Moody days on the South Coast of Iceland

Updated: May 21


September 2019, I was back in Iceland for the 6th time (who said "monomaniac" ?). This time, it was a bit special for me, because I was the guide for a group of photographers. According to their review, I was not bad as a guide, and they liked this photographer's paradise. I was so happy to share with them my experience and love for Iceland. They were happy to discover waterfalls, multicolored volcanoes, black sand beaches and other geological wonders. Here is "part III" of the trip.

Svartifoss is one of the unique waterfalls in South-Iceland. It is situated in Skaftafell, which belongs to Vatnajökull National park. Skaftafell is a true oasis after driving through the vast black lava sand plains of Skeiðarársandur glacial outwash.



In Southeast Iceland, you'll find a glacier lagoon filled with icebergs. This ice lagoon has become one of Iceland's most popular attractions due to its stunning beauty. The lagoon is called Jökulsárlón, or 'Glacier's-River-Lagoon'. The lagoon is formed naturally from melted glacial water and is perpetually growing while big blocks of ice crumble from the ever-shrinking glacier; as Jökulsárlón increases in size, the retreating glacier visibly demonstrates the effects of global warming. This, perhaps, makes the lagoon and the nearby glacier tongue even more special, as they will look different each time you pay them a visit.



Stokksnes also known as Vestrahorn is one of my favorite locations in all of Iceland. Vestrahorn is an unbelievably beautiful out-of-this-world location and it’s easy to understand why it’s so popular! There’s just something about the isolation of those mountains in combination with the black sand, which is hard to beat. It gives that rough, yet beautiful feeling of the cold north. Almost no matter the weather you’ll be able to make beautiful landscape pictures here, simply because… it’s a beautiful landscape.



Reynisfjara is a world-famous black-sand beach found on the South Coast of Iceland, just beside the small fishing village of Vík í Mýrdal. With its enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves and stunning panoramas, Reynisfjara is widely considered to be the most beautiful example of Iceland's black sand beaches.



Dyrhólaey (Icelandic for door hill island), formerly known by seamen as Cape Portland, is a small promontory located on the south coast of Iceland, not far from the village Vík. In fact, Dyrhólaey is the southernmost point in mainland Iceland. It was formerly an island of volcanic origin, which is also known by the Icelandic word eyja meaning island. The peninsula has an elevation of 120 metres, and the Dyrhólaey Lighthouse sits at the top of the formation facing the sea. The view from Dyrhólaey is broad: To the north is to be seen the big glacier Mýrdalsjökull. To the east, the black lava columns of the Reynisdrangar come out of the sea, and to the west the whole coastline in the direction of Selfoss is visible – depending on weather conditions. In front of the peninsula, there is a gigantic black arch of lava standing in the sea, which gave the peninsula its name (meaning: door hill island).



Seljavallalaug hidden pool is a real gem in Iceland. It is hard to find a geothermal pool built in an equally secluded valley surrounded by such magnificent mountains. Seljavallalaug pool is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland. It was built in 1923 very close to the fields of Seljavellir. That’s why it is sometimes also called Seljavellir pool. It was meant to be a place where locals would be able to relax and above all learn to swim.



I found this lighthouse near Grindavik, a fishing town on the Southern Peninsula of Iceland. It is one of the few cities with a harbour at this coast. Most of the inhabitants work in the fishing industry. The Blue Lagoon, Grindavík's premiere attraction, is located 5 kilometres from the town centre.



The main designers of Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre are the Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects and the Icelandic architectural firm Batteríið Architects. Harpa is the winner of the 2013 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award, the European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation announced today. In the announcement it states: Harpa's crystalline structure was inspired by Icelandic landscapes and traditions. Its dramatic design captures and reflects the light of the city, ocean and sky to thrilling effect.” Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen, from Henning Larsen Architects: “On behalf of the team I would like to thank the European Commission and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe for this award. We are immensely honoured. Harpa is the result of collaborative process that has involved many people and with their efforts, strong commitment and drive Harpa has become a symbol of Iceland’s renewed dynamism.”



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© 2018-2020 by Emilien Gigandet - Switzerland - emilien.gigandet@gmail.com