What's your only moment in Iceland
The best Iceland travel tips - travel bloggers share their tips
Wonderful Iceland - tips for a road trip with highlights & routes
Small Iceland with its active volcanoes, spraying geysers, meandering glaciers and dreamy fjords is booming as a travel destination like never before. In the summer I would like to finally go on a road trip in Iceland.
Since this is my first time traveling to Iceland and am almost overwhelmed with the mass of tips and highlights, I asked dear travel blogger colleagues about their personal highlights, experiences and tips for Iceland.
I asked the following questions:
- What were your highlights in Iceland
- What did you not like so much about Iceland?
- What should I definitely see in Iceland?
- How long should I take to travel to Iceland?
- Which nice accommodations, restaurants, cafes or bars can you recommend?
- What was the most impressive moment for you on your Iceland vacation?
Bathing in the hot pot Grettislaug in northern Iceland
(My brother Michi)
The complete Iceland road trip is a highlight in itself, one sight after another. The further you move away from the touristy south-west, the more intense the experience becomes.
The Blue Lagoon is not recommended - it is totally overcrowded. There is even an extra visitor entrance for tourists who just want to take a picture.
You should definitely drive around the whole island on the ring road and not just take the south-west with you. Especially in the other regions of the island it is much quieter and you can enjoy all the flora and fauna much more intensely. In any case, don't miss a dip in one of the hot pots.
My top activities for Iceland are:
- Puffin Island in Husavik
- Canoeing on the sea near Reykjavik
- Whale watching in Husavik (unfortunately we only saw the tail fin of a minke whale for a short time)
- Bathing in the Myvatn Nature Baths
- Visit the many waterfalls
Plan at least 12 days for Iceland
An Iceland round trip should be at least 12 days with arrival and departure. If you want to visit the highlands or the fjords in the north-west you will need more time.
Which nice accommodations, restaurants, cafes or bars have you discovered and visited in Iceland?
I can highly recommend the Airbnb accommodation "Studio apartment with ocean view" in Husavik. From here you have a wonderful view of the bay and the hostess Sólveig is very helpful.
In Reykjavik there is a very great café called “The Laundromat Cafe” that I visited thanks to a tip from Marc. (Thank you for this tip Marc. You can read Marc's tips below).
What was the most impressive moment for you on this Iceland tour?
The most impressive moment was bathing in the hot pot Grettislaug in the north of Iceland. Completely secluded, I bathed in the 43 ° C hot water. Waterfalls and the sound of the sea could be heard in the background.
Michi is not just my little brother and has already accompanied me on the four-week South African road trip. He has now created his own blog, on which he shows great photos and videos of his outdoor adventures as well as his road trips to Iceland and South Africa.
Follow Michi on Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo and Twitter.
Michis Island Video with his personal highlights:
In Iceland, spectacular natural spectacles await on every corner
(Jana from Sun & Clouds)
What were your highlights, what did you not like so much?
Iceland has taught me: there are spectacular natural spectacles waiting at every corner, which are often not even worth mentioning in the travel guide - be it breathtaking waterfalls, great hotpots in the middle of nature or just magical views of the sometimes almost unreal landscape.
I particularly liked the Snæfellsnes peninsula (to the article) (perhaps also because not so many tourists got lost during the continuous rain), the area around Lake Mývatn and the south around the Jökusarlon glacier lagoon (to the article), the Although it is well developed for tourism, it is still incredibly beautiful.
In retrospect, I was less impressed by the sights along the Golden Circle, because thanks to the easy accessibility from Reykjavik they are very overcrowded.
What activities should I definitely do?
Since I only had a total of 10 days for the entire ring road in Iceland, I unfortunately had to postpone many activities to my next visit. I think the whale watching boat tours in Húsavik are an absolute must. Mainly because the operators are actively campaigning against polling, which is still a tradition in many places in Iceland.
If you want to go on a glacier hike, you shouldn't take the shortest taster tour (too short and unspectacular) but book at least a half-day tour.
How long should I take to travel to Iceland?
