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Itinerary review / suggestions

I'm planning a trip my my aunt and cousin late august. We will be there 5 days / 4 nights. We land early morning and depart in the evening so essentially we have 4.5 days. I have put the below itinerary together and would appreciate any suggestions/recommendations/alternatives. As we you can see we are interested in all the major sites, since it's our first time there.

Day 1: Arrival Day (6am)
Blue Lagoon from airport
Then to Reykjavik for the rest of the day to explore / settle in
Do we explore the peninsula?
Overnight: Reykjavik

Day 2: Golden Circle
Intention to stop at all the major spots and the following:
Porufoss, Thingvellir National Park, Geysir + Haukadalur, Gullfoss, Keriod
If there is time some additions would be Bruarhlod, Secret Lagoon & Laugarvatn (do you consider any of these a must?)
Overnight: Selfoss area

Day 3: South Coast (we will make our way to Vik with the below stops)
Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui, Skogafoss, Dyrholaey, Reynisfjara/Black sand beach
Some optional stops I had listed are Kvernufoss & DC -3 Plane Wreck (i know this is a long walk and also considering ATV tour) - any of these you see as a must?
Overnight: Vik

Day 4: I'm torn on what to do this day. We will stay in Vik this night as well and I would love do a day trip Jokulsarson, but realize it will be a long day since we will head back to Vik for the night. So alternative would be explore Vik and perhaps do a tour. Would love suggestions / thought on this day.

Day 5: Head back to Reykjavik for our evening flight

Would you approach this different. I know others go straight to Golden Circle but thought a easy going day we arrive would be better. But I can also see the benefit of doing Reykjavik the last day and stay there on the 4th night so we are closer to the airport.

Also, would love to be able to fit in horse riding - even a short tour. where can we do this?

Thanks for you input!

Posted by
933 posts

Hi Jaimies, it looks like you’re following Rick Steves’ recommendations which is what I do. Rick knows his stuff so make sure you experience the places he’s noted with three triangles pointing upward. The purpose is to enjoy yourselves and savor the moments without racing to see it all.
I agree with spending day one in Reykjavik and not driving a car. Most likely you will not sleep a wink on the way to Iceland so you do not want to be responsible for a car you’ve never driven before on foreign land; you only do this after a good night’s sleep.