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Iceland - A Must See

Traveled to Iceland for 9 days May 2019 and it is the most amazing places. Below is a breakdown of our itinerary, feel free to use it. I'd be happy to answer any questions I can. 

  1. General Items
    1. Take the dirt roads as often as possible. Leads you to unknown places. 
    2. Our rental included a GPS which had a feature to search for nearby things to see. We utilized this whenever possible and I encourage you to do the same. There are endless things to see in Iceland and this list is really just the highlights. 
    3. We completed our trip in 9 days. I would recommend adding at least 1 day and up to 3 more to complete some additional sightseeing. 
    4. Most days consisted of driving 2 hours and 30mins to 3 hours and 30 mins but it took us about 12 hours from start to end due to stopping and seeing everything. Also speed is 90 kmh around most of the island which is ~55 mph. I drove 100 kmh which is just over 60pmh.  
    5. We traveled between the dates of May 13th and May 21st. This is in between their winter and summer tourist season and there are slightly less tourists. May 15th is when a lot of summer hours start to kick in. By June 1st summer hours are in full effect from what we saw. Keep this in mind if camping since not all campsites are open all year round. 
    6. Weather during this time. The west and southern coasts were cloudy with some drizzle all the days we were there. The east and north coasts were warmer and sunny. 
    7. Do not expect to see night if you travel in the summer. We stayed up until first light one night and it was light out the whole night. It was similar to what 7:30pm in May on the east coast is like in the US for comparison. 
    8. No need to tip anywhere. Restaurants, taxis, guiding services. We tipped our diving guide but it was not expected. 
    9. At restaurants you have to ask for the check. The wait staff will never just bring you the check. 
    10. Food and restaurant prices are on par with that in a big city like NYC or San Francisco. ~75 dinner for 2. 
    11. There are great little bakeries in every town, check them out! 
    12. Pizza is surprisingly good with different toppings. Smoked fishes and lots of veggies
    13. Ice Cream! Very good as well.
    14. We had cell service for the majority of our trip. 
    15. We traveled on Delta and had Comfort Plus seating on the way there, was a free upgrade, but would purchase this since we hit the ground running when we got there. 
  2. Camper 
    1. We used CampEasy
    2. We originally booked the Easy Auto and were upgraded to the Easy Clever 4x4. The only difference being the Easy Clever 4x4 is F road capable. This wasn't necessary but nice on some of the back roads. 
    3. Driving was easy, rules very similar to the USA, driving on the same side of the road. 
    4. NO right on red! Anywhere! 
    5. Inner loop on traffic circles has right away. 
    6. Make sure your credit card has a PIN in order to get fuel. Most gas stations are unattended and open 24 hrs. 
    7. Check road conditions and closures at this site.
  3. Reykjavik
    1. ROX -
    2. MEAT – we didn’t get a chance to eat there but it looked really good.
    3. VOX at the Hilton hotel 
    4. Braud and Co. – Awesome little bakery.  -
    5. Microbar - Seemed to have all of the craft breweries and distilleries from Iceland. 
    6. Any Hot Dog stands.
    1. Prelan
    2. Saga 
    1. Restaurants 
    2. Museums 
    3. If you are driving, there is free parking by the church which is a central location to anything you’d walk to. 
  4. Day 1 
    1. We spent 4.5 hours at the Blue Lagoon which included a lunch (lunch is additional cost)
    2. They will store your luggage for about 5 dollars a suitcase. 
    3. We would not do the lunch at the Blue Lagoon restaurant again, the food was good but not much of a selection and there is better food in Reykjavik. They have a cafe with sandwiches which we would do next time. Food is extra. 
    4. We choose the premium package but is not necessary. 
    5. This was a very good way to relax after the flight. 
    1. When entering in our information into the bus drop off we selected the closest one to the AirBnB. If you are staying at a hotel they will most likely be able to drop you off at the hotel.
    1. Arrived at the KEF airport and took a bus to the Blue Lagoon. The bus was scheduled when we booked our Blue Lagoon trip. 
    2. Took bus from Blue Lagoon to our AirBnB.
    3. Walked around Reykjavik. Everything is pretty close. If you are near the large church you can walk to many restaurants and sites within 15-20 mins. A lot of little shops and restaurants in this area. 
  5. Day 2 
    1. We used CampEasy
    1. We camped just outside of Hvolsvollur 
    1. Make sure you walk up to the Glufragoss waterfall past Seljalandsfoss. One of our favorites.
    1. Haifoss
    2. Seljalandsfoss and Glurfragoss  
    1. Our campervan company picked us up from the AirBnb.
    2. We traveled from Reykjavik to Haifoss (2 hours 15 mins)
    3. Haifoss to Hvolsvollur (1 hour 52 mins) 
    4. We had extra time this day and drove past our camping site to Seljalandsfoss but you would normally pass this the next day. (40 mins round trip) 
    5. Highlights
  6. Day 3
    1. Good beer and burgers. 
    1. Seljalandsfoss and Glurfragoss - If you don’t stop and see this the previous day 
    2. Skogafoss – Walk to the top and beyond as far as you want
    3. Sólheimajökull – First glacier to get up close to. 
      1. They do glacier hikes from here, they depart at 9am. Seemed less crowded than other locations. 
    4. Solheimassandur Plane Wreck
    5. Dyrholaey – Puffins in May, lots of sea birds. 
    6. Lava fields between Vik and Skaftafell
    7. Massive glaciers in the distance as you near the Skaftafell Park
    1. Hvolsvollur to Skaftafell National Park (2 hours 51 mins) 
    2. There are a number of stops between Hvolsvollur and Vik. After Vik there aren’t a lot of places that you need to get out to see stuff but mostly pulling over the car and looking at the landscape. Vik to Skaftafell was one of the coolest parts of the drive. 
    3. Ate dinner in Vik at Smiojan Brugghus
    4. Highlights
  7. Day 4
    1. This was one of the longest days driving and we would split this into 2 days if we did this again. We would have driven from Skaftafell to Hofn. Then Hofn to Reyðarfjörður. 
      1. Hofn looked like a cool fishing town with some good restaurants and things to see. We drove through it near 11pm. 
    1. Hiking in the Skaftafell Park
    2. Lagoons of Jokulsarlon – Pull off the road where you see other cars on the left. Over the banks is an amazing sight to see.
    3. Diamond Beach
      1. After Diamond Beach watch out for Caribou. 
    4. The landscape between Hofn and Reyðarfjörður is very interesting. You are driving on the coast, very windy roads. 
    1. Skaftafell to Reyðarfjörður (4 hours and 43 mins)
    2. Day 4 started with some hiking in the Skaftafell park. Highly recommend this. We could of also spent a second day in this park as there was cool stuff to see here. 
    3. Highlights
  8. Day 5 
    1. After leaving Reyðarfjörður most of the sights are scenery to take in and the changing landscape. 
    2. Stop at Dettifoss, specifically the West side, which has much better views of the falls. 
    3. Krafla 
    4. Hverir 
    5. Grjótagjá Cave
    6. Hverfjall
    7. Myvatn Nature Baths – Another man-made lagoon but was relaxing and they are open until midnight in the summer. We relaxed here and went back to the campsite. 
    1. Reyðarfjörður to Lake Myvatn (2 hours and 38 mins) 
    2. Highlights
  9. Day 6 
    1. Goðafoss
    2. Akureyri – Larger city in the north, former capital. Good food and drinks here. 
    3. Hvitserkur 
    4. Must have dinner at Geitafell, it is 35 mins north of the Hvammstangi. Highly highly recommend the seafood soup. 
    1. Lake Myvatn to Hvammstangi (3 hours and 32 mins) 
    2. Highlights
  10. Optional day trip. 
    1. If you have the time you can go from Hvammstangi to Snæfellsjökull National Park ( 3 hours)
    2. Snæfellsjökull is where Jules Verne got inspiration for “Journey to the Center of the Earth”
    3. We did not have the extra day to make it out there but it looks like a cool place to see. If we go back to Iceland during the summer we’ll go here and then the Westfjords Region. 
    4. It would be 2 hours and 49 mins to Thingvellir National Park. 
  11. Day 7 
    1. Thingvellir National Park
      1. There is a bit of hiking you can do here and fishing. 
    2. Geysir
    3. Gullfoss
    4. You are only 45 mins from Reykjavik so getting dinner there is possible, and is what we did. 
    1. Hvammstangi to Thingvellir National Park (2 hours and 36 mins) 
    2. There was not a lot to see during this drive other than the landscape we passed. We occasionally pulled over to take in the landscape or the small towns to get a bite to eat. 
    3. We also took some detours and took the back roads to get to the National Park which offered off the beaten path sights. 
    4. Highlights
  12. Day 8
    1. This last day we free dove Silfra. Highly recommend this. 
    2. Saga Museum
    3. Prelan Museum 
    1. Thingvellir National Park to Reykjavik (About 45 mins) 
    2. Highlights
  13. Day 9
    1. Allow 3 hours (2.5 hours minimum) at the airport if you want to stop at the shops and have some food before your flight. 
    1. Took the bus from the Hilton to the Airport 
Labels (3)
16 Replies

