Iceland in 3 Days

Iceland has been a super popular destination the past few years because of the country's photogenic qualities that make it a perfect spot for Instagrammers. Here's our itinerary for about 3 days (arrived late Fri night from NYC and flew out early Tue morning for Lisbon), which I thought was a good amount of time. We split our trip between Iceland and Portugal for a kind of fire and ice vacation!

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Day 1: Exploring Reykjavik, Gulfoss and Geysir. 

We spent the morning exploring the city of Reykjavik and finished with lunch eating the famous Reykjavik hot dogs. Afterwards, we were well onto our way to see the sights of Gulfoss and Geysir. 

Day 1: Geysirs

Day 1: Geysirs

One of the many geysirs you'll see in Iceland. Smells like sulfur (which I like, oddly) and if you time it right you'll see the geysir shoot up

Where to Stay:

If you're staying in Reykjavik, I highly recommend staying at the Canopy by Hilton. It's in a great location and the hotel is relatively new (opened around Oct 2016). The decor is spot on and super cozy/hygge style which is perfect for the cold weather. This is a great place to stay for those that like modern decor, comfortable rooms (though they are small), and a convenient location.

Day 1: Room at the Canopy by Hilton.

Day 1: Room at the Canopy by Hilton.

Day 2: Drive along the South Coast to Skogafoss, Fjaðrárgljúfur, Svínafellsjökull

We did a ton of driving the next day all along the southern coast and picked some of our top spots to check out along the way. We wanted to see icebergs and glaciers but Jökulsárlón was a bit * too * far for us so we settled on Svínafellsjökull. We were disappointed with Svínafellsjökull so I would recommend taking the time and drive to go see Jökulsárlón. 

Day 2: Svínafellsjökull glaciers - Go for the extra hour drive and go to Jökulsárlón

Day 2: Svínafellsjökull glaciers - Go for the extra hour drive and go to Jökulsárlón

Day 3: Dyrhólaey Lighthouse, Vik's Black Sand Beaches, and the Blue Lagoon

We ended our trip with an excursion to the Blue Lagoon. Make sure to make a reservation because when we tried to go on our first day everything was booked for that day and the next. We ended up getting a time for the day before we were about to leave so definitely book in advance! Bring flip flops too as the floors in the changing rooms are a bit unkempt. 

Day 3: View or the arch from Dyrhólaey Lighthouse. The ocean and wind created the hole and it's so big boats and ships can sail through.

Day 3: View or the arch from Dyrhólaey Lighthouse. The ocean and wind created the hole and it's so big boats and ships can sail through.

Day 3: Dyrhólaey Lighthouse - the drive up here is no joke.

Day 3: Dyrhólaey Lighthouse - the drive up here is no joke.

Day 1: Gulfoss

Day 1: Gulfoss

On the way to Gulfoss, it felt like a scene out of Game of Thrones - so moody and majestical. You feel so small in the grand scheme of things.

Where to Eat:

Iceland is not known for its culinary excellence and I had sticker shock at some of the dining prices even as a New Yorker. Expect local beers to cost around $15 and wines to be at least that. Basic main courses can be around $40-$45. The best restaurant we went to was Tryggvaskáli in Selfloss. I ordered the Icelandic salmon which was some of the best salmon I had ever had. Definitely recommend this if you are in the area. 

 

 

 
Day 2: Fjaðrárgljúfur - one of my favorite places we visited. The gorge was gorgeous!

Day 2: Fjaðrárgljúfur - one of my favorite places we visited. The gorge was gorgeous!

Day 3: Basalt columns created from cooling lava. Tons of people here trying to get their Instagram photos in.

Day 3: Basalt columns created from cooling lava. Tons of people here trying to get their Instagram photos in.

Day 3: Blue Lagoon - make your reservations in advance! Also, the water is not as hot as the thermal springs in Japan but the color is gorgeous.

Day 3: Blue Lagoon - make your reservations in advance! Also, the water is not as hot as the thermal springs in Japan but the color is gorgeous.

Day 3: The black sand beaches at Vik.

Day 3: The black sand beaches at Vik.