Iceland - Our 6 day road trip

Iceland: The land of fire and ice they say
Iceland: The land of waterfalls and sunshine we say 

  If anyone had mentioned a trip to Iceland a few years ago I would have asked them to pick me up some frozen peas and a Walls' Viennetta. We knew nothing of the amazing European country that sits 850 miles north of the UK. We didn't know about the beautiful waterfalls, the wonderous rock formations, the friendly people or the constantly moving glaciers.

M paddling to retrieve the ice at the diamond beach Jokulsarlon

 It was November 2017 that we first considered Iceland as a holiday destination. We were looking for something that was a little different (there's a theme here). We had been holidaying in the UK for years but now that our labrador, Millie, was getting too old to come along we had a new sense of freedom and adventure. We wanted the children to experience something new and exciting, Iceland ticks all those boxes and more.

 Flights to Iceland are readily available and we managed to fly via EasyJet, from Luton, for a very affordable price. We had heard from friends that Iceland is not the cheapest destination, but it is possible to travel within a reasonable budget if you just take care:

Top tips:
- Food shopping can be expensive but by using Bonus supermarkets and picking basic ingredients we didn't spend much more than at home.

- Accommodation costs can be reduced by using Airbnb or by hiring a campervan, this is then your transport, accommodation and kitchen/diner. 

- Outside of Reykjavik most of the attractions are either free or reasonably priced, choose your days out carefully and avoid some of the tourist hotspots such as the Blue Lagoon. 

- Fuel stations in Iceland have a good range of basic food at reasonable prices, we bought porridge pots, hotdogs and ice creams whenever we were passing.

- Alcohol is very expensive in Iceland, we picked up two bottles of wine in duty free and still paid around £12 a bottle.

Shop at Bonus to reduce food costs

 As we were in Iceland for only 6 days we decided to stick to the south coast and see as much as we could without driving too far each day. The below route was perfect for a week’s family travel. 

The Route:
- Day 1. Reykjavik
 Hallgrimskirkja Church, Freddi Arcade and Toy Museum, The Sun Voyager Monument and the Perlan museum.
Highlights. We loved Perlan with its ice cave and glacier exhibitions, the view from the top of the observation deck was pretty cool but watch out for the price of cake in the café. We stopped at the petrol station on the way for hotdogs.

The Perlan Museum
  
Day 2. Waterfalls
 Picked up the van, food shopping at Bonus, Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui and Skogafoss Waterfalls.
Highlights. A few hundred yards to the left of the main waterfall Seljalandfoss is Gljufrabui, a hidden waterfall in a crevice. If you don't mind wet feet you can paddle to the base. 

Gljufrabui the hidden waterfall

Day 3. Glaciers
Kirkjugolf, Fjallsárlón, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Skaftafell
Highlights. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon was amazing and should not be missed. We saw icebergs floating by and the children even had a paddle in the water to retrieve the ice. 

The amphibious vehicle at Jokulsarlon


Day 4. Back To Vik
Skaftafell Glacier, Laufskálavarða lava ridge and the Voyage monument.
Highlights. Another great Glacier at Skaftafell and a lovely walk from the campsite. (unfortunately we missed the waterfall)

Day 5. To Geysir
Icelandic Horses, Slakki Petting Zoo and the Secret Lagoon.
Highlights. The children loved the petting zoo and the Secret Lagoon is a must. 



The Secret Lagoon hot springs

Day 6. The Golden Circle
Geysir, Gulfoss, Laugarvatn Fontana, Thingvellir and then home.
Highlights. The Stokkhur Geysir spouts 30m jets of water every few minutes and the campsite at Geysir is great.



Gulfoss Waterfall

 We were so lucky to have great weather whilst we were away. The 22hrs of daylight and the warm days made the campervan a great choice, we had the freedom to see some great places and stop for lunch wherever we liked. The campsites were reasonable, and fuel wasn't too bad. Had the weather been as we expected we would have really struggled with a lack of space and may have had to eat out a lot more. The VW T6 van we hired had no kitchen, all cooking was done outdoors and with no tent, storage was a bit of a problem.

 We did actually see one Iceland supermarket whilst we were in Iceland. We never did get that Walls' Viennetta though. 



Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your trip. Sounds an amazing adventure. I would love to go to Iceland. We're just applying for passports for our boys...

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  2. Sorry for the late response, you will love it. This was our first trip abroad with our children, their first flight and our first trip in a campervan. Amazing adventure. If you need any advice feel free to email us.

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  3. That's pretty awesome and looks like it's been so much fun! Iceland is still definitely in my bucket list.

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  4. I really fancy Iceland. Looks amazing. My kind of place.

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  5. Definitely high on my bucket list of places to visit! Thanks for sharing your journey.

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  6. Though I have heard that Iceland can be quite expensive, I think it shouldn't be ruled out, instead - embraced as a destination on the road less travelled. I think it probably has some of the most unique landscapes in the world. It looks like you had a lovely time with your family! Thank you for sharing your journey :)

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  7. This is so informative! You gave us some great tips to watch out for that I haven't even thought about before. I'm definitely saving this post for our trip to Iceland. It looks like you guys had so much fun despite it being expensive! I love finding frugal ways to enjoy a big tourist destination!

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    Replies
    1. It's a great place and not that expensive if you are careful

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  8. Wow, great pictures and thanks for the tips from your trip in Iceland:) Melanie

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