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Iceland In A Week: The Ultimate Road-Trip Guide Through Volcanoes, Icebergs &  Waterfalls

Iceland In A Week: The Ultimate Road-Trip Guide Through Volcanoes, Icebergs & Waterfalls

What You Need To Know Before You Go 

 

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 SOURCE: giphy.com

Only Do This Trip If 

✓ If you’re seeking self-driven adventure through Iceland’s remote and beautiful roads

✓You’re not looking for a party scene or somewhere super hot

✓Ready to get a little lost and go “off-road” with daily hikes and adventures 

 

“There’s nothing like a good road trip. Especially when driving past active volcanoes, blue icebergs, roaring waterfalls, and northern lights on Iceland’s Ring Road.”-Matthew Karsten

 

How Long To Go For: 5-7 days

 

Weather In Iceland:

  • July is the hottest month in Reykjavik with an average temperature of 11°C (52°F) 
  • The coldest is January at  0°C (32°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 12 in March.
  • The wettest month is January with an average of 50mm of rain.
  • The best month to swim in the sea is in July when the average sea temperature is 11°C (53°F).
      SOURCE: HOLIDAY WEATHER

 

Typical Travel Costs In Iceland:

Below is daily average of a typical travel budget for the Iceland Costs include accommodations and food in US dollars.

Budget Travel  $100/day

Mid-Range Travel $240/day

Luxury Travel $600/day

EXPENSES FROM THE BUDGETS OF ACTUAL TRAVELLERS FOUND ON BUDGETYOURTRIP.COM

 

Getting there and around:

Renting a car at the airport is one of the best ways to explore and get around the island, and there is much to see that is only accessed by car.

 

The Itinerary: 

 

 

Day 1: The Golden Circle 

“Must-visit of Iceland. Probably one of the best places we have been in Iceland. Despite the fact it is one of the most visited attraction of Iceland, you will find your spot there.”Ambisek, TripAdvisor

 

✓ SEE: Thingvellir National Park

  •  A 1 day roadtrip in itself and a perfect day trip when short on time
  • You’ll be hitting up Thingvellir National Park
  • Within the park you’ll see the famous Gullfoss Waterfall, geysers and incredible green landscapes

#gullfosswaterfall #gullfoss #iceland

A photo posted by Maudy Koesnaedi (@maudykoesnaedi) on

 

✓ SLEEP: Árborg

Best Rentals in Árborg on Airbnb here

*Use this link  or code JOFF to get $30 off your stay with Airbnb!

 

Day 2: Rainbows and Glaciers

 

✓ SEE: Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

You will get wet, but go anyway! There are many waterfalls in Iceland, but this one was special because you get to walk behind the fall.”-Arimusch, TripAdvisor

  • This waterfall is perfect for sunrises, so try to wake up early!
  • You will get wet, so make sure phones and cameras are in waterproof bags
  • A great photo location is the hill on the right side of the falls, but it can be a bit of a challenge climbing up to it

 

✓ SEE: Skógafoss Waterfall

Make Sure to Take This Hike! On the hillside next to the Skigafoss waterfall is a set of stairs (>400) that look daunting, but don’t be deterred!” – JimSTL1021

  • This waterfall has an  iconic vertical drop perfect for photos
  • It’s encouraged to go up the staircases on the side and continue walking to behind the falls
  • Take 1-2 hours to explore the hikes in and around the waterfall

 

✓ DO: Hike Sólheimajökull Glacier

“The glacier was black with ash from the recent eruption but was fascinating – the formations, view of the glacial lagoon, 50m crevasses and tunnelling into the glacier for melting ice flows…”- LondonSnap, TripAdvisor

  • Now’s your chance to hike a real glacier in the comfort of a tour operator
  • Arctic Adventures have a variety of different hikes available
  • Ice climbing is also available if you’re up for it

Sunset on Sólheimajökull glacier after a hike ?

A photo posted by Iceland – Helena Travel (@iceland_helenatravel) on

 

✓ SEE: Sólheimasandur Plane Crash

For photographers and adventurers. Due to more visitor traffic, thanks to Justin Bieber’s music video shoot there, one cannot drive there anymore. It is about a 45min walk each way. Be prepared to spend 90 min in transit without any facilities”- Nadja B, TripAdvisor

  • As seen in Justin Biebers music video and now more travellers have found out about this spot
  • Can be difficult to find, but detailed directions can be found here on Expert Vagabond’s blog
  • Amazing photograph opportunities with the Northern Lights!

