I’ve wanted to go to Iceland for so many years. So. Many. Years. After I went to New Zealand a few years ago I was even more keen to be an international traveler and explore Iceland. This month I finally got there. It’s still a little hard to believe.
Over the years as I’ve imagined this trip I always wanted to drive all the way around the island. I can pack more in to a trip than basically any other human on earth, so why not spend a week driving 1000 miles to see literally everything you could possibly see? Why not? So when my sister and I decided to book plane tickets that’s what we decided to do. 8 days of quality time with Hringvegur otherwise known as Ring Road.
We took a direct red eye flight from LAX to Reykjavik. I used to be someone who could sleep on planes. I am no longer that person, so red eyes are my worst nightmare. And there’s nothing worse than taking Tylenol PM [and maybe some melatonin] and being the most tired you’ve ever been but completely unable to sleep. Not my favorite. So our first day in Reykjavik was sort of uneventful because napping was so necessary. We drove around the city a bit before heading to our Airbnb, then a nap, and then we had sunset reservations at Blue Lagoon.
Our road trip morning started as any good road trip morning does, with coffee. Our Airbnb hosts highly recommended Pallett so we made that our first stop before we hit the road heading North towards the Snæfellsjökull Peninsula. Worth it.
Obviously just being on the island was incredible from the start. But when you get through all of the traffic circles in Reykjavik and you’re driving on a two lane road out in the middle of nowhere there’s such an overwhelming sense that you’re so small. Everything is so BIG. These photos don’t do it justice. Not even close.
A little National Parking through Snæfellsjökull National Park.
Our little cabin was so cute! Airbnb served us so well the whole trip. The image on the right is the view from the porch. Unreal.
This stretch of driving we veered off the Ring Road to dirt road 711. 😉 We read there are a lot of look out spots where you can see seals so we figured why not adventure? Totally worth it because near where the 711 meets back up with the Ring Road is Hvítserkur.
This was probably one of my top days. Hvítserkur was gorgeous and a lot of fun because we basically had to slide down the side of a mountain to get down to the black sand beach. Which was hilarious, difficult, painful and very worth it.
Akureyri is Iceland’s second largest urban area and really it’s just the cutest little town. Their main street has coffee shops, restaurants and a hostel and it’s so easily walkable.
Our first stop after leaving Akureyri was Goðafoss. There are just no words. It’s all just so. big.
The Námafjal Geothermal Area wasn’t on our list of places to stop but it’s literally right off Ring Road so it was an easy place to stop and stretch our legs. Plus it makes for cool dystopian looking photos even if the whole area smells terrible.
I think this was our longest day in the car. Getting to Dettifoss was sort of painful. It was the most pothole filled dirt road and it was never ending. But then this was the result and it’s just mind blowing. Look at those teeny tiny people.
You have to walk a little ways to get to the waterfall. And this is your view on the way. Freaking UNREAL.
We stayed the night in a little fishing village called Neskaupstaður. When we rolled in to town around 6pm literally nothing was open and they didn’t even have a grocery store. We’d planned to stay in this spot for 2 nights, our only 2 night stay the whole trip. It ended up working out really well because it rained pretty hard all day our second day in the area so we took it as a day of rest. I’m really thankful we had a day to just lounge around the apartment but if I were going again and I was going to do 2 nights somewhere I would pick either Akureyri or Vik because they’re a little bigger and they have more places to walk and things to see.
Yay Iceland! Thanks for stopping by to see all my travely photos! I still have more to share but this post is long enough already. hahaha