Day six of of our Ring Road adventure involved driving from Akureyri to Blönduós. There aren’t a tonne of noteworthy stops on this drive, so we decided to get off of Route 1 and take the longer and windier scenic route along the coast.
We never intended to stop in Ólafsfjörður, but when we spotted one of those enormous blow-up bouncy things that you find in Australian caravan parks, we simply couldn’t resist pulling over and having a bounce.
We stopped in Seyðisfjörður for lunch as we had heard that the fish and chips were worth the stop; we were surprised to find that not only were the fish and chips utterly delish, the town was also quaint, colourful and gorgeous!
That evening we spent the night in a cosy little cottage next to a scenic river. The appeal of these cottages were the presence of outdoor hot tubs, but we absolutely stuffed up ours! We filled it up with what we thought was fairly warm water but actually turned out to be extremely hot. We hoped the water would cool, but even hours later it was still about 40°C!
On day seven we were to head from Blönduós to Hellnar, but there were a couple of stops to make along the way.
Grábrók Crater is the largest of three craters in a small volanic fissure. I think it is one of those places that looks better from above, but it was still a great excuse to get out of the car and stretch our legs.
On our drives we also spotted this amazing herd of horses galloping down the road next to us – so gorgeous!
Landbrotalaug is a teeny tiny hot spring in the Snaefellsness Peninsula. There was only just enough room for the three of us to comfortably sit inside!
The whole thing was quite the laughable affair. We weren’t prepared to go swimming and I couldn’t find my bather bottoms, so I ended up going in my undies, and of course it was the day when I was wearing my daggiest, ugliest and most worn out pair – not a good look!
Also, when we arrived there was a lovely Euro couple having a soak, so we had to wait for them to leave before we could get in, and by the same token, when another group arrived after us, we had to leave to give them a turn.
It wasn’t quite as relaxing as a larger hot spring would be, but it was absolutely a unique experience.
Gatklettur, AKA the Arnastapi Sea Arch
Gatklettur is a naturally formed rock arch which is located between the villages of Arnastapi and Hellnar. I had hoped to clamber up to the top of the arch (do it for the ‘gram and all that) but when we visited it was seriously rainy, windy and wild – my better judgement told me to keep my feet on more stable ground.
The Blue Lagoon
Day eight was our day to drive back to Reykjavik, as we would all be departing Iceland and going our separate ways the following day. However, we all had very early morning flights, so even though the Blue Lagoon is just a few minutes from the airport, the only way we would be able to go was to visit the day before.
This was my third time visiting the Blue Lagoon, and despite it being the best weather I’d ever encountered there, it was also the busiest I’d ever seen it.
The Blue Lagoon is absolutely touristy and overpriced, but if you are visiting Iceland for the first time, I’d still recommend that you go.
However, if you are on a return trip as I was, and if you have swum in this lagoon during less busy times, it might be worth giving it a miss.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time, but the number of completely obnoxious tourists (mostly hailing from one country which shall remain nameless) definitely did put a dampener on things.
We left Iceland the next day, and even though I have now been to the Land of Fire and Ice four times, I still can’t rule out a return trip one day.
After all, a country this beautiful is just worth braving the crowds for!
Gladheimar Cottages: These cottages were a wonderful way to spend the night – just don’t run the hot tub too hot! Click here to learn more
Stori Kambur AirBnB: A stunning AirBnB with amazing views. If you’d like $38 off your next stay with AirBnB, go ahead and click this link!
Car Hire: We rented a small car through Blue Car Rentals as they are competitively priced and trustworthy
Blue Lagoon: A day visit to the Blue Lagoon starts at 6,990 ISK ($83 AUD), click here to learn more
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with the M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lenses
Remember: Bring your bathers when you come to Iceland, you’ll need them more than you think!