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Proposed itinerary (first time visit)

Jumped on fare to Iceland in July (arrive morning of the 9th and leav3 afternoon of the 18th). Trying to piece together our rough itinerary. Here is what I have so far

Land early at KEF
Drive to Blue Lagoon (reserved)
Drive to Grundarfjorour for 2 nights. Booked on horse farm.

Spend some time in Reykjavik after Blue Lagoon Or just get a meal and drive on? This day is flexible

Snaefellsnes peninsula
Stay Grundarfjorour

7/11- 14
Golden Circle, Landmannalaugar/South Coast/Heimway
Hotel Lakeur near Hella As base for these 4 nights
Any suggestions on how to divide up the 4 days and how to organize all of those places together.

Stay in Kirkjub at Airbnb as base to get to/from SE Iceland

Southeast Iceland
Stay in Kirkjub

Drive to Reykjavík
Stay Reykjavik

Reykjavík morning
Fly home afternoon

We are not fans of one night stays which is why we choose to find some base spots which was not easy. We will be renting a 4x4 and driving throughout. Does this look workable. Missing anything or misappropriating time?

Posted by
771 posts

Hi Eliot,
On your first day, I would suggest skipping Reykjavik after the Blue Lagoon and stopping for a meal in Borgarnes, about 1 1/2 hours from there. It is a small town on the route to Snaefellsness peninsula and has a few places to eat. It also has a small museum called The Settlement Center" which explains Iceland's history through dioramas. It's about as much history as you might want after flying in, then relaxing in the Blue Lagoon. The Settlement Center has a nice lunch buffet which they serve until 3:00.

Borgarnes is in the Rick Steves book, and also:

Posted by
3023 posts

Hi Elliot, instead of renting a car from the airport that may cost more than renting it in Reykjavík, take a bus to the Blue Lagoon from KEF: You can then store your bags there while enjoying the spa at the Blue Lagoon. There’s a bus from the Blue Lagoon that’ll take you to Reykjavík.
Don’t expect to get any sleep on the plane while en route to Iceland, making operating a motor vehicle the day you land not a good idea. After spending time at the Blue Lagoon, check out Reykjavík on foot and then get a good night’s sleep before renting a car.
Have you purchased Rick Steves’ Iceland guidebook? I would and you can download an electronic version from his app. I would then follow his recommendations on seeing the Golden Circle and the South Coast.

Posted by
24 posts

Even if you are fully vaccinated, you need to have a Covid test upon landing. Then you must quarantine until you receive a negative result. You cannot go to the Blue Lagoon until you receive a negative result. The only things you can do are pick up a rental vehicle, drive to your lodging and check in. You cannot stop to purchase groceries or go to a restaurant. You can walk outside, but you cannot go into any stores. You are to allow 24 hours for the test results, but most reports say it takes 4-5 hours. Yes, things might change by July, but then again they may not.

Posted by
2976 posts

eliot, as Arlyce mentioned, you will have to hang around your hotel for about 5 hours. Sucks, I know. The last thing you want to do is sit in your room or you will fall asleep. But it's either that or... walk around outside but you can't go inside anywhere but your hotel.

Assuming you get your test around 1000 in Reykjavik, you "should" be clear by 1500 or so. Maybe you could schedule Blue Lagoon later in the day.

I'm a little leery of scheduling anything in concrete the first day. There is no guarantee regarding results in 5 hours.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks everyone. This has been really helpful. I was able to bump all of my places back an extra day and now staying in Reykjavik on the first night. I’m holding the Blue Lagoon reservation for now if by chance the government changes their policy between now and July. It looks like it’s under review on June 1st. Will change that if policy doesn’t change.

Turning to the 5-24 hour waiting period, how does that work? We have a rental car and hotel reservation. Can we get the car and go to our hotel and just wait for a phone call that we are free to go? Or Are we kept in a specified area? Any guidance on that process is appreciated so we can prepare ourselves accordingly.

Posted by
272 posts

You didn't mention if you had plans at Grunderfjordor. If you kayak, Ventura Adventures does a great kayak tour in the fjord at the base of Kirkjufell. It was amazingly tranquil, everything is included right down to the drysuit. I went in September and stayed warm and dry the entire time. There was even a harbor seal who shadowed us the entire time we were in the water, at times close enough to my side that I could watch him roll in the water. I highly recommend it!

Posted by
272 posts

Sorry, spell check got me... its Vestur Adventures on the kayak in Grunderfjordur.

Posted by
8 posts

Now that the COVID restrictions appear to be relaxed I was rethinking my first day - July 9th. I land at around 630am and have a 9am reservation at Blue Lagoon. Renting car from Blue. I’m spending the night in Reykjavík. I’d like to incorporate the volcano eruption in that first day as well since we are in the area. Is that realistic given overnight flight and blue Lagoon.

Posted by
3023 posts

Since Mount Fagradalsfjall is only 15-minutes from the Blue Lagoon, that might be OK.