Where to stay in Reykjavik and on a self-drive road trip in Iceland

Where to Stay in Iceland: Best Reykjavik Hotels & Ring Road Accommodation

In Iceland, Where to Stay by JurgaThis post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure.

Wondering where to stay in Iceland? Looking for the best Reykjavik hotels or Iceland accommodation for your self-drive trip along the Ring Road? This article is for you!

This Iceland accommodation guide is a great resource for finding the best places to stay in Iceland. Read on!

So you bought a cheap ticket to Iceland for next month, worked out the best trip itinerary and start planning your road trip… It won’t take you too long to realize that you are not the only one – many affordable hotels in Iceland are fully booked months in advance. The ones that are available are either too expensive, not well located, really basic, or all of the above…

Cheap flights and free stop-overs between Europe and the US have turned Iceland into an extremely popular travel destination. The number of tourists has increased dramatically in the last few years, at a rate of more than 20% per year for several years in a row. It took some time for the infrastructure to catch up, but the good news is that it is now much easier to find good price-quality accommodation in Iceland than ever before.

Still, I always advise people to book Iceland accommodation well in advance. As the number of hotels and guest houses increased all over Iceland, so did the number of tourists. For the best choice and somewhat affordable prices, you do have to book Iceland hotels months in advance, especially if traveling in summer.

TIP: For more information on itineraries, please check our suggested itineraries for Iceland. This is our winter itinerary for Iceland and here is a very similar Iceland 4 days itinerary that covers pretty much the same places in spring or in summer. 

*** Read also: 21 Best Places to Visit Iceland ***

Without further ado, here is our guide to the best places to stay during your self-drive trip in Iceland. Find out!

Best hotels in Iceland - plan your own self-drive trip (Updated!)

Where to Stay in Iceland

If you are looking for general information on where to stay in Iceland, it’s really hard to give a simple answer. The best places to stay in Iceland are the ones that fit your itinerary the best.

Reykjavik is located close to Keflavik international airport and is a good starting point and also a good place to stay at the end of your trip. It’s also a popular base for those visiting Iceland in winter and not willing to drive in winter conditions. In that case, you can base yourself in the capital city and book day tours from Reykjavik.

Good to know: The best way to visit Iceland is on a self-drive road trip. While it is possible to drive to some of the best-known landmarks from Reykjavik or from one of the towns of Southern Iceland, you will probably be driving at least 150-300km (100-200 miles) one-way every day and spending more time in the car than sightseeing. If you have more than 2 days in Iceland, don’t limit your stay to Reykjavik only.

In order to help you find the best Iceland accommodation for your trip, I grouped the best hotels per region. Take a look!


Where to Stay in Reykjavik: best price-quality accommodation from budget to luxury

Here is the criteria I used to select the best price – quality mid-range and luxury Reykjavik accommodation:

  • Central location
  • Review score of 8,5+
  • Best price – quality ratio
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Breakfast included
  • Parking available
  • Airport Shuttle

Best price-quality LUXURY hotels in Reykjavik:

Click on the link for more information!

Best price-quality MID-RANGE hotels in Reykjavik:

Best BUDGET hotels and apartments in Reykjavik:

I used the following criteria to select quality cheapaccommodation in Reykjavik:

  • Central location
  • Review score of 8+
  • Best price – quality ratio
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Private bathroom
  • Parking available

Best cheap HOSTELS in Reykjavik:

I used the following criteria to select the best hostels in Reykjavik:

  • Central location
  • Review score of 8,5+
  • Free Wi-Fi

These Reykjavik hostels have excellent reviews:

Best viewpoint in Reykjavik - from Perlan Observation Deck

Best Reykjavik Hotels and Apartments for Big Families

Traveling with three children, we know what a challenge it can be to find good affordable accommodation for 5 or more people. Often, we are offered two rooms and that increases family travel costs immensely. That’s why we always use Booking.com to search for the best accommodation options for our family.

Usually, we stay at nice spacious apartments (at the hotels or privately owned) at a fraction of the cost of two separate hotel rooms. While it’s not always possible to find such accommodation in rural Iceland, it’s definitely possible in Reykjavik – see below.

I used the following criteria to select the best Reykjavik accommodation for big families :

  • Family rooms for 5 – 6 people available
  • Central location
  • Best price – quality ratio
  • Review score of 8+ for budget, 8,5+ for mid-range and 9+ for luxury apartments
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Parking available* (unless specified otherwise)
  • Airport Shuttle* (unless specified otherwise)

Best price-quality LUXURY accommodation in Reykjavik for FAMILIES:

MID-RANGE accommodation in Reykjavik for FAMILIES:

BUDGET accommodation in Reykjavik for FAMILIES:

Colorful rooftops of Reykjavik as seen from Hallgrimskirkja church

Where to Stay Along Iceland’s Ring Road

To help you plan your trip to Iceland, I made a selection of some of the best Iceland accommodation options for a road trip around the whole island, following the Ring Road.

Keep in mind that it might be difficult to find one type of accommodation for the whole trip. I mean, if you are looking for luxury hotels only, it might be difficult or even impossible to find one in the area that is best for sightseeing. And it’s also true for budget-conscious travelers – sometimes you might have to pay more as there is really no alternative lodging in the area.

Where to Stay When Visiting Iceland’s Golden Circle

First of all, let me tell you that you can easily explore the Golden Circle as a day trip from Reykjavik. If, however, the Golden Triangle is just a part of your road trip, it might be better to continue your journey further Southwards rather than to drive back to Reykjavik.

Probably the best affordable places to stay for exploring Thingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir are the little towns of Hveragerði and Selfoss.

Both towns have several accommodation options in different price categories, usually much cheaper than Reykjavik. What is also important, is that there are several dining options in the neighborhood. This can save you a lot of money as dining in the hotels in the rural areas in Iceland can be very expensive.

There are also more and more privately owned self-catering accommodation options in Fludir area and nearby. Here you can see the map with accommodation options in the wide area around the Golden Circle.

TIP: If you are looking for more luxury and/or consider staying at one more central location and explore the Southern coast from there, Hotel Ranga can be a good option for 2-3 nights stay along Iceland’s South Coast.

Gulfoss waterfall in winter - Goden Cirlce Iceland
Gulfoss – Golden waterfall, Golden Circle

Best Hotels Near Vik or Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Vik area is probably the most popular place to stay along Iceland’s South Coast. Often, accommodations in Vik are fully booked. But don’t worry – if you have a car, you can just as well stay somewhere else along the South Coast and just visit Vik and the Reynisfjara beach and other popular attractions during the day.

On our last trip to Iceland in winter, we spent two nights at Hotel Laki. It’s an excellent choice in the area, but a bit on the expensive side.

On my recent Iceland’s highlands trip in September we also spent one night in the superb new little hotel Glacierview Guesthouse in Hrifunes. Located just off the Ring Road, it offers a perfect location for exploring Iceland’s South Coast. I loved staying here – the food was good, the rooms – modern and cozy, and the people very friendly. Recommended. The nearby Hrifunes Guesthouse also has great reviews and looks like a great choice along the South Coast.

Some other great accommodation options in the area near Vik and Kirkjubæjarklaustur:

Basalt columns at Vik black sand beach (Reynisfjara) in Southern Iceland
Basalt columns at Reynisfjara black sand beach near Vik

Where to stay for Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Skaftafell National Park

Accommodation options in these areas are really limited, so you should book well in advance or be prepared to drive a bit further. It’s not uncommon having to drive 40-50 miles to the nearest hotel in Iceland, so you can also stay in Vik or in Kirkjubæjarklaustur for exploring Skaftafell and Jokulsarlon.

However, it might be nice to stay somewhat closer to Skaftafell and Jokulsarlon, especially if you want to spend more time and explore the area more. There are lots of hiking trails in Skaftafell, you can go glacier hiking, visit several glacier lagoons and the surrounding coast, etc.

Best-located hotels in the Jokulsarlon and Skaftatell area:

If these hotels are full, the best option is probably to stay close to Höfn area, especially if you continue your trip further around the island. Check the recently opened Fosshotel Vatnajökull – it’s a great new addition in the area.

If your trip stops at Jokulsarlon, however, a better option for you would be to stay longer in the area around Kirkjubæjarklaustur (see above) and commute from there. That way at least you don’t have to pack your bags every day.

Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon should be included in every Iceland trip itinerary
Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon

Best Places to Stay on the East Coast of Iceland – Egilsstadir or Seyðisfjörður

Egilsstadir is a small town on the Eastern part of Iceland and is probably the best place to stay when visiting Eastern Iceland.

Another nice place to stay is Seyðisfjörður, known for its stunning location and the colorful path leading to a church. There are just a couple of hotels and guesthouses there, most with excellent reviews. There are also several hostels and apartments.

Iceland places to see - Seydisfjordur
Seydisfjordur church and town – Photo by TRphotos/Shutterstock.com

Hotels in Akureyri, Myvatn & Husavik

Akureyri is the biggest town in the Northern part of Iceland, but the area around Myvatn is the one that is worth exploring the most.

The distances are not very big, so it’s up to you where you decide to stay. In town, you have more facilities and more accommodation options, but it’s a small town and I think you’ll enjoy your stay more if you opt for the Myvatn area or a combination of both.

Husavik is also a very nice little town to stay in this area. It’s also the best place to go whale watching in Iceland in the summer.

Best Myvatn hotels

Best Husavik hotels

Best Akureyri hotels and apartments

Places to visit in Iceland - Myvatn area
Krafla volcano near Myvatn

Best Places to Stay in Northern Iceland

Northern Iceland is very thinly populated and there aren’t many accommodation options available. One of the best areas to stay at when exploring the Northern part of the island are the ones close to Skagafjördur or in Blönduós.

Hvitsekur beach in Iceland
North Iceland

Westfjords Accommodation

Westfjords are huge and there are just a few somewhat bigger towns in this part of Iceland. Ísafjörður and Patreksfjörður are the best places to stay if you are looking for some more infrastructure. For the rest, the majority of accommodation on the Westfjords is privately owned and scattered all over the place.

On our recent trip to the Westfjords, we stayed at Móra guesthouse, which had a great location not too far from the Westfjords ferry and was ok for visiting Dynjandi waterfall, Rauðasandur beach, and Látrabjarg cliffs.

The most beautiful natural hot tub in the Westfjords in Iceland
Hot tub near our accommodation in the Westfjords

Best Places to Stay for Visiting Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Snaefellsnes Peninsula is often visited as a day trip from Reykjavik, but it’s a region that is worth exploring a bit longer. In my opinion, two nights is about the minimum time you need here. Here you can find more information about what to see and do in Snaefellsnes.

And here are some of the nicest hotels on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula:

*** Learn more: Best Snaefellsnes Hotels & Towns to Stay ***

Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss on Snaefellsnes Peninsula in Iceland
Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Why book your Iceland accommodation with Booking.com?

Booking.com is one of the world leaders in booking accommodation online and it’s definitely the most used accommodation search- and booking website in Europe, including Iceland.

You can find all kinds of accommodation at Booking.com – not just hotels, but also private properties. In addition, Booking.com has the best price guarantee and free cancelation on most accommodations.

We use Booking.com for practically all our hotel bookings. Not just because it has so many properties worldwide and excellent prices, but also because it’s so easy to use for everyone – from solo business travelers to big families like ours.

TIP: If you want to compare the prices, sometimes you can find good deals for Iceland accommodation on Hotels Combined. Most often, it will direct you back to Booking.com anyway, but you can see for yourself that you are getting the best deals.

So, this is our guide to some of the best places to stay in Iceland. I hope it helps you find the best lodging options for your upcoming trip. Once again, book your Iceland accommodation as soon as you know your travel dates!

*** Read also: How Expensive is Iceland (+ How To Save Money) ***

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends who are planning a self-drive trip to Iceland. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image. 

Best places to stay on a self-drive road trip in Iceland and best price - quality hotels in Reykjavik


  1. Hi Jurga,

    Hubby and I are planning a trip to Iceland from Nov 1 – Nov 11. We have a rental car reserved and were planning to spend the first 2 nights in Reyjavik (and have only booked the first 2 nights there) but now are unsure. I feel like your itinerary would be the best suited for us since we are driving and unsure about driving conditions. It seems like you had great weather and I’m expecting the worst (as of today 10.28.19 the forecast is rainy 50% of the time). Should we book accommodations even though we’re not sure about road conditions? Would love your input,

    1. Author

      Hi Nancy, sorry for not replying earlier – we were traveling. I see that your trip has just started today, so probably you already made arrangements.
      At the moment, the weather is actually quite ok in South Iceland and the roads seem to be very easy to drive. Someone from my family is now in Iceland and they are loving it. But you never know how the weather will be and how the roads will be – it can change any moment and the weather forecast is not always correct.
      So if the roads are ok, go ahead and explore as much of the South Coast as you can – you can find more details in our Iceland winter itinerary and otherwise 4 days in Iceland itinerary has even more info. With 10 days that you have, you can then get back towards Reykjavik and maybe explore Snaefellsnes Peninsula for 2 days or so. Then – once you are back in Reykjavik – you can go and visit Reykjanes Peninsula.
      If the weather is bad one day, I recommend visiting Perlan in Reykjavik. Another nice alternative might be the lava tunnels nearby.
      Enjoy your trip!

  2. Hello Jurga, We’re planning a trip to Reykjavik in June 2020. We’ll be staying at the CenterHotel Skjarldbreid. In researching the maps*, I noticed the bus icons are fairly close to the hotel, & well placed throughout the downtown area. Are those buses part of the Flybus system that we can board at the airport? If so, that is very
    convenient! Also, when I moved my mouse onto the icons, a series of #s appeared, which indicate to me to be the different buses that stop there. It would appear then we’ll not be too far from the hotel! Considering this is much cheaper than a taxi or airport transfer. it’s worth the extra time for the transport.

    I’ve found your site to be very enlightening! Great job! I’m passing it along to others. Thanks muchly!

    *- I found the maps on Bing!

    1. Author

      Thank you for your kind words, Richard.
      To answer your question, your hotel is located in the area that actually has restrictions and big buses are usually not allowed to drive there, as far as I know. What you are seeing on the map, are probably bus stops for the regular city buses.
      What happens is that if you book Flybus+ option (so the transfer to the hotel), they’ll drop you off somewhere nearby (probably somewhere around Harpa or Sun Voyager) and you’ll have to walk a bit. If you rather not walk, you should book a direct airport transfer with a minibus (they are allowed to drive in the center as well). Here you can find more information about Reykjavik airport transfers.

  3. Hi Jurga ! Your guide is superb !! It’s so comprehensive and helpful.

    I’m planning a solo road trip in Iceland in the first week of September (3/9 to 11/9). I have been trying to put in place an itinerary. Your winter itinerary post is really helpful. If I’m to use it in September, is there any extra things I should look out for ? Do you have any suggestion on a September road trip ?

    many thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Author

      Hi Joel, someone asked a very similar question a few days ago. Please take a look at my reply to them here. In there, I link to a very detailed itinerary that is pretty much the same as the winter one, but tailored for longer days, thus leaving you time to do other things and see more in the same number of days.

  4. Hello I’m currently planning a trip from April 5 to the 15 and I don’t even know where to start because I want to see everything I read most of your stuff and wanted to see if there was a option of staying at one place only that was somewhere in the middle of everything’s I am comfortable with driving as it will
    Be me and my fiancé I just wasn’t crazy about having to constantly move places. Any suggestions will Be greatly appreciated

    1. Author

      Hi Ashley, I am afraid Iceland is really not a country that you can visit from one base location. You can make an itinerary that you stay at the same hotel for 2-3 nights, but if you really want to see all the best places, you’ll have to move around.
      Here you can find some Iceland itinerary suggestions for any trip up to 2 weeks. Hope it will give you a better idea of how to plan your trip.
      Also, note that Iceland is best explored by driving its Ring Road – the interior, called the Highlands of Iceland, can only be explored by a big 4WD and all those roads will be closed in April. So instead of driving uo and down, you best make an itinerary where you drive around (part of) the island.

  5. It’s very useful to get a sense of the different level of accommodations and areas to stay. I wonder if it is possible to camp in National Parks? or any camping areas we could book? Thank you so much.

