“I am interested in '8-Day Ring Road Adventure: Explore Iceland’s Top Places Along Its Most Famous Road'.
Actually, I only have 7 days from around the 22nd of Feb.
I'm solo, so I only need very basic accommodation and vehicle. Vehicle needs to be automatic.”
Chris McCarty, a local specialist from Iceland, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary based on Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Southern Highlights, and Golden Circle: 7-9 day Itinerary.
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Trip planning highlights
Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, South Coast, Reykjavik
Trip planning conversation
Hi, welcome to kimkim! I'm Chris and I will be your kimkim travel specialist for your trip to Iceland. I’ll work with you to put together a great custom itinerary for your trip.
With 7 days, you will be doing a fair amount of driving each day, I typically don't recommend fewer than 8 days, and in winter I would allow for more time since the days are shorter. That said, if you are set on the ring road I can put together a 7-day itinerary for you with accommodations.
If you prefer, here's another idea for about 7 days where you can still see a lot.
Ok I might skip going the full circle...
If the proposed itinerary is made to 7 days, what sort of cost are we looking at? Can we break down the car hire and accommodation? Reason I ask is because I've got quotes from Budget rent a car for around 250EUR for 7 days hire of a Hyundai i20 auto or similar (or 350EUR for a Hyundai i30 auto or similar), so I'm hoping you can do a similar deal.
Yes, I can break up the prices for you.
Should I start with 2/22?
For accommodations, are you fine with guesthouses that have shared bathroom facilities or should I stick with options for private bathrooms only?
I plan to arrive on the morning of the 22nd. Yes shared facilities is fine thanks.
Ok, I'll see what options I can find for you.
I found 6 nights of accommodations for a total of 583.55 (most have shared bathrooms, but all are good places and nice locations).
Here are a few possible alternatives for your stays in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
- In Hellnar, the cheaper option I found was $130, but I could upgrade you to Fosshotel Hellnar with an ocean view for $202 total.
- On 2/24 you have an option to be in Grundarfjordur or Stykkisholmur. Grundarfjordur has a nice view of Kirkjufell mountain, while Stykkisholmur is a larger town and will have more restaurant options. (prices are only $6 difference)
To set the expectations: Once you are happy with the overall direction of the itinerary along with price estimates, we would ask you to pay a deposit of the kimkim service fee.
Then I will make some more customizations based on your feedback, and make all reservations for hotels and car rental, as well as any other tours or activities you want to join. I will also put together detailed day-by-day information for all of the sights, stops, and optional detours, as well as restaurant recommendations for each of the areas that you will visit.
Sorry, I should mention that the prices I quoted were in USD, in AUD that's about 760 for the 6 nights accommodations.
I'm leaning towards Grundarfjordur rather than Stykkisholmur.
While the Fosshotel looks nice it might be a bit too much. Can you tell me where the $130 option is? If Fossotel is worth it compared to the cheaper option I'll consider it.
Ok understood ~$760AUD for accommodation for 6 nights.
Can you please provide an estimate for the car hire?
The 130 was Tradir guesthouse a little to the east.
Ok I'll go with Fossotel Hellnar.
Ok will do.
I can start making those reservations (free cancellation so we can still make changes).
You can add your payment details here which I will use for the service fee and accommodations.
For the car rental I will find some options. If I can't find anything cheaper than what you did I can make the arrangements for the car you mentioned for you.
Just so we're clear, can you please give me a run down of all costs (even if the car hire is approximate at this stage)?
Yes. I am away from my computer right now but will get this to you when I'm back at it.
Ok, with the change to the Fosshotel Hellnar, the total for accommodations for 6 nights I found was $649.46 USD, and I found 2 options for car rentals:
- VW Polo or similar: $257.66 USD for 7 days
- VW Tiguan (SUV) or similar: $537 for 7 days
Ok and is the Polo an automatic? Does my itinerary have me dropping it off on the 28th at the airport? Just trying to organise my flight out.
