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How to Make the Most of a Stopover in Iceland | 4 Days in Iceland

How to make the most of Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST
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I know what you’re thinking… why in my right mind would I venture all the way to Iceland for just four days? Well, that is precisely what I did. My friend was having a milestone birthday, lives in London and had just a short amount of time to vacation from her full time gig in the television industry. I told her to “pick anywhere in the world” that she really wanted to go and we’d dive head first into a whirlwind four day trip in said destination. She chose Iceland. If you too only have limited time off work, limited funds (this country is damn expensive) or just love the thrill of adrenaline, then here’s how much we packed in to four days on the ground in Iceland.

Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Reykjavik

First stop: Reykjavik. This is the capital of Iceland and the landing place for all international flights. Therefore you can’t miss it (and nor should you), this is a pretty cool city to explore for half a day or if you choose to base yourself here, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars you should visit in the evenings when you’ve used up your daylight hours adventuring.

How to make the most of Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

The Blue Lagoon

A short drive out of Reykjavik is one of Iceland’s main attractions: the Blue Lagoon. This is located really near to the airport, so if you’re short on time it would be a good idea to time your visit either the second you land or on your way back to the airport at the end of your trip. We arrived at precisely 4:00am in the morning from Spain so this was not an option but hey, worth noting!

 

How to make the most of Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST How to make the most of Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Diamond Beach

From Reykjavik you have a few directions to take for exploring. Because we were most excited about the South West Coast, we chose to make this our first day trip. Be sure to get a good night of sleep beforehand as there is a lot of driving on the agenda!

If you’re using maps, the official point to enter is Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. The lagoon sits on one side of the road (pictured above) and the beach on the other: win win!

It will take around 4.5 hours to drive between Reykjavik and Diamond Beach, one way and without stops. Thus if you are visiting Iceland for 7 days or more, I would recommend making a loop around the coastline of the country.

Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Sólheimasandur – Black Sand Beach and “The Plane”

I’ve got to admit: a plane wreckage that takes hours to hike to from the main road was not on the top of my agenda when visiting Iceland, however this was the one attraction my friend wanted to see and given it was her birthday, how could I say no!?

I couldn’t believe how many people were making the one hour trek each way to the plane (doin’ it for the grams!), but this place was crawling with visitors. Once upon a time you could drive all the way to the plane, however with the amount of people going off road and impacting the landscape, you’ll now have to embark on the hour-long trek to the finish line. Keep in mind that the walk is completely exposed and the weather in Iceland is extremely changeable, so be sure to pack everything you need including a few extra layers for warmth.

Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Chasing Waterfalls: Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss

Iceland is full of natural entertainment at every turn and although they are far from the only waterfalls to experience in Iceland, they’re two of the most popular and they’re a convenient 29 kilometres apart, so can be visited one after the other.

Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

The Golden Circle

On our last day we drove the entirety of Iceland’s Golden Circle, which we were both surprised took no longer than 3.5 hours in driving time. While the drive itself was beautiful (especially through Þingvellir National Park), the geysirs and Gullfoss waterfall weren’t nearly as impressive as the scenery on the South West Coast. Thus if you’re tossing up between the two, I’d personally recommend skipping the Golden Circle and spending more time on the rugged coastline.

How to make the most of Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST How to make the most of Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

It’s the Journey that matters in the end

Although four days isn’t nearly enough time to experience all that Iceland has to offer (I’d recommend 10 days minimum, up to two weeks), I was so chuffed to have finally made it to this ethereal part of the world that feels more like a film set (think Walter Mitty) than real life.

We spent a lot of our time driving between destinations along the coastline, but if I could do it again I wouldn’t change a thing. Our daily road trip adventures were half the beauty of this country: open roads, no traffic, and incredible scenery even on a cloudy day.

 

How to make the most of Four Days in Iceland | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

Have you been to Iceland? What were your thoughts and favourite places? I’d love to know in the comments below!

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10 Comments

  • alysdc9@gmail.com'
    Reply
    Alys
    July 16, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Iceland definitely has a little piece of my heart from the two trips I’ve had over there. It is such a wonderful and unique country, it’s incredible how you packed so much in for four days! Great post x
    Alys

  • rental24h@ukr.net'
    Reply
    Geysir
    July 12, 2018 at 2:21 am

    This is really peaceful place!
    Amazing views!

  • subhayatraseo@gmail.com'
    Reply
    Sri Sairam Subhayatra
    July 6, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Great article. It is very useful and informative. I got some good ideas about this topic. Thanks for sharing this post. – shirdi flight package from chennai

  • jenny.s.r@hotmail.co.uk'
    Reply
    Jenny
    July 5, 2018 at 5:56 am

    You definitley did pack a lot into the four days but seems worth it! Good to know The Golden Circle is only worth it for longer trips. How much was the hire car for four days if you don’t mind me asking?

    Jenny | Local Leo

  • nbene@rogers.com'
    Reply
    Tosh Bene
    July 5, 2018 at 12:15 am

    Love the pics, girlie! Iceland was amazing. I’d go again in a heartbeat for sure. I loved the little sleepy village of Vik and the surrounding area with the black sand beaches. We drove to Hofn as well and that area during sunset is like a dream. Obviously I would’ve loved more time, so just another reason to go back! Would love to head more northwest next time!! =) xo

  • m.j.vincent@hotmail.com'
    Reply
    Marichris Vincent
    July 4, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Iceland is amazing! I went to the south coast at the beginning of the year and it was just incredible – chased some waterfalls and climbed glaciers. I didn’t get the chance to go to Jökulsárlón, but seeing these pictures definitely makes me want to go back again.

  • Chadwick@chadwick.com'
    Reply
    Chadwick
    July 4, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    The drive down to Jökulsárlón is incredible. If time allows, I’d recommend stopping overnight at Vik (roughly halfway). That gives you enough time to stop at places along the way. The coast near Vik is spectacular, with puffins at Dyrhólaey in the summer.

    The plane wreck used to be an unusual and hard to find location. Then Justin Bieber skateboarded on it and as you’ve seen, it’s overvisited and clichéd. Because everyone has to graffiti it or stand on it (why?), it is deteriorating faster and faster. There’s plenty of pictures already taken and it’s an hour’s inhospitable walk each way – I’d give it a miss and spend your time at Dyrhólaey or Reynisfjara instead, or (further east) the waterfall and glacier at Skaftafell.

  • kg2351992@gmail.com'
    Reply
    kanika gupta
    July 4, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing this article .

  • desitocontact@gmail.com'
    Reply
    Desito
    July 4, 2018 at 7:12 am

    Iceland looks so pretty! It’s definitly on my bucket list!

  • Brookemstuewe@live.com'
    Reply
    Brooke
    July 4, 2018 at 7:06 am

    My husband and I honeymooned in Iceland last July for 11 days. Even though we had plenty of time to squeeze in many things around the island, I would have gladly given up our time on the Golden Circle to spend more time other places. Geysir was just meh to us. My absolute favorite place was Dettifoss. We got there around 10 pm at night and basically had the place to ourselves for the two or so hours we hiked around the waterfall. It was just amazing. We’ve traveled a few places since Iceland, but nothing feels like it even remotely measures up. I would love to go back to see the Northern Lights and Ice Caves.

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