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Iceland Itinerary: Road Trip Suggestions for 1-14 Days (+Travel Tips)

Iceland Itinerary: Road Trip Suggestions for 1-14 Days (+Travel Tips)

Are you planning a trip to Iceland and looking for the best Iceland itinerary? This guide will give you a good overview of some of the best itineraries for any trip to Iceland. Take a look!

Every day I get reader questions about how to plan their Iceland itinerary… You may have seen articles claiming they have the best Iceland itinerary for X days for any season, but in reality, it’s not possible. Just one example – Iceland in winter or in summer is like two different countries… The weather is different, the sights are more or less accessible, and the daylight time varies from just 3 to 24 hours…

So the best Iceland itinerary for your trip will depend a lot on when you travel, how much time you have, and of course on your interests.

While there is no one Iceland itinerary that fits it all, I created several suggested Iceland road trip itineraries for different durations. This article covers some of the most popular Iceland trip itineraries for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 days, a week, 10 days, and 14 days.

These Iceland itineraries are meant to show you what’s worth visiting the most and how much time it normally takes to see it all with regular sightseeing days of about 8-10 hours.

We’ve been to Iceland multiple times and did several road trips in different seasons. So these suggested Iceland trip itineraries are based on our experience. We highly recommend that you rent a car and explore Iceland on a self-drive road trip.

The shorter trip itineraries – up to one week – only focus on Reykjavik and South Iceland and can be done in any season. If you are traveling in the dark season, you can also expect to see the Northern Lights in Iceland following those itineraries. The longer road trips – 10-day trips and the 14-day complete Iceland Ring Road tour including the Westfjords – are recommended in summer only.

I included the most beautiful places of Iceland in each Iceland itinerary (as much as possible, depending on the duration). That way you can get the most out of your trip, no matter how much time you have in Iceland, or in which season you travel. Find out!

How much time do you need in Iceland?

Iceland is worth a longer trip than just a day or two and 4 days is an absolute minimum for Reykjavik and the South Coast. However, no matter whether you’re traveling – in summer or in winter – I recommend planning at least 5-7 days if you want to see some of the main highlights of Iceland. With 10 days, you could drive the entire Ring Road, whereas in two weeks, you could see all the main places in Iceland and get a bit off the beaten path.

Nevertheless, I know that Iceland has become a popular stopover destination and there are also many people looking for suggestions on what to see and do in Iceland in just one, two, or three days.

So in this post, we share suggestions for any Iceland itinerary. Whether you have just a few days or a few weeks in Iceland, this article will help you plan your trip. Find out!

Best Iceland itinerary - one day to two weeks
 

Iceland itinerary: suggestions from one day to two weeks

Below is an overview of several suggested Iceland trip itineraries for different durations of your stay. In order not to repeat myself, I only give a longer explanation of the specific location once. So if you are looking at a three day trip in Iceland, you’ll have to read the explanation of day one and day two as well.

 

1 day stopover in Iceland – best of Reykjavik in a day

Day 1 : Reykjavik city tour + Blue Lagoon or 1/2 day excursion

Reykjavik isn’t such a big city, so you can see the main highlights in just half a day:

  • Walk along the waterfront and see the two main landmarks – the Harpa concert hall and the Sun Voyager sculpture.
  • Stroll the two main shopping streets, Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur.
  • Visit the Hallgrimskirkja church and make sure you go all the way to the top for the best views.
  • If you have time, you can visit one of the museums or fun attractions of Reykjavik.

In the afternoon head to the Blue Lagoon – the most famous hot tub of Iceland. It’s located a bit outside of the city and the best way to get there is by booking a bus transfer from Reykjavik. Entrance tickets to the Blue Lagoon have to be booked at least a few days in advance; you can book Blue Lagoon tickets here.

Alternatively, take a short excursion from Reykjavik – there are so many amazing options! Here you can find our guide to the very best half-day tours from Reykjavik.

