nine-day trip to iceland (itinerary & map)

a lot of people have been asking me to send them my iceland itinerary, so i figured i might as well post it here. my trip was a total of nine days, which was enough time to get around the entire island. however, we did have two extra days in reykjavik, so if you need to make it a seven-day trip, i don’t think you would have an issue with it. below you will find the following: the full itinerary, tips regarding the itinerary, and the map.

click here to download the itinerary and follow along as i provide tips for some of the main attractions.

Iceland-1-4

day one

selavallalaug (secret pool): okay, so it might not be such a secret anymore. but i still think this place is pretty cool. it’s actually a little hard to find at first, so listen up. you’re going to pull into where the map tells you to, park your car and head towards the mountains. it’s around a 15-20 minute walk, in which you will have to cross a small waterfall. have your hiking boots on, you don’t want to get stuck walking for a mile or so with sandals – not fun.

rutshellir: when heading to skogafoss, be on the look out for an adorable little house inside a mountain. you’ll likely see a few photographers there also getting that money shot.

skogafoss: this waterfall is pretty spectacular, specially if it’s the first one you see in iceland. you are able to walk behind it, so make sure to bring your rain jacket and protective camera gear with you on this stop.

solheimasandur plane wreck: there’s this abandoned us navy airplane that is honestly pretty cool. you’ll have to park your car in the designated slot and walk 4 km to the plane. the walk isn’t hard, it’s just long. there will come a point that you’ll think you will never get there – but i promise you will.

day two

fjadrargljufur: they say this is one of the most beautiful canyons – and they are right. if you’re heading around this area, don’t forget to stop here. it’s a pretty easy walk up to the canyon, so you don’t need to get prepared for a full on hike or anything like that.

jokuslarolon: we booked a tour on an amphibian boat so we could get a closer look at the glaciers on the lagoon, but really, the glaciers are awesome regardless of where you see them from. they also have private tours on rafts and other glacier activities, so make sure you search a little before deciding on one.

ishusid pizzeria:  there’s going to be a point (or several) where you won’t realize just how late it is. it never really got dark there when we went in late may/early june – so you can only image how many times we skipped dinner. we stumbled (through the help of yelp, of course) into this pizzeria at around 10 p.m. and had a fantastic meal. the place is new and super on trend. they have cozy seating, a cool atmosphere, and an great view of the harbor.

house on the hill: when it comes to booking hotels, i highly suggest going through booking.com. they really help you stay organized and the reviews/photos in there are super helpful. i needed to call out this hotel, because i just found it so adorable and pretty cheap. this literal house on the hill offers private rooms with a shared bathroom and kitchenette or completely private room/bathroom with a shared kitchenette. we went for the shared bathroom option and were amazed at how clean it was. the rooms were adorable, filled with sunlight and decked out with little sofas and a flat screen TV. the kitchenette had everything you needed, from a coffee maker (and coffee beans) to a toaster to a huge fridge that had a slot designated for each room. plus, they refilled their cookie jar every day.

day three

atv tour in : while day three is pretty spectacular due to the amazing views you will find along the costal route, there aren’t really any must-see’s in this area. a lot of your day depends on the weather and the views you want to stop and capture. so if you’re looking for some adventure, i highly recommend this atv tour in the forest of hallormsstaðu. the owner is super relaxed, so just email him to book it and that’s it! you’ll pull up to this random area up on the hill and go from there. (p.s. he takes credit card, as does everyone else in the island, so don’t even worry about exchanging money.)

day four

karfla power plant: okay so this plant is actually pretty weird (in a good way). tours are available starting in june. so don’t be idiots like rob and i who went on may 30. if you don’t want to take the tour, i still suggest driving through this alien plant. it will smell like rotten eggs the entire time (it’s the sulfur), but it’s worth it. look out for the krafla viti crater, which is right through the plant and up the hill.

hverarond: not far from the plant are these really cool hot springs. the also spell like hell, but you can walk around them and pretend like you’re in mars the entire time.

myvant nature baths: we finished our busy day at this nature bath, which was nicely located just a few minutes from our hotel. it’s a very small version of blue lagoon, so it’s not a must, but it’s still nice to just sit down and relax. i do have to warn you that if it’s very cold outside, the water temperature also drops. they do lower the entrance fee, but it’s still not as enjoyable as you’d hope.

day five

lava cave: i didn’t get to do this, but i’m highly suggesting it based of pictures and reviews i saw.

viking rafting: white water rafting in a glacier-turned-lake is by far one of the coolest things we got to do. plus, this place takes really good care of you. they give you a full dry suit (minus the gloves), hot chocolate, and an adorable cottage to hang out before and/or after your adventure. they also provide dinner or lunch for an additional fee.

day six

akranes: there’s a cute little town about an hour before reykjavik that i highly suggest making it a pit stop. here, you will find two lighthouses (one of which you can actually go inside of) and a rusty old boat, which photographers love.

day seven

fridheimar farm: if you’re not a fan of tomatoes, then skip this entirely. this tomato farm offers a tomato-only lunch inside their greenhouse. so not only will you get to see the tomatoes they grow, but also get to taste them in multiple forms. they serve their famous tomato soup on buffet and offer a variety of tomato based foods, drinks (alcoholic and not), and desserts.

day eight

reykjavik: as you might have guessed, the city itself isn’t really that big. there’s a ton of food and drink options, but as far as cultural activities go, I’m afraid there’s not as many. however, i do highly recommend visiting the harpa concert hall and the hallgrimskirkja church.

day nine

solhestar: i recommend this place for three reasons. 1. i had a great experience here. 2. it’s close to reykjavik and only 40ish minutes from blue lagoon. 3. they offer private horseback ridings sessions, which gives you the freedom to choose the time that works for you and not the other way around. we didn’t make a reservation here since we kinda did it on a whim, but i highly suggest you do – particularly if you are going later in the season.

blue lagoon: i left the best for last for a reason. having a time to relax at the spa before heading back to the hecticness that is life is a must. you’ve just spent nine days road tripping, hiking, and exploring. now, you need to rest and enjoy yourself. make sure you get your reservations for the blue lagoon way before your trip to ensure your seat. you don’t want to go to iceland and miss this – that would be awkward.

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