A few weeks ago, I was able to fulfil one of my long-time dreams of going to Iceland, and it was truly amazing. I went there at the beginning of March and stayed there for a week. It was still winter, so to avoid being blocked by snow or other weather-related problems, we decided to go on a road trip in the South of Iceland, which has lower risks of snowstorms.
For this trip, we followed (and adjusted) an itinerary that I found on the Iceland Trippers blog, created by the couple behind the Follow Me Away blog and Instagram account. There, you’ll find everything you need to know about Iceland, as well as great itineraries and travel-related tips! They also have an amazing Instagram account so you should definitely check them out!
Day 1: Reykjavik and the Golden Circle
Our first day in Iceland was initially all about exploring the Golden Circle in details. The Golden Circle is the main tourist road in Iceland as it has some of its most famous landmarks: a national park, gorgeous waterfalls and a geysir, as well as so many other beautiful things.
Because of a snowstorm and icy weather, the Golden Circle road was closed in the morning, so we had to change our plans a bit and decided to walk around Reykjavik instead. We explored its cute shops, nice clean streets and admired all the colourful houses along the way. The centre is quite small so it only takes half a day to see it, which was perfect for us. After some time, we stopped to check the beautiful opera house and its architecture.
In the early afternoon, we left the capital and started the Golden Circle by taking the Southern Road, stopping to check the Kerid Crater, hot springs that looked like they belonged on a movie set, walk around the geyser geothermal area and witness an eruption, and admire two gorgeous waterfalls including Iceland’s iconic Gullfoss waterfall. Sadly, we couldn’t finish the Golden Circle as it was getting dark and we got caught up in a blizzard, so we decided that we would do the rest at the end of our trip and headed back to our accommodation taking a 2-hour-long detour because all the roads were getting closed.
Day 2: from Reykjavik to Vík
Waking up under a bright sunshine, our second day also included a late-ish start because of closed roads, but we managed to leave the Reykjavik area before noon, heading towards Vík, a seaside town located on the southernmost part of Iceland. The weather was splendid, so the drive through the breath-taking Icelandic landscapes was fantastic.
Our itinerary consisted of gorgeous waterfalls, including a “hidden one”, where we could almost get under the flow of water, and the famous Skogafoss, a wide and powerful waterfall that you can also see from the top. Finally, we hiked on an icy path to reach the Solheimasandur plane wreck, an abandoned plane wreck located in a scenic and very epic landscape, that looks straight out of a science fiction movie.
Day 3: from Vík to Höfn
Our third day on the road included a very long drive to a small fishing town called Höfn, with quite poor weather conditions: a very strong wind and pouring rain. We were certainly not as blessed as the day before, but these proved to be the best conditions to visit black sand beaches and basalt columns, our first stops. Right before Vík we stopped on this stunning beach, with huge waves crashing on the black sand, surrounded by basalt columns. It really felt like we were on the set of Game of Thrones and it doesn’t really get more epic than that.
After that, we made our way towards the Skaftafellsjökull glacier, that we reached after walking along a very slippery path. This was the first glacier that we saw (and not the last!) and despite the terrible weather, the ice was stunningly blue! In the evening, we reached Höfn and our very cute accommodation.
Day 4: from Höfn to the middle of nowhere
After a peaceful night, we left early and walked to the nearby Stokksnes beach, a beautiful black sand beach with a fantastic view over snowy mountains. It was also possible to visit a Viking village nearby, but we were on a schedule that day so we had to skip it. Going back to our accommodation, we stopped to pet some cute Icelandic horses and quickly walked to a beautiful waterfall nearby, then started our way back West.
Our main activity that day was to visit the ice caves with a tour that we had booked a few weeks before. This was definitely one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, and pictures really don’t do it justice. After that, we walked around the Diamond beach, where big chunks of glaciers really look like gemstones stranded on the black sand, and headed to our accommodation, in a tiny hotel in the middle of nowhere. There, we spent some time to admire and capture the beautiful starry sky, trying to catch a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights, but we were not successful.
Day 5: back to Reykjavik
This fifth day on the road consisted of driving past some places that we past on our way East, so we could stop in all the places we didn’t have time to check before. Our first stop was a beautiful canyon, then we checked a viewpoint over the black sand beaches next to Vik, which offered a beautiful new perspective, and finally we stopped to check the stunning and quite secluded Kvernufoss waterfall, that we had all to ourselves, and that we could also see from behind.
Back to Reykjavik, we had dinner at Café Loki, a restaurant that serves traditional Icelandic food (like fermented shark!), where we tried different specialties, including their sweet rye bread that was heavenly. Finally, at around 9.30 pm we hopped on a bus for a “Northern Lights” tour, where we were rewarded with the most magical thing that I have ever seen, as we managed to “catch” the Northern lights.
Day 6: Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon
On our last day in Iceland, we went to the other half of the Golden Circle that we had missed the first day, and walked around the impressive Thingvellir National Park, located in a rift valley between two tectonic plates. Afterwards, we were supposed to go on a “bread tour” in a geothermal area, to see how they bake the bread underground for 24 hours, but decided to head back to Reykjavik because of a weather warning.
In the late afternoon, we checked in at the iconic Blue Lagoon, a famous geothermal spa. The naturally hot water was just a delight after days of walking, driving and hiking, plus the steam made the experience feel very intimate and cosy, even though there were quite a lot of people there. We used the sauna and steam room, then went to take our complimentary face mask and drinks. It was such a relaxing and unique experience and definitely worth it!
Last few words…
These holidays in Iceland were absolutely fantastic and everything went above and beyond my expectations. The landscapes are so different from what I am used to and everything just seems unreal and epic. This is for sure a trip that I would recommend to anyone!
I plan to write a bit more on Iceland and to share a lot more in here, so if you have any questions about our trip there, please let me know in the comments so that I can talk about it in future articles!
Have you ever been to Iceland?
What do you think would be your favourite thing there?