For their 4th trip to Iceland, Eric and Benoit kindly offered Voyage-Islande.fr to publish their travel story:
After 2 consecutive winters in Iceland, we decided to return there in summer to enjoy the endless days and the midnight sun again. This year, we left at the end of June, hoping to avoid the arrival of the vast majority of tourists around mid-July.
For rentals, we preferred reserving via Booking.com which had more guesthouse listings, even in the most remote corners of the island, and for the vehicle, we relied on Guide To Iceland, which offered a platform with dozens of local rental companies and links to the most economically advantageous based on the criteria we selected, which was pretty handy.
Like every time we went to Iceland, we did not hesitate for long about the type of vehicle, it was going to be a 4x4! (especially since we planned to go to the center of the island).
As for our itinerary, we planned to focus on the North and in particular the North East, which we knew absolutely nothing about except that the area is often overlooked by tourists, and wanted to cut through Kjolur with a stop at Kerlingarfjöll, our favorite Icelanding attraction.
This was our itinerary over 11 days, approximately:
Regarding the flight, we left for the first time ever flying with Easyjet departing from Geneva.
After collecting our luggage and drawing cash for part of the trip, we headed out of the airport walking 500 m to Blue Car Rental to pick up our vehicle under heavy rain. Unfortunately, the beginning of summer was rainy this year, especially in the West of the country.
It was 5PM and already time to leave our luggage at the guesthouse, which we did not book in the 101 district for once but slightly outside in Seltjarnarnes near the park. We originally planned to stop at Nauthólsvík beach, but the weather wasn't ideal so once the luggage was safe at our lodging, we got back in our vehicle to park a little closer to the port, a neighborhood that we remembered fondly.
A walk was essential, especially as the sun began to appear and gave Harpa its magical colors. Harpa was Reykjavík's convention center and concert hall, an absolutely superb construction with its uneven and multicolored glass panels that reflected the sunlight in unique patterns.
Going up Laugavegur Street, we stopped at the Lebowski Bar before dinner. We planned to have dinner at the Seabaron near the port this time. Their fish skewers and lobster soup were to die for, and unlike many other restaurants, the prices were quite affordable: €13 for the (gigantic & excellent) skewer from Lax. A fantastic restaurant that we recommended to everyone. Just know that if you go there during the tourist season, it may be necessary to book.
On the subject, I found that early July was really a great time to visit Iceland in terms of how quiet it was. I was surprised to see that there were very few people, as the bulk arrived after mid-July.
After a short tour of Lake Tjornin we decided to return to Seltjarnarnes to walk from our guesthouse to the lighthouse. Starting from the park, along the sea, there was a small walking path (with many jogging enthusiasts overtaing you) which connected the park to the “Kvika Path” lighthouse. Very nice and really appreciated by Icelanders, this path offered a beautiful view of the capital as well as Mount Esja.
The place was also known for a tiny hotpot at the end of the path to the parking lot and near a wooden cabin. This particular jacuzzi was only big enough to dip your feet, only 30 cm deep and about 1 meter in diameter, but it made for a very nice foot bath, however, after walking the streets of Reykjavík all evening.
It was almost midnight, the sky and the sun were magnificent, we were going to bed early because a big day awaited us tomorrow.