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Iceland in 7 Days- Help with Itinerary

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I am planning a trip to Iceland for the end of May. Is 7 Days enough to travel both the South (Golden Circle, Vik and Jokulsarlon)the North (Husavik and Lake Myvatn) as well as time for the Blue Lagoon and Reykjavik? Any suggestions for an itinerary? Anything to add? Should I forget the Northern part of the trip? Thanks!

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    Much too much for 7 days.
    My suggestion -
    Rent a car in Keflavik
    Day 1 - Reykjavik
    Day 2 - self drive to Geysir, Gulfoss and Thingvellir (Golden Circle). Night in Reykjavik
    Day 3 - superjeep trip to Landmannalaugar. Night in Reykjavik
    Day 4 - return car in Reykjavik Airport (in the city), fly to Akureyri, rent a car in Akureyri Airport, drive to Myvatn area. Night in a farm in Myvatn area
    Day 5- Myvatn, Hussavik, Dettifoss etc. Night same as in day 4
    Day 6 - Drive to Akureyri, visit town, return car in the airport, fly to Reykjavik. night in Reykjavik
    Day 7 - fly home

    Some remarks:
    - The trip by superjeep to Landmannalaugar is extemely expensive. It is an amazing trip, do it if you can afford it. Cut on fancy hotels and restaurants. You won't regret it!
    - If you have an additional day - try to reurn the car in Reykjavik and drive all the way from Akureyri to Reykjavik and include a trip to Snaefelnes on the route.
    - You probably noticed that I didn't include the Blue Lagoon. It is an artificial pool. very very commercialized, packed with tourists busses. I think that Iceland has so much more to offer!
    - Jokulsarion is nice, but this too far for a day's trip. If you have seen floating icebergs in your life than I am not sure that it is worth the effort.

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    I'd also skip the Blue Lagoon... if you go to Myvatn, check out the Myvatn Nature Baths... somewhat similar, but much more isolated, many fewer people and less than 1/2 the price.


    I don't think day 5 as proposed in really feasible. The drive to Dettifoss is a trek and there is more to see it that area. You can easily spend a couple of days at Myvatn, so check out the area and choose 3 or 4 thnks to do (especially as the amount of light is declinig).

    Also, you can check out nice hot pools just south of the airport and at Geysir, so can probably skip the ones at Myvatn.

    Jokulsarlon is a hike from most of the stuff in the south. It's neat, but not worth the trek unless your are driving the whole loop of the ring road.

    If you decide not to go to Myvatn, check out the Snæfellsnes. About 2 hours nort of Reykjavik. Nice cliff hikes, cool towns, nice crater at Eldborg, glaciers, etc.

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    Iceland at the end of May is great. We were there for 7 days at the end of May last year. From our experience, you definitely shouldn't attempt both north and south in 7 days. You'll be very rushed and miss a lot. We chose to do just the South last year, because it seemed a little easier to navigate and would be a way to "get our feet wet" with exploring Iceland on our own. We also read that early in the season you can run into closed areas in the north (not sure if this is true or not, but that's what we heard). We have no regrets about our decision -- the South was spectacular with more than enough to keep us busy for 7 days. Here was our itinerary:

    Day 1: Reykavik
    We toured city on foot in the morning -- visiting Hallgrimskirkja church, shops, Tjornin lake, etc. The weather was sunny, so elected to do whale-watching excursion in afternoon -- however, wind was picking up rapidly. Although scenery was beautiful, we didn't see many whales on our day (the day before had been much better according to several guests we spoke with) and the ride back to harbor was a real white-knuckler (and wet) -- and we're pretty comfortable on boats in general.

    Day 2: Thingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss, Skalholt Church

    Rental car company picked us up at hotel and took us to get rental car, left Reyjavik by 10:30, got to Thingvellir around noon, Geysir and Gullfoss by 3 pm. -- this actually worked out well, because most of the tour buses are gone by this time. Skalholt Church beautiful, but we got there at closing time, so no time to tour. This was a slightly rushed day in our opinion -- could have taken two days to see more sights in this area. Stayed in Selfoss area.

