Iceland road trip Itinerary for 10 days 

Iceland, aptly named as the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’, truly stands by this title. In fact, there is much more to Iceland than just Fire and Ice. We were fortunate to have road tripped Iceland’s Golden circle (main ring road that circumnavigates the entire country) and the Diamond circle (covers North Iceland’s famous sight-seeing spots) over 10 days. So, presenting to you our 10 days Iceland self-drive road trip travel guide.

P.S: To be precise, we were there in Iceland for 12 days. The first day, we landed to Iceland in the evening and on the last day, we left before noon. So, excluding the first and last day, we actually were on the road for 10 whole days!

Driving in Iceland

Driving the Iceland ring road is not very difficult as almost every attraction is by the ring road or a few kilometers from it. The roads are well marked with strict speed limits. But with lovely views on either side, one can hardly think of speeding in Iceland. Puffins, glacial lakes, vast highlands, countless waterfalls, scenic beaches, exceptional wildlife, spewing volcanoes, lava rocks – Iceland has it all! Iceland is one such country you would want to visit again and again. And what makes it so special? Plenty of unspoiled, virgin natural landscapes and solitude. Away from the popular sightseeing trails, Iceland is so devoid of humans and feels like we aren’t on earth!


Interesting fact: Population in Iceland is lesser than than its total number of visitors per year!


With no trains and a bare minimum public transport options, guided tours or self-drive are the best options to tour Iceland. We rented our car from Lagoon Car Rentals, which was a Hyundai Tucson 4×4. Honestly, if you are driving only the ring road, a 4×4 isn’t necessary. But, if you are heading to the highlands and driving on F-roads, then, a 4×4 is a must!



Relevant articles: (opens in a new tab)

Which car to rent in Iceland – 2×2 or 4×4?

An in depth guide about driving in Iceland(Mistakes, tips and secrets)

Will your device charger work in Iceland?


Over 2 weeks, the only time we engaged the hill descent control was when we encountered loose gravel road with steep downward incline with a sheer drop into the valley in the ‘Vestfjarðavegur’ area, on the way from Pingeyri to Dynjandi waterfall in the Westfjords region. And sport mode/4×4 for a few times in gravel roads in North Iceland.

Ok, enough of the prelude, lets dive into the details of what to see in Iceland in 10 days with this Golden Circle Self Drive Itinerary!

Iceland 10 day summer itinerary

P.S: In this plan, we do not make one place as base city, instead, we proceed along the ring road and rest for the day at suitable places according to our itinerary. We did an anti-clockwise trip, starting from Reykjavik and ending there. You can also choose to do it clockwise depending on your interests. All accommodations were booked beforehand to save ourselves from last minute peak prices. This 10 day summer itinerary holds good for spring and fall too, i.e. from June to September only that if you choose to do the trip in a camper van, then most of the campsites are closed by Sept 15 – so choose accordingly. Check this website to compare prices offered by different booking sites, so that you can get best value for money.

To help speed up your planning process, I have included driving time from one stop to another so you need not toggle tabs between our blog and Google maps 🙂 I have also included a detailed map of every day’s itinerary and stops. Also mentioned is the ‘Spending time’, which is a ball park figure of how much time one can spend in that place. This can vary according to your choices. You might want to stay longer or leave early at some places. Totally fine, feel free adjust the time according to your interests. Take this post as a guide to mark places to see in Iceland and then carve out an itinerary depending on the accommodation you have booked to stay for the day. So, the mentioned ‘Spending time’ will help you in budgeting your time and planning your own Iceland itinerary.

In the meanwhile, you can check prices offered by different car rentals and book the one that suits the best for your requirements in the website below. We always use this site to compare prices and facilities offered by different car rental companies. It has been extremely helpful in choosing the best car for our road trips and we often end up booking through this site. Compare car rental prices now!


Also check where we stayed during our Iceland trip here: Where to stay in Iceland?


I have divided this article into sections of what we did on each day and what nearby places you can add depending on your time availability to your Iceland travel itinerary. You can also skip to any section of the article by clicking on any day below:

At the end of this post, I have attached an infographic with day wise itinerary breakup and pictures, which you can Pin into your Iceland travel board in Pinterest!


Day 1: Start 10 day trip from Reykjavik and explore the wonders of South Coast.


Points of Interest: Þingvellir National Park, Bruarfoss waterfall, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss waterfalls, Faxafoss, Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi


Stop 1: Þingvellir National Park

We started from Reykjavik and our first destination for the day was Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park, a place with a historical significance. From 980 AD until late 17th century, Icelandic Parliament meetings were held in the scenic locales of Þingvellir. It is also a UNESCO Heritage Site. Here, the continental drift between the North American and Eurasian Plates is visible to naked eye and one can dive in between the tectonic plates in the Silfra fissure. The crack widens about 2 cm per year tearing the continents apart slowly but steadily. Öxarárfoss is a beautiful waterfall to watch out for in Þingvellir.

Driving Time: From Reykjavik -> Þingvellir National Park = 90 km/ 1.15 hr

Spending Time: Minimum 1.5 hours up to half a day.


Stop 2: Bruarfoss waterfall

Iceland is a waterfalls galore, but this one is a stunner! Bruarfoss is located on a private property but the owners are generous enough to allow people visit to this waterfall. The specialty of this waterfall is its characteristic icy blue color of the water. But, the access to this waterfall is quite tricky. Read this article to find the way to the waterfalls.

Driving Time: Þingvellir National Park -> Bruarfoss = 50 km/ 50 min

Spending Time: Minimum 1.5 – 2 hours (including the hike to find the waterfalls)

Tip: Google as “Bruarfoss waterfall access bridge” not just Bruarfoss.


Stop 3: Strokkur Geysir

The Geyser area in south Iceland is one of the most famous tourist spots in Iceland. A strong smell of sulphur invites us into the area where we saw small boiling mud pits and hot pools flowing down the path. These areas are cordoned off to avoid the visitors from getting burnt from these high temperature spouts. Strokkur is the main geyser which erupts up to 40m in height in 7 – 10 minute interval. It was a sight to behold when Strokkur gushed with zeal while hundreds of people watched in awe. Just when we thought we saw it all, it erupted again and we were lucky folks to watch it spout twice in succession!

Driving Time: Bruarfoss -> Strokkur Geysir = 15 km/ 16 min

Spending Time: Minimum 15 mins – 1 hour (can include a food/restroom break)


Stop 4: Gullfoss waterfall

Gullfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland and probably one of the first massive waterfalls you will encounter on your Icelandic roadtrip. A huge cloud of water spray engulfs the waterfall as it thunders down the cliff. This 2-tier waterfall is powerful, breathtaking and has an interesting story behind how it was saved from getting converted into a dam.

