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Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)


Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:43 am

Date walked: 14/08/2019

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This report may be of use to those visiting Iceland with the aim of exploring some of the scenery.

But, these are short walks - not challenging hikes and climbs (of which there are plenty...)

I've also added a few practical hints and tips at the end for anyone thinking of visiting Iceland.

Snaefell peninsula

This finger of land north-west of Reykjavik is amazingly scenic. it's dominated by the 1400m ice-capped volcano Snaefell - a mountain I have my eye on if I ever return to Iceland.

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

However, the most often photographed (but rarely climbed) peak is Kirkjufjell, which has an Assynt-ish look to it.

ImageIMG_1006 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A beautiful coastal walk starts at Arnastapi, a small fishing village surrounded by sea-cliffs and flower meadows - this is the view from above the tiny harbour.

ImageIMG_4498 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The area is alive with seabirds (many of the walkers are birdwatchers). This Arctic tern and chick were sitting in the village car park as if they were waiting for a bus.

ImageIMG_0050 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A path leads from the car park past a statue of the local legendary giant Bardur. The surrounding meadows are are a carpet of colour. The peak in the background of this shot is Stapafell, a satellite of Snaefell.

ImageIMG_0049 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

From there it is just a short step to the coast on top of the cliffs. This natural hollow was said to be Bardur's bath.

ImageIMG_0051 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The path then turns south along the cliff tops and across a bridge over this idyllic stream. On the other side of the bridge, it falls to the sea in a waterfall.

ImageIMG_4282 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

No idea what this is

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

There are great coastal views every step of the way along the path. The basalt geology has parallels in Skye and Northern Ireland. But the extreme complexity of the coastline and the intricate rock formations (and all the wild flowers) put me in mind of Pembrokeshire.

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_4427 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_4418 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_4473 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A redwing (winter visitor to UK) and one of the rock arches.

ImageIMG_4462 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

After a while, the grass and flowers ended abruptly, and a little valley wound its way between lumpy lava flows.

ImageIMG_4404 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Snaefell and Stapafell from the lava flows.

ImageIMG_4376 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

More botany, this time on the lava

ImageIMG_4421 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The overhanging cliffs are populated everywhere with seabirds.

ImageIMG_0052 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The path leads on to another fishing village, Hellnar, but we turned back. You could make a full day of it by starting in Hellnar, walking to Arnastapi were there are cafes or picnic spots for lunch, and then returning to Hellnar.

On our return walk we saw that the last wisps of cloud had cleared from Snaefell.

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A natural harbour - easy to imagine the Viking longships pulling in here

ImageIMG_4492 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Finally, we went over to the beach at Olafsvik. The sand here appears to be from feldspar-based rock rather than basalt.

ImageIMG_1001 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_1003 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

South coast

East of Hvolsvöllur (setting of Njal's Saga, and a good base for exploring south and central Iceland) there is a great variety of dramatic scenery along the south coast and inland. The coastal region below the ice-capped volcanoes Eyjafjallajökull (of 2010 flight disruption notoriety) and Mýrdalsjökull is lined with enormous cliffs, punctuated by deep valleys with patches of fertile farmland, and there are glimpses of the glaciers above.

There are some superb waterfalls here. The first two are on the 1 highway near the turn-off for Landeyjahöfn, the purpose-built port for the Vestmannaeyjar ferry, and can both be visited by a short pleasant walk. The southern fall, Seljalandfoss, can easily be spotted when driving east along the 1. It's a beautiful sight.

Image03 Mar by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

You can walk behind the waterfall into a wide cavern.

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Icelandic horses at Seljalandfoss.

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The second waterfall, Gljúfrabúi, is hidden among the crags. Even from the mouth of its slot-like canyon, only parts of it can be seen.

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

To see it properly is a little adventure. You have to walk into the ravine to where it widens out into a hidden amphitheatre.

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Further along the 1, look out for a car park from which a short walk leads to the turf-roofed houses built into caves in the rock outcrop Drangurinn. These date from around the ninth century, the time of the settlement of Iceland and the Sagas.

One of the turf-roofed houses

ImageIMG_2001 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

From Drangurinn here there is a view across some beautifully green pastures, to farms framed by crags.

ImageIMG_2002 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

In the next of these fertile valleys is another iconic waterfall, Skógafoss.

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

There is a cluster of tourist-related buildings here including a museum, and a trail leading to another, hidden waterfall, Kvernufoss. This area is also the start of the high-level trail, the Fimmvörðuháls hike, which leads between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull icecaps to the Þórsmörk valley. This was far beyond our ambitions, but looks like a stunning route.

