First Trip to Iceland - 10 Nights Summer Ring Road Itinerary Help

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First Trip to Iceland - 10 Nights Summer Ring Road Itinerary Help

mgugs46
My wife, myself, and 10 year old daughter are heading to Iceland this June (June 20th - 30th). We rent a 4WD SUV and are making our way counter-clockwise around the ring road, along with a few other detours/side trips. We have everything tentatively booked as far as accommodations go, although I am constantly looking at AirBnB and Booking.com to see if I find anything that looks cooler/better/more convenient. Everything I booked can be cancelled up until early June.

Here is what I have so far for an itinerary - please feel free to critique and/or bash away. Also please point out if I am doing something in an order that does not make sense. I am an amateur photography enthusiast, so I am sure I will wind up spending way more time in some places than I originally planned for. I tried to list the itinerary below in order of when we would visist each spot:



DAY 1 - We land at 5:50AM at Kevlafik airport, flying out of lovely Newark, NJ. We rented our SUV with Blue rental, and I figured we should be able to pick up the car around 7:00AM. Since it is a relatively short flight, we planned to spend that night in Reykjavik. I assume we will be at least mildly tired/jet lagged, although we normally fair well on that front - however, usually it is a much longer flight (last summer it was 9 hours to Stockholm, so plenty of time to nap). We cannot check in to our apartment that day until 3:00PM, so the plan would be to tour Reykjanes Peninsula that day, until closer to check in time. I figure we can hit Bonus, grab some groceries/supplies, and then visit:

 1. Bridge between the Continents

 2. Hafnarberg Sea Cliffs

 3. Gunnuhver

 4. Krysuvik

 5. Krysuvikurberg Cliffs

After that, it will be off to Reykjavik to check in to the apartment, and head out to explore the city, seeing the main sites and wandering the shops. Obviously at some point we will need to grab some lunch/dinner. Depending on how much energy we have, we could venture out, but I think Reykjavik will have enough to entertain us on this first day. We are staying at the Hverfisgata Apartment.



DAY 2 - The plan will be to get up early, have some breakfast, and head out to do the Golden Circle this day. We plan to see all of the following:

 1. Thingvellir National Park

 2. Geysir

 3. Gulfoss

 4. Gjain

 5. Haifoss

 6. Kerid Crater

That night we are staying outside of Selfoss at Skálatjörn Guesthouse which is a goat farm, and we have the whole above the barn apartment rented out for the night. Lunch we will probably grab at one of the Golden Circle attractions, and then have dinner in Selfoss someplace.


DAY 3 - We plan to make our way towards Vik this day. Again, the plan will be to get up early, have some breakfast and make our way to the following:

 1. Seljalandsfoss ( and the hidden water fall )

 2. Skogafoss

 3. Solheimjokul

 4. Dyrholaey

 5. Reynisfjara Beach

 6. Reynisdrangar View

 7. Kvernufoss

 8. Mulafoss

 9. Nauthúsagil Waterfall?

I would love to see some of Landmannalaugar, but not sure how or where we would fit that in? That night we are staying at the Black Beach Suites in Vik. Pricey, but they look like neat little cottages with a decent view. Dinner will be in Vik somewhere. Not sure where we will grab lunch that day, but most likely at a gas station unless we come across anything else in our travels.



DAY 4 - This day will be spent making our way towards Hofn, or actually a little east to a place called Hrafnavellir. Here is what we plan to see along the way. This day I believe is probably busier than what we will actually be able to attain, however, as always we plan to be up early and on our way to see:

 1. Hjorleifshofdi

 2. Eldhraun

 3. Fjadrargljufur canyon

 4. Systrafoss

 5. Foss a Sidu

 6. Dverghamrar

 7. Skaftafell/Vatnajokull Park

 8. Svartifoss

 9. Svinafellsjokull Glacier

 10. Fjallsarlon Glacial Lagoon

 11. Jokusarlon Glacial Lagoon ( we would like to book a boat tour here )

 12. Diamond Beach

Obviously a lot this day, and I am sure if we had to we could cut out some things, but it is only about 206 miles of driving. My cannot miss locations are the two glacial lagoons, Diamond Beach, Svartifoss and the two glaciers. That night we are staying in the Hrafnavellir Guest House which again is slightly north east of Hofn. Dinner will have to be someplace in Hofn, and again lunch will be where ever we can grab it.