For dinner, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and pubs in the city center. Reykjavik is also famous for its nightlife. Not sure where to start? Check out these great Icelandic food tours in Reykjavik.

Iceland itinerary - Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik
Hallgrimskirkja church is one of Reykjavik’s main landmarks
 

How to spend two days in Iceland (no car needed)

Day 1: Reykjavik city tour + Blue Lagoon
Day 2: The Golden Circle or South Coast

If you have two days in Iceland, spend one day in Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon (as described above), and the second day exploring outside the city.

The most popular day trip from Reykjavik is a visit to the area called the Golden Circle. It includes a visit to Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and the Geysir area. You can do this tour by car, but if you don’t feel like renting a car for just a day, you can easily book one of the organized tours. Here you can book a highly-rated Golden Circle group tour or a private tour.

Some of the Golden Circle tours offer combination tours that include food tasting, whale watching, geothermal lagoons, or Northern Lights viewing (in winter). You can find the best Golden Circle tour options here or check our hand-picked selection of the best day trips from Reykjavik.

South Coast is another extremely popular day trip – more information further below.

South Coast and Jokulsarlon. Alternatively, you can opt for a tour of the South Coast and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. This tour covers all the main highlights of the South Coast, but also goes all the way to Jokulsarlon. However, it’s a very long tour of 14 hours. It’s good for those who have little time in Iceland and want to get the absolute most of their trip and don’t mind a long day on a bus.

Iceland road trip itinerary suggestions
Oxararfoss waterfall in Thingvellir NP
 

Iceland itinerary for three days (no rental car needed)

Day 1: Reykjavik city tour + Blue Lagoon
Day 2: Golden Circle
Day 3: South Coast

If you have three days in Iceland, you definitely should try to take a tour of the South Coast. The highlights include the black sand beaches of Vik, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, and also glaciers.

Here is the best price-quality day trip to South Coast that I found. Alternatively, check out this tour – it is more expensive, but it includes glacier hiking as well.

Alternatively, you can opt for a South Iceland tour that takes you all the way to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, but it will be a very long day with lots of driving.

Good to know: If you have three days in Iceland (and you are not traveling in winter), you can do this tour with a rental car. If you rent a car, consider staying in Hvergaderi area after you visit the Golden Circle, instead of heading back to Reykjavik. It will save you quite some driving time. If you do this, you can easily add a glacier hike to your day 3 itinerary as well.

Alternatively, if you only have 1-3 days in Iceland, you can also stay in the city and make day trips from Reykjavik. Most day tours will pick you up at the hotel in Reykjavik or in the city center.

READ ALSO: Iceland South Coast: Best Sights & Attractions

Scenery along South Coast Iceland
Scenery along South Coast
 

Four days Iceland itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavik city tour + Blue Lagoon
Day 2: The Golden Circle
Day 3: Southern Iceland – glaciers, waterfalls and beaches
Day 4: Skaftafell National Park – Jokulsarlon – Fjallsarlon

If you have four days in Iceland, you’re probably better off renting a car and making a road trip. It’s the best way to explore the country!

Days 1-3 as above.

Day 4. Take one of the many hikes in Skaftafell National Park. Then drive to the famous glacier lagoon – Jokulsarlon. You can explore the area of the lagoon on foot or – weather permitting – take a boat tour on the glacial lake. Make sure to also visit the Jokulsarlon beach, also called the Diamond beach, and the smaller glacial lagoon Fjallsarlon.

TIP: we now published a very detailed Iceland 4 days itinerary covering all these places and more. Check it out!

