Day 17 - South Iceland - Jökulsárlón & Fjallsárlón Glacial Lagoons, Waterfalls, Rainbows, Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, and Laki Craters
Though yesterday's touring was shortened due to the rain, we made up for it today with lots of driving and visits to a variety of beautiful locations.
In the morning we back-tracked to Jökulsárlón & Fjallsárlón, and then we proceeded back west where we visited a wonderful canyon, and then drove into The Highlands to visit the Laki Craters section of Vatnajökull National Park.
We started the day hunkered down in our campervan waiting out the heavy rains. Once the rain ended, we visited Fláajökull glacier, the very popular Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, and the nearby Fjallsárlón glacial lagoon.
Today in East Iceland, we drove into the eastern edge of the Highlands with views of Mt. Snæfell. We visited the Kárahnjúkar Dam and Hafrahvammagljúfur canyon.
Then we returned toward Lagarfljót lake where we enjoyed a cake buffet before visiting Iceland's third highest waterfall, Hengifoss.
After that we drove to the remote Borgafjörður Eystri where we camped for the night.
One of us got up early to do a couple of morning hikes at the Herðubreiðarlindir oasis in the Central Highlands.
Then we made the long drive back into civilization and drove to Egilsstaðir, the largest town in East Iceland, to camp for the night and prepare for next few days in that region.
After determining our camper van would make it okay, we ventured into the Central Highlands on the "F" roads. After a couple of river crossings and slow-going, we arrived at the Askja caldera. A short hike through snow led us to a mountain lake and a volcanic crater - beautiful!
That took most of the day, and then we drove to another location where we camped in the shadows of a snow-covered mountain, and we were the only people there. Being able to do today's adventure without being part of a tour, on our own schedule, was wonderful.
Today we explored the east half of the "Diamond Circle" which lies within the boundaries of Vatnajökull National Park. This northern section of the National Park is Jökulsárgljúfur which means "glacial river canyon".
We drove into the northern entrance to the canyon, hiked a mid-section of the canyon, and visited one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe.
The weather was better today as we visited several interesting spots in North Iceland.
We started with a couple of lovely waterfalls, one of which was one of our favorites from our entire trip. Then we made three stops around Lake Mývatn before visiting a couple of thermal areas including a crater with a lake. To end the day, we took a whale-watching tour in Húsavík.
Today we headed to the Strandir Region of the West Fjords, a remote area of about 800 people that includes the county of Arneshreppur which is quite sparsely populated with only about 50 people in 780 square kilometers (300 square miles). It's the least populated county in Iceland and where we spent most of our day today.
The remoteness and the beauty were wonderful as we enjoyed this rarely visited section of coastline. A little time in an oceanside, warm swimming pool just enhanced our experience.
Today was another rainy day, and we didn't really have anything planned on our "must see" list. After a visit to the visitor information center in the West Fjords largest town, Ísafjörður, we came up with sort of a plan.
We drove up a mountain, had a wonderful buffet lunch, did another waterfall hike, and then camped at a remote farm.
Today we drove almost 300k (around 180 miles) and made several stops as we visited popular and not-so-popular spots in West Iceland. It was a day that included hot springs, waterfalls, beaches, seals, and mountain views.