And Sadly our Last Day in the Land of Fire and Ice


Another day of glorious sunshine. Today we traveled further down Route 1 towards Vik, first stopping at Dyrholaey at the end of route 218, a stretch of black beach with view of Iceland’s iconic costal stone arch. The area is also known for puffins that nest in the grassland, but at the end of August we only caught a glimpse of the red feet of one lone bird as he flew by.


A short distance past 218 we turn down 215 to Reyisfijara, the other side of the long black beach. From here a different view of the arch plus a section of basalt columns, a tiny version of North Ireland’s Giants Causeway. Still, the orderly fanned columns along one side of a cave look strangely deliberate.


After a quick bite at Vikurskali, the Vik gas station restaurant, serving made to order plates in a homey cafeteria style setting, we set our Jimny to work on one last 4×4 adventure and climb the steep dirt track above the town. On a clear day the views are magical, running along the black coast to the arch, with Myrdalsjokull glacier further inland and picturesque Vik at the head of the coast extending further east.

Skogar Waterfall

Content with the day’s attractions we start our journey back to Reykjavik. But wait, just outside of Skogar there is one last waterfall glistening in the sun begging us for one last photo session. A perfect rainbow at the base of a tumultuous column of water.

Drive to Keflavik

The drive back to town continues to be filled with picture taking opportunities – the sky filling with voluminous clouds on a day so clear it feels like you can see half way across the island with patches of rain against distant volcanoes.

Past the grain belt heading closer into Reykjavik the landscape turns once again to moonscape with green pastures full of grazing sheep  replaced by moss covered lava.


Our last night on the island we stayed in Keflavik, just outside the airport, in order to catch an early flight to Paris the next morning. The international airport is a good 45 minutes from downtown Reykjavik, making an overnight in pleasant Keflavik a worthwhile option.

1×6 B&B

1×6 B&B, located at the edge of town, truly is a 5 minute drive to the airport. The proprietors have done much to make this small box of a structure feel like a quaint B&B. The small rooms are decorated in sea motifs – some with full wall murals. But no, it isn’t exactly on the water as some photos of the B&B suggest.

Beds are comfortable and the towels a cut above the scratchy thin towels of other establishments. However, it is a small place with a shared bathrooms and kitchens – one each on each floor of three rooms. Most folks are heading to the airport for early morning flights making the morning rush to use the bathroom and kitchen facilities a bit hectic. Give yourself plenty of time or don’t count on that morning shower!

Kaffi Duus

Dinner is at Kaffi Duus, a large, upscale family establishment with sea views conveniently located on the waterfront just in front of the B&B,. They specialize in platters with well-cooked fish and less appealing vegetables.

The tandoori fish was served in a tasty spicy sauce. Our favorite of the evening.

Icelandair Premium Economy

If you are looking for extra legroom without having to pay for first class service, Icelandair premium economy may be for you. In premium economy they offer the same seating configuration as their Saga business class. In fact, it is just the last two rows of the same cabin. While these aren’t the super luxurious seats that recline flat as on larger overseas carriers, they are cut above economy with legroom on par with US domestic first class. Meal and drink service for premium economy is the same as regular economy. Icelandair offers flights between major cities in the US and Europe with the option of a stopover in Rekjavik.

August 29, 2012

For links to all the posts in this series see the Iceland page.

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