Today, we get up again at 8am. In spite of the clear sky last night, there were no aurora borealis, too bad, we may see them another day.
At Julia’s Guesthouse(link Booking) we are served a super hearty breakfast, with eggs from the farm, homemade bread etc. It’s luxurious. We are accompanied by the birds, who are very interested in JB’s plate, and the cat, who comes to get some petting. It looks like we are at home, but better. I really like this guesthouse very much!
We put nevertheless 1 hour to have breakfast, prepare the thermos, pack our bags and it is only at 9 am that we leave the guesthouse. It is much cooler today, the sun is absent, and I regret not having thought to fill a hot water bottle before leaving. Today, we are going to visit a lot of waterfalls.
Part 1: Travel Diary Part
2: Practical Tips
Part 1: Travel Diary
Itinerary – day 3
To access this map on Google Maps, click here
Stop 1: Gljufrafoss
This waterfall is barely 600m from the famous Seljalandsfoss waterfall, but most tourists don’t even take a look at it. We start first with this one because the parking here is free (hihihi), while the one in front of Seljalandsfoss is paying.
I try to convince JB to put his boots on but he laughs at me thinking I’m just cold. But after showing him the waterfall and making him understand that we had to get very close to the waterfall by crossing a river, he thought that the boots & poncho could indeed be a good idea. Do you see the fault between the two huge rocks? That’s the way to enter. You can try to walk on the big rocks being careful not to get your shoes wet, but it’s difficult. Some tourists came out soaked from head to toe. If you are equipped with Gore-tex with high shoes, you will be spared.
We enjoyed the waterfall, without getting wet. Yes, when a cold weather girl like me organizes a trip, you can be sure that the suitcase will contain enough clothes and equipment to go to Antarctica 😀
Stop 2: Seljalandsfoss
We walk along the small hiking trail, past 3 other small waterfalls, to the famous Seljalandsfoss. It is so huge that it is visible from the road.
The peculiarity of this waterfall is the small path that leads behind the waterfall. The absolute kiff ! This path is a bit muddy and slippery (there are some leftovers of snow in addition), I’m glad that our hunting boots, bought 9,9€ the pair at Decathlon have kept their promise. Here too, the water whips our faces, especially when we pass behind the waterfall for the famous photo.
In short, I liked it very, very much. We take back the car. On the way, we will see many other waterfalls, but as they are in private properties, or not easily accessible, nobody visits them. Too bad!
Stop 4: Swimming pool Seljavallalaug
It’s not a well-kept secret: this open-air swimming pool is one of the first in the country to teach Icelanders how to swim and learn to swim in the open air. to swim
The water comes from natural springs, conveyed by pipes (don’t touch it because it’s hot). The swimming pool is unfortunately warmer than hot, the bottom is slippery because of algae, and the changing rooms aren’t super (not at all?) maintained. But the setting is magical. Only JB bathed because I can’t stand such warm and dirty water 😀
To get there, type Seljavallalaug Parking on Waze, then walk 15 minutes. At one point, you have to cross a small river (very easy because you can walk on the stones). Behind the mountains you see in the distance, there is the volcano with an unpronounceable name (Eyjafjallajökull) which blocked the air traffic in 2010. The view from the pool (and even on the way) is incredible, the walk is very pleasant and easy, I highly recommend it.
Stop 5 : Skogafoss
This waterfall is the reason why we came to Iceland. I was watching the Viking series, season 5, quietly, when a character from the series accidentally ran aground on a black beach, before discovering this magnificent waterfall. I wondered if this waterfall really existed, if so, where, and how I could get there. A few months later, here I am in front of THE waterfall of my dreams.
Once again, to get up close, it is necessary to be equipped with a poncho (or waterproof clothing). The flow is impressive.
There is a staircase that leads up to the top. It is a bit hard physically but the view is worth all the effort. You can see the huge river at the origin of this beautiful waterfall, a panoramic view, birds nests and especially another waterfall behind (you have to push the metal door to access it). The water is blue, transparent, it is really incredible!
Practical details: we had lunch near the waterfall, in front of a food truck selling fish & chips. 15€ (2000kr) a tray, luckily it’s good. Not liking fish, I opted for a tray of chips, 500kr only. The toilets near the parking lot are paying (200kr), you have to put some money in a box yourself.
Stop 6: Plane wreck on the beach of Sólheimasandur
Type Solheimasandur Plane Wreck and you will find the exact location of this plane wreck. The accident did not make any victim, so it isn’t gore as visit I assure you. Before, you could go there by car, but the owner of the field decided otherwise. First you have to go to the parking lot (the one displayed on Google maps isn’t correct, type Plane Wreck Parking on Waze instead)
As soon as we arrive at the parking lot, we are greeted by a sign that warns us about the weather conditions. When I see “at least 3-4 hours round trip”, I wanted to skip this stage. Finally, by checking with the infos of maps.me, the round trip is estimated at 1h30 only + the time spent on the spot.
