Travel Planning: Two Week Iceland Itinerary

posted in: Blog, Iceland, Travel Planning | 13

Two Week Iceland Itinerary

It’s a longtime dream of mine come true – we are going to Iceland!

2016 will be the year of Iceland for Justin and myself. I’ve gawked wistfully at photos online of Iceland for years. Anytime a travel blogger writes about Iceland, I’m glued to the computer screen. Why am I so completely obsessed with Iceland? Simply put, it’s an absolutely beautiful country. As someone who loves the wonders of nature, Iceland offers a huge variety of scenery unlike any that I’ve witnessed before with my own eyes. Perhaps I can even attribute my love of Iceland to my love of Icelandic rock stars, like Sigur Ros or Bjork. When Guide to Iceland asked if I could write about Iceland, I started to plan out our journey around the country. I came up with a rough two week Iceland itinerary. The plan from the start was to take two weeks to drive around the Iceland ring road. We are hoping to visit in early June for the most incredible birthday gift I could ever imagine.

Justin and I haven’t booked our flights, hotels, rental car, or anything yet. This is all still very much in the planning stages. For those of you who have been to Iceland, it would be amazing if you could help us plan our two week Iceland itinerary. What do you think of our plans? Is there anything we need to definitely include or leave off the list? We would love your input!

Day 1 & 2: Reykjavik

We will fly from Toronto to Reykjavik, and will relax a little bit before setting out on our adventure around the island. It will be a good time to stock up on groceries. With that said, we’d like to explore Reykjavik, too. It is a very walkable city, so we will walk all over the place by foot. The Hallgrímskirkja church looks very impressive and I’ve read that it isn’t to be missed. It’s possible that we may have time to check out a couple of museums here. We can also visit the Blue Lagoon from Reykjavik. I often read about travelers going to the Blue Lagoon for a final farewell before flying home. I’m thinking, why not start off the trip with some relaxing moments at this famous geothermal spa?

Day 3: Golden Circle

Two Week Iceland Itinerary
Gullfoss Waterfall

 

We’ll begin our travels along the Ring Road by hitting up some attractions along the Golden Circle. It is a tourist route made popular by the fact that it’s very close to Reykjavik and the airport. However, there are some breathtaking sights that are geologically significant. At Thingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), we’ll be able to see a canyon caused by the shifting of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. There’s also Geysir, an erupting hot spring, and the spectacular Gullfoss waterfall.

Day 4: Vik

We will drive on the Ring Road to Vik, a small town in South Iceland. We will do some hiking and walking along the black sand beach. We may book an organized tour here to the glacier Myrdalsjokull and the Katla volcano.

Day 5: Jokulsarlon

Jokulsarlon is a huge glacial lagoon on the outskirts of Vatnajokull National Park. It’s a great spot to view icebergs. I’d like to take a zodiac boat tour on the lake to see the icebergs up even closer.

Day 6 & 7: Myvatn

Two Week Iceland Itinerary
Myvatn Hot Springs

 

Even though this is an epic road trip, it’s nice when there’s the possibility of having a “home base” for a couple of days. Once we reach Myvatn, we plan on staying there for a couple of nights. By day (which really could technically be all night as the sun barely sets), we’d like to visit the Dettifoss waterfall because there’s no shortage of sensational waterfalls in Iceland. Myvatn is known for its nature baths, so we’ll definitely be soothing our aching muscles there. We’ll also check out the volcanic lake and the impressive numbers of waterbirds that live there.

For our second day in the Myvatn region, we may go to the Namafjoll Hverir mud pots for a Mars-like landscape, go hiking in the lava fields of Dimmuborgir, or visit Grjotagja, a small lava cave with a thermal spring inside.

Day 8 & 9: Akureyri

We’ll be staying in the larger city of Akureyri for another two nights, making it a second short-lived home base. I’d like to designate one day to take it easy, stock up on groceries, and maybe walk around town or the surrounding area. On another day, we can drive up to Husavik for a whale watching tour. I’ve read that these tours travel within kilometres of the Arctic Circle, and the whale watching is phenomenal.

Two Week Iceland Itinerary

Day 10: Hvammstangi

We’ll be continuing in a counter-clockwise direction around the Ring Road towards Hvammstangi. Of course, at any point along the way, I’m sure we’ll be stopping by the side of the road to snap pictures numerous times daily. Hvammstangi is a place where lots of seals hang out, so I’d love to see some seals in their natural habitat. This is also a good point to stop between the central and western regions of the island to break up the driving days into manageable chunks.

Day 11: Latrabjarg

Two Week Iceland Itinerary

We’ll continue our drive to the Westfjords. According to Lonely Planet, only 14% of visitors travel to this section of the island, though the dramatic landscapes must be seen. Plus, there are millions of puffins that live on the Latrabjarg Peninsula. They are so cute. This will be our longest driving day, clocking in at around five hours.

Day 12 & 13: Grundarfjordur & Snaefellness Peninsula

Two Week Iceland Itinerary
Kirkjufellsfoss

 

From Latrabjarg, we’ll take the ferry across to Grundarfjordur to journey around the Snaefellness Peninsula. We’ll spend part of one day getting there, and have another full day to take in the sights. Many wondrous places can be seen here, lending Snaefellness to be known as “Iceland in miniature“. There’s a volcano, a national park, small towns and fishing villages.

