We can say we are lucky because despite our age (31) we have already seen many countries around the world but both of us agree on that we have never been in an amazing place such as Iceland. All the whimsicality and brute force of nature we experienced there was so impressive therefore we are sure we will come back soon.
The plan of our Iceland trip turned to be real middle of May (2016) when we already had the plane tickets purchased. Then we started the planning based on the many travel blogs we read through. It soon turned out that the best way to discover the island would be with a camper rental. With a camper we could do the trip in our pace and with our own time schedule. We wanted to see as much as possible of the island during the 5 days we planned to spend there.
We found our faithful trip mate on the Rent.is site. We already named our mate on the first day because she so well served us. We just called her DAGIKA which was came from the registration plate of the car.… but we could not explain it in a funny way to anybody who is not Hungarian. 🙂 We picked up DAGIKA on Monday morning at the Reykjavik office where we were really surprised that we got a nearly new car which was designed based on space-saving principles but well equipped at the same time. It was clean and equipped with all the necessary camping stuffs. We also had free WiFi in the car which was quick enough for YouTube stream so with the soundtracks it makes our trip more fun.
The first day adventures spend together with our Icelandic friend and host: Skorri. He had a lot of advice, tips and tricks about what should we visit in which order and in which direction to start. He have highlighted a few places which are not that well-known for tourists and not advertised by the travel books but comparable with the famous places. And of course funny facts about Icelandic life and things like naming hierarchy and so on… Therefore we started to north from Reykjavik to our first check point which was the Glýmur waterfall. We skipped the tunnel along the road 1 and take the 47 around Hvalfjörður.
The bay which was formerly a naval port in the second world war was also wonderful. We were shocked from the first view but at that time we did not know how much we will be shocked during the week. We parked DAGIKA at parking lot near the waterfall then we started our walking tour up to the mountain in a slightly rainy weather. Skorri sad it will be roughly 15 minutes but it’s turned out finally it was like 1,5 hours. Then we noted: time counted differently on Iceland. 🙂 The waterfall was amazing. We knew we would see many on the island but the first was already shocking. There were many blueberries bushes along the path what we really like… probably it had also an effect on overall touring time. 🙂 It was rainy and windy at the beginning then turned quickly into sunshine. We realized at that time how changeful is the weather on the island. Anyway we could see the waterfall in many color shade.
Next place to visit was the Snæfellsjökull (Lóndrangar) on the same day. There we could feel the force of the ocean with all of your senses. The noise and pressure of the ocean was impressive. You could even taste it from the salty vapour. And last but not least the rocks in the water were astonishing.
It was already around 9pm so we had to turn back to the direction of Borgarnes to spend the first night together with our friend. We spend that in Húsafell in their weekend house which is also a nice area but it was already dark so we could not discover it. On the first night we let DAGIKA to rest.
On the second day morning after taking the rest of the previous night BBQ lamb steaks for breakfast, we continued our trip facing to new adventures. The first stop on this day was a waterfall which called funny for Hungarians: Bjarnafoss. 🙂 Just google it “barna fos” then you will see. The weather became clear and sunny therefore the amazing landscape was more glorious.
Then we continued our trip to north-east direction and passed Blönduós where we planned to renew our dried up alcohol stock in the local vinbuðin (editor’s note: the state run liquor store). We thought we will need some internal heating on cold nights. In the parking lot we realized a disgusting smell, then we saw the traditional fish drying stand. We learned this kind of fishes are real dainty in Iceland… at that time we skipped the chance to taste it. Actually we couldn’t even walk close to the stand. 🙂
Being wild campers we truly wished some hot bathing before the night therefore, according to Skorri’s recommendation, we checked the small but great bath in Hofsós. We had an amazing view directly from the pool to see and to the mountains in front of on that clear summer night.
Pleasantly warmed and charged up we have faced to discover our spot for the night which was finally found close to Akureyri at the foot of a rocky mountain right on the sea side. It was roughly 10 pm when we finished dinner we had delicious Icelandic beers with. The harmony was complete between us and the nature around.
Since we live in middle Europe, sadly, it’s ordinary that you can see garbage all around but it was not the case in Iceland. In Iceland it was an exception if we saw garbage somewhere therefore we also kept cleanliness around us and really pay attention not to leave anything behind.
We woke up very excited on day three because we have planned whale watching in Húsavik for this day. On this pleasantly cool but sunny morning we had our breakfast on the camp set and just watching the see and the snowy mountains behind.
When we arrived in Húsavik, we quickly bought tickets to the earliest ship and right away started the program which was probably the most awaited. We never had experienced the closeness of a huge animal like the whales. We saw many really close to the boat and they just calmly swim around. It was amazing.
