My favorite part of this spontaneous trip was a spontaneous early morning to find the Northern Lights.
If you read the other post, a good friend and I were driving around Iceland on a spontaneous trip with a bag of peanut butter sandwiches and none of our luggage.
Waking up at 4:30am to start driving to Jokularson (a glacier lagoon that was calling our name on the other side of the island) was on par with the adventurous spirit.
A special thing about Iceland is how long the sunsets and sunrises last. I’m a person who loves (needs) quiet and space and I love to drive. The HOURS watching the sunset slowly form in the sky as my friend slept and I drove through the bridges and remote roads of Iceland’s coastline…the glorious unawareness in the dark if there were mountains or the sea running along my road with me, just knowing that glaciers and whatever else was next.
The great thing about renting a car (always go for an SUV!) and going with a friend is we had both of us be drivers so we could alternate napping/driving and see more of the country. It gave us a break when we were tired and since we both love driving, it’s my favorite way to spend time.
Jökulsárlón was my favorite place in Iceland. Everyone has places that move them most and fighting the insane wind, freezing temps and dawn skies to climb around fragments of glaciers that were melting into the sea will always stand out as one of those memories that is too surreal to believe you did.
Route, Advice, and details at the bottom
Kinda General Route:
– Lots of the best roads are unpaved so get an SUV.
– Add an additional driver so you can take turns sleeping in the car.
– The places you’ve heard of on the south coast will have busloads of tourists. They’re worth going to, but don’t make those your only goal.
– Cars don’t have as large of gas tanks as we do in the US, and gas stations aren’t as quickly found. STAY AWARE of your gas levels and check for stations on a map! We had to backtrack once. Otherwise, we would’ve been stranded somewhere faaaaar outside Allstate coverage.
– Gas stations etc require a pin for credit cards. We never use them in the US, but it’s sometimes needed there.
– Use trackers like this one to check northern lights activity and visibility levels.
– If you want to save money, like on any trip, you can always buy groceries to bring around with you. There are so many remote areas you’ll go that having a backpack of sandwiches with you will make you feel invincible for wherever you are.
– It doesn’t matter that everyone and their mother has gone to Iceland in the last few years. It is more incredible, more majestic, more thrilling than I ever could’ve imagined.
– HAVE SO MUCH FUN.