From Myvatn to Vatsnes

Date 24 August 2018

From Myvatn to Vatsnes

From Myvatn to Vatsnes

The weather was still nice that morning, but the weather forecast was going to turn that aroud during the day, especially in the region we were heading to: the Vatsnes Peninsula. It was 9:30AM when we left our guesthouse, and after some thought and to enjoy a bit of the sun on Myvatn, we stopped at Dimmuborgir on the road.

Dimmuborgir is a vast volcanic formation, particularly well-organized, where four short walks were possible. We took the longest one, the one leading to "Kirkjan" (which, in the end, was really quickly done!).

The path was very well laid out, and we needed less than 30 minutes to reach the famous lava "church." The lava formations created a cave that looked like the entrance to a church, hence its name.

The site was pleasant but much less spectacular than the other sites we saw yesterday in Myvatn, so we didn't wait too long and took the road to Akureyri.

We ate a pylsur and a skyr on the main pedestrian street of Harfnarstraeti: Pylsurs were the typical Icelandic hot dogs with mutton sausage and a few sauces such as ketchup, sweet mustard, and fried onions.

After a short walk in the alleys, we went back to the West, especially as the rain was starting to appear.

On the road, we just stopped for a photo stop at Víðimýrarkirkja and Glaumbaer, but the constant rain forced us indoors and back into the car. Around 4:00PM we joined road 711, which took us around the Vatsnes peninsula. A stop was planned at Hvitserkur, and luckily, the rain had stopped.

This arch in the middle of the waters of Hunafjörður was magnificent, and we decided to go down to the beach to approach it. You could risk it climbing on and around the rocks, but it was quite dangerously slippery; we were a little surprised they hadn't set up a safer system.

From below, the arch was even more impressive, and many tourists took photos from the beach. Some of them headed south to the Osar farm to see seals basking near the farmland. We planned to see them later, so we didn't take this trail, they were so far away you really needed a strong zoom lens to capture anything.

A few years ago, we saw them up close at the tip of the peninsula, towards Hindisvik, but since then, unfortunately, that viewing spot has been restricted. Several other places allowed you to observe them, such as Svalbard or Illugastaðir, and we planned to visit the latter ASAP.


The area was set up for visitors, with a small path taking you along the coast, and after a short kilometer of walking among the Arctic terns, you arrived at the observation point. A small cottage nearby provides refuge and even a pair of binoculars to better observe the seals on the rocks opposite.

They got very close and didn't hesitate to come towards us, barely ten meters away from our tripod, to pose for the photo. There were about twenty gray seals having a blast poking their little heads out of the water right in front of our lens, watching us watch them.

A truly magical moment, such that we actually stayed a good hour before leaving to eat.

On the way there we had spotted a restaurant that turned out to have a pretty good reputation in Geitafell. Let me tell you right away, it lived up to that five-star reputation! The fish soup was a delight, and the Skyr pie was also just what the doctor ordered, and all for a fair price. We highly recommend the place, especially as the girl who ran the restaurant, a Scottish woman, was particularly friendly.

That night we slept on the peninsula but a little further south in Mörk. This guesthouse overlooked the sea and the Midfjordur and was absolutely beautiful, right up there with our previous host in Hvammsgerdi.