Ten days in Iceland is a perfect amount of time to complete the rightfully famous Ring Road. Alternatively, you have time to explore up to three areas in-depth. A great option is to visit the popular Golden Circle and South Coast, coupled with lesser-known destinations like the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula or the Westman Islands. If you prefer to escape the crowded south, consider summertime itineraries to the West, North, and Westfjords for off-the-beaten-path discoveries. Active travelers can work the trails of Thorsmork or the Laugavegur Trek into their itinerary.

Itinerary #1: Iceland Relaxed Ring Road Adventure 

On this self-guided road trip, you'll loop around Route One—also known as Ring Road—stopping to visit volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers, fishing villages, and Iceland's largest cities along the 828-mile journey.

Driving on Ring Road
Driving on Ring Road
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Reykjavik, Explore Downtown Reykjavik
Day 2 Glymur Falls & Snaefellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 3 Snaefellsnes Peninsula to Akureyri Akureyri
Day 4 Godafoss, Whale Watching & Big Waterfalls Lake Myvatn
Day 5 Geological Wonders of Lake Myvatn Lake Myvatn
Day 6 Myvatn to the Eastern Fjords Seydisfjordur
Day 7 Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Diamond Beach & Skaftafell Vik
Day 8 South Coast Waterfalls, Black Sand Beaches & Golden Circle Golden Circle
Day 9 Golden Circle to Reykjavik Reykjavik
Day 10 Reykjanes Peninsula, Blue Lagoon, Depart Iceland  

Begin the trip in Reykjavik, where you'll pick up a rental car you'll be driving throughout your adventure on Ring Road. Explore the capital city, stopping into the Northern Lights Center and the Whales of Iceland Exhibition for an introduction to the country.

On day two, you'll drive to the west coast and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, visiting waterfalls like towering Glymur Falls, Hraunfossar (“Lava Falls”) and Barnafoss ("children's waterfall"). Continue along the north coast to Akureyri, Iceland's second-largest city. The next day, you'll drive onward to Husavik for a whale-watching tour on a carbon-neutral ship, and then onto Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, for a refreshing hike. Spend the night at Myvatn Nature Baths.

During the second half of the trip, you'll get up close and personal with rock formations, volcanic craters, and lava fields around Lake Myvatn. Moving southwest onto the scenic coastline of the East Fjords and then onto the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, you'll have plenty of chances to park the car for hiking and picnicking. More waterfalls and black sand beaches await on Iceland's southern coast before you begin the last leg of the trip on the Golden Circle Route. Take some time to explore Thingvellir National Park, walking around giant rock fissures where tectonic plates meet. Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon on your last full day before returning to Reykjavik. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, South Coast, Westman Islands, & Thorsmork

This highlights tour takes you through some of the best areas of Iceland—both popular stops and hidden gems—with minimal driving. Enjoy scenic hikes in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the highlands of Thorsmork, and along the cliffs of the Westman Islands, as well as iconic scenery along from the Golden Circle to the South Coast.

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival & Tour Downtown Reykjavik Reykjavik
Day 2 Drive to Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Hike in Glymur Falls, & Visit Borgarnes Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 3 Snaefellsnes Peninsula - Black-Sand Beaches & Fishing Towns Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 4 Explore Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Travel to Golden Circle Golden Circle
Day 5 Drive the Golden Circle & Ferry to Westman Islands Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar)
Day 6 South Coast, Waterfalls, Black-Sand Beaches, & Cliffs Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 7 Discover Skaftafell, Svartifoss, & Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 8 Bus to Thorsmork & Hiking Trails Thorsmork
Day 9 Drive the South Coast & Explore Reykjavík Reykjavik
Day 10 Visit the Reykjanes Peninsula & Depart From Reykjavík  

Upon touching down at Keflavík International Airport (KEF), grab your rental car and drive toward the capital city. Once in Reykjavík, explore the funky street art and sculptures around town, take in views from a church on a hill and enjoy a taste of the dining and nightlife scenes. Wake up and hit the road to West Iceland. Hike to one of Iceland’s tallest waterