We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

Which Reykjavik hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Calgary, Alberta...
Level Contributor
277 posts
13 reviews
Save Topic
Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

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!

Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
942 posts
93 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

We toured the ring road over 8 days in Nov and I would say Jokulsarlon was one of the biggest highlights and photogenic locations so I would go here BUT in March it could be snowy and still not that light so I'm not sure it's possible to drive from Rey to Skaftafell for 12.30? It took us all day to drive from Vik to just past Jokulsarlon although we did make frequent photo stops, some of them quite lengthy. There is the trio of waterfalls along this stretch too - Seljandsfoss, Skogafoss and Svartifoss which are all different and stunning.

Personally I would do the south coast but not be time constrained and I would then not return to stay Rey again to make the most of the hire car and landscape exploring opportunities! I.e. Stay somewhere else on Sun night.

Blue Lagoon was a great experience, prob need 3 hours total there including changing to make the most of the relatively expensive entrance fee.

Calgary, Alberta...
Level Contributor
277 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

Thanks Parrotfish! There should almost be 11.5 hours of daylight when we go in March (according to the internet, from around 0800-1930) so I wasn't afraid to do a longer drive or head out in the early morning; and being from Canada we are very used to driving in snow and blustery conditions but would definitely take our time to drive safely and smartly. We had bought an air and hotel package so I don't think my husband would agree to two nights away from our already-paid-for accommodations...I'm already pushing it with one night, and he doesn't exactly know about that one yet. Um, surprise honey :) ? I could forego the ice cave tour, or play it by ear based on weather, I just didn't want them to be sold out...but I'm sure there are plenty of other things to see along the way to Jokulsarlon that are free! Still not sure about the Blue Lagoon...I'm sure I'll kick myself if we don't do it!

Vogar
Level Contributor
1,420 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

You can add the twilight when calculating daylight hours as because of the angle of the sun it lights up the sky for an hour before sunrise and after sunset so you get full 13 hours of light in mid-March.

Calgary, Alberta...
Level Contributor
277 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

Even better! That's pretty much exactly what we get here in Calgary at that time of year. I think we would be happier to just take it easy on the south coast and save the other areas for another visit. I suppose it's a great excuse to go back to Iceland...not that I need much of a excuse!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
341 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

The Snaefellsnes peninsula is absolutely spectacular and I would highly recommend it. However, it sounds like you will need to take another trip! You already have so much to see on the South coast that to rush a Snaefellsnes trip to give you even less time in the South would be insanity! If you're like me, you'll be more satisfied spending more time in one region than spreading yourself thin over many.

Regarding your husband's dining preferences, most Icelandic restaurants seem to have non-seafood options such as lamb (ubiquitous in Iceland), chicken, steak, or pasta. As you'll be in Reykjavik for his birthday, you may want to check out Tapas Barinn (fusion of Spanish, Latin American, and Icelandic ingredients in a festive atmosphere) or Grillmarkadurinn (seasonal, farm-to-table Icelandic cuisine).

Also, if you're walking around the city and need to sit down/have a rest with a coffee or drink, I would recommend Stofan Cafe, right on Ingolfstorg Square. They have a delicious chocolate cake with fresh cream and make good coffee. They also have wifi, so it's a good, homey place to talk to locals and travelers alike. On my last day (which is your March 17 proposed day), I decided to skip the Blue Lagoon in favor of walking around town. I'm glad I did, as I spent all of the rest of my time away from Reykjavik and it really is a charming city with a lot to see and do.

Cris P

Calgary, Alberta...
Level Contributor
277 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

I think you're right Cris. We are going to stick to south Iceland for this trip and we will decide on the ice cave tour when we get there. If we can get there in time and spots are still available, great, but if not there are plenty of other things to see. It will make for a much more relaxing vacation not having to rush around. I've already warned my husband that we will need to go back to Iceland for at least 10 days next time. But he wasn't too keen on the price of admission to the Blue Lagoon, especially if we can only stop for an hour or so...and we are already going to the Fontana pools on our tour...so we will play that one by ear as well. And all of your restaurant suggestions were already on my "possible" list so that makes me feel better...thanks! 64 days to go!!!

7. Re: Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum posting guidelines with prohibiting self-promotional advertising or solicitation.

We ask all of our members to keep their forum messages free of self-promoting advertisements or solicitation of any kind - members affiliated with any tourism-related business should not include commercial contact information or URLs in their forum messages.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 4:46 pm, April 26, 2014
London, United...
Level Contributor
37 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

I would add mountain bathing to the list northernlightsiceland.com/midnight-mountain-… Truly one of the best tours I´ve been on!

I agree that Snaefellsnes is spectacular - safe it for your next trip to Iceland :)

sydney Australia
Level Contributor
871 posts
70 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

Hi, You have an ambitious plan. I have not yet seen Jokulsarion lagoon because we went in March. That is planned for our next trip in a summer. But we did do a big tour for two days with a bus not a 4x4 or smaller vehicle, plus another day at Thingvillar snorkelling. The one thing I found was a laid back attitude to getting back to the city by the time they plan. Our big south coast day we were back 2 1/2 hours late, making it difficult to make our northern lights tour. (different company) For our snorkelling we were two or three hours late, so my point is maybe take up car hire as early as available on the next morning or set it to be at least three hours after you are supposed to be back in town. Also allow extra time for any tour, as I think the Icelandic people have a very island idea of time.

Poulsbo, Washington
Level Contributor
61 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Trying to sort out what to see Mid-March

In regard to the Blue Lagoon. Yes, the Blue Lagoon is cool, and for me it is a sort of "been there done that" type of thing. Yes, it is expensive, and I did not like that it was a "Meat Market".....so many people. Sure the location is cool, but honestly I liked the Fontana Steam Bath much better. Of course it is much smaller, but when we were there on our Golden Circle Tour, it was pretty much only our tour bus there, and not everyone went in the pool. So it made for a very nice and relaxing experience, and not crowded. And when you arrive at Fontana, they show you how they bake rye bread in the ground, and you get to taste it. That was super interesting. And make sure you try the shampoo they have in the showers at Fontana, it is awesome. Everyone who walked out of the changing rooms kept raving on how great the shampoo is.

Another option to consider is either the pool (Soley Spa) at Hotel Natura, or any of the public pools through out the city, which cost a fraction to get in compared to the Blue Lagoon. Since you have a car, you always can hit up any of those pools before heading to the airport.

www.spacity.is/thermal-baths-and-pools.html

http://visitreykjavik.is/laugardalslaug

cheers,

Peter