3 DAY ICELAND TRAVEL GUIDE

So when the HUBS and I first met, he told me about all of his travel dreams.  He even asked me to create some artful pieces for his then new home of: where he's been, where he would like to go and where he's lived.  As he was talking about his future passport stamps, I realized that I had never created a list of places I wanted to go.  I just assumed the highlights like Italy, Greece, and Hawaii would happen eventually.  But now I wanted a list.  

Well, flash forward a couple years and some friends of ours went to Iceland.  It was pretty much the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen, and since I am OBSESSED with photos, I just had to go.  So long, Hawaii and Santorini, you just got bumped for Iceland!

Needless to say, when the HUBS said he was going for our friend's bachelor party, I couldn't resist.  I mean how many times do you go to Iceland in your life?  Plus the weather was amazing, and I don't fare well in the cold.  

Well, after months and months of planning and researching, we finally isolated what we HAD to do while we were there.  Iceland is a stunning country, regardless of the season and there is just too much to do in 72 hours, so we had to prioritize.  Not by choice but by necessity.  

Since we had such an incredible experience traveling to Iceland we figured we'd share what we did and saw.  To see all of our tips for traveling to Iceland click here.  Enjoy!

THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

A series of stops along the southwestern portion of the country.  Includes these main attractions: the Strokkur geyser, Gullfoss waterfall, Kerið volcanic crater, and Þingvellir National Park.  

  1. RATING:  ***
  2. LOCATION:  Click here to see tours on Trip Advisor
  3. PROS:  lots of guided tours available.  Gullfoss waterfall is incredible, large and beautiful. Diving between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates in Þingvellir National Park was incredible according to the HUBS.
  4. CONS: super touristy, Strokkur geyser was pretty much like any other geyser, Kerið volcanic crater was not that interesting or that beautiful either.  
  5. RECS:  super touristy, many more beautiful spots in Iceland than these.  Only one really worthwhile was the tectonic plates.  
 Kerið volcanic crater from above

Kerið volcanic crater from above

DAY ONE

SOLHEIMASANDUR PLANE CRASH

Supposedly in the 1970's a US Navy DC plane crashed on the Solheimasandur beach because it was out of fuel.  All the crew members survived but the plane crash remnants still remain on the beach pretty close to the sea.  This crash site is about 2.5 hours from Reykjavik and 20 minutes from Vik.  

  1. RATING:  ****
  2. LOCATION: Click here to view on Google Maps
  3. PROS:  really neat unique experience, made for a great photo opportunity, close to Vik and black sand beach
  4. CONS:  long walk (5 miles roundtrip), very touristy now, hard to get on top of plane, lots of people
  5. RECOMMENDATIONS:  go as early as possible to avoid large crowds. Great guide on how to get there.
plane crash Solheimasandur Iceland Travel Guide charisma shah
Solheimasandur plane crash Iceland travel guide charisma shah
Solheimasandur plane crash Iceland travel guide charisma shah
Solheimasandur plane crash Iceland travel guide charisma shah
Solheimasandur plane crash Iceland travel guide charisma shah

SKÓGAFOSS

This grand waterfall sits on the edge of what used to be Iceland's former southern cliff coastline.  

  1. RATING:  ****
  2. LOCATION: Click here to view on Google Maps
  3. PROS: very large, beautiful landscape surrounded by roaming sheep and horses, can climb to view from top, very picturesque
  4. CONS: lots of people
  5. RECS:  earlier the better to avoid crowds
 Skógafoss waterfall in the distance

Skógafoss waterfall in the distance

 Skógafoss waterfall 

Skógafoss waterfall 

PURPLE NOOTKA FIELDS

Along our drive back from the plane crash site, we kept passing these beautiful fields of purple "nootka" or Alaskan Nupine flowers.  We literally frolicked in these fields of Nootka bollywood style.  Duh.

Nootka Flower Fields Iceland Travel Guide charisma shah
Nootka Fields Iceland Travel Guide charisma shah
Nootka Fields Iceland Travel Guide Charisma Shah

SEJALANDSFOSS

This pretty waterfall is along Road 1 on the southwestern portion of the island.  Its most well known for its walking path that leads behind the waterfall.

  1. RATING:  ***
  2. LOCATION:  Click here to view on Google Maps
  3. PROS: Close to the main road, bathrooms, pretty
  4. CONS: Touristy, Niagra falls offers a more unique walk behind the waterfall than this (if you've done Niagra before than this waterfall is skippable).  
  5. RECS: the earlier you go the better - less people.  Definitely slippery - wear appropriate shoes
 Sejalandsfoss Waterfall Iceland

Sejalandsfoss Waterfall Iceland

DAY TWO

LANDMANNALAUGUR

Located in the Highlands this beautiful mountain range was created by a volcanic eruption back in the 1400's.  Its so gorgeous, has tons of wonderful hikes, a campsite and is totally worth the trek.  

  1. RATING:  *****
  2. LOCATION:  Click here to view in Google Maps
  3. PROS:  lots of guided tours available, great hikes, gorgeous views, lakes and ponds intermittently, bathroom, picturesque, not crowded, self exploring
  4. CONS:  requires 4WD, 3 hours from Reykjavik, pay-to-use bathrooms
  5. RECS:  bring hiking boots and just wander.  lots of great places to take pictures, very calming + relaxing
landmannalaugur mountains iceland travel guide charisma shah
landmannalaugur mountains iceland travel guide charisma shah
 a little blurry but a golden memory

a little blurry but a golden memory

landmannalaugur mountains iceland travel guide charisma shah

SIGOLDÜFOSS

Gorgeous waterfall sitting on the northern outskirts of Landmannalaugur with bright blue glacial water.  

  1. RATING:  *****
  2. LOCATION:  Click here to view on Google Maps
  3. PROS:  lesser known, not crowded, bright blue water, lots of different view points
  4. CONS:  lots and lots of flies
  5. RECS:  bring face net so the flies don't bother you, right outside northern entrance to Landmannalaugur next to the power station
 Sigoldüfoss waterfall

Sigoldüfoss waterfall

sigoldüfoss waterfall Iceland travel guide charisma shah

BRUARFOSS

Both the HUBS and I agree this was our favorite waterfall.  Its tucked away, remote and somewhat hard to find with all the bushes and trees, but its a stunner.  Pictures do not do it justice.  We basically followed a beaten mud footpath for about a mile climbed through some bushes and voila - Bruarfoss.  Stunner.

  1. RATING:  *****
  2. LOCATION: Click here to view on Google Maps
  3. PROS:  remote, isolated, blue glacial water, short hike
  4. CONS:  hike through mud and bushes to get to it
  5. RECS:  wear shoes that can get dirty, follow GPS to basic location then follow other people or sound of water to find footpath.  
Bruarfoss waterfall Iceland Travel Guide charisma shah

DAY THREE

ÖXARÁRFOSS

This really unique hike might seem familiar - its featured in Game of Thrones and follows the Mid-Atlantic ridge to a waterfall.  Its actually man-made, dating back to the 9th century with the intent to provide water to locals.

  1. RATING:  ****
  2. LOCATION:  Click here to view in Google Maps.
  3. PROS:  really unique looking, small quaint waterfall at end of hike, well paved in parts
  4. CONS:  lots of people
  5. RECS:  use hiking boots, pretty rocky at the beginning
 Öxarárfoss waterfall 

Öxarárfoss waterfall 

 Oxararfoss waterfall 

Oxararfoss waterfall 

BLUE LAGOON

Probably the most popular of our excursions, was the Blue Lagoon.  I personally was really looking forward to this experience.  First, yes its that pretty in real life, but what no one picture shows is how touristy it is.  Lots of people.  Since its quite large, this didnt really affect us too much except in the locker rooms as we tried to shower and change after.  It really is so nice to take a dip in a thermal pool when its chilly!

  1. RATING: ****
  2. LOCATION: Click here to view on Google Maps.
  3. PROS: very beautiful, relaxing, warm, fun to go with groups, chill
  4. CONS:  lots of people, packed locker rooms, expensive even for the basic package, only one toilet in locker room.
  5. RECS:  bring toiletries, towel, flip-flops, clothes to change into, don't leave the face masks on for too long - can be drying.
Blue Lagoon Iceland Travel Guide Charisma Shah
Blue Lagoon Iceland Travel Guide
 Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

We had such an amazing experience in Iceland!  We could not excessively share enough haha.  The HUBS took some amazing drone footage which you can watch below (best viewed in 4K!).  We hope you enjoy!  And please go visit Iceland - its a must see!