Iceland trip itinerary - Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon is not to be missed
Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon
 

Iceland itinerary for five to six days

If you have five or six days in Iceland, you should cover all the main highlights from the 4-day Iceland itinerary mentioned above. In addition, you can add some of the following highlights to your 5-6 day Iceland itinerary:

  • Visit Snaefellsnes Peninsula – one full day is a minimum.
  • Visit Heimaey Island – it can be easily combined with your South Coast itinerary and one day is enough.
  • Visit the highlands. You can visit Haifoss Waterfall in your own car or take a day tour to Landmannalaugar (summer only).
  • Visit Reykjanes Peninsula – it’s close to Reykjavik and Keflavik airport and half a day is enough for the main highlights.
  • Go glacier hiking – make sure you book a tour in advance! It only requires half a day and can be easily added to your South Coast itinerary.
  • Explore the Skaftafell National Park a bit more and take one or two longer hikes. We hiked to the famous Svartifoss waterfall and continued on the Sjónarnípa trail. It was definitely worth it!
  • Visit Skogar Museum, Fjadrargljufur Canyon, and Eldhraun lava field.
Glacier hiking guides in Iceland
Glacier hiking is one of the nicest year-round outdoor experiences in Iceland
 

Iceland one week itinerary

There are many ways to spend a week in Iceland. A lot depends on your interests and when you travel. In any case, Golden Circle and South Coast are a must and I highly recommend planning a day in Snaefellsnes Peninsula. In addition, consider a tour to see whales and/or puffins. And I also recommend spending some time in Skaftafell National Park or exploring the glaciers of Iceland.

Here you can find our detailed one week Iceland winter trip itinerary. It’s specifically tailored for short daylight hours and unpredictable roads. This itinerary is perfect for a trip between October and March.

In summer, the days will be much longer and so you’ll have more time to explore and/or add some additional activities to your trip – see our suggested Iceland itinerary for a summer trip below.

If you are traveling in summer (+-May to September), your one week Iceland itinerary could look as follows:

Day 1: Blue Lagoon and drive to Snaefellsnes
Day 2: Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 3: Golden Circle
Day 4: Heimaey Island or Icelandic Highlands
Day 5: South Coast
Day 6: Skaftafell National Park and glaciers
Day 7: Reykjavik (+ whale and puffin tour) or Reykjanes Peninsula

Here you can find all the details for this 7 days Iceland itinerary.

Skaftafell National Park in Iceland
Skaftafell National Park
 

Complete Ring Road in 10 days

If you want to do the entire Ring Road of Iceland in the shortest time possible while still being enjoyable, then this is the best itinerary for you!

Day 1: Arrival, Blue Lagoon & Reykjavik
Day 2:
Golden Circle
Day 3:
South Coast
Day 4:
Jokulsarlon & Eastfjords
Day 5:
Myvatn
Day 6:
Husavik to Akureyri
Day 7:
Trollaskagi Peninsula
Day 8:
North Coast to Snaefellsnes
Day 9:
Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 10:
Reykjavik, Reykjanes Peninsula & departure

Here you can find the details of this complete Iceland Ring Road trip.

Icelandic horses in Trollaskagi Peninsula
Icelandic horses in Trollaskagi Peninsula
 

Iceland road trip in summer – 10 days itinerary from Akureyri to Reykjavik

The first time we visited Iceland in summer, we took ten days to explore this beautiful country. This is our 10-day Iceland trip itinerary from Akureyri to Reykjavik in a nutshell. This is a more relaxed itinerary where you really have the time to explore deeper.

Please note that this is a summer itinerary. We visited in June, and there were still quite some places we couldn’t get to and things we couldn’t do. I would only recommend this trip in June, July or August, maybe still in September – October, but be prepared for some snow…

Day 1: Flight to Akureyri
Day 2:
Akureyri via Godafoss to Mývatn
Day 3:
Highlights of Myvatn
Day 4:
Dettifoss, and to the Eastern part of Iceland
Day 5:
Eastern fjords to Höfn
Day 6:
Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and excursion to Ingölfshöfdi Cape and puffins
Day 7:
Skaftafell National Park
Day 8:
Vik black sand beach, Skogafoos, and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, Hekla volcano lava fields
Day 9:
The Golden Circle
Day 10:
Reykjavik

Namaskard geothermal area north Iceland
Namaskard – Hverir geothermal area near Lake Myvatn
 

10 days West and North Iceland itinerary

This is one of our favorite summer trips to Iceland. In 10 days, we visited the best places in the West, the North, and also the Highlands of Iceland.

