From Kleifarvatn to the Southern Waterfalls

Date 03 April 2015

From Kleifarvatn to the Southern Waterfalls

From Kleifarvatn to the Southern Waterfalls

The alarm went off at 7:30AM and the sky was as clear as ever, boding well for our big day. Today we had planned to visit the parts of the Reykjanes Peninsula that we had never had the opportunity to see: Lake Kleifarvatn and Krisuvik. Then, we planned to drive along the south coast of the peninsula to reach our cottage and see the southern waterfalls in winter and potentially Vik, if we had time.

Heading to Reykjanes

After a hearty breakfast, we headed west to branch off on Road 42 in the direction of the lake. Then, surprise, we did not expect such a superb landscape in winter at all. This road was absolutely magnificent, and arriving near the secluded lake in the middle of nowhere, the panorama was unforgettable: the ocher slopes of the mountains mixed with the snowy skies with the contrast of the blue sky and Kleifarvatn were absolutely remarkable.

We arrived at Lake Kleifarvatn around 10AM and stayed for a long time, admiring the place. We hadn't seen anyone since the junction on Road 42, and we really felt alone in the world with the lake in front of us. Furthermore, we even had the opportunity to see an Arctic fox, all white and too fast for us to have time to take a picture of it. While walking along the lake, we saw a ptarmigan, also white.

The road to Kleivarvatn


We would have liked to stay longer, but we needed to hit the road. A few kilometers away, a sign said “Seltun,” and this was the famous Krisuvik geothermal zone. Mud pots, smoke, and other sulfur odors reminded us of the Geysir site. We spent almost 1 hour on site, walking between the footbridges of this fantastic site.

To reach road number 1 and its waterfalls, we drove along the coast on road 427. Again, we didn't see many vehicles and decided to have a picnic on the seafront, frozen stiff by the harsh Icelandic winter wind.


At the very beginning of the afternoon, we arrived at the chalet. It was part of a small hamlet of 5-6 chalets with a perfectly unobstructed view, each with a small sheltered hot tub on the terrace. No doubt we would be using it tonight! We set up the luggage and hit the road to Seljalandsfoss.


Here, the grass was rather yellowish and not yet green, and the left part with the staircase that allowed us to approach the waterfall was absolutely impassable because it was covered by a significant thickness of ice. A few tourists were present, but it was incomparable with a month of July or a month of August as we had known.

Farther away, Skogafoss was as impressive as ever, and it too was surrounded by snow, even though it had largely melted since our arrival with the positive temperatures, the sun, and the wind always present.

It was almost 4:00 pm, and after a short snack at the foot of Skogafoss, we decided to take a walk near the beaches of Vik. Vik was one of the villages that marked us during our first 2 trips. We really liked this place and the mountains that surrounded it.

In Vik too, we felt very alone, and the walk on the square was really pleasant. It was less cold, and there was no snow at all in Vik. Probably due to its geographical location, on the coast and in the extreme south of the island. We walked for a long time along the black sand beach with the rough sea a few meters away from us. We had known the area with thousands of birds, but now it wasn't the season, only the sound of the sea and the clicking of the waves broke the silence.

At the end of the afternoon, we went to the Vik gas station to buy something to eat at the chalet in the evening. We also took a few Viking beers that we promised to enjoy in the hot tub on the terrace while looking at the mountain in the evening, hoping to see an aurora borealis.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't be this time; the evening was unforgettable, but there were no northern lights in sight. It was time to go to bed to be rested for the next day!