Best Place to See Northern Lights

Best Places to View Northern Lights

Below you will find information on some great places in Iceland for viewing the northern lights. These are not only great places to see the lights but also feature many activities and natural sights. When planning a trip to Iceland it’s important to research what kind of things you would like to do and the places to see. The northern lights can only be seen in the winter, when it’s completely dark with clear skies. There are many nights where visibility is low so make sure you have other items on your bucket list and take in as much of the country as you can. The northern lights are a natural phenomenon, so a bonus to your trip.

Hotel Rangá – the best place to see Northern Lights

Hotel Rangá is one of the most renowned hotels in Iceland for seeing the northern lights. It was the first hotel in the country to offer a northern lights wakeup call service to its guests so they could pull their parkas over their pyjamas if the Aurora made an appearance. In addition to their comfortable and luxurious rooms, the location on the south coast is in close proximity to natural wonders like Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, the Reynisfjara black sand beach and basalt columns, and the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Hotel Rangá makes for a great place to see the beautiful dancing northern lights.

Hotel Glymur with its amazing village suites

Hotel Glymur is a friendly hotel with a beautiful village suites. It’s located in majestic Hvalfjörður (“Whale Fjord”) just north-west of Reykjavík, and has breathtaking scenery. It has a lovely relaxed atmosphere and a great restaurant that offers everything a hungry stomach needs. The six village suites are uniquely designed villas, each with an open-concept kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, leather sofas, large screen TV, dining table, amazing art pieces and can cater for 4-6 people. With its remote natural location, it’s a fantastic place to see the northern lights without going too far from the city.

Hotel Gullfoss – next to the famous waterfall

Hotel Gullfoss is located right in the heart of the Golden Circle, next to the amazing and famous Gullfoss (“Golden Falls”) waterfall. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland—and even the whole world!—it is stunning to see all year round. When the sun is shining on it, there is often a golden rainbow over it that gives the falls their name. During the winter a stay at the hotel is truly magical, with no urban lights around one can walk out into the darkness, or lounge in a hot tub, and gaze at the starry sky and watch the northern lights dance totally undisturbed. You can even get great photos of the lights dancing over the waterfall, capturing two of Iceland’s most famous sights together.

Great hot tubs for Northern Lights viewing

With less than 100 inhabitants, Drangsnes is the ultimate spot for seclusion and solitude for viewing the lights. You can lay in the seaside hot tubs waiting for the auroras to show up over the tiny fishing village, indulge your inner nature-lover by exploring the surrounding area, and go mingle with the locals at the Malarhorn café. When the northern lights do come out here, there isn’t anything or anyone to disturb your enjoyment.


8 days self drive to the Highlands and Lowlands of Iceland

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8 days self drive to the Highlands and Lowlands of Iceland

If you really want to see the real beauty of Iceland through the highlands and lowlands, this 8 days self drive idea is perfect for you.

If you are not in a hurry to explore Iceland and want to see its real beauty, this 8 day self drive idea to the highlands and lowlands is perfect for you. Explore the beautiful natural wonders of the country using a 4x4 rental car from Thrifty and stay in relaxing accommodations. Exploring both the lowland and highland sights such as Jokulsarlon, The Golden Circle, Skaftafell, and Landmannalaugar combines relaxation and adventure, so you will have a wonderful and enjoyable Iceland vacation.

Westfjords

THE 8 DAYS ITINERARY

Day 1 – Arrive in Kelflavik International Airport and Reykjavik

Arrive in Iceland via Keflavik International Airport around lunchtime and get your 4x4 rental car from Thrifty as we will be going to unbarren and rocky roads/routes. Drive towards Hotel Cabin in Reykjavik to check in and drop your things and have lunch in one of the restaurants of Reykjavik. We recommend Restaurant Reykjavik, which serves various meals and has a great atmosphere.

 

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Source: Bryan Pocius

 

Once done eating, you can explore Reykjavik the whole afternoon which is relaxing and peaceful---perfect thing to do before the adventurous tours in the next days. There are a lot of places of interest to visit in this capital of Iceland and you will never get bored. For the whole afternoon, we recommend you to visit the following: Hallgrimskirkja Church, the Perlan, and The Culture House. The Hallgrimskirkja Church is Reykjaviks’s main tourist destination as it is the largest church in Iceland. You can have a breathtaking view of the city from their tower.

