15 things you should think of before leaving for your road trip in Iceland

I recently went on the most amazing road trip I have ever done. I went to explore Iceland in a minivan and it was the most crazy adventure! I discovered, I loved, I lived but I also figured out a few things that I wish I knew before! And I am about to share them with you guys so you can be a little more prepared than I was!

1.Bring a rain coat, swimwear and 5 winter jumpers. 

The weather changes drastically! One moment you can be sitting in the sun while swimming in the geysers. The other moment you find yourself in the middle of a storm soaking wet and being blown away by the wind. Even still in May you might even wake up to snow! Iceland has the most unpredictable weather conditions, even the locals will tell you!  So be prepared for anything!!

L1170459

2. Stop at every gasstation you see.

Seriously, stop every time you see a gasstation and make sure to fuel up!! You won’t know when the next time will be! And trust me, you don’t want to end up with no fuel, sometimes there are hours in between gasstations or even villages!!

3. If you hire a car at one of the car/van hires ask for a discount card! 

At most car hires you can ask for a discount card which will enable you to have free wifi, discount on gasoline and a free coffee at every gasstation! This sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

DJI_0050

4.Take advantage of the free wifi at the gasstations.

If you are bringing your laptop or just don’t have internet abroad take advantage of the free wifi in every gasstation! Go inside and enjoy a coffee and some Skyr (an Icelandic yoghurt, a must try!! So delicious!!) while using the free internet! Or just stay in the car and park in the parking lot close to the gasstation! – Don’t forget to upload your pictures on Instagram to make everyone jealous!!

5. Food and daily necessities are expensive. 

Keep into consideration that life is rather expensive out there. Daily necessities and grocery shopping will quickly get very expensive. For the cheapest prices go to a supermarket named Bonus, here you will find everything you need and the best deals!

6. Book in advance. 

If you want to visit famous or popular spots make sure to book in advance! Places such as Blue Lagoon, or if you want to go Whale watching in Husavik make sure to book early! This way you will prevent disappointment as these get very busy and it will even be cheaper!

IMG_8780

 7. Make sure your car/van, and every object that stays inside the car is waterproof.

Storms can get very heavy and it can rain for days, so it is very important that your car/van is waterproof! If you are not 100% then make sure the objects (camera, laptops etc.) are safe!!

8. Take a multi car charger.

If you are tracking around Iceland you will want to take pictures, film, and use your phone all at the same time. However this might be difficult when everything runs out of battery! So the best way to keep everything fully charged is to buy a multi charger for in the car so you can charge as many as you need at the same time!

9. Take your best walking shoes.

Iceland is full of beautiful places, and in order to get to almost every place you will either have to walk or hike in order to get there! Don’t worry, the walks are absolutely gorgeous and you will love them, but you wont enjoy it as much if you don’t have the right shoes!! The landscape varies from place to place, you can walk on sand one moment and the next you will be hiking up a slippery rocky mountain. Bring comfortable, strong and non-slippery shoes/boots! – Also bring a few plasters just incase!!

L1180087

10. Take extra camera batteries and memory cards. 

When you are out there going on adventures you won’t stop taking pictures. Every landscape, every hike, every swim, every encounter, it will just stun you and you will want to capture every moment of it. And you will see that the moment you think you are about to take the perfect shot your memory card will be full and you will miss that perfect moment!! (You will always keep believing that that shot would of been the best shot you have ever taken..and regret it forever and always!! Yep, talking from experience here…) So always take extra batteries and memory cards!!

L1170447

11. Take your thickest sleeping bag! (And a sleeping mask) 

The sun may shine in the day but don’t let that fool you! At night it can get really, but really cold. Pack your thickest sleeping bag and make sure to take warm clothes to sleep in!! If you are going in the summer months you might also want to take a sleeping mask. In the summer the days are very long and nights will never become fully dark. This may be deceiving and mess with your brain a little! Wear a sleeping mask so you go to sleep in the dark and so you wont wake up from the light!

12. Make sure you have internet abroad.

Make sure you have a navigation or even better a phone with internet! We tried to use a map at first, but quickly found ourselves needing help from our dear friend Google Maps! Many places are not shown on the paper maps, sometimes you will need to hike to destinations or all you have are coordinates of the place you want to go to.. a phone will definitely help you out!

L1180151

13. Visit popular spots or attractions early in the morning or in the evening.

If you want to visit popular spots or attractions make sure to go either early in the morning or late in the evening. This is when they are the least busy!

14. Plan your trip in advance.

Make sure to write down all the places you want to visit and plan your trip in advance. This way you can create your perfect route and keep some kind of schedule! This will really help you to keep on track and see everything you want to see!

