Reykjavik & Akureyri in 5 days

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Reykjavík & Akureyri in 4 days

Explore and enjoy the two largest cities in Iceland: 4 day self drive

If you are planning a self drive in Iceland and need ideas for a route, then the northern coast is a lovely choice. You can either pick up your car at Keflavik airport or choose to fly from Reykjavik to Akureyri and pick up your rental car there. The northern coast has many gems so you could spend days there but here we suggest a 4 day self drive route of the area


Day 1 – Arrive in Keflavik Airport, Overnight Stay in Reykjavik

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Source: pocius

When you arrive at Keflavik international airport, either take a taxi or the Flybus to Reykjavik where you spend the night. The domestic airport is in the city center and easy to get to. Here we suggest you fly from Reykjavik to Akureyri where you pick up your rental car but of course you can opt to pick up your car in Keflavik and drive from there to Akureyri (takes around 6 hours when road conditions are optimal and with 1-2 stops on the way).
They day you spend in Reykjavik, make the most of it and get to know the city a bit. Here you can find a few ideas what to see and do. There are many lovely restaurants in the center that we advice you to check out. Here is a list of our favorite places.

Day 2 – Depart from Reykjavik. Local Flight to Akureyri

In the morning, take a taxi to the domestic airport and fly to Akureyri where you will pick up your rental car.
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Source: mlcastle

When you arrive in Akureyri have have gotten the keys to your rental car, your adventure of the northern coast will begin. Akureyri itself has a lot to offer so we recommend you spend the day in the city, exploring and enjoying everything it has to offer.
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Source: JasonParis

In summer the Botanical Garden is a wonderful place to visit. There you will find a unique collection of Icelandic flora and fauna along with imported flowers, trees and shrubs. In winter it is also worth visiting on a nice winter day.
In Akureyri you will find various museums, such as the Akureyri Museum and the Aviation Museum. The Akureyri Museum contains will give you a good overview of the life and history of the area. There you will also find a garden that is a popular picnic spot among the locals. The Aviation Museum is where you will find the history of aviation in Iceland.
Gasir, a medieval trading place, is an interesting site to visit. It is where you can find the remains of a trading post from the Middle Ages. It was the main trading post in Northern Iceland before so here you get a true taste of history!
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The church in Akureyri is a site worth visiting. It is symbolic for the town and is known for its many steps. It is a Lutheran church that has great architecture designed by Gudjon Samuelsoon. The stained glass in the center and the bas-reliefs on the nave balcony are just some of its great features that people look at.
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Source: Jennie Faber

You spend the night in Akureyri at the end of day 2. You can find many nice hotels and guesthouses in and around the city. Just boo in advance as Akureyri is a popular vacation site among locals, both in winter and summer.

Day 3 - Skiing and relaxing

Akureyri is one of the most popular places for locals to go skiing. So if you visit in winter, the northern lights aren´t the only attraction. No need to mention but if you are in Akureyri during winter then you should for sure put aurora hunting on your list every night.
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Source: axelkr

Eyjafjordur Fjord is one of the best places in the country to do downhill skiing. You can go to the skiing area of Mt. Hlídarfjall or Mountain Kaldbakur, and you can also opt to drive out of Akureyri to Trollaskagi or Dalvik where you will find splendid skiing sites. If you aren´t into skiing then you should do a tour of the area with an experienced guide or in summer simply just drive around and enjoy the amazing views.
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Source: Michael Voelker

To go swimming is a must. All pools are heated by natural geothermal water and has various playing and recreation areas for everyone. You will find great pools in the area and it doesn´t matter whether you go during winter or summer, the water is warm so you don´t need to worry that you´ll get cold even though the pools are outdoors!
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Day 4 - Sightseeing and Whale Watching

In the morning one option is to take the sightseeing tours, either by plane or helicopter, if you want to see Akureyri and surroundings from above. It is a nice option as you can see sites that aren´t always accessible on land, like Askja.
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Source: Bernt Rostad

In the afternoon you can join a whale watching tour either from Akureyri or from Dalvík. The northern coast is optimal for whale watching but please note that the whale watching tours don´t operate during the winter months. If you want to go whale watching in winter, then you must depart from the harbor in Reykjavik. In the evening, fly back to Reykjavik.
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Source: Julien Carnot

Day 5 - Blue lagoon and departure day

If your flight leaves in the afternoon, it is ideal to enjoy the morning in Reykjavik and then head to the Blue lagoon where you can soak and relax before you go to the airport. The lagoon is close to Keflavik airport so it is an ideal last stop on your journey.
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Source: Sarah_Ackerman

This route is just an idea so you can enjoy in only a few days what those two cities have to offer. Of course you can expand the tour or make it shorter. Also add D-tours to the route, like Lake Mývatn, Ásbyrgi and Húsavík. What ever you decide to do, it is certain you will enjoy the wonderful two cities and their surroundings.

4 Days Self-Drive Idea to the Highlands, Golden Circle and Reykjanes Peninsula

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4 Days Self-Drive Idea to the Highlands, Golden Circle and Reykjanes Peninsula

Combine adventure and relaxation in this 4-day self drive trip to the Highlands, Golden Circle and Reykjanes Peninsula.

If you are up for an adventure but don’t want to go extreme and still need room for relaxation, this 4-day self drive idea with a rental car from Thrifty is the right one for you. You not only stay in a luxurious hotel called the Hotel Highland, but you also get to explore the Gullfoss-Geysir area where you can do some snorkeling or other outdoor activities. For some relaxation, you can go to the Blue Lagoon that will leave you energized and educated. Plus, of course, you will have the chance to get a glimpse of the famous Northern Lights.

South Iceland


Day 1 – Arrival in Keflavik, Iceland and Check-In in Hotel Highland

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Source: mckaysavage

Depending on your flight, you can arrive in Keflavik Airport at around late afternoon (4 or 5pm) to do the necessary things needed for your 4-day vacation. The first thing to do is get your rental car in Thrifty and do the drive to Hotel Highland in the interior of the Icelandic Highlands. Once checked in, you can unpack, eat dinner and lounge at the hotel restaurant that serves gourmet food made from the purest and finest local ingredients prepared by international chefs. Then, you can just relax for the rest of the night by exploring its surroundings or---given the chance---have a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Here is the map for Day 1.

Day 2 - Gullfoss – Geysir Tour and Snorkeling

You can leave the Hotel Highland early in the morning since it will take almost three hours to get to Gullfoss (Golden Falls), the undisputed queen of Icelandic waterfalls located in the canyon of the Hvita river. Once there, you can ask Reykjavik Excursions to take you to the Gullfoss-Geysir tour. This amazing tourist destination is very famous because the water rushes down the three steps of lava layers with breathtaking power and splendor. The flow of the water and how it “vanishes” in the crevice that is obscured from view is one of the things that makes it magnificent and will leave you at awe. After touring this, you will have the opportunity to taste and feast in the traditional Icelandic meat soup and lunch of the Gullfoss café.
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Source: JasonParis

The next part of the tour is the geothermal area of Geysir , which is known to be The Great Geysir. It is known to sprout boiling water of various formations that goes up to 70 meters in the air and the ground gurgles and bubbles. There are also various hot springs in the vicinity and you can try for relaxation before you snorkel in the Silfra fissure.
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Source: big-ashb

Before the day ends, it is good to visit Thingvellir, which is home to Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland. It is one of the best parts to do for this day because it is relaxing and exotic at the same time. Dividing is also an option here and if you have diving equipment, you can dive into The Silfra fissure---one of Iceland’s best-kept secrets because it combines crystal clear waters and blissful shades of blue. The best part here is you don’t have to be stressed while diving as you will feel weightless as you float your way into the lazy and peaceful current.
The day ends by going back to Hotel Highland and having your dinner in their restaurant and bar. Lounge a bit and prepare for the next day tour before going to sleep. Below is the map of Day 2:

Day 3 - Reykjanes and Blue Lagoon

This day is about touring simple yet interesting attractions. You can check out from Hotel Highland and start driving towards Reykjanes, a peninsula and volcanic system, and start explore at 2-3 attractions. We would suggest The Leif the Lucky Bridge near Grindavik that is known as the boundary mark of the Eurasian and North American continental tectonic plates. You can also visit fishing towns such as Grindavik and eat at a great restaurant or just explore the town.
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Source: rwhgould

After the touring and being out in the sun the past days, it is time to relax and be energized by going to the Blue Lagoon. You can get water massages and beauty treatments or have a day tour with the establishment. Either way, you can spend the rest of the remaining day here so you can feel energized and serene. There are various services to choose from in Blue Lagoon that will match your preferences and tastes.
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Source: Stephen_AU

Once done rejuvenating, you can drive to Hotel Northernlights Inn and check in so you can double check your stuff before leaving Iceland the next day. Here is the map for Day 3:

Day 4 - Day 4 – Departure from Iceland

Once done with you last-minute preparations, you can drop off your rental car in Thrifty and go to the Keflavik Airport for your departure. Hope you had a wonderful vacation here in Iceland. Below is a map of Day 4:

1 day self-drive idea to Reykjanes

One day's self-drive idea for Reykjanes

Reykjanes is known for it volcanic landscape, Kleifarvatn area and Blue Lagoon. This is a tour to see it all.

This is a one day self drive idea to the Reykjanes peninsula that is known for its volcanic landscape, beautiful lakes and lagoons, fishing villages, churches and rough lava fields. We recommend you to rent a car from Thrifty and drive carefully the suggested itinerary. It should not be much longer than 7-9 hours, with plenty of time for e.g. bathing in Blue Lagoon and so forth.

South Iceland


In the morning - The church of Hallgrimur

We start in Reykjavik itself. Go and visit Hallgrimskirkja in the downtown. It is a beautiful church and go all the way up to the top. You will have a wonderful view over Reykjavik area. In front of the church we have the Ingolfur Arnarson the settler the found America.

The Pearl

The Pearl or Perlan (icelandic) is a historic landmark building in Iceland that offers a panoramic view of the entire sprawling city. Although the building dates from 1991, it is a huge water storage facility that collects geothermal water and supplies it to the city. The facility now has a viewing platform, a cafeteria, and a revolving restaurant on top. You can visit the Pearl and then take a look at the Viking Saga Museum to enjoy local history. The cafeteria is ideal for breakfasts and offers a range of family-friendly and budget-friendly meals. For a luxury breakfast, the revolving restaurant is perfect as it offers a 360 degree view of the city over 2 hours. Bessastaoir is the local residence of Iceland’s President. It is probably the only presidential residence that is without guards, fences or fearsome security.

Kleifarvatn lake

Having checked out the Pearl in Reykjavik, we head out to Reykjanes pensinula. It is some 45 min drive to Kleifarvatn that is situation in the middle of a old lava field. It is known to for its beautiful setting.

Reykjanes coast

The coast side next to the small fishing village Grindavik is known for its beauty. You can see all types of formations and natural wonders in the area. Simply drive around the area and enjoy various landscapes.

Blue Lagoon

The last stop before heading back to Reykjavik is the world famous Blue Lagoon. It is a geothermal spa rich in minerals like silica and sulphur - and it is well known for being great for various types of skin diseases.