This post focuses on Day 11 (Sundlaugin á Hofsósi, Hvitserkur, Súgandisey Island Lighthouse, Berserkjahraun, Kirkjufell) of our Ultimate Itinerary for 2 Weeks / 14 Days in Iceland.
If you’ve just starting planning for your vacation or holiday in Iceland, check out our Iceland planning and resources post.
NOTE: Our itinerary outlines activities and drive times. Everybody has different eating habits so stop for groceries and food as needed. Picnic areas are suggested when extraordinary, otherwise eat where and when you want. We rarely ate out and instead enjoyed yogurt and fruit for breakfast, prepared quick lunches and snacks throughout the day, and cooked a hot meal every evening at the campground.
Iceland Itinerary Day 11 Summary
|Sundlaugin á Hofsósi||1 – 2 hrs||900 ISK per person entrance fee. A shorter visit will allow more time for other activities that we skipped.|
|Drive||2 ¼ hrs|
|Hvitserkur||45 min – 1 ½ hrs||A shorter visit will allow more time for other activities that we skipped.|
|Drive||20 min to Geitafell Restaurant
OR 2 ½ hrs to Erpsstadir Creamery
|The 20 minute drive took us over an hour due to stops to admire Icelandic horses and icebergs.|
|Geitafell Restaurant OR Erpsstadir Creamery||1 hr|
|Drive||1 ¼ hrs from Erpsstadir Creamery to Súgandisey Island Lighthouse||We ended up driving 3 hrs from Geitafell Restaurant directly to Kirkjufell for sunset but learn from our mistakes and follow our advice to not miss out on Súgandisey Island Lighthouse and Berserkjahraun lava field.|
|Súgandisey Island Lighthouse (planned but skipped)||TBD|
|Berserkjahraun (planned but skipped)||TBD|
|Kirkjufell||1 ½ hrs||Arrive for sunset.|
|Ólafsvik Campground||accommodation||1500 ISK per person|
|Total = ~12 ½ – 15 hrs|
Iceland Itinerary Day 11 Details
Day 11 Activities
Sundlaugin á Hofsósi
We start our day just 2 minutes away at the award-winning Sundlaugin á Hofsósi (Hofsós community pool) constructed like an infinity pool and located on the water. The facilities were built with donated funds from two local women.
TIP: Familiarize yourself with public pool/hot springs rules before visiting. If you are not willing to follow hygiene rules, such as showering without a swimsuit in a communal area before entering the pool area, do not visit. It is rude and disrespectful to disobey these rules.
We spent two hours at this new lovely facility enjoying the pool, its views, and the facilities. However, you’ll see that we ended up skipping planned activities later in the day. We’d suggest getting an earlier start and cutting short the swim time.
NOTE: The private hot spring Grettislaug is about a 40 minute detour off the planned route from Hofsós to Hvitserkur on the Vatnsnes Peninsula. If you visited the community pool yesterday evening or prefer to skip the pool this morning, then consider taking this detour to the private hot pool instead.
TIP: Driving the coast of the Vatnsnes Peninsula is about an 85 km detour from the ring road. We enjoyed the excursion; sometimes it’s best to give into the moment and enjoy the unexpected experiences. However, if you’re concerned about missing some of the other activities scheduled for today then you can skip the coastal drive on the Vatnsnes Peninsula altogether.
Hvitserkur is a sea stack located in the northwest of the Vatnsnes Peninsula, approximately a 2 ¼ hour drive from Hofsós. The viewing area is a short 15 minute walk however it is also possible to follow a path from the parking area down to the beach in front of Hvitserkur.
We spent 1 ½ hours here but would recommend a shorter (45 minute) visit to make the most of the rest of the day.
We encountered our first wild Icelandic horses (and the associated horse traffic jam) whilst driving around the Vatnsnes Peninsula. This novel experience turned 20 minutes of a drive into over an hour.
In addition to encountering the horses, we had the good fortune of spotting an iceberg floating off the coast. This sighting was later reported in local news so I think we had an early sighting!
FUN FACT: Polar bears have been known to float from Greenland on icebergs. The bay in which we saw the iceberg is nicknamed Bear Bay due to a previous such occurrence.
Geitafell Restaurant / Erpsstadir Creamery
After admiring the horses and iceberg, we knew our planned itinerary was off-schedule. So, we threw caution to the wind and decided to stop at Geitafell Restaurant for fish soup and Skyr cake. Both were delicious!
NOTE: We had planned to stop at Erpsstadir Creamery for some ice cream but had to scrap that plan based on its opening hours and the unexpected increase in drive times.
Súgandisey Island Lighthouse (planned but skipped)
Our planned schedule was interrupted with Icelandic horses and icebergs so we skipped the Súgandisey Island Lighthouse in order to arrive at Kirkjufell for sunset. However, we’d recommend using our planning advice to ensure you’re able to visit this sight. Enjoy!
Berserkjahraun (planned but skipped)
Our planned schedule was interrupted with Icelandic horses and icebergs so we skipped Berserkjahraun lava field in order to arrive at Kirkjufell for sunset. However, we’d recommend using our planning advice to ensure you’re able to visit this sight. Enjoy!
TIP: Kirkjufell is the most photographed mountain in Iceland. If you wish to photograph Kirkjufell at sunset, you’ll need to arrive early for a prime spot.
Day 11 Accommodation
A 20 minute drive from Kirkjufell is Ólafsvik Campground. Ólafsvik Campground is a busy campground managed by the local tourist bureau and is next to a large factory-type building with very bright lights. The bright lights and non-natural setting made it one of our least favorite campgrounds. Ólafsvik Campground has an indoor kitchen area and gender-segregated toilets.
The 1500 ISK fee per person will be collected by a warden in the evening or in the morning.
Most amazingly, our first aurora (a.k.a. Northern Lights) experience began at Ólafsvik Campground! After preparing for bed we noticed white wispy clouds in the night sky. We were pretty sure this was just the beginning of the aurora so we quickly put the camper back in ‘drive mode’ and got outta there; the bright lights (a campground rarity) were spoiling the view. We drove down the road until we found an empty dark pull-out. And the sky started dancing! The white wisps turned green and then purple. The sky was alive and so, so magical. We are truly grateful to have experienced such beauty.
TIP: We had installed the My Aurora Forecast app prior to arriving in Iceland. We monitored it multiple times a day and it was extremely valuable in identifying when we might be able to view the Northern Lights.
If you have more steam than we did after such a long day of driving, you may wish to try Hellissandur Campground. Hellissandur Campground is a 15 minute drive beyond Ólafsvik Campground.
Iceland Itinerary Day 11 Map
Day 11 covers points 48 – 52 on the map layer Our 2 Week / 14 Day Itinerary.
Other layers include additional points of interest, accommodation (camping and hotel), and dining/groceries. Most of these points have a description and a link for more information.
September 12 – 13, 2018