The covid situation in world of travel doesn´t suit short trips a lot, but it Iceland is unique by the location in between Europe and USA, so there is a lot of stay overs. In this blog, I prepared some tips and example itineraries for those, who doesn´t have much time and want to see the best of Iceland in just a 2 days.
Are 2 days enough?
Let’s look at the facts, the honest answer to this is probably no. You can’t see everything what a city or country what has to offer on the weekend!
However, if the question was, “Are 2 days in Reykjavik enough?“, The answer is a solid YES! From the break, you will feel that you have seen and done a lot, and at the same time it will give you the desire to return for the next time.
How much will the weekend in Iceland cost?
How much you spend will depend on factors such as the level of accommodation you choose if you decide to rent a car, how many tours, how often you eat, whether you want to have a drink and the like.
The minimum budget for Iceland is 120-150 USD per person per day – and that’s staying in the dorm, cooking most of your own meals, skipping tours and buses, so really tight budget.
Usually the cost of weekend in Iceland is between 200-300 USD per day.
Rent a car or use paid tours?
If you want to take some adventurous events (such as monster truck glacier tours), you can book them at any time through the accommodation in which you stay on your journey or on guidetoiceland.com
What to see in 2 days?
Tourists travel in the south of Iceland to fulfill all their Icelandic fantasies. You can go horseback riding on unspoilt farmland, explore mysterious ice caves and even dive at Silfra Fissure.
With a range of inspiring waterfalls, imposing glaciers and atmospheric black sand beaches, South Iceland offers endless views right from the front of the postcard.
Where to stay?
The largest portal for booking accommodation in hotels recommends Vatnsholt Farm as one of the best Icelandic hotels in price / performance ratio.
Rebuilt from a former farm, this hotel is the ideal place to become your base for exploring the best of Iceland.
This farm is around 1 hour far away from Reykjavik and would be very good spot to end your day after doing self drive Golden circle tour. Because of short distance from Reykjavik, you can get back to city very quickly and enjoy almost full day or weekend evening in capitol of Iceland.
Another option, which can I recommend is hotel Laekur. This hotel is a bit further from Reykjavik, but offers great location. Same as hotel Vatnsholt, also Laekur was rebuild from a horse farm, so it´s very well located in the fields (middle of nowhere). Great place to watch northern lights and enjoy amazing sunsets.
Where to rent a car?
There are many car or caravan rentals in Iceland. When you look at the prices for car rental for one day, you will probably be looking for the cheapest possible rentals and cars. But it doesn’t always pay off (especialy in winter).
Read the article: Tips for renting a car in Iceland
Itinerary for a weekend stay in Iceland
Arrival – Friday noon
Departure – Sunday morning
Friday: Reykjanes Peninsula
The Reykjanes Peninsula is a special place, often referred to as an abbreviated version of Iceland. The rugged and dramatic landscape is full of volcanic craters, lava fields, geothermal water and hot springs, as well as countless restaurants, museums, churches and lighthouses.
Gunnuhver, the largest hot spring in Iceland, the Brennisteinfjöll mountains, the Brimketill lava formation and the bridge that connects the Eurasian and American tectonic plates. Stay on the peninsula overnight and then head to the capital, Reykjavik.
There is much to see in the Icelandic capital. The famous Hallgrimskirkja Church is located at the top of the exclusive Skolavordustigur Street. Its organ is a beautiful and absolute must – you can also go to the top of the church, where you will have a breathtaking view of the city.
You can continue your walk to Perlan and Oskjuhlid, and if you like it, go swimming in the Sky Lagoon and then a hot tub on the Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach. Back in the city center, and visit the beautiful Harpa is a must;
This building, which houses concert halls and events, is an architectural gem. Then head to the lake at Tjörnin Town Hall and meet the local ducks.
The weekend flea market, Kolaportið, is fun to browse, with or without shopping. You can taste famous Icelandic delicacies, such as sharks or dried fish, and stroll through the alleys full of clothes, books and crafts.
The beautiful Seltjarnarnes Peninsula, west of central Reykjavik, is worth exploring. The surrounding area awaits you with a very nice swimming pool, including a large swimming pool for children, a small one for children, four jacuzzis, a sauna and a seawater pool and beautiful views of the Icelandic capital and the surrounding area.
Stroll along the Laugavegur shopping street, no doubt taking up a considerable amount of your day. If you want to learn more about the city and discover the best places to visit, you can join a guided city tour according to the locals.
There are several to choose from, some have a fixed price and some are free with the option to donate (you give what you want). Stroll around the harbor area and why not join the whale watching?
Find out more about Icelandic history and culture, many museums are at your disposal. The Árbær Museum consists of twenty buildings that make up the central square, the village and the farm, and aims to show the Icelandic way of life throughout the ages.
It is the only open-air museum in the capital, but there are dozens of other interesting places to visit.
Sunday: Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is the most popular tourist destination in Iceland and includes Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir. Thingvellir is a national park where the Althingi (Parliament) was founded in 930 and continued until 1798.
Another stop on the tour is the Geysir hot springs area. This is the first geyser known to Europeans and the first written about in a printed source.
Geysir does not explode too often, but his companion Strokkur delights visitors with eruptions every 10 minuts.
Gullfoss, Golden Waterfall is definitely the most popular waterfall in Iceland and is a must see in the south of Iceland.
The waterfall is 32 meters high, but the canyon in this area can reach up to 70 meters.
The waterfall is located on the white river Hvítá, which is supplied by the second largest glacier in Iceland, Langjokull. After a busy day of sightseeing, you can spend the night in the capital or near the airport if your flight is early in the morning.
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