This trip was supposed to happen in May of 2020. With the delay came a years worth of planning and preparation. Routes were discussed, where to drive, where to sleep. How long to stay in each area, one night or two? Have we visited this area before, should we again?
A year of research. Months of planning. A week of exploring. Days of driving. Hours of walking.
And then the moment happens.
You find an unplanned cave. Not a lonely area, but not one too crowded either.
Seydisfjordur is a half hour drive over a twisting mountain landscape where you move from 25 km/h to 90 and back down again every 150 feet. A small town of less than a thousand provides a nice break from other travelers that might be filling the ring road.
We got there even earlier, by European standards anyway, and were able to walk the area with the bright sun before anyone else arrived. A rare bright day from start to end.
If you’ve seen Eurovision starring Will Ferrell you’ve heard of this town before.
What you’ve not seen though is the more than 100 year old one of a kind church, or the natural bay that it sits on. That bay contains some of the best whale watching in the world due to micro underwater earthquakes, unfelt on land, that drives krill which in turn creates a perfect feeding ground for most whale species to feed during the summer.
The videos will never do it justice, but appearances included a group of 20 or so Pilot Whales and a Humpback the locals have named Jubilee.
Jubilee visits almost every year for the last five years. The group of pilot whales are a rare sight for the area as they don’t typically come in as close in the waterway, but they had chosen this area to give birth.
Driving the small ring road is like experiencing all of what Iceland has in just a three hour drive. If you have only days in Iceland and want a glimpse of the full experience, I recommend taking a long days trip up north from Reykjavík.