A couple of rainbows welcomed us as we got down from the parking lot. As we walked towards the waterfall on the narrow path, a fine spray of water droplets splashed on our face and the sound of the waterfalls deafened us.

Driving Time: Strokkur Geysir -> Gullfoss = 10 km/ 15 min

Spending Time: Minimum 45 mins – 1 hour

Tip: There are 2 car parks – one near visitor centre another, further down near the falls. Take the latter so it will be easy to reach the waterfall.


Stop 5: Faxafoss

Faxafoss, though not as huge as Gullfoss, exudes its own charm. There is no need for you to take a detour to visit this one, as it is located just by the road on the way to your next stop! Faxafoss is located on a serene locale and is not much frequented by tour buses which makes it a must visit stop! 😀

Driving Time: Gullfoss -> Faxafoss = 20 km/ 22 min

Spending Time: Minimum 10 mins – 30 mins

Tip: We filled our bottles with some fresh water flowing down the stream. It was very cold yet refreshing! 🙂


Stop 6: Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi

Well, this was the last stop for the day and this one blew our mind and we ended our day with a bang! It was so much fun and the experience was one of a kind. We walked behind a roaring waterfall!

First off, we were welcomed into Seljalandsfoss with a beautiful double rainbow. After the customary photo session, we walked behind the waterfall and were completely drenched in the mist, the rain coat tried its best to keep us from shivering. The trail behind the Seljalandsfoss waterfall was slippery but not impassable. We were there in the evening and caught the sun staring directly towards the waterfall! Check out this video on our Facebook page.

Gljúfrabúi

A short walk of about ¼ of a mile from Seljalandsfoss is Gljúfrabúi, the secret or hidden waterfall. From the façade, it just looks like two rocks standing inches apart. But hidden behind these rocks is a beautiful waterfall gushing from above. This is a perfect example of the saying ‘Don’t judge the book by its cover!’

Driving Time: Faxafoss -> Seljalandsfoss = 100 km/ 1hr 20 min

Spending Time: 1 hour to 2 hours

After a long and beautiful Day 1 in Iceland, we rested in Hotel Ranga and were so lucky to watch the lady Aurora dance for us at 1 AM in the night, that too in late August! Weren’t we plain lucky!


Iceland ring road 10 day itinerary map: Day 1


On Day one, you could add:

  • A visit to Friðheimar – A greenhouse/restaurant where food is made from Tomatoes grown in their greenhouse which you can visit.
  • A visit to Efstidalur – A cattle farm where homemade ice creams are prepared from fresh milk from their cattle.
  • Kerið crater – It’s a volcanic crater in South Iceland. It is en route Faxafoss to Seljalandsfoss. We skipped this to have more time at Seljalandsfoss and also because we knew we will be visiting a similar but more beautiful crater in North Iceland, the Krafla Víti Crater.

Back to Day list..


Day 2: Some more gems of South Iceland and our kick start to varying landscapes.


Points of Interest: Gluggafoss (also called Merkjárfoss), Skógafoss, Kvernufoss, Wrecked DC-3 Plane on Sólheimasandur, Vik Black sand beach, Dyrhólaey, Eldhraun lava fields, Laufskálavarða

On Day 2, again we saw more waterfalls and later into the day (as if we weren’t overwhelmed already) we got a brief intro to the contrasting landscape of Iceland. In fact, overwhelmed is an understatement, we had more surprises waiting ahead.


Stop 1: Gluggafoss (also called Merkjárfoss)

Iceland 10 day itinerary

This 3 tier waterfall is one of the least visited in South Iceland, but it is also one of the pettiest. Though there are tourists, the number is very less compared to the famous places like the Geysir, Skogafoss or Seljalandsfoss. The lack of hordes of people makes this place even more special. A small hike took us to the top tier of the waterfall and we couldn’t be glad. Can you do yourself a favour and add this place to your itinerary. You will not regret your decision!

Driving Time: Depends the place of your stay

Spending Time:  30 mins to 1 hour


Stop 2: Skógafoss

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Well, this is definitely one of the photogenic waterfalls of Iceland. We can see Skógafoss from the road and eyes couldn’t stop staring. Almost everyone who comes to Skogafoss is invited with a rainbow, sometimes two (except in winters). We can walk close to the waterfall for that precious picture to post on Instagram and be rest assured that we will be drenched within seconds! But it’s not even about Instagram, these are unique experiences which are so precious for which we travel so long and far. Isn’t it? I simply stood there thinking nothing, just soaking it all in, literally 🙂

A flight of 300 odd stairs takes us to the top of Skogafoss and the view from top is a treat to eyes!

Driving Time: Gluggafoss -> Skógafoss = 45km/ 45 min

Spending Time: 1 hour to 2 hours


Stop 3: Kvernufoss

A two minute drive from Skogafoss and a 20 minute walk from the parking lot took us to Kvernufoss. Again, this is one place where 95% of people who visit Skogafoss don’t know about. But the emptiness and the location adds to the appeal of this waterfall. We can also walk behind this waterfall. Fiery birds hover around the waterfall making it more captivating. This is why Iceland is so dear to my heart. There are many hidden gems like this one which makes one go ‘Awww!’

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Surprisingly, this place is not on Google maps yet. Maybe because, Kvernufoss is located on a private property. Yes people, which means, the owner of the property owns this waterfall too!

For your reference, I’ve dug out the google co-ordinates for you, here it is: 63°31’43.3″N 19°28’49.6″W.

Driving Time: Skógafoss -> Kvernufoss = Approx 1 km drive and 1 km walk / 20 min

Spending Time: 1 hour to 1.5 hours


Stop 4: Wrecked DC-3 Plane on Sólheimasandur

Huge plain land covered with rocky black sand and powerful gusts of wind blowing from the sea, made it difficult to for us to walk. We walked and walked, but couldn’t see our destination yet. It seemed like a mirage. Still, we trudged ahead like warriors and after about an hour, we finally saw it.

What was it that we walked so far for?

‘A wrecked plane’.

What? Are you serious?

Yes, I am!

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Seriously, I felt this place was over rated. And not really worth the hike. Sure the photos come out great, but Iceland has more lovely places than this. So, unless there is a purpose of visit – like a photoshoot or a strong urge to see this place, I’d suggest to skip it. Until a couple of years ago, vehicles were allowed to drive up to the spot, but due to uneven surface and the loose sand, many vehicles used to get struck, so the owners of the land decided to disallow vehicles driving inside their property. Some people totally love this place and might disagree with me. To each, their own!

Driving Time: Kvernufoss -> Sólheimasandur = 11 km/ 12 min

Spending Time: 2 -3 hours

Tip: Search on Google as ‘Path to Wrecked DC-3 Plane on Sólheimasandur, Iceland’


Stop 5: Dyrhólaey

Light houses in Iceland are undoubtedly the winners given the extremely scenic backgrounds they are in. One such place is the light house on Dyrhólaey. A little off the ring road, this place is one of those must visits. Once there, a lower path took us to the beautiful beach while the upper path took us on a steep ride to the light house where we got some of the best views in Iceland.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Sólheimasandur -> Dyrhólaey = 18 km/ 18 min

Spending Time: 1 hour


Stop 6: Vik Black sand beach/ Reynisfjara Beach

Will you believe me if I tell that this beach is made of the ash from a volcano? Well, you should! Reynisfjara Beach in Vik is famously known as ‘Black Sand Beach’ as the colour of the sand here is black in colour due to the aftermath of a volcano eruption. The basalt columns here are hexagonal in shape as they were cooled off by the water from the sea and particular minerals in the lava caused this formation. In fact, we can see these kind of Basalt columns in many places in Iceland.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Tip: A stern warning here about the rough sea in Reynisfjara beach. Many people have been caught unaware and have faced the wrath of the roaring and powerful currents in this beach. So, please DO NOT get close to the beach. A selfie might cost your life!

Driving Time: Dyrhólaey -> Vik Black sand beach = 20 km/ 24 min

Spending Time: 1 hour


Stop 7: Eldhraun lava fields

Well, this isn’t a destination in itself but it’s something we encounter on our way. As we close in to ‘Katla Geo Park’ area on the Ring Road 1, before reaching the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur, we can see mossy green lumps spread over miles on either side of the road – these are Eldhraun lava fields. This is one of a kind in the world, which is the biggest lava flow ever, till date. A fringy moss has been growing on these lava settlements, giving out that beaming green color. Driving here gives an unearthly feeling and a unique experience of sorts.

Tip: Do not walk or roll over on the moss. Don’t be a bad example like Justin Bieber.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Icelandic moss is fragile and takes thousands of years to grow. For a country like Iceland, where vegetation is sparse, it is not good on our part to spoil what nature is trying to heal.

GPS: Eldhraun lava fields

Or

63°41’51.4″N 18°08’04.1″W

Driving Time: Dyrhólaey -> Eldhraun lava fields = 60 km/ 44 min

Spending Time: As you wish 🙂


Stop 8: Laufskálavarða

Apparently, there was huge farm here in the year 894, which was completely destroyed by the first ever recorded eruption by the dreaded Katla volcano. From then on, a tradition was followed that whoever wishes to go further ahead from this point, had to stack stone cairns as a sign of their good luck. This is no longer followed now as it poses a serious threat to eco system. But, these stacks which we can see now were done hundreds of years ago and are preserved as a memory.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Tip: Again, do not disturb the nature here by trying to build your own cairn. If you are already in Iceland, that means you are lucky enough than many other people in the world to see this wonderful country and it is our duty to let things stay as is for the future generation to flourish. (Sorry for being too preachy!)

Driving Time: Eldhraun lava fields -> Laufskálavarða = Same area. Located to left of the road while coming from Vik side.

Spending Time: 10 mins



This is what we did on Day 2. You can re-arrange the places you’d like to visit depending on the place you halt for the day. You can also add these below places if it interests you!

You could add:

  • Seljavallalaug Pool – Nestled in between the narrow valley of mountains is this free geothermal pool. More on this here.
  • Thórsmörk – Þórsmörk or the Thor’s Valley, is a nature reserve in the southern Icelandic highlands. Highlands of Iceland are uninhabitable volcanic desert, out of which, Þórsmörk is one of the popular hiking destinations. If you are planning for Thórsmörk, then keep aside a whole day for this excursion. See here some of the popular Thórsmörk tours.
  • Landmannalaugar – Valleys of massive, colorful rhyolite mountains which is a stunning spectacle. The road to Landmannalaugar is an F-road, thus 4×4 is a must. Unless you are skilled to drive a 4×4, I suggest that you go on guided tour here.

Back to Day list..


Day 3: South east Iceland and Eastfjords Itinerary


Points of Interest: Fjaðrárgljúfur, Foss a Sidu and Dverghamrar, Lómagnúpur, Svartifoss, Svínafellsjökull, Fjallsárlón, Jokulsarlon + Diamond Beach, Vestrahorn

Today, you will finish off the best spots in South Iceland and then we’ll head Eastwards for completely different experiences!


Stop 1: Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon is one of my favourite places in Iceland. As the name says, it is a canyon. Fjaðrárgljúfur is 2 km long and 100 meters deep. A thin strip of water flows at the base of it. The curves and creases make this a marvellous sight to behold. We can walk either to the base of canyon or climb some steps up to get a different perspective of the whole place.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time:  Depends the place of your stay

Spending Time: 1-2 hours


Stop 2: Foss a Sidu and Dverghamrar

Around 10 km after of the village Kirkjubæjarklaustr, is Foss a Sidu, a waterfall which lies by the road. Its sheer height and its beautiful locale makes it special. Have a look in the picture below.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Foss á Síðu

Just a small walk from Foss á Síðu is Dverghamrar, a brief display of basalt columns in Iceland. This one is not so huge compared to the one in Vik or in our next stop, Svartifoss – but it still a good place to spend a few minutes on the way. After all, what is the joy in just driving without interesting stops, right?

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Foss á Síðu and Dverghamrar in one frame

Driving Time: Fjaðrárgljúfur -> Foss a Sidu = 22 km/ 22 min

Spending Time: 30 mins


Stop 3: Lómagnúpur

Lómagnúpur is a distinctive rock formation in the whole of Iceland, almost like a landmark – the one which is difficult to miss. It stands out from its surrounding landscape and its sheer size and shape makes it special. We didn’t get down from the car, we just stopped briefly in the clearing and clicked a few pics.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Dverghamrar -> Lómagnúpur = 22 km/ 15 min

Spending Time: 15 mins


Stop 4: Svartifoss

Svartifoss is one of the absolute beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Svartifoss is known for water pounding from its inverted basalt columns. Located in the Skaftafell/Vatnajökull National Park, a medium hike of 2-3 hour round trip takes us to Svartifoss with smaller waterfalls on the way. The hike as such isn’t very difficult as the terrain is in the middle of a forest and altitude rises gradually. Once the waterfall is in sight, we will have to hike down a narrow path to reach to the base of waterfalls. Good hiking shoes and warm clothing are a must for this hike.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Lómagnúpur -> Svartifoss = 36km/ 24 min

Spending Time: 2-3 hours


Stop 5: Svínafellsjökull

There are not many places in the world where we can get close to a glacial tongue, but one such place where we can is Svínafellsjökull. A few kilometres after Skaftafell National Park, we need to fork left and drive on the gravel road for 2 kilometers. The road is in poor condition but isn’t difficult for a 2WD. We had a 4WD and still didn’t find any need to engage all 4 wheels.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

After parking the car, we hiked for 5-10 minutes to reach the tongue of glacier, and I can say hands down that I was impressed by the place and gave myself a pat for doing my itinerary research right! I have also done a Facebook Live from this place. Watch it here. Forgive me for the poor video quality, the network wasn’t strong for a good streaming.

