Iceland Road Trip – 11 days Itinerary

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At this moment I am suffering from post holiday depression ( as 聽one of my dearest friend calls it ) after my superb and awesome 11 days road trip around the most lovely island – Iceland. I was thinking of ways to overcome this depression. Guess what! writing about it seemed like the best option for self help 馃檪

So I started planning for this road trip from Nov 2016. You all must think that’s way too much early, but I had to as my 11 months old baby (who was 3.5 months then) was supposed to join us on this lifetime of a road trip. So yes I took my time to plan the routes, drive times, accommodations, 聽car hiring, sights, hidden gems, baby foods and much more.

I would like to share the details of my plans and itinerary with all other fellow travellers to make their next venture to Iceland a bit more convenient with some useful tips. 聽So next few blog posts will be dedicated to Happy Iceland Travel 馃檪

Here is a print shot of the journey we travelled to give you an idea of our journey. PS: All the stops are not included 聽as Mr.Google will not allow me to add all places in one go. So I will break down my journey and travel plans for each day 馃檪

 

You will notice that I have not included South west part of Iceland on the map, as we had visited that part of Iceland on our last trip to Iceland. I will provide the details on that as well.

PS: We rented a car and did a self drive tour around the Island. Our own tour, not through any tour company 馃檪 We enrouted to south coast first, going anti-clock around the island.

PS: I will be writing separate posts for each of the places that are mentioned below.

Day 1 – Keflavik to Skaftafell/Vatnajokull National Park

When you arrive at the airport, your car will be ready for you to pick up and you must be geared up to start your epic road trip in Iceland.

1st Stop – Seljalandasfoss

2nd Stop – Skogafoss

3rd Stop – Vik Village and Black Sand Beach

4th Stop – Solheimasamdur Plane Wreck Site ( which sadly we could not visit, as it was pouring down heavily and we did not want a sick baby on the first day of our journey)

5th Stop – Quick Stop at Fjadrargljufur聽Canyons.

6th Stop – A peaceful night at your chosen accommodation. We stayed at Fosshotel Nupar, every room had huge windows with superb views.

Day 2 –聽Skaftafell/Vatnajokull National Park to Berunes

1st Stop – Walking in the national Park. You can choose to go for a long hike or a small hike, hard or easy, lots of choices available.

2nd Stop – Jokulsarlon Glacier & Diamond Beach

3rd Stop – Hofn Village

4th Stop – Vestahorn Mountains in Stokksnes

5th Stop –聽A peaceful night at your chosen accommodation. We stayed at a cottage (YHA International Hostelling) by the sea with mountains around.

Day 3 – Berunes to Egilssta冒ir

It is a beautiful coastal drive, one of our favorite drives around the island. You will love every bit of this drive.

Stop 1 – Petra’s Stone Collection

Stop 2 – Hengifoss Waterfall

Stop 3 – Walk in the Hallormsstadur Forest

Day 4 – Egilsstadir to Seydisfjordur

Walk around the this little beautiful town. It is a home to beautiful waterfalls, so if you love hiking you will have a treat.

On return, visit Egilsstadir town and may be a dip in the thermal pool.

Day 5 – Egilsstadir to Akureyri – Lots of options to explore on this drive

Stop 1 – Dettifoss & Selfoss

Stop 2 – Viti Crater

Stop 3 – Krafla Power Station

Stop 4 – Hevrir

Stop 5 – Lake Myvatn

Stop 6 – Godafoss

Day 6 – Visit & Explore Akureyri – This will give you little break from all the driving.

Day 7 – Akureyri to Hvammstangi聽

If you plan to visit west fjords during your trip, hvammstangi is a good option for a break in journey. It is a beautiful coastal town with many walks and options to check out Arctic Tern Colony.

Day 8 – Hvammstangi to Isafjordur or Flatyeri

Get ready for an awesome drive in the Fjords. A part of this journey will be on the gravel road, but landscape around you will make up for it.

Stop 1 – Non sense Museum – You read it right, I did not make something up.

Stop 2 – Old Book Store in Iceland – Worth a trip, if you love to read this is the place for you.

Day 9 – Isafjordur

Explore Isafjordur and near by villages. Go for long hikes or short walks.

Day 10 – Flateyri to Talknafjordur

Stop 1 – Pingyeri Village – Museums, Village Walks.

Stop 2 – Dyjandi Falls

Stop 3 – Swim in natural geothermal pools

Stop 4 – Latrabjarg Cliffs

Day 11 – Talknafjordur to Keflavik

Get ready for the longest drive of the trip, its time to head back to Keflavik and back home 馃槮

Before you go back home, visit blue lagoon to get those muscles relaxed and soak in the beauty of Iceland.

More blog posts coming up for each of the places mentioned above 馃檪

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Stykkisholmur – Secret Walter Mitty Town

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Stykkisolmur – The Walter Mitty Town was a must visit place during our self drive Icelandic Trip. And the reason of putting the place in the list was due to the fact like many others I had also fallen in love with the place while I watched the movie. And then I started reading more about the place and got to know it’s importance in Iceland and in the tourism. How this smallest town of Iceland got the title of European destination of Excellence.

This beautiful town is located in the northern part of the Snaefellsness peninsula. You can combine it with your drive to south west part of the Iceland.

We visited this place during the winters and it was so deserted and yet so idyllic and peaceful. I am not sure whether I was in the love with the seashore, empty roads, colourful houses, still boats or I was just Happy to be here.

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There are many reasons for visiting this beautiful town like the conservation of cultural heritage & history as well as its environmental awareness.

The town was also the first municipality in Iceland to start fully sorting its waste as well as the first town in Iceland to receive the prestigious Blue flag eco-label for its harbour.

