Day 1 - Thursday, July 8 - Reykjanes Peninsula

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Day 1 Stats

Lunch, Grindavik (Bryggjan) : $42 for Lobster Soup, Vegetable Soup, Pylsa (Hot Dog), and Coffee. It was a great deal considering all the big chunks of lobster in the soup.

Dinner, Reykjavik (Cafe Loki): $54 for an Open-faced mashed fish & trout sandwich and Lamb stew (not too gamey), and a beer ( $54) and tried the Rye Bread Ice Cream (good, but not worth a special trip). 

Hotel: 1 night (Center Hotel Arnarhvoll): $238

Extras: Sky Lagoon: $113 for Pure Lite Pass

Drive: 151 kilometers / 94 miles

Walk: 21,000 steps / 7.5 miles

Weather: overcast all day, no rain, mid 50's

Things we didn't have time to see: Krýsuvík/Seltún  Geothermal Area, Thríhnúkagígur Volcano

Wish we could have spent more time at: Hiking to the high viewpoint at Geldingadalur Volcano

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Day 1 Itinerary

A. Keflavik Airport 

We arrive 6am and are out by 7:30 - most of the time was waiting for our luggage. At the time, we only had to show proof of Covid vaccinations, no testing or quarantine required.

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B. Gardur Lighthouse

Worth a quick stop (it's only 15 minutes from the airport) if the weather is nice (ours wasn't)

Drive: 12  km / 15 minutes rom Keflavik

Time spent: 30 minutes (7:45-8:15)

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C. Brú Milli Heimsálfa (Bridge Between Continents)

A symbolic bridge over the rift between the North American and European continental plates

Drive: 35km / 30 minutes from Gardur

Time spent: 15 minutes (9:00-9:15)

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D. Gunnuhver Hot Springs

 A very interesting place with a constantly churning geyser of steam. In the distance, you can see the geothermal plant that powers the peninsula. (You can go inside the plant, which we didn't realize.)

Drive: 8km / 9 minutes from Brú Milli Heimsálfa 

Time spent: 30 minutes (9:30-10:00)

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E. Valahnúkamöl

A lava field tumbling into the sea, sea stacks, sea birds, and Iceland's oldest lighthouse. This isn't mentioned in a lot of guides but it's definitely worth a stop.

Drive: 2km / 4 minutes from Gunnuhver

Time spent: 45 minutes (10:00-10:45)

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F. Brimketill 

A pool (or 2), carved into the lava rock by ocean waves

Drive: 8km / 11 minutes from Valahnúkamöl

Time spent: 15 minutes (11:00-11:15)

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G. Grindavik

Stopped for lunch in a small fishing village on the south coast

Drive: 10 km / 11 minutes from Brimketill

Time spent: 1 hour (11:30-12:30)

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H. Fagradalsfjall Volcano

Erupting since March 2021, it's an easy walk to the end of the lava flow and a more difficult one up a mountain to see the lava vent. Our jet lag and my asthma prevented us from doing the latter, but we had a helicopter tour booked for our last day.

Drive: 11 km/ 16 minutes from Grindavik

Time spent: 2 hours (12:45-2:45)

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I. Reykjavik

The hotel is located near the waterfront looking north over the Harpa Concert Hall toward Snaefellsnes. Each hotel on this trip was chosen to be at or near a sight for great sunset and night photography. Although it was eerie that the sun set at 11:45pm and it never really got dark all night, it was too cloudy to photograph.

We wandered around the small downtown, found the Handknitting Association of Iceland and bought enough yarn to make a lopapeysa then headed to Cafe Loki to try the Rye Ice Cream (and have dinner).

Drive: 56 km / 53 minutes from Fagradalsfjall

Check in 4:00, wander around the city, then dinner at Cafe Loki.

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J. Sky Lagoon

A newly opened alternative to the Blue Lagoon; it's design is representative of the Icelandic landscape and was a great experience.

Drive: 8 km / 11 minutes from Reykjavik

Time spent 1.5 hours (8:30-10:00)

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