The Perfect 14-Day Iceland Itinerary
With so many things to see and experience, planning a trip to Iceland can be a little overwhelming. Iceland has so much to offer and is the trip of a lifetime. I spent multiple months on Facebook groups, reading books, and looking at a map and I still had questions about how attainable my itinerary was, however now that we have returned from our trip, it was!
We took a redeye flight leaving the United States Saturday evening and arrived at the Keflavik International Airport at 8:30 am Sunday morning. We went through customs, immigration, visited the Duty-Free Store to purchase alcohol for trip. It is recommended to buy all alcohol in the airport as alcohol is very expensive in Iceland. Next, we took the shuttle to Lotus Car Rental (highly recommend) to pick up our rental car. We had a reservation at Blue Lagoon at 11:00 am, however, there is an hour grace window so we could arrive anytime in that hour. For the lagoon, we did book the premium package, so we were treated to a free beverage, a robe, and two additional facemasks. After Blue Lagoon, we checked into out Airbnb, which was in walking distances to everything! We ventured down the Rainbow Road, eat an early dinner at Icelandic Street Food and then grocery shopped.
Every morning in Reykjavik started with a walk to Braud and Co to get croissants and cinnamon rolls. After breakfast, we walked around Reykjavik to do some shopping at The Handknitting Association of Iceland, which we highly recommend if anyone is interested in buying traditional Lopapeysa. We spent the afternoon relaxing at the Sky Lagoon, which was magical. We highly recommend purchasing the package that allows you to complete the 7-step ritual, which includes lagoon time, a cold plunge, Finnish sauna, cold mist room, and homemade salt scrub before sitting in a steam room. While you can cold plunge as much as you want, you can only do the remainder of the steps once, however, there is no time limit. Dinner consisted of one of the best meals on the trip at Reykjavik Kitchen and we recommend reservations. After dinner, we walked to the Sun Voyager Sculpture and Hallgrimskirkia Church.
We left the city to
begin out voyage out to nature. While
our destination was Vik, we ventured through the Golden Circle on the way. We hiked through the Almannagia
Fault (Game of Thrones was filmed here) to Oxararfoss, which is a great
beginner's hike. On the way to Gullfoss,
we stopped at Haukadalur Geothermal Field.
While we were not able to get reservations at Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse,
we hear it is a great place to stop. As
we continued to Vik, we also stopped at Seljalandsfoss and Gljufrabui Waterfall.
Be prepared to get a little wet at Seljalandsfoss
if you choose to hike in behind it
While staying in Vik, we scheduled at 3-hour glacier hike Solheimajokull Glacier, which was the highlight of our trip and is a must-do for any outdoors enthusiast. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience as the glacier will never be the exact same as it was that day. Plus, when are you going to have the chance to drink glacier water Viking style again? After the hike, we stopped by both Skogafoss and Kvernufoss before returning to Vik to have dinner at Smidjan Brugghus, which has amazing burgers and a great beer selection.
We checked out of our Airbnb in Vik and continued our journey around the Ring Road to Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Since the drive was rather short, we backtracked 20 minutes and visited Reynisfjara Beach, which was breathtaking, but it is very important to pay attention to the warning lights and only enter the beach if it is green or yellow as well as never turn your back to the ocean. We spent time exploring Vik before driving towards Fjaðrárgljúfur. The late afternoon was spent relaxing in the Airbnb before going to dinner at Klaustur, which we also recommend getting reservations as there are limited dining options in the village.
Kirkjubæjarklaustur continued to be our homebase for the day, so we ventured an hour east to Vatnajokulspjodgardur National Park. While at the park, we hiked 3.7 km (round-trip), which takes you very close to Skaftafellsjökull and you will get a good view of this impressive glacier. Our second hike was 5.5 km (round-trip) to Svarrtifoss waterfall, which is an impress waterfall incased in basalt columns.
We checked out of our Airbnb and continued our journey
around the Ring Road east to Seyðisfjörður,
which is in my opinion, the most beautiful village in the eastern fjords. On the way there, we stopped about an hour and
30 minutes in to visit Black Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón. This is a must stop for anyone in southeast
Iceland as Jökulsárlón is home to a glacier lagoon in which giant chunks of ice
break off from Skaftafellsjökull
and float through the lake into the ocean, where they wash up on the beach to
make Black Diamond Beach. The beach gets
its name from the ice looking like diamonds amongst the black volcanic sand. We drove another hour to Hofn where we
stopped for lunch at Kaffi Hornid for pizza and fish and chips. As we continued, we stopped at Vestrahorn
for the beautiful views. Once arriving in Seyðisfjörður, we stopped at Kaffi Lara El Grillo Bar for a
few beers before heading slightly out of town to our Airbnb.