Instead, we headed east along the coast to Reynisfjara beach, which has some good caves and basalt formations.

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Puffins nest on the cliffs, and fly overhead backwards and forwards between the cliff and the sea with their beaks full of sand-eels for their chicks. I don't have a "proper" camera, so this was the best photo I could get.

ImageIMG_2006 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Dolphin skull

ImageIMG_2010 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Two of the Reynisdrangar sea stacks dominate the eastern end of the beach

ImageIMG_2011 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The view west from the same spot towards the Dyrhólaey peninsula, which is pierced by a remarkable natural tunnel.

ImageIMG_2012 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The last of these south coast walks is a long way east along the 1 from Reynisfjara. After crossing the pass over to Vik, the road leads into desolate country. Before reaching the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, the weirdest of these areas is a vast plain of lumpy lava flows covered with grey-green moss (Woolly Fringe Moss, according to the information board at the tiny picnic area in the middle of the flows). A fog came down from nowhere when we got here, adding to the atmosphere. A short trail leads to a viewpoint overlooking the wilderness.

ImageIMG_0047 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The flows date from the late eighteenth century, and are the result of huge eruptions that caused what Icelanders call the Mists of Hardship - volcanic vapours that affected agriculture so badly that around one-fifth of all Icelanders left the island.

Beyond Kirkjubæjarklaustur, miles of grandiose scenery unfold along the 1, fringing the Vatnajökull icecap which covers much of south-east Iceland. There were fine views where the road crosses a vast outwash of glacial debris below the highest mountain in Iceland, Hvannadalshnjúkur.

ImageIMG_0036 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Hvannadalshnjúkur is actually the edge of the crater rim of a gigantic hidden volcano, Öraefajökull. The ice in the crater is over half a kilometre thick. The volcano is active: there were huge eruptions in 1362 and 1728, and rumblings in 2017.

This wider view of the Hvannadalshnjúkur massif shows the icefall of the glacier Svinafellsjökull, which flows down from the crater rim. (The black line at the bottom of the photo is the tarmac of Highway 1)

ImageIMG_3818 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A closer view of Hrútfjallstindar, another of the main peaks.

ImageIMG_3831 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Hrútfjallstindar and Hvannadalshnjúkur from the national park visitor centre at Skaftafell. There are a variety of trails from here including another waterfall, Svartifoss, which sadly we did not have time to get to.

ImageIMG_3833 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Glaciers line the route of Highway 1 from here onwards.

ImageIMG_4191 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0046 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Finally, we arrived at our destination, Jökulsárlón lake. This is where a large glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull, flows down from the main Vatnajökull icecap and has gouged this lake, nearly 300m deep, in which icebergs float before breaking up and being carried out to sea along a short river. We saw one berg break in two and collapse into the water, and also watched a seal swimming among the floes. The whole place is an extraordinary sight.

ImageIMG_0037 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Vatnajökull icecap and Breiðamerkurjökull glacier in the background.

ImageIMG_0038 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

You can do a walk along the lake shore, and along the river to the beach, but we decided that first we would do a boat tour among the icebergs - a bizarre experience.

Some of the bergs - they were surprisingly varied in colour and shape.

ImageIMG_0041 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0042 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0043 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

After that we walked along the river and the basalt beach, watching half-melted bergs being washed ashore.

ImageIMG_0044 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0045 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Central and south-west Iceland

There is a wonderful variety of mountain, coastal and countryside walks in this beautiful area, mostly in the county of Árnessýsla. Our few short walks merely scratched the surface of many possibilities.

The centre of the area is Selfoss, with a range of shops and accommodation. A few miles south of Selfoss is the coast, centred on a classic Icelandic fishing village, Eyrarbakki.

ImageIMG_0028 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

There is a beautiful walk past the old harbour (once the busiest in Iceland - hard to imagine now) and onto a wide beach west of the village. The white flowers in this photo smelt gorgeous - like an English cottage garden.

ImageIMG_0029 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

This area adjoins the Floi bird reserve, but we didn't need to enter the reserve to see a remarkable sight - a flock of around a hundred whooper swans, all floating placidly on the sea.

ImageIMG_0030 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

We walked back to the village through a meadow filled with flowers.

ImageIMG_0031 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The village has the Árnessýsla Heritage Museum, a complex of buildings (one ticket covers them all) including this merchant's house dating from 1765.

