So there we go, in our Fiat 500 cruising down the mountains following the lake. The hot air flows through the car, blowing our hair into the air. Its a beautiful morning for exploring and spending the day in the sun. If you ever drive through Switzerland or Italy you will notice that you are determent to stop every 5 minutes to take a picture of the breathtaking view, that seems to become more and more beautiful as you continue driving.
You will also notice that after taking a picture of the amazing view you will want to dive right into the lake. Now there are many, but many beautiful spots to go to and enjoy a cooling dive while looking out onto the mountains. However, there is a spot where you can lay down your towel onto the sand underneath your parasol and dive into the lake. But you can also dive from a 10m diving board into a beautiful swimming pool. Or if you just want to leave the kids to get rid of their energy and you just want some peace and quiet then go to the cafe and enjoy a coffee while dangling your feet in the water. Its the perfect place to come if you want to get in some exercise (swimming in an olympic size pool) or just want to enjoy a day in the sun with your family. The beach is called Lido Di Lugano and it is definitely worth a visit when in Lugano.
In this exact moment I am dangling my feet in the water next to a beautiful white swan. We both seem to be enjoying the most stunning view. I am in love with this place and tomorrow I will tell you all about it! – Trust me, you will fall in love with it to.
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!
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!!!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!!
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!
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.
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!
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!!
Stepping out of the airplane, breathing in the sharp cold air. We finally arrived! The flight with Wow Air was smooth and comfortable. I have to say that my first thoughts when entering the plane were clean, spacious and bright! When flying to Iceland I definitely advice you to pay a little more just to make sure you have a window seat, because wow, (I now understand why they called it Wow Air) the view is amazing! – You will already fall in love with Iceland even before you arrive!
We decided to hire a small camper van from a company named Kuku Campers. They picked us up from the airport and after a short drive of about 30 min we arrived at their office to pick up our van! They were super organised and helpful with any questions we had! They gave us the keys, a map and a discount card – which can be used at gas stations OB and Olis for discount on fuel, free wifi and a free coffee at every visit! (Those free coffees are definitely appreciated during long road trips!!)
So there we were! About to start the adventure we have been waiting for!!
We got the keys and decided that our first stop was going to be just down the road! With our stomachs making whale sounds we asked the people at Kuku Camperswhat the best supermarket would be to get our food and essentials from and they advised a store called Bonus.
We quickly found the prices in Iceland to be very high compared to the prices in the Uk. However, the average income in Iceland is almost double compared to the Uk, which explains the prices. Nevertheless, in Bonus they have a large variety of food – which can also be easily stored! (I strictly advise you to store food as you aren’t going to find many supermarkets throughout your trip if you are planning to do a road trip around Iceland like we did!) Also make sure to fuel up every time you see a gas station! You never know when the next one will show up! – Also, very important, make sure to store enough pots of Skyr!! Best breakfast/snack EVER!!!
So after having stuffed ourselves with Skyr and filled our car with fuel and food we finally got on the road and started our trip!
Starting to drive towards the south of the island you find that every turn you take the landscape becomes more and more beautiful. When following the main roads there are plenty of roadsigns indicating possible points of interests to explore!
On our first day we decided to stop at the stunning waterfall named Gullfoss!
The breathtaking view and the incredible force coming from the water clashing down the rocks makes a huge impact. The moment you step out of your car you can feel drops of water flowing through the air being carried by the wind. You follow the stream, look over the side of the rocks and feel smaller and smaller. You really feel that nature is much greater and stronger then you have ever felt. This feeling, of being small and weak compared to nature and its breathtaking forms and force is a feeling you will experience many times while in Iceland, believe me.
After a long and beautiful hike following the stream of the Gullfoss waterfall we got back on the road and experienced one of the many beautiful sunsets of Iceland. At this time of year (May) the sun sets at around 11.1, but it never actually gets fully dark. So get ready to give your biological clock a good shake up!