Last full day in Iceland. We decided not to start too late (also because the car had to be moved before 10:00 to avoid a parking ticket) and explore some sights of the capital before heading back towards Keflavik Airport (KEF). However, some sights en route are still on the list – hope you enjoy the last travel episode of our Icelandic Ring Road trip report – there will be a goodie section with some additional information following to the travel diary information.
A Morning in Reykjavik
The beginning of the day at the 22 Hills Hotel was just as the whole stay: pretty solid, no thrills, but also nothing to be really angry about. We also managed to move the car right in time to avoid parking fees – just in order to pay more parking fees in the heart of Reykjavik. Saturday mornings in the capital city are surprisingly quiet and relaxed. From the parking garage, Lovely to have a relaxed short walk to our first stop of the day, watching the birds on a lake in the city.
Going into Arts on the Final Day
Finally, we arrived at the Listasafn Islands, how the Icelanders call their National Gallery. I am not too much of an arts person, but the museum was included in our Reykjavik Card and we gave it a chance – good choice. Really impressing exhibition. The first one were 500 sharp pieces of glass hanging down from the ceiling – you could still walk through them on a given path. Thereafter, we saw a lot of paintings and a few sculptures, some by international artists somehow related to Iceland and another one by Icelandic artists. My wife and I really enjoyed it. By the way, I really like the museum’s photo policy.
Sculptures and Vikings
We headed more towards the center of Reykjavik from the Icelandic National Art Gallery. The streets got already a bit more busy at that time. I felt that Sara should see The Settlement Exhibition, explaining a Viking Age excavation site. I already reviewed this place. After Day 7 of our trip has been a bit of rainy, weather on our final day in Iceland (Sunday just featured the flight home) was a beauty and not too cold.
After that visit, we already headed towards the car, neglecting attractions like the Reykjavik Art Museum.
Do It Like Clinton
Even Bill Clinton visited this small snack hut in the heart of Reykjavik. If you would not know that this place is something special – or ask yourself about the queues, you would not tend to believe that the hot dogs by Baejarins Beztu Pylsur at Tryppvagata are a globally known and respected. The basis for the hot dog, by the way, is a mixture of pork, beef and lamb. The toppings are onions, raw and fried, ketchup, remoulade as well as sweet brown mustard. I loved it… But I loved the one at Staldrid near Krauma we tasted on Day 6 even much more. Afterwards, we headed straight to the car – Sarah just did not want to learn about wienies and visit the Icelandic Phallological Museum.
The Reykjavik Card included another city attraction my wife just wanted to see. The Reykjavik Family Park & Zoo might be rather limited as a zoo (still, it shows some nice local and exotic animals), but kids love the large playground, which makes it feel like a small family amusement park. Nice walk in the sun – and for me, there was at least a short chance to have a look at the sports facilities of Laugardalur, including the National Soccer Stadium.
From the park, we went back to the roundabout where our Ring Road Trip began at the first day – and even followed the route for some 50 kilometers in total again. It was amazing how the scenery had changed from a winter wonderland to a spring-alike scene. The reason for that was – again – steam: the are around Hveradalir is one of the most active geothermal heat spots on Iceland – so that they built a huge power plant there. The plant does not only give electricity to the capital area, but also hot water. In addition, they invented technologies to push carbon dioxide back into basalt rocks. All this stuff is explained in The Geothermal Exhibition – a really interesting place run by the power plant.
After that interesting visit, we also headed to the Hveradalir Geothermal Area. Not as posh as the Geysir Hot Spring Area (and no fountains shooting up into the sky), but a really cool place with some mud pots and a lot of steam and smell. The area is right next to the ring road – so that it is a perfect stop on your trip. Some people also use the area for buggy driving.
The Holy Land of Skyr
We headed on some more kilometers to Selfoss. When we passed the area on Saturday the week before, there was still a winter closing on an attraction Sarah and I were very curious about: Skyrland. The factory museum is driven by one of the most well-known producers of skyr in Iceland and in fact quite illustrative and entertaining. There is even a small tasting thereafter. Nonetheless, we also went for a pizza in the food hall where the exhibition is located in. Thereafter, we left Selfoss, heading towards Keflavik. You know some of the route if you watched my Pictured Story about driving along the South Coast on Roads 33 and 34.
Keflavik – and it’s legendary Airport Hotel
Following road 427, there is a part of Iceland I haven’t shared with you yet. I love the scenery there. People still have to face massive parking fees if they want to do the hike to the 2021/22 erupted volcano Fagradalsfjall. We passed the nice harbor village of Grindavik and the power plant, which is finally running the world-famous blue lagoon, before we reached Reykjanesbaer and thus the region around Keflavik Airport (KEF).
For the last night, we went for the straight-forward option. There are nowadays a couple of airport hotels, but all others are located in the cities around the airport. And there is the Airport Hotel Aurora Star, which is the only place which is allowing you to actually walk to the terminal. Easy choice, though. A nice additional feature is that it is actually located right next to the Blue Car rental station, so that we could easily return the car there as well.
That’s It – almost 🙂
If you followed our trip report until that point, I first of all thank you for it. The access to the travel diary was really nice and I already got some good feedback. However, I felt that there should be a reprise posting as well, giving you some general thoughts in case you want to do the trip on your own. It will be posted on the day after we arrive back in Germany, on 9th May 2023.
Iceland’s Ring Road Trip Report – Daily Episodes
Here are the episodes planned for this trip report. The reprise posting is also holding a gallery of major size pictures of the whole trip:
- Iceland’s Ring Road Trip Report – Preview
- Day 1 – 29.04.2023 – Germany to Hella
- Day 2 – 30.04.2023 – Hella to Hrafnavellir
- Day 3 – 01.05.2023 – Hrafnavellir to Egilstadir
- Day 4 – 02.05.2023 – Egilstadir to Husavik
- Day 5 – 03.05.2023 – Husavik to Akureyri
- Day 6 – 04.05.2023 – Akureyri to Reykholt
- Day 7 – 05.05.2023 – Reykholt to Reykjavik
- Day 8 – 06.05.2023 – A Day in Reykjavik & More
- Iceland’s Ring Road Trip Report – Reprise
There will be no Day 9 report, as this would only cover the flight back to Germany.
Here are all postings about museums concentrating on aviation:
Here are all hotels with a good airport connection: