Unique Ways to Explore Iceland in 5 days

  A couple visited Iceland in August 2017

“I am interested in 'Unique Ways to Explore Iceland in 5 days'. We have never been to Iceland but have done a fair bit of world travel. We would like to see beautiful terrain, including waterfalls. We are 69 & 58 years old, but fit and active. We like to hike or bicycle or sail but those aren't mandatory - just giving you an idea. We would prefer to avoid crowds as much as possible and we are fine being off the beaten path. We don't want to rent a car, but prefer to have a guide. We like to stay in unique interesting places (but no camping!) We are okay with a flight shuttle in country if that's what works best. Let us know what more information would help. Thanks!
- Kathy P.”

Chris McCarty, a local specialist from Iceland, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary based on 5 Days in Iceland - 7 Unique Self-Drive Itineraries.

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Trip planning highlights

45 messages exchanged
2 trip plan versions shared
Travelers completed their trip!

West and North: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Akureyri, Myvatn Area

Day 1: Arrival, Glymur Falls, Start of Snaefellsnes Peninsula
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 to Reykjavik
Day 7: Departure
Map of West and North: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Akureyri, Myvatn Area

Summary of the trip planning conversation

Below are some useful excerpts from the trip planning conversation
Hello! I work for a company called Midgard Adventure, located in a small town called Hvolsvöllur, around 1.5-hour drive from Reykjavík. We offer both private and open day tours and also private multi-day tours. We also recently opened our new basecamp where we offer accommodation for around 50 people, a restaurant and adventure tours all under the same roof.

Since we are located in the South of Iceland, our focus is mostly in that area. We love taking people off the beaten path, for example to Þórsmörk and the highlands (Landmannalaugar for example). We also offer activities such as biking and hiking, and on our private tours it is sometimes possible to add activities such as glacier walking and horse back riding. 

Kathy P:
We would like assistance building an itinerary for our time that is more than the traditional tour spots and avoiding huge crowds and wait time. This would include recommendations or arrangements for lodging & travel & guiding as appropriate. Is this the kind of thing you could assist with? Thanks! 

I would be happy to put together an itinerary including ideas for tours, activities, and accommodation for your week of travel. Before I start though, I wanted to ask if there was something specific in the "Unique Ways to Explore Iceland in 5 days" itinerary that you really liked, or if you are completely open to suggestions?

Kathy P: 
Since we'd like to avoid crowds of tourists if possible, our preference would be an itinerary to the north - such as Option 1 or 2 from the "unique ways in five days" or a combination, with a flight back to Reykjavik so we can maximize our touring time. We'd also like to have time to explore Reykjavik. We enjoy being "active" tourists, incorporating hiking or bicycling or walking (not just sitting in a car or a van).

In terms of accommodations, we are pretty flexible - we like interesting, local interest accommodations (but do want a bed and shower! not camping). We often select small boutique hotels or a bed & breakfast when we travel.

Let me know what you think about these suggestions:

Day 1 (Arrival)
- We provide a private airport transfer, including a stop at the Blue lagoon on the way to Reykjavík
- Accommodation in Reykjavík (lots of options here and the price depends on your preferences and availability)

Day 2
- Pick up in Reykjavík & golden circle (private tour) 
- We pick you up in Reykjavík and take you on a private golden circle tour. The tour would include sights such as Þingvellir national park, Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir. We would also include a few secret stops :) Might be nice to include a local lunch on this day, for example at a greenhouse/tomato farm called Friðheimar. We could also take you on a hike on this day (around 6 KM) in Reykjadalur valley (also known as the "steam valley"). 
- Accommodation in South Iceland, for example a private room at our Midgard basecamp 

Day 3
- Þórsmörk hike (open tour) 
- We take you to beautiful Þórsmörk valley, one of our very favourite places in Iceland where you do a few hours of hiking and enjoy the beautiful nature. If you would like to minimise the hiking, it is also possible to take you on a "normal" Þórsmörk tour, one that focuses more on the super-jeep driving then the actual hiking 
- Accommodation in South Iceland, for example a private room at our Midgard basecamp

Day 4
- Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon (private tour) 
- We take you to Skaftafell national park where it is possible to do some hiking and then to the glacier lagoon and the area around 
- Possible to include activities such as a boat tour on the glacier lagoon (not included in price) 
- Accommodation in the South-East, for example in town Kirkjubæjarklaustur. 

Day 5
- Bike & cave Adventure (open tour) - http://www.kindadventure.is/bike-and-cave-adventure/ 
- Our partners at Kind adventure (http://www.kindadventure.is/) take you in a super-jeep to the highlands where you do some biking and look at the biggest cave system in Europe 

Day 6
- South Coast (private tour) 
- We pick you up at your accommodation in or around Kirkjubæjarklaustur and take you to the beautiful south coast and show you some of the most famous sights there, for example Reynisfjara black sand beach, Sólheimajökull glacie, and Reynisdrangar cliffs 
- Possible to include activities such as glacier walking and/or horse back riding (not included in the price) 
- In the afternoon we drive you back to Reykjavík where you spend your last night (lots of options here and the price depends on your preferences and availability). 

Kathy P:
This itinerary looks very exciting! As for hotels, generally what you have proposed look fine. 

I made updates to the itinerary and found new hotel options. 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.

Let me know if you prefer to fly or drive back from Akureyri and I can find car options for this as well (if you fly back, I'll arrange a flybus transfer to the airport on your last morning, with pick up from your hotel).

I can then start making all reservations for you. If you like, I can even make the reservations for a few places for each night (with free cancellation) so that you have more time to decide, and then I'll cancel the ones you don't like.
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