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Starting to plan itinerary for first week of July (long!)

My friends & I (all 66 and in good health) are celebrating our retirement with a week in Iceland. We have collectively decided we are not renting a car, that is a definitive plan.
We will be there 7 full days, including the day we arrive, our plane lands at 6:15 AM.
I will tell you what we are interested in doing/seeing and post a VERY tentative itinerary.
We have rented an airbnb "on a quiet street metres away from Laugavegur, the main street for shopping and restaurants in downtown Reykjavik."
We would like to visit the South Coast, Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes area, Blue Lagoon, Sky Lagoon and also explore Reykjavik. We definitely plan to do the Reykjavik food tour. I would love seeing the puffins. I was hoping to see an ice cave, but it seems that likely won't happen in July. We all love good food and eating at local restaurants and trying local food. And bakeries!! We are also considering a jeep tour, to Landmannalaugar. And maybe a nice massage at a spa in Reykjavik.
As I said, this is the first rough draft of an itinerary. We are certainly willing to change things around and get different ideas.
DAY 1:
Land at 6:15am. Go to Blue Lagoon. Afterward, check into our house, then do the Reykjavik food tour. We considered the Hop On, Hop Off bus, but wondering if we may be too tired.
DAY 2:
One of our long tours, either Snaefellsnes or South Coast. A small bite to eat when we get back to town.
DAY 3:
Explore Reykjavik. Go to Sky Lagoon. Have a really nice dinner.
DAY 4:
One of our long tours, either Snaefellsnes or South Coast, whichever one we did not do on Day 2.
DAY 5:
Spend day in Reykjavik. Maybe do the Rib Boat puffin tour. Or perhaps go to a spa. Nice dinner that evening.
DAY 6:
Possible jeep tour. Small or quick meal after.
DAY 7:
Golden Circle. A really nice dinner after.
Day 8:
Breakfast and head for airport.

1. Tour companies...we are leaning toward a few: Your Day Tours, Troll Tours, Wake Up Reykjavik. Anything wrong with any of these? Any others you would strongly recommend?
2. Restaurants: we are planning about 3 really nice meals. Suggestions? Also, what restaurants are open later for a quick meal (after our longer tours). How about breakfast? Bakeries?
3. Should we take the Jokulsarlon Boat Ride on the South Coast Tour?
4. One of the Golden Circle tours include Secret Lagoon & Fridheimer Farm. Is that worth it, or should we do a different tour?
5. Any suggestions for a jeep tour? Would you go to Landmannalaugar? Or somewhere else? What company would you use? Any suggestions to do instead of the Jeep Tour? (the jeep tour is not a definite) Long boat rides or whale watching would be a no.
6. Any spas for massages you would recommend? We were looking at The Spa at Reykjavik in the Edition Hotel.
7. I would like to get handmade wool mittens. A good place for that?
8. Must sees in Reykjavik?

I am anxious to hear all your suggestions! Thank you in advance!

Posted by
2259 posts

I would rework this a bit. As much as I love Reykjavik, you have way too much time there and I am afraid you will get bored. I say this as someone who just got back from our 6th trip, so know it well.

Without wanting to rent a car, I would instead opt for doing at least one multi day tour. One for the south coast would be ideal. You could do a 3 day tour. I highly recommend using Troll as we have used them for several trips. We had one 2 day trip planned with them, but the weather cancelled the 2nd day. We still did a day trip though, as well as other excursions with them on other trips and they are great to work with and have small buses. Definitely do the zodiac boat tour at Jokulsarlon! Fridheimer is good too, and often included in these tours if they include the golden circle, which they often do.

As for lagoons, Secret and Fontana are both in the GC and are both good. Blue Lagoon near the airport is perfect for day of arrival, and Sky is good anytime. Do not forget about the local pools right in town though. Last week when we were in Reykjavik and had blizzard conditions, Sky had to close so we went to Sundhollin pool again instead. They are right in town and it costs about $8 US dollars pp. You can rent a towel there as well. The first time we went, we did not know about the roof top hot tubs, so we did those this time. Just north of Reykjavik is Hvammsvik Hot Springs which is out favorite commercial lagoon in all of our trips.

I have not done any massages or typical spas, so can't help with that.

The Handknitting Association has a store on the rainbow road just down fro the church and everything there is handknit. Other places will have handknit as well, but avoid Icewear as all of that is made in China. The tags say "designed in Iceland", but they are not produced there, etc.

The food tour is excellent, I have done it twice. We book through Wakeup Reykjavik as they often have coupons. For the day of arrival, I always suggest the Citywalk "free" walking tour which you tip at the end. It is a great introduction to the city/country.

There are so many great things to see in Reykjavik, but it depends on your interests of course. Harpa, inside and out, is stunning. Walk to the Sun Voyager at either sunrise or sunset, Mjuk for the softest women mittens/hats/ capes/etc, wander the streets to check out the street art/murals and get off of Laugarvegur to see more of that, the Phallological Museum is often a hit with people but we have not been to that in almost 10 years so can't comment on how it is now, the cat cafe is cute and fun and a block off the rainbow road, Braud for the best cinnamon rolls hands down, Baka Baka for breakfast, Messinn is our favorite restaurant in town and you need a reservation (casual though), Forrettabarinn is a wonderful mostly locals restaurant that is still central but just enough off the beaten path to avoid most of the visitors (again, reservations needed), The Sea Barinn for a great casual lunch, Sjavagrillid for the best lobster tacos and fish soup (right on the rainbow road), and a soltuely go to the top of the church to look out over the city. These are just a few things off the top of my head. Restaurants tend to close early, so if you do tours, you will need to find a place close to your lodging that is open late enough for dinner, or else grab sandwiches the day before to eat in your room when you get back.

I would also do a 2 day tour on Snaefellsness as that is totally different than the south coast or Reykjavik. So much to see there!

Katla Ice Cave is still open in the summer, one of only two that are still in existence in the summer. I have not been to it in the summer so can't comment on the conditions then, but we have done it in the fall and loved it! We used Troll for that as well.