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Honeymoon in Iceland - Day 11: Reykjanes Peninsula, a Wonder!


Long story short: busy day today! Apparently the little Reykjanes Peninsula enchanted us even more than we expected and this is great considering that this is our last day in the Icelandic Nature. The thing is that we have been gathering all kinds of brochures and touristic guides ever since we landed here but somehow, we didn't check the one for Reykjanes Peninsula, no good reason. Luckily we did this at the end and we realized how many awesome things are there to be seen. So off we go to meet them!

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Kleifarvatn


It was already the middle of the night and I couldn't sleep, I was moving from one corner to another, reading, bothering Alex....like I was expecting something to happen. It was the moment I checked the window to see the magic! No clouds and the Northern Lights enlightening the night skies. In two minutes we both were out of the car, dressed and picking a right spot to catch the Aurora (without a tripod).

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Aurora

The Internet said that the Aurora should have a level 4 intensity this night and I believe it wasn't wrong. The lights were pretty nice and we experimented all kind of pictures and reflections of the Aurora. This is an amazing gift for our last night in the middle of nowhere.

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Nothern-Lights

Finally after some time spent in the freezing wind we decided it's time to go to sleep. And we did just that... with some big smiles on our faces.

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Aurora


Our day on Google Maps





So I will start by pointing out the obvious. As you may see, my Google map here is set on walking and not on drive, but I have a good explanation why I did this. Well, I did it so I can mark exactly the itinerary we used. Apparently Google does not acknowledge some of the roads so, since I can't negotiate in any other way I decided to switch to "walk" and pick my own road.

So what we did is the following: from Glymur (parking spot) we headed back towards road 74, then Road 1 to Reykjavik  then switch to Road 41; from Hafnarfjorthur take 42 that drives you along Kleifarvatn Lake, Seltun,and then to the right on 427. Here, we make a little off road detour - please note that this is a  4X4 road so make sure you are respecting this for your own safety. We caught  the road very dry so we had no issues with the bus but don't try this on bad or cold weather. We continued on this road called Vigdisarvallavegur until we reached again the Road 42,  and followed the same road 427 towards Grindavik, then 425, 44, 41 and 429 to Sandgerodi.

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Kleifarvatn


Morning hike to Glymur - the biggest waterfall in Iceland!


It's like we were not in Iceland: the morning blessed us with blue skies, sunshine and 10 degrees Celsius (it's almost summer here). So we took our hiking boots and took advantage of this because you know what they say around here: “if you don't like the weather in Iceland, just wait for five minutes”.

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Glymur honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Glymur

The hike is pretty short and easy, we have a 5 kilometers round-trip doable in 2 hours - 2 and a half and the 192 m waterfall is really imposing!

This track is very well organized and from time to time you get nice surprises like passing through a surface cave, cables and ropes. Let the adventure begin!

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Glymur

Funny part: all the time we had curious furry friends that were wondering around, probably with no good reason. But they are agile and not very used with people so they will always keep a safe distance from you.

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-sheep

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Glymur

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Glymur

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Glymur


Also, what is nice is the fact that from time to time you reach beautiful view points over the valley and towards the waterfall. Totally go for this hike if you are around!


Discovering Reykjanes Peninsula


After this beautiful morning we just let ourselves go and enjoy Reykjanes Peninsula, with all the little wonders and absolutely beautiful spots. We want to catch as many as we can in this last day of Icelandic nature.

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-ocean



Kleifarvatn Lake


The easiest way to reach Reykjanes Geopark is on road 42. This will first point you to Kleifarvatn Lake - the deepest one in Iceland, they say! :)

The landscape is really spectacular and divers: the road will guide you over colorful mountains, sometimes covered by moss, sometimes stripped naked until the inner black rock; rusty cliffs and crystal clear, blue waters with black sand beaches.

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Kleifarvatn

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Kleifarvatn


Seltún

Next stop: the Seltún geothermal area: vivid colors and active geysers all shrouded in sulfur fumes. You can visit it free of charge and it is full of small wooden bridges and descriptions at every objective - resembling an open air museum dedicated to nature.

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Seltún

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Seltún

Next to Seltún at Grænavatn we can find two volcanic craters with an age of 6000 years and one of them has a lake inside its cone - and what a lake! It has the most wonderful turquoise color in the world! As I failed in reproducing the actual color with my camera you will simply have to believe me by my word.

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Grænavatn


Krýsuvíkurberg


From this location we will start moving south toward the ocean on road 427 in the direction of Krýsuvíkurberg, 40 meter high cliffs that host annually over 57000 bird couples. The water here is so clear that you can see the rocky bottom of the ocean far out.


honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Krýsuvíkurberg


Off road trip


Next we are heading on the dirt road number 428 that goes parallel with lake Kleifarvatn and that takes us to a spectacular area full of hyaloclastites - the colors of Iceland. The road is in good conditions if it is dry and our bus manages it pretty good.

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Djúpavatn

We have reached a small lake hidden behind some mountains with a small sign reading Djúpavatn - I can only guess that this is its name. Shortly after we reach a small intersection that should indicate that starting point to Sag, but we are sad to find out we had 5 more kilometers on foot until our destination and we simply didn't had enough time to make it.


honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Djúpavatn

Alex ran just beyond the first hill to catch a better view from the highlands but with no good result. As such we proceeded further on road 42, passing Kleifarvatn lake again, in the direction of the most western end point of the peninsula.


honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Djúpavatn

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Djúpavatn

Gunnuhverhoneymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Gunnuhver


Gunnuhver presented a funny and wonderful experience. This is another geothermal area (the second for the day) and it is the biggest active mud pool of Iceland, that is endlessly boiling.


As we saw in the distance huge clouds of steam with the sunset in the background we quickly grabbed our camera and our GoPro and we headed straight in.


We noticed that all the ground around the area had a white-grey color resembling snow, but this was impossible as the soil was warm due to the geothermal activity and there were 10 degrees outside.


honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Gunnuhver

It was magical - we entered the steam cloud full of drops that were coming God knows from where and that limited your sight to under 10 centimeters. We were smiling and laughing until we finally managed to find our way out of the steam when we realized that it was coming from a raging volcano - a mud volcano - and that the steam was actually full of mud vapors, covering both of us in a thin white layer from head to toes.


honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Gunnuhver

Clearly we had underestimated nature and we had overestimated our knowledge about geology. When the mud finally dried up we were looking like some "master" painters, but it was fantastic!


Eldy Island


We still had to reach the southern point of the peninsula and as such we packed and left in a hurry. Here we can see a classic and lovely lighthouse and the small island of Eldy, that emerges straight out of the ocean with its high cliffs that host the largest colony of Gannet birds in Iceland.


honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Eldy

We were considering camping close the lighthouse but yet again we were confronted by the awful smell next to the building and decided to high-tail out of the area. What is it with the lighthouses and the stench in Iceland? At the end we camped at Istay Camping in Sandgerði (1800 isk) - a place we strongly recommend: it is small, cute, very clean and it included all facilities you need.

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Eldy


Another drop of Aurora... the last for this holiday!




Glymur











Seltún

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Seltún

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Seltún

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Seltún

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Seltún

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Seltún

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Seltún

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Seltún


Eldy

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Eldy


Krýsuvíkurberg

honeymoon-iceland-reykjanes-peninsula-Krýsuvíkurberg


Honeymoon in Iceland - Day 11: Reykjanes Peninsula, a Wonder! Reviewed by Karina Isar on 13:54 Rating: 5

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