One of the things that we really wanted to do on our trip to Iceland was to get out on a boat and go looking for humpback whales.
Waterfalls & Glaciers in Iceland | An excellent adventure
Waterfalls & Glaciers Let’s go
Like the majority of tours in Iceland the mini bus picks you up at your hotel and you and the others on the trip get ready for the fun ahead. Our minibus was nearly full and Robert advised we would be driving south for about an hour and a half before we came to the first waterfall of the day Seljalandsfoss. I was really looking forward to this one as apparently you could walk behind it which sounded like a lot of fun, wet but still a lot of fun.
Before all that fun we would be stopping at a service station for a toilet stop and to stock up on snacks for the day as it was Easter Sunday and there wouldn’t be much open. Similar service station to the one we stopped off at the other day on our previous tour.
The Tour we chose for this day was the South Coast Waterfall & Glaciers Hike and this was with Troll Expeditions. They have a variety of tours to choose from and they were really reasonably priced in line with the other tour companies we found. This was one of three tours that we chose whilst visiting Iceland and the other two tours you can find the links here as well our time in Reykjavik.
We could see the first waterfall before we got to it. We were to stop for approx 30 mins which would give us enough time to walk up and round and then back down the path on the other side. We were kitted out in our waterproof clothes and I had my camera in its dry bag which I would use until we got hit by the spray then I would pop it away and use the small waterproof camera.
Either way I wasn’t holding out much hope for any good pics as my lenses, regardless of camera, were constantly fogged up or had spray on them. It was a challenge. There was a coffee van in the car park which was good and as Chris snapped a few more pictures I got a coffee and a rather nice brownie. Before too long we were back in the mini bus which had properly steamed up windows now and headed to our next stop. The Skógafoss waterfall.
The Skógafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in the country, with a width of 25 metres (82 feet) and a drop of 60 m (200 ft) and was impressive. This is another location that Game of Thrones fans will recognise straight away. Tons of water poured off the top of the cliff in an almost symmetric way.
You could climb up the side to get a birds eye view looking down on the falls and it was well worth the climb to see and hear the power of the massive volume of water falling over the top. Chris and I both made our way to the top and we were so glad we did. Breathtaking.
Glacier hike on Sólheimajökull Glacier
We’ve done the waterfalls and now it was time for the Glacier. Back in the bus and off we went. Sólheimajökull glacier is part of the 3rd biggest glacier in Iceland, Mýrdalsjökull and after we’d eaten our sandwiches (Robert said we’d need all our strength) we jumped out of the mini bus and headed to the Troll Adventure cabin where they were ready to kit us out in harnesses and crampons as we’d need full winter climbing gear to walk on the glacier.
This probably wasn’t the best time to remember that I couldn’t ice skate and I didn’t really like ice much. The view made up for this as they were spectacular.
On the glacier
Once we were all kitted out we were on our way walking firstly through some volcanic soil and then onto the glacier. I didn’t know what to expect but I didn’t expect the glacier to be so dirty. My visions of glaciers are those pure white ones in Greenland that you see on the TV and here we had ice mixed with grey volcanic soil however it was still incredibly impressive. We were walking on a glacier !
Sarah, our glacier guide, was French but seemed to have the gist of the Icelandic language and knew the glacier area quite well. She explained how it had formed, the surrounding volcanoes and showed us where the glacier had been only 10 yrs ago and how much it had receded and it was quite startling. Sarah was good at keeping everyone focussed. As we were moving into spring ice was melting in some areas and forming holes which, if you weren’t paying attention to Sarah and following her guide, could be dangerous.
As part of the tour Sarah put my ice axe in the ground and invited people to lower themselves in a push up position to drink the pure glacial water. Soon it was time to walk back down and retrace our steps off the glacier. The sun was starting to come out and it threw a different light over everything. It wasn’t long before we were back at the waters edge, removing crampons and washing them in the glacial waters. A quick walk back to the car park and we were off in our mini bus again.
Black Sand Beach
After an exhausting hike on the glacier it was lovely just to wander carelessly on the beach and listen to the crashing waves. This is another Game of Thrones filming area and as I’ve mentioned before there aren’t many areas on Iceland that aren’t.
However this beach came with massive warnings as there had been fatalities by people not respecting the large waves and those pesky sneaker waves that surprised you. There was also some basalt rocks and sea stacks to keep us interested. It was an intriguing place and the waves were mesmerising.
There was a cafe here that took card and it was an idea spot for a cup of tea and a quick loo break. Before long we were back in the mini bus for the two hour drive back to Reykjavik. Exhausted but what a wonderful day.
On our trip to Iceland we did 3 organised tours and the first of these was to take us up the west coast to Snaefellsnes, The Kirkfujell mountain, the black beach and the black church.
How did we get to Iceland?
We flew from Manchester to Reykjavik with Iceland Air. We had booked through Skyscanner as they are great at finding the best deals.