At the top of my husband's must see for Iceland was Stuðlagil Canyon, located in eastern part of the country, about an hour and half drive from Seyðisfjörður. We left around 9:00 am and drove to the western side of the canyon, which is the side you need to access if you want to hike down to the river itself, which we highly recommend! If you are okay with only seeing the canyon from above, you can drive to the lookout platform on the eastern side. If you have a vehicle that can get to the western parking lot, it about a 4.8 km (round-trip) to the canyon on a gravel road. It is a great spot for lunch so be sure to pack a sandwich! On the way back to our Airbnb, we stopped at Vok Baths for several hours, which was a perfect way to relax after a day of hiking.
out of our Airbnb and headed to northern Iceland, where we would stay just outside
of Husavik for two days. It was about a
5 ½ drive but with plenty of amazing stops along the way. Our first stop was Dettifoss, which is the
most powerful waterfall in Europe. We
were even lucky enough to catch it on a sunny day and enjoyed a rainbow. Next stop was Krafala, which is a magical volcanic
crater filled with spectacular blue water. On the way around Myvatn Lake, we stopped and
did a short hike at Dimmuborgir Lava Field.
We continued to Gadofoss, which is nicknamed "Waterfall of the God." From there, it was only a short drive to our Airbnb
where we checked in before driving into Husavik to explore and stop at Gamli
Baukur for a happy hour beer.
day in Iceland brought us face to face with a yellow warning across the country
as we were scheduled for a whale and puffin tour with North Sailing in Husavik. For us, a yellow warning meant less than ideal
conditions with wind and rougher seas. Since
we were thankfully not ones to experience seasickness, we chose to continue
with the tour as it was not canceled. For
the duration of the tour, the sea was pleasant enough and we saw thousands of
puffins and 3 humpback whales. However,
coming back in, the waters got rougher and several people around us did get
sick. While we did become cold and wet
on the tour, we did warm up afterwards at GeoSea Lagoon, which is situated right
on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. The
lagoon is beautiful with 3 pools of different temperatures as well as a steam
room. We will say that the wind did take
away from the experience a little bit because it was spraying the lagoon water
into your face and the Graham of AniGraham Travels mentioned that it felt like
little water bullets. For those visiting
Husavik, we highly recommend making dinner reservations at Naustid. We ordered the burger and catch of the day,
which was Halibut, and it was one of the best dinners on the trip
We had a shorter drive of only two
hours between Airbnbs from Husavik to Ólafsfjörður. On the
way, we stopped at Forest Lagoon and spent several hours there. Forest may be one of our favorites as it felt
more private, had a larger pool and a smaller hotter pool, cold plunge pool and
a beautiful Finnish sauna. If you get
there right when they open at 10:00, you may get lucky enough to have the place
to yourselves for a little bit. Afterwards,
we continued to drive to Ólafsfjörður and once we checked into our Airbnb, we drove
20 minutes to Siglufjörður to explore. Unfortunately, we were there during a weekday,
so Seagull 67 Brewing was closed but it was still a very cute town to see! We
didn't visit the Herring Museum, but it did come highly recommended. We spent the remainder of the afternoon and
evening at the Airbnb relaxing as we had a large glass sunroom with an indoor hot
Our final longer drive of the trip took us off the Ring Road to Snæfellsbær, which is a must visit part
of Iceland! It was approximately a
6-hour drive from Ólafsfjörður, however, with lots of
things to see along the way. Our first
stop was Fosslaug waterfall, which is beautiful and has a natural little hot
spring nearby that one can take a dip in. Once we continued our drive, we stopped in
Blonduos to visit Hrutey Island, which is a small island almost completely
encircled by the Blanda River but is accessible by a pedestrian bridge. We checked into our Airbnb in Arnarstapi
and did some exploring around Gatklettur, a famous stone bridge on the peninsula.
While you can walk across it, it was very windy this day and a local had fallen
off and died just days before due to poor weather conditions. Our last dinner out in Iceland was at Sker,
which was located about 20 minutes away in Olafsvik. I had thought that I had made a reservation,
but I hadn't, however, they were still able to fit us in!
Our last full day in
Iceland before flying home was disrupted by the weather. Unfortunately, it was very foggy, windy, and
rainy so visibility was very poor, so we were only able to see a few things. However, ideally, we would have spent the day
exploring the Snæfellsbær peninsula. If we had had better weather, we would have explored
Grudarfoss and Kirkjufellsfoss. In
addition, we would have liked to have explored around Budakirkja black church and
hiked into the crack of Rauofeldsgja. What
we did get to explore was Skardsvik Beach, one of Iceland's rare golden beaches,
Svortuloft Lighthouse, hike up and around Saxholar Crater, and Malarriff
Lighthouse. While we didn't get to see everything
we wanted to, one must be flexible in Iceland and understand that plans may not
always go off without a hitch.
We elected to have a further drive to
the airport and stayed the evening on the Snæfellsbær
peninsula, so it was about a 3-hour drive back to the airport. However, due to the threat of ever-changing
weather in Iceland, it is recommended to stay closer to the airport to reduce
the chance of missing your fight.
Iceland is a truly magically place and welcomed us with open arms. We look forward to what a winter trip to Iceland has to offer us in the future. In the meantime, happy traveling and see you soon travelers.