Iceland in Winter: A long weekend

I was only in Iceland for 4.5 days in March, but it was such an incredible trip – the city is lovely, the landscapes are insanely beautiful and the people are friendly.  

Where to stay:

We stayed at an Airbnb right in the center of the city that was cute and comfortable, and also affordable especially compared to some of the crazy hotel prices.

Getting Around:

We rented an SUV at the airport from a company called SADcars (yes, really). It was the cheapest we found and we ended up with a slightly dinged up Rav-4.

In the winter the weather can get a bit dicey – watch the forecast to avoid getting stuck driving in a snow squall.

Trip Overview:

We split our time between doing our own thing and participating in an organized tour with a company called Extreme Iceland.  We really wanted to do this tour because we loved the idea of both glacier hiking and ice caving, but we were there in march so the caves were starting to melt / it was too dangerous.  So we ended up doing this one instead. Our guide was fantastic, the bus was comfortable and the accommodations on the overnight were simple but nice.   

My absolute can’t miss would be the glacier lagoon and the beach just to the side of it – it’s hard to explain how breathtaking it is, but this google image search will give you some idea šŸ™‚  Blue lagoon is worth it too, even though it’s touristy. It’s right by the airport so I recommend going on the way to your flight – it’s a nice way to close out a week!

More details on our itinerary:

Day 1:

Arrive later afternoon & drive SADcar to AirBnb through endless stretches of white.  Enjoy dinner at the Fish Company which was hands down one of the top 10 meals of my life. Our Airbnb host booked a reservation for us.  And then we went out to a great bar called Kaffebarin and hopped around some of the other bars in the area.  

Day 2:

Explore Reykjavik in AM (church, opera house, down along the coast.. plus shops for Icelandic sweaters); drive in afternoon to Gulfoss, an incredible waterfall. Dinner at a restaurant along the main shopping street – I unfortunately can’t remember the name, but it was adorable and Italian and delicious.

Day 3:

Join tour with Extreme Iceland – it’s on a small bus, which I would normally balk at a bus tour, but it was nice to not have to worry about driving rough weather. After visiting insane waterfalls, geisers, and seeing our first glance at the glacier lagoon, we had a simple but delicious dinner & stayed the night on the far side of the island.

Hiking across a snow-covered glacier

Day 4:

Wake up and go to the beach by the glacier lagoon, then to the lagoon itself.  Glacier hike, then back to the city.  We ended up eating on the way home.  Once back we rallied and went to a few bars in the area – we were on the hunt for live music so literally followed our ears to an awesome place with a band.  <Blue Lagoon>


Day 5:

We had early afternoon flights so we had a quick breakfast at a cafe then drove our way to the blue lagoon.Ā  Yes, it’s a tourist trap. But it’s still 100% worth visiting – especially on the way to or from the airport! Pro tip: saturate your hair with conditioner before going in – you can find it in the showers. This will help avoid some extremely weird hair texture brought on by the silica in the water šŸ™‚

And that’s it! An action-packed weekend in Iceland, come to an end.

Tried this itinerary?  Leave a comment below!

Author: Jess

Always planning my next adventure.

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