ImageIMG_0032 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The atmospheric interior is mostly late nineteenth century.

ImageIMG_0033 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The Árnessýsla heritage complex includes other houses in the village and a maritime museum - the design of this fishing boat echoed the Viking longships.

ImageIMG_0034 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Another of our walks was a few km west of Selfoss, near Hveragerði - a unusual town with lots of greenhouses and florists, based on geothermal energy. Just north of the town a minor road leads to a car park from where a trail leads up the valley of a small river, the Reykjadalur. It was a misty day when we did this walk.

ImageIMG_2030 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The river is WARM! - the temperature of a hot bath. Higher up, there is an area set up for enjoying the hot springs. There is a small boardwalk, but it is all done very unobtrusively, with minimum impact on the wild setting.

ImageIMG_2032 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

My advice for this walk (and bathe) is to go early. It was fairly quiet when we were there, but as we were walking down, there were lots of people walking up, all armed with bathing suits and towels, and the car park was busy.

The geothermal mountain at the centre of this area is called Hengill - its square-cut summit is an obvious feature of the views from the Reykjavik area, and on clear days the numerous steam vents on all its flanks and in the surrounding valleys are quite a sight.

We also visited the northern side of the Hengill massif via the 435 road, which turns off the 1 just south of Reykjavik and offers a surreal drive across pancake-flat moorland, parellel to a huge geothermal pipeline. Then the terrain becomes more rugged...

ImageIMG_3164 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Just beyond the highest point there is a car park and information board showing a network of trails on Hengill. There is also a bird's eye view of one of the geothermal power plants.

ImageIMG_0009 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Most visitors to Iceland visit Þingvellir, and I would recommend the 435 as a more scenic and interesting way to approach it than the usual 36 which all the tourist coaches use. The road gives great views of the lake Þingvallavatn. Apparently the ample supply of fish from this lake was one of the reasons the Vikings chose Þingvellir as the site of their parliament, the Alþingi.

The site of the parliament is in a huge cleft in the rocks, at the junction of the North American and European tectonic plates.

ImageIMG_0012 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Where the gap opens out, there is a small grassy hill where the Alþingi would assemble. The speaker would face away from the crowd, towards the wall of rock, which acted as a sound amplifier.

ImageIMG_0013 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A few miles south of Þingvellir is the vividly-coloured crater Kerið.

ImageIMG_0024 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

It is one of several craters which can be visited: the rims merge together, forming a kind of meandering ridge walk.

ImageIMG_0025 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Although this was a site of eruptions, the craters were caused not by explosions but by the emptying of a magma chamber deep underground, leading to collapse.

Another view of the main crater. Björk once did a concert from a raft on the lake.

ImageIMG_0026 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Kerið is on the 35, a good road for visiting the valleys around the Hvítá river. The first place we visited beyond Kerið was the church at Skalholt.

ImageIMG_2037 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The church is on the site of Iceland's former cathedral which was destroyed by an earthquake. It's a beautiful spot among meadows above the Hvítá river. We had a picnic and watched this redwing which had caught a worm and a moth.

ImageIMG_2038 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

We saw a cello player walking through the meadows towards the church.

ImageIMG_2039 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

She was one of the musicians playing in the Skalholt summer concerts programme - http://en.sumartonleikar.is/ which we went to hear. It was wonderful.

ImageIMG_2041 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A few miles beyond Skalholt is another area of hot springs centred on the market garden village of Reykholt. There are some huge geothermal greenhouses -

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

But my favourite spot was this hidden magical grove.

ImageIMG_2036 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Beyond Reykholt the valley continues to be lush and attractive as far as one of Iceland's most famous attractions, the hot springs at Haukadalur, including Geysir, the origin of the word geyser. There is a walking trail around the area.

Geysir itself is only rarely active today, but it was more than made up for by its companion Strokkur, which spouted every five or six minutes.

ImageIMG_0017 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

One of the boiling thermal pools, coloured by minerals.

ImageIMG_0018 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The countryside around the geysers was contrastingly pastoral.

ImageIMG_0019 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Strokkur again

ImageIMG_0020 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Only a few miles away, another major attraction is the colossal cataract of Gullfoss.

ImageIMG_0022 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Gullfoss was probably the most popular single attraction we saw - the crowds can be seen in the photo above. However it did not spoil the majesty of this extraordinary place.

