Anniversary trip to Iceland

  A couple visited Iceland in September 2017

“Looking for a good mix of adventure and relaxation. Prefer B&Bs when possible. Prefer self-drive. Want to explore - Blue Lagoon, Northern Lights, Glaciers, Caves/Caverns, Beaches, Hiking, etc. My wife and I are 27 years old, active lifestyle. We are foodies.”


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

86 messages exchanged
3 trip plan versions shared
Travelers completed their trip!

Reykjavik, South Coast, Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Day 1: Arrival, Transfer to Reykjavik
Day 2: Exploring Reykjavik, Blue Lagoon
Day 3: The South Coast to Vik: Waterfalls, Beaches, Cliffs
Day 4: Skaftafell, Svartifoss, Hof, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Day 5: Snæfellsnes Peninsula to Golden Circle
Day 6: Silfra Snorkel, Glymur Falls, Borgarnes, Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 7: More of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 8: Reykjavik Shopping and Relaxing

Trip planning conversation

Chris

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.

Traveler

Hi Chris! Looking forward to it! I forgot to include we are budgeting $4-6K including airfare for the trip.

Chris

Here's an idea for a 7-day self driving tour that will allow you to see a lot of the west and south of Iceland.

Chris

Please take a look and let me know what you think, and then I can work to put together a custom trip itinerary for you based on your feedback.

Traveler

Chris - this itinerary looks close to what we want. See feedback below:
1. 7 days, 6 nights
2. Interested in seeing accomodations for each stop (B&Bs vs. hotels)
3. Day 1: want to do Blue Lagoon / relaxation / massages
4. Day 2-6: self-guided tours including glaciers, waterfalls, beach, volcanoes, caves, Golden Circle, Northern Lights
*in whatever order makes sense
5. Day 7: relaxation, explore shops, etc.
6. Food - we enjoy breakfast every day and a nice dinner... lunch can be quick / on the go
7. Special activities - boat tour of Northern Lights, ATV on beach, hiking, couples massages / spa

Traveler

We are booking our airfare now - it looks like we will arrive in Reykjavik at 11:40pm on September 30th and depart Reykjavik at 5:00pm on October 7th... so we will need to book accomodations for Sept. 30th as well

Chris

Hi, I can make some changes to the proposed itinerary to fit your days and the other activities that you liked.

Chris

Since you have dates now, I can get some price estimates for you. For guesthouses are you comfortable with places that have shared bathrooms between a few rooms or do you want me to stick to places with private bathrooms instead?

Chris

To set the expectations: Once you are happy with the overall direction of the custom 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.

Traveler

Stick with places that have private bathrooms please

Chris

Ok, I will do that.

Chris

Hi, here is an idea for your trip.

I am still finding some options for you for a northern lights by boat and ATV tour, but I added some other activity/tour options to the very end.

For accommodations, I found options for 7 nights with private bathrooms for between $1327-$1385 USD, the difference is if you preferred to stay in a Studio apartment in Reykjavik, or a 3-star guesthouse (the apartment is a bit cheaper).

Please take a look and let me know what you think of the itinerary. I tried to fit in all of your requests in the 7 full days that you had.

Best,
-Chris

Traveler

Chris,

The itinerary looks great! As for the studio apartment vs. guesthouse, we would prefer whichever has a better location (walking distance to shops / restaurants / etc.). Here are some optional activities we would be interested in:
Day 4 - Glacier Walk and Crystal Ice Cave
Day 5 - Snorkel at Silfra Fissure
Day ? - Northern Lights
Day ? - ATV tour

Traveler

Sorry I missed the list of optional activities at the bottom - here is the full list we are interested in:

Optional Activities: (prices listed per adult)
- Vatnshellir Lava Cave Tour ($28)
- Snorkel at Silfra Fissure (17990 ISK, $158 USD)
- Crystal Ice Cave (meet on location at Jokulsarlon) (19990 ISK, $176 USD)
- Boat Tour of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon ($48)

Glacier Hikes:
- Glacier Hike (moderate, 5 hours) (15990 ISK, $140 USD)

Northern Lights Tours:
- Northern Lights by Modified Super jeep (17990 ISK, $158 USD)
or boat if possible

Chris

Sorry, I didn't mean to add the Crystal Ice cave, that will not open until November unfortunately. Everything else should be doable.