But the wind is blowing really, really strong and I’m like “if there are alternative ways, why walk?” so when I saw this shuttle coming, I ran to the driver to ask him how much it costs. I told JB: “I’m willing to pay max 1000kr/person”.
Finally, it will be 2500kr/person (round trip), with one hour on site. Apparently this shuttle leaves every 30 minutes, and it stamps something on our hand so that we can take the bus back home without having to pay a second time. Only the payment by card is accepted.
I set myself a limit of 1000kr, but in front of such a wind, 1h30 of walk… who put the pressure on JB to take the shuttle ? It was me ! So in 15 minutes hardly, we are already in front of this wreck. Yaayyy JB expects a lot more people, but we were only about ten of us.
Unfortunately, many tourists get on and off the plane, damaging it a little more each day for a nice Instagram picture. The inside of the plane seems to have changed compared to the pictures I saw on the blog, there isn’thing left inside, whereas before, there were still some cables left.
I think that right after the crash, valuable and usable parts of the plane (like the wings, the engine, the chairs etc.) were recovered right away? Anyway, it can be visited quite quickly, and the wind is blowing so much that after 15 minutes, we can’t take it anymore, we are already back to the shuttle, instead of waiting the 60 minutes.
In the end, it was a good decision not to dawdle, because we still had a lot of things to visit right afterwards.
Stop 7 : Dyrholaey Peninsula
Before, it was an island, created by an underwater eruption. Little by little, thanks to other eruptions, it is now linked to the shore. We have to take a zig-zag path, intended only for 4x4s, to reach this lighthouse. I saw some small cars coming up to the top, and it is there that we see that the tourists do not respect the instructions… in any case, if it snows, the small car will have a lot of difficulty to go up.
The wind is blowing very strong, so strong that it almost tore the door of the car off me. Luckily, I took the reflex to grab the door every time I opened it – because I know that insurance does not cover this kind of accident (it is clearly stated in the car).
The view is exceptional, because we see this black sand beach, as far as the eye can see, with volcanoes, snowy mountains in the background… It is breathtaking. It’s a pity that the sun plays hide and seek because you won’t see it as well as we do on the pictures
We take back the car to go to the point named Kirkjufjara Beach on Google Maps. The access to the beach is unfortunately forbidden, since the accident of a tourist being fooled by a huge wave. In any case here, one should NEVER have the back turned to the ocean. There was also a huge rock fall (a cliff collapsed). On the left side of this beach, there is a hole in a cliff, and the waves go over it – good for the pictures, but you might get completely washed away (sea water, less cool). Nature can be dangerous on Island, can’t it?
And when we go up a little, it’s this kind of landscape that awaits us. It is so beautiful! And the sun reappeared besides! What landscapes of dream!
We can see the Westman Islands from afar, this little piece completely flat. Among them, there is one that appeared overnight, thanks to the underwater eruption. Practical!
We would have liked to go down to visit this beach (by making a detour by car) but we are too tired because of the wind. We go directly to our guesthouse: Guesthouse Reynir(link Booking), an unspecified guesthouse, without charm, but very clean, well heated, big kitchen and which does the job (81€/double room). Without breakfast unfortunately.
Our next article: Day 4
Part 2: Practical Tips
Today, we have covered 140km. Time spent in the car: 2h30 (because of some roads limited to 20km/h to 50km/h or accessible only to 4×4)
- WC: 200kr/person each time
- Lunch: fast-food (fish & chip) 2000kr/tray, 500kr if you only eat the fries
- Swimming pool & waterfalls: free access
- Plane wreck shuttle (shuttle to the plane wreck): 2500kr/person
- Guesthouse Reynir(link Booking): 81€/double room, breakfast NOT included, shared bathroom, fully equipped kitchen, there is a small sink in the room. The heating is on top as usual
- We are parked in front of the Gljufrafoss waterfall to avoid paying for parking. But if you park in front of Seljalandsfoss, payment is mandatory, there is a machine accepting credit cards
- For the pool: come with a towel, a swimsuit, a bag for the wet suit, and flip-flops. There are hooks in the locker room where you can hang your clothes.
- The road to the pool parking lot is full of holes and gravel, more or less tarred a normal car can go there but be careful!
- Again, we recommend Waze for car navigation, Maps.me for walks (to the pool & plane), and an international credit card as payment is sometimes only by card