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Help Please: 10-day Ring Road September

Hello fellow explorers,

This is my first time posting here, and thank you in advance for any insight you can provide. I hope to return the favor after we've visited Iceland later this year.

Of course, it's no secret that planning this can be overwhelming. I have read many suggested itineraries on this forum as well as Trip Advisor. After much thought and consideration, here's our rough itinerary for a counterclockwise self-drive Ring Road tour in September. I've also included a couple of questions at the end of the itinerary. Thanks again!!!

Day 1: Arrive, overnight in Reykjavik
Day 2: Head up into Golden Circle, take our time and enjoy...overnight at the Geysir Hotel.
Day 3: Finish up Golden Circle, head south and enjoy the sites...overnight at Vik.
Days 4-5: Enjoy the Skaftafell area, Diamond Beach, hike around the Lagoon, maybe do a guided glacier hike - two nights in Hofn as our base.rdur
Day 6: Head up the Eastern Fjords...overnight in Egilsstadir or Seydisfjordur. (Thoughts on which one??)
Days 7-8: Explore Myvatn, Krafla Valley, the northern Waterfalls (Dettifoss, Godafoss) - two nights in Husavik as a home base
Day 9: Begin the journey back to Reykjavik. Enjoy a stop at Akureyri, overnight in Laugarbakki.
Day 10: Back to Reykjavik. Depending on time and energy level, see a bit of of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Overnight in Reykjavik.
Day 11: Fly home.

Aside from general reactions, I have a couple of specific questions:

  • On our first day in Reykjavik, would it be worth the trip up to Hvammsvik Hot Springs? Or would we be better off just sticking to Sky Lagoon if we want a hot spring experience? (Note that we do not plan to go to Blue Lagoon at this time.)

    • Regarding the Glacier hike: Humbly ask for some honest opinion on whether or not we should do it--reason being we have hiked glaciers in Alaska and we were super fortunate to be in Antarctica last year where the iceberg lagoons are other-worldly. So...should we save our money and just enjoy the free hiking, etc. in the area, or would we truly be missing something if we don't hike the glacier in Iceland? And any recommendations for tour guides should we decide to do the hike?

Thank you again!! Cheers to the fun of travel planning!

Posted by
511 posts

Good choice to spend two nights in Husavik. We really enjoyed the Whale Museum there. We were staying close to Myvatn and would have preferred Husavik had we known better! The Myvatn area was interesting but, to me, overrated. (I'm sure others will disagree with me...just my experience and opinion.)

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! Appreciate your comments on Husavik. :)

Posted by
356 posts

HI Kathybstl, I haven't gone yet....I'm pretty much planned and going in June. But thought it couldn't hurt to weigh in with that caveat given I've recently been consumed with Iceland details.

I also wanted to stay in Husavik, but I couldn't find a place (it's busier time in June) that suited us at the price point and also the way it worked out with our plan (we're going clockwise), staying in Myvtan worked out better. Also, we're spending more time in Myvtan because we're not doing much (if any) of the Golden Circle on this trip. I made a tradeoff. I'll try to remember to let you know what I think (or look for a trip report!).

I validate your question about glaciers...I was thinking the same thing with regard to glaciers and also waterfalls. I mean how many waterfalls can you really see and still find time to see more? ;) I think it's brave to make some tough decisions on what you see, taking a sampling instead of full immersion. If you find the little you see in Iceland of a particular thing knocks your socks off, then go back and do more!

Posted by
356 posts

PS, another member on here raves about Hvammsvik - she says it's her favorite, in case that helps!

And I think your 10 days looks great. Very sensible given all the advice I've received and read!

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for taking the time to reply! Appreciate your input and validation. And yes, so much depends on availability and price point.:) As for the Golden Circle...we went from almost skipping it to now considering spending more time there. It's such a hard decision...and your point about just making the brave decisions is a good one. Hope you have a fantastic trip and I look forward to your trip report!

Posted by
721 posts

The Golden Circle is a valuable area to learn about the geology of Iceland. You don't have to do it all; maybe just go to Þingvellir National Park. You at least have to take the walk between the North-American and Eurasian continental plates.

Regarding waterfalls, we went to at least a dozen. No two are alike, mainly due to the way the rock was formed. We started by making a list of all we wanted to see, and then pared it down. And we still found some along the way that we just HAD to stop at!