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3 days in Iceland

Manchester, United...
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3 days in Iceland

Hello all, I have booked a last minute get away for my wife and I to Iceland from 9-12 Jan. We (in our late 20s) are hoping to enjoy the natural environment as much as possible (inc Northern Lights) and sample Reykjavik (but not too fussed about the nightlife). I am hoping someone or as a collective group I can get some suggestions on

Where to stay (City or further afield or a mix)? - Northern Lights is a big draw

Rent a car or do organised trips? (Perhaps daylight hours affect this and also 2 wheel drive or 4x4?)

What to see in 3 full days? As suggested earlier we like the natural environment.

I envisage us in a natural geothermal pool in the middle of nowhere surrounded by snow with mountains and glaciers in the background. Oh and the Northern Lights bouncing around the sky. - a normal day in Iceland I hear ;-)

Many Thanks

Durham, United...
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1. Re: 3 days in Iceland

If the weather is playing nicely and you hire a car, then Reykjavik, the Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon, and the south coast waterfalls could be seen in three fairly busy days. Northern lights - get out of the city/town, whether by car or on a tour, and hope it's clear and they're out that night. For three nights, I think I'd just stay in Reykjavik and head out each day, or perhaps spend a night in Selfoss or around there.

2wd is fine, but as is often said, make sure it has studded tyres.

I'm afraid glaciers are probably too far though, you'd really need to head out as far as Vatnajokull for that.

Manchester, United...
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2. Re: 3 days in Iceland

Thank you for your reply - I was thinking that to increase the chances of seeing the Northern Lights it may be best to stay outside of Reykjavik and go into the City when needed? Does anyone know of somewhere like Hotel Ranga but perhaps without the price tag?! We like small and rustic but with breakfast included.

Durham, United...
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3. Re: 3 days in Iceland

I've stayed at the Icelandair hotel in Fludir, which wasn't bad. It's a small village and it's pretty sparsely populated round there. and there are (artificial) hot pools outside, so you might get the snow, northern lights and hot pool experience if you're lucky. Hotel Selfoss is also OK, but a bit dated and corporate feeling (it's also in Selfoss, which is a decent enough place to base yourself, but not what you'd call attractive).

Reykjavik, Iceland
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4. Re: 3 days in Iceland

Hi Both options are good. Stay in Reykjavík (Loft hostel or Kex hostel are great) and take day tours from there. You can book a northern lights tour in super jeep and they take you in a small group or private Northern lights hunting. Then I recommend Golden Circle in a super jeep with snowmobiling, a tour that runs every day and you go snowmobiling on Mýrdalsjökull. You could also do a glacier hike there or from Skaftafell if you are driving yourself.

If you are renting a car I would recommend you to drive the South Coast including the Golden Circle. I can recommend guesthouses like Gerdi or Hali in Suðursveit. From there you can go easily to Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon and do glacier hike or ice caving in Vatnajökull.

Hótel Rangá is a high quality hotel and has high prices. The Icelandair hotels are usually good and Hotel Anna is great. You can also book Self Drive Tours with many companies and they can give you insight info and customize tours to your wishes. I would recommend that.

Three day tour to Landmannalaugar would be perfect for you. There are some agencies that organize tours like that and you get the whole package. The northern lights are amazing in the highlands !

Have a great time in Iceland :)

Salisbury, United...
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5. Re: 3 days in Iceland

Staying in the countryside does not increase your chances of seeing the NL's. you need solar activity, clear skies and dark nights. That's why you need to be flexible and remember iceland's weather is unpredictable. You will have to go in search of clear skies.

If you stay in the countryside and have solar activity and clear skies, you won't have to travel and it will be relaxing. However if the clear skies are miles away you will need to travel along dark roads which could be icey. There may not be any tours in remote parts so any driving will be down to you.

The other alternative is to stay the whole time in Reykjavik, although you are unlikely to see them fom the city, you will need to travel to find the clear skies. Reykjavik offers good roads to many parts of Iceland in different directions. If you don't want to drive there are tours to fit all budgets.

It's a balancing act and don't expect clear skies to come to you. Last year we stayed in Reykjavik, 1st night we went towards þingvellir, 2nd night cloudy skips, 3rd night towards BlueLagoon were the clear skips were. Had we stayed fór a 4th night the clear skies were in Snaefelsness. All an easy drive from Reykjavik.

So it's all a bit of a gamble and there is no easy answer of where to stay, for me I would stay in Reykjavik. At least if its cloudy its a great city plenty of places to eat and see.

Enjoy you trip, it's a fabulous country, be prepared to return in summer.

Cardiff, United...
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6. Re: 3 days in Iceland

I know that you have already gone, but for future reference Frost Og Funi is a lovely place, we were very lucky to have the natural water hot tub/snow/Northern Lights experience and I loved every minute of our stay. The rooms had everything needed for a 1-2night stay, breakfast was great and the floor to ceiling windows were a huge bonus, waking up to see the Northern lights from your bed all still feels very surreal a year on! heading back out on Thursday, can't wait!

Edited: 10:27 am, February 24, 2014
Manchester, United...
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7. Re: 3 days in Iceland

Thanks to all for your help, we have indeed returned but thought it'd be good to update what we did.

We hired a 4x4 from the airport. Stayed 2 nights at hotel Ranga and then 1 in Hotel Laxnes nearer Reykjavik.

We didn't do any tours as we had the car. This is how I'd recommend anyone going to Iceland (so long as you're a confident driver). It saved a lot of money and gave us flexibility. We saw the Lights one evening towards þingvellir before the organised tours had set out.

The weather was everything we could have asked for and typically Icelandic. We had rain, sun and 12 inches of snowfall. We had a great time and would thoroughly recommend Iceland.

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8. Re: 3 days in Iceland

Hi, could you tell me what you decided to do in your 3 days? I'm going with my boyfriend this summer and we are looking for a great 3 day itinerary. we will be staying in Reykjavik the whole time, but we rented a car so we have freedom to travel. please share your experience and recommendations! thanks

9. Re: 3 days in Iceland

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