Old Mar 26th, 2019, 12:05 PM
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Looking for suggestions of day trips from Reykjavik by car. I will have 3 full days to explore outside the city. My initial research suggests possibly one day driving up to Kirkjufell and area, one day along the southern coast to Vik and one day around some of the Golden Circle. I'm told the blue lagoon is a tourist trap to be avoided but don't want to miss it if its worth it. Other better suggestions for 'must see sights' would definitely be appreciated. We will be based in the city and have a vehicle. Thanks
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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 01:32 PM
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Iceland is a tourist trap full stop.

Most overrated destination I have ever had the misfortune. Ridiculously expensive and may seem impressive if you haven’t travelled much.
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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 02:30 PM
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snorkeling/diving at Silfra.
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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 03:19 PM
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I think your itinerary will work but may be some long drives. Hard for me to say as we visited with a guide and only spent a couple of nights in Reyjavik and the rest at Ranga where driving distance to Vik was far less than from R. Get a map of Iceland and check out distances via google or rome2rio, or any good route planner. I liked the Blue Lagoon and, yes, there are lots of tourists, but I figured it’d be my only chance and didn’t want to miss out. Glad I went. As far as not going to the Blue Lagoon because of the number of tourists, the same could be said of Iceland as a whole. If you are willing to put up with crowds every where else, why not at one of Iceland’s most popular sights.
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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 03:31 PM
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I really liked the golden circle much more than south coast.
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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 04:14 PM
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Iceland is a tourist trap full stop.

I wholeheartedly agree, but sometimes a person just has to see for themselves.

phmemphis - we went in 2017, thinking it would be the first of many trips to Iceland, but not fully appreciating the mob factor (at least at the most visited sights, and this in May), and we've since changed our minds, thinking once might be plenty.

My trip report from that visit might give you some ideas, at least as far as driving distances and what one can (or can't) fit into a day:
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Old Mar 26th, 2019, 04:15 PM
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What interests you the most should guide you in what you would like to see. When are you planning your trip. Time of year will impact crowds.

I did three day tours from Reykjavik in October 2018 as follows:

Day 1, Tour 1 (via Nice Travel): Golden Circle tour which included Pingfellir National Park, Kerid Crater, Gullfoss, Geysir & Strokkur and ended in the Blue Lagoon (separate fee).

I personally enjoyed the Blue Lagoon. A geothermal bath with some prosecco made me a VERY happy lady. As I was there in mid-October, it was not too crowded. But summer can be.

Day 2, Tour 2 (also via Nice Travel): south island tour of Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Reynisfara beach (Black sand beach), glacier hike on Solheimajokull.

Day 3, Tour 3 (via Dive.Is) snorkel tour in Pingfellir National park of the Silfra (also suggested above). Silfra is between two tectonic plates of the North American plate and Eurasia plate.

I am not one to book tours normally, but I'm not good at driving in extreme weather - which Iceland has an abundance of.

There are plenty more options, of course. I would suggest you consult some good guidebooks if you haven't alteady.
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 08:17 AM
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Thank you all for your feedback and information. All very helpful and informative. Sounds like we could have a great time or be disappointed, but you only live once right? Great tips as well on costs, alcohol, gas and other items. Much appreciated.
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 02:39 PM
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Your potential destinations (Kirkjufell and Vik area) are wonderful, but maybe a little too far for day trips. Driving is slow because you constantly stop to admire the amazing scenery. For us, Iceland is one of the top destinations and can't wait to go back (we spent 18 days visiting only the South and West coasts).
One of the highlights close to Reykjavik was Inside The Volcano, Iceland Volcano Tour |
The Golden Circle is nice, but crowded because it's so close to Reykjavik and all the tours go there.

What time of the year you're going? Look at online pictures and pick some places you'd like to see. There is no right or wrong answer here. If driving, pay attention to speed limits and have a great trip!
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Old Mar 28th, 2019, 04:29 PM
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We did #1 and #2 on Travel_nerd’s list on our first two trips and enjoyed both. We really like Iceland and will stop again on this year’s trip
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