Here I have marked 44 places, where I have been and there will be restaurants and places I will write about as we go along. I will be putting a ‘♥’ after names of the places you can stay at in Iceland. I will also be adding the links to the places where we stayed. Here are the 44 places in order as on the map:
- Keflavik International Airport / Keflavíkurflugvöllur (KEF)
- Reykjavík ♥
- Blue Lagoon Spa
- Þingvellir National Park
- Vestmannaeyjar ♥
- Seljalandsfoss (back to shore via ferry)
- DC-3 Sólheimasandi
- Vík í Mýrdal ♥
- Vatnajökull National Park
- Jökulsárlón (Glacier Lagoon)
- Höfn ♥- Humarhöfnin Veitingahús- Hofn
- Stokksnes- Vestrahorn
- Egilsstaðir ♥
- Seydisfjordur ♥
- Hvalasafnið á Húsavík ♥
- Jarðböðin – Mývatn Nature Baths
- Grjótagjá ♥
- Akureyri ♥
- Ísafjörður ♥
- Kirkjufell ♥
- Ólafsvík ♥
Your trip begins by landing in Keflavik International Airport (1). The various airlines that fly to Iceland are:
- Air Baltic
- Air Canada
- American Airlines
- Austrian Airlines
- British Airways
- Czech Airlines
- Iberia Express
- Primera Air
- Thomson Airways
- United Airlines
- Wizz Air
Places we stayed at:
- Ásólfsskáli Cottage, is located near Skogafoss (11) and Seljalandsfoss (8). The highlight of this property is the location and the hot tub outside! There is a waterfall 2 minutes away from the property and the owner has an ADORABLE dog too.
- Merkigil Gisting located in Eyrabakki is one of the best homes we stayed in and the owner is so warm and welcoming and made sure we were comfortable.
- OK Hotel is very centrally located in the heart of Reykjavik (2). I suggest that you keep in touch with the manager of the property about your arrival timings so that they are prepared to receive you.
- Tangs, located in Isafjordur (35), is a beautiful guesthouse. The owners are very friendly and waited for us to reach even when it was 10 pm. They own a little restaurant/cafe very close to the house and we had an amazing breakfast.
- Hotel Snæfell located in possibly the best town in the world, Seydisfjordur (25)! A few of the rooms are small but the view from the rooms is amazing. The food at the restaurant is fabulous, I still crave the truffle mashed potatoes I had back in 2016.
- Halllandsnes Apartments AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING. The apartments are huge, the view is amazing, they have a hot tub too! It overlooks Akureyri (33) and especially at night, is stunning. You have your own kitchen and a dining room.
- Kirkjufell Guesthouse is located in Grundarfjordur and overlooks Kirkjufell (38). The rooms are comfortable and overall it is a good property.
- Fosshotel Nupar probably the best chain of hotels and never seems to disappoint. If you’re traveling during northern light season, the views are amazing and the hotel provides alarms in case of sightings too.
- Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon like I said earlier, never seems to disappoint and is in the middle of nowhere. Everything about this hotel is AMAZING. The rooms, the food, the location, etc.
- Icelandair Hotel Vik as the name suggests, is located in Vik (15) and has views of the Reynisdrangar (16) sea stacks. It is a great hotel to stay at.
- Vogafjos Farm Resort is probably the nicest resort to stay in, in Myvatn (30). I definitely recommend this to everyone. They have an amazing restaurant and they have a cow shed too!
- Other accommodations can be found on Booking.com
If you would like to book your trip through an Iceland based company, definitely check out When in Iceland, follow their Instagram page for destinations and offers. They offer personalized road trip plans where their local experts help you plan your itinerary to make the most of your trip to Iceland and make sure you don’t miss anything.
From the airport you can either hail a taxi to Reykjavik (2) or you can rent a car from the airport and drive yourself to Reykjavik. The company we hired a car from was Blue Car Rentals. This is the link to the website Blue Car Rentals. They provide wireless WiFi for your journey so you won’t be missing out on anything on the road.
NOTE: This itinerary is for those who will be driving around the country on their own. If you would prefer to cover any certain part of the country (north, south, etc) this itinerary will still be helpful to you.
Reykjavik has options of hotels and Airbnb’s, go online and find your perfect accommodation.
