Iceland – Wandering through the Northern region

Iceland – Wandering through the Northern region

The Northern region of Iceland isn’t very popular among tourists, due to long distance and sometimes difficult accessibility to the top sights. But this hasn’t been an obstacle to us! The Northern region is slightly different from the South and contains one of a kind attractions shaped on the nature’s playground.  Most of the sights look unreal and absolutely not from Earth.
We included the top sights we had visited from the Keflavik airport to the last attraction of the Northern region. Unfortunately due to limited time and long distance we needed to skip the West Fjords. This means that we haven’t seen any puffins during our stay in Iceland, this being the most popular place for exploring these nice birds.

Hvalfjörður & Glymur waterfall

Here we got two options: to skip the whole fjord and take the underwater tunnel for ISK 1000,- or take the scenic route along the fjord for 80 kilometers. If you are not on a hurry, don’t you dare to skip the fjord! All the landscape looks silent and solitary where the mountains and the clear water are the main actors. Glymur waterfall greatly makes this scenery complete. This is the tallest waterfall in Iceland and provides many hiking routes to follow.

hvalfjordur
Glymur Waterfall

Hraunfossar waterfalls

Hraunfossar is an amazing place where several waterfalls stream over a distance of about 1 kilometer out of a lava field. A stone’s throw away upstream from this series of waterfalls is another waterfall called Barnafoss. They are easy to access by car and offer great spots for taking amazing pictures.
Hraunfossar

Snæfellsnes peninsulula

We can shortly categorize this area in a few words: solitude, unpaved roads and unique geological structures. During our trip, we thought several times that we are on the wrong way. After 20 kilometers of gravel roads and literally no cars passing by or any sign of civilization we made a short break to analyze the map a bit. Where we stopped this proved to be the most silent place we have ever been. No birds, no cars and no people around. We were quite sad that we didn’t have a hammock to lie down a bit.
Snaefellness

Kirkjufell mountain

On the Northern region of the peninsula we finally found the most photographed place in Iceland, Kirkjufell mountain. It was part of a scene from Game of Thrones, when John Snow and his partners were coming home from the land of walkers. From every side you look at it, this mountain is unique. I will let the pictures to speak for themselves.
Snaefellness
Kirkjufell

Arnastapi village & Hellnar

Right before reaching Ólafsvík the road passes the peninsula vertically through a glacier. If on the coast was no snow and sunny, here suddenly we found snow and clouds. We didn’t have the necessary time for the glacier walk, but we took a visit at Arnarstapi village and Hellnar. A fisherman guided us to a path to reach an amazing place. From hundreds of meters away, we could hear the seagulls twittering. Therefore we found thousands of them flying around at the edge of the peninsula, seeing nothing but the ocean around.

Snaefellness

Hvítserkur

Probably neither of us couldn’t imagine that nature can create such structures. Hvítserkur is a basalt structure which seems like a dragon that is drinking water from the ocean. To obtain this, you need to take a look at it from the shore in front of it, otherwise it looks like a normal rock. From the parking lot there are several trails and signs to reach this attraction.
Hvitserkur

Northern fjords

We chose to visit these places and yet it served as a nice getaway from the main road. Although it was a tough driving on the gravel roadsdriving along the coast was amazing. We stopped by at a light house to eat our lunch and we found nice basalt structures.
Northern region
While driving through the valley on the road 82 that exits to Akureyri, we found amazing geological structures together with a wonderful greenness.
Geological structures
Akureyri is the second largest city in Iceland and it’s a great location to find a hotel. We didn’t choose to sleep at a hotel, we chose to sleep in our car next to Grenivik. That zone was really quiet and wild. It was right in a fjord with mountains on the left and ocean on the right. Most noteworthy was catching a brilliant sunset while having our dinner.
Sunset

Goðafoss waterfall

This literally means the waterfall of the Gods. Goðafoss is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland that falls from a 12 meters height and has a 30 meters width. This is situated in the proximity of the ring road and it’s almost impossible to miss.

Godafoss
Godafoss

Mývatn lake

When I was studying lakes of the world at University, I learnt that Mývatn is a unique lake worldwide. And when we saw it, I clearly understood why. The lake is situated in an area with volcanic activity and it’s surrounded by wetlands. This was created by a large basaltic lava eruption and now it’s home to a large bird life.
Myvatn

Hverir geothermal area

Oh my gosh we landed on Mars! That was our first reaction when we saw this place. Hverir is a unique wasteland where we found pools of boiling mud and hot springs all over the place. Prepare your nose to be filled with the smell of rotten eggs. Hence, it was almost impossible to breath in some places.

Hverir
Hverir

Ásbyrgi canyon

Have you ever wondered how the Wall from Game of Thrones looks like in reality? Well, Ásbyrgi indeed looks like that wall. All the canyon has gigantic, horse-shoe rock formations surrounded by dense forest. As we were coming from the main road, the only way there was on the gravel road 862. All the way was a quite long and the road was narrow and rough. Whether you choose to come from Húsavík on the road 85, the way there isn’t very difficult.

Asbyrgi
Asbyrgi

Dettifoss waterfall

Dettifoss is a voluminous waterfall located in the Diamond Circle, next to Ásbyrgi and Mývatn lake. We could get a nice view from both Eastern and Western bank of the waterfall. The water comes from the nearby Vatnajökull glacier and it’s reputed as the most powerful waterfall in Europe.

Dettifoss
Dettifoss
We are happy that we could conclude this post with a colorful rainbow. These were all the sights we had visited in the Northern region. Heading East, will follow a dead zone with almost no vegetation and no sign of population or gas stations! But continue to go further, Southern region is awesome!