8 days / 1834 miles / 41 hours 43 minutes
Iceland Family Road Trip
Put together with a lot of help on Day 1, 2 and 7 from iheartreykjavik.com
Walker EmbreySee more trips
Pick up JPS, flight arrives 0430
Golden Circle Map website : https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=10OxrFPebP3r_lZcvGnJvdhRIxT0
4:30 am - 25.8 miles / 34 minutes - 5:05 am
Drop of luggage at our hotel in the morning
Get changed for the day and have a day pack for all of the scuba / snorkeling hiking gear we need for the Golden Circle Trip
5:35 am - 6.9 miles / 12 minutes - 5:48 am
Stop here for breakfast / exploring the city before heading up to Silfra for the snorkel / scuba diving
8:18 am - 25.0 miles / 35 minutes - 8:54 am
Thingvellir National Park - Scuba / snorkeling stop at Silfra with Dive.is between the continental plates (+ other park activities)
Diving / Snorkeling with dive.is, arrive by 9AM for start!
2:54 pm - 37.7 miles / 51 minutes - 3:46 pm
Stop and watch the geyser eruption here
4:16 pm - 6.1 miles / 11 minutes - 4:28 pm
Stop and take pictures around the Gullfoss Waterfall
5:13 pm - 13.0 miles / 19 minutes - 5:33 pm
Another waterfall to stop and see
5:58 pm - 21.9 miles / 26 minutes - 6:25 pm
Stop and explore the area around this volcanic / crater lake
7:25 pm - 16.9 miles / 24 minutes - 7:50 pm
Reykjadalur (popular hike) is a beautiful valley with a hot river running through it where you can bathe year round. There are no facilities so you need to be ready to change in front of people and such. Be very careful if you go here and follow the marked paths as there have been bad accidents here in the recent years where people get badly burned when they go off the paths (there is hot water everywhere and the ground is sometimes unstable). You go into Hveragerði and drive out of town on the other side and park by the start of the hike. Then you just follow the marked path for 45 minutes or so (or maybe an hour if you really want to take your time) and find a good spot to bathe in. Please beware also that the river is hotter in some places than other so make sure you check the water before you dive in.
8:50 pm - 31.0 miles / 45 minutes - 9:36 pm
Hotel the Vallera's stayed at and recomended. Family Suite and breakfast included
Map of some sights for the day:
8:00 am - 79.7 miles / an hour 41 minutes - 9:42 am
Gljúfabúi Waterfall is a bit of a hidden gem next to the more known Seljalandsfoss waterfall. It's hidden behind a big cliff and the only way to get to it is to do a bit of climbing or by wading the river. It's all worth it though!
10:02 am - 0.3 miles / a minute - 10:04 am
Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a favorite of many and it can't be missed as it's very visible from the road. You can walk behind this waterfall which is a great experience but be sure that you have some rain gear on when you do that as you are going to get wet. More info: http://www.south.is/en/what-to-see-do/nature/seljalandsfoss-and-gljufrabui-waterfalls
10:24 am - 12.0 miles / 15 minutes - 10:40 am
The Iceland Erupts or the Þorvaldseyri visitor center. Owned and operated by the Þorvaldseyri family this is a museum that centers around the 2010 eruption in Eyjafjallajökull and how it affected this family. More info here: http://www.iheartreykjavik.net/2013/05/iceland-erupts-a-visit-to-thorvaldseyri-visitor-center/
11:10 am - 1.7 miles / 2 minutes - 11:13 am
Go back the whole way on this road
11:53 am - 5.7 miles / 10 minutes - 12:04 pm
A beautiful waterfall. You can either walk to it on the bottom or walk the stairs next to it for a more areal view. Legend has it that there's a treasure behind it. I wouldn't recommend trying to get to it though. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sk%C3%B3gafoss
12:24 pm - 1.1 miles / 5 minutes - 12:30 pm
"One of my favorite museums in Iceland. This folk museum has old houses and items that give you a a great idea about how people lived back in the day. You are in for a treat if you get a guided tour through the museum with one of the staff memebers there because they are great."
