Travel Update


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My Iceland: In Astronauts' Footsteps

By: Catharine
Last Updated: 08/08/2022

North Iceland could just as well be another planet. At least that's the consensus made by our Nordic Visitor explorers, Solveig Rut, Klara, Erla and Brynjar, as they check out the scene around the Ring Road. Below is their travelogue of some of the strange and — allegedly — supernatural landscapes they encountered as they crossed the eastern and northern parts of Iceland.

"We started with a drive along the beautiful East Fjords and some fabulous spring sunshine. We were lucky with the weather to get some fantastic views over the white mountain peaks lining the fjords.

east fjords iceland
The Ring Road along the East Fjords has many scenic vista points, as shown above, where you can park the car for a bit and just enjoy the views.

"A bit further on, the view of Lagarfljót took our breath away, and we just had to stop and see if we could find the 'Lagarfljót Worm' monster that the lake is known for. No luck, but we got a nice photo.

What's this about a monster in the lake? According to local folklore, a giant worm, much like famous Nessie of Loch Ness, is said to inhabit Lagarfljót. The last media buzz about an alleged sighting was in 2012.

"Approaching the Lake Mývatn area of the north, we had a great view of Mt Herðubreið as we drove the mountain road over Möðrudalsöræfi heath.

Fun Iceland Trivia: this area is where NASA astronauts practiced decades ago for the moon landing! It really does look like a sci-fi or fantasy movie set, so it's no surprise that many foreign film crews come to Iceland and shoot scenes in this particular area. 

jumping at Möðrudalsöræfi
"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Here at Möðrudalsöræfi, you can live out Neil Armstrong's famous words, like these Nordic Visitor explorers are clearly doing.

"We ended the day at the Mývatn Nature Baths, relaxing in the warm, healing geothermal waters in the outdoor pools, looking at rolling hills around us. This natural spa is a quite romantic location, so if you're travelling with your sweetheart, this is where you can end the day on a special note.

Mývatn Nature Baths
Make sure to make time for the Mývatn Nature Baths, a fabulous place to be when the sun sets.

"But wait, there's more! Once we got back to our hotel we looked out of the window and the northern lights decided to do a little dance for us. This was very lucky as the sun starts setting much later by mid/late April, making it less likely to see this glowing natural phenomenon in the dark night skies."

ghostly northern lights
Ghostly! The northern lights can only be seen in darkness, which is best in winter. Peak viewing months are December to February in Iceland.

See more of our staff's and clients' adventures on Instagram.

Let your inner astronaut come out and play!

When you come to Iceland, it's a shame not to explore beyond the capital. (As lovely as Reykjavik is.) If you're travelling on a city break you can add day tours that include domestic flights to Akureyri or Mývatn, from where you can see wild lunar-like volcanic landscapes, enormous waterfalls, mythical lava formations and so much more.

And, of course, the best way to be a pretend-astronaut for a day in North Iceland is with a self-drive tour, offering you the utmost flexibility to explore the sights. No space suit required! Good hiking boots, however, are ideal—especially if you plan to do some leaping for mankind or try the moonwalk.

This post is part of our “My Destination” series, in which we ask our staff to tell us about their favourite highlights from our Nordic destinations.


Post by: Catharine

Catharine Fulton is a journalist and travel writer. Though born and raised in Canada, she found herself stuck in the Nordic region since moving to Finland in 2007 to pursue her MA and then migrating to Reykjavík, Iceland in 2009, where she lives with her Icelandic husband and tries (albeit unsuccessfully) to master the Icelandic language.

More posts by Catharine

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.