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10 Day Ring Road With Less Visited Areas Plus 8 Sunny Days

10 Day Ring Road With Less Visited Areas Plus 8 Sunny Days

Old Jun 7th, 2022, 07:02 PM
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10 Day Ring Road With Less Visited Areas Plus 8 Sunny Days

I just returned from a 10 night trip to Iceland with my daughter. We had a fabulous time, 8 of the 10 days were cloudless blue skies - so lucky. We drove the entire island minus the westfjords but included a whole lot of the other peninsulas. It was all spectacular. I can see where Iceland could be disappointing if you have bad weather the entire time and can’t see all the views there are to see. We have spent time on glaciers in Alaska and Patagonia so this was not new for us and we have been to Yellowstone many times so the geothermal areas were not very exciting.

We completely skipped the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon and have no regrets. We did a bunch of off the beaten path driving and stayed in some more remote areas.

Some of our favorite things were: budir black church; seeing whales from the coast, the drive out to Bakkagerdi to see the puffins (and the puffins too), the seals in Jokulsarlon lagoon, the hike on Leirhnjúkur volcano; the hike in Thorsmork,Mulagljufur Canyon, the place we stayed on the sheep farm, the drive back into those two secluded valleys and the incredible views.
I was not overly impressed with Fjallsarlon Lagoon or Fjadrargljufur Canyon
We ended up skipping Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi because they were absolutely mobbed with people all lined up to walk behind it.

I arrived on May 27 at 6:40 AM, picked up a car from Blue Car Rental -they were great and very convenient to walk to. I used my Amex Platinum and did not take any other insurance. The car, a 4x4. had like 500 miles on it.
I then drove 3 minutes to the Courtyard Marriott where I had booked a room for the previous night so I could check in (I was actually due to arrive the previous night but Iceland Air cancelled my flight and put me on a later flight).. I got a few hours sleep, showered and then headed into Keflavik to pick up groceries. I returned to the airport to pick my daughter up who was flying in from the Netherlands at 4:00 and then we started out

Here is a rough itinerary on what we did. We drove 1542 miles and I spent $368 on gas. We made a lot of detours not listed below. There is more detail and lots of photos in my blog posts (link below).

May 27:
Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Budir black Church
Sleep Grundarfjordur- Kirkjufell Guesthouse

May 28:
Erpsstađir farm for ice cream
Round the Vatnsnes Peninsula (saw whales off the western coast here)
Hvítserkur sea stack
Vidimyrarkirkja Church
Glaumbauer Turf Farm
sleep Airbnb Sauđárkrókur

May 29:
Trollaskagi Peninsula
sleep outside Akureyri
Bakkakot 1 Cabin

May 30:
Grotagjia Cave
Cross the Tjörnes peninsula
Sleep Airbnb Svalbard (This was our favorite place we stayed)

May 31:
Bakkagerdi for Puffins - the drive was spectacular
Sleep Airbnb Seydisfjordur

June 1:
Drive Eastfjords
Sleep Seljavellir Guesthouse

June 2:
Jokulsarlon & Fjallsarlon
Diamond Beach
Mulagljufur Canyon-
Fjadrargljufur Canyon
Sleep AirBnb Hvolsvollur

June 3:
Thorsmork Nature Reserve
9:30 Bus to Volcano Huts
Hike the Green route

June 4:
Thorsmork Nature Reserve
Hike the Red route
Volcano Huts

June 5:
Drive through Reykjavik
Sleep Courtyard Marriott

Just some additional notes:
-There is a covid test center directly next door to the Courtyard and there is a gas station on the other side so it is very convenient staying there. I took a covid test at 8:00 AM and still managed to return the car and check in and make it with time to spare for a 9:50 AM (I do not recommend the stress of this but just letting you know).
-my credit card worked everywhere without a pin (even though I had one) except for at one gas station where none of them worked and I had to use my debit card
-Some prices seemed high but others weren't so bad - for instance dinner at a nice pizza restaurant in Seydisfjordur was $60 for two 12" pizzas and 2 glasses of wine
-Some of the places we stayed were more expensive then I would have normally chosen but I booked this entire trip with about three weeks notice so pickings were a bit slimmer

This is the first blog post and I think you can see the rest after that if you wish.
Happy to answer any questions.

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