Iceland / south coast
- currency and cash use:
Cash use is rare even among the locals, you can pay with your credit cards almost everywhere, no need for currency exchange.
- rental car:
You can also book daily tours from Reykjavik or use the busses to different locations from Reykjavik center, I recommend to rent a car so that you can take your pick of the spectacular sights. The island is circumnavigated by a proper ring road however if you want to drive into inland, you will need 4*4 jeep. Above you see the route I have followed, the red zones are mountain roads. Across the highlands of Iceland the roads are mostly mountain roads, they are effected by seasonal changes, many of them aren't maintained, they can be filled with holes and large rocks. Some of them even cross through rivers. For this reason, I advise to rent a 4x4 vehicle and be sure to get full insurance.
Thingvellir National Park - where you walk between continents
Thingvellir means “parliament plains” in English. It is the place where representatives from all over Iceland met annually during summertime in an assembly similar to that of a modern parliament, except that it was held outside.
Iceland is divided by the Mid-Atlantic Rift; some parts of it are on the North American tectonic plate, while others are on the Eurasian plate. Iceland is the only place in the world where this rift is above sea-level. The rift is also one of Game of Thrones filming locations.
The Great Geyser
The great geyser is one of the must see attractions in southern Iceland, situated in an active geothermal area approximately 100km from Reykjavik. How that happens? Ground water comes into contact with hot rock and heats up, building pressure, when the water reaches its peak temperature and pressure it sprouts out from the geyser.
To me, Jökulsarlon-Glacier Lagoon is the most impressive place in south-Iceland. Watching sunset there was unforgettable. The icebergs from the surrounding glacier in the blue waters make a special view. The lagoon flows through a short waterway into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving big ice pieces on a black sand beach.
An ice-cube for your giant Cocktail? 😃....
Most of Iceland's large rivers spring from glaciers, like this one. The river erodes the bedrock and divides into great number of parts which constantly change course...
Northern lights from our cottage: Watching the famous aurora, we all have that in our bucket list. However, if you are expecting you will walk outside after dark and the sky will simply light up above you, well you might feel little disappointed. The aurora doesn’t usually appear in brilliant colours all at once. But dont get me wrong, it’s still one of the most inspiring sights you’ll ever see. Especially the next night, it was such a dynamic change of light & colours, i was totally shocked at what i saw for about two minutes.
Vestrahorn Mountain and Black Sand Beach
One of those places make you feel like you’re on another planet... Vestrahorn mountain and black sand beach in Hofn, Iceland:
Highlands of Iceland
Highlands of iceland are totally inaccessible between roughly October and May. However for summer, hiking at the highlands is a must.
Landmannalaugar Volcanic Area:
Landmannalaugar is a lava field with beautiful volcanic rocks. The rivers are hot here, you can even bath in natural warm water. There are different hiking options with differing difficulty. I visited for a short time and made a short 4-km loop the Laugavegurinn trail with absolutely breathtaking sights. As you see in the video below, this volcano is still active, there are numerous fumaroles spewing sulphurous gases.
Landmannalaugar can only be reached during the summer months, June - September. Outside of these months the roads are closed. Camping there and spending a few days is totally advisable.
Another view from the Laugavegurinn trail:
Gullfoss waterfall is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. It is a strange fact that until the second half of 20th century this waterfall was owned by two private persons.
This summer I have been in the wake of the Vikings: First Norway than Iceland. To me, both were great alternatives to beach holidays of August.