Day 6: Snæfellsnes peninsula Iceland and Blue Lagoon

After five days of intense activities and a lot of driving (2300 km/ 1430 miles), the last day of our road trip arrives. We drove the night before to a guesthouse in the Snaefellsnes peninsula with the idea of visiting the Snæfellsjökull glacier first thing the morning. The afternoon plan was to drove for around two hours to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing end of the trip. So we were really excited about the day!

Snæfellsjökull it is a volcano of 1446 meters, covered with snow all year and visible from reykjavik in clear sky days. This imposing volcano was the inspiration for the novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth” from the famous French writer Jules Verne. The surrounding landscapes it is beautiful with lava fields and strange rocks formations.

Some of the links on this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something we may receive payment. Although all these recommendations are based on our personal experience.

The Snæfellsnes is just around two hours drive from Reykjavik, so there are different tours that you can book at Viator to visit this national park.

Day 6 itinerary:

  1. (09:20) Búðakirkja church
  2. (10:20) Lóndrangar cliff
  3. (11:30) Saxhóll crater
  4. (12:40) Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss
  5. (18:00) Blue Lagoon
  6. (22:00) Bridge between continents
  7. (00:00) Where to stay in Reykjavik?

In this itinerary, we skipped some places because we didn’t have time. But if you have more time, you can also visit ArnarstapiDjúpalónssandur black beach, Vatnshellir cave, and the Eldborg crater.

Búðakirkja church

  • Free parking.
  • No food or WC.
  • Time spent there: 15-30 minutes.

The Búðakirkja is a black church located in the south of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. It is one of 3 black churches in Iceland. In the last years, this church has become an icon for photographers, and Iceland photography.

The black-painted exterior walls have resisted over 100 years the harshness of the Icelandic clime. Moreover, the minimalist design makes it preferred by photographers.

Búðakirkja church with the Snæfellsjökull glacier at the horizon.
Búðakirkja church with the Snæfellsjökull glacier at the horizon.
Búðakirkja church.

At this point we tried to access to the Snæfellsjökull glacier from the F570 south road. A big sign of danger road with a skull on it afraid us, and we though to access then from the north path. But, when we arrived there we found the same sign. So, we decided to skipped it and border Snæfellsjökull glacier using the road Útnesvegur.

Lóndrangar cliff

  • Free parking.
  • No food or WC.
  • Time spent there: 30 minutes.

Just 20 minutes driving from the Búðakirkja church, always in the Snæfellsnes peninsula, the Lóndrangar cliff is found. The curious thing about the cliff is that it once was a volcanic crater. The cliffs can be accessed from the Snæfellsjökull Park Visitor’s Centre, through fields of lava, but they can also be seen from the sea.

Lóndrangar cliff
Lóndrangar cliff
Lóndrangar cliff
Snæfellsjökull Iceland
Lóndrangar cliff
Lóndrangar cliff

Saxhóll crater

  • Free parking.
  • No food or WC.
  • Time spent there: 30-60 minutes.

The third stop of the day was the western point of the Snæfellsnes peninsula: the Saxhóll crater, just 15 minutes from Lóndrangar cliff. Saxhóll is an easy hiking crater with approximately 100 m high, with a walking path and steps. It is an alternative to visiting the Eldborg crater, which requires 2.5 hours hike to visit. An incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean is seen from the crater, with a dried lava field before.

Saxhóll crater with view of the Atlantic Ocean is seen from the crater, with a dried lava field before

Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss

  • Free parking at Kirkjufellsfoss.
  • No food or WC.
  • Time spent there: 30-45 minutes.

In about 40 more minutes, we rach Kirkjufell, a shaped peak mountain found in the north of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. It is one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. The peak is 463 m high and is an outstanding landmark. If you are a very experienced and confident mountain climber., you can hike to the top of Kirkjufell (preferably with an expert guide), where you will find a magnificent panorama. The hike will take an hour and a half to ascend and, the same time to descent.

Within walking distance from Kirkjufell is located the waterfall Kirkjufellsfoss. From a different perspective, photographers love to frame the mountain in the background. The mountain is impressive in all seasons; whatever time of the year you are visiting, you will love it.

If you watch the HBO series Game of Thrones, you will recognize Kirkjufell as a shooting location from Season 7.

Due to its vicinity with Reykjavik, the Snæfellsnes peninsula is one of the most visit places in Iceland. There are plenty of excursion you can book to visit these spectacular places.

Blue Lagoon

  • Free parking.
  • Food and WC.
  • Time spend there: 3-5 hours.

After a 3 hours drive and a stop for lunch in one of the gas stations, we finally arrived in the Blue Lagoon. Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in a lava field in southwestern Iceland. This man-made lagoon is approximately 20 km from Keflavík International Airport and is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The water has a milky blue shade due to its high silica content, but it is also rich in salts and algae.

Our time in the Blue Lagoon was amazing. We thought that a dedicated post would be better to share our experience. So, you already know: our next post will be about the Blue Lagoon, and you will be reading it very soon. STAY TUNED!

Bridge between continents

  • Free parking.
  • No food or WC.
  • Time spend there: 15-30 minutes.

After relaxing in the Blue Lagoon and about 22:00 in the night, the last spot in our Ring Road Trip was this bridge (in Icelandic: Brù milli heimsàlfa).

Yeah! Iceland is a unique place: you can walk from Europe to North America within seconds. The Bridge between Europe and North America is a 15 m footbridge located in the Reykjanes peninsula. Built as a symbol for the connection between Europe and North America, the bridge provides clear evidence of diverging plates margin.

Where to stay in Reykjavik?

Unfortunately the apartment we choose for that night it is not longer available, but you can check Guesthouse Andrea, the one we choose for our first night at Reykjavik. More details about our thoughts of this accommodat in our post: What to see in Reykjavik iceland.

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Day 5: Húsavík whale watching Iceland

Day 5 was a day with a mix of feelings; we woke up early morning when we were already quite tired from the road, but for a very exciting reason, whales watching. The rest of the day was a 500 km trip to the Snæfellsnes peninsula, where we planned to spend our next morning.

Day 5 itinerary:

  1. (09:00) Húsavík
  2. (14:30) Akureyri
  3. (20:45) Ytri Tunga
  4. (21:30) Accommodation: Traðir guesthouse

Húsavík

  • Free parking behind the church.
  • WC and food were available.

One hour from our night accommodation, we had our whale-watching excursion booked. The whale watching was a last-minute decision when we already had our accommodation in Akureyri booked. That is why we didn’t sleep directly in the city the previous night. To reach Húsavík, we went one more time through the Vadlaheidargong Tunnel Toll

After the lovely experience and before hitting the long route ahead, we had our packaged lunch at a table with a nice view behind the church.

Whale watching

Some of the links on this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something we may receive payment. Although all these recommendations are based on our personal experience.

Where can you see whales in Iceland?

Most tours are offered in HúsavíkAkureyri, and Reykjavík. During our research before our trip, we read that Húsavík has the most excellent chance. Hence, we chose this localization for our tour. Still, many people have had excellent luck also in Reykjavik or Akureyri. Remember you need to be patient because it might take time to see one, or you can not spot one on all the tours. So, the best of lucks to you!

When can you see whales in Iceland?

The best months are between June and August, but in general between March and November.

Which kind of whales?

Humpback and minke are the most common seem in Iceland.

Which kind of tours are offered?

Traditional boats, kayaking, and speed boat tours.

Where can you book the tours?

You can head to the port depending on the city in which you decide to have the tour. You will find different whale watching companies with other packages to choose from. But since this is a top-rated attraction for tourists, we recommend doing your research in advance and book your favorite tour, so you don’t miss it due to already sold-out tours.

Viator offers a selection of tours, choose the one you like the most, book it and fit it into your schedule. Below this line are a few direct links to some companies:

Our whales watching experience with Gentle Giants Husavik

Our reservation was for 9:45, so we arrived like 45 minutes before. As indicated in our confirmation email, we had some time for parking, photos, and collecting our tickets at the ticket center 30 minutes before the tour. After collecting the key, we head down to the marine to start the boarding of the boat. During the boarding, we were offered some extra suits (in different sizes), which we didn’t plan to take at the beginning. Still, during the tour, we found that it keeps us warm and protected from the wind.

We chose the GG1 whale watching tour for 9441 ISK (63€/ $75, the price for August 2020, we used a discount code) for each one, a 3 hours traditional tour with an English speaker specialized guide, warm overalls, and raincoats if needed. Also, if not whales are seen (dolphins included) on tour, you are welcome to join free of charge another GG1 tour depending on availability.

The first hour of the tour passed without much activity, apart of a couple of dolphins.

But anyway the landscape and the ocean made us feel relaxing and enjoy.

During the last hour, we were lucky and spotted a few whales. The guide was also very nice to explain everything about the process and how they are not allowed to stay too long around the same whales, so they are not disturbed. So remember to keep yourself safe and good luck in your tour!

Akureyri

  • Free parking.
  • WC and food available.

To be honest, the city requires at least a full day to visit and relax in it from the road and is our recommendation if you have more time. But since we were shorted of time and chose to have a half-day at Snæfellsnes peninsula, we just did a quick stop for ice cream. But here are some helpful links about what can be done in Akureyri:

Ytri Tunga

  • Free parking.
  • Not WC or food available.
  • Time spent there: 30 minutes-1 hour.

Tired of a full day of driving, we reach the Snæfellsnes peninsula just in time to see the sunset on this beautiful beach, which is home to many seals and with a great view of Snæfellsjökull. The seals can seem very close to the shore, so please enjoy this magnificent moment to see them in their natural habitat without going too close and disturb them.

Sunset at Ytri Tunga

Accommodation: Traðir guesthouse

We got a perfect location for the night, less than 5 minutes from Ytri Tunga, and next to the see at Traðir guesthouse. During aurora season, it is a perfect spot to enjoy the magic.

  • Free parking 
  • Free WiFi
  • Shared bathroom and kitchen.
  • Restaurant, Bar/Lounge, and Coffee shop/Café
  • Our experience: We paid 94 euros for one night in a small room for four people. The bathroom and kitchen were shared with another room. Still, they also offer a kitchen and bathroom to a camping site that was possible to use too, bigger and more comfortable. Even though it was not the most modern room and was tiny, just the feeling of sleeping next to the sea adds excellent value to the place. The lounge area was very friendly and well equipped to have a perfect end of the day in a cozy room.

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Day 4: North Iceland

It was not the early wake-up we initially plan, but even though it was beautiful. We get ready without losing any time since 400 km and a few stops were expecting us during the day. So, we had breakfast, pack our lunch, have a look at the beautiful horse from the farm, and head our way to north Iceland.

Some of the links on this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something we may receive payment. Although all these recommendations are based on our personal experience.

Litlabjarg guesthouse
Litlabjarg Guesthouse
Litlabjarg guesthouse
Litlabjarg Guesthouse

Litlabjarg Guesthouse

Day 4 itinerary:

  1. (11:30) Dettifoss
  2. (14:15) Krafla
  3. (16:30) Hverir Mývatn
  4. (17:15) Grjótagjá cave
  5. (18:30) Goðafoss
  6. (20:30) Accommodation: AK Apartments
Day_4_trip_map

Dettifoss

  • Free parking.
  • WC.
  • Not food available.
  • Time spend there: 45 minutes-1 hour.

Two hours after we departed from the cozy cabin where we spend the night, we arrived at our first destination of the day: the most powerful (by-volume) waterfall in Europe. This magnificent waterfall flows from the Vatnajökull glacier

Dettifoss can be seen from the East or West; we recommend choosing one side since it’s a long path, around one hour from one side to the other. For any specific reason, we choose o visit the east side, which has a bumpy, non-paved road to reach the waterfall. Later we found that the west side has a paved road with much easy access. So if you have a 2W car, the easier and most convenient option is to take the west route, and if you have extra time, do a quick stop at Selfoss.

At the end, we stayed 30 minutes more to have lunch in a table nearby the parking lot.

Road to Detifoss from the East side
Detifoss from East side
Detifoss (you can see some people in the viewpoint from West side)
Detifoss, Iceland

Krafla

  • Free parking.
  • Not WC or food.
  • Time spend there:30 minutes-2 hours.

We arrived at our next destination one hour from Dettifoss and a 10 minutes detour from the Ring Road.

Our plan was to visit the volcanic crater with the intense blue water. Still, once we were there, we realized it was also possible to see the lava fields. So if you are up just for the crater, 30 minutes should be enough to visit it (you should double the time if you want to walk around).

However, if you’re going to see the lava fields, you will need to add one more hour since you will need to walk to access the lava field area.

One crucial detail is that the area has many bugs, so consider bringing a head net for a more comfortable visit.

Krafla crater
Krafla lava fields

Hverir Mývatn

  • Free parking.
  • Not WC or food.
  • Time spend there:30 minutes.

On our path back to the Ring Road, we immediately reach Hverir, a geothermal area with mud pots near Mývatn. This was an area we were looking forward to visiting since all the images we saw looks like they were from another planet.

The smell from the pots is not the best due to the sulfur, but walk around this area is an exciting experience, full of different colors.

Hverir Mývatn
Hverir Mývatn

Unfortunately, we couldn’t visit Mývatn Nature Baths. We decided last minute, and it was already fully booked. So if you really want to relax in the spring, remember to book in advance.

Grjótagjá cave

  • Free parking.
  • Not WC or food available.
  • Time spend there: 15 minutes-30 minutes.

With another 10 minutes detour, you can reach this ground cave. It is a geothermal pot, but bathing it is forbidden, and the water temperature can reach 50° C/120°F. So this would be a quit stop that we would recommend only if you have time to spare.

There are two small entrances to the cave that can be pretty crowded. It has become a popular destination in the last few years due to a famous scene in the Game of Thrones TV show, between Jon Snow and Ygritte.

Grjótagjá cave
Grjótagjá fissure

Goðafoss

  • Free Parking.
  • Fast food on the other side of the street.
  • Souvenir shop with WC.
  • Time spend there: 1 hour.

After 45 minutes more driving, we were in one of our favourite waterfalls in Iceland.

Goðafoss is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the country, with a width of 30 metres, falling from a height of 12 metres .

We visited it from the westside, but it is also possible to go down to the river on the east side.

From Goðafoss to Akureyri, one of the roads includes a tunnel toll (Vadlaheidargong Tunnel Toll). If you took the route as we did, you could save up to 16 km (9 miles) of travel. The toll price starts at 1500 ISK* (~ 10€/ $12) for vehicles under 3.5 tons and can pay it online with your car’s plate number and a credit card. You can do it before crossing the tunnel or 24 hours after driving through it via tunnel.is. If a trip has not been paid 24 hours after traveling through the tunnel, you can’t pay on veggjald.is and a toll bill with an added collection fee will be sent to the bank of the registered owner of the vehicle.

Accommodation: AK Apartments

For the night, we chose AK Apartments at Akureyri since it was 30 minutes from our last location of the day (Goðafoss).

  • Street parking 
  • Free WiFi
  • Private bathroom and kitchen.
  • Our experience: We paid 88 euros for one night in a studio apartment for four people. The apartment was comfortable, modern, and in excellent condition. Small for four people, but just for one night was ok for us. The kitchen was well equipped. The only thing we were disappointed about was that they say they include a Hot tub as a room amenities, but this is shared with the other apartments and was already closed for the time we arrive.

*All the prices shown in this post are from August 2020.

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Rating: 1 out of 5.

Day 3: What to do in South-East Iceland

Our Ring Road Trip to East Iceland continues with another sunny day. Unfortunately, since the long-distance traveled and the number of places we visited during Day 2, we didn’t have time to see a couple of places. However, since our accommodation for Day 2 was close to these missed places, we decided to start Day 3 by visiting them after early morning breakfast.

