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Iceland in summer?

ling

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
Anyone been to Iceland for summer vacation? Any suggestion beyond the Blue Lagoon and Golden Triangle?

How long would you suggest to stay? And where to go to see the best of Iceland has to offer?

(I have 2 weeks vacation I need to use. Icelandair has dirt cheap fare to Iceland. I don’t have to use up all 2 weeks in this trip. But I’d like to see a bit more of the country beyond the 2 day “circuit”)
 

alison wong

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
I went to Iceland in Sept two years ago with my father. We spent 2 weeks there, drove the entire ring road (took about 10 days to do the ring road). We started in Reykjvaik, drove up north, east, south and then west to return back to the capital city.
Blue Lagoon and Golden Triangle were our last stops. Personally, I think Blue Lagoon and Golden Triangle are overrated, especially after visited the more spectacular sites like Myvat (hot spring), Landmannalugar (hiking + hot spring), Vatnajökull National Park (ice field, where the movie The Martian was filmed), Jökulsárlón, etc. The list goes on....

"where to go to see the best of Iceland has to offer?"
Depends what you are after? hot springs, hiking, waterfalls, ice caves, riding Icelandic horses, turf houses. To answer your question, I would go outside of Blue Lagoon and Golden Triangle to see what Iceland has to offer... You can rely on public transportation (or tour buses) to see Blue Lagoon and Golden Triangle. If you want to venture out of these 2, then definitely you need a car. Driving in Iceland is very easy, not intimidating at all.

Correct, airfare is very cheap but lodging, food and rental car are very expensive there.

It took me few months to plan out our itinerary, including booking hotels, and signed up tours. I also spent lots of time on Trip Advisor Iceland Forum to ask questions and reading other people's threads.

Hope the info above helps.
 

ling

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
Depends what you are after? hot springs, hiking, waterfalls
Yep!

Very light hiking only. I’m going with my 80 year old Mom! Though she’s quite healthy and enjoys long walks, just nothing too rugged.

Hot spring sounds perfect!

One thing I’d love to see are them puffins. I missed them in Alaska for just 1 week. This time is in the right timeframe. Looking for the spot that isn’t too difficult to get to and still get to be up close.
 

pinto

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
We went and skied, in June, so didn't have much time to travel around, but spent a day in Reykjavik and then some time in Akureyri (near the skiing), and then another couple days on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Really loved it there; I think it was much less crowded -- a very relative term in Iceland -- than other spots, but delivered most of what Iceland is known for. Oh, and go to Stykkishólmur, which was one of the filming locations of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Cutest little town ever.

I have an album with non-skiing photos; hope it still works... https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0f5yeZFh393d0 (The photos ended up in reverse order ... but Snaefellsnes, Akureyri, Siglufjordur, and Reykjavik are all in there)
 

Lmk92

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
You should be able to see puffins in Vestmannaeyjar. They host the largest colony in the world! The first time we went to Iceland we were not well prepared. We missed the puffins completely. The next time, we visited just a bit too early. But we did get to experience daylight at 3 am...

Hiking Iceland is very different than the states. There's a lot of open land...and then - surprise! A huge waterfall! It made us think we were on Mars the first time there. It's just so different. I agree - you can skip the blue lagoon. There are cheaper (and some free) spots to swim.

One thing I would recommend is to rent a car from Blue, and pay the bit extra for wifi. Either that or take a Teppy (wireless hotspot).

I'm so jealous! I'd love to go back (already). We were there to watch a world cup game. Icelanders are the best.
 
#6
I spent 3 weeks in Iceland in September a few years ago. We also rented a car and drove the ring road, counterclockwise, with detours to Landmannalauger, out into the Eastfjords and Westfjords. We also went to the Golden Triangle last and it was quite touristy, but I did enjoy it, particularly Thingvellir, as we scuba dived in the Silfra Rift there and I had also taken a class on Icelandic Sagas in my past so the history was very cool to see. We went to the Blue Lagoon on our very last day after 3 weeks of hot springs & pools every single day, and we regretted every penny and moment at the Blue Lagoon. We'd have been happier at any other pool we could have picked that day.

Here is a link to pictures from my trip:
Ringrat's Iceland Pictures
 

dloveski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
Iceland in July.....cold spell (unseasonable) but an interesting place. waterfalls and blue lagoon memorable. Geyser basin...well, because Yellowstone is our reference point, Iceland's was what my grandaughter would call "Baby Geyser Basin". One observation---the tourists (at least in summer) have exceeded the country's infrastructure to support these throngs. The airport experience was an endurance test. Buses and crowds in the Golden Triangle were a bit overwhelming.

I'd love to go back, rent a camper or take my tent, and explore / hike way away from these crowds. It's a pretty little country.
 

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ling

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
A better reference point is Alaska! (which I had spend several weeks, in separate trips)

So the cold is “normal”. Beautiful country we have only scratched the surface in 10 days.

For some reason, this site runs MUCH slower than many other sites. So uploading pictures is a chore. I’ll try when I have more time in jand...
 
#13
We rented a car and drove the southern half of the island for 2weeks 3 years ago (also July). We were very lucky to have 11 days of clear blue skies and 3 days of rain/drizzle in what is usually a wet climate.

We saw lots of puffins on the cliffs near Vik.

Maybe it is because we went directly to the southern coast after spending a few days in Reykjavik, or maybe it was because it was 3 years ago, or perhaps it was because we used “The Lonely Planet” to stay off the beaten path, but we avoided most crowds. We hiked a glacier with a group of seven people, we hiked to natural hot springs with nobody around, we hiked to another glacier further west with no one around for miles, we enjoyed some black sand beach in solitude. Plus our share of coffee shops and little restaurants where it was very quiet. If we go back, I would like to do another part of the island by fat bike and camp.

C3B14208-B2C0-4215-AAE9-FF775AFB3B32.jpeg
 
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#14
Anyone been to Iceland for summer vacation? Any suggestion beyond the Blue Lagoon and Golden Triangle?

How long would you suggest to stay? And where to go to see the best of Iceland has to offer?

(I have 2 weeks vacation I need to use. Icelandair has dirt cheap fare to Iceland. I don’t have to use up all 2 weeks in this trip. But I’d like to see a bit more of the country beyond the 2 day “circuit”)
Go to a little town called Hofn on the southwestern coast and stay at The House on the Hill. Great guest house, owner will give you some cool secret spots to explore. You will also get a taste of Iceland from an Icelander’s point of view. On the way, you will see lots of famous spots.
 
#15
Go to a little town called Hofn on the southwestern coast and stay at The House on the Hill. Great guest house, owner will give you some cool secret spots to explore. You will also get a taste of Iceland from an Icelander’s point of view. On the way, you will see lots of famous spots.
The view from the top of the waterslide at the pool in Hofn is amazing. We'd been in rain for days on end between Reykjavik and there, and the clouds broke while we were in the hot pot. My SO actually made me go back into the change room (the dry part, no less) to get my glasses so I could see.
 

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