This next itinerary will take you east of Vik to see some of the most unique and amazing sites in Iceland. Note that you should rent a 4×4 or AWD capable vehicle as some of these sites will require travel on gravel and/or very bumpy roads.
The first stop on this itinerary is the Svinafellsjokull Glacier. Put this into Google maps, but along the way, there will be some interesting things to see, and worthy of a quick stop.
Stop 1 Random Beauty – Enroute to the glacier, we saw many things worth a quick stop (there are areas on the side of the road you can pull over and stop to take pictures; you should ONLY stop at these “official” provided areas). For example, we saw this amazing display of wildlife on the side of the highway. Straight out of a fairy tale.
…and more waterfalls…
Stop 2 – Cascading Falls – Continuing to drive towards the glacier, we saw these cascading “mini falls” on the left and pull over to take some pictures. Unfortunately, we did not get the name but just keep a look out on the left hand side and you cannot miss it.
Stop 3 – Svinafellsjokull Glacier (about 2 hours from Vik) – Part of the road to this glacier will take you on a gravel road that is very bumpy. Do not turn around. It is totally worth it as you will see in the pics below. Just go at a slow pace. You will eventually come to a parking lot. You then take a short walk and you can see the glacier, lake, and some large chunks of ice floating in the lake. I could not believe this was real.
Stop 4 – Diamond Beach (about 30 minutes from Stop 3) – Diamond beach was a breathtaking sight to see. The way to find it is to enter Jökulsárlón into Google maps, which will take you to the glacier lagoon. The diamond beach is about 1-2 minutes BEFORE, the lagoon. It will be before the one way bridge on your right. Park you car, walk to the beach, and prepare to be amazed.
The beach is a long stretch of black sand with chunks of glacier washing ashore.
Stop 5 – Jökulsárlón (about 1-2 minutes from Stop 4) – Continue across the bridge and into the large parking lot for the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. There will be food trucks if you are hungry too. You can also book a boat ride on the lagoon but we did not do this.
This is what you will see:
Stop 6 – Random Hike- As you make your way back to Vik, you will see things that you did not see on the way out. This place was one that we did not plan on stopping. Sorry, I did not get the name. Basically, we saw a large pull out on the road and another glacier in the distance. Once we park we walked toward the glacier and the views are below.
Stop 7 – Random Waterfall – This was another unplanned stop. Basically, if you are travelling with others, have them keep their eyes open for interesting places to stop on the way to the more well known places. The random stops are less crowded too.