Iceland Travel Guide
Remember the thing that we used to do until March last year where we plan, apply for visas, book flights-hotels, pack our luggage, hop on the plane, rent a vehicle, visit places, eat exotic food, and experience a new culture?
We used to call it “travel”.
With vaccines rolling, people will start traveling soon. In preparation for that, I wanted to share this itinerary to Iceland which I prepared for my wife & her friend when they traveled to Iceland in 2019.
It's going to be 9 days and 8 nights itinerary where you will circle around entire Iceland through its golden circle ring road.
I will also provide a price breakdown of the trip.
Arrive at Keflavik International Airport. Pick up the rental car from the airport and go straight to the world-famous Blue Lagoon. (People say you need to save best for the last. I beg to defer.)
A dip into an Icelandic blue geothermal bath after a long flight is a perfect way to start your week-long journey.
After relaxing at the lagoon drive to Gullfoss falls. It’s a 2-hour drive from the Blue Lagoon. You can spend half an hour at the falls and then go straight to Geysir. It's just a 10 minutes drive from the falls.
The Geysir is a huge geyser that erupts every few minutes. From Geysir, you can now drive 35 mins to Kerid Crater which is a huge volcanic crater.
After spending some time at the crater you can drive to Selfoss which is a small town 15 minutes drive from the crater. You can find a good Airbnb or hotel to stay for the night at Selfoss.
The most expensive part of your entire Iceland road trip would be the rental car. Rental cars are expensive in Iceland.
I also recommend renting an SUV. My wife rented a hatchback and she regretted it. The Iceland ring road is windy and a small car moves a lot and sometimes you don't feel safe.
Please book the ticket to the Blue Lagoon in advance as the time slots get booked early.
Start your day early and drive straight to Glymur Waterfall which is 1.5 hours drive from Selfoss. (Please be advised there are a lot of waterfalls in this itinerary)
Spend some time at the waterfall and drive to Hraunfossar Waterfall which is an hour drive from Glymur.
From Gylmur on a short drive of 15 minutes, you can visit Reykholt. Reykholt is a village in the valley of the river Reykjadalsá.
After spending some time at Reykholt, go to Hvanneyri which is a 30-minute drive. On your drive, you can stop at small farms and gaze at herds of Icelandic horses.
From Hvanneyri drive to Borgarnes. Comparatively, it's a big town where you can fill up the supplies for the rest of the trip and find a place to stay for the night.
Go out to a local restaurant for dinner in Borgarnes and call it a night.
Today is going to be a long day, so fuel up and start with visiting Gerduberg Cliffs. It's a 30 minutes drive from Borgarnes. You must have seen these cliffs on a lot of Instagram pages.
From Gerduberg Cliffs, drive to Berserkjahraun via Kirkjufellsfoss. Berserkjahraun is a 4000-year-old lava field and Kirkjufellsfossis one of the many majestic waterfalls that look like it came straight out of fantasy land.
From Berserkjahraun drive to Akureyri via stoping at the Grettislaug swimming pool where you can take a dip into the geothermal pool to wash away the tiredness of driving.
Spend the night in a hotel or Airbnb at Akureyri. Akureyri is going to be the base for two nights.
It's going to be a light day from a driving perspective so you can start your day a bit late.
Today’s first destination will be Godafoss Waterfall which is an hour and a half drive from Akureyri. It is one of the most popular and beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Spend some time at the falls and absorb the beauty that Iceland has to offer.
The next destination from Godafoss is Hjalteyri. In Hjalteyri you should go whale watching. I highly recommend it. You need to book the whale watching in advance in order to avoid any delays.
After finishing whale watching, drive to Akureyri. Explore the town and call it a day.
You will be traveling around Lake Myvatn today.
Your first destination for today will be Hverir. Hverir with its bubbling mud pots and steaming water gives a feeling that you are on a different planet.
From Hverir, go to Lake Mývatn View Point. It has some amazing views of the lake. Have your lunch there and drive to Hverfjall. Hverfjall (also known as Hverfell) is a tephra cone or tuff ring volcano which looks like a scene from a science fiction movie.
From Hverfjall, go to Grjótagjá which is a small lava cave near lake Mývatn. It has a thermal spring inside.
From Grjótagjá drive to Selfoss Waterfall via Krafla Lava Fields. Selfoss Waterfall is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland.
After spending some time at Selfoss Waterfall drive to Ásbyrgi via Dettifoss. Dettifoss is yet another waterfall. Ásbyrgi is a glacial canyon and forest with some amazing views.
From Ásbyrgi, drive to Raufarhöfn which is going to be your base for the night.
Today’s first destination is the most famous Instagram photo of Iceland which is Studlagil Canyon. It is famous for its rare basalt column formation.
From Studlagil Canyon, drive to Fardagafoss Waterfall via Hengifoss. Both Hengifoss and Fardagafoss are typical Icelandic waterfalls.
Your next destination would be Egilsstadir which will be your base for the night.
On Day 7 your first destination would be Vatnajökull Glacier where you can take a guided tour by Blue Ice Cave Tours.
From Vatnajökull Glacier, drive to Vestrahorn (Stokksnes) which is a scenic mountain.
Now Drive to Diamond Beach via Jökulsárlón.
Jökulsárlón is a lake filled with ice chunks from glaciers. There are some guided boat tours which you can take.
Diamond Beach is a world-famous black sand beach where you will see big ice chunks on the beach which look like diamonds.
From Diamond Beach, drive to Vik via Fjadrárgljúfur Canyon. Vik is a big city where you can stay for the night.
Today's first destination is the Black Sand Beach (Reynisfjara). It's the perfect spot to take a lot of pictures and enjoy the beach.
From the Black Sand beach, drive to Dyrhólaey Viewpoint which offers a great view of the cliff on the shores.
The next destination is the Instagram-famous Wrecked DC-3 Plane site. There is a long walk from the parking spot to the site, so I recommend carrying food and water with you.
Next, drive to Seljalandsfoss via Skógafoss Waterfall. Again these are your typical Icelandic waterfall where you can hike to the top and enjoy some great views.
From Seljalandsfoss drive to Selfoss where you can stay for the night.
On the last day of the trip drive to Reykjavík the capital city of Iceland. You can spend the rest of the day visiting some tourist spots (Sunvoyage, Hallgrimskirkja Church, Harpa) in the city before you head to the airport to catch your flight back home.
Cost Break Down:
Below is the cost breakdown for two people in Canadian Dollar
Blue Lagoon: $150
Vestrahorn Ticket: $200
Car Rental: $1000
Car Insurance: $380
Airfare: $1500 (from Toronto)
Daily Expense: $60 (Food/Parking)
A complete itinerary
Thanks for reading