Never been to Iceland before? Here’s a beginner’s travel guide to Iceland with a four day itinerary...

Iceland - land of fire and ice - is my favourite place on earth. It holds such a big piece of my heart, which is why I’ve lovingly created this travel guide to Iceland for you. 

I first visited in 2014 and instantly fell in love. 

Over the years, I’ve explored extensive areas of the country, photographed proposals and elopements there. I have led photography tours and had the joy of taking part in branding and lifestyle shoots for incredible brands. 

No matter the season, Iceland holds a special kind of magick.

Winter is the perfect time to visit 

Winter, with its cold allure and the surrender nature demands in the face of storms, is my favourite season to visit. Not just for the bracing cold but also for the extended darkness, the perfect canvas for chasing the elusive auroras!

I'm thrilled to introduce this enchanting country to friends who've yet to experience its magick. Iceland, with its raw, unfiltered beauty and majestic landscapes, becomes the ultimate stage for reflection, rejuvenation and strategic planning for the year that unfolds before us. 

Embark on a Icelandic Adventure: Your ultimate 4-day Iceland Travel Guide

Day one - Northwards 

Easyjet has direct flights from London Gatwick to Keflavik. I tend to hop on here to kick start the adventure. For photographers, they have the best hand luggage policy for carrying kit. One of the things I love about Iceland is the ultimate freedom that greets you. I recommend hiring a 4x4 vehicle and staying self-catering, choosing a North facing cabin. With minimal pollution for maximum aurora chasing enjoyment.  

Day two - The Golden Circle 

Embark on your first full day of adventure around the world famous Golden Circle. Starting at Kerid, a breathtaking volcanic crater boasting a serene lake at its base. Next, head to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can delve into the wonders of the Almannagjá canyon you can walk through.

Later, move on to marvel at the Geysir Geothermal Area. This is home to the renowned Strokkur geyser that erupts in spectacular fashion every few minutes. Amidst this geothermal wonderland, you can discover various hot springs and geothermal features. Your grand finale for the day awaits at Gullfoss, one of Iceland's most iconic waterfalls. As you walk up to it, you can hear the power of the water but you can’t see it immediately. It really heightens the experience as you approach it. 

As the day winds down, retreat to your cosy cabin for a delightful evening filled with dinner, relaxing in a hot tub and a session of aurora chasing under the Icelandic night sky.

Day three - South Coast Adventure 

It’s time to head south for an action packed day soaking in Iceland’s incredible landscape. First stop is Urriðafoss, a less crowded but beautiful waterfall on the Þjórsá River. Next, it’s onto Skógafoss, one of Iceland's most famous waterfalls which can be enjoyed from the same level as the car park or climb the stairs and follow the river of waterfalls back into the highlands of Iceland.

From there, a must visit to the achingly beautiful Sólheimajökull glacier. It's an easy 20 minute hike from the car park to take you to other worldly scenes of an incredible glacier. As you continue south, and venture up the cliffside to see the jaw-dropping sea arch at Dyrhólaey, before heading to see the famous black sand beach at Reynisfjara. 

The charming town of Vík will be your final stop, which has an incredibly unique atmosphere and has a big visitors centre with a supermarket, cafes and shops, so it is a great place to stock up. If you’re staying in one place, as you head back along Route 1, I recommend saving your visit to Seljalandsfoss, as it is lit at night and it is pretty magickal. Depending on the time of year it is possible to walk behind the waterfall too! Then it's back to the cabin for your final night under the aurora.  

Day four - Reykjavík 

For your last day before flying home, head to Reykjavík starting at Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík's iconic church. You can take a lift up and a few flights of stairs for panoramic views of the city.

If you’re looking to experience a geothermal bath, I wholeheartedly recommend the Sky Lagoon, an infinity pool on the edge of the sea and the largest sauna with panoramic views - it is a total treat.

From there, head southwest to the Reykjanes Peninsula, a geothermal and volcanic area of Reykjanes where you can visit the Bridge Between Continents, to see the gap between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Make Keflavik, a charming town right by the airport, your final stop before heading to drop your car off and head home with a heart full of memories.

Travel guide to iceland

What to pack for Iceland

Here are the essentials I recommend you pack for a trip to Iceland: 

  • Thermal base layer for top & bottom
  • Windproof & waterproof coat / outer shell
  • Windproof & waterproof over trousers
  • Waterproof hiking boots 
  • Snow grips 
  • Gloves
  • Hats
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses

How to see the Northern Lights while you are in Iceland? 

Going to Iceland to see the aurora borealis can be top of the list of things to experience while you’re there and it is something that can be utterly mind blowing!

To make this dream a reality for you, I've designed a comprehensive self-study course. This transformative guide provides you with the skills, knowledge and insider tips to not only witness but also capture the enchanting beauty of the aurora borealis right from your doorstep.

This step-by-step beginner’s guide will transform you into an aurora chaser. I'll lead you through the science, practical photography techniques and introduce you to the apps and tools I personally use, empowering you to create stunning and soulful aurora photographs.

Click here to find out more!

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