    1. Author

      Hi Amanda, I don’t have any experience with camping in Iceland, but from what I heard, you are not allowed to camp just anywhere. Feel free to join our Iceland and Scandinavia travel group on Facebook and ask other members for recommendations, I know quite some people were talking about camping in Iceland.

  6. Hi!
    We are planning to rent a car and will be going around the ring road starting in Reykjavik and ending in Reykjavik in mid October. Will 9 days give us enough time to cover the whole route. We are a group of 8-9 adults . Am glad that I came across your site. You have done so much detailing …it really helps planning. .Would really appreciate if you have any suggestions as to how we organize our trip. Is there a way where we can stay 2 days in one place at a time ..and cover up the places.. instead of changing hotels daily.. am still going through the suggestions on your website…..

    1. Author

      Hi Nita, 9 days is a bit short for the whole Ring Road in October, especially due to the road conditions that you can’t foresee upfront. I would suggest to concentrate on the South Coast (you can follow this 7d Iceland winter itinerary) and maybe add 2 days for Snæfellsnes Peninsula. If you don’t like to change hotels every day, it’s possible, you’ll just have to drive a bit more once in a while, but the distances are not too big and it also gives you some flexibility. In my itinerary post you’ll see hotel suggestions where we stayed. If you don’t like changing hotels much at all, then Vik area is probably the most central for the South Coast.
      Hope this helps

      1. Hello we are planning the second week of June next year … in your research is June hotel pricing as expensive as the rest of the summer. Are crowds already an issue ? We have about 8 days to do the ring And with the miles it seems much more than doable without lot us of hiking but maybe I’m mistaken. If we have to leave a side out of the island which is the least activity and attractive? Lastly, how did you find affordable food we do not wish to cook ourselves

        1. Author

          Hi Teresa, Iceland is very popular, but no, it’s never really crowded. There are simply not that many accommodation options, especially outside Reykjavik, and prices are always high, no matter the season.
          You can do the whole Ring in 8 days, but will you really enjoy it? It’s a lot of driving with not much for sightseeing. On the other hand, in June the days are endless, so you do have a lot of time for sightseeing. So yes, it is possible if you just pass some places though and concentrate on the others. Here you can find some of our itinerary suggestions for Iceland.
          As for food, the more remote the area, the fewer options to eat, the more expensive it is. In some villages you’ll find some hamburgers and pizza places, but in general you have to count at least 50EUR/pp for dinner. Breakfast is usually included with accommodations and for lunch you can just pack a picnic, stop at a local grocery store, or a petrol station. But there is not really the way around it, if you don’t cook and stay in hotels, you’ll spend a lot of money on the food.

          1. Thank you. Are there many options for more healthy foods are mostly junk fast food as I’ve seen listed alot?
            If you were to not see the whole ring what parts would be least attractive we dont do long hiking etc

          2. Author

            You can always buy what you want in the grocery stores and restaurants have plenty of really good food. It’s just that junk food tends to be cheaper…
            As for what to see and what to skip, I’d say make sure to see all the highlights of the South Coast (you can find them all in this winter itinerary – you’ll need less time in summer obviously), also Myvatn area in the North, and maybe Snaefellsness Peninsula in the West. Fill in the gaps with some other places that seem interesting to you. Feel free to join our Iceland and Scandinavia travel group on Facebook and ask other people for recommendations.

  7. Hi,
    We are a group of 13 adults ( age ranging from 15-80) and a child of 3 year old, from an extended family living in Asia and USA. We plan to travel for 7-8 days from July 22, 2018. We have expert drivers who can drive around the country. Being vegans, we prefer to stay in self catering high end apartments. Being such a large group, is it ok for us to stay in Rykjawik and motor around, or if we could stay in two big towns, and motor around 150-200 kms a day to see around. Your suggestions on accommodation, town to stay as well as a local guide facilities…. thanks

