Part 5 of Iceland travel blog series: Accommodation Guide for Self Drive Road Trip in Iceland will help you choose the right accommodation for you. Read this in combination with part 4 i.e. Itinerary for Winter / Spring Road Trip in Iceland
Part 1: 18 Breathtaking Photos of Raw Iceland is our compilation of Iceland’s incredible landscape through our eyes and lens.
Part 2: Land of Fire & Ice! First Impressions on Iceland is all about how charged and motivated to felt to do our small bit and protect planet earth. Everything in Iceland left us awestruck and this article covers some of them in detail.
Part 3: 5 Tips on Planning a Trip to Iceland is guide to begin your travel journey to Iceland. Learn more about the right season to travel, visa, tours, type of cars to rent etc.
Part 4: Itinerary for Winter / Spring Road Trip in Iceland is a detailed guide which will help you plan that epic self drive road trip. Of course, this itinerary can be customized for any season and modified based on your convenience.
An itinerary for an Icelandic road trip should also include an accommodation guide. So, today we want to share with you all the cool hotels, cottages and Airbnbs we stayed at. We have said it before but don’t mind saying it again – Iceland was our best planned road-trip ever as we were able to minimised our driving and back and forth between locations in the best possible way. This was possible by choosing accommodation that were strategically located. Read our ‘Accommodation Guide for Self Drive Road Trip In Iceland’ to know more. Also, look our for tips towards the end of this article.
Summary of 8 days Itinerary for road trip in Iceland
Before we being, let us give you a quick summary of our 8 day itinerary for a road trip in Iceland. Please keep in mind that we like to spend our sweet time at each and every location and hate rushing things. So, we planned our itinerary in a way that we explore only a few places each day. Of course these can be combined and you can decide that after reading all the details. For the detailed guide, please check – Itinerary for Winter / Spring Road Trip in Iceland.
- Day 1:
- Reach Keflavík airport, pick-up rental car.
- Spend the evening at Blue Lagoon.
- Stay in Reykjavík
- Day 2:
- Drive to Snæfellsnes peninsula
- Explore Snæfellsnes peninsula, Kirkjufell, Budhir
- Stay in Snæfellsnes peninsula
- Day 3:
- Drive to Þingvellir National Park
- Have lunch at Friðheimar (a speciality tomato restaurant)
- Explore Geysir and Gullfoss Waterfall
- Stay near Thingvellier National Park
- Day 4:
- Explore Kerid, Secret Lagoon
- Drive towards South Iceland
- Explore Seljalandsfoss & Skogafoss
- Stay near Skogafoss
- Day 5:
- Explore Reynisfjara Black sand beach and DC 3 plane wreckage
- Stay near Vík
- Day 6:
- Drive towards Vatnajökull National Park
- Explore Fjaðrárgljúfur and Scenic Green Lava Walk on the way
- Explore secret glacier lagoon
- Stay near Vatnajökull National Park
- Day 7:
- Start your day with Glacier hiking and Ice caving
- Explore Svartifoss waterfall
- Drive to Jökulsárlón and Diamond beach
- Stay near Vatnajökull National Park
- Day 8:
- Dive back to Reykjavík
- Explore anything you had missed while driving towards Jökulsárlón
- Explore Reykjavík town and try potato pizza
- Stay near Keflavík airport
- Day 9:
- Fly back home and miss Iceland like crazy.
Accommodation Guide for Self Drive Road Trip In Iceland
Day 1: Stay in Reykjavík
Reykjavík has loads of accommodation option to choose from. So, we decided to go with the most economical option available. The accommodation was mostly for sleeping purpose, as we wanted to explore a pub in the city and enjoy our dinner there.
We stayed in this airbnb as it was close to the city and the perfect getaway to start our road trip the next day.
Day 2: Stay in Snæfellsnes peninsula
We stayed in the coziest cottage ever surrounded by the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. There were numerous frozen lakes and the drive leading to this cottage was one of my personal favorite in Iceland. It wasn’t very expensive as we paid only 100 euros for a night. The location was perfect as it was on our drive back towards Golden Circle.
Tradir Guesthouse was just perfect. We played some music in the evening, cooked our dinner and enjoyed Icelandic beer.
Day 3: Stay near Thingvellier National Park
This was one of the funkiest airbnb we have ever stayed in. It was more like a hostel with shared bathroom and access to kitchen. Very clean rooms and well organised everything. Location was perfect as it was very close to our next day’s first stop – Kerid.
I would definitely go back and stay at Spirit Farm again as the experience was somewhat different. Sort of a story, that we will share in future articles.
Day 4: Stay near Skogafoss
Since we had decided to splurge on our accommodation on day 5, we thought of cutting down a bit on this day 4. It was probably not a great idea as we ended with a really bad experience. It’s a self-check hotel and they email you the code. Using that code, you are supposed to take the keys from the master box and open the doors on your own. It took as way too long to figure that out and no one answered the contact numbers provided.
Even after we figured that out, the door won’t open as something was wrong with the lock. We had to contact booking.com who contacted the owners, who said they will send someone only by 4pm as that was our check in time. It was already past lunch hour and we were hungry. In addition to that we had made a mistake of choosing a hotel with no kitchen. We wasted way too much time to get everything sorted.
But the location was spot on as the hotel was extremely close to Skogafoss.
Welcome Edinborg probably would be a good option if you are not planning to cook and just want to crash. They also have really modern cottages called Welcome Holiday Home which probably would have been a better option.
Day 5: Stay near Vík
This was our best stay in Iceland. A bit of a splurge for the cottage as we paid 170 euros for a night but our stay was so cozy and so pretty. Perfect for those Instagram photos as well. 🙂 These cottages are about 10 minutes walk from the beach and the views were so amazing.
Extremely well maintained and the location was just perfect as it was really close to the town of Vík and DC 3 plane wreckage spot.
Mid Hvoll Cottages was everything I had dreamt of in terms of cottage accommodation in Iceland.
Day 6 & 7: Stay near Vatnajökull National Park
Accommodation in this area is kind of scanty and we wanted to close to Skaftafell National Park. It was a really good decision as our hotel was 20 minutes drive from the National Park and helped with early morning glacier walk tour. The hotel was also a 30 minutes drive from Jökulsárlón which was very handy as well. We could stay until late after sunset and drive back while it was just getting dark. In Iceland, the roads are very narrow. So, driving at night can get a bit intimidating.
Hof 1 Hotel was perfect in terms of location and they also provided free breakfast, which was very handy. The only negative point was that they didn’t have a kitchen. However, like mentioned before, hotels in this area are a bit scanty so it was still a good deal.
Day 8: Stay near Keflavík airport
If you have an early morning flight, staying at the airport would actually be handy. We basically wanted to room just to crash for a couple of hours, drop that car and board our flight.
The Base by Keflavik Airport was just perfect! Clean and cheap rooms to basically crash for a couple of hours. If you are planning to stay awake the whole night and be in the city, it would be a good idea to skip this last accommodation all together and just board the flight in the morning.
Tips for choosing your accommodation in Iceland
Below are some really handy tips, which will help you choose your accommodation.
- Look for an accommodation with a kitchen (even if it is shared). It might be a bit pricey as compared to a room without kitchen but you will end up saving a lot more on meals eventually. Iceland is expensive, so eating out for every meal can really pinch those pockets.
- Cottages are always a good idea if you are travelling in a group of 4-5 people. These cottages are like a 1BHK apartment with sofa beds and extra bedding. You will end up saving a lot more by booking 1 cottage as compared to multiple hotel rooms. And they are super cute as well.
- While planning your trip, look for an accommodation in an area where you plan to end that particular day’s driving. That way, you don’t have to drive all the way back and then forth the next day.
- If you are travelling during the northern lights season, look for accommodation away from the city. It will maximize your chances of viewing this out of the world phenomenon.
- If you are up for it, camper vans are cheap accommodation on the go option. There are a lot of designated overnight camping areas through out the country and these vans have built in kitchen and bed. How cool is that?