Iceland – tailor-made travel plan

Iceland

“Iceland – tailor-made travel plan” is a 15-day trip around the island. Our route includes both the most popular attractions as well as those visited only by the most motivated tourists or locals.

I wrote the travel plan based on Polish guides, Icelandic travel agencies and numerous travel blogs. We found a few places by accident, and some of them we only found out on the spot.

Iceland – initial travel plan and last-minute changes

A trip to Iceland took place in August 2020, during a global pandemic. Everything was already scheduled at the beginning of the year: air tickets, hotels and rent a car. Back then, there was no sign that there would be a global “lockdown”, closed borders, cancelled flights and cancelled hotel reservations. All plans of my “carefully” prepared travel had to be revised several times. I changed the dates and places of departure, airlines, travel route, reservations. Until the last minute, it was not known whether this trip would happen, whether the borders would be open, or whether there would be a need to stay on the quarantine on site.

A few days before departure, after buying air tickets for the third time (both previous flights were cancelled), Iceland introduced new border rules. The country has lifted the quarantine obligation for those who will voluntarily make coronavirus paid test on arrival.

Ultimately, we decided to go and went thru the coronavirus tests at the airport. We hoped in Iceland, there would be no crowds of tourists or queues to popular tourist attractions. We were hoping to travel in silence and be able to keep a social distance – so much these days recommended by WHO.

It turned out that our assumptions came true – there were almost no tourists in Iceland this year. We got a chance to see this beautiful country without rush and without people around. We had the opportunity to spend this time surrounded by natural wonders, breathtaking views and among the animals.

Iceland tailor-made travel plan (15 days, 14 nights)

Arrival, coronavirus tests and car rental

We are arriving in Iceland in the afternoon. At the airport, we must go through the Covid-19 tests. We are waiting in the queue for about 1 hour. There are 10 stations where doctors collect samples from all passengers. My doctor is from Poland, and he promises to run the examination smoothly and painlessly. I appreciate his efforts.

The company where we rented the car is already waiting for us in the arrival hall. We are going with them to Keflavik, where there are car rental offices of several companies. After signing the agreement, we are picking up our car, loading suitcases to the trunk and going to the hotel. We are staying that day in Keflavik, waiting for the Covid-19 test results.

Iceland tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Keflavik

Still, before the sunset, we have time to walk around the small fishing port and along the coast.

Accommodation: Hotel Duus by Keflavik Airport, Keflavik

Reykjanes Peninsula

Keflavik, troll’s cave, Stekkjarkot, Viking World museum, Reykjanesta lighthouse, Valahnúkamöl cliffs, Gardur

⇒Route: Keflavik – Reykjanesta – Gardur

The day greets us with thick fog and rain. In the morning, we are receiving information via SMS about the negative results of our coronavirus tests. The virus has not been found; we can start our journey.

We are starting our tour with a visit to the troll’s cave – Skessa, who lives on the other side of the small port, near the Duus hotel. Then we are going to the place where the charming Stekkjarkot cottage-type houses stand. They were built between 1855 and 1924, and their roofs are covered with turf.Iceland tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Stekkjarkot

There is also the Viking World museum nearby, where we are spending almost three hours. The main attraction of the museum is a 1:1 scale replica of the Viking ship – Islendingur.

Iceland tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Viking World Museum
Iceland, Viking World Museum

In the afternoon we are going to see the Reykjanesta lighthouse and the nearby wonderful cliffs by the ocean – Valahnúkamöl cliffs.

On the way back, we are stopping at the point where two tectonic plates meet: Eurasian and North American plate. The canyon, which marks this place, is marked by an 18-meter bridge, where, of course, you need to take a commemorative photo.

Iceland tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, breach between continents
Iceland, the breach between continents

At the end of the day, we are going to Gardur, where on the Gardskaga headland there are two lighthouses and few fishing boats wrecks.

Accommodation: Lighthouse-Inn hotel, Gardur

Blue Lagoon, Geothermal area Krýsuvík, Reykjavik

⇒Route: Gardur – Reykjavik

That day begins again with showers of rain, cold gusts of wind, and dense fog. We are going from Gardur to Reykjavik, but on the way, we are will visit some interesting places.

We are starting with a visit to the Blue Lagoon, but we see only that part that is not commercial. Our initial plans to rest at the Blue Lagoon SPA, we had to cancel, due to the constant wind, cold and rain that did not encourage swimming that day.

