Setting out from Reykjavik, after 3 days was so exciting, gradually going from houses on every side of the road behind and in front, to a sudden emptiness. No cars, no houses, nothing for miles at a time as we headed into the South of the island. Sun, then snow, then rain then sun again, each hour bringing a different kindof weather… But also different kinds of Beauty…
The first stop was Seljalandsfoss was a complete surprise to be honest, we were heading to the very South of the island and within front of us you can see this amazing Waterfall from a great distance from the main road. The 40metre drop is a great starter to the waterfall obsession you will inherit while in Iceland, but my favourite part was the fast you can walk under and around the fall, to get a unique view from where you have come from. A little further down the same cliff is the hidden waterfall of ….. A little of a climb into the narrow valley is a hole letting light but also this beautiful waterfall, surrounded by moss.
Vik famous for its black volcanic beaches, which contrasts with the huge white waves, creating a stunning and dramatic scene. Watch out not to be caught out when on the beaches, the waves can come in quick and soak you if your not careful (my mum being one of them)… The geography nerd comes out of me now when I start talking about the stacks which are a poster picture for Iceland and the reason most people come here… the unique landscape!
Skogafoss, 60 metres high, no words can describe this sheer drop of a waterfall, with over a million gallons of water go over this every year, its power and the noise can be heard from the main road a good 100 metres away. The walk The walk to it is flat and the easiest of the waterfalls to get to, make it harder for yourself if you really wish and take a closer look at the top by going up the steep steps to the right, the sprays of water refreshing on your face from the top or the bottom. The Hotel Skogafoss which is location only 2 minutes away is the perfect nights sleep, with no other houses around for an opportunity to star gaze in the evening. The restaurant looks straight out onto the waterfall, so I can definitely think of worse breakfast views!
Skaftafell Glacier was a little shocker or should a say a huge shocker when you drive down the main road towards the middle southern part of Iceland you catch a glance of the colours from this frozen wave of ice between the rocks of the Skaftafell Volcano. The shades of blue and white are a complete contrast to the volcanic rock around it, and the sheer size of it is breathtaking. The closer you get the more surreal it is, if your lucky you see the scale of it when theirs little human dots climbing up it or on top of it… Which anyone can do on guided tours such an amazing experience. To get to the foot is easier in summer, due to in winter there being a lot of wet obstacles, but part of the fun is jumping over the streams to get as close as possible.
Very close to this is the hike up the side of the cliffs to the Hundafoss waterfall which was an extreme adventure number 8 thanks to me being stubborn and saying the snow wouldn’t stop us from doing it, an hour later we finally made it up with only 3 falls one from each of us :p, a few scary jumps and tumbles, but the view at the end was so worth it… I recommend going nearer to summer and spring if you try to go up I wouldn’t say it was the safest thing I ever did but definitely a story worth telling and hey hardly anyone up there.
Jokulsarlon when we headed to this place, in the usual Icelandic fashion the weather changed our plan for this area, the rain was being thrown all over, the dream of the pictures we had seen of this National Park was a little different, the highlight was seeing the seals playing near the shore of the ice bergs, but apart from that it was like another planet. If the weather was better you could have walked a lot further and seen some amazing formations of ice, snow and mountain, the vastness of this National Park shows the magnitude of this amazing country.
Blue Lagoon, don’t worry I didn’t forget about the hottest tourist attraction os the South, located on the way back to the airport, we dropped into the Blue Lagoon… Famous for the sulphuric natural heated pools from the Volcanic core below the Country… thousands a day come to relax, bath and try out the mud masks which is fantastic for your skin. My only negative is just how commercialised it is, its not as relaxing due to how busy it can be at peak times especially at weekends, but still another amazing experience for anyone wanting to see the amazing elements of Iceland. As usual Iceland tested me when we went, instead of the blue lagoon we got typhoon lagoon with a very windy day and therefore a very wavey pool!… But still a great experience. You can go and visit for 2 hours for £35 per person this includes robes and the mud mask once you get in… Enjoy and remember your gopros.
So just a few all important things to remember when visiting Iceland in Winter
The South of Iceland is a treasure trove of new experiences and first times seeing some of the most stunning terrains, enjoy and check out Part 3 of Iceland coming v soon x