……Picking up from my Iceland Itinerary, Days 1 & 2, the 3rd day definitely didn’t disappoint. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the activities, but everyday kept getting better and better…..
DAY 3: ALL THE WATERFALLS/VIK/ PUFFINS/BEACHES
After a sub par breakfast at the Stracta hotel in Hella, we got on the road again to our first foss (waterfall) of the day just 30 minutes away! This is the waterfall that you can walk completely behind. Definitely prepare to be in the splash zone (poncho’s/ rain coats needed — more Iceland Packing List HERE), but the view of the waterfall is worth it! Unlike the National Park, this waterfall walk is shorter. There’s the main waterfall, closest to the parking lot, and it’s also worth taking the path and viewing the other waterfalls too. If you’re super adventurous (and perhaps visiting in the summer months) many visitors were walking through the stream, between the cliffs, and into an opening where you can view the last waterfall. Seeing that it was 50 degrees, and misty, this wasn’t on the table for us— but to each their own, if you want to elements, you have the choice!
25 minutes from here, you’ll find Skogafoss, our favorite “foss” of the trip! Definitely take time aside to view the falls from below, and also take the steep climb up the mountain to view the rushing falls from above. Every view kept getting prettier and prettier. Definitely keep going until the end — photos really don’t even do it justice.
*If you want another horse fix, theres a field just next to the stairs. If the horses get close enough, you can pet them! Otherwise they make a beautiful postcard scene grazing atop the field.
*If you plan ahead there are also picnic tables in this area. Great scenic pitstop continuing east, or at the end of the trip back west.
*Parking was free here, but there was a coin slot to pay for restrooms
If you have your heart set on seeing Puffins, this spot is known to have puffin colonies – about 20/30 minutes before you get to VIK. *Check the season!
Hungry again, we headed straight for the town of Vik to grab some lunch!
I’d definitely get lunch at Halldorskaffi — I found this rec from Julia Engel’s Iceland Itinerary and the food was incredible. We ordered the veggie burgers and Salmon, both highly recommend.The restaurant is connected to a cute little store and museum. The French guy who works here is incredibly sweet and has the cutest dog — great person to chat with if you have any questions or need more recommendations!
After lunch, we drove just a minute, literally, to the VIK side of the black sand beach (Reynisdrangar). Spend some time here soaking in the views. You can see part of the rocks from this side that you can’t see from the Reynisfjara side and there are a lot fewer tourists. This side of the beach is also a great place to spot puffins — morning or evenings are best viewing times after they’ve returned from fishing!
For additional views – drive 10-20 minutes back west to Reynisfjara Beach. This area is much more tourist heavy but there are insane basalt stacks that are definitely worth seeing! Weather permitting, walk the length of the beach and see the cliffs on the other side too.
After a full day of waterfalls and beaches, set out for one of the prettiest drives of your life! You’ll pass the prettiest mossy landscape, too many waterfalls to count, tons of horses, sheep, glaciers, and cliffs before arriving at FOSS HOTEL Glacier Lagoon — about 2.5 hours from VIK.
We checked in around 8:30pm, settled into the room and had our favorite meal of the trip at the Hotel. This is definitely the nicest restaurant we ate at and the food was delicious. If you’re up for it, the hotel also has a sauna — otherwise shower and get some rest for an early morning start!