Driving Time: Svartifoss -> Svínafellsjökull = 7 km/ 15 min

Spending Time: 1 hour


Stop 6: Fjallsárlón

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Many people visit Jokulsarlon but do not know much about this little known gem – Fjallsárlón. It can be called as Jokulsarlon minus the crowds. The scarcity of tourists in Fjallsárlón was a proof for this claim. We visited Jokulsarlon just after Fjallsárlón and I can vouch that only 10% of people who visit Jokulsarlon visit Fjallsárlón. So peeps, enjoy some solitude with the company of floating glaciers in Fjallsárlón.

Tip: There are restrooms here – only the people who visit Iceland know the value of restrooms!

Driving Time: Svínafellsjökull -> Fjallsárlón = 47 km/ 40 min

Spending Time: 1 hour


Stop 7: Jokulsarlon + Diamond Beach

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Well, I shouldn’t lie – Jokulsarlon was the place that made me put Iceland high on my bucket list! And it definitely didn’t disappoint me 🙂 The difference between Fjallsárlón and Jokulsarlon is – Jokulsarlon is huge! There are obviously more icebergs floating around, there are flocks of birds and hundreds of seals – all adding to the gorgeousness of Jokulsarlon. Plus, we can see how the icebergs float away into the nearby ocean.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

If we cross the road across the bridge, we can play with some massive icebergs washed away to the shore by the powerful ocean waves on the Diamond Beach. The black sand + mighty and tiny icebergs make a rare combination which can only be seen in Iceland!

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Fjallsárlón -> Jokulsarlon = 11 km/ 12 min

Spending Time: 1-2 hours


Stop 8: Vestrahorn

Driving ahead of Jokulsarlon, we leave behind the glaciers and the ice capped mountains and encounter flat dry lands that give way to with really gigantic mountains. It’s kind of scary to drive in the foot of huge chain of mountains. Neetan couldn’t stop taking about landscape of Ladakh while driving this stretch.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Vestrahorn is a chain of mountains that have spiky edges and for some strange reason, they look impressive. Not only that, the beach in Vestrahorn is so shallow that one can walk on water. In India, this beach was made more famous by Sharukh Khan’s song in Dilwale. So much so that, as soon as we parked our car, the owner of the land came running with a picture of same and said, ‘India, Shahrukh, walk on water, pay me 800 ISK per person!’. Or maybe he saw me wearing a saree and recognised that we were from India. He was very irritating and said repeatedly, ‘Give me money, money’. We actually got pissed off by his money making attitude and decided that the price was too steep to step into the beach.

 

In Iceland, most of the attractions are free except a few which charge parking fees. The ones I remember is Kerid crater(we didn’t visit but remember reading about this). We paid 300 ISK for parking in Pingviller and 700 ISK parking in Seljalandsfoss. But 800 ISK, that too not parking fees but a per person fees in Vestrahorn was too steep and not worth it. A look from far sufficed for us. But some people choose to go ahead with it. Again, to each, their own!

Driving Time: Jokulsarlon -> Vestrahorn = 83km/ 1 hr

Spending Time: 30 mins – 1 hour (we spent like 15 mins as we didn’t enter the beach)



On Day 3 you could add:

Hike to Fláajökull glacial tongue: We wanted to visit this one, but we had to push as it was getting dark and didn’t have ample time to hike. More details here.


Back to Day list..


Day 4: Serene East fjords and a lovely drive to Seydisfjordur and a pit stop at Europe’s powerful waterfall


Points of Interest: Djúpivogur, Fáskrúðsfjörður, Reyðarfjörður, Eskifjordur, Seydisfjordur, Detifoss and Selfoss

Next 3 days will mostly be driving days to relish the variety of landscapes Iceland has in its kitty. On this day i.e. Day 4, we will drive to North Iceland, along the scenic roads in East fjords – often stopping at lovely villages by the fjords. Each town we stopped in had its own appeal; we loved every minute spent on this day! The sheer diversity of landscapes awed us and this was just the beginning of it all!


Stop 1: Djúpivogur

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Actually, this town wasn’t planned in our itinerary but I had read about this place during my itinerary research phase. We missed a road and instead of driving ahead, we took a turn into a road that led us into the town. And how glad that detour happened. We stopped briefly at the shipyard, did a live video call to some family folks to show them the locale, walked around a bit and drove back to join Route 1. But not before we took a short restroom break.

Tip: Free restrooms down the road near the Art and Crafts store.

Driving Time: Depends the place of your stay

Spending Time: 30 mins to 1 hour


Stop 2: Fáskrúðsfjörður

This town was high on my must visit list in East fjords, next only to Seydisfjordur. Fáskrúðsfjörður was very laid back and chilled out. We didn’t see many people wandering around the streets. We drove till the edge of the town, turned back and stopped by the pier, sat for a while thinking nothing and letting it all sink in. Do not miss this town if you driving around this area.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Djúpivogur -> Fáskrúðsfjörður = 110 km/ 1hr 30 min

Spending Time: 30 mins to 1 hour


Stop 3:  Reyðarfjörður

Reyðarfjörður was a bigger town and comparatively busier than the relaxed Fáskrúðsfjörður. We refuelled our car here at Olis as we had a discount card provided by Lagoon car rentals that entitled us for a free coffee. There is also a N1 in this town, which is another major chain of fuel bunks in Iceland. We also dropped by the nearby Kronan supermarket to buy some groceries for the day. A brief walk by the waterfront and we moved onto our next stop.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Fáskrúðsfjörður -> Reyðarfjörður = 22 km/ 20 min

Spending Time: 15- 30 mins (More if you plan to do grocery shopping)


Stop 4:  Eskifjordur

Behold, a grand entry to Eskifjordur awaits you! As soon as we turned right into a fork that led us to Eskifjordur, we were welcomed by a huge mountain with a waterfall tricking down with many layers, right in the middle of the road. And all we could do was to get awed! Yet again we drove through the town and drove back through Reyðarfjörður to join Route 1. That extra hour we spent to drive these two towns was totally worth it!

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Reyðarfjörður -> Eskifjordur = 16 km/ 15 min

Spending Time: 15- 30 mins


Stop 5:  Seydisfjordur

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Spot the town in the middle of mountains, by the sea

We all have often read in books about a fairytale town, nestled in between the mountains and the sea – Well, Seydisfjordur is that and more. The drive to Seydisfjordur itself is beautiful and exciting. Pictures/videos cannot do justice to this drive or the beauty of this town. While we were in Seydisfjordur, the town was filled with tourists, chilling out in the café near the famous ‘Blue Church with rainbow steps’. The park next to it, faced the peaceful waterfront, where one could just sit and stare for hours. Seydisfjordur is undoubtedly one of the best towns in the Icelandic fjords.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Eskifjordur -> Seydisfjordur = 73 km/ 1 hr

Spending Time: 30 mins – 1 hour


Stop 6:  Detifoss and Selfoss

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Detifoss is one of the powerful waterfalls in Europe. The sheer power exuded from the waterfall is to be felt and experienced while standing next to it. It feels as though we too are moving with the water that gushes and experience a mild feeling of vertigo. Detifoss is 44 m wide and its crashing vertical fall creates a massive cloud of water spray, often giving birth to rainbows when sun shines. There are two routes to Detifoss – west bank 862 and east bank 864. While 862 is a newly constructed road and an easy approach, 864 is an older gravel road. We took the 862 approach – there was a huge parking lot and basic restrooms. Detifoss is around 15-20 minute walk from the parking lot in 862 route.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

A small fork on the way back from Detifoss on a well-marked path took us to Selfoss, a smaller but a lovely waterfall. While you are in Detifoss, do not miss a visit to Selfoss.

P.S: There is a town in South Iceland by the name Selfoss. Do not get confused this with the Selfoss waterfall which is in North Iceland. I had this major confusion while planning my Iceland Itinerary. So, make sure you search in Google as ‘Selfoss waterfall’.

Driving Time: Seydisfjordur -> Detifoss = 189 km/ 2 hr 22 min

Spending Time: 1 – 1.5 hours



You could add:

  • Asbyrgi Canyon – Also known as the ‘Land of Gods’, is one of those rare places in Iceland where one can find lots of vegetation. Rich in flora and fauna, Asbyrgi Canyon is home to Arctic Fox and Gyrfalcon. With hiking trails ranging from 30 mins to 7 hours, there is lots to be explored here.
  • Hengifoss – The third highest waterfall in Iceland with red clay sandwiched between basalt columns. A longish hike of 2-3 hours is on cards to see Hengifoss.
  • Raudanes peninsula – is filled with unique rock formations in different shapes and sizes – of arches and holes. Check out this place if you have lots of time in East fjords.
  • Fardagafoss – Iceland is full of beautiful waterfalls and Fardagafoss is one of them. On the way to Seydisfjordur from Egilsstaðir, a short hike of about 30 mins takes us to Fardagafoss. A lovely gorge accompanied by the thundering waterfall makes a beautiful combination.

Back to Day list..


Day 5: Places to see in North Iceland 


Points of Interest: Námafjall, Leirhnjúkur Lava Fields, Krafla Víti Crater, Grjótagjá cave, Dimmuborgir, Mývatn Lake – Hofdi Park, Skútustaðagígar, Husavik

Today we shall visit some of North Iceland’s famous places of attraction and end the day with a wonderful whale watching tour!


Stop 1: Námafjall Hverir Geothermal area

Iceland 10 day itinerary

This part of Iceland is totally in a different league altogether. One doesn’t feel like Earth here. Martian landscapes, bubbling muddy and sulphur streams, colourful mineral deposits and not to mention the infamous pungent sulphur smell. Located next to the ring road, Námafjall/Hverir Geothermal area surprises for sure!

Driving Time: Depends the place of your stay

Spending Time: 1 hour


Stop 2: Leirhnjúkur Lava Fields

Leirhnjúkur Lava Fields are rightly named so as there exists a lava field here which is still fuming! Until 1984, lava was continuously being released through the fissures from a magma chamber 3 km below the ground. Now, fumes are being released from these fissures which is a way to exude heat from beneath. There is also a sulphur lake with brilliant aquatic blue colour.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Námafjall -> Leirhnjúkur Lava Fields = 9 km/ 11 min

Spending Time: 1 – 1.5 hours


Stop 3: Krafla Víti Crater

Viti which means ‘Hell’, is a stunning crater in North Iceland. I had mentioned that we skipped Kerid Crater in South as we knew that we are going to visit another crater in North Iceland and it is this. This is an explosion crater which was created during the Krafla volcanic eruption in 1724. There is a deep blue lake inside this crater and we can walk at its rim and reach the far end to see fumes radiated by the nearby Geo Thermal Power station.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Viti in Krafla is not to be confused with Viti in Askja. While Viti in Krafla is near the ring road, Viti in Askja is nestled deep in the central highlands of Iceland. One needs a proper 4×4 as there are lots of F roads to be taken to reach Askja. But, I’ll have to admit, we still have guilt of not visiting this as we were pressed for time. Askja has a stunning light blue lake with a backdrop of majestic mountains and another lake. This area was interestingly used by astronauts to prepare for lunar missions.

Driving Time: Leirhnjúkur Lava Fields -> Krafla Víti Crater = 2 km/ 2 min

Spending Time: 30 mins


Stop 4: Grjótagjá cave

Grjótagjá is a small, natural geothermal spring cave in North Iceland. It is one of the hidden gems in Iceland which was made popular by Game of Thrones. Almost every Game of Thrones fan who visit Iceland has this place on their list. All thanks to Jon Snow and Ygritte’s scene from the show, the place has been often nick named as Jon-Ygritte’s love nest! Grjótagjá is very beautiful – the shimmering water and the azure blue color that reflects from the surface will tempt for a dive. But beware, the water is piping hot and the temperature is above 50 degree Celsius. Earlier, Icelanders used to swim in the cave, but after the recent Krafla eruptions, the caves have been closed for swimming due to the increase in temperature but visiting the cave is allowed and is open all day.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Krafla Víti Crater -> Grjótagjá cave = 15 km/ 16 min

Spending Time: 30 mins


Stop 5: Dimmuborgir

Again, Dimmuborgir is another Game of Thrones shooting location. In Season 3, the scene where wildlings camped was shot here. Apart from the GOT connection, it’s interesting how these massive, brittle rock formations were formed. During a volcanic eruption, lava flowed into a nearby pond and was cooled in such shapes – like a bubble which has been bursted from inside and other pillar formations. These remained even after the pond dried up – leaving us with these spectacular and unique rock structures. There are many hiking paths in Dimmuborgir – check here.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

