“Wasn’t it so green just now?” I looked up from the camera and asked my husband who was driving. He couldn’t fathom what had happened too. We were suddenly covered by snow everywhere; roads, mountains, houses – 360 degrees in its entirety. Just seconds before we were amid green landscapes, gushing river by the road, lazing/grazing cattle and sheep, majestic snow-capped mountains, cute little Icelandic houses – a perfect our own Icelandic out-of-the-world view, if you insist me to sum it up. So, what did we do? We felt grateful that it wasn’t a snow blizzard, took a few in-car pictures/videos and drove away. Throughout this road trip in Iceland, we had to train ourselves to take-in the ever-changing world around us with widest possible arms. Such was the grandeur that Iceland put up at every corner for us. I have said a million times, and I will say a million more. Iceland sure is a planet on its own.
Let me take you on a visual journey that is laden with waterfalls (Oh, way too many!), churches, spectacular roads, storms and everything 100% original Made in Iceland.
30 Exclusive Photos of Iceland!
1. The One With Reykjavik – The Urbane beauty
Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital city. Our road trip in Iceland began and ended at Reykjavik. A full-circle, that started with stocking up on necessary groceries for the trip, exploring the happening street of Iceland a.k.a Laugavegur, shopping for the woolies and warmies till the great food and spectacular show of Northern lights right from our balcony. Wish we had more time with you Reykjavik, let’s catch up again!
2. The One With Self-sufficient Turf houses
We wanted to visit a couple of Turf houses before calling a day off, while we were in South Iceland. Though the Turf museum was closed (we were able to sneak in just before that), a local Icelandic person came up to us and offered us a tour of other Turf houses nearby. He even told us that Turf houses are mostly self-sufficient, making extensive use of wind, solar and thermal energy (from the underground geysirs). Imagine, relying on self for 70-80% of what you consume! Truly inspirational.
3.The One With Kerid, the Volcanic Crater Lake
Kerid was totally unplanned. We had way too many places on “the list” for the day and had kept Kerid as a “backup” in case we were quick to catch up on all. Kerid was a surprise. Though there is nothing much to see, a hike up this volcanic crater gave us different views on each step! This turquoise wonder will set you back by 400 ISK (per person) to get in.
4. The One With Welcome Edinborg
Of the 3 days we stayed in South Iceland, 2 were spent in Welcome Edinborg guest house. A huge house with a backdrop of snow-capped peaks that were frequently swept over by angry dark clouds. Though we only spent the nights here, we were pleased by the views and self-check-in process (to us it was new, up until then!). Too many places were seen, too many views were gulped down. Period.
5. The One With The Majestic Seljalandfoss
Ah, the you-can-go-behind-the-falls falls. Seljalandfoss gained a lot of traction from us Indians when a Bollywood song from Shah Rukh Khan’s Dilwale movie showed every bit of this waterfall. A hike up to the cave behind the waterfall showed us an entirely different view that was mesmerizing beyond comprehension. Wish we could stay there for longer. We now think that a frostbite would have been totally worth it, should we have decided to stay.
6. The One With Skogafoss – Rainbows and Trails
Our first encounter of Skogafoss was something like this:
Drive on the highway –> look towards the left and marvel at a massive rock formation -> BAM! – Skogafoss!
Checkout our main post for more photos of this wonderful beauty, adorned with a rainbow even during an awfully rainy and cloudy day. But the highlight of this place was the hike up the waterfalls, which provided us an “exploring the unexplored” vibes which we always crave for. Miles and miles of walk, stumbling upon smaller waterfalls, pouring hailstones, panoramic views all around that leave you spell bounded.
7. The One With Gullfoss – A Waterfall With An Enthralling Story
The majestic Gullfoss a.k.a Niagara of Europe. It is majestic, wide, breathtaking, fierce and wonderful. Period.
No, cancel that period. It has an enthralling story behind it, that needs to be told. It was saved by this woman called Sigriður Tómasdóttir, daughter of a farmer called Tómas Tómasson, from an impending project by foreign investors to harness the power of Gullfoss to produce electricity (during 1900s). Now it is the property of Icelandic government, and marked as a nature reserve. to permanently protect the waterfall. This is one of the early stories depicting how Icelandic people are very possessive about their natural resources.
8. The One With Sólheimasandur Plane Wreckage
On a cold winter day of 1973, a US Navy DC-3 Plane ran out of fuel and crashed on the shores of the black sand beach of South Iceland near Vik. Luckily, the entire crew survived. But the wreckage was left behind which is now attracting a lot of crowds like us. It didn’t gain much attention up until a photographer put a picture of it. Since a couple of years, driving is forbidden here. It’s a long walk from the parking lot near the Ring Road Highway 1, 4kms one-way and approximately takes 45mins – 1 hour to reach the plane. We saw the sunset from here and was worth the 1hr we spent just walking in miles an miles of black sand! Here is a map location for those who are interested.
9. The One With Rainbows and Black Sand Beaches
The famous Black sand beach of Reynisfjara decked with a rainbow that originated from nowhere and dissolved into nowhere. As pretty as this picture looks, we had hard time walking around as the weather was super rough. We couldn’t place a firm bet on whether the dangerously rough waves would sweep us away first or the crazy winds. If we had stayed longer, it would have probably been both. I dare say, worth it!
