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Honeymoon in Iceland - Day 7: Akureyri, Hverir and the Wonders of the North!


Long story short: we slept on the hottest place in Iceland, we climbed the first volcano to have a look inside it's quenched heart, we adventured in the depths of a cave to touch the warm thermal water, finally we meet the real Dimmuborgir  - without any black metal on the menu and last but not least we added to our little inventory Godafoss waterfall and Akureyri, Iceland's capital of the North. What a day! 





Our day on Google Maps



We are on the Ring Road 1 heading towards Reykjahlið, near Myvatn Lake, where we start the journey on the shores of the lake following road 848 in order to get to Grjotagja, Hverfjall and Dimmuborgir. Then we get back on the Ring Road to meet Godafoss, Akureyri and the fjords, on roads 82 and 76 to reach the final destination of the day: Siglufjörður.




Hverir - hottest spot in Iceland


You most probably have been there too, beat tired after a day of exploration and it's getting late and you need to find a place to sleep for the night but it's already dark outside and you have no clue how the surrounding world looks like. This is what happened to us, again, last evening as we camped in a parking lot (not really intended to be used as a place to camp) and only in the morning we found out that we slept right at Hverir - a thermal area that happens to be the hottest one in Iceland.



Hverir is situated East of Namafjull Mountain, it's opened for touristic visits and has well marked paths that follow along waters reaching 80  to 100 degrees Celsius at the surface. You can imagine the colours and the view is pretty Martian and beautiful!





Krafla Power Plant and Viti Crater


This area is full of places to visit so we are heading towards Krafla Power Plant - one of the most clean, eco-friendly and good looking alternative power plants I ever saw. Right on top of it, there is the spectacularly turquoise lake in the cone of the Viti Crater - 818 m altitude.




On the road, we saw another thing that caught our attention: a thermal surface river and an open air, free of charge shower, with hot water right in the middle of...nowhere! This is at least funny and unexpected!


Grjotagja - hidden thermal waters under a cave


Before we move on from the Icelandic hot waters, I want to point another special spot: Grjotagja Cave, a place where at first look you might think there is nothing special to see, but as you walk around, you suddenly see a huge cleft in the ground and there, at the bottom you find something amazing: thermal waters around 45 - 50 Celsius degrees. In the past this used to be one of the favorite locations of the surrounding area to take a bath. And to add even more spice, you might be familiar with this cave since it is here that some hot scenes between John Snow and Ygritte were filmed for the famous Game of Thrones series.

Just as an info, bathing is currently forbidden for tourists due to the instability of the cave ceiling, caused by some earthquakes and volcanic activity in the area. Also, you are stepping on private property here, but no worries, the kind Icelander that owns this is gladly permitting you to enjoy the view as long as you respect the house rules.




Hverfjall - the first volcanic crater we conquered


Next big step to take is one for the heart because we are about to climb our very first 452 m elegant grey volcano: Hverfjall! The diameter of the volcano is approximately 1 kilometer and besides the big black crater, you can also admire from above the whole area with its green valleys and dark brown mountains. Somehow, this scenery induces peace...maybe it's just me! :)






Dimmuborgir - rocks without rock! :)


So, for those of you that did not know, Dimmuborgir  is not all about black metal music... more like brown curious volcanic rocks. A nice park to take a walk and enjoy Earth's artistic manifestation. 
Now you know where the name comes from! ha ha!




Godafoss - another godly waterfall!


In between rain drops and before heading to experience the city life we stop to admire another amazing waterfall: Godafoss. Big, writhing and beautiful, this bold water course is again surrounded by basalt steep walls. I can only imagine how breathtaking this scenery must look like on a winter landscape.





Akureyri - the nicest Icelandic city




So here we are, conquering the Icelandic North with its capital and biggest city: Akureyri. If in the southern regions we felt a bit chilly at 10 - 11 degrees Celsius, well...here it barely reached 6 during the day.

We took a walk on the central streets, finding comfort between the warmth and joyful atmosphere of the nice stores and the fresh and cold air of a city that is surrounded by big mountains covered in snow and the calm of the Ocean. 

Akureyri indeed is one of the nicest cities we have ever meet -  a tiny little place that easily melts your heard no matter how cold it is outside. So we decided right here, right now that if we'd ever move to Iceland (which we would fancy a lot), Akureyri is place to be!






But as much as we loved this place, we had to say goodbye and leave it behind because we still had to reach some nice spot above another cozy little town called Siglufjörður. This was not negotiable as by checking the weather the forecast for tonight announced clear skies with an above average perspective to see the Northern Lights (grade 5)! You will have to find out about this story in the next article, so see you there! :)



Amazing North! :)
















Meet the Trolls! :) 



Honeymoon in Iceland - Day 7: Akureyri, Hverir and the Wonders of the North! Reviewed by Karina Isar on 13:35 Rating: 5

4 comments:

  1. Great post and beautiful pictures. I'm taking notes for our trip there next week! Do you remember the exact location of the shower on the side of the road?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Saul,

      Many thanks for the kind words and we are glad you find the info useful. The shower is located around this point:

      https://www.google.ro/maps/place/65%C2%B040'40.1%22N+16%C2%B046'51.8%22W/@65.6722919,-16.8449603,12.71z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d65.677811!4d-16.781053?hl=en

      It is on the right side of the road that goes to the Krafla Power Plant.

      Have a great adventure in Iceland!
      Alex and Karina

      Delete
    2. You are more than welcome! Enjoy :)
      Alex and Karina

      Delete

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