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Iceland in 3 1/2 weeks itinerary - suggestions?

We are avid Rick Steves fans and have been following his guidebooks for more than 30 years (when they were much thinner.)
We are heading to Iceland in June 2023 and have been using the Rick Steves "Iceland" book, along with other info. Our current plan is 2 nights in Reykjavic, 2 nights Golden Circle, 8 nights Ring Road (from Hella to Akureyri inclusive), 1 night Troll Peninsula, 5 nights Westfjords, 2 nights Snaefellsnes Peninsula, 2 nights Borgarnes/Reykolt valley, 1 night back in Reykjavic. We are roughly cobbling together the various chapters in the guidebook. Although this plan is busy, it allows us a number of 2 night stands. Does it sound reasonable? Also, we originally had 2 nights in the Westman Islands in our plan, but exchanged those days for 2 nights in the Borgarnes/Reykolt valley area. (We did this after viewing some videos etc. of the Westmans and thinking the Borgarnes area looked more interesting.) Also, we may not need the last night in Reyjkavik because we have a late day flight, which means we could drive directly from Borgarnes and add another day to our plan somewhere else. Also, have we missed anything and/or would you make changes to this plan? And Iceland is a small island. Is there anywhere (other than Reykjavik) that it would make sense to combine stops, and establish a home base for 4-5 days, allowing us a bit of a chance to "take a vacation" from our vacation. We are interested in your thoughts.

Posted by
161 posts

I’d think you’d be able to see all you wanted to in Iceland in a VERY relaxed schedule in 3 weeks, as you said its a small island with lots of open space in between the waterfalls and volcanos.

Posted by
10 posts

A bit late of a reply, but figured I’d comment…

Looks like a reasonable plan.

I kinda disagree with the first poster—there is SO much to see and do in Iceland, especially if you love the outdoors, as I’d imagine you do. Plus with the Westfjords, yeah, you’ll not want for things to fill your time.

I drove the Ring Road counterclockwise over 15 days in June a couple years back—sleeper van camping. A few thoughts.

I thoroughly enjoyed Trolloskagi; the pool and the immigration center in Hofsos, the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjordor, even the church in Holar (+ the concert i noticed advertised on the board the day prior in Hofsos). Concerts Sundays at 4pm thru summer… at least they were when I wrote up the piece below.

Don’t skimp there.

If you’re keen on a read—

I think Myvatn could be a settle in and hang out spot. There are the volcanic sights in the area, but it’s also a great base to launch into the highlands. Does this look like fun?

One of my favorite Iceland experiences for sure. Left from Myvatn. Spend a few hours at the Nature Baths, sleep in a bit and have a recharge and 3 days goes by easily.

Posted by
1231 posts

Overall it looks pretty good, but I would tweak it a bit. The Golden Circle is easily done in a day even at a relaxing pace. I would take one of those nights and add it to another area. If you took that night and the extra last night from Reykjavik, you would be able to include the Westmann Island.

We will be back in Iceland in July for 17 days for our 5th trip, in a camper van. Most of that will be in the Westfjords, but then the rest split between Westmann Island and Thorsmark. Even with this trip, there is just SO much to see and do in Iceland that we know we will be back again.

Are you planning on doing any excursions? If so, I highly recommend to book those asap. Those do sell out and the time slots that are left may not be ideal for your itinerary.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. We have done more research, and dropped the last night in Reykjavik, and have now booked accommodation for our trip, with some flexibility built in for weather etc. Are the Westman Islands worthwhile as a fairly easy daytrip or is the overnight much more rewarding? (We live in North Vancouver BC and are familiar with ferry systems... they're great, but they can take up precious time.)

Since we retired just before Covid, and are in our mid-60s, this is probably our "once in a lifetime" tour of Iceland so we want to do as much as we can; there are so many other great destinations on our bucket list too!

Enjoy your travels!