~ The Plan ~
This year, my best friend and I are celebrating 13 years of friendship.
(Lord Help Us!)
In honor of such a momentous occasion we have decided to take an epic adventure to Iceland and with it just around the corner here are all the details for our plan. Check Back in November for the updates on how it all went down!
Arrival and Getting Situated
Amanda will be flying in from Sault Saint Marie, Canada… booking her flights was not easy and we ultimately had to break up her flights into two, flying her from Sault Saint Marie to Toronto and then from Toronto to Keflavik Airport outside of Reykjavik. Doing this saved us about $300 but its important to know, this requires her to grab her luggage in Toronto and then re-check-in to make her next flight.
My original flight was meant to fly from Dublin into Keflavik early on the 12th but WowAir canceled my flight in July, only to notify me in September after everything had been booked and arranged. I will be arriving a full 12 hours later than anticipated which sucks but you can only do so much.
We decided to book through Nordic Holidays after having scoured the internet reading every review possible, comparing prices, and gauging exactly what we wanted out of our vehicle. Nordic Holidays is a booking agent that commits themselves to the customer service and has received incredible reviews because of it. (No this is not a paid post, just the results of my research.)
We decided to rent a Ford Escape with a roof tent because some of the adventures we will be taking will require the 4WD but we also wanted this to be an adventure and Iceland is known for its outdoor camping. (A lot of research went into this decision, A LOT!) You need to know what you are capable of and what to expect. Both, myself and Amanda are used to living in freezing climates so we know the necessary precautions and preparations for this choice of travel. We are traveling in the middle of October which means it will be cold and the potential for winter storms is high. I don’t recommend this for everyone even now, not having gone yet.
First Night Accommodations
To prepare for big road trip, we decided our first day/ night will be spent preparing. Refreshing ourselves after traveling, acquiring provisions, and getting acquainted with our living arrangements for the next 10 days. We choose to rent an apartment space through Iceland Comfort Apartments, fully equipped with kitchen and nice amenities without breaking our banks. Our plan is to use the kitchen to prepare some meals for the next few days on the road, we have some standards so PB&J everyday for 10 days isn’t for us. (Stop judging, you know you are the same way.)
Time to Take Off
Leaving early in the morning, we will be taking the 2 hour and 30 minute drive from Reykjavik to Kirkjufell Mountain for our first hike! Now, for the rest of the article just keep in mind I have done endless research here… For this segment of the adventure, I have enlisted a wonderful article Climbing Kirkjufell from the blog “From Canyons to Clouds” as my primary point of reference. Amanda and I are equally hopeful to see similar views as to not dying on this trip. (Wish us luck!)
We plan to spend about 3 – 4 hours hiking, lets be real though, we will get swept away and time will drift away until 8 hours later… (you get the point.)
After our hiking adventure, we plan to start our driving journey towards Reykjarfjörður, Iceland. Depending upon how we are feeling, we will probably setup camp somewhere along the way.
First Waterfall is a GO!
Being that I know myself and we will not have completed all that driving from the previous day on top of our hike, we will have to start our day by finishing that so that we can actually enjoy Reykjarfjörður which is also our first Hotpot Stop. Iceland is known for their geothermal hot springs and pools, I used Hotpot Iceland to plan a few of our lesser known Hotpot stops.
After our refreshing bath session and remembering to leave a little $$ to help the local families maintain these wonderful spots, we will be driving onto Dynjandi. About 40 mins of very obnoxious car karaoke will land us at the first waterfall we have planned to view… I mean look at this beauty. Guide to Iceland was also a major help when deciding where exactly we were going to go, so thanks Regina!
After spending who knows how long taking endless photos and freezing our butts off, we will hop back in the car for a 6 hour and 30 min coastal drive of The Westfjords landing us at Hvitserkur, also known as The Troll of North West Iceland.
This driving path is our aggressive 7 hour 30 min plan, there are two other options which can cut down on time. We will see how we feel and how the weather is.
Pitstop at the gates of Wanderlust!
Starting our day with a magical view, hopefully, we will pack up and drive from Hvitserkur to Blönduós for a gas and grocery pitstop! Need to make sure we keep everything filled and ready for whatever is to come. I read that it is really important to make sure you fill up on gas whenever you can as weather and road conditions can change in a moments notice. (Fingers crossed we stay lucky.)
After our little pitstop we will be making our way into the Norther “goldmine” of wonders that Iceland has to offer. We will be making our way to view Goðafoss waterfall, to indulge in the Mývatn Natural Baths, and explore the Dimmuborgir Lava Fields. This area is known for the vast array of geology and landscapes to be viewed and explored which is why we are taking two days to do so.
