Southwest Iceland & flat tire


Hey travellers! 

So here are all the pics from the first part of our roadtrip around Iceland! I’m sorry for the huge amount of photos, but I just couldn’t choose just the ten best ones because we saw so much things!:)))

Well, everything started in Keflavik Airport, where we arrived around 1am. We rented the car and started looking for a place to sleep. We had no idea where we were gonna sleep that night, so we just turned off the highway on the first turn. After a few minutes we found a little lake, which was perfect for pitching a tent. We lied down around 3am, when it was dawning. 

By coincidence we slept a few kilometers from our first destination – Blue Lagoon. We didn’t even plan this place at the first time, but since it was about 5km from us, we stopped by. Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa with magically blue water, situated close to Grindavík. I have been there five years ago, so I convinced my friends that it was a touristy place occupied by thousands of Asians, which was not worth it. We walked by the beautiful ponds at least and got on the road again. 


The second destination was Gjáin. When we were passing Reykjavík, we got gas and bought some other stuff we needed. Gjáin isn’t very famous for tourists, but is for the Icelanders and that’s because it’s a perfect place for picnics, which we had as well:)) 


On the way from Gjáin, we saw a turn for some kind of a “foss” (from our guide, which I have read three times, I already knew that a “foss” meant a “waterfall” in Icelandic), so we couldn’t miss that and stopped by. After all it turned out to be an absolutely stunning waterfall with clear blue water, so we didn’t regret the little detour. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it. 


It was only 20 km from the waterfall to a place called Landmanalaugar, but it took us alsmost three hours to get there. Not only the road was so bumpy, but also we had to stop the car every five minutes and take pictures. We felt like we were driving on the Moon. The volcanic landscape, with hills covered by moss and absolutely no trees, gave us the impression of a kitsch. 

We crossed the first river and got into some kind of a base camp, which was the only place where we could sleep. 


The next day we hiked the hills in the Landmanalaugar area, which reminded us of oil-paintings. That was even more kitsch than the way to here. I couldn’t understand, how the snow, sandstone mountains, green moss and red volcanic rocks, can be on one place. We also met the Icelandic horses, which I couldn’t get enough, they were so cute! The hike took us about 5 hours even though it was only 7 km long. The loose gravel on the way up totally worn us out. 

Landmanalaugar was one of the most beautiful places, I’ve seen in Iceland and now I regret a little bit that we didn’t stay longer here than only one night. 


The next stop was the volcanic lake Ljótipollur, accessible right from the parking lot following about 3 km long path, lined with another moss hills. 


On the way from Landmanalaugar back to the main road, we stopped by another volcanic lake Bláhylur, which was even more stunning and photogenic, than the first one. There isn’t a word about it in the guide, it was a little bit hidden, you couln’t see it from the road and we didn’t see any sign either. There was absolutely no one there, which was quite surprising when I think of how beautiful this place was. 


When we were just a few minutes from the main road, the car started to tug weirdly. All of us thought it was just the bumpy road at the first time, but when the wheel couldn’t even be hold, we stopped the car and figured out, that we got a flat tire. 

Vojta changed the spare tire quite skillfully and we got going again. We were so scared that if that happened again, we would have to wait for the tow in the middle of nowhere for who knows how long. The nearest city was about 80 km from there, but the worst thing about it was that it was Friday afternoon and no tire repair shop is open on the weekend. So we just had to be careful driving on the spare tire for three days. 

We had the car insured completely, however the insurance didn’t cover the damage to the tires and now we knew why. A flat tire is such a common thing, so it wouldn’t probably pay off to the insurance company. 


We got to the Seljalandsfoss in the evening. I’ll never forget the first beautiful sunset above the waterfall. The sun goes down around midnight in July in Iceland, so there was not so many people on this touristy place – just the passionate photographers and the locals. 


We stayed here until it was quite dark and then headed to look for some place to sleep. We found it just a few kilometers from here, so we got into our sleeping bags around 2am. 

When we woke up in the morning (well.. at noon) and opened the tent, we couldn’t be more surprised, on how beautiful spot we actually slept. 


We packed our stuff and started heading towards Þórsmörk, where we had planned another hike. On the way there we saw some wild horses and the beautiful canyon Stakkoholtsgjá. The 20-km road took us almost half a day and we had to cross several rivers. When we could see the parking lot, from where we were supposed to start the trek, there was only one more river to cross. We let one car to drive it first, so we could see which way was the best, but when we saw how the car almost got drowned, we thought we needed to take a different way. 

Unfortunately we chose even worse way to pass the river and got stuck right in the middle of the river. As it was written in the guide, the most important rule when crossing a river is not to stop, otherwise the water would get into the tailpipe. I remember just being stuck in the water, the wheels were slipping, I was sitting on the passenger’s seat and had my window open. The water got into my window (!), the stream was pushing us away, and the engine started to make weird noises. 

I have no idea, how that was possible, but suddenly the wheels started working and we slowly moved. After the awful fifteen seconds we got from the water and stopped the car right away just to take a deep breath. 


We parked at the tourist hut and me and Sona got going onto the most beautiful hike of the whole trip. Vojta and his sister put out for us and drove back, so they could pick us up at the end and we wouldn’t have to walk the same way back to Þórsmörk. 

We started walking around noon even though the guide said that this hike takes normally around one and a half days. We set a hot pace being persuaded that we could make it till midnight. The trek from Þórsmörk to Skogar took us first across grassy hills, then the pointy mountains, the saddle between two glaciers – Mýrdalsjökull a Eyjafjallajökull and finally along the river and several waterfalls. It was about 15 degrees and the sun was shining when we started walking. 


When we got to the glaciers, the temperature got to about 5 degrees and it started drizzle (that was the only day it was raining) and it got so foggy, that we couldn’t see 10 meters ahead of us and sometimes lost the track. We passed two volcano craters, belonging to the Eyjafjallajökull volcano and we even climbed one of them. I still don’t understand how the craters could be covered by glaciers. 


We got to Skógar around 11 at night, so we still saw some waterfalls, ending with the famous Skógarfoss. I don’t have many pictures from the waterfalls because it was raining and I didn’t want my camera wet.


We met Vojta and his sister right underneath Skógarfoss, pitched the tent under the waterfall and fell asleep by looking at it. 


The next day we headed to the oldest geothermal pool in Iceland called Seljavallalaug. We were still frozen from yesterday’s trek, so this bath really hit the spot. Not many people know about this place because it’s a bit hidden, but it was totally worth it! We spent about an hour here and we definitely didn’t want to get out of the water back to the cold. 


And this is the end of the first part of the roadtrip! There is still so many places I want to write about, but that will be in the next post tomorrow! 

If you have questions, let me know in the comments, I will answer everything!:)))