1:00 pm - 5.8 miles / 8 minutes - 1:09 pm
An American army plane that crashed in the 70s. Beautiful spot to visit for photos
Need to go almost to the coast to get to it - only 4 wheel drive accesible
1:39 pm - 11.4 miles / 18 minutes - 1:58 pm
Amazing views and home of some puffins. More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyrh%C3%B3laey
2:18 pm - 12.4 miles / 23 minutes - 2:42 pm
One of the more popular stops on the south coast and for a good reason. Beautiful black sand beach, basalt columns and strange rock formations. And puffins. Sometimes. This place is also known for being notoriously windy so hold on to your hats. And please don't go to close to the ocean because it is more dangerous than it looks.
3:42 pm - 0.0 miles / - 3:43 pm
Look at the massive columns in the ocean from Vik
Basalt Sea Stacks visible from Vík. Legend says that the stacks originated when two trolls dragged a three-masted ship to land unsuccessfully and when daylight broke they became needles of rock. More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynisdrangar
4:43 pm - 6.8 miles / 11 minutes - 4:55 pm
Cool church in Vik - supposedly the only thing that would survive in Vik if the glacier caused a flood
5:10 pm - 0.5 miles / 2 minutes - 5:13 pm
7:00 am - 9.5 miles / 16 minutes - 7:17 am
There is a great hiking route up this mountain but there are old remains of a farm up there and a viking tomb. More info: http://www.iheartreykjavik.net/2013/05/vik-hostel-a-cozy-and-welcoming-placeto-rest-your-weary-head-in-south-iceland/
8:17 am - 32.3 miles / 38 minutes - 8:56 am
This is a beautiful big lava field that was formed in an eruption in the 1700s. There's a little picnic area on route one where you can stop and take a little walk to see the vastness of the lava. Please respect the nature though and take care with the moss - it takes forever to grow.
9:16 am - 4.3 miles / 9 minutes - 9:26 am
Fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon in south east Iceland which is up to 100 m deep and about 2 kilometres long, with the Fjaðrá river flowing through it. It is located near the Ring Road, not far from the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
9:51 am - 5.9 miles / 12 minutes - 10:04 am
An odd rock formation just outside of Kirkjubæjarklaustur village. Kirkjugólf means Church floor but it's named that because the basalt columns look like a floor of a church even though it's a natural phenomenon
10:19 am - 7.2 miles / 9 minutes - 10:29 am
One of Iceland's many gorgeous waterfalls. More info: http://www.klaustur.is/Ferdathjonusta/English/Interesting_places/Foss_a_sidu
10:44 am - 36.1 miles / 42 minutes - 11:27 am
A gorgeous waterfall that comes down a basalt rock wall. Getting there is a bit of a hike (20-60 min, depending on where you start) but it's definitely worth it. More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svartifoss
12:17 pm - 3.9 miles / 10 minutes - 12:28 pm
If you want to see and touch a glacier tongue without going on a glacier walk this might be a good place for that. You can also go on a glacier walk tour from Skaftafell to here.
12:48 pm - 29.4 miles / 38 minutes - 1:27 pm
The "other" glacial lagoon. More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fjalls%C3%A1rl%C3%B3n
1:57 pm - 6.8 miles / 10 minutes - 2:08 pm
One of Iceland's most visited attractions, people make epic long journeys to see this. It's a glacial lagoon with floating icebergs from Vatnajökull and it's gorgeous. Look out for seals hanging around on the icebergs.
4:08 pm - 49.2 miles / 58 minutes - 3:07 pm
This center offers a wealth of information about the area. It is also close to nice paths to walk around the shore. When I was there several colorful fishing and research boats were in the harbor which offered a picturesque scene. Stop and have a look...it's worth it.
