Beautiful tourist spots west from Hali

The south of Iceland is full of idyllic tourist spots. The ‘Golden Circle’, close to Reykjavik is one of the most popular areas to visit in Iceland. There’s the mighty waterfall, Gullfoss, Þingvellir (Thingvellir) the oldest National Park in Iceland. And Strokkur geyser spouts hot water up to 30 meters into the air every few minutes.

As you start to travel away from Reykjavik, the numbers of tourists start to reduce. But this country’s beautiful natural wonders and tourist spots certainly don’t stop.

‘Glacier Adventure’ tours start from Hali, 385 km/ 239 miles from Reykjavik (or about 5-hour drive). The hotel is right next to Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe which covers nearly 8% of Iceland. So a perfect meeting point for our tours.

However, there are plenty of more beautiful spots near the hotel. I’m going to share some of my favorites as you drive west back towards Reykjavik. All these places are either on or very close to the main Ring Road, known as the number 1 route.

The first spot is only a few kilometers away from the meeting point, but I’m pretty sure you will like it.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Out of all the places close to the hotel, this is my favorite. Huge icebergs from Vatnajökull float peacefully in the glacier lagoon. And it’s not until you’re up close that you realize just how big they are.

On our ‘Glacier Walk’ tour on a clear day, you can see how big the lagoon stretches from high above the glacier.

Picture by: Thorri Photo/Film

For an extra special experience, there are boat tours that take you up close to the icebergs. And you can cruise around the beautiful lagoon and feel at one with nature. You can book a combo tour with us, where you do a glacier walk and then a boat tour.

Glacier Lagoon 

Distance from hotel: West 14 km/ 9 miles
Drive time: 11 minutes

Diamond beach

Icebergs from Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon are pushed out by the current into the Atlantic Ocean. And if you’re lucky you might see something magical.

The sheer power of the wind and waves crashing onto the black sand beach can cause these icebergs to be pushed back to shore.

The icebergs vary in size. But seeing hundreds of them twinkling in the sunlight against the black sand you can see where the beach got its name from.

It makes a unique photograph opportunity for all photography lovers. But be prepared to be patient, it depends on the tide and weather conditions.

The diamond beach

Distance from hotel: West 14 km/ 9 miles
Drive time: 11 minutes

Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon

A short drive down the Ring Road from Jökulsárlón you’ll find a second glacier lagoon. This one is not as famous as Jökulsárlón but definitely worth a visit. And you can even take boat tours from here too.

It’s more peaceful and less touristy. But for me still has the ‘Wow’ factor as you gaze at the floating icebergs. There are also plenty of great opportunities to photograph broken icebergs along the pebbles.

Be prepared to have cold hands for the ultimate iceberg photo!

Fjallsárlón. Picture by: Fjallsárlón ehf

Distance from hotel: West – 24 km/ 15 miles
Drive time: 17 minutes

Skaftafell and Svartifoss

Skaftafell is a must-visit area in Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park. The scenery takes you through lush greenery, whilst looking out onto the black sand and river winding into the ocean. It’s simply stunning.

There are numerous hiking trails for all levels in the park. Check out the tourist office for more information on options available.

Skaftafellsjökull

One of my favorites is the short hike to Svartifoss, a smaller yet stunning waterfall in unique surroundings. It’s a 2-hour return hike but a wonderful way to gently stretch your legs and admire the views.

Svartifoss. Picture by: Michael Kienitz

Distance from hotel: West – 71 km/ 44 miles
Drive time: 51 minutes

Fjaðrárgljúfur

Fjaðrárgljúfur is a huge canyon stretching nearly 2 km in length. This stunning natural beauty has sheer walls about 100 meters deep. And the winding Fjadra River snakes its way from its source in the Geirlandshraun Mountains down to the Skaftá River.

There are newly created paths for you to explore the canyon from above. And a sturdy metal platform that overhangs at the end so you can see the whole canyon in all its glory.

Fjaðrárgljúfur. Picture by: Siggi Ragnars.

Distance from hotel: West – 143 km/ 89 miles
Drive time: 1 hour 45 minutes

 

These are the closest options if you’re heading west on the Ring Road back towards Reykjavik. However, if you’d like to go exploring in the other direction, there are even more beautiful spots.

Check out our post on “Beautiful tourist spots east from Hali Country Hotel

I hope that gives you a few ideas for places to visit close to Hali. Wherever you visit I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time during your time in Iceland.

Glacier Adventure would like to wish you a safe onward journey.