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Trip Report - 7 days/6 nights in Iceland, Mid-Late September

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Oct 6th, 2018, 05:25 AM
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Trip Report - 7 days/6 nights in Iceland, Mid-Late September

7 Days, 6 Nights - Southern Coast mid-late September

See itinerary below, I will post recommendations and tips in subsequent thread.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrived inKeflavik airport at 6am, rental car from Lagoon Car Rental. Drove from Keflavik to Hofn. Spent the night at Glacier World.

Day 2 – Drove from Hofn to Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Spent the night at Icelandair Hotel Klaustur.

Below are the sites we visited:

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Skaftafell – area of Vatnajokull Glacier National Park (2 hikes)
Svartifoss - Waterfall

Day 3 – Drove fromKirkjubaejarklaustur to Hella. Stayed in Hella for 2 nights, booked a cottage through AirBnB

Below are the sites we visited:

Kirkjugólfiđ “Church Floor
Fjađrárgljúfur Canyon
Reynisfjara
Dyrholaey
Skogafoss
Seljalandsfoss

Day 4 – Took a full day SuperJeep tour with MidGuard Adventure

Day 5 – Drove from Hella to Reykjavik. Stayed 2 nights in Reykavik in an apartment booked through Airbnb

In the morning we took a Snowmobile tour Gullfoss to LANGJÖKULL Glacier
In the afternoon, we covered the rest of the Golden Circle

Day 6 – Reykjavik for the day, just exploring around, it’s an easy walking city.

Day 7 – Before getting on our 5pm flight, we went to the Blue Lagoon
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Oct 6th, 2018, 05:35 AM
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Day 1 - Comments

We researched a lot of itineraries and decided that since we arrived so early and not much would be open, we would just spend the day driving the southern coast, going as far East as we could. This way, the rest of the week, we would never have to backtrack (unless you are driving the entire ring road, this is always a challenge). Our rental car with blue lagoon was fine, they are off property but less expensive than others and they will pick you up from the airport. We rented a 4WD Subaru Outback. The drive took us about 7 hours, we were of course tired, but the views were beautiful! We stayed at Glacier world hotel which was about 20 minutes outside of Hofn, but if we did it again, we would have stayed right in town at Hofn, its a cute harbor town.
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Oct 6th, 2018, 07:44 AM
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Anxiously awaiting more...
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Oct 6th, 2018, 01:51 PM
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great start. more would be great.
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Oct 7th, 2018, 05:46 AM
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Day 2 - comments

Jokulsarlon was our first stop of the day and because we were coming from the east driving west, we were able to get there early. This was great because this is a very popular spot and gets more and more crowded as the day goes along with tour buses coming from Reykjavik. There are boat rides in "Duck Tour" style vehicles, but we opted out because you do get a great view from the shore and they were a bit expensive for only a 30 minute tour and didn't look very comfortable (two rows of people sitting facing each other). We also crossed the street and went over to Diamond Beach. Heads up - the bridge at Jokulsarlon is under construction so be prepared for stopped traffic.

Drove a few minutes down the road to Fjallsarlon, we probably would have stayed there longer and maybe even done a boat tour, but for us it was incredibly windy there and so we only stayed for a short time.

My advice for Skaftafell is to stop at the visitors center first and check out all the hiking trails, we spent about 3 hours there hiking and the trails were very well marked. Tip: when you arrive to the parking lot, take your license plate number with you because you will need to pay for parking at a kiosk inside the visitor center and need that information to clear your vehicle upon leaving the lot. It's honor system, but the signs say they take a photo of your licence plate as you leave to check it was paid for.

We really liked Hotel Klaustur, they had a great restaurant, staff were very friendly, and our bathroom floor tiles were heated!
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Oct 8th, 2018, 09:02 AM
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I wasn't over thrilled with the idea of the duck boat tour either but my husband and kids did it and loved it. [No point telling you that now I suppose!] They came back telling me about the 10,000 year glacial ice they'd eaten! [well I think it was 10,000 years].

I think that there are probably a lot more tourists now that when we were there. I recall we arrived at about 4pm and there were a few people there but not loads. Because it was July we had loads of time to drive back to our accommodation which unlike yours was a very long way away. I like your idea of using the day you arrived to put all those miles under your belt - a ver efficient use of time.
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Oct 27th, 2018, 07:11 AM
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Day 3 & 4 - Comments

Day 3
We were able to walk to Kirkjugolf and Stjornarfoss from our hotel so we did that before checking out. The rest of the days sites were well timed and we never felt rushed. While we were at Fjaorargljufur Canyon it did get progressively more busy and it is a narrow road with limited parking, so I would recommend getting there before lunchtime. We also read about Nupsstadur, a small village of buildings with turf roofs, but it was the wrong direction so we should have visited during our drive on Day 2.