ImageIMG_0023 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Sigríður Tómasdóttir rode regularly from Gullfoss to Reykjavik for many years to fight a court case to save Gullfoss from being made into a hydroelectric power station. She was adept at publicity, which led to the government stepping in and buying the area to protect it from development. She is much celebrated in Iceland as a pioneering environmentalist.

IMG_3445.JPG


Perhaps we need a Sigríður to campaign for Glen Etive and other special places in the Highlands!

Reykjanes peninsula

This finger of land is a total contrast to the Snaefell peninsula or the area around Selfoss. It's flat and grim-looking, covered with recent lava flows on which little vegetation grows. Weather on this day was also grim - but it didn't stop us enjoying this place, which felt like another planet.

The gap between the European and North American tectonic plates runs through Reykjanes, where a bridge has been built across the raw lava flows - this is the view from it.

ImageIMG_0001 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The coast was "bracing"

ImageUntitled by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The small town of Grindavik is a no-frills working port.

ImageIMG_0003 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

But it does have a very nice dock-side cafe (Bryggjan) - a welcome haven on a wet day.

IMG_3093.JPG


Grindavik is only a couple of km from the tourist attraction of the Blue Lagoon. We didn't go.

We preferred to walk around the dramatic geothermal area Seltun, at Krýsuvík on the 42 which leads back to Reykjavik.

ImageIMG_0006 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0007 - Copy by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Hints and tips on visiting Iceland

The best way to see Iceland is to hire a car. There are guided tours and coach trips to all the major sights and attractions, and 4x4 trips further afield - they are all no doubt very good. But if, like us, you like serendipity and enjoying places at your own pace, a car is the best way.

With an ordinary car, you can visit enough places to easily fill a week or two's holiday - we were there for one week and used a VW Polo. But if you really want to get off the beaten track, you will need to hire a 4x4. Be aware that even some main roads have gravel sections (on our map, these sections were marked in brown instead of red).

When driving, it's worth bearing in mind that other drivers may well be tourists who have hired vehicles that they are not used to driving. Away from Highway 1, most roads are really quiet, but don't stop in the road just to take photos - there are car parking spots every few miles.

The car parks for Gullfoss, Geysir and the river walk at Hveragerði can be busy later in the day. Some car parks are small, which is fair enough - it would be a shame if they encroached more on the wilderness. Most places are fairly quiet before noon.

We did not climb any mountains, although there is a fair bit of ascent on the walk to the bathing area at Hveragerði - comparable to a moderate fell walk in the Lake District. If you are visiting Iceland mainly to see the sights, but you do want to climb one mountain, then the most obvious option would be Esja, north of Reykjavik. It is nearly Munro height (914m) and apparently has a clear walking trail to the summit. Given its location above the bays and fjords of the west coast, the views should be stunning. The other easy option of a peak would be Hengill - use one of the trails from the car park on the 435 (see above).

Icelandic weather forecasts in English are at https://en.vedur.is/. Our experience was that weather patterns in Iceland are every bit as complex and variable as in Scotland. On more than one occasion we drove from sunshine into storms, and back again into sunshine within an hour or so.

Free general maps can be found at https://www.moon.com/maps/europe/iceland/. For more detailed maps (1:200,000 and 1:50,000), see http://www.stanfords.co.uk/Iceland-M%C3%A1l-og-Menning-Touring-and-Hiking-Maps_SI00000600

It's a blatant truism that Iceland is expensive, but you can hugely reduce your costs by not drinking/eating out, and buying your food from supermarkets. The commonest ones are Krónan (yellow logo) and Bonus (pink piggy-bank logo). Selfoss, Hvolsvöllur and Borgarnes are good places to stock up before heading into the countryside.

Although we stayed near Reykjavik (for easy access to Highway 1) we were unusual in that we chose not to visit the capital. It seemed better to spend our limited time on the kind of places that make Iceland unique, and we have no regrets about not using one of our days to see urban sights.
Last edited by HalfManHalfTitanium on Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby jmarkb » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:13 pm

Looks like you had a great trip - some decent weather lots of lovely photos! I've beed to some of the places you visited in the south, but not to Snaefellsnes which looks amazing.

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:No idea what this is


I think that is a Field Gentian (Gentianella campestris).

For anyone interested in Icelandic mountains, there's not a lot of readily available information in English but there is this book: https://www.forlagid.is/vara/summit-100-mountain-hikes/
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:25 pm

Thanks! I wondered if it was some kind of gentian, but I've only ever seen them in the Alps, and they were more a blue colour rather than pinky-purple.

