7 days in Iceland

Preparation

Example of my plan in a google doc

Day 1

This was a cozy little guesthouse

Day 2

1. Thingvellir National Park

2. Geyser Strokkur

3. Gullfoss Falls

Hitchhiking:

4. Kerið

“I don’t like how people in Iceland start taking advantage of tourist people, try to charge them for everything.”

5. Keldur Turf House

6. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

7. Gljúfrafoss Waterfall

8. Seljvavellir Pool

Day 3

1. Black Sand Beach.

2. Vik

3. Skaftafell Snow Cave Tour

4. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

5. Diamond Beach

Driving to Egilsstaðir

Day 4

1. Egilsstaðir

2. Dettifoss Falls

3. Asbyrgi Canyon

4. Námaskarð Hot Springs

5. Mývatn Nature Baths

Resting at a guesthouse in Lake Mývatn

Day 5

1. Lake Mývatn

2. Goðafoss Falls

3. Akureyri

Day 6

1. Vatnshellir Cave

2. Hellnar & Arnarstapi

3. Deildartunguhver Hot Spring

4. Hraunfossar & Barnafoss Waterfalls

5. The Blue Lagoon

Overall

How long should I stay in Iceland?

  • 1–3 days: You can focus on just exploring the south of Iceland (Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon, hot river, all the way down to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon)
  • 4–7 days: Explore the ones mentioned above plus a little bit of the north side which has different types of activities and sceneries than the south. I suggest you skip the East or North Eastside because it’s mostly snow and there is nothing much to do on the East side except driving for hours to go past it :D
  • 8–10 days: The ring road is a good experience for this length of stay. Just remember that there will be a lot of driving involved. Although I did this by myself, I do think it’s better to go with someone so you guys can take turn driving and split the expensive cost.

Tips: How to prepare for Iceland.

What you should know before going to Iceland? (Especially if you are from the US)

1. Car Rental

  • 4x4 Car: If you plan to do the Ring Road, I would recommend you to get the 4x4 one because some roads are restricted to 4x4 cars only, especially in the East and Northside. Although I had a 2x4 and could get around fine I had to take a detour to avoid some restricted shortcut roads that were only for 4x4.
  • 2x4 Car: If you don’t plan to do the Ring Road then a 2x4 car should be fine. I survived the snowstorm with that :)
  • Gas vs. Diesel: If you can get a diesel car you would save more money because the gas in Iceland is super expensive (2, 3 times more than the US).

2. GPS and Map

3. Paying for Gas/Diesel

DISCOUNT:

4. Driving in Iceland

  • Speed Limit: the common speed limit on highway 1 is 90kph which is around 55mph. I know it’s kinda slow compared to the US and most people would drive a little bit above that. However, when you are near some big cities like Reykjavik, you will see there are cameras around to enforce the speed limit. My friend who went a couple of months before did not know about this until he returned his car. The guy said he got a ticket. He had to pay a fee for them to process the paperwork there.
  • Traffic Circle: when you are in the big cities. There are lots and lots of traffic circles. Almost every 2, 3 mins you would see one. It was kinda annoying to me because I rarely see one in the states.
  • One Lane Road: it’s very common in Iceland when some part of the road turns into a one-lane road especially before you cross the bridge.

5. Phone Services/ Data

6. Outfit

  • Waterproof gears: I would recommend you to have at least one waterproof outfit and shoes because you don’t want to get soaked wet when visiting some big waterfalls.
  • Hiking shoes: It’s better to have good hiking shoes because you would not want to fall on your butt while walking on the snow like I did.

7. Water and Food

8. Blue Lagoon, Ice Cave, Volcano Cave

9. Buying gifts

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Ace Vu

Ace Vu

Storyteller, UX Designer, Accessibility Advocate, and World’s Beauty Admirer