Iceland - 2 Weeks
YELLOW ICON: FOOD
BLUE SHOPPING BAG ICON: PLACES TO GET UNIQUE SOUVENIRS
BLACK CAMERA ICON: PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS
GREEN LIGHTNING BOLT ICON: NOTABLE ACTIVITY
RED HOUSE ICON: WHERE WE STAYED
blue steam ICON: Geothermal Pool
We have done this trip to Iceland twice because we loved it so much and it truly is a magical place no matter how many times you go.
Fly into Keflavik Airport which is about 30-40 mins outside of Reykjavik. Rent a car for your Icelandic Road Trip. We used Sixt Car rental.
Reykjavik: 3 Nights
Center Hotel Plaza is a great affordable option at the end of the main strip in Reykjavik but still within walking distance to everything. It is a bigger hotel so there are sometimes large groups that stay there. Breakfast was included with our room.
Center Hotel Thingholt is right in the middle of the shopping and restaurants. It is a boutique hotel and more pricey than the Center Hotel Plaza. It is also a quieter hotel since it is smaller.
NOTE: Hotels in Reykjavik do not have designated parking for their guests so you will have to find a spot to park on your own. The best thing to do is drop one person off at the door with the luggage and ask where the best place to park for the night is. They do have free parking lots in the city. We normally just tried to grab the first spot we could find on the road and then didn’t move our car for the rest of our stay in Reykjavik since everything in town is within walking distance.
Get settled in, recover from jet lag, shop, eat and see the sites in Reykjavik.
Vik: 2 Nights
Hotel: Hótel Kría
Wake up early and head from Vik to the Glacier Lagoon.
NOTE: Make sure you book any tours you want to do in advance.
From the Glacier lagoon head on to Fáskrúðsfjörður. Although this was one of the longest drives of our trip, the views were amazing the entire way!
Fáskrúðsfjörður: 2 Nights
Hotel: Foss Hotel East Fjords (Our favorite hotel of the trip)
We spent two nights here which gave us one whole day to sleep in, relax at the hotel and take in the beautiful hotel views.
Head out to Husavik. You can take a with a small detour to Seydisfjordur on the way!
Husavik: 2 Nights
Hotel: Foss Hotel Husavik
Plan a whale watching trip for the next morning with North Sailing Company.
Note: You must book in advance.
Akureyri: 1 Night
Cutest little town with LOTS of great shopping!!
Hotel: Icelandair Hotel Akureyri
Hellnar: 1 Night
Great place to stay for even more than one night to just relax. This is also a great place to try to catch the Northern Lights!
Hotel: Fosshotel Hellnar
Reykjavik: 1 Night
We recommend coming back to Reykjavik for one night just to repack, relax and make sure you are close to the airport to fly out the next day.
Fly home out of Keflavik Airport.
TOTAL NIGHTS: !2 Nights
You can do this trip in as fast as 1 week (we did that our first trip to Iceland). We have found that 12-14 days is a good amount of time to see the island and take it all in without feeling rushed.
THINGS TO NOTE:
We have done the ring road in a very very small two door car and also a 4x4 Subaru crossover and the 4x4 was by far more comfortable. If you can we recommend getting a 4x4 especially if you are traveling in the transition months (April, May or Sep, Oct.) or the winter. The weather can change in an instant and you will be glad that you have the extra traction and lift on your car.
Iceland offers you tax free shopping on items over 6,000 ISK. You have to get a tax refund form from the merchant. The merchant will fill out one part and then you fill out the other before arriving at the airport for your flight back home. Save all of your tags on your items and keep them with the coordinating receipts. You may be asked to show tags or items at the tax refund counter. We found that it is much easier to already have the tags with the matching receipts in advance so that you do not have to dig through your luggage to find the items.
GO TO THE TAX FREE COUNTER BEFORE CHECKING YOUR BAGS. You need to do this before so that if you do have to show an item you can open your luggage and get it out. You will need to allow AT LEAST an extra hour for this process because the line can be very long.
Airbnb’s in Iceland are usually booked month if not years in advance. We don’t normally plan a trip for more than a few month in advance so they were all book on the island when we went but if you are a big planner Airbnb’s would be a good thing to look into.
The Ring Road. The Ring Road is the main road the goes around the entire island of Iceland. Our Google map follows that route for most of our trip with little detours along the way to some cities and sites but that is the road you will follow all the way around the island.
GET GAS BEFORE YOU NEED IT. Don’t just assume you can make it to the next town. The towns are few and far between and there were many times on our trip where we didn’t pass another car for 100 miles. It is an amazing drive but not if you are out of gas. LOL.
