Much of this is a copy and paste (including her wonderful emojis) of what Mrs Z posted on her Facebook travel group. This trip was done in mid August in almost perfect weather. Watch road conditions if you attempt this at other times. 10 days is the minimum to do this. If you only have 9 days, skip Snæfellsnes, but thats not to say its skippable.
Day 1 – Blue Lagoon and Reykjavik
Blue Lagoon. Allow a couple of hours.
Explore Reykjavik. Main streets, Sun Voyager, Harpa Concert Hall, hot dog at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
Lunch at Cafe Loki – Try to sit upstairs, traditional plate (no fermented shark for us. Stinky food not my jam, and I havent found a single soul that liked it), Lamb Shank soup, smoked trout, Rye Bread Ice cream (yes!!!)
Dinner at Skal! – Inside Iceland’s first Food hall – sunchokes, skirt steak, arctic char. Excellent!
Stay at Reykjavik Residence Apartment. Recommend!
Day 2 – Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Geirabakarí Kaffihús – Good midway point stop. Bakery was the location of “Papa Johns” in ”The secret life of Walter Mitty”.
Kirkjufellsfoss – GOT sight, highlight
Lunch at Gilbakki – fish soup 😋, date pesto on a bagel. Fantastic lunch in the lone restaurant in Hellissandur where you can find some interesting murals. Like a mini Wynwood (Miami)
Djúpalónssandur beach – Very cool, atmospheric black beach
Lóndrangar – short stop, dramatic cliff views
Hellnar – nice little walk toward Arnastapi, and a good stop for coffee break with a view
Arnarstapi – Bárður, Gatklettur
The story of Bárður Snæfellsás the area first settler – https://guidetoiceland.is/connect-with-locals/regina/bardur-snaefellsas-the-mysterious-protector-of-the-snaefellsnes-peninsula
Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge – This was a fail for us. We walked inside the Gorge until reaching a dead end too soon (large boulder), need waterproof shoes
Búðakirkja – Black Church – The Motif #1 of Iceland. The most photographed structure. Dark skies actually help in this case
Bjarnarfoss waterfall – Cool, relatively unknown waterfall. Short hike to the bridge
Ytri Tunga – Beach where you may find seals, and whale skeleton
Buffet Dinner and stay at Langaholt Guesthouse. Fine stay, nice setting. There’s not much else in the area
Day 3 – Drive to Husavik
Grábrók crater – The largest of three volcanic craters, mostly covered in moss. It stands 170 m/550 feet tall. The last eruption was around 3400 years ago. Can be windy 👍. Beautiful views from the top. Bathroom at the restaurant in the gas station just prior. You just need to buy something. And by something, I mean more chips
Kolugljúfur Canyon – Another cool stop on the way. As nice as the waterfall is, the canyon is the highlight. Walk down under the bridge, but can be slippery 👍👍. Unpaved road to get to the site
Sjávarborg Restaurant – Backtracking 10 km or so, but worth it. Seafood soup, fish of the day ❤️❤️
Glaumbær Farm & Museum (cool cafe inside that looks like a tea parlor ) 👍
Akureyri – Second largest city, cute downtown, good hot dog, ice cream stop. Park by the church
Goðafoss – Goðafoss got its name when Christianity was declared the official religion of Iceland, so the locals threw Norse pagan gods statues into the waterfall. Park and do the east side, by N1 gas station ❤️❤️
Dinner at Naustið – Mussels, fish and chips, Arctic char. Good, but second night better
Stay at Fosshotel Húsavík (2 nights)
Day 4 – Myvatn
Dettifoss – Take the paved 862 to the west lot, largest and strongest waterfall in Europe, Another 15 minutes walk against the flow to Selfoss – allow 1-1&1/2 hours total here
Hverir – Very cool Geothermal area. Nice setting. 👍
Grjótagjá – Quick cave stop. This is where Jon Snow and Ygritte had their romantic rendezvous 🤔
Lunch at Vogafjós Farm Resort – Good Burger! 👍
Hverfjall – 20 min steep hike to crater of a 2500 y/o volcano
Lava field Dimmuborgir – Volcanic rock formations – if time allows
Skútaís – Farm Ice Cream 👍
Skútustaðagígar – a park of pseudo craters, much more appreciated with a drone, but pleasant walk. If time and black midge flies allow. Myvatn afterall is named after the midge flies
Geosea in Húsavík – Geothermal Sea Baths – Try to go at sunset if its a nice day
Dinner at Naustið – Second meal. Fish of the day, fish soup. This is the strength of this place. Reserve in advance.
Day 5 – Northeast
Beitarhúsið – Nice middle of nowhere pit stop for coffee, lunch or whatever. Try the love balls
Stuðlagil Canyon – One of the highlights of the entire trip. Park at the second lot, a mile or so after crossing the bridge, very bumpy ride especially the last mile. Parkplatz Klaustrusel – Stuðlagil on Google. 3&1/2 mile round trip hike. Allow 2-3 hours.
Seydisfjordur – Beautiful drive down to this Picturesque town. Check out the blue church, Fish n chips lunch at Fancy Sheep food truck. 👍
Gufu waterfall on the way back. Short stop
Litlanesfoss, Hengifoss – Steep hike, about 2 hours total (3.6 mile round trip). Unique fall, but not a must. Litlanesfoss halfway just as impressive. Looking back we probably should have relaxed at the hotel spa, or a town pool.
Dinner and stay at Gistihusid in Egilsstaðir
Day 6 – East
Drive toward Höfn on road 1 (against Google advice). Numerous short stops on the way:
Petra’s Stone Collection – very cute 👍
Hvalnes Lighthouse – stop if not cloudy or foggy
Red chair – Yes, its just a red chair on a rock
Hofn – Langoustine lunch in Pakkhús 😋 – skyr cake 😋😋
Diamond Beach – Park at the west side. Waves can sneak up.💎💎💎
Múlagljúfur Canyon – Better light in the morning but tomorrow is busy, turn at 63.9886667, -16.3971589, 1.5km rough road to the parking lot, 30-45 minute walk to the viewpoint. We tried but elected to skip due to weather, but this seems like a relatively undiscovered gem
Dinner and stay at Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon – go to sauna and hot tub. Get the steak tartare, huge dishes
Day 7 – Glacier lagoon, drive to Vik
Jökulsárlón Zodiak tour 9:30. Arrive by 9 👍
Fjallsárlón Glacier Parking – Walk to observation area to see glacier up close
Hofskirkja church – turf covered roof and unique cemetery. The last turf church built and one a few remaining
Svartifoss – “the black waterfall”, the basalt columns inspired the design of Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík. parking 700 ISK, 90 min round trip.
Lunch at Kjarr Restaurant – cute location w waterfall view on some days, nice pastas especially the seafood
Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon – Allow an hour. Walk till the metal deck 👍👍
Dinner at Black Crust Pizzeria – liked the pizza but not the smell of clothes after.
Reynisfjara Beach – black sand and puffins in season
Stay at Hotel Vik
Day 8 – South
Explore Vik’s other side:
Reynisfjara beach – Columns and black sand beach and caves. Be careful of sneaker waves
Dyrhólaey – lighthouse and dramatic black beach views
Skógafoss – Try to come before 10 to beat the tour groups, go up the stairs and hike waterfall alley for at least one mile or at least until Fremri-Fellsfoss. Allow 2 hours. Best hike of the trip
Lunch at Mia’s Country Van – Fish & Chips
Kvernufoss – park at Skogar museum, 10 minute walk to the falls, waterproof clothes if you opt to go behind the fall. Rainbow if sunny
Seljalandsfoss – go behind the waterfall, will get wet, slippery – wear waterproof gear
Gljufrabui – 5 minute walk from Seljalandsfoss (go left), hop on wet stones to go through canyon in water to get to waterfall
Secret Lagoon 👍
Dinner at Messinn Selfossi – Very popular with locals, but disappointing overall. I think we just ordered the wrong dishes for us (wolffish lacking in texture). Reserve if you go.
Stay at Hótel Kvika (2 nights) – Budget hotel but comfortable
Day 9 – Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar Hiking Tour with Arctic Adventured – Pickup at 8:15 from Selfoss N1 Gas Station 👍👍👍 ( take sandwiches and snacks with you ). Long day, a lot of driving but highly recommend
Dinner at Fjöruborðið Restaurant ❤️
Day 10 – The leftovers
Þingvellir National Park