Self Drive Road Trip in Iceland: Landscapes, Waterfalls, Spas and Hiking

  A couple visited Iceland in July 2017

“I want to do a self driving tour to see landscapes, geothermals, waterfalls, spas, hiking, Puffins and Whales

Black sand beach and basalt cliff formations

Travelled the world extensively but first trip to Iceland
Both of us are vegetarian but would like to visit some quality restaurants throughout Iceland
Ready for an adventure!”

Chris McCarty, a local specialist from Iceland, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary based on 5-Day Self-Driving Tour: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Akureyri, Myvatn Area.

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Trip planning highlights

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

7-Day Tour: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Akureyri, Myvatn Area

Day 1: Arrival and Downtown Reykjavik
Day 2: Exploring the Volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 3: Scenic Drive to Akureyri
Day 4: The North: Godafoss, Whale Watching, and Big Waterfalls
Day 5: Geological Wonders of Lake Myvatn
Day 6: Back towards Reykjavik, Hraunfossar, Barnafoss, and Glymur Falls
Day 7: Morning Departure
Map of 7-Day Tour: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Akureyri, Myvatn Area

Summary of the trip planning conversation

Below are some useful excerpts from the trip planning conversation
Chris McCarty
Hi, welcome to kimkim and thank you for contacting us to help with your travel plans for Iceland later this month.

I'll send you a driving plan that will start with a day in Reykjavik to get settled and then explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the west, before continuing to the north of the country around Akureyri and Lake Myvatn. 

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula will have black sand beaches and many cliff formations, lava fields, and craters, while the north is known for some geothermal areas around lake Myvatn, a few massive waterfalls (Godafoss, and Dettifoss for example) and the best whale watching region around Husavik. There is also the Myvatn Nature baths where you can soak in the geothermal waters after a long day exploring.

Do either of you eat fish,?

- yes on the Lava tour 
- which of the three sail excursions do you recommend - we would like to do the best one. 
- did this include the "black sand beach"

To clarify on vegetarian - no meat or fish. Yes on dairy and eggs.

Do you make all the reservations. (hotel, car, etc.) And how much do you charge for your services.

This was a last minute trip which we booked yesterday so appreciate your expertise and guidance. 

Chris McCarty
the Puffins / Whale tour one is a unique experience, that's probably the one that I would recommend. I can also book the lava cave tour for you.

You would visit a black sand beach in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, but I think you are referring to Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach? This is not on the route, as it's quite a ways along the south coast towards Vik, and that is the most crowded part of the country this time of year.

That said, Djúpalónssandur is very special as well, as you will find many pieces of old iron on the beach from a shipwreck, and several "lifting stones" of very heavy weights, which were used by captains to test the strength of people when picking their crew. There are also several cliffside walks and lava fields in this area as well that go along the water. The area in general is referred to as "Iceland in miniature" because it has a bit of everything.

I can make all reservations for accommodations, car rental, and for the activities you mentioned. 

Do you have a hotel style preference? For example, in some of the smaller towns the more common options are guesthouses with private rooms and shared bathrooms, but we can also look for only places with private bathroom if you prefer. Given that the trip is starting soon, in some areas there may not be too many choices, but I can send a couple options to let you decide what you prefer.
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