I love reading about Iceland and seeing everyone’s photos of this magical place. Our trip was over two weeks and the path outlined in the map below is a sample of the stops we made and what we did, where we stayed, ate, etc. Next time were getting the camper van for sure. At the end I’ve loaded photos from our trip and you can also view them on my Instagram accounts: @elledunham or on my new blog page @adventureonyall
Our Iceland Itinerary
- Day 1 Arrived at 5:30 am. Pick up Rental Car, check in at AirBnB in Hafnarfjordur. SLEEP for at least 3 hours and feel Refreshed!
- Day 1 after Nap Grocery Store! Bonus Pick up essentials for brekki/lunch/dinner/ snacks.
- Day 2 Drove down to Lake Kleifarbatn, the Krisuvik Geothermal with hot springs or boiler pits, through Grindavik and up 43 to the Blue Lagoon for sunset.
- Day 3-4 Explored Reykjavik for a few hours, parked outside of Hallgrímskirkja chapel and walked first to Reykjavik Roasters and then to rainbow road to all the shopping, cafes and art museums. After that we drove up through Thingvellir National Park (the Icelandic P letter is pronounced TH) and then to Gysir and Gulfoss We stayed at the Hotel Geysir and as soon as we go there my husband yells “Get back in the car!” as we suddenly watched Amazing hail storm appear over head. That night we had a gorgrous Norther Lights display!! You can cross the street and go into the park after hours, a benefit of staying at the hotel.
- Day 4-5 Drove down to highway 1 and made our way to Vik stopping at the waterfall highlights Selfoss, Seljalandsfos, and Skogafoss. Be sure to follow the trail to the left at Seljalandsfos for the secondary cave waterfall. As a treat/ detour we visited Seljavallalaug, the oldest geothermal private hot spring in Iceland. This is part of someone property and currently free, if you go here, please be respectful. And PS. The black dog is the owners, he’s a free spirit and very friendly. He will escort you in and out, and also try to convince you to share you sandwich with him.
- Day 5-6 In Vik we stayed at Hotel Edda (great atmosphere and trendy people watching, also a wonderful restaurant but a little pricey). Vic attractions include Reynisfjara, Halsanefshellir, great hike to the top of Reynisfjara overlook, black sand beaches and cute pubs and townsfolk. (There was a festival going on where everyone decorated their home a color, super cute!) Go out to the Black Sand Beach at night for Northern Lights! We opted to do the hike on the backside that starts at the cute little white and red church below. You can park at the church and then follow the path STRAIGHT UP. Little did we know, the road is the steepest in Iceland, primarily used during the cold war for the US to haul equipment up and down. Got our workout for the day that’s for sure. Once you’re up there, the view is amazing and the plateau seems to go on forever! “According to folklore, two trolls attempted to drag a ship to land but were turned to stone as daylight broke, turning them into the Reynisdrangar stacks, clearly visible from the beach.”
- Day 6-7 Drove East on a super rainy and particularly cold day to explore Fjaðrárgljúfur, which we still can not pronounce, lol. We really wish we could have either stayed longer, come back another day, or we will just have to make a point to return here next time. Words just can’t describe this kind of beauty, canyons and waterfalls and rivers and its beyond gorgeous. Even in the rain! We stayed one night in Hof in front of a gorgeous glacier. (Get grocery and gas here!). I can’t find the name of the hotel but everyone was very friendly and open. You can hike out to the Glacier at night and watch the Northern Lights. On the night of the 7th we drove past the many glacier tongues to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. I don’t think I need to tell you why you should go here. Check out the beach side too, not just the lagoon.
- Day 8 Skaftafell and Vatnajokull National Park & Glacier. Skaftafell is the cathedral of waterfalls in Iceland, very much worth the time here and we met some great people. We hiked around pretty much all day between there, Hundafoss and the glacier and then booked it back to Reykjavik.
- Day 8-9 One night at the Reykjavik Lights hotel, which we highly recommend! The pizzeria outside is fantastic, try the Einstok Beer, you can’t get it in the states yet which makes me sad because I’m not a huge beer person and this was divine.
- Day 9-11 Drove to Snaefellsnesvegur Peninsula from the 1 Road in town to Highway 54. There is a great cafe/ gas station at 54 and Heydalsvegur, I wish we could remember the name. Anyway i have a photo below. Check it out, its fantastic! Then we headed to Hellnar (so much beauty along the way!) eventually we parked at the structure over looking the sea and hiked to Arnarstapi. Follow the path either direction to view Midgjar Arch and the several cliffside overlooks. Then we drove up the coast to Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellfoss (fell is the mountain and foss is the waterfall) checked in, went up to snap a couple shots and then grabbed dinner. We stayed at Hotel Framnes in Grundafjordu, an old Fishermen Hostel that was simple and perfect. The beds were SO comfy! There is a cute pizza place and cafe across the street called Laki Hafnarkaffi and hotel restaurant was great for breakfast. After dinner we saw a few flickers in the sky, packed up our gear and headed back up to the mountain for the MOST amazing Northern Lights Display of the trip! Hours of photos, dancing auroras, arc auroras, free, blue and white.
- Day 12-13 Drove back to Reykjavik the long way, up and around the town of Stykkisholmur (Walter Mitty Fan!) on 54 and then headed south over the mountain back down to town on Heydalsvegur. On the way back, we FOUND HORSES! So, it goes that, in October the Icelandic Horses are rounded up from the highlands and taken back to their respected homes. One of my goals on the trip was to be up close and personal with the horses, and on our second to last day we found them! That night we stayed at a new Hotel called… We spent the night touring around the city, shopping and drinking at local pubs. I can’t even remember where we went because we drank a lot, met some awesome people and somehow made it back to the hotel. I do recall that we went to Anthony Bourdain’s hot dog stand, Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, Dillon Whiskey bar, and..umm… yeah. If you really want an experience check out Wake Up Reykjavik for a Nightlife Tour or Food Tour!
- Day 13 Packed up, made our way to the Blue Lagoon and chilled out for several hours before our flight, which I definitely recommend doing as one last Hoo-ra and to end super relaxed. We spend 3 hours there and then begrudgingly flew home. Yes our swim suits were still wet when we got home but it was totally worth it!
Two weeks was Amazing but still feels like it was not enough time at all. We are already planning out return trip to explore West Iceland, the North and the Highlands. I’ve told several people Iceland stole my traveling heart. I can’t wait for our next adventure and to see what we will find along the way.
Iceland Products we Love:
Feel free to message me or comment below if you have any questions or if I can answer any questions. Thanks for reading and Adventure On, Y’all!