10 days Iceland itinerary – Part I

The low-down to our Iceland trip! You can choose to adjust this according to your preference, bearing in mind the number of daylight hours you have. We went in October so the sunset was normally around 6pm. For drives more than 20 minutes, I made an indication so you have an idea of what to expect. One last thing, I did a separate entry on our accomodation so you can check it out 🙂

Disclaimer: We don’t believe in getting up at 6am every day so we sleep in and we normally cook before heading out so our stomachs are filled for the day – thus you will notice we reach our first destination around 11am or later. 

Day 1  – Arrive in Iceland

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15:00 – Arrive in Iceland. Change money, get simcard and alcohol from the airport. Pick up car from Lagoon Car Rental.

TML’s tip: Get all the duty-free alcohol you need from the airport because only government owned shops called Vínbúðin sell them outside the airport and there’s only 12 of them in the country. We love how we could just leave our cans of beer in the backseat and whip one out (like out of the fridge kind of cold) in the middle of our long drives. 

16:30 – Stock up at Bonus Supermarket.  Check-in to airbnb. We had an early night on our first day to battle the jet lag and to be at The Blue Lagoon by 8am.

TML’s tip: Bonus is a pretty awesome budget supermarket. We also like Netto when we couldn’t locate a Bonus.

DRIVE
All within 15 minutes of each location.

Day 2 – The Blue Lagoon, Geysir hot-spring area, Strokkur and Gullfoss Waterfall.

08:00 – The Blue Lagoon

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TML’s tip: Highly recommend to go there early as we hear the queue is 45 minutes long in the evening and you can imagine how crowded it gets. As The Blue Lagoon is really near the airport, a lot of transit passengers (mostly American traveling in Europe) make this a necessary pitstop.

12:30 – Order a burger for S$20 at Bullan. Quite a steal for a meal in Iceland.

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14:30 – Geysir hot-spring area, Strokkur, Gullfoss Waterfall

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17:00 – Hotel Gullfoss

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Reykjavik → The Blue Lagoon U+21A0.svg 40 mins
The Blue Lagoon → Reykjavik U+21A0.svg 40 mins
Reykjavik → Geysir, Strokkur, Gullfoss Waterfall U+21A0.svg 90 mins

Day 3 – Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skogafoss Waterfall, Reynisfjara Beach, Lava Field

12:30 – Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss Waterfall

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15:00 – Reynisfjara Beach

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17:00 – Lava Field

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17:30 – Airbnb

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Hotel Gullfoss → Seljalandsfoss/Skogafoss Waterfall U+21A0.svg 90 mins
Skogafoss Waterfall → Reynisfjara Beach U+21A0.svg 50 mins
Reynisfjara Beach → Lava Field U+21A0.svg 40 mins

Day 4 – Laki, Foss a Sidu, Dverghamrar, Skeidararsandur, Skaftafellsjokull & Svinafellsjokull Glacier, Ice Diamonds of Breiðamerkursandur

11:00 – Laki, Foss a Sidu and Dverghamrar

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12:30 – Arrive at Skeidararsandur  & National Park

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14:45 – Arrive at Skaftafellsjokull & Svinafellsjokull Glacier

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16:30 – Diamond of Breiðamerkursandur

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19:00 – dinner at Humarhofin

22:00 – Check-in!

DRIVE
Dverghamrar → Skeidararsandur U+21A0.svg 36 mins
Svinafellsjokull Glacier → Ice Diamond U+21A0.svg 45 mins
Ice Diamond → Humarhofin U+21A0.svg 60 mins
Humarhofin → airbnb 90 mins

 

That’s the end of Part I! Watch out for the next entry on Part II 🙂

xxx

Accommodation in Iceland

As request by one of our family members, this post is solely dedicated to share the airbnb and one hotel we stayed while we were in Iceland. Contrary to what I have heard, I realised that Iceland isn’t as expensive as popular belief. All our accommodation was chosen as private apartment on airbnb and all our accommodation didn’t exceed S$250 per night.

  • Since there’s only one road (Ring Road) that runs around Iceland and the road is really a circle, we took our journey anti-clockwise so do take this into consideration.
  • The name of the accommodation above the pictures are links, so you can head over to book them if you like what you see. Do note that the we book mostly in May/June for our trip in October – this may be reflective of the price we managed to secure.
  • Because eating out is expensive, I have indicated breakfast/kitchen for those apartments which came with one.

Night 1

Comfort 4U in Keflavik B&B S$150 includes breakfast

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We arrived around 3pm in Iceland and decided to take it slow. Main agenda was to orientate ourselves; read – change money, get simcard and alcohol from the airport. We stayed near the airport as we were planning on getting up real early to be at The Blue Lagoon by 8am. Guðný was really thoughtful and prepared a small cake as we told her we are on honeymoon. Charles really loved this place.

Night 2

Hotel Gullfoss S$220 includes breakfast

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After spending the morning at The Blue Lagoon, checking out the Geyser, Strokkur and Gullfoss Waterfall, we were glad our stay that night was only a 5-minutes drive from Gullfoss Waterfall. As the hotel was rather out of nowhere, we saw faint streaks of Northern Lights that night too!

