Iceland Itinerary Part I (Winter)

Click the activity on the schedule to navigate

Reykjavik City

This is the capital city of Iceland 45 minutes by Flybus or Grayline from Keflavik Airport

  • 1+ hour

  • Get a phone plan (Vodaphone or Simmons) at Elko or 10-11 

  • Breakfast at Sandholt Bakery or pick up some baked goods at Brauð & Co

  • Enjoy the street graffiti all over town 

  • Other sights: Sun Voyager Statue, Hallgrimskirkja Church (view of the city from above), Harpa Concert Hall, Perlan & Museums

Part I - 7 Days in Southern Iceland

Southern Iceland has so much to offer. With the limited hours of daylight in November, unfortunately we had to pick and choose! Here’s how we spent our 7 days. In part II on the way back, we had time to enjoy Blue Lagoon & Glymur hike in Southern Iceland as well!

You can read about driving in Iceland here.

 

Our Winter Iceland Itinerary (November)

Iceland is such a beautiful country with unbelievable sights. It was such a memorable trip and surprisingly, living in a campervan really enhanced our experience. Visiting Iceland in winter might seem tricky with fewer hours of daylight (5 or less hours), but we loved it for the glacier ice climbing, ice caves & northern lights! We were lucky the weather was cooperative while we were there, as it can be unpredictable in winter. We were also fortunate to see the Aurora Borealis multiple times, which was especially beautiful over the Reynisfjara black sand beach & Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon!

 

To split up our 14 day trip (12 days in a camper van), we divided it into Part I and Part II. If you have fewer days in Iceland, you can still check out Part I of our trip for Southern Iceland itinerary and Part II for Northern Iceland Itinerary (including Blue Lagoon on the way back Keflavik).

 

In summer with the midnight sun in Iceland, it would be possible to see more each day. To help out with that, we included sights that we missed due to our time constraints.

Reykjadalur Hike

Also called "steam valley", this hike is 40 minutes from Reykjavik & ends with a warm river you can soak in

  • 45 minutes hike one way, 2 hours total including a quick 15-30 minute dip

  • Be prepared as it is very windy and I imagine more difficult in Winter as this hike was marked easy by most trail guides

  • There is no change room just some freestanding walls for a little privacy

  • You can easily complete this hike yourself but I have also seen tours for $141/person

 

Bónus Supermarket

One of the supermarket chains in Iceland that is a go-to when you're on a budget

  • 30 minutes

  • Food can be expensive in Iceland, so making your own can really help 

  • Save time by packing a lunch which is key when you only have 5 hours of sunlight

  • Souvenir Icelandic chocolates are also much cheaper than in souvenir shops you'll see all over Reykjavik

  • It's interesting to see what’s available that you wouldn’t regularly see (i.e. Sheep & Horse Meat) and don't forget to try Icelandic Skyr Yogurt & licorice candy

 

Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur Hotdog Stand

Translates to the “Best Hot Dogs in Town” & located in Reykjavik 

  • 20 minutes

  • Icelandic hot dogs are really the national food, they're found at every gas station and another key to eating in Iceland on a budget

  • They're different than their American counterparts in that it is a mix of lamb, pork and beef with a natural casing

  • Topped with crispy fried onion, pylsusinnep (Icelandic mustard) & remoulade (mayo based sauce)

  • It is delicious even for someone who does not usually enjoy the gamey taste of lamb 

  • Opened in 1937 and popularized by famous visitors like Bill Clinton

 

Bubble Hotel/Buuble Hotel

Advertised as the million star hotel & it did not disappoint!

  • Overnight stay

  • Various styles of bubble tents available, some with metal framing and some without

  • Location is top secret and is emailed 1 week prior to your check in date with a phone number incase you need more direction

  • 1.5 hours away from Reykjavik and right in the middle of the Golden Circle

  • Sleep with full view of the stars in the comfort of a warm bed without obstruction

 
 
 

Aurora Floating Tour/Secret Lagoon

Relax at the Secret Lagoon in Fludir, Iceland’s oldest swimming pool located near the Golden Circle

  • 2 hours

  • Aurora Floating Tour included a 15 minute in water massage and a special in water floating headset to enjoy relaxing music

  • Late night snack of hot spring baked rye bread, green house grown vegetables, Kæstur hákarl (fermented Greenland shark & the national Icelandic fish) and Brennivín (Icelandic schnapps)

  • In 2017/2018 tour is now packaged with a stay at the Buubble Hotel

  • Alternatively you can just visit the Secret Lagoon and enjoy a hot mineral bath

Sushi Rock and Trio

Great tasting sushi

  • Quick place to grab some fresh sushi

One of the best diving experiences we have ever done

  • 7+ Hours

  • First dive happens around sunset time, amazing lighting while diving

  • Next dive happens when the sun has set

  • "Sit" at the bottom of the site and watch as manta ray's dance overhead over a big light

  • Snorkeling is also an option, you get to see the mantas from a top view

  • Skip the twilight dive if you are short on time and do the Manta Night Dive alone

Driving to Hilo

Nice drive to the other side of the Island. Different routes to get there.

  • Time depends on how many stops you would like to do. At least 2 hours from Kona to Hilo one way. Our trip took us the whole day.

  • Stops we did:

    • Waimea : beautiful green rolling hills​

    • Downtown Hilo: Went to check on the small stores and a farmers market

    • Akaka Falls State Park: 420 foot waterfall and a nice circular walking path

    • Pe'epe'e Falls and Boiling Pots: 80 Foot water fall and small pools that cascade    
      into each other

    • Rainbow Falls: Beautiful waterfall near downtown Hilo

 
 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

One of the main attractions on Big Island located on the Hilo side of Big Island check 
their website for daily updates

  • Definitely a whole day's adventure especially if you want to see the
    volcano at night

  • Thurston Lava Tube: Huge lava tube that you can walk through

  • Kilauea Iki crater Trail: about 1.5 hour to 2 hours

    • Pretty calm hike​, hardest part is the climb back out of the caldera at the end

    • Amazing to walk on the lava bed that is still steaming, lava floor only 50 years old!

    • Hike starts off in a rain forest atmosphere than opens up to the bare lava field,
      amazing contrast to witness

    • Bring a rain poncho, its common for rain to occur while on the hike

  • Night overlook of the Halema’uma’u crater: View the volcanic glow at night

    • Located right outside the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum​

 

Walk Around Kona City

Beautiful city to talk around and grab lunch or dinner

  • 2 hours to 3 hours

  • Try to visit around sunset, amazing lighting 

  • Lots of places to grab dinner

Original Big Island Shaved Ice Co

Local favorite for shaved ice

  • Surprising how shaved ice can taste so good

  • Try flavors with tube (purple sweet potato) 

 
 
 

Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour

Hawaii from above, no better way to view Hawaii!

  • Depending on which package you go with, can range from 1 hour to 2.5 hours

  • Best way to see the volcano especially when its not very active

  • Amazing to see Big Islands contrasting surfaces from afar

  • We opted for the waterfall landing, well worth it

  • Very entertaining pilot that was very knowledgable of the area

  • Great video at the end to purchase of your entire trip

Da Poke Shack

Famous for their Poke Bowls

  • Some seating outside, we decided to take ours to go

  • Usually has a line up, but moves pretty quickly

 

Welcome to Messie Adventures! We are Mitch & Jessie. We're currently living on the beautiful island of Sint Maarten. We travel as much as we can part-time and enjoy all the adventures that come our way!

Mitch & Jessie

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