And thanks so much for the link to the book. I think I'll buy it. Even if I never get back there, it will be interesting to read more about the galaxy of peaks that I could see. Hekla, Snaesfell and Esja are obvious targets for a hill walk but there must be hundreds of possibilities.

Tim
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby jmarkb » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:04 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:I wondered if it was some kind of gentian, but I've only ever seen them in the Alps, and they were more a blue colour rather than pinky-purple.


Yes, it's a bit of an odd one out - most gentians are blue and have 5 petals! I've seen field gentians in the Scottish hills occasionally.

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:And thanks so much for the link to the book.


You are very welcome! The only mountains I've done (ski touring and walking) are in the north around Akureyri, but I can certainly recommend that area.
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:51 am

Thanks! We never got to Akureyri, a bit far to drive in a day - but it looks like a great base for walking.

Tim
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby John Doh » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:04 am

Stunning stuff :clap: how was it tourist wise, on a scale from 1 (acceptable) to 10 (nervewracking) ?
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby maxie23 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:46 pm

Cracking report Tim, photos are top class as usual.

Looks a very interesting place to visit.

Regards.

Robert
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:32 pm

maxie23 wrote:Cracking report Tim, photos are top class as usual.

Looks a very interesting place to visit.

Regards.

Robert


Thanks Robert! - really appreciated!

Tim
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:24 pm

John Doh wrote:Stunning stuff :clap: how was it tourist wise, on a scale from 1 (acceptable) to 10 (nervewracking) ?


There were a few spots that were busy. Gullfoss understandably draws big crowds - but we were there in the afternoon on a fine day. Morning would probably have been quieter.

Even the busiest places were no worse than a summer's day on Snowdon or Ben Nevis.

We chose not to go to Reykjavik or Blue Lagoon. I'm sure they would have been manic. Our opinion of Blue Lagoon and other similar places is that they simply repackage and resell what you can have more naturally and for free (and almost alone, if you go early) by walking up the valley at Hveragerði.

Away from the top tourist spots, most places were very quiet. In some places we drove for many miles within seeing another car.

TIm
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:24 pm

John Doh wrote:Stunning stuff :clap: how was it tourist wise, on a scale from 1 (acceptable) to 10 (nervewracking) ?


There were a few spots that were busy. Gullfoss understandably draws big crowds - but we were there in the afternoon on a fine day. Morning would probably have been quieter.

Even the busiest places were no worse than a summer's day on Snowdon or Ben Nevis.

We chose not to go to Reykjavik or Blue Lagoon. I'm sure they would have been manic. Our opinion of Blue Lagoon and other similar places is that they simply repackage and resell what you can have more naturally and for free (and almost alone, if you go early) by walking up the valley at Hveragerði.

Away from the top tourist spots, most places were very quiet. In some places we drove for many miles within seeing another car.

TIm
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby dav2930 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:57 pm

That's a report and a half! Lots of useful tips and information and a superb collection of photos, which I'm sure will both inspire people to visit Iceland and help in planning a trip there. I don't know if I'll ever visit, but I'm certainly more tempted after seeing this report. :)

Love the photo of Kirkjufjell; it does look a bit like Suilven on steroids doesn't it? Certainly a lot more impressive than its near-namesake, Kirk Fell in the Lakes :lol:
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby John Doh » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:58 pm

Thanks Tim so all is not lost. 8) Because Island is on my bucket list.
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby mrssanta » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:13 pm

that was absolutely stunning!
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:46 pm

dav2930 wrote:That's a report and a half! Lots of useful tips and information and a superb collection of photos, which I'm sure will both inspire people to visit Iceland and help in planning a trip there. I don't know if I'll ever visit, but I'm certainly more tempted after seeing this report. :)

Love the photo of Kirkjufjell; it does look a bit like Suilven on steroids doesn't it? Certainly a lot more impressive than its near-namesake, Kirk Fell in the Lakes :lol:


Thanks dav2930!

Hill walking was not on the agenda for this holiday, but I couldn't help peering speculatively at Kirkjufjell for signs of a path - and there was a faint one, but it seemed to end at a couple of rocky steps about half-way up.

The summit ridge (that too is like Suilven - a long narrow ridge rather than the cone-shaped appearance) would be a sensational viewpoint, with fjords on three sides and a backdrop of snowy mountains.

Tim
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Re: Short walks in Iceland (not the shop)

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:53 pm

Really enjoyed that, having visited some of these places when I was a kid, but not having been back since I was 18.

The photos are stunning, really capture the place well, a set to be very happy with.
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