DAY FOUR: Hidden Hotpots and the Northern Lights
My parents visited Iceland a few months ago, and my mum said the one place she wished they’d visited was Jökulsárlón. Known for it’s ethereal floating glaciers, Jökulsárlón is an absolute must visit in Iceland.
We woke up that morning eager to adventure, and jumped on the ring road from Svinafell and headed to Jökulsárlón. We must have stopped a hundred times along the way to admire the view, and we pulled into a smaller glacier lagoon called Fjallsarlon. There were hundreds of tiny floating blocks of ice that made the water look magical.
After admiring the view, we went to the café and grabbed a quick takeaway coffee. About ten minutes down the road, we saw Jökulsárlón. The carpark was the busiest in Iceland that we visited, and it took us a little while to find a spot. It was absolutely FREEZING when we were there, but we braved the cold and took a long walk around the glacial lagoon.
It’s pretty overwhelming when you dream of seeing these things for so long, and then you actually see them. They were just magical, and we spent a good couple of hours photographing the glaciers and just watching them move around the lagoon. We went to the local hot dog stall and grabbed not one, but TWO hot dogs each because we were so hungry by this stage.
After we’d scoffed down our delicious hot dogs, it was time to visit Hofn, one of the bigger cities in Iceland. We drove through Hofn and looked around, but we knew there was one place we just couldn’t miss; the Hoffell Hot Pots. They were lovingly built by someone by hand, and they are 5 hexagonal hot pots in the middle of nowhere that are naturally heated.
It was there that we sat for a few hours, relishing in the warm water and totally relaxing. I’d highly suggest visiting these hotpots, and at only 1000ISK entry per person they were well worth it. They weren’t overcrowded as they’re a little out of the way, but I’d definitely recommend a visit if you can squeeze them in.
After our beautiful day at the hotpots, we looked at the forecast for the Northern Lights and realised that that night would be our best chance of seeing them. It was totally clear skies and a 7/9 chance (extremely high) to see the lights (according to THIS website which is unreal). Your best bet to see the lights is to be away from the cities and any large lights, so we decided to camp in the middle of nowhere.
We found a big field, and actually went and knocked on the landowner’s door to ask permission if we could stay there with our van. We’d made a couple of German friends at the pots who were joining us for our Northern Lights hunt. The owner of the land was extremely grateful that we asked, and was more than happy for us to camp on his land for the night. Just remember, wild camping is now illegal in Iceland and you must always ask permission if you are not staying in a designated campsite.
We set up by a beautiful lake and all shared a big dinner of burritos. It truly was a magical night, and just as the moon set around 11:28pm, the lights came out to play. I can’t really describe the incredible spectacle they provided, but seeing the lights dancing across the night sky is something else. We sat under the lights for a couple of hours, watching them flit and float across the sky, their brilliant flashes of green lighting up the entire night sky.
It was the most magical thing I’ve ever seen, and I don’t think anything else in the world will ever top it.
The next day was adventure packed, with loads of scenic driving and climbing on a REAL glacier with Glacier Adventures. Click HERE to read all about it and follow us on our journey.