2,850 kms (1,770 miles), 8 days, and a camper van. We spent 8 days driving around Iceland, feasted our eyes with spectacular scenery at every turn, fed our soul with solitude, and indulged in so many unique experiences within such a short period of time. Iceland is definitely a unique country like no other.
2 June 2018 (Sat): Þingvellir National Park - Bruarfoss Waterfall - Geysir - Gullfoss Falls - Kerid Crater Lake
After spending the day chilling at Akranes campsite doing absolutely nothing and slowly adjusting back to US time, we finally left the campsite at 5.30pm for our last stretch of sightseeing on this trip around the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is one of the most popular tourist routes due to its proximity to Reykjavik. I didn't think it was a good idea for us to drive the Golden Circle at the tail end of our trip because the sights along Golden Circle was lackluster in comparison to what we've seen over the last few days, apart from the Geysir.
En route to Þingvellir National Park. Dude...what are you doing in the middle of nowhere??
Þingvellir National Park used to be the national parliament of Iceland. This is also where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, and you could swim between the two continents. This was just a quick stop for us, took some photos and done.
No cars at 8pm
Our next stop was Bruarfoss Waterfall. This is not a popular stop along the Golden Circle, but I wanted to see the milky blue waterfall so we decided to be 'adventurous' and took a detour into this private summer house complex and attempted to find it. It's not a clearly marked path and we tried following the instructions I found online.
This was all we saw after walking for about 15 minutes. =.= Not sure what we missed, but here's a link to better 'instruction' and how the waterfall was supposed to look. Our mission failed, but good luck to you!
Next stop was the Strokkur geysir. This was my first time seeing a geysir so it was definitely an interesting stop. This area is full of geysers but the one that constantly 'explodes' and steals all the attention is this Strokkur. It erupts pretty frequently at an interval of 8-10 minutes. We didn't get a good photo the first time it erupted so we waited for the 2nd one with cameras and videos on standby. =P We got there around 9.15pm and there were still some other people visiting late as well.
And another waterfall!! The viewpoint for Gullfoss Falls was a very short walk from the parking lot. We didn't walk around much here because it was cold!!
Final stop along the Golden Circle was Kerid Crater Lake. This definitely looks very similar to the Viti Crater we saw at Myvatn. Another benefit of visiting off hours (at 11pm) was the 'free' entry as there was nobody collecting entrance fees at that hour. =)
We completed our sightseeing along the Golden Circle earlier than expected at 12am, but didn't want to 'waste' 1 night at the campsite, so we found this place to park for the night near Selfoss. There was no porta-potty here but we used the bathroom at the 24hr Olis gas station in Selfoss town beforehand. =P Made some light dinner then went to bed.
3 June 2018 (Sun): Grindavik Campsite
Woke up the next morning with one last day to do whatever we wanted. As I mentioned in my previous posts, we were a day ahead of our original schedule since day 3, so our travel pace definitely slowed down significantly the last few days of our trip. It wasn't until after the trip that I realized we actually slept one extra 'night' one this trip to the crazy schedule, and it proves I didn't sleep-deprived anybody with my 'intense' tour.
MIL wanted to visit a museum, but it was closed when we got there. We knew we were supposed to clean the van before returning (to avoid being charged extra cleaning fee), so we gave our little 'home' for the week a good scrub. This camper had been good to us throughout the trip so it deserved a 'spa'...haha! One thing we liked about the gas stations in Iceland was their brush+hose thingy to clean the vehicle...for free!
Final call to enjoy Iceland's scenery!
Arrived Grindavik campsite at 1pm. We chose to come to this campsite because it was close to the airport, which would be more convenient for us to leave early the next morning for the airport. The total cost for the three of us was ISK 4800 ($48), and hot shower is free. =)
The place was packed with locals when we first arrived. We realized it was 1pm on a Sunday afternoon so a lot of families drove their camper here to camp over the weekend. Fortunately, majority of the campers left by 3pm. The bathrooms were clean and nice!
I was very impressed by the kitchen/dining area!! This campsite was hands down the best campsite we stayed in Iceland. Very well-equipped and clean. =)
Even better, they had this entire area filled with free food and gas!!!! Due to its proximity to the airport, this is the final stop for many people (like us). It's great that they had this #campersforcampers corner for people to leave leftovers for others. Ugh we should have totally stopped by here before starting our journey.
We did a pretty good job depleting most of the food we brought, especially the canned food. Used up our last can of Campbell's Wicked Thai Style chicken & rice soup for lunch....yummsss!!! Another group of Canadians gave us their extra can of beer. =P
4 June 2018 (Mon): Blue Lagoon - Keflavik Airport - New York - Detroit - Huntsville
We couldn't leave Iceland without at least seeing the 'overpriced' Blue Lagoon right? It was 7.30am and there were people there already...crazy.
Instead of taking photos of the Blue Lagoon, I took more photos of this blue 'pool' beside the Blue Lagoon building instead. =P
Filled up the camper van before returning it at the rental office. The process of returning the camper was easy and quick. Of course, we did a good job cleaning the van before returning which make the inspection quicker. The rental company then dropped us off at the airport with their free shuttle.
We came with 4 luggage, left with 3 luggage...successfully depleted one luggage of food. Obviously we over-packed for this trip but baggage was free so it didn't matter.
Goodbye to Iceland!! Thank you for the amazing scenery and experience!!
First row of Delta Comfort seats again for our flight to New York! Plenty of leg room. =)
From Iceland to Greenland to Americaland. =P
Going through immigration took forever, and on top of that, we had a big hiccup at the baggage claim. Apparently one whole cart of bags didn't make it to the carousel for our flight. We ended up wasting almost 1.5 hours standing there waiting for our bags. To compensate for our inconvenience, Delta gave us 5K points each...I'm happy with it. =P
Fortunately, our transit at JFK was long enough and we still had some time to visit the Delta SkyClub at Terminal 4 before catching our next flight to Detroit.
The food at the lounge was actually pretty good, even better because it's free...haha! This is how we avoid spending money for overpriced food at airports. =P
Was upgraded to first class for our JFK - DTW flight. =)
Visited the Delta SkyClub at Detroit airport with MIL....more free food. =P Those meatballs were good!!
6 blog posts and it's finally a wrap for our awesome 8D7N Iceland trip!! Thanks for following along!!! If you haven't been to Iceland, you should start planning a trip there. Iceland is such a beautiful and unique country like no other!! I would definitely recommend driving around the Ring Road in a camper van, best way to see this country!
As a token of appreciation for scrolling through this long post, here's our map to help you plan for your Iceland adventure! Click on the top right 'square' to open in Google Maps.
Bonus giveaway - Our Iceland itinerary!