Iceland tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Blue Lagoon
Iceland, Blue Lagoon

Then we are going to see the cliffs by the ocean – Krysuvikurberg Cliffs.

Iceland tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu,Krysuvikurberg Cliffs
Iceland, Krysuvikurberg Cliffs

We are going to Reykjavik by Route 42, which is very picturesque and “forces” us to stop at every parking lot by the road. In my opinion – ride on this road is an attraction in itself!

Iceland tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu,Route 42
Iceland, Route 42

We are also making a stop by the geothermal field – Geothermal area Krýsuvík. At this point, for the first time, I am enjoying the rain. Thanks to rain the omnipresent smell of sulfur (“rotten eggs”) is not so much intense – and so, by covering the nose tightly – it is possible to breathe.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu,Geothermal area Krýsuvík
Iceland, Geothermal area Krýsuvík
Reykjavik

In the afternoon we are arriving in Reykjavik and going for a walk around the city. It’s still raining so we’re trying to do this tour as quickly as possible. On the way we are visiting Hallgrimskirkja church, we are walking along Laugavegur street, which is popular among tourists, and we are going to see the Town Hall situated by the lake. Then we are visiting the Old Port and wonderful and very modern Harpa building, which houses, among others, concert hall and philharmonic hall.

Iceland tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu,Reykjavik Harpa
Iceland, Reykjavik Harpa

On the way back to the hotel, we are walking along the shore where the Sun Voyager sculpture stands.

Iceland tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Reykjavik Sun Voyager
Iceland, Reykjavik Sun Voyager

Accommodation: Klettur hotel, Reykjavik (2 nights)

West Iceland

Golden Circle, Þingvellir National Park, Reykjavik Perlan Museum – Wonders of Iceland

⇒Route: Reykjavik – Pingvellir – Reykjavik

This day starts once again with heavy rain and very cold wind. Despite this, we are deciding to follow our initial plan, and not to change it due to bad weather conditions.

We are going for a half-day trip to the Þingvellir National Park. Þingvellir is part of the Golden Circle route, one of the most popular attractions among tourists visiting Iceland. Since 2004, the park is also inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We are spending there for about 3 hours only because we are completely cold and wet.

In the afternoon, we are deciding to warm up and visit a place “under the roof”, away from the rain. In our hotel, we found in the morning an advertising leaflet about “Perlan – Wonders of Iceland” museum in Reykjavik. We are going there and spending the rest of the afternoon.

Most of all I recommend visiting these two places, where an additional admission fee is needed:

  • The Ice Cave, the first of its kind in the world. It is 100 meters long and built with over 350 tons of snow.
  • The Planetarium with a rotating roof, and with a movie: “Áróra – Northern Lights”. It is the first Planetarium of its kind in Iceland.
  • Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Reykjavik Perlan Museum
    Reykjavik, Perlan Museum

Golden Circle, Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall, Friðheimar greenhouse, Kerið Crater

⇒Route: Rejkiawik – Selfoss

This day begins without rain, and the first rays of sunshine begin to break through the clouds. Finally, it is going to be a nice day. We are leaving Reykjavik and going to see the next two attractions – part of the Golden Circle. The first one is the Laugarvatin Geothermal Field. Some geysers shoot hot water up to 35 meters high. There is also Geysir – the first geyser after which all the others are named – unfortunately, it is no longer active.

Next, we are going to see the second important attraction: Gullfoss waterfall, also known as the “Golden Waterfall“.

For lunch, we are going to Friðheimar farm, where there are greenhouses and tomato farm. In one of the greenhouses, there is a restaurant serving delicious dishes made of tomato (including tomato mussels, tomato beer and cheesecake with tomato jam!).

At the end of the day, we are going to see the Kerið Crater with a small lake at the bottom. You can walk around the crater and go down the stairs, that lead to the small lake.

Accommodation: Hotel Selfoss Coast, Selfoss

South Iceland

Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Gljufurarfoss waterfalls, Reynisfjara Black Beach, Jokulsarlon Glacier, Diamond Beach

⇒Route: Selfoss – Reynisfjara – Jokulsarlon – Hofn

The day begins with dark and low-hanging dense clouds. We plan to take a boat out to the glacier this afternoon, so we are keeping fingers crossed for the weather conditions, hoping it is not going to be worse, and will not rain.

