[Iceland Day 7] Svartifoss | Hofskirkja | Fjallsarlon | Jokulsarlon
Today is another fruitful day in Iceland as we visited a couple of attractions including the famous Svartifoss and Fjallsarlon, Jokulsarlon (the famous iceberg lakes). Without further ado, let's look into our first stop of the day!
Foss a Sidu
Foss a Sidu is situated along Road 1 on the way from Kirkjubaejarklustur to Skaftafell (where Svartifoss is located). Unlike other magnificent waterfalls in Iceland, Foss a Sidu is more like a roadside attraction. The falls is not very tall and its stream is not very strong but its foreground of a farm-like village and surroundings makes this waterfall very photogenic. Due to the subtle flow, the water even flows uphill when there is very strong wind. We did not walk the hiking trail which leads to a small lake called Porutjorn, located on the top of the cliff where the waterfall comes from. Instead, we managed to stop our camper van on the roadside and took a photo of it opposite the road. Travellers going clockwise on the ring road would be more favourable in viewing this waterfall as it is situated along that direction.
Svartifoss | Skaftafell
Svartifoss is one of my top ranked waterfalls in Iceland for its beauty among the black, hexagonal basalt columns. This waterfall is the signature of Skaftafell National Park and it is not visible from the road. The hike up took us approximately 2 hours back and forth at a very relaxed pace. The hike was enjoyable with photo stops and 3 other waterfalls along the way. When we were on the top, we were mesmerised by the view of the waterfall. The extremely slowly cooled lava formed a beautiful geometric basalt columns which were hard to believe it was all natural. We were also lucky to catch a rainbow shining over the waterfall which made a perfect photo!
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Hofskirkja | The last Turf Church built in Iceland
After marvelling at the beauty of Svartifoss, we made a brief stop at Hofskirkja, the youngest old church in Iceland. This church is one of the six churches remaining in Iceland, which are preserved as historical monuments. Amazingly, Hofskirkja is still a practicing Parish church and is maintained by the National Museum in Iceland. At a closer look, its walls are made of rocks and its roof is made of stone slabs, covered with turf. By the church is a cemetery where the mounds that look like big tussocks, are the graves in the cemetery. The church door was locked when we were there. However, we managed to peeped through the window to see the lovely interior.
No trip to Iceland is complete without a trip to the famous glacier lagoon! Talking about it, many people would flock to the famous Jokulsarlon but do you know Fjallsarlon, which is the little brother of Jokulsarlon is also worth a visit? (Perhaps even more beautiful!)
Fjallsarlon is an isolated glacier lagoon in the realm of Vatnajokull. As it is located off the main road, people often overlook it and rush straight to the famous Jokulsarlon. Despite the smaller lake size, the view was fascinating as we were closer to the glacier. The breaking glacier tongue with floating icebergs paired with the mountain backdrop made it an absolute dramatic view. Most importantly, we enjoyed some quiet and peaceful moments with significantly less tourists around. Although there is no decently marked path, it is pretty easy to go down to the shore. I strongly urge you to get closer as you will be able to see the big chunks of ice from up close!
Fjallsarlon offers boat tours on the majestic glacier lagoon. However, we didn't opt for that as there were not many icebergs seen during the time we went (probably due to the shoulder season). We thought the boat tour would only be worthwhile when there are more icebergs, especially when the ice is much more blue, perhaps during winter time. This is definitely a photography heaven for keen photographers!
Jokulsarlon is a large, beautiful glacier lagoon filled with large chunks of ice. Due to its immense beauty, many spectacular photos were taken here and it's soon become a photographer's paradise. As it is one of Iceland's most popular attraction, there are more tourists seen here compared to its little brother, Fjallsarlon. However, this does not affect the uniqueness of this glacier lagoon.
There are 2 entrances to Jokulsarlon. When we searched for the location on Google map, we were brought to one of the entrances where there were less icebergs to be seen comparatively. Just a brief drive after we left the place to continue our journey, I spotted a sign showing 'Jokulsarlon' after crossing the bridge, and we followed it and stopped our car by the beach. There were more icebergs over this side of the lagoon and here is also where the boat tour operates. I'd still recommend to visit the glacier lagoons during winter time if you want to see plenty of jaw-droppingly beautiful broken blue icebergs. Frankly, we expected to see more icebergs like in those wonderful photos online when we were there. Nevertheless, it was still a wonderful experience!
We called it a day and spent our night a fishing town nearby called Hofn. This is one of my favourite campsites as it offers beautiful view over the glaciers and mountains that surround Hofn. We paid ISK1,500 per person for the campsite which offers good facilities like cooking and dining area, washing facilities, playground, shower (ISK50 for every 2 minutes) etc.
Waking up like this..... Heavenly!
That's all for my Day 7 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 8 post!
Till next time~
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