I will try to find some good times for the ATV, the first day may be the best choice since it leaves from Reykjavik area. For northern lights, you can do the tour the first night from Reykjavik, or you can join one when staying in Akureyri in the north (maybe you won't be as jetlagged then?)

Chris

Do you have your flights already booked? I want to make sure the dates are final before I would move ahead with any accommodation reservations.

If this all looks in the right direction, you can add your payment information.

I will then begin making the accommodation reservations (most have free cancellation/changes, so we can still tweak some things). Then I will find the best days and times for the activities and once you confirm those options I can make those arrangements as well.

Traveler

Yes - we booked the following flights - see above. And yes I will put my payment information in.

Traveler

My payment info has been entered - let me know next steps. Thanks Chris!

Chris

Ok, I see that it's entered.

For next steps, I'll first make the accommodation reservation (most will have free cancellation, so we can still make some tweaks). Then I'll reserve the car and finally the tours/activities you mentioned.

Then I'll make some more updates to the custom itinerary to add the details and restaurant recommendations.

Chris

Hi, I made most of the accommodation reservations, you should receive confirmations and details via email. They can all be changed / cancelled without penalty.

I have also charged the kimkim service fee, you should receive a receipt via email for that.

For you first 2 nights in Reykjavik, I had a few options and I wanted to get your opinion on them:
Prices are for 2 nights.

- OK Hotel - Studio Apartments ($308)
- Villa ($366, 3 star))
- Studio Deluxe Apartment at Hotel Fron ($378)
- Room With A View Luxury Apartments ($470)
- Alda Hotel Reykjavík ($595, 4 star)

Chris

After this, I will find some car rental options for you, and I will make book the tours we mentioned as well.

Traveler

Chris - thank you for booking our accommodations. We looked at the places for the first 2 nights and I think we want to go with OK Hotel - it looked fun and unique.

Traveler

Also a few quick questions:
1. Should we book the Blue Lagoon passes / couples massage or will you do that?
2. Do we need reservations for any of the restaurants recommended?
3. We saw lava formations on the itinerary, will be able to hike / see any volcanoes on our route?

Chris

I can make the blue lagoon reservations for you. There are a few different package levels and I can add a 30 or 60 min massage to them. Here are the options: http://www.bluelagoon.com/blue-lagoon-spa/prices-and-packages/

You will see lots of lava fields around the Reykjanes peninsula near the blue lagoon and can explore some nearby geothermal areas as well. Near the golden circle you can walk around the rim of Kerid crater. And there are many more formations in the Snaefellsnes peninsula with lava fields, huge volcanic rock formations, a lava cave you can take a tour of, and you can climb up Saxoll crater as well.

Traveler

We will do the Comfort package at the Blue Lagoon and add 60 minute in water massages for both of us. Thanks Chris!

Chris

Hi, for the OK Hotel, there are 2 rates:
- $311 for non-refundable
- $354 for free cancellation

Which do you prefer? I'll move ahead with the Blue Lagoon now

Chris

By the way, those prices were for the first 2 nights total, not per night

Chris

For the car, there are 2 options. You can pick it up in Reykjavik on 10/1 and drive to the Blue Lagoon and explore some of the surrounding Reykjanes peninsula area, or you can take a shuttle to the Blue Lagoon and back and pick it up the next day. Do you have a preference?

Traveler

The $311 non refundable is fine and we would rather pick up the car on 10/1 and drive to the Blue Lagoon.. That way we can get an early start the next day as well

Chris

sure thing.

Chris

For Rental cars, here are some options: (both automatic, if you prefer manual I can check that as well, it's often slightly cheaper)

- Toyota Yaris for $385
- Mazda CX-3 SUV (or similar): $564

Traveler

Let's go with the SUV

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