When I got home from Iceland, my Poppop said “I had no idea why the hell you wanted to go there but your pictures were amazing!” “Because Iceland is a literal dream!” being my response.
And as amazing as the pictures were, it was even more beautiful in person, so forgive the Iceland spam that floods my page…sorry, not sorry, you would be swooning, too!
From horse farms to fields of volcanic rock, black sand beaches, and glaciers so big I don’t even know what to compare them to – the tiny island-country sitting in the northern Atlantic really packs a punch. With just about every landscape you can imagine, Iceland has quickly become the adventure destination. There are several active volcanoes ready to blow, yet people are flocking to Iceland and it’s no wonder why.
Six days in Iceland is enough time to fully get a sense of the South. If you want to do the entire Ring Road, you’ll want at least 8 or 9 days to pack it all in! If you’re on a mission to see the Northern Lights, the winter months with long dark nights are best, but if you want a total taste of Iceland’s epic-ness, go when the days start getting longer and the sun doesn’t sleep!
To load your itinerary as much as possible, definitely go the motorhome route – if you’re down with getting a little rugged, that is! You’ll save a ton of money (hellooo, car rental and hotel all in one) and you won’t have to backtrack or go out of your way to find lodging. There are low-cost campgrounds in every town or public pool houses that you can use to take a cheap shower.
Money Saving Tips
I’ll jump straight to the chase… Iceland turned out to cost a weeee bit more than expected. Low-budget airlines have made it rather affordable to get there but being an island, things are kind of expensive once you land – boo! To make your trip as cheap (but still awesome) as possible, here are a few pieces of empty-wallet wisdom:
- Go during the off season. Seriously! The camper-van rental from Snail Motorhome, which I highly recommend, was 50% off its normal price while visiting during the low season in May. Apparently April and May tend to be the rainy months (didn’t figure that out till I got there!) but the rain comes and goes in an instant so you can definitely chase the sun.
- Bring your own food – lots of it! Food is prettttty pricy in Iceland (oh, inflation). I packed an entire backpack full of jerky, protein bars, nuts, dried fruit, and oatmeal packs. Once you get there, you should also stop at the grocery store and grab some food rather than eating out every meal. For breakfast we’d have some oatmeal and store-bought yogurt, we’d snack on jerky, bars, etc. throughout the day, and only go to a restaurant for dinner.
- Skip the guided tours. Navigating Iceland is extremely easy! There is a main road the runs the perimeter of the entire island and most things you’ll want to see sit right off of it. You can also get by without paying for cell service or renting a GPS by downloading the MAPS.ME Iceland map beforehand. You’re welcome.
- Side note: do not skip the guided tour if you want to walk on a glacier, you will get lost and/or hurt 😉
- Fly WOW Air – Iceland’s newest airline with low budget rates and excellent service!
Thursday, May 25th – Tuesday, May 30th
Time Off Required
3 days (Memorial Day Weekend)
- Thursday, Friday, Tuesday
Day 0 – Wednesday
- Flight (Baltimore to Reykjavik)
7:00 PM – 5:05 AM (+1 day)
Day 1 – Thursday
- West Iceland – Snæfjellsness Peninsula (Búðakirkja, Gatklettur, Kirkjufell / Kirkjufellfoss)
Day 2 – Friday
- Southern Iceland – Waterfalls (Skogafoss, Kvernufoss, Seljalandsfoss), Black Sand Beach (Reynisfjara), and Vik
Day 3 – Saturday
- Southern Iceland – Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Skaftafell Glacier Hike, Jokulsarlon Ice Lagoon
- East Iceland – Hofn
Day 4 – Sunday
- Southern Iceland – Abandoned US Navy Plane (Sólheimasandur), Golden Circle
Day 5 – Monday
- Reykjavik – Big Church (Hallgrímskirkja), Blue Lagoon
Day 6 – Tuesday
- Flight (Reykjavik to Baltimore)
3:30 PM – 5:50 PM
- WOW air – $472
- Snail Motorhome Rental – $ 390 / person ($780 total)
- Varying campground fees between $10-20 a night
- Roughly $500
- Glacier hike with Extreme Iceland – $90
- Blue Lagoon – $54
Want more Iceland goodness? Check out Iceland Must-Sees: Top 10 for a full list of my favorite stops!
Still need more deets? Shoot me a message and I’ll send you my complete itinerary 😉