Andrew Evans
Andrew Evans
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Iceland –Suggested Itineraries

Iceland is a great place for either independent or pre-planned itineraries, but it’s not wise to have a really tight schedule or be fixated on a single plan. Unexpected fog can erase the view that you hoped to see on Day 3 and a sudden storm might force you indoors. As long as you’re flexible, everything will be fine. The suggested itineraries are simply guidelines that might help you think about what you want to see and do. But, remember to check the weather forecasts and plan accordingly; you may have to juggle your plans.


From Reykjavík
Generic Reykjavík–Golden Circle (Thingvellir, Gullfoss, Geysir)–Blue Lagoon
Lava rocks Keflavík–Reykjanes Peninsula
Hot springs Hveragerðí–Laugarvatn–Reykjavík pools–Blue Lagoon
Nature fix Snæfellsnes (2 nights)

From Akureyri
City break Akureyri (2 nights)
Whirlwind Akureyri–Mývatn–Húsavík
Nature fix Jökulsárgljúfur (2 nights)
Arctic break Grímsey (2 nights)


Town and country Westmann Islands (2 nights)–Thjórsárdalur (2 nights)–Reykjavík (2 nights)
The west Reykjavík–Borg–Reykholt/Húsafell–Stykkishólmur–Grundarfjörður–Snæfellsnes

Classic trekking
Laugavegurinn (Landmannalaugar–Thórsmörk) (5 nights + 1 night recovery in Reykjavík)
Mountain climber Mt Esja (Reykjavík)–Mt Hekla–Mt Hvannadalshnjúkur–Mt Herðubreið (via East Fjords)

The north Fly to Akureyri–Siglufjörður–Mývatn–Jökulsárgljúfur–Húsavík
West Fjords Fly to Ísafjörður–Hornstrandir (boat)–Látrabjarg–Flókalundur
East Fjords Fly to Egilsstaðir–East Fjords (4 nights)–Höfn (1 night)–Reykjavík
Interior Fly to Akureyri–drive the Kjölur route via Hveravellir and Gullfoss to Reykjavík
Ice Fly to Höfn–Vatnajökull, Jökulsárlón, Skaftafell–drive to Skógar (Mýrdalsjökull)–Reykjavík


Classic ring road Reykjavík–Borgarnes–Skagafjörður–Akureyri–Mývatn–Egilsstaðir–Höfn (Vatnajökull)–Skógar–Golden Circle–Reykjavík
Far from the madding crowd Keflavík–Hveravellir (Kjölur route)–Siglufjörður–Öxarfjörður–Langanes–Eskifjörður–Lónsöræfi–Hvolsvöllur–Krýsuvík


National parks of Iceland (by bus or car, camping or guesthouses) Reykjavík (1 night), Snæfellsjökull (2 nights), Akureyri (travel) (1 night), Mývatn (2 nights), Jökulsárgljúfur (2 nights), East Fjords (travel) (1 night), Skaftafell (2 nights), Thingvellir (1 night), Reykjavík (1 night)

From the ferry
(a fair amount of driving in parts) Möðrudalur (1 night) via Seyðisfjörður and Egilsstaðir, Mývatn (2 nights) (via Dettifoss), Akureyri (1 night), Varmahlíð (1 night), Stykkishólmur (1 night), Snæfellsjökull  (1 night), Reykjavík (2 nights), south coast (Vík, Skógar, or Kirkjubæjarklaustur) (1 night), Skaftafell (1 night), Djúpivogur (1 night), Seyðisfjörður (1 night).

Go west Reykjavík (1 night), Borg (1 night), Snæfellsjökull (2 nights), Stykkishólmur (take Breiðafjörður ferry) (1 night), Flatey (1 night), Flókalundur (1 night), Látrabjarg (1 night), Thingeyri (1 night), Ísafjörður (2 nights), Hólmavík (1 night), Brú (1 night), return via Reykjavík.


Week 1 Reykjavík–Golden Circle–south–Skaftafell–East Fjords
Week 2 Mývatn/Jökulsárgljúfur–Akureyri–Grímsey–Hólar/Sauðárkrókur
Week 3 Hvamsstangi–west Iceland–Reykjavík

4×4 tour – interior 
Week 1 Reykjavík–Thórsmörk–Landmannalaugar
Week 2 Sprengisandur–Vatnajökull–Askja–Goðafoss
Week 3 Varmahlíð–Kjölur route–Reykjavík

The ultimate bird tour– three weeks minimum, best in July Reykjanes–Viðey Island (Reykjavík)–Breiðafjörður–Látrabjarg–Hornstrandir–Grímsey–Mývatn–Langanes–Papey–Ingólfshöfði–Westmann Islands.

Grand tour
Week 1 Reykjavík–Akranes–Borgarnes–Snæfellsnes Peninsula–Breiðafjörður–West Fjords
Week 2 Látrabjarg–Ísafjörður–Hólmavík–Skagafjörður–Siglufjörður–Akureyri
Week 3 Húsavík–Mývatn–Jökulsárgljúfur–Melrakkaslétta–Vopnafjörður
Week 4 East Fjords–Vatnajökull–Westmann Islands–Golden Circle–Reykjavík

Pick up a car at Keflavík but go the opposite way to everyone else (Route 44), stopping to see everything along the southwest coast of Reykjanes, going past the lighthouse and then on to Grindavík. Have a morning soak at the Blue Lagoon, then head to Reykjavík (Route 41), have a bite to eat and take about 2 hours to see the sights. Then drive to Mosfellsbær, climb Mt Esja, drive all the way around Hvalfjörður but take the tunnel back. Spend the evening in Reykjavík, but spend the night in a guesthouse outside the city (perhaps in Reykjanes), drop your car off at the airport and check in to your flight. From experience, I can say that it’s possible to drive the 5 hours’ round trip from Keflavík to climb Mt Hekla and go swimming and make your next flight, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

This travel tip is part of Andrew Evans’ ICELAND (Bradt 4th edition). Click on the banner below if you are interested in buying the book.

Discover more Essentials travel tips in Iceland

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The Kjölur Route –The Highlands

Kj lur means keel a clear Viking reference to the hullshaped valley between the glaciers of Langj kull and Hofsj kull These are Iceland s second- and third-largest glaciers respectively and the view from beneath them is spectacular Most of the route is a flat barren plain scattered with broken brown
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Red Tape – Customs

Clearing Icelandic customs is a breeze compared with most countries unless you re an Icelander who goes shopping overseas The main contraband concern of Iceland is people evading the hefty VAT by bringing in consumer goods from abroad You can bring as much currency in and out of Iceland as you
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Driving in Iceland

Driving in Iceland offers total freedom and is one of the most extensive means of travel in the country Iceland has a car culture so travellers who aren t driving often feel stranded or limited So much of what there is to see and do in Iceland is only accessible on

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