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Base in Reykjavik + day trips or change locations as we go?

We are 4 adults planning a week-long trip at the end of June/beginning of July. We are debating whether or not we should just base ourselves in Reykjavik, rent a car and doing day trips to the things outside the city or if we should book lodging in different places as we go. We enjoy driving and taking in the scenery, so long days of driving and stops are no problem, but we also don't want to do this multiple days in a row. 2 of us did this in Scotland 15 years ago and while we packed stuff in, we were exhausted (and we are now 15 years older and more tired). We are looking for a good mix of hiking, outdoor activities, and museums/culture stuff. We're also foodies and want to eat well :)

I'm leaning toward basing in Reykjavik, but I'm open if anyone has other suggestions!

Posted by
6 posts

CZK I had same question 1+ month ago and decided to go with rental vehicle instead of day trips from Reykjavik. My decision was based upon being able to set my own itinerary to visit a couple of places tours don’t go to and the amount of time the day tours spend driving from and to Reykjavik.

Suggest your group put together a list of places you want to visit and compare day tours from Reykjavik vs driving yourself. Another idea to consider is reaching out to a company that does day tours and self drive tours to see what they recommend.

Posted by
566 posts

With only a week, and I assume this includes your day of arrival and departure, you shouldn't try to do the whole Ring Road. But I wouldn't suggest that you base yourselves just in Reykjavik either and do day trips the whole time. You could do a one-day trip to Reykjannes Peninsula and back to Reykjavik, but otherwise I suggest that for the south coast you spend three or four days and go as far as Vik or Hofn and do all the wonderful stuff along that route and back.

Look at itineraries posted here and on the Trip Advisor Iceland Forum and on Travel Iceland FaceBook page. You'll get a ton of input!

Posted by
1489 posts

I agree, a week is really short for a ring road trip, but you could do a great trip to the south coast and Snaefellsness. Since you want to relax a bit, this option would be a good fit for you.

Posted by
6705 posts

You need to account for large distances, some sections of poorer road conditions, changeable weather, and lack of public transportation. Basing in Reykjavik is not ideal. Have you bought or gone to the library for Rick's Iceland book? This is not like landing in London and learning as you walk around.

Posted by
17 posts

We're going in September and have a week. We decided to rent a car and head to the south coast as far as Jokulsarlon, with an overnight for the Westman Islands. We're then joining the Golden Circle on the way back. That's not all the stops, but the basic route. We wanted the ability to limit drives to 2-4 hours per day and leave plenty of time for hikes, sightseeing, etc. Good luck!