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Iceland Ring Road, 11 days August 2021

We just got back from Iceland the other night and had a fabulous trip! I wrote a fairly lengthy trip report, so here it is:)

We had 11 days for the Ring Road, and our party consisted of my husband and I (mid 50's), our daughter (30) and our son (27) and his gf. For our immediate family, we had all been once before on stopovers, and our daughter had been on a girls trip there as well. For the gf, this was her first trip outside of the US.

We had the trip planned for last summer, and of course we all know how that played out. We basically kept the same plan and the same dates and just changed it to this year.

Last summer when we had to cancel,I asked Blue Car Rental for a refund and they said they would, or if we would let them keep the money they would give us a few freebies. We opted for that as we could still cancel and get a refund at any point. We also had two lodging places that were nonrefundable, and both of those let us just change the dates to this year.

We live near Seattle, so it is a long trip for us. A few days before the trip we got our PCR tests done via UWMedicine and the results were back in less than 24 hours.

At SEA, IcelandAir weighed all of our bags, checked and carryon and tagged our carryons as acceptable. They looked closely at each of our vaccination cards as well as our PCR test results.

Then it was off to the lounge to relax until boarding time.

The flight was not that full, and we had seats across one row, so had an extra seat to spread out a bit.

We arrived at Keflavik an hour early, and our driver was there within a few minutes. With 5 of us, it was just a little bit more to have a private driver vs taking the Flybus, so we opted for that and did book through Flybus.

Arrived at our hotel in Reykjavik and as anticipated, our rooms were not ready, but they invited us to have breakfast and wait a bit and the rooms would be ready shortly. We stayed at the Hotel Fron. They changed one of our rooms from a regular room to a penthouse apartment, which was very nice!

After we got settled in it was time to go check out the city. The wall murals and street art are beautiful and it was fun to keep looking for more.

We did the Citywalk free walking tour, which my husband and I had done on our previous trip. We had a different guide this time so heard a few different things which was nice. The tour is free, but you tip what you feel it is worth and they do accept all currencies so if you have not gone to am ATM and have your own currency, you can just use that.

We had lunch at Seagreiffin down on the wharf. I wanted to try this place on our last trip and we ran out of time, so it was a must for this time. It did not disappoint! There is no printed menu, you just go to the counter and there is a wall of the various skewer dishes and you just let them know what you want and they cook it up and bring it to you. We had the lobster soup, the scallops, the ling cod, veggies and potatoes and all shared. Excellent!!!

The guys went to a coffee shop and relaxed while we went to the Handknitting store and bought sweaters. We also found the Mjuk store, which is basically across the street from Hotel Fron, and bought hats, gloves and headwarmers. We all met back up and just wandered the streets again. When we wandered early in the morning, we lucked out and got some great photos with no other people in them!

Dinner that night was at Islenski Barinn. Lamb soup and lamb dogs were both excellent. The soup its served in wool cozies to keep it warm and then on a wood platter with some bread. The lamb dogs were not hot dogs, but more like a pulled pork style, but lamb. I don't remember what all was on it, but do remember bernaise sauce and that they were sooo good!

We were in bed pretty early this first night. I was actually surprised my husband lasted until dinner as he usually is zonked by the afternoon after international flights.

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Day 2.

The kids stayed at the hotel packing up while my husband and I walked to Blue Car Rental to pick up the vehicle. Upon arrival we found out I made am mistake when booking. Apparently I had booked pickup for the day before, but it was not a problem thankfully. I did not ask for a refund as it was 100% my fault and we were just happy they still had the vehicle we requested. Check in was quick and we took full coverage, the WIFI unit and we had 3 drivers. Our vehicle was the Toyota Land Cruiser, the 5 seater. I am glad we opted for this vs the 7 seater as it gave us more luggage room without the 3rd seat in it.

We drove back to the hotel and picked up the kid and all of our luggage and headed off towards Snaefellsnes. Our first stop was Landbrotalaug hot springs. It is a bit difficult to find and we were the only people there. We just changed into our swim suits there at the car as there were no other people around. The springs themselves are tiny, just two pools and they hold 2 or 3 people max, each. Very simple and easy to miss, but we really enjoyed it.

After that we drove to a beach where seals are often seen. It was low tide and there were no seals to be found, but was still enjoyable to get out and walk.

Next stop was the black church in Budir, which is called Búðakirkja.