Night 3

Björk Guesthouse S$217 includes breakfast

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We headed to Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss Waterfall, followed by Reynisfjara Beach. Before arriving at Bjork Guesthouse, we stopped along the road to take pictures of Eyjafjallajökull Glacier and the Lava Field. I absolutely love the design and style of this place. It was the only airbnb we stayed in which we didn’t have the whole place to ourselves but I wasn’t complaining at all! Our room was at the basement so the second picture is of the “living area” at the basement. I had wild thoughts about how a werewolf would appear out of nowhere as I felt like living a scene out of Twilight 😀 The room has a private toilet and shower.

Night 4 

Future “red” house S$226 (sleeps 4 rather than 2!) with kitchen

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The owner of Björk Guesthouse, Valtur, told us we must go to Laki so we took a 10 minutes drive there. Thereafter, we went according to plan and went to Foss a Sidu, Dverghamrar, Skeidararsandur, Skaftafellsjokull & Svinafellsjokull Glacier and finally to the Ice Diamond of Breiðamerkursandur. We booked this airbnb for a family of 4 but they gave us another smaller apartment (which was still almost too big for both of us as you can see in this picture).

Night 5 

Báran, Studio by the sea S$225 with kitchen

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The most uneventful day of our trip mostly because of the weather. We were supposed to check out the little villages at East Fjord but the wind and rain killed it. We ended up just driving through the villages, stopped by the supermarket and drove through some thick fog to make it to our stay for the night. It was a first for us to be staying next to a scrapyard and also to look out of out window to see clouds above the lake!

Night 6

Litla Stella by Lake Myvatn S$120 with kitchen

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Day 6 brought us to the gorgeous Dettifoss Waterfall and the Hverir geothermal area. This cosy airbnb also came with a bathtub but we didn’t use it as other guests were using it. We drove out to chase the Northern Lights and were finally rewarded with a spectacular view of it.

Night 7 & 8

New small houses – great view! nr 3 S$250 per night with kitchen

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This was the most expensive airbnb we stayed throughout the trip and we stayed for 2 nights. It’s about 8 minutes drive to Akureyri.  We stayed in the house with the white car parked next to it. According to the guestbook, whales can be seen from the lake! Needless to say, I didn’t have to patience to wait for the whales to appear 🙂 We also saw some streaks of the Northern Lights while we were here.

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Before arriving at Akureyri, we went to Pseudocraters of Skutustadir, Grjotagja cave, Dimmuborgir National Park and up the Hverfjall crater. Because the weather was turning bad again on Day 8, we kept our activities to checking out the town of Akureyi and heading to the beautiful Godafoss waterfall.

Night 9

Sunny Street apartment in KEF S$184 with kitchen
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We spent most of our time on the road as we had to travel from Akureyi back to Reykjavik that day.  The weather continued to be bad with winds going at 120km/h. We could barely stay out for more than 10 minutes each time. We found place near the airport as we had an early morning flight to catch. The apartment is perfect for a family and I was really impressed at how well-stocked the kitchen was.

 

This sums up our Iceland accommodation! If you like to start planning that road trip to Iceland, do check out Iceland – The Cheatsheet
xxx

Iceland – The Cheatsheet

October is always the month when we start deciding where we shall head to the next year because C has to bid for his annual leave then. Last year, we decided to catch the Northern Lights in October as 2016 is supposedly gonna be the peak of the aurora borealis sighting. I started planning our trip in May/June as I heard accommodations are limited in Iceland and their price are usually steep closer to the date. All in all, we spend about S$5k per person including flights and accommodation for 12 days (with one night in London and Paris).

Here’s a cheatsheet I came up with after experiencing 10 days in Iceland

  1. There are no direct flights from Singapore. The most common transit stop is London. We did Paris instead because it’s been far too long since I last went there!
  2. There are quite a few car rental company but we picked Lagoon Car Rental as they are affordable and super helpful. Our four wheel drive cost around S$1.1k for 10 days. 
  3. 10 days is sufficient to cover the ring road. The average cost per night is around S$200+ and we stayed mostly in airbnb (private apartments, not shared apartments) with one night in a hotel.
  4. There is no need to get an international driving license to drive in Iceland if you have a Singapore driving license as ours is recognised in Iceland. You can always check with the kind people at Lagoon Car Rental if you don’t have a Singaporean driving license!
  5. Change your money in the airport as there aren’t many moneychanger around Iceland. They are only available in the major cities and you shouldn’t be spending much time in the city when you are in Iceland!
  6. An average price of a meal in Iceland is around S$50, not including drinks or starter. 
  7. Ice water is free in restaurants, and tipping is not required in Iceland.
  8. Tap water is safe for drinking. Always turn the tap to cold water as the hot water as sulphur in it. Unless you like drinking water that smells of rotten egg…
  9. Download My Aurora Forecast app to get the up-to-date news. It’s free and it will alert you when your chance is high! Sightings are more common in the north so be sure to stay up when you are traveling in the north of Iceland. It gets cloudy in the south. 
  10. Most of the attractions in Iceland is free. The Blue Lagoon, glacier hiking and whale watching comes with a price tag. Be sure to book your tickets to The Blue Lagoon early… they run out a few days before the actual date!

More details in the next post… Time for some pictures

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Seljalandsfoss
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Black Sand Beach, Jokulsarlon.
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Geysir Hot Springs
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Hverfjall
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The Northern Lights!

xxx