From Reykajvik, you can discover lots of beautiful places going towards the South Coast. The best way to travel is by hiring a van and enjoying the adventure. The landscape is amazing and the daylight is so special. The best time of year to visit is from June to August when there is no darkness.
The National 1 goes all around the island. Meadows where the sheep roam freely separate the road from the sea and, on the other side you will find the mountains. Behind them there are several volcanoes. One of them is very famous; its name is Eyjafjallajökull. Remember… It put the world at a standstill for a few days in the Spring of 2010!
The road can surprise you at anytime going through different landscapes and views. You can see several waterfalls from your car. One of them is called Seljalandsfoss and is 65 meters high. Its special feature is that you can walk around and behind it! Close to the waterfall you will find a nice campsite to spend the night.
Near here, you can admire another waterfall called Skogafoss. It is wider than the other one and looks like a curtain of water. Be careful not to get wet!
Following the road, you will be able to get closer to some villages and typical farms with houses made of wood with grass on the roof. Arriving in the village Vik, you will find cute houses with red roofs and black sand beaches where you can see puffins. From here you will start to make out a white spot on the sky. The light is astonishing. What is it? It looks like clouds but the white colour is so immaculate. It is not clouds, the light is the same on a sunny or rainy day. This is the Vatnajökull glacier, the biggest one in the whole of Europe.
The best place to go and discover the glacier is first to stop at Skálafell. You can find the visitor centre and you can camp here. The atmosphere is amazing: vans, caravans, backpackers and hikers everywhere… From the campsite you can walk along several tracks and approach small lakes in which blocks of ice float like abandoned sculptures. The sand is black, the water is blue, the ice is transparent… This defines perfectly what Iceland is!
A few kilometres from this place, following the same road you will arrive at Jökulsárlón at the foot of the glacier. The temperature is lower and you can see the blue colour of the iceberg pieces that drift into the lake before going to the beach on the other side of the road. This beach looks like a museum. You can find several ice sculptures forged by nature, some of them are transparent and enormous. You can lose yourself between them. Seasonal sculptures that will disappear and melt, or will return to the sea later on… Magic like the whole country!
Author: Claire Saint-Didier
Co-founder of EcoMind Travel