Since I’m being attacked with all the offers of cheap flights to Iceland and I really would love to go back I feel it’s about the time I write about my trip there! And, unlike most of the people I know, I did it without renting a car, simply because I don’t have a drivers license and I was travelling on a budget in Iceland and solo, as usual.
I’m sure that renting a car during your Iceland travel is much better option, it gives you the flexibility to see everything interesting around or to stop every 5 minutes for yet another picture of the breathtaking landscape around.
This was actually my biggest pain there, I wished I could have taken the picture of just about everything, it was just too beautiful (and still, I brought some 1700 pictures from my 7 days in Iceland…). This really is the country with one of the most stunning landscapes on Earth and I believe everyone should visit Iceland at least once in the lifetime!
So, if you are a lucky person who is heading to Iceland and doesn’t know yet what to do there my 7 days itinerary might come handy for you!
Table of contents
Day 1 – Reykjavik
I took the early morning flight from London and was in Reykjavik already before the noon. This gave me plenty of time to see the city that is rather compact anyway.
I walked along the waterfront to see the famous Sun Voyager sculpture – one of the symbols of Reykjavik. I admired the modern architecture of Harpa – a concert hall and conference center. I relaxed at the pond in the center, next to the Reykjavik city hall.
But the highlight of the day (and Reykjavik in total) was going up the tower of Hallgrimskirkja – the second highest building in the country. The view from there is simply amazing with rows of colorful wooden houses and mountains in the background. You see it at most of postcards from Reykjavik but it surely deserved that position!
After Hallgrimskirkja I just wandered around the center, sat down for tea in one of the cute cafes and simply enjoyed Reykjavik.
Day 2 – Southern Iceland
This was the day when I first saw why everyone is raving about Iceland so much. I spent the whole day in southern part of Iceland, visiting some of the most famous places there: black beaches of Vik and waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. We also stopped to take a look at the glacier (that was the first one in my life!) or the famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano that caused so many problems in Europe in 2010 (it doesn’t look harmful at all!).
All day long the views were simply amazing, I sat glued to the window or wandered around in awe. That’s when I understood the whole hype about Iceland, it really is stunning!
Day 3 – Akureyri
I took the morning flight to Akureyri, second biggest town in Iceland, located in the north. The flight time is less than an hour and this must be the most scenic plane journeys I’ve ever taken, crossing the whole interior of Iceland and flying just above the mountains.
This was also the most stressful flight – the plane was tiny, the wind was strong and couple of times we fell into the hole. Akureyri airport is one of the most difficult to land at, the runway is located on the water, with high mountains around and only the best pilots land here so I just believed they know what they are doing.
Once I was safely on the ground I walked to the town center (it’s only a little bit over 3 kms from the airport) and spent the day getting to know Akureyri. It is a really pleasant, somehow sleepy town with gorgeous views around.
The highlights of Akureyri are the distinctive big church designed by the same person as famous Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik or the botanical garden but the whole town is a great place to spend a relaxing day.
Day 4 – Myvatn
The reason why I went to Akureyri was to visit Myvatn – the area around the lake with the same name, famous for the moon-alike landscape and geothermal zones. If I have to choose which place in Iceland impressed me the most it has to be Myvatn.
Before we reached the area we stopped at Godafoss waterfall, known as one of the most amazing waterfalls in Iceland. Honestly I’ve seen better ones but Godafoss was pretty nice too and definitely worth a stop. It was just a foreplay of what we were about to see later on!
The further we went, the more incredible places we’ve seen: Myvatn lake, Dimmuborgir lava fields, Grjotagja lava cave, Viti crater, Hverarond mud pits and Myvatn Nature Baths. I can’t count how many times my jaw dropped with awe on that day, every single place was just too beautiful to be true but my personal favorite was Hverarond.
Day 5 – Akureyri to Reykjavik
I’ve decided to take the bus back from the north to the capital. It took 6 hours, the price was slightly more expensive than the flight but at least I could admire the views along the way. And they were pretty spectacular, of course!
Once I was back in Reykjavik I went to Perlan – The Pearl. The view from there is really amazing, second best after Hallgrimskirkja but the building itself offers other attractions too – a restaurant and a cafe where you can dine with a view! The rest of my day in Reykjavik was just spent wandering around, enjoying already familiar city.
I just wish back then I would have been into the street art as Reykjavik is one of the coolest cities with the outdoor art scene! That’s actually the main reason why I want to return there!
Day 6 – Reykjanes – the area around Blue Lagoon
Everyone visiting Iceland stops at Blue Lagoon. Everyone but me. I took the bus to Blue Lagoon but instead of going inside the spa I went for a “little” walk around.
There is a hill nearby and I figured if I can see it perfectly well from Blue Lagoon then the view from the top must be amazing too. And it was, just getting up was challenging and I was rather freaked out at times when the stones beneath my feet were falling down, making the climb pretty impossible. It was seriously one of the most stupid things I’ve ever done, especially that there was a regular road up there, just a little bit further.
As I could see from the hill the waterfront was not far so I headed there, to the town Grindavik, from where I returned to Blue Lagoon, just with a different way, through the lava fields. Altogether it was a great hike around and something unusual as for most of the day I was on my own.
Day 7 – Golden Circle
On my last full day in Iceland it was time for the most popular tour – Golden Circle. Most of the people visiting the country go for it and I had to check if it’s worth the hype. Well, to be honest it was the weakest point of my 7 days in Iceland but still pretty amazing – it’s just that the country offers so many one of a kind places than when you leave Golden Circle for the end you won’t be as much impressed with it as if you’d start with it.
Golden Circle consists of Geysir (that shoots water up to 30 meters every couple of minutes), Gullfoss (ok, this was the best of waterfalls I’ve seen in Iceland) and Thingvellir National Park (where American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet) and each place is spectacular, even if slightly overcrowded. But it is a must in Iceland.
The next morning I had my flight back and so my unforgettable time in Iceland was over.
I feel like I’ve really seen a lot during my 7 days in Iceland, used my time there to the maximum. I was there at the beginning of May so still before the season yet I managed to see all the places without renting a car – while it is handy it is not completely necessary to see the best Iceland has to offer! Use my Iceland 7 days itinerary to plan your own trip! And enjoy Iceland as much as I did!
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