Hello and welcome to another chapter of my short stories during my journey! I truly hope you have enjoyed these couple of weeks. You probably may already have pictured yourself exploring this incredible country’s attractions. Don’t matter when you choose to come, it will always be the perfect time to visit Iceland!
Today we will head to the northern part of the country, where incredible natural attractions await. I must tell you that leaving Eskifjörður was not an easy task. As you may know, the weather in Iceland changes super quickly. After I left the hotel, the rain was pouring down hard, just like in the movies. It was indeed a very unique moment to watch (from inside the car of course), then you begin to understand the power of nature, really. My advice to all future travelers is to pack wisely for their adventure. A raincoat o parka, some boots, and layered clothing will be the best ally during your stay. Forget about umbrellas! The wind may sometimes be too strong so it will only get ruined. Here is a summary of today’s itinerary:
• Ásbyrgi (hike to Eyjan + visit Botnstjörn)
The first leg of this ride will take me to Dettifoss, which is considered to be one of the largest waterfalls in Europe. According to the GPS, it will be a 3-hour drive from the east side toward this incredible place. Did you know that Iceland has about 10,000 waterfalls? Well, that seems impressive but it is true. You could find them in different locations as they are a result of the glacier and volcanic activity mostly. But also, the rain makes a major contribution to their existence too.
As I am driving, let me tell you that there will be some hiking involved at Dettifoss so, remember to bring some snacks and water. I bought some fruits, nuts, and chocolate back in Eskifjörður. If you forgot or wish to get more supplies, Egilsstaðir is on the way to Dettifoss. This town has shops, petrol stations and more. It is always more convenient to buy groceries at a local supermarket as the prices are more convenient than small shops.
After a couple of hours traveling across the country, we will see a few signs on the road leading our way to Dettifoss. There is a large parking lot
that is located on the west side of the waterfall. You will have to leave the car here and then walk a few meters to reach Dettifoss. Don't worry, it is not too far away. It is a very interesting landscape to watch though. You will also find toilets and a water fountain. It is a great opportunity to refill your water bottle. It is really important to stay hydrated at all times, especially if you are traveling with children.
The view from above as you walk to the waterfall is simply unique and fascinating. One of the first things I noticed was the shape of the canyon down below, it was like a horseshoe with an exuberate portion of green surrounding this massive view. Also, the strong sound, similar to thunder as the water plunges with an incredible force. I was lucky to witness an unexpected colorful rainbow after the skies have cleared. Another tip, watch your steps as the paths may be slippery after all that water. Avoid getting to close to the edge to prevent any accidents. Loved this hike? Take a look at this hiking trails guide
Our next stop is Ásbyrgi, located just
a short 30-minute ride from Dettifoss. This is a remarkable place that promises to enchant us with its Nordic mythological tales. Back in the Viking settlers' days, people believed that a flying horse of eight legs was responsible for the horse-shaped canyon shape. Another theory proposed by experts says that a flood near the glacier river caused large devastation in the area, resulting in a terrain reshape. Personally, I am more inclined to the scientific approach, but you never know. You will find several trails in Ásbyrgi leading to different parts of the canyon. My personal favorites were Botnstjörn, the cozy small pond surrounded by rocks and the imposing cliff. This place is perfect for relaxing since it is very peaceful here. Also, Eyjan a tall cliff laying on the middle of Ásbyrgi which you could hike! The view from up there is superb. The hike is rather gentle but the first portion of it may require an extra effort.
While you are in this incredible place, you have the chance to experience another one of a lifetime adventure. Whale Watching is a highly recommended tour since it is really close to Ásbyrgi. This incredible adventure is designed for
all ages and it is performed by local guides in Iceland. Since this activity is seasonal, check the calendar to see if it fits your current itinerary. Remember to always book your tickets
in advance so you don't miss out!
What a great time I had! Now it is time to continue driving to Mývatn, my final stop for the day. Mývatn is known to be a very idyllic place, not only to the pristine lake but also since locals say it is where there are more chances to see the northern lights. Of course, I wanted to find out about that myself.
It is getting a bit late and it is time for a nice meal and comfy bed right? Luckily for me, that was not a dream. A friend referred me to a place
where I could find a restaurant with delicious meals but also with lodging facilities. He was right, I had the most incredible lamb, which was the best treat after a long day. Remember what I said about the northern lights? As I was heading back to my hotel room, I could witness the auroras. Wow! it is hard to describe what I saw with words. It was so unexpected, yet so perfect.
To be continued...
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