We spent most of our second day driving, well trip actually, down south to Vik. The trip is roughly three hours long if you do a straight drive, but the point of the drive is the pit stops along the way. We did a bunch of sightseeing and walking around to make up for the long drive. Both our pit stops involved two breath taking waterfall views, so if you didn’t have time to see the Gullfoss waterfall during your drive around the Golden Circle, this will make up for it.
Our first stop was Seljalandsfoss Waterfall*, which gives you the chance to walk behind the waterfall and get a scenic view of Iceland. Once you’re back on the ground, if you walk about 1/4 of a mile to the right (opposite of parking), you’ll spot a small sign stating you arrived to the Gljúfrabúi Waterfall, which is actually a hidden waterfall. You’ll have to walk through a gorge until you get to the cave, so you can see this master piece of nature. But, because we didn’t read our itinerary correctly, we missed this (boo).
Our second stop was Skogafoss Waterfall*, if you were blown away by your first two waterfalls, pshh, you don’t even know what you’re in for. The black sand below in contrast to the white fall above is a sight for sore eyes. You can also hike up to the top to get a a view from the top.
*Note: You will get wet and you will need shoes with a good grip since you’re climbing up muddy rocks to get to the top.
After having dinner, I noticed a few cars pulled off to the side and people starring up. At this point my co-pilot and passenger fell asleep, but I woke them the f up when I realized this magnificence happening around us. Yes, we got to see the one thing you can’t plan for, the Northern Lights. You honestly need to have a little luck and science on your side, and clear skies, but also, traveling to Iceland in the winter time will add to your luck since the skies tend to be clearer. We were beyond excited to get to witness this moment in person, even if it was for a brief dancing second.
Note: If your main goal is to see Northern lights on your trip, you are better of driving north of Iceland rather than south. You can probably catch them during your first night stay in Raykjavik. Also, this all happens in a blink of an eye and you can usually catch it better through the lens of a DSLR or Mirror less camera – Manual settings overriding anything automatic. I was overly excited and totally unprepared without a tripod for this moment. I somehow managed to get these shots by using the car as my tripod and containing my excitement and shaking cold hands.
Stop one for day three here.