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what to see/do? heavily interested in scandi history so bonus for things related to that.
Do the Golden Circle incorporating Gullfoss and the geysers. The drive alone is pretty breathtaking and you'll get to see loads of Icelandic horses. Look at these great bunch o'lads posing for an 80's New Romantic album cover:
fookin' heck m8, will have to see that
It's worth stopping on that road and getting out and stretching your legs if only to hear how quiet and remote it all is. You'll go 10 minutes without seeing another car sometimes.
Reykjavik is very pleasant but there isn't THAT much to see or do (or at least didn't seem to be when we went), it's really small and once you've wandered round it a few times and looked at all the nice churches and that it's all about going and looking at waterfalls and geysers and the blue lagoon and that.
I'm not interested in geology at all but it just forces you to be interested in it because everything looks so weird and alien that it makes you think about how it ended up like it.
If you can hire a car and self-drive, it's well worth doing yourself, but there's plenty of decent guided coach tours you can book yourself on as well.
If you've got a whole day to spare (it's about 5 hrs each way), Jökulsárlón is my number 1 recommendation for Iceland. A hell of a long drive, but it's one of the few places that's genuinely worth it.
- Eat fresh fish at the harbour (can't remember the name of the place we went, but it was excellent - about 20 different options, all fresh and grilled)
- wander up the hill to the main church
- spend time listening to Icelandic records with coffee at 12 Tonar (and buy some when you're done!)
- not visited properly, but there's a lake/park near the harbour that seemed nice when driving past and the area around Perlan is probably worth a look if you have time.
will certainly rent a car then :3
'I feel emotional landscapes' plastered everywhere.
before you Reykjavik
but Jokulsarlon is just incredible if you can get there
I drove there and back a few years ago from Reyjkavik. Takes longer than you think because of speed limits, stopping to look at sheep/cows/horses and suchlike, but we managed it okay - about 5 hrs of driving each way. Don't recommend detouring elsewhere without planning in an overnight stop or multiple drivers though, and would recommend making use of the N1 services at Klaustur when you get there... it's the last place with food/drinks/toilets until you get to the lagoon.
Probably the highlight for me
in about four hours, and see most of what it has to offer. I don't think there's much that's massively essential, beyond Hallgrimskirkja. But everything I did was good. So just wander round and go where you fancy/takes your eye.
Definitely get out in the countryside. Golden Circle is very good, but there's also a little village called Borgarnes to the North which is well worth a visit. Jet black beach made of volcanic ash, mountains over the bay, and an unbelievable restaurant tacked on to a museum of Icelandic history (I arrived too late to see the museum, but it's supposed to be great).
If you drive out to Jokulsarlon, stop off at the two big waterfalls along the way (can't remember names). You can walk right underneath one of them and the other is massive and you can get really close to that one too.
The North was my favourite bit, but too far from Reykjavik for a day-trip. If it's not too late to change your plans, I'd recommend a couple of nights in Akureyri. Much smaller than Reykjavik, but I preferred it. And Myvatn and Husavik are nearby and both high points of the trip for me. Going back to Akureyri next year for my Dad's 60th. Can't wait.
Missed Svartifoss, somehow. Looks great.
Cause David Cronenberg is stopping by for the film festival later this year.
Do the walk up into the mountains and get in the hot river. About a million times better than the Blue Lagoon.
there's just amazing stuff the whole way round.
big fan of natural springs up Hveragedi as above^
black beach at vik with standing stones in sea and basalt columns was nuts
jokulsalon - duh
also there are so many 'tongues' coming off the massive glacier in the south east corner we found you could basically drive right up to them and then get out and explore (they do guided tours and that, but ££)
all the waterfalls are amazing - fav was svartifoss
there's this place up north which looks like another planet - hverarond
I actually basically did every single thing suggested here. dis aint so bad
want pics? someone humour me, I bought a canon 450d just for this trip
I'm just back as well, missed this thread but did most of the stuff suggested. Got as far as Vik. Would definitely go back and do the whole ring road.
Unforgettable trip - really recommend it.
What's the east coast like? We're definitely doing northwest fjords and the north but not sure how far east to go
where it strays further inland as we only had 8 days and had to skimp a touch somewhere, so we didn't do most of the fjords out that way.
We drove round clockwise, so we stayed the night in Akuren, hit the 85 from there (the coast and sea past Husavik is beautiful) and then went back south down the 864 to hit Dettifoss from the north and head on back to Route 1. There's also an area around the turn off for the 863 where it's worth stopping and looking at the rock formations to the South.
From where the 864 hits Route 1 again down to Egilsstadir is relatively ordinary by Icelandic standards from memory - we didn't really stop much. It's mostly deserted, but doesn't really live up so much to the sights of the North and South from what we saw.
With that said, from Egilsstadir to Hofn there's a decent amount of stuff to see. The 939 cuts off a chunk of the ring road (and isn't for nervous drivers) but it's follows a river downstream and has got lovely views in both directions down the vallye, then the stretch around Búlandstindur in particular is well worth your time - massive pyramid shaped mountain on one side, big sweeping Fjord on the other.
Will bear this in mind when planning our trip :)
Think my favourite bit of the ring road that we drove on was the really long bridge in the middle of the black sandy bit along the south. Felt like another planet.
Going back next year to do the north of the country and greenland
I really want to go back to Iceland, probably one of my favorite places.
Is Reykjavik generally quite expensive? Reading this thread I'm looking forward to start making a plan..
If you're eating out and drinking in bars then I'd say it's the same as UK city centre prices.
But, buying booze in shops - very dear! You can buy duty free booze as you leave the airport.
Also, all the touristy trinket/clothes shops were very dear.