We just did our ten-day special about Iceland on Instagram and Facebook! But as a bonus, we decided to publish our itinerary from our road trip as well. This way, if we were able to inspire you into going to Iceland someday, you can use our itinerary to plan your own trip!
First off: we went in the beginning of September, which we certainly consider to be one of the best months to visit Iceland. For starters, many of the campsites are still open. A lot of them close when the peak of the summer months is over, so make sure you check this before heading out on the road! Because there are less tourists in Iceland in September than during July or August, we also didn’t have to book any of the campsites beforehand. We don’t know if this will still be possible in the upcoming years because of Iceland’s increasing popularity.
Another advantage of September is the weather: it’s still not too cold outside, and you have a regular day/night scheme. A bonus to having proper nights (apart from having a good night sleep!) is that this increases your chances to see the Northern Lights! Between May and August, your chances of seeing them are slim to none, so keep this in mind. We were lucky enough to see them once on our trip!
And now our itinerary!
15:15: Arrival at Keflavik airport
Go to Reykyavik = 50km
Spend the evening and have dinner in Reykjavik
Go to Þingvellir National Park = 40km
Sleep at the camping of Þingvellir
This was a short day for us. We arrived at Keflavik airport at 15:15 where we were picked up by Kuku Campers, the company of which we rented our campervan. They brought us to their office in Reykjavik where they explained some things about our car and Iceland in general. Afterwards we walked around in the capital of Iceland and bought something to eat for the night. After our dinner, we headed off towards Þingvellir National Park, where we slept at the campsite.
Day 2 (6 Sept. 2016):
Go to Geysir = 60km
Go to Gullfoss = 9,6km
Go to Selfoss = 71,7km
Sleep at Gesthus Selfoss (Engjavegur)
We started our first full day in Iceland by walking around Þingvellir, which is an absolutely stunning National Park. It’s here where the Alþing, the first Icelandic, Viking parliament had its meetings. After Þingvellir we hit the road again to further discover Iceland’s Golden Circle. We drove up to Geysir, which was very impressive! Due to lack of time, we did not make it to Gullfoss and immediately went towards Selfoss, the town where we’d spend the night.
Day 3 (7 Sept. 2016):
Go to Seljalandsfoss = 70km
Go to Skogafoss = 29,3km
Go to Dyrhólaey = 27,7km
Go to Vík í Mýrdal = 18,9km
Sleep at Vík camping (Klettsvegur)
First thing on our schedule was Seljalandsfoss, a very picturesque waterfall about 70km away from Selfoss. It’s possible to walk behind the waterfall, which is a very unique experience! 😀 Afterwards we visited another waterfall again, the Skogafoss this time! Here you can climb over 400 steps and have a view of the waterfall and the surrounding landscape from above. Both waterfalls are absolutely stunning. Back on the road, our next stop was Dyrhólaey, the most southern part of Iceland with a gorgeous cliff. Dyrhólaey is a protected natural environment since it is a favorite breeding spot for a lot of seabirds and for the famous puffins! That is why we definitely recommend this for birdwatchers. However, the puffins weren’t around in Iceland anymore at the time we visited. Our campsite this day was in Vík í Mýrdal, a tiny town near Dyrhólaey. We ended our day with a walk over its famous black beaches.
Go to Skaftafell = 160km
Go to Jökulsárlón = 57,7km
Go to Höfn = 79,9km
Sleep at Camping Höfn (Hafnarbraut 52)
New day, new adventure! This time we drove for about 160km towards Skaftafell, the second largest national park of Iceland. The landscape is the result from thousands of years being molded by the eruptions of volcanoes, moving glaciers and rivers. We hiked around for a bit here and drove on towards Höfn. During this drive we obviously had to stop at Jökulsárlón, one of the prettiest places of Iceland in our opinion. We were really impressed by this glacier lake. We set up camp in Höfn, and made an evening walk through the fishing town.
Day 5, (9 Sept. 2016):
Relax day at Höfn, visit the pool, go to the Viking Café, try the local cuisine, …
Sleep at Camping Höfn (Hafnarbraut 52)
We planned somewhat of a relaxing day right in the middle of our trip. Something we can seriously recommend when doing a similar trip, is to visit the swimming pool of Höfn. Even while it is cold outside, it is just so relaxing to sit in the outdoor hot tub! Something to keep in mind: it is customary in Iceland to shower naked before and after going to the swimming pool. Another recommendation when in Höfn is to enjoy some langoustines. These are extremely good in Iceland and especially when you are in a fishing town such as Höfn.
Day 6, (10 Sept. 2016):
Go to Egilsstaðir= 257km, drive past the East Fjords
Sleep at Egilsstaðir Camping (Kaupvangur 17)
This was a very roadheavy day, but since we really love spending time driving we really liked this. Just put on some music and enjoy the gorgeous landscape. At a certain point, near Breiðdalsvík you will be faced with the choice of following either Route 1, which will turn into a gravel road for a while but will get you to Egilsstaðir sooner, or follow Route 96 and later on 92 which is slower but will remain a paved road. Since we had bad weather, we decided to skip the gravel road and take the scenic Route 96 and we didn’t regret making this decision! By following this road, you will keep following the coastline and you will get to see the gorgeous East Fjords of Iceland. We went a lot out of the car during this drive to really enjoy the landscape.
Day 7, (11 Sept. 2016):
Go to Dettifoss = 163km
Go to Krafla Volcano = 53,1km
Go to Hverir = 9,5km
Go to Grjótagjá cave = 4km
Sleep at Bjarg Camping in Reykjalid (definitely recommended!)
Another day with lots to see! So we hit the road soon and started driving west, which means returning in the direction of Reykjavik. First on the list was Dettifoss: the most powerful waterfall in Europe! There are two routes to get here: Route 862 which is paved and Route 864, which isn’t. We took 862 because our car wasn’t equipped for gravel roads. After Dettifoss we stopped about 50km further down the road at the Krafla Volcano. You are able to walk around the Viti crater in about 15minutes and you will get to see the mud boiling at some places. It’s a very cool experience! Not far from here, you can go to Hverir, a large geothermal field which just looks like an alien planet! The mud is boiling and there is a strong rotten egg smell. It’s something you won’t quickly see anywhere else. We had one last location to visit this day, which was the Grjótagjá cave. For the fans of Game of Thrones: that’s where the love scene between Jon Snow and Ygritte was filmed. Afterwards we went to the gorgeous Bjarg campsite in Reykjahlíð.
Day 8, (12 Sept. 2016):
Enjoy the lovely nature baths of Mývatn
Go to Akureyri = 105km
Sleep at City Camping of Akureyri (Þórunnarstræti)
We started our day with a relaxing visit to the geothermal nature baths of Mývatn. This is the the East-Iceland alternative to the Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik. It was so cold to be out in swimwear outdoors, but once you get in the warm water… It’s just so relaxing. We can strongly recommend paying a visit here yourself as well! We left Reykjahlíð and Mývatn behind us and drove on towards Akureyri, the ‘capital of the North’. We spent the rest of the day discovering the city and it was a nice change of pace after all the gorgeous nature. Sitting in a warm coffee house and quietly enjoying a book or some wifi was such a delight! 😀
Go to Bjarteyjarsandur = 353km
Sleep at the farm Bjarteyjarsandur at route 47 (Hvalfjaroarsveit)
Day 9 was a day of almost constant driving. We drove about 400km through the northwestern part of Iceland after which we arrived at Bjarteyjarsandur: a farm/campsite on Route 47. This was the cheapest campsite we visited and perhaps also one of the nicest. The people were very welcoming, the farm was right beside a lake so the nature was stunning (again!) and the facilities were the best we’ve had on our trip. We discovered the surrounding area a bit and went to a restaurant in Akranes.
Day 10, (14 Sept. 2016):
Go to Reykjavik = 62km
Go to Keflavik Airport = 50km
Our last full day in Iceland! We drove from Bjarteyjarsandur to Reykjavik and parked our van near the Hallgrímskirkja. After Akureyri, this was our second citytrip day of our trip. There is plenty to see in Reykjavik, but we think you can see most of it in a day. Because our flight was very early in the morning on the next day, we decided not to go to another campsite and just drove to Keflavik airport where we would spend the night.
So, this was our Icelandtrip! Hopefully our ten-day special on Facebook and Instagram convinced you of how amazing this country is! And when you are planning your own trip, we hope our itinerary will be helpful to you! Keep in mind that there are plently of ways in which you can discover this beautiful country. The process of planning a trip can be very overwhelming, so it can be a good idea to rely on a travel agency. A good choice would be TUI, you can find a great itinerary here.
Don’t forget: If you would have some more specific questions for us, you can always contact us!