<< Back to the overview

Reykjavík, the northermost capital of the world, offers a lot to see for its visitors. Hence, the fifth part of our trip is dedicated to this one location. We ride along the Vesturlandsvegur, which now looks like a motorway, not like the narrow road that we enjoyed for the most time of our trip around Iceland. We directly head for the center of Reykjavík, where we first get on the Öskjuhlíð, the hill where the warm water reservoir Perlan is located. On the roof of this building we have a great look over the city and the environment.

The Hallgrímskirkja is visible from every edge of Reykjavík. The bus takes us to its location; we have a short look inside, then have a walk through downtown Reykjavík and meet the Alþingishúsið where the parliament resides (it does not assemble in Þingvellir any longer, of course).We reach the Tjörnin lake, walk through the town hall, and continue our walk towards the harbour, then to the Harpa concert hall. Our bus picks us up near the concert hall and brings us to our last hotel, the Cabin Hotel.

On the next morning, we drive to Mosfellsbær, the neighboring city to the north, to wander on the Úlfarsfell as our last hike on this trip. The hill is 295 m high, which is not too difficult to manage. From here, we get a last overview on Reykjavík and on the west coast, which we drove along when we came from the north the day before. For the rest of the afternoon, we spend our time in the city, walking around, having a café, and then meet at the Restaurant Reykjavík in the evening for our closing dinner.

The last day has come; we have to leave very early (04:20!) at the hotel to get to the Airport Keflavík in time.

Public pictures

<< Back to the overview

We leave the Dettifoss and continue to the west, following the Norðurlandsvegur, as the Ring Road is called here. After about half an hour, we get to the Námafjall and to its high-temperature field Hverir (also called Hverarönd). Wooden paths allow us to step safely over the hot areas where steam emerges from many holes, bubbling holes emit a sulphuric stench. Fumaroles blow steam into the air like a hot water kettle.

We drive around the Mývatn ("midge lake") which we will visit on the next day. On the late afternoon we arrive at our last waterfall, the Goðafoss ("waterfall of the gods"). Shortly after, we continue towards Akureyri, a larger town at the northern coast, and obviously a landing stage for ship cruises. We spend two nights at Akureyri.

On the next day, we return to the Mývatn, where we walk up a tuff ring, the Hverfjall. On its rim, it offers us a great view on the Mývatn, albeit once more under thick clouds. Our descent leads us immediately into the spooky Dimmuborgir ("Darkborough") where trolls and elves are said to live.

For the remainder of the afternoon, our group splits up. I join some people who seek for some relaxing time in the warm waters of the natual bath Jarðböð. Other people are heading for some more lava fields. Finally, we meet again and pass the Mývatn on its northern side this time, on the way back to Akureyri.

We leave Akureyri on the next morning again, directly heading for Reykjavík. We continue our ride on the Ring Road (Norðurlandsvegur) and manage to advance about one quarter of the whole island in six hours. We have two stops, one at a filling station in Blönduós and another at a rest station in Borganes, which is already very close to our destination Reykjavík.

Public pictures

Video clips

Here are some more videos from the northern coast.

<< Back to the overview

We're heading along the south coast - with many interesting stops on our way.

Our start is at our hotel in Laugarvatn. After a short stop at a supermarket, we reach the next waterfall, the Seljalandsfoss. After that, we arrive at Skógar, where we visit the Byggðasafnið að Skógum (Skógar historic and open air museum), before we get to the Skógafoss, the next impressive waterfall, this time even in bright sunlight.

Our trip leads us along the coast, crossing far-stretched lava sand plains (looks like black rubble over kilometers). Some time later, we are standing at the Dyrhólaey ("door hole island"). There we find rugged cliffs, far sights along the coast, lots of puffins in the rock face. We drive to the other side of the lagoon to the Reynisfjall. Many basalt columns form the foot of this hill. The sand of this beach is pitch black. As the end of this day, we arrive at the Búrfell hotel in Steig, a few kilometers back the road.

Starting from here on the next day, we cross some more sanders (lava fields) on the next morning, have a short stop-over in Kirkubæjarsklaustur, and then get to our next hiking path. But we are not heading for the Svartifoss or Hundafoss waterfalls, but instead walk up to a vista point where we have a great view of the plain and the glacierSkaftafellsjökull. It is, however, just a part of a much larger glacier, the Vatnajökull. Our hiking tour leads us for about an hour up to the ridge, where we have a lunch, and then descent again to get to the bus.

