We left Akureyri the next day and made our way across northern Iceland. This was probably my favorite day of the trip because northern Iceland was stunningly beautiful and also because not very many tourists venture to northern Iceland especially in April, so we were the only people at some of the places we stopped. Our first stop was my favorite place in all of Iceland. Right off the Ring Road about 30 miles east of Akureyri is Godafoss or Waterfall of the Gods. According to Icelandic legend, in year 1000 when Christianity was declared the national religion in Iceland, pagan statues were tossed into the falls. We were the only people at this waterfall and it was unbelievable to be able to sit and take in this natural wonder without any other tourists around.
Near Godafoss is another interesting waterfall, Aldeyjarfoss, but we were not able to stop there due to time constraints and uncertain road conditions. Our next stop was the Lake Myvatn and Krafla area. Our first stop was Dimmuborgir, which is a lava field with different crags and pillars. We walked through part of the lava fields, but the paths were very icy, so we didn’t venture far.
Next, we stopped at Skutustadagigar, which is a cluster of pseudocraters, which were formed when lava flowing above ground heats water causing explosions. The terrain in this area was so fascinating because one area surround Lake Myvatn would be grassy and another area would be rocky lava fields and another area would look like Mars.
Next we stopped at Hverfell known as “the dog bowl” because it really looks like a giant dog bowl. It was formed when rising magma met with groundwater resulting in a explosion of steam and stock. You can climb to the top and walk around the rim, but it’s a steep 25 minute ascent and it was extremely windy that day, so we stayed on the ground.
Next we stopped at Hverir, which is a large geothermal field of bubbling mud pools and steam. It felt so bizarre to walk through this field. We really felt like we were on Mars.
Closer to Krafla, we stopped at Stora-Viti, which is a crater with a blue-green lake at the bottom. I’ve seen many photos of Stora-Viti, but none of them depicted the lake frozen, so imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw this:
Our last stop of the day before reaching our hostel was Dettifoss, which is Europe’s largest waterfall. It was a bit difficult to find since all the paths were covered by snow, but it was amazing to see this waterfall without any tourists around surrounded by snow.
Our hostel for the night was in eastern Iceland in the East Fjords in Reydarfjordur. This hostel is actually several different houses and we were the only guests in this hostel that night which was so spacious. We made dinner and got to enjoy the beautiful view from the hostel. It was the most relaxing night of the trip. The cost for a double room was 8400 kr (~$67 for 2 people).
View from the hostel
It was the perfect end to my favorite day in Iceland. I’ve never been able to sightsee without hoards of tourists around and I hate hoards of tourists, so this was such a treat for me.