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6 nights, 7 days in Reykjavik

Hi, All - my husband and I, in our early 60's, are traveling to Reykjavik in early March. We won't have a car, so will rely entirely on public transportation and booked tours. Our main goal is to see the Northern Lights. My hope is that by spending a week in Reykjavik, if we aren't successful with the Lights on first tour we can keep trying. We booked an IcelandAir package, which included our hotel, an Aurora Lights bus tour, and a Golden Circle tour. Our hotel is in the Grandi area
Our itinerary is: day of arrival, walk around Reykjavik, tour the Aurora Lights Center. Day 2 is open, and Aurora bus tour is that night. Day 3 is Golden Circle bus tour. Day 4, open, I've tentatively planned to go to Flea Market (it will be a Saturday) and take Ferry to Videy Island. Day 5 I have booked a South Coast bus tour. Day 6 open, Day 7 we have about half a day, aiming to be at airport by 1400, departure at 16:50.
I am struggling with a couple of things: one, figuring out the Reykjavik bus system, and best way to pay for rides. The Straeto app has terrible reviews, and apparently doesn't work. Second, can anyone suggest other day or half-day trips?

Posted by
2500 posts

I did a similar Icelandair package in late October. If your flight arrives in the very early morning as mine did, when I did the Aurora Lights Center on arrival day I promptly fell asleep in the auditorium (dark, warm, soothing music). If you can, at least get a cat nap midday at hotel then go to the exhibit. I'd suggest maybe flipping your Day 3 and 4, as if you are successful seeing the lights on Day 2, you will be out very late and need to be up pretty early the next day for the Golden Circle tour. It is a good plan to have a down day between the longer day tours, especially South Coast (great, just long day). For your free days, I enjoyed a food tour with Your Friend in Reykjavik and also the "free" walking tour of the downtown area. Sorry can't help with the bus system I walked everywhere.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you! Great suggestion to avoid dozing through the Aurora Center presentation! Unfortunately, can't flip the Golden Circle tour; it is part of the IcelandAir package. (I also noted that we would be out until 1 or 2 am, and up and out by 8am.) We love to walk and will gladly walk everywhere, if the weather is ok. I'm sorta worried about what to expect, weather-wise.

Posted by
2500 posts

Well, the adage "sleep when you're 6 feet under" can apply to your first days, as it did to my trip :) I would pack plenty of layers including thermals. Make sure your outerwear is fully waterproof and has a hood or bring a hat that stays firmly on your head. The wind can be a beast and umbrellas are worthless. When I visited it hadn't yet snowed but it very cold. Some of the places on Golden Circle would have required crampons for snow/ice on surfaces - check to see what conditions are closer to when you leave.