Day Three, Waterfalls, Winds & Black Beaches
Another full day ahead of us on our Icelandic Ring Road adventure, we’re on the road by 8:30, and our sightseeing for day 3 is looking full to bursting.
In the grand scale of the trip, today’s route is a relatively short distance of around 102miles/165km. However, there is so much to see, even without our spur-of-the-moment stops.
We toured the Golden Circle on day two of our trip, which was incredible but today we are heading coast bound to continue our Iceland road trip east.
Before leaving Selfoss, east along the Ring Road (1), we pick up some fuel, which will easily cover us for our day’s touring ahead. After around 50km (31 miles) at Hvolsvollur, we take a left along the 261 for our first stop of the day.
(You can pick-up any part of our Iceland Road Trip at the bottom of this post, along with a map of our route and the 'Highlight of the Day' for each of us.)
For our overnight accommodation in Vik we chose to stay at the Hotel Katla Hofdabrekka, which was very comfy, had ample parking and included breakfast.
Exploring IcelandAnd the first waterfall of the day
It may be obvious
Your self guided tour of IcelandIt's just a short hop
Unfairly we had to share this waterfall with one other couple. It just proves how deserted Iceland can be even around its incredible beauty spots.
One of the things I love about Iceland is that they allow you to use your common sense and if you want to climb amongst the craggy rocks then go ahead and do it.
Where to stay in Vik
In Vik we chose to stay at the Hotel Katla Hofdabrekka.
We had a few essential requirements from each of our overnight stays in Iceland, which were:
Breakfast included or available nearby.
Scooby snacks along the way can be expensive.
Parking is a requirement, as this is a road trip after all.
Nearby cafés/eateries, or onsite restaurant for the evening.
Preferably a close-by fuel station; they can be few and far between en route.
Discovering the wildlifeIcelandic Horses
A must-see in IcelandSeljalandsfoss
One of the few charges
Parking at Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a flat charge of ISK 700 (£5.50) – credit cards were accepted.
Our next Icelandic waterfallSkógafoss
Jump back in the car still heading east along the Iceland's Ring Road onto Skógafoss Waterfall, don’t you dare say “not another waterfall”….
The scenery along the way is stunning, little waterfalls pouring over the edge of crevices and the sea crashing on the coastline on the other side. We stopped along the way at a building nestled in the mountainside covered in grass.
Useful tips for driving in Iceland
If you are planning a road trip around Iceland particularly over the winter months you need to be very aware of the ever-changing road and weather conditions. During winter, parts of the Ring Road may be impassable, and you may not get to areas of the country you intended to.
Regularly check the conditions by using these useful websites and apps, believe me, they will come in handy.
- Icelandic Met Office
- The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration – Vegagerdin also has an app.
Iceland's dramatic weatherNot in the plan
Heading along the 1 we spot a turning for a viewpoint, Gary doesn’t need to be told twice, we’re off on a detour along the 218.
A 4X4 was handy here, as it was a bit of a climb up a very bumpy gravel road, but oh my, the views were worth it, even with the rain and lack visibility the viewpoint was stunning. You had an aerial view of the sheer cliff face with gulls and birds swooping in and out of the crevices.
Discovering Iceland's dramatic coastlineThe Door Hole
Finding the right car for your Icelandic Road Trip
Discover Iceland’s enchanting Ring Road with its rugged landscape or the waterfalls and geysers around the Golden Circle for yourself.
If you want to explore Iceland's F-Roads, you must have a 4x4, but we'd recommend one anyway for the improved driving position, and if the weather turns, you have a touch of added protection.
We recommend Rental Cars as they search multiple well-known car hire brands and discovers the deals that suit you the best.
More to discover in IcelandThe day is not over yet
Planning your trip to Iceland
So you're planning a trip to the Land of Fire and Ice? There is so much to see and do in Iceland that you'll wish you were staying longer. To ensure you make the most out of your visit, head over to the official website of Visit Iceland for a little help and guidance.
Not quite the last stopWell I had to
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.
Our Iceland Road TripThe route
In search of the Northern Lights
If you are Northern Light hunting, you need to be aware of the sunset & darkness times and the KP Index for the evening. It also requires dark and partly clear skies.
KP Index scale ranges from 0 to 9;
4-6: A big solar storm is coming
7-9: Highly unusual
You can monitor this via the Icelandic Met Office which is updated around 6 pm.
Where we stayed in VikHome for a night
For the one night, we were based in Vik; we stayed at the Hotel Katla Hofdabrekka. The hotel was very comfortable, and it helped that we had an upgrade to a superior room.
There was ample parking & free Wi-Fi and an onsite restaurant.
Tomorrow we head out further east, with the final destination of Höfn.
Our journey, primarily along Iceland's route one, will be 169miles/272km
Highlight of the Day
Trips to try in IcelandSomething from Get Your Guide?
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I love your photos! So many great ones, but my favourite might be the one of the icelandic horses. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks very much, the credit goes to Gary for the photos.
The Icelandic horses appear to be quite a hardy breed, they are in the fields all weather, come snow or sun. They looked quite sorry for themselves at times.
Oh you’ve taken me back to our road trip, in 2007 the same as you! We drove round the whole island in the July so weather was a bit better. But I loved the beaches and waterfalls. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that trip – it was the start of my travel blogging – so inspirational.
We’re glad it brings back wonderful memories for you.
We really enjoyed the mini break we had in May 2007, but heading back in March this year was even better. The trip was topped off, as we were lucky to see the Northern Lights, around Lake Myvatn.
stunning nature! #farawayfiles
It is amazing, our highlight of the trip was definitely the Northern Lights, however, to see a glacier up close was incredible. Once in a lifetime experiences.
What a great way to discover more of Iceland and its amazing scenery. I knew about the incredible waterfalls but can’t get over that black sandy beach. I’ve seen black sand on volcanic islands like Santorini but nothing like the colour of this. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles
It is just incredible, you don’t think you can be taken aback anymore, then you turn a corner or jump out the car for a wander and you’re faced with another natural wonder.
These photos are amazing! I keep thinking I should see Iceland and then for some reason I don’t jump on it, but your photos of that black sand beach have just made me change my mind! I’m going to look up flights now… #farawayfiles
The black beaches are breath-taking and the rock formation in the caves is surreal. For such a small country, Iceland has so much to offer & most of the wonders are free to visit.
I hope you book your trip, I’m sure you won’t regret it.