) – reconstructed buildings illustrating life in Iceland in the 17th century during witch hunts. Right next to it is an Icelandic archaeological heritage site, the beautiful Gvendarlaug geothermal pool blessed by Gudmundur the Good in the 13th century (1161-1237). Break for rest in the hot pools of Dransgness (Pottarnir á Drangsnesi). From here it’s close to the camping, but you have to go around the next Overnight at Skagaströnd campsite.
Analyzing the weather forecasts, I let go of F35 and head east towards Akureyri, on the way stopping at the charming peat church – Víðimýrarkirkja, built in 1834 on the site of an earlier one – the history of which dates back to the 12th century We reach Reykjafoss waterfall and then Glaumbær Farm & Museum. The road then continues through alpine landscapes until turning 842, which becomes F27 leading to the Hrafnabjargafoss and Aldeyarfoss waterfalls. We return north to admire Godafoss, and then we head towards the Myvatn lake filling the volcanic caldera, at the southern end of which there is the fascinating Skútustaðagígar peninsula with pseudocraters. Overnight at camping Hlíð ferðaþjónusta.
In the morning we set off in search of the extraordinary landscape of lava geysers and rock arches Lavator Dimmuborgir. The navigation, however, first takes us to the Hvefjall crater. In the end, we hit the right place, unusual Icelandic arches… from here we head to the Grjotagja lava tunnel, then to the smoking field Hverir and to the unusual Viti crater . From here, there are only the most powerful waterfalls in Europe – Detifoss, Selfoss and – quite unusual for Iceland – the landscape of the Asbyrgi canyon. Overnight on the highest farm in Iceland – Möðrudalur campsite.
After breakfast in a Viking-themed atmosphere on Möðrudalur campsite we head south. The weather is so-so, but overcoming the roads mountain – “efek” or F908, F910to reach crate Axia is an adventure in itself. On the way we cut through lava fields, streams and local sandstorms. We’re pulling the Japanese out of the ditch. Unfortunately, the weather is not good and we leave the parking lot from which we walk to Akssia into the fog shrouding the red-black-and-white landscape. There is no need to go to the crater. So we continue along the lonely roads in search of a hot Laugavallalaug waterfall. In the evening we drive along the lake Lagarfljót to the eastern fjords of Iceland for camping in Seydisfjordur.
From Seydisfjordur we go north and through the pass at the foot of Stórurð we reach Borgarfjarðurhofnvegur where a colony of puffins has settled next to the fishing harbour. After an hour or two spent in the company of the Hans from Madagascar Penguins, we return the same way to turn into the Mjóifjörður valley, hoping that the fog swirling in front of us will give way to the beautiful Klifbrekku waterfall. Unfortunately, on the fault that opens the valley, the fog only thickens, so we let it go. Fortunately, even without the icing on the cake, the Mjóifjörður valley gives us dozens of waterfalls. Overnight at Stöðvarfjörður camping. The next day is Iceland shrouded in fog so thick that you still have to let go of the Stokksnes peninsula with views of the Vesturnhorn (more commonly known as Vestrahorn). In the afternoon, the fog is joined by a downpour and gale, and a warning from the Icelandic Meteorological Service about winds that can overturn cars. Perfect weather for campsites, which – strangely – are empty. This is how we get to the Smyrlabjörg hotel
The morning greets us with rain, but as we reach the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, the sky clears, the sun sparkles on the icy mountains and crumbs scattered on Eystri-Fellsfjara – the diamond beach. In Kirkjubæjarklaustur we turn from number one to take a look at the Stjórnarfoss cascade. We stop at the lava fields at Katla Geopark,then turn off at 209, which becomes 208 and finally F208. The biggest problem is not streams that need to be crossed, or even small rivers – but a fragment where something like a road plow plowed the road, pulling large stones on top. The landscape that surrounds us is amazing. Black ashes, colorful rhyolites and bright, radioactive green. Just before Landmannalaugar there is a problem. There are two large rivers flowing between us and the campsite and all cars stopped in front of them – there is not a single car with a similar “draft” near the tents. Ranger is also not helpful – well, it remains to take off your boots and pants and check the depth yourself. The water reaches just above the knees in the deepest place, and since the air inlet is about 30 cm higher, we enter – and what is important – we also leave on the other side. The night is cold, damp, with rocks digging into the back, but whatever, we’re in the Rainbow Mountains.
Most of the next day we hike the Laugahraun lava fields admiring the area of multicolored mountains created by the Torfajökull volcano. Landmannalaugar is an extraordinary place, both geologically and aesthetically. The dramatic region sits next to the jet-black Laugahraun lava field, a vast expanse of dried magma that was formed in an eruption in 1477. Torfajökull Volcano is located in the eastern volcanic zone, where lava seeps through previously intact crust. The system consists of a central volcano and a swarm of NE-SW rifts and is approximately 40 km long and 30 km wide. An 18×12 km regrowing caldera lies within the central volcano. Iceland’s largest geothermal area is located here, with an area of approximately 150 km2. Rhyolite rocks dominate the central volcano, and basalts dominate the fissure swarm. During the Holocene, volcanic eruptions were triggered by magma intrusions from neighboring volcanic systems, including Hekla. There have been at least 12 eruptions in the last 9,000 years. Fissure eruptions spreading southwest from the Bárðarbunga volcanic system repeatedly penetrated the magma chamber below the Torfajökull caldera, causing eruptions of hybrid rhyolite-tholeitic and tephra lavas. Landmannalaugar itself consists of windswept mountains of rhyolite – a rock that creates a full spectrum of dazzling colors. Shades of red, pink, green, blue and golden yellow create a fairy-tale setting. In the afternoon we leave the rainbow valley heading north-west on the F208 to finally reach Gaddstadaflatir camping in Hella. In the evening, a short trip to Vik. On the way we stop at Skógafoss and Kvernufoss waterfalls, and on the way back at Reynisfjara black beach.
In the morning we head for the Seljalandsfoss waterfalls and the neighboring Gljufrabui, but the coaches parked at their feet and the queue of tourists who want to go behind the curtain of water effectively scare us away. So we move on with the intention of reaching Iceland’s largest canyon – Stakkholtsgjá. A few stream crossings are no problem, but trying to get under Stigafoss results in a broken muffler. During the repair, it turns out that the chassis of our RAV actually corresponds to what the car has on the odometer – the brackets are rusted and fall apart when touched. Good thing I didn’t know before. We leave the canyon but on the way back we go deeper into the amazing Nauthúsagil slot canyon to the Nauthúsafoss waterfall.
Before we reach the airport in Keflavik, we head to another fabulous waterfall – Gullfoss. Nearby, in the Geysir geothermal area, the Strokkur geyser shoots into the sky. Only the waterfall with the bluest water Brúarfoss and need to go back…