    1. Author

      Hi Ved, I think you could probably best stay in at least 2-3 different locations instead of driving up and down from Reykjavik every day. Below are some accommodation suggestions for such a big group (but you need to look at availability of course and July is prime time to travel). Honestly I think that you just need to look at what accommodations are available and for how many nights and ‘stitch’ your trip together based on that.
      Here are some accommodations that at the moment still seem to have some availability in that period (accommodation is really scarce in Iceland, and definitely in summer):
      – In Reykjavik: B14 Apartments Also Room With A View Apartment Hotel (you need to take 2 apartments here).
      – In Selfoss (good location for exploring the South Coast): Bella Apartments (also need to take 2 apartments) or (very expensive, and also you need to take 2 apartments): Hotel Grimsborgir Luxury Rooms and Apartments
      -In Akureyri (North of Iceland – good location for Myvatn area, etc): Saeluhus Apartments & Houses (very affordable for Iceland, even though you need to take 2 houses for such a big group) or similar option Vacation Home Fagravik.
      – In Dalvik (North of the island): Brekkusel Lodge or Karlsa Lodge.
      These are just a few options I was able to find and maybe not available for multiple nights in the period you are looking, but again if you want to book something for July on such short notice and such a big group, do it ASAP.
      Probably the best way to look for hotels is by putting in all your search criteria on booking.com, and then play with the dates a bit. Sometimes a place might not be available for 4 nights, but available for 3, etc. If you stay a few nights in Reykjavik you can do some day trips from there. Ideally you also book something along the South Coast for a few nights. North is also beautiful, so if you don’t mind the drive, there are a bit more accommodation options that aren’t yet full up North as most tourists don’t get that far.
      You don’t really need any local guides for most famous landmarks in Iceland, just rent a car and drive around by yourselves. Check this out for some of our favourite places in Iceland, also Snaefellsnes Peninsula (doable as a day trip from Reykjavik) is well worth a trip. Guided tours will cost you a fortune with so many people and there is really no reason to hire a guide for most locations in summer (unless boat trips, etc).
      Hope this helps.

  8. Hi Jurga,
    You have a wonderful blog here! My husband and I are planning a trip to Iceland in May. We have booked a room at Route 1 Guesthouse in Hafnarfjordur.
    However, we want to stick to a small budget and are thinking of cancelling the booking and renting a camper van for a self drive trip and accommodation. Do you think it’s a good idea? Do you have any tips or information that could help us? Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Supraja, sorry, I have no tips for camping in Iceland. But many people do it, so I’m sure you can do too. Just beware that it’s going to be very cold, especially at night, so make sure your camper has a heater. But I think Iceland is a nice place to explore by camper since the moment you leave all the main tourist areas (or tourists leave them for the night) you’re still pretty much on your own. Enjoy it! P.S. you could join our Iceland and Scandinavia travel group on Facebook and ask there – maybe some of the other members will be able to help.

  9. Your blog sooooo good, I’m going to cry in joy! Thanks so much for the putting together a lot of info on Iceland. Planning to go this September 3-11 🙂 I’ve cancelled my plan for the day to read all your suggestions on all your Iceland posts, and make a fun itinerary.

    1. Author

      Thank you for your kind words, Nudy! Hope you can make a fun and memorable trip to Iceland!

  10. My 20 year old son and his girlfriend are headed to Iceland June 1-6. What is the legal age to rent vehicles there? They want to do as much as possible, but I think day tours is going to be the only way to go if you must be 25 to rent a car. The site is FABULOUS!! So much great info to get them prepared. Thanks!

    1. Author

      Hi Lisa, I just checked with the car rental website that we always use to book our cars and there seems to be no problem with renting a car as a 20-year old (they look and compare all the companies and find the ones where 20 years is not a problem). They do say this however ’20-year-old drivers may have to pay an extra fee at the car hire counter, depending on which company supplies the car. If you choose a car with a Young Driver Fee, we will tell you.’. So why don’t you take a look and once you select the car you can see if it’s possible to rent for a 20-year old driver and how much it costs. I found cars starting at around 180-200 EUR for that period. It will be much cheaper than taking tours, that’s for sure. And in June they should have no problems to drive. Once outside of Reykjavik, there’s hardly any traffic.

