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Skaftafell & Diamond Beach

Today we drove up the coast to Hofn. On the way, we stopped for a hike to Svartifoss to look at another waterfall and then to an overlook, Sjonanipa, to look at the Skaftafellsjokull Glacier. The hike itself was moderate, but we were both still recovering from our treacherous hikes earlier in the week, even though we had a rest day yesterday. Since we were closer to the coast, this hike was considerably more humid than our other hikes, and we felt that humidity in the form of sweat during this hike. But overall it was a decent hike but not our favorite so far. The overlook of the glacier was very impressive and closer than we got when we went to Thorsmork, but it still wasn't perfect views. This is a touristy spot any way that had a decent amount of people. Not so much that it was annoying, but we weren't alone like we had been in a few other places.

The waterfall itself was framed by basalt columns which were really cool to look at. The way basalt columns form is interesting, and we had fun reading about the science of them forming on a sign near the waterfall.

One cool thing about this hike is that we encountered some new plants. First, Harebells, which we also have in Colorado. Second were Bilberries, which looked like small blueberries. The Icelandic name for these literally translates to blueberries, but they're not the blueberries we can buy in the store. They aren't poisonous, and we were confident in the plant identification since we had internet on the hike, so we both ate one. They weren't as sweet as a blueberry but tasted very much the same. This is now the 3rd plant Katie has foraged and eaten in Iceland, this one is my first.

Next, we went to Diamond Beach. Despite it being towards the end of summer here, there were still many "diamonds" on the beach. It's named this because of all the ice that gets deposited on the beach. We had a lot of fun picking up pieces of ice and posing them for photography in this spot. It was very touristy, but the views were well worth the crowds. Besides, the crowds were mostly on the beach and not in the water (which is what we were taking photos of anyway).

We had dinner in Hofn at a very good seafood restaurant, Otto Matur & Drykkur. Hofn is known for its fishing, and the meal did not disappoint. I got the Atlantic char and Katie got the Atlantic shrimp. it was an expensive meal, but very worth it.

We made it the furthest North and East at the end of the day today. tomorrow we start heading back towards Reykjavik, which definitely feels like the end of the vacation is near.

Trailhead Location
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6.85 mi 4.3 hrs 1,148 ft 1,135 ft
View Graphs
Morning Dew on the Harebells
Basalt Columns
My Goofball
Skaftafell Glacier
Icy Photo
Selfie in the Lagoon
Funky Shapes
Lagoon Panorama
Pretty Blue
Diamond on the Beach
Dead Starfish