We are starting our tour with two wonderful waterfalls. The first one is the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, 65 meters high. You can go around the waterfall, as the path allows you to go behind the falling water. This is a great experience!

The second waterfall is 500 meters away from Seljalandsfoss and it is called Gljufurarfoss. To see it up close, you must go through a narrow crevice in the rock and through stones scattered in a swift water stream. Be careful, as there is a high risk of falling into the water (which I personally successfully did). The waterfall is over 40 meters high and is under protection as a natural monument.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Gljufurarfoss Watrefall
Iceland, Gljufurarfoss Watrefall

Then we are going to see the Black Beach – Reynisfjara and monumental basalt cliffs.

Jokulsarlon Glacier
Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Jokulsarlon Glacier
Iceland, Jokulsarlon Glacier

In the afternoon we have a boat trip on the lake, around the Jokulsarlon glacier. We arrive 30 minutes early and change into warm technical suits. With the whole group, we go by bus to the beach, where boats moored on the shore are waiting for us. The sun is coming out from behind the clouds and the sky is getting clearer. We are lucky because the conditions for a boat tour on the lake are perfect.

The boat cruise around the glacier is taking 1 hour. The guide is telling us about the glacier and answering numerous questions. He explains why the icebergs are blue. Suddenly he is showing the place where a big slice of the glacier breaks off and bursts into the lake What a view!

Seals are swimming nearby and showing to us several times.

Cruising around the glacier is, so far – the best of our experience in Iceland. We are convinced that it will stay in our hearts for a long time.

After the glacier cruise trip, we are walking to the nearby beach. There are huge chunks of ice, laying on the black beach and just on a shore, shimmering in the sun like sheets of glass. The beach is called the Diamond Beach, and the blocks of ice that you can touch with your hand impresses us.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Diamond Beach
Iceland, Diamond Beach
Back on Ring-road 1

We are driving all the time on Ring-road 1. The entire route from the Black Beach area to the Hofn is simply beautiful and very picturesque. On one side of the road there are rocks, a glacier, mountains, numerous waterfalls – on the other side there are ocean shore, cliffs, lakes, rushing rivers, water cascades and wetlands.

In the evening we go to the small port town of Hofn, where we stay overnight.

Accommodation: Hotel Edda, Höfn

East Iceland

Hofn, Djupivogur, Gledivik, Egilsstadir

⇒Route: Hofn – Djupivogur – Rout 939 – Egilsstaðir

On this day, the first day of summer begins in Iceland. It is warm in the morning and the sky is pure blue. In the morning we are visiting Hofn: small port and the picturesque town centre.

After leaving Hofn by the Ring-road 1, we are still admiring wonderfully scenic route, as the road is leading us along the shore of the ocean. Along the way, we are stopping at every possible viewpoint, and our delight is endless.

We are stopping for lunch in the picturesque town of Djupivogur, which belongs to a small group of Citaslow towns. We are having lunch at the restaurant in the historic building of the Framtid Hotel.

A few kilometres outside the town, in the village of Gledivik, there is an exhibition of sculptures depicting 34 eggs of birds that nest in Iceland. Gledivik Eggs is an interesting tourist attraction and good photo spot.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Gledivik Eggs
Iceland, Gledivik Eggs
ROUTE 939

We are continuing along Ring-road 1 and at a crossroad, turning left into Route 939. We are leaving the main road behind and changing asphalt to gravel and bumpy road. That road is passable for owners of 4WD cars only. We are travelling that route for approx. 30 km, we are reaching the top of the mountain range, at an altitude of approx. 500 meters above sea level. It’s a great road and breathtaking views. On the way, we are passing by a dozen or so waterfalls, small swift streams and flocks of sheep. There is no one else on the road except us. There is a wonderful silence everywhere.  The sky seems to be huge today, like a big blue balloon, that is hanging above us and reaching the horizon on each side.

We are getting to Egilsstadir and staying in the town until the evening. We are watching the sunset at Lake Lagarfljot, where “sister” of the Loch Ness monster is said to live.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Lagarfljot Lake in Egilsstadir
Iceland, Lagarfljot Lake in Egilsstadir

Accommodation: Icelandair Hotel Herad, Egilsstaðir (2 nights)

Lagarfjlot Lake, Hydropower Plant, Studlagil Canyon, Hengifoss and Rjukandi Waterfalls, Puffins, Lindarbakki Turf House

⇒Route: Egilsstadir – Route 931 – Route 910 – Bakkagerdi – Egilsstadir

We are driving along the shore of Lake Lagarfjlot.