 

SLEEP: In Vik

  • Camp, or cottage at the famous Vik campgrounds here
  • Stay in a hotel at the 5 top ranked hotels in Vik here

 

Day 3: Icebergs & Caves

 

✓ SEE: Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon

Close your eyes and listen...Actual real live icebergs, and what’s better, you can stand on dry land and not worry about a Titanic scenario.”cara_littman, TripAdvisor

  • A picturesque glacier lake that constantly has ice within in it.
  • You can take the boat ride for an hour excursion or a three hour excursion. However these excursions aren’t necessary to enojy the beauty of the Iceberg.
  • Visit the ocean nearby which collects the icebergs from the lagoon and makes for a great picture.

A photo posted by Ruth (@clutchingatstraws) on

 

✓ SEE: Crystal Ice Caves in Vatnajökull Glacier

“The glacier was one of the highlights of my trip to Iceland. It is the largest in Europe. Stunning views of it from around the south coast”-  USCKaboom, TripAdvisor

  • Great for photographers, but difficult to get to so hiring a guide is recommended
  • You can only visit them in winter (starting November)

Crystal ice cave ? by @edwinmartinez #everydayiceland

A photo posted by Iceland & All About (@everydayiceland) on

 

✓ SLEEP: The fishing village of Höfn

 

Day 4: On the Road with the Rugged Eastern Fjords

 

✓ DO: Drive along the mountains on eastern coastline

“Here in this quiet region—home to only about 3% of Iceland’s population—is the country’s largest forest, a town with French street names, some odd attractions and herds of wild reindeer.”-Nordic Visitor Blog

  • This is the much quieter side of Iceland, with very few towns or people
  • The drive is long, but you’ll be stopping often to take pictures of the fjords and mountains
  • Keep an eye out for hiking trails, puffin watching spots, and lighthouses

Peaceful day at #stokksnes with #vestrahorn mountain in the background. #iceland #icelandwedding

A photo posted by Arctic Weddings Iceland (@arcticweddingsiceland) on

 

✓  SLEEP: Best Rentals in Egilssadir on Airbnb here

*Use this link  or code JOFF to get $30 off your stay with Airbnb!

 

Day 5: Myvatn Geothermal Area

 

✓ DO: Drive Through The Snowy Mountain Passes

A barren stretch of high plateau. In the winter it’s covered in snow, and Route 1 is the only safe road to travel on. In the summer you can explore more with a 4×4.” –Expert Vagabond

This morning @eromoldovan and I decided to take a swim "Icelandic style".

A photo posted by Manu Bennett (@manubennett) on

 

✓  SEE: Dettifoss Waterfall

  • Largest waterfall in Europe by water fall
  • Reachable only by gravel roads and somewhat secluded
  • There are parking lots equipped for campers but no further manned facilities

 

✓  SEE: Námafjall Hverir

  • Lots of volcanic activity with hot springs, and other geothermal activities
  • You can get some crazy photos here as you’re allowed to get up close to the boiling blue mud pits and steaming fumaroles

 

✓ SLEEP: Akureyri

Top 5 hotels in Akureyri here

      

Day 6: Erupting Volcanoes

 

✓ DO: Fly Over Holuhraun Volcano 

  •  Fly over Bárðarbunga Volcano (also called the Holuhraun eruption)
  • Reasonably priced, with more details on recommended tours here

 

✓ DO: Whale Watching

  • Weather dependent! Check the weather before and contact the operator before tour.
  • Whale season is from June -October. More information can be found here.
  • You can spot bottlenose, humpbacks and minky whales within the area.

Whale watching: event of the day #sashagoestoiceland #igersiceland #vsconature #vscoiceland #whales

A photo posted by Sasha (@sashagrudska) on

 

✓ SLEEP: Another night in Akureyri

              

Day 7: Snæfellsnes Peninsula

 

✓ DO: Roadtrip to Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall:

  • If you have time at the end of your trip, take a day to explore “Little Iceland”
  • Home of  Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall, the most photographed waterfall in Iceland
  • Just West of the town of Grundarfjörður

 

✓ SLEEP: Grundarfjörður

Top 20 AirBnB places here.

*Use this link  or code JOFF to get $30 off your stay with Airbnb!

 

Day 8: Back to Reykjavik

 

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