Simon Migaj photography
Adventure and travel photographer and videographer

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Simon Migaj’s journal of life and travels

Five days in Iceland - Day 2 "Skógafoss waterfall, Dyrhólaey lighthouse and a hidden cave"

If you've been following along through day 1 with me then you know that I decided to sleep in my car, not far away from Kirkjufellsfoss. That was a good decision and if you can, I'd suggest getting a camper van or a car big enough to sleep in it as that's the best way to see Iceland. Thanks to this you'll get to see some amazing places during sunrise and sunset or meet some amazing Icelandic creatures like these shetland ponies!

Also you won't have to worry about making it to the next sleeping place in time. All of this, especially if you like taking photos, will create opportunities for some incredible sunrise, sunset and nighttime photography and believe me when I say that Iceland is the perfect place for all those things!

 Map of south-west coast of Iceland and the road from Kirkjufellsfoss to Skógafoss

Map of south-west coast of Iceland and the road from Kirkjufellsfoss to Skógafoss

After saying goodbye to the beautiful ponies I drove further down south, all the way to the magnificent Skógafoss waterfall. Now a fair warning: this is a very popular location, it usually is packed with people so I'd suggest getting there very early, around sunrise if possible, if you want to have a few moments there to yourself to admire this amazing force of nature!

Going there early is really worth the effort. This waterfall is so popular for a reason. It's massive and quite mesmerizing!

From Skógafoss I walked to another Icelandic classic: the famous waterfall hidden in a cave, Kvernufoss waterfall! It's really not far away, you just go east from the bottom of Skógafoss till you reach a river and a valley and you turn left, into that valley. Few minutes walk and you're there!

Full disclosure: this place can be and is dangerous! I do not encourage you to walk underneath it, especially in winter. I used proper ice crampons that I have experience using and I was very careful when walking underneath that waterfall! It looks stunning, but like all stunning landscapes it can be very dangerous!

After staying there for a while, as the light started getting to flat to take photos, I decided to move on and visit the Dyrhólaey lighthouse. What a stunning place this is! The coastline seen from up there is truly amazing! Definitely one of the best views I've seen.

You can drive up almost to the lighthouse itself so it's a very safe and fun place to visit. All these famous places are really close to one another and easily accessible, especially if you have a car, so they're more then doable in one day.

I wanted to be at Kvernufoss waterfall at night time as I had an idea for a photo, that's why around sunset I started moving back towards it. There is a certain magic of visiting places like Iceland in winter, for example you can stumble across a completely flat and frozen lake...

... or a field full of ponies!

This was the moment when my visit to Iceland started going worse and worse with every hour. Because of the sunrises and sunsets that I wanted to photograph at this point of my trip I began feeling more and more tired which unfortunately had the effect of me making some errors like not exposing my photos properly, which meant that I came back with some really dark shots and that means that these photos are very noisy, thus I never really shown them anywhere else.

At this point one of my best and worst nights of my life began. After taking those few photos underneath the waterfall, I got in my car and started driving to find a quiet spot where I could park and get some sleep, but then this happened:

This was the most beautiful aurora borealis I have ever seen and just these two images should be enough for you to be convinced that visiting Iceland in winter is a good idea. Now I'm not giving any guarantees, auroras are hard to come by, but if you'll see one over there it's bound to be amazing.

But! As I've mentioned, at this point I was incredibly tired, sleep depravation was taking it's toll and I could feel it, but the aurora was so beautiful that I decided to pay a quick visit to the Sólheimasandur plane crash site and take few photos there. If you're reading this then you're already most likely making your research and I'm glad you do. I didn't and I had no idea that to get to this plane you have to walk for fifty minutes. I got to the plane purely because of sheer excitement. I've taken few photos like the ones you can see above and started walking back, but at this point my lack of sleep became unbearable. I kept on falling asleep on my tripod while walking. After almost two hours of what was basically sleep walking I got to my car and fell asleep immediately.

 How to get to the Sólheimasandur plane crash site

How to get to the Sólheimasandur plane crash site

The bottom line to this story is: when traveling sleep when you can. You never know when that might come in handy!

As you can see Skógafoss waterfall, Dyrhólaey lighthouse, Sólheimasandur plane crash and Kvernufoss waterfall are great places to see in Iceland and the fact that they are so close by just can't be missed.

Stay tuned for Day 3!