If you are looking to explore as much nature wonders as possible, Iceland is a place to go. In a relatively small area you can find volcanoes, waterfalls, snow covered mountains and hot rivers, geysers, black beaches and icebergs. Although it isn’t a cheap destination, not the place for inexperienced travelers.
As my friend from Iceland told us – best way to experience Iceland is to rent a car and go sightseeing, staying in the tents. Iceland is highly populated with campsites so camping isn’t a problem there. And that was exactly what we decided to do. First of all because staying in one place wasn’t an option, since we wanted to make the whole journey around Iceland, and second – renting a half decent room or a house is just super expensive.
No matter when you decide to visit Iceland you are going to miss something – either the ice caves, northern lights, some more extreme destinations, or will be faced with harsh weather or tons of tourists. We chose late spring \ early summer, and we were able to catch not so expensive flight tickets. Apart from the day of the arrival there were no constant rain, and third day when we got caught
in a 40m\s wind, the weather was nice and mostly sunny. So camping wasn’t that hard.We rented a 4×4 car (which is pretty much a must since F roads are closed for 2 wheel drive) – 2017 Dacia Duster. The car itself wasn’t anything fancy, though it did the work.
We had full 6 days to explore Iceland, plus two half days of the flights. It isn’t much, since Iceland has so much to offer, but we managed to make it all around the Iceland and see most of what we wanted to see. Even with this short time we managed to drive 3200 km.
On the very early morning of the first day we went to Blue Lagoon, since it is very close to the airport, it is basically two options – first day or last day. We decided that we need some spa before we head down the hard road, and it wasn’t a bad decision. Blue Lagoon is a must in Iceland – the time we went there it was around 5°C outside, and the water was around 38°C. Gloomy, fogy, mysterious and amazing. Since we booked our visit at 7 am in the morning there wasn’t much people and it was great. When we were leaving it was getting really crowded in there.
Then we were heading to the Golden circle. It is a one day drive route around the region, that has most of the tourist attractions in a very short time. It has geyser called Geysir (where all other geysers got the name), which shoots hot water into the air every 10 minutes (and the tourists just standing there trying to capture it on camera), Gullfoss waterfall, which is pretty amazing, Faxi waterfall, an amazing volcanic lake and some hiking routes. After the golden circle we were heading to the southern shore and on the main circle road around Iceland. Since we ended up on the road to Iceland’s most active volcano, there was not many camping sites around, so we had to find a place to camp. Ended up camping near the remote route by the volcano.
When we woke up next morning the wind was so strong, that is was a miracle how our tent was still standing. Due to the wind, and closed roads to the volcano (on a good day you can hike to the very top), we had to only experience volcano from a far, and went to the black beach. The wind was not getting any better, in fact it was getting stronger – up to 40m/s, and were were almost literally blown away from the cliff at the black beach. Because of that we couldn’t actually go down to the beach and experience it well. Driving that day was insane, since wind was blowing into a car and we had to take some routes that were covered by water or were really tricky. Gladly, at the end of the day we managed to get offshore, and the wind was gone. We found a nice campsite and stayed there for a night.Next day was pretty nice for sightseeing, and we went to see the Black Waterfall, which in my opinion is one of the most amazing waterfalls, and you can’t show that on pictures. The waterfall is formed on the lava rock columns, that has hexagon shape. The most amazing thing is that you can see how the columns crack and produce big hexagon shaped stones at the bottom of the waterfall. After this great wonder of nature we went to see some ice – diamond beach. It has ice blocks formed on the black sand of the beach. It wasn’t as impressive as the icebergs just around the corner. And you might think it’s very cold, but the temperature was around 7°C. We found a campsite with confused owner and stayed there for a night.
We continued our journey heading south of the island. It was quite a foggy day, so whenever we went, so it happened we couldn’t see any proper sightseeing. We went to mud pools which is the most amazing disgusting place I have ever been to. It smells awful and it looks more like the surface of the moon, rather than Earth. It’s not for bathing though. Occasional stops at random locations and a lot of mountain roads that weren’t so easy to ride. In the evening we were pretty tired and some of us were getting flu, so we decided to rent a house in the nearby town. The house itself was very neat – it had three bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, wifi, tv, sauna and a hot tub. Of course, we used the hot tub, because, why not, and after it slept like babies.We still had a long road to ruin and only two days left on our journey. On the way went to see seals. There were two places where you can find seals, and the one that is close to the shore was closed due to bird nesting season. Second was not as amazing since the seals were barely visible, yet we saw them. I have proof. We went to eat some local soup at the restaurant and it was the most amazing fish soup I have ever tasted, considering that I hate fish soups, this one I even liked.
We decided to drive trough the night, and I have to mention the fact that during this time of year it doesn’t get dark at night in Iceland. Even at 2 am we were able to go sightseeing. We saw and amazing cascading waterfall, and headed to Reykjavik. Our last destination was some obscure location, that got us driving to the snowy mountain top. The route was barely passable until it wasn’t due to snow. We haven’t find any sightseeing locations there, though we found two Yeti huts and made a snowball fight in June, so I call it a good destination anyways. We reached Reykjavik and decided to go camping to the same location we went on the first day.Last day we took my cousin to the airport and went to Raykjavik for some gift shopping. Also, needed to clean the rental car and return it. And it was looking pretty awful I have to admit. Good thing that in Iceland you can clean your car for free in almost any gas station. We were exhausted and kind of wanted to go home and get a good night sleep.
If we take out the money factor out of the equation, I would definitely go to Iceland again on a different season, since I would be able to experience different things. Of course, this time I would be more ready for it’s harsh climate. Would I recommend Iceland? For sure! This is the most amazing country I have ever been to, people are great, it feels very developed and very much ready for tourists. Even though we haven’t seen everything the spring in Iceland has to offer, I could not be disappointed since we seen so much already.