When I imagined what Iceland would look like, I had geysers and waterfalls in mind. There are lots of wonderful sites to see in the south-west, so our second day started off perfectly.
We drove from Reykjavík to Geysir, an impressive geothermal area where you can really see the power of Mother Earth in action. It is free to visit, not very big, easy to walk around and just a little wet. I’d recommend arriving as early as possible to avoid huge tourists crowds and bus tours. Across the street from the entrance there is a car park and a building with a restaurant and a tourist shops. You can buy a coffee to warm up, grab a bite or use the facilities.
The largest hot spring is Geysir, which gives the site its name but is now inactive. Don’t make the mistake to wait for half an hour (like ehm, someone did…), the impressive jet which can reach 80 meters will not perform before your eyes. However, Strokkur is a show you won’t miss. It shoots every 5-10 minutes and the jet can be quite powerful, reaching 20-30 meters in height! On a windy day it is guaranteed you’ll be soaked if you stand in the wrong spot. Geysir is a truly amazing place. The path goes through hundreds of pools where the colours are incredible and the heat can be felt from afar. Every now and then you hear the rumbling noise of the water building up, briefly forming what looks like a dome and then exploding up towards the sky. It is beautiful!
A very short drive away from Geysir is one of 3 of the most famous waterfalls of the south-west. Gullfoss is vast and stretches down some side hills which you can walk along. To reach the view points you have to descend a long staircase. The strong sound of the water will build up louder and louder until you reach the bottom. And once you are there, just take some time to disconnect. Stop and listen. Breathe, close your eyes, enjoy every second of it. We all need a break.
On our way to the hostel we stopped to meet some horses, and we later found a living room near a lake. Yes, a living room. Armchair, rug, TV, lamp, the whole thing. And with such beautiful surroundings. What’s not to love about Iceland so far?
Most people also visit Þingvellir (Thingvellir), a national park where 2 tectonic plates meet. If you feel brave enough you can even dive there. It’s very expensive, but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for sure!
In the evening we stayed at Ljosafossskoli Hostel (€80/night for a double room). It was very quiet, with no light or sign of civilisation around. The owner was very kind and helpful. We sat down with him to talk it felt like being home, dog included. This would be a great place to see the northern lights. Sadly, the sky was covered in clouds and we were not lucky (just yet).
Do you want to save money on your next trip? Use the code luciam01 when you book via www.booking.com and you’ll receive €20/£15/$25 after your stay 🙂