Posts in Iceland
11 Days in Iceland | Complete Itinerary for the Ring Road

I do not know if there is any country in the world more picturesque, unique, and just downright unbelievable as Iceland.  I am generally averse to visiting the same destination multiple times as there are so many other places in the world to explore, but Iceland might just be an exception.  With so much of the island untouched, you can come back and visit multiple times and still find new and unexpected gems.  We visited in the middle of June for 11 days and drove around the entire country.  All seasons have their perks and there really is no wrong time to visit.  We chose mid-June because it was only at the start of peak season, 22+ hours of daylight, lupines would be in peak bloom, and temperatures would be getting warmer.

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How to Spend 3 Days in Reykjavik, Iceland

Our fourth day driving the Ring Road was action packed as we went through the martian landscape of northeast Iceland.  The highlights of this section of the Ring Road include the powerful Dettifoss waterfall, the geothermal lava fields of Krafla and Hevrir, a lava cave steam bath, volcanic craters, lava rock fields, and the gorgeous Lake Mývatn.  It was a long day that ended with a problem with our Airbnb.  

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How to Eat Cheap in Iceland | Less than $8 a Day

Iceland is expensive.  It is the 4th most expensive country in the world based on consumer price indexes.  High food costs are a large part of it.  There are certainly ways to keep your costs down if you strategize.  During our 11-day trip around Iceland, we spent less than $8 a day per person on food.  You go to Iceland for the beautiful landscapes and thrilling experiences, save your money for accommodations and activities rather than food.  Here are practical tips for eating cheap in Iceland.

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The Best Summer Adventure Activities in Iceland

Iceland has some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.  The Land of Fire & Ice is packed with volcanoes, glaciers, and rugged terrain to explore.  Iceland is a destination that is difficult to top.  While you still will be impressed with this country if all you did was drive around and take pictures, getting out of your comfort zone and taking on some adventure will leave you with lifetime memories.  When we travel we always try to prioritize experiences over spending unnecessary money on food and fancy accommodations.  Like everything in Iceland, these activities are pricey but oh so worth it. There is so much to do in summer to make use of those long days and the midnight sun.  Here we list the 5 adventure activities we did during our trip and rank them based on our experiences.  

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Top 8 Things to See in Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of the most extraordinary regions in Iceland for dramatic landscapes and must-see sights.  You can see everything from glaciers, lava fields, waterfalls, varying colored beaches, steep ocean cliffs, or volcano peaks.  Here we recommend the 8 top things to see and do on your trip through Snæfellsnes.  We were visiting Snæfellsnes as a detour from the Ring Road (we were traveling counter-clockwise).  The first two places listed we visited after our drive to Snæfellsnes from Akureyri.  The remaining 6 we visited the next day as we made our way back to Reykjavik ending our Ring Road Trip.  Snæfellsnes Peninsula is also a great day trip from Reykjavik whether by driving it yourself or taking a tour.

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Day 6: Driving the Ring Road in Iceland | Akureyri to Grundarfjörður

Our longest driving day took us from Akureyri to Grundarfjörður, across the north of the country.  Most of the day consisted of gawking out the car's windows at the beautiful scenery we drove through.  We took the occasional stop to fly the drone when the surroundings were just too captivating to ignore.  This day was the start of our detour from the Ring Road to Snæfellsnes Peninsula.  Snæfellsnes Peninsula has some of the most alluring views in all of Iceland.  After our long drive, we visited two great spots on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula: the city of Stykkishólmur and Kirkjufell.  We spent the night in the most amazing Airbnb overlooking Kirkjufell and the ocean.

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7 Incredible Airbnbs in Iceland

What better way to revel in the beauty of Iceland than stay in a tiny house right in nature.  There are hundreds of amazing Airbnbs found all over the country.  We booked 7 incredible free-standing houses for our trip along the Ring Road.  Focusing on tiny houses, cottages, or cabins, there were several great options located in small villages or on farms in the middle of nowhere.  Each house had everything you would find in a studio apartment: a kitchen, bathroom, and large room for living and sleeping.  Cooking our dinners in the Airbnb in each night saved us hundreds of dollars in food costs, especially in a pricey country like Iceland.  Here are the 7 Airbnbs that we booked and our experience spending the night in Iceland's nature.  