We are following Route 931, which turns to Route 910. When we are reaching its end, there is large and modern hydroelectric power plant – the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant. On the banks of the huge Halslon reservoir, there is an imposing dam that is 730 meters long and over 200 meters high.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant
Iceland, Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant

Further, we are continuing our tour by the Route 910 but beware – that road starts to be very gravelly and bumpy, only for cars with a powerful engine and 4WD. Again, we are reaching the top of the mountain range, at an altitude of almost 800 m above sea level.

We are taking Route923. Our next stop is at the Studlagil Canyon basalt gorge and then at the Hengifoss and Rjukandi waterfalls.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Rjukandi Watrefall
Iceland, Rjukandi Watrefall

We are driving back to Egilsstadir

Searching for puffins

In the evening we are going east by Route 94, to search for the puffins. Route 94 is again a gravel road leading through the tops of the mountain range. We are reaching an altitude of about 500 meters above sea level. On our way, there is a magnificent viewpoint Vatnsskard – Storurd, where we can see the shore of the ocean, mountains and valleys.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Vatnsskard - Storurd
Iceland, Vatnsskard – Storurd

At the end of Route 94, there is a tiny fishing harbour.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Hafnarholmi, puffins
Iceland, Hafnarholmi, puffins

At the end of the road, there is a small island – Hafnarholmi, where puffins nest. We are lucky to see a few of them, although, usually in mid-August they already depart from Iceland to spend winter by the ocean.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, puffins, puffin
Iceland, Puffin

On our way back, we are making a stop in the town of Borgarfjordur. The main attraction of this town is a charming house with a turf roof – Lindarbakki Turf House.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Lindarbakki Turf House
Iceland, Lindarbakki Turf House

We are returning to Egilsstadir after sunset, which started when we were driving along the road by the ocean shore. Beautiful views and magical moments. The section of Route 94 between Njarðvhík to Bakkagerði, called Njardvik Screes, makes a big impression on us. We are making a stop again to admire breathtaking views.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Njardvik Screes
Iceland, Njardvik Screes

North Iceland

Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, Dettifoss waterfall, Selfoss waterfall, Hverir, Myvatn lake, Hverfhall crater, Godafoss waterfall, Akureyri

⇒Route: Egilsstaðir – Akureyri

It’s mid-August and today is the first day of summer in Iceland. We are starting our tour with a visit to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, which is the most spectacular canyon in Iceland. It is approx. 25 km long, approx. 500 meters wide, and in some places, it is 100 meters deep. There are a few great waterfalls in this gorge.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon
Iceland, Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon

We are starting from the Dettifoss waterfall. This waterfall is about 45 meters high and almost 100 meters wide. Due to its combination of flow volume, width and height, it is one of the most energetic waterfalls in Europe.

On the road over the pebble beach, along the river, approx. 1400 meters further, you can go to another natural wonder – Selfoss waterfall. It is a journey worth the effort because Selfoss is majestic and powerful. This waterfall consists of about 100 smaller waterfalls that fall from basalt rocks. This is Iceland’s hidden beauty! ♥ You must see it.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Selfoss Waterfall
North Iceland, Selfoss Waterfall

We are returning to the Ring-road 1 and our next stop is at the Hverir geothermal area. It is quite a vast area. There are over a dozen fumaroles, i.e. hot volcanic fumes that flow from craters and volcanic crevices. It is an extremely interesting place to see, but the concentration of water vapour and gases (sulphur, carbon dioxide, fluorine, chlorine, hydrogen sulphide) is so high that it is impossible to stay there for a long time. The smell of “rotten eggs” is so much intense that it is hard to take it.

We are able to spend there only 15 minutes.

Lake Myvatn and Akureyri area

The next stop is at Lake Myvatn, also known as the “lake of flies”. Worth to note that without a special head net, it is impossible to get out of the car. Please also close the windows because the midges bite and are extremely intrusive and hungry. On-site safety head nets can be purchased at the gas station and/or souvenir shops.

While you are there, it is worth seeing the Hverfhall crater (452 meters high) and climb it. Also, you can go around the lake, hike the rocks, enter the cave and stop at the place where there are pseudocraters – Skutustadir Pseudocrators.

