My husband and I made a very memorable 9 day trip to Iceland in July 2013. This was pre-baby so the trip was a lot smoother, and we were able to cover a lot of ground. I’ve made separate posts for each of our days, but I wanted to catalog some things and tips we learnt.
- Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik in the morning, and one day in Reykjavik
- Day 2: Drive through the Golden circle to Vik
- Day 3: Drive from Vik to Hofn
- Day 4: Drive from Hofn to Egilistadir via the eastern fjords
- Day 5: Drive to Akureyri
- Day 6: One day around Akureyri and Lake Myvatn
- Day 7: Drive from Akureyri to Reykjavik
- Day 8: One more day in Reykjavik
- Day 9: The Blue Lagoon and fly back home!
- Iceland was by far the most beautiful country we’ve visited. If you’re contemplating whether to go, do it now! My husband says that Iceland seems to be the tourist world’s best kept secret. It is incredibly easy to navigate, very close to the US, mind bogglingly beautiful, yet there are no crowds! This might change soon, so go when it is still empty.
- Navigating in Iceland is pretty straightforward. I had downloaded a free Iceland map for our old Garmin GPS, and then bookmarked all the places we wanted to visit (with GPS coords) when we were at home. This way, when we were ready to move on to the next destination, I just had to find it in the bookmarks. This saved us a lot of time (and fights). There were places where the GPS did not receive signals, but in those scenarios, there was usually only one road and one direction to go in.
- As a vegetarian, I thought finding food in Iceland would be hard, but that is not the case. We mostly got lunch at fast food and sandwich shops attached to gas stations, and all of them had a veggie sandwich (or could make one when I asked). And they tasted delicious as well. In the major cities/towns like Reykjavik and Akureyri, we found Indian restaurants that served great food. Check out my favorite vegetarian restaurants in Iceland!
- While most things are expensive in Iceland (gas, clothes, etc), most of the natural attractions are free. Everything from national parks, to hikes, waterfalls, and views are all free for you to explore.
- Take a travel book (like Lonely planet or Frommers) with you when you drive. I took the Lonely Planet Iceland book, and that was really helpful. A lot of the names for places read very similar, and it will be useful to have a book to tell you one from the other.
- The real beauty of Iceland is outside of Reykjavik. If you can spare more than 3 days, rent a car and drive around the country. It is an experience like no other!
- Know your limits when it comes to adventure and activities. There are many hikes and walks in remote areas, and I cannot imagine needing help mid-way through.
- Credit cards are accepted everywhere. Make sure you have a card that does not charge transaction fees, and you’re set. You don’t need Icelandic krona.
- Also check out my Top 5 offbeat attractions in Iceland I most enjoyed!