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10 days in September

My family of 5 (with adult children) have just started planning a 10 day trip to Iceland in late September of this year. Is 10 days enough to take the Ring Road and experience the sites? We are also interested in whale watching and doing a one day tour of the highlands. Are these two experiences possible that time of year? Do you recommend any tours for these sites?
I appreciate any responses and recommendations! I have my Rick Steves book, but I’m a little overwhelmed getting started.

Posted by
2160 posts

When we did the ring road trip, we too were a family of 5 with adult kids. We had 12 days for the ring road, and still wished for more time. We did not do the highlands or whale watching. We did do a guided kayak fishing trip and the zodiac boat tour at Jokulsarlon, both which I highly recommend!

Can you add on a few days by chance?

Posted by
2160 posts

It can be done, but you will be rushing a bit. Are you flying rom the US? If so, I do suggest that the day of arrival you keep it to just Reykjavik or close by instead of trying to drive with the effects of jet lag.

Look at www.troll.is for tours. They are reputable and good to work with. We have used them a couple of times and been very pleased. I am not sure what they offer for both of these that you are looking at, but their website will show you.

I would suggest going clockwise so that you get the north out of the way first, so that the chances of bad weather affecting the roads is less than if you did that at the end of the trip.

Finding places for 5 people can get a bit tough, so I also recommend that you book lodging asap. We mostly used booking.com, but did book directly with a few places. At a few places that we did not find cottages, we opted for 2 hotel rooms and that worked fine. We had no problem finding triple rooms for the kids. Cottages were much easier though, as that allowed us to self cater for breakfast as well as dinners. I have not used them, but have heard good things about bungalo.com as well for cabins/cottages.

Posted by
273 posts

I drove the Ring Road by myself in September 2018. I was in Iceland 10 nights, with the last two nights in Reykjavik. The traveling wasn't overwhelming for me, but if I was doing it again, I would have allocated my time differently. I spent 2 nights in Akureyri, but easily one would have been enough. I spent two nights around Myvatn, but wish I had spent one in Husavik instead. I believe both Husavik and Akureyri are good for whale watching, but I'd check to see if there is a best place that time of year.

I think if you plan it properly, and have a good schedule to fit in those things that interest you the most, you'd have plenty of time to travel the Ring Road and enjoy it. I agree with mikliz97, that you should spend the first night in Reykjavik, just to get over the flight. Sky Lagoon is a 10 minute drive from city center. Very easy to get to, and that would be a great refresh after hours of flying.
Then, start the Ring Road trip the next morning. If you're strategic about finding the right place for the whale watch and highlands tours, I think you'll be fine.

I ran into just a small amount of snow one morning around Myvatn (no impact), but otherwise road conditions were perfectly clear. You just need to watch out for the random sheep in the road now and then.

Posted by
2160 posts

justsweetjs--We are normally fast travelers, but with a group of 5 it was sometimes hard to get everyone moving at the same time. At least with you being by yourself you didn't have anyone else to wait on;) I trust what you write as I know you, but have followed your suggestions and they have been spot on too.