Winter in Iceland is particularly amazing. If interested, you can see my photos from that trip at the following link, and so see for yourself what a wonderful place Iceland is in the winter....

   Vince Ferrari

Vincent Ferrari Photography

Very good info. Thanks. Can you share the name of the company you used for the Blue Lagoon & the price? 



Hi! I bought my ticket at the Blue Lagoon so I I’m not sure about any other companies. I was there two years ago and I don’t remember the cost but I’m sure it wasn’t cheap. You could find it online if you go to their website I would imagine. I went at night and it was gorgeous. Have fun!


Thanks for the response. I checked the website, $ 96 per person to get in for the basic level.  Still decideng whether or not to go.


I absolutely love Iceland. I've been twice, once in summer, and once in winter.  Winter in Iceland is amazing. Here is a link to an album of photos of Iceland in winter:


Vincent Ferrari Photography

@grahammer493 thanks for sharing such detail on your Iceland trip.  It is on my bucket list. As soon as I can talk my better half into going, we will be there!  Do you have any pictures to share????

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
@tadoerner  It is on my bucket list. As soon as I can talk my better half into going, we will be there!

Iceland is very dependent on tourism. That industry was badly hurt by pandemic travel restrictions. Now that these are easing, Icelandair has been offering deep discounts on flights as well as on multiday tour packages. This winter may be a great opportunity to see Iceland at a more reasonable prices than in past years.


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.