Day 1: Arrival, visit Reykjavik, drive to Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 2: Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 3: 
Snaefellsnes Peninsula to the Westfjords
Day 4: 
Westfjords to Blönduós
Day 5: 
Blönduós to Myvatn
Day 6: 
Myvatn area
Day 7: 
Myvatn to Blönduós
Day 8: 
Blönduós via F35 to the Golden Circle area
Day 9: 
The Highlands (Haifoss, Landmannalaugar) or South Coast
Day 10: 
Reykjanes Peninsula, Blue Lagoon, and departure

You can find all the details for this trip in our West and North Iceland itinerary for 10 days.

Iceland itinerary - Hvitserkur in North Iceland
Hvitserkur in North Iceland
 

Iceland Ring Road trip – two weeks Iceland itinerary

Just as the 10-day trip, the complete Iceland Ring Road trip is best done in the warmest months +- June to September.

Someone told me I shouldn’t say it’s not possible to do the whole Ring Road in winter. It’s true, it’s not impossible. However, you might face road closures and icy roads, so I do not recommend driving in the North in winter unless you are very flexible with your schedule and feel confident driving in a serious snowstorm the dark. You may want to read this post for more information about driving in Iceland in winter.

Day 1: Flight to Keflavik (Reykjavik) and drive to the Hveragerdi area
Day 2:
The Golden Circle: Thingvellir, Geysir en Gullfoss
Day 3:
Southern Iceland – glaciers, waterfalls and beaches
Day 4:
Skaftafell National Park – Jokulsarlon – Fjallsarlon
Day 5:
Eastern fjords
Day 6:
To Myvatn and the highlights of the Myvatn area (more info – things to do in Myvatn)
Day 7:
Húsavik and Akureyri
Day 8:
Northwest Iceland to Westfjords (stop at Hvitserkur)
Day 9:
To Isafjordur
Day 10:
Isafjördur
Day 11:
Dynjandi waterfall, Raudasandur, and the birds of Latrabjarg (more info – Westfjords Itinerary)
Day 12:
Ferry to Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 13:
Snaefellsnes – Things to do in Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 14:
Reykholtsdal (Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls and Deildartunguhver) and Reykjavík
Day 15:
Reykjanes Peninsula, Blue Lagoon, and flight back home

Puffin in Iceland
You can only see puffins in summer
 

Resources for planning a self-drive Iceland itinerary

The best way to explore Iceland is by renting a car and making a road trip. You can find some of the best deals for Iceland car rental on the RentalCars website. I recommend renting a car for your Iceland road trip via this company. Not only can you compare different providers and find the best deals, but you are also much better protected in case a local company goes under as recently happened with our favorite local car hire company in Iceland.

✓ You can find the best deals for Iceland accommodation on Booking.com – that’s the website where we always book all our accommodation when we travel to Iceland. Alternatively, check our guide to the best accommodation suggestions for a self-drive trip around Iceland.

TIP: Compare hotels and short-term rental accommodations in Iceland via the map below. Simply insert your travel dates and group size, and you’ll see what’s available for your stay. Check it out!

   

Iceland itinerary FAQ

How many days do I need in Iceland?

If you are visiting Iceland for the first time, we recommend at least 5-7 days. This will allow you to visit Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, and the highlights of the South Coast. In addition, you could also visit Snaefellsnes Peninsula and – depending on the season – maybe also take a day trip to the highlands.

Can you do the Ring Road in Iceland in 7 days?

While you can drive the entire Ring Road of Iceland in just 1 day and see the main highlights along the Ring Road in 7-8 days, we recommend at least 10 days for the Ring Road road trip. Doing the entire Ring Road in 7 days would be very rushed and you would spend more time driving than sightseeing. 10-12 days will allow you to explore deeper, with 14 days, you could also add the Westfjords to your itinerary.

What is the best month to visit Iceland?

