Filled with whales, waterfalls and northern lights, day four was another eventful day as we traveled from Husey to Siglufjörður on our Ring Road adventure.
We started our day four adventure bright and early. Because we knew we would need to leave by 7am to fit everything in before a reservation in Akureyri at 1pm, we checked out the night before. We said goodbye to Husey farm and hit the road towards Dettifoss.
On our way, we passed through a stretch of land that looked like it should be on the moon or Mars. It was very surreal.
Dettifoss and Selfoss
A little before 9am, we arrived at the Dettifoss parking lot on the west side of the falls. From the parking lot, we took the short walk to view the smaller of the two waterfalls, Selfoss (above)
From Selfoss, we continued on the short loop to the impressive Dettifoss. This massive waterfall is the largest in Europe by volume and is challenging to capture on camera. 🙂
All of the water tumbling over the falls, created a massive amount of spray offering occasional glimpses of a rainbow.
The trails around Dettifoss offered lots of different vantage points of this ginormous waterfall!
From Dettifoss, we stopped near Lake Myvatn to pick up some black gold! By this time, it was near 10:30 and I was in desperate need of coffee. 🙂 #addictedmuch
Word of forewarning, if you’re like me and like coffee (more like, require coffee) in the morning, we didn’t find anywhere in between Husey and Lake Myvatn to stop. That goes for gas, too! So, fill up in Egilsstadir.
After two cups of coffee :), we continued on the Ring Road to Goðafoss, or the prettiest waterfall (above). We spent some time climbing over the rocks and streams surrounding the falls to get a closer look.
Our next stop after Godafoss was Akureyri, the second largest city in Iceland. It was a charming and cute city and reminded me a little of a ski resort, especially because the nearby mountains were covered with just-fallen snow.
We arrived and checked in for an Ambassador Whale Watching Tour at 1pm. Almost immediately we boarded and set off into the fjord.
Just a short half hour into the tour, we caught our first glimpse of not only one whale, but four! Our tour guide told us that most of the time whales travel alone. So, we were lucky to catch a pod traveling together.
For the next two hours, we followed the pod of whales watching them surface several times then dive for a few minutes before repeating the cycle. By chance, several times our boat was positioned really close to the whales when they surfaced and we were truly able to appreciate the magnitude of these wonderful sea creatures.
After our three hour tour, we returned to Akureyri where we visited the world”s northernmost botanical garden, Lystigardurinn.
We spent some time wandering on the various paths taking in the fall colors and cooler-weather flowers.
From the botanical garden, we briefly swung by Akureyri’s cathedral, Akureyrarkirkja before heading downtown to explore the many little shops lining the streets.
After browsing a bit, we walked back to the red-sided Rub23 where we had reservations for the evening.
Sadly, I didn’t capture pictures of the delicious food we indulged in (Al – lamb, Me – sushi!), but I did snap a shot of the cozy interior. Overall, another fantastic Icelandic dining experience.
If we had had another night, I would have loved to stay in Akureyri. It was walkable, charming and had a ton of character for its petite size. But instead, we continued on towards our day’s final destination, Siglufjörður.
On our way, we were once again greeted by rogue sheep. We were lucky it wasn’t much darker, because these black sheep might have been harder to spot.
We also passed through two, in my opinion nail-biting, one-way tunnels, that were miles long. However, in between the two tunnels there is a short stretch in a valley that has virtually no light pollution. If you time it right, it is perfect for viewing the northern lights. In fact, we were able to catch glimpses of wispy, white northern lights, even though we weren’t traveling during a “highly active” time.
In Siglufjörður, we checked into the cutest guesthouse, Hotel Siglunes. Upon checking in, we found out we had the entire place to ourselves. So, Al and I spent some time checking out each of the well-curated rooms on the main floor before calling it day in our smartly decorated guestroom.
Day 4 Details
Travel: Husey to Siglufjörður
Sleep: Hotel Siglunes
Activity: Ambassador Whale Watching