Saturday, August 4, 2018

Iceland Road Trip 2018 ✈ Snæfellsnes Peninsula (West Iceland)

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.

1 June 2018 (Fri): Búðakirkja (Black Church) - Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall - Lóndrangar Cliffs - Arnarstapi Port - Gatklettur - Akranes Campsite

One of the longest stretch of drive we had during our road trip around Iceland was the one from North Iceland to Snæfellsnes peninsula. According to Google maps, the journey was 516 km (320 miles) and takes 6 hours. However, the journey took longer when we decided to turn around after being wrongly navigated to a gravel road. We were too tired to make it all the way to Snæfellsnes and decided to park and rest for the night. 

This part of Iceland is pretty deserted (hard to even find a porta potty), but we were fortunate to find this little spot in the middle of nowhere to park and rest (benefit of having a camper van). Better still, there were porta potties! We were surprised to see the waterfall and river the next day when we woke up at 11am. =)

Another benefit of having a camper van, we were able to cook and eat in the middle of nowhere, with a view of the waterfalls!

Our camping brunch made by yours truly using only one pan and a pot. =P Scrambled fry egg + vienna sausage + canned mushrooms + peas, carrots and tuna + Ghirardelli choco drink + Starbucks coffee + Indocafe 3 in 1 coffee. Not the healthiest but they taste good!

After a good night's rest and a filling brunch, it was time to hit the road and continue our drive to Snæfellsnes at 2pm. Beautiful day to drive.

First stop of the day after 2-hours drive was Búðakirkja (Black Church). This unique church is very appropriately & inappropriately named. 

After 45 minutes drive through some gravel roads, we arrived at the famous Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall at 5pm!

Walking in from the parking lot, the waterfall looks small and normal. But you've gotta hike up a lil' for the best photo spot with the mountain as the backdrop. It's such a short walk I wouldn't even consider it a 'hike'. =P

Tadaa...the postcard perfect view of Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall!

From Kirkjufellsfoss, we chose to drive along the coast passing through the little town of Ólafsvík and through the Snaefellsjoekull National Park to get to our next destination. Driving through Ólafsvík gave us a glimpse of the locals' life in Iceland.

Quick photo stop of the Malariff Lighthouse on our way to Lóndrangar.

Lóndrangar cliffs..natural towers overlooking the ocean.

Port Arnarstapi was one of my favorite stops in Iceland. We were there around 7.15pm and the evening sun was peeking through the clouds right above the mountains. The basalt cliffs, stunning harbor view, clear turquoise waters, and that little white house with Mt. Stapafell in the foreground made this place feels magical!

Picture perfect! I wonder how much that little house cost with such killer views!

Walked by the Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss statue to get to Gatklettur. You can google the story behind this half troll-half man statue.

I came here with the goal of seeing the Gatklettur Arch, but I guess we didn't walk far enough to find it. All we saw were these basalt columns cliffs, filled with bird poop. I'm blaming hubby for not wanting to explore the area more with me...hmph!

We left Snæfellsnes peninsula around 8pm and stopped by the N1 gas station in Borgarnes for fuel and bathroom stop. This gas station is quite a nice one, nice view, clean bathrooms, and even has its own restaurant.

We were looking for somewhere to park and rest for the night before driving the Golden Circle and found Akranes campsite with pretty good reviews. They didn't have a kitchen but the price was quite reasonable and includes hot shower. They also had free wifi but the signal wasn't good. It costs ISK1200/pax+ISK333 tax ($38) for the 3 of us. We maximized it by staying till 5pm the next day. =)

 We arrived the campsite at 10.15pm, just in time for dinner with this beautiful sunset!

This campsite was quite crowded probably because we were there on a Friday night and many locals were out camping over the weekend. However, the place was pretty much empty during the day the next day so we were able to take our time to have a good hot shower, chill, and rest. As mentioned in my previous post, we were one day ahead of our original schedule so we had plenty of time to chill and relax towards the end of our trip.

There was a Bonus close to the campsite. Stopped by to grab some snacks before continuing our journey to the final stretch of our road trip...the Golden Circle!

That's all for Snæfellsnes Peninsula (West Iceland). Stay tuned for Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon in the next post! 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.

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