Day 3 itinerary:

  1. (09:00) Diamond Beach
  2. (09:45) Jökulsárlón
  3. (15:00) Egilsstaðir
  4. (17:00) Hengifoss
  5. (20:30) Accommodation: Litlabjarg Guesthouse

In this itinerary, we skipped some places because we didn’t have time. But if you have more time, you can visit GufufossSeyðisfjörðurStuðlagil Canyon, and Vök Baths.

*All the prices shown in this post are from August 2020.

Diamond Beach

  • Free parking.
  • WC at Jökulsárlón.
  • Food is available at Jökulsárlón.
  • Time spend there: 30-45 minutes.

Diamond Beach is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland, and for excellent reasons.

The name derives from a large number of icebergs of various sizes that are scattered on the beach. The black sand (of volcanic origin) helps to accentuate the contrast with the ice blocks. On the shore, the ice blocks come from the icebergs of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

This spot is perfect for photographers and nature lovers. So, don’t forget your camera! It is frequent to see seals from the shore since the beach it’s their home.

If you are lucky during winter, it’s possible to see the northern lights from the beach. The forecast can be checked at vedur.is, or you could ask at your accommodation.

Jökulsárlón

  • Free parking.
  • WC.
  • Food available: Jökulsárlón Café.
  • Time spend there: 1 hour (2 hours if you go for one of the tours).

Jökulsárlón is an enormous lagoon filled with giant ice blocks that have broken free from Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. With the floating icebergs, this place is a magnificent scenario to take pictures. Because of its beauty, this lagoon is one of the most famed and visited attractions in Iceland.

If you like, you can take a boat tour (for adults 5900 ISK/40 EUR/46 USD*) on the lagoon and sail among the massive icebergs!

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

Egilsstaðir

  • Free parking.
  • WC.
  • Food is available.
  • Time spend there: 1-2 hours.

Around 4 hours drive from Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, you can find Egilsstaðir, the largest town in East Iceland and the main center for service, transportation, and administration. It is, therefore, an ideal place to refresh and rest for those who are traveling around Ring Road. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to walk the town, but we stopped in Egilsstaðir to stretch our legs, fill the car tank, and have lunch at Skálinn Diner. In fact, this was the only restaurant we had planned to stop and eat in.

You can found more information about Egilsstaðir at this link.

They are two main routes to reach Egilsstaðir. The shortest one requires a 4x4W car and can be a bit challenging for new drivers.

Hengifoss

  • Free parking.
  • WC.
  • Not food available.
  • Time spend there: 2.5-3.5 hours.

Hengifoss is one of the most known landmarks in East Iceland. It is a beautiful waterfall with a high of 128.5 meters. 

The hike to Hengifoss starts from the parking lot, where you enter directly into the trail. The walk is a gradual climb uphill, approximately 2.5 km long (each way) and about one hour (if you are well-trained). Because it is a bit difficult some benches have been put up to rest and enjoy the view.

After about 1.2 km along the trail, you will reach Litlanesfoss waterfall. Unfortunately, Litlanesfoss is not visible from the road like Hengifoss is.

From Egilsstaðir town, two roads lead to the parking lot (approximately 35 km long on both). We took route 931 towards Hallormsstaður Forest. Continuing in the same direction, after crossing the bridge, the parking lot for Hengifoss will be on your left by the T-junction.

At Hengifoss, we were surprised when we saw a small box with a notebook and a pen inside. We wrote that we were there and left our mark inside that notebook.

Some of the links on this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something we may receive payment. Although all these recommendations are based on our personal experience.

Accommodation: Litlabjarg Guesthouse

For the night, we chose a guesthouse not so far from the Hengifoss waterfall (one hour driving). This accommodation is located at Hrafnabjorg, and includes:

  • Parking included.
  • Shared: kitchen, tables, chairs, bar, refrigerator, microwave, heat boiler, freezer and dishwasher.
  • Shared garden and BBQ facilities.
  • Free wifi connection.
  • Two shared showers and bathrooms.
  • Our experience: We paid 79 euros for a room for 4 people, which we found comfortable and with everything we needed for the night. We also had a private terrace (in the picture below, the one on the right). The guest house has 5 rooms, and all of them were full that night, but this wasn’t a problem for us. We didn’t feel cramped at all there.
Litlabjarg Guesthouse, Iceland

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Rating: 1 out of 5.

Day 2: Iceland South Coast, Road Trip from Vík to Höfn

After the rainy day from Day 1, we were surprised to wake up in the perfect sunny and clear sky day.

We had an excellent breakfast in the barn, we cook some food for the road, and around 10:00 am, we hit the road one more.

breakfast in canvas glamping Iceland

Our plan for this day was the most relaxed in terms of travel time (~ 4 hours) and driving distance (~250 km/150 miles) planned from our Airbnb nearby Vík to Höfn. From the first moment, we prepare ourselves for detours or cut some destination depending on how much time we have left. If you check our post Day 1: Ring Road Itinerary, via the Golden Circle, you will see our last stop was Skógafoss waterfall, that we arrive there already late at night, that we were tired and soaking wet. But thankfully, this magnificent waterfall was just a 20 minutes detour, so we decide to come back and enjoy it one more.

*All the prices shown in this post are from August 2020.

Skógafoss waterfall, Iceland
Skógafoss waterfall, Iceland

Day 2 itinerary:

  1. (12:00) Dyrhólaey
  2. (13:30) Reynisfjara
  3. (15:00) Vík
  4. (17:00) Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
  5. (19:00) Skaftafell
  6. (21:00) Svínafellsjökull
  7. (22:30) Accommodation: Guest house Reynivellir
Day 2 of the ring road trip Iceland

Dyrhólaey

  • Free parking.
  • 4×4 recommended.
  • WC.
  • No drones allowed.
  • Not food available.
  • Time spend there: 30 minutes-1 hour.

Half an hour from Skogafoss, you can find Dyrhólaey lighthouse. A beautiful view over the sea is not the only thing this destination has to offer. You will be able to see a black sand beach, white peaks from Mýrdalsjökull glacier, volcanic rock formations, and if you have good luck, even Puffins.

It can be very windy, so might your steps when you are closer to the border of the cliffs.

Reynisfjara

  • Free parking.
  • WC and restaurant.
  • Time spend there:1 hour-1:30 hours.
Reynisfjara, Iceland
Reynisfjara, Iceland
Reynisfjara, Iceland
Reynisfjara, Iceland
Reynisfjara, Iceland
Reynisfjara, Iceland
Reynisfjara, Iceland

Twenty minutes ride, we found the most famous black sand beach in Iceland. This might not be a destination to go swimming, but it has many to offer. From the moment you enter, you will be captivated by the number of puffins flying over the basalt columns. This beach is also home to Reynisdrangar, the basalt stacks that stick out of the sea. And one of the most pictured spots in Iceland.

Reynisfjara beach, Iceland
Reynisfjara beach, Iceland
Enjoying the Reynisfjara beach, Iceland

The waves from Reynisfjara can be very high and dangerous, so be alert during your visit.

Vík

  • Free parking.
  • WC and restaurant.
  • Time spend there:1 hour.

In the area nearby Vík, you have not only Dyrhólaey and Reynisfjara, but the central city, ten minutes from the last destination, has many beauty to offer. From the most classic picture from the back of the church to cozy restaurants and exhibitions.

Honestly, we didn’t spend as much in the city as we would like, but we took the time to stop, refill the car, take some pictures, and have lunch with a perfect view of the classic red roof Vík í Mýrdal church.

Fjaðrárgljúfur

  • Free parking.
  • WC.
  • Not food available.
  • Time spend there: 30 minutes-1 hour.

From what we read, this was one of the hidden gems of Iceland. But in recent years, after the popular music video, I’ll Show You, from Canadian musician Justin Bieber, was filmed in this location, many people discovered this hidden spot one hour from Vík.

