So, if you read my last post you know that we are actually doing day 3 of our itinerary due to our flight out to Iceland being cancelled.
This cancellation caused us to arrive a day later than we were supposed to so we had to drive 5 1/2 hrs from the airport to our 1st hotel (which was really supposed to be our 2nd hotel). We also had to try and fit in everything that was on our 2nd day itinerary.
At least we had the midnight sun on our side!
Read my full itinerary here.
We managed to do all of the highlights and add in a few other stops however, we were exhausted at the end of the day… but hey, you can sleep when you get home right?! 😉
Let’s get started:
Since we skipped Jokulsarlon Lagoon & Diamond beach yesterday, that was our first stop of the day. This area was only 10-15 mins from our hotel (Hali Country Hotel). This is a great hotel and I would definitely recommend it.
Tip: 10 mins from Diamond Beach is Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon – so you would be backtracking 20 mins from the hotel – there are boat tours here as well – 10 min walk from parking lot
We absolutely LOVED glacier lagoon and Diamond beach! DO NOT miss this area if you visit Iceland. It’s a must see! You can access both from one parking lot.
There were huge chunks of ice washed up on the black sand beach. When we arrived, the sun was shining so it lived up to its name as the ice chunks were sparkling like diamonds all along the shoreline!
The area near diamond beach & glacier lagoon, is full of snow capped mountains and glaciers so take the time to explore this area.
Click here to book a glacier walk, ice cave adventure or ice climbing tour.
Tip: If you are there the third week in Aug. make sure you see the annual fireworks display over the lagoon.
Tip: For a hidden waterfall in this area that not many people know about click here. It’s located 17 mins from Diamond Beach.
Just lounging around at Diamond Beach 😉
Glacier Lagoon was full of huge, blue icebergs!
Click here to book at boat tour at the glacier lagoon
Before I get to my next stop, I have to let you know that there are 3 different ways you can go from here that lead to Eglisstadir. During my research a lot of people were asking which route they should take.
Your 1st option is: Take Rd 1 to Oxi Pass 939 back to 1 – this is an all gravel road that is supposed to be a short cut and takes approx 3 – 3.5 hrs to Egilisstadir ..however, it could take as long as the other routes or longer due to it being all gravel & if the weather is bad..Read more here.
Your 2nd options is: Take Ring Road 1 all the way – this will take you approx 4 hrs to arrive in Egillistadir and part of it is gravel
Your 3rd option is: Take Rd 1 to 96 to 92 back to Rd 1 – this takes approx 4 hrs
All routes are scenic..I think we stayed on Rd 1 the whole way but again, with my Maps.me app, I’m not 100% sure. Take a paper map with you so you will know which way you are going as your GPS will always take you the shortest route.
The views were indescribable!!
Tip: If you stop around this area or any grassy area watch out for the artic tern, they will attack you!
The next stop was the Hoffel Hot tubs which were 50 mins from Diamond Beach. We just stopped to take a picture as they weren’t too far off the main road. You have to pay approx. $10 pp to enter the pools.
From the reviews I’ve read, I would mark this off the list. The “pools” were 5 small, round pools and didn’t look too inviting. There was only one couple here when we arrived.
Our next stop was Hofn which was 1 hr from our hotel and 20 mins from the hot tubs. There’s not a lot to see here.
However, after arriving in Hofn, we stopped to get gas and there was a restaurant attached to the gas station called, Litla Sveitabudin. We ordered one of those famous Icelandic hotdogs and it was the best we had the whole trip!
There were horses everywhere!
We also saw thousands of swans!
The road will sneak up on you so make sure you are looking for it on the right hand side of the road as it will appear just BEFORE you go through the tunnel. Turn right onto the gravel road and drive 3 miles until you arrive at the Viking Cafe.
I hesitate to even tell you about it because it was so quite & serene and there was hardly anyone around!
The weather was perfect the day we visited which made our experience even better! However, I’ve read that when it’s foggy or cloudy, you can’t see much. I’ve also read that when it’s really windy, it blows sand around & you need to keep your eyes protected.
So, with that being said, you may end up with a different experience than what we had.
Once you arrive to the parking lot, you have to pay an admission fee of $8 pp at the Viking Cafe.
You can then walk a short 15 min path to an old, dilapidated viking movie set. You will also see the Brunnhorn mountain range from this location..AKA by the locals as the Batman Mountain due to its shape.
The movie set
You will then have to drive a short distance to the black sand beach where you can view the Vestrahorn mountain range. It was incredible! On the drive there you will pass an inaccessible lighthouse & a NATO radar station.
I could have spent all day here!
A shot of Vestrahorn and Brunnhorn
Sheep on the road as we were leaving Vestrahorn…sheep are all over Iceland and they will dart right out in front of your car so be alert!
