At the end of September, six friends and I rented a van and drove to Skaftafell National Park for a three day camping/ hiking adventure. Skaftafell is on the south coast of Iceland and a several hour drive from Reykjavik. It was incorporated into Vatnajökull National Park (Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Iceland. It covers about 8% of the island). Unfortunately, I did not have a camera for the trip. Fortunately, everyone else did, and was kind enough to share their gorgeous photos of our trip.
On the way to Skaftafell (Route 1 is the ring road that will take you around the whole island) we stopped at two gorgeous waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. The above photo is from behind Seljalandsfoss. It was taken by Stephanie Seeger, as are all photos in this post unless otherwise marked) Seljalandsfoss is one of the most recognizable of the Icelandic waterfalls, and there is a path that lets you walk behind and look out through falls if you don’t mind getting a little wet. Because it was sunny, there was a gorgeous rainbow flickering around the falls for our whole visit.
Skógafoss (photo above) is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland at 25 meters (82 feet) wide and 60 meters (200 feet) tall. It sits on the Skóga River, at cliffs which used to be the coastline. Legend says that Þrasi Þórólfsson, a Viking and an early settler in the area, hid a chest of treasure behind the falls. It’s said that local treasure hunters found the chest many years later, but it disappeared before their eyes, leaving only the chest ring that one of them had grabbed to pull it out.
We had hoped to arrive at the campsite before dark, but were delayed by a gorgeous sunset that simply demanded we get out of the car and enjoy the last bit of daylight. (We were also delayed by one of the van windows refusing to close. A little lesson I’ve learned over the last month or two: Cheap Jeep is the best deal in town for car rentals, but treat their clunkers like the fragile, geriatric vehicles they are.)