Welcome to another post of Behind The Lens! In this section I will be writing a little guide about the places we visit. We travel with a tight budget so that means we have to prepare quite a lot before hand, and that also means that we are able to get to know quite a lot about the countries we visit so I thought that would be a nice idea to share it so you can benefit of it and hopefully save you time. I will include images, tips, hotels, restaurants, routes and many more. Also make sure you check the bold words together with the Tips section to get key information about your trip.
I really hope you enjoy it and find it useful!
For this trip I was using the DJI Mavic Air, which I really recommend for its capabilities. However if you are in a tighter budget then you should consider getting the DJI Spark. On the other hand, if you want to get the best results you should consider getting the DJI Mavic Pro 2. The camera I used is the Sony a7R and with it i used some lenses such as the Sigma 20mm 1.4 ART and the Sony 50mm 1.8. Also for a smooth results I use the Ronin SC which is the best cheap stabiliser you can get on the market. Check out the following links:
We had the opportunity to visit this beautiful country a couple of years ago. In this article I will try to show you where we went and what we saw, so hopefully that will some interesting points to your itinerary.
We flew to Keflavik International Airport and straight after we picked up the rental car and went to the Blue Lagoon.
The cheapest entree fee for the Blue Lagoon was around £45 back then, so it is not the cheapest Spa you will ever visit but it is worth going. We were able to rest and it is quite a unique experience. We went in low season but if you visit Iceland in high season then I would not recommend going to the blue lagoon. We decided to go there first because it’s on the way to the city from the airport, and that was such a good idea as we could rest after the long day traveling.
After spending a few hours in the blue lagoon we headed to Reykjavik for the first night. We stayed at the Harbourfront Guesthouse, a beautiful and typical place close to the sea front. It was quite cheap and really nice place to stay, highly recommended if you are in a tight budget like ours.
The day after we decided to do the golden circle, that means visiting Thingvellir, Geysir and Gulfoss in one day. This is a very touristic option and if you go to Iceland you must see that. Thingvellir is the place that marks the crest between the two tectonic plates (North American and Eurasian), pretty amazing right?
Geysir needs no introduction, you will be able to enjoy nature at its best and if you have a drone make sure you fly it over to discover the astonishing colours of the area.
After that we then visited Gulfoss which is an amazing waterfall, you will be thrilled to see the amount of water running down this waterfall.
On the way back to the city we stopped in Kerid which is a big crater in the middle of nothing.
I would not recommend visiting it if you have less than 5 days in the island as there are better places to go, but as it is on your way you may want to stop for a quick look, there is an entrance fee but it is not a lot.
The day after we started our adventure in the south road, going from the capital to Stokksnes. If you are visiting Iceland for 5 days or less i would strongly recommend visiting the south of the island as there is not much distance between point to point so that way you can have a very good glimpse of what Iceland can offer.
Our first stop was Seljalandsfoss, a beautiful waterfall right next to the main road.
After we visited the insta famous Plane Wreck. This spot is very popular but again, (unless you really want this insta photo) I would not really recommend, specially if you travel with kids or older people. You will need to walk through a windy black sanded beach for around 1 hour until you get to a… wrecked plane. Sounds cool and.. it is, don’t get me wrong, but personally i don’t think is worth the hassle, specially knowing how many beautiful spots Iceland has to offer. You will get there and say: ‘is that it?’ yes, that’s it.
Our next stop was in Dyrholaey Beach and Reynisfjara black beach. Two beautiful and unique beaches with limestone walls and black sand, you won’t see that in many places. These beaches are next to the small village of Vik, a beautiful little spot where you may want to stop and look for a place to eat.
After that we headed to our accommodation, a place called Horgsland Cottages. We slept in a beautiful and cosy cottage/cabin. This place was a bit more expensive but it was really nice and we recommend it for a night or two, as it’s location is ideal if you will do the same or similar route. You hire the whole cottage so that is great if you travel with friends of family.
The following days we visited what I think are the best places we saw in our time in Iceland. First, Fjadrargljufur, you may think this is the name of an item from Ikea misspelled but no, this is an amazing canyon that will blow your mind. There is a route to follow walking which will take a few hours, also you can make your way down at the entrance of the canyon to see it from below. Make sure you visit it.
After that we visited Foss a Sidu, a massive waterfall next to the main road that had a hidden gem. If you own a drone make sure you fly it way above the waterfall to discover… another waterfall above it!
Straight after we went to Skaftafell, another waterfall with limestone all around it and after that one of the highlights of the trip: Jokulsarlon!
This place holds a glacier! Have you ever seen one? well you will be able to see one there (a massive one) and you will be able to walk in it, making you feel like Walter Mitty. We could also see some seals in some parts of the glacier. This glacier ends in the famous Diamond Beach, this beach contains thousands of small and big ice rocks that the sea distributes all around the beach.
This place is magical, you can’t get enough of it.
There is where me and my wife got engaged! So we will never forget this place.
You can walk around the glacier on one side and on the other you have Diamond beach so there is plenty to see and walk around this place.
Our last stop was Stokksnes, a massive mountain in the middle of the beach with one of the most iconic shapes you will see. It is such a moody place but I cannot recommend it enough as it’s beauty is beyond any limit.
After that we headed to the cottage for our last night there, as the last night in Iceland was back in Rejkjavik where we did a bit of sightseeing before we returned to London.
Iceland is a beautiful place where you could well spend at least 1 month discovering places, but if it is your first time and you only have 5 days or less we strongly recommend to visit the south coast as the distance between places is shorter. If you have more time or if you have already seen the south coast then you may want to visit the north and other places around the island.
To visit the south coast as we did you will not need a 4×4, a normal car will be sufficient. Depending on which other areas you want to visit and which time of the year you want to go then you will need a 4×4 .
There is not much to see in Reykjavik city, in my opinion is a waste of time to spend there more that 1 day as I would imagine that if you come to Iceland is to see nature. However you may need to stay there for a night or two, In that case make sure you visit Sea Baron, a typical fisherman restaurant next to the harbour, there you will be able to enjoy the typical food and also you will be able to try whale fillet. The prices are reasonable there and the lobster soup is one of the best soups I have ever tasted.
There are not many supermarkets outside the city so you should plan well your itinerary and go well equipped with food and water. Your best bet is petrol stations, they often offer warm food and they normally have small supermarkets. Also, Iceland is quite expensive so the cheapest option is to eat in the restaurants adjacent to the petrol stations.
Make sure you close the doors of the car every time you go in and out, as the wind is so extreme sometimes and it can break the door if left open wide, in that case even if you paid for excess insurance you will need to pay for the repairs. Same thing if you fancy standing on top of the rental car for a photo, you will have to pay a fee and it is not cheap.
If you own a drone you will see that some places flying it is not allowed, i’ve heard that since we went this restriction has spread in more places. Iceland is normally very windy so be careful flying it. In many cases you will see that there are no people and no risks so you may judge yourself if you want to fly the drone or not. I would recommend to keep the drone not further away than 100m.
Finally, do some research before you book the flights about temperature and daylight, as depending on when you are planning to go you will find extreme temperatures and maybe only 2-4h of daylight, which will limit your itinerary. Although many people go there to see the aurora borealis i would recommend to visit Iceland between April-October, I have no doubts about it: Nature over Northern lights. Book your hotels in advance using Booking or similar to get the best deals.
Do you have any questions? Drop a comment or contact me directly.
Do you want to see the video of the trip?