I think ten days are really the bare minimum to drive down the ring road and still have enough time to enjoy the landscape. 14 days or more would be better.
Which nice accommodations, restaurants, cafes or bars did you discover in Iceland?
Spending the night and eating is really expensive in Iceland and so I stayed in rather simple guest houses and ate in small snacks or cooked myself. An unexpected highlight was the overnight stay in a small log cabin in the middle of nature in the Guesthouse Nypugardar, only 25 minutes away from Höfn.
What was the most impressive moment for you on this Iceland tour?
To be honest, like on no other trip before, I was amazed during the whole 10 days, so I was so impressed by Iceland. But it was a real goosebumps moment when we reached the Jökusarlon lagoon by car and the first ice floes appeared in front of me. I had never imagined it to be so huge and beautiful.
About sun & clouds
Jana loves adventure - and not only on trips, on which she takes her readers with her on her travel blog Sonne & Wolken, true to the motto “The world belongs to those who enjoy it”.
To Iceland in the summer? Book quickly!
(Inca - angled view)
No matter what you want to do in Iceland: Book early if you want to go in July or August. Iceland's tourism is currently booming and many accommodations are booked out for a long time.
Inkas Tip: Travel to Iceland in the off-season
My favorite landlady recommends driving out of season. April, for example, is a great time, there is both good weather and northern lights, and the days are longer than winter. A round trip on the entire ring road is then not possible, this is only possible in summer.
If you want to drive the ring road in summer, you should definitely plan enough time in the Mývatn / Akureyri region. The Mývatn Natural Bath is just as awesome as the Blue Lagoon, but not half as expensive. We were even lucky enough to see the now rare reindeer. The perfect alternative to the Blue Lagoon!
Highlights along the Ringstrasse!
You shouldn't miss the sulfur springs of Hverir any more than the huge Goðafoss and a brilliant whale tour from Húsavík. The chance of seeing whales up close is very high.
Akureyri, on the other hand, is a nice city with cozy cafes and shops. The coolest shop is also a great place to stay: The Akureyri Backpacker Hostel.
Further to the west, the detour to the north along the Eyiafjörður fjord is worthwhile. The area is fantastic and the town of Siglufjörður is very pretty. You can then spend the night in the Ósar Hostel, which also offers wooden huts for 3-4 people in a fantastic location.
While washing up, you can watch the seals down on the beach - my all-time favorite when it comes to accommodation in Iceland. For this, however, you absolutely need a four-wheel drive vehicle, which I recommend anyway, so that you can also drive on the unpaved back roads, which often have the most beautiful surprises in store.
For the entire Ringstrasse I recommend at least 12 days, preferably longer, so that you not only rush through but also have time to let yourself drift, get out and let the fresh wind blow around your nose.
I have put together more information about Iceland in a small Iceland guide with tips on the route, costs and accommodation (to the article).
And do not forget: Enjoy Iceland and don't undertake too much. Iceland is great on every corner.
Over angle of view
Inka blogs about her travels at Blickgewinkelt. She has long made ice countries her favorites, especially Iceland, Greenland and Antarctica. Last year, I was traveling with Inka in South Africa for four weeks.
Iceland is also worthwhile for a short trip
(Iceland travel tips from Kathrin - Miss Outside)
Get out of the airport building - into paradise! In Iceland you are right in the middle of it all. As in many other places, you don't have to leave big cities behind or go to any national park. That is why Iceland is definitely worthwhile for a long weekend (read the article).
Reykjavik is the ideal starting point for a trip to Iceland
And Reykjavik is the ideal starting point for this: in one day you can discover the famous Golden Circle, marvel at geysers and waterfalls and walk in the footsteps of the old Icelanders in Þingvellir National Park.
The next day we head east along the coast, stopping at Skógafoss with a view of the sea and the glaciers of Eyjafjallajökull and colleagues to Vík, where the famous black volcanic beach with the pinnacles is. On another day you can explore Reykjavik or drive to the Snæfellsnes peninsula on the west coast - and you've seen so many of the many beautiful things that Iceland has to offer.