A few minutes later we arrive at the glacier lagoon Fjallsárlón. We have a ride on inflatable boats and get really close to the Fjallsjökull from which icebergs regularly break off. In fact, while we are in the middle of the lagoon, a loud bang occurs, and a piece of the glacier breaks off. Later, we walk along the banks of the Jökulsá, with lots of melting icebergs. Fun fact: The Jökulsá was blocked to make the Jökulsárlón freeze for the James Bond movie "Die another day".

After that we continue our trip until we arrive at Höfn, taking our rooms in the local Edda hotel.

Public pictures

Video clips

For this section of our trip, there are some video clips as well.

<< Back to the overview

In Höfn, we are actually already far in the eastern parts of Iceland; now we continue along the Ring Road to the north. It seems as if the weather is getting better now, and the pictures prove it doubtlessly. At the lighthouse Hvalnesviti we have our next stop, with an impressive view of the coastline to the south and to the north. Our lunch stop is at Djúpivogur; the red restaurant is a typical trade house of the Hanse called Langabúð. Shortly after leaving the town, the pyramid-shaped mountain Búlandstindur passes by on our left.

Instead of following the Ring Road, we now drive along the Axarvegur road, which brings us to the Öxi pass. This route offers lots of impressions of the wild landscape of Iceland, including some sheep on the road. We drive along the road nearly up to Egilstaðir, but turn to the Lögurinn (lake) and get to the starting point of our next hiking trail. It leads us uphill to the Hengifoss, 128m high. Too bad that the weather has turned worse; the clouds of the overcast sky are hanging deeply above us, almost touching the waterfall's edge. This time I took pictures while descending; you just see more when walking down, compared to walking upward and looking against the slope. There are some more waterfalls, for instance, the Litlanesfoss between basalt columns, which looks even better than the Hengifoss.

On the evening we arrive at Reyðarfjörður, where we spend the nicht in the hotel Tærgesen. Next morning, we continue to the north and west. The Möðrudalsoræfi is an extremely barren area, like the surface of the Moon. In Möðrudalur we have a short stop; this is a very lonely settlement in north-east Iceland, and tourists typically have a stop there.

Finally we reach the Dettifoss farther to the north. This is a giant waterfall; the second largest in Europe. Another fun fact: This waterfall is shown at the beginning of the movie Prometheus. The waterfall is surely impressive, but the wind keeps blowing the spray over us; you don't dare to get your camera out of the bag.

Public pictures

Video clips

There are some video clips for this section of the trip.

<< Back to overview

We start our trip in Keflavík where we had our first night after arriving. I take a short walk through the town, which seems pretty quiet. On the next morning, we mount our tour bus and drive along the peninsula towards Reykjavík. But we just drive past it, as we plan to visit it on our last day.

We continue our trip eastbound, more specifically, to Nesjavellir. There we can see the second largest thermal power plant of Iceland; it supplies the Reykjavík area. We take a hiking trail through the foggy landscape.

Now we commence with the Gullni Hringurinn, the Golden Circle: First is Þingvellir (Thingvellir), the most important national park of Iceland. 1000 years ago, Vikings assembled regularly in this plain. Þingvellir is located on a rift between the tectonic plates, which can easily be seen by the steep rock walls.

Soon we arrive at our next stop, Haukadalur, the "valley of the hawks". We don't see hawks, but something much more exciting, the geysers. Only Strokkur is active at this time, but regularly every some minutes. Steams burts out of the ground everywhere.

After another 10 kms we stand in front of the Gullfoss, the "golden waterfall". I'll not go too far to the edge because you (and the camera) will get really wet. The view is better from some distance, anyway.

Our last stop for this day is a farm house for tomatoes called Friðheimar. Yes, tomatoes are grown here, not far from the polar circle. An army of hot and bright lamps care for the required light - and it seems to work indeed.

After all those impressions we drive to our hotel in Laugarvatn. It is a hotel from the Edda chain, managed by the Iceland university, a plain accomodation, not much luxury. But surely comfortable enough.

Public pictures

Video clips

I can offer some video clips for this part of the trip.