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Honeymoon in Iceland - Day 9: Kirkjufell, Snæfellsjökull and the Atlantic

Long story short: We started off with a coffee in Grundarfjörður, a photo shooting session with the famous Kirkjufell peak and then continued on exploring the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Here we climbed a young volcano cone at Saxhóll, found inner peace at Dritvik beach where we also measured our strength like the old vikings and saw a cute lighthouse at Arnarstapi. We continued on our way to Borgarnes and found some shut eye at Kleppjárnsreykir.

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Our day on Google Maps

We started on road 54 and switched to road 574 in the direction of Ólafsvík, Hellissandur. We visited Saxhóll, Dritvik beach and made our way to Arnarstapi. We switched back to road 54 and stayed on it until Borgarnes where we made a right on Ring Road 1 and then a left on road 50 in the direction of Kleppjárnsreykir.




The forecast I predicted last evening came true as we woke up in a grey and cloudy landscape that was ready to release its water contents over the surroundings. The whole area was also shrouded in strong winds that made us feel no warmer than 7 degrees Celsius for the day. In Grundarfjörður we did a short stop in the morning at the Láki coffee shop for some magic black elixir and a drop of internet - a nice and cosy venue with friendly staff!

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The photogenic Kirkjufell peak


We left for Kirkjufell, the most famous and most photographed peak in Iceland, emblem of the small town of Grundarfjörður and renowned target for Aurora photography enthusiasts. There is a hiking path that goes around it and another that goes to the top but because of the strong wind, low temperature and big density of clouds that were parked on the top we decided to continues and move to the next objective.

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I can honestly confess I was feeling really down because I had high expectation about this small volcanic peak: I imagined we would hike to the top where we would enjoy another night in the company of the Nordic Lights.

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Sun Salutations without any sun


We moved on in the direction of the Snæfellsjökull National Park that hosts another glacier right at the far end of the Snæfellsness peninsula. Until we got there we did a small stop at another typical Icelandic black sand beach where we attended a short walk and a yoga session at 6 degrees Celsius on the banks of the Atlantic. We are starting to get the feeling that even the most common spots found on the side of the road here in Iceland have something special to offer to tourists.

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Saxhóll crater - stair-way hiking


Just when we started noticing the mighty Snæfellsjökull peak shrouded in clouds we saw another objective: Saxhóll - a rather young volcanic crater, with an age of approximately 3000-4000 years. The way to the top of the crater is neatly arranged with a metal staircase that goes up and around the cone and they build it not because you couldn't simply walk, but in order to protect and maintain the fragile-precious structure of the geological sight.

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Snæfellsjökull National Park


From the main road, we constantly stare at the Snæfellsjökull mountain top with its icy-glacier tongue that has simply taken over the peak. We silently sigh as here also we could have done some mountain hiking but the Icelandic weather is simply against such activities. Snæfellsjökull is an 700.000 year old volcano that has caught the attention of Jules Verne and that has been immortalized in his work: Journey to the Center of the Earth.

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Dritvik - Djupalonssandur: measuring our strength on the beach


Next we stop once more at the ocean side at another beach called Dritvik - Djupalonssandur, but to get here you must first pass through a magic lava field that is covered by pure green or silvery moss, nothing like you ever seen before!

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I’ll make a side note: there are places in the world that leave you indifferent or that you don’t like, there are beautiful  or extremely beautiful places and there are a few special spots that simply resonate with your soul without necessarily illustrating an overflowing charm. Dritvik is a rocky ocean shore with many wooden causeways and benches that has simply inspired a feeling of inner peace.

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The main cause behind the structures build here is that in 1948 a somewhat large ship found its demise and most of its crew members perished on these very  shores. In sign of respect on the beach below you can still see the rusty remains of the ship and tourist are asked not to disturb them.

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On a more funny note you can also find here some large boulders that have an interesting story. Each rock has a certain weight (23, 54,100 and 156 kilograms) and back in the day they have been used to test the strengths of a man. Depending on which you could lift and carry for a while you would receive a certain status and you would earn the possibility of getting hired on a fishing boat.

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Arnarstapi, Borgarnes and Kleppjárnsreykir


Just before looking for a good spot to sleep for the night that would provide a warm shower also we did a fast stop at Arnarstapi to visit the lighthouse.

Our plan was to sleep in Borgarnes but since the camping here didn’t seem operational we thought to try our luck at camping Hverinn in Kleppjárnsreykir. You will find here all the basic accommodations but nothing too spectacular. Also take care with your jewelry in the shower as they use pure thermal water, with sulfur. I forgot to take off my silver wedding ring and when I stepped out of the shower I ended up with a golden version.


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Hope you found the information helpful and accurate, but remember, if you have any questions drop them in a comment below!


Honeymoon in Iceland - Day 9: Kirkjufell, Snæfellsjökull and the Atlantic Reviewed by Alex on 09:01 Rating: 5

2 comments:

  1. We loved the Snefellsjokull Peninsula! We stopped at a number of the same spots you did and just took in the beauty. Unfortunately we did a bus tour which we wouldn't do again because you have no control over where they stop, several times we wanted to stop but of course couldn't. We were only in Iceland for 5 days so this really was the only viable way for us to see these areas on such a limited time line. Should we ever get to Iceland again we will definitely be renting, preferably with a small motorhome or a little camper van.

    You pictures are gorgeous and I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your time there.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ruth,

      Thank you again for the kind words and appreciation. You definitely need to rent a van and go, because you are right, when you buy a tour you have to follow a schedule and no matter how great the tour is it will never be enough, always skip something or won't spend enough time in some places.

      Each time we publish an article we add a little bit nostalgia to the Iceland chapter of our lives... such a wonder! :)

      All the best,
      Karina & Alex

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