Fjaðrárgljúfur, Iceland
Fjaðrárgljúfur, Iceland

Skaftafell

  • Parking fee with automatic machine*: 400 ISK (~ 2.70 €/ $3 ).
  • WC and cafeteria
  • Camping area.
  • Time spend there: 1.5 – 2 hours.

One more hour on the road, and we reach our next destination. Skaftafell National Park was even better we were expecting. With a 30 minutes hike, you can reach Svartifoss waterfall. On the way there, you will also find Hundafoss, another beautiful waterfall that you can admire while you rest from the first part of the hike. While you walk to the top, you will be able to catch a magnificent sunset or sunrise if you visit it during the right time window. This National Park has many other trails to offer if you are looking for a more challenging hike.

Skaftafell, Iceland
Skaftafell, Iceland

Svínafellsjökull

  • Free parking.
  • Not WC or food available.
  • 4×4 recommended.
  • Time spend there: 30 minutes.

Getting already late night and on the way to our guesthouse, we decided to do one more stop, just 15 minutes from the national park. Thus, Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue was the perfect close to the day. Moreover, it offers us a preview of what we expect the next day while we border the main glacier Vatnajökull in our way to Egilsstaðir.

Please be careful, this area has claim lives, and you will need to climb up around some slippery rocks.

Some of the links on this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something we may receive payment. Although all these recommendations are based on our personal experience.

Accommodation: Guesthouse Reynivellir

For the night, we choose a guest house one hour from Svínafellsjökull and passing by Jökulsárlón, which was our first destination from day 3 in the ring road. Reynivellir was even better we were expecting. We arrive in the middle of the night, so at first, we couldn’t really appreciate what we had around. Immediately after arrival, we refresh and enjoy some light dinner with some hot cocoa in a very cozy living room, sharing with other people. Still, we arrive such late at night that everyone else was already in bed.

To our surprise, the following day, we found this beautiful view from our balcony.

If we had a regret was not to take our breakfast seating in the terrace by the morning sun with the perfect view.

  • Parking included.
  • Shared: kitchen, tables, chairs, bar, refrigerator, microwave, heat boiler, freezer, baking oven, free coffee machine, and wifi connection.
  • Two shared showers and bathrooms.
  • Our experience: We paid 96 euros for a room for 4 people, which we find comfortable and with everything we needed for the night. Because we arrive out of reception time, we had to come to the other property a few meters after the house to pick up the keys. All this is also indicated in the confirmation email and the indication to find the property.

Tours

Two of the most exciting experience you can have in Iceland is an ice cave tour or a glacier hiking. In the area between Vik and Höfn, you have two glaciers perfect for this experience, Solheimajokull and Vatnajökull. Check a few of these tours at Viator.

Check our Day 2 adventure in Youtube

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Day 1: Ring Road Itinerary, via the Golden Circle

A road trip around Iceland will not be a disappointment if you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure travel experience. Our plan for the first day was to visit part of the Golden Circle and spend the night in the south of Iceland nearby Vík. If you have read about Iceland, you know that the weather can be challenging there, even during the summer. Well, Iceland welcomed our road trip with a rainy day and, despite our waterproof outfits, we were completely wet by the end of the night. In any case, the rainy day didn’t stop us. We continue with the planned itinerary, covering 300 km for 4 hours driving.

Day 1 itinerary:

  1. (09:30) Pick up the car and buy the food for the following days
  2. (12:30) Kerið
  3. (15:00) Geysir
  4. (16:25) Gullfoss
  5. (19:00) Seljalandsfoss
  6. (20:20) Skógafoss
  7. (21:00) Airbnb “Canvas Glamping 4 beds, South Iceland at Farmhouse”

In this itinerary, we skipped some places because of the weather condition or the time. But if you have more time, you can visit the Seljavallalaug swimming poolPórsmörk, and the abandoned DC plane on Sólheimasandur.

These days (2021), it is also trendy to visit Geldingadalir eruption, an active volcano since 19 March 2021 valley at the Fagradalsfjall mountain on the Reykjanes peninsula. So please be very careful if you choose to visit while active, mind your steps and be alert.

Some of the links on this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something we may receive payment. Although all these recommendations are based on our personal experience.

An Iceland road trip means to change landscapes in minutes: finding in your way incredible volcanoes, icebergs, waterfalls, and (if you are lucky) magical northern lights! 

628*80 RentalCars English

The day trip started at 09:30 when we went to pick up the car. In this post you can check the experience we had renting a car with the Blue Car company.

Our first stop was at the Bonus grocery store to buy the food for the next two days (this is the best option if you want to save money). After that, we come back to the Airbnb, prepared and packed the lunch, and started driving to the Kerið crater.

*All the prices shown in this post are from August 2020.

Kerið or Kerid

  • Free parking.
  • Entrance fee*: adults 400 ISK (~ 2.70 €/ $3 ), children free.
  • No drones allowed.
  • Not food available.
  • No swimming allowed.
  • Time spend there: 30 minutes.

Approximately a 1-hour drive from Reykjavik, you will find Kerið, a volcanic crater lake located in the Western Volcanic Zone of south Iceland.

The caldera itself is approximately 55 m deep, 170 m wide, and 270 m across. Due to minerals from the soil, the water has a color of vivid aquamarine. Depending on rainfall and other factors, the profundity of the lake can be 7-14 m.

You can hike around the crater, take the stairs, and go down to the Kerið floor. Depending on this you will spend in this place from 15 minutes to one hour. Remember that swimming is not allowed.

Kerid crater in the 1st day of the Iceland Ring Road Trip
Kerid crater
Kerid crater

We also planned to go to Brúarfoss, but we skipped this stop and had our packed lunch due to the bad weather condition.

Geysir

  • Free parking.
  • Free entrance.
  • WC and restaurant.
  • Souvenir store.
  • No drones allowed.
  • Time spend there: 1 hour.

Geysir is a geyser in southwestern Iceland and part of the famous Golden Circle route. It is less than two hours drive from Reykjavik, which makes it very accessible to many tourists. As the second place of the day, the Geysir was about 40 minutes driving from Kerið.

Geysir is rarely active these days, but the Strokkur geyser is and erupts every five to ten minutes. So get ready and prepare your camera to see this incredible spectacle. The area around the geysers can be slippery, but out of that is pretty safe.

Geysir, Iceland

Gullfoss

  • Free parking.
  • Free entrance.
  • No drones allowed.
  • Not food available.
  • Time spend there: 30 minutes.

Gullfoss is a waterfall located in the canyon of the Hvítá river. Located at 10 km from Geysir, this incredible waterfall is also very visited as one of the stops of the Golden Circle route.

The water from the Hvítá river (coming from the Langjökull glacier) falls first into a smaller cascade (11 m), later having a second drop of 21 m. The canyon walls on both sides of the waterfall reach up to 70 meters, descending into the grand Gullfossgjúfur canyon. 

Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland
Gullfoss waterfall, Iceland
Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland
Gullfoss waterfall, Iceland
Gullfoss waterfall, Iceland
Gullfoss waterfall, Iceland
Gullfoss waterfall, Iceland

Seljalandsfoss 

  • Parking fee with automatic machine*: 400 ISK (~ 2.70 €/ $3 ).
  • Free entrance.
  • WC and a small cafe.
  • Souvenir store.
  • No drones allowed.
  • Time spend there: 30 minutes.

Seljalandsfoss is one of the best-known and must-visiting waterfalls in Iceland. You will not regret it! A path leads you behind the waterfall, and it is fantastic. Just bring a raincoat!

The waterfall is approximately 60 meters drop and it is breathtakingly beautiful. From Gullfoss is about one and half hours by car.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall
Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Iceland
Seljalandsfoss waterfall
Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Iceland
Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Iceland

Skógafoss 

  • Free parking.
  • Free entrance.
  • WC and restaurant.
  • Camping area.
  • No drones allowed.
  • Time spend there: 20 minutes.