3:52 pm - 63.6 miles / an hour 19 minutes - 7:12 pm
7:00 am - 100.2 miles / 2 hours 16 minutes - 9:18 am
Although it's a little bit far way from the town of Egilsstaðir (38 km), Skriðuklaustur is worth the visit. The house is very beautiful both on the outside and on the inside. You can visit the ruins of the old cloister and then have a delicious piece of cake in the café. Recommended for people interested in the history of Iceland!
10:03 am - 3.7 miles / 5 minutes - 10:09 am
11:09 am - 38.0 miles / 54 minutes - 12:03 pm
1:03 pm - 57.4 miles / an hour 21 minutes - 2:25 pm
3:25 pm - 42.8 miles / an hour a minute - 4:27 pm
5:27 pm - 1.0 miles / 3 minutes - 5:31 pm
Airbnb downtown apartment we are renting for the night!
Airbnb Recomendations -
A hike to Hengifoss in fljótsdalur
7:00 am - 101.4 miles / an hour 55 minutes - 8:56 am
9:26 am - 24.2 miles / 58 minutes - 10:25 am
10:55 am - 13.6 miles / 16 minutes - 11:12 am
12:12 pm - 49.9 miles / 57 minutes - 1:10 pm
See the historic town of Husavik and stop by the whale museum
2:10 pm - 37.5 miles / 48 minutes - 2:59 pm
3:19 pm - 0.0 miles / - 3:20 pm
3:35 pm - 1.2 miles / a minute - 3:37 pm
3:52 pm - 5.1 miles / 10 minutes - 4:03 pm
4:23 pm - 2.6 miles / 7 minutes - 4:30 pm
5:00 pm - 2.4 miles / 4 minutes - 5:05 pm
5:25 pm - 5.6 miles / 9 minutes - 5:35 pm
6:05 pm - 61.7 miles / an hour 17 minutes - 7:23 pm
7:53 pm - 22.8 miles / 30 minutes - 8:24 pm
7:00 am - 58.0 miles / an hour 15 minutes - 8:16 am
Drive this route along the cost to see the peninsulas around Northern Iceland / can be taken out if needed time wise!
8:16 am - 53.4 miles / an hour 8 minutes - 9:25 am
Just half an hour’s drive away is the north’s second great historical site, Hólar í Hjaltadal, which functioned as the ecumenical and educational centre of the north of the country between the twelfth century and the Reformation.
Read more: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/europe/iceland/northwest-iceland/#ixzz4AY6myE9z
9:40 am - 28.9 miles / 34 minutes - 10:15 am
1000 Farm museum with history of the area / Iceland
11:15 am - 10.9 miles / 14 minutes - 11:30 am
Just a quick stop to take in the scenery of the fjord and take photos at the bay with islands
11:50 am - 45.7 miles / 57 minutes - 12:48 pm
Þingeyrakirkja is the first stone built church in Iceland, located in Húnaþing between two waters Hóp and Húnavatn.
Neat historical site in North-West Iceland
1:08 pm - 30.3 miles / 44 minutes - 1:53 pm
Cool lookout to rock formations in the ocean!
2:08 pm - 23.2 miles / 37 minutes - 2:46 pm
3:31 pm - 14.1 miles / 21 minutes - 3:53 pm
Visitor center with information about the surrounding wildlife and seals. Ask for directions to some of the areas great seal viewing areas.
4:23 pm - 62.7 miles / an hour 21 minutes - 5:45 pm
Map for driving tomorrow around the penninsula
7:00 am - 66.0 miles / an hour 39 minutes - 8:40 am
If you come to Stykkishólmur this is kind of a must-visit place. There's a easy walking path up to the top (I've done it in heels!) and it offers a great view over Stykkishólmur and the islands in Breiðafjörður bay.
9:00 am - 4.3 miles / 10 minutes - 9:11 am
Legend has it that if you climb Mt.Helgafell and follow some simple steps you will get three wishes. First of all you are supposed to climb the mountain in total silence and you are not supposed to look back. Then when you reach the ruins of the prayer chapel on top of the mountain you are supposed to look east and think of your wishes. This only works if you think about something positive that doesn't hurt others. And you should of course never utter a word about what you wished for. Apparently this only works the first time you do this hike. It's quite small, only 73 meters, and it shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes do get to the top.
9:56 am - 12.8 miles / 17 minutes - 10:14 am
The farmer at Bjarnarhöfn is one of the most prolific fermented shark producer in Iceland. The Museum has a lot of things connected to sharks and the way they were hunted. You can also visit the little shed where the farmer hangs his shark to dry.
10:59 am - 7.8 miles / 12 minutes - 11:12 am
This road is called Vatnaleið and when the weather is good you can get some gorgeous photos from here. There is a picnic area around here somewhere that is good to stop at - you don't want to stop in the middle of the road and cause accidents. In winter this road can be icy and difficult if it's snowing heavily.
11:27 am - 5.9 miles / 7 minutes - 11:35 am
This beautiful lava field is on both sides of the road and offers great opportunities for photos. From nat.is: The rugged Berserk Lava Field covers most of the western part of the Helgafell County, and stretches between the mountain slopes and the sea. Its sources are four prominent, but differently sized scoria craters forming an east-west row from the Ogress Pass (Kerlingarskard). They probably erupted at short intervals approximately 3600-4000 years ago, the largest one first and the smallest last, almost damming the Lava Bay in the east, where the old main road crosses it. The lava flows created two lakes on their southern side and added to the serenity and beauty of the landscapes, but also represented a difficult obstacle as the area became inhabited during the Age of Settlement. In the beginning, people chose to walk or ride along the southern edge of the lava or travel past it by boat until bridle paths were opened. Nowadays three roads cross it.All around the lava field are indentations with small oases and where it enters the sea are coves. The berserks probably built the sheep pen Krossrett, just below the home fields of the farm Berserkjaeyri. Where the brook Hraunslaekur runs along the lava edge, are ruins of fish huts to remind us of the fishing outfits of the past. A nearby depression in the lava field, fenced off with a wall of lava stones, is believed to be the grain field of Styr the Slayer. Near Lake Selvallavatn are flat pumice grounds, where regional sport festivities took place around 1940. This beautiful area is ideal for recreation, hiking, angling and mountain climbing. White tailed eagles nest in the rugged lava field and one of the protruding rocks in it to the northeast of the lake is called The Eagle’s Rock. The whole lava field, the inner part of the Lava Bay and the lakes Selvallavatn and Hraunsfjardarvatn have been declared inviolate.The story about the most renowned road building accomplicement of the country is a part of the Eyrbyggja Saga, probably the most complex of the Icelandic Saga literature. Four constructions connected to this part of the Saga have been preserved, the bridle path, The Berserks’ Burial Mound, the boundary fence and the sheep den. The first two are national monuments.The story tells us about two Swedish berserks, Halli and Leiknir, who Vermundur the Slim, farmer at Bjarnarhofn, brought to the country from Norway in 982. Vermundur’s brother, Styr the Slayer, was a powerful wretch, who he wanted to be able to stand up to. The problem, however, was that Vermundur could not keep the berserks busy enough to subdue their rage and he saw no other solution than to ask his brother to take them off his hands. Styr the Slayer obliged reluctantly and soon found himself in a dilemma in spite of continuous killings. Halli, one of the berserks, fell in love with his daughter and asked for her hand in marriage.Styr the Slayer went to his friend, Snorri the chieftain, at Helgafell to seek advice. When he came back, he told the berserks that he would give Halli his blessing after they had finished the tasks of clearing a bridle path through the rugged lava field, building a boundary fence across it, and a sheep pen. They went berserk and finished the tasks in a remarkably short time. Before they did, Styr the Slayer prepared an underground sauna for them and covered it with thick boards with an opening to pour water down on a heated boulder in the hole to create hot steam. When they returned tired and sweaty, he invited them to relax in the sauna and they accepted. The hole was covered properly, big boulders put on the boards and excessive quantities of boiling hot water poured through the opening. It soon became unbearably hot in the hole and the berserks managed to break out, but much too weak to defend themselves against Styr the slayer. He had spread wet and slippery.....
