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Iceland – The perfect 8 days itinerary

August 13, 2022

We were postponing our trip to Iceland for a while now, but we finally decided to give it a go this year.

We decided that Iceland would be the perfect country (especially being midsummer) to try something new – go around the country in a campervan. And we were right. I don’t see any other country more suitable for touring with a campervan. It will probably take you out of your comfort zone, but I guarantee it would make your trip special.

After 8 days and about 2000km around the island on the Ring Road, here is what we consider to be the best itinerary and the main attractions.

Day 1 – Arrive at KEF and pick up your rental car, stop for groceries and get on the Ring Road towards Vik, where you will spend our first night. It will take up to 5 hours, depending on your pace and how many stops.

The main stops:

  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Geysir Hot Spring Area and Strokkur
  • Gullfoss
  • Kerid Crater
  • Secret Lagoon Hot Spring – it’s worth the extra drive if you have the time
  • Skogafoss Waterfall, the hike up the stairs at Skogafoss is worth it (there is a 2nd waterfall up there)
  • Sólheimajökull Glacier
  • Dyrhólaey Black Sand Beach – look for puffins against the cliffs

After visiting Dyrhólaey continue towards Vik and stay your first night at the Vik Campground.

Day 2 – Drive towards Skaftafell Camping or Hof

The main stops:

  • Fjarðarárgljúfur
  • Seljalandsfoss
  • Skógafoss Waterfall
  • Reynisfjara Beach (Black Beach)
  • Svínafellsjökull Glacier – glacier hike. We did our glacier hike tour with Melrakki Adventures and it was one of the highlights of our trip. they take you right till the glacier tongue in a super jeep (which in itself is a fun ride) thus maximizing the time on ice. Also, their maximum group size is 8 for a more exclusive experience.
  • Skaftafell Camping

Overnight at https://vikingcafe.is/

Day 3 – Drive towards Egilsstaðir

The main stops:

  • Múlagljúfur Canyon
  • Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon
  • Diamond Beach
  • Seydisfjordur

Camp at Egilsstaðir Visitor’s Center. If you have time, visit the newly opened spring called Vox Bath.

Day 4 – Drive towards Mývatn

The main stops:

  • Stuðlagil Canyon – unfortunately we didn’t have a 4×4 to cross over and drive all the way for the perfect view inside the canyon. Alternatively, if you have the time, you can walk about 10km return trip. It is one of our biggest regrets of our trip, that we only got to see it from the iron platform, which gives you limited view.
  • Dettifoss & Selfoss – Take 862 instead of 864. Ignore the road sign saying it’s a gravel road. It hasn’t been updated. It is now paved all the way to the carpark.
  • Námafjall Geothermal Area
  • Mývatn Nature Baths

Camp at Bjarg-camping

Note: At this point you have the option of adding one more day and go north to Husavik to see the whales. We opted not to do it, considering we’ve seen whales on multiple other occasions.

Day 5 – Drive towards Blonduos

The main stops:

  • Godafoss
  • Akureyri – We took the road 83/84 which is just a small detour to Akureyri. Not only this avoided the toll tunnel, but it was a lot more scenic as well.
  • Fosslaug (natural hot springs)

Camp at Hotel Huni campsite

Day 6 – Drive to Snæfellsjökull – Sanefellsnes Peninsula

The main stops:

  • Kolugljúfur Canyon
  • Kirkjufellsfoss
  • Svödufoss
  • Svörtuloft Lighthouse
  • Londrangar View Point
  • Snæfellsjökull View Point
  • Bjarnarfoss
  • Gerðuberg Cliffs
  • Búðakirkja – probably the most photographed church in Iceland

Camp at Borgarnes Camping.

Day 7 – Drive to Reykjavík

The main stops:

  • Barnafossar
  • Deildartunguhver
  • Húsafell
  • Þingvellir National Park

Camp at https://vogarcamping.is/

Day 8Blue Lagoon if you don’t have time to go the previous evening and spend whatever time you have left until your flight visiting the city. Make sure you don’t miss the Fly Over Iceland tour for a truly unique and unforgettable 4D experience.

Now, I know you haven’t seen the Golden Circle anywhere in the itinerary, but you will see some of the attractions on the first day and maybe some on the last day. Although the Golden Circle is beautiful, it is actually quite dull compared to the rest of Iceland. Spending a day in the Golden Circle is a day you are missing from the amazing South East.