Majestic glacial volcanoes, beautiful lakes and vistas, surf crashing upon black beaches, windswept lava fields covered in elfin blankets of moss, eerie blue ice floes ribboned with black ash… Iceland is a country that grabs your heart and never lets go. In mid-March, I and my 17 year old son drove through South Iceland on a whirlwind 6 day trip packed with snowmobiling, ice-cave touring, waterfall & hot-spring hopping, lakes, geothermal parks, & stunning landscapes. The roads were clear & free of snow/ice, & although we experienced the chill bite of a couple of hailstorms, dense fogs, and cold winds, we had no issues driving in our 2WD Sixt rental car, from Keflavik to Höfn & back, in our allotted time.
We brought enough granola bars and nut mixes from home so that upon landing in Iceland at 6:45a.m. we could “hit the ground running” and start exploring hours before anything opened. We stayed in HI Hostels https://www.hostel.is/ , and self-catered every meal so we could spend our money on experiences. We brought a playlist of music with us for the long drive portions, and the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men perfectly captures the mythical, otherworldly feel of this truly awe-inspiring country.
Here is an overview of our enthusiastic itinerary, and in separate blog posts I’ll detail everything we saw each day, how we did each activity, costs, distances, directions, and tips.
- Highlights: The Bridge Between Two Continents, Gunnuhver, Reykjanesviti, Blue Lagoon, Raufarholshellir, Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi Waterfall, Skogar and Skogafoss waterfall .
Day Two: Skogar to Vagnsstaðir (28 km east of Jökulsárlón Lagoon)
- Highlights: Solheimajokull, Dyrhólaey, Eldhraun, Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Kirkjugólf, Foss á Síðu-Waterfall, Skeiðarársandur, Bridge over Skeiðará, Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Day Three: Vatnajökull (stay in Vagnsstaðir)
- Highlights: Snowmobile tour on Vatnajökull glacier; Ice Cave Tour, Jökulsárlón, Diamond Beach
Day Four: Vagnsstadir to Hofn to Vik
- Highlights: Hofn, Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Reynisfjara Beach, hot pot (local swimming pool) in Vik
Day Five: Vik to Reykjavik
- Highlights: Reynisdrangar and Reynisfjara, Seljavallalaug, Iceland Erupts, Hveragerdi, Lebowski Bar & Reykjavik nightlife
Day Six: Reykjavik to Keflavik Airport.
Highlights: Hallgrimskirkja, Kleifarvatn, Kryuvik, Seltun, Graenavatn