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Are lodging reservations needed for Iceland in late October

Arriving Rekjavic 10/26 - 6am, departing 11/3 6pm, picking up rental (Mitsubishi Outlander), would like to head to Blue Lagoon on similar, relax / recharge for 4 hours or so, then depending on weather forecast, consider Ring Road but think we’re about a day or more short on time for that even in summer?, either way it would seem hard to have everything booked out and then have to make it if weather is poor? alternative plan could be golden circle, part of ring road and backtrack, would like to not be committed to making it to a specific destination on specific day, would
Like to see volcano, glacial
Ice cave, some hike in hot springs, other hikes. We’re used to driving and playing in harsh climates as we live in Colorado and have solid winter / backcountry gear and experience so that part does not concern us. Thanks all. Didn’t realize how hard this trip
Would be to plan until after I booth airfare last week :)

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2248 posts

We will be there during the same time:)

You are correct in that this is not enough time for a ring road trip, even in the summer.

We are also renting a car and like you have extensive winter driving experience. The one thing that is very different though is the winds and that there is no shoulder whatsoever on the roads, so cars do get blown off. Just keep an eye on conditions, several times a day, and use common sense.

We did not want to wing it with hotels and excursions, so did book those. We are doing an IcelandAir package this time, so it includes the Reykjavik hotel and we will just suck up the lost cost by staying elsewhere for a bit.

I would suggest going up only as far as the south coast and then meandering back down, and then heading over to Snaefellsness. You have ample time for all of this.

We are using Troll.is for the ice cave since we missed that last summer. Hot springs are great, whether local lagoons, pools, or even ones just off the side of the road. We have done quite a few on past trips. You might also consider a Northern Lights trip.

I would definitely book everything ahead of time though. Most hotels/excursions can be cancelled up to 24 hours before, so that gives some leeway.

We did the volcano hike last summer (august 2021), and had hoped to do it this time, but it is not active right now. If you have never seen it up close though, you might enjoy it.