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.
Today was filled with variety as we made our way around the southeast corner of Iceland. We continued to enjoy the scenery as we drove, but we also stopped for a waterfall hike, a couple of walks on beaches, and a short walk to a glacier.
Today we drove through the East Fjords visiting some of the most scenic areas. The weather wasn't great, but the natural beauty shined through.
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.
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.
We had rain and low clouds most of the day which curtailed some of our plans and had an impact on the scenic views.
The Vatnsnes Peninsula is probably best known for seal watching, and there were certainly a lot of people watching seals at the popular spots.
But our favorite stop of the day was at Kolugljúfur Gorge, where waterfalls tumbled into a short, but beautiful canyon.
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.
We didn't have the beautiful weather of yesterday, but we still enjoyed driving the crazy back roads of the West Fjords, visiting Rauðasandur Beach, soaking in our first Icelandic hot spring, and seeing the magnificent Dynjandi waterfall.
We also experienced our first one-lane tunnel and, after driving 244k (about 150 miles), we ended the day in a campground that had its own waterfall.