P.S: There are clean and paid restrooms here. We need to pay 200 ISK (2$) before we enter (Cards accepted)

Driving Time: Grjótagjá cave -> Dimmuborgir = 6 km/ 10 min

Spending Time: 1 – 1.5 hours (Depends on hiking path you choose)


Stop 6: Mývatn Lake – Hofdi Park

Finding trees in Iceland is kind of a big deal. We can find some in Asbyrgi Canyon and here on the way to Hofdi Park in Myvatn Lake. There are some unusual and strange rock pillar formations in Hofdi Park. These were again created by molten lava cooling off when it came in contact with water. Beware of some flies in this area.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Dimmuborgir -> Mývatn lake – Hofdi park = 3 km/ 3 min

Spending Time: 30 min to 1 hour


Stop 7: Skútustaðagígar

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Myvatn Lake isn’t too big and there is a road that circumnavigates the lake. We can stop at any clearing and get to know about different parts of the lake which has many surprises waiting. One such place is Skútustaðagígar. These are pseudo craters created by gas explosions when piping hot lava flew over the wet lands. The beauty of this place is that there is not only one but many such pseudo craters in this area, of different sizes and depth. We can even walk on the rim of it. See the picture above.

Driving Time: Hofdi park -> Skútustaðagígar = 7 km/ 6 min

Spending Time: 30 min to 1 hour


Stop 8: Husavik

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Husavik, famously known as ‘Europe’s Whale watching capital’ totally lives up to its name and guarantees a whopping 99% success rate of spotting various types of whales. I have written an entire post about ‘Husavik Whale watching’ here. Make sure to check it out! We also bought some eggs and chicken at ‘Netto’ which is another major chain of grocery stores in Iceland, to cook some dinner and for the next day’s breakfast.

 

Driving Time: Skútustaðagígar -> Husavik = 65 km/ 48 min

Spending Time: Min 4 hours if you plan to go on a whale watching tour.



You could add:

  • Hverfjall – We wanted to visit this, but we had a whale watching tour booked at 4 in Husavik and we were still in Mývatn at 2pm. So we decided to skip this place as it deserved at least an hour. Hverfjall is a huge crater with a strange desert like feeling and the beauty of this place can be experienced while watching the patterns that black ash make while walking on its rim. You can even do a longish hike from Dimmuborgir to Hverfjall or just drive down and do a short hike.
  • Aldeyjarfoss Waterfalls – Another lovely Icelandic waterfall with lots of Basalt clumns lined up in between which the water falls down in glory and streams into a narrow canyon alongside. There are some F roads to take en route to Aldeyjarfoss, so a 4×4 is advised.

Back to Day list..


Day 6: Some more of North Iceland


Points of Interest: Godafoss, Akuyeri, Trollaskagi, Siglufjörður

Today, we drive further up North and spend the second half of the day exploring beautiful corners of Siglufjörður.


Stop 1: Godafoss

Godafoss or the ‘Waterfall of Gods’ is one of the popular waterfalls in North Iceland. Due to its proximity to Ring Road, it’s often frequented by tourists. Godafoss is an elegant waterfall and I’m sure you will love it too, like I did 🙂 . There is a huge parking lot across the road, near the café where there are good restrooms.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Depends the place of your stay

Spending Time: 30 min to 1 hour


Stop 2: Akuyeri

Akuyeri is the second largest city in Iceland after Reykjavik and the largest in North Iceland. As we drove through the town, we saw loads of Software companies and recognised some big names. This goes without saying that I indicated Neetan to search for a software job in Iceland!

Iceland 10 day itinerary

We did make a customary stop at the famed ‘Akuyeri Fish and Chips’ which have been raved about in the Internet. Honestly, we did not love it nor dislike it. But, one thing for sure, we have eaten better fish, so this didn’t quite live up to its mark.

Driving Time: Godafoss -> Akuyeri = 53 km/ 43 min

Spending Time: 1 -2 hours


Stop 3: Trollaskagi

Trollaskagi or the Troll Peninsula is one of the spectacular mountain spaces in Iceland and the sea adds dimension and beauty to this place. Located a few kilometres after Siglufjörður, this area deserves a drive and a mandatory stop. Delve in some Trollaskagi beauty in these pictures below.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Absolute Beauty!

Driving Time: Akuyeri->Trollaskagi = 82 km/ 1 hr 15 min

Spending Time: 30 min to 1 hour


Stop 4: Siglufjörður

Siglufjörður is a town worth driving up so North. Not only is it closer to Trollaskagi, a stunning mountain scape, but town is beyond beautiful and makes a lovely stay. Read this post on ‘Things to do and where to stay in Siglufjörður’. Until you read that post, you can enjoy these scenes from Siglufjörður.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Trollaskagi -> Siglufjörður = 6 km/ 7 min

Spending Time: Min half a day



You could add:

Dalvik – Dalvik is a lovely fishing village enroute to Siglufjörður where fishing is a major occupation. If you plan to visit Iceland in August, then don’t miss the annual Fiskidagurinn mikli, a festival where a free fish buffet sponsored by the local fishing industry. It is held the Saturday after the first Monday of August.


Back to Day list..


Day 7: More gems of North Iceland and entry to Westfjords


Points of Interest: Glaumbær farm turf house, Kolugljúfur Canyon, Hvammstangi, Litlibær in Skötufjörður, Ísafjörður, Pingeyri

Today, we drove through the edge of North Iceland towards the Westfjords, finding some rarely visited places in Iceland and enjoying the drive all along the way.


Stop 1: Glaumbær farm turf house

We started early from Siglufjörður, and drove through Trollaskagi peninsula and stopped at this pretty place – Glaumbær farm turf house. This historic place has ‘Turf Houses’ which is where Icelanders used to live in. They are so cute – with lots of grass growing on their roof. These houses also have things and tools used by early Icelanders. Because we drove from Siglufjörður, we set the GPS directly to this Turf house. But, if you are driving from Myvatn area, then you need to detour a few km from Route 1/Ring road to reach here.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Siglufjörður -> Glaumbær = 111 km/ 1 hr 27 min

Spending Time: 30 min to 1 hour


Stop 2: Kolugljúfur Canyon

If I say Kolugljúfur Canyon is a hidden gem – then it wouldn’t be an understatement. Because, when were in Kolugljúfur, there was literally no one! We just saw another car arriving while we departed. That’s it! This place is so beautiful – maybe the solitude added more charm to its beauty.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Glaumbær farm turf house -> Kolugljúfur Canyon = 105 km/ 1 hr 17 min

Spending Time: 30 min to 1 hour


Stop 3: Hvammstangi

The Icelandic seal center in Hvammstangi provides a wealth of information about the seals in Vatnsnes peninsula. Hvammstangi is also one of the best places in Iceland to see seals. There are many boat tours conducted by the Seal Center here. We couldn’t see any seals here as a strong breeze kicked in. But, we were advised well by the folks in the Icelandic Seal center about where we can spot some seals on our way and as they guessed, we did see them in Litlibær.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Kolugljúfur Canyon -> Hvammstangi = 23 km/ 22 min

Spending Time: 30 min to 1 hour


Stop 4: Litlibær in Skötufjörður

Though I had read about Litlibær, I had never added it in my initial itinerary. But, as we didn’t see any seals in Hvammstangi, we had to stop by in Litlibær for seal watching. Thankfully, Litlibær was enroute to Ísafjörður, which was our next destination.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Poser!

