Iceland – 3 highlights that can not be missed in the land of ice and fire
Iceland always has been a dream destination of us, it isn’t on my bucket list for nothing. And this year was THE year! Because hotels and Airbnb are soo expensive, we decided to go camping. This also gave us the freedom to decide when we would go visit what and how long we were going to stay. And on top of that was this my camping debut. And I have to admit: camping was so much fun and we will definitely do it again.
But what were our 3 highlights of our trip to Iceland?
Trio Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Gullfoss
Ok, now I am cheating, but we really couldn’t choose. These 3 waterfalls are all within a reasonable distance of Reykjavik and Vik, and are all unique in their own way. Behind Seljalandsfoss, there is a little cave so you can walk behind the waterfall.
The powerful Gullfoss is the highlight of the (in our opinion not so impressive) Golden Circle.
And you can ‘climb’ Skógafoss via a staircase making it possible to walk along the river at the top. These 3 waterfalls alone are perfect when you are on a tight schedule.
Have more time? Visit Dettifoss, one of the most impressive waterfalls of our trip.
Camping experience: Coming from Reykjavik, the campsite in Vik was our first and also the least ‘fun’ :-(. We arrived pretty late and were, as complete camping newbies, happy that our tent was so easy to set up. On top of that: this first night was pretty cold, so we were happy that we had a very thick sleeping bag that is suited for temperatures around 0°C. Isolated sleeping equipment in the fickle Icelandic weather is no unnecessary luxury. This campsite has a communal cooking space and showers. The number of showers and washbasins is however not nearly enough for the number of people that are staying there; we had to wait in line to brush our teeth.
Skaftafell National Park
One of the 3 National Parks in Iceland. Starting at the visitor centre, you can discover the park through a number of trails. We did a 20k hike to Morsárjökull and were lucky enough to have sun with some wind (softshells were not an unnecessary luxury). In this National Park, you can also find the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall, that is only a small distance from the campsite. The National Park is also the perfect base for going to the picture perfect glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón and the plane wreck.
Camping experience: There is a large and quiet campsite in the National Park itself. Next to showers, there is also a cantoon where you can buy hot coco to get warm. Because of the cozy atmosphere, this was one of the favorites. And we also stayed the longest here.
Myvatn is a lake in the Nothern part of Iceland; it is surrounded by a surreal landscape of lava fields. Because of this, there are a lot of things to do. You can walk in between the strange rock formations of Dimmuborgir, get some fresh air at the (smelly) fumaroles of Námafjall, or climb the Hverfjall ash volcano. Nice to know: Myvatn means ‘mosquito lake’. We were spared from scratching but remember this when you visit this area during the early summer months.
And don’t forget to relax in the Myvatn nature baths during sunset. This is an absolute must and much cheaper than the Blue Lagoon.
Camping experience: We stayed at Camping Myvatn. This was one of the best equipped camping sites of our trip and you have a nice view over the lake. It has an indoor cooking place. The showers have a pretty distinctive smell because the water is heated by geothermal activity. Close by are a gas station and a supermarket. Because we were lucky enough to have sunny weather, we could cook outside overlooking the lake.
Camping was one way to save money in Iceland. Need more tips? Read them here. This article was created by a nice collaboration with Decathlon Belgium.
It looks like you guys had a great trip! Iceland has been on my bucket list for a looong time! And of course, this post is only making me want to go even more! 🙂
Can’t wait to keep up with your adventures!
You should definitely go when you have the chance. More posts will follow about our trip 😉
What an inspired experience.
The falls alone look like well worth the trip but I’d love taking a bath in those geothermals.
As for the interesting odor, I betcha I know what that smelled like. We had a little taste of this in Savusavu, Fiji, which had geothermal springs where folks could hang out, and I believe some baths too. I recall the smell by the springs when the tide went out, low-tide time. Pretty strong, but fascinating too, as the steam rose.
Iceland captivates me. So green, so pristine and so fascinating.
Thanks for sharing.
Hi Ryan, Thank you.
You are right, the smell is strong but fascinating at the same time. We had an amazing time there and I will be sharing much more about our trip there in the coming weeks