I've been haunting this forum for a little while and I can tell that it's full of travel junkies and dreamers like me. I'm hoping that you'll help me with my dream holiday by suggesting places to go, people to meet, and sites to see.
Here's a little backstory: My wife and I took a three-night trip to Iceland in March 2013 and we had a blast. We were so moved by what we experienced there that we decided that we MUST return someday. Well wouldn't you know it: we got our wish granted for us courtesy of Icelandair!
On the day we were departing the airline was looking for volunteers to delay leaving by a day so that someone else could get on our flight. My wife managed to talk the airline into upgrading us to a flight into a different city in the US, first class, AND two free round trip return flight tickets! WOW!
My company offers a 10-week sabbatical program and I jumped on the opportunity to return to Iceland and photograph the place at a more relaxed pace.
Arrive Keflavik Sunday, February 23 2014
Family Arrives Keflavik: Sunday, March 16
Depart Keflavik: Wednesday, March 19
Continually updated/modifed rough route plan: https:/…5275043985c07ab3bc0001fa
I'm a photographer and my intent is to take a leisurely pace round about the ring road combined with a sojourn into the Westfjords for unforgettable astrophotography, northern lights, and other landscape subjects.
Generally speaking I'm planning to stop and stay for a little while in each of these places and explore what's nearby.
This is all very flexible which is why I'm hoping you can offer suggestions!
Gardur (I have a friend there I want to visit) / Keflavik (1-2 days maybe)
Reykjavik (1 days)
Borgarnes (1 days)
Strandabyggð (1 days)
Dynjandi Waterfall (via southern route  to Ísafjörður)
Ísafjörður (and Sudureyri, Flateyri and Thingeyri (1-2 days)
Hvitsrkur (volcanic formation off the west(?) coast of the peninsula)
Skagaströnd (small town w/ artist residency; cheapest room around...) (2-3 days)
Akureyri (hostel? airbnb? couch surfing? 2-3 days)
(Is it worth taking a sojourn to Grimsey from here at this point?)
Reyðarfjörður (cheap place on airbnb) (1-2 days)
Jökulsárlón (where to stay?!) (1-2 days)
Vik (overnight? Meh…)
Back to Reykjavik (stopping where along the way? Selajalndsfoss, etc.)
Any amount of time I can avoid renting a car would save me a tremendous amount of money. I'm open to ideas about this since it represents about 40% of my estimated budget!
I have budgeted to (at great expense!) rent a 4x4 vehicle but I am not experienced with offroad driving. I will approach F roads with a great deal of caution. The least expensive I've found is icerental4x4.
I've seen the carpooling website for Iceland which seems very compelling. Is it worth considering?
Is there other transportation worth considering?
I will be doing a lot of shooting all night long so I'm not quite sure about sleeping arrangements. I may be napping / sleeping a fair bit during the day which makes traditional hotel/hostel arrangements a little unusual. I will be bringing my 17F sleeping bag and I'm not afraid of cold-weather camping so sleeping in the car for a few nights is fine by me.
On the whole, I'm curious to know what is thought of this plan. Too ambitious? Is the north east region east of Akureyri worth the extra distance traveling? What am I "missing"? :-) Is there, for instance, something totally epic in the middle of the country along F35 or F26, for instance?
Takk fyrir! Help me make this dream even better!