So back in October some friends and I headed to Iceland for about a week long trip. We went the second week in October and got pretty lucky with flights for just under $250.
We flew from JFK on an overnight flight which I would not recommend because it’s a pretty short flight, just under 5 hours, and not quite enough time to sleep the night. We booked a car in advance online and paid some extra fees because we are under 25. We also booked all of our airbnb’s in advance, some were apartments and some were rooms in hostels.
We arrived at Keflavik airport and headed straight to the arrivals hall. There were a ton of people waiting with signs for car companies and it took about 15 minutes before we found the company we booked with. Once we got the car there was the typical sell of insurance. The guy was a bit rude with us and tried really hard to sell us as much as possible. The weather was cold but it wasn’t quite winter so we were okay with the basic coverage but the weather can be crazy in winter so keep that in mind!
We were exhausted but drove straight to our hostel which was right by Skogafoss waterfall. It took about 2 hours total. We stopped to see Seljandafoss waterfall along the way because we passed by and it was awesome to see up close! We learned pretty quickly that a lot major tourist spots are along route 1, which is the main route in Iceland.
From there we went to Vik and met up with our tour group for an Ice Cave tour. We took a van ride of about 45 minutes out to the cave. The view around the cave was awesome and I would definitely recommend it as an excursion. We climbed up a small path and into the cave which was mostly dark so we used flashlights to get around. We got to explore a bit and see a nearby waterfall.
We came back and got to see the black sand beaches of Vik before a crazy rain storm. The weather changes at crazy rates in Iceland and some days it went back and forth between rain and sun all day
The next day we got up and drove to the glacier lagoon, Jokulsarlon. From our hostel in Skogar it was around 2 1/2 hours. We decided not to drive the whole ring road around Iceland because we didn’t think we had enough time and we didn’t want to spend too much time in the car.
This drive was totally worth it though because the glacier lagoon was unlike anything we had seen before. The water was really clear and had a lot of large chunks of ice.
Almost nearly across the street is Diamond beach which is a really cool black sand beach that also is covered in ice like the lagoon. We walked around and took some pictures and it was a cool sight. We drove back to Vik after that and the drive wasn’t too bad for a day trip! The best part of the road trip is that the views are beautiful along the way and the drive is easy just on route 1.
This day we woke up and went to the waterfall Skogafoss. We took a while trying to get the perfect waterfall pic and then climbed the steps up to the top viewing deck. Definitely keep in mind that it can get busy here and if you want to be there with less people consider going early in the morning.
Bonus: We got to pet some Icelandic horses along the way!
After arriving in Reykjavik and spending some time there we headed out on the golden circle tour. This is the name of the route that goes from Reykjavik to the Geysir to Gullfoss waterfall and finally to Kerid Crater. We also stopped at Pingvellir National Park along the way.
After a long day on the golden circle tour we spent some time exploring Reykjavik and trying the local foods. Reykjavik is definitely very different from the empty road area where we had spent the past view days but it is a very cool city.
The food is definitely more expensive here than other areas of Iceland and we kept that in mind going to out and looked for places that were a little less pricy.
I would also recommend checking out the going out scene if you have some time! There are a lot of cool hangout type bars in the area. But be warned that cabs home late at night can be very expensive!
For our last day we headed to Keflavik in the morning to our last airbnb. We booked the Blue Lagoon a few weeks in advance and our starting time was at 2 p. m.
It was very hot in some sections so we couldn’t stay too long because we did feel a bit overheated at times! The masks that come with the price of admission were great and felt good on our skin. There’s even a bar in the water where you can get some drinks.
It was a little bit busy when we went but it’s a pretty big lagoon and easy to find some space to yourself!
Overall, Iceland was a really awesome destination with some truly unique places to see. I would highly recommend this trip for people who love being outdoors and enjoy driving through nature.