My name is Shirin and I am an Iranian American living in the Pacific Northwest. Welcome to my journal where I share my travels throughout the PNW and beyond!
You will find travel itineraries, PNW bucket list hikes, and PNW weekend getaways, road trip ideas, and more! My aim is provide travel options for the working professional living in the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of your free time and get out in this big wide world!
February 1, 2022
To begin with, FABULOUS trip for an early winter getaway! I feel so lucky to have had the chance to have one week in Iceland. It was everything I ever dreamt of and more.
Things to know: I was definitely doing this on a budget so you will find that hostels were the primary accommodations throughout the trip. There are many other super cute cabin options however you can find through Airbnb. Second, some things that definitely took me by surprise was the cost of groceries & food. Moreover, average meal may cost you $30-70 USD, and a coffee may cost you $10-15!
Third, A four-digit pin number was required for most credit cards, which you will need at the gas station. You can use credit cards at most places when shopping, except the occasional small souvenir shop. I contacted my bank before leaving to place a pin on my card. If you want to take out money you will need to use their currency ISK, but I wouldn’t take out much. I would make sure you are budgeting appropriately and set yourself a spending limit for each day. Tap water is perfectly fine to drink so bring a water bottle with you!
My suggestions: Go on as many glacier tours and ice cave tours as you can! This was such a neat experience that not many countries are able to offer! Importantly, plan ahead when hitting the road by having the directions pre-printed, mapped out, a physical map, or a downloaded map. Having your own set of wheels would be the best and most convenient, however I had a friend who hitch-hiked her entire trip! Gas is expensive (over $8 a gallon) so I would have your routes pre-planned and not stray too much. I had a friend who rented a camper van for a week in Iceland and she spent $600 on gas for a week stay. I am putting my itinerary exactly as is, however, I honestly would suggest skipping the Blue Lagoon as it’s more of a tourist trap. There are MANY other hot springs.
What I packed for a winter in Iceland: 1-2 pair thin leggings, Rain/hiking pants, 1 set pajamas, long sleeve base layer, North Face fleece, 700 fill down jacket, North Face thin water resistance rain proof rain jacket, flip flops to wear in house and hot springs, North Face beanie, swimsuit, winter hiking boots, towel, hydroflask, sleeping bag for linen. By all means, check the weather before your trip to pack accordingly! To be sure of additional items you may need, look into your hostel to see what they do/don’t provide.
Requirements: You must always shower your entire body and hair with soap before getting into a hot spring. Given that, you will need to be comfortable being naked in front of others as you will shower publicly in the locker room. Another key point, you will also always need to have your shoes removed when indoors at a hostel, so bring your slipper or flip flops as house shoes. Above all, drive the Ring Road, which can take 5-7 days, but if you’re short on time you can drive the Golden Circle!
See below for my one-week itinerary in Iceland.
March 2 (Thurs) – Depart LAX @ 11:20 am
March 3 (Fri) – Arrive Reykjavik @ 4:10 am. Iceland is a different time zone so you may feel some difference with the timing as the day continues.
March 4 (Sat) – Drive Golden Road
March 5 (Sun) – Visit Vik & surrounding area
March 6 (Mon) – Skaftafell National Park
March 7 (Tues) – Hofn area during day
March 8 (Wed)
March 9 (Thurs)
At this time, it is difficult to say what the cost of things however as I am sure things have gone up since 2017. However, below you will find how much we spent on each activity.
Lodging: $748 total
Car rental: $453 total
Ice cave tour: $172 each
Blue Lagoon: $93.33 each
Food/Alcohol: ~$350 (one bottle of wine was like $20-40!!) We honestly lived off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the “breakfast” that was provided, and cheese/crackers. We occasionally “splurged” and went to 2-3 restaurants throughout the week.
Disclaimer: You may find this post has some hotel affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you I get a small portion for the advertisement, if you click through and book. However, I would absolutely never recommend something to you that I don’t 100% agree with!
At last, hope you enjoyed what you read and enjoy your one week in Iceland! Overall, it was a fabulous trip and highly recommend during any season!
Like what you read? Check my travel blog for more itineraries, hikes in the PNW, Washington viewpoints, road trip ideas and overseas travels!