The last stop of that day was in one of the biggest waterfalls of the country: Skógafoss. Just 30 kilometers away from Seljalandsfoss, this waterfall has a width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 m.

On sunny days, at least one rainbow is present due to the amount of spray the cascade produces. Make sure you protect your camera!

Skógafoss can also be viewed from the top. There is a steep staircase with approximately 520 steps that will take you to the top.

Airbnb “Canvas gampling”

  • Parking included.
  • Shared Barn with kitchen, tables, chairs, bar, refrigerator, microwave, heat boiler, freezer, baking oven, free coffee machine, and wifi connection.
  • Two shared showers and a bathroom for men and women.
  • For every person, there is available a wool blanket with a heated bed.
  • Breakfast can be added for 12 €*.
  • We pay 90 € for a night for four persons*.

We had read on the internet that if there is a rainy day, you will get wet inside because of the canvas material of the tents. Unfortunately for us, the day was rainy, but we didn’t get wet during the night in our tent!

We arrive late in the night, after visiting the already mention places. First, we took a shower and ate in the Barn. Then, we put all the wet clothes inside the tent and some of the coats in the Barn. The night was cold, but with the heated bed, we slept comfortably.

The next day to our fortune was sunny, and we were ready for the second-day itinerary. But, unfortunately, due to the night’s humidity and the rain, some of our clothes didn’t dry. So we borrowed the hairdryer from the bathroom to at least dry the inside of some of the shoes: just to not continue with wet feet also the second day.

Our tent in Canvas Gampling, Iceland
Drone view in Canvas Gampling, Iceland
658*60booking

Check our Day 1 adventure in Youtube

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Packing list Iceland August (FREE printable checklist for Iceland trip)

Usually, a summer packing list should be short, with shorts, dresses, and swimsuits at the top, but this is not the case when you travel to Iceland. The weather can go from wind to rain to “warm” (12°C-18°C/55°F-65°F on average) to cold, or any other combination, during the same day. So maybe the most crucial it is to dress in layers and be prepared for any change in the weather.

But there is not just cloth that you need to pack for Iceland, there are other essentials you should consider bringing with you. We will present you with a complete list of clothes and essentials based on our experience for a week road trip visiting Iceland during the summer. To be better prepared, you should check the weather forecast, the length of your trip and pack accordingly to your circumstances. Don’t forget to subscribe and get our free printable list for Iceland clothes and essentials for Summer. Now available in English, Spanish, and Italian.

Iceland summer packing list

Some of the links on this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something we may receive payment. Although all these recommendations are based on our personal experience.

Footwear

Reyfnisjara
  1. Hiking/Waterproof shoes: If you want to pack just one pair of shoes for your trip, hiking/waterproof boots should be the ones to select. Most of the things to do in Iceland include long or medium hiking, so proper shoes should be your priority. Because of the high rain probability, it is in your best interest to use ones that are also waterproof. The best recommendation is to take your most comfortable hiking boots or try new ones a few days in advance. You will need to spend long hours in those shoes, so you better be sure you can handle it.

Women:

Men:

  1. Trainers: If you don’t want to spend some money on boots, walking shoes can be a good option. There are even many brands out there that also offer waterproof walking shoes. But walking shoes can also be packed as the second pair of shoes for a more relaxed day or when you might like to rest from heavy boots. For example, to spend a day in Reykjavik, Vik, or to visit the Blue Lagoon
  2. Flip flops: Of course, you won’t use it to visit any city or go hiking, not even probably to visit any beach, but you will probably need it to visit the hot springs. There are a few springs in Iceland, not just the Blue Lagoon. There are even some small natural pools along the road which are free. Flip flops are the easy option to get in and out of it. Also, if you spend the night in a guesthouse or camping with a shared or outside bathroom, having flip flops to hand will be the most comfortable option. Definitely, you don’t need an expensive one, the ones from the 1 €/$/£… store will do the job. But remember, some of these places can be slippery, so walk with care to avoid any accident.
  3. Socks: As we mentioned before, there is not crazy cold weather in summer, that you would need some merino wool socks or use two pairs of socks, but you would need some comfy socks for the boots. If you plan to hike a glacier or go in one of the caves, we recommend you pack one of your good winter socks. The most important is to take socks that are larger than the high of your boots, so they cover you for any friction. Try to get the ones for specific outdoor activities since this will help with the moisture if you don’t have good breathable shoes. If you are going for a few days best to take one for each day, and if you plan to stay longer, you can take a few and wash them.

Bottom

  1. Hiking pants: If you want to visit Hengifoss, Skatafell, or many other places in Iceland, you need to hike, and we all know the best way to do it: comfortable and appropriate clothes. Like in many other parts of this list, we have to repeat: you should arm for a waterproof one or a water resistan. As you will see in writing on many souvenirs on Iceland: If you don’t like the weather just wait five minutes. Most hiking pants will offer enough protection for the temperature of the summer. Still, if it is too much for you, you can always wear leggings or thermal pants underneath.

Adidas Terrex Multi Pant Men from:

Adidas Terrex Trousers Women from:

  1. Waterproof pants: Ok, with this, we go a step further, and we know more of the time they are no pretty, but this trip is not to Paris or Rome, so keep comfortable and prepared for the weather should be the priority when you are packing. Now is a good time for a history of our trip. When we were looking for accommodations, we found these super cute tends. In the comments, we read that it cannot be the best option on rainy days since it can get very humid inside, and the hitter is just on the bed. But anyway we give it a chance because it looks like a very cool idea. We guess you already know where the history is going. Yes, we were so unlucky that the day was the only day of rain during our entire Ring Road trip. So the night was not the most comfortable one. We were initially freezing since we were soaking wet from a non-stop rain day, but once we when to bed, the hitter did its job and warm, even more, we were expecting. But if this doesn’t convince you that you need the best possible waterproof, let us give you one more reason. We were for days drying clothes all around the car while we were on the road since we made the mistake of not take all the kinds of possible waterproof garments.

CMP Rain Trousers Waterproof 10.000 Mm Women from:

CMP Rain Trousers Waterproof 10,000 Mn Men from:

  1. Leggings: Well, we think we all agree there are few clothes more comfortable than leggings (maybe just PJ). You should pack one and alternate it with your hiking pants. If your stay is more than a week or you will not take any other kind of pants, you should consider bringing one more.
  2. Shorts: At the beginning, we didn’t think we would need it, but the weather turns to be warmer we were expecting, and some of us regret not to pack one comfy short for some days with no long hikes.
  1. Sweat pants: We know this is not an option many people would include, but for us was a very comfy option. Also, for example, after the Blue Lagoon was a bit cold and we felt so relaxing, there was nothing better than getting in the comfy clothes to end the day.
  1. Jeans/trousers: We didn’t opt for this option, and honestly, we didn’t need it, but if you plan to have dinner at night in one of the restaurants in the city (Reykjavik or Akuyeri), some more presentable clothes might be a good idea. In most of the restaurants around the road, you will be presentable enough with your hiking clothes.
  2. Thermal pants: This is another optional. It will depend on how much resistant you are to low temperatures. But for us, that are born in the Caribbean, we didn’t felt the need to use one, but you can always pack one to be on the safe side. Also, if you plan to hike the glacier or go to one of the caves, wear appropriate winter clothes as thermal pants is always the best option.

Top

  1. Shirt: This should be your base layer. One shirt for each day works for us for a week, but just take the usual amount you take for a trip. For example, a few days during our trip started a bit cold, but around midday/afternoon, we were already in our base layer. You can substitute it for a long sleeve.
  1. Hoodie/sweater/fleece jacket …: This should be your second layer. We personally recommend whatever keeps you warm and comfy, and you can wear under your outwear jacket. In the picture below, you can see we didn’t take a specific case, but just the ones that work better for each one. Of course, fleece is the predominant one since we all know how comfy these are. Some days, it was not cold enough to use a layer on top of this one.
  1. Waterproof jacket: Another essential to wear in Iceland. Should we go over how important this is again? … Maybe one last time … This should be the first thing to pack, next to your boots. It will cover you for the rain, for the wind, and combined with your hoodie/sweater/fleece… from the cold. Of course, we will always try to keep our expenses low for our trips, but for the rain jacket, you should expend a bit and try to buy a good one that is durable and will keep you warm and dry during the trip.

