I can’t tell you how excited we were to arrive in Iceland; “The Land of Fire and Ice” and poster child for beautiful natural wonders. As a land so blessed with natural phenomenon that you can see looming volcanoes, vast glaciers, erupting geysers, smokin’ hot springs and sparkling icebergs in a single day. It’s not hard to see why this paradoxical paradise of fire and ice has been on our bucket list for a while.
Our Iceland itinerary for our Intense Iceland Road Trip was always going to be a challenge, but who doesn’t like a good challenge right? …Icelandic roads in the depth of winter don’t, that who!
The trouble started when I began my research and created an Iceland itinerary on a map with post-it notes and in Google maps of all the beautiful places I wanted to visit. It was always going to be impossible, but there are just SO many things to see. I believe I could stay there for a lifetime and still not experience all the wonders Iceland has to offer.
Our original Iceland itinerary was to drive the full ring road, which takes 17 hours, in three days. Usually people leave a minimum of a week to conquer this. However after checking the road conditions on www.road.is and www.vegasja.vegagerdin.is and weather reports on www.yr.no and http://en.vedur.is/ we decided to amend our plans. This meant we could spend a little more time at each place, especially since daylight hours were so short.
Here is an outline of our Iceland Itinerary with links for more information on our (somewhat amusing) experiences. Hopefully we can inspire, help inform and entertain you with our stories and photos.
- Seljalandsfoss waterfall and Gljufafoss waterfall
- Skogafoss waterfall
- Solhiemajokulll plane wreck
- Accommodation at Hotel Rangá
- Breidamerkurjökull glacier
- Crystal Ice Cave Tour with Glacier Adventure
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
- Jökulsárlón Black Beach (sometimes called Diamond Beach)
- Accommodation at the Golden Circle Apartments
- Gullfoss Waterfall
- Snorkelling in Silfra with Dive.is
- Thingvellir National Park
- Blue Lagoon
- Accommodation at the Northern Lights Inn
Last modified: 14th March 2016
How did you use google maps to plan your trip?
Hi Gemma, if you sign into google, you can click on “My Maps” then you can pin places you’d like to visit and add information about them (websites, photos, costs etc). Hope that helps!
Love this! I’m dyingggg to go to Iceland, haha. Great itinerary. 🙂
Thank you Alexandria! Hope we could inspire you to go…You won’t regret it!
This is great! Intense and Iceland is perfect for me!! Pinned and tweeted it:)
Hi Cathy, thanks so much for connecting! Glad you liked it!
I’m impressed you managed to fit all that into 3 days! I somehow didn’t know about the Silfra Fissure when I went and we were in Thingvellir! (Clearly didn’t do my research). I’ll just have to go back.
Yes, it was quite a lot to fit in, and we had even more on the “maybe” list. Just when it came down to it, everything took longer to admire and we didn’t want to rush. Also, Silfra is definitely a good excuse to go back!
What an awesome road trip!! Iceland is the place to be this year – and your post is one of the best I have seen for practicality and for offering ideas for a route to self drive. It looks incredible! Thank you for sharing!
Hi Vicki, thanks for your kind words! You quickly run out of words to describe Iceland, it is that amazing around every turn. Hopefully this will help others on their self drive tours too.
I love your map with all the post its on it. I can imagine you’d love to see everything at once, but if you only have 3 days you’ll have to choose and it gives you a great excuse to go back one day and explore more.
Sometimes you can’t get a feel for places to visit until you can see it in front of you, instead of scrolling on a screen (not that I don’t do that too!) A 3 day trip was definitely not long enough, we will journey back to Iceland at some point I am sure!
I love the way you planned your trip with a map and post it notes. My dream is to go scuba diving in the Blue Lagoon – the visibility’s supposed to be incredible – like 100m! Did you try/see?
Hi Stefan, thanks and the visibility in Silfra can sometimes exceed what you can see above land! It is amazingly clear. If it is your dream, I’d certainly say to chase it!
I like your way of planning and concise itinerary sample. Iceland is beautiful.
Thanks Anita, we didn’t have a choice but to keep our itinerary concise, but we got to see the main things we wanted to, so we are HAPPY!
Super impressed and amazed with your planning capabilities! I guess those post-it notes on the map helped a lot, right?! 🙂 I would love to see the Northern Lights from Iceland. Were you able to do so? Can’t wait for the photos!
Haha Anne! You have no idea how much I love to plan! The post-its certainly helped! Yes we saw the Northern Lights over Hotel Ranga in the south. I have posted couple of photos on our Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BAeQw9NFBBd/?taken-by=the.world.in.a.weekend
Super impressed and amazed with your planning capabilities! I guess those post-it notes on the map helped a lot, right?! 🙂 I would love to see the Northern Lights from Iceland. Were you able to do so? Can’t wait for the photos! 🙂
Of all the places you went, which were the best? Which could you have skipped to allow more time at the better ones? It looks incredible — your photos have made me more curious about Iceland. (I use Google Maps to plan my trips too. So convenient)
It’s very hard to pick favourites, but I must say that Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, the Ice Cave and Silfra were AMAZING. I think the only thing I would have skipped would have been the Solhiemajokulll plane wreck. ONLY because we could only see it in our car headlights since it was so dark. If the daylight hours would have been longer it would have been amazing to see!
I only have 5 days to visit Iceland in June and love your intense itinerary. I plan to mirror most of it.