Iceland Roadtrip Part 3 – Horses, Trolls & Black Beaches

So we left our hotel (Hotel Anna) early in the morning after a proper breakfast to get as much out of the day as possible. After the stormy night we were greeted with sunshine and saw our surroundings for the first time. We thought it would be time to greet the locals and thank them for having us.

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The light was so incredible and we were excited about what came next.

As we arrived very late the night before we didn’t have the chance to visit the close by Seljalandsfoss waterfall, so we decided to go there after saying goodbye to our new friends.

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If you are driving the Ring Road coming from Reykjavík, you cannot miss the 40 meter high waterfall as it’s not far away from the road. There is a path behind the waterfall so you can actually go there. But unfortunately, as we had frost and snow, it was a challenge to even get close to the waterfall as the whole ground had been frozen. The wind was still quite strong so the combination of icy grounds and storm does not work well, I have to say. Luckily we made it back to the car on our feet. In summer it must be a great experience to walk behind the water though. Another reason for us to go back.

Our next stop was Skogafoss – you really cannot get enough of Iceland’s impressive waterfalls.

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New waterfall, old problem – the whole ground had been frozen again giving us a hard time looking graceful. But daredevils like us didn’t care and we even managed to climb all the stairs up to the top (partly on all fours but unique places require unique approaches). And it definitely was worth it.

Next stop on our list was Vík, a spectacular place with black sand beaches. Even the way there was impressive.

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After we arrived at the little parking slot we already saw the coast of Dyrhólaey but had to climb up some rocks to get to the beach. As soon as we saw it we were completely overwhelmed – it looked like being on another planet.

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After enjoying the atmosphere for a while and watching some seals enjoying the waves we went back to our car to drive to the end of the street where we had discovered a little cave. Excited to see what it is about we climbed our way up and were surprised with a nice view across Dyrhólaey.

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Considering that the days in autumn and winter are pretty short in Iceland we didn’t have the time to make ourselves comfortable in our little cave. So we went on to Reynisdrangar, the famous black rock formation close to Vík. According to an Icelandic legend these two rocks needles had once been trolls that wanted to pull a three-master ship to the shore when they turned into stone. Obviously trolls aren’t allowed to stay out in the dark after sun sets or they turn into rocks – which appeared to happen very often.

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This beach has been ranked as one of the 10 most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world and I can clearly see why. The light has been amazing and the colours are just out of this world – one of the highlights of our trip if I had to name one.

After the sun set we had about a 2-hour drive to our hotel in front of the Skaftafell glacier and had to pass some kind of volcanic dessert. As it was still quite windy we found ourselves in the middle of a little volcano storm wishing we had taken the volcano ash assurance for our car.

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Luckily we made it safely to the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon where we had a really nice dinner (if you ever watched Tomb Raider you’ll notice the hotel). Once again we tried to look out for some northern lights (the hotel had especially large windows with little sofas) but without any success. Btw a lot of hotels are offering wake up calls in case northern lights should appear at night – it definitely makes you sleep better and avoids living in fear of missing anything. But it has been a quite night after all.

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