Iceland Photo Journal & Travel Guide

August 17, 2017 0 Comments

I just got home from one of the most incredible trips of my life. It was a one week adventure through the south coat of Iceland. I went with a group of my good girlfriends and we couldn’t have asked for a better trip. We definitely learned that you should allow yourself more than just five days there. But for me, that just means a good excuse to make it back sooner than later. Here’s a step by step guide of what we did and what I recommend seeing/doing while in Iceland.

We landed a bit later than expected on our first day in Iceland so we only had a half day to explore. We decided to check out one of the near by waterfalls which is called Gulfoss. It is known to rival Niagara falls, and for good reason. While there we grabbed some dinner in the on location restaurant and had some of the best lamb stew of our lives.
The next day we decided to see some of the most well known waterfalls Iceland has to offer, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss.

Seljalandsfoss (pictured above) is pretty incredible because you can hike behind the waterfall. Be prepared with some good rain gear though because you will get drenched.

Just down the road about 15 km is another gorgeous waterfall called Skogafoss (pictured above). You can also hike to the top of Skogafoss for an incredible view of the countryside.

On our third day there we made the 4 hour drive along the Ring Road to Vatnajokull National Park for a kayak tour through Heinaberg glacier lagoon. The drive itself was one of the most beautiful drives I have ever experienced.
When we arrived, we geared up in our dry suits and headed out into the glacier lagoon. The tour was about three hours long and was hands down one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Much of the tour was kayaking across the lagoon and navigating the Ice Bergs. But we also had the chance at one point to get out of our kayaks, put on some crampons and walk on top of the glacier. It was absolutely incredible.

Our fourth day in Iceland we decided to spend the day/evening at the famous Blue Lagoon. We had a reservation for 7pm at the lagoon and a 5pm dinner reservation at Lava, which is one of the restaurants on site. It was hands down the best food that we had in Iceland so I highly recommend it. The lagoon itself was surreal. We literally spent 5 hours in the water.

Our final day in Iceland was a bit of a marathon. There was so much that we wanted to see that we simply didn’t have time for, so we tried to squeeze as much into one day as possible. We started with a hike which starts above Skogafoss waterfall. The hike actually goes for about fifteen miles but we only had time for about four miles round trip. I highly recommend this hike. It is absolutely one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done. It passes by countless waterfalls and is surrounded by rolling green hills and mountains.

During our hike it started to rain and it continued raining for most of the day. My windproof/waterfall outer shell jacket and pants were a game changer. Don’t go to Iceland without your rain gear! After the hike we decided to head over to the Seljavallalaug hot spring. It was a short hike to get there, but well worth it.The hot spring was a dream…especially since it was raining out. It made the whole experience a bit euphoric. In all honestly the water wasn’t hot. One of the local Icelanders mentioned that it was usually much warmer but that the rain had cooled it down. Either way, it was incredibly enjoyable. And an absolute must, if you go to Iceland.

By the time we were leaving the hot spring it was already around 8:30 pm but thanks to the virtually 24 hour sunlight in Iceland during the summer, we knew we had plenty of daylight left to squeeze in one more adventure. So, we headed to the iconic Solheimasandur plane wreck. From the parking lot, the plane is a 2.5 mile hike to get to. It was pouring rain and the sun was beginning to get low which meant we were the only ones on the usually well traveled trail. This was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. As we hiked, all you could see for miles was black sand and rock, the sky was hazy, and it was dead silent. As we began to see the plane through the haze after about 40 mins of walking, we could not believe our eyes. It was one of those rare moments in my life where it was so surreal, it felt like a dream…a moment that can’t really be explained, only experienced.

I can honestly say that this was the most incredible trip of my life. I am already planning on making it back within the next couple of years to do some more intense hiking adventures and to do more intentional photography. If you are planning a trip to Iceland and have any questions on places to see/things to do, feel free to shoot me a message! I’ll take any excuse to talk about Iceland. Happy travels!

Mandy Dobbelmann

Founder and editor of Forte E Bello. Mandy is writer, singer/songwriter, and music teacher with a love for life, people, adventure and living simply. She is passionate about using her gift for writing and music to be a voice for change.