  11. Hello! This is a great breakdown of planning a trip to Iceland. This helped me a lot in trying to find a starting point for planning a trip for me and my fiancé. We are planning to go at the end of March 2018 and I am trying to figure out if the days will be long or short since we are going at the end the winter. Also do you have any recommendations on car rentals and the type of car to rent. We don’t plan on doing any off road driving but we want to visit the different sites you mentioned in your intinerary. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Author

      Hi Niki, the days are quite long in March. From what I see, you have 11-13 hrs of daylight in that period (you can check here for more details).
      As for the cars, I usually use this website to check for the best deals – they compare different companies so you can pick the one that is right for you. In general, the more in advance you book, the better the price you get. I would suggest to rent an SUV or even a 4WD in winter. I just checked and the price difference isn’t even that big between an SUV or SUV 4WD. In principle you can do the South Coast in Iceland with any regular car, but once again – because it’s winter, you’ll be safer in a bigger and most importantly higher car. It all depends on the weather of course.
      Hope this helps.

      1. Thank You this was great information for my future trip to Iceland will let you know how it goes.

        1. Author

          Great. Please do! Always nice to hear from the readers after the trip!

  12. Your blog has definitely been the most useful for planning our trip to Iceland. My husband and I will be there for 10 days in late July. We’ve rented a car and will be going around the ring road starting in Reykjavik and ending in Reykjavik. We have already chosen all the hotels/guesthouses and have fully paid for some of the rooms but the other rooms are just “booked” (guaranteed, supposedly) and we’ll be paying for them when we get there. My question is…would you recommend paying for all the rooms before getting to Iceland or does “booking” a hotel/guesthouse room in Iceland work well for the most part? In other words, can we trust that our “booked” room will still be available we get there? Thank you again for all the great information!!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Gail. Appreciate your kind words. As for hotel rooms. In general, you can always trust that a booked room will be held for you, even if it’s not paid. Some hotels ask you to warn them in advance in case of late arrival though. Don’t know how you booked your hotels, we almost always use Booking.com and there they usually tell you if hotel needs any special confirmation. Sometimes we also prepay our stays, sometimes not, but we never ever had a problem that a booked/unpaid room wouldn’t be available. So I wouldn’t worry about that. Enjoy your trip!

  13. Hi. Love your site. Super helpful. Looking to travel to Iceland in October as I’m hoping to see the Northern Lights. Since that is not predictable we are going to use your itinerary to see the rest of the sites. The question, would you recommend your itinerary if we are travelling with a 3 1/2 year old? We’ve traveled with our son all over, but we haven’t really done hiking or other very nature based trips. I’m just wondering whether it’s feasible following your itinerary with a toddler in terms of seeing the sites. I’m not worried about the long car rides, but more so the hiking and such. Thoughts?

    1. Author

      Thank you, Tiffany. Appreciate your feedback.
      As for trip itinerary, do you mean the 7 day Iceland itinerary for winter? Yes, it’s perfectly doable with kids. There is not that much hiking involved at all. Please also read this comment that I have answered to somebody who is traveling to Iceland with older people, I think it will answer your questions.
      You will not be able to do glacier hiking with such a young child. Also, at Skaftafell NP try to look for a shorter walk. The most popular hike there goes to Svartifoss waterfall. It’s not a very long hike, but it’s a bit steep (but the path is very wide for the biggest part). If the weather is good and you are traveling with just one child, I think you could try this walk. In the worse case you’ll have to carry your son a bit.. That’s pretty much the only hiking there is in that itinerary…
      Hope this helps

  14. Hi, I am planning to go in July for 5-6 days. Is it possible to stay in between golden circle and vik and commute from there to golden circle, vik area, jokulsarlon lagoon, west fjords, reykjavik. I am planning to see little bit of west and more of south including reykjavik

    1. Author

      Hi Ruchika, it’s definitely possible, especially in summer as the days are long so you can easily drive to all those places from one location. But you will be spending a lot of time driving. Definitely if you also plan to go West. On the other hand it saves time packing etc.
      Not sure if you also saw this post – Iceland 7 day itinerary -, it has more info about the hotels we stayed at and our detailed winter itinerary (can easily be done in summer too). Please also check the comment section of that post as some readers already asked similar questions and you’ll find my answers there.
      My preference would still go to at least two hotels on the South Coast, one half way between Selfoss and Vik (e.g. hotel Ranga), and one in Kirkjubæjarklaustur area (e.g. hotel Laki). I know a family with three kids who stayed the whole week at Hotel Ranga and did the whole South Coast from there, they said it was doable. If you also plan to do West Fjords and Reykjavik, I would consider spending a night closer to that area, I think it will be more relaxing and you’ll have more time to explore rather than drive.
      Hope this helps.

