I already have a basic itinerary mapped out, but I'm interested in hearing about the hidden gems from people who have been there. I'll have 9-12 days on Iceland and 4-5 days on the Faroe Islands. I'm heading over in late August, early September.
At the moment I'm thinking about getting a BSI Bus Passport for Iceland. I'd like to head up north to Mvytan, Dettifoss, Husavic, and possibly even Grimsey if time permits. I also want to spend some time around Skaftafell and Hofn. I plan on spending only a day or two around Reykjavik on either end of my visit to see places like Thingvellir, Gullfoss and the Blue Lagoon, etc. Most of my time there I want to be outside the capital.
For the Faroes, since time is short, I'm probably just going to base myself in Torshavn. The plan there is to see Vestmanna and make a day-trip north, maybe to Klaksvik.
Outdoor activities are the big draw for me on this trip, but I definitely don't mind spending time in museums or visiting cultural sites. Hiking, kayaking, boating, scuba diving are the name of the game. Maybe some camping - I haven't decided yet if I want to haul camping gear with me or just hostel it.
So, does anyone have any suggestions for must-see destinations in Iceland and the Faroe Islands?
I am going to Iceland for the first time in May/June for 4 days this year (super excited!) I dont really know anything about Iceland at the moment but I am actually staying with someone who is Icelandic so she will be taking us around Reykjavik and the Golden Circle so I can give you some hints and tips after June 4 if you like
Iceland is full to the brim of amazing places. I'm not allowed to post link here but can PM a link to the travelblog entry I have on Iceland. No text, just photos if you fancy some inspiration.
Near the (uninteresting) town of Selfoss, nearish Reykjavík, is a beautiful place called Reykjadalur - a couple of hours hiking from a car park near town gets you to a stunning naturally HOT river you can bathe in. It's absolutely magical.
Kayaking-wise, there's a good place where you can paddle out and be approached by cute and friendly seals. I can't remember the actual name of the kayaking centre, but the fjord in question is Mjóifjörður. It's in Vestfirðir a little way east of Ísafjörður. I suppose the place is still operating. We had a great paddle followed by a soak in their natural hot spring to warm up.
The witchcraft museum in Hólmavík I found absolutely absorbing. This is also on the way from Vestfirðir back to route 1.
Other than that you mention many of the most impressive places (Dettifoss, Mývatn etc.). I found Vestfirðir particularly scenic and beautiful.
Enjoy your trip! Remember you're visiting Iceland at the tail end of summer (summer ends very, VERY fast in Iceland) so pack some warm clothes! And don't forget to try flatkökkur with butter and hangikjöt (if you eat meat). It's delicious - my favourite quick lunch Iceland (a country sadly not renowned for its amazingly delicious cuisine!).
Thanks for the replies.
Those are some great suggestions, Will. Exactly what I was looking for! I'd love to have a look at that blog you mentioned
I had some scheduling conflicts at work, so I'm now going to be there at the end of June. I think I'm also going to rent a car instead of trying to travel by bus. Flexibility is key.
I'm so excited to dive at Silfra when I'm in Iceland. I'll be heading up there my first day off the plane
@jarmati - please do pass along what you find!
[ Edit: Edited on 01-Feb-2013, at 10:39 by talesbackpack ]
I'm not allowed to post link here but can PM a link to the travelblog entry I have on Iceland.
FWIW, I think you're becoming enough of an established member that if you did post a link to your travelblog, that'd be just fine. We "know" you're not posting on here with the purpose of promoting that blog, so an incidental link in context with a helpful reply would not run afoul of the forum rules against promotional postings.
Jen: I fully endorse to choice to rent a car. I found that an excellent way to get around in Iceland. I never made it to the north which seems to be your main interest, but my absolute favorite area in Iceland were the westfjords. The puffin cliffs at Latrabjarg are amazing (great hiking along them, plus by lying on the edge to peek over at the right place, you'd be seeing puffins about half a meter below you (they dig holes deep into the cliffs, so lying down is essential to spread your weight and not have the cliff collapse under you). We stayed at Bildudalur while there, and there was a great natural hot spring a 20 minute drive away, which we'd go to for sunset. The hot springs in the westfjords tend to have water coming out pretty much the perfect temperature - so that's a big benefit to the region.
[ Edit: Edited on 03-Feb-2013, at 01:03 by Sander ]
Thanks for your reply, Sander
I've been reworking my route now that I've decided on the car rental. Travelling by bus I didn't think it would be practical to make it out to the westfjords, but now it's a much more realistic option. I'll definitely be spending at least a couple of days in that region.
It's going to be a bit of a whirlwind trip, but I'll make it work!