Day 4
Our original super jeep tour was booked to go to Thorsmork, but Mid Guard called us a few days before and said that they didn't have the minimum amount of people so they offered an alternate tour to Fjallabak Nature Preserve. We were disappointed, but in fairness they do warn you about this when you book so we didn't have many options. It was a fun day and we enjoyed the tour...don't drink a lot of water because there are no bathrooms along the way. Also, while in the highlands the weather changes drastically throughout the day so bring lots of layers to stay comfortable.

We spent our two nights in Hella at a cottage along the water which was very quaint and affordable, we highly recommend it. We booked through AirBNB, but it was at Arhus campground.
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Oct 28th, 2018, 01:49 PM
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Day 5, 6 and 7 - Comments

Day 5
Our snowmobile tour was originally scheduled for 12:45, but Arctic Adventures called us a few days before and asked to change it to 9:45am instead. Looking back, this time was actually better. We drove from Hella to Gullfoss and got right on the super jeep at the Gullfoss parking lot. When they dropped us off, we walked down to Gullfoss, then continued on to Geysir and Thingvellir before heading to Reykjavik. The snowmobile tour was a lot of fun, but our weather was not great so be sure to come prepared for an icy/snowy adventure with potentially very high winds and poor visibility. The tour companies do give you gear, but be sure to wear snow boots/waterproof shoes because they do not give you anything to cover your feet. It was a long day and we got to Reykjavik by dinner time, around 6pm/7pm. If we had more daylight it would have been good to explore Thingvellir a little more, we were a bit rushed.

Day 6
We spent the day exploring Reykjavik; I won't write too much because you will find a lot of information about this city online. For us, it was a great walking city and easy to get around. We found the Settlement Exhibition to be very interesting and not too pricey. The harbour area was fun and maybe if we go back one day we will do a whale watching tour.

Day 7
We made reservations at the Blue Lagoon for 10am, which was perfect. We were there until about 1:30pm before heading back to the airport to return the rental car and check in. Be sure to get to the Blue Lagoon early, it gets more and more crowded as the day goes on. We loved the Blue Lagoon and hope to go back one day. A friend of mine recommended that I wear a shower cap to protect my hair, which was great advice. The water will strip your hair of all moisture for weeks after, so be careful.

We found a great apartment to rent through AirBNB during our stay in Reykjavik, we highly recommend it. Search the number 21025843 for this listing.

I do wish we planned one additional night to spend in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula before heading to Reykjavik.
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Nov 3rd, 2018, 05:39 AM
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Misc Thoughts / Things we learned

Most flights arrive from the US early in the morning and you will probably have to walk off the plane to hop on a bus shuttle that will take you across the tarmac to the airport. Be prepared for some chilly weather; my husband had his jacket packed in his checked luggage and he was freezing. I saw some people even in shorts because it was warm autumn weather in the US but about 35 degrees fahrenheit when we arrived at 6am in Iceland.

Many people stay in Reykjavik for their first day but we would recommend staying in Reykjavik for your last night or two. Use your arrival day to get on the road, that worked out very well for us since nothing is open so early in the morning anyway and you couldn't check into a hotel until the afternoon. Blue Lagoon before going to the airport was smart, too, rather than upon arrival

For some reason, the gas station kiosks will ask for a pin if your credit card has a chip. Call your credit card company ahead of time and see if you can set up a pin. Many of the gas stations just have a self serve pay station, and we couldn't use any of those because we didn't know about this. Also, Lagoon car rental will give you a discount token for Olis gas stations, which includes a small discount...but also a free cup of coffee, so fill up in the morning and get your coffee for free

If you are doing a road trip, don't forget your 12 volt car charger for your phone. When driving, be prepared for gusty winds and one lane bridges and watch out for sheep on the road. hold on tightly to the handle of your car door when you open the door, the wind could literally take off your door.

Try to only eat out one meal a day, food was very expensive. We took meal bars for breakfast and stopped at the grocery store upon arrival for Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches supplies for our lunches, snacks, etc. Booking through airbnb usually gives you an option of having a kitchen, but then if you are on the move, keeping things cool that need refrigeration can be a challenge.

Watch out for the "near beer" at the grocery store, its deceiving because it looks like regular beer, but it's basically O'Douls style.

Look up story of the Yule Lads, it's quite an entertaining folklore that we learned about on our super jeep tour
.
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Nov 3rd, 2018, 05:47 AM
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Web Links - Acomodations and Tours

Lagoon Car Rental https://lagooncarrental.is/

Glacier World Hoffell Accommodation - Iceland Glacier Tours | glacierworld.is

Icelandair Hotel Klaustur https://www.icelandairhotels.com/en/hotels/klaustur

Hella cottage through AirBnB https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/25863084

SuperJeep tour with MidGuard Adventurehttps://midgardadventure.is/
***Booked this one (https://midgardadventure.is/tours/th...per-jeep-tour/), but it got cancelled, so we did this one instead (https://midgardadventure.is/tours/fj...per-jeep-tour/).

Reykavik apartment booked through Airbnb https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/21025843

Snowmobile tour Gullfoss to LANGJÖKULL Glacierhttps://adventures.is/iceland/day-to...from-gullfoss/
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