Discover Iceland's nature on foot
The best way to discover natural paradises like Iceland is on foot. You don't have to tie up your big backpack and tent and fight your way through the wilderness for days. For example on the 54 km long Laugavegur. Back then I just drove along a small road somewhere behind Vík until it couldn't go any further.
Then I put the car on the side, packed some provisions and just started walking. After a short time I was in a completely different world. There was only Iceland and me. I just climbed hills somewhere from which I could see for miles over mountains, glaciers and volcanic landscapes. I waded barefoot through glacier rivers, let the wind blow me through. Somehow I even found my way back to the car.
There is no waterfall, geyser, or Icelandic horse that I remember as fondly as this short hike. So - don't forget your hiking boots and off you go to Iceland! Whether for four days or four weeks, whether in winter or summer, whether alone or with friends or ... the main thing is Iceland.
About Miss Outside
Miss Out is about being outdoors in all its facets. Whether in the local mountains or the wide world. It's about small and big adventures. Adventure that everyone can experience. It's about love for nature and the urge for freedom.
It's about self-determined travel, whether alone or with someone. Hiking, trekking, traveling, road trips - preferably all together. With a lot of enthusiasm and a little courage. Not just for fräuleins!
Diving in a crevice in Þingvellir National Park
Marc - Iceland Ring Road)
What were your highlights in Iceland, what did you not like so much?
I only found my absolute highlight in Iceland on my third trip there: Silfra (to the article). In a crevice in the Þingvellir National Park, between the Eurasian and North American continental plates, there is probably the world's clearest water for diving.
The water comes from the surrounding glaciers, migrates over many decades through the lava field between the continents and then flows into the adjacent lake Þingvallavatn. Up to the point where it flows into the lake you have visibility of well over 100m and a pleasant 2–4 ° C all year round, which means that the crevice never freezes over.
During the same stay I was for the second and definitely last time in the Blue Lagoon. I still think it's worth seeing and recommending: You should have been there once. But once is enough and for me it has become the symbol of the rampant tourism in Iceland. I hope not many sights in Iceland develop in the same way (to the article).
What activities should I definitely do in Iceland?
Dive or snorkel in Silfra. Apart from that, there is really a lot to discover here, so I would suggest a road trip as an undertaking. Whether two weeks along the ring road or a few hours along the south coast or to Snæfellsnes. Hot springs in Iceland (to the article) are also a good thing and highly recommended, as is riding Icelanders (the horses!) and a tour with sled dogs.
How long should I take to travel to Iceland?
It can start with a stopover. Many flights to America go via Iceland and the airlines often offer stopover arrangements. An introductory trip can also take place over a long weekend, where you can see Reykjavik and the Golden Circle and take a tour.
If you like it, you can explore the country on your own. A round trip in Iceland can be done in seven days in a very relaxed way, if you can and want to take more time, you should plan 14 days.
Those who want to stay longer: There are many seasonal jobs in the tourism industry, internships are often offered on horse farms and au-pair positions are also popular.
Which nice accommodations, restaurants, cafes or bars can you recommend for Iceland?
I always look for my accommodations on Airbnb. It works great in Iceland too. A little insider tip when it comes to restaurants: The Coocoo’s Nest in the harbor.
My favorite café is Laundromat, but the best coffee is at Reykjavik Roasters. I like the Bunk Bar very much, great atmosphere.
What was the most impressive moment for you on this tour?
A night dive under the northern lights in Silfra: Once in a lifetime! :-)
Go on a road trip in Iceland - then everything is spectacular!
(Carina - Travel Run Play)
Every corner of Iceland is simply unbelievably spectacular in itself, which is why you can't go wrong with your route planning. However, ten days is the bare minimum that you should plan for your visit. Especially if you want to circle the island on the ring road including a few detours (e.g. into the highlands).
I highly recommend this route to you, as you can see the diversity and uniqueness of Iceland from every point of the compass.
Carina's tip: off to the highlands
But there are quite a few hot springs in Iceland - luckily! With the rather frosty temperatures, you like to jump into a hot spring even in summer. For a highly authentic bathing experience, take an off-road vehicle (4WD is a must!) To the highlands and there hot spring of Hveravellir.
The highlands are an unreal place where you want to rub your eyes every few minutes because the colors and the landscapes are just too intense and too crazy. Half an hour in the comfortably warm water not only loosens the limbs that have been jolted by the gravel road, but also lets you take in the sight of this wonderful land to the full.
The south of Iceland - my insider tip
If you find yourself heading south on the Ringstrasse, stop by the Bölti. I love the little quirky house near Skaftafell National Park. I stayed in one of the lovingly furnished rooms for one night and felt as if I had ended up in a doll's house. The warm elderly owner, flowery wallpaper and creaky floorboards did the rest. A night there is definitely an experience!
My absolute highlight in Iceland
My most defining moment in Iceland, which I wish you so much for your trip: The groping over the deep black, glittering lava sand to the rough coastline of Vík í Mýrdal and the basalt columns that suddenly piled up like organ pipes by the thousands above me.
I will never forget this sight and the feeling - in my back the thunderous waves breaking on the beach and in front of and over and around me a sea of columns of all sizes and shapes. A mad work of nature.
And if you are there in June or July, you will definitely find a lot here Puffin see who will give this experience that special icing on the cake!
Read all of Carinas's Iceland tips on her blog.
"One of the most impressive countries that I have visited"
(Mandy - Go Girl! Run)
Iceland is by far one of the most impressive countries I have visited so far.From the mystical Jökulsárlón glacier lake to the never-setting midnight sun to the quirky and likeable people. During my two trips to Iceland, I was completely under its spell and I won't let go of me today either!
How long to travel to Iceland
Whether for a two-week round trip or a short trip, Iceland is always and in every season! The only exception: between June and August, not only do the prices for accommodation and tours skyrocket, but the number of tourists also increases.
Therefore I would rather avoid the period or rather switch to the northern or western regions. Since the majority of the tourists look to the south.
But the island is also a dream in the off-season, often a wonderfully lonely one. And no matter how often you come back (and you'll come back once you've been there!), Iceland looks different every time.
Tips for sightseeing in Iceland
Anyone traveling to Iceland can hardly avoid the big highlights such as the Golden Circle, Reykjavík, Lake Mývatn or the hunt for the northern lights in winter. I especially liked how varied the island can be. If it just stormed, the sun can shine in the next moment.
If you drive 30 kilometers further from the icy glacier lake, you are already standing in the middle of lush green hills where sheep graze. There was hardly a place that did not inspire me. My favorite was the north with the second largest city Akureyri.
My little insider tip for Iceland
Especially in Siglufjörður you should plan a night after all. This small, impressive place in the middle of the mountains lies between two tunnels leading north.
It is to be expanded as a ski area and so only very few people have heard of it. From there you can also start your whale watching tour from the fishing village of Dalvík (yes, it smells like it here too;)).
So far I have skipped the Westfjords and have heard from many travelers that it is better to take more than less time for it. Mainly because some of the roads here are not tarred.
If a normal car is actually enough for you on the Ringstrasse, if you want to go off-road, investing in an SUV is recommended. Better not save! You can also save money, for example, by sleeping directly in the car.
Eating out in Iceland
If you are looking for inspiration on the subject of food and, above all, on a vegan-vegetarian diet, you will not only find cool spots in Reykjavík (Mandy's tips). We ate the most delicious at Gló, the healthiest restaurant in the country.
Iceland is a dream for every road trip fan! Just let yourself go, because you just have to follow the ring road anyway. Every now and then take a detour to the surrounding area and enjoy nature to the full!
About Go Girl! Run!
Mandy writes down Go girl! Run! about running, triathlon and traveling for those who have wanderlust with bumblebees in their bum. She has already been to Iceland twice and could actually fly over there anytime. On her blog you will find many helpful tips that will make your first Iceland road trip unforgettable.
