Post-Cruise Photo Tour Through Iceland

  A couple visited Iceland in July 2017

“After our cruise, we want to do a driving tour. Our flight to London leaves 8/1, so we need to be back in Reykjavik by 8/31. I am a fairly serious photographer looking for scenic locations. Glacier Lagoon is high on my list, of course. We had originally considered doing the whole Ring Road, but not sure we have enough time. The cruise ship stops at Seydisfjord, Akureyri, Isafjordur, and Grundarfjordur. We are signing up for excursions at each of those locations, so we don't need to include those on a driving tour.
- Richard J.”

Chris McCarty, a local specialist from Iceland, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.

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Trip planning highlights

103 messages exchanged
1 trip plan version shared
Travelers completed their trip! Read traveler review

Best of the West: Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Westfjords

Day 1: North to Borgarnes, Glymur Falls, and Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 2: Volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 3: Snaefellsnes Peninsula to the Westfjords
Day 4: Southern Westfjords, Látrabjarg Cliffs, Dynjandi Falls, and Isafjordur
Days 5-6: Isafjordur or Hornstrandir Hiking
Day 7: Eastern Westfjords
Day 8: Drive back to Reykjavik
Day 9: Flybus to KEF, Departure
Map of Best of the West: Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Westfjords

Summary of the trip planning conversation

Below are some useful excerpts from the trip planning conversation
Hi Richard, I have put together a plan for your trip. I included some hotel options and my recommendations for each of the 5 nights. I can also find some car rental options for you, do you prefer automatic or manual? Some of the roads in the Westfjords are gravel, and a 4WD vehicle may be best, but I can provide options for that as well as compact if you like.

Richard J:
The ship stops in Akureyri and we have an excursion to Mvatn planned so we probably don't need to add that to the driving tour. We may want to see more of the northwest region. Let's leave the first part of the itinerary in place to Hornstrandir. We'll look at options for the final leg.

I updated the plan with more time to explore the West before you enter the Westfjords, and another day in Isafjordur where you can explore the area further or do a long day hike at Hornstrandir.

If you like, I can add another day for your drive back so that you reach Reykjavik on 8/1, or you can have 2 nights in Reykjavik at the end and spend a day around the Golden Circle or Reykjanes Peninsula (but I know you will have several nights in Reykjavik already).

Richard J:
Hi, Chris- We're getting very excited - less than a month until we leave for the cruise portion of the trip. Do you have any updates we should be aware of (volcanoes, road conditions, etc.)? Also, can the itinerary be updated to indicate our chosen lodging? Thanks for your help. Everyone I show your itinerary to (including my travel agent) is impressed with your services.

Hi Richard, I'm glad you're excited! You're going to have a great time. I have updated your itinerary to show the accommodations each night at the top. I will also put together a google map for you so that you can download to your phone to follow.

Richard J:
I got the updated tour. Looks good. Thanks!

There are a few other details I wanted to confirm with you: 
- On 7/25, were you interested in the hike to Glymur falls? If not, I can add more details about the Settlement center in Borgarnes. 
- On 7/26, are you interested in a tour at the Vatnshellir Lava Cave? It's on your route.
- For 7/27 did you prefer the Ferry from Stykkisholmur to the west fjords (3 hours) or to drive (3.5 hours?) The morning ferry is at 9am, and it's about 1 hour from where you are staying, so while it's less driving for the day, your timing is a bit less flexible. 
- For 7/29 and 7/30, have you decided what you would like to do those days in Isafjordur? Previously we mentioned a day hiking trip to Hornstrandir but didn't discuss in more details. There are also kayaking options (calm ones in the fjord), horseback riding, or you can explore the harbor, town, and have a slower-paced day.

Richard J:
Hi all - As our first Icelandic exploration comes to a close we reflect on its inception. Rich says that adventures are the result of poor planning - so I did not call these Icelandic adventures. Our wonderful experiences came as a result of our diligence on the internet, Chris McCarty of kimkim ( who arranged our driving itinerary and dealt with some last minute issues. Fellow explorers along the way, too numerous to mention, added suggestions that turned out to be lots of fun. 
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Traveler Review

Chris was great to work with. He provided good recommendations for lodging and took care of making the arrangements. When one of the locations cancelled our reservation at the last minute because of a double booking he quickly helped us find another place. The sightseeing recommendations were very good.