Can we go any more North?
Yes, yes we can and so we are! North bound, packing up and hitting the road again to head up to one of my most looked forward to features that most people don’t bother to head up to see, The Arctic Henge. A 2 hour and 30 minute drive for what will probably be a 20 minute photo op but I want to so we are.
From there we will be taking to the coast for a drive of about 4 hours to get to Hengifoss. Our destination is Litlanesfoss Waterfall for an approximately 3 hour hike. Again, this is really dependent on weather but I am keeping my fingers crossed for the best of luck.
And because we have obviously already lost our minds, we thought we would continue on our journey for another 3 hour drive East to the colorful cliffs of Djúpivogur. All in all this is the one day which I think could very easily extend into two or simply have to cut something but, by God, I will not cut The Arctic Henge! I want to see that beautiful piece of art!
Are you still following?
At this point, I am shocked I still have your attention but you know what, thanks! I am glad to know I am not the only one to have lost my mind!
Continuing on… we will be driving from Djúpavogur to Skaftafell National Park. Probably one of the most noted sights in Iceland and a jewel of the South Eastern Region. Quite simply we will be hiking and exploring this beautiful National Park.
OOOO what an adventure!
This is where I have to seriously keep my fingers crossed because, the truth is, October is a difficult time to travel through Iceland. It’s an inbetween season where I guess the weather does just about anything it wants. Could be cold, could be hot, could be rainy, could be ice. Whatever it decides to do determines what we are able to do since 90% of what you want to do is outside. At this point, we will be in Vik and in Vik is this amazing company called True Adventures. I found them through googling and clicking, googling some more, and eventually clicking some more. Anyways, I want to go Paragliding with them. Their normal season ends in September but the cool thing about the lovely folks in Iceland is that their “end date” isn’t permanent and all you have to do is POLITELY ask, so I did. Turns out, if the weather permits and I get in touch a day or two before we arrive in Vik, there is still a chance we can go. So could you do me a favor and cross your fingers and toes for me? Thank you!
For the most part we will be finding a pitching camp when and where we can. But for this segment we will be staying at Thakgil Campsite. There is Campsite Vik but as I have heard, it is extremely small and crowded because that is where most people head. To avoid insane crowds we’re going to head a little more north, if I’m not mistaken, and stay at Thakgil where they have beautiful scenery, facilities, and BBQs in caves. Yes, I actually want to eat my dinner in a cave. What part of ADVENTURE didn’t you get?
DAY 9/ 10
October 20th/ 21st.
Southern Goldmine of Beauty!
The area around Vik and heading west towards Reykjavik is crowded with amazing things to see and explore so we plan to spend the next day, maybe two doing just that. Reynisfjara Black Beaches, Dyrholaey Rock Formation, Black Sand Beaches, Vik Church, and Vik Swimming Pool will be our first stops being that they are the closest to Vik.
Heading West we will be making sure to stop off at Sólheimasandur Beach to check out the US Navy DC-3 plane wreck which has since become a bit of a photo op but I’d like to see it non-the-less. Then onto Skógafoss Waterfall, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, and Seljavallalaug Outdoor Swimming Pool/ Hot Spring, also known as the oldest swimming pool in Iceland. I found this article titled How to Find Seljavallalaug to be incredibly helpful, well at least I hope it will be seeing as I am bound to get myself lost without any help.
By now, I am hoping to be somewhat dulled to the expansive beauty that is Iceland but at the same time I am sure I will just be tired and dying for a giant comfy bed, the beauty of the land will still knock my socks off and I will have more than I could ever possibly write about. But seeing as we are at our last day to explore we will buck up baby and head into…
Today we actually fly out, but not before we venture through our last stop Thingvellir National Park. Most people come to Thingvellir to dive or snorkel the Silfra Fissure, which if we can’t paraglide as planned, is what we will be doing too! The thing about the Silfra Fissure is that it is a “rift formed in the divergent tectonic boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates” and the only place in the world where you can touch two different continents at the same time.
You remember the scene in A Walk to Remember where Mandy Moores character wanted to be in two places at once so Shane West’s character takes her to straddle a state line and says “you’re in two places at once”? Yeah, well this takes that to a whole new level and I am sooooooooo down to beat A Walk to Remember!
And that ladies and gentlemen completes the plan for our 10 day adventure around Iceland. Can’t wait to actually complete it! Be sure to check back for the updates and let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Keep in mind, I already know we’re crazy sooooo no need to state the obvious!