Day Seven, the landscape is so rewarding
Today’s route is actually one of our shortest, so naturally, that means we’ll be taking some detours.
Hopped into our trusty steed, we head back around Lake Myvatn (on the 848) as we wanted to catch it with the morning light.
The views from Skútustaðagígar were once again incredible, but boy the cold wind had picked up.
A useful guide to Iceland
If you're tempted to tour the Land of Fire and Ice and would love to discover the whole country, then take a look at this DK Eyewitness book. This Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide is invaluable, I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into searching for more.
You can now grab the revised copy.
Re-joining the Ring Road 1, we head onto to our first waterfall of the day, Goðafoss (you can never have too many waterfalls).
You could see it from the road it was so big, once closer, it almost appeared to be a double waterfall.
It was incredibly icy around the waterfall & what amazes me is that nothing is stopping you going near the edge (not that I would, but some folks may).
Aldeyjarfoss or so we thought.
We decided to head down the 844/3 towards Aldeyjarfoss. The gravel road had beautiful views as it guided you along the banks of the fast-flowing river next to you.
Unfortunately, the waterfall that we were trying to visit appeared to be down an impassable road. But hey ho, some you win, some you lose.
However, we did reach Lake Svartárvatn, and in the distance, you could see the northern tongue of the glacier, Vatnajökull, which we had seen while in the south of the country.
Something to make your travels easier?
We more or less double backed on ourselves and headed up the 842, along the other side of the river.
Returning to the Ring Road we are then greeted by Ljósavatn Mirror Lake, another astonishing view.
Perhaps when the ice has melted, it lives up to its name.
A few good ideas for your Icelandic trip
Here's a few things we picked up ahead of our trip to make things a little smoother for us.
From the low tech traditional foldout paper map, a cigarette USB charger, and a USB chargeable torch.
All simple stuff that may be helpful on your travels.
It wouldn’t be the same if we stuck to the route. Branching north off the Ring Road we head up a gravel road to Grenivik. The roads are unbelievably quiet and clear of snow.
Grenivik, is a small working fishing village, with not much evidence of tourism, which makes it appealing.
We decided to go a slightly different route back south, heading in the direction of route 1.
However, before getting there, we came across Laufás an ancient manor farm and rectory and now a museum.
Although the museum was closed, you were still able to wander around the grounds. The turf houses were fantastic, the buildings would have been for just one household and included their farmhands.
Back onto the Ring Road, we travel south to Akureyri. Akureyri is bigger than I anticipated. However, it is Iceland’s second largest town, so it isn’t surprising.
We’re hoping it’s going to be another good evening for the Northern Lights. So, we pass through Akureyri and head north, to scope out the landscape for later.
We find some potential spots, but we also come across another interesting little fishing village of Hjalteyri.
Unfortunately, clouds came in, and the KP Index for the Northern Lights dropped, so not too lucky this evening.
Instead, we headed into town and had some freshly cooked fish and chips
The route that we took today included a mixture of roads, with a few deviations off Route 1, to visit some fishing villages and waterfalls.
In total, our journey was about 275km (171 miles) and with all the stops took us about 7 1/2 hours.
Where we stayed
For the two nights, we were based in Akureyri; we stayed at Hotel Kea, in the centre of town. The hotel was comfortable and had a broad range of facilities.
The only issue was that it had limited parking on site and certain areas in town of Akureyri require a parking disc. The hotel gave us a disc; however, it works on time restrictions.
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Highlight of the Day
Every trip Gary and I go on, whether it’s a mini-break near or far or a road trip we chose a ‘Highlight of the Day’, here they are for day 7.
Janis; I really enjoyed discovering the little harbour villages, which were off the beaten track.
Gary; For me; the frozen lakes we say along the route. Looked great under the blue skies.
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