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Iceland 2022

East Fjords of Iceland at Sunset | Christopher Lisle © 2022.

Returning in October this was my third time visiting Iceland. By late fall the height of tourism has subsided and the weather is on the edge of turning into winter. Days were starting to get shorter and the moon was visible for most of the week oscillating above and below the horizon ever so slightly. Although I had a list of places I wanted to visit or revisit it is somewhat required to go where the weather dictates and where the aurora forecast looks favorable.

Dalatange, Iceland. 2022

Landing in Reykjavik around 6am we headed to the car rental, got some groceries and headed out to Harifoss to stretch the legs. We had wanted to go to Landmannalaugar again but it was closed already due to snow already. Next we drove out to Kerlingarfjöll Mountain Resort for some hot springs only to find out they were temporarily closed – Heading North on F35 we spend the night under a crisp and clear night sky. The road is snow covered and our 4×4 truck is barely making it through the road with wind drifts. We had been following road conditions online and this road was still listed as safe to drive.

Again we had aspirations of making it to Hveravellir blue geothermal pool after breakfast but the snow made it impassable without a much more capable vehicle. Stopping for lunch at Blöndulón we knew there were plenty of hot springs that were ‘open’. Took a quick peek at the Grjótagjá cave and then we made it to the Mývatn Nature Baths and enjoyed a few hours at sunset and a nice break from the car. From there we drove to Dettifoss cooked dinner made a quick trip out to the falls for some long exposure night shots and upon reaching the camper the auroras started to peak. A few cold and windy photos before it died down and remained weak for the remainder of the evening. Few games of cards and then to bed.

Northern Lights over Dalatangi, Iceland. 2022

In the morning made a quick stop to the basalt Stuðlagil Canyon and then lunch in the parking lot after a quick tour of Rjúkandafoss. Back in the truck we head to Dalatangi on the Eastern part of the island for the evening. A dramatic drive down to the fjords reveals Klifbrekku falls as well as the WWII US Navy LCM shipwreck before reaching the coast. Another evening of exploring the coast and then some more auroras for evening entertainment. The small ‘town’ had a few dozen buildings, a church, and of course lots of sheep. A narrow road continues to a lighthouse at the end of the fjord.

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Continuing the ‘Ring Road’ a la carte we head south with clear skies towards Djúpivogur to the Djúpavogskörin (hot springs). Coffee stop underneath Gilsárfoss which is a waterfall you can walk behind. Near Hafnarnesviti light house there were some cool haystack rocks we stopped at for a quick lunch. Back on the road we stopped Folaldafoss and noticed a tire was low on air… By the time we filled it up with air and made it to Djúpavogskörin everything was closed for the evening so enjoyed the hot springs and then put the spare on to drive into town the following day and see if we can get it patched. At this point the weather across the island had become grey, windy and rainy. A trip to town had up patched up under an hour as we walked around the small fishing town under a grey sky. Stopped at Snaedalsfoss and then hiked up Hvannagil – The Golden Valley. Pulled over at Hvalnes Nature Reserve Beach for a little leg stretch and then to then the next destination. I’ve seen a lot of waterfalls in Iceland but going to Múlagljúfur Canyon was quite the treat! The evening camping was some overnight parking lot where we were treated with wind and rain all night. In the morning stopped at Kvernufoss and then headed towards Grindavik we drove along Vigdísarvallavegur and stopped at Djupavatn Lake. Although the Meradalir Volcano had diminished in producing red magma we still hiked out to see the lava path as it steams in the light rain. Eventually the rain let up and turned out to be a nice afternoon. Stopped at a local swimming pool and found a good pastry shop. That marked our last evening in Iceland, we camped by Krýsuvíkurkirkja (famous black church) and started to pack our gear for departure in the morning. Another windy evening let up around 11 for some strong auroras as we battled the wind and cold temperatures. The following morning we finish packing return to the donut shop and head to the airport.

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Spending most of the day driving or hiking a camper truck with some hot food is always a nice break from the elements. Not only does it allow you to be flexible if interested in chasing the weather but the nature of camping helps you get some light pollution free shots!

Múlagljúfur Canyon, Iceland. 2022

Prints available

Sunset on the East Fjord. Christopher Lisle 2022

View other highlights from previous Iceland trips below, and comment if you have any suggestions.

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