Iceland is such a gorgeous country, it makes me wonder why it took Singapore so long to catch the Let’s-go-Iceland fever. By fever, I meant every-tourist-spot-you-can-see-a-Singaporean degree kind of fever, ’cause we really saw Singaporeans every time we stop at an attraction and there were so few people in Iceland. Read on for our 9 days Iceland itinerary.
Throwback to 29 Dec 2016 to 06 Jan 2017
There was only one thing to do in Iceland and that was to enjoy the beauty of its natural landscape.
9 Days Iceland Itinerary – Day 1 to 3
The first two days were basically wasted due to our flight delay in Dubai (see RANT) and we finally arrived in Reykjavik on 31 Dec 16, just on time to watch the whole city lighted up by fireworks that started from the moment we arrived (~20:00). To think we get excited by 8 mins of fireworks during NDP.
If we had arrived as per our plan, we would have visited:
Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall & Conference Centre
The Sun Voyager
Laugardalslaug – An Olympic sized pool with many facilities
Alas, NOPE. We also missed our Northern Light Hunting tour, probably the only chance we had of seeing those green lights.
9 Days Iceland Itinerary – Day 4 to 6
Missing out the chance to explore Reykjavik, we started our journey early today for our 2.5 hrs drive to Vik, waking up to a winter wonderland. I LOVE SNOW!
HAN-dy tip: Bring a glass cleaner to shove off the snow on your windscreen. Remember to ask for winter tyres (which are usually included in your rental).
We arrived at Seljalandfoss waterfall where you could walk up the stairs to the side to look at the waterfall from the top (which we didn’t).
HAN-dy tip: As of 24 Jul 2017, parking at Seljalandsfoss costs 700 ISK for a car and 3000 ISK for a coach.
We went to the Skogafoss waterfall which was equally gorgeous.
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck and we found some ponies along the way!
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck was only about 10 mins drive away but I did not read the information available properly to realize that we could no longer drive to the wreck and had to walk. Not knowing what we were going into, we started walking but no matter how much we walked, the wreck was nowhere in sight. Couldn’t turn back ’cause we had walked too far to turn back empty-handed.
AND SO WE WALKED FOR 1.5 hrs, on the uneven pathway, not knowing if we were on the right path. It really felt like an eternity. Finally, we reached.
The overwhelming emotions of finally reaching + it is getting dark and there are no street lamps or proper path + holy shit we still gotta walk back + WE MIGHT GET SO LOST made us unable to experience the surreal and isolation of the plane wreck in the middle of nowhere.
“In 1973 a United States Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and crashed on the black beach at Sólheimasandur, on the South Coast of Iceland. Fortunately, everyone on that plane survived. Later it turned out that the pilot had simply switched over to the wrong fuel tank. The remains are still on the sand very close to the sea.” -information from guidetoiceland–
We quickly took as many photos as deemed worthwhile of our efforts. Then, we started heading back on the same uneven path, as fast as our tired feet could to beat the dwindling sunlight.
HAN-dy tip: Go visit when there is plenty of sunlight – in the morning or when the daylight is longer. There is no proper signage or pathway to the wreck. People you meet will just ask you to walk towards the sea, which you can only see when you are really close to it. Be ready for a long long walk.
Today we began our 2.5 hr drive to Hali, driving along the picturesque road and we finally saw some blue skies.
First stop today was Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, which was absolutely breathtaking.
“It is believed that Fjaðrárgljúfur formed at the end of the last Ice Age, about nine thousand years ago. When the glacier retreated, a lake formed in the valley behind a hard resistant rock. The run-off from the lake flowed to where Fjaðrárgljúfur is today.” -information from visitsouthiceland–
Up next, we visited Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and had to stop for petrol along the way. Their open-air petrol station had such a postcard view.
Visiting the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon made us marveled in awe and at the same time thought about how we should do something to slow down the climate change problem. We can’t afford to lose such a beauty.
We were booked for the Ice Cave Hunting tour (ISK20500) to Vatnajökull glacier cave with Glacier Adventure, which started with a bumpy and fun Jeep ride to the glacier.
The glacier cave was really blue and amazing, except that it was filled with so many people! We even had to visit another not-so-popular and much smaller ice cave first due to a large number of tourists in the glacier cave.
We then began our drive back to Kalfafell with more scenic views.
9 Days Iceland Itinerary – Day 7 to 9
The drive from Kalfafell back to Selfoss took about 3 hrs and along the way, we stopped at the Dyrholaey Lighthouse that overlooked the Reynisfjara Beach aka the black sand beach.
“The waves at Reynisfjara are especially strong and unpredictable, and fatal accidents have occurred at this beach, so people are advised to take extra care when visiting the area.” -information from guidetoiceland–
We then took a trek to the Solheimajokull Glacier Tip that we didn’t manage to visit previously.
We checked into our apartment early today as we were visiting the Secret Lagoon (ISK2800) tonight. Reviews and our host for the apartment highly recommended Secret Lagoon over Blue Lagoon so we chose the former due to a shortage of time. Didn’t manage to take a photo of the lagoon ’cause it was dark when we were there but it looks like:
The hot water was really comfy in the winter night. The short rush from the changing room to the lagoon however, was FREEZING cold! There wasn’t anything too fancy about the lagoon, maybe because we went at night. It felt like just a hot spring pool with lots of pebbles beneath.
HAN-dy tip: Remember not to soak in the hot lagoon for too long. Leave the lagoon for when feeling discomfort.
GOLDEN CIRCLE TOUR! Probably the most popular route in Iceland. We set out early to visit Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Falls, and Thingvellir National Park.
The weather started to turn really bad when we were at Gullfoss Falls and Thingvellir National Park. It was snowing so heavily that the visibility became very bad.
HAN-dy tip: Hold on to the steering wheel as the wind is really strong. Also, drive slowly and carefully and remember to turn on your headlights.
After conquering driving in the snow storm, we went back to Reykjavik and visited the famous hot dog stand Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur and the hot dog buns were really good.
Took an early flight to London today and bought most of our souvenirs from the airport. Though we didn’t manage to catch the Northern Lights, the sceneries in Iceland were more than enough to compensate for it. NAH. We got really upset we didn’t get to see the lights. Better luck next time.
Hopefully, our 9 Days Iceland Itinerary was useful for you start planning your Iceland trip!
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