CTW Explores

North Iceland

Country: Iceland                 Language: Icelandic               Currency: Icelandic krona (kr)

Iceland is a remarkable island in the North Atlantic Ocean. The island is full of spectacular natural scenery; all you have to do is follow the Ring Road, which will take you around the entire island! Iceland is volcanically and geologically active, with a plethora of lava fields, volcanos, glaciers, and waterfalls to explore! Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway to explore nature or an action-packed hiking trip, Iceland is the perfect place to visit. In the summer months, enjoy the midnight sun, where the sun never sets. In the winter, watch the dark skies light up with the incredible Northern Lights and explore one of the many ice caves. 

CTW Must See

Goðafoss Waterall

GPS POINTS N65° 40' 58.154" W17° 32' 58.487”

Godafoss is one of Iceland’s most impressive and accessible waterfalls! It sits just off the Ring Road with a huge parking lot to accommodate the heaps of visitors it attracts at any given time. It stands 12 meters tall and 30 meters wide, and allows plenty of room for exploration up close and from afar. Godafoss roughly translates to ‘Waterfall of the Gods’, as this is where law speaker,  Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði, threw all of his Norse Gods statues into the water after naming Christianity the official religion of Iceland!

Husavik

Husavik, located on the northern coast of Iceland, remains the most popular area in Iceland for whale watching! The city features a large whale museum and many whale watching tours. The best time for whale watching is between May and September, however tours are generally offered throughout the year!

Hafragilsfoss Waterfall

GPS POINTS N65.8323° W16.4005°

This waterfall is quite a drive from Husavik, however we think it is worth it! To get there, follow Road 862 & 864 - both are gravel roads with many large potholes. Drive with caution and trust that the view is rewarding! The 862 follows along the west side of the river and 864 along the east. Make sure you have a car and driver that can handle the potholes! The expansive views of the large valley, with the rushing waterfall in the distance is worth the detour! Note that both roads are closed during the winter and reopen early summer, around the end of May.

Dettifoss Waterfall

GPS POINTS N65° 48' 53.801" W16° 22' 59.766”

Just a short drive from Hafragilsfoss, you’ll drive past Dettifoss. Dettifoss is the largest volume waterfall in Europe! It is truly an  impressive sight to see. You will have to walk about 15 minute from the carpark to get to the waterfall.  The trail is quite rocky, so proceed carefully. Bring a waterproof jacket, as the spray can be pretty intense! 

Lake Myvatn

GPS POINTS N65° 38' 30.298" W16° 54' 43.624"

Myvatn really makes you feel as if you left Iceland and entered another planet! The large lake is so peaceful and calm, creating a perfect reflection. Myvatn was formed from a volcanic eruption  over 2,000 years ago!  The area is full of thermal activity, so be sure to visit a hot springs bath for a relaxing bath. A drive around the lake showcases so many beautiful viewpoints, and eventually leads to the craters.

Skútustaðir pseudo craters

On the 848, on the southern portion of Lake Myvatn, you’ll find these incredible, massive craters. You can park at the parking lot near the craters, enjoy a coffee at the cafe, then take a one hour roundtrip walk through the Mars-like landscape! For the craters that are not being preserved, or do not have warning signs, you can climb up to the top for a better look at your surroundings! If you are visiting in the summer, we recommend wearing a fly net. Those annoying flies are all around the Myvatn area.

Dimmuborgir Lava Field

This unusual lava field is located 1.5 kilometers off the 848 near Lake Myvatn. The dramatic pillars were formed by steam, as a lava pool mixed with the wet sod. There are a few walking paths to choose from ranging in 30 minutes roundtrip to a couple of hours. The longer paths lead you deeper into the lava field, allowing you to experience the extreme grandeur of the Earth’s natural creation.

Hverfell 

Hverfell, two kilometers north of the lava fields, is a large crater, approximately one kilometer in diameter! You can walk to Hverfell from the Dimmuborgir Lava Field or from the carpark at the base of the crater. The walk from Dimmuborgir to the base will take a little over an hour. To get to the top of the crater, it takes about 10-20 minutes, depending on your speed. The walk is quite steep, and we would, again, recommend wearing a fly net! A walk around the top of the crater will take about an hour and a half. If that’s too long, you can simply admire the views from the top and head back down. 

Grjótagjá Thermal Spring

The hidden thermal spring can be found about 5 kilometer from Hverfell. If you’re driving north up the 848, a right turn onto 860 will lead you directly to the carpark for the cave. The cave is hard to spot at first, as it is simply a hole in the side of the Earth! However, a climb down to the bottom (not far, but certainly steep!) will lead you to a beautiful oasis that is heated naturally! Unfortunately, bathing in the cave is no longer allowed, as the water temperatures have risen to an unsafe level! Also, for this Game of Thrones fans, you might be particularly excited about this cave, as it was used in the Season 3 episode titled ‘Kissed By Fire’! 

More Icelandic Adventures...

North Iceland is one small portion of the Ring Road. Check out our other Iceland Guides to keep your adventure going!

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