DAY 5 - This day we will be backtracking slightly to Vestahorn/Stoksness before making our way to the East Fjords, and Seydisfjordur. Along the way we plan to hit:

 1. Vestahorn/Stoksness

 2. Hvalnes Lighthouse

 3. Djupivogur

 4. Sveinsstekksfoss

 5. Homantindur mountain

 6. Fardagafoss

Currently we are booked at the Lonsleira Apartments right in the town of Seydisfjordur. We also plan on spending time exploring the town as well. Dinner will be in town. Lunch, again, probably gas station food. Not a ton planned this day, but maybe a less hectic day after the previous packed day will be welcomed.



DAY 6 - We will be making our way to Myvatan area - actually staying currently a tad west in Laugar, but have been thinking of just booking a hotel room at Fosshotel Myvatan since perhaps that would be more convenient? Hopefully flies will not be overbearing. We plan to see:

 1. Dettifoss/Selfoss

 2. Asbyrgi canyon

 3. Hverarond

 4. Namaskardh

 5. Myvatan nature baths

 6. Dimmuborgir

 7. Hverfjall

 8. Leirhnjukur

 9. Namafjall

Not really clear if it will be easier to see Detifoss/Selfoss and Asbyrgi on the way from Seydisfjordur before getting to Myvatan area (about 116 miles from Seydisfjordur), or perhaps if it is something that should be saved for the following day leaving Myvatan? That night we are staying in Einishus Cottages.
 


DAY 7 - This day we are leaving Myvatan area, and heading to Akureyri. I figure if we do not do Detifoss/Selfoss and Asbyrgi Canyon, we can head out and do that first, though it would involve some backtracking. Assuming we did it, we could use the morning to hit anything else in Myvatan area that we could not fit in on Day 6. On the way to Aureyri, we plan on seeing:

 1. Godafoss

 2. Husavik and the Geosea pool they have there

And that is really all we have planned that day - which is not much - and the trip from Myvatan to Akureyri is fairly short. On the plus side, it gives us basically two days in and around Myvatan. Will this be too much? Will have dinner in Akureyri and we are staying at the K16 Apartments.



DAY 8 - We will be making our way towards Blonduos, actually a town called Laekajmot. On our way, we plan to take the long way and see:

 1. Trollagaski

 2. Glaumbaer

 3. Hofsos pool?

 4. Dalvik pool?

We are spending the night in Sindrastadir Apartment. Not sure we will actually hit up both pools. Again, another seemingly light day. Suggestions on how to better this part of the itinerary? No clue as to where we will be getting dinner. Hopefully in Blonduos.



DAY 9 - Making our way to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the town of Grundafjordur. We plan to see the following on our way:

 1. Hvitserkur

 2. Hvammstangi (seals)

 3. Berserkjahraun

 4. KOLUGLJÚFUR canyon

That night we are staying at the Berg 1 Horse Farm which appears to have an excellent view of Kirkjufell. Depending on what time we get there, I am sure we will also see Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss.



DAY 10 - Making our way towards Bogarnes and spending the day exploring the Snaefellsnes Peninsual. Plan to see all of the following:

 1. Kirkjufell

 2. Kirjufellsfoss

 3. Snaefellsjokull Park

 4. Londrangar Basalt Cliffs

 5. Hellnar

 6. Shardsvik Beach

 7. Djupalonssandur beach

 8. Vatnshellir Cave

 9. Arnstapi

That night we are staying at the Icelandair Hotel Hamar. Hopefully since we are staying right near Kirkjufell, I will be able to get some good shots early or late with less crowds in the shot.



DAY 11 - Sadly, time to go home. Basically will be making our way back towards Kevlafik, and our flight leaves at 5:00PM, so we plan to return the car and be at the airport by 2:00PM. This should leave us some time to see a few things on our way:

 1. Gerduberg Cliffs

 2. Ytri Tunga

 3. Glymur hike? I know we probably cannot do this before our flight, as I think it is 3-4 hours, but not sure how we would fit it in earlier?

As you can see, the itinerary sort of falls apart a bit right around Day 7. We had considered using some time to go to the West Fjords, but most people I saw stated that unless you have 2+ weeks, the West Fjords took too long to truly appreciate without the adequate time. Part of me thinks that the itinerary is a little light, and we will have too much free time ... then again, part of me thinks that we will be stopping so often that we will never get to all of this stuff.

