Skaftafell National Park

 Borgarfjörður Eystri isn’t the biggest town, to put it mildly. With a population of 90 there’s not a whole lot to it, but you don’t come to Iceland for the city life. 

The weather wasn’t terribly conducive to outdoors pursuits and my socks were soaked, so I opted to hang out in the minuscule common area. A trio of Israelis I had seen before gave me some advice for Skaftafell National Park, and helped me plan the rest of my trip. 

Southeast Iceland and Hofn.

In the morning I crammed into a van with a bunch of other backpackers, mostly Germans (as per usual). The once daily weekday service took a little over an hour to Egilsstradir, where I stocked up on food to last me through Skaftafell National Park. 

After four hours in town, I caught the 4.5 hour bus down to Hofn. The buses from Akureyri and Reykjavik meet here in this small southeastern town, and the only reason people stay here is to change buses. 

From Hofn there are good views to the Vatnajokull glaciers in clear weather, and I was able to see them in a break in the clouds. 

More of SE Iceland, with Jokulsarlon and Skaftafell.

The morning bus to Skaftafell National Park, my next destination, makes a 2.5 hour stop in the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. It wasn’t as impressive as I thought it was going to be, but it was still pretty cool. I think the closer you get to Reykjavik the more things get hyped. 

Glacier lagoon.

Another view of the lagoon.

Skaftafell, however, was phenomenal. It was recently added to Vatnajokull National Park, centered on eastern glacial systems and making up Europe’s largest national park. 

The view from the Skaftafell bus stop.

It was a great place to do day hikes of up to 15 miles on marked trails. As I heard 400 times, it’s also home to the largest campground in Iceland. There are no hotels or grocery stores there, but the campground was decent. 

Super helpful instructions in the bathroom.

Views from a day hike.

I decided not to do the hike where the trail seemed to wash out into the abyss.

Views of a glacier.

Descending back to the campground.

Another view of the mountains.

A glacier is somewhere in the background.

A French family next to my tent would stay up running around and being loud outside my tent. A French backpacker and I commiserated the next morning about how obnoxious they were, and she mentioned that she’d gone up and told them to shut up around midnight. At least they weren’t as crazy as the band of Brazilian guys who got in a fight in the pavilion shortly afterwards. 

The beach of Vik.

After 48 hours in Skaftafell, I’m now at the beach in Vik! 

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