A very beautiful place with stunning and breathtaking landscape that will blow your mind away. In my previous blog ( Things you should know about Iceland ), I have given a basic guideline if you are going to Iceland in Winter.
Here to share you our simple routes on how we are moving around Iceland in 9 days. We have chosen our route to be anti-clockwise. Is your own choice, either way (clock wise or anti clock wise) works, but from other bloggers, most people have done it clock wise. There is more tourist spot to see if you start anti clock wise, where as anti clock wise will lead you to landscape that is out of your expectations.
Day 1 – Say HI to Iceland
Arriving at Keflavík International Airport via WOW Airway from Amsterdam at noon. Getting our money changed at the airport to the local currency, get ourselves a one way ticket from airport to the bus station (main) via FLYBUS at around 2,500 ISK per person (RM96). Journey around 45 minutes. Settling down 2 nights at Airbnb with Hannes (entire home , share by 5 pax)
Day 2 – REYKJAVIK
It is the busiest city in Iceland and also the most popular one. Many travelers set off from / end at this point. The city can be easily explore everything by foot and in a day. So try to maximum your time to visit what Iceland offers you – which is out of the city to the unknown. Will only be recommending the following spot that is within my favorite.
Harpa is another landscape building that you won’t want to miss it. Try to visit it during the night as the lights will out-stand its beauty and unique. Entrance will be free. Spend sometime exploring inside.
Svarta Kaffid is recommend by my friend. We tried once and fall in love. The soup is amazing. Thumbs up, do give them a try, you will not regret to have it during winter in Iceland. (Price ISK 1750 for one portion – RM67)
Day 3 – Preparation of Road Trip
We pick up our car in the AM. But due to some changes and documentations, everything is settled late so we had give up some of the destination so we can get our schedule on time. Before heading out of Reykjavik, is best recommend to start doing groceries. There is 2 supermarket : BONUS & HAGKAUP. Most people will be going for BONUS as it is the cheapest in Iceland.
We leave Reykjavik in the afternoon, and our first stop – Oxararfoss.
You will need to hike a little to the amazing waterfall, remember to bring a torchlight with you as it is hard to see when it gets darker.
Weather is bad on the day so we drive all the way to our first campsite – winter services. (Cost: 500 ISK per person, in use of toilets facilities only).
Bruarfoss Waterfall – A worth hiking to a breathtaking landscape of waterfall. You have to be patient as you need to go through super muddy path and some bushes to get to this place. It ain’t easy and is also a bit of risk as you might slip on your way. But reaching there, every steps are worth.
Geysir – One of the famous attraction within the Golden Circle of Iceland. Geysir happen due to earthquake way back in 1294 (ok i google it) that shook the southern lowlands of Iceland and changed the geothermal area in Haukadalur valley. Video is best option to capture the photo as it “explode” one time every 7-10 mins (roughly).
Seljalandsfoss & Gljúfrabúi – Both is situated next to each other. Seljalandsfoss is a waterfall that you can hike up from one end to another. Be prepare to get wet so is best you had your hiking shoe and waterproof jacket ready in action. After you come down from the other end of Seljalandsfoss, just keep on going, you will reach Gljúfrabúi. Is a hidden beauty. But because is raining and risky, so I did not climb into it to see. My friend did, but just half way as you will get completely wet. But if the weather is good, the landscape is amazingly stunning.
Skógafoss – Is another waterfall but is bigger than Seljalandsfoss. The moment we get there, it was already dark, once again, headlight is important.
We end our night at the available campsite situated beside Skogafoss. It is the worst campsite ever in our trip because you need to pay 300 ISK for a shower that only gives you 5 minutes of shower and is not clean. (They only accept 100 ISK coin, so if you don’t have it, i’m sorry, you have to go through another night of not showering).
Also, this night, is our first night we witness the weak aurora that can only be verify by camera. But stars are amazing.
Bonus: Do visit the famous plane wreck if you had enough of time, we give up as you need to walk for about 5KM to get to the destination and had limited daylight and we had no time but to rush to catch up our schedule so we could be the the glacier tour on time. (we feel bad back about it). Another option is the secret lagoon, which we are out of time.
Day 5 – Ring Road
Most tourist attractions are located within the golden circle. once you had done that, it is time you hit the ring road and begin the road-trip of whole Iceland. There is nothing much to see, but along your way, there is always surprises. Be prepare to always in need of stopping your car, get your camera ready and snap or just WOAH all the way.
You will pass by a city – VIK. You can always store up your groceries from there if you need it. Our day 5 are just spending more time on road, and we just park somewhere nearer to our glacier destination to get some rest.
Day 6 – Skaftafell & Jökulsárlón
Glacier Hike at Skaftafell: We book our glacier hike from Extreme Iceland. I would only recommend this if you are too early to go for an Ice Cave experience. Ice Cave is normally available from mid november to February but it is also depending on the weather. If the forecast is not good, it will be too risky to hike into an Ice Cave. If you can go for Ice Cave, then there is no need to go for a Glacier Hike, as you can experience it also within your journey to the Ice Cave. Extreme Iceland is a recommended tour company. Try email them personally, and you might get a 3 – 5% of discount (thats what I did). If you can’t go for Ice Cave, Glacier Hike is a very good experience, you will get to know better about the formation of a glacier and experience walking on a crampons on Ice.
Jokulsarlon is along the way after skaftafell. It is very worth to pay them a visit since you will drive pass this attraction point. Here, you can join the tour on boat to see the Ice on the water, but which I think, it is not recommended as you can just view the stunning view for FREE.
Along the way, you could stop by at Hoffell Hot Tubs. It is an outdoor hot tubs. I did not go for it whereas my bf and his friend went for it. We stopped there and had a rest and cook our dinner, but overnight at this area is prohibited.
Day 6 & 7
We totally forgot our Blue Lagoon Appointment which is booked on the 4th Nov (our second last day in Iceland), so this two days, we were rushing like mad around ring road. Along our way, we do managed to visit some great places.
We tried Myvatn Nature Baths ( Check price ). We really need a really really good shower, so we go for this, where we pay to enter the hot spring and also a shower. I do recommend to pay them a visit, as the surroundings of this baths is amazing. If you are lucky enough, you can even see Aurora from here.
Baula & Grabrok is situated on the way back to Reykjavik city. Stop by and have a little hike up, to see great view of Baula.
We pass by a town call – Borgarnes. We found a really really cozy cafe that I highly recommended – blomasetrid – kaffi kyrrd (Google Map). Is a mixture of cafe and also rooms. So if you need somewhere to crash, maybe you can consider them. How much is the charges, I could not give you any rates as I did not check it. We spent our afternoon there playing games, online and rest. The owner of the cafe are so friendly and makes you feel like home.
The best campsite that we have stayed is – Bjarteyjarsandur, a farm in fjord Hvalfjorour, which is about an hour drive from Reykjavik. You can use their kitchen, shower room, toilets, wifi facilities and stay indoor (warm and nice) till they closed at around 10/11PM with a price of 1250 ISK per person or if you did not want to use their kitchen but preferring to stay inside your campervan, that would be around 900 – 1000 ISK per person.
Day 8 – Blue Lagoon
There is no winter campsite around blue lagoon or the airport (if you come in the other season, there will be a campsite that is open). So we end up camping at the airport where at the spot where we need to return the camper van. Also we end our Iceland trip by having Aurora sending us off while we are on the way to the airport.
In my next post, I will share about how much we spent in total (general expenses).
Photocredit: Wenkang and LieKee
Route planner credit: Wenkang