The hot water used in Stykkisholmur is completely sustainable as it is reinjected into the ground when it has been used for heating purposes. The town has on top of all this started a project eliminating invasive plants from its land.
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Oh yes the road you see in the above picture, is exactly the one when Walter Mitty ran to get into the helicopter. I was so delighted to be standing here.

Fishing and tourism are the bread butter of this town.

You can walk upto an adjacent island which showcase an old red light house. It is a small walk from the town. The view from the top is worth it.

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Wondering how does the scenery looks like while driving towards Stykkisholmur during the winter months, the picture below is a snap shot of the same. It looked more heavenly than this.

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S贸lheimaj枚kull Glacier – A Small Walk

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Until we visited Iceland, the only times I saw glaciers were in the movies or national geographic documentaries. It always made me wonder, how it would feel to be standing near to one. How the place around will look like covered with ice and all you see is Ice and Ice and Frozen Ice.

So me and Ash decided to visit one of the glacier in Iceland from much closer distance. We did not go for glacier hike, but we want for a small walk on top of it and to feel the aura around it. We decided to visit聽S贸lheimaj枚kull Glacier on the south coast, and just 2 hours drive away for Reykjavik.


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S贸lheimaj枚kull, a glacier outlet from the fourth largest glacier in Iceland, M媒rdalsj枚kull. I can not express in words how beautiful that sight was. Cold, yes freezing cold but a sight that will remain in your memories forever. Those different formations of Ice clinging to one another, caresses that it was forming one after another, it looked like you are standing in a land of crystals. And the roughness of black volcanic sand adds so much beauty to the landscape.

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Happy us trying to walk over the glacier with our hiking boots.

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Golden Circle – Geysir

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While driving on Golden Circle Route of Iceland, another popular attraction or stop over is to watch out for Geysirs.聽The hot springs are located to the east of a little mountain called Laugafell. This place is another wonder of nature where in you see huge springs spurting out of earth, roaring into steam and then disappearing into air.

I still remember that cold afternoon, temp was just around -10 degrees but it felt like -20. But nonetheless even though we could stand outside only for 10-15 mins at stretch, it was worth every second. And I would not mind visiting this place over and over again 馃檪

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Strokkur (the churn) is currently the most energetic spouting spring in Iceland. It spouts every few minutes, sometimes to a height of 40 m, yet generally less than 10-20 m.

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Golden Circle – 脼ingvellir National Park

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Morning of another colder day in Iceland, we decided to go for Golden Circle Tour. The most popular destination in the Iceland, almost everyone who visits Iceland heads off to the golden circle, whether it is just a lay over in Iceland or a long trip. There is a well established road network on the golden circle which makes it easier聽to drive in summer months and聽a bit comfortable in the winter months as well.

We were happy looking at the weather from the window of our Air B&B accommodation, it was a bright & sunny day and were very excited to head out on to the roads. But as soon as we came out of the room reality hit us hard, it was sunny but it was freezing cold. Temperature was -5 degrees and winds were chilled as ice. We knew we might have to spend a lot of day in the car today.

Our first stop on the golden circle was one of the Iceland’s most popular park i.e.聽脼ingvellir National Park. This park does not only have geological significance but it plays an important role in the history of Iceland. It is situated on the northern shore of lake 脼ingvallavatn, 脼ingvellir is the national shrine of Iceland. It is the oldest existing parliament in the world first assembled there in 930 AD. 脼ingvellir has for this reason been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.聽Over two weeks a year, the assembly set laws – seen as a covenant between free men – and settled disputes. You can still see the fragments of booths where assembly was held.聽聽It also have a 脼ingvellir Church and adjacent farm.

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Another popular destination in the park is a聽major rift, which has produced dramatic fissures and cliffs demonstrating inter-continental drifting is聽spectacular. People flock to this point to see a continental drift between the continents. The water is so clear between the drifts that it has become a hot spot for scuba dive and you can always show off that you swam or dived between the continents. I did not swim or dive in there, I could not have in freezing temperatures, but I did threw a coin between the rift making a wish to come back to Iceland and another one that actually came true 馃檪

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Me and Ash are wanderers and do not know how we managed to walk all the famous parts of walk. I can still feel the cold winds slapping my face and knocking me off the ground. I think the urge to travel and see more just makes you do anything. Oh!! I miss Iceland now.

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South Coast Iceland – Seljalandsfoss

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Seljalandsfoss, another breath-taking waterfall in south coast of Iceland. This waterfall is very difficult to miss as you will notice it while driving along the Ring Road. It is very popular among the tourists, and is always crowded with tour buses and cars. Many Icelanders choose this location as a wedding photography venue as well or even to exchange vows.

Another main reason it is particularly very popular as it allows people to able to go behind the waterfall on a well developed trail.

During the winter months with days short, we arrived at Seljalandsfoss after sunset. It was windy, cold but a clear night. And this waterfall is lit up during the night, and it looked wonderful. You could see water flowing down like a cotton candy from the height. It was a mesmerizing moment. And of course Ash was happy, he wanted that we should reach at this waterfall once it starts to get darker. Why?

So that he could take some beautiful pictures of the falls.

Unfortunately we could not walk behind the falls this time as it was too cold and we were sure to get wet if we walked behind it because of the force of the wind. Frankly I did not want it either as I was freezing from cold, temperature was around 0 at that time.

Like many other places, I had to look for Seljalandsfoss meaning as well over the internet. What I found is, Seljalandi meant 鈥楽eller鈥 and Foss meant 鈥楩alls鈥, so we can call it Seller鈥檚 Falls. Interesting isn鈥檛 it?