“Planning to arrive early in the morning. We would like to see Reykjavik but we do not need to stay overnight there unless highly recommended to do so. We would like to see highlights of Iceland as well as "little gems" (e.g. Small villages; stand alone churches, etc.).
We prefer higher quality hotels with good facilities and food. Finally, we would like to spend last night at silica hotel near the airport.”
Trip planning highlights
Reykjavik, Golden Circle, and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Summary of the trip planning conversation
Hi, welcome to kimkim! I'm Chris and I will help you put together a great plan for your extended weekend to Iceland. With about 3 days in July, I would recommend heading a little north to explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Borgarnes, and some of the smaller towns in that area of historical significance (also they play a role in some of the sagas). This will allow you to avoid the south coast and golden circle which will be much more crowded at peak season.
Thanks Chris! As an alternative option to the north west area, is there another section you can suggest for a couple who have never been to Iceland before? Would just like to have another option to compare.
Yes, definitely. 2 more places you could make your base for a few days are Isafjordur in the northwest, and Akureyri/Lake Myvatn in the north. For both of these, I would recommend a domestic flight to their airports, since the drives will take up a fair amount of your time. The netoffer rates for flights can be about 80 Euro each direction, and it's a unique way to see the interior of the country while flying over.
Hi Chris- sorry for the delayed response. We are interested in the snaefellsness tour but torn between that and driving out to Vik/south Iceland (taking another flight seems like too much trouble for such a short stay). Can you tell me the pros and cons for each before I pick one for you to plan? I am also concerned that hotels already appear to be booked which could determine one trip over the other. Thoughts?
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula will have more volcanic sights and fewer crowds, while the south coast will have the glaciers (and is the most popular area).
I would recommend the Snaefellsnes Peninsula for 4 days, since it's fairly compact so you won't spend too much time driving, and you will get to avoid the larger crowds of the south, there should also be more availability in that area.
Thank you for the quick response! The only night I could get a reservation at hotel budir is on Sunday night. So many of the hotels were already booked. So basically need an itinerary for July 2/July3. Thank you so much.
Yes, sure thing. In that case I will put something together like the following:
- Day 1: Reykjavik
- Day 2: North to Snaefellsnes (Stay at Budir)
- Day 3: Explore more of Snaefellsnes (you can come back to Silica in the late afternoon)
- Day 4: Early departure? Or I can add some sights along the Reykjanes Peninsula if you have more time.
I have a reservation at the ion hotel for the first night. Is there anything we can easily do from there? Also, are you are able to arrange car rental for me? Thank you!
Yes, I can arrange the car for you. Do you prefer a compact or an SUV? Do you prefer automatic or will manual work as well?
The ION hotel could be a good base to see the Golden Circle sights. I would recommend the morning in Reykjavik for breakfast and to walk around the major sights, then to the Golden Circle and ION in the afternoon. Your days will be plenty long in Summer to fit it in. It's also not too far from the Secret Lagoon which could be a good place to soak (even though Ion has it's own pools / hot tubs).
SUV is preferable. Also, I reserved the hotels just to have something since most places I tried were already booked. If you have better suggestions then happy to cancel and book elsewhere. I would have preferred to head to snaefellsnes stay at budir that evening and then the ion.
finally- please let me know if there are any tours/adventures that you HIGHLY recommend. We don't love tours but my husband is interested in the snorkeling between the tectonic plates if time permits. Thanks again.
There are definitely other things you can do instead. You can explore some of the Reykjanes peninsula with geothermal areas, small fishing towns and more before you head to Kerid crater and then explore the Golden Circle, that would be a full day.
Hi Chris. Thank you so much for all of your help!!
Chris planned a perfect itinerary for us. We only a long weekend to spend in Iceland and we felt that we got to see a lot in a little time. Additionally, Chris encouraged us to stay away from tourist traps and instead explore an area that we might not have thought of on our own. Our activities were a great balance of active and relaxing. Looking forward to going back another time to explore a different area.