Day 4: North Iceland

It was not the early wake-up we initially plan, but even though it was beautiful. We get ready without losing any time since 400 km and a few stops were expecting us during the day. So, we had breakfast, pack our lunch, have a look at the beautiful horse from the farm, and head our way to north Iceland.

Some of the links on this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something we may receive payment. Although all these recommendations are based on our personal experience.

Litlabjarg guesthouse
Litlabjarg Guesthouse
Litlabjarg guesthouse
Litlabjarg Guesthouse

Litlabjarg Guesthouse

Day 4 itinerary:

  1. (11:30) Dettifoss
  2. (14:15) Krafla
  3. (16:30) Hverir Mývatn
  4. (17:15) Grjótagjá cave
  5. (18:30) Goðafoss
  6. (20:30) Accommodation: AK Apartments
Day_4_trip_map

Dettifoss

  • Free parking.
  • WC.
  • Not food available.
  • Time spend there: 45 minutes-1 hour.

Two hours after we departed from the cozy cabin where we spend the night, we arrived at our first destination of the day: the most powerful (by-volume) waterfall in Europe. This magnificent waterfall flows from the Vatnajökull glacier

Dettifoss can be seen from the East or West; we recommend choosing one side since it’s a long path, around one hour from one side to the other. For any specific reason, we choose o visit the east side, which has a bumpy, non-paved road to reach the waterfall. Later we found that the west side has a paved road with much easy access. So if you have a 2W car, the easier and most convenient option is to take the west route, and if you have extra time, do a quick stop at Selfoss.

At the end, we stayed 30 minutes more to have lunch in a table nearby the parking lot.

Road to Detifoss from the East side
Detifoss from East side
Detifoss (you can see some people in the viewpoint from West side)
Detifoss, Iceland

Krafla

  • Free parking.
  • Not WC or food.
  • Time spend there:30 minutes-2 hours.

We arrived at our next destination one hour from Dettifoss and a 10 minutes detour from the Ring Road.

Our plan was to visit the volcanic crater with the intense blue water. Still, once we were there, we realized it was also possible to see the lava fields. So if you are up just for the crater, 30 minutes should be enough to visit it (you should double the time if you want to walk around).

However, if you’re going to see the lava fields, you will need to add one more hour since you will need to walk to access the lava field area.

One crucial detail is that the area has many bugs, so consider bringing a head net for a more comfortable visit.

Krafla crater
Krafla lava fields

Hverir Mývatn

  • Free parking.
  • Not WC or food.
  • Time spend there:30 minutes.

On our path back to the Ring Road, we immediately reach Hverir, a geothermal area with mud pots near Mývatn. This was an area we were looking forward to visiting since all the images we saw looks like they were from another planet.

The smell from the pots is not the best due to the sulfur, but walk around this area is an exciting experience, full of different colors.

Hverir Mývatn
Hverir Mývatn

Unfortunately, we couldn’t visit Mývatn Nature Baths. We decided last minute, and it was already fully booked. So if you really want to relax in the spring, remember to book in advance.

Grjótagjá cave

  • Free parking.
  • Not WC or food available.
  • Time spend there: 15 minutes-30 minutes.

With another 10 minutes detour, you can reach this ground cave. It is a geothermal pot, but bathing it is forbidden, and the water temperature can reach 50° C/120°F. So this would be a quit stop that we would recommend only if you have time to spare.

There are two small entrances to the cave that can be pretty crowded. It has become a popular destination in the last few years due to a famous scene in the Game of Thrones TV show, between Jon Snow and Ygritte.

Grjótagjá cave
Grjótagjá fissure

Goðafoss

  • Free Parking.
  • Fast food on the other side of the street.
  • Souvenir shop with WC.
  • Time spend there: 1 hour.

After 45 minutes more driving, we were in one of our favourite waterfalls in Iceland.

Goðafoss is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the country, with a width of 30 metres, falling from a height of 12 metres .

We visited it from the westside, but it is also possible to go down to the river on the east side.

From Goðafoss to Akureyri, one of the roads includes a tunnel toll (Vadlaheidargong Tunnel Toll). If you took the route as we did, you could save up to 16 km (9 miles) of travel. The toll price starts at 1500 ISK* (~ 10€/ $12) for vehicles under 3.5 tons and can pay it online with your car’s plate number and a credit card. You can do it before crossing the tunnel or 24 hours after driving through it via tunnel.is. If a trip has not been paid 24 hours after traveling through the tunnel, you can’t pay on veggjald.is and a toll bill with an added collection fee will be sent to the bank of the registered owner of the vehicle.

Accommodation: AK Apartments

For the night, we chose AK Apartments at Akureyri since it was 30 minutes from our last location of the day (Goðafoss).

  • Street parking 
  • Free WiFi
  • Private bathroom and kitchen.
  • Our experience: We paid 88 euros for one night in a studio apartment for four people. The apartment was comfortable, modern, and in excellent condition. Small for four people, but just for one night was ok for us. The kitchen was well equipped. The only thing we were disappointed about was that they say they include a Hot tub as a room amenities, but this is shared with the other apartments and was already closed for the time we arrive.

*All the prices shown in this post are from August 2020.

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