So, if you’re keeping up with my blog posts, you know that we are doing day 5 of our itinerary due to our flight out to Iceland being cancelled.
Read my full itinerary here..it includes tons of useful information that will no doubt help you plan your own trip to Iceland.
After checking out of our hotel in Husavik, we headed to find some Puffins. I had read about a place that was approximately 30 mins out of Húsavík that was good for spotting these beautiful birds…the area was called Tjornes. We went searching for an observation deck at Hringsbjarg.
As we headed in that direction, we spotted these turf houses and stopped for a quick picture.
Iceland truly has incredible landscapes around every corner!
Sadly, we never found the observation deck but we did stumble upon this beautiful, secluded black sand beach! We could have stayed here all day…it was so peaceful.
We spotted this beautiful black horse near the beach!
At the northernmost tip of Tjörnes called Voladalstorfa stands an orange lighthouse. The Tjornes lighthouse was built in 1929 and is 39 ft above sea level.
See a list of lighthouses in Iceland here.
We then had to backtrack to Husavik to head to our next stop, Godafoss waterfall.
The waterfall is approximately 35 mins from Húsavík.
I COULD NOT stop taking pictures!!
We spotted this little patch of trees next to a lake so we stopped to stretch our legs.
There was a ladder next to the fence so we decided to climb over and see what was around.
There was a path through the trees that just led to the waters edge.
Guys, Iceland has pine trees! 😉 There’s not many trees in Iceland so this was cool to see.
On the other side of the road was a small pond with a boat sitting by the waters edge…it seemed so out of place as this area felt so remote!
As I got closer to the pond, I saw a pair of beautiful swans with their babies. We actually saw thousands of swans while driving the ring road.
After our short stop, we continued our drive to Godafoss.
You can access both sides of the waterfall from one parking lot by crossing over the bridge. We did the east side and didn’t bother walking to the west because we felt the views were better from the east.
The waterfall is a short walk from the parking lot.
We LOVED this waterfall! It’s a MUST STOP if you are doing the Ring Road. The color of the water was unreal!
People on the other side of the falls.
You can also walk down to the water’s edge.
After leaving Godafoss, we headed to our next stop, Akureyri…as usual, I was taking hundreds of pics on the way! 😉
Restaurant across from Godafoss
We finally arrived to Akureyri. It’s the 2nd largest urban area in Iceland. The population is around 20k. The total population in Iceland is approximately 338k.
Our first stop in Akureyri was going to be the church, Akureyrikirkja but we saw an information plaque that pointed out other nearby points of interest so we decided to go to a couple of them first.
It was so beautiful!
Tip: There is also a museum located here. A few objects of value, formerly belonging to the church, are now in the keeping of the national Museum of Iceland. Those include a chalice from the 15th century and a church chair from the times of Þórunn the daughter of bishop Jón Árnason.
We then headed to another church called Saurbæjarkirkja . This church was built in 1858. It’s one of only 6 turf churches still existing in Iceland. It has been in the care of the National Museum of Iceland since 1962.
Note: This church is 30 mins outside of Akureyri and you will have to backtrack so keep that in mind.
Tip: You can also visit the Christmas garden in this area. It would be your first stop before the first church. It’s called Jolagardurinn. It’s the oldest & most famous year round Christmas store in Iceland.
We loved this church…it was so cool!
We then headed back to Akureyri.
You will cross many one way bridges in Iceland!
After arriving back to Akureyri, we spotted another church. It was a cute, little black church and I just had to get a picture! 😉
We then headed to Akureyrikirkja. Thankfully, there was parking very near the church. So, we parked and headed up the MANY steps to the top!
The stained glass windows were so beautiful!
After leaving the church, we drove over to the Hof Cultural Center…I had seen pictures of it during my research and thought it was such a neat looking building.
After leaving here, we decided to grab one of those famous Icelandic hot dogs for lunch!
After lunch, we had wanted to park and walk around the town center and look for the two troll statues that I had seen pictures of during my research. However, the parking seemed quite confusing.
We pulled into a parking space and there was a sign that said you had to get a “clock” at the bank or gas station. We decided it wasn’t worth the hassle so we left.
Tip: Read about how the parking works in Akureyri here.
We then headed to our next stop, Siglufjordur.
We spotted this cool art installation as we were leaving Akureyri
Tip: Click here to see another cool outside art installation in Akureyri.
Cows on the beach!
More incredible views!
We spotted another church on the way…it was called, Staerra Arskogskirkja.
More stunning views! If you’re not careful you will take thousands of pictures like me! 😉
We stopped at a pull off to take in the incredible views of the ocean & snowcapped mountains!
