Iceland’s Ring Road – Day 1

When I first thought about going to Iceland I didn’t know what to expect. The decision was out of the blue. I just wanted to go somewhere remote. I was not ready for the stunning beauty of this country.

Most places claim to be unique, but few places deserve this title. Iceland is one of them. The so-called Land of ice and fire is like no other place on earth. After 15 days in this amazing country, I left Iceland with a heavy heart, but Iceland never left me. Someday I will return.

The Iceland’s Ring Road

I traveled through the Iceland’s Ring Road during an unforgettable week. I decided to take a tour offered by Touris — a local Tour Operator. Normally, I would recommend to rent a car and explore by yourself, but taking this tour was the best decision I made. It was very well organized and the guide had a vast knowledge of the geology of the area and of the Icelandic Sagas.

Stykkishólmur fishing village

On the first day in the morning, we headed to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The first stop was the adorable Stykkishólmur fishing village and its harbor. After a cup of coffee and some pictures, we hit the road again.

Stykkishólmur fishing village

Stykkishólmur fishing village

Stykkishólmur fishing village

Stykkishólmur fishing village

Djúpalónssandur beach

After that, we stopped at the Djúpalónssandur beach at the foot of the Snæfellsjökull volcano. We crossed the ancient lava fields until we reached the black stony beach.

Black lava pebbles on Djúpalónssandur beach

Black lava pebbles on Djúpalónssandur beach

Kids throwing rocks at the sea on Djúpalónssandur beach

Kids throwing rocks at the sea on Djúpalónssandur beach

Djúpalónssandur beach with Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Djúpalónssandur beach with Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Lava rocks on Djúpalónssandur beach

Lava rocks on Djúpalónssandur beach

Lava rocks on Djúpalónssandur beach

Lava rocks on Djúpalónssandur beach

Lava rocks on Djúpalónssandur beach

Lava rocks on Djúpalónssandur beach

Remains of a shipwreck on Djúpalónssandur beach

Remains of a shipwreck on Djúpalónssandur beach

Remains of a shipwreck on Djúpalónssandur beach

Remains of a shipwreck on Djúpalónssandur beach

Lava field and freshwater lagoon on Djúpalónssandur beach

Lava field and freshwater lagoon on Djúpalónssandur beach

Lava field on Djúpalónssandur beach with Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Lava field on Djúpalónssandur beach with Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Djúpalónssandur beach

Djúpalónssandur beach

Hellnar and Arnarstapi

We continued driving around the Snæfellsnes peninsula with the Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background. The last stop was Hellnar. We walked the path that follows the coastline between Hellnar and Arnarstapi. It’s a pleasant 1-hour walk along the Hellnahraun lava field and the beach. We admired the bird cliffs and the strange rock formations. At the end of the path, we arrived at the fishing village of Arnarstapi at the foot of Mt. Stapafell and Snæfellsjökull volcano.

The Snæfellsjökull volcano is famous due to the novel Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne.
There, the protagonists find the entrance to a passage leading to the center of the earth.

Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss Statue

Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss Statue

Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss Statue

Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss Statue

Fishing village of Arnarstapi with Mt. Stapafell and Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Fishing village of Arnarstapi with Mt. Stapafell and Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Fishing village of Arnarstapi with Mt. Stapafell and Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Fishing village of Arnarstapi with Mt. Stapafell and Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Fishing village of Arnarstapi with Mt. Stapafell and Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Fishing village of Arnarstapi with Mt. Stapafell and Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Fishing village of Arnarstapi with Mt. Stapafell and Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Fishing village of Arnarstapi with Mt. Stapafell and Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background

Rock Cliffs at the Arnarstapi cost

Rock Cliffs at the Arnarstapi cost

Rock Cliffs at the Arnarstapi cost

Rock Cliffs at the Arnarstapi cost

Rock Cliffs at the Arnarstapi cost

Rock Cliffs at the Arnarstapi cost

Rock Cliffs at the Arnarstapi cost

Rock Cliffs at the Arnarstapi cost

Borgarnes Village

On the way to Borgarnes, the guide filled our imagination with the astonishing tales of the Icelandic sagas. The guide told us the Egil’s Saga, written by Snorri Sturluson, and how this saga is connected to the history of  Borgarnes. When we arrived we visited the Settlement Center that tells the Saga of The Settlement of Iceland and Egill Skallagrimsson, Iceland’s most famous Viking and first poet. It’s a shame they don’t allow us to take pictures.

Deildartunguhver Thermal Spring

After seeing amazing beaches, ancient volcanos and lava fields we thought nothing could surprise us during the rest of the day. Then we arrived at Deildartunguhver, the highest-flow hot spring in Europe. It was sensational to see the power of nature. The water emerges from the ground at 97 °C. The pools of bubbling boiling water are accompanied by dense sulfur clouds of steam.

Deildartunguhver Thermal Spring

Deildartunguhver Thermal Spring

Deildartunguhver Thermal Spring

Deildartunguhver Thermal Spring

Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls

Hraunfossar, which means “lava falls”, is a very special series of waterfalls. The turquoise blue water that seems to appear out of nowhere comes from a melting glacier. Hraunfossar demonstrates why Iceland is so utterly beautiful. The waters gently flows from a lava field formed when a volcano erupted under the glacier Langjökull.

One of the waterfalls in Hraunfossar is named Barnafoss. The name means “Children’s waterfall”. The origin of its name lies in an old Saga that tells a history about two children that fell in this waterfall and drowned.

Hraunfossar waterfall

Hraunfossar waterfall

Hraunfossar waterfall

Hraunfossar waterfall

Barnafoss waterfall

Barnafoss waterfall

Barnafoss waterfall

Barnafoss waterfall

Reykholt

After a day of adventures, a nice dinner and a warm bed expected us. We spent the night at the Fosshotel Reykholt.

Snorri Sturluson statue in Reykholt

Snorri Sturluson statue in Reykholt

Snorri's bath in Reykholt

Snorri’s bath in Reykholt

Foss Hotel Reykholt

Foss Hotel Reykholt

For more information about the Hotel go to http://www.fosshotel.is/hotels/fosshotel-in-the-west/fosshotel-reykholt/

For more information about the tour go to http://www.tour.is/longer-tours/country_life_-_7_days

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