I have the opportunity to stop over in Iceland for 1 day or 2 days. Is it worth it?

Is it worth it for such a short time, that is. I have no doubt visiting Iceland is a worthwhile thing to do. :slight_smile:

Background - we’re spending 2 weeks in the UK in late September/early October.

We’ve booked apartments in London & Edinburgh so our London arrival and departure dates are set, but we haven’t bought plane tickets yet.

Icelandair is consistently the least expensive of all the BOS - LHR flights, by around $100, but an Icelandair flight would add 3 hours to each way, at the least.

Icelandair offers a deal where you can “layover” in Iceland for up to 9 days without paying any extra airfare. We could easily add 1 day onto the beginning of our trip to spend a day and a night in Reykjavik and could possibly swing 2 days, but definitely not more.

So my questions are:

Would 1 full day or 2 full days in Iceland be worthwhile? Could we see enough to feel like we experienced something of Iceland?

Is Reykjavik big enough to fill a full day or 2 full days? We like museums, trying local food/drink, walking around.

If Reykjavik is not enough to fill 1 or 2 days, what’s the best thing to do outside the city in a day that would be very “Iceland?”

Short answer - yes, by all means, spend a night!

I too once flew Icelandic and they had a similar offer.
There is a free shuttle bus that takes you from the airport at Keflavik into Reykjavik…it is like taking a tour of the moon!

Reykjavik alone has lots to see and do…and there are additional cool things to do in the surrounding area, but that might need an extra day.

Really nice, friendly people - some very interesting food (some of which I was too chicken to try) and worth the one night layover.

Just Google the word Reykjavik and see what touristy things interest you, but just roaming the city and trying a few pubs and restaurants would be fun too.

So yes - GO!

I know a few people that have done the Iceland stopover on that flight and they all said that it was well worth it. Reykjavik isn’t that big in term of people or geography so two days would be enough to hit the highlights. I am thinking about going just to Iceland when they have another good sale from Boston. There is a bunch of cool stuff you can do if you explore outside of Reykjavik but I would be thrilled to see any of it if an opportunity like that came up.

That’s two ringing endorsements of the idea. Thank you!

We’ll book flights this weekend, and decide before then if we’ll do one day or two. I may be back with questions about specific sights.

ETA - I don’t know that we’d choose Iceland as a single destination, simply because there are so many other places we’d like to see, but as an add-on to an existing trip it seems more attractive.

I have a similar opportunity to spend a night or two in Iceland on a layover. DMark care to add any more specifics about your Iceland trip?

You know about the Blue Lagoon right? that’s what most people do on their overnight stay. There are also many tours of the “Golden Circle” which is collection of number of famous geological formations. You can also pony trek on Icelandic ponies, if that’s your thing. Their special gait, called the “tolt” is supposed to be amazing. Check Tripadvisor for tour operator reviews.

In Rejkyavik, I know there’s a textiles museum, and you can go to the Lopi yarn factory, or just buy yarn at the grocery store.

I’m not saying hot springs, ponies, and yarn are my favorite things… well I might be saying that.

Absolutely you should! I would recommend a two day layover if possible. That’s enough time to do a half-day Golden Circle tour, a couple of hours at the Blue Lagoon, and a small taste of Reykjavik. Iceland is like no other place I’ve been to and when will you ever have another chance to fly there more or less for free?

I do indeed believe you are saying that.

Precisely our thinking.

I am less interested in the Blue Lagoon than I am in the Golden Circle tour(s).

Now I am thinking: Jetlag day (Friday) in Reykjavik, Saturday a Golden Circle tour then sleep near airport and fly to London early Sunday.

I tried knitting once, it was a failure. But I know many people who might appreciate a gft of Icelandic yarn.

I’d like to see a pony but not ride one.

Is the Blue Lagoon worth seeing if you don’t get in?

I would reccomend doing it. I spent 10 days in Iceland several years ago for work and it was a fascinating place.

Kinda. There are some pathways outside of the building/gates that you can walk around on and look at (for instance, I took this pic and this pic before going in). It probably wouldn’t entertain for longer than 15-20 minutes, IMO. It’s more like “Huh, cool. Let’s get out of here.”

I would recommend that on your day in Reykjavik, you take the free 2 hour walking tour of the city center (link). It gives you a good idea of what/where everything is and it’s generally entertaining. It’s also worth seeing Hallgrímskirkja, which has a great panoramic view of the city from the top for something like $7, if memory serves me correctly. I also enjoyed taking a look at Harpa Concert Hall and taking about a 5-10 minute walk up the coast to Sólfar, a somewhat famous sculpture.

We booked our Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon trips through Iceland Excursions and we were generally happy with the results.

Reykjavik is one of the hippest places I’ve been. Make sure to get a hot dog. The best meal I ever ate was at Vox in the Hilton Nordica Hotel. Very expensive, but worth it.

Definitely going to have a hot dog! Thanks for the suggestion. Yum.

Trying to decide where to stay. There are hotels near the airport, which seem attractive based on the fact that our Sunday flight to London will be 7:40am. But if we’re there for 2 nights (without a car) staying in Reykjavik seems more logical.

Have any of you stayed near the airport? Alternatively, what’s the shuttle - reliable enough to get us to the airport on time?

We booked our flights. Arriving on a Saturday at 6:30am, departing late Sunday afternoon. I think with enough coffee we’ll have a great time!

The very tentative plan is to do go to the hotel, drop off the luggage, get breakfast, hit a museum or wander around downtown, have a hot dog Then the Golden Circle afternoon tour followed by dinner at Lækjarbrekka. Chosen because we can try hakarl, puffin, whale and horse in one meal. Trying to hit all the culinary highlights in one sitting. :slight_smile:

Sunday more wandering around Reykjavik, shuttle to the airport then fly away.

Iceland is amazing.

Reyjkavik is great to walk around in. If you have a chance you should rent a car and either go up to the Snaefellsnes pensinsula or down to the glacial lagoon; the scenery is just spectacular. Failing that, the Golden Circle tour is really cool.

I can’t recommend Iceland more highly.

Yes, the glacier lagoon is incredible.

I hope you don’t take offense if I say that’s really a silly question. Of course you go. I’ve never been to Iceland and have no tourist info to give you, but on any time you get a chance to see a different part of this amazing blue ball we live on, jump on it. You may like it, you may hate it, but at least you’ll have seen it.

And you never know. A couple of years ago, my father-in-law’s wife and brother had to back out of a trip the three had arranged. So my wife and I went in their stead. I had never particularly wanted to go to Germany (especially with a group of elderly Lutherans), but I certainly wasn’t going to say no. And so I got to see the Oberammergau Passionspiele, a passion play that the citizens of a small Bavarian town have been putting on every ten years since the 17th century. I got to watch the German soccer team play in a World Cup semifinal, with a cafeful of passionate fans in Leipzig. I explored small towns off the tourist track, like Erfurt and Torgau. I talked to Germans who grew up in the DDR and remembered when the Wall came down. It was one of the best trips of my life, and it was completely serendipitous.

So I applaud your decision to spend time in Iceland. Who knows what you will find?

Moved Cafe Society --> IMHO.

No offense taken. You make a good point that is a slightly silly question.

I guess I was just checking to see if anyone was going to come back and say “No way, Iceland is very boring” or (actually said to me by a work acquaintance) “Iceland smells bad” or possibly multiple people might tell me that 1 to 2 days was so short it wasn’t worth the stop over, and I should only go if I have a week or more to spend.

Luckily none of those happened. :slight_smile: