By the time we reached the area around Lake Myvatn, we had driven through the calmest section of Road 1, where cars are scarce and the views are almost lunar.
Along the way, we turned off Route 862 to some of the most picturesque waterfalls in Iceland: Dettifoss and Selfoss.
Read our few words about what to see in the north of Iceland.
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We drove along Route 1 for a very long time in fog and rain. Visibility was once again so poor that it was hard to see the road, let alone the surrounding hills.
Just when we had become completely accustomed to the sights and had completely lost hope of seeing anything interesting today, out of nowhere we rode out of the fog and saw a beautiful blue sky above us.
To the left a beautiful and clear sky, to the right a dense fog. This had to be immortalized :)
Full of hope and optimism, we finally sped up a bit and were able to stop at every single viewpoint. The views around us are quintessentially Icelandic: empty long roads, surrounding hills, zero buildings – peace and quiet.
Even sometimes modest vegetation appeared :)
As we moved further west, the landscape gradually changed – the gentle hills were replaced by higher and steeper mountains. Vegetation has almost completely disappeared, and various formations have appeared, created by both volcanic eruptions and after the presence of glaciers.
The views here were truly lunar.
It’s a shame that these areas are often overlooked by visitors to Iceland. We highly recommend them to you!
Dettifoss and Selfoss waterfalls
Continuing on the single carriageway, we turned onto Road 862 towards two waterfalls: Dettifoss and Selfoss, located within Vatnajökull National Park (Jökulsárgljúfur National Park is part of it). The waterfalls are about a kilometer away, plus you have to walk a bit from the parking lot.
Dettifoss is almost a symbol of the area – although not very tall (about 44m), it is considered one of the most powerful in Europe.
After walking along the Jökulsá á Fjöllum River, you reach another waterfall – Selfoss, which is lower (about 10m), but also very wide.
Both are impressive, to get an idea of their size, note how big the people on the other side of the waterfall are.
Hverir hot springs
As we drove further toward Lake Myvatn, our attention was caught by a large number of tourists loitering on the left side of the road, right next to a parking lot and large clouds of smoke. When we drove closer it turned out to be Hverir – hot springs at the foot of Mount Námafjall.
The bubbling mud, the fumes coming out of the holes and the colorful formations are delightful as long as you have a plugged nose. Unfortunately, the smells are quite repulsive in this area and it is impossible to stand for long. Even more so when the wind blows in your direction and, in addition to a specific smell, a wave of heat will also hit. Be careful!
Nevertheless, the place is beautiful, even cosmic! It is imperative that you stop here.
Driving on, we finally reached Lake Myvatn, but even here it was not very safe. As soon as we stopped the car for a moment and stepped out of the car to snap a few photos, we were surrounded by a swarm of midges, from which we had to immediately flee.
This is typical of the area – these insects react to carbon dioxide exhaled by humans, so as soon as they sense it they immediately appear a whole bunch and fly around your face.
So, we were left to watch the surroundings from behind the car windows. We didn’t regret too much – the clouds appeared again and the views deteriorated. Before they reached us, however, they made their way through the hills in an amazing way. The view was amazing!
After about 20 minutes we arrived at our accommodation right on the bay (Eyjafjörður Fjord). We spent the night in a resort consisting of a hotel and several multi-family houses with bathrooms, kitchens and Jacuzzis at our disposal!
In addition, we got an unexpected room upgrade and had our own bathroom. There was nothing left to do but enjoy the views of the bay from the hot tub :)
More photos from northern Iceland can be found in our gallery: