A Long Haul
Our route through the north of Iceland was to reach Mývatn. We departed from the Westfjords early in the morning and ended up as far as Akureyri by nightfall. This is because we stopped at a few places along the way. We did the same on the return trip from Mývatn to Reykjavik. For us, we get distracted by pretty vistas along the way, paths to explore, and historic places to visit. This page is about our trip to and from Mývatn.
Along the way to Mývatn, there is a large waterfall, Goðafoss, that can be seen from the distance by the mist that floats over the water. When closer, the busses give it away. It was impressive and worth the stop, but we wanted to continue so that we could find a hotel early in Mývatn so we did not run into the same problem we did in Akureyri.
We found that you can stop at a lot of the churches along the way and occasionally one will be open to go inside. We did not know a lot about the main religion and its history in Iceland before our trip, but by visiting the small churches as really got a strong sense of small communities and values for their churches. Some were painted really pretty inside and were very well kept up. We do not have any information as to the names of the churches here or what town exactly they are in and are happy to hear from anyone who can provide us with a little more information. We do know that the first two photos are of one church, the second three of another church, and the last two are the last church we visited that day.
A Random Hike
We have pages for the following places we visited in the north:
It is not a complicated or mind blowing route. Although to be fair, we did get lost once after leaving a parking lot and going the wrong way. Our route followed Route 1. This is the road that goes the entire way around the country. We did a section along the north and made it more than half way across the country - as far as Mývatn. We followed a basic road map, and if our map said a church was coming up, we prepared to stop and see the church. If there was a sign on the side at a parking area, we stopped and checked out what might be there. One of those stops was Goðafoss which was impressive and another was the site of a historic battle but all we found was a field with rocks. Twice on side roads we found Turf House museums which was some of our favorite stops along the way. I imagine with the right guidebook you would find a million more things to do along this route.
Our map is a little incomplete in reference to the churches. I only marked one on the map that we were using. If anyone recognises any of the churches in the Church Section above other than the one at Silfrastadir, please let us know (our email address is at the bottom of the page) where it is and we can update the map.