I thought I had it all figured out. Apparently I do not. Here is what I had planned so far...
Thursday March 13 - Arrive at Keflavik at 0640, catch the Flybus to Hotel Natura. Wander around Reykjavik for the day, see the city, do some shopping, have some dinner and go to bed as we will likely be exhausted.
Friday March 14 - Golden Circle/Fontana tour (includes Gullfoss, Geysir, Thingvellir, Fontana pools) that was included in our vacation package, and the date cannot be changed; we should be back to the hotel around 6pm. Planning to reserve a 4x4 vehicle with Blue Car Rental for the rest of our trip and will have them drop the car off at the hotel around 7 or 8pm (to make sure we are back from our tour). Find somewhere to go for dinner and maybe drive out of town a bit in search of the NL.
Saturday March 15 - Drive out early and head for Skaftafell for an Ice Cave tour at 12:30 (not available on Sundays). Once that is done, head to the Jokulsarlon area and say in Hali for the night (forfeiting our hotel in Reyk for the one night). Hope to get some sunset/sunrise pictures at the lagoon, and if the NL decide to make an appearance that night then that will be perfect.
Sunday March 16 (husband's birthday) - Drive back to Reyk making any needed photo stops along the way. Hubby really wants to go to the Geothermal plant but it closes at 1700. Hoping to make it back with enough time to do this. Go for a nice dinner for his birthday (he won't eat fish or seafood so suggestions would be appreciated!). Go looking for the NL again if we haven't seen them by this point.
Monday March 17 - Drive to Blue Lagoon and have a soak before the flight home (not really sure I want to spend the $ on this though as we will only be there for about 2 hours) or go to the Geothermal plant if we didn't make it the day before. If we don't do either of these things, then we will likely wander around the city again picking up last minute gifts and souvenirs. Leave for the airport at around 1230 to drop off the rental and catch our flight at 1645.
BUT NOW...after spending days figuring out this itinerary and deciding that we did not need to go north towards the Snæfellsnes peninsula (thought about doing a whale watching tour initially and have since been looking at where the day tours take you and the amazing scenery up there), I am second guessing my decision. I love love love to take photographs and am looking for the most "bang for my buck" on this trip which is apparently about a week too short for everything we would love to do. We could give up the ice cave tour and cancel the hotel in Hali which would save us some money, but that would mean one really long day trip to Jokulsarlon (a "must-see" for me) plus all of the other stops along the way, then another day trip to the Snæfellsnes peninsula doing basically the same route as this tour extremeiceland.is/en/sightseeing-tours/day-t…
And depending on the weather, both of these plans could go down the proverbial toilet very quickly.
Obviously, if you couldn't tell, any advice would be appreciated!