Road tripping along the South Coast ~ Iceland

As I peeked behind the blinds of our hotel in my PJs on the second morning of our trip, I couldn’t have been happier to see cloudless skies and the promise of a sunny day ahead. When you’re in a country like Iceland getting up early is easy. From what I’d seen in the first 36 hours I was sure that our next adventure along the South Coast would be just as stunning.

Since we were up so early I suggested we grabbed a quick coffee and a pastry for later. James is generally quite obliging about my pursuit of the perfect coffee and before he knew it we were on our way to Reykjavik Roasters.

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We stopped by Sandholt for pastries (which were naturally devoured at the first stop on our journey.)

Although we’d taken the exact same route out of Reykjavik the day before, I still couldn’t believe the beauty of it all.

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Our first stop was about 45 minutes from the city. We quickly discovered that the best thing about the South Coast is that there’s little chance of getting lost and you don’t need to worry about accidentally driving past Seljalandsfoss waterfall. It’s pretty hard to miss.

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The natural power of waterfalls is mesmerising.

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Whilst there was already a decent crowd of tourists I was pleased to find that it didn’t feel overcrowded and so far Iceland has avoided adding those barriers which can all so often spoil the view.

Although, I couldn’t quite believe we could walk right behind it and get *THAT* close.

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Just five minutes away we found our second waterfall of the day, tucked behind a crack in the mountains. Although smaller than the first, as Gljúfrabúi is enclosed the space and the noise really adds to its power. I gingerly climbed up to take a closer look but I was quite happy stepping back to take the pictures.

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(Luckily, James didn’t actually lose his foot in the process!)

We weren’t really clock-watching but we must have been there about an hour. Time just drifted by in Iceland.

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After taking a turning too early, almost driving right into someone’s private land, we found our way to Skogafoss. Our third waterfall of the day.

It’s hard to get bored with waterfalls when they look like this.

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There are far too many photo opportunities to be had.

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We ate lunch at the main restaurant and although it’s expensive it was probably one of the best views I’ve ever had with a grilled sandwich.

With more to see we didn’t really hang around before getting back on the road.

I was pretty excited about our next stop as it promised something different to what we’d seen so far. Solheimajokull would be our only glacier of the trip and it didn’t disappoint.

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It’s hard to put Iceland into words because the landscape just makes your jaw drop in awe.

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(Fancy a dip? 😉 )

You can do your best outdoor gear catalogue look here.

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(Or perhaps just the classic – “I was there”.)

We hardly spent anytime at Solheimajokull and caught up quite a sweat clambering there and back to the car park so that we made it to the end of our journey before sun down. The problem with drifting time is that it’ll catch up with you eventually.

Dyrhólaey was a little trickier to navigate largely since there was a fork in the road and we took the left rather than the right and ended up behind the arch instead of in front of it. All the same, the views were stunning and I felt so excited to be by the coast again.

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The volcanic sand certainly adds a dramatic contrast.

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Our final stop of the journey was Reynisdrangar. Famed for its basalt sea stacks I was sure it would be the perfect end to our day.

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It’s hard to resist climbing up.

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But the sun glistening off the rocks was something else.

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With a drive of over two hours back to Reykjavik, we eventually had to pull ourselves away from the view and get back on the road.

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But the best thing about road trips is chatting all the way back and watching the sun drop behind the horizon.

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In case you’re planning your own road trip here’s a map of the places we visited, plus an extra swimming spot we didn’t make it to in the end.

Have you visited any countries where the nature has blown you away?