This post focuses on Day 9 (Dettifoss, Selfoss, Hafragilsfoss, Krafla, Hverir, Mývatn Nature Baths) 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 9 Summary
|Borgarfjörður eystra Campground||accommodation|
|Dettifoss + Selfoss + Hafragilsfoss||2 hrs|
|Krafla||1 ½ hrs|
|Mývatn Nature Baths||3 hrs||4500 ISK per person entrance fee (starting price)|
|Mývatn / Bjarg Campground||accommodation||2000 ISK per person including showers|
|Total = ~ 11 hrs|
Iceland Itinerary Day 9 Details
Day 9 Activities
Dettifoss + Selfoss + Hafragilsfoss
It’s a 3 hour drive from Borgarfjörður eystra Campground to the east side of Dettifoss. Photo ops along the drive include a turf house, turf church, black painted church, random big chair, and various viewpoints. Porta-potties are also nicely spaced along the route.
TIP: There are two approaches to view Dettifoss. The west side is accessed via route 862 and is an asphalt road. The east side is accessed via route 864 and is a gravel road. Driving between the two sides takes approximately an hour. We chose to visit the east side because, although the western approach is an easier route, the east side is said to have better views of all three waterfalls and the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon.
Upon arriving at the east side of Dettifoss, it’s a short 15 minute walk down to the Dettifoss viewing area. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe.
Selfoss is a short 1.5km / 20 minute walk upstream. This waterfall is even more picturesque, IMHO, with cascades down the side walls as well.
Head back towards Dettifoss and then drive the 2km to Hafragilsfoss to soak in the view of the canyon and this third waterfall.
TIP: Spend about 2 hours to cover all three waterfalls.
An hour drive from Hafragilsfoss is the Krafla area.
Krafla is a 10 km wide caldera with a 90 km fissure zone that has had 29 recorded eruptions. Spend 1 ½ hours in the Krafla area covering some of the following:
- Krafla power station. Built in 1977, the geothermal energy in the area is harnessed for green energy. You’ll drive through the power station – even under pipes – to get to the Víti crater.
FUN FACT: The Icelandic Deep Drilling Project’s first well is located here and has discovered liquid rock just 2 km beneath the surface!
- Leirhnjukur lava field. Drive past the power plant to the first car park on the left. There are a few marked trails (stay on the path!) with viewing platforms that wind through the rhyolite hills and steaming landscape. The entire loop trail will take approximately an hour.
TIP: A free porta-potty is located in the Leirhnjukur car park.
- Víti crater. Drive to the end of the road within the power station to arrive at the car park for Víti crater. Located in the fissure zone, Víti crater contains a green lake. You can walk around the entire crater (the rim walk will take approximately an hour) or simply view the crater from the top of the path.
TIP: Pay attention to signs! The heat from the geothermal activity can melt rubber soled shoes.
Drive 10 minutes to the Námafjall geothermal area of Hverir (visible from Krafla) and spend 30 minutes exploring the area.
NOTE: Time allocation does not account for partaking in the steep 30 minute hike to the ridge.
If you can ignore the sulphur smell, you’ll find steaming fumaroles and boiling colorful mud pots. My favorite is the steam chimney front and center. The entire area is reminiscent of Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Wyoming, United States.
Mývatn Nature Baths
Drive another short 10 minutes to the Mývatn Nature Baths for another Icelandic hot springs / thermal bath experience! Mývatn Nature Baths are an alternative to the famed The Blue Lagoon (which we visit on Day 14).
TIP: If you skipped the Secret Lagoon on Day 2, here’s your chance at utter relaxation in a more upscale environment. 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.
This is the last stop of our day so stay as long as you like. The entrance fee varies based on the season; for 2019 prices start at 4500 ISK per person. Drinks are available and there’s also cafe on-site. Evening is a perfect time for soaking – who knows, you may even see the Northern Lights!
Day 9 Accommodation
Mývatn / Bjarg Campground
The Mývatn / Bjarg Campground is just a five minute drive away from the Mývatn Nature Baths and is a popular campground with grassy fields situated on the shores of Mývatn lake.
This large campground has two separate all-gender bath houses with toilets and showers. The Mývatn / Bjarg Campground costs 2000 ISK per person and includes showers.
Iceland Itinerary Day 9 Map
Day 9 covers points 36 – 42 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 10 – 11, 2018