The drive from the airport to Reykjavik is 1 hour long.
There are some amazing restaurants and cafes in Reykjavik.
- Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (best hot dogs in Iceland) is a must have. Do NOT miss the hot dogs here.
- Kaffibrennslan for breakfast. Its got some amazing food options.
- Bernhoftsbakari is a great bakery and cafe.
- Ostabúðin is a fine dining restaurant. It probably has the best food and is something I definitely recommend to everyone.
- Messinn (seafood restaurant)
- Fish&Co. another amazing restaurant for seafood.
- Sjávarbarinn yet another seafood restaurant.
- Kaffi Loki for homemade traditional Icelandic food.
A few attractions in Reykjavik that are famous are:
- Hallgrimskirkja- The most famous church in Reyjavik, overlooks the entire city.
- Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre- Modern glass honeycomb concert hall & conference center, home to the national opera & symphony.
- Perlan- Futuristic revolving glass-domed fine dining restaurant in park setting, with a cocktail bar.
- The Sun Voyager- Sun Voyager is described as a dreamboat, or an ode to the Sun. The artist intended it to convey the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom.
- Tjörnin- A small, prominent lake in central Reykjavík.
Spend 2-3 nights in Reykjavik, shopping and eating local food. On one of the days, you can visit The Blue Lagoon Spa (3) to take a swim in the Geothermal water, with the benefits of Silica. There are various packages available which you HAVE to book in advance. If you want you can also to do The Blue Lagoon at the end of your trip to dip in and relax after a long trip. After a few days, we leave the city and head into what Iceland REALLY is, the outdoors. If you aren’t the kind of person who wants to drive around and hike, here’s where your journey ends or you could go to Akureyri (33) or Isafjordur (35), but for that read on.
Stock up on groceries or eatables for the journey because an idle mind is always hungry. Once you leave Reykjavik its time to cover The Golden Circle, which includes:
Þingvellir National Park (4)- On reaching here, walk up to Silfra (the place where the tectonic plates of Europe and America almost touch) and Oxararfoss. These two are must do’s and here is the website onto which you can go visit and find out what else you’ll like to do there.
Strokkur (5)- It is the highly active Geysir Hot Spring Area with boiling mud pits, exploding geysers and the lively Strokkur which spouts water 30 metres (100 ft) into the air every few minutes.
Gullfoss (6)- Translates to ‘Golden Falls’ is one of Iceland’s most iconic and beloved waterfalls, found in the Hvítá river canyon in south-west Iceland.
Kerið (7)- It is a crater located in South-west Iceland. It is thought that Kerid was once a cone volcano that erupted, depleted all its magma, and then collapsed under the magma’s weight.
Reykjavik- þingvellir takes 44 minutes. You can spend from around an hour to 2 hours here.
þingvellir- Strokkur takes 54 minutes. You will spend approximately 15-20 minutes here.
Strokkur-Gullfoss takes 10 minutes. You will spend about 30-45 minutes here.
Gullfoss- Kerið takes around 45 minutes. Here you will spend around 15 minutes.
After Kerid, go for a meal to a restaurant called Fridheimar. Have you ever been out for a meal in a greenhouse? No, then this is definitely something you should try. At Friðheimar, they grow tomatoes all year round, despite Iceland’s long, dark winters, under artificial lighting in greenhouses. They welcome visitors to see their greenhouses, and then enjoy a taste of the crop. And now visitors can take delicious food souvenirs away with them, made of their tomatoes and cucumbers.
Kerið- Fridheimar takes 21 minutes. Keep in mind the timings of the restaurant are 12- 4 pm and you will HAVE TO make reservations way in advance for a table. Covering the Golden Circle and the coming to Fridheimar will take about 6 hours 15 minutes in total, including the time you spend on sightseeing, etc. If you reserve a table for say, 3pm you will have to leave Reykjavik by atleast 8:30am.
A meal at Fridheimar is completely optional and you can accordingly adjust timings.
I suggest you to go to Gamla Laugin also called the ‘Secret Lagoon’ to relax your body after all the driving, walking and a lovely meal at Fridheimar. It is a geothermal pool, where you need to pay before entering. NOTE: Geothermal pools in Iceland are a one of a kind experience, so it is a MUST. Along the entire itinerary you have 3 options of geothermal pools you can visit.
If you’re feeling very adventurous and energetic, drive to Seljalandsfoss (8) and walk behind the waterfall which isn’t even 5 minutes walk from the parking lot.
If not, drive up to Vík í Mýrdal (15) and stay 2-3 nights there. Go horse riding on the black beaches of Vik, it’s an amazing experience.
Food in Vík is great and a small town always tends to have nice little places to eat. A few places I suggest are:
- Smidjan Brugghus (have AMAZING burgers)
- The Soup Company
- Restaurant Sudur Vik
- Berg Restaurant
From Vík, there a few places to visit, if you haven’t done Seljalandsfoss (8) already, drive up there and also take a ferry to Vestmannaeyjar (9) to go puffin watching and for the Rib Boat rides, which I highly recommend!
Once back on shore you can go to a restaurant called Gamla Fjosid for an amazing meal.
Then drive up to Skogafoss (11), and if you’re adventurous enough climb up the 527 steps to the top of the waterfall for yet another amazing hike.
The next thing you need to do is walk up to the DC-3 Solheimasandi (12), the plane crash. The walk is mesmerising.
Other places to go to are Dyrhólaey (13), Reynisfjara beach (14), Reynisdrangar (16) and Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon (17). You can spread these out to the number of days you’re staying in Vík.
Once you head out of Vík, drive to Vatnajökull glacier (18) which you can see enroute from afar.
Svartifoss (19) is 1 hour 49 minutes away from Vik. The hike is long but completely worth it, and I guarantee you that you will want to turn back at many points of the hike but motivate yourself because the waterfall is BEAUTIFUL. Svartifoss is part of Skaftafell so don’t bother googling too much.
From here, you drive to Jökulsárlón (Glacier Lagoon)  where you can take a boat ride close to the glacier, and a bonus of seeing cute seals lounging on pieces of ice. The Jokulsarlon Glacier Tour is a must-do.
Right after you get off the boat take your car across the road to see the Diamond beach, and if you’re lucky enough and happen to visit on a sunny day, you’ll see that the ice looks like diamonds!
Now you drive to Höfn (22), where you can spend a night or you could stop for a meal at Humarhöfnin Veitingahús which I highly recommend.
Vik-Svartifoss takes 2 hours, including the 10-15 minutes you will spend clicking pictures of Vatnajokull Glacier enroute. Hiking here, really depends on you. If you want you can cut it out of your itinerary. It can take you from 1-4 hours depending on you.
Svartifoss-Jokulsarlon Glacier will take 52 minutes, here you will spend 2 hours easily, including 1 hour on the boat.
Jokulsarlon-Höfn takes around 1 hour 6 minutes
If you are having lunch at Humarhöfnin Veitingahús around 2 pm, then you will have to leave Vik around 7:30-8:00 am. If you are staying here, leave for Egilsstaðir (24) the next morning. If not drive right after your meal to Vestrahorn (23), which’ll take you 16 minutes, on the way to Egilsstaðir. Vestrahorn to Egilsstaðir is 2 hours 50 minutes, so make sure to have food, water and music. If you want to stay at Egilsstaðir, you can. But I suggest driving another 30 minutes to Seyðisfjörður (25), the most beautiful town according to me.
Your journey to Egilsstaðir will be so picturesque and you will be tempted to stop and absorb your surroundings. If you happen to go to Seyðisfjörður, on your way you will pass by a waterfall called, Gufufoss. Definitely stop here and take some pictures.
Since I haven’t stayed at Egilsstaðir I won’t be able to suggest any restaurants but I will definitely recommend places to eat at in Seyðisfjörður.
- Hotel Aldan has amazing food and their breakfast spread is so delicious!
- Kaffi Lara probably my favorite cafe in Iceland, probably because of its location.
From here you drive to Dettifoss (26), Europe’s most mightiest waterfall. You have an option of staying at Húsavík (27), the Whale Capital of Iceland, or you could simply stop for a whale watching boat ride, which is a MUST. There is a 100% chance of seeing whales from here, that too in the wild and it is so so so beautiful.
Seyðisfjörður-Dettifoss: 2 hours 37 minutes
(NOTE: After Dettifoss, you can drive up to the Arctic Henge. It will take you 1 hour 40 minutes)
Húsavik-Myvatn: 47 minutes
Your next destination would be Myvatn (30) and I suggest you stay at Vogafjos Farm Resort (link above). The restaurant here, is FABULOUS.