10. The One With Mosses & Fierce Icelandic Values
When you see Mosses formation in Iceland, don’t roll on it like Justin Bieber did in his music video. Because, like I mentioned, Icelandic people are very respectful and passionate about their nature. So, just don’t.
Mosses are very delicate in nature and the damage done on them could be potentially irreversible. That’s one of the main reasons why off-roading is illegal in Iceland, apart from the safety of your own.
11. The One With Jokulsarlon Glacier
Amidst threatening rain, we landed up at Jokulsarlon glacier. The first views of the glacier were similar to how we saw Skogafoss, with a visual bam out of nowhere on the highway. Glacial icebergs floating is as beautiful as it is eerie. Hope we aren’t warming you up too much, Jokulsarlon. At least YOU are aware that global warming isn’t a Chinese hoax. Thanks for putting up with our stupidity for so long. Don’t melt just yet, pretty please.
12. The One With The Random Pitstop
On the way to East Iceland, the panoramic view of an entire black sand shore just for ourselves. If only we could roll down from the view point and reach the sands, like nobody has ever.
Nope, Bieber has done that too!
13. The One With What We Left Behind Each Day
Every frame like this that we saw on side-view mirrors and windows, depicted scenes that were left behind with a heart heavier than our luggage.
14. The One With The Hidden Falls in East fjords
A small pitstop on the way to East fjords had a surprise for us. THIS! If any of you know this waterfall’s name, kindly comment!
15.The One With The Geothermal Pool Inside a Cave
Us: “Shall we call it a day?”
Geothermal Pool: “Nope, just not yet”.
16. The One With Godafoss
The ONLY thing we saw that day (Apart from multitude of pitstops and the glory that is the Eastern Fjords). Totally worth it. Godafoss – God’s waterfalls. Makes sense, since this looked like it was created with much more care and planning
17. The One With The Fall in Akureyri
Akureyri is the northern most city of Iceland. It’s crazy to think we were less than 2,000 kms from the Northern Pole. This city showed us the first signs of Northern lights, when we weren’t even looking for it. And put up a spectacular show when we drove a little out of town in search of it! Thank you for that, Akureyri.
18. The One With Us Engulfed in Snow
This was the moment I opened this article with. All-green-no-snow at first to no-green-all-snow next! I know, insane!
19. The One With The Mountain Dog
Snow-capped mountains – check. Flowing river by the side – check. Empty road – check. A running dog towards us – check. Pet it for the next 15 minutes – check, check, check.
20. The One With The Roads of Iceland
Roads, roads and more roads – the highlight of every road trip.
21. The One With Handsome Icelandic Horses
The handsome horses with naturally side-swept hairstyle, wanted us to pet them. Soon, many cars stopped by this random farm beside the highway to do the same. Icelandic horses are epitome of grace and strength.
22. The One With The Car in Isafjordor
When we encountered thick frozen ice on the windshield of our glass on a morning at Isafjordur, we were oddly elated. Our child-like excitement soon turned into worry about how to get ride of it. The car’s air conditioning did the trick from the inside, but was a distinct start for our morning that day!
23. The One With The Beautiful Sleepy Little Town
Hands down, the best town of Western fjords. So peaceful, sleepy and laid back. You won’t get the feeling of being in the remote corners of the Western most side of Iceland!
24.The One With The 5km Tunnel
A tunnel dug in the mountains of the West fjords, with almost 80% of it being one-way, spaced with intermittent lay-bys for oncoming vehicles to pullover/pass. Brilliant design with minimal damage to the fjords. Yet another example of the fierce bonding Icelandic people have with their nature.
25. The One With The Majestic Dynjandi falls
A 7-layer gushing waterfalls explored at an almost freezing temperature. A small hike shows you the power each of the 7 waterfalls possess. A deafening sound welcomes you at the top, with strong winds that create a shower out of the fall. Finding another car for miles together would be the challenge apart from braving the weather.
26. The One With The View From Our Apartment
3 days at this guesthouse of ours were spent in reminiscing what we had witnessed earlier and wondering how we were still alive in that weather in Iceland. Of course, followed by hiking and driving to shake off the initial feeling all 3 days.
27. The One With The Most Photographed Mountain In Iceland
Yes, the wizard hat dragged us all the way to the West Iceland to this most photographed place in Iceland. Welcome to, Kirkjufell waterfall. Truly enchanting place to be, despite the crowd. If possible, try and get to visit Kirkjufell during Northern Lights!
28. The One With No Visibility
Just when we thought we wouldn’t encounter any more adventure, crazy mist surrounded us in no time – the moment we we left West Iceland to head towards Reykjavik. We were glad that not many broke traffic rules in Iceland and maintained a steady slow pace until the fog cleared.
29. The One With The Blue Lagoon
Despite seeing many reviews that asked people to refrain from visiting AND many that suggested to visit Blue lagoon, we did the latter. And boy were we happy to end this epic trip in warmth. Just go, find your own place and chill.
30. The One With The Northern Lights
We were wrong, it was the Northern lights a.k.a Aurora Borealis that wrapped up the trip for us. A spectacular light show that lasted for more than 45 minutes on our room’s balcony in Reykjavik.
As always, you are the one in control Iceland, all hail you! A big bow to you and your wonders. Stay amazing, always.
If you liked this photo essay on Iceland, kindly leave a comment below and pick your best one among the lot 🙂
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