Svarta Kaffið- Coziest Cafe that has one of the best and simplest models… Bread Bowls and Alcohol only. They usual offer one meat soup and one veggie soup. The perfect lunch or dinner after spending the day exploring the city!
Café Babalú- Close to the Hallgrimskirjka. Stop in for lunch or an afternoon tea.
Íslenski barinn- The best place to get traditional Icelandic food like whale or an Icelandic pancake!
Place that took over Laundromat Cafe spot- Craving a burger? This place has great burgers, fries and chocolate shakes.
Cafe Paris- Our favorite brunch place but they also serve a really good dinner as well!
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur- Icelandic Hot Dog stand. You have to try one because they are seriously so good and Iceland is also known for their hot dogs so why not?
Reykjavik Coffee Roasters- Local Coffee shop.
Little cafe we stopped at after the waterfalls with the unlimited soup.
Restaurant Sudur Vik- Our favorite restaurant in Vik. It is located in an hold home and serves up food that the entire family will love.
Smiðjan Brugghús- Brewpub that has big burgers and they have 10 different Icelandic beers on tap.
Hofn - Lobster place that was so good
CAFE SUMARLÍNA- The only restaurant in Fáskrúðsfjörður. This place has great pizza, soups and sandwiches. We ate here for lunch and dinner one day! haha.
Note: This restaurant is very very small maybe a total of 7-8 tables. If you are traveling during high season we would recommend calling ahead to make a dinner reservation.
Randulf's Fish House- We didn’t get to eat at this restaurant but it looks amazing and the restaurant is right on the water. If you eat here let us know how it is!!
Nordic Restaurant- Great place to stop in for lunch. They have a wide variety of food. Fun Fact: Supposedly this restaurant can be seen in the movie Walter Mitty.
Two restaurants on the map are the same place….
Naustið- If you LOVE seafood this place is amazing!! They do have a couple non-seafood options for people who don’t like fish but their main thing is fish and they do it well!
Fish and Chips- Very self explanatory.
Gamli Baukur- Very good restaurant right on the dock. It is only open during the summer so if you come outside that time period it sadly might be closed.
Other place we ate at in Husavik- add to map
NOTE: Husavik is a pretty big town for Icelandic standards and with tourists going through this town as well reservations for dinner are a MUST. There are very few places to eat so everyone in town is trying to go to the same places for dinner.
Kaffi Ilmur- Little yellow house on a hill. Breakfast here was delicious! They also have some great looking pies if you need an afternoon snack.
Bryggjan- PIZZA PIZZA PIZZA. A must in Akureyri.
Blue house place- add to map
Fjöruhúsið café- If you are staying at the Foss hotel Hellnar then just walk straight down towards the water and you will find this sweet little cafe built into the side of the hill overlooking the water.
NOTE: They are only open for breakfast and inside space is limited but there is outside seating if it isn’t too cold.
Hellnar Primus Kaffi- delete off map?
Add the hotels dinner that we had?
MUST DO THINGS
The Icelandic Phallological Museum- The worlds largest display of Penises… maybe not a family affair but I mean you are already all the way there so why not right?
Blue Lagoon Spa- One of the 25 wonders of the world. This is a must do! The water is rich in minerals and silica and it will leave your skin feeling refreshed.
You have to book in advance. Do it months in advance to get the date and time that you want. It is a little pricey but it included a robe, one alcoholic or regular drink, entry to the pool and a face mask while in the Blue Lagoon.
If you have long hair they recommend not getting it wet in the lagoon because the silica will dry it out and no one wants dry hair.
You can bring your camera or phone into the lagoon at your own risk. We have brought our big camera into the blue lagoon with our underwater gear on our camera and it did great but just be aware that silica can do things to certain types of rubber. The best and easiest option is to order a clear dry Iphone bag that you can put your phone in that comes with a string to go around your neck. This way you don’t have to worry about it getting wet or losing it and you can still take pictures through the plastic. I got this one from Eddie Bauer.
Icelandic Mountain Guides Skaftafell- Walk on Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajokull. They provide you with crampons (they attach to your hiking boots so you can walk on the ice) and an ice axe. We did the Short Walk which was 1.5- 2 hours on the ice. This was for sure a highlight of our trip!
Glacier Lagoon Zodiac Tour - add to map We did the Adventure Tour. They take you out in a small group and get you really close to the glaciers that are in the lagoon as well as the huge part of Vatnajokull where the ice breaks off into the lagoon. You must book in advance.
NOTE: Due to the crazy weather in Iceland along with the ever moving Ice they do cancel these tours often for safety. If it is too windy, the water is too choppy or if the ice is moving they might cancel your tour and you will receive a refund for your trip.