Iceland day 7: the West

We started the tour of the Snaefell peninsula in heavy fog and rain, the worst weather since we arrived. Ten km west of Grundarfjörður, we saw a “Dead Whale” sign on the right. We followed the rough road between the green covered lava fields, facing an impressive rainbow in the sky until it stops. We climbed a small hill of black, sharp rocks to reach the rocky beach. We found a whale carcass, about 6m long, smelling terribly and a flock of seagulls feeding of it. The carcass was intact on the top side except for the tail that was missing.

Dead whale
Dead whale
Lava Fields
Lava fields close to Grundarfjörður
A flock of birds
A flock of birds

We continued on 572 until we reached Djúpalónssandur. It was raining and the wind was strong, as we descended through towering lava formations to the black sandy beach. It stretches about 500m and surrounded by black rock formations. The breaking waves and ship wreck remains added to the dramatic landscape. We stayed for ten minutes to take some pictures and by the time we were back, our pants were completely soaked. I still wonder why I had brought the water-tight overalls with me, only to leave them in the car when I really needed them.

Djúpalónssandur;Iceland;Travel

Djúpalónssandur

As we entered the Snaefellsness national park, the first village we saw is Hellnar. We find a small wooden cabin which is a restaurant, fully packed with about ten tables and sixty guests. Fortunately we get a table for two, we are four, but we are so hungry that we cannot even think of waiting for another table. Outside the wind is blowing strong and the rain gets heavy. The fish soup is hot and delicious and we do not want to leave, until we notice a young guy sitting patiently behind us waiting for a table. Besides him there is bag on the floor. It took us about fifteen minutes to realize that inside the bag there is a six month old baby! Time to give up our table, we ask for the check and pay with a credit card. I mean, we are sitting at the end of the world, the village has population 15 and the credit card approval comes in 2 seconds. Quite amazing.

Right after Arnastrapi, we turn left on 570, a rough and steep ascending road and 7km later we reach the end of the glacier. From what we can see – not much as the fog is heavy – the landscape in unearthly. This is the setup of Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. As I missed the opportunity to climb the Skaftafellsjökull, I insisted on getting out of the car to climb some 100 meters on the tip of the glacier. It was fun but very cold and nobody followed me. I only stayed 10 minutes to get some feeling of the glacier and went back to the car. This time I was wearing my overalls, no more wet pants.

On the glacier;Iceland;Travel

On the glacier

The weather was really bad to enjoy anything, so we decided to head to Reykjavik. Three boring hours later, we arrived in the capital. The Odinsve hotel is very cozy with double decked rooms, wooden floors and beautiful windows. We went to he center for dinner, found a chick restaurant for a change and enjoyed a wonderful meal among young people and gorgeous waitresses. The bill? €274 for four persons. Right. Short walk in the port, to digest the bill and back to sleep.

Next: Geysers, Waterfalls and Hot Tubs

Djúpalónssandur

Snaefellsjokul

Hellnar

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