“You’re going to Iceland for two whole weeks!? What will you do there?” a colleague of mine asked.
Still considered a cold and tiny island “somewhere in the sea”, few people are aware of its sheer size.
You see, Iceland is not like any other country, where the main cities are connected by motorways and driving is pure bliss. No, in Iceland, prepare yourself for gravel roads, weather conditions that slow you down and the beauty of the place that will make you want to stop literally at every corner!
This two week itinerary for Iceland gives you a good overview of the diversity of the country. You’ll pass waterfalls, fishing villages, lave fields and boiling mudpools, with time to take in a few hikes as well.
Before heading off, check out these ten things you should know before going to Iceland.
Ready? Let’s go!
Day 1: arrival in Reykjavik. Depending on when your flight arrives, how long it took you to get here, … you might want to settle in, relax, have a bite to eat or just take a walk around to get a feel of the place. Don’t sweat it, Reykjavik is small, you’ll have plenty of time to explore tomorrow! And on the way from the airport to Reykjavik, why not stop at the famous Blue Lagoon for a soak?
Day 2: Reykjavik. Is it museums you’re after? Architecture? Nightlife? Reykjavik has it all! A good place to start exploring is www.visitreykjavik.is
Day 3: The proper road trip starts! Thingvellir National Park, Geysir and Gullfoss are all easily accessible on the Golden Circle Road. Take time to walk around, they a great introduction to the diverse landscapes of Iceland!
Day 4: It’s waterfall time! Seljalandfoss (don’t forget to visit the hidden Gljufurarfoss a few hundred meters further!) and Skogafoss are two of Iceland’s most photographed waterfalls. And rightly so! Climb the stairs next to Skogafoss, where the walk to Thorsmork starts (+/- 10 hours walking) You don’t have to do the whole trail, even one hour makes for some serious gorgeous scenery!
Day 5: It’s glacier time! A close drive will bring you to the Solheimajökull glacier tongue. If you want to do some proper glacier-hiking, you will obviously need to book a guide.
Continue to Vik, where black sand beaches and basalt rock formations await you at Reynisfara.
From there on, it’s off to Skaftafell. (+/- 1h30 drive) If you still have energy left, you can take a walk to yet another glacier tongue: Skaftafelljökull, where a marked trail and free brochure will explain you the geology of the place.
Day 6: Still in Skaftafell, take a walk up to Svartifoss, a dramatic looking waterfall!
Drive to the famous Jökulsárlón lagoon to see huge ice boulders rest on the black beach or in the lagoon. Spend the night in Höfn.
Day 7: Today you have two options. You can drive along the coast and discover the numerous remote East Fjords or you can go inland to explore the Lagarfljot area with the beautiful Hengifoss waterfall. Whatever the choice, make sure to visit Seydisfjördur, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and dripping waterfalls.
Day 8: Take a wander in the beautiful surroundings of Seydisfjördur, passing waterfalls and bizarre sound sculptures. If you have are here between May and August, go and check out the puffins in Borgarfjördur Estri. A 2h30 drive will take you to Myvatn, the must see in the north. There’s plenty to see and do: lava formations, volcanoes, bubbling mud pools, … Don’t forget to have a soak in the Myvatn nature baths!
Day 9: Stay another night in Myvatn and make a daytrip to Dettifoss waterfall and the Asbyrgi canyon. On the way back, you can go whale-watching in Húsavik.
Day 10: Take some time to explore the second city of Iceland: Akureyri . On the way to Akureyri, make sure you stop at Godafoss, my favourite waterfall by far! From there on, direction Siglofjördur to discover the herring-history of Iceland (it’s much more interesting than it sounds, trust me!)
Day 11: Be prepared for a long drive (+/- 5 hours) to get to Stykkishólmur, where gorgeous little islands dot the bay of Breidafjördur. Why not take a boat ride to check some of them out? Or indulge in some fresh fish at the little harbour and climb the basalt rock formation of Súgandisey. Don’t forget to visit Stykkishólmur’s futuristic church!
Day 12: Time for the west! The Snaefellsnes peninsula is one of my favourite parts of Iceland, it packs in so much in a relatively small area: crunching lava, black beaches, stunning rock formations, … There are plenty of walking opportunities too!
Day 13: On your way back to Reykjavik, stop at Borgarnes where the Settlement Centre tells you about Iceland’s fascinating history! Spend a last night in Reykjavik.
Day 14: I know, it’s sad, you don’t want to leave, do you? But hey, there’s plenty of more places to discover, so do come back!
Are you planning on visiting Iceland? Or maybe you’ve already been? What places would you add to this two week itinerary for Iceland?