Iceland in Winter: Golden Circle

 

Winter days in Iceland are quite short, but it does not mean that it isn’t possible to stop to admire the most important sites along the golden circle. A time schedule would be very helpful in this case so that you know how to manage the time. This country is so beautiful it makes it really difficult not to stop for longer time at this awesome sights.

We were there only one week before the shortest day and the light began to come through at about 09:30, and the dark came just before 17:00.

Between the first light and the sun rise we could calculate about 1 1/2 hours and the same was for the sunset. We got real the best weather for this trip!

The sunny hours are something like a very long sunrise and a very long sunset; this means…WOW… golden hours all the day long!

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The first place to visite was the enchanted þingvellir (Thingvellir) national park. The Þingvellir area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, being situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In winter we got the chance to see the frozen lake and the Öxarárfoss waterfall

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We continued our trip in the direction of the Geysirs

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Some more time for a quick lunch around this steamy geothermal area. From here in only a few minutes we reached the majestic Gullfoss waterfall.

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The final stop in a natural hot-sprig just before heading in direction of Hella for dinner and a good sleep.

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Iceland in Winter: From the Sky

We’ve been for a few days in Iceland again! Last time we’ve visited Iceland it was in early September and we were so amazed that we found we have to go there.

So we were lucky to find flights for a reasonable time and we could visit our great friend in Reykjavik again and then start our 3 days tour before heading home.

The arrival by plane was breathtaking: many volcanoes covered snow and the Svartsengi geothermal power plant could be admired.

What for an incredible view! We could not wait to start our trip.

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From Kirkjubæjarklaustur to Djúpivogur (Iceland, day 5)

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This we had a long drive starting from our hotel and passing by Kirkjubæjarklaustu. On the way we stopped at a river near Foss a Sidu where we played with the exposure of the camera we also stopped to take some pics of the Kálfafell montain and the wonderful landscape.

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A wonderful walk to the Svartifoss waterfall was today’s highlight; hiking on a easy trail trough an incredible beautiful flora with plenty of flowers, birds and small trees we reached the waterfall framed by splendid basalt rocks! Not to be missed!

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Only a few kilometer further we found another place to visit which was not mentioned in the South Iceland t0urist map: the Svinafellsjökull with a glacier landing and melting in a small lake. A great place to have a rest and have our sandwich.

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Finally we arrived at the “Glacier Lagoon”. Huge blocks of ice constantly break off the glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull, and large icebergs float on the Jökulsárlón lagoon and drift through a canal under a bridge and arrive to the sea. The lagoon is not very wide but it is up to 250 meters deep which makes it the deepest lake in Iceland. Breiðamerkurjökull is an outlet of the Vatnajökull glacier. Like diamonds some of the blue ice blocks land on the black sand beach. In the lagoon had the change to spot a seal swimming between the icebergs: what for a spectacle!

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We continued our drive with another stop at Hoffell for a relaxing bath in the “hotpot”. The rain started and did not stop until we reached our overnight place at Djúpivogur on the east coast of the island.
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From Vik to Kirkjubæjarklaustur (Iceland, day 4)

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East of Vik you will find the Dyrhólaey Nature Reserve with the beautiful arch and from where you can see the glacier, the sea coast, the lightroom (now a hotel) and the nesting colonies of seabirds!

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From this place you will have a great look to the black sand beach and the Reynisfjara shore with its basalt steps columns. The cliffs west of the beach are home to many seabirds, most notably puffins which burrow into the shallow soils during the nesting season.

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The first rain drops came just in time before we left the black sand beach Vik and driving further.

 

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Drive across the Mýrdalssandur floodplains and the wonderworld of Eldhraun the largest lava field ever to flow on Earth in historical time which is  now completely covered by moss. Don’t step on the moss, and drive to the viewpoint which has just been prepared for you, you will not miss it! Looks like another planet! 🙂

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A few kilometers before the small village Kirkjubaejarklaustur you enjoyed a walk above the Fjaðrárgljúfur, a narrow and beautiful canyon. Really worth to have a lot at this incredible place.

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Hella to Vik (Iceland, day 3)

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Today’s program got a change, as to owner of the hotel suggested us to have a closer view to the active volcano Hekla

We drove back for about 8 kilometers back and after turning right (road 26) we approached the volcano Hekla and the Burfell volcano on other side of the river.

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The incredible landscape let us stop for a few photo sessions. The alternative route back to Hella  (road 268) was a gravel road, so after crossing the bride and taking a few pictures of the stunning blue reflection of the river. After about 2 kilometer on that road we found that driving back from the paved road would be the better and easier choice.

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Our next stop was the Seljalandsfoss waterfall which tumbles 60 m over the old sea cliff into a deep plunge pool. It has so undercut the rocks that it is possible to walk behind the cascade.

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This day a second waterfall originated from the Eyjafjalla Glacier is the Skógarfoss (Skogar) Waterfall which brings water from the melting snows between the two icecaps. If you are planning to stop here, I really recommend you to follow the steps and the path up to to the waterfall. It’s really wonderful there and you can spend a few hours enjoying that place. Once you are up, your will enjoy the view and you will not regret the roughly 400 steps behind you. 🙂

If you are planning to stop here, I really recommend you to follow the steps and the path up to to the waterfall. It’s really wonderful there and you can spend a few hours enjoying that place. Once you are up, your will enjoy the view and you will not regret the roughly 400 steps behind you. 🙂

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Going back the car the weather changed, we headed to Vik and spent some time at the black sand beach just by the village (not to be confused with the black sand beach east of Vik by the basalt stones). The humid freezing breeze gave to this place a mystic and dramatic look. We  knew we would go back the next day…

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