HE NORTH FACE Resolve Jacket Women from:

THE NORTH FACE Stratos Jacket Men from:

  1. Jacket: So we should say this is totally optional since the hoodie/sweater/fleece … with the waterproof on top was more than enough to protect us from the low temperatures, but some of us also took an extra jacket, in spacial the downs one, since this is very easy to pack in a backpack.
  1. Thermal long slaves shirt: As the thermal pants are optional, and we didn’t need them.

Accessories

  1. Hat: Now, writing this post and looking at the trip pictures, we realize we use our beanies more than we remember. Some days were because it was a bit cold and others to help control the hair from the wind.
  1. Gloves: If we don’t remember wrong, we pack our gloves, but honestly, we didn’t use it one. But since gloves don’t need too much space, we recommend packing them just in case, particularly if you are planning to camp.
  2. Sunglasses: A must that you should not forget.
  1. Scarf: Better be cautious than have to expend a lot in one latter in Iceland. As for gloves, we didn’t need to use them. But it might be the case for you that you had a colder day or night. So we will especially recommend the ones that can be used as a headband. These 2 in 1 are very helpful when you don’t have too much space to pack a heavy scarf. They are also very comfortable for hiking or outdoor activities.
  2. Swimwear: For sure, you should not forget this. Even if you are not planning to visit the Blue Lagoon or other geothermal baths that need to be paid for, there are some free hidden hot springs around the road that you probably wouldn’t want to miss. Unfortunately for us, we weren’t lucky enough to get an empty one, but we wish you the best of luck in the chase of a hidden spring in Iceland.

Don’t forget to subscribe and get our free printable list for Iceland clothes and essentials for Summer. Now available in English, Spanish, and Italian.

Other essentials

  1. Waterproof backpack/Backpack rain cover: Like everything, this is your option, but since you will frequently need to pack camera gear, money, or other essentials while you are visiting the different attractions and because the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, it is better to be ready and avoid to end with something important cover in water.
  2. Towel: Since we slept mostly in guesthouses, we didn’t really need one for our daily cleaning. Also, for the Blue Lagoon, there is one include in the entrance price. But if you will stay in a camp area, you better have your, and if you plan to relax in one of the free hidden hot springs on the road, you will need your personal one. We strongly recommend the quick drying towel since they will quickly occupy less space in your bag than a regular towel.
  3. Waterproof phone case: If you want to bring your phone to the spring and relax inside, you will need to get a waterproof case with you. You will end with some blurry pictures and videos, but hey, at least it is something.
  4. Water bottle: Iceland is a perfect reflection of how beautiful mother nature is, so let contribute a bit, and don’t forget to bring your reusable water bottle. You can drink tap water everywhere in Iceland. You will also want to take a bottle with you during hikes, so better bring the one you know will fit in your backpack. We bought a big bottle of water during our first grocery in Reykjavik before hitting the road to refill our individual bottles when we didn’t find where on the road.
  5. Charging accessories: We are sure you will want to take photos of videos everywhere, so you can come back one day to the pictures and remember how beautiful this trip was. So be sure every day to have your phone in full battery. It will be good to have too a fully charged external battery. If you are going on a road trip, you can get one USB car charger. Also, remember in Iceland, plugs use the standard European plug with two round prongs, so be sure to bring an adapter if necessary.
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  1. Head net: It was just one place where we were missing not to bring one of this net, Krafla. What saves us from enjoying the place without finish with our mouth covered in bugs was our masks (COVID times) and sunglasses.
  2. Thermal bottle: If you are a coffee or tee lover, you don’t want to forget this. It will help you to keep you warm and awake during the road.
  3. Reusable folding cup: If you want to have the coffee or tee on the road, you better have some cups to do it. The reusable and folding one helps you to save space in your luggage.
  4. Lunch box, with reusable cutlery: Honestly, there was more weight in our backpacks from food than for clothes. This was the tip that most help us to save money in Iceland and afford this trip. So yes, we pack our lunch almost every day and have a perfect lunch each day in a beautiful location by the road.
  5. Food: This will need a whole post about all the food we bring with us, but anything you can get to cook there will help keep your budget low.
  6. First aid kit: Lucky for us, we didn’t need it. So we have a perfectly safe trip, but it is better to be prepared if you will be on the road, far away from the city, to have some first aid medicine and bands. You can also install Döff app to contact the emergency service if you need help, without making a phone call.
  7. Photography or video gear: I think I don’t need to mention this, but whatever photography or video equipment you have will be essential in Iceland.
  8. Refreshing kit: Most hotels and guesthouses will have the basics for cleaning, but best to bring a few extras, like suncream and moisturizer. One more tip we didn’t know before our trip: conditioner, shampoo, and shower gel are included in the Blue Lagoon entrance price.

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What to see in Reykjavik Iceland: one-day and half-day itinerary

How to plan a trip to Iceland and not visit its capital? Since our plan was to make a road trip around the island in just one week, we decided to spend just one day in Reykjavík Iceland.

  1. How to get there?
  2. Hallgrimskirkja church
  3. Downtown
  4. Perlan
  5. One-day itinerary
  6. Half-day itinerary
  7. Accommodation recommendations
  8. Tours, experiences and one-day excursions

How to get to downtown Reykjavik from the airport?

Since we live in different countries, our flight times didn’t match. Because of that, we decided to visit Reykjavik separately. So, while one of us had a full day during the first day in Iceland, the other had a half day during the last day. But also, while one had a sunny day, the other had a rainy day, so whatever is the situation for you, we have you covered. So, before telling you about our experiences and our one-day and half-day itinerary, let’s talk about Reykjavik: the only western European capital without either Starbucks or McDonalds!

The town is home to more than 120 000 inhabitants. In the Capital Region of Iceland resides 60% of Icelanders. Reykjavik charms the rest of the world with a unique approach without skyscrapers, subways, or metros. The friendly size and vibe make Reykjavik a lovely destination in all seasons.

Hallgrímskirkja church:

Hallgrímskirkja is a parish church and an ever-present feature of Reykjavík’s skyline. Its construction started in 1945, and it took 41 years to finish the whole church. Inside, a 15 meters tall and 25-tons weight large pipe organ was made by the German organ builder Johannes Klais.

As a significant landmark in Iceland’s capital city, this church is the highest building in downtown Reykjavik, dominating the skyline of the northernmost capital of the world. Ascending on top of the tower of 73 meters in height is a highlight of the tour. The entrance to the church is free. For 1000 ISK (~ 8$/7€) for adults and 100 ISK (~ 1$/0.7€) for children aged from seven to 16 (price from July 2021), you can buy a ticket in the church shop. A lift will take you up to the viewing deck, overlooking the city, the harbor, the white-capped mountains in the distance, and everything else Reykjavik has to offer. The panoramic view of Reykjavik downtown from Hallgrímskirkja’s tower has become iconic imagery on social media.

The church preserves the right to close without notice due to maintenance, social engagements, or other reasons. However, during an ongoing service or concert, the church welcomes visitors to stay; just keep in mind to avoid disturbance.

Downtown Reykjavik:

The sloped road connects the main shopping street of Reykjavik, Laugavegur, and other significant areas in the capital. It leads to the top of the hill named Skólavörðuhæð, where the Hallgrímskirkja church is located. As part of the Reykjavik Pride celebration in 2019, this street was painted with rainbow colors, representing Iceland’s friendliness and acceptance to its LGBTQ community. Airbnbs near this concurred street is the tourist’s preferred.

Tjornin Pond is a beautiful lake in the city center, next to the City Hall and Frikirkjan Church. Elegantly colored old houses and the City Hall building surround the lake. Geese, ducks, swans, and seagulls bring this colorful lake to life and one of the main attractions of this city.

