On the way home from our Netherlands trip, we had a 25-hour layover in Reykjavik, Iceland. I was so thrilled – from what I’d heard, you can see quite a bit during that time. We witnessed many natural wonders. Here is what we saw on that one day (an Iceland itinerary):
Starting our journey in Keflavik airport, we picked up our rental car from the Thrifty station. It’s a good thing I’m Canadian and not a stranger to bad weather – I think the others were freezing to death while waiting for the shuttle to the car hire.
The First Night in Iceland
Next, we drove to the Blue Lagoon, located between the airport and Reykjavik. I have a full post describing my time there: here!
After visiting the Lagoon, we drove to hotel Nordurey to drop our bags off. It was dark out, so we headed downtown to have supper. We ended up having a bite at an upscale restaurant, Kol, as most places were closed. The food was definitely Icelandic. Just outside was Hallgrimskirkja, the beautiful Icelandic church, which was built to resemble a volcano! I love how Iceland totally embraces their natural surroundings. To bed we went ASAP so we could wake up with the morning sun.
The Nordurey Hotel
The Nordurey Hotel had a delicious spread for breakfast, which filled us up for the busy road trip we had ahead of us. The hotel was clean, affordable, and in a great location. We really couldn’t ask for more. The easiness of checking in and out was fantastic, and very modern! An access code provides entry. The bed was cozy and perfect for our short sleep. We felt rested at the start of our journey.
The Golden Circle
We drove east to Thingvellar National Park, to begin the Golden Circle road trip. I had the highlights mapped out and we knew we couldn’t stop long. Without stopping, the Golden Circle takes three hours to drive. We did it in just four hours!
In that time, we visited the major sites, like Geysir at Haukadalur and Gulfoss. Geysir was the namesake for all geysers. Snap a picture if you can! You might see some Icelandic horses along the way, too. Gulfoss was the most mighty waterfall I have ever seen; It was so powerful, my camera was getting soaked from the spray. The wind in Iceland nearly blew me away most of the time.
Driving the Golden Circle will be one of the most awe-inspiring drives of your life. While it is possible to drive it in such a short time, it would be definitely worthwhile to plan a longer road trip. You’ll want to stop for a picture every mile! We missed a few things along the way, like Kerid Crater Lake.
I was so impressed on our short Iceland itinerary, that I’m already planning my next trip there! Let me know what I missed, as I’d love to road trip the whole country. If you only have 24 hours, you can definitely get a taste of Iceland.