After leaving Vestrahorn we continued our drive towards Egillistadir.
Click here for the top things to see/do in Egillistadir
You will go through a tunnel on your way to your next stop.
We saw this random red chair sitting on top of a rock and just had to stop!
We then headed to our next stop, the Hvalnes Nature Resevere. This area has tons of big and small rocks that have been eroded by the water!
This area is also where hundreds of birds nest. However, we never saw any birds here & the rocks made for a really strenuous walk!
The black sand beach was beautiful!! (This is the Eystrahorn mountain range)
Our next stop was just minutes from the nature reserve, the Hvalnes Lighthouse. (You could actually walk to it from the nature reserve).
The lighthouse was a brightly orange concrete structure that stood 38 ft high along the ocean coast with views of the Nature Reserve. It was built in 1954.
After we left the lighthouse, we headed to our next stop.
I couldn’t stop taking pictures of these spectacular views!!
I spotted this on the side of the road before we arrived to Djupivogur…the water coming from the faucet was warm.
Our next stop was Djupivogur. It’s approximately 1.5 hrs from Vestrahorn. This is where you will find the Egg statues called Eggin í Gleðivík, These 34 granite egg statues represent the eggs of each of the nesting birds in this area, many of which are migrating birds.
You can also go bird watching at the Búlandsnes bird sanctuary, go see seals and bird watch at Papey on a boat tour (The oldest wooden church in Iceland, constructed in 1807, can be found in Papey, alongside an automated weather station and a lighthouse. The island is home to an enormous colony of Atlantic Puffins, and is a fabulous day trip from mainland Iceland) OR try the homemade cakes at Langabúð.
Also located here is the brightly orange painted lighthouse, Æðarstein. It was built in 1922…however, It’s inaccessible as it sits on a rocky point on the west side of the port of Djupivogur.
Djupivogur was a quaint place with beautiful views.
Our next stop wasn’t on the itinerary. It was a waterfall we spotted. The landscape kind of reminded me of a smaller version of Mt. Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss.
You will see so many waterfalls along the ring road!
Tip: To get to this waterfall you will need to type Nykurhylsfoss into your GPS
It was a beautiful blue colored waterfall! I can’t link it as I can find hardly any information online about this particular waterfall. However, there was signage for it on the road.
There was a place to park where you had to walk through streams to get to one view and then if you drove a little ways further there was another parking area where you got a different view.
Can you spot the people in the picture below?
Our next stop was Streiti Lighthouse. The lighthouse is black and white and was built in 1984.
I did spot another orange lighthouse though! 😉
We stopped several times along the way to admire the incredible views!!
We spotted this on the side of the road as we were driving.
Our next stop was Hafnarnes Lighthouse. Yes, as you can see, we love lighthouses! 😉 We actually saw 2 lighthouses and I’m not sure which one is Hafnarnes. The orange one has the remains of an old lighthouse beside it.
You will go through several tunnels in Iceland! Please be aware that there are several cameras in these tunnels and if you are speeding, you WILL get a ticket!
Our next stop was a small roadside waterfall near Fagradalsá. This wasn’t on the list as we spotted it along our drive.
This was our favorite place out of the 7 hotels/guesthouses we stayed in! The property only consisted of 3 small cabins. The owner’s house is also located nearby but can’t be seen from the cabins.
There is also a small path that leads to a secluded sauna and a hot tub. The owner supplied a robe and shoes for her guests to enjoy the hot tubs. These are located in your cabin.
My hubby and I had the hot tub all to ourselves!
She also provided the well known Skyr for breakfast. It’s a thick yogurt..similiar to greek yogurt.
The cabins also had a bathroom, living room with a TV, a kitchen with a table & 3 chairs and of course, a bedroom. WE loved it here and the host was so sweet and accommodating!
After arriving to our cabin, we headed back to Egillistadir and bought some pizza at a gas station as everything else had closed.
Click here for things to do in this area.
Tip: 5 mins from Egilsstadir is Vok Baths – Iceland’s only floating infinity pools
Tip: 1 hr from Egilsstadir is an incredible hike called Waterfall circle & Laugargell hot springs – The hike takes approx. 6 hours and ends at the Laugarfell Highland Hostel. At the hostel, warm pools await for a relaxing soak in the spring water.
Tip: If you do go to Borgarfjordur Eystri you will pass a very remote solar powered vending machine. Turn on the power and make a purchase & don’t forget to sign the guestbook
This concludes our 2nd day in Iceland! Hope this helps you plan your own trip!
Here’s a picture of your route on the map
And here’s your route by stops on Google maps:
Be on the lookout for Day 3!