You will probably be walking on this street even not knowing its name. Well, Laugavegur street is one of the oldest in Iceland’s capital. Renowned for its restaurants and bars, it is also the main shopping street in Reykjavik. The fantastic street art makes you lose track of time while walking and visiting the little cozy souvenir stores.

Harpa is one of Reykjavik’s most distinguished landmarks and one of the most visited attractions. It is a cultural center in the city’s heart with glass panels with the same hexagonal shape as Iceland’s basalt rocks. It is located next to the harbor and offers a terrace with views. Even though it was constructed in 2011, Harpa has already received numerous awards for its architecture and concert and conference center.

As a result of this vivid experience of my participation in this expedition while on the island of Bockholm in the Finnish archipelago, I carved a picture of a sun ship into a granite rock by the sea.  The sun ship symbolizes the promise of new, undiscovered territory.

 Jón Gunnar, newspaper Þjóðviljinn on June 11 1987

Perlan:

Perlan Museum is an impressive structure located near downtown Reykjavik. As one of Iceland’s most ambitious exhibition projects, Perlan presents a great perspective to see what Iceland offers. It’s a must-visit destination where you will find large-scale exhibitions.

The museum exhibits the world’s first indoor Ice Cave, built with over 350 tons of snow from the Icelandic Mountains. If you plan to go there remember to take with you an ice jacket. Inside the cave, you will be walking along 100 meters with -15°C temperature.

The museum also has the only planetarium of Iceland with an 8K state-of-the-art projection system. If you couldn’t see the Northern Lights (like our case :(), this is a must-experience. On its third floor there is a restaurant and a fabulous 360° view of Reykjavik and surrounding areas. From there, you will see the beautiful mount Esja, Reykjavik’s colorful houses, and rising churches. On clear days the view is complete with the sight of the ice-capped Snaefellsjokull glacier far in the distance. In winter, the observation deck is highly recommended for the view of the Northern Lights.

The price (from July 2021) for adults is 4490 ISK (~ 37$/31€). For children aged 6 to 17 years old, the price is 2290 ISK (~ 19$/16€). The ticket includes:

  • Access to the viewing deck
  • Perlan Planetarium
  • All exhibitions – including access to the ice cave

You can get the ticket for a lower price with student identification or not planning to visit the planetarium. For more updated information, you can check the museum website.

One day in Reykjavik Iceland itinerary

After a very early flight from Dusseldorf airport, Germany, Arturo and I (Annie) arrived in a very empty Iceland airport before 8:00 am, received by this huge promotion, tempting us to go stray to the Blue Lagoon, and the famous Exit to Iceland sign.

Our first stop: breakfasts! In Joe and the Juice, we had a perfect sandwich and energizing smoothie. Maybe good to notice that there are two Joe and the Juice in the airport. By mistake, we ended having breakfast in the one from people departing. Still, there is one after baggage claim for people arriving.

The next step was to get some alcohol in the Duty-Free (the cheaper way to get alcohol in Iceland). Remember never to drink and drive!!! After buying our six-pack, we headed to the bus stop to take Bus 55+1 to Reykjavik city. If you want to know more about public transportation to Reykjavik and other options, check our post: Best ways to get from Iceland International airport (Keflavík) to Reykjavík downtown.

After a 45 minutes trip, we were in Reykjavik. Unfortunately, our guesthouse didn’t have a check-in till 16:00, but they offer us a bag storage space.

You can have a look at our Youtube channel: Ani & Tury

11:00- Hallgrímskirkja church

12:15- Tjörnin

For lunch, we decide to get our first Icelandic hot-dog at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur. But, in total honesty, we were so obsessed with the Joe and the Juice from the airport that we come back for one more to finish our lunch.

13:30- Harpa Concert Hall

14:15- Sun Voyager

15:00- Laugavegur

16:45-Perlan

After Perlan, we did a long walk back to our accommodation. We finally did the check-in, follow for some dinner before coming back to see the sunset in the harbor. Be aware we were in Iceland during summer, August, and the sunset during late hours. Around 22:00, we come back to the guesthouse where we met Ely and Rogelio and start to prepare for the next day to pick up the rental car (More about how to rent a car in Iceland in our post: Rental Cars in Iceland airport and Reykjavik: Blue Car rental, insurance, and more), and start our Ring Road Trip.

Half-day in Reykjavik Iceland itinerary

After saying goodbye to Annie and Arturo very early in the morning, Rogelio and I (Ely) slept until 10:00 am. A rainy day, really common in Reykjavik, didn’t stop us from knowing the city. We left the Airbnb after having breakfast, and with our backpacks, we started walking. Our first stop, after a walk of around 3 km under the rain, was Perlan. We spend two hours inside, visiting the different rooms, the ice cave, the planetarium, and admiring the roof view. Then we walked again like 2 km to downtown.

14:30- Hallgrímskirkja church

15:00- Laugavegur

We decided to try the Joe and the Juice from downtown after Annie’s recommendation for lunch. We can assure you that it is delicious.

16:00- Harpa Concert Hall

16:10- Sun Voyager

16:40- Tjörnin

Tip 1: Be sure you have charged your smartphone and camera, or you have a backup battery charger. You will also need to check the space you have in both because you will want to take many pictures.

We had our flight back to Milan at 19:30, so at that time, we head back to the airport. From the Tjörnin bus stop, we took the bus (Line 1+ Line 55 ) to Keflavik Airport. If you want to know more about this, check our post: Best ways to get from Iceland International airport (Keflavík) to Reykjavík downtown.

Some of the links on this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something we may receive payment. Although all these recommendations are based on our personal experience.

Accommodation recommendations

This is the budget-friendly accommodation we choose at Reykjavik:

We choose this one since it includes breakfast. Because we planned our first grocery shopping for the next day of arrival to Reykjavik, accommodation with breakfast sound perfect. It is also very well localized, two minutes walk from Hallgrímskirkja church. We choose a four people room for 100 € (remember these are not fixed prices), it was a small room, but just to sleep a night was good enough for us. It counts with a shared kitchen, with all was necessary to cook the lunch for our first day on the road. It also has a shared bathroom with another room.

On our last day in Iceland, we sped the night at Reykjavik. We also choose a shared room for four people for 75 €, with nearby parking. Unfortunately, this property is no longer available.

Tours, experiences and one-day excursions

If you are looking for more excitement or staying in Reykjavik for more than one day, here are a few of the most popular activities, tours and one-day excursions you can take. Some of them you can do if you have a car (check our post about rental cars in Iceland), in which case you can plan everything for yourself or book a self-guided tour. If you don’t have a car, you can book too guided excursions.

  • Excursions:

If you want to plan everything for yourself, here are some examples:

  1. Golden circle
  2. Snaefellsnes peninsula
Gullfoss waterfall in a rainy day
Gullfoss waterfall, Golden Circle

This and more one day tours from Reykjavik can be booked for self-drive or guided at Viator.

  • Experiences:

Some of these you can drive for yourself as Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon. For the northern lights, you can ask locals or at your accommodation for good spots and go for yourself or book one of the excursions.

For whale watching, you can read our post about our experience with Gentle Giant at Húsavík, where we also share links to this magnificent experience in Reykjavik. 

  • Tour
  1. Reykjavik walking tour
Iceland the ultimate guide

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Rating: 1 out of 5.

Money and currency in Iceland

The official currency of Iceland is the króna (krónur in plural), sometimes called the Icelandic crown (sign: kr and the international code: ISK). Everything we can tell you about it is that no even one time in our week there we touch or see a bill or coin. This doesn’t mean you can not use cash; it is just that cards are accepted everywhere, and this was the option we choose. For all we have heard from other experiences, you probably will only need cash to pay in some public restrooms (the ones we use didn’t need it).

Cash or card?

Some of the links on this post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something we may receive payment. Although all these recommendations are based on our personal experience.

