A short trip to Iceland in October 2022 over half term. 4 nights and 3 Days doesn’t sound very long but a lot was packed in (as was with only carry on luggage as we decided to to travel fast and light).
After arriving at Keflavík International Airport and picking up a hire car from Avis (who were very pleasant and efficient), we started the drive along the South Coast of Iceland to the world famous black sand beach of Reynisfjara, a journey of circa 225 km away.
We stopped for lunch at the Fjöruborðið (Fjorubordid) restaurant in Stokkseyri. Rick Stein stopped here as part of his Long Weekends TV show based in Reykjavik and we’d watched this before making the trip.
Fjorubordid is famous for it’s ‘Magical Langoustine Soup‘. It certainly didn’t disappoint but it was the first experience of how expensive Iceland is versus the U.K. and mainland Europe. At 4190 Icelandic Króna, it worked out at about £23.85 each for soup and bread for the two of us. Very, very tasty though and warming. Which was needed as the wind and rain were about to arrive. Back into the hire car and we continued the drive along the coast to Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
Seljalandsfoss is possibly one of the most magnificent waterfalls in Iceland. Not only is it very high, continuously in flow with torrents of water falling, you can also walk behind it too. As it is a very popular attraction, it can get busy so allow plenty of time to line up your perfect photo.
You can park very close by and there is a toilet and a kiosk for hot drinks and snacks. Appropriate gear alert! The area around the waterfall is constantly wet and slippery. I would recommend waterproof trousers, a waterproof jacket and walking boots with very good grip. Be warned …. you will get wet. But it’s worth it.
Reynisfjara Beach is in our opinion a ‘must see’ destination if you visit Iceland. Black sand, imposing basalt columns and large ocean waves battering the beach make for an incredibly dramatic experience.
There is a restaurant and there are toilets located at the parking area (which again, gets quite busy), but we didn’t need to visit these. We were glad to get out of the wind after an a extremely bracing hour on the beach. Back in the car and head back along the coast towards Reykjavik where our hotel for the trip was located.
The excitement wasn’t quite over for the two of us as there was one last stop off at Sólheimajökull Glacier on the way home.
As regular skiers we had decided that we didn’t feel the need to arrange a glacier tour during our three day trip. We did though want to touch some ice whilst we were in Iceland so we decided to make the short hike from the parking area to the glacier. Appropriate gear alert! Unless you are an experienced ice climber, we would always recommend arranging a guide and obtaining the correct ice gear (crampons, ice axe, ropes, harnesses, helmets etc) before attempting to walk on a glacier. They are constantly moving and massive crevices can be cm under your feet.
We arrived at Reykjavik quite late in the evening. Our hotel, the Center Hotels Plaza had been booked through Booking.com and was located in the Old Town of the city. Whilst very central and conveniently located for bars, restaurants, shops and the harbour (for whale watching tours), there was no parking at the hotel so we needed to find on street parking. Parking is zoned with different pricing for each zone. For the latest information visit Reykjavik Tourist Information.
Travel Cool Gear Summary: Arcteryx Alpha SV Men’s Gore Tex Waterproof Jacket, Berghaus Men’s Gore-Tex Paclite Waterproof Over-trousers, Fjallraven Expedition Pack Down Jacket, Bodum Stainless Steel Vacuum Travel Mug, Osprey-Farpoint 40l Travel Bag.
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