Iceland land of ice and fire. A country that increasingly increases its popularity as a tourist destination. In addition to the good propaganda made by football players with their famous celebration also known as “haka” with the spectators during their matches in the last Eurocup.
This and many more things that I will tell you next make Iceland a country that must be visited once in a lifetime.
It is true that it is an expensive destination but it is well worth saving money and go to see the wonders that this country offers us.
In this post I will give you some tips to spend less than you imagine. Besides that this place is known by the high percentage of campsites that you will find all over the island. Now if your idea is to camp and save enough money in accommodation you must be taken in mind that most of the camps only open the months of spring and summer because the extreme temperatures. In other words they open from May and close in mid-September. In the Tips section for Iceland you can find details on what clothes to wear? what the average temperature is on those dates? and more.
The way in which I will write this post is putting the important places that have to be visited in Iceland. I will not describe day by day because it seems to me impractical and if you have the main points to visit each one can go arming your trip. Either by adding or removing places depending on the days you have and what suits you. At the end I will list the best campsites so that you can review them and make your own itinerary. Then let’s start:
Reykavik is the capital of Iceland and oppositely to what I imagined is not so small and is quite cozy. Among its streets you will find the Lutheran Church Hallgrímskirkja which is quite beautiful and you can visit its interior without cost. You will find an avenue full of restaurants, bars and souvenirs.Also here is where are established the famous hot dogs Pylsur Baejarins Beztu if you have google maps it will easily locate them and if not anyone can guide you to them.
2. Thingvellir Nature Park
Ticket price: free
It is a national park in which you can see the Silfra crack of separation of plates, on one side is the North American tectonic plate and on the other the Eurasian. Here you will find bathrooms with cost (quite expensive by the way) and a coffe shop.
3. Silfra Lake
Ticket price: free
It is very close to the nature park Thingvellir is very beautiful and the main activity is snorkeling.
4. Strokkur and the Great Geyser
Ticket price: Free
Both are located in the same place. The Great Geyser is the oldest and still active but the biggest attraction currently is the Strokkur since every 5 minutes or so throws water that can reach 20 meters in height. It is one of the great wonders of this country that you have to see.
In this place you will find bathrooms free of charge and a coffe shop that offers a quite wide menu a good price.
Ticket price: Free
Impressive waterfall. This is another point that is part of the tourist route called Golden Circle.
Ticket price: Free
It is other beautiful waterfall found in South Iceland between Selfoss and the Skógafoss waterfall. The climb can be a bit slippery if it has been raining during those days so be careful if you go with young children. It is important to mention that you can walk along a path behind the waterfall and from there you can have a very cool photos. Here you can find a small place with some drinks and snacks.
7. Seljavellir Swimmingpool
Ticket price: Free
To get to this pool is a little complicated because you will not find signs and even if you carry GPS can not identify the exact place or at least that happened to me. 🙁 I guess this happened because the pool is literally in the middle of the mountains. You will have to drive in the direction of Vik then turn left on Route 242 in the direction of Raufarfell and get to the end of the road. You will have to park the car and walk a few 10 minutes approximately.
This pool was built in the year 1923 and uses the thermal water of the place. It is not luxurious and perhaps not very comfortable because it has only a few rooms to change clothes but it is simply a magical place. You have an incredible landscape to admire while enjoying the hot water despite the fact that the temperature was zero degrees (c).
8. Skogar People’s Museum
Ticket price: 2000 ISK adults and 1000 ISK child
This museum is a few steps from our number 9 (Skógafoss)
They are real houses that were moved to this place to be able to show the life of the Icelanders years ago. The museum has houses, a school and a church. With the cost of the ticket you also have access to the transport and communication museum which I found interesting. However, honestly this stop I would only recommend it if you go with time and money to spare because if you just want to see these little houses you can see several in different places of the island without payment.
They have bathrooms and a small coffeeshop.
* Museum opening dates:
June, July, August: 09 – 18
September to May: 10 – 17
If you want to know additional information here the website.
Ticket price: FREE
This is a beautiful waterfall besides having open camping. Imagine! Wake up, open the tent door and the first thing you see is that amazing waterfall !! Definitely one of my favorite places to spend the night.
Also you can go to the top of the waterfall going up quite a few steps but it will be worth it. From there you can start a trekking route, on the way I saw many kids carrying their backpacks with everything they need to camp, apparently it is because following this route you can reach a glacier and many plan to spend the night there . If you are an adventurer then this route may interest you.
This camp has bathrooms, showers and a small restaurant.
10. Solheimajokull Glacier
For those who have never seen a glacier this is a very entertaining place to take a walk although the glacier is not seen complete it is a good welcome for the following landscapes in the route. I recommend it if you go with days to spare.
11. Fjadrargljúfur Canyon
Ticket price: FREE
This canyon is truly beautiful. For those who love photography here could take some great photos. The views are breathtaking. This place has bathrooms free of charge.
12. Vatnajökull National Park
Ticket price: FREE
The information center for visitors is located in Skaftafell. They can guide you about different hiking routes and the main attractions. If you do not want to enter to ask, you can simply guide yourselves with the maps that are outside the offices with each one of the routes traced of different colors indicating the main attractions to see. In one of these routes you will see the Svartifoss or better known as the cascade of basaltic columns.
An important point is that in one side of the restaurant entrance is a faucet to be able to fill the bottles with drinking water.
Website for more information.
13. Skaftafell Park
Here is another campsite and I will give you my opinion regarding this camp in the list of camps but it is from this place that departure different walking tours to the glaciers.
I booked with the company Icelandic Mountain Guides because after a comparison with all I found on the internet this was the one that offered the same tour but at a lower price and they gave me a great service and they were very friendly.
If you are interested in checking their prices and services click here.
14. Fjallsárlón Glacier
When you reach this point it will seem the most beautiful you have ever seen but more is yet to come 😉
15. Jükullsárlón glacier lake
There are no words to describe this amazing place. No matter the month of the year I promise you will not be disappointed. You will be able to see huge pieces of ice that are separating from icebergs.
At this point also you can rent tours in small boats to be close to the icebergs, if you are interested to see information about it click here.
It is a small fishing village in which you will find the famous super with the logo of the pork (super bonus) where you could buy food for the rest of the trip in the island.
It is a small city that can serve you to rest. I did not spend much time in that place because I could not find something that caught my attention, however if you want to hike or some other activity here I leave the website of the city where they explain all the tourism options that they Offer.
18. Waterfalls Dettifoss and Selfoss
Much is mentioned in relation to these two waterfalls, in my trip I did not visit them because I did not have a good weather that day, it was late and also really dark but if you have enough days you could get to know them.
All places from points 19 to 22 are on the same road and are very close to each other.
19. Hverir’s Fumarolaa
From afar you can see the fumaroles of these hot springs. They are at the foot of a mountain that is also full of fumaroles around it. You can climb the mountain but very carefully because there are no stairs.
It is a geothermal zone that is really amazing. There is no vegetation around, everything is a volcanic desert with hot springs, mud puddles and with an unpleasant smell of sulfur but it is worth just for seeing such a spectacle.
It is an active volcano and forms part of the Krafla boiler. It looks like a scene from a movie shot on Mars. : P You will be able to see mud pools with boiling turquoise water. It is simply spectacular.
22. Krafla Viti Crater
At the end of this road you will find this beautiful crater full of very beautiful turquoise water. It is worth doing this tour, it will not take you much time of day and I guarantee that it will impressed you.
23. Myvatn thermal baths
After Blue Lagoon this is the best known place to take a thermal bath. If you want to have the experience and pay a lower price then this is the option.
If you want to know the times and prices updated click here
24. Godafoss the Waterfall of the Gods
Ticket Price: FREE
It is another of those spectacular waterfalls that Iceland boasts. It is of quite large volume and is perfect for beautiful photos.
From Godafoss to Akureyri are approximately 53 km.
It is the fourth largest city in the country but do not expect to see a big city, in fact it is small but quite cute. It is worth walking through its streets and eating in one of its nice restaurants. It is from here that there are tours for whale watching, you can easily see on the dock the signs with prices and departure times.
26. The Herring Era Museum in Síldarminjasafnið
Ticket price: 1,200 isk
From Akureyri to Síldarminjasafnið are approximately 73 kilometers.
The Herring Age is on the main road of Siglufjordur. The museum is divided in three buildings which give a tour of the history of the herring industry in Iceland. It is a good museum even if you have no interest in the fishing industry.
To know schedules and prices click here.
27. Hofsós swimming pool
For me the best pool in Iceland, I just fell in love with it. The entrance is very cheap and the facilities are very clean and maintained. It is not a very famous place so you will find few people. The pools have a panoramic view of the sea, I promise you it leaves you breathless. Something important is that in some pages of Internet had the information about the openings time from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The reality is that they open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and again from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Hrs. They take three hours for lunch, so plan your day in order to be there early and enjoy as much as possible.
Address: 565 Hofsós. It’s hard to miss, the town is four blocks. 🙂
A small but beautiful town very close to Hofsós. At point eight I described the Skogar People’s Museum, well this place is similar to that museum but in real life. Here in this small town you will find the famous “grass houses” that have been reported in Norway, Scotland, Ireland and Greenland but the country that has the best homes are here in Iceland and this village offers you that without payment as in the museum.
You can see a beautiful church that was built in the year 1759. In addition to a replica of the house of the bishop of the parish that was built in 2002. The original house dates back to 1315 and lasted 500 years standing and then collapsed in 1810.
29. Berserkjahraun lava fields. It will not take you more than 15 minutes to visit.
30. Snaefellsjökull, the volcano of Julio Verne.
31. Viking World
The Viking National Museum is very close to Reykjavík International Airport.
The museum offers all the history that this island has about the Vikings, needless to say that should be a mandatory stop on your visit to this country. They also have the copy of a viking ship built by Mr Gunnar Marel Eggertsson in 1996 that took as a model a true Viking ship of the ninth century, in addition it was built with the same methods and materials as the Vikings.
32. Secret Lagoon or Gamla Laugin
It is a spring of geothermal waters that is in the village called Fludir and is known as the oldest lagoon of Iceland. It is part of the golden circle and this place was definitely one of my favorites. The entrance is not expensive compared to blue lagoon and and it’s a lovely place. I recommend you to arrive early because later as at lunch time it starts to fill up with people who pay guided tours and end the day there. They only sell drinks and some snacks. For more information here the official page.
33. Blue Lagoon
It is the most famous geothermal resort in Iceland. The spa is located in a lava field and the water of the lagoon is produced by a geothermal power plant. The average water temperature is 40 ° C and has a blue color.
The website with prices for each season here.
When I was organizing my trip I read in several blogs that the entrance fee was quite expensive and that it was very crowded and for those reasons they recommend not to go. However, I believe that if you are in Iceland you should not avoid this incredible experience.