Back in October I took a trip to Iceland. It was a 10 day trip in a camper van driving around Route 1 which takes you around the the circumference of the whole country. I was lucky to see the northern lights dancing at night time, spend my days hiking in beautiful canyons and to glaciers, and eat my fill of seafood and lamb. The trip was phenomenal and one I would go back and do again. There are so many amazing blogs on how to plan a trip to do this so I want to focus on discussing my all time favorite hike, hot spring & eatery I visited while there.

My Favorite Hike in Iceland

As you can imagine, I hiked a lot while traveling around Iceland. The reason for the trip was specifically to hike so I made sure to do as many trails as I could. While so many of them were incredible, Mulagljufur Canyon (3.6-5 miles, 1200 ft gain) sticks out to me as my favorite hiking excursion. There were not many people at the trailhead which was a nice break from the crowds of people that were usually at each popular site or hike. I hiked this trail when it was lightly raining and misty which added to the mood of the mossy green canyon with a light turquoise waterfall. I felt like I was in a dreamland. I have never seen a canyon mossy like this so it was a sight to behold. The elevation gain was a nice challenge for my legs after a longer day driving and the canyon was quiet and beautiful. This trail had everything I could want out of a hike (inspiring views, low traffic & physical challenge) so I would definitely recommend stopping here if you’re passing through the Hornafjörður, Eastern Iceland area on the way to Höfn. It is about a 5-5.5 hour drive from Reykjavík.

My Favorite Hot Spring in Iceland

Vök Baths was by far my favorite hot spring I visited in Iceland and it was also the first one I went to so it set the bar high. It is located on the north eastern side of Iceland so if you are not doing the full ring road drive, you most likely will not pass it. Vok Baths has a series of infinity pools that sit above a natural thermal spring to capture the water and heat that comes out of the spring. The water is constantly recirculating due to the water coming up from the ground. They told us that the warm water flowing from the ground at Urriðavatn lake is so pure that it is the only geothermal water in Iceland certified as drinkable. The infinity pools sit in Urriðavatn lake which was 39F while I was there. There are ladders so you can climb into the lake if you want to. I switched between the cold lake water and the hot spring pools and it felt AMAZING. The sun was setting while I was there and I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful scene. They offer a steam room, cold mist tunnel, hot showers as well as food and beverage. Writing about this makes me want to move to this area so I can get a membership at Vok Baths! I saw locals freely swimming in the cold lake water while I stayed attached to the ladder for an easy exit. Maybe if I lived there, I’d build up a tolerance/toughness to swim around in that cold lake with them 🙂

My Favorite Eatery in Iceland

My favorite eatery in Iceland was Matkráin. I had dinner here after hiking to Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River. It is about a 45 minute drive from Reykjavík and this hike and restaurant are worth the journey! They are known for their Smørrebrød which is a dark, heavy bread such as rye that is thinly sliced and you choose artisan toppings to put on it (shown in image above). They had a gluten free alternative bread for me too as I’m gluten free. I had the Delicacy Plate which is 5 smørrebrøds of the restaurants choosing and they were all delicious. It was so different than anything I’ve had, was beautifully presented and the combination of ingredients they put together was spectacular. After the meal I remember wishing I could eat it again and that’s when you know a meals a winner. There were not many “tourists” at this restaurant and it definitely looked like a locals spot so if you’re in the area (town of Hveragerði), I’d recommend checking it out! You will not be disappointed.

There are so many amazing things to do, see and experience when traveling to Iceland. It’s a very easy destination to get to from the United States and it’s an easy place to navigate around. Also, if you’re looking to jump into trying a camper trip, Iceland is a great place to build confidence. I hope you have a beautiful and memorable time just like I did and enjoy these stops if you try them!

Until the next tale… Happy trails.



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