Iceland Day 14 – Hiking in Skaftafell NP, Icebergs at Breidarlon/Joekulsarlon, Hoefn

April 8.


Had slept very well with popped up roof, plugged in electrity. Cozy and warm, snuggled in. Glamping. Woke up around 8am… planning to get some laundry done. What a great camping ground! Not only has the Skaftafell NP campground nice and clean grounds, toilets and showers – next to the visitor center are also washing machine and dryer free for use. After starting laundry, the campground was still quiet. Had a delicious breakfast with freshly made scrambled eggs and onion – surely making other campers jeaoulus with the nice smell. I walked a bit to an empty area and did a short drone flight, just taking some photos of the beautiful mountain landscape around me from above (see first photo of this post). Even the camping fee was cheap comparing to other campsite. Definitely my most favorite campground on Iceland so far – but finding wild spots is still the best. 😉

With the laundry done and dry, I left for a hike aiming for a 10-12km loop trail. As I climbed higher and higher, the views become more and more gorgeous. So much beauty around me. Passed a few waterfalls, one with remarkable basalt columns.

Pushed on further for a higher spot for a lunch snack. Even though it was a short hike only, no more tourists walked around here. A lunch break with a view so beautiful I won’t forget. Watched the mountains, the moving clouds. In the flat lands towards the sea, dark clouds formed and some dust or sand storms raced through the open lands. I planned to hike around two peaks, but at this altitude, there was already so much snow that following the trail all the way would be difficult if not impossible without proper gear.


With the clouds getting darker and closer, I hiked back and got ready to move on further East.

Could not get far before the next stop. A glacier reached so close to the ring road that I had to stop right away. A really bumpy road with a warning 4WD cars only led me to a parking right next the the glacier.

With the bumpy road, not too many other tourists were around. So after enjoying the beauty of the icebergs for a while, I took another drone flight. Still careful about possible winds and gusts specifically, I did just a very short fly around. But that’s exactly the footage why I brought the drone in the first place.

Back on the road, I followed the advice from Iceland veteran Herbert.

I did not stop at the famous iceberg sightseeing spot at Joekulsarlon but a bit before at Breidarlon. Also there, a small store offered boat rides around the icebergs but I chose just to walk around the shore. It got more windy, cloudy and with that colder by now. But that didnt make the view less magnificent, just the photos more difficult with so little contrasts between the massive glacier and the grey skies.


I continued East on the ring road, checking out a possible location for the night just before Hoefn. The dirt road leading there was narrow and started to get more and more muddy. I did not want to get on private lands and potentially even get stuck there… so I opted for an easier alternative and drove to the Hoefn campground. Just opposite of a gas station with small shop, it is located an the beginning of the small town. Drove up all the way up and to the end with nice view on the town and the nearby water and meadows. I spotted a reindeer just below grazing. This campground is really basic – most facilities were broken resp not working, still they were asking a steep price.

With the good feeling that I had actually given some wear to my hiking boots today, I fell asleep.

Iceland Day 11 – Golden Triangle with Pingvellir, Oxararfoss, Geysir and Gulfoss

April 5.

This would be the day of the golden triangle – the major attractions Pingvellir, Geysir and Gulfoss that are located close enough to Reykjavik for a day trip. With that, I was also anticipating more crowds of tourists than in the relatively quiet North.

Heading towards Pingvellir, I was planning to take road 435. I had read some nice reviews about Pingvellir where approaching was recommended via this scenic route. As it turned out, that advice was only good for summer time:

Road 435 closed due to snow

When I later came to the Pingvellir area, I avoided the main parking spot but took an earlier turn South along the lake.


Took a lunch break on a small dirt road in this beautiful area.

Continuing on towards Geysir, my next stop was at the Oxararfoss waterfall and a connected small canyon. The access into the canyon was a bit steep. With so many people crawling down, it was actually funny to watch how many were scared of slipping or falling and decided to glide down instead sitting on their pants.


Following the tourist crowds, next stop was the Geysir area.



After this geothermal area, I was heading on towards Gulfoss, again with a full parking lot. I really wonder if this is low season, how is this area looking like in peak season?


And it was time for another hotpot for the night. Checking the useful website, I drove a bit South towards Fludir. The camping ground there was closed, but would make a good parking for the night anyway. Drove on some dirt roads towards the close hotpot in Hruni called Hrunalaug. Due to the proximity to the golden triangle, this hotpot was packed full with visitors. Some people from Iceland, but also from China and the US. It got a bit tight in there, but I still stayed for an hour or so. Surely not the same and these lone hotpots in the North I had enjoyed so much – but a hotpot after all.

At 9.30pm at the closed campground where I stayed for the night.