We were really lucky with the weather too. It was sunny all the way so the professional clothing what we have got to the trip turned to be warm already. The guide and the crew were really professional and helpful. It was the most expensive program we had in Iceland but anyway it’s worth to pay the price. We just can recommend this.
After we arrived back to the harbor we had our usual coffee in the nearest bistro and we left in the direction of the Mývatn lake. We got the advice that probably the natural bath there is a better choice compared to the famous Blue Lagoon. It’s much cheaper and not that crowded but the experience is comparable. Yes we did not checked the Blue Lagoon afterwards so we did not verified that but the Mývatn Natural bath was wonderful. Pleasantly warm water surrounded with amazing lava hills and service from the bar directly in the pool. You don’t need to get out from the warm water in case you order a beer and you can pay it when you exit. So also recommended instead of the Blue Lagoon for low budget trips (as it was ours 🙂 ).
It was a really long day so we were tired to keep up searching for a nice spot and the sun was already down so we parked in a familiar camp in Eglisstaðir. Made our dinner in the camp and had a beer with it then immediately shut down right after. 🙂 We were really exhausted.
On day four we continued our roundtrip to the direction of Höfn on road nr:1. DAGIKA well stand the challenge on the gravel road sections too.
There were surprises in every turn on the left and on the right. Amazing rocks, creeks, waterfalls, lakes and hundreds of curious Icelandic horses right next to the road. We had to stop in every turn to snort the spectacle.
On the black sand sea side we collected a few pebbles for our turtle then continued in the direction of Jökulsárlón. We already thought there is no further level of natural wonders but we were wrong. At this place the blue color of the sea and the white ice rocks have a magical contrast.
All the ice rocks are moving slowly and suddenly turning over and disappearing completely. Meantime cute seals are swimming all around. The warmth of the sunshine and cold wind from the ice rocks of the bay were there at the same time. It was a stunning experience.
Also stopped at the Skaftafell glacier and took a few picture then turned to the direction of Vík. We had the plan to have a night bath but unfortunately we missed the opening time. Therefore we started to search for our spot for this night. We found it in a hided area at the foot of a mountain where we had a narrow creek also.
We could prepare our soup for the diner from the water of the creek and we still had some Brennivin to rinse our throat after the dinner. We fell asleep during the sunset because we had to wake up early to return the car on time to Reykjavik.
On the morning of day five, we stopped at the Skógafoss waterfall which is probably the most beautiful we have ever seen. It was early in the morning and there were many campers who spent their night around there. Since it was early it was not flooded with tourist therefore we could enjoy the experience alone. Unfortunately we were in hurry to catch the return time so quickly took a big breath of the vaporous fresh air and turned to the direction of Reykjavik. We gave back DAGIKA with heavy heart but really satisfied on the other hand.
We had so much amazing experience with that camper van, completely fulfilled our need and never disappointing us. There were only one minor issue with the light bulbs on the front during the 1600 km what we took together but we could quickly replace the bulbs in a gas station. The price of the replacement bulbs was refunded completely which is really fair. We were truly satisfied with the overall service of the company. The funny side of this bulb replacement issue is that the new bulbs actually produced in Hungary. 🙂
Our friend Skorri was waiting for us at the bus station on the return day than we visited the Þingvellir, the Gullfoss waterfall and finally the Strokkur together on this day. We had to notice that Iceland still hiding so many amazing natural wonder and 7 days not enough to discover all of these. The Westfjord and the middle areas still waiting for us to return and discover.
On this night we spent our lets say usual delicious pylsur dinner with Brennivin on the balcony and discussing the stories of the week with the pictures we took.
On Saturday we went into the center of Reykjavik early due to the cultural day. We loved all the corners of the city with the historical Icelandic houses painted with unusual colors (unusual for us). Funny thing: within the cultural day there were an exhibition in Harpa promoting Hungarian culture. 🙂 Not even the huge mass confused us and we spent the complete day in the city until 8 pm. We checked the book and photo stores and of course many of the pubs. 🙂 We have experienced the Icelandic party life at the open stages, eaten hamburgers with beer on the street and of course caramel muffin with coffee. It was an amazing day again. We felt exhausted end of the day but overfilled with new experiences.
On Sunday sadly realized that we have to travel back on this day. For lunch we had our last lamb steaks thanks to Skorri who afterwards took us to the airport. The weather was kind for us during the complete week. It was only raining and windy on the arrival and departure day of our trip. But it was also not a problem because we could see all faces of the weather of this wonderful island. This trip outdone our expectation surely even though we have read many travel blogs and saw many pictures previously. We will never forget this experience, this is something that no one can take away from us. 🙂