My boyfriend and I spent a week driving along the Southern Coast and Western Peninsula of Iceland, with a few days reserved in between for the city of Reykjavik. From the moment we left the airport, we were surrounded by breathtaking, otherworldly beauty. We got out of the car often — sometimes to see the big attractions (the Skógafoss and Gulfoss waterfalls, the Great Geysir), and at other times just to pet roadside ponies, climb a little mountain, or marvel at how small we felt in the vastness of the terrain.
Although it was below freezing during the entirety of our trip, we swam in many hot springs. Our meals consisted mostly of skyrr and fish stew. You quickly learn that there’s only so much you can plan for, as Iceland is the kind of place where it’s best to simply go with the flow. One of our favourite nights ended up being in a completely empty guesthouse in the middle of nowhere. We watched the sky turn pink and ambled in the surrounding fields. The Snæfellsnes peninsula was also a highlight, and our favourite town was Stykkishólmur: a little harbour town with a huge marina and a bright orange lighthouse.
Words and photos: Olivia Rae James