Photo Essay: Wild South Iceland


 

As I drive through a snowstorm somewhere in wild South Iceland, not having seen another car for hours and unable to see more than a few meters in front of me, I begin to wonder if renting a car to explore the wilds of Iceland on my own was really such a great idea.

 

One of the first things the locals told me about hiking and driving before I set off on my adventures in Iceland was to keep a close eye on the weather.

“If you don’t like the weather in Iceland, wait 5 minutes and it will change”, said my bus driver from the airport to Reykjavík.

 

I am contemplating this meteorological phenomenon as my car slides through the blizzard.

 

Has it been 5 minutes yet?


My GPS keeps telling me to turn right. There is no right, I tell her. Only mountains. And I can’t see the mountains through the snow:

“Turn right.”

“Turn right.”

“Recalculating”

 

I unplug the GPS.

 

Then the sun comes out.  And after narrowly avoiding death in a snowstorm in Iceland…everyone lives happily ever after. The End :)

* * * * * *

It’s a little clichéd but Iceland is certainly a land of extremes. Its sub-Arctic location in the North Atlantic Ocean just east of Greenland means the weather really can change every 5 minutes, as can the landscape. It conformed perfectly to my love of cold places.

In my few days in South Iceland I saw lava fields, sweeping black volcanic beaches, glaciers, waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, volcanoes.

 

I love a good road trip but renting a car and driving in Iceland on my own was not something I planned. Thanks to the midnight sun my adventures in Iceland included exploring for more than 12 hours each day, having very little sleep and collapsing in an exhausted heap once I got back to Reykjavík at the end of it all.

 

Am I glad I rented a car to explore the wild south of Iceland on my own? Look at these pictures and I think you will understand why my answer to that is: Absolutely!

 

Ring Road near Skaftafell National Park. Iceland

Driving the Ring Road, near Skaftafell National Park.

 

Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Iceland

Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The best thing about this waterfall (apart from the fact that it is absolutely GORGEOUS) is that you can walk right behind it.

 

Black beach near Vík.

Reynisdrangar pillars near Vík.

 

Church near the town of Vik

Church near the town of Vík.

 

black sand beach near Vík

Black sand beach near Vík

 

Skógarfoss waterfall. South Iceland

Skógarfoss waterfall

 

Jökulsarlón glacial lagoon.

Jökulsarlón glacial lagoon.

 

Jökulsarlón glacial lagoon and Breidamerkurjökull glacier.

Jökulsarlón glacial lagoon and Breidamerkurjökull glacier.

 

Jökulsarlón glacial lagoon

Jökulsarlón glacial lagoon

 

Svartifoss waterfall. Skaftafell National Park.

Svartifoss waterfall. Skaftafell National Park.

 

Icelandic horses

Icelandic horses

 

Interested in reading more about my road trip through South Iceland?

Check out my feature article in Travelbite Magazine: Into the Wilds of South Iceland

 

 


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