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Trip Report

Essential Iceland Tour

A week exploring the south-east of Iceland, including the renown golden circle and Blue Lagoon. We preferred using guided tours to avoid driving in winter weather but it can be done without guides.

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EuropeIceland6 days / February 2019

Highs & Lows

Climbing a glacier and walking in a volcano cave are a must!

We didn't see the northern lights because of the bad weather

Itinerary Overview

We were mainly based in Reykjavik and did a couple of daytrips around. However, we had to spend two nights in other hotels to optimize our trip along the south coast. 

We did the golden circle tour and also explored Snæfellsnes Peninsula as part of our adventure holiday.

  • 1 Night: Reykjavík
    Vibrant cultural center with great restaurants
  • Day trip: Thingvellir National Park
    The political heart of Iceland
  • Day trip: Geysir
    Witness the force of nature
  • Day trip: Gullfoss Falls
    The most fascinating waterfall in Iceland
  • 1 Night: Selfoss
    Good as a stopover during your trip
  • Day trip: Skaftafell
    Climbing a glacier!
  • 1 Night: Brunnhóll - Countryguesthouse
    Great stopover during your holidays
  • Day trip: Jökulsárlón
  • Day trip: Solheimasandur Plane Wreck
    Plane wreck in the middle of nowhere that is popular for photoshoots
  • 3 Nights: Reykjavík
    The capital of Iceland and the home base to explore the island
  • Day trip: Vatnshellir Cave
    Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Day trip: Retreat Spa
    Unique thermal experience

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    Since the Blue Lagoon is on the way to the airport it would have made much more sense to stop there on the day we flew out, instead of doing a day trip there.

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    We wouldn't recommend to chase the northern lights by boat if you want to take a nice photo. Also, if you visit in winter it is better to bring trekking shoes with a good grip since the ice is very slippery. You can buy specific gear at any petrol stations once in Iceland.

  • Packing tips?

    In winter, pack warm clothes if you are not used to cold weather. When we arrived there were -8 degree C with wind. Thankfully we had multiple layers of clothes to protect us.

  • Transportation Tips?

    In the summer you can rent a car and explore the island at your own pace, but if you are not used to driving on ice, we recommend booking a guide in winter.

  • Booking details?

    We have booked everything by ourselves. Used local travel agencies for our day trips since we did not feel comfortable driving with sub-zero conditions. In summer, you can drive your car everywhere without problems.


  • We stayed one night at Center Hotels Arnarhvoll

  • We stayed one night at Hotel Sellfoss. Our room had a very nice view over the river running through the town.

  • House of the Snowbird, which we found on Airbnb. Pretty apartment in the center, above the artisanal shop of the parents of the owner. The entire house was actually transported to Iceland from Norway and was built around 130 years ago!