Traveling Iceland - Day 8 - Vik and the Surrounding Landscape
After a long day filled with a lot to see, we got a late start to our 8th day in Iceland, and made our way down towards the small town of Vik. There is quite a lot to see in the area, including the black sand beach and basalt column beach known as Reynisfjara, and the unique cliff arch at Dyrholaey.
REYNISFJARA - BLACK SAND BEACH
One of the most popular black sand beaches in Iceland has to be Reynisfjara. The number of photos we have seen of this place online before deciding to visit Iceland is substantial, but with good reason. It is a genuinely beautiful location. The natural basalt column formations are powerful to see in person. The nerds in us also couldn’t ignore the fact that this location was also featured in Game of Thrones.
After a steep drive on some narrow, unpaved roads, we arrived at the peak of Dyrholaey Cliffs. From this view, you can see far into the distance rolling ocean waves, black sand beaches, and green scenery of Iceland. The view is really quite astonishing, and if you visit this spot, you should take some time to really savor the view.
At the top is a great little lighthouse, much different than the “Wes Anderson Lighthouse” from Day 2 of our travels. And finally, getting to see the famous Dyrholaey Arch was great. It is amazing to think that nature can form such things. As photographers, we also couldn't pass up the good light for a few portraits of each other, at a time where we happened to not look sick and sleep deprived :)
DRIVE TO FJAÐRÁRGLJÚFUR AND A SAD LET DOWN
We revisited our itinerary, and realized we had missed seeing Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. On our way down to Vik, we past right by without realizing. We drove an hour back East, only to arrive to it being closed down for the day due to the annual sheep herding that is done is Iceland by ranchers bringing sheep down from the highlands. This was disappointing, and tiring because this stretch of drive is very dull (comparable to driving through the desert between Phoenix and Tuscon in Arizona).
Still, on the way back...we found some time to pull off and get some pictures of some photogenic Icelandic horses to brighten our day...One little guy even had bright blue eyes that made him look like a Whitewalker from Game of Thrones! It's hard to see this detail as we did not have a zoom lens on hand, but it still sticks with us in our dreams :)
CAMPING BACK IN VIK
After a long day, we returned back to Vik Campground to spend the night. We had hoped to see the aurora borealis again because we had clear skies and they were supposed to be active based on the aurora forecast, but we had no such luck.
Be sure to check out the rest of our Traveling Iceland article series.
We get to relax soon!!