We departed towards the East and the Egilssatðir region, unknowing that this day would turn out to be one of the longest we'd experience on our journey. We started by visiting the typical houses of Grenjaðarstaður, those charming Icelandic cottages with peat and grass roofs that never failed to charm.
Continuing on our way, we arrived in Húsavík, a charming town renowned as the whale-watching capital of Europe. Two years ago, we had embarked on one of those famous “whale watching” excursions here and were deeply moved as we witnessed several species of cetaceans, including Minke whales.
This year, due to time constraints, we reluctantly gave up on the idea of revisiting these magnificent marine mammals, although we vowed to return someday without a doubt!
Aside from the whales, Húsavík also boasted one of the most beautiful churches in Iceland, recently renovated and living up to its reputation. Later, during the early afternoon, we reached the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park.
After obtaining a map in French from the park's tourist office (located next to the campsite), we decided to warm up with the trail entitled “Eyjan à Vesturdalur". (See the map).
It was an easy and relatively short hike, starting from the campsite and taking us to the northernmost point of Eyjan, “the island”. The view was quite impressive. Next, we ventured onto another trail: “Karl og Kerling”, which began at the Hljóðaklettar car park.
“Karl og Kerling” featured two astounding rock formations in the river: “The Man and the Witch”. The walk took about 40 minutes to reach a good viewpoint.
Afterwards, we set off on the tour entitled: “Hljóðaklettar — Rauðhólar”, a 5-kilometer hike that took about 2 hours, with slightly steep sections at the beginning. This trail led us through superb and diverse landscapes, with incredible rock formations, such as the Kirkjan Cave, and splendid viewpoints. The walk ultimately led us to Mount Rauðhólar, with wind so fierce it was hard to even stand up straight, but the effort was truly worth it. The summit was magnificent, showcasing exceptional colors along the landscape with patches of black and bright red sand that left us in awe.
Around 6 pm, we returned from our walk, but the day was far from over! We still had to visit Dettifoss, a waterfall we were eager to see, and it was a long way to reach our guesthouse, located near Egilsstaðir (in Hallormsstaður, to be precise).
We made a quick call to the guesthouse to let them know we'd be arriving late, even though it was a bit challenging given the noise made by the thundering Dettifoss: “I can hear you now... oh no, I can't hear you anymore...” Ah, the joys of the mobile phone...
We reached Dettifoss from the west side. This impressive waterfall had a spectacular flow, and the water poured out in a deafening roar. The off-road trail leading to it (F 862) was equally impressive, renowned as one of the roughest for a location attracting so many tourists.
After returning to the normal (paved) road, we headed straight for Egilsstaðir. Even with many kilometers ahead of us, we couldn't help but enjoy the stunning landscapes outside the window.
Entering the Eastern region of Iceland, we were greeted by a herd of reindeer in a meadow basking in the late summer light. Finally, we arrived at our Guesthouse, a magical site nestled in the heart of the Hallormsstaður forest!