Iceland seems to be the new travel destination these days, with help from great flight deals via WOW air and Icelandair’s stopover program. This could be a decently affordable trip, with flight deals from around $300 round trip, almost all nature excursions, and meals mostly from groceries. Our trip wasn’t the most affordable since we didn’t have much flexibility in when we could travel, and we were only there for a few days so we wanted to make the most of the trip. We scheduled a few once-in-a-lifetime experiences and I wanted to try Icelandic food so we ate at restaurants rather than making our own meals. Most things in Iceland are very expensive – a breakfast, for example, could easily run $50 without indulging! We did save money by using AirBnb coupons and renting from SadCars, and sightseeing took up a decent amount of time. Enjoy the extensive number of photos (Click through slideshows!!) and our itinerary to make the most of our four days!
DAY 1: Reykjavik & Blue Lagoon
After taking a redeye flight from New York Friday night, we arrived the next morning slightly sleep-deprived but excited to explore. We picked up our car rental from SadCars (a car rental approximately 40% the price of Hertz) and went on our way to our first stop: Blue Lagoon.
Then we were on our way to Reykjavik to explore the rest of the day. We took the first day easy, by exploring most of the attractions in the city.
Day 2: Golden Circle
The popular day trip from Reykjavik lived up to its expectations. We added on a snorkeling trip through Dive Iceland between the tectonic plates of Europe and America.
Thingvellir National Park
This is where you can see the split between the tectonic plates. I personally think it was the snorkeling that made this place the coolest. This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime things we were happy to indulge for. Plus, it was our anniversary gift to each other! 🙂
Literally what it sounds like. An active geyser (actully Stokkur, not Geysir, which hasn’t erupted in years) plus a nice hike to the top of the mountain. The geyser erupts more frequently than Old Faithful at every 4-8 minutes, although it doesn’t erupt as high. Get very close and watch the water boiling before it erupts.
Probably the least impressive of the trip, mostly because we saw many other waterfalls on the south coast. But, if you can’t make it to the south coast, this is a great taste of the beautiful waterfalls Iceland offers.
400 ISK to enter, but worth every penny. You can walk around or into a volcanic crater that’s now filled by a beautiful lake.
Day 3: South Coast
We spent the night in Selfoss instead of going back to Reykjavik since we knew we would be exploring the south coast the next day, but we backtracked a little in the morning to go to Hveragerdi.
Reykjadalur (“Steam Valley”)
After a 45 minute hike on top of a mountain ridge, we arrived in Reykjadalur to hike to some hot springs in the middle of the valley. The hike itself was just as cool as the hot springs – it felt like a scene out of Lord of the Rings! Pictures don’t do it any justice – we were super high up with mountain ridges all around us.
A waterfall that you walk behind and around.
The most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen. Rainbows everywhere, and a steep hike up to the top of the waterfall.
Reynisfjara (Black Sand Beach)
Basalt pillars everywhere, and black sand. One of the most striking places I’ve ever been.
A cute little sheep town in the south coast.
Seen from right outside our balcony in our Airbnb in Reykjivik. We didn’t even have to drive outside the city or go outside in the cold!
Day 4: Reykjavik Museums
Our flight was at 5 PM on the fourth day, so we really only had a half day. We started the morning with a breakfast at Café Loki and visited the National Icelandic Museum and Saga Museum.