If you want to use the cash, you can exchange directly in your country before the flight to Iceland (in this case, the best option is to change it directly in your bank since it will offer you the best rates) or once you are in Iceland you can:

  • Withdraw money from the ATM directly in Icelandic crown. You will probably need to choose to extract the money with the exchange rate from the ATM bank company or use your bank exchange rate, which is perhaps the best option.
  • Or exchange your bills at banks or hotels (you will find a better exchange rate at banks).
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You can check here the current exchange rate. But this can differ a bit from the one in hotels and banks, so check first the rate in your hotel and near banks, so you can compare and use the one that provides the best rate. If you want to withdraw from an ATM, the best option is to check your bank’s current exchange rate. This also applies if you you’re going to pay by card.

Some cards (like Revolut) offer you a live exchange rate in their app or website. This card allows you to create a pocket in a specific currency that you can change in advance. When you pay will be debit directly from the pocket in that currency. This has some benefits since you will have previous knowledge of the exchange rate. Also, it can help you to save money if you set a budget for the trip.

Payment at Gas stations (important for US cards )

To use the card in some gas stations, you will need to use a card with a 4 digits pin. If you don’t have one, you can contact your bank about this or get one prepaid card online like Revolut (also available in the US). Your other option will be to get one gas card from N1 gas stations or supermarkets; the disadvantage would be that you will need to fill your tank always with the same type of station. You can check here for more information.

Tips to save money in Iceland

  1. Hotels are great but wake up in the middle of nowhere in a guesthouse when you are traveling in Iceland is a fantastic sensation. When booking an accommodation, don’t use only one website or app; check different ones. Our favorites: Booking.com, Hotels.com and, Airbnb.
  1. Don’t waste money on bottles of water. Water in Iceland is very safe to drink from the tap.
  2. Bringing some cans and fast food will save you a lot of money to cook your meals. Most of the accommodations count with a kitchen with all the supplies you will need (like oil, salt, and pepper). There are long roads without restaurants or cafes, so having a packaged food is the best option.
  3. Some foods like yogurts, milk, fruits, or cheese are best to buy fresh from the supermarket. Check Bonus supermarket for the best deals (just have in mind their opening times, which change depending on the day of the week but in general, it close around 18:00 or 19:00).
  4. Buy alcohol in the Duty-Free from Keflavík Airport.
  5. Prepare a good plan for your trip in advance. This includes not only accommodation and transportation but also meals and a schedule of daily activities.

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Best ways to get from Iceland International airport (Keflavik) to Reykjavik downtown

On many occasions, while we try to save money using budget-friendly airlines, we wind up traveling from or arriving in an airport far away from everything. And while most airports are well connected to the city, like direct metro lines or buses, sometimes they aren’t. Whatever the reason is, you need to do this research; the important part is that you want to be prepared. So, because we’ve walked in your shoes, we design this guide to facilitate your journey.

In Iceland, the international airport is located in the city of Keflavik (KEF Airport), which is approximately 50 km (31 miles) from the city center of Reykjavik. You will find the most popular and well-known alternatives in the following list and the cheaper ones most people don’t know.

Overview

Taxi

No matter where you are in the world, the classical way is to get a cab, though it is for sure the least affordable one. If you know an airport where a taxi is not the most expensive way to reach the city, we’d love to know, so leave us a comment below. One thing we can tell you for sure, KEF Airport is not in that pot.

You have two options if you are planning to take a taxi from KEF Airport, grab one directly at the airport or book it in advance. Whatever the case is, you should know that, like everything in Iceland, taxis are expensive. A regular taxi can cost approximately 100 € (120 $) and an eight-seats 160 € (195 $) if you book it in advance. Otherwise, the prices can double.

If you want to use a taxi, you can check here for some options.

Tip 1: Even if you are not planning to use a taxi service, save the phone number of any company anyway in case an emergency arises.

Shuttle Bus

Shuttle buses are always a comfortable and easy option to choose from. Most airports have several options that can be quickly booked in advance or directly at the airport. Shuttle buses, unlike public transportation, have fewer stops, which allow you to arrive faster at your destination without spending too much on a taxi. They also offer luggage space to travel more comfortably without the weight of heavy bags. Which shuttle buses are available at KEF airport?

Tip 2: Several shuttle bus companies worldwide offer lower prices if you book your seat in advance.

The most popular options are Flybus and Airport Direct. For more information about prices, destination, booking process, and more, you can check our post: Shuttle Bus to and from Iceland International airport (Keflavik) to Reykjavik downtown.

Rental Car

Rent a car just to travel from KEF Airport to Reykjavik city is probably no the best option when there are many other services at an affordable cost. But if you are planning a road trip to Vík, the Golden Circle, the Ring Road, or any other of the many attraction Iceland has to offer, this is our recommendation.

There are plenty of car companies at the airport to choose from. The myriad goes from the well-known ones, like Sixt, Enterprise, and Hertz, to local car companies like Blue Car Rental. All of them offer a shuttle bus nearby the P2 parking, but if you prefer to walk, it’ll take you less than five minutes to their airport offices.

From the car rental offices to Reykjavik is around 45 minutes with usual traffic. There are no tolls on the way. Another favorite option is to visit first the Blue Lagoon on the way to Reykjavik (a 20-minute drive from KEF Airport).

For a complete guide about car rental companies, insurance, best car to rental, how to drive in Iceland and our experience check our post: Rental Cars in Iceland airport and Reykjavik: rental companies, insurance, and more.

Camper-vans are another perfect way to visit Iceland. We will not cover this topic here. You can check Indie Campers and Camp Easy for more information. We consider renting a van, but because you need to park the van in specific camping areas in Iceland, we decide to spend the nights in guesthouses.

Public Transportation

When we started planning our trip to Iceland, we were convinced we needed to pay for one shuttle bus. Just when we were ready to pay for it, we decide to check for public transportation options. We found it was possible to use a combination of buses to reach the city. The clear advantage was the price but with the disadvantage that the buses don’t run that often as the shuttle bus. If you don’t mind waiting a few minutes for the bus after arriving at KEF Airport, keep reading for more info. You can kill some time in the Joe and the Juice.

You need to use the combination of Bus 55 and Bus 1. The straight path to Bus 55 stop is to get out of the airport terminal from the departure area, go through the P1 Parking area and after that, you will see well signalized the bust stop.

The bus has a large luggage storage compartment. Therefore, if you are traveling with heavy bags, you will fit them in without problems. However, be aware that the bus on route 55 cannot take bicycles.

The ticket can be purchased from the bus driver (card or cash) or use the Strætó app. If you buy the ticket from the driver, be sure to specify you are traveling to Reykjavik city center. If you can say your specific bus stop, even better. Icelandic can be difficult to pronounce, so maybe have the stop’s name at hand so you can show it to the driver. This will get you a transfer ticket that also works for Bus 1. In Iceland, almost everyone speaks English, so you don’t have to worry about communication problems with the driver.

The price from the website on March 2020:

  • Adults ~ 13 € (16 $). If you get in on the app, you need to buy 4 adult tickets for a total price of 1960 ISK.
  • 12-17 years old ~ 5€ (6 $), or 4 youth tickets for 712 ISK.
  • 6-11 years old ~ 1.50 € (1.80 $), or 3 children tickets for 228 ISK. 

The last stop of Bus 55 (Fjörður) is the same place where you need to take Bus 1.

Bus 1 is a usual city bus, so you will need to take the bags with you on the bus. Larger vehicles can no longer enter some areas, so you need to check for the bus stop closer to your accommodation. Most hotels and guesthouses in the restricted area are within a 5-10 minute walking distance from a bus stop. Be sure to remember the name of your stop, so you don’t miss it.

Suppose you want to use public transportation to travel to KEF Airport. In that case, you can get the ticket in the app, one of the sale points, or with the drivers (NOTE. Bus drivers in the capital do not carry any change if you want to pay via cash).

Follow the links for the latest information:

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