We do not have any tours booked yet - we are really more of a do it yourself type of vacationer, but we would like to take a boat tour at Jokusarlon, and a lava tube/cave tour if possible. Would have loved an ice cave, but I guess that is not a summer option.
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Re: First Trip to Iceland - 10 Nights Summer Ring Road Itinerary Help

Iceland24
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Dear mgugs46,

DAY 1 - We land at 5:50AM at Kevlafik airport, flying out of lovely Newark, NJ. We rented our SUV with Blue rental, and I figured we should be able to pick up the car around 7:00AM. Since it is a relatively short flight, we planned to spend that night in Reykjavik. I assume we will be at least mildly tired/jet lagged, although we normally fair well on that front - however, usually it is a much longer flight (last summer it was 9 hours to Stockholm, so plenty of time to nap). We cannot check in to our apartment that day until 3:00PM, so the plan would be to tour Reykjanes Peninsula that day, until closer to check in time. I figure we can hit Bonus, grab some groceries/supplies, and then visit:

 1. Bridge between the Continents

 2. Hafnarberg Sea Cliffs

 3. Gunnuhver

 4. Krysuvik

 5. Krysuvikurberg Cliffs

After that, it will be off to Reykjavik to check in to the apartment, and head out to explore the city, seeing the main sites and wandering the shops. Obviously at some point we will need to grab some lunch/dinner. Depending on how much energy we have, we could venture out, but I think Reykjavik will have enough to entertain us on this first day. We are staying at the Hverfisgata Apartment.

OK.

DAY 2 - The plan will be to get up early, have some breakfast, and head out to do the Golden Circle this day. We plan to see all of the following:

 1. Thingvellir National Park

 2. Geysir

 3. Gulfoss

 4. Gjain

 5. Haifoss

 6. Kerid Crater

That night we are staying outside of Selfoss at Skálatjörn Guesthouse which is a goat farm, and we have the whole above the barn apartment rented out for the night. Lunch we will probably grab at one of the Golden Circle attractions, and then have dinner in Selfoss someplace.

You do not need to wake up so early. You can do this itinerary in half day.


DAY 3 - We plan to make our way towards Vik this day. Again, the plan will be to get up early, have some breakfast and make our way to the following:

 1. Seljalandsfoss ( and the hidden water fall )

 2. Skogafoss

 3. Solheimjokul

 4. Dyrholaey

 5. Reynisfjara Beach

 6. Reynisdrangar View

 7. Kvernufoss

 8. Mulafoss

 9. Nauthúsagil Waterfall?

I would love to see some of Landmannalaugar, but not sure how or where we would fit that in? That night we are staying at the Black Beach Suites in Vik. Pricey, but they look like neat little cottages with a decent view. Dinner will be in Vik somewhere. Not sure where we will grab lunch that day, but most likely at a gas station unless we come across anything else in our travels.

Ok. Please note that Nauthúsagil is in an F road. And Mulafoss is out of the road.

DAY 4 - This day will be spent making our way towards Hofn, or actually a little east to a place called Hrafnavellir. Here is what we plan to see along the way. This day I believe is probably busier than what we will actually be able to attain, however, as always we plan to be up early and on our way to see:

 1. Hjorleifshofdi

 2. Eldhraun

 3. Fjadrargljufur canyon

 4. Systrafoss

 5. Foss a Sidu

 6. Dverghamrar

 7. Skaftafell/Vatnajokull Park

 8. Svartifoss

 9. Svinafellsjokull Glacier

 10. Fjallsarlon Glacial Lagoon

 11. Jokusarlon Glacial Lagoon ( we would like to book a boat tour here )

 12. Diamond Beach

Obviously a lot this day, and I am sure if we had to we could cut out some things, but it is only about 206 miles of driving. My cannot miss locations are the two glacial lagoons, Diamond Beach, Svartifoss and the two glaciers. That night we are staying in the Hrafnavellir Guest House which again is slightly north east of Hofn. Dinner will have to be someplace in Hofn, and again lunch will be where ever we can grab it.

OK. Big day. Please note the to get to some waterfall you have to hike up to 2 hours back and forward.

DAY 5 - This day we will be backtracking slightly to Vestahorn/Stoksness before making our way to the East Fjords, and Seydisfjordur. Along the way we plan to hit:

 1. Vestahorn/Stoksness

 2. Hvalnes Lighthouse

 3. Djupivogur

 4. Sveinsstekksfoss

 5. Homantindur mountain

 6. Fardagafoss

Currently we are booked at the Lonsleira Apartments right in the town of Seydisfjordur. We also plan on spending time exploring the town as well. Dinner will be in town. Lunch, again, probably gas station food. Not a ton planned this day, but maybe a less hectic day after the previous packed day will be welcomed.

