One Day Iceland Itinerary

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!

Blue Lagoon in Iceland from a distance.

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.

Kol restaurant in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Kol restaurant in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Icelandic bread in Reykjavik.
Icelandic soup in Reykjavik.
Cold Icelandic raw seafood dish in Reykjavik.
Icelandic ice cream at Kol in Reykjavik.
Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, Iceland at night.
The organ pipes within Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland.

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 Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The Nordurey Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.

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!

The Golden Circle, Iceland.
The Golden Circle, Iceland.
The Golden Circle, Iceland.
The Golden Circle, Iceland.

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.

Geysir, The Golden Circle, Iceland.
Geysir, The Golden Circle, Iceland.
Geysir, The Golden Circle, Iceland.
Geysir, The Golden Circle, Iceland.
Geysir, The Golden Circle, Iceland.
Icelandic horses, The Golden Circle, Iceland.
Icelandic horses, The Golden Circle, Iceland.
Icelandic horses, The Golden Circle, Iceland.
Icelandic horses, The Golden Circle, Iceland.
Gulfoss, The Golden Circle, Iceland.
Gulfoss, The Golden Circle, Iceland.
Gulfoss, The Golden Circle, Iceland.

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.

The Golden Circle, Iceland.
The Golden Circle, Iceland.
The Golden Circle, Iceland.
The Golden Circle, Iceland.
The Golden Circle, Iceland.

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.

Iceland Itinerary Mapped:

Hallgrimskirkja

Geysir

Gulfoss

Kerid

Thingvellir National Park

3 Comments

  1. January 30, 2019 / 3:06 am

    OMG!! That’s crazy that you can do SO MUCH IN ONLY ONE DAY!!! Thank you so much for such a detailed itinerary! I’m headed there this summer, so I’m excited to check out these places!!

    • catekittlitz
      Author
      January 30, 2019 / 3:25 am

      Omg what?!! Tell me more about this trip!! Over on my DMs though haha

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