Jan Kraus
Kerid Crater seen from the highest point of the caldera
Kerid Crater seen from the highest point of the caldera

Iceland Highlights - Part Two

15 May 2022photo story4 min read

I started last month with a review of my photos from the previous year’s Iceland trip, and I’ve shared some bits from the first days of the travel highlighting the famous Golden Circle route. But Iceland is so much more. Our journey was planned often on the go, driven by the exciting spots along the Ring Road and the booked accommodation.

Have a seat, grab a favourite drink of your choice and enjoy the next portion of these stunning, moody and sometimes out-of-this-world views from Iceland!

Kerid Crater

Kerið is a volcanic crater lake located along the Golden Circle route. We didn’t manage to get there on 1st day because we detoured north. But the crater was still on our itinerary.

A wideangle view over Kerid Crater, Iceland
A wideangle view over Kerid Crater, Iceland

The grey sky was heavily covered with clouds and occasional rain showers, so I wasn’t expecting good visibility. But when we got there, the crater surprised us with stunning views of the deep caldera with contrasting, green-coloured water and steep brown slopes with irregular patches of green.

A view over the caldera's ridge of Crater, Iceland
A view over the caldera's ridge of Crater, Iceland

There is a path that leads around the crater’s edges, so you can have a good view over the inner aquamarine lake.

You can also walk down and look at the steep slopes.

People walking narrow path at the edge of the lake inside Kerid Crater, Iceland
People walking narrow path at the edge of the lake inside Kerid Crater, Iceland

After the crater, we make a short lunch-break stop at Rauða Húsið Restaurant in Eyrarbakki, a small fishing village on the southern shore.

Waterfalls

Driving further east, the trip led us to visit some waterfalls.

Hjalparfoss waterfall

The first stop was at a relatively small one named Hjálparfoss. This waterfall is located about 30km east of the village of Flúðir and can be reachable by a gravel road, Route 32.

A view over a waterfall and its basin where two rivers merge into a single cascade, Hjálparfoss, Iceland
A view over a waterfall and its basin where two rivers merge into a single cascade, Hjálparfoss, Iceland

What’s interesting about it is that its composed of two rivers, Fossá and Þjórsá, merging to create a basin and carving their ways through some basalt columns. Exposed walls create fascinating rock formations.

A look over interesting basalt columns at Hjálparfoss waterfall, Iceland
A look over interesting basalt columns at Hjálparfoss waterfall, Iceland

Sigöldufoss waterfall

It was afternoon, and we were supposed to start heading back to our place as we were getting further and further away. But drawn by the beauty of the Highlands and a long daytime, we’ve decided to drive further away. The next stop was already accessible only via gravel F26 road (relatively easy to drive)

Its beauty is manifested through the clear, turquoise water of the Tungná river.

Sigöldufoss waterfall, Iceland
Sigöldufoss waterfall, Iceland

Hiking a little bit down the path along the edges offered different angles to view the falls.

Sigöldufoss waterfall, Iceland
Sigöldufoss waterfall, Iceland

The water flowing through multiple cascades has formed its way through a small but dramatic canyon with sharp rocks. The Tungná river is regulated a little bit upstream, with significant power harnessed via the Sigöldustöð power plant.

Sigöldufoss waterfall, Iceland
Sigöldufoss waterfall, Iceland

The black rocks offered great, contrasting background with turquoise water creating a moody atmosphere around the place.

Sigöldufoss waterfall, Iceland
Sigöldufoss waterfall, Iceland

Into the Highlands

The unsurpassed beauty of landscapes is irresistible. It’s getting late, but we continue along the F208 further into the Highlands.

Panoramic view from F-208 road, Iceland
Panoramic view from F-208 road, Iceland

Driving in a haze of the upcoming evening, we stopped for a short detour at Bláhylur lake, which formed in some kind of crater. It was a sensory-deprivation experience with a limited blue and brown colour palette of the landscape and fog and clouds covering the views.

Wide angle view of Bláhylur lake accessed from F-208 road, Iceland
Wide angle view of Bláhylur lake accessed from F-208 road, Iceland

When you stop and look at the landscape, you can imagine how the raw power of vulcanism activity shaped the area.

Lava fields and rhyolite mountains seen somewhere at F-208 road, Iceland
Lava fields and rhyolite mountains seen somewhere at F-208 road, Iceland

Lava fields and rhyolite mountains seen somewhere at F-208 road, Iceland
Lava fields and rhyolite mountains seen somewhere at F-208 road, Iceland

At some point, we reached a stunning viewpoint above the Frostastaðavatn lake. This was a very tranquil, quiet and peaceful place bringing us very calming vibes.

A view over Frostastaðavatn lake, seen from the viewpoint along F-208 road, Iceland
A view over Frostastaðavatn lake, seen from the viewpoint along F-208 road, Iceland

We had to turn back from this moment as still quite a chunk of road was ahead of us. I wished the day would never and there was enough time to stop at every bay to admire all the stunning views around us.

One of many spectacular sights along F-225 road, Iceland
One of many spectacular sights along F-225 road, Iceland

On the way back, we took the Landmannaleið (F-225) road leading back west to Road 26. Luckily (or not - as it’s also one of the most beautiful roads!), it started to rain, and the visibility wasn’t good, so we didn’t see much further.

Entry published on 15 May 2022 under #photo story, #photography, #iceland, #travel.
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