Day 14: Reykjavik

For our last day, we’ll head back to Reykjavik, perhaps staying another night depending on when we’ll be flying back home. I’d like to take a tour to go caving inside lava tubes and magma chambers from Reykjavik, as it might be a great opportunity to squeeze in one last adventure before we head home.

As you can see, we will have no shortage of memorable and exciting places to see when we visit dreamy Iceland! So, what am I missing? I certainly don’t have the details of our itinerary ironed out yet, and I’d love any suggestions that you might have! If you’re a blogger, please leave me links to your travel blog posts in the comments section below so I can read more about this magical country and your personal experiences.

Two Week Iceland Itinerary

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Have you been to Iceland? What do you think of our plans? Do you have any advice?

13 Responses

  1. Kevin Wagar
    | Reply

    Looks like an amazing adventure! We spent 18 days in Iceland about 3 years ago and it was one of the most memorable trips of our life! You are planning something very similar to our trip, but in reverse order 🙂 If I can make a few suggestions:
    When in Husavik, check out North Sailing for your whale watching. They offer trips out on their schooners which makes for a really memorable experience.
    Jokulsarlon doesn’t take an entire day. We spent a portion of that day doing a snowmobile trip on the nearby glacier. It was incredible and I highly recommend it.
    Around June the sun barely goes down, so if you can handle long days, you can pack a lot in! There are a ton of other thoughts, but I don’t want to take up too much space, so hit me up if you want more 🙂

  2. Anne Marie
    | Reply

    We spend a month in Iceland some years ago. We loved every minute of it. One of our best spots was The Westmanna Islands. There is a volcano right newt to the town and tons of puffins. So so beautiful green islands. I know you don’t have much time and your itinerary is tight but just had to share this Little paradise with you.

    Happy travels
    Anne Marie
    Two Danes On Tour

  3. Andrea on Vacation
    | Reply

    I will be glued to my computer as you post! I loved Iceland and have only seen about half of what you are planning on. Jokulsarlon was my favorite! 🙂
    Andrea on Vacation recently posted…Baltimore Monument LightingMy Profile

  4. Shobha
    | Reply

    We pretty much did this itinerary. We found it a tough 2 week run (maybe because we have kids or maybe we are just lazy?). Ideally we would have had another couple of days so that we could have had a bit more of a leisurely drive.
    Shobha recently posted…15 Reasons to Love Venice Beach BoardwalkMy Profile

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      That’s one thing I fear is that I’m going to be packing too much into one day. Mind you, traveling with kids would be a lot more difficult I could imagine. We want to do things and take it easy a bit, too. We’ll see how it goes 🙂
      Lauren recently posted…Planning the Perfect Quebec City Winter GetawayMy Profile

  5. Gina
    | Reply

    Hope you make it! Looks like an amazing itinerary. I’m really hoping to get to Iceland one day soon, too!

  6. Hey guys,
    I am so excited you are going to Iceland!!! I had a long layover (3 days) in Reykjavik a few years ago, and it gave me a tiny taste of Iceland, enough to make me want to go back and explore the whole country.

    I’m not much of a researcher when it comes to travel, so I don’t know much about place I haven’t yet been, but your itinerary sounds great. In Reykjavik, there are many vegan and vegetarian restaurants, which really surprised me, but Iceland is pretty alternative and green. The people are absolutely wonderful, I had about 6 hours to kill from landing until I could check into my hostel, and I just wandered around the city and had conversation with almost every shop owner.

    I did the blue lagoon, a little pricey, but I’m a sucker for thermal spas so for me it was worth it. However, there are many more thermal spas around Iceland, many natural and free, so since you will be there for awhile I guess you could consider skipping this touristy one.

    Be aware that Iceland is very expensive! A street falafel cost me about $12. An average been cost $9/10. AHH!

    But still, Iceland is worth it, and it will be great to see your pictures and hear your reviews!

    Katie
    Katie @worldwidevegetarian.com recently posted…Travel Blogging is Hard! P.S. I am Home after a Year of TravelMy Profile

    • Lauren
      | Reply

      Katie! You’re back home – I’m going to check out your post right now (my apologies, I’m a little behind in my blog reading!). I can’t wait to eat the vegan/veg stuff in Reykjavik. And I’m so happy to hear how wonderful the people are. That makes all the difference 🙂 We will be hitting up the Blue Lagoon and probably others, I love that kind of things too.

      Can’t wait to go there as it’s been a longtime dream of mine – finally making this one come true! Ahhh!! 🙂
      Lauren recently posted…Five Awesome Aspen Hotels for Snow BunniesMy Profile

  7. alex
    | Reply

    This Itinerary looks great and by now I assume you have been there, done that! How did it go? I am planning a 14 day trip for this year and was wondering if you have a list of the towns that you actually stayed the night in? I am trying to work out where to stay so I can pre book the accommodation as I hate spending time looking for accommodation while I am travelling. Was it too ambitious to do the whole ring road in 14 days? Any other tips?
    Thanks for your posts
    Cheers

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