Iceland Day 3 [Thorsmork + Gljufrabui + Gesthus Selfoss]
This morning we drove to Seljalandsfoss to meet up with our tour guide of the day because we were going to Thorsmork with Southcoast Adventures! Thorsmork has always been in Chris' wish list and he was very excited that he was finally going there. We met with our friendly tour guide, Smari and another couple before departing for our Super Jeep tour.
My first Super Jeep tour was fun despite the bumpiness which caused our butts to hit the car seat real hard (lol). We drove into the highland roads and glacier rivers, and were surrounded by beautiful views filled with mountains and volcanoes.
***PS*** Waterproof clothing and comfortable, waterproof hiking shoes are highly recommended for the activities on this day.
We made a stop at Nauthusagil Canyon before proceeding to Thorsmork.
Nauthusagil Canyon is a very scenic canyon which requires a short hike before coming to a nice, mini waterfall at the end. The entrance was not noticeable but once we entered the canyon, we were awed by the mystical beauty of the canyon.
The trip to the waterfall was not exactly easy as we had to get our feet wet, jumping over river and slippery rocks, only to come to a narrower path which leads to the waterfall.
The moment I could hear the waterfall, I started getting a glimpse of the waterfall, which cascades down the steep canyon. One could easily get drenched from the drizzle of the waterfall but the view was absolutely rewarding.
After staying a while with some photo takings, we hiked the same way back and continued our journey to Thorsmork.
From Nauthusagil Canyon, we drove into the rugged wilderness, surrounded on three sides by steep mountains, crossing raging rivers and gentle streams, passing caves and giant boulders before stopping at Gigjokull outlet Glacier where we were able to see the aftermath of 2010 eruption of Eyjafjnallajokull.
According to our tour guide, the incident destroyed a lagoon and left a blackened area due to the immense fast flowing flood. Smari also told us jokingly many tourists just call this volcano E15 as there are 15 alphabets after the first letter E to facilitate their pronunciation of the name (lol).
We explored the place ourselves while Smari was there to answer all curious questions from us about the place.
Moving on, we came to our ultimate destination - Thorsmork, a wide valley named after Thor, the Viking God of Thunder. Hiker-travelers always make their way here as Thorsmork is often listed as one of the best hiking trails in Iceland.
After a short toilet break, we commenced our short hike to the peak of Valahnukur Mountain where we could enjoy an impressive 360' view of Thorsmork.
The route was fairly easy with some steep parts but overall it was manageable. The trail is also well marked and accessible with man made steps.
The moment we reached the top, we were captivated by its power of nature and beauty. The feeling of standing on top of many of the hills and mountains, cut with small valleys, gullies and dells is simply beyond words. We spent a very good time on top of the mountain, resting while adoring the fascinating view.
We were supposed to take a light lunch at their restaurant, Volcano Huts down the hill but the other couple were in a bit of a rush, and we were taking our sweet time taking pictures and enjoying the surrounding (yea, we don't rush through our travels. I would admit we are slow travellers, lol, sometimes), so there wasn't enough time for us to sit down for lunch. Our tour guide was very kind to pack our lunches for us to eat in the car when we were on the way back.
To make up for the rush, after dropping off the couple at Seljalandsfoss (where we departed for the tour), Smari took us to this black sand beach which is about 15 minutes drive away down south.
We got to know the name of this beach is Landeyjahofn and there is a wooden shipwreck which was believed to be the remaining of an accident happened in the 1960's (if I am not mistaken).
We thought this was a very good bonus for us as this beach is very seldom visited hence we got the whole beach to ourselves that day. Smari also told us this is his perfect dating spot as well, haha!
We spent nearly an hour on the beach chatting and taking photos before Smari sent us back to Seljalandsfoss. I must say I am very impressed with Smari's professionalism and hospitality. He deserves a thumbs up!
For that evening, we decided to stay nearer to the meeting point of the 'Inside the Volcano' tour as that is what we were going to do the next day. Before going on the road, we visited Gljufrabui waterfall, also known as the 'secret' waterfall in South Iceland. This waterfall is Seljalandsfoss' neighbour so it was just a short walking distance away. Unlike other well-known waterfalls in Iceland, this 40 meter high hidden waterfall does not give you an in-your-face appearance though you are able to see the top part of the waterfall behind a large cliff from far.
Instead, you got to hike your way in through the narrow gap to see the whole waterfall (which explains why its called 'secret' waterfall I guess).
Wading into the fresh stream is necessary to get to the waterfall, hence waterproof and sturdy shoes are recommended. The flow may seem very smooth and gentle but it is easier said than done. Fellow photographers, you may want to take note of the water moisture for the your camera as it is quite wet inside. Despite the trouble, the view is worth it as it is not your everyday waterfall sightseeing. If you are visiting the ever famous Seljalandsfoss, make a point to visit its neighbour that is so very close by.
Following Gljufrabui waterfall, we made our way to our accommodation of the night - Gesthus Selfoss. It costed us ISK2,800 for 2 people.
I would recommend this campsite to anyone who is camper travelling in Iceland as they have complete facilities and most importantly, showers and toilets are clean.
However, just for your information, they are open showers, meaning you strip naked in front of each other in the shower but this is very normal in Iceland, and most of the hot springs in Iceland practice that as well.
=End of Day Three=
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That's all for my Day 3 in Iceland! Do drop me a message in the comment below should you have any question, and I will get back to you ASAP. Otherwise, stay tuned for my Day 4 in Iceland update!
To read an overview of my Iceland journey >> Click HERE
To read why you should travel Iceland with a camper van >> Click HERE