Iceland : Golden Circle, South Coast, Glacier Lagoon

Over the easter break I had some friends visiting and two of Ingimar's work colleagues from the Argentina office so we decided to head off on a road trip and show them a little more of Iceland than just the usual Reykjavik and the Golden Circle. Packing up two cars, it occurred to me that this would probably be the longest I had ever driven. But I was up for it and, armed with some properly cheesy CDs and happy to sing to a car full, we headed off. 

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The first stop was Þingvellir National Park for a walk along the edge of the tectonic plates, then we drove onto Geysir to watch it explode out the ground and Gullfoss where we froze in icy winds. Fuelled by the yummy soup I had at the touristy shop and restaurant at Geysir, I managed a few minutes before retreating back to the car. Driving past fields of Icelandic horses, we decided to stop at a local farm (Bru Biskupstungum) where the farmer has built a special car park area so that people aren't stopping at the side of the road anymore. We paid 200 ISK for some horse treats to feed them and took some pictures. 

Moving on from the Golden Circle we headed south to start our drive along the south coast of Iceland towards Vik and the Glacier Lagoon. We stopped at Seljalandsfoss, the waterfall that you can walk behind, and then drove onto Skogafoss.

Waterfalls done, next up was the Black Sand Beach (Reynisfjara) before landing at Vik for some service station burgers. We booked on an overnight stay in a little Icelandic summer cabin just outside Vik. It was cute and basic but perfect for the gang to get some well earned sleep...after we sampled some of the Icelandic Mountain Vodka we brought.

Next morning we were up bright and early for breakfast and then off to hit the road again. We made a quick stop at Skaftafell for a little bathroom break before the drive onto the Glacier Lagoon (Jökulsárlón). The glacier lagoon is still the most incredible place I have visited in Iceland and I can't wait to go back. It's where the glacier meets the land and sea level, where the ice melts and creates a lagoon and where large chunks of ice float around and break down before heading out to sea. There are seals playing amongst the ice and, if you are lucky enough, you might just spot them. 

Once you are happy with your dose of ice in a lagoon, head over to the Diamond Beach as it's well worth an extra 30 minutes to see where the waves have washed ice back onto the beach. To get there, simply follow the ice floating out towards the ocean!! Drive over the bridge from the touristy cafe (which has toilets) and turn left into the car park. It's another phenomenal sight and well worth taking in so put the camera away and just walk amongst the ice blocks for a bit.

Back in the cars, we hit the road and headed back towards Reykjavik, stopping off at Svinafellsjokull, where sadly two German experienced trekkers went missing on the ice many years ago. There is a memorial here but it's a very real reminded of how harsh and dangerous this landscape can be. 

We had some time before we had to get back to the city so we all agreed to catch the sunset at Seljalandsfoss and wow, that was so memorable, check out that photo!! ...another four or so hours of driving and we were back to Reykjavik, and I'm done with driving for the next few days.

what are your plans for the South Coast?

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