Did you already know I am a little bit in love with Iceland? A few years ago I decided to do something different with my holiday, something I will never forget. I think it is important to travel alone sometimes, at least it is very important for me. I love my family and friends but I really really enjoy discovering new places on my own. So, I decided to go to Iceland. Not on a charter, no tour guides, no hotels…. I rented a decent sized car and went for camping instead. With a tent, sleeping bags, outdoor stove, plenty of food and good clothes I prepared myself for a week on Iceland.
My plan was messed up already from day one, when I realised it would be raining every single night, and usually during day as well to be honest. Day 2 I lost my MasterCard, and my reserve VISA did not work. Great.
However, with a little help from extremely friendly Icelanders I managed to get enough cash to fuel up my car, drive all night to a Western Union office, get more cash and finally continue my trip.
It turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life. Maybe even THE best week of my life!
My first stop was pretty close to the airport, after picking up my tent and equipment I stopped here for a short while to enjoy the view
Thingvellir national park, the Mid-Atlantic ridge, marking the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. You can go for a dive there as well, I didn’t have time to do it, but I will definitely do it next time!
I was there for hours! The area is so beautiful, it is peaceful and exactly what I needed that day. They do have free wifi there as well…. not exactly what I planned to use, but it can be handy sometimes.
Later on I ended up here, at one of many outdoor thermal baths on Iceland. The entrance fees are usually quite cheap and the baths are clean and well maintained. I tried to find a new place every day to relax, clean up an get ready for another day.
My first night stop was close to the geysers in Haukadalur. It was quite cold and raining, so I set up my campsite inside my car instead of outside…I was not in the mood of setting up a tent in the rain. It ended up being super comfortable to be honest, and the rest of the week I continued to cook and camp in my car instead of outside.
The geysers are so amazing! They can hurl boiling water up to a height of 70 meters, best way to heat up after a cold night sleeping in my car.
One of the places on Iceland I looked forward to the most was Jökulsárlón. A glacial lake situated between Höfn and Skaftafell. I planned to take some nice sunset photos and I was not disappointed.
I was not alone, a few other tourists were there as well as curious seals. I decided to camp there for the night to be able to take some photos of the sunrise as well. When I woke up I had 5 seals looking at me and my car, they kept me company all morning.
Waterfalls, waterfalls and more waterfalls. If you ever go to Iceland, you will see plenty of waterfalls…. I enjoyed every single one of them.
Sometimes you can climb above them, you can go around them.. and in some cases even behind them. Unfortunately I missed out on Svartifoss since that was the day when I had to go hunting for a new VISA card, and I had a long drive ahead of me. I really hope I get a new chance to visit the famous Black falls.
To drive the Ring road around Iceland I would recommend at least 10 days. I did it in 7 days and felt a bit short of time sometimes. It is around 1500km to cover, and the scenery is gorgeous! I stopped several times every day (and night) to take photos and more photos.
One of my favourite camp sites on the island was at Gullfoss. I parked my car next to the waterfall, spent the night there and went for a beautiful walk after breakfast the next morning.
What is better than one rainbow?
I love horses and riding and I would never forgive myself if I didn’t spend some time with the amazing Icelandic horses. They are not biggest, but for sure the most comfortable ones to ride.
After two days of riding I continued north towards Husavik and whale watching…. How can you not like a town where the red traffic lights are heart shaped?
The whale safari was well above my expectations! I was there early to buy tickets so I went for a nice fish soup and beer at a restaurant close by. Watching fishing bots leaving and arriving was very relaxing, but at the same time I could feel the wind getting stronger and stronger. By the time it was my turn to enjoy the sea the waves were quite impressive and as we went out to our whale spot the waves were from time to time washing over to boat. Completely soaked I still enjoyed it so much!
I hope I get a chance to return to Iceland soon, there is so much more to see! I don’t regret being there without travel company the first time, it is pure luxury for me to decide if I want to spend three hours or fifteen minutes in one place. Since I love photography I don’t mind spending an hour or two getting the perfect photo.