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Iceland visit timing

We are considering a trip the first week of October, with a drive up to Akureyri and Lake Myvatn from Reykjavik. Are the roads likely to be clear at this time of year? I understand that the weather can change abruptly any time, but just wondering what we are likely to encounter. Also, we only have 5 nights total in Iceland, so how should we best divide the time? Thanks

Posted by
7046 posts

That's a very short time to see Reykjavik, Akureyri and Lake Myavatn given their various geographic locations on the island. Have you checked distances? Reykjavik itself is worth at least 2-3 full days. If I were you, I would consider doing the long drive when you have more time for intermediate stops. You can parse various websites and Lonely Planet book to confirm, but you may well get very adverse driving conditions on the road, so check first. Traffic is practically non-existent's a very sparsely populated country - only 330k or so people, mostly clustered in a few cities...the rest is wide open expanse and small villages. There is plenty to do around Reykjavik and environs (Golden Circle, etc.) to fill up 5 days easily. I would stick to a much smaller geographic area than you have planned to maximize your time. If you don't feel like driving, you can also take a public bus or guided tour, of which there are many options. Check out all the info available on the web - there is plenty out there (Iceland and Reykjavik visitor websites).

Posted by
72 posts

Thanks for your advice. We are early into the planning and nothing is set, so we will rethink this. Either do the trip later when we have more time to spend there or make it a geographically smaller visit.

Posted by
343 posts

Be prepared for how expensive it is. A cheeseburger and fries, for example, is about $22-25. A beer is a minimum of $11. I actually learn the hard way when I ordered a bottle of beer that I saw in the cooler in the bar and it was $27.

If you're flying Icelandic Air they will offer you a deal on the plane for a transfer from the airport as it's about a 45-minute drive. It's going to cost you about $50 per person. It seems to be the best deal so we went ahead and went with it.

Posted by
6113 posts

I had 10 nights in Iceland and flew to Lake Myvatn. I think you should limit your scope with only 5 nights. Plus I was there late May and some roads were still closed, whereas you would have far fewer daylight hours.