A Gay Couple traveling Road Trip North Iceland Part 7 – North Iceland is rough, wild, wilder than we thought. But this unique and stunning part of Iceland with an incredible landscape made all efforts and cold feet worthwhile. Leaving Lake Mývatn in central Iceland behind, we headed to Dalvík for our second whale watching trip and further to Ólafsfjardar, a small town in between two huge mountain formations. For this part of our 21-days Road Trip around Iceland, we stayed at Brimnes Bungalows far north of the island, a gay-friendly accommodation perfect for hunting Northern Lights. But West Iceland was calling. Our second stay in North Iceland: the Hestasport Cottages, where we went on our North Icelandic adventures. Glacier whitewater river rafting, Icelandic horseback riding, and a relaxed time in a cottage around a natural hot spring made our day. Enjoy our Icelandic adventure around the Northern Part of the island through a couple of men‘s eyes!
Leaving Lake Mývatn towards Northern Iceland
Lake Mývatn, the lake of midges, was the base for our expeditions into the ice cave Lofthellir, the volcano Askja and our first Whale Watching trip in Húsavík. The stormy lake surrounded by a stunning landscape should not be missed on a road trip around Iceland. The day we left Reykjahlíð, the capital of the Lake Mývatn, we headed North-West driving over deserted roads to Akureyri, the so-called Icelandic capital of the North. But we didn’t spend much time in here since our goal of the day was Ólafsfjardar, a narrow Fjord cutting the surrounding mountains deep into a half.
Hunting for Northern Lights in North Iceland
Aurora Borealis, or colloquially named as Northern lights or Polar lights, are one of the most powerful natural wonders of the North European countries such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland. This spectacular physical reaction is also one of the Iceland highlights you want to avoid missing. The best chance to actually see “norðurljós” is during the winter months, but apparently, you can be lucky from the end of August on. Although we saw them already earlier during our trip, we decided to go Northern Lights hunting, since the more North, the brighter they are supposed to become. At 11 pm, we started driving with our car around the Fjords to find the right spot. We saw some green glowing clouds and strokes, but not the space fireworks we had hoped for. Northern Light hunting asks for a lot of patience, but we were just too tired and decided to drive back home for that night.
Sometimes waiting for Aurora Borealis in the pool is better than Northern Lights hunting
Being back at the Bungalow, tired and exhausted as we were, we started to fill up the hot tub for some deserved “romantic hot tub under the moonlight” relaxing time. We cuddled up in the warm water and just before we closed our eyes, the sky turned into a shiny green/purple/pink spectacle. We stared at this surreal light festival above our heads for minutes before we finally decided to take some pictures. In the end, you have to experience them on your own to believe and understand the magnitude of this natural phenomenon. Hunt or no hunt, we got astonished with the perfect moment. And isn’t that the way to experience anything? What do you think of our Northern Lights adventure? Hunt or no hunt, in the end, we got totally surprised with the perfect moment.
Northern Lights Watching out of a Private Hot Tub
We choose this accommodation at the Ólafsfjarðarvatn lake as a springboard for our polar lights hunting at night. As part of the Brimnes hotel, the Brimnes bungalows located by the waterside are very cozy with comfortable beds, an equipped kitchen and everything we needed for 2 nights in the middle of the North Icelandic mountains. Especially the private hot tub on the terrace of each bungalow was wonderful for a relaxed end to the day. If you are planning to stay longer, you will even have time for the free-to-use kayaks right next to the bungalow. A perfect spot during our gay travel road trip to North Iceland. Check on booking.com for the best Brimnes offers >
Tired but satisfied, we arrived at our accommodation for the night, the Hestasport Cottages. Located on a hill in Varmahlíð, the different sized bungalows are arranged around a cozy hot spring. The huge and perfectly equipped cottages offer a warm atmosphere, really comfortable beds and nice showers. This place is open all year long.
The early bird gets the worm, right? True to the motto, we had to get up very early the next morning to drive to Dalvík for our second whale watching tour with Arctic Sea Tours. Blue sky, sunshine, and no wind created a magical ambiance on the North Atlantic Sea. The boat didn’t have to drive very far into the Fjord Eyjafjörður before we saw the first air fountains of one of the biggest mammals in the world.
But the day wasn’t over yet. Just a short ride away with the car from Viking Rafting, we reached the Hestasport Icelandic Horse Stables. What a warm welcome by a group of young German girls living and working here taking care of the Hestasport horses. Janina, Linda, and Svenja explained us everything about how to ride an Icelandic horse. Karl’s horse of the day was the lovely but stubborn mare Blæa while Daan took a ride on the stallion Tenor.
After a warming coffee, hot chocolate and the introduction by our tour guide Anup Gurung, we dressed waterproof with a full body rubber jumpsuit, shoes, and helmet. Together with our guide, the tour guards and 4 other international explorers, the bus started driving towards the East Glacier River Jökulsá-Austari in Skagafjörður for our white water rafting adventure.
Our Way North-West along the North Iceland Coast
After our morning on the boat, the rest of the day we drove along the coast and enjoyed the warm September sun while having a picnic with the best view ever (this article’s main picture). On our way west, we had to drive through one of the scariest tunnels we had seen so far. The Ólafsfjarðargöng (also called Múlagöng) is a single-lane car tunnel dimly lit and over 3,400 meters long. Every time we saw a car coming counter direction, we had to make a rough estimate which moment we had to pull over in one of the rare and narrow byroads. Kind of fun, but mostly kind of scary.
Luxurious Icelandic “infinity pools” Hofsós Sundlaug
Our plan for the night: sleeping in the car and watching the sunset from one of the high fjord cliffs. But before, we stopped in Hofsós where we found one of the most luxurious Icelandic “infinity pools” Hofsós Sundlaug with an incredible view over the Skagafjörður Fjord. No cameras allowed inside the pool, so we did a photo after it was closed. Stunning, right?
This country will challenge you hard enough with its beauty not to cry while you are driving along abounded roads listening to pure Icelandic music. But believe us, you will cry. Tears are a part of Iceland. Tears of joy and happiness to be in uncountable one-time moments that will belong only to you.
Gay Couple on a Road Trip to North Iceland
North Iceland has a lot to offer. From spectacular views and deserted landscapes to impressive mountain formations and glacier-formed valleys – North Iceland is unique and an important part of our 21-days Road Trip around Iceland. The glacier raft and the horseback riding were just the top of the iceberg of this part of our 21 days road trip. If you have any question concerning a trip to Iceland, do not hesitate to contact us or comment below. Next time we will see each other in West Iceland, where we will explore the volcano that brought Jules Verne to the center of the earth: The majestic and mysterious Snæfellsnes.
Karl & Daan.