Now I regret having so little time, but I am afraid that is all I have! I am not interested in long walks, but rather lots of hot baths, geysers, mountains, rivers, bird watching and great photography. I don't mind long drives. In fact, I enjoy them! I arrive the first week of June. My plane lands at midnight, so I decided to rent a car at the airport and stay on Keflavik last night. Then, go to the Blue Lagoon in the morning and head to Reykjavik and do the Saturday night runtur. I hope I don't offend anybody, but I am really in Iceland for the nature, so I don't mind not staying in Reykjavik at all. Next morning ... Drive through Thingvellir all the way up to Gullfoss, or maybe even more up that road (we'll have a 4 x 4). The maps show some lakes that I reckon could be beautiful. Sleep in Hellia. The next day, my plan is to drive to Hofn, but not in the main road, but through Landmannalaugavegur. Hopefully, I still have time to take the boat to the Glacier. So now I have three days left. It seems more tempting to enjoy the area slowly, maybe drive to Neskaupstaður, get lost in the fjords there. And here is the first question: Is there a way back to Reykjavik BESIDES the main highway? I reallly wouldn't want to go back the same way that I went "up". Assuming there is not. Shall I drive all the way to Husavik? I would LOVE to do so through the tiny road that I see on the map and goes by the Ocean, passing through places like Vopnafjörður and Syoralon. That would leave me time in Husavik ONLY to do a whale watching tour (Is it worth it?) and then drive straight to Reykjavik. What do you think? Any other suggestions, even if it means redoing everything will be much appreciated. I would love to do this without making any hotel reservations. Do you think that could be a problem in the 2nd week of June? Thanks a lot for your help!
The first week of June is a bit early in the season. On our last trip some of the mountain roads that we took were not open when we landed in late June, but were open a few days later when we took them. One thing that you don’t mention is how long you will be there for.
vegagerdin.is/english/road-c... is a great web site for getting road information. The “F” roads are for 4x4 only and you do need one. There are no bridges across the many rivers and streams. I seem to remember counting 25 such crossings on our way to Landmannalaugar, from the south. Some were quite shallow, but several were definitely around 45cm / 18” deep and on one we had the water come up and splash over hood of the 4x4.
This was by no means the deepest river crossing: "Vad Warrior" - Iceland Video by GrumpyDiver
You can make good time on the Road 1 (Ring Road), where the speed limit is 90 km/hr. I think you are vastly overestimating how fast you can travel on the “F” roads; 30 – 40 km/hr would be making very good time. There were place; further to the east than you are planning to go, where it felt like we were off-roading, even though we were on a marked road.
You will get lots of nature and a couple of days in Reykjavik are the absolute maximum I would suggest. The Icelandic National Museum is small, but something worth visiting just to give you an overview of the country and culture before setting out. Last trip we spent the night there (our flight arrived at around midnight) and were on the road by noon the next day after getting some supplies and going to the museum. There are a few other places like the Hallgrimmskirja that are worth a quick stop (art-deco architecture heavily influenced by some of the basaltic columns from around the country).
It sounds like you are planning to do the Golden Circle; you can do it quite easily in around half a day. Make sure you add the geothermal area (near Gullfoss) to your “must do” list. The geyser Strokkur is amazing to watch. The Kerio crater is also in the area.
Nature – most of what you will see is rocks, moss and mountains and waterfalls. There are birds along the south coast, but I can’t recall seeing any wild animals at all. Very few trees as well. The best place to see puffins was at Dyrholey along the south coast.
You are going to the Blue Lagoon; the only other similar baths are near Myvatn, in the north-east.
Hotels and accommodation are fairly sparse once you get out of the Reykjavik area (as are towns and places to eat). The only other major town in Iceland is Akureyri; up north. I suggest you have a good (idea on travel times and places to stay before you go). The good news is that being there in June means it will never get totally dark, so you can travel pretty well all day and night.
I’ve seen enough whales, so we never looked at whale watching; Husavik is a long drive from Reykjavik.
I have a number of travel pages and videos from our trips to Iceland:
I hope you enjoy Iceland as much as we did!
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I went to Husavik via plane, and I enjoyed it a lot, specially the whale watching because they have such a high success rate for seeing a whale (over 90% chance for different species). The time I went which I think was June, we spotted a blue whale! :)
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