Visiting Iceland in different seasons is a very different experience. But while every season has its charms, the best months to explore Iceland are between May and September. That’s when the temperatures are mild, the days are long, and driving conditions are good. If you want to explore everything and also have a chance to see the Northern Lights, September is the very best month for the first trip to Iceland. Here you can read more about visiting Iceland in September.

How much does an Iceland trip cost?

Iceland is not a cheap country, but how much your trip costs depends a lot on the choices you make (hotels, rental car, tours), and also on the season when you travel. As a rule of thumb, count about 1500 USD per person per week, not including the flights. This should cover mid-budget accommodations, car rental, and daily expenses, plus one or two activities such as whale watching tour or glacier hiking.

LEARN MORE: How Expensive is Iceland (+ Budget Tips)

 

Planning a road trip to Iceland? Check out these guides:

READ ALSO: Iceland Travel Guide – a complete guide with an overview of all our destination guides and practical tips for visiting Iceland. You may want to bookmark it and refer to it later – it has all the info you need for planning your trip to Iceland. Check it out!

TIP: If you are planning a trip to Iceland and have practical questions, you can leave a reply below and we’ll try to help. Alternatively, join our Facebook Group for Iceland and Scandinavia Travel. It has thousands of members who can help you out with their experience-based tips and advice.

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin these images!

How to see the best of Iceland - itinerary suggestions for any trip from 1 day to 2 weeks
Iceland Itinerary Suggestions for any trip from a short stopover in Reykjavik to a two week trip around the island. See the best of Iceland with these tips!
 
See the best of Iceland with the best Iceland trip itinerary suggestions. Anything from just one day to two weeks, and from Reykjavik to complete Iceland road trip - this is the only guide you'll need to read!

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Nidhi

Tuesday 26th of April 2022

Hello, Amazing blog. Very informative. Do you have detailed itinerary/suggestions for 2 weeks ring road trip that you can share on top of what you have in the blog? I was looking at details which can help me identify which places/cities i should look for accommodation during the course of 14 days that you have listed. Is it one night per place? How best to go about coupling accommodations while covering the loop? We will be traveling with 6.5 year old kid and want to do self-driving trip.

Jurga

Thursday 28th of April 2022

Hi Nidhi, we have a very detailed Ring Road itinerary for 10 days, plus suggestions for additional places if you have more time. That guide has all the accommodation suggestions and pretty much everything to help you plan a trip. You could add some time in the Reykjavik area in the beginning and at the end, or a day on the south coast and a day in Snaefellsnes Peninsula too. PS You really have to book the rental car + hotels ASAP if traveling this summer. Good luck!

Kira

Friday 25th of March 2022

This post is absolutely outstanding! It saved me hours, if not days, of planning. I typically put trip itineraries into Google My Maps, and you've even done that for me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Jurga

Monday 28th of March 2022

Glad to help, Kira. Have a great trip to Iceland!

Helena

Saturday 27th of November 2021

Do you have any itinerary that includes a stay in the Blue Lagoon hotel? Would you recommend it for at least one night? Should I start or end there? Any other tips for traveling with a 6 and 7 year old?

Helena

Tuesday 25th of January 2022

Since we are traveling with our kids, 6 and 8 years old, would you recommend renting a camper and spend some nights at camp sites? Thanks!

Helena

Monday 29th of November 2021

@Jurga, you are super helpful and thank you for all the information, we are planning on going on June 2 for 7 days. I can’t wait!

Jurga

Monday 29th of November 2021

Hi Helena, you can start or end ANY itinerary here since it's so close to the airport. So I'd let it depend on your flight schedule and see what fits you best. If you are renting a car, then spending a night in this area is definitely nice. And if you have some extra time, visit some of the best places of Reykjanes Peninsula nearby.

I'm not so sure about staying at the Blue Lagoon Silica Hotel or the Retreat at Blue Lagoon with kids, however. Not only it's very expensive, it's also more meant for couples; I don't even think they have rooms to accommodate a family with 2 kids. But it's not adults-only, so it could work, but I think their rooms can accommodate a maximum of 2 adults and 1 child.

