A 5-DAY ITINERARY TO DISCOVER THE NATURAL BEAUTIES OF IRELAND
DREAMING A TRIP BUT DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SEE IN ICELAND? DO YOU KNOW THAT ICELAND IS AN ESSENTIAL DESTINATION THAT CANNOT ABSOLUTELY BE MISSING ON YOUR TRAVEL LIST? SO? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? DREAMS ARE MADE TO BE REALIZED. HERE IS A GUIDE TO MAKE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL TRIP OF YOUR LIFE AND LIVE AN EXPERIENCE THAT YOU WILL CARRY IN YOUR HEART. A SHORT, COMPLETE AND UNMISSABLE ITINERARY, WHERE THE NATURAL BEAUTIES, WHICH ONLY THIS LAND CAN OFFER, WILL BE YOUR TRAVELING COMPANIES.
Iceland! a word that just by pronouncing it catapults you into a surreal world made of dreams, as if these seven simple syllables contain all the essence that this pristine island can give you when you visit it. How many of you, at least once in your life, have thought or dreamed of organizing a nice trip but can’t figure out what to see in Iceland in just 5 days? and why not do it on the road? Drive through the snowy Icelandic fjords and be amazed by the countless things to see, natural attractions to experience; things that only Iceland can offer. Geysers, cliffs, icebergs, black sand beaches, glaciers and a volcano still in full swing; here you will find everything you might be looking for. In my last article I told you about my last trip to the north-western part of Iceland and more precisely the area of the Icelandic West Fjords (Vestfirðir, as the Icelanders call it); (click here to read the article); Today I will talk about the southern part of Iceland, the best known and most famous area, even the most photographed one. The stretch of coast, located in the southern part of the island, is full of places that cannot be missing from your travel memories.
I propose an on-the road itinerary, a short guide on what to see in Iceland, so as not to miss anything of this beautiful part of the island. A route that begins in the city of Reykjavík and ends in Höfn (a small town in the south-east of the island) which can be easily covered in 4/5 days. Departure from the capital Reykjavík, fill up the tank and head east! (in Iceland petrol costs about € 1.60 / liter), we will drive for about 380 km, the most famous and photographed in Iceland, we will meet numerous natural attractions that will “force” us to stop several times.
5 DAYS IN ICELAND WHAT TO SEE; HERE’S THE TOP-5:
1 – REYKJAVÍK
The first thing to see in Iceland is without a doubt the city of Reykjavik is our starting point. We are talking about the northernmost capital in the world, an apparently quiet town, a mix of colorful buildings, quirky characters, surreal design and lively nightlife; a mix that surprises and excites many visitors. The city center is also the nerve center of Reykjavik, an agglomeration of bars, restaurants, shops is also the starting point for the various organized excursions on the island. Here you will find everything you are looking for, but pay close attention to the prices, they are far above our standards. If you decide to stay at least one night in the city, which I strongly recommend, take a look at the “KEX Hostel“, located in the center, a stone’s throw from the main street. A hotel / hostel that allows you to sleep both in the typical shared dormitories and in private rooms; a really nice and cozy bar / restaurant. I stayed here and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it is one of the coolest and most welcoming hostels I’ve ever seen, vintage style, youthful atmosphere and a really nice bar, in the evening it becomes a very popular place even for locals.
2 – SKÓGAFOSS (DISTANCE FROM REYKJAVÍK 150 KM – 1:55 H)
First naturalistic stop on our on the road, it is one of the most famous and beautiful waterfalls in all of Iceland. The Skógafoss waterfall is easily accessible from the main Icelandic road, the Hringvegur or road no. 1; makes a spectacular leap of 62 meters from a rocky slope. You can climb the steep staircase that flanks the waterfall for a dizzying and fascinating view from above, or (which I strongly recommend) you can approach the foot of the water jump to find yourself surrounded by splashes of water and rainbows. It will be really easy to appreciate the true power that nature is able to unleash in this waterfall. Near the Skógafoss waterfall you will also find a cute museum of traditions, which explores every aspect of Icelandic life. The strong point of the whole collection are some characteristic little houses with “peat” roofs.
3 – SOLHEIMASANDUR PLANE WRECK (DISTANCE FROM REYKJAVÍK 157 KM – 2:10 H)
Another thing to see in Iceland! Reaching this point is quite simple but also a little tiring, reachable from the main road the “Hringvegur” or road n. 1 once you have parked your car in the designated parking area, you will have to walk for about 4 km on foot to get to your destination and another 4 km to return to the parking area; do not be scared it is a very pleasant walk in the plains of about 90 minutes. Once you reach your destination, the fatigue will suddenly disappear, the blackish earth that surrounds you will isolate you from the rest of the world and the abandoned carcass of the famous plane will give you ideas for wonderful photos. In November 1973 the US Navy “Douglas Super DC-3” plane was forced to make an emergency landing on the remote beach of Sólheimasandur. All the crew survived the impact and managed to escape, but the plane was abandoned on the spot.
4 – REYNISFJARA (DISTANCE FROM REYKJAVÍK 188 KM – 2:30 H)
Here we are. Arrived at the most famous beach in Iceland and perhaps also in the world. Try to write the word “black beach” on instagram and you will see millions of wonderful wonderful photographs come out. We are talking about a beautiful black sand beach bordered by an incredible group of basalt columns that magically resemble the organ of a church. Caves, black sand and the Reynisdrangur stacks here the atmosphere is truly magical, you will want to stay here forever! Pay attention to rogue waves, it often happens to hear cases of people swept away by the waves and in some cases even fatal accidents. With the right attention you can fully enjoy the strength and energy that this place is able to convey and you will take home excellent photographs similar to those of the most famous professional photographers.
5 – JÖKULSÁRLÓN (DISTANCE FROM REYKJAVÍK 380 KM – 4:45 H)
A wonderful glacial lagoon, a stone’s throw from the “Hringvegur” (Iceland’s main road). Park quickly because the charm of this place could make you distracted and skidded. An array of spectacular deep blue icebergs floats over the Jökulsárlón lagoon. Icebergs are rapidly breaking away, plunging into the water and slowly moving towards the Atlantic. It can take up to five years to get out of the lagoon, they take the small Jökulsá river that leads them into the sea and disappear into the Atlantic. An advice? sit down where you can, take 15 minutes of peace with yourself and reflection, admire the icebergs and their detachment and you will understand that global warming is really a huge problem! Alongside the lagoon, on the banks of the small river Jökulsá, you can stroll on the “diamond” beach. What remains of the melting of the icebergs is deposited on the sand and illuminated by the sunlight makes them look like sparkling and bright diamonds.