After that we drove almost to Arnastapi and took F570 up the mountain to the Snaefellsjokull Glacier. That is a rough road, but with gorgeous views!

We were running short on time after this so backtracked to get to 54 as we were headed to Grundarfjordur for a kayak fishing trip. We booked with Vestur Adventures and the trip was fantastic!!! The owner was great and he got all of us suited up and we headed out. This particular trip runs from 5-7pm each day. We had a lot of luck and between the 5 of us, we caught 25 cod. It was all catch and release. There were a ton of birds blocking overhead, so we followed the birds and they took us to the spots with lots of fish. The weather held out for us and it was clear until just as we were heading back when it began to sprinkle.

After that we headed to Stikkisholmur for the night at Akkeri Guesthouse. We arrived late and found Skippers for dinner. The fish and chips were great! The guesthouse itself was wonderful and upon returning from dinner, my husband went straight to bed but the rest of us hung out in the breakfast room with a few Icelandic couples and chatted for several hours over wine.

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Day 3

Today was a long day of driving. We started the morning with breakfast at the Akkeri Guesthouse which was beautiful presented. Then we walked around the town, the marina, checked out the basalt columns and then walked up to the lighthouse on Sugandisey island.

After that we headed to the basalt columns at Gerduberg and the church just down the road from it, Ytri-Raudamelur church. Our host at the guesthouse told us the story behind the church is that a volcano erupted and the lava was flowing straight towards the church. The priest asked everyone to pray to save the church, and the lava stopped just short of the church surrounding it on three sides.

After that stop, we drove straight to the north end of the Tröllaskagi Peninsula to our cabin on the lake in Ólafsfjardar.

Along the way though was a one lane tunnel. Those are a bit unnerving! There are areas to pull over when you see headlights coming at you, but you have to really pay attention as you want advance notice.

Once at the cabin, the kids made dinner for us. We splurged and had cod as well as lamb fillets and then roasted potatoes, peppers and onions. We did this often having fish and lamb, but smaller portions so that we could enjoy it all.

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Day 4

We saw so much today! We drove through Dalvik and kept thinking what a great idea it would be to come back and ski in the winter. Then on down to Akureyi just to pass through. We loved the stop lights that were heart shaped;)

We were on our way to Husavik, so opted to do the short detour to avoid the toll tunnel. It was a scenic route, so quite enjoyable.

Our first stop along the way was Godafoss. We had a beautiful day and were there pretty early, thankfully, as there were already a lot of people there. The bugs were getting quite pesky, so we didn't stay too long. The falls were very impressive!

Our next stop was GeoSea in Husavik. We had reservations for 11am, right when they opened. That was an ideal time to go as there were so few people. This was a highlight for all of us! The facilities were very nice and as you walk out to the pools, you overlook the open water and there is a beautiful yellow lighthouse right there as well. They have a separate pool area where you order your drinks, so you don't have to go inside. We all had beer, except my husband who was the driver and does not drink, so he had a Krap which is basically a slushy.

After that we needed to fill the tank in the Land Cruiser, so had our first Icelandic hot dog. Yum!!! I really dislike hot dogs, so was curious, and wow, these are so different than here at home! We all enjoyed them and they did not turn our stomachs inside out;)

We headed east after that and took 864 which is a gravel road. You definitely felt like you were on the moon or something with the terrain. Anyway, the first stop along here was Hafragilfoss, which was very cool!!! There were maybe 5 other cars in the parking lot here when we left, but when we arrived there was only one. So it was really nice to be able to spend time there without the crowds. Then it was down to Dettifoss and Selfoss. WAY more people there, but still manageable. We were very glad we were on the east side as we had much better views from that side.

Our next stop was the Krafla Power Plant. There were no tours, but you could see two short films in the visitors center.

Our last stop was our hotel for the night, Vogafjos Farm Resort in Myvatn. We had two rooms in log houses that each have 10 rooms. Very nicely appointed and well kept. We had dinner at the resort and it was wonderful! We had Arctic char, lamb and a burger and everyone tried a bit of each. We had a starter as well so that we could try more of the local fare. We had one dessert and shared that amongst the 5 of us, and it was a Skyr with berries. So good!

After dinner my husband crashed early (notice a trend? haha!) and the rest of us headed over to the Myvatn baths. It was a beautiful evening, but it was very busy, so not as enjoyable as we had hoped. It wasn't bad, but our other experiences were much better.