  15. Your blog is such a great resource! we are going to Iceland May 7-12 this year on our way to Europe–we arrive at 6:30am on monday 5/08 and fly out 7:30am on friday 5/12. I’m trying to figure out an itinerary to see the Golden Circle and the Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, as well as 3/4 of a day in Reykjavik. While I think I see the need to stay in Reykjavik our last night before flying out–although maybe not??–and we’d like to see the city, I realize we don’t need an entire day for it and we’d be better off not basing ourselves there. But I can’t figure out the right order of seeing things or where we might want to stay–especially given that we arrive early in the morning and fly out early in the morning! Help! Do you have any suggestions? Should we pick a central location on the south coast and base ourselves there for three nights? Or move around? Any/all suggestions helpful for how to organize our trip!

    1. Author

      Hi Laurie, I’ll try to help, but you can also take a look at my Iceland winter itinerary post for ideas. All the places I mention here can be found in that post. In May the days will be long, so you can do a lot in one day. Here is my suggestion for you, but you should adapt it based on your interests and energy levels :).
      1. The day of arrival try to see the Golden Circle and then sleep somewhere further down the Southern Coast. Try either Hveragerdi area or even further down the road in the direction of Vik. Golden Circle is a day trip, but as I said, the days will be long, so you could definitely drive a bit further that day. On the other hand, you might be tired after the trip, so maybe it’s better not to do too much on the first day. If you stay close to Hveragerdi, go for a swim in their geothermal pool (much cheaper and less busy than the Blue Lagoon).
      2. Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, maybe glacier hiking if that’s your thing. Also Skogar museum with turf houses and Vik beach. Maybe stay somewhere close to Kirkjubaejarklauster area (we stayed at Hotel Laki), so that you can visit the Fjardrargljufur Canyon either in the evening or in the morning the next day.
      3. Skaftafell (hiking) and Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. If you have time left, can make a short stop at Svinafellsjokull and/or Fjallsarlon glacier lagoon. If you do a lot of hiking and plan on making this a long day, you could stay close to Jokulsarlon (there’s a beautiful new hotel there – Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon) or return to the place you spent the previous night at (which is nice if you don’t like to change hotels every night). Or go to Jokulsarlon first thing in the morning and then work your way back to Skaftafell – depending on where you stay.
      4. Head back towards Reykjavik and explore the city. Try to visit one of the places you might have skipped before, because it will be a long drive, so you’ll need to stop and stretch your legs anyway. In the evening you can stay in the city centre (if you like restaurants and night life) or close to the Blue Lagoon (which is also closer to the airport) – e.g. Northern Light Inn is a good option if you still want to try to visit the Blue Lagoon in the evening (check their opening times).
      This might be a bit ambitious, but gives you an idea of what you can probably do. Hope this helps.

  16. This is such a great resource. Saved me so much time when looking for hotels for our road trip in October. Thank you

    1. Author

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Elvira. It’s always nice to hear from readers and glad to help!

  17. Oh wow! this just so super comprehensive! (which is more than welcome). Personally i hate it when i click on a pin promising useful information and then there’s a paltry list of 3 items and a nice image.

    I am currently planning a trip with a few friends to Iceland and we really can’t decide which hotel(s)/appartments to pick. I am already decided but my friends are budgeting a bit to much for my taste lol.

    anyways. thx for the guide!

    1. Author

      Glad you found this guide useful, Norman. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your trip to Iceland!

  18. Ok. This is kind of crazy. I am planning on Iceland soon (just the planning phases) and this is 100% a guide that I needed! It isn’t often that I can say that – so thank you :).

    Also, I did not realize things booked so quickly. I will need to make sure I am really paying attention to the market.

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