We were super excited because we knew that we were going to spot some crazy beautiful landscapes. Some scenery that would leave us even more speechless than all the ones that we’d seen so far. We started with a visit of Skaftafell National Park, the one that we barely explored the previous day, and this time we were heading to the star of the park (or even the star of Iceland, which was on every postcard): the remarkable Svatifoss falls and its basalt rocks. It was 8:00am and there were few tourists in the park. The access to the falls is pretty effortless and after a short 20 minute walk, it appeared in front of us, the renowned falls surrounded by basalt rocks. It was mind-blowing! The basalt columns were formed from torrents of lava that cooled down really slowly and then crystallised. The result was pretty awesome! The plus is that we were the only ones onsite at this very moment to appreciate the show because on the way back, we met groups of tourists in a conga line formation.
We skipped the Svinafellsjökull ice cave (we thought that we probably needed to book a tour with an agency to go inside the cave, but we weren’t sure…) and we drove straight towards the glaciers and lagoons of Jökulsárlón. We stopped along the way at Fjallsarlon, the proglacial lake located south of Vatnajökull. The site is easily visible with all the signs on the side of the road and in the parking lot, war is on, with all the coaches full of German tourists and large 4x4s taking all the space. The wind that blew through our clothes was ridiculously freezing but the view from the top was incredible. Despite the tiny rope that forbid the tourists to go beyond that point, we could see a few tourists posing in front of the lake and we quickly decided to go rogue too, and check out these ice blocks a bit closer. And it was awesome! We were frozen but amazed…
We kept going a little bit further on the main road before arriving at a parking lot with no signs, with only few parked cars. We had to climb a small blackish rocky hill before seeing this:
And then, my heart stopped! It was the kind of show that we couldn’t wait to see closer, a magnificent spectacle and atypical that knocks you out. And apart from some “plouf” and “crac”, this place was really peaceful. A few ice blocks were detaching slowly from larger blocks to throw themselves in a large 260 meter deep lake, and they all had this particular color that dazzles you. It was magical!
We stopped a little bit before the main site of Jökulsárlón to avoid all the tourists and we did well as the parking area was packed with cars. On the right hand side of the main site, on the beach, we could admire really closely some ice blocks floating and drifting towards the ocean, sometimes washing up on the black sand beach.
After multiple slaps in our faces and jaw-dropping moments, we set sail for Höfn, a little seaside town well known for its langoustines. The Lonely Planet even mentioned a “Lobster Fest”, a festival dedicated to that big shrimp at the end of June-beginning of July that made our mouths water really badly. We quickly realized that there was no lobster fest when we saw the deserted streets of the little town. “It was awesome” replied the hotel owner when we asked him some information. Missed it by 3 days! We consoled ourselves with a little walk by the port, some Viking beers or beers named after some Icelandic volcanoes and above all, langoustines in a langoustine restaurant (super super delicious)!
Up to that point, we thought it was going to be hard to do better than Jökulsárlón and that we probably saw the craziest site in Iceland. But that was what we thought… We also saw our first sunset!