“Hello! My closest friend and I hope to travel to Iceland in March for an adventure! We want to explore, but are young and hope to find housing that is fairly cheap. I would love to see the blue lagoon. Other than that I am not sure what is a must see for such a short trip! We are super excited to hear what you might have to suggest!”
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
Trip planning conversation
Hi, welcome to kimkim!
I'll work with you to plan out a great trip to Iceland. I have a few questions to get started:
- Are your flights booked already (are your dates finalized?). If so, what time do you fly in / out on those days?
- Are you fine staying in dorms in hostels? If so, do you prefer smaller dorm sizes (4-6) rather than 10-12? If you prefer private rooms, how do you feel about guesthouses with shared bathrooms?
I'm going to send a few suggestions for where to spend some time, let me know what you think of them.
We can certainly share a bed or room where applicable
we are fine staying in hostels and such
Ok, did you get a chance to look at any of the articles I attached that mention a few trips or different areas?
so far ive looked through the first 2, and the second looks wonderful
The second one is a great itinerary because you get the most out of your time driving just one way. The domestic flight and one way car rental add on a bit, but other travelers we have worked with have really enjoyed it for a limited time in Iceland
It looks wonderful!
We haven't gotten our flights yet so our dates are relatively flexible. The earliest we could fly out would be the 10th probably getting us there on the 11th. And we would need to be back to the states by the 19th.
But to keep costs down we were thinking 5 days
It's true that some things in Iceland can be expensive. Car rental will probably be around $50-70/day depending on type of car, lodging in hostels can be pretty cheap, and food is more expensive (but no tax or tip, so it's not too bad when you account for that). The good news is that all the beauty is free. I was just there for 2 weeks and I had to pay an entrance fee 1 time.
:) we are so excited, do u have an estimated cost for a trip such as the second one u showed us?
The short driving tour around the peninsula was right up our alley as well
For a rental car, do you prefer automatic or can you drive manual?
I would prefer automatic
Ok, here is a rough estimate
Iceland air one way flight = $400 for 2
$313 car rental, 5 full days
3/10 - $95 (seydisfjordur)
3/11 - $88 (hofn)
3/12 - $116 (vik)
3/13 - $77 (Skogafoss), $80 (Gullfoss, split rooms in dorm), $94 (Gullfoss, for twin room)
3/14 - $83 Reykjavik
3/15 - $83 Reykjavik
$555 for lodging (6 nights)
$313 for car (estimate, could be a bit more with some add-ons)
$400 one way flights
$1268 for 2
Not included: gas, food, other activities/tours you want to join (ice cave, horse ride, glacier walk, etc)
that's actually for 6 days
doesn't include airport transfer from KEF into Reykjavik, which is about $22/person to the bus station which is near the domestic airport where you would catch the domestic flight
How was the quote / length of time for your budget?
as far as the quote it was a little more than what we were looking to spend with a different option that doesnt include the domestic flight and one way car rental would we be looking at something a little bit cheaper?
yes, the one way flight adds to the cost to minimize the driving, but we can focus on cost saving if you prefer. What is the other option you were looking at? The last example itinerary I sent did not include the domestic flight, so that would save $400 off the total price with the addition of a bit more driving back along the southern coast.
yeah we don't mind the drive :)
the last one you sent does look great but would definitely need to be cut down some
how much is the snorkeling at the golden circle?
17990 isk = $157 usd at the silfra fissure, it's one of the more popular interesting activities in that area. You wear a drysuit so you are warm the whole time, and can rent a waterproof camera if you want one for the dive.
yeah it sounds incredible
For that itinerary, you can probably cut out 1 day between Days 2 and 4 if you don't want to stop at all the smaller towns along the way or stop at the Settlement Exhibit in Borgarnes
If you didn't go out to Skaftafell and the Glacier Lagoon in the south you could save about 1-2 other days.
hmm okay :) seems reasonable
keep in mind our first night there would be the 11th not the 10th
You could do something like...
- 3/11 Land, see Reykjavik
- 3/12 drive north to Glymur Falls, Borgarnes, into Snaefellsnes Peninsula
- 3/13 Snaefellsnes Peninsula
- 3/14 Drive south, see part of Golden Circle, stay along that area
- 3/15 to Vik, see sights along way
- 3/16 Vik back to Reykjavik, seeing anything missed (stay night in Reykjavik, or take evening flight back)
is it possible to add the secret lagoon in there? id be open to leaving the 17th
Yes, you can do that as you go along Golden Circle, either on 3/13 in the evening or 3/14 closer to the morning before you get to the coast. 3/13 would be my recommendation, and I can find a place to stay that's about 20 minutes from the Secret lagoon and close to the other Golden Circle highlights so that you can see them the next morning before the tour busses arrive.
yeah that sounds great
how does paying work? do we pay kimkim?
I can send a link here to add your payment information. From that we will charge the kimkim fee.
For all accommodation, I'll use your information to book them, and you will receive confirmations (I'll include here and you'll also get a direct email). For many of them, they don't charge you now, but use it to hold the room, and may ask for the card when you arrive (or will just charge it that day). Where I can, I'll find refundable rooms in case you change your plans slightly over next few weeks.
okay thank you so much for all the work you have done!
Sure no problem, how does that last quote look to you?
it looks really good
I'm glad you like it.
So here are the next steps, I'll send a link to add your payment information which I will use to first deduct the service fee and then to book all the accommodation. I changed your route slightly to do the Snaefellsnes peninsula in reverse because it was about $15 cheaper to flip the accommodation nights.
Then I'll reserve the hotels, and finally the car rental. I can wait on the car and hotels until you have your flight purchased.
okay i appreciate that, i will need a day or two before adding my details but i really appreciate working with u so far and look forward to continuing working together on this!
Sure, I understand you want to think it over. I'll be flying for about half the day tomorrow, but other than that I'll be available to finalize it all once you're ready.
thank you very much! have a wonderful rest of your day
just sent along the payment :)
If you like, I can hold on booking the hotels until you get your flights so that you know your final dates. Let me know what you prefer.
we did end up moving our flights a little
Great so you have an extra day now. I'll move everything up a day
On 3/15 you can have more time making your way back to Reykjavik and can enjoy the morning there. I'll list a few options for things you can see along Reykjanes Peninsula on 3/16 on your way to the airport if you want to pack in a bit more.
I'll update the itinerary and book the hotels tomorrow and send confirmations. I'll aim for refundable options where possible. I'll then send another document with all info about confirmations and things to do each day so that you can use that as your guide.
ahhh! chris thank you
we are so excited
ok, I will finalize the other bookings now.
You're welcome. Hotels are booked. You should receive confirmations directly but I will send all of them to you together in your final packet with all other information.
Sounds good :)
The accommodations seem awesome btw!