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Which are the locations you cannot miss? Any suggested itinerary?

Informal trip, looking for both historical sites and beautiful landscapes. family trip, four/five days

6 Answers

top answer by
Justin from Phoenix

If I were headed to Iceland, here's what I'd have to do:

-The "Inside the Volcano" tour

-Jokulsarlon (the glacier lagoon ... so worth it!)

-Some sort of glacier hiking tour

-At minimum, a hike from Landmannalaugar to Hrafntinnusker. It's not exactly easy, so check out this post to get an idea of it's right for your family. Next time I go, I want to hike all the way to Þórsmörk.

-I'd really, really need to climb Kristinartindar, a mountain near Skaftafell National Park. Why? Just look at it! Of course, no guidebook mentions it. 

-Just walk around Reykjavik. It's impossible not to find cool coffeehouses, cafes, bookstores, etc. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Jokulsarlon (attraction)
  2. Landmannalaugar (attraction)
  3. Hrafntinnusker (attraction)
  4. Þórsmörk (attraction)
  5. Skaftafell National Park (attraction)
  6. Reykjavik (city)
12 thanks

answered by
Paul from Windsor (Ontario)

If you plan to spend any time in Reykjavik, I want to suggest you do the Reykjavik Bike Tours (  Stefan is a great and knowledgeable host.  He takes you places cars and buses can't.  You'll start at the old harbour and make your way through the city to the South Shore, you'll even see Bjork's home.  Good price and a great time.  You will enjoy yourself.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Reykjavik Bike Tours (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Travis from Kamloops

My girlfriend and I spent 5 days in Iceland last year. We spent 2 days exploring Reykjavik and taking the standard trip to the Blue Lagoon. Reykjavik is an awesome city - lots to see and do for a couple days. Definitely try an Icelandic hot dog and go to Sægreifinn on the docks for some fresh seafood and lobster soup.

We spent one day driving the golden circle (GeysirThingvellir National Park and Gullfoss). This gives you a really great overview of the country and lets you see some of the most famous sites on the island. 

We spent our remaining two days exploring the south coast of Iceland, specifically the beautiful town of Vík í Mýrdal with it's black sand beaches and basalt columns, Vatnajökull National Park to see the glacier, and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to see the amazing icebergs float out into the ocean. The drive along the south coast is truly beautiful. 

I would wholeheartedly recommend renting a car if you can. Driving around Iceland is fairly easy (no traffic, good signs) and is the best way to see things (you'll want to pull over every five minutes to take photos, trust me). 

To see some of our posts and photos from Iceland check out our posts here.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Reykjavik (city)
  2. Blue Lagoon (attraction)
  3. Geysir (attraction)
  4. Thingvellir National Park (attraction)
  5. Gullfoss (attraction)
  6. Vík í Mýrdal (attraction)
  7. Vatnajökull National Park (attraction)
  8. Jökulsárlón (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Wm from Mountain View

The only thing I would add to the other comments is that you should visit as many hot springs as you can. Every town has at least one, and there are several in Reykjavik. Actually, our *least* favorite one was the Blue Lagoon -- definitely an overpriced tourist trap. We were in Iceland for a week and went to one almost every day, and enjoyed all of them -- even the Blue Lagoon, although there are nicer ones for far less money). Our favorite in Reykjavik was Laugardalur (and 1/10th the cost of the Blue Lagoon). There's another one on the edge of a lake near the Golden Circle route that was really nice, but I can't remember the name (it was included in our tour).

The hot dogs at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur were GREAT!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Reykjavik (city)
1 thanks

answered by
Mark from Adelaide

While I have already been (well) over the Arctic Circle the flight to Grímsey is a nice half day trip out of Akureyri to stand on the Arctic Circle (and receive a certificate). The airline includes a tour of the island so you get to see the lighthouse and visit the driftwood church. Time it right and there's potentially plenty of puffins on the island too.

There are plenty of options to do the Golden Circle tour and visit Thingvellir National Park and I would recommend both the private SUV tour and a helicopter based one. The private SUV tour allows you to go at your own pace and spend time at places that interest you and ignore those that don't. The helicopter tour includes a flight over Gullfoss Waterfall and a landing on a glacier which is interesting, see

Another interesting place to visit is Vestmannaeyjar off the south coast. Heimaey was partially buried by a volcanic eruption in 1973 so the tour by boat and coach shows how the island was changed.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Grímsey (attraction)
  2. Akureyri (attraction)
  3. Thingvellir National Park (attraction)
  4. Gullfoss Waterfall (attraction)
  5. Vestmannaeyjar (city)
  6. Heimaey (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Jared from Sydney

Four or five days? Hmmm! 

Probably not enough time to get around the whole island, but plenty of time to see the south east and spend some time in Reykjavik

Day 1 - I highly recommend spending a day in the capital, the National Museum of Iceland is fantastic and you can easily spend hours there learning about the history and culture of the Icelandic people. Grab a coffee and stroll around the town centre, wander up to Hallgrímskirkja for the amazing 360 degree views, then take a walk down to the harbour and check out the Sun Voyager sculpture. 

Day 2Thingvellir National Park should be the next on your list - about an hours drive from Reykjavik, this place is a stunning of geological upheaval. Check out the Silfra fissure and go for a snorkel! For the history buffs, see the site of the original Icelandic parliament and enjoy some of the great hikes in the park.

Day 3Geysir and Gullfoss should be next on your list, there are great hikes around these areas and from Gullfoss you'll glimpse your first site of a glacier. These sights don't take up the entire day, so if you can stretch it, I highly recommend getting up onto a glacier at some point. Mýrdalsjökull is an easily accessed glacier in the south. Check out my post about snowmobiling on this glacier, and the amazing views!

Day 4 - It means doubling back on your route, but Jökulsárlón Floating Icebergs are a spectacle that have to be seen to be believed. It's a lengthy but scenic drive, but it's serene, quiet and beautiful. There is a great country hotel nearby to stay at. 

Day 5 - Head back to Keflavík International Airport via Selfossbut stop off for a few hours at Blue Lagoon for a final bit of relaxation! It's a bit overpriced but it's one of Iceland's most famous tourist sights.

Update - for some really family friendly places to stay throughout Iceland, check out my post here.

Hope this has helped! Feel free to ask me anything and have a great Icelandic adventure!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Reykjavik (city)
  2. National Museum of Iceland (attraction)
  3. Hallgrímskirkja (attraction)
  4. Sun Voyager (attraction)
  5. Thingvellir National Park (attraction)
  6. Geysir (attraction)
  7. Gullfoss (attraction)
  8. Mýrdalsjökull (attraction)
  9. Jökulsárlón Floating Icebergs (attraction)
  10. Keflavík International Airport (attraction)
  11. Selfoss (city)
  12. Blue Lagoon (attraction)

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