OK.

DAY 6 - We will be making our way to Myvatan area - actually staying currently a tad west in Laugar, but have been thinking of just booking a hotel room at Fosshotel Myvatan since perhaps that would be more convenient? Hopefully flies will not be overbearing. We plan to see:

 1. Dettifoss/Selfoss

 2. Asbyrgi canyon

 3. Hverarond

 4. Namaskardh

 5. Myvatan nature baths

 6. Dimmuborgir

 7. Hverfjall

 8. Leirhnjukur

 9. Namafjall

Not really clear if it will be easier to see Detifoss/Selfoss and Asbyrgi on the way from Seydisfjordur before getting to Myvatan area (about 116 miles from Seydisfjordur), or perhaps if it is something that should be saved for the following day leaving Myvatan? That night we are staying in Einishus Cottages.
 
OK.

DAY 7 - This day we are leaving Myvatan area, and heading to Akureyri. I figure if we do not do Detifoss/Selfoss and Asbyrgi Canyon, we can head out and do that first, though it would involve some backtracking. Assuming we did it, we could use the morning to hit anything else in Myvatan area that we could not fit in on Day 6. On the way to Aureyri, we plan on seeing:

 1. Godafoss

 2. Husavik and the Geosea pool they have there

And that is really all we have planned that day - which is not much - and the trip from Myvatan to Akureyri is fairly short. On the plus side, it gives us basically two days in and around Myvatan. Will this be too much? Will have dinner in Akureyri and we are staying at the K16 Apartments.

Great.

DAY 8 - We will be making our way towards Blonduos, actually a town called Laekajmot. On our way, we plan to take the long way and see:

 1. Trollagaski

 2. Glaumbaer

 3. Hofsos pool?

 4. Dalvik pool?

We are spending the night in Sindrastadir Apartment. Not sure we will actually hit up both pools. Again, another seemingly light day. Suggestions on how to better this part of the itinerary? No clue as to where we will be getting dinner. Hopefully in Blonduos.

OK. Hofsós pool is amazing.

DAY 9 - Making our way to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the town of Grundafjordur. We plan to see the following on our way:

 1. Hvitserkur

 2. Hvammstangi (seals)

 3. Berserkjahraun

 4. KOLUGLJÚFUR canyon

That night we are staying at the Berg 1 Horse Farm which appears to have an excellent view of Kirkjufell. Depending on what time we get there, I am sure we will also see Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss.

OK

DAY 10 - Making our way towards Bogarnes and spending the day exploring the Snaefellsnes Peninsual. Plan to see all of the following:

 1. Kirkjufell

 2. Kirjufellsfoss

 3. Snaefellsjokull Park

 4. Londrangar Basalt Cliffs

 5. Hellnar

 6. Shardsvik Beach

 7. Djupalonssandur beach

 8. Vatnshellir Cave

 9. Arnstapi

That night we are staying at the Icelandair Hotel Hamar. Hopefully since we are staying right near Kirkjufell, I will be able to get some good shots early or late with less crowds in the shot.

OK.

DAY 11 - Sadly, time to go home. Basically will be making our way back towards Kevlafik, and our flight leaves at 5:00PM, so we plan to return the car and be at the airport by 2:00PM. This should leave us some time to see a few things on our way:

 1. Gerduberg Cliffs

 2. Ytri Tunga

 3. Glymur hike? I know we probably cannot do this before our flight, as I think it is 3-4 hours, but not sure how we would fit it in earlier?

If you have to drop off the car at 2pm is not possible to hike up to Glymur.

As you can see, the itinerary sort of falls apart a bit right around Day 7. We had considered using some time to go to the West Fjords, but most people I saw stated that unless you have 2+ weeks, the West Fjords took too long to truly appreciate without the adequate time. Part of me thinks that the itinerary is a little light, and we will have too much free time ... then again, part of me thinks that we will be stopping so often that we will never get to all of this stuff.

We do not have any tours booked yet - we are really more of a do it yourself type of vacationer, but we would like to take a boat tour at Jokusarlon, and a lava tube/cave tour if possible. Would have loved an ice cave, but I guess that is not a summer option.

Ice cave is not a summer option. :)

Have a great trip!
Berglind
Iceland24