Even in just four days, Iceland made us fall in love. A beautiful country, of which we saw simultaneously little and a lot. In this article about our road trip Iceland, read all about the route, car rental, our hotels, costs and more. Iceland is perfect for a short or long road trip. With the information in this article, get some inspiration for your next trip!
A 4-day road trip through Iceland: the itinerary
For days I spent thinking about the route through Iceland. On Day 1 we arrived in the afternoon and on Day 5 we flew out of the country again at about the same time. So we had 4 nights and 4 days.
The obvious thing to do with so little time is to to do the Golden Circle, but I wanted it to be different, more away from the tourist crowds.
Because of the long distances we are used to in Colombia, 5 or 6 hours of driving in one day is not a problem. Besides, it was light pretty much 24 hours a day, so we could go on until late. Something we are also unfamiliar with from Colombia and extremely convenient. So we drove a fairly challenging route, but we both found it perfectly doable. Here the route in detail.
Day 1: arrival and first stay
We arrived at 2:30, picked up the car and drove on at once to our first accommodation, above Borgarnes. The ride took one hour and 45 minutes over 125 kilometers. Arriving, we went for a walk in the neighborhood and did some shopping in Borgarnes.
- Driving: 2 hours (excluding stops)
- Kilometers traveled: 125
Day 2: Vatnsness
Day two we left after a delicious breakfast towards the beautiful peninsula Vatnsness. Here we visited several places to spot seals and hiked along a black beach to Dragon Rock. We all took it easy and had lunch on a bench somewhere outside. After Vatnsness, we still had a long drive to our apartment for two nights.
- Driving: over 4 hours (excluding stops)
- Kilometers covered: 300
Day 3: Goðafoss, Mývatn and Tröllaskagi
Day three is the day we drove, saw and hiked the most. How we managed it, no idea. It was a tremendously fun day where we visited insanely beautiful places.
We first drove to Goðafoss, then on to Mývatn where we took several walks, then drove back to the apartment via the Tröllaskagi peninsula. I did not write an article about the latter, but it was a pretty exciting route with many high cliffs, deep chasms, beautiful vistas and dark tunnels.
- Driving: nearly 7 hours (excluding stops)
- Kilometers traveled: 514
Day 4: the Snæfellsnes peninsula
Our last full day was spent on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, a wonderful destination to end the trip with. We saw impressive views at Snæfellsnes, the extraordinary waterfall and mountain Kirkjufell and we took a beautiful walk over the rocks at Hellnar. Late in the evening we arrived at our final stay.
- Driving: 5 hours and 30 minutes (excluding stops)
- Kilometers covered: 404
Day 5: return to the Netherlands
The flight left again at 2 in the afternoon, but we first had to drive about 2.5 hours to get to the airport, where we also first had to return our car and check in on time. So we left the hostel at 9 a.m. and drove to the airport in one go. So this day we did nothing more except enjoy the last beautiful views along the way.
- Driving: 2 hours and 30 minutes (excluding stops)
- Kilometers traveled: 198
Total: How many kilometers and hours did we drive during our road trip Iceland?
So in total we covered 1538 kilometers in 4 days and drove 19.51 hours. So almost 20 hours in the car. Driving in Iceland is not very fast and it is so beautiful that you want to stop everywhere. So we also made very frequent stops along the way to enjoy the view, eat something or walk a bit.
Roadtrip Iceland practical: car rental, road maps, travel guides and food on the road
By car through Iceland: where to rent a car?
Since we were only going for four days and did not plan to drive on f-roads (roads where you can only go with a 4WD), we opted for a small, simple car, without a 4WD, that is. We rented our car at RentalCars and it all went very smoothly when we arrived in Iceland. Also, the car was perfect and even had seat heating. Pretty nice with temperatures around 7 degrees in the summer….
What maps and travel guides Iceland did we use?
I had done some searching on the Internet beforehand, but we ended up getting most of the information from the Lonely Planet Iceland. Along the way, there are many information points and (hiking) maps everywhere. It is also all well marked along the road.
At Mývatn, for example, we figured out on the spot what we wanted to do, using the nice maps they had at the information point. We also had a road map of Iceland with us, which was very handy and comprehensive and which we actually used to map out the entire route. We also used Google Maps, particularly to calculate travel time.
Food in Iceland
Iceland is extremely expensive, especially the food. Eating out is so pricey, so we didn’t do that.
Three of the four days we had a kitchen at our disposal, where we made both our breakfast, lunch and dinner. We bought everything in the supermarket: bread, hummus, pasta, fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, cookies, you name it. So for lunch we took trays of food. Many travelers eat at an N1 gas station, but as a vegan this is not really a good option and anyway they have mostly junk food there. Besides, nothing is more fun than parking somewhere nice and having your lunch there. So don’t forget to bring some cutlery, cups and plates.
The hotels in Iceland
We were a little late in booking, so most of the hotels were already full. Still, I found some great places where we would have loved to stay much longer!
Guesthouse in Borgarnes
The guesthouse where we stayed in Borgarnes unfortunately no longer exists. However, there are many more options for hotels and guesthouses in and near the village. We stayed just north of Borgarnes, in a cottage all the way in the middle of nowhere.
There are so many beautiful places to stay, find your hotel outside the village. Then you can immediately take a nice walk and enjoy beautiful views.
Accommodation between Dalvik and Akureyri
We also chose our second stay in the middle of nowhere. On a beautiful farm with even more beautiful views. Unfortunately, this place also no longer exists.
We stayed near Dalvik. This place in Iceland has many beautiful villages or farms far from civilization. It is the perfect place if you are looking for a stopover between Vatnsnes and Mývatn.
Here on the map you will find hotels in this area. But feel free to search throughout the peninsula. There are many beautiful spots. For example, take a look at Áshóll guesthouse – farmstay. An impressive place and a wonderful stay.
The last night we stay at Tradir Guesthouse. This guesthouse also no longer exists. However, there are many beautiful spots on the peninsula. For example, check out Vegamót and surroundings. For example Hotel Snaefellsnes. This location is ideal for exploring the peninsula, you are directly on the route further into Iceland and close to Reykjavik.
An overview of the cost of our road trip Iceland
I don’t quite remember exactly how much we spent in Iceland, but this is certainly a good estimate of the total cost. Actually, we spent quite little in Iceland. Most notably gasoline, two tolls, some coffee for Jimmy and our food. We didn’t eat out anywhere, if you do you can count on quite a higher amount. In the end, I thought it wasn’t even that bad. Most of the costs are in the flight, hotels and car rental. Prices are for two people and 4 days.
- Flight Amsterdam – Reykjavik: 561 euros
- Car rental for 4 days: 489 euros
- Accommodation cost: 611 euros
- Gasoline: 120 euros
- Tolls: 16 euros
- Food (supermarket) and coffee: 90 euros
Total: 1887 euros (2017, costs will now have increased)
Iceland, I will be back. Want to read more? Click here!
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