11:55 am - 4.7 miles / 7 minutes - 12:03 pm
This fjord is known for very diverse bird life in particular but you can also see killer whales, seals and dolphins here in winter.
12:18 pm - 9.3 miles / 15 minutes - 12:34 pm
Triple waterfall overlooking the Kirkjufell mountain
Amazing Iceland photography
1:04 pm - 44.1 miles / 55 minutes - 2:01 pm
Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge (Raudfeldsgja) is a deep ravine that cuts into the east side of Botnsfjall Mountain (406 m) and can easily be seen from the road. Hiking to the gorge takes about 30 minutes, and once you are there you can walk into the gorge. There's a river inside of it and a waterfall.
3:16 pm - 22.3 miles / 28 minutes - 3:45 pm
If you have had enough of black sand beaches here you can find a beautiful yellow sand beach that is popular with the locals. Perfect picnic place in good weather.
4:05 pm - 13.4 miles / 19 minutes - 4:25 pm
Djúpalónssandur is a sandy beach and bay on foot of Snæfellsjökull in Iceland. It was once home to sixty fishing boats and one of the most prolific fishing villages on the Snæfellsnes peninsula but today the bay is uninhabited.Four lifting stones are in Djúpalónssandur, used by fishermen to test their strength. They are Fullsterkur ("full strength") weighing 154 kg, Hálfsterkur ("half strength") at 100 kg, hálfdrættingur ("weakling") at 54 kg and Amlóði ("Useless") 23 kg. They were traditionally used to qualify men for work on fishing boats, with the Hálfdrættingur being the minimum weight a man would have to lift onto a ledge at hip-height to qualify.On the beach there are remains of the Grimsby fishing trawler Epine (GY7) that was wrecked there on March 13, 1948.
4:40 pm - 3.3 miles / 5 minutes - 4:46 pm
A lava cave that is really interesting (and fairly cheap to visit). More info: http://www.iheartreykjavik.net/2013/10/vatnshellir-cave-snaefellsnes/
Cave that inspired Jules Verne!
5:46 pm - 2.5 miles / 3 minutes - 5:50 pm
You can see these peculiar rock formations from the main road but you can also drive down to Malarrif and take a short hike from there to the rock formations and back. This takes around 1 hour.
6:50 pm - 14.6 miles / 18 minutes - 7:09 pm
Hótel Búðir is a beautiful boutique hotel equipped with a great restaurant that is open for both lunch and dinner all year. It's open for lunch from around noon til 2 or 3, depending on days, and it's best if you call them on the way to let them know you are coming. More info: http://www.hotelbudir.is/Restaurant/
7:09 pm - 35.9 miles / 40 minutes - 7:50 pm
8:50 pm - 5.6 miles / 6 minutes - 8:57 pm
Either stop for a visit or a short hike
9:27 pm - 23.4 miles / 28 minutes - 9:56 pm
7:00 am - 0.6 miles / 2 minutes - 7:03 am
A cute little farmer's market where you can buy local produce ranging from delicious beef to woolen sweaters and everything in between.
7:33 am - 0.2 miles / a minute - 7:35 am
They are famous for their snúðar with real chocolate and ástarpungar. Just ask what it is when you get there :) In the Secret Life of Walter Mitty this is the Papa Johns that Walter goes to.
7:40 am - 44.6 miles / 58 minutes - 8:39 am
This is time before the 1PM airport rental car drop-off to explore and see some of the sights of Reykjavik that we didn't on the first day
9:39 am - 29.4 miles / 38 minutes - 10:18 am
12:48 pm - 14.9 miles / 22 minutes - 1:11 pm