Iceland – March 25, 2016 (Day 9)

Day 9 Route Map (Vik to Jökulsárlón)

Today, we drove from Vik to Jökulsárlón where we stayed at the Kálfafellsstadur Bed & Breakfast which is located on the Ring Road, 15 minute drive east of Jökulsárlón.

We had early breakfast and loaded the car and left Vik at around 8am. A few miles east of Vik, we came across a massive field of mossy lava rocks that was impressive. We stopped at a safe spot on the side of the road and took a few pictures.

Mossy Lava Field
Mossy Lava Field east of Vik (63°38’13” N 18°25’41” W)

We also came across a lot of unnamed waterfalls behind farm houses. I wish I could buy one of these houses and move in!!! One was a pair of falls behind a house that we really liked. Below is an image of it. Note the 2 hikers on the top of the falls 🙂

A Farmhouse with Twin Waterfalls
A Farmhouse in front of Systrafoss (63°46’57” N 18°3’11” W)

The next stop was at a less known but impressive waterfall called Stjórnarfoss. It was on a road off of the Ring Road with an easy access to the base. There was nobody at the falls when we were there.

Stjórnarfoss 2
Stjórnarfoss (63°48’2″ N 18°3’35” W)

After spending about 30 minutes, we continued the journey towards Jökulsárlón and stopped at the next waterfall, Foss a Sidu. We parked the car on a side road in front of the falls and had our lunch consisting of Icelandic yogurt, fruits, and protein bars enjoying the falls and the surrounding scenery.

Foss a Sidu
Foss a Sidu (63°51’14” N 17°52’16” W)

After lunch, we checked out the Dverghamrar basalt columns opposite to Foss a Sidu. These are peculiar and beautiful formations of columnar basalt. The landscape is thought to have been molded at the end of the Ice Age. The sea level was higher at that time and it is believed that the waves caused the peculiar look of the rocks. Columnar basalt is formed when lava flow gets cooled and contraction forces build up. Cracks then form horizontally and the extensive fracture network that develops results in the six sided formation of the columns.

FullSizeRender
Dverghamrar basalt columns

A few miles east of the basalt columns, we came across a amazing group of small waterfalls right next to the road. We had never heard about this spot while researching for the trip. After our return, I pinged an amazing nature photographer, E.J. Peiker asking him for the name of the falls. Checkout his amazing images of Iceland on his website. He said the name of the falls is Fossálarfoss. Don’t miss this not-so-famous beauty.

Unnamed Waterfall Along Ring Road 2
Fossálarfoss (63°51’10” N 17°50’20” W)
Unnamed Waterfall Along Ring Road 1
Fossálarfoss

The next stop was at a road side view point of Hafrafell mountain & Svínafellsjökull glacier. Due to time constraints, we had to skip the visit to Skaftafell and Svertifoss. Will hit these spots on the next trip 🙂

Hafrafell & Svínafellsjökull
Hafrafell & Svínafellsjökull (63°59’6″ N 16°57’37” W)

We spent an hour walking along the Svínafellsjökull and the scenery was mind boggling. We were impressed with a woman hiking carrying her child..

Svínafellsjökull Glacier 1
Svínafellsjökull Glacier (64°0’36” N 16°51’52” W)
A woman with child hiking in Svínafellsjökull
A woman with child hiking in Svínafellsjökull

From Svínafellsjökull we drove to Kálfafellsstadur Bed & Breakfast after a short stop at Jökulsárlón. The B&B did not meet our expectations. Although the manager/host was super helpful, when we reached there we found out that it was not a B&B but only a B (Bed only) :-(. No breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is only a B&B in the summer season. Luckily we had some cereal, milk, and bananas that we had picked up 3 days ago. The host was gracious enough to allow us to cook and Bala used his ingenuity to whip up an Italian Risotto for dinner. The internet was also pretty pathetic. It is hard for me to recommend this place but considering choices around Jökulsárlón are rather limited, it can be okay. Tip: If you decide to stay here, get a room on the ground floor else you will have to climb up narrow stairs with your luggage. Parking is also rather limited.

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