About 30 km before Akureryi we are stopping to see the last attraction. Just off the main road, there is another gorgeous Godafoss waterfall. It is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland . It is shaped like a large horseshoe and consists of two streams with a total width of 30 meters. You must walk to that waterfall for about 1km, but several interesting water cascades you will spot on the way. This attraction cannot be missed, it is truly impressive!

We are arriving in Akureyri around evening time. We have a hotel in the centre of the old town with a window view of the fjords and sunset.

Accommodation: Hotel Kea by Keahotels, Akureyri (2 nights)

Husavik, whales, Whale Museum, Laufas Turf Houses, Akureyri

⇒Route: Akureyri – Husavik – Laufas – Akureyri

Today we are going to Husavik. From Akureyri, we are taking Route 84, to avoid the toll tunnel. The route takes us 1 hour.

In Husavik, we have a 3-hour boat trip for whale watching. We are sailing around the bay and “hunting” whales with our cameras. We can see a few dolphins, seals and a few whales as well – humpback whales. Some of the whales are “singing” loudly. On one hand, these sounds are delightful, but on the other hand, they evoke respect and cause “goosebumps” on our hands. One of the humpback whales emerges out of the water just right next to the ship’s side – in the place where I am standing with the camera pointed. This view is amazing. For a moment I can’t move because of emotions. When the whale dives and presents us with its great tail fin, everyone on the ship is giving a shout of delight and is joyfully clapping his hands.

After the tour, we are staying in Husavik for lunch, then we are visiting the Whale Museum. Its main attraction and the reason for the museum itself is the blue whale skeleton, which is 25 meters long. This is a great place and an interesting museum. This is a must-see attraction.

On the way back to Akureyri, we stop to visit Laufas Turf Houses in Eyjafjörður – an open-air museum of turf houses. When we arrive, the open-air museum is already closed to visitors. However, a small wooden church from 1865 “Laufás church” is open, and it is on the same grounds as the turf houses. Therefore, we can enter thru the church gate, and see those houses from the short distance.

walking around Akureyri

In the evening we are returning to Akureyri. We are strolling through the district with historic colourful houses. We are walking along the fjord coastline and at the end of the day, we are visiting the  Botanical Garden.

Penisnula Trollaskagi

Siglufjordur, Herring Era Museum, basalt cliffs in Hofsos

⇒Route: Akureyri – Hofsstadir

This day, we are leaving the Ring-road 1 and travelling around the Trollaskagi Peninsula. First, we are taking Route 82 and then Route 76. Along Route 82, from Akureyri to Siglufjordur, several tunnels run through the centre of the mountains. On the short distance, we are driving through 4 tunnels. The shortest tunnel was less than 900 meters long and the longest 3900 meters.

The interesting thing is that, firstly, tunnels are carved directly into the rock, so the bare rocks can be seen from the inside. Secondly – the tunnels are built almost in a straight line, so you can see an endless tunnel both ends, without a way out. The most interesting, however, is that two of them had only one road with one lane, and the passage of cars takes place in both directions at the same time. When a car is approaching from the opposite direction, we must go hide in the bay (there are several of them in each tunnel) and wait for the car to pass us. There are also speed radars in the tunnels, so despite the “long – straight” – it is better to follow the rules.

It is worth taking this route, because apart from the tunnels – the whole way is extremely picturesque: with high cliffs and beautiful views of the ocean.

Siglufjordur Heering Era Museum

For lunch, we stop in the town of Siglufjordur. We are walking around the town and small harbour. We have lunch at the Kaffi Raudka restaurant, which is located in a building that looks like a former port warehouse.

While walking through the town in the rain, we notice interesting buildings where The Herring Era Museum is located. I never thought that such a museum could be created or that I would ever visit such a place. The museum is housed in five buildings and is … amazing! It is Icelandic largest maritime museum and the only Icelandic museum that won the European Museum Award in the industry category. We are spending almost two hours there and we are going out delighted.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, North Iceland, The Herring Era Museum
Iceland, Siglufjordur, the Herring Era Museum

We are continuing the way on Route 76. Another short stop at Hofsos, to see beautiful basalt cliffs on the beach. Although they are not high, they are impressive.

