2 Days in Iceland - Hotel Rangá

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A paved country road in south Iceland with views of the glacier-volcano Eyjafjallajökull.

2 Days in Iceland

Experience the best of south Iceland with Hotel Rangá's 2 days in Iceland itinerary. Visit the Golden Circle, take incredible adventure tours and enjoy the best gourmet meals.

Want to get away for a short trip to Iceland? We created an adventure filled 2 day Iceland itinerary especially for Hotel Rangá guests. Our helpful guide even includes multiple options depending on the time of day that you arrive. Keep reading to learn more about how to get the most out of your 2 day trip to Iceland.

A paved country road in south Iceland with views of the glacier-volcano Eyjafjallajökull.
A paved country road in south Iceland with sweeping views of the glacier-volcano Eyjafjallajökull. Photo by Herman Desmet.

Rent a Car

After you land at Keflavík International Airport, pick up your rental car. Driving a rental car gives you more freedom to explore on your own. What’s more, it is actually more economical. In Iceland, taxi services are limited and quite expensive. Buses are available at a cheaper price; however, they run at limited times. If you want to explore at your own pace, a rental car is essential.

Driving in Iceland is usually very safe. Most highways are only one or two lanes, and the speed limit is at maximum 90 km/hour (55 mph). However, it is important to check the weather forecast before you head out on the road. In rare instances there can be road closures due to extreme weather. Always check vedur.is and road.is to stay up to date with weather and road closures.

Photo of snow covered mountains on the road to Landmannalaugar.
Photo of snow covered mountains on the road to Landmannalaugar. Photo by Paige Deasley.

2 Days in Iceland: Arrival Day, Option 1

After you pick up your rental car at the airport, start driving on road 41 until you reach Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital city (about 50 km). When you see a sign for road 1, take a right. From there, you will stay on road 1 for about 90 km until you reach Hotel Rangá. Our property is located directly off road 1 between the towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur.

On your roadtrip, you will pass through the area known as Hellisheiði which is surrounded by mountains and mossy lava fields. Look out for billowing clouds of steam surrounding a large building on the left hand side of the road–this is the Hellisheiði geothermal power station which supplies hot water to most of south Iceland. After driving down a winding mountain road, you will see the town Hveragerði. This is a good place to stop if you need gas or a bite to eat.

Three people stand silhouetted in the Caves of Hella in south Iceland.
Visit the Caves of Hella and explore these mysterious caves.

Arrival Day Option 1: Horseback Riding and Mysterious Caves

Once you reach Hotel Rangá, see if your room is ready and take a little nap. If you request an early check in, we will do our best to make your room ready. You can also pay extra to reserve your room so that it is ready when you arrive. After your short nap, enjoy a delicious lunch in our Rangá Restaurant. Don’t forget to enjoy an espresso or two afterwards!

From there, drive to Skeiðvellir farm to learn all about Icelandic horses. You can take a leisurely ride throughout the countryside or tour the stables inside. From there, it is only a short drive to the mysterious Caves of Hella. Tour these ancient caves and learn more about how and why they were made. Remember to contact the Hotel Rangá Reception to book these tours in advance. We have close relationships with these local tour operators.

A stream tumbles over boulders in Þingvellir National Park in south Iceland.
A stream tumbles over boulders in Þingvellir National Park in south Iceland. Photo by Paige Deasley.

2 Days in Iceland: Arrival Day, Option 2

Instead of heading directly to Hotel Rangá, take a detour to visit the famous Golden Circle. Leave Keflavík International Airport and take road 41 towards Reykjavík. Take a right on road 49 and then turn right on road 36 Þingvallavegur. Follow this road until you reach Þingvellir National Park.

Þingvellir is a beautiful national park that is steeped in Icelandic history. Iceland’s Alþingi parliament met here as early as AD930 to create laws and settle legal disputes. The park is filled with fascinating geology, including lava fields and ravines produced by the Mid-Atlantic Rift. Next, drive to Geysir, an explosive geyser that shoots hot water up to 30 m (100 ft) in the air. Finally, make your way to Gullfoss–a huge waterfall that stuns visitors with its immense beauty and power.

Man harvests tomatoes inside a greenhouse at Friðheimar.
Friðheimar tomato greenhouse has an onsite restaurant where almost every dish incorporates tomato.

Arrival Day, Option 2: Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Hot Springs

After so much adventuring, you’ll have worked up an appetite. Luckily, Friðheimar tomato greenhouse is nearby. Enjoy bowls of homemade tomato soup while surrounded by tomato vines growing in a warm greenhouse. Or if mushrooms are more your style, stop by Flúðasveppir Farmers Bistro. You can eat delicious mushroom soup and other delicacies made from mushrooms grown on-site.

End the day with a soak in the Secret Lagoon, a natural hot spring in the town of Flúðir. One of Iceland’s oldest swimming pools, the lagoon even has a small geyser that periodically erupts. Or if you are feeling adventurous, head over to Hrunalaug–a rustic hot spring frequented by the locals.

Dish filled with salmon and green apples and filled wine glasses on a table in the Rangá Restaurant.
Indulge in a gourmet dining experience at the Rangá Restaurant. Photo by Ása Steinarsdóttir.

Arrival Day: Dinner and Stargazing at Hotel Rangá

End your arrival day with a relaxing dinner at Hotel Rangá. Our menu is inspired by Iceland’s local flavors and ingredients, and we try to prioritize local suppliers. If you are visiting between late August and early April, if weather permits you can head outside after dinner to go stargazing or look for the northern lights. Spending 2 days in Iceland during the summer months? Relax after dinner in one of Hotel Rangá’s geothermal hot tubs with stunning views of the Rangá River.

Skógafoss waterfall in south Iceland.
Skógafoss waterfall is only 45 minutes from Hotel Rangá. Photograph by Paige Deasley.

Day 1: Adventures Along the South Coast

Start your day with Hotel Rangá’s famous breakfast buffet. Enjoy delicious eggs, fruit and homemade waffles alongside a cup of strong coffee or tea. Then, hop in your car for a day trip down Iceland’s south coast. Visit all the famous waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss, Gljúfrabúi, Skógafoss and Kvernufoss. Next, drive to Reynisfjara black sand beach for stunning views of the sea bordered by dramatic basalt columns.

Woman drives a buggy on a tour in south Iceland.
Woman drives a buggy on a tour in south Iceland. Photo by Robb Leahy

Stop in Vík for a tasty lunch at one of the many eateries in the small village. Afterwards, explore an ice cave with an expert guide. These magical structures are constantly changing due to the nature of the ice. Or instead, take a buggy tour and drive across a black sand beach. Remember to book in advance with the help of the Hotel Rangá Reception.

Drive back to your home away from home at Hotel Rangá and enjoy another delicious dinner in the Rangá Restaurant. After dinner, grab a nightcap at the Rangá Bar and head outside to soak in one of our geothermal hot tubs. Depending on the season, you could see the midnight sun or the northern lights bright over the horizon.

Mist above a pond just outside the Hotel Rangá exterior during the earning morning hours in summer.
The midnight sun is entrancing – a perpetual dusk enfolds all of Iceland.

Day 2: Explore Before You Go

Depending on what time your flight leaves, you have two options for exploration and adventure. But first, be sure to eat a hearty breakfast at Hotel Rangá before you check out. If you plan to leave very early, you can request a to-go breakfast to take with you in the car. Just stop by the Hotel Rangá reception and let us know if you need anything before your departure.

Man emerges from an ice cave near the Katla volcano in south Iceland.
Ice cave tours are an epic adventure. Photo by Paige Deasley.

2 Days in Iceland: Day 2, Option 1

Leave Hotel Rangá early and make your way towards the Golden Circle. First, stop at the powerful Gullfoss waterfall followed by a trip to see Geysir erupt. Afterwards, walk around Þingvellir National Park to experience a unique mixture of interesting geology and fascinating Icelandic history.

After the Golden Circle, drive the south coast road towards the airport. This unique route is located just beside the coast, offering fantastic views of the ocean. If time permits, stop for a luxurious soak at the Blue Lagoon. This geothermal pool is a light blue color due to the presence of silica, a unique mineral compound that is also very good for your skin. Now that you are rested and refreshed, it’s time to say goodbye and head to Keflavík International Airport.

Steam wafts over the Secret Lagoon natural hot spring.
Steam wafts over the Secret Lagoon natural hot spring. Photo by Robb Leahy.

2 Days in Iceland: Day 2, Option 2

After checking out from Hotel Rangá, drive towards Reykjavík to explore Iceland’s capital city. Walk around the city and get up close to its most iconic sites. Visit Iceland’s Parliament House, built in 1880 out of Icelandic basalt and located beside Iceland’s oldest public garden. Another must see is Hallgrímskirkja, an iconic church located in the heart of downtown Reykjavík. Notice the church’s unique design that was actually inspired by volcanic basalt. Next, head even closer to the ocean and go inside the stunning Harpa concert hall. Feeling hungry? Stop for a coffee at Reykjavík Roasters or a pastry at Brauð & co.

If you have time, stop at the Sky Lagoon hot spring, located just outside the city center. This geothermal pool has incredible ocean views in a modern setting. You can even indulge in their 7-step ritual that involves a sauna, steam room, body scrub and more. Once you have enjoyed your last geothermal soak, it’s time to head home and drive back to Keflavík International Airport.

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