A true winter wonder is hidden under the thick ice masses of the Vatnajökull glacier
(Iceland tips from Anke & Thorsten - Moose around the world)
For the first trip to Iceland, we recommend a tour along the ring road. Around 10-14 days you should take your time for it.
The nice thing: The most famous sights and lots of other treasures are right on the Ringstrasse and do not cost any admission.
Our favorite section of the Ringstrasse is the south with the fantastic Seljalandsfoss waterfalls and Skogafoss.
Also the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon (and the adjacent beach!) are a must-see! But there are also a few treasures that are not directly on the “No. 1 “and are worth every journey!
The Golden Circle in Iceland
You can experience Iceland compactly in one day on a tour to Golden Circle (go to Article). Thingvellir with the adventurous crevices that Geyser Strokkurwhich shoots up every 6 minutes and the one that shimmers golden in the sunshine Gullfoss waterfall are three highlights that fill the day.
At Thingvellir Well worth a hike from the visitor center down into the crevices and a stop at Silfra (where you can also start snorkeling tours through the rocks).
The Snaefellsnes peninsula
The famous Snaefellsnes peninsula (read more) In the west of Iceland, a day trip off the ring road is worthwhile.
In addition to the road trip over the Street 54 is a hike from Arnarstapi to Hellnar with a view of the famous rock arch in the sea is a must. It goes on to the beach after Djúpalónssandur, then to Kirkjufell, one of the most famous mountains in Iceland.
Our Iceland tip: At the level of Kirkufell, follow a junction to the right to a small parking lot. There is the beautiful Kirkufoss waterfall - with a panoramic view of the mountain of the same name.
Whale watching in Husavik
Husavik is considered to be the center of whale watching tours in Iceland (read the report). Vendors line up like pearls in the lively harbor.
We also have a side trip to one on our tour Puffin Island where thousands of cute puffins live. (Duration: around 4 hours, costs: around 100 euros per person, provider: e.g. North Sailing).
Once in a lifetime: visit an ice cave in Iceland
Okay, your first tour to Iceland is now in summer. But we are sure: you will come back again. Then maybe in winter and then you absolutely have to visit an ice cave. They are there in summer too, but they are in great danger of collapsing.
In winter, the ice opens beneath the hundreds of meters thick Vatnajokull glacier a real winter wonder. (Cost: around 200 euros per person).
Landmannalaugar - Iceland's most beautiful highlands
If you think Iceland can't get any more beautiful - then start a tour into the highlands, e.g. B. after Landmannalaugar (to the report). Many tour operators start a day trip from Reykjavik. If you drive yourself, you can only do that with a 4 × 4 car.
On the journey you drive over the so-called F-streets: Deep potholes and fords await you, this is only possible with an appropriate car.
We were traveling in a super jeep with Arctic Adventures. That was around 250 euros per person not cheap, but unique. We are part of the Jeep Hekla volcano up, have lonely mountain lakes and the beautiful Gjain Valley (filming location for Game of Thrones) visited.
Good food in Iceland
Traditional and delicious Icelandic cuisine awaits you at Cafe Loki, right across from the famous Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik. (Speaking of which, a drive up to the church tower is worthwhile, Reykjavik from above is colorful and pretty).
in the Restaurant 73 we ate the most delicious burgers in town and also the famous one Hot dog stall Reykjavik's harbor is well worth a visit.
Around the Myvatn lake In the north there are plenty of tourist places to stay - we can only really recommend this one Vogafos cowshed. You really eat right next to the cowshed, a great atmosphere.
You can find an overview of our complete tour along the Ringstrasse including a map and a note of all the highlights here and a detailed Iceland guide with important information on how to get there, rental cars and much more.
About Moose around the world
On Moose around the world, Anke & Thorsten report on individual road trips, city trips, short and hiking trips in Germany and around the world.
Tip: Road trip checklist and travel diary for Iceland
So that you don't forget anything, I have oneRoad trip checklist created.
My further tip: write a travel diary on your road trip!
Would you like to fill out a travel diary designed by me? Look here:
Do you have any other tips for Iceland?
What travel tips for Iceland do you have for me? What is your experience? Leave a comment right away!
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