This article is part of the series “2018-08: Iceland”.
Saturday, 1 September
Yesterday we hired our car, today we had the first full travel day round Iceland. We didn’t make many kilometres, since there are so many beautiful places along the Ring Road in the South of Iceland. There are quite famous, too, so we had to share them with a lot of other tourists.
Dyrhólaey is a 120 metre high peninsula which is known for a large hole in the rock that gave the place its name: “door hole island”. Huge waves rolled ashore and broke at the rocks. No place for bathing.
In the east we already could see the Reynisdrangar, pillar-like rock formations in the sea. The sea was covered with spray and looked almost white, just like the sky.
Reynisfjara Beach is the most famous of the black beaches near to the town Vik. Unlike most other beaches the sand consists of eroded volcanic rocks. The waves were as high as those visible from Dyrhólaey and many signs warn against the danger of being swept away. The beach at the parking place is quite is flat and white and the waves flood great areas of the black sand.
While I was taking these photos a huge wave came and pushed a lot of water to the beach. I got wet feet even with my rubber boots on.
From here you can also see the Reynisdrangar standing stoically in the sea. Only seabirds inhabit these inaccessible rock pillars.
One of the main attractions of Reynisfjara Beach are the basalt columns. Well, I tried to take photos, but this was impossible due to the many, many tourists standing there. At least the basalt cave was free of people for a minute.
We found a nice overnight stay in Svinafell. As all accommodations it was expensive and you would get a hotel room with breakfast for less money in most other countries. Iceland however is an expensive country and you should know that before travelling there.
Quite near Svinafell there are two glacier tongues, Skaftafellsjökull and Svinafelljökull. Both of them are part of Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier and you can see them from the Ring Road.
After checking in we returned to the Ring Road and turned into a gravel road leading to the Svinafelljökull. This was the worst road I ever drove. It was just 2.5 km long, but only made of deep potholes and rocks. It took me 15 minutes for one way. There’s a reason why so many people use jeeps or pickups in Iceland. Anyway it was worth the efforts, despite the grey weather.
Next day we would continue east and perhaps reach the East Fjords.