Driving Time: Hvammstangi -> Litlibær in Skötufjörður = 300 km/ 3 hr 45 min

Spending Time: 15 – 30 min


Stop 5: Ísafjörður

Ísafjörður is another lovely town in the Westfjords of Iceland. Apart from views, Bonus – the best/cheap grocery store in Iceland was another reason we stopped here. But alas, it was quarter past seven in the evening and Bonus was shut. We had to do with some expensive vegetable shopping at a petrol bunk in Pingeyri, where we stayed for the day.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

The tarred road which you see in this picture is actually Ísafjörður airport runway!

Driving Time: Litlibær -> Ísafjörður = 72 km/ 53 min

Spending Time: 1 – 2 hours



You could add:

  • Drangsnes – A beautiful fishing village with an even beautiful hot tub facing the ocean.
  • Grímsey Island – Abundant birdlife and spectacular nature which is an easy 10 min boat ride from Drangsnes.
  • Flatyeri – Yet another lovely town by the fjords
  • Hvítserkur – A rhino shaped mountain structure by the sea.
  • Hornstrandir Nature Reserve – Where people don’t live anymore and have left to big cities for job opportunities, thus making this place a pure and true Nature Reserve. Keep aside a day for this.

Back to Day list..


Day 8: Iceland Westfjords Itinerary


Points of Interest: Dynjandi, Grundarfoss Waterfall, Kirkjufell & Kirkjufellsfoss in Grundarfjörður

Today, we will drive on some spectacular roads in the fjords and cover few of Iceland’s popular waterfalls


Stop 1: Dynjandi

Dynjandi is undoubtedly one of the most visited places in Westfjords. A multi-tier waterfall, that rumbles down the valley with a real thundering sound. There is a short hiking trail takes us to the top tier of the waterfall, which is an absolute must not only to enjoy Dynjandi from up close, but also to get a gorgeous view of the Dýrafjörður fjord where Dynjandi waterfall is located.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Depends the place of your stay

Spending Time: 1 – 2 hours


Stop 2: Grundarfoss

As we got closer to Grundarfjörður, where we had booked our accommodation for the day, we spotted this waterfall by the road. We parked the car by gate and walked towards Grundarfoss. I suggest that you spend some time here than just driving by it.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Dynjandi -> Grundarfoss = 312 km/ 4 hr 23 min

Spending Time: 1 – 2 hours

P.S: There is a ferry which can take you from Baldur to Stykkishólmur to reach West Iceland by water. The ferry carries the car too, but for a fee. Or you can choose to drive on the road too. And needless to say, we chose the road and we were so happy we did that 🙂 Just so you know, there aren’t any places until Stykkishólmur where you can find grocery stores or eateries, so stock up on your roadtrip munching snacks!


Stop 3: Kirkjufell & Kirkjufellsfoss in Grundarfjörður

Kirkjufell will probably be one of the most photographed mountain in Iceland. Its unique arrow head shape of the mountain which forms a perfect backdrop for Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, making it a photographer’s darling. Not only this, but it has Game of Thrones connection to it too! In the show, it is known as the arrow head mountain beyond which the ‘Army of the dead live’.

Iceland 10 day itinerary

Driving Time: Grundarfoss -> Grundarfjörður = 8 km/ 11 min

Spending Time: 1 – 2 hours

P.S: There is a self-service laundry room with a dryer in Grundarfjörður, on the main road to Kirkjufell. Ask some locals in Grundarfjörður and you will find it!

Iceland 10 day itinerary

View from the apartment where we stayed in Grundarfjörður



You could add:

  • Látrabjarg – which is one of Europe’s largest bird’s cliffs, and has colonies of birds living here fearlessly due to the safe and strategic location of the cliff.

Back to Day list..


Day 9: Snæfellsnes Peninsula Itinerary


Points of Interest: Saxhóll Crater, Skarðsvík Beach, Djúpalónssandur, Londrangar, Hellnar, Arnarstapi, Budir Black Church

We were based out of Grundarfjörður for two days to cover the lovely places in Snæfellsnes Peninsula. So in these two days, we stopped every 15 minutes or so, to visit a sightseeing spot, spend some time and get back in the car, only to stop again and again!


Stop 1: Saxhóll Crater

Snæfellsnes Peninsula, is another part of Iceland which is an amalgamation of sheer beauty and amazing landscapes. One of the first sights we came across for our day in Snæfellsnes National Park was Saxhóll Crater. This huge crater can be seen from the road and we had initially decided to pass by it, but finally ended up making a quick pit stop. A well laid stairs took us to the top of the crater giving us a 360 degree view of the lava region which originated from this very crater, thousands of years ago!

Driving Time: Depends the place of your stay

Spending Time: 30 – 45 mins


Stop 2: Skarðsvík Beach

Black sand beaches may be the signature of all Icelandic beaches, but to find a golden sand beach in Iceland is like finding an oasis in a desert. Skarðsvík Beach is one such place in Iceland where we can find turquoise waters and brown sand beach, which is something rare to find in Iceland.

We loved our visit to Skarðsvík Beach, not only for the beach, but also for views from the nearby cliffs. While here, don’t rush – take a nice walk around and enjoy the serenity and mindboggling views.

Driving Time: Saxhóll Crater -> Skarðsvík Beach = 8 km/ 9 min

Spending Time: 1 – 1.5 hours


Stop 3: Djúpalónssandur

While I thought that our time in Iceland was almost coming to an end, the surprises were also coming to an end. Well, I was wrong. Djúpalónssandur was a revelation and I was taken aback by its astounding beauty! Green mossy lava rocks strewn all over the path that leads to a black sand beach filled with pebbles of all sizes – as big as boulder to as small as a pearl. Gatklettur – a lava rock with a hole is a lovely spot for some photo ops. A fresh water lagoon – Svörtulón or the Black Lagoon, behind this rock forms a stunning mirror lake on calm, non-windy days.

