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Iceland Itinerary

Skogafoss waterfall in Southern Iceland, our first stop driving Iceland's Ring Road

Skogafoss waterfall in Southern Iceland

We had nine full days for our trip to Iceland and Greenland, plus travel time (seven days off work and two weekends). In a short time, we saw a lot by driving Iceland’s Ring Road and taking a day trip to Greenland.

For more information about the trip, click the links below.

Day 0: Travel Day
Fly from Boston to Keflavik, Iceland, arriving in the morning

Day 1: Iceland’s Southern Coast
Renting a car at the airport, we headed out on the Ring Road counter-clockwise around Iceland. It was a long driving day. We took Route 1 past Selfoss and drove east along the southern coast. Stops included: the Saga Center in Hvovlsvollur, Seljalandsfoss waterfall and Gljufurarfoss waterfall (route 249), and Skogafoss waterfall. We also drove Route 221 to Solheimajokull glacier. Afterward, we headed south to Dryholaey and then backtracked to Vik for the night. Like we said, it was a long driving day…

Iceberg-filled lagoon, Jokulsarlon, a must-see on any Iceland itinerary

Jokulsarlon, full of icebergs

Day 2: Sites of Southeast Iceland
We departed Vik in the morning for Kirkjubaejarklaustur and the Systrafoss waterfall. We then headed on to the beautiful turf buildings of Nupsstadur—some of the only ones left in the country. From there we were off to Skaftafell National Park for a hike to Svartifoss waterfall and then on the glacier lagoon Jokulsarlon, one of the coolest stops on the trip. After a long day, we stopped for a delicious langoustine dinner in Hofn.

Day 3: Villages, Waterfalls, and Fjords
We left Hofn headed for Djupivogur on Route 1. Then we took the Oxi Pass Shortcut (Route 939) past several beautiful unmarked and apparently unnamed waterfalls. Afterward, we went on to Egilsstaidr and then over pass to Seyðisfjörður for dinner.

Sulfur gas steaming from vent in Hverir, a must-see on any Iceland itinerary

One of the massive sulfur vents in Hverir

Day 4: Beauty of Myvatn
We left Egilsstaidr, taking Route 1 towards Myvatn. We got off on 864 to visit Dettifoss (25km on dirt road one-way) and headed north through Jokulsargljufur National Park before stopping at the boiling mud pits of Hverir (amazing!) on the way back to Myvatn. In the evening, we visited the Myvatn Nature Baths.

Day 5: Husavik and Akureyri
Leaving Myvatn, we took Route 87 to 85 to Husavik to go whale watching. After the stop in Husavik, we headed back toward Route 1 for a stop at the spectacular Godafoss waterfall. Then we drove on to Akureyri for the afternoon and evening.

Day 6: Eiriksstadir and Arriving in Reykjavik
Heading out from Akureyri on Route 1 we were finally Reykjavik bound! We made a stop at Eiriksstadir, the reported homestead of Erik the Red, and headed on to the capital city.

Rainbow in the mist of Gullfoss waterfall, a key feature on any Iceland itinerary

Gulfoss, one of the main attractions on the Golden Circle

Day 7: The Golden Circle
We drove out of Reykjavik to the Hengill/Nesjavellir area and on to Pingvellir National Park. Afterward, we headed to Geysir and Gulfoss waterfall, followed by the Blue Lagoon. After returning the rental car at the airport, we took the FlyBus back to our hotel in Reykjavik.

Day 8: Day trip to Greenland
We took a day trip to Kulusuk, Greenland with a package through Air Iceland. It was an unusual and unforgettable day.

Day 9: Reykjavik, Iceland
On a rainy day in Reykjavik, we spent some time in several museums in the city.

Day 10: Last day in Reyjkavik
Our last day in Reykjavik was taking in additional sights in the city, including Hallgrims Church. In the evening, it was time to head back to the USA

Iceland Itinerary for the Ring Road

Our Iceland Itinerary

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Travel Recommendations

Hotels: Iceland is quite unique in terms of accommodations. Outside of the capital of Reykjavik, there are few hotels in the country. Throughout Iceland, most accommodations are in small inns, bed & breakfasts, and on farms throughout the country. We recommend looking at for hotels, inns and small B&Bs in Iceland.

Rental Cars: The best way to see Iceland is renting a car and driving the Ring Road. Based on past successful rentals, we booked with Hertz. On other trips, when we’ve had fender benders, they’ve been very helpful. Before you go, we recommend getting a copy of our book, The Essential Guide to Driving Abroad, which demystifies and simplifies the process of renting overseas.

Travel Insurance: Iceland is an amazing destination! However, in any destination involving remote locations and adventurous activities, there can be some risks. For this trip, we bought travel insurance from Travel Guard.

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