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Day 5

We started early this morning with a hike top to the crater at Hversfjall, which is about a 5 minute drive from Vogafjos. We left the resort at 7am and were the only vehicle at the crater. It is a short but steep walk up, and you can do the entire rim, but not need to. We went just over 1/3 of the way around or so and it was SO windy that we almost got blown over numerous times. It was really interesting and great views from up there! When we ere at the top, we saw one other vehicle arrive and they started to walk up and then turned back and left.

We headed back to the resort and had breakfast and then got ready to head out.

Our next stop was just a few minutes down the road to Hverir for the paint pots and vents. After that we headed to Hrossaborg which is a crater you can drive right into the middle of it. The Tom Cruise movie “Oblivion” was filmed there. We drove in and then hiked to the top. The sun was shining and we had beautiful views!

Then we headed to the turf house museum at Bustarfell. I thought the guys might not enjoy this all that much, but I was wrong. We all thoroughly enjoyed the museum! There is no guide, but if you have questions the personal the front is there to answer.

There is a small cafe there as well, for desserts and drinks. We ordered one slice of blueberry pie and 4 coffees and sat outside at a picnic table. They brought it out and it was so beautiful. The coffees were in china cups with saucers, and they divided the pie as they knew we were all sharing it, and all of it came out on a silver tray. How many times can you say you had silver and china while sitting at a picnic table? :)

There are two dogs there as well, which were not begging for food, just love. We were missing our own dogs from home, so enjoyed giving pets to these,

We met a couple there that had just arrived via the ferry from Denmark. They said the ferry takes 3 days.

We needed fuel, so ironically ended top going north too where that ferry comes in to find a gas station. We also stocked up at the grocery store as we were doing picnic lunches and self catering breakfasts when we were in cottages.

That town where the ferry comes in is Vopnsfjordur and from there you can head east and south instead of backtracking to get to the ring road. We did that, which puts you on 917. There is a sign at the beginning that says that road is impassable at times, so we were warned. We kept going and the fog set in. We do a lot of mountain/back roads here at home in the Cascades, but our roads usually have guardrails. These were hairpin turns, no guardrails, gravel road, 15% grades and they were doing construction. It was truly the description of white knuckle driving. My husband declared no more "short cuts" after this. Our son drove this stretch as he his very used to this type of driving, and yes, his knuckles were white. I looked, lol.

We were very relieved to catch back up to the Ring Road. The fog stuck with us though all through Egilsstidur where the visibility was maybe 20 feet at that.

Finally it cleared up enough and we stumbled upon Gufufoss, a beautiful waterfall just before getting to Seydisfjordur.

Our cottage for the night was just outside of town and overlooked the fjord. It was so foggy though that we had no views at all that night, but the hot tub was still very nice.

The kids made dinner again, fish cakes and lamb this time, with various veggies.

I woke up at 4am for a bit and looked out and the fog had lifted a bit, You could see out over the water and see the lights. So pretty! When we woke uo for good though, it was fogged in again.

Our son did a trail run there before we headed out as there was a trail almost adjacent to our cottage.

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Day 6

We started the day in Seydisfjordur as we wanted to see the rainbow road and the church. When we arrived, it was mobbed as we could see there were several tour groups there. They cleared out as we got closer, which was nice and we were able to enjoy the area a bit and get some photos without a zillion other people in them;). Most people were very respectful and would hurry to take a photo and then get out of the way so that others could do the same.

Our next stop was Egilsstadir fo get fuel and stir at Netto for more lamb and Arctic char for dinner. Our daughter did not bring any clothes for warm weather, so she found a tank top here as well which was a smart move.

After that we finally made it to Hengifoss for the hike. It was so warm out I had shorts and a short sleeve shirt and was still roasting. I never dreamed that would happen here! T

here is a food truck in the adjacent parking lot and they had sheep’s milk rhubarb ice cream which hit the spot after the hike. They also have vegan sorbet which our daughter said was really good too.

After that we were on our way to the next cottage near Hofn. After yesterday’s “short cut”, my husband said no way to Oxi Pass so we just did the Ring Road again. Very scenic though. Loved the Strembitingi lighthouse and the abandoned log home near it. Arrived at the Midsker cabin and the owner was right there for us. We made our Icelandic dinner and are off to bed early.

The cottage had a nice covered deck and in the morning my husband and I sat out there with our coffee and just took everything in. So peaceful.