At the end of the day, we arrive at Hoffstadir, where our hotel is located. It is surrounded by nature and silence. There, an amazing, red sunset is awaiting us. What surprises us is that at this latitude we can still see the sunset at midnight.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, North Iceland,Hoffstadir
North Iceland, Hoffstadir, sunset

Hotel: Hofsstadir – Country Hotel, Hofsstadir

Pingeyrar Church, Hvitserkur, Kolugljufur Canyon, Stykkishólmur

⇒Route: Hofstaðir – Stykkisholmur

We are starting our day with a visit to Pingeyrar Church, which is one of the most important churches in Iceland. In the Middle Ages, the local parliament used to meet here. Unfortunately, when we are getting there (around 11.00 a.m.), the church is closed and we can see the beautiful ceiling only through the windows from the outside.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, North Iceland, Pingeyrar Church
Iceland, Pingeyrar Church

Then we are driving to Hvitserkur, where a 15-meter-high basalt rock stands on the shores of the ocean. Some see it as a dragon drinking water, but local legend has it that it is a troll that was turned into a rock at sunrise.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, North Iceland, Hvitserkur
North Iceland, Hvitserkur

Next, we are going to see another natural wonder – Kolugljufur Canyon. The canyon is about 1 km long, and water cascades fall from its walls. It is worth walking the entire route. This is a great place! The canyon is about 25 meters high, and a rushing river meanders at its bottom. There are several viewing terraces and benches on site, so we have a good time in this place.

We continue our journey on Route 54, but we are driving slowly as we are not in a hurry. We are making a stop at every possible parking lot because the views outside the car window are breathtaking.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, North Iceland, Route 54
North Iceland, Route 54

At the end of the day, we are driving to the town of Stykkishólmur, where there are picturesque wooden houses, a port, a ferry dock and the Sugandisey mountain. From its top, you can perfectly see not only the town but also the neighbouring islands scattered across the ocean.

Hotel: Akkeri Guesthouse, Stykkisholmur 

Snaefell Peninsula

Kirkjufell, Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, Olafsvik, Snaefellsjokul National Park, Black Church – Budarkirkja, Bjarnarfoss waterfall

⇒Route: Stykkisholmur – Langaholt

We are in the west of Iceland, on the Snaefell Peninsula. The peninsula is commonly known as “Iceland in miniature” because it is home to all Icelandic examples of natural wonders. We intend to tour the peninsula all day long and see most of the attractions. The plan is to stay the entire route mainly on Route 54.

We are starting our tour from Mount Kirkjufell. It is said to be the most photographed mountain in Iceland. The locals themselves consider it the most beautiful in the country. The mountain is over 460 meters high and is recognizable for its conical shape and steepness. On the other side of the road is the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall which consists of three branches. Both attractions blend well together, so the mountain is often photographed from the perspective of the waterfall.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Snaefell Peninsula, Kirkjufell
Iceland, Snaefell Peninsula, Kirkjufell

We continue down the road and making a stop for lunch in a small port town – Olafsvik.

Along the way, our attention is drawn to the small town of Hellissandur. Our local guide says that it is Iceland’s unofficial capital of street art and that there are over 30 murals scattered around the town. It is an interesting place, definitely worth visiting. Some murals are real works of art, and their authors are artists scattered all over the world.

Snaefellsjokul National Park

The road then leads us to the Snaefellsjokul National Park, where the landscape dominated is by a glacier, volcano, and numerous volcanic forms. There are lava fields, craters and smaller volcanoes all around.

We are visiting there, among others Saxholl crater. Long metal steps are leading to the top of the volcano.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Snaefell Peninsula, Saxholl Crater
Iceland, Snaefell Peninsula, Saxholl Crater

Then we are going to Djupalonssandur beach, also known as the Black Beach. On its shore are the remains of a British trawler, that in 1948 crashed against the rocks. These remains are testimony to the deaths of 9 sailors who died in this disaster, so they must not be touched.

