Our third night in Iceland was spent in a tiny town (population: 120) whose name I cannot pronounce (Kirkjubæjarklaustur), watching the Iceland men’s national soccer team lose in the quarter finals of the Euro Cup & eating dinner surrounded by loud Americans in our hotel’s dining room. And yet this was my favorite evening of our whole trip. After dinner, we set off for a little walk, met some Icelandic horses & hunted for a mythical church floor.
Our hotel for the night, the Hotel Garland, is located right next to a horse farm. Icelandic horses are different than any other horse in the world: smaller in stature, but sturdy & known for their heavy winter coat. I don’t love horses – we have a bit of a difficult history stemming from a riding incident when I was 9 years old – but felt right at home with these friendly beasts. When we stopped on our walk to say hello, they came right over to the fence & allowed us to pet their noses. On our next trip to Iceland, I’d love to give horseback riding another shot!
Tucked into the corner of a rock formation was a waterfall we didn’t except: Stjornarfoss. This short, squat waterfall located right next to the campsite is easily accessible from the road & worth a visit if you’re driving through town.
Kirkjugólfið (aka the Cathedral Floor)
I had read about Kirkjugólfið in our guide book, but didn’t actually know where it was. We asked a few people at our hotel & they also weren’t familiar. I knew it was nearby & figured the best way to find it was to wander; it was more than worth the effort! Made up of eroded columnar ballast (which is formed by cooled laval flow), it’s hard to believe this natural wonder isn’t manmade. We enjoyed exploring around the site, as the setting sun (it was after 10pm) seemingly hung just above the nearby cliff.
The combination of the beautiful golden light, combined with natural wonders, easily made this our favorite evening in Iceland & worthy of a stop on your south Iceland road trip.