    Day 3: Kerio Crater, Seljalndsfoss, Skogafoss, Glacier Walk

    We backtracked a little to see Kerio crater we had missed on Day 2. Drove east on Ring Road to the "waterfall areas" next -- beautiful afternoon, spent a lot of time walking and taking pics. in these areas and other smaller sights we passed along the way. Stayed in Vik.

    Day 4: Vik, Coastline/Black Sand beaches, Jokulsarion Glacial Lagoon

    Spent morning in Vik, walking on black sand beach, then with the day brightening as we drove east on Ring Road -- spectacular drive -- kept going to Glacial Lagoon area to take the boat ride in sunshine and under clear blue skies. Drove back to Skaftafell area to our B&B in evening.

    Day 5: Skaftafell area, Ingolfshofdi Bird walk

    Had Skaftafell park to ourselves. Unbelievable scenery. Several different trails to pick from. The bird walk in Ingolfshofdi (30 min. drive away approx.) had been recommended to us by the B&B and we'd seen mention of it on several websites. It's an amazing experience for birders, photographers, etc. -- however, be aware that the climb up the sand bluff to the birds is a bit strenuous and not for those afraid of heights -- but definitely worth it we felt. If you've been to the dunes in Michigan -- it is much like one of those climbs. Amazing views at the top. Lots and lots of bird life. Our young Icelandic guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.

    Day 6: Drive to Reykanes Peninsula and Geothermal areas, Blue Lagoon

    The weather gods abandoned us on this day. Rain and fog for the entire drive back along the south coast. We unwisely left the Ring Road to make a detour to the geothermal areas on the peninsula. They are located on an untar/gravel road (marked 42, I think). The road is hilly, narrow, with blind curves, no guard rails, etc. We would not recommend this drive -- especially not in rain and fog. In hindsight, should have gone into Reyjavik instead and visited some museums, etc. given the weather. We stayed at the Northern Light Inn for our final night in Iceland -- and the Blue Lagoon was very cool in the evening with the fog, rain and wind, we thought. Few tourists braved it that night, so we had the place to ourselves. We liked it better than the sunny day-time visit we made later!

    A little bit of clothing advice for May: Invest in a sturdy, good quality rain/windbreaker coat -- we had the L.L. Bean foul weather ones which worked great -- don't forget warm gloves, hat, and definitely one of those ski head bands for the wind. Sunglasses/Glasses are also essential on windy days because of the dust in the air. I'm kind of a "chilly" person in general, so I wore lightweight longjohns every day under my jeans, with a turtleneck and fleece vest under my raincoat. Sturdy walking/hiking boots are also handy for the uneven ground in some glacial areas.

    Other bit of advice: Pack a lot of snacks -- or visit an Icelandic grocery store (a neat experience we thought!) when you get there. Food possibilities are few and far between once you leave Reyjavik. Virtually the only options for lunch beyond Selfoss are the gas stations (which have very nice hot food grills and carry-out sandwiches, by the way) and supper meals are only available at the scattered hotels. Supper is usually only served at certain times with limited menus. Some of the gas stations close at 5, so don't count on these for dinner. Selfoss has a great little bakery off the main road -- ask a local where to find it.

    Last bit of advice: make sure you have extra memory cards for your camera - we ran out of picture space by Day 4, there were so many photo ops.

    Have fun! And take the time to enjoy and savor the scenery, we'd recommend. You can always go back!

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    I am going to agree that it is WAY too much to do in 7 days, however, disagree with the other posts here about navigating on your own.

    We went in August of 2006 and are not ones for bus days trips, however, we were advised that due to the intense fog and the crazy street names that navigating on our own would be dangerous.

    We booked 2 day trips prior to leaving through iceland air and the rest we booked in reykjavik at the tour place downtown.

    We also found that we learned so much from our day guides that we would have never learned through a book if we had navigated ourselves around.

    We spent 7 nights in Reykjavik and 2 nights in Copenhagen.

    The blue lagoon is amazing and we went the day that we arrived through a day trip after whale watching.

    Feel free to see photos here: http://markkrystal.multiply.com/photos/album/23/Iceland_-_Aug_06

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    Hi virgogirl,

    I'm planning a family iceland trip for July/Aug 2008 -in fact, we just bought the air-tickets.

    if you click on my name, you should be able to access the thread I've started if you are interested.

    regards, ann

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