 

The Perlan is also a great place to visit because of its many amenities and facilities: it has a panoramic view of Reykjavik, the Viking Saga Museum, a cafeteria and a revolving restaurant that has a 360 degree view of the city that runs for two hours. It also has a viewing platform for more relaxation and peacefulness.

 

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Source: qiv

 

The last place is The Cultural House, which is the National Centre for Cultural Heritage. This is where you will learn more about the national heritage of Iceland through the various exhibitions, tours, gathering, lectures, artistic events and public ceremonies.

 

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Source: leehobbi

 

Once done, you can have dinner in Hotel Cabin and lounge a bit in their bar or prepare for your tours in the next days. Here is the map for Day 1:

 

 

 

Day 2 – Exploring West Iceland and Thingvellir National Park

Have breakfast and leave Hotel Cabin in the morning to drive towards Deildartunguhver, the largest and most powerful hot spring hot spring in Europe. It is also one of the hottest there as it has a very high flow rate and the water emerges at 97 degreees celcius---which is why most of it are used for heating in towns such as Borgarnes and Akranes. If given the chance, you might be able to see the bright green “skollakampi” or hard fern that can only be found in this area for the whole country.

 

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Source: James G. Milles

 

Afterwards, go inland to the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls---some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. You will also pass by the Kaldidalur mountain, which is known as one of Iceland’s highest mountain roads. These are just some of the places that you will pass by on the way to Thingvellir National Park. Once you are in the park, have lunch in one of their restaurants before exploring the place.

 

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Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre because it is home of historial, cultural and geological importance. It is a natural wonder of Iceland as it has unique faults, fissures and stunning geological formations. This is also where the rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is located.

 

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Source: Andrea Schaffer

 

You Some of the things you can do here are: visiting the Oxararfoss waterfalls, Peningagja where you can throw coins in, the Silfra where you can dive if you have diving equipment with you, the Þingvallavatn known as the largest natural lake in Iceland, a viewing area called Hakio and even do a hike in the are to further explore the park. You can do the exploring and adventures for the whole afternoon.

 

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Source: ian mcbride

 

 

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Afterwards, go inland to the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls---some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. You will also pass by the Kaldidalur mountain, which is known as one of Iceland’s highest mountain roads. These are just some of the places that you will pass by on the way to Thingvellir National Park. Once you are in the park, have lunch in one of their restaurants before exploring the place. Here is the map of Day 2

 

 

 

Day 3 – The Golden Circle and the Stunning South Coast

Check out of Gallerei Laugavartn early in the morning as we will have a long day. Drive towards The Golden Circle, with the Great Geysir as the first place to visit. Explore the hot springs and the geysirs nearby that sprouts hot water every few minutes as well as bubbles and gurgles. Take photo opportunities and explore the area.

 

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Source: suvodeb

 

The Gulfoss waterfalls is the next place to visit, which is known as the queen of Icelandic watefalls because of its picturesque and stunning beauty. The water cascades down three levels of lava steps and “vanishes” into crevice, making it more beautiful than ever. Once done touring Gulfoss, proceed to the Gulfoss cafe where you can have lunch with their Icelandic meat soup and mouth-watering meals.

 

 

After lunch, drive towards the south coast where you will pass by the volcanic crater Kerid. You can stop by to look at this natural wonder of Iceland before proceeding to the town of Selfoss. Once you get there, visit two of the most wonderful waterfalls in Iceland: Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

 

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Source: Arian Zwegers

 

Seljalandsfoss is one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland and is filled with beauty due to its picturesque look that is great for taking photos. The waterfalls drops from 200 feet from the cliffs to a small river that is also nice to watch. But the best part about visiting Seljalandsfoss is you can hike to the other side and go behind the waterfall. With this, you can see this natural wonder up close and feel the spray of water.

 

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Source: Saturne

 

Skogafoss is the next waterfall to visit, which is one of the biggest waterfalls in the country. If you are lucky, you can get a single or doubke rainbow that is visible on sunny days die to the amount of spray it produces.

 

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Source: martin_vmorris

 

After exploring these waterfalls, drivfe towards to the Dyrhólaey natural reserve where you can see a nesting colony of numerous seabirds---such as the puffins. This tourist destination has a massive arch at the sea and is sometimes called “door-hole”. You can stop here and have a great view of the sea from above the Dyrhólaey. Afterwards, you can go down to the black beach to see unique stone fissures and relax in the waves.

 

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Source: bonus1up

 

The last place to visit for the day is the town of Vik, the wettest place in Iceland and lies directly beneath the Mýrdalsjökull glacier (which is on top of the Katla volcano). You can visit 2-3 attractions here.

 

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Source: Bods

 

 

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Source: JasonParis

 

There are also the Wool Factory and Nupsstadur Farm and Church where you can buy handcrafts and souvenirs made from the factory itself. The farm and church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has old buildings and a tiny chapel.

 

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Source: Bods

 

Once done exploring some of the town, you can have your dinner in Vikurskali that offers delicious lamb soup, fish sandwiches and mouth-watering meals that will keep your stomach full. For accommodations, you can stay at the Nordur-Vik Youth Hostel that is situated at the top of the village and overlooks almost everything about the town. Here is the map for Day 3:

 

 

Day 4 – Exploring Skaftafell National Park and Jokulsarlon

Have breakfast and check out of Nordur-Vik Youth Hostel to drive to the Eldhraun, the largest lavafield in the world. After wards, you can drive to the small town of Kirkjubaejarklaustur and take a look at the narrow and beautiful canyon called Fjaðrárgljúfur

 

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Source: JasonParis

 

When you are in the town, the first place to visit is the Kirkjugólfið, which is also known as the Church Floor and is a protected monument. It is a tourist attraction that consists of columnar basalt that was eroded and shaped by wind and water. Don’t forget to also visit the vast black desert called Skeidarársandur.

 

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Source: Bods

 

Once done, proceed to the Skaftafell National Park that is located between glacier and sand. It is considered the second national park of the country because of its vast and stunning beauty that was a result of combining fire and ice. It is surrounded by rugged landscapes, colorful mountains, and various flora and fauna. While you are here, you can visit some of its famous tourist attractions. Have lunch here as well.

 

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Source: Teosaurio

 

Then, visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls called the Svartifoss, also known as Black Falls. It flows at 20 meters and consist of black basalt columns behind the waterfalls. It is such a wonderful sight that you can take photo opportunities of it in any angle.

 

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Source: Arian Zwegers

 

The last place to go is Jokulsarlon, a large glacial lagoon and one of the beauties of the South Coast. You will find large icebergs and various shapes of glaciers floating in the deep blue waters of the lagoon. You can either have a quiet tour by walking or take an amphibian boat tour to explore the deeper part of the lagoon. If you have time, you can also go to the black sand beaches.

 

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Source: ndanger

 

Afterwards, have dinner and an overnight stay in one of the accommodations in Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Here is the map for Day 4:

 

 

Day 5 – Visiting the Lakagigar Craters

This will be a day of adventure and exploring as we go to the Lakagigar craters and spend most of the day there. In order not to be too tired since you had a long day yesterday, you can have breakfast and leave the hotel a bit later in the morning. And then drive to the Laki area to start your exploration.

 

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Source: 7Mhg491Vgb

 

The Lakagigar craters are named after Mt. Laki, a volcano that had a long eruption and covered 25km around its whole area. Due to the five months of eruption a great volume of lava, a lot of craters were crated on the south-west to north-east trending line. In the west of Mt. Laki, there are more than a hundred craters, while the remainder of the craters is found in the south.

 

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Source: 47Mhg491Vgb

 

The craters are covered with green moss, while the whole area has colorful craters and volcani debris that are wonderful and beautiful to take pictures despite the grim and where they came from. You can explore this whole are the whole day since it is huge. Here is the map of Day 5:

 

 

Day 6 – Exploring Landmannalaugar and Fjallabak

Check out of the hotel and leave for Landmannalaugar. On the way, we will be driving/passing by the Fjallabak mountain route that is great to explore. It is filled with colorful and diverse landscapes, interesting mountain tracks and rugged areas that are picturesque.

 

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Source: moohaha

 

The first area in the route is the Eldgja, where mountains and valleys are split to create a gigantic 30km gash into the earth. This place is so beautiful that you will never miss taking pictures of this place.

 

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Source: LoveIceland

Afterwards, you will reach Landmannalaugar located underneath the high edge of an obsidian lava flow. It is near Mt. Hekla and is very popular for hiking for tourists. You can have lunch first in the mountain hut found in the area. Landmannalaugar has various unusual geological formations, multicolored rhyolite mountain and huge lava fields. If you are up for a challenge and adventure, you can hike this area.

 

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Source: bonus1up

 

Other areas that you can hike to are the Blahnjukur and Jokulgil. Blahnjukur is a volcano that has blue-black colors on its sides and has hiking trails going up. Once you are up there, you will have an unobstructed view of the surrounding countryside. Jokulgil is a rugged defile that has side canyons and various gullies.

 

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When leaving Landmannalaugar, you will pass by lake Frostastaðavatn, Landmannahellir, Landmannaleid and Mt. Hekla. You can explore these areas more before going to the town of Hella for your dinner and accommodations.

 

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Source: Sibba

 

Here is the map of Day 6:

 

 

Day 7 – Southwestern Iceland Areas

For this day, you visit the Southwestern highlights of Iceland that are filled with nature and beauty. Check out of your hotel and drive towards Heidmork, the largest forest and nature reserve in the southwestern area. This is one of the tourist destinations that you should not miss because it is very close to nature and you can relax here while appreciating nature. This is also one of the greatest recreational areas in Iceland, so you can have picnics or just lounge around. There are 4 million trees that have been taken care of ever since the whole place was fenced off.

 

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The second place to go is Raudholar, which consist of a cluster of red volcanic pseudocraters from an eruption. You can take photo opportunities and be at awe with its natural geological formations.

 

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Source: Atli Harðarson

 

One of the highlights of the day is visiting Hveragerdi, known to be the hot springs capital of the world. Every year, there are always pillars of steam coming out from the hot springs. Before going to the hot springs, you can have lunch here. We recommend Kjot and Kunst, which is known to be a buffet restaurant that serves various foods. It has wide choice of meals, soups, salads and homemade bread.

 

 

Once done eating lunch, go to the geothermal park and soak into the hot springs. This is a good way to relax after having doing some adventurous activities the past days. These hot springs also has various relaxing treatments to help you rejuvenate and re-energize. After bathing, you can explore Hveragerdi a bit more before proceeding to the next towns.

 

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Source: yourbartender

 

The next town to go is Sandgerdi, a fishing town located in the Reykjanes peninsula. Walk around town to explore it more and one of the places to visit is the National Museum of Iceland. It displays the remains of the pre-Christian graves and some exhibitions on the history of the town. Also visit the Sandgerðistjörn pond for bird watching, where hundreds of migratory birds gathering every spring.

 

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Source: asw909

 

Also visit the The Nature Center called Fraedasetur, a museum that consist of sea aquariums and birds. It also has art galleries and art factory that shows how candles are made.

 

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Source: asw909

 

The last town to visit is Grindavik, which is a city along the coast. Exploring the town will lead you to tourist attractions that lead you to their source of income: fishing.

 

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Source: ollografik

 

Visit Thorbjorn Museum, Stakkavik or The Saltfish Museum to get information about the town’s fishing industry. Guides from these places will help you learn more about the marine life of the place and how it has helped in becoming a popular tourist destination. In Stakkavik, they show you how fishes are made and what makes them delicious. Explore 2-3 attractions more before heading to Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon will help you rejuvenate and re-energize before having dinner and turning in the night.

 

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Source: Stephen_AU

 

You will most likely finish touring late at night so it is best to have dinner and have an overnight stay in Grindavik. We recommend you eat in Bryggjan and have an overnight stay in Youth Hostel Strond. Here is the map of Day 7:

 

 

Day 8 – Departure

Have breakfast and check out of Youth Hostel Strond late in the morning and return your 4x4 rental car in Thrifty. Depart Iceland via Keflavik International Airport.

 

 


7 days self-drive tour around Iceland

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7 days self-drive tour around Iceland

Explore the highlights of Iceland through this 7 days self drive idea that combines adventure and relaxation.

If you want to explore the highlights of Iceland that combines relaxation and adventure, then this 7 days self drive is the thing for you. You will visit unbarren yet interesting places such as Ódáðahraun lava fields, the Magnificient North East and Lake Myvatn Surroundings as well as the city of Akureyri and small towns. You will rent a 4x4 rental car from Thrifty and drive your way to the great surroundings of Iceland.

Westfjords

THE 7 DAYS ITINERARY

Day 1 – Arrive in Keflavik International Airport and visit Golden Circle

This day is all about visiting the Golden Circle and be at awe with its wonders. You arrive in Keflavik International Airport and get your 4x4 rental car from Thirfty. Then go straight to the Golden Circle and visit the Gulfoss (Golden Falls), which is known as the queen of Icelandic waterfalls because of it wonderful and breathtaking beauty. It is located in the canyon of the Hvita river. This amazing destination is the best place to visit because you will be at awe with the water rushing down the three steps of lava layers that gives off a breathtaking and splendid aura. Then the water flows and “vanishes” in the crevice that is not seen by most tourists which makes it more magnificent and will leave you more fascinated. After touring this, you can have a tasty and delicious lunch in the Gullfoss cafe where they serve the traditional Icelandic meat soup and various meals.


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Source: suvodeb

Next, you go to the geothermal area of Geysir. This place sprouts boiling water of various formations and goes up to 70 meters in the air, plus the ground bubbles and gurgles. There also various hot springs in the areas, so you can try relaxing there before going for a snorkel in the Silfra fissure.
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Source: big-ashb

Visit Thingvellir next, which is home to the largest natural lake in Iceland called the Pingvallavatn. It is a tourist attraction that combines relaxation and exotic. You have the option to dive in the Silfra fissure if you have diving equipment with you as it is one of Iceland’s best kept secrets. Due to its crystal clear waters and blissful shads of blue, tourists and visitors can relax and explore the lake without getting too stressed as you will feel weightless in the lazy and peaceful current.
You can end your day by going to Cabin Hotel Reykjavik and have your dinner in their restaurant and bar. You can either wait for the Northern Lights or prepare for your long drive the next day before going to sleep. Here is the map for Day 2:



Day 2 – Going to Kjölur Highland Trail and Akureyri

Have breakfast in Cabin Hotel Reykjavik and drive your 4x4 rental car from Thrifty to the interior highland track Kjolur, which is a big rocky lava located between the huge glaciers Hofsjokull and Langjokull. Passing by Kjolur is a great experience because it is an uninhabited highland surrounded by mountains with various sizes and shapes as well as the two glaciers thatgive Kjolur a picturesque look. There is also a black desert and a colorful range of Rhyloite Mountains


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Source: ndanger

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The next place to go to is the geothermal area of Hveravellir that is also located in between two glaciers. It has hot springs and you can dip into the hot water to relax before continuing on your long drive.


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Source: genevieveromier

Another stopover place you can go to is the valleys of Skagafjordur, a place known for hoirse breeding. You can explore its places of interest sych as the old farm, a museum at Glaumbaer and the tiny old church on Viðimýri. You can also have snacks here and lounge around before driving to Akureyri.
You arrive in Akureyri and check in at Hotel Akureryi. Afterwards, explore 2-3 attractions of the town such as the Akureryri Botanical Garden, Gasir and the Akureyri Church. You can have dinner in Greifinn Restaurant and then lounge at Guesthouse Akureyri and bar before going to sleep.
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Below is the map of Day 2:


Day 3 – Lake Myvatn Surroundings and Small Villages

After having breakfast in the hotel, check out and drive to the Lake Myvatn area so you can have a closer look at one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland: Godafoss. Take photo opportunities and be at awe with its great beauty
Then you can spend the day exploring and touring the natural wonders of Lake Myvatn and the surrounding areas. The lake is known as a great breeding place for ducks and other birdlife in the summer, while its surroundings offers a wide variety of unique landscapes and amazing geological formations.
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Source: Andrea Schaffer

Some of the places you can visit are: Dimmuborgir lava formations, Krafla volcano, Námaskarð geothermal area, Skútustaðagígar pseudo craters, and the Nature Baths where you can take a bath for rejuvenation and re-energizing. Then you can have a late lunch nearby.
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Source: JasonParis

Afterwards we go to Husavik town---which is also known as The Whale Watching Capital of the World. Obviously, you can take Whale Watching tours here and visit The Whale Museum so you can be educated on whales and the marine wildlife of the town. You can explore 2-3 tourist attractions of the town before checking in at Skulagar Country Hotel for dinner and some few days stay. Explore its surroundings more and, if you are lucky, catch the Northern Lights.
Here is the map for Day 3:

Day 4 – The Magnificient North East and Hiking

After having breakfast, take your 4x4 to Hljóðaklettar, also known as the the "Echo rocks". This is a magnificent canyon that is carved by the glacial river of Jökulsá á Fjöllum. You have the option to hike here so you can explore the many wonders of Jökulsárgljúfur National Park. You will also visit the Asbyrgi canyon. The hike will almost take the whole day so make sure that you allot the whole day just for the beautiful North East. You can have lunch in the area.
You will also visit the most powerful waterfalls in Europe, which is the Dettifoss waterfalls. It is a wonderful sight and you can take photo opportunities here.
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Source: plassen

Once done with the hiking and exploring, go back to Skulagar Country Hotel for another overnight stay and dinner. Here is the map for Day 4:

Day 5 - Ódáðahraun lava field & Egilsstaðir

Have breakfast and check out from Skulagar Country Hotel early in the morning as it will be a long day of uninhabited wilderness and deserted lava fields. The first stop would be the Herðubreiðarlindir springs located at the foot of Mt. Herðubreið. This springs has a green landscape despite being in a deserted place and has crystal clear springs that make it more beautiful and picturesque.
You can explore Mt. Herðubreið as it has a large lava field, campground and hiking trails. There is also a mountain hut and warden’s station if you need to rest or lounge a bit. Once done, you can have lunch here before proceeding to the next destination.
The next place to go is the great Dyngjufjöll mountain range and the Askja caldera, which are both located near each other. Passing through uneven lava fields and the edge of the Vatnajökull ice field, the Dyngjufjöll is located above the highland plateau while the Askja caldera is found in the center. From here, you can hike towards the Askja Lake and find the explosion crater called Viti, where you can take a short dip in the natural geothermal water of the crater lake.
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Source: Pole Este

Afterwards, head towards the Egilsstaðir town and explore 2-3 attractions there before checking in at a hotel for an overnight stay. You can also have dinner here or prepare for the trip the next day.
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Source: Sibba

Here is the map of Day 5:

Day 6 – Jokulsarlon and Vik

Have breakfast and leave early as it will take you three hours to get to Jokulsarlon, a large glcaial lagoon located in the borders of Vatnajokull National Park. The lake has been growing through the years due to the receding glaciers of the Atlantic Ocean. If you are up for an adventure, you can go jeep or amphibian boat tours to further explore Jokulsarlon. But if you want a quiet tour, you can walk around the whole area and even go to the black sand beaches.
Afterwards, have lunch on the way before heading for the small little town of Vik. This is known as the wettest place in all of Iceland because of its location directly beneath the Mýrdalsjökull glacier.
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Source: nicksarebi

The first place to is the village church located at the highest point of the town. The story with this church is the town is in danger of being wiped out due to a massive flash flood that can happen from a glacial runoff in case the active volcano Katla erupts. The Reynisfjara Church is the only building that is said to survive the volcanic eruption and the flash flood. This is why residents have volcano drills where they are trained to evacuate their homes and rush to the church. Hike towards it to see the church up close.
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Source: JasonParis

Next places of interest are the Wool Factory and Nupsstadur Farm and Church. These places are good to explore quietly before taking your lunch. Shop for handcrafts and souvenirs made from the factory itself. The Nupsstadur Farm and Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has old buildings. Afterwards, take your lunch and lounge a bit in one of the tasty restaurants. We recommend Vikurskali that serves delicious lamb soup, fish sandwiches, and meals. Lounge there first before taking a hike to Myrdalsjokull Glacier
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Source: Bods

Once full and ready to go, hike to the Myrdalsjokull Glacier where visitors can easily walk on the ice when the weather is good. This is just one of the largest glaciers in the area and it is not difficult to hike as long as you have experts guiding you along the way. Ask the information center of Vik regarding Glacier walk tours that can take three hours or more.
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Source: cyrildoussin

To end your visit in Vik, relax by going to the Dyrholaey and walk around the Black Sand Beaches. The Dyrholaey is a small peninsula to view the various parts of Vik from a high peak. You will also be able to see a gigantic black arch of lava standing tall in the sea, which is known as the “hill-island with the door-hole”.
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Source: johan wieland

Afterwards, walk around the Black Sand Beach which consists of black sand and black pebbles. You can see the basalt rocks and caves that column the area and makes the beach even more unique---especially at sunset. You can stay here until you are relaxed and ready to drive back.
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Source: Johannes Martin

You can take a dinner in Vik and check in at Hotel Ranga. Here is the map of Day 6:

Day 7 – Blue Lagoon and Depart From Iceland

Check out of Hotel Ranga and go straight to Blue Lagoon for rejuvenation and relaxation.
seljafjordur snæfellsnes

Source: Sarah_Ackerman

Drop off your rental car in Thrifty and drive to Keflavik Airport for your departure. Here is the map of Day 5:




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

THE 5 DAY ITINERARY

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

seljafjordur snæfellsnes

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.
seljafjordur snæfellsnes

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.
seljafjordur snæfellsnes

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!
seljafjordur snæfellsnes

Source: joaoleitao

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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Source: spi516

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.
seljafjordur snæfellsnes

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.




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

THE 1 DAY ITINERARY

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.




3 Days Self Drive Tour To Snaefellsnes

3 Days Self Drive Tour To Snaefellsnes

This self drive tour itinerary is for people who want to spend 3 days relaxing in the western part of Iceland. For this itinerary we recommend you book an inexpensive yet luxurious stay at Hotel Brú. Have a relaxing and peaceful time in Iceland by going to the western Peninsula of Snaefellsnes and enjoying the sceneries of Stykkisholmur.

Day 1: Arrival into Keflavik Airport and head to the Blue Lagoon, stay at Hotel Bru

Arriving into Iceland at the Keflavik International Airport, you can make your way to your rental car company. Since you will be tired from your flight, this day is about relaxing and enjoying the beauty of Iceland so our first stop is the Blue Lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon is a 15 minutes drive from the airport and there is a large car park by the entrance. Please book in advance as tickets get snapped up fast. We recommend you try the package with both the Silica and Algae Masks and drink at the swim-up bar. The water massage treatment and beauty treatments here are amazing and will leave you feeling energised and ready for the next few days.

Next, you can drive to Hotel Bru where you can settle for the night. This hotel is one hour and thirty minutes drive from the Blue Lagoon. You will drive through Reykjavik on the way so feel free to stop and take in some sites.

At Hotel Brú try their deliciously mouth watering food at the hotels restaurant known for offering genuine Icelandic cuisine such as lobster soup and Trout. The first night and your first chance to view the Northern Lights, one of the best tourist attractions of Iceland. The hotel offers a wake up call if the lights show up in the middle of the night.

Below is the map for Day 1 for your reference.

Day 2: Snaefellsnes Peninsula

After a good breakfast you hit the road and drive to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Head towards the town of Stykkisholmur in the north of Snaefellsnes, a two hour drive from Reykjavík.

Stykkisholmur is the centre of services and commerce in the area with fishing and tourism as their main income. You’ll find great fish restaurants here to taste their unique and delicious menus. Try Fimm Fiskar, a popular fish restaurants serving Icelandic catfish, puffin, guillemot, seafoods and homemade pasta dishes.

After your meal, drive the circular route around Snaefellsnes. There are a number of attractions which are ideal for photo opportunities. We suggest visiting the Snaefellsjökull National Park at the end of the peninsula. Here you can get a very scenic view of the glacier. You can continue towards Arnarstapi, a small fishing village on the southern coast of Snaelfellsnes. Here you will get to marvel at the authentic and charming Icelandic houses, ragged cliffs and ocean views. The beach area here is also home to large colonies of arctic tern.

Make sure to check out Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall, located a short walk away from the equally beautiful Kirkjufell mountain, Iceland’s most photographed mountain. You will recognise it by it’s unique cone-shape. Kirkjufell is known as ‘Church Mountain’ as it resembles a church steeple and has acted as a landmark for seafarers and travellers over the centuries. This area is very photogenic, you might also recognise this location from Game of Thrones.

Djupalonssandur Black Sand Beach was once a bustling fishing village, when Snaefellsnes Peninsula functioned as one of Iceland’s most active trading ports. Walking down towards Djúpalónssandura Black Sand Beach you will notice four large stones of varying sizes weighing between 23kg (50lbs) and 155kg (342lbs), used as lifting stones to test the strength of fishermen. The stones are named Amlodi (useless), Halfdreattingur (weakling), Halfsterkur (half-strong) and Fullsterkur (full-strong). If you walk around the beach you may discover rusty iron remnants of the 1948 shipwrecked scattered along the beach.

Heading back towards Borganes and Hotel Brú to relax and have another chance to glimpse the Northern Lights.

Day 3: Driving Back to Keflavik Airport

Check out and head back towards Reykjavik. Take a few hours to wander the back streets, taking in the local architecture and street art. Visit Harpa and Hallgrimskirkja, and have lunch or a coffee and cake in one of the many cafes.

Head toward Keflavik to return your rental car before checking in for your flight from Keflavik Airport.


3 days self-drive idea to West and North

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3 days self-drive tour to West and North

Enjoy the west and north of Iceland with this 4 days self drive idea that has a combination of adventure, exloring and relaxation.

This self-drive ideas is for those who want to experience adventure and relaxation in the west and part of north of Iceland. You will go to Akranes and Borgarnes in the west and Blonduos, Skagafjörður and Siglufjordur in the northern part where you can do many things and stay in great accommodations. This is one self-drive idea that will tell you the beauty of Iceland.

Westfjords

THE 3 DAYS ITINERARY

Day 1 – Arrival in Keflavik Airport; Drive to Akranes

You arrive in Keflavik Airport at around late morning and do the necessary things needed for your 3-day vacation. The first thing to do is get your rental car in Thrifty and do the 1 hour and 30-minute drive your first destination, Akranes. Akranes is a beautiful town where you can just relax and enjoy the awesome sights since you just arrived in Iceland. No need to go on an adventure first, so this town is the perfect first stop. You can go to the Langisandurinn (The Long Sand), which is one of the best tourist attractions with its attractive bathing beaches where you can swim and just relax with family or friends. You can also visit the Museum Area in Gardar that tells the stories of the town. And from the town, you can get a great view of Mt. Akrafjall that is breathtaking. Afterwards, you can pick a great restaurant such as the Galito for a lunch full of great meals.
seljafjordur snæfellsnes

Source: Atli Harðarson

After lunch, you can go to the small town of Borgarnes that is located on a peninsula at the shore of Borgarfjörður.
One of the places of interest that you should go is the Church of Borgarnes. This famous tourist attraction is known for its great architecture and how it is visible throughout the town. Afterwards, you can go to various trourist attractions in the city such as Puppet Museum of Bruduheimar and a museum in The Settlement Centre. While the town is small, you can be assured you will see a lot of attractions here.
seljafjordur snæfellsnes

Source: yashima

Afterwards, you can go straight to Hotel Bru for dinner and check in. And if you are lucky, you will be able to see the Northern Lights. And you don't have to worry because the hotel staff will give you a wake up call when the lights appear. Here is the map for Day 1:


Day 2 - Exploring the North: Blönduós and Skagafjörður

Have breakfast in Hotel Bru and check out. From there, you can do the almost 3-hour drive to Blönduós, a small seaside town in the north of Iceland. The first place of interest that you can go is the Blönduós Church, which is famous for its unusual architecture. The church was designed based on its surrounding mountains and landscape and has good acoustics, which make the sound carry well and beautifully for singing.
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Source: JasonParis

Another place that you can go to is the 9-hold golf course, especially if you are a golfer and want to get our more in your 3-day vacation in Iceland. The golf course is located just north of the town and you can inquire their golfing activities there. Afterwards, you can either fo bird watching, hiking (like in the Húnaflói area) and bird watching. Another famous activity that you can do is salmon fishing in Blanda River. You will never run out of things to do here in Blönduós. Before leaving Blönduós, have lunch in Potturinn Restaurant that offers a wide variety of delicious food at reasonable prices that includes Italian, Indian, Icelandic and vegetarian.
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Source: eskimo_jo

The next place you go is the municipality of Skagafjörður.
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Source: Gúnna

One of the things you can do is river rafting to continue the adventurous streak on this day. Skagafjörður is known as the capital of whitewater rafting in Iceland, where there are powerful and wild glacial rivers in remoteness of the municipality. The water is always on high levels, which adds more adrenaline when doing this extreme sport. You can ask tour companies such as Nordic Travel and Arctic Adventures regarding river rafting in this municipality.
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Source: Stig Nygaard

Afterwards, you can relax and rejuvenate in one of the seven pools of the municipality. You can try the hot springs and pools of Sauðárkrókur where you sit in a traditional hot tub and bond with your family and friends as the hot water relaxes your body. Then you can have dinner and check in Hótel Varmahlíð. Below is the map of Day 2:


Day 3 - Siglufjörður; Departure from Iceland

Check out of Hótel Varmahlíð and proceed to the small town of Siglufjörður, in which you can spend the whole morning exploring. it is surrounded by towering mountains and have the fishing industry as their source of income. If you just want to look around town and relax before your depart the North, this is the perfect place for a last stop.
seljafjordur snæfellsnes

Source: Julien Carnot

The first place you can visit is The Herring Era Museum. It has a big collection of stories of the town, the fishing industry of Iceland and other stories concerning the development of the country. It also has interactive presentations and has various displays of boats and various artifacts. Afterwards, you can do bird watching, walk around town, join in the Herring Festivals if given the chance, and eat your lunch befoe departing to
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Source: Julien Carnot

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Source: sela-v

You depart from Siglufjörður at around after lunch, do the five-hour drive towards Blue Lagoon for rejuvenation and re-energizing. You can have have some 1-2 stopovers in between the drive to rest. After Blue Lagoon, you can drop off your rental car in Thrifty then proceed to Keflavik Airport for your departure.
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Source: Sarah_Ackerman

Hope you had a wonderful time in Iceland. Here is the map of Day 3: