Trip report - winter Iceland

Traveling to Iceland in winter is sort of special: days are shorter, light is different, some roads are closed ... but on the other hand it can be very rewarding: you get to see northern lights, snowy landscape, ice caves ... The letter was the reason for us to travel to Iceland in February.

We spent 8 days in Iceland, rented a car for the whole time and did about 2000km (more about winter driving in Iceland). To save some money we cooked our own food, slept in hostels and in general tried not to spend a fortune there - which is nearly impossible in Iceland :)

Wandering what to pack for winter Iceland trip? Read our Winter Iceland packing list

Map of our trip in Iceland (click for bigger picture)
Detailed map of our trip to Iceland
Below you can read our day-by-day travel plan with kilometers driven and euros spent (all prices are in euros, for rough estimation 1€ = 121 ISK - Icelandic krona)

Day 1, 8.2.2017:
Early morning departure from our home in Ljubljana, Slovenia to Budapest. We parked our car at Union Parkolo parking close to the airport and at around 3pm our WizzAir flight took off towards Reykjavik. In the evening we landed in Iceland, picked up our pre-booked rental car and drove to scout's center in Reykjavik, where we met with local scouts. Spent the evening eating Icelandic ice-cream and getting to know fun facts about Iceland.
Distance: 490km from Ljubljana to Budapest Airport and 70km from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik
Accommodation: scout's center Reykjavik, 4,5€ per person per night
First Icelandic ice-cream. TBH: better than Italian :o

Day 2, 9.2.2017:
Trip to Snaefellsnes peninsula. We stopped at Gerduberg cliffs, hiked up the holy mountain of Helgafell, took an obligatory photo of Kirkjufell and finally enjoyed the beauty of Snaefellsjokul national park: volcanic landscape, glacier, and amazing coast.
Distance: 500km
Accommodation: scout's center Reykjavik

Day 3, 10.2.2017:
Time to drive the famous Golden Cicrle: Thorufoss waterfall, National Park Thingvellir with its famous continental drift Almannagja, geyser Strokkur, Gulfoss waterfall and Kerid crater lake.
Distance: 250km
Accommodation: scout's center Reykjavik

Day 4, 11.2.2017:
Morning stroll around Reykjavik: started with concert hall Harpa, further went to flea market nearby, then Icelandic Parliament, Town Hall, City pond, church Hallgrimskirkja and finally Nordic House - designed by famous Finish architect Alvar Aalto. In the afternoon we went hiking to Reykjadalur and bathing in natural baths there.
Distance: 80km
Accommodation: scout's center Reykjavik

Geothermal area of Reykjadalur
Day 5, 12.2.2017:
It was time to leave Reykjavik. First we visited geothermal power plant Hellisheidi and then continued our drive towards Gjan waterfall. Unfortunately the road was closed, so we didn't reach it. Anyways, we went further along the coast to Seljalandsfoss waterfall and went bathing in an open-air swimming pool with geothermal water Seljavallalaug. Later in the day we stopped at Skogafoss waterfall as well and then drove to Vik, where our hostel for the night was.
Distance: 310km
Accommodation: HI hostel Vik, 34,1€ per person for a bed in a dormitory (6pax)

Want some tips on Iceland travel? Read this: What we learned while traveling to Iceland

Day 6, 13.2.2017:
Driving the south Iceland coast we witnessed one of the more spectacular sunrises, ever. Our destination of the day was Skaftafell National Park, where we went to the glacier and then up to Svartifoss waterfall and further to Sjonarnipa viewing platform for best views of the glacier below. In the evening we drove to Vagnasstadir hostel a bit further along the Ring road.
Distance: 220km
Accommodation: HI hostel Vagnasstadir, 26,6€ per person for a bed in a dormitory (6pax)

Spectacular sunrise
Day 7, 14.2.2017:
We booked a tour for ice caves for this day long ago. Unfortunately the tour was canceled due to safety reasons (read here, what happened: Worst Valentine's day, ever). So we had more time for Jokulsarlon lagoon and then later in the evening for amazing Black Sand Beach Reynisjara near Vik.
Distance: 240km
Accommodation: HI hostel Vik, 84,2€ for double room

Day 8, 15.2.2017:
Last day of our trip we used to see the Black Sand Beach from another perspective: from arch Dyrholaey. The rest of the day we spent exploring nice and peaceful Reykjanes peninsula: we visited Strandakirkja, geothermal area of Seltun and famous Blue Lagoon. From there we drove back to the airport for our evening flight to Budapest.
Distance: 330km
Accommodation: on the airplane
Reykjanes - quiet and beautiful
Day 9, 16.2.2017:
Arrival to Budapest and drive back home to Ljubljana.
Distance: 490km

Costs of the trip:
All prices are for 2 people
  • Rent a car (Ford Fiesta) with Billiger Mietwagen for 7 days: 212,28€
  • Petrol for the whole trip, 2000km: 200,3€ (average price was 1,65€/L)
  • Tolls: 16,6€
  • Ljubljana - Budapest drive: 62,5€ for diesel, 10,2€ for Hungarian vignette
  • Airport parking in Budapest for 7 days: 23,3€
  • Food: we brought a lot of food from Slovenia, estimated value: 40€, in Iceland we spent another 57,12€
  • Accommodations: 285,5€
  • Return flight ticket (Budapest - Reykjavik with WizzAir) with one checked luggage: 121,3€ per person

Katarina

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