Driving Time: Skarðsvík Beach -> Djúpalónssandur = 22 km/ 21 min

Spending Time: 1 – 2 hours


Stop 4: Londrangar and Malarrif Lighthouse

Londrangar is a basalt lava rock eroded by the sea water. Together with Malarrif Lighthouse, Londrangar makes a pleasing viewpoint with snow-capped Snæfellsjökull on a clear sunny day. A quiet walk amidst the grasslands here makes a memorable walk. Overall, though I wouldn’t rate this place a must visit, still it is not a bad one to stroll around if you have time.

Driving Time: Djúpalónssandur -> Londrangar = 8 km/ 8 min

Spending Time: 1 – 1.5 hours


Stop 5: Hellnar

How glad I was to add this village to our itinerary. A drive little off the main road to reach the tip of Snæfellsnes Peninsula, rewards with astounding views of sea, a rocky cove and a lush green cliff with a lone house in the middle of the lonely locale. Once we start to walk down the car park towards the cove, we can spot a café here – what a better way to revel in the views? This place – Hellnar, I’d say, definitely NOT to miss!!

Close up of the cove

Driving Time: Londrangar -> Hellnar = 8 km/ 7 min

Spending Time: 1 – 2 hours


Stop 6: Arnarstapi

A sculpture of Bardur Snaefellsas by Ragnar Kjartansson is one place in Arnarstapi with a historical significance. Bardur, who was a troll is said to have named the area as ‘Snaefellsas’ is said to be chief guardian who protects the area. A short walk away from this sculpture, takes us to the edge of the cliff which faces the sea and amazing lava rock formation – especially the stunning Gatklettur – a circular arch. Do not confuse this Gatklettur with the one in Djúpalónssandur.

 

Driving Time: Hellnar -> Arnarstapi = 5 km/ 7 min

Spending Time: 1 hour


Stop 7: Budir Black Church

Famed as one of the oldest wooden churches in Iceland, the Black Church in Budir was rebuilt by a brave Parish woman who fought for its reconstruction since it was destroyed in 1816. Apart from its historical significance, it is known for its raw photographic appeal and many photoshoots take place here in Budir Black church.

We especially loved the drive from Budir back to Grundarfjörður, where we were based for the day, through route 54, Snæfellsnesvegur. We drove up a mountain with lots of waterfalls and lagoons along the way, where we touched the clouds and had almost zero visibility for miles together.

P.S: Search on Google maps as ‘Búðakirkja’ or ‘Budir church’

Driving Time: Arnarstapi -> Budir Black Church = 19 km/ 18 min

Spending Time: 30 mins – 1 hour



You could add:

  • Vatnshellir Cave – A tour inside a tube lava cave with spiral stairs to reach the bottom of the cave. The entry to this cave is paid and has a guided tour.


Back to Day list..


Day 10: Grundarfjörður to Reykjavik


Points of Interest: Gerðuberg Cliffs, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, Reykjavik

Today would be our last driving day in Iceland and we covered some more lovely places and drove in contrasting landscapes. When we started our day in Grundarfjörður, we were victims of a howling gale and extremely bad weather, so worse that we had to skip a couple of places in our itinerary. But, as we drove further south, the weather changed drastically and we had a dry day in Reykjavik. Not only that, but en route, we also drove through an area with fumes from hot springs on either side of the road! 🙂


Stop 1: Gerðuberg Cliffs

More than half a kilometre of horizontal Basalt columns stand strong at Gerðuberg Cliffs. These cliffs are on the way to Reykjavik, hence making this a quick stop. A little more than half a kilometre on a narrow path from the main road, Gerðuberg Cliffs cannot easily be seen from the main road unless we turn left into the fork.

 

Driving Time: Depends the place of your stay

Spending Time: 30 mins – 1 hour


Stop 2: Hraunfossar and Barnafoss

Hraunfossar that translates to lava waterfalls, is a horizontal waterfall or rather a bunch of springs that emerge from the edge of a lava field, trickling down a mossy rock. The fact that there are many small waterfalls which joins down to form the Hvitá River makes it a special sight to savour.

A short walk from Hraunfossar, is Barnafoss or the child waterfalls was named so after a mother lost two of her children who tried to cross the bridge across this waterfall, which was later destroyed by her so that no child ever falls again from that bridge. The gushing sound of the waterfall reminds of a mother’s anger.

Driving Time: Gerðuberg Cliffs -> Hraunfossar and Barnafoss = 102 km/ 1 hr 15 min

Spending Time: 1- 2 hours


Stop 3: Reykjavik

Well, Reykjavik needs no introduction – it is the capital city and the biggest city in Iceland. We hadn’t explored Reykjavik on our first day in Iceland. So we had reserved the second half of the last day to explore Reykjavik. One day is enough to explore Reykjavik as every place worth seeing is in a walkable distance. What to do for a day in Reykjavik? Well, I’m sure you would have had enough of information to plan your trip to Iceland by now, so that info is for another post 🙂

P.S: On the way from Hraunfossar to Reykjavik, we come across the one and only toll road in Iceland which is built with the state-of-art technology where we drive partly under the ocean and we won’t even realise that! What used to take 45 mins to cross the fjord now takes just 7 minutes! We paid around 1,300 Icelandic krona for a single trip.

Driving Time: Hraunfossar -> Reykjavik = 119 km/ 1 hr 33 min

Spending Time: 0.5 – 1 day

You could add:

  • Ytri Tunga – A place to spot some seals. We had to skip this place as we had a bad weather that day and seal spotting would be a failed attempt.
  • Westman Islands/ Vestmannaeyjar – A group of 15 islands where only one is inhabited – Heimaey with stunning landscapes and puffin colonies. Keep an entire day for this.
  • Blue Lagoon – Again, Blue lagoon needs no introduction. We skipped this as it was not something we wanted to do. Need more info? Check this. http://www.bluelagoon.com/
  • Rekjadalur – This can be covered on Day 1 too. It is a natural hot spring set in stunning landscape – an outdoor warm swimming pool of sorts.
  • Glymur Waterfalls – The second highest waterfall with a tough hike for about 3.5 hours takes us to Glymur. More details here.


Iceland ring road 10 day itinerary infographic:


 

Hope this detailed Iceland travel guide helped you to make your own Iceland itinerary. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or share with us your favourite place in Iceland. Have I missed to mention any place here? Feel free to write in the comment box below, I shall add it right away 🙂

 

Just writing this super detailed Iceland itinerary physced me up and made me go on a virtual tour to Iceland again. I can’t wait to go there again! Iceland is definitely not a place which you should visit once in a lifetime, it’s worth more than one visit !!

Pin it to your Iceland Pinterest Board:

 



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