There's another hotel nearby - Northern Light Inn - that's much more affordable and has family rooms, and they also have a shuttle to the Blue Lagoon if you don't feel like walking for 20-25 minutes (or don't have a car). But, of course, it doesn't include access to the Blue Lagoon and it's obviously not the same experience. But for the location and more relaxed atmosphere, with kids, I'd probably look into this one instead.

As for any other tips with kids, try to look for local pools everywhere you go. The last time we were in Iceland with our kids, we researched local pools of every place where we stayed a night and went swimming every evening. Local pools are amazing for kids, better than the Blue Lagoon. They are cheap, you can actually swim in (or just sit in a hot tub while your kids swim), there are usually saunas too, and often also slides or floats for kids, etc. And they cost around 8-10 USD for adults, and even less for kids.

In Reykjavik, check out Whales of Iceland and FlyOver Iceland, and also Perlan museum - all are great for families. Here you can find more info about the best things to do in Reykjavik.

For the rest, it really depends on the time of the year when you go and how much time you have. In summer, go whale watching and try to find puffins, or maybe book a horse riding tour. You can also visit some lava caves. While natural ice caves and glacier hiking usually have age limit (minimum 8 years in most cases), you can visit some lava caves with younger kids as well.

Hope this helps. Good luck with the planning!

Aimee

Monday 15th of November 2021

Your website is amazing and VERY helpful. I am planning a family trip to Iceland in June. We plan to be there for 10 days. We are very outdoorsy and love hiking. I can't decide if we should do the 7 day southern route and find some off the path hiking places to go or if we should do your west/north and highlands 10 day itinerary. My daughter really wants to do a ice cave tour and it seems as if Vik is the only place that does them in June and that isn't part of your west/north/highlands itinerary. I also am not sure of doing the full Ring road - Id rather concentrate on more specific areas. Seems like a lot of driving. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We just want to see it all! Thanks again! - Aimee

Jurga

Tuesday 16th of November 2021

Hi Aimee, it's always a tough decision where to go. One thing - you can't see 'everything' in Iceland in 10 days. Also, many places in the highlands might not be accessible yet (depends on when exactly you travel and how the weather is). However, if you want to see a bit of all the main areas, consider doing the entire Ring Road. We have this 10-day Ring Road itinerary that includes all the best places. The days are endless in June and you can see and do a lot. If you don't want to do the entire Ring Road, you can also use our 7-day itinerary and add a few nights to it at the places that interest you the most (this would be more relaxing and would allow you to explore deeper, take a few tours, etc). Vik could be a good place to add a night and you could also potentially visit part of the Westfjords from Snaefellsnes Peninsula for just 1 night or so (but you'd need a 4WD for that part and that's a big extra cost compared to a regular car). See more info here: Westfjords 1 day itinerary. About the ice cave tour from Vik - it's, at the moment, indeed the only natural ice cave tour that runs the whole year round. But please keep in mind that it's nature and you can't know in advance how it will look like when you visit. There is really not one 'best' itinerary and you can't go wrong with any option. Just pick the places that interest you the most and don't feel obliged to do the whole ring just because many people do it. Most often, the quieter, slower-going trips, are more enjoyable because it allows you to experience the place better. You could easily spend 3-5 days on the South Coast alone - see here for more suggestions on what to see and do on the South Coast. Hope this helps a bit.

Elaine Siemsen

Saturday 17th of July 2021

Jurga, I am very glad to have found your blog. We are traveling to Iceland for 10 days in August. We have rented a campervan from Kuku. We will have the van for 8 days and 7 nights. We are doing the ring road west to East so that we end with two days in Reykjavik. Your packing list and itinerary with distances is wonderful. Is there a print version? Thank you.

Jurga

Sunday 18th of July 2021

Hi Elaine, unfortunately, we don't have a print version of each article on our blog, but you should be able to save to pdf or print straight from your browser. Have a great trip!

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