Today we are sharing our travel itinerary for Iceland Part Two: The Eastern and Northern Coasts. In case you missed it, check out part one as well as our general guide. The second leg of our trip was much different from the first. As you make your way up north, the destinations are more spread out and we spent larger chunks of time in the car. We saw incredible waterfalls, lakes, craters, and lagoons. We only wish we had more time! Below is what our daily itinerary looked like.
Day Four (Höfn)
We returned to Jökulsárlón with our breakfast of skyr (Icelandic yogurt) and fruit to enjoy the glacial lagoon one more time. We then continued driving along the coast to Höfn. Höfn is a charming fishing town surrounded on three sides by gorgeous blue water. After exploring by foot and grabbing lunch we were back on the road. As we headed to our next guesthouse in Seyðisfjörður, we discovered the majority of our drive was not on the Ring Road. Our GPS led us on a remote gravel road for a couple of hours that took us way up into the mountains and before we knew it there was snow all around us and a large cliff with waterfalls next to us.
After that long drive we descended back down the mountain and into the town of Seyðisfjörður. We had booked a guesthouse from Booking.com. The guesthouse was wooden, with a hot tub and beautiful views. This ended up being one of our favorite accommodations and probably our favorite town too. The guesthouse and the tiny town were so quaint and charming, we never wanted to leave.
Our first stop on day five was Dettifoss waterfall. As we were getting close, we arrived at a sign that said the road was closed due to snow. Luckily, there was a guesthouse nearby where the kind owner served us coffee and amazing apple cake. She told us that we could still get to the waterfall by taking a road that would bring us to the other side of it. The walk to this waterfall was longer than most. It was also a snowier and wetter walk – be prepared to get your shoes dirty here. The mist from the waterfall made interesting formations in the snow. Afterwards, we drove to Lake Mývatn. Here we took an unintentional hike to see a geothermal cave. There is a lot to see in the area, due to its volcanic history and geothermal activity. We had to keep moving so we drove around the lake and went to Goðafoss waterfall (picture at the top of this post). It was breathtaking! From there we drove to the Guesthouse AkurInn in Akureyri, a larger town in Northern Iceland.
Day Six (Akureyri)
The next morning we spent a little more time exploring Akureyri before making our way to Glaumbær, a historic farm with a row of small buildings covered in turf. We walked around the farm, visited the museum, and enjoyed traditional Nordic desserts in their cafe. We tried Icelandic pancakes which are more similar to French crepes than American pancakes.
We made an impromptu decision to go to a hot spring called Grettislaug (we learned about this awesome website hotpoticeland.com from another traveler in Akureyri – it shows you all the different hot spring and geothermal pools around Iceland as well as info about temperature and how to get there – it’s so handy). There are two pools but we stayed in the warmer one which was about 104ºF. If you have your feet on the bottom of the pool you can feel the heat bubbling up through the rocks.
On our final full day in Iceland we drove along the West Coast making it all the way back to Keflavik. The first stop we made was Grábrók Crater. There is a nice wooden path that takes you up and around the crater. The view isn’t too impressive until you get to the top and realize what you’re standing on. It is a short, memorable hike due to its interesting terrain and wind.
From there we went to Akranes, a port town in West Iceland. We drove up to the Akranes’ Lighthouses where we wandered over rocks and attempted to avoid inhaling the pungent fish smell. The lighthouses were closed until summer season so we were not able to go in. We stopped for gas and one last hot dog. Before we knew it we were back in Reykjavik. We spent the afternoon in the city walking around, window shopping, and drinking coffee. For a traditional Icelandic meal that wasn’t too expensive, we went to Íslenski Barinn for dinner. We tried lamb burgers and the cod special. We left full and very happy.
Before going back to Keflavik we stopped at the Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most famous attractions. Daniel decided to bite the bullet and pay the entry fee to go swimming. The rest of us just walked around but were still glad that we got to see it. The staff was very friendly and let us explore a lot of the lagoon for free. Our last night in Iceland was spent at Kef Guesthouse which, despite having a questionable exterior, is very nice and spacious inside.
We got about 4 hours of sleep before we had to wake up and get to the airport for our 7am flight. We enjoyed our very early (free!) breakfast and checked out. We struggled to find a gas station in Keflavík but eventually succeeded. We got on our plane heading to Copenhagen Airport without a problem and slept through most of the flight.
And that concludes our trip to Iceland! Our pictures simply don’t due it justice but we hope that we’ve convinced you that you have to visit Iceland yourself! Our next travel post will share our experience of Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmo, Sweden. If you want to see even more about the trip, you can visit Katherine’s Instagram, Tara’s Instagram, or even search our hashtag, #onedogmore. You can also see more posts on Sarah’s travel blog, The Sound Mountain.