Proposed itinerary for Iceland

Old Feb 19th, 2017, 10:44 AM
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Proposed itinerary for Iceland

We're in the very early stages of planning a trip to Iceland, and despite having read several trip reports here on Fodor's (including annhig's highly entertaining saga from 2008 - a thoroughly good read!) we're as confused as ever.

The current plan is to spend 9-10 days in Iceland in mid-late May, and then continue on to Switzerland for about 10 days, but nothing is engraved in stone yet. The only thing we know for sure at this point is that we'll be visiting Iceland as we visit everywhere else, sans tours.

In an effort to make things as easy as possible, I'm considering following this itinerary, and would appreciate Fodorite input, as well as suggestions for accommodation and culinary highlights (if there is such as thing in Iceland

We usually avoid one night stays at all costs, but everything I've read seems to indicate that one sees Iceland EN ROUTE, instead of via a base, so we're willing to give it a try if this is the case. Which begs the question, is this the case?

If it helps, we're outdoorsy types who enjoy hiking and scenery; I'm a keen photographer. We're open to alternative accommodation as I understand hotels in Iceland can break the bank. We hope to get by with a 2WD car. As a non-meat, fish and egg eater, I fully appreciate that I'm in for some food challenges, but I'm pretty resourceful, so I think I'll manage. The other half is a much more adventurous eater.

Day 1: Reykjavík - overnight

Day 2: Reykjavík to Sauðárkrókur - overnight

Day 3: Sauðárkrókur to Akureyri - overnight

Day 4: Akureyri to Mývatn - two nights (Reykjahlíð village on Lake Mývatn?)

Day 5: Mývatn & Krafla

Day 6: Mývatn to Seyðisfjörður - overnight

Day 7: Seyðisfjörður to Höfn - overnight

Day 8: Höfn to Vík - overnight

Day 9: Vík to Reykjavík - overnight
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Old Feb 21st, 2017, 09:24 AM
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No takers?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2017, 02:17 AM
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Hope you get some advice, Melnq8, because I'm also looking at this for possibly my next trip, but first NZ. Our requirements seem to be about the same.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2017, 03:34 AM
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Melnq8--Try Trip Advisor. There are a local of Icelandic locals there and the Iceland forum is pretty active. They were a big help for our trip there about a year ago.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2017, 01:59 PM
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Thank Clousie and mms - I did try TA and got some good advice there.

I've booked the trip - all in a matter of days - quite a feat.

We were a bit rushed to get accommodation in some of the smaller towns, but now that I've at least got rudimentary bookings made, I can finesse the details.

We'll be spending 10 nights, then we'll head to Switzerland for 10 nights.

FYI for those who might be interested - Iceland Air has a seven day limit for their best stop over fares. Adding more days causes the fares to double. We looked out as far as September and this was routinely the case.

Rather than re-jig the whole itinerary, we booked three one way tickets and paid about the same as we would have if we'd just done a seven day stop over.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2017, 02:37 PM
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Melnq8--Oh wow, that is a great idea! We are going for longer than 7 days too and I had not thought about how the fares would be, so thank you for that info and idea! We absolutely loved Iceland! DH is NOT a travel planner by any means, but within days of our return, he was at the bookstore buying travel books for Iceland and figuring out where we will go, lol.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2017, 04:15 PM
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That's what I'm afraid of mms, that this will be our first trip, not our only trip. We've joined Iceland Air frequent flyer program...just in case.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 06:10 AM
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I've recovered from my initial Iceland price shock, and have cancelled and re-booked some accommodation. I've booked a car, but may change car companies after some more research.

Having a private bathroom is more important to us than an included breakfast, peace, quiet and space are more important to us than being central, so I've re-booked accordingly where possible. I'm still waffling between a hotel and a farmhouse in Saudarkrokur, but I hope to reach a final decision about that within a few days.

Here's what I ended up with. Whether or not it works will be revealed soon enough:

Day 1: Arrive Reykjavík 6:30 am - unable to find a day room anywhere, so will collect car, drive into Reykjavik, drop luggage and car at our accommodation, and hit the streets on foot until we can check in at 3 pm. Overnight Reykjavik Downtown Apartments

Day 2: Reykjavík to Sauðárkrókur - 285 km, sightsee en route - overnight either Hotel Tindastoll or Hofsstadir Farmhouse (jury's still out on that one)

Day 3: Sauðárkrókur to Akureyri - 118 km, sightsee en route overnight Centrum Guesthouse

Day 4: Akureyri to Husavik - 92 km, sight see enroute, two nights at Skjalfandi apartment

Day 5: Explore Reykjahid, Mývatn & Krafla

Day 6: Mývatn to Seyðisfjörður, explore en route, overnight Hafaldan HI Hostel (Old Hospital Building)

Day 7: Seyðisfjörður to Höfn - explore en route, overnight Guesthouse Dyngja

Day 8: Höfn to Vík - explore en route, overnight Guesthouse Steig

Day 9: Vík to Reykjavík - explore en route, two nights Maxhouse Reykjavik

Day 10 - Explore Golden Circle

Day 11 - Fly to Zurich

Unlike most visitors to Iceland, we don't have a wish list of things we want to see and do. We're content to go with the flow and let the trip evolve.