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Day 7

We had an early start to the day as we were booked on the first zodiac tour at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. When I booked this, I had trouble as their website would not accept our US credit card. I emailed and they said that was very common and so to book through Guidetoiceland, which we did and had no issues with. We had two do the same thing for GeoSea, Myvatn and the Secret Lagoon.

When you arrive, you go to the ticket trailer and exchange your voucher for the actual ticket. Then at the trailer for the zodiac tours, they give you a flotation suit to wear and a life vest. We felt like the Michelin Man in these;)

Once on the boat we headed out to the lagoon. We lucked out and noticed a huge chunk of the glacier calving so the guide raced us over there and we got to watch it happen. Truly amazing!!! We got to see the entire thing unfold right in front of us, from a safe distance of course. Then we saw seals, including one lounging on an iceberg.

After that we headed over to Diamond Beach and saw one of the icebergs get carried out in the water.

A quick stop at Fjallsárlón Lagoon which was nice, but basically a much smaller version of Jokulsarlon.

Had a picnic lunch on the hood of the Land Rover at Foss a Sidu which was a very nice waterfall that we just stumbled upon. Most of our picnic lunches were in the hood of the vehicle, but there are numerous signs for picnic areas. The signs show a picnic table and a tree, so easy to spot.

Saw SO many dead/almost dead birds as we entered Vik. Turns out they are Northern Fulmars and they get confused and tired so lay on the road and meet their demise.

Stopped at a grocery store there, KR, there to pick up some lamb soup for dinner. It was a prepacked soup and just ok, but it was nice to not do real cooking.

Next stop was Reynisfjara Beach which is a black sand beach with basalt columns. We saw so many puffins there!

Then a quick stop at Skógafoss before heading to the cabin.

We were at Grund Cabin in Hvolsvöllur this night and it was our favorite lodging of the entire trip. We all said we could easily just live there;) The house was spacious and the kitchen was well equipped. It was just very comfy overall, and had a washer and dryer which was a definite plus!

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We started the day at Seljalandsfoss which is a huge waterfall that you can walk behind. It was quite chilly that morning and with the spray we got wet, bathed quick dry pants on so no big deal.

Then it was off to Skaholt to see the big white church and the old turf church next to it. The white church was being pressure washed to take off the white paint. I am curious as to whether it will be repainted or the stone left exposed. The interior of both churches were beautiful.

After that we headed to Fridheimer which is a tomato growing operation. Very impressive, especially considering the environment here. They have an excellent restaurant with the focus on tomato dishes. The soup was excellent! We shared one dessert for al of us, basically a very light skyr cheesecake with green tomato jam on top, with a flower and it was served in a tiny terra cotta plant pot. Very creative! There is also a basil plant and small pair of scissors on every table so you can garnish your soup as you please. They also bring a cucumber salsa which was very good on the bread. Sounds odd, but was very good.

The only downside to this experience was one tour bus that came in and were seated near us. It was an older group of people and not one mask. They swarmed the soup/bread area and one lady was not using tongs for the bread. I did not even bother to try and be kind and just said very sternly to her to use the tongs. The people that worked there you could tell were frustrated with the group and immediately stepped in and made them all go sit down, put masks on then line up like proper human beings. The employees then served them so they were not touching anything.

The facility had bees, sunflowers and other plants to all help pollinate the tomatoes. It was really interesting! You can purchase the soup and bread recipe for 300kr.

Then we headed over to the Secret Lagoon thermal pool. My husband wasn't feeling it since it was right after lunch, so he just hung out in the cafe area and responded to work emails and such. The rest of us thoroughly enjoyed it though! It was windy and rainy out, so being in the warm pool was especially nice. On one end there is a tiny grass hill where they have built miniature turf houses. Adorable! One thing we really liked about the Secret Lagoon is that they have pool noodles for your use. Those were game changers! Especially for me as I am short so am often trying to walk on my tippy toes in these pools.

After that it was off to Gulfoss for the waterfalls, which are enormous!!! Our rain pants came in handy here. The four of us had been here before, so my husband and I took pictures of ourselves at the same location as we have photos from 6 years ago. We did not go inside the gift shop here as we were a bit short on time.

We headed to our hotel for the night, Farmhotel Efstidalur in Laugarvatn. I had high hopes for this place, but it was our least favorite of the entire trip. I went in to check in and there was nobody at the reception desk. I rang the bell, waited and rang it again. Waited. Went to the ice cream area and asked the girl working there and she said she would call someone. Waited again. Went upstairs to the bar and asked the lady there, who was very short with me and said her friends would get to me soon. I went back down to the desk and waited again then went back to the ice cream girl. She called someone and they said to just give us our key and we would do check in later.