L1170733

15. Try their hotdogs!

Last but not least!! Make sure to try a hotdog at a gasstation! Iceland is known for their delicious hotdogs and every gasstation will have them on their menu! They are extremely cheap and full of flavor! Its a must!!

L1180080

So there we have it! Some tips to make your unforgettable road trip even more amazing! I loved it and I am sure you will fall in love with its magic too! X

Advertisements

Iceland, and its secret spots

As soon as we woke up we jumped in front of the car and full of excitement drove to a waterfall named Gljúfrabúi. As the waterfall is hidden inside a small canyon, not many people know about it, so it is definitely a nice spot to visit!

In order to get yourself in the perfect spot you have to duck under a big rock and walk into what looks like a small cave, there you can get right underneath the waterfall! Once you’ve made it inside the view is absolutely breathtaking! This is definitely not your everyday waterfall sightseeing!! – Also make sure you are ready to get wet!!

You can also climb your way on top of the rocks! It is a little climb and you have to be careful at points but it really is fun and you get an amazing view once you get to the top!

IMG_8866
Gljúfrabúi
IMG_8870
Gljúfrabúi
IMG_8884
Gljúfrabúi

Not very far away from this beautiful spot you can find the black beach. The beach is rather long and on one particular spot you will find an abandoned plane wreck laying on the middle of the beach! Now this is something extremely special to see! The United States Navy DC plane crashed in 1971 as it ran out of fuel. – Don’t worry everyone survived!! The remains of the plane are still in the exact spot as when the plane crashed which gives an amazing impact. – Amazing spot for the fellow photographers under us!!

As the beach is rather big and the plane is close to the water it is quite a walk from where you park your car! – However, when you have a 4×4 you can drive all the way to the plane! – But the walk is definitely worth it!! Trust me!!!

 

IMG_8904.jpg
Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck
IMG_8901.jpg
Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck

Secret ‘steam valley’ in Iceland

Drops were gently falling from the sky. I looked up, the views kept changing. A river appears in the distance, steam is hovering over the water. We are getting closer.

L1180269
Hveragerði – Reykjadalur

If you want to experience something amazing, something that brings you close to nature. Makes you feel or see things you have never seen or felt before. Then this is a place you HAVE to visit when going to the south of Iceland.

Reykjadalur, also called the ‘Steam Valley’, is a place hidden in the middle of the hills. After about a 3 km hike witnessing the most beautiful views you find yourself getting closer to the water and slowly getting surrounded by clouds of steam. At the end of the path you find hot water streams flowing down the hill. When you finally arrive after the challenging hike you will want nothing more than to strip down and relax in the hot water.

 

L1180291
Hveragerði – Reykjadalur

Of all the amazing places we visited in Iceland I believe this was one of the most memorable places we have been to. I am honestly telling you to go and experience it for yourself, and you will know exactly what I mean!

While we were hiking up the rain got heavier and heavier, but even when the rain is pouring down it creates something magical. While you are enjoying the hot water and your body is warm you can feel the cold water drops dripping on your face. The contrast between the two creates a balance that is beautiful. It’s truly a magical place.

L1180284
Hveragerði – Reykjadalur
L1180282
Hveragerði – Reykjadalur
L1180296
Hveragerði – Reykjadalur

IMG_8852.jpg

A small tip on how to get there: Drive straight through the town of Hveragerði to reach a gravel road that leads to Reykjadalur. Once you park the car, it’s about a 50 min hike to reach the first spots warm enough for dipping in. The further you follow the stream, the warmer the water gets! When you get to the end of the path you will find an untouched natural hot stream in which you can lean back on the edge in the water and enjoy the view of the beautiful and pure mother nature!

Where to take a bath in a secret hot spring

I slowly open my eyes, the sun is peaking through the curtains. It was hard to wake up, feeling uncoordinated. You see, the nights don’t get fully dark in May. So it could be 9 o clock in the morning, but also 3, which really messes with your head in the beginning! What is going to wake me up? A coffee? Sure. But what I really need is a shower or a bath, and whats a better way to take a bath than taking one in nature!

Landbrotalaug is a tiny hidden hot spring in Snæfellsnes peninsula. You must hike to find it and really keep an eye out as you might overlook it! The temperature of the pool is around 40°C, which makes it perfect for bathing. It can also perfectly fit 2 people, which makes it extremely romantic! I mean what a better place to take your date as to a natural private bath for two with the most insane view! – 100% the girl will fall for you!! (Just make sure to find the spot before and not get lost, that would probably decrease that 100% success rate..)

As it is a hard place to find here are the GPS coordinates: N64°49.933 W22°19.110. – Now go find yourself a girl and go!

