A friend and I are visiting Iceland for the first time in mid-March. We'll have approximately 6.5 days in the country – arriving at the crack of dawn on a Friday and leaving in the evening of the following Thursday – but there's so much to do and see that we want to ration our time wisely. We've decided to rent a car for the whole week, to provide us with maximum flexibility. Here is our working itinerary, followed by a couple questions:
Friday: drop our stuff off at the hostel, and spend the first half of the day exploring and acclimating to Reykjavik. In the afternoon, if the weather's agreeable (or not), drive to Hveragerði/Reykjadalur and hike to/bathe in the geothermal springs. At night, partake in the rúntur (we're college students, after all), trying not to make too many regrettable decisions.
Saturday: spend the day in Reykjavik, checking out Kolaportið and any other sights in the city we didn't make it to on Friday, including Reykjadalur.
Sunday: Snaefellsnes Peninsula day trip (see notes below).
Monday: drive to Vik, stopping at Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Dyrholaey, and potentially the airplane wreck at Solheimasandur (if we can find it, that is).
Tuesday: drive to Jokulsarlon (where we'll hopefully be able to do a boat tour of the lagoon, if the weather's agreeable). Turn around and head southwest again, stopping at Skaftafell to check out Svartifoss. Continue back along the southern coast to Hella or Arborg, where we'll put up for the night.
Wednesday: check out Gullfoss/Geysir/Þingvellir, and then return to Reykjavik for the night.
Thursday: lazy morning in Reykjavik. At around 11 or 12, drive to Blue Lagoon for a relaxing one- or two-hour soak, and then continue on to the airport, in time to return our rental car and check in for our flight.
Now, I have a couple questions about this itinerary:
First of all, is a day trip to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula too ambitious for this time of year (i.e., 12 hours of daylight)? For what it's worth, most of the sights we'd like to see here – including Helgafell, Berserkjahraun, Grundarfjörður, Bjarnarfoss, Búðir, and the Gerðuberg basalt columns – are located to the east of the national park, so we could potentially cut that part out of the loop if we're hard-pressed for time. (And if we find that we do have an extra hour or two on our hands when we arrive at Búðir, perhaps we could backtrack along 574 to Hellnar, without completing the entire national park loop). In any case, we know we won't have enough time for much activity at any of these spots. But are we still cutting it too close here?
Also, does this Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday stretch seem well-balanced? Most of the sites we plan on visiting during this time are on the same general path, so we could probably move some of them around, if another arrangement makes more sense. (Tuesday, in particular, seems a little driving-heavy; should we seek a different sleeping destination for that night?)
Any feedback would be much appreciated.
Thanks, and happy new year to you all!
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