The last day was the most adventurous of all. Snowmobiles on the Langjökull glacier!!! Can it be even better!? What about the relaxing sip in the hot river in Reykjadalur Valley? Or exploding geysers in the Geysir Hot Spring Area 🙂 We also checked out couple waterfalls: Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui, Gullfoss.
Snowmobiles on the Langjökull glacier
I was so excited when I read about the possibility of doing the snowmobiles in Iceland. I even managed to get my mom super excited too:D
There are many companies with different packages available online. I searched a little and found a company called Arctic Adventure.
The whole trip took us 3-4h, we were picked up from the Gullfoss waterfall with a super jeep. And by super jeep, I mean an awesomely big car that totally rocked while driving off the road! When we got to the Langjökull glacier, we had 40 minutes of driving snowmobiles.
It was possible to either drive the two of us on the same one or separately with an additional fee. After 20 minutes, we could change the driver. I suggested to my mom to take over the steering, but she said she was plenty busy with keeping balance. She enjoyed the ride a lot and even encouraged me to speed up!!
We could go as fast or as slow as we wanted. The whole group was kind of like a herd of sheep. There was one guide in the front showing us the way, one at the back that was making sure “no sheep” is left behind. The third one was going in between, from front to back, and assisting us when needed.
During the break, the guides helped us with pictures because you know: how can you snowmobile without a picture to prove it!!
After 40 minutes of activity, we went back to base camp, returned the gear, got some cookies and drinks while looking at the GPS track from the tour.
Overall, I would say it was the best experience I had in Iceland!!
Bathing in a hot river in Reykjadalur Valley
Warm baths are the thing to do in Iceland! I have mentioned in the previous posts the Blue Lagoon or Mývatn Nature Baths. This time we wandered off to a hidden gem with even fewer tourists.
Have you ever wanted to soak in a river, far from civilization after some trekking? If you say yes, then that’s your place.
The warm river flows through Reykjadalur Valley, making it an excellent idyllic spot for chilling out in nature and enjoying a hot stream. Somewhere in the valley, the boiling hot water meets the cold stream, and they generate the perfect mix with warm water. The closer you sit to the “top” of the river, the warmer it will get.
As I mentioned, it is less famous as it requires some trekking, and a lot of tourists prefer just to park the car five steps away from the baths 🙂
The trek is only 3 km, and it can be easily done in 30 min – 1 hour. The views are lovely, with different valleys, waterfalls, boiling mud pools and steam rising from several places. Let’s say it like that; I did take a lot of pictures 🙂
I have been in the Reykjadalur Valley twice. I loved it both times; the only difference was the weather.
The first time was in October. Even though it was cold and I had the hat on all the time, it was also sunny, and the views were stunning. The cold didn’t bother us that much as we were soaking in hot water.
My second trip in July was not as lucky, it was pouring like hell, and after 40 minutes hike, I regretted not hiking in a swimming suit 🙂 On a bright side, sitting in hot water while it was raining was a great experience. Plus I got to see a different side of the valley: misty and mysterious.
I am a little sad my mom did not have the opportunity to see the full beauty of the place. Though she still enjoyed it a lot!!
One thing to remember is that there are no changing rooms there. Well, it’s in nature, what did you expect:P There are some wooden separators that you can use or use the towel.
I know you can hike further up the stream and there are some beautiful views and waterfalls, but I never managed to do that. Next time! Three times the charm!
Geysir Hot Spring Area
It is one of the sights to see when visiting Iceland. Boiling mud pits, fumaroles, exploding geysers cover the geothermal field. One of the highlights is Strokkur which spouts water 30 meters (100 ft) into the air every few minutes.
The most famous geyser called Geysir is currently mostly dormant. An earthquake in 2000 has revived it. It erupted a couple of times a day for a few years, but now its all quiet.
One of the unique things you could try in the area is to eat the rye bread that has been ‘baking’ underground for 24 hours with some hot spring boiled eggs.
It is quite touristy, though, so either come in the morning or prepare to face the crowds.
Skógafoss is one of Iceland’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls with a width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters. It is close to Route 1, so it is an excellent spot to go and straighten your legs 🙂
You can walk right up to the waterfall, which is lovely in the summer. There is also a staircase leading to the top. From there you can see the top of the waterfall and the panorama of the place.
When we were on top, we met a couple that started the trek on one of Iceland’s most famed hiking routes; the Fimmvörðuháls pass. It is a 22 km hike that is picturesque.
There is a legend connected to the waterfall. It is said that a Viking settler hid a chest behind the waterfall filled with gold and treasures. According to the legend, three men tried to retrieve the chest. On the first try, they noticed that their farm is on fire, so they stopped with the plan to run home only to find out it was just an illusion. On the second try, they managed to hook into the side of the chest. But the ring jerked off from it, and they were unable to retrieve it. The story goes that the ring is now located in the church door at Skógar.
One of my favorite waterfalls. I am pretty sure you saw the image of it if you ever saw any pictures from Iceland. It is pretty iconic. What makes it in my Top Waterfalls list is that you can walk behind it. It is a great experience. The waterfall is 65 meters tall and is breathtakingly beautiful.
It is easily accessible from Route 1; therefore there are quite many people taking tons of selfies all around 🙂 Also make sure you have a raincoat if you want to go behind it, there is a lot of drizzles.
Gljúfrabúi is very close to Seljalandsfoss. Just walk along the path, and you will find it without the problem. It is 40 meters high and is hiding in the gorge, so it is not very visible from the path. You can see only the top part of the waterfall from there.
You can either walk through the gorge, which is easy but might get you wet if not careful – or climb up the rock which is in front of the waterfall, and see the waterfall from the top.
I did both as I was curious how it looks, and it was impressive!
A good tip for photographers, if you have a DSLR camera get a raincoat for it and lens wipes. There is a lot of water particles in the air that made me super happy I had one.
Right before the snowmobile tour, we checked out Gullfoss. It is another one of Iceland’s most well-known waterfalls and is a part of the Golden Circle route. Its name is translated to Golden Falls.
The waterfall is wide and looks impressive. Truth to be told, which of the Icelandic waterfalls does not look majestic?
The first, shorter cascade is 11 meters (36 feet), while the second drop is 21 meters (69 feet). You can walk either close by the waterfall to see it close up, or hike at the path on top of the canyon. If you stay close to the waterfall, remember to protect your camera! It’s wet there!
There is some history behind the waterfall. In early 1900, the investors wanted to use the waterfall power to fuel a hydroelectric plant. The owner of the land decided not to sell Gullfoss and instead he leased it. However there was some loophole, that would allow continuing with the plans.
The farmers’ daughter – Sigríður Tómasdóttir, hired lawyers and started the fight to nullify the contract. The battle became so intense that she threatened to throw herself into the waterfall if any construction began.
She won the battle, and the other party withdrew from the lease. Because of her effort and fierceness in the fight for nature, she is hailed as Iceland’s first environmentalist. Interestingly enough, the lawyer that helped her went down in history as the first president of Iceland 🙂