Shortly after this stop, we headed into a tunnel and unbeknownst to us, it was a one way tunnel! You had these “move overs” inside the tunnel every few hundred feet. They were located just on our side. So, we had to make sure we were able to move over in time when we saw a car heading towards us…it was nerve racking!!
Tip: Beware of the cameras located inside the tunnels! You will get a ticket if you’re speeding!
We finally arrived to Siglufjordur. It’s a small fishing town…there are several small towns like this along the ring road.
Church we spotted in Siglufjordur called Siglufjarðarkirkja.
A statue at the church
We stopped at a gas station for some of that delicious ice cream! Seriously, you’ve got to try this stuff..it was so good!
A few shots of the town
However, it’s definitely worth a stop. In Glaumbaer, you can see one of the few remaining Icelandic turf farms. There’s also a café located here. This is also where you will find the waterfall, Reykjafoss (15 mins from Glaumbaer) that has a “secret” hot pool next to it called Fosslaug.
Tip: 55 mins from Siglufjordur is a cool pool right on the water’s edge called Hofsos. This would be your next stop after Siglufjordur if you wanted to visit, then Glaumbaer, then Reykjafoss, then Fosslaug & then Blonduos.
We spotted another orange lighthouse on our drive to Blonduos
We made another stop to take in the views and of course, to take a few more hundred pics!! 😉
We spotted yet another church on the way…it was called Grafarkirkja. This is a must stop…this was the coolest church we saw! However, it’s not the original church…this one was rebuilt to its original form in 1953.
Tip: 30 mins from Saudarkrokur is the hot pool Grettislaug. However, you will have to backtrack if you want to visit.
The church was consecrated on May 1, 1993. In the church there is room for 250 people.
After leaving here, we headed to our next stop which was supposed to be Pingeyrar church. However, after starting the 6 km drive down the gravel road to the church, we decided to turn around. The road was full of pot holes and we were tired of gravel roads!
Once we turned around, we noticed a picnic table and decided we would stop and have dinner . We pulled out all of the food we had brought with us to Iceland and had a little picnic.
There were also bathrooms located here and an information plaque that tells you about the area called Vatnsnes.
After we ate, we headed to our next stop, Hvitserkur. It’s an arch rock located on a black sand beach.
Note: Borgarvirki was supposed to be our next stop but again we decided to skip this stop. Borgarvirki is a natural phenomenon made out of basalt strata and was used as a fortress for centuries. You can climb to the top of the fortress and see a viewing dial & beautiful views.
We passed lots of beautiful horses on the way…some were even in the road!
The drive to Hvitserkur took about an hour from our picnic location. If we would have known it was going to take this long and that the entire drive was down a gravel road, we would have NEVER gone!
The road was in bad shape and it seemed to go on forever!
We finally arrived to a small parking lot and had about a 5 min walk to the observation area.
We could only view the rock from the observation area because the path leading to the rock looked extremely dangerous! It was also freezing!
The rock is actually much bigger than it appears in my pictures..it’s actually 48 ft tall.
The path to the rock…very steep and unsafe!
I’m sure there are other routes to Hvitserkur that may be quicker and that’s why it’s so important to have a paper map with you at all times.
We took a few pictures and quickly left…we were too cold to hang around!
After leaving Hvitserkur , we then headed to our hotel, Gauksmyri Lodge near Hvammstangi. It was about a 35-45 min drive from Hvitserkur.
We passed more horses on the road
We finally arrived to our guesthouse. The lodge was located right off ring road 1 and wasn’t actually located in Hvammstangi. It was approximately 10 mins from Hvammstangi and we found it to be the perfect location for us.
When we arrived, there was no one at the front desk but the door to the reception area was unlocked. I walked in and there was a note with my name on it with a room key. The note informed us of the location of our room.
As I’ve mentioned in my other posts, the guesthouses along the ring road have limited hours. They ask you to call them if you will be checking in past their regularly scheduled hours. However, we never had the opportunity to call as we had no cell service. Thankfully, we never had a problem with any of the hotels/guesthouses we stayed at.
A peek inside the room: It wasn’t’ very big.
It’s not far from the road so we could hear road noise due to having to leave our window open. None of the guesthouses we stayed in had air conditioning.
The guesthouse provided a nice complimentary breakfast with our stay.
Tip: 15 mins from our guesthouse is the Kolugljufur waterfall & Stora – Asgeirsa – an authentic Iceland farm with hot tub and waterfall behind it – you can stay here also. It has a variety of animals – anyone can visit.
Your route on the map
Your route on Google Maps
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Day 6! 🙂