Nature & Environment May 30, 2018

How I Saw Most of Iceland in Only Eight Days

Guest post by Mandy Hritzuk

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Do you want to explore Iceland but are worried about the costly travel expenses? Contrary to popular belief, you can see almost all of Iceland on a budget. I spent eight days traveling the Ring Road in Iceland and learned all the tips and tricks for getting the most out of your trip.

There are many options to consider for accommodations, but I chose the cheapest one: camping. That being said, there are many ways to camp in Iceland. The cheapest option is to pitch your own tent, but Iceland also offers a variety of hotels, hostels and Airbnbs you can look into.

Our first destination was Thingvellier National Park, where we toured the geysir area. The views were breathtaking and perfect for a photo opp. On the way to Gullfoss, we had to pull over and take a selfie with the Icelandic horses, of course. Gullfoss was the perfect waterfall to start our trip – I was so excited to take beautiful waterfall pictures. Another tip: invest in a lens filter suited for taking neat photos of the bright waterfalls.

The next day, we discovered that we were only two miles away from the famous diving and snorkeling site, Silfra, which lies between the two tectonic plates that separate North America and Eurasia. This was a must-do for adventure-lovers, but we ultimately decided to skip it due to the cold temperatures. After Silfra, we made our way to Oxarfoss, a man-made waterfall, and then Vik, a remote seafront village in south Iceland. On our journey to Vik, we stopped at my favorite waterfall of the trip: Seljalandsfoss. Also on the itinerary was the peaceful Merkjarfoss waterfall, Skogafoss and the Seljavallalaug pool. This day was one of my favorites, and I absolutely loved every minute of it.

On the fourth day, we went to Höfn. The incredible things you can see here include the Dyrholey lighthouse, the black sand beaches, glaciers, and a glacier lagoon. Svartifoss was on the list as well, and I highly recommend it for a hike. Iceland makes you feel like you’re on a totally different planet.

During our travels from Höfn to Myvatn, I had some regrets about not spending more time around Vik and Höfn. Iceland is beautiful everywhere, but here is absolutely the best. Every corner unveiled a new scene, and I was in awe. Viti crater was one of our stops, and it was so neat! The crater was still covered in ice, but the turquoise blue water was visible. The scenery here was where they filmed several seasons for Game of Thrones.

On the last day, we returned to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. We set off early in the morning for a walking tour where we learned fun and interesting facts about the city. We checked out all the diverse museums and attractions and completed our day at a bar for a jazz performance.

My bottom line: don’t rush the moments you get to soak in these sights. Iceland is so special! Take time to fall in love with it.