However, if anyone here sees any major flaws in the above itinerary, or can point to specific areas of interest along the way, I'm all ears.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 07:31 AM
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Hi Mel,

sorry I haven't chimed in before but I only just found this.

As you say, Iceland is not well suited to the hub and spoke approach [as we found to our cost] so the way you've chosen is probably the best that can be devised.

the only possible "flaws" relate to your first day, when I would suggest rather than wandering disconsolately round Reykjavik, you take the opportunity to explore the peninsular on which the Keflavik airport is situated, and then have lunch at the mad viking hotel in Hafnarfjudur en route to Reykjavik. [both are referred to in my TR].

alternatively, if it's raining, I would go to the Museum of Iceland in Reykjavik - one of the best we've been to.

if this is all too energetic after an overnight flight, you could go to the Blue Lagoon and wallow in the mud for a few hours. [you might get a day room at the eponymous hotel too]
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 07:42 AM
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Thank you annhig, I was hoping you'd chime in.

I thoroughly enjoyed your trip report on Iceland, and as you can see, it didn't deter me from giving it a go

I haven't been able to find a day room, so it seems I can't take my own advice and not drive on the day of arrival. I've booked the previous night at the same apartment as a back up, but I just can't get excited about paying $180 for six hours, so I will probably cancel.

I like your idea of exploring the peninsular on which Keflavik is situated - that didn't even occur to me; I will do more research.

Someone on TA has suggested the Reykjavik walking tour as well, so at least I know we have options, but we might opt for the walking tour at the end of the trip as the same someone has mentioned that after spending time in the more isolated bits of the country, the Golden Circle might leave a bad taste due to the crowds.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 12:33 PM
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Someone on TA has suggested the Reykjavik walking tour as well, so at least I know we have options, but we might opt for the walking tour at the end of the trip as the same someone has mentioned that after spending time in the more isolated bits of the country, the Golden Circle might leave a bad taste due to the crowds.>>

we avoided the crowds at the Geyser by going there in the evening - as it's all free you can just walk up to it - and in the day we quickly got away from people by following the gap between the tectonic plates; it gave me quite a thrill to walk along the gap. Further down I think that you can even dive between them if you're feeling adventurous.

I would suggest a packed lunch though - the food at the cafe wasn't very good according to the people who were leaving it, and it was expensive, and at the pub it was expensive.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 12:35 PM
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PS - I'm glad that I didn't put you off going to Iceland. We enjoyed our trip but it would be misleading to pretend that the trip wasn't without its less satisfactory elements; funnily enough those are the bits we laugh about the most especially the dire hut run by the religious fanatic that we ran away from. I wouldn't have missed that for the world.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 01:34 PM
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Melnq8--Yes, the walking tour is very good and definitely os a great way to spend some time outside on that first day! We arrived early in the morning (flying from Seattle, so a very long travel day/night) and just dropped our bags at our hotel and then headed out on food. The walking tour was from 12-2 and really helped us stay awake etc. The guide is very good and very engaging. BTW, there is no fee, just tip what you feel appropriate, and he takes any currency so you don't have to hit the ATM before that if you have US dollars on you.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 03:52 PM
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annhig -

Thanks for that. I won't be packing cucumbers, but we will be taking some emergency provisions (and possibly wine) in our suitcases. I'm no fun when I'm hangry.

Thank you mms!
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 04:54 PM
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You're welcome

LOL, DH teases me about getting hangry too. BTW, if you want a really good meal in Reykjavik, go to Snaps. It was so good!!! We loved it so much that when our kids went a couple months after us, they also had dinner there and raved about it.
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 05:02 PM
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Snaps is on the list, thank you! I was sold the minute I saw the G&T menu, although I'm afraid to convert the prices
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Old Feb 27th, 2017, 06:26 PM
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Melnq8--I did not think it was very expensive. Nice, yes, but not fancy/expensive. Heck our kids (in their early 20's) were able to afford it. We also had a good dinner at the Icelandic Fish N Chips. Not fancy at all, but good. I need to look up the cafe we went to for breakfast one morning. Best chai tea ever!!! I will look for it and let you know.
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Old Feb 28th, 2017, 03:17 AM
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Mel - did you see that yesterday Iceland had its biggest snow fall for many years:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017...cord-snowfall/

I thought of you because I know you like cold weather so much.
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Old Feb 28th, 2017, 05:03 AM
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Oh my! No, I didn't see that until you posted the link annhig. I do love my cold.
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Old Mar 1st, 2017, 06:59 AM
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Melnq8--I found it, take a look at the Stofan Cafe. It is down near the harbor. After we dropped our bags at our hotel, we headed out on food to just wander and we found this place. OMG, it was perfect! DH had coffee and I had a chai, and then we had bagel/lox and side salad and while pretty basic, it was very good. Loved the atmosphere as it was so cozy with a lot of character. Perfect stop for warming up, getting something in our bellies, and for killing time, lol.
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