 

L1180151
Landbrotalaug hot spring

 

After our morning bath we decided to drive further to the west of the island. We stopped at a waterfall named Kirkjufellsfoss. This is a very popular destination but also extremely beautiful. A tip that I do need to give you is to visit this place either very early in the morning or later at night. It gets rather crowded due to its beauty. So you need to take the time to see this, and it would be a shame having to many tourists around you. – Especially for the picture!

For the extreme sport lovers you can also hike up the Kirkjufell mountain. However, I do advise the more advanced hikers to take on this challenge as it can be very dangerous.

L1180207
Kirkjufellsfoss

We then got back on the road and out of nowhere we decided to stop at a parking next to the road. Extremely long stairs were climbing up a mountain, which we decided to follow. And we definitely do not regret that we did! When arriving at the top we discovered that we had been climbing a volcano, which overlooked another erupted volcano. The sun was going down, nowhere a car or people to be seen or heard. I don’t think you can experience these kind of moments anywhere in the world. Iceland you have a special place in my heart!

L1180193L1180084L1180080

Spending my morning with whales in Husavik

Of all the mornings I woke up in beautiful places this must of been the most spectacular one. I never thought I would spend my morning on a small boat accompanied by a group of humpback whales! We arrived in a little town in the north of Iceland named Husavik the night before. This town is known for having the perfect sea climate for whales and so is an extremely popular spot for all kinds of whales to unite. We woke up early and got on a small boat to spend our morning with the whales!

L1170874

Honestly, I believe that this was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. The moment you leave the harbour it gets quieter and quieter. You can hear the wind moving the sea, the birds flying above you. Everyone is quiet, concentrating on the sea. Then something spectacular happens, the most beautiful animal appears from the depth and gives you a glimpse of its beauty. I must say, water filled my eyes. – Yes, it is that beautiful. I am not exaggerating when I say that this is a MUST when visiting Iceland.

IMG_8688L1170851IMG_8769L1170868IMG_8780L1170880

You even get a hot chocolate and a cinnamon bun! I mean, what more do you want! This experience was mind blowing and I highly reccomend you to go on this adventure by getting your ticket from the company named North Sailing! They have an amazing service, cheapest tickets in Husavik, extremely friendly and a variety of types of boats which you can choose from (including a ‘carbon free’ electric boat, which is environmentally friendlier and creates no sound, which means you are approaching the whales with minimum disturbance) And not to forget, hot chocolate and cinnamon buns are included!!

 

Where to find Icelandic coffee and John Snow’s famous love cave.

Another day means another coffee! The coffee everyone drinks in Iceland is strong filter coffee. Myself, I have never been a fan of filter coffee. I prefer a short, strong and creamy espresso or a nice cappuccino! However! The filter coffee in Iceland is actually really good! It has a soft taste and goes down smoothly! – Even when you are not a hardcore coffee lover I think you will like this! You will find it at every gas station and it is crazy cheap! When you hire your camper van at Kuku Campers (like we did) they will give you a discount card which enables you to get a free coffee at gas stations OBand Olis at every visit! (It also gives you discount on fuel and free wifi!) Honestly, you have to try it!

L1170714L1170711.jpg

Our first stop was at a collapsed but a still active volcano area. We parked the car and walked up to see this beautiful caldera. The colours are breathtaking and when you walk over the edge you get a sense of the depth. Sit down, dangle your feet down and enjoy the view.

L1170733
Krafla
L1170757
Krafla

We then decided to get back on the road and visit a very special cave. We parked the car and followed the signs which would bring us to the cave. After about a 3 km hike you finally find yourself walking over large cracked pieces of stone, watch out, don’t look into the cracks to much, you might back out! The cracks go deep into the dark ground, so watch your step! You then walk down, but might not understand what all the fuss is about. We arrived at what we understood was one of the most beautiful caves in Iceland, but, where is it? Are we lost? In front of us was a small opening into the ground, pitch black. I thought surely this can’t be it, I stared at it for a while. It looked so dark and deep. My curiosity started to take over and I decided to slowly climb into the hole. But then I stopped, I could hear a drop. A drop? I got a small stone in my hand and threw it down what I believed was a deep deep hole, but no! After 1 sec the stone hit water! As I climbed further my eyes got used to the darkness, and there it was. The most beautiful cave I have ever seen!

L1170821.jpg
Grjótagjá
L1170812.jpg
Grjótagjá

This cave was also used in the series Game of Thrones. John Snow and Ygritte’s love scene was filmed right here! So when you are in Iceland, make this part of your must see list!! You will never have seen anything like it!!