For day 2 of our Iceland vacation adventure, we were very excited to veer off the Ring Road and explore a unique peninsula in the Western region: Snaefellsnes. Before visiting Iceland, we had heard many times that this is one of the most beautiful areas of Iceland, and well worth taking time to explore.
PLEASE NO RAIN
On our first day in Iceland, we were pleasantly surprised with relatively good weather – just a little light rain here and there as is too be expected on an island. Much of our trip through the Snaefellsnes Peninsula was made a bit more difficult due to constant rain.
If you are planning your own trip to Iceland, rain is something you should be aware happens often, and the weather forecast is often incorrect. As such, it is important to pack accordingly as the combination of wind and rain (particularly on the coastline as we have learned) can be brutal!
Fortunately, many of the locations we visited still delivered significantly, but the rain limited some options from a photography perspective.
THE RING ROAD AROUND SNAEFELLSNES
Most roads in Iceland go in a convenient circle.
Going around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula was easy, and we got our first taste of unpaved roads along the way when we decided to veer off and visit the Svortuloft Lighthouse (an orange colored lighthouse Jes calls the “Wes Anderson Lighthouse” because it looks like it could be right out of a film like Moonrise Kingdom). It turns out there are more orange lighthouses around the country as we ran into 2 or 3 other ones 🙂 But the venture leading to this lighthouse through the lush lava fields covered in moss was well worth side trip as it sits along a gorgeous cliff side.
There is a lot to take in on this drive – a few other standout locations include the black church Budir (pretty much infamous within Iceland photography circles) and Londrangar. We had stopped off for some coffee and hot chocolate (at the Arnarstapi Center and Snjófell Restaurant) in the small town of Arnarstapi.
A MOUNTAIN SHAPED LIKE AN ARROWHEAD
If you’ve read our About Us page, you have probably noticed some of the TV shows we enjoy. Notwithstanding, Game of Thrones is one of our favorites, and the only show we watch religiously every year as they are released. As Season 7 played out, we were happy to see many landscapes we recognized as being in Iceland, as they do much filming there. In particular, the mountain Kirkjufell made a significant appearance. We set this location as our last for day 2, got some great photos, and found a nice small campsite, which was actually just someone’s backyard just across the way.
THE CAMP SITE OF GOOD AND EVIL
After all of the intense rain throughout the day, we were happy when it finally let up as we arrived to the Setberg Campsite. This is the most affordable campground we came across (2,000 ISK or roughly $20 USD for both of us) – for a more detailed write up read HERE. Witnessing the unique sunset, at one point where the left was a vivid, deep blue color and the right side was far warmer in tone, and capturing this with Kirkjufell towering in the background was amazing.
ICELAND – SECOND IMPRESSIONS
First impressions of a place are not always accurate. Being exposed to the challenge that rain can present on people traveling a country by campervan really gave us more of a taste of the power and ruggedness of Iceland that is often overlooked in photography you see of the country.