After visiting the Golden Circle, Southern Coast and the Iceberg Lagoon, we drove along the east coast of Iceland in a day ending with another explosion of Northern Lights. The fjords along the coast are peacefully seductive.
Day 5 – East Fjords
The fjords are filled with beautiful white swans — you don’t normally see this number of swans in one place in the USA.
The mountains surrounding this area are majestic — you can see why Hollywood films are shot in this location.
We took this opportunity to take a group photo (taken by Stefano). Meet (from left to right): Lesley, Lauren, Steve, Lynn, Danny, David, Lucy, Shirley, and Zali.
Making our way north, we stopped at a black sand beach and a few of us meditated along the rocks.
A short distance from the beach, we noticed a herd of reindeer. This was the first time I’d seen reindeer in the wild.
Our next stop was Djúpivogur, a quaint fishing village where we had lunch. The population of Djúpivogur is only 454 but it has a bohemian vibe.
Driving a little further, we visited Stöðvarfjörður, a funky little town of 200 whose church is now on AirBnB — you can stay there if you like!
In 2014 the town converted an old fish factory into a music recording studio called Studio Silo. Recording artists are inspired by the mountains and fjords surrounding the building.
On this night, our lodging was at Fjallakaffi – an active farm since the settlement period. This area is pretty isolated and the night sky was completely dark. Our lodging was in turf houses — our first experience staying in one. They were well appointed and very comfortable. The farm also has a church and a few dogs that adopt you as soon as you arrive — one hopped on our bus before we unloaded!
At 10:30 p.m., the pitch dark sky lit up — even more spectacularly than it had 2 nights ago. Wow — this was going to be a very special trip.
Day 6 – The Highland Plains
The Central Highlands is a remote area that is large yet mostly uninhabited.
We started the day at the Dettifoss waterfall, one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe. It was a cold and windy trek to the waterfall but we were greeted with circular rainbows.
Our next stop was Namafjall Hverir, a high-temperature geothermal area with fumaroles and mud pots.
We stopped for lunch at Vogafjós Farm Resort in Skútustaðahreppur where you could peer at their cows from a window within the restaurant. After eating, you could go pet and feed the cows. Very interesting concept!
Leaving here, we went to the home of the 13 Yule Lads — Iceland’s 13 Father Christmases.
For good children, the Yule Lad will leave candy. If not, the Yule Lads fill the shoe with rotting potatoes. The Yule Lads live in Dimmuborgir, a mystical landscape with caves and pointy rock formations. Our group took this opportunity to climb the formations and have snow ball fights.
We ended our day in Húsavík, the oldest settlement in Iceland, by soaking our bones in the Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths. This spa borders the ocean where you soak in an infinity pool warmed by volcanic activity. This was the most amazing hot springs we’ve ever luxuriated in.
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