Other attractions on the way

Next, we are going to Svalpufa, where there are cliffs on the shore of the ocean, reaching 75 meters in height. These cliffs are a breeding place for seabirds – fulmars. It is a great place to see fulmars in their natural habitat.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Snaefell Peninsula, Svalpufa
Iceland, Snaefell Peninsula, Svalpufa

Another stop on the route is the Black Church – Budarkirkja. It is especially popular with young couples who dream of getting married away from civilization.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Snaefell Peninsula
Iceland, Snaefell Peninsula, Black Church Budarkirkja

The last stop on the tour is the magnificent Bjarnarfoss waterfall, which can be seen from the road. Seen from a distance, it does not make a special impression, but up close, it surprises with its dynamics and height. The waterfall is 80 meters high, and when water is falling – creates a rushing river that meanders in a narrow stream towards the ocean.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, PlanMyTravels.eu, Snaefell Peninsula, Bjarnarfoss Waterfall
Iceland, Snaefell Peninsula, Bjarnarfoss Waterfall

We stay overnight in a nearby hotel. Admiring the surrounding nature and the magical colours of the sunset is a great end to the day.

Hotel: Langaholt Guesthouse, Langaholt

West Iceland

Ytri Tunga Beach, lava field Hraunfossar, thermal spring Deildartunghver

⇒Route: Langaholt – Borgarnes

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Ytri Tunga Beach
Iceland, Ytri Tunga Beach

This is our last day to explore Iceland. First, we are going to Ytri Tunga Beach, where seals are said to like to hang out. We are arriving there around 11.00 a.m., but there is not a single seal on the spot. Maybe we came too late?

We are leaving the Snaefellsnes peninsula and following Route 50, we are passing by Borgarness. We are driving Route 518 that leads to the lava waterfalls – Hraunfossar Watrefall. It is an extraordinary miracle of nature! It is a series of waterfalls that runs down the brims of Hallmundarhraun lava field and into Hvítá River valley. There are several hundred meters wide cascades. There is also the Barnafoss Waterfall upstream. No doubt, it is a great place. There are several viewing decks around, on both sides of the canyon. It is a must-see stop.

We are spending the afternoon at the SPA, in the Deildartunghver Hot Springs. These are the largest thermal spring in Iceland and at the same time – the largest hot spring in Europe.

For the last night in Iceland, we are returning to Borgarnes. Our house is located on the shore of the ocean, where we can observe another beautiful sunset. In the distance, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is visible on the horizon.

Hotel: Hotel Hafnarfjall, Borgarnes

Coming back home: Reykjavik, Hafnarfjordur, Keflavik

⇒Route: Borgarnes – Keflavik – home

Driving the road towards Keflavik takes us about 3 hours because on the way we stop for a moment in Reykjavik to buy last Icelandic souvenirs.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Reykjavik
Iceland, Reykjavik

Then we are making a short stop in Hafnarfjordur, where there are an interesting Viking hotel and a Viking house. We were curious about this place as a few days earlier we saw it on the Internet, so we decided to see the Viking house up close. We are taking a few pictures and returning for the main road.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Hafnarfjordur, Viking hotel
Iceland, Hafnarfjordur, Viking hotel

For lunch, we are returning to Keflavik, to the Duus RestaurantKaffi Duus, where we were on the first day after our arrival. The restaurant is situated in front of a small fishing port, so the view is very pleasant. The Duus restaurant serves very tasty food. They are specializing in fish and seafood dishes. One day I would like to be back there again.

Iceland - tailor-made travel plan, Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Keflavik
Iceland, Keflavik

Because the weather is nice and we still have time – we are going for a short walk around the town.

We are going to the rental shop to return the car. The car rental company is driving us back to the airport.

Iceland tailor-made travel plan has come to an end

Our great adventure in Iceland has come to an end. We are coming back full of impressions however with painful legs from walking. In conclusion, we are tired but extremely happy. It was a wonderful trip: surrounded by natural wonders, clean air, with almost no people, no noise, no traffic jams and no rush on the road.

People say that Iceland is a land of fire and ice. For me, Iceland is more complex in the description. For instance, these are empty spaces, fields strewn with stones up to the horizon and uninhabited villages. Moreover, there are lunar landscapes, frozen lava fields, mountains, volcanoes and craters, hot springs and geysers. Numerous canyons, gorges, streams, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. These are also gorgeous fjords, rocky coasts, black beaches and basalt cliffs. Iceland means also to me whales, dolphins, seals, puffins, sea birds, horses, sheep and goats. These are small towns, colourful houses, fishing ports and old fishing boats. The most wonderful memories, however, are related to the great and majestic glacier and the blue icebergs glistening in the sun drifting towards the ocean.

I keep such memories of Iceland in my heart and such Iceland is also waiting there for you.

Iceland, PlanMyTravels.eu, Route 94

Iceland, my other post

I encourage you as well to read my other posts about Iceland

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