Iceland Day 5 – Grettislaug, a hotpot day

March 30.


Got up around 7am, breakfast in the car. After the snow storm last night the skies looked promising – it might become a beautiful sunny day again. I checked out the facilities of the campground again. While the cafe is closed and the place completely deserted, the facilities like a kitchen house as well as the toilets were open and in kind of working condition. Good – I might actually hang out here the whole day.

At about 8am, I walked over to the two hotpots. They are beautifully located close to the sea, still protected with a stone wall from the direct winds.

View from the hotpot

Spent there 2 hours, just soaking in the water. Sitting absolutely quiet, you could hear the waves hitting the shores from two directions. Some seagulls crying. Felt like a good idea to stay. Felt like arriving in how I expected Iceland to be.

“A human’s choice is either to see new things, mountains, waterfalls, deadly storms and seas and volcanoes, or to see the same man-made things endlessly reconfigured.”
― Dave Eggers, Heroes of the Frontier

The hotpots had 38.5 respectively 40 degrees – a good temperature to spend a long time in there.

Around 10am, two other tourists showed and I took a walk around the area.

The two girls turned out to be German as well  (yes we love to travel….), one of them working in Iceland since a couple of years. We chatted for a while and I got some hints for spots to visit during the next days.

During the day, a couple of cars showed up, some stayed for a dip in the hotpots.  In the later evening, luckily everyone left except Herbert, his wife and Gerald, another German solo traveler with VW van.

The wind died down – a chance for another drone flight. I was a bit more careful than last time. First a quick look around in all directions – after that I got a bit more brave.


Herbert had not only brought beer but a complete bbq equipment, meat, potatoes… so after a last hotpot session around 7pm, we started bbqing as it got darker and colder.


A relaxing day with nice company and chats came to an end around 11pm.

Iceland Day 1 – Seydisfjoerdur, Egilsstadir, Hengifoss, Iceland Horses and Vopnafjoerdur

March 26.

After breakfast in an empty cafeteria, the ferry arrived at 9am in Seydisfjoerdur. Since the ferry was so empty, also the unloading of the cars was rather quick. Just a bit of backing up needed, then there was space to turn around and drive off the ferry.

First stop was customs. Many of us were not sure about the amount of food we were carrying – there is an official 3kg limit on food besides the usual restrictions on tabacco and alcohol. A very kind customs agent waved me through – welcome to Iceland!

I continued straight through the village towards Egilsstadir with its super markets. We would all reconnect at the Bonus supermarket there. Bought fruits and vegetables, the famous Icelandic Skyr yogurt.

While my intention is to go North following the ring road, I wanted to get my bearings in the area first. So I visited a major waterfall Hengifoss, just some kilometers South of Egilsstadir.

On the way there, I saw some closed campgrounds. It seems they will still offer free parking, just no facilities or water/electricity while they are closed for the season. I hope I will be able to do wild camping most of the time. At least there is no need for showers with the amount of public hotpots throughout the island.

It was a nice short hike going up to Hengifoss. A few smaller waterfalls along the way. Still beautiful weather with sunshine and blue skies, just the wind picked up. I saw a handful of vistors coming down from the waterfall. At the waterfall, Luise caught up with me.

With nobody else around and nobody I could bother, I started the drone to take some footage from Hengifoss. All good until the flight back – the drone was caught in the winds that got stronger and stronger and carried away. I could just watch on the camera how it drifted off, not strong enough to return against the winds. With a big lake in the back, I was close to panic. Luckily, I could force it down on a field despite its impossible tries to return to the starting point. It had drifted away nearly a kilometer. I drove as close as I could and found it shortly after all intact. What a stressful first flight on Iceland. Will need to be more careful with these winds.


I checked out another campground in the area but decided to make some kilometers North.

Tomorrow evening, I want to be at Myvatn Lake to enjoy the hotpots there. I found a nice spot for the night around 6pm close to Vopnafjoerdur. Exciting first day – I am actually tired after the last days just chilling on the ferry. Sleeping with all curtains open – hoping for aurora / polar lights. 🙂

Into Denmark

March 22.

I headed out not too late and passed trough the rest of Northern Germany quickly. Stopped in Schleswig-Holstein, the most Northern state, in the little village Fleckeby where I grew up.

When they write plattdeutsch (local dialect) on the signs… you know you are really North 🙂

That was also an opportunity to give it a try with the drone – thank you Lars for borrowing this gadget!

This is the low resolution video that is captured directly on the phone during flight. Not too spectacular, but I am excited to try this in Iceland vastness.

I continued through Denmark to the town of Løkken at the sea.


Tomorrow is just about 1h drive left to the ferry terminal.