The Iceland Travel Guide

September 10, 2018

The two biggest reasons people don’t travel:

  1. It is too expensive (BUDGET).

  2. I don’t have time to research and plan a whole trip (ITINERARY).

Well...I am here to help!

 

Below I have outlined by entire road trip ITINERARY around Iceland’s Ring Road. I have included all the places I went and the travel times between each destination. You will also find my complete BUDGET for my 9 day Icelandic road trip. With Iceland being the #5 most expensive country in the world, it's smart to set yourself up with a budget to follow. No excuses, go explore!

*If you need me to go into any further detail, or if you have questions about any destinations, please visit my other Iceland blog posts or email me at thetravelerbee@gmail.com .

 

 

 

9-DAY RING ROAD ITINERARY

 

Day 1

                Arrive at 6:35am

                                (Airport Shuttle to Downtown Reykjavik)

                                (Picked up Camper Van)

                                (Grocery Shop)

                                                                (35 minutes from Camper Van Rental to Þingvellir)

                Þingvellir National Park

                                                                (40 minutes from Þingvellir to Kerið)

                Kerið Crater

                                                                (1 hour from Kerið to Gljúfrabúi)

                Gljúfrabúi Waterfall

                Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

                                (Park at Hamragarðar Campground)

 

Day 2

                                                                (25 minutes from Hamragarðar Campground to Skógafoss)

                Skógafoss Waterfall

                                                                (20 minutes from Skógafoss to Sólheimajökull)

                Sólheimajökull Glacier

                                                                (30 minutes from Sólheimajökull to Dyrhólaey)

                Dyrhólaey Arch

                                                                (25 minutes from Dyrhólaey to Reynisfjara)

                Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

                                                                (15 minutes from Reynisfjara to Vik)

                                (Park at Vik Campground)

 

Day 3

                                                                (20 minutes from Vik Campground to Solheimasandur) 

                Solheimasandur Plane Wreck

                                                                (1 hour, 10 minutes from Solheimasandur to Fjaðrárgljúfur)

                Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

                                                                (1 hour, 3 minutes from Fjaðrárgljúfur to Vatnajökull)

                Vatnajökull National Park

                                (Park at Skaftafell Campground)

 

Day 4

                Svartifoss Waterfall

                                                                (50 minutes from Skaftafell Campground to Diamond Beach)

                Diamond Beach

                Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

                                                                (1 hour, 15 minutes from Jökulsárlón to Stokksnes)

                Stokksnes

                                                                (1 hours, 45 minutes from Stokksnes to Folaldafoss)

                Folaldafoss Waterfall – Pull Off Stop

                                                                (1 hour from Folaldafoss to Höfðavík Campground)

                                (Park at Höfðavík Campground) - (HALWAY POINT)

 

Day 5

                Hallormsstaður National Forest                

                                                                (55 minutes from Hallormsstaður to Rjúkandafoss)

                Rjúkandafoss Waterfall – Pull Off Stop

                                                                (1 hour, 30 minutes from Rjúkandafoss to Dettifoss)

                Dettifoss Waterfall

                                                                (1 hour from Dettifoss to Hverir)

                Hverir Geothermal Area

                Námafjall Mountain

                                                                (10 minutes from Hverir to Grjótagjá)

                Grjótagjá Cave

                                                                (15 minutes from Grjótagjá to Hverfjall)

                Hverfjall Volcano

                                                                (10 minutes from Hverfjall to Ferðaþjónustan Bjargi Campground

                                (Park at Ferðaþjónustan Bjargi Campground)

 

Day 6

                                                                (40 minutes from Ferðaþjónustan Bjargi Campground  to Goðafoss)

                Goðafoss Waterfall

                                                                (40 minutes from Goðafoss to Akureyri)

                City of Akureyri

                Botanical Gardens

                                                                (2 hours, 30 minutes from Akureyri to Hvitserkur)

                Hvitserkur Rock Formation

                                                                (20 minutes from Hvitserkur to Seal Colony)

                Seal Colony – Pull Off Stop          

                                                                (25 minutes from Seal Colony to Hvammstangi Campground)

                                (Park at Hvammstangi Campground)

 

Day 7    

                                                                (1 hour from Hvammstangi Campground to Grábrók)

                Grábrók Volcano – Pull Off Stop

                                                                (2 hours, 25 minutes from Grábrók to Geysir)

                Strokkur Geysir

                                                                (10 minutes from Geysir to Gullfoss)

                Gullfoss Falls

                                                                (1 hour,. 40 minutes from Gullfoss to Reykjavík)

                City of Reykjavík

                The Icelandic Phallological Museum – “Penis Museum”

                                (Park at Reykjavík Eco Campground)

 

 

Day 8

                                                                (30 minutes from Reykjavík Eco Campground to Reykjanesfólkvangur)

                Reykjanesfólkvangur

                Lake Kleifarvatn

                Krýsuvík Geothermal Area

                                                                (1 hour from Reykjanesfólkvangur to Blue Lagoon)

                Blue Lagoon

                                                                (45 minutes from Blue Lagoon to Reykjavík)

                City of Reykjavík

                                (Park at Reykjavík Eco Campground)

 

Day 9

                                                                (5 minutes from Reykjavík Eco Campground to Elliðaárdalur)

                Elliðaárdalur Valley

                                (Airport Shuttle to Airport)

                                (Depart at 4:45pm)

 

 

 

BUDGET

*All pricing and information below is from September 2018*
*113.38 Icelandic Króna (ISK) = 1 United States Dollar (USD)*

 

 

TOTAL TRIP COST = $3,695 or $1,847/each

 

 

FLIGHT = $925

 

Book early! I booked right when the flight schedule came out for the days I wanted to travel, which was a year in advance. I got round trip economy tickets for $462/each (including taxes and fees) on Icelandair. This airline was great. Since my flight to Iceland was an overnight flight, we had a pillow and blanket on our seats when we entered the plane. They also gave us Icelandic Glacier water, which was very good! Each seat had a TV with music, TV series and movies. The selection was great, and really made the time go by faster.

                O’Hare, Chicago to Keflavik International Airport, Iceland

                                Leave Chicago Friday, August 31st - 7:30p-6:35a+1 (6hrs of flight, arrives Saturday morning)

                Keflavik International Airport, Iceland to O’Hare, Chicago

                                Leave Iceland Sunday, September 9th - 4:45p-6:15p (6hrs 30 mins of flight)

 

 

TRANSPORTATION/ACCOMMODATION = $1,928

 

Airport Transfer
               Website: www.airportexpress.is

               Airport Express via Grayline Iceland (Roundtrip transportation between the airport and downtown) = 9000isk = $80

 

Camper Van

                Wesbite: www.snail.is – Speak with the owner, Sigrún.

                Snail is a family business that specializes in motorhome rental enabling people to travel around Iceland in a simple and budget friendly way. Please note that all Snail vehicles are manual! You need to be an experienced manual driver to rent from here. 

                Book in May or September (low season) and receive half off the standard price of 270 EUR/day (Snail1).

                We booked the Snail 1 (high roof). You have about 72” from floor to ceiling so you have plenty of standing room. The Snail 1 includes customer pick-up within the Reykjavík area, unlimited kilometres, room for up to 5 people, kitchenette (gas stove and sink), kitchenware (pot and a pan), 12V cooling box, linens and sleeping bags, curtains, radio / CD / USB, an independent heater and CDW insurance.

                Our cost was $1,328 for 8 nights.

 

Fuel

                Use the discount tags – Snail.is gives you a discount tag for Orkan, which gives you a 5isk-7isk discount.

                Do not select the “full tank” option on the pump – the bank will put a 25000isk hold on your card each time you do this. Instead, figure out your car and tank capacity. We figured out ¼ of our tank was 5000isk. Be sure to stop and get gas frequently. We never let our tank get below half because there are many areas in Iceland that are desolate!  Our Snail cost 20000isk to completely fill up.

                Ring Road (830 miles) + Pull Offs + Golden Circle = $520

 

CAMPING = $240


Hamragarðar Camping Ground

Gljúfrabúi Base, Road 249, 861 Hvolsvöllur

                1500 isk/each = $26.45

 

Vík Camping Site

Klettsvegur 7, 870 Vik

                1750 isk/each = $30.86

 

Skaftafell Visitor Centre

Skaftafellsstofa, 785 Öraefi

                1900 isk/each = $33.50

                (showers included in price)

 

Höfðavík Campground
Iceland, Hallormsstaður, Village

                1500 isk/each + 300isk for camping unit = $29.10

 

Ferðaþjónustan Bjargi Campground
Reykjahlíð, Iceland

                2000 isk/each = $35.27

                (showers included)

 

Hvammstangi Campground

Kirkjuhvammur, 530 Hvammstangi

 

Reykjavík Eco Campsite
Sundlaugavegur 32, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland
                2400 isk/each = $42.32

                (showers included)

 

 

FOOD = $405 + gas station snacks

Going out to eat in Iceland is expensive! For example, we went into a gas station and saw a hamburger for 2300isk plus 800isk for fries, which is almost $30! We knew we couldn’t spend almost $100 a day on food for lunch and dinner, which is why we opted for the camping/grocery store option. Below is a detailed list of where we purchased food.

 

Fjallakofinn

                Fjallakofinn is an outdoor store in Reykjavik where we purchased freeze dried food for about 2495isk per meal. We purchased 8 meals, one for every night, and had them for dinner mostly. The meals were very delicious, and plentiful for two people. I would recommend the Vegetable Risotto, Meat and Potatoes, and Rice with Meat and Peppers. $175.00 for 8 meals.

 

Bónus

                Bónus supermarkets are all around Iceland. We purchased items such as chips (Iceland really only has Doritos and Lays in a few flavors), peanut butter, bread, bananas, granola bars, tea, hot chocolate, regular chocolate and some toiletry items. Their pricing is cheaper than going out to eat, but is still a little higher than a standard grocery store in the States. $80

 

Brauð & Co.

                Brauð & Co. is a delicious, irresistible bakery with three locations around downtown. We were in Reykjavík for three days and went to the Frakkastíg location each day. Literally everything in this bakery is amazing, but the cinnamon rolls are the absolute best! $40

 

Reykjavik Fish Restaurant

                One block north of Brauð & Co. is Reykjavik Fish Restaurant. We decided to go out for one authentic Icelandic meal, and the smell from the street drew us into this fishy restaurant. We ordered a cup of fish soup (890isk), fish and chips (1980isk) and the traditional Icelandic plokkari (2290isk). They were all delicious and left us wanting more. $50

 

Valdís

                Take two more steps north on Frakkastíg and visit Valdís Ice Cream Parlor. Get a Belgium waffle with two scopes of ice cream and some strawberry drizzle for $10. It was a perfect size to split with your travel partner.

 

Fast Food and Cafés

                The only fast food we saw in any sort of quantity was Subway and Dominos. Subway has comparable prices to the States and similar food. We also went to a small café at the Glacier Lagoon where we got some yummy Thai Lobster soup. $50

 

 

EXPERIENCES = $197
 

Blue Lagoon - Grindavík

                The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa in southwestern Iceland. It is very touristy, but the pool area has a lot of space to move around. During our visit, we went to the way back and were literally sitting by ourselves. Also, they do limit the amount of people who come in at different times so it doesn’t get crazy crowded.

                A big thing people get worried about is the shower. You have to take off your bathing suit and shower before getting into the pool. This means nudity. Though, in the ladies room there are private shower stalls with doors so you can shower in private. Also, be sure to put conditioner in your hair and leave it in; the pool can make your hair very knotty for weeks! The lockers at the Blue Lagoon are locked and unlocked with your wrist bracelet, given to you when you enter, so your clothes and wallet can be secure while you relax.

                The swim up bar is awesome! I got the Cider beer, which was delicious. They also have an enticing selection of smoothies, juices, soft drinks, other beers, and wine. Just be careful with your alcohol consumption; since the hot water circulates your blood quicker, you will get drunk faster than normal.  

                We ordered the ‘Comfort’ Package, which includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel, and your 1st drink of choice from the bar. The cost for the two of us was $170.00. Price also varies depending on the time you visit.

 

The Icelandic Phallological Museum - Reykjavik

                The “Penis Museum” houses the world's largest display of penises and penile parts, displaying a collection of 280 specimens from 93 species of animals. It’s definitely a funny way to spend an hour of your time, especially when your grandma is the one that tells you about it (true story, haha).

                The price is 1500isk per person, or $27.00, and I can guarantee you will purchase some penis souvenirs to bring back home.

 

 

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About Me

It wasn't until 2017 that I realized how important seeing the world was to me. Now I am on a quest to explore places others only imagine.

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