Iceland Part Two: Southern Coast

After spending two days in Reykjavik (which was the perfect amount of time), we ventured on an overnight tour with Goecco, an amazing boutique tour company. When we were looking into tour options, we thought about renting a car and self-driving instead. I would definitely not recommend doing it in the winter, because the weather is extremely unpredictable. While we were there they had the biggest blizzard in 65 years and all of the roads closed for half a day! Made us super glad we didn’t have to navigate on our own in a rental car.

The tour made it really easy to sit back and relax (we were in a big Mercedes Sprinter coach bus) and take in the scenery, which is literally everywhere you look because the country is so undeveloped. The whole of Iceland only has 330k people, and they are expecting over 2.4MM tourists in 2017 alone! Tourism has become the biggest industry, next only to fishing, but they are definitely still figuring out how to sustain this volume of newcomers.

Even still, everywhere you look once you leave Reykjavik is a beautiful vista. I read a lot of photography tips before we went, and many pros suggested getting people, trees, or houses in your pictures for scale – it’s so hard to conceptualize how much open, massive land there is otherwise!

My favorite place we went to was definitely Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the Diamond Ice Beach. It literally took my breath away (and I don’t mean from the cold!). We also went inside an ice cave, to two beautiful waterfalls (Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss), stopped to meet some Icelandic horses (the most amazing creatures – they haven’t been cross-bred since settlers arrived on Iceland in the year 874 so they live completely outside and have beautiful long hair!), spent some time in Vik and at the black sand beach, took photos at one of the most famous Game of Thrones filming locations, and made stops at a few other destinations along the way. Photos below!

This was all covered over two days, since our tour left Reykjavik on Sunday and came back Monday night. Goecco has an awesome cabin in the middle of nowhere where we slept (ideal for Northern Lights viewing) and the caretaker/chef made us a huge dinner and huge breakfast complete with freshly smoked salmon and fresh baked bread!

We were also lucky enough to see the Northern Lights on our way back into Reykjavik Monday night – see my next post for those pics and photo tips to capture the amazing phenomenon!

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Sejlalandsfoss Waterfall (this is the one you can walk behind but beware – it’s very cold!)

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Skogafoss Waterfall
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Hat: Rudsak (similar), Scarf: Helmut Lang (similar), Coat: Lands’ End, Gloves: Net-a-Porter, Pants (not pictured): Uniqlo (similar), Snow Boots: Lands’ End

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Hat: Rudsak (similar), Scarf: Helmut Lang (similar), Coat: Lands’ End, Gloves: Net-a-Porter, Pants: Uniqlo (similar), Snow Boots: Lands’ End, Sunglasses: Warby Parker
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Drive to the Ice Cave (straight through a mountain range/open snow field)

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Svinafellsjokull Glacier (Game of Thrones filming location)
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View from the drive

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Vik
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Reynisfjara Beach in Vik

 

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