Iceland 2013 Custom Itinerary

The itinerary for the forthcoming trip to Iceland is now pretty much decided, in as far as I now know where I’ll be staying and for how long. During the early stages of planning for the trip I accepted that it was going to be expensive and so made a mental note to not under allocate time. Of course, I don’t know yet if I have erred the other way and over allocated time at each spot, but I suspect not.  I have also taken the step of allowing a full day for travel between each base camp. In some cases the actual travel time between each camp is only a couple of hours, but I’ve read that there is always something along the way to see and anyway, it’s a holiday – I’m meant to be taking it easy!

I know many of you will have Iceland on your agenda too and so I thought I’d share my itinerary and why I picked the stops and durations. Of course, the important bit will be the post-trip report but, right now, the itinerary looks like this:

Day 1

Arrive in Reykjavik. Check in and then a leisurely evening looking around the city.

Days 2-4

Reykjavik. There’s some wonderful architecture and sculpture in the city. It’s also a convenient starting point for the Blue Lagoon as well as the popular ‘Golden Circle’ daytrip that covers the tourist magnets of Geysir, Pingvellir and the waterfall Gullfoss.

Day 5

Travel to Vik. It’s a 185Km journey that should take between two and three hours, but there’s plenty to see along the way. It will also be the first day of driving in Iceland and the 4×4 so it seems a good chance to take it easy and get to know the roads and car.

Days 6-8

Based in Vik. From here, there’s easy access to the waterfalls of Skogafoss, Seljalandfoss, Glufrafoss, and the Southern Fjallaback Nature Reserve, as well as being right on the doorstep for a very photogenic black ash beach. There’s also a downed aircraft not too far away that could prove an interesting subject.

Day 9

Travel to Jokulsarlon. Much as the first travel day, Vik to Jokulsarlon is a 185Km journey so should provide ample stopping and exploring time.

Days 10-12

Based in Jokulsarlon. Jokulsarlon is an enormously popular stop as it is famous for the glacial lake where icebergs calve off Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier and drift off into the Atlantic Ocean. But it is also conveniently located for the less well-known Fjallsarlon and Svartifoss.

Day 13

Travel to Thorshofn. This is a more substantial 415Km journey and likely to take six to seven hours. So, still some time to explore, but I’ll have to watch the clock.

Day 14

Around Thorshofn. I actually picked this destination based on a single photograph I have seen, but there are some great costal shots as well as more general landscapes.

Day 15

Travel to Akureyri. A 250Km, three hour journey. I’ll be passing by Dettifoss, Europe’s largest waterfall and Myvatn, a very picturesque lake area.

Day 16 – 17

Around Akureyri and Myvatn. I’m not so interested in Iceland’s second  ‘city’ but more so in some of the surrounding landscapes. I’ll have time to head back to Myvatn, but also head west of the town along the northern coast.

Day 18

Return to Reykjavik. 384Km and five hours of driving again means that I’m not going to have too much time for detours before returning the rental 4×4 at 4PM.

Day 19

AM relaxing in Reykjavik then PM flight home. It will be my birthday and so I may treat myself to a nice soak in the Blue Lagoon.

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