Here, you can visit Hverir (28), a geothermal spot noted for its bubbling pools of mud & steaming fumaroles emitting sulfuric gas.; Viti Crater, a circular crater filled with blue water and surrounded by a geothermal area and colorful mountains; Jarðböðin – Mývatn Nature Baths (29), for a relaxing dip; Grjótagjá (30), a geothermal cave which you can enter and is so beautiful; Dimmuborgir (31), to walk through lava fields and then have an amazing meal afterwards.
Myvatn-Goðafoss: 40 minutes
After Myvatn, drive to Goðafoss (32), the waterfall of the gods. The story behind the waterfall goes something like this, in the year 1000 a local chieftain Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði decided that Icelanders should adopt Christianity. He threw all of his statues of Pagan gods into the waterfall and the waterfall was appropriately named Goðafoss, which translates to the “waterfall of the gods”.
From Goðafoss, drive 30 minutes to Akureyri (33), the 4th most populous city in Iceland. Stay at Halllandsnes Apartments (link above). Since we stayed here for just one night the only restaurant I can suggest to you is Krua Siam, an AMAZING Thai restaurant. The owner is a very sweet lady and the food won’t disappoint you.
Now you drive north-west to Hvítserkur (34), a basalt stack which looks like a dragon drinking water. You will have to walk 10 minutes after parking your car.
It will take you 2 hours and 36 minutes from Akureyri.
Drive another 5 hours to reach Ísafjörður (35), a BEAUTIFUL place with beautiful views. Here stay at Tangs (link above). We stayed here for a night only, so one restaurant you HAVE to go to for dinner is Tjorhusid with a cozy and warm environment; amazing food; and FAIRY LIGHTS, this is a highly recommended place to eat at. For breakfast go to Hamraborg ehf, the owners of Tangs also own this place and will feed you the yummiest breakfast ever! To Ísafjörður, it will take you almost 8 hours from Akureyri, so I suggest you leave early in the morning, so you have enough resting time at night.
Ísafjörður-Dynjandi: 1 hour 22 minutes
Coming to the last leg of the trip, your next and last destination would be Kirkjufell. But, before that you should visit Dynjandi (36), a gorgeous waterfall and walk all the way up, for amazing views. Then go to Rauðasandur (37) beach, which unlike the black beaches all over Iceland is a red-pink beach.
Dynjandi-Rauðasandur : 1 hour 39 minutes. You will spend about an hour at Dynjandi.
Rauðasandur-Kirkjufell: 4 hours 34 minutes. You can take up to 30 minutes at Rauðasandur.
Leaving early from Ísafjörður is also a good idea because it will easily take you 7 hours to reach Kirkjufell (38).
Stay at Kirkjufell Guesthouse (link above) and walk around Kirkjufell and catch yourself in awe of the beauty of this mountain. From Kirkjufell, drive to Olafsvik (39), known for its church made of only triangular structures.
Around Kirkjufell, there is a restaurant called Bjargarsteinn Mathús and I guarantee you, you will fall in love. What I had there completely blew my mind, it was Fish with blueberry and white chocolate sauce with a sweet potato mash, and surprisingly it wasn’t sweet AT ALL.
Kirkjufell-Olafsvik: 21 minutes
Now go to Snæfellsbær (40); Svodufoss (41); Saxhóll (42), a crater you can climb by walking up 600 steps and the views are spectacular; Arnarstapi (43), go to a restaurant called Arnarbær for amazing pizzas and fish and chips.
Kirkjufell- Snæfellsbær: 21 minutes
Snæfellsbær-Svodufoss: 4 minutes
Svodufoss-Arnarstapi: 35 minutes
The drive to the airport from Kirkjufell is 3 hours, so leave accordingly.
Your trip ends here, drive to Keflavik airport and drop off your car and head back home with thousands of memories and an everlasting urge to want to come back to Iceland.
There is a lot to do and see that maybe I haven’t done yet. If you do happen to have gone and done something I haven’t written about, comment below and let me know. Traveling to Iceland has taught me one thing more than anything, that is, nature is more powerful than any being and the beauty is genuinely overwhelming.
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Keep trotting the globe y’all