Day 4 on the road. . .
Akureyri is Iceland’s second biggest city, however, it is far smaller than what you would think that title would entail. Regardless, I was completely smitten with Akureyri. The Backpackers Hostel were we stayed was right downtown and made for a great base camp to explore the city. Beautiful churches, colorful buildings, creative murals, and a picturesque port are just a few of the things that make Akureyri so charming.
Day 3 on the road. . .
Accommodations: Broddanes Hostel
Ísafjörður is the largest town in the westfjords, but despite this fact it can be explored in just a few hours. Although mostly a fishing town, the tourist industry has increased within the last few decades with many hotels and restaurants available to visit. We only stayed here for about an hour due to our strict schedule. It would of been nice to have spent longer because I love quiet town like this. If you can stay a few days, you can take a ferry to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. This reserve looked like an beautiful place for hiking and your best bet for seeing arctic fox in the wild. Unfortunately we didn’t have several days to spend here if we wanted to get around the whole Ring Road, so after walking around a little, and stopping in to a cute bakery, we were back on the road.
Day 2 on the Road
Baldur Ferry upper deck
There are two ways to get from the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to the Westfjords. You can drive, or you can take the Baldur Ferry. Since our group was from Seattle, of course we took the ferry!
The Baldur ferry goes from Stykkishólmur to Breiðafjordur, and back again several times a day, stopping on Flatey Island in between. No cars are allowed on Flatey, so if you choose to get off your vehicle travels on to the other side and is waiting for you when you arrive. The population of Flatey in the winter is a mere 5, making most of the houses on the island only summer residence. We looked into stopping on Flatey for a short time, but the next boat going to Breiðafjordur wouldn’t of been for 4 hours. It was still enjoyable to view the island from the ship. We purchased our passes prior to our trip since the boats can fill up and had a bright an early departure time of 9 am.
We finally started our great Iceland road trip! 5 people, 10 days, one (smallish) hatchback, about 1,000 miles of Icelandic roads. . . and unlimited adventures. This was the trip I wanted to have in Iceland. An epic road trip to see as much as the country as I could.
The Plan: Our itinerary was to follow Route 1, also known as the Ring Road. The only exception was a two day detour to the Westfjords. The Ring Road is the national road of Iceland, connecting almost all the inhabited places in the country. We found driving in Iceland to be very easy. The roads were in good shape and the signs were easy to understand. We had heard that Iceland in the summer was very busy so we took no chances with accommodations and had a place booked every night to stay in.
One of the adventures I really wanted to do in Iceland was to go sea kayaking. I kayak at home on rivers regularly so I thought seeing Iceland by water would be a wonderful experience. Our tour group picked us up in Reykjavik and before we knew it we were outside the city looking at a beautiful fjord. The boats were already on location so all we had to do was get our gear and get started. We booked our sea kayaking tour here.