Restless nights we had gone so fast. We reached half of our Icelandic adventure already! On the sixth day, we drove far and furious exploring North Iceland. To experience our day six in few minutes, play our video below!
Day 06: Exploration of North Iceland
Awaken by squeaking ducks at the Lake and noisy goats, we felt breezy. Again, the rain poured down heavily. Therefore, we enjoyed our slow tempo breakfast in the campsite kitchen until 11:00. Those water droplets were still tearing down from the sky. Chased by the time, we had to go no matter what.
Map Touch Iceland in 13 Days Road Trip – Day 06
The first destination for today was Viti, a crater lake next to Krafla volcano. Crawling on route 863, we passed a geothermal industrial area, what an interesting view!
Then, easy driving road was continued with muddy walk pavement, which was my favourite not. After tactful steps, we were amused by the center of the crater lake.
Although it was already spring, the cold was still in the air. Partly covered with ice layers, Viti lake graciously sparked turquoise and white color. An outstanding scene that neither summer nor winter possesses.
Afterwards, we went down to visit Mývatn Nature Bath located near Hverfjall. This natural geothermal pool offers modern facilities. Inside the entrance building we also found souvenir shop, restaurant, and open air terrace.
Lack of time, we skipped our plan to dipping in this hot spring. Too bad. But we did enjoying panorama from terrace and tasting Mývatn’s local food. What could delight our temptation more than that? By spending 900 ISK (Icelandic Kronas), we enjoyed hverabrauð rúgbrauð með silungi, which is an underground hot spring steamed rye bread with smoked trout.
Since abundantly present in Mývatn, geothermal energy is also used in baking. This traditional rye bread itself was tough and dense – with some sparks of sugary taste. Unusual mixture of sweet bread with saline trout was sublime yet worth to try.
Finishing our decent lunch (the rye bread was very dense tough), we were approaching route 848 to get back in ring road 1. Few kilometres after Reykjahlíð and before reached mountain Vindbelgjarfjall, we gazed on Lake Mývatn view from above – its beauty beyond words.
While drove to Goðafoss, my other half treat himself with Icelandic nammi. In Icelandic, Nammi refers to sweet snack like candies and chocolate. The súkkulaði lakkrís, liquorice covered in chocolate, of course is the famous one.
To my logic, this luscious treat is crucial in Iceland. Sudden blood sugar pumping will provide quick energy adapt with cold. Not mention yet the needs to boost jolly mood against gloomy weather. A star in our survival kit, it always is.
In the whole road time, panorama offered was breath taking. They looked so green and fertile – in contrast with dry surface we found yesterday on our fifth day in Iceland road trip (more detail here).
Soothing by sprinkle sound of Goðafoss, my spouse took a power nap. I explored Goðafoss under gentle mist (I can’t tell either raining or moist from waterfall). Icelandic legend said that their leader had thrown statues of Norse god into this waterfall, deriving name of Goðafoss waterfall. Stream of Skjálfandafljót forms this waterfall and the neighbour Geitafoss.
There are souvenir shop, restaurant, and hostel close-by Goðafoss. They are after the bridge and next to ring road 1. Here we bought some souvenirs and nammi too!
Ate lunch in front of Goðafoss’ marvellous mist, we had full energy back. We approached Akureyri, the largest city in North area.
Even from ring road 1, you will notice how broad the city is. Akureyri is stretched out by modernization yet hosting its old town.
Typical Icelandic does enjoy ice cream despite cold weather. Embraced myself, I fulfilled my next Viking challenge. I survived freezing night and forceful gale, right? What could go wrong anymore? The climate was not so bad either; around 10 Celsius degree that day.
The hip place to be is Brynju ís, tiny but well-known ice cream parlour in the old town district. Selection of their soft ice cream is traditional; vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.
However, heaven was found in their topping variation! You name it, chocolate pieces, colourful sprinkles, fresh berries, and of course liquorice.
Tasting Brynja ice cream, while exploring old town district, made me tickled pink today. Strawberry ice cream covered with dark chocolate and sparked with liquorice chocolate was the best choice ever. The fresh cow’s milk used makes their ice cream melting quite fast. It’s worth for the freshness and non-fatty taste. If you are nearby, don’t miss them a spot! Click Brynju ís detail here.
After short visit in Akureyri central area, tempted by traditional Icelandic food in Bautinn restaurant, and shopped in supermarket, we drove again on the ring road 1 at 18:15. At that time we chose to skip Bautinn restaurant because of time constraint. Ciao Akureyri, see you in another time!
Our plan was reaching Illugastaðir in Northwest before midnight via route 82, route 76, and ring road 1. Amid our long trail, Icelandic landscape never ever stopped pleasing us. For instance, we grazed the northest part of Iceland. A stoppage point after Dalvík right before a tunnel was such a worthy to visit. Possible to gaze Hrísey island and Eyjafjörður charisma, here are some sneak peek for you.
To see mountain scenery, we choose route 82 that crossing mountains between Ólafsjördur and Siglufjörður. Although it was perfect fit in our eyes, its path wasn’t easy after all. No kidding, it was very bad road and we need to go very slow.
Nonetheless, the journey did not get enough of us yet. We stared implausibly at the forbidden sign in the middle of the road. What we did next was took a detour at 20:00. Thus, wasting 30 minutes went back to Ólafsjördur. Lesson learned, do check road condition in Iceland during your trip. In Icelandic traffic website, visual road condition, wind speed, and weather information are provided in simple map.
Good news, another branch of route 82 also possessed short cut tunnel that drilling mountains after Ólafsjördur. What an experience to enter 7 kilometers tunnel. Nothing but darkness for fifteen minutes or so was pretty daring.
Seeing bright night light at the exit, we glad to be outdoor again. But not too long, we surprised to face another tunnel. Chill out, it was only 4 kilometers.
Those tunnels were considerably safe, with lights and two lanes, you just need to drive at 50 km/h. After the second tunnel (luckily there was no third one!), we were in few stones away from Siglufjörður. Time for food, we took deep breath and absorb beauty of Siglufjörður town.
Had a glimpse in Siglufjörður was absolutely good decision. Still vibrant, its strong fish village characteristic was. No doubt, since the 19th century this serene suburb had been produced herring – from ocean to table.
Witness the history in Herring Era Museum. Stand out with striking colour, the old warehouse is the centerpiece.
Straight we went to Varmahlíð, a small township settled in mid of North Iceland. We drove against dropping fog from the sky. This bold clustered fog felt like whispering us not to go far. Take their message wisely, we finished today’s adventure in Varmahlíð.
Another 2 hours more, we need to spend if we wanted to reach Illugastaðir. Completely a big no, it will be too exhausting. Our plan to reach Illugastaðir today blew away. It was the time to hit the sack in Varmahlíð.
No regrets. Fulfilled by spotless white and modern toilet and shower, cozy kitchen, as well as crowned view of the mountain, we felt in five stars already. Bonne nuit, till the next one!