iceland-black-sand-beach-arch

4 Days in Iceland on a budget

  • by
traveling-iceland-on-a-budget
View from the top of the Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral

Iceland is a breathtaking location, with its ancient history, stunning natural wonders and the magic of its northern lights. Exploring this northern destination is not out of reach for those weekend adventurers. 

I took a trip to Iceland with a few friends before our wedding. A hen-do of sorts, Simon stayed home with Scout. We only had a few days to explore Iceland, but we were able to see so much of this stunning place, have a look at some of my tips for a short break to Iceland!

EXPENSES

Iceland can be an incredibly expensive place. The country uses the Icelandic Króna (ISK), and a cup of coffee can set you back anywhere from £3 – £5. To help save some cash, we did a few things, that may help you as well.

  • Bring a refillable water bottle – Everyone was more than happy to fill up our bottles with water. Their water is incredibly delicious and clean from any tap. This will help you reduce the cost of spending money on bottled drinks, not to mention helping reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Seven Elevens – They’re surprisingly clean and yummy in this northern country. You’ll be able to try their delicious hot dogs on a budget and fill up on snacks
  • Bring your own food – We brought some cup of soups, snacks and peanut butter to bring pack lunches while exploring. This is also helpful as restaurants are few and far between when exploring remote areas.
  • Don’t do the tours – We decided to explore on our own, which was much more leisurely and adventurous than being shackled to an expensive prepackaged tour
  • Consider skipping the Blue Lagoon – We opted for much more quaint and remote hot springs. There are many in the area to choose from, many of which are much more authentic and affordable. See the map below for a few recommendations.
traveling-iceland-on-a-budget
View from the top of the Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral

RENT A CAR

One of the biggest tips I give to those looking to plan a trip to Iceland is to rent a car. It is more affordable than hiring a tour service, you can travel at your own pace, and you’ll see more than what you normally could on a tour.

They drive on the right, so if you’re not used to that, be prepared. The roads can often be slippery from the weather, or unpaved from being in a remote location, just take your time and you’ll be fine!

WHERE TO STAY - Reykjavik

The largest city in Iceland and its capital, Reykjavik is the perfect home base while exploring the area. It’s filled with lovely shops, restaurants, pubs, museums and more. The hotels range in prices here, you’ll be sure to find something to fit your budget.

EXPLORE ICELAND'S WONDERS

iceland-waterfall
View from the base of the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Urriðafoss – A stunning large waterfall, it’s not too popular so you will be able to enjoy amazing views with limited tourists 

Keldur Turf House – Experience an ancient way of living. Tours are available to go inside the houses, but only during the summer. If you’re traveling in the winter, as we did, it’s still worth the stop.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall – This waterfall will take your breath away. It’s massive in every sense of the word, towering over you with a drop of 60 meters. It’s 100% worth the visit. You’ll be able to walk right up to it and even climb a pathway to walk behind it. Bring waterproof gear if you have it, you will get wet while viewing this location.

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck – The remnants of a U.S. Army plane that suddenly crashed in 1973 has become a hot tourist spot. Its quite a long walk to get here, and it will be swarming with tourists but it’s a gorgeous view in a remote location. If you have extra time, it’s worth the trip.

Dyrhólaey Arch & Lighthouse  – Getting to this location is simply stunning with narrow and steep roads, when you get to the top, you’ll have the most inspiring view of mountains, black sand beaches, and the Dyrhólaey Arch.

The lighthouse was built in 1927 and is still used today! You aren’t able to go inside of the building but its modern build is a gorgeous contrast to the natural surroundings.

View of theSolheimasandur old army plane wreck
View of theSolheimasandur old army plane wreck
iceland-black-sand-beach-arch

The lighthouse was built in 1927 and is still used today! You aren’t able to go inside of the building but its modern build is a gorgeous contrast to the natural surroundings.

 

iceland-light-house

Geysir – Also known as the Great Geysir, it can launch steaming water up to 70 meters in the air. Located in the southwest of Iceland, you will be to explore this area with just a short drive from Reykjavik. It offers ample parking and a welcome center including a lovely shop and restaurant. The Geysir eruptions can be infrequent, so do check before making the trip

The Northern Lights – We, unfortunately, did not see the northern lights while visiting Iceland. It turns out that it seems to come and go in stretches. For example, you can often see it for a few days, then you won’t see them for a few days. And of course, this is all dependant on the weather, as you won’t see anything with a full sky of clouds. As Iceland is mostly daylight during the summer, your chances are higher in the Winter. I still want to explore more of Iceland and have high hopes that I’ll see the northern lights sooner than later.

Iceland-geyser

The list above is just a handful of places to explore and see. I’ve made a large list in the map below that you can use to help create your own trip. We hope this helps you plan your short break to Iceland, let us know your travel tips in the comments below! 

SO MUCH TO SEE!

The list above is just a handful of places to explore and see. I’ve made a large list in the map below that you can use to help create your own trip. We hope this helps you plan your short break to Iceland, let us know your travel tips in the comments below!

ashley peterson - hobby enthusiast - how to see iceland on a budget_1