As most of you know, Joe and I got married in Iceland in 2015. And we haven’t been back since then. So for our four year anniversary this year, we decided to go back to Iceland for an eight day trip around the country. We booked our flights in April so that we would have plenty of time to plan and splurge on the hotels we really wanted to stay in. (Of course we ended up not planning ahead, haha!)
It seems like we are always planning things last minute, so of course why should Iceland be any different. We were at the 1 week mark and had nothing booked. So I sat down and planned + booked everything in one night. ( A HUGE shoutout to our good friend Cubby who helped us plan our route and gave us so much insight on things to see)
Instead of writing a massive blog post on our entire trip, I felt it would be easier to give you our itinerary and tell you what we loved and what we didn’t!
I also wanted to address a few questions I got on my IG post:
To avoid crowds, we tried to do as many sunrises and sunsets as we could. But honestly, we never really had any issues with large crowds. Except for at Diamond Beach.
Packing Process: Honestly.. I am horrible at packing lightly. I had two suitcases. Joe had one plus all of his camera gear. So yes, we were the people who looked crazy lugging a bunch of suitcases around Iceland haha.
I did not notice a big price difference when booking last minute. Obviously I think that would be different when it comes to flights and maybe the car. But for hotels - they stayed pretty consistent.
DAY 1 & 2:
Our flight got in super early that day so we went straight to Geysir Car Rental which is who we rented our car from, and absolutely loved our experience. We were able to get a Land Rover so that we could go off of the main highway if we ever needed to. I would say a lot of the main things to see are very easy to get to and you don’t need four wheel drive.
When going to Iceland, you should except everything to be pretty expensive. Our meals averaged about $50-$80. (I’m sure you could find something a little cheaper if you wanted to) We would pretty much always eat breakfast and dinner at our hotels. We did end up stopping at a grocery store and buying fruit, items to make a pb&j, and snacks for the road.
Our first destination in Iceland was Vik, which was about two and a half hours. We decided to do two nights there to get our bearings straight and there were a few things around that area we wanted to see. Vik was also where we took the photos with horses! Honestly once you’re driving, you will see horses everywhere! We ended up pulling to the side of the road when we saw a bunch of them next to the fence.
Things to see in or around Vik: Reykjadalur Hot Spring Thermal River (on the way), Seljavallalaug, Skogafoss, Dyrholaey Lighthouse, Halsanefshellir Cave (Black Sand Beaches).
We stayed in Hotel Katla by Keahotels which was okay, but not my favorite of the trip.
After Vik, we made our way to Hofn. Which was about a three and a half hour drive. This day was a really gross and rainy day, so we didn’t end up seeing as much as we wanted.
Things to see in or around Hofn: fjaðrárgljúfur canyon (on the way), Diamond Beach, (on the way), Jokulsarlon Iceberg Lagoon (on the way), Stokksnes (this was probably my favorite of the entire trip. We’ve seen photos of it for so long, but seeing it in person was unbelievable. You do have to pay to see it, but it’s definitely worth it. We saw it both at sunset and sunrise and we preferred it at sunset. Much moodier.
We stayed at Hotel Hofn and loved it!
DAY 4 & 5:
Our next destination was Myvatn, which was about four and a half hours. We unintentionally made everyday longer, haha. This drive was beautiful! We drove along the coast for awhile and then cut in on a back road.
Things to see in or around Myvatn: Obviously Myvatn, Hverfjall, Krafla, Leirhnjukur, Dettifoss.
We booked two nights here and quickly realized we really only needed one. After seeing those few things, there wasn’t much else we wanted to see. But were staying at Fosshotel Myvatn which was AMAZING. The rooms were very clean and comfortable and the food was amazing. So we spent a day relaxing, hanging out in the sauna, and then we headed north about 45 min to a place called Geosea, which were geothermal sea baths. I highly recommend it if you have the time! The little sea town its located in is so cute and the place itself was such a fun experience.
This was our longest drive yet because we were heading back to where we got married, Hotel Budir. The drive was about six hours and there really wasn’t anything we wanted to stop and see. We did stop in Akureyri to get coffee and it was the cutest little town, we will probably stay there next time. We really just wanted to get over to West Iceland because we had a lot of things on our list.
We got in around 5pm and stayed the night. This was our splurge night because it was our anniversary and where we got married. But I highly recommend Hotel Budir. It’s located in one of the most beautiful spots. It has incredible food and drinks! I sat in a bathtub looking out at the mountains. You really can’t beat it.
Things to see in West Iceland: búðakirkja black church (where we got married), Port Arnarstapi, Stone Bridge, Snaefellsnes National Park, Kirkjufellsfoss.
DAY 7 & 8:
We decided to end our trip in Reykjavik because we knew we would be exhausted from all the driving and wanted a few days to relax and enjoy the city. We booked our stay at 41 A Townhouse Hotel. This was probably one of my favorite places we stayed! It was basically a large apartment with a kitchen and right in the center of everything. And the price was amazing.
We went to Hi Noodle for dinner and OMG it was incredible!! I never thought I would have good ramen in Iceland. Then we went for something sweet at Braud & Co and I’m still thinking about the cinnamon bun I had there… I think I could eat it every single day.
We explored the stores a bit and wanted to buy everything from the Geysir Home store… Did end up bringing home a few goodies.
It was truly an incredible trip and the first real vacation we have taken in about two years. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and hopefully it helps you when planning your own trip to Iceland! If there is anything I missed or more questions you have, feel free to send them my way!