Some amazing Icelandic itineraries

I´d like to present to you some possible itineraries for your stay in Iceland, so you can better organize your trip. There is so much optimism in people´s minds while planning their trip of a lifetime from their sofa at home. Everybody wants to see everything, there are so many beautiful places and Iceland seems to be so small. It is NOT. Iceland is huge and there is not much similarity between Iceland and your home country. How many times have you got stuck on an island because the ferry was cancelled. How many times have you experienced a river destroying a bridge and there by adding an extra 800 km to your trip back to the airport? How many times have you driven 200 km on a dirty road?

Iceland is definitely different from what you know. Nothing you can´t cope with but you shouldn´t be too optimistic either. For your own safety.

I have so many times seen someone prepare a trip to Iceland whose 2-week itinerary looked like this.

Completely unrealistic itinerary for 2 weeks in Iceland
Completely unrealistic itinerary for 2 weeks in Icelandfoto: Ruben Lang

To be honest, the only way to achieve this is to drive 24/7 and eat and sleep behind the wheel. And you´d have to run to the places you want. And not experience anything unexpected. A cancelled ferry because of the strong sea currents, a closed road for a variety of reasons, swollen rivers prohibiting safe passage for a couple of days. There is no highway in Iceland, the maximum speed for an asphalt road is of 90 km/h and 80 km/h for gravel roads. You won´t be driving at this speed for a long time.

To have such an itinerary can be really dangerous. Under normal circumstances you can barely manage half of it. However if you are in Iceland with such an unrealistic itinerary in mind, you might want to try to catch it all, be rash and reckless. Maybe you promised to your beloved ones to see it all and now you want to accomplish it. That´s exactly the time when accidents happen.

If you have already been to Iceland, you know what you want to see and do and you just want to add several places you missed the last time, then go for it! You can check the clever map of Iceland and make your itinerary.

If you are about to go to Iceland for the first time, here are some amazing itineraries you can reasonably accomplish. And for sure, you can combine them.

Itineraries for Iceland for a week:

Golden circle and surroundings – This is a perfect itinerary for those of you who is not in a rush and want to combine beautiful nature with a relax. Great advantage of this itinerary is that you can have one base and make everything from that base. Þingvellir, Gullfoss, Haukadalur – Geysir, Þjóðveldisbærinn Stöng, Háifoss + Gjáin, Landmannalaugar, Reykjadalur, Hraunfossar, Brúarfoss and/or Glymur are waiting for you.

South coast – there is SO much to see and experience along the south shore of Iceland. Just to be completely clear, we speak about the area between Reykjavík and the Glacial Lagoon. What is here waiting for you to explore? Let´s  find out. Seljalandsfoss (and the hidden Gljúfrabúi), Þórsmörk(4WD), Sticafoss, Skógafoss and hike along the Skóga river, Skógar, Dyrhóley with puffins, Reynisfjara black beach, Sólheimasandur plane wreck, Hofskirkja, Skaftafell, Vatnajokull, Fjallsárlón and, of course, Jökulsárlón – Glacial lagoon and Diamond beach. AND of course definitely most overlooked part of Iceland – the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago. There, where is so much beauty and so few tourists.

Road nr. 1 – the Ring Road (Hringvegur or Þjóðvegur 1) – This is probably the most popular Icelandic itinerary of all. The road connects Reykjavík with Reykjavík in 1335 kilometers and would lead you all around Iceland like the thin red line. The most popular stops are Seljalandsfoss, Sólheimasandur plane wreck, Skógafoss, Reynisfjara black beach, Dyrhólaey, Glacier Lagoon, Goðafoss, lake Mývatn, Krafla and Akureyri. This itinerary has just a one big disadvantage – you miss more than you´ll see and you´ll spend quite a lot of time behind the steering wheel.But in general, for the road trip, this is a very good deal.

Ring Road – off the beaten trek – As I already mentioned above, you´ll miss so much by just following the popular places along the Ring Road. If you´ve been to Iceland and did the Ring Road tour, you liked it and you´d like something ‘the same but different’, let´s see what´s here for you. Ring Road will still lead you, so you´d not miss it´s famous attractions, but you´ll not spend there much time and you´ll definitely skip the Sólheimasandur plane wreck. What is waiting for you? Reynisfjall with it´s beautiful views and nesting puffins, Hengifoss waterfall, picturesque Seyðisfjörður, Hafnarhólmi in Borgarfjörður eystri, a Dettifoss, Selfoss and Ásbyrgy detour, Húsavík, Hvítserkur rock and the Glymur waterfall. Still want some more detours? Then why not to take a ferry to the Grímsey island?

Snæfellsnes peninsula and Westfjords – these area ares are so spacious and ‘Icelandic’ and still are not crowded by hords of tourists. Snæfellsnes has a nick name as Small Iceland and therefore you can enjoy all that Iceland have to offer – volcanos, glacier, craters, geothermal pools. The main sights are without doubt Kirkjufell mountain, Lóndrangar cliffs, Snæfellsjökull glacier or Búðakirkja. And Westfjords are an amazing area at the end of the world. Do not miss Látrabjarg bird cliff, Rauðisandur beach, Dynjandi waterfall, town of Ísafjörður. And for the courageous ones, there is Hornstrandir. To travel from the Snæfellsnes to ther Westfjords, you might want to take the ferry from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur via Flatey island.

Eastfjords – Beautiful wild nature so similar to the Norwegian on is far in the East Iceland. Far-reaching plateaus, deep fjords,  and a lot of trekking routes. You can go to explore the fjords, hike to the Hengifoss and Strútsfoss waterfalls, go along the waterfall triangle, climb the tallest mountain outside the glacier reagions in Iceland – Snæfell. See puffins at Hafnarhólmi and if you´re lucky, observe reindeers hanging around. And as a bonus, you can do the south coast quick tour on your way here or back to the airport.

Area about the Lake Mývatn – Many, or rather to say most of the tourist just ride through this area, but you can spend full adventurous week here around the lake Mývatn. In the close vicinity of the lake Mývatn you can spend 3 full days without being bored (Dimmuborgir, Grjótagjá cave and Námaskarð geothermal area are right here. Then is here for your daytrip the Krafla area, and the Dettifoss waterfall and Ásbyrgy for the other. Húsavík is another option or a daytrip or the Grímsey island + Akureyri is an another idea.

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