4,5 days on Iceland (budget traveling)

 

Before arriving

Rent a car

If you are more than one person going on the trip. It will pay-off to rent a car and do the classical tours by yourself.
There are several different rental-car agencies in the Kefflavik airport. When renting a car beforehand, notice that
not all the different insurances are included. It´s good to pay a little extra for a GPS. It makes everything easier.
A recommendation is to rent a small jeep (if you do not want to go for the large ones) or a 4 wheel car.

Some companies offers both delivery to your hotel as well as Keflavik International Airport. If you are traveling together in a group it might be more beneficial to have the car delivered at the airport rather than taking the bus.

Here's a list of some of the car rental companies in Iceland:

 

 Rent a flat

The restaurants in Reykjavik is innovative and make a lot of effort to make the food taste good and be interesting. But this is an area where you can save money by renting a flat and cook your own breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Tell the owner of the apartment when you will arrive (also see Day of arrival)

Buy a guide book

There are several different guide books on the market. It is well worth buying one. Because in them you will find a lot of the things a guide will tell you, if you went on a sight-seeing. 

Driving in Iceland

If you go to Iceland on the summer there will not be any problem with driving. The roads (outside Reykjavik area) are narrow and sometimes just made of gravel. This make it some time a little bit challenging when there is a lot of rain. Just slow down and there is no problem (if you are not use to that kind of roads). 

Restaurants and food

As said before, the restaurants on Iceland try to do their best. There might be some difficulties to find really good food. 

One common miss understanding among tourist has a sad consequence. Eating Whale is not a traditional Icelandic food. The whale catching is mostly done to satisfy the demands of the tourist. So if thats important to you, do not eat whale. Many tourist eat whale because they believe it is a traditional Icelandic food.

Bring your swim-suite

Make sure to bring your bathing clothes with you. Because bathing in hot-springs is a huge part of the life in Iceland. In Reykjavik there is several places where you can both swim and/or just relax in hot water.   


Day of arrival

The airport - Kefflavik

The airpor is situated 45 min drive from Reykjavik. You will find all the car rental firms in the main building of the airport. The cars will be located outside, aprox 3-4 min walk (so keep a umbrella or rain jacket available). The road from the air-port to Reykjavik is easy. 

 Shopping on your way to Reykjavik

On the road to Reykjavik you will pass by a large shopping center called Kringlan (Holtagörðum - 104 Reykjavík). Here you will find a a store called Haugkamp. Buy everything you need for breakfast, lunch and dinner here. Most of the people speak English so you can ask about the different products. Probably you will find that many of the products is the one that you have seen at the supermarket in your home town. 

Arriving to Reykjavik

You will find that Reykjavik is a small town and it´s easy to get around by car. The parking fee is moderate, compare to other cities.
And it´s not that difficult finding a place to park your car.

Take a short walk in town

A recommendation is to walk up to the famous church Hallgrimur. From here you get a view over Reykjavik. If you have the opportunity, take the elevator inside the church tower. From there you get a excellent view over Reykjavik. Take a walk down the main street towards the harbor. 


First day on Iceland

The Blue Lagoon

Get up early in the morning and have a breakfast. Pack your swimsuit and take the car out to the Blue Lagoon.
It takes about 40 min to get to the Blue Lagoon. You will drive on the same road that you drove on when going to Reykjavik from
the airport. You will be happy if you are there just before they open. Because hopefully you and just a few others are there. So when you get into the water, you will almost be alone. A recommendation is to stay here for just a half day. Remember, drink water.

Lunch in Reykjavik

There are several places to have lunch, if you do not want to eat at home. A good place to go to is the vegetarian restaurants.

Snorkeling (in the evening)

This might sound both crazy and difficult. Maybe it´s crazy, but it´s not difficult. Before going to Iceland, make a reservation for snorkeling at Silfra.  Probably this will become one of the strongest memories of your trip to Iceland. The water is clear and you will just have to float with the slowly moving current. Looking down on the crack between the two tectonic plates of America and Europe. The guide/instructor will take care of everything and make sure you are safe. Most of the companies will pick you up at your apartment/hotel. The whole tour take about 2 hours. 

Dinner

Have dinner at your place or go out and have a dinner. The least expensive restaurants are the Indian and the vegetarian ones.

Prepare food for next day

Prepare some sandwiches, coffee, tea for the next day. 


 Day two

The Golden Circle 

Get up early, Start by driving to Pingvellir. Park the car and take a 45-60 min walk around this beautiful area. Around the year 900 this place was used as place to meet once a year. During these assemblies decisions was made about Iceland. It is a truly historical place. 

 Next,stop is Geysir, it´s a 60-80 minutes drive. Geysir is an active geothermal area. Every 5-8 minutes there is an eruption of hot water. You might stay here for about 30 min. 

Next stop is Gullfoss.  It is a 20 min drive from Geysir. Gullfors is a beautiful waterfall. Here is a good spot to have your picnic. The recommendation is to stay in the car. Due to the temperature.

Time for genuine thermal bath

Set your GPS for Hveragerði and the Laugaskarð Swimming Pool

It is a 60-80 min drive from Gullfoss. 

This is a genuine Icelandic Swimming pool and thermal bath.  The whole place is very simple and it would need some restorations. But it is still a good place for a bath. The entrance fee is low.The drive Reykjavik is about 60-70 min.

Time for dinner

Eat at home or find a restaurant in Reykjavik. 

 


 Day Three

Scenic driving 

Get up early in the morning. Now its time for some scenic driving. Set the GPS for  town "Borganes and make sure that the GPS will guide you to and through the tunnel. This drive will take you north of Reykjavik. And you will be able to watch the beautiful landscape of Iceland.The drive to Borganes will take about 70 min. In Borganes you can drive down town just to look at the town. Head back to Reykjavik again.

Horseback Riding

There are several different companies that offer horse back riding. It is well worth spending both money and time on this. Most of the companies till pick you up at your apartment/hotel. 


Day Four

Morning bath

Try one of 8 different swimming pools in Reykjavik. Stay in the hot spring, take a swim and then a shower and you are ready for a shopping day in reykjavik. 

Shopping

There are several stores in Reykjavik. So spend a day shopping and drinking coffee. Just relax and enjoy the city of Reykjavik. Make sure to get tax-free. 


Day of departure

Going to the airport

Get out the airport in time. Because it tends to take some time to get to the check-in counter. You will leave your rental-car in a special section of the airport and from there you will be driven by buss to the main terminal. This will take you about 15-30 minutes. 

Tax free

If you want to get your money back from tax-free shopping. You will have to go to the customs.