We got the key and found our room, the family room. It was large and the beds were comfy, but it was lacking. There was a coffee pot, but no coffee and not outlet near the coffee setup area. We had to plug the coffee pot in to an outlet near the floor in the bathroom. The shower did not drain well at all, so you had to be very quick and you still were in a bath.

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Day 8 continued...

We hurried up and got ready and headed to dinner at Ingolfsskali Viking Restaurant which was excellent!!! We even tried the fermented shark and Brennivin. The shark was more tolerable than the Brennivin. The owner said the axe throwing was not available as the target, I believe he said, was broken and not fixed yet. Our entrees were duck, lamb and cod and everything was perfect. We shared two desserts, a warm chocolate lava cake and then a skyr mousse. The building itself is gorgeous! It is large, so it was very easy for them to keep a good distance between diners.

Day 9

The morning was not off to a great start as we realized there was no coffee I the room, yet a coffee pot. So I went to the reception area at 7:30am to find the doors locked. I had to wait util 8 when they opened. The man and lady who helped me this morning were much nicer than the lady in the bar the day before, but still it was frustrating especially since our room was $365.

After coffee, we did our Covid tests for returning to the US. We used the eMed ones and they are very easy. I bought a few extras in case any kits were missing parts and that was a good call as the dropper in my kit was empty. I didn’t need to open another kit as the proctor said it was ok to use the leftover from my husbands test. We all tested negative so that was good!

We stayed at a farmhotel so lots of cows. The hotel wasn’t great itself as I mentioned already, but the ice cream was amazing! We headed back to Gulfoss for lunch as they lamb soup is so good. We were there in October 2015 and the kids in Dec 2015 and we all remembered it, so had to go back. It did not disappoint! We also bought a few things in the gift shop there which has expanded quite a bit from our last visit.

After that we headed to Geysir. Just as we were walking up it blew. It is very similar to Yellowstone.

I wanted to go to the Reykjadalur hot river but was outnumbered. Everyone wanted to chill😉

We drove back down to Laugarvatn to our house for the night. When I was doing all the booking, I messed up and didn't realize we had an extra night so we added that to this area. I wish we would've cancelled Efststidalur and booked this other place for two nights. The place for this night was much better then the farmhotel!

We settled into the house and then our son and I headed to Kronan in Selfoss to pick up salmon and lamb for dinner. We came back and the kids cooked again and we managed to use up the veggies we had. The joys of the end of a trip when you try not to waste anything. The owner lives next door so she had a greenhouse in the backyard. I love to garden so it was fun to see what she was able to grow there. Oh, and this house has a discount for Fontana, which I should have done. It was the Haholt Cosy House. The house has a washer and dryer too, but we had just done laundry the other night so ended up not needing it.

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Day 10

We started the day by heading to the volcano. We parked in the first lot as you come in from the east, headed west. It was already pretty full by the time we arrived around 10:30am. There are portages potties there, but they were beyond disgusting, so plan ahead. We first headed toward path C to see the tongue of the lava flow. Then we backtracked and headed up trail B for a close up look at the lava field. This was a highlight for all of us! The trail was steep in sections, but easy. We did have ideal weather which helped, but if it were rainy out there area areas that would be slick. We sat up top and had lunch and just took it all in. It was quite windy up top, so did pull out our hats and gloves for that.

Then we headed to the Northern Light Inn. This is a beautiful hotel that is a 5 minute walk to the Blue Lagoon (going there tomorrow). They have float pods that are incredibly relaxing! We did those before dinner.

Dinner at Max’s in the hotel was so good! Our daughter stayed/dined here before so knew it would be a hit.

The hotel has a nice relaxing lounge area with a huge basalt fireplace and an honor bar. It was a great place to get a glass of wine and just relax.

Dinner was excellent, as I mentioned. We started with a rhubarb liqueur, which was quite tasty. Then we had the seafood soup. They bring you the bowl with the seafood in it, and then pour the dream soup over that. For entrees we had the fish of the day which was perch, and then a lamb filet and then 3 of us had the seafood plate. We had no room left to even share one dessert;)

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Day 11, aka our last day.

The Blue Lagoon was less than 5 minutes from our hotel, the Northern Light Inn. We had a reservation for when the BL opened so it was really nice to be there with so few people. Truly relaxing and with the misty weather it was perfect. I know some people say it is too touristy but that was not our experience at all. I highly recommend it! We had the NLI book it for us and we paid the NLI and had a voucher to show the BL. We booked the premium package, so had a ride, slipper, towels, drink and 3 of the masks. The shower situation has changed from what I had read about. The showers all had privacy doors, so it was not one big communal shower. There is an entrance into the pools from inside the building, which was nice.

Then it was back to NLI to pack up and head out. We did make one pit stop and I was able to buy Icelandic yarn. I am super excited about this!!! I would have bought much more but knew our bags were already full. Our stop was in Keflavik at the Netto Krossmoi. Not all Netto's carry yarn, but this one does and it is on the otherwise of the wall fro where the self pay registers are.

We used Blue Car Rental and they were great. We drove 1,659 miles. The car rental return area was a short walk from the terminal so we dropped al of our luggage and the kids at the terminal and then returned the car and just walked back.

At the airport there is a gift sore with various Iceland items, and I found more yarn there. I bought 4 more skeins and figured I would find a way to cram it into our carryons lol. We did enjoy the duty free store and bought rhubarb and blueberry liquors.

The airport was a mixed bag. We had to wait about 30 minutes until the lien opened to check in. That worked out well as a few of us headed to the VAT refund area and took care of that. Then we were first in line when they opened the flood gates to the agents;) At check in they did check our eMed test results, which we showed on our phones and that was perfectly acceptable. They did not check out carryons as they did in Seattle on the way over.

We headed to the dining area and had lunch and then sat in the bar waiting for our gate to be announced. It was announced about 15 minutes before boarding, so it was a mad rush from that point on. We headed to the passport area which had a long line but moved very quickly. As soon as we got to the other side though, chaos ensued. The little gates where you scan the bar code on your boarding pass were not working as the machines were not reading the bar codes. We got luck and the 5 of us got through just fine, but there were literally hundreds of people stuck in that one area. We rushed to our gate and boarding was delayed a bit.

The flight home was uneventful, which I will take! Wifi was not working on their end, so I just slept most of the time. Upon arrival to Seattle we used our Global and at the kiosk we didn't even have to pull out our card or passport, it just did facial recognition and we kept on going. Picked up our bags, texted our driver what exit door we were at, and we were on our way home.

So a great trip, but we still feel like we barely scratched the surface. Iceland has so much to offer and I feel like even if we had twice the amount of time we would still feel like we were scratching the surface.

Trip number 3 is booked for February:)

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A few random thoughts.

We all have iPhones, and my husbands is the newest but mine is the XR so photos are not as good as his. I bought a wide angel lens to attach to my phone which actually made a big difference! Here is the link to it from Amazon.

At home we do a lot of hiking and backpacking so have poles that are high quality and that I am very used to. I bought collapsable ones for this trip so they would fit in my bag. They were just ok. If it was muddy, they were stick and so the poles would come apart, which I was not happy about. Same thing if they got stuck between rocks like when we were on the volcano up top. For normal trails though like Hengifoss they were great. Here is a link to them, also from Amazon.

Another purchase for the trip was a dash mount for the phone. It also says it works on the windshield, but for us the dash worked much better.

We have numerous adapters from past trips, but I found these with the USB slots so those came in super handy as we were able to charge several things at one time.

I also took my portable charger which I have had for over a year. It definitely came in handy on the long drives.

As I also mentioned earlier, we opted for the wifi device from Blue CarRental. That was a great decision! It was very helpful in several of our lodgings as the wifi was either spotty or we couldn't connect, and this was very reliable.

With Blue Car Rental the key fob also gives you a small discount one fuel at OB and Olis stations, so we opted for those when available.

The kids had fun finding different candy. The different gummies such as pizza and eggs were a hit, lol. Lion bars were also a hit, so we took those on hikes with us as well.

I wore my Low Renegade hiking boots almost every single day. The only other pair I brought were my low Lowa hikers. Same for my husband, the same two pair and same brand. Our daughter brought her Blundstones and then tennis shoes, and she did wish she had her Lowa hiking boots a few times. Our son and gf brought trail runners as well.

As I said, we do a lot of hiking here and have a variety of pants for that, but did find these on Amazon and ended up really liking them! Turns out the gf bought the same ones and she loved hers as well. They are not waterproof, but they are quick dry and I can attest to that;)

I have not added top the trip costs yet, and am not sure I want to, lol, but it was worth every penny!

