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3 full days in Iceland

We will be in Iceland for 3 full days plus most of our arrival day. We are staying in Reykjavik all 4 night. First day we arrive I think we will just do Reykjavik to adjust, then the next 3 days I’d like opinions! We will have a car - thinking of doing a full day golden circle. Question - is the South Coast different than golden circle or does it repeat some of the places you’d see? What I’m wondering is can you make the second day of exploring totally different? Should you split up golden circle if you’re planning on South Coast. Would like to do Sky Lagoon - sounds like it’s not too far from Reykjavik so might be a nice last full day relaxing thing? Anything else we should tie in with that day?

Thanks - I know that’s a lot of asks. 4 people, 2 parents, 2 adult kids in early 20’s

Posted by
83 posts

I just saw some replies to a previous post I made - sorry I didn’t see those! If we decide to do first night Reykjavik then be on the move to see South Coast and Golden Circle, what are good stopping points for those? And I’ll check re: the place someone mentioned for the night before our departure flight, we leave at 10:30am.

Posted by
6503 posts

The same day we landed, we took a whale watching boat tour from Reykjavik with Elding Whale Watching. Whether you’re doing just the Golden Circle or venturing farther east along the southern shore, you’ll be repeating the theme of volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, glaciers, etc. But they’ll be different, like going to capitals in Europe repeats the theme of museums, castles, architecture, cafes, and so on, but different.

If you’re driving and not going with a tour, consider staying one night in Vik, and another towards the Jokulsarlon Lagoon, in Höfn.

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275 posts

My son and I did a four day trip to Iceland and stayed in Reykjavik. We did the Golden Circle one day and the south coast to Vik a second day and did not find that the sights overlapped. We did a guided glacier hike on our south coast day, so it was a verrrry long day of travel. We left Reyk mid-morning, were in Vik for a late-ish dinner, and drove back to Reyjavik, arriving about 11:30 pm. However, we were there in early June, so we had nearly 24 hours of daylight. I let my son do most of the driving. I loved that day - I think the scenery of the south coast is just spectacular.
We enjoyed the Golden Circle too, different sights all inland as opposed to coastal, but they were all pretty crowded.
We also went out to the Seltun Geothermal Area and Kleifarvatn Lake, outside of Reykjavik, on our arrival day. Both of those sights are pretty much deserted and we enjoyed exploring out there.
We also spent some time wandering around downtown Reykjavik. Rick has a free guided audiotour of the downtown area on his app that I enjoyed.