DH and I have been given a present of return flights to Iceland in February. We have 2.5 days there.
I'm very very excited but really want to get the most out of the short time we have. We'll probably hire a car. I'd love ideas on everything from what we need to see, where to stay, where to eat etc from anyone who has been.
Most definitely the Blue Lagoon. Less than an hour from Reykjavik. Very close to the Blue Lagoon is The Bridge Between Continents. It's a 15m foot bridge spanning Europe and North America. After crossing the bridge, you can pick up a personalized certificate from the Reykjanes Information Center verifying that the carrier did indeed walk all the way from Europe to America!
I don't think many people visit Iceland without taking a trip around the Golden Circle. Not only is it conveniently close to Reykjavik, but it has some of the most iconic places in Iceland –Þingvellir National Park, Geysir, and Gullfoss. This route is easily drivable in one day, and definitely should not be missed. 5 hours if you just do these tree, but 8 hours if you stop at other places along the way.
I also recommend that you do a 3hr whale watching trip with Elding. They also do 2hr Northern Light cruises after dark from Reykjavik and it would be a shame not to at least try and see the Northern Lights during your stay.
The Golden Circle trip is amazing. Also, spend some time just enjoying Reykjavik; it's an enchanting place.
I've just come back from Iceland - do you intend to hire a car? That'll make a big difference to the advice I can give you! I would recommend hiring a car ..... let me know and I can give you some tips!
I went to Iceland for a brilliant summer holiday. We went to Reyjavik including whale watching and then hired a car to travel round the golden circle - gullfoss, geysir, black lava beach, and a valley full of sulfataras where we swam in the hot river. We also went up to the ice cap and 'Into the Glacier' ( a tunnel inside the Glacier). But we were there for 10 days. Loved every minute of it!
Sorry, I see you are hiring a car! We used Blue Car Rental, no problems at all and very happy with their costs and customer service. You can jump on the car rental bus to get to their office, but in reality it drives around the corner, it it's quicker to walk!
Anyway, the Blue Lagoon is 20 min drive from the airport so we went straight there after landing. Booking in advance for the Blue Lagoon is essential. Then drive up towards Selfoss and stay somewhere around there. We stayed in Geysir but it was a hell of a drive after the Blue Lagoon!
On your first full day, head to Geysir, Gulfoss and stop at Kerid crater on the way. I would recommend staying around the Geysir area. Then head east, stopping at Thingvellir national park on the way to Reykjavik. A half day in Reykjavik is plenty, the drive to the airport which takes about 45 minutes.
Hope that helps. It's a great place, so fascinating.
Blue Lagoon, Northern Lights (try and see them early on in your trip in case you need to try again), snowmobiling on a glacier, geysers.
Agree with pp about staying near Selfoss - we found a great air BnB. Roads are great (we went in Feb 2 years ago). Golden Circle is lovely but probably preferred the day we drove to Vik and stopped at Seljandafoss and another waterfall on the way. If you want to do Blue Lagoon book we’ll in advance and accept it for the tourist trap it is - we had great time there. Iceland is amazing.
We went to Iceland in February about 8 years ago.
The weather was so bad that during that week hiring a car wouldn't have worked.
There are so many really good tours with amazing drivers and specially adapted vehicles for the weather (tyres etc)
You may fine but I thought I would warn you to look at other options.
Enjoy! We are going back in Feb too!
Also recommend going to blue lagoon as early as poss - I was there in November and booked to go at 8am which was perfect, it was heaving by 10:30am
If you're pushed for time then depending on the time of your flights you can do the Blue Lagoon on the half day, on your way to or from the airport, as it's v close to it. I would go along with the Golden Circle recommendations too. Its really, really good, and doing it by car you'll get longer at each stop too...
On your other day, I'd recommend driving along the south coast as far as Vik, where the black sand beach is with the cool basalt columns (google it). There's two fantastic waterfalls on the way there as well - Seljalandsfoss (which, weather depend, you can walk behind and look through), and Skogafoss. It's a lovely day out.
Enjoy Iceland! It's an incredible country, you'll have a blast.
Ps worth downloading an app to see what your chances of seeing the northern lights are while you are there, they tell you things like cloud cover and strength of aurora activity and really help.
Just been this summer.
Hire a 4WD if you are planning on going anywhere near the glaciers.
Into The Glacier is amazing. So is the one where they take you inside a volcano.
Laundromat in Reykjavik does the best breakfasts ever.
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