Iceland Itinerary – October 2016
Iceland is an incredibly beautiful country. The landscapes are dramatic. The volcanoes, the waterfalls, the fjords and the glaciers are awe-inspiring.
We visited Iceland for 10 days and that included a self-drive tour on the Ring Road (Route 1), the main road that runs around the entire island.
We had one day in Reykjavik (Iceland’s capital) at the beginning of our trip and one day at the end of our trip, so just 8 days on the Ring Road, stopping one night in each place. It was a little rushed at times, however in October it is cold and wet – not conducive for walking.
Also, in October the mountain roads are closed so we did not need a 4×4 vehicle, as we did not venture off the Ring Road. We rented a Town & Country vehicle on arrival in Iceland through Iceland 4×4 Car Rental – located near Keflavik International Airport, about a 40-minute drive from Reyjavik.
Iceland’s capital city has a charming central downtown area. It is easily walkable and has interesting shops selling locally made clothing and craft – although prices are very expensive.
On the day of our arrival we stayed in Town Apartment, Reykjavik.
While we had only one day in Reykjavik, we would recommend a couple of days to take in the museums and perhaps a day at Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa (www.bluelagoon.com).
Highlights of Reykjavik include:
- Wandering the charming town centre – Laugavegur is the main street.
- Hallgrimskirkja – take the lift to top of tower for fabulous views
- Settlement Exhibition
- Whales of Iceland
- Brauo & Co bakery – delicious treats
- Blue Lagoon Spa
Visit the Reykjavik Tourist Information website for more information.
We found the staff at the ITM Tourist Information office very helpful – the office is located in the heart of Reykjavik’s old town at Bankastraeti2, 101 Reykjavik.
Self Drive Tour of the Ring Road
We started our drive by heading up to the Golden Circle then driving in an anti-clockwise direction on the Ring Road. The views are fabulous all along the Ring Road. The only area we did not have time to visit was the Western Fjords.
If doing this trip in Summer and you enjoy hiking, swimming, etc, allow more time.
It is also recommended to book accommodation in advance.
Day 1 of Ring Road – Golden Circle
Reykjavik to Hvolsvollur
- Pingvellir National Park (UNESCO World Heritage site). Start at the Visitor Centre and lookout.
- Geysir (Haukadalur geothermal area) – Strokkur & Geyser geysers.
- Gulllfoss – spectacular waterfall
- Overnight in Hotel Hvolsvollur
Day 2 of Ring Road – Katla Geopark, Southwest Iceland
Hvolsvollur to Kirkjuaejarklaustur
- Seljalandsfoss and Gljufrabui Waterfalls
- Eyjafjallajokull Visitor Centre – a family-run centre to see video and exhibition of volcanic eruption of Mt Eyjafjallajokull and how it effected the family’s farm.
- Drangshlid Rock and the old turf houses of Drangshlid 2
- Skogafoss Waterfall
- Dyrholaey Nature Reserve – black beach, rock formations, views
- Reynishverfi Beach, rock formations
- Black Rock Café for lunch
- Skaftareldahraun (Laki Lava Flows) – moss covered lava flow
- Stjornarfoss Waterfall
- Overnight in Hotel Geirland, Kirkjuaejarklaustur
Day 3 of Ring Road – Vatnajokulspjodgardur National Park, Southeast Iceland
Kirkjuaejarklaustur to Hofn
- Remains of Skeiðará bridge
- Views of Skaftafellsjokull Glacier
- Vatnajokulspjodgardur National Park (Skaftafell NP)
- Skaftafell Visitor Centre for interesting exhibition and lunch
- Walk to Skaftafellsjokull Glacier
- Walk to Svartifoss (waterfall) if time permits
- Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon – see icebergs in lagoon and on black beach
- Overnight in Hvammur Apartments, Hofn
Day 4 of Ring Road – East Iceland (Austurland)
Hofn to Egilsstadir
- Beautiful drive along the coast – stunning views of fjords
- Djupivogur – pretty harbour, good lunch stop
- Overnight in Reynivilla, Egilsstadir
Day 5 of Ring Road – North Iceland
Egilsstadir to Lake Myratn
- Dettifoss (waterfall) – sensational
- Krafla Lava Fields & Power Station
- Livi Crater – walk to top of crater
- Leirhnjuhur Lava Field (if time)
- Hverir– walk through to see the mud pools (solfataras).
- Myvatn Nature Baths (Jarobooin) – open air hot pool, light meals at Kaffi Kvika
- Drive around Myratn Lake stopping at viewpoint near Hotel Laxa – to reach our accommodation
- Overnight in Ston Guesthouse & Cottages, Lake Myvatn – see the Northern Lights
Day 6 of Ring Road – North Iceland
Lake Myratn to Olafsfjorour
- Godafoss (waterfall)
- Akureyri – capital of the North, pretty town, good lunch stop
- Overnight in Brimnes Hotel & Cabins, Olafsfjorour
Day 7 of Ring Road – North & West Iceland
Olafsfjorour to Borgarnes
- Siglufjordur – pretty town, Herring Museum, Siglo Hotel
- Hofsos – pretty village, Icelandic Emigration Center, swimming pool
- Ommukaffi in Blonduos for lunch
- Travel on high road – snowing
- Overnight Egils Guesthouse/Apartment in Borgarnes
- Borgarnes – Settlement Center and cafe
Day 8 of Ring Road – Snaefellsnes Peninsula on the West Coast – Vesturland
Borgarnes to Reykjavik
- Church in Budir
- Snaefellsjokull National Park
- Stykkisholmur – prettiest town on peninsula
- Overnight – Sem Apartments, Reykjavik
We had a half-day in Reykjavik before catching our flight at 15:30.
Some recommendations for researching a trip to Iceland:
- Guide to Iceland
- Best Attractions by the Ring Road
- The Rough Guide to Iceland – we paid about A$23.00.
- Iceland Tourism and Travel Guide
For more information on travelling to Iceland, contact Dave Upton – firstname.lastname@example.org
18-27 October 2016