So is the total cost:
- $649.46 Accommodation
- $257.66 Car
- kimkim fee?
Yes, it's an automatic and you would pick up at KEF on 2/22 and drop off on 2/28.
what would be the drop off time on the 28th?
If you did that then you would only need the car 6 full days. However you would need to leave fairly early from your hotel as I have you in Vik which is about 3 hours from the airport. I could try to change a few things around to make it easier that day. I would probably skip the first night in Reykjavik and keep going and spend you're last night in Reykjavik in that case
Yes I think I could basically start the drive on the 22nd and not stay the first night in Reykjavik to give me a shorter drive to the airport on the 28th.
Hi Chris, if you could please give me a rundown of the daily stops/sights that would be great.
I'm waiting for a new credit card to arrive to put into the payment form. Hopefully today or tomorrow.
Sure thing. I'll send you a more detailed version soon.
Hi Chris, my payment details have been submitted.
Could we check that my itinerary is altered to move around Reykjavik as discussed?
Yes, I will make some updates. Did you end up booking the 11:30 flight on 2/28?
I'm about to make that booking .
So I'd have 1 night in total in Reykjavik on the 27th?
Yes, that's correct. or I can make some other changes if you prefer more time there?
I could potentially spend a second night in Reykjavik if you recommend it (and depart on the 1st of March). I would probably drop the car off in town on the 27th though as I wouldn't need it?
You could explore a bit of the Reykjanes Peninsula with an extra day, but you will have already done quite a bit of exploring at that point, and could catch the flybus back to the airport (about $28, there's also an option to stop for a while at the Blue Lagoon).
Is that an option to stop at the Blue Lagoon with the Flybus?
On the way to the airport?
Yes, exactly. You have a set entrance time and pick up time, and you check the schedule for the best shuttle to KEF afterwards.
You can store your bags at the Blue Lagoon for about $5-6 USD a bag.
I think we'll stick to the original plan of departing the morning of the 28th. But I may need to depart earlier, 740am flight out.
I could stop at the blue lagoon on arrival couldn't I on the 22nd?
Yes, you can stop by on the first day if that's better. Since you fly out at 7:40 the last morning, would you prefer to stay near the airport? (it's about 30-40 min drive from Reykjavik)
That might limit my time in Reykjavik wouldn't it? I'm happy to set off for the airport at 4am, if that's enough time to spare.
Yes that would be plenty of time.
Another twist... I could only manage to book an 1130am flight out of KEF. I don't think that changes anything though.
That will give you more time on your last day, great!
My itinerary was great overall. Well paced, stopped at many terrific highlights and quite achievable.
It did however feel like it was written quite generically - that is to say, just a copy paste job rather than something tailored. As an example, one restaurant in Hellnar which was recommended (and pretty much the only one for miles) was closed for the winter. This is confirmed with a search on Google, it's not a one off. I would expect this recommendation to be removed for winter trips. Mentions of daily drive distances were a bit off - example, the second last day I had to drive from Skaftafell to Reykjavik (320km, 4hr), not Vik to Reykjavik (180km, 2hr20min) as mentioned in the itinerary. My guess is that Chris used a base itinerary to build mine which is fine, but some of the smaller details were not altered to conform to mine.
My main gripe though is the choice of car hire. I should have looked more closely before agreeing, but I'm generally wary about dodgy operators other than the core Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty. While it might be cheap initially, they do the hard sell at the desk on added insurances, in this case 30 Euro a day (for things like gravel protection, sand protection, reduced excess etc), which still has exclusions. I asked Chris about insurances, he said it included liability and collision and asked if I wanted any additional. Turns out that cover doesn't cover much, and it still includes an approx. $2200AUD excess. Further - the company would put a hold on my card for $2200AUD for going on 10 days after the rental has ended. This is really unsettling and not to mention an inconvenience.
While this isn't strictly Kimkim/Chris's fault, the selection of the car hire company is really important. The discussions online about the chosen car hire company are really worrying.
Chris was very responsive and answered all of my questions promptly.