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Day 5: Driving the Ring Road in Iceland | Mývatn to Akureyri

The drive from the Mývatn region to Akureyri was the shortest, even with a detour to Húsavík.  Most of our time was spent on a miserable Whale Watching tour in the cold pouring rain.  There were no whales to be seen.  Our day started to look up after getting to the magnificent Godafoss waterfall.  In Akureyri, the 2nd largest city in Iceland, we visited one of the northernmost botanical gardens and their church upon the hill.

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Carry-On Iceland Packing List for Summer | Men

Packing for summer in Iceland is tricky.  Iceland's summer is a bit unlike the rest of the world.  The average temperature is around 10ºC (50ºF), but the temperature hasn't reached above 22ºC (71ºF) in Reykjavik in 10 years.  You will likely experience all four seasons in a given day, and all types of precipitation throughout your trip.  In late June, it rained all but one day, snowed and hailed.  There were dangerous winds that closed whole regions of the country to travel by van.  Yet, there are the rare days with completely clear skies and an intense sun that will never set.  Being prepared for any and all weather can be difficult to fit in a small carry-on suitcase.

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Day 4: Driving the Ring Road in Iceland | Egilsstaðir to Mývatn

Our fourth day driving the Ring Road was action packed as we went through the martian landscape of northeast Iceland.  The highlights of this section of the Ring Road include the powerful Dettifoss waterfall, the geothermal lava fields of Krafla and Hevrir, a lava cave steam bath, volcanic craters, lava rock fields, and the gorgeous Lake Mývatn.  It was a long day that ended with a problem with our Airbnb.  

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Day 3: Driving the Ring Road in Iceland | Höfn to Egilsstaðir

We spent our third day in Iceland navigating the Eastern Fjords from Höfn to Egilsstaðir.  Most of the morning was spent driving along the coast, making countless stops to take in the scenery or just to let the sheep cross the road.  We had our first and only big uh-oh, getting stuck in sinking sand; rescued by the kindness of strangers.  After several hours of driving along farms and through the mountains, we enjoyed the charming village of Seyðisfjörður.  We also hiked to one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland, Hengifoss.  It was our favorite, but most challenging, hike we did in Iceland.  We spent the night in a beautiful cottage on a horse farm, surrounded by mountains.

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Carry-On Iceland Packing List for Summer | Women

Packing for summer in Iceland is tricky.  Iceland's summer is a bit unlike the rest of the world.  The average temperature is around 10ºC (50ºF), but the temperature hasn't reached above 22ºC (71ºF) in Reykjavik in 10 years.  You will likely experience all four seasons in a given day, and all types of precipitation throughout your trip.  In late June, it rained all but one day, snowed and hailed.  There were dangerous winds that closed whole regions of the country to travel by van.  Yet, there are the rare days with completely clear skies and an intense sun that will never set.  Being prepared for any and all weather can be difficult to fit in a small carry-on suitcase.

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Day 2: Driving the Ring Road in Iceland | Vik to Höfn

On our second day on the Ring Road in Iceland, we continued heading east along the south coast towards the fishing village of Höfn.  Only a 205 km drive straight, it took 10 hours with all of the amazing stops in between.  We drove through drastically changing terrains from a lava field covered in moss to glaciers.  We ended the day with an exhilarating snowmobile ride on a glacier while it snowed.  A highlight of our trip, for sure.

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Day 1: Driving the Ring Road in Iceland | Keflavik to Vik

Immediately upon our arrival in Iceland, we loaded up our rental car and set off on Route 1.  Iceland's Ring Road, or Route 1, is the main highway that circles around the island.  It connects all of the small towns dotted around the coast and is the most popular route for tourists hoping to explore the country.  Our first day was extremely ambitious, especially after coming off a sleepless red-eye flight.  Might as well start off the trip with a bang.  We drove counter-clockwise on the Ring Road, starting with one of our favorite region's of Iceland: the South Coast.  Our first day included countless waterfalls, puffins, black sand beaches, and lupines as far as the eye can see.

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How Much Does it Cost to Go to Iceland?

If you haven't already heard it from everyone else, let me be the first to tell you: Iceland is expensive.  Super expensive.  Iceland is currently ranked as the 3rd most expensive country in the world.  During our visit, we tried to limit expenses where we could without limiting experiences.  We did everything we wanted (within reason... unfortunately, no helicopter rides over the gorgeous landscape), but for the lowest price we could swing.  In this guide, I break down everything we spent money on and how to reduce your expenses while in Iceland.

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