Southern Iceland

I chose Iceland because of its beauty, clean air and water and that in Winter there are many less tourists and more open spaces. Before I even begin let me tell you that I’ve been to Iceland twice before and spent 2 years planning and researching tourist attractions, out of the way places to visit, hiking trails, restaurants and more. To say I became obsessed is an understatement. With a 99 line Trip Planner spreadsheet I made sure I knew how long travel would between attractions, how long I’d give myself at each site to explore, where I’d eat lunch and dinner and so much more. Planning for solo travel in a desolate Winter destination calls for so much to be ironed out prior to travel….if you’re me anyway.
I flew on Iceland Air, back when I originally booked this trip that was the main carrier out of Boston so it wasn’t as if I made a choice so much as I just booked my airfare. Out of Boston you have a 5 hour overnight flight and lose 4 hours with the time change, this time of year. Overall a very easy flight to make!
Once on the ground and through customs you get spit out into baggage claim and the duty free shop. It’s important to note that if you’re going to want to buy alcohol for your travels that this will be the cheapest place on the island to get it so I picked up a 6 pack of vodka lemonades, grabbed my bag and set out into the pick up area to find my rental car shuttle driver.
I opted to use to find my rental, which was through Icerental4x4, and went with a 4×4 SUV Manual Transmission. A tip here, I originally had a rental car reserved and watched the prices over the months leading up to the trip and upgraded to the 4×4 for only $60 more than the car, when prices dropped. It’s a waiting game but paid off big time. I also opted for full coverage as the dust, gravel and general environment are much harsher than we’re used to here. So me and my white Dacia Duster (like just about every other vacationer drove) set out on our adventure.
This trip was not just sight seeing in nature, I had a very long list of self portraits I wanted to take and distinct sites they were to be shot at. My goal was to return with a full project photographed but in between those shots my plan was hike, photograph, see and breathe. What follows is the first 2 days of my adventure in hiking and sightseeing.
During these 2 days I hiked 11.5 miles and took over 600 photos! My home base for these days was in Vik on the southern part of the island and I stayed in a wonderful guesthouse, Guesthouse Carina, right as you enter the city. I had a private room with a spectacular view of the church. Bathrooms, kitchen and common areas are shared though they also have an onsite restaurant serving breakfast in a beautiful glass room at the foot of the hills. It was my quiet spot each night before dinner. I highly recommend this affordable and very clean option for your travels and at $78/night it was perfect. Hint: I stayed in room 203 if you want my amazing sunrise view.
Now without further ado here are the sites I saw in those first 2 days: Fagradalsfjall volcano, Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui, Reynisfjara Beach and overlook, Sólheimasandur, Skogafoss (and surrounding waterfalls),