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235 posts

Loads of useful information!! So glad you were able to get there, enjoy a family vacation, and return home safely!!

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3961 posts

mikliz97, so enjoyed your fabulous detailed trip report. Definitely will bookmark!!

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6783 posts

Fabulous report, such a joy to read. You might not like hot dogs that much, but it looks like lamb is a favorite.

So was this the trip to end all trips, or where's the next trip you're planning?

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1486 posts

Thank you:)

We are just itching to get back there. Right now the next trip there is booked for February, but of course that is anyones guess as to whether or not that will happen. Fingers crossed though!

Cyn--I don't like hot dogs here, but there they are made out of lamb and yes, taste so much better and don't wreck your gut;) Our next trip is next week to Alaska. A different trip for sure though, as we have family that lives deep in the bush (not like what you see on tv, this is the real deal) so we are headed up to join them for the moose hunt.

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1486 posts

I am sure I will keep realizing things that I meant to include.

My husband does not drink, so he usually just opts for water or a soda when we are out. At one place though he saw Carlsberg N/A beer and was thrilled! We found them at N1 the next day and grabbed all that they had. He tried various brands on this trip, but that's his favorite and we found it a handful of times. It was really nice as he was able to "drink" with us in the evenings and not feel left out. Now to try and find that here at home. He has a few local ones he likes here, but it is always nice to have something from past travels to remind you of good times;)

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1486 posts

The kayak trip was suggested to me by justsweetjs, and I cannot thank her enough! We were not sure which kayak trip we wanted to do with them, but when I told my husband and son there was a fishing one, that sealed the deal. The guide was so good!!!

When you arrive, he gets a suit for you and you can put your shoes/jacket etc in a locked room. Upon return, it was chilly and he had a thermos of hot cocoa ready for us, which was a real treat.

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235 posts

Awww, you're so welcome, mikliz97! When I was on the Ring Road back in 2018, the kayak tour at Kirkjufell was one of the highlights of my trip. Based on the things that you were interested in, I knew that your family would enjoy it and that the tour owners would do everything to make it a truly memorable experience!

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1398 posts

I enjoyed your report. My trip was July 1-15. We stayed in one of your hotels, the farm at Myvatn. We also had the same bug trouble at a few sites! When we were there, there were no masks worn by anyone, anywhere, so it seems that has changed with the increased delta cases.

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1486 posts

vandrabud--Mask usage during our trip was really good. The tour group at the tomato place and then a small group at Northern Light Inn were pretty much the only people who were not being careful. Each of us took 20 masks so we had plenty for on the flights and for each day, accounting for possibly needing more than one per day. I wanted to err on the side of caution with that. I think you are right in that the Delta has changed things a bit.

justsweetjs--Yes, you nailed it for us! I would love to do another kayak trip with that guide.

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1104 posts

What a great and detailed trip report; which I have bookmarked. Thanks for coming back and giving us the details on the accommodations and restaurants you all enjoyed.

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6783 posts

mikliz97, I hope your Alaska trip goes well. Between Oceland and Alaska, this will have been the Year of the Far North.

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4272 posts

Interesting to read a similar trip to ours, but a bit longer. We also were not so taken with the Myvatn Baths. We also enjoyed our meal at Vogafjos.

That town where the ferry comes in is Vopnsfjordur

The Danish ferry lands at Seydisfjordur, if that is the ferry you refer to.

Also, I thought the west side viewing of Dettifoss was great, close to the falls with both side and front angle views. I felt a little sorry for the people on the east side since they only got an oblique view. The views of the minor Selfoss did appear to be better from the east bank. I had trouble with the dirtiness of the water, not pretty.

As I said in my trip report, going by way of Oxi Pass is a mistake since the coastal drive is so pretty.

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1486 posts

Tom—that makes more sense regarding the ferry. We talked to a German couple who said they came via the town I mentioned so they must have been confused with the names. Our views from the east side of Dettifoss were spectacular. I agree the coastal route was very nice, but have heard wonderful reports of Oxi pass as well. I think it is like much of the country and there is great scenery no matter where you go.

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1486 posts

Cyn—I had not thought about that before, but yes both trips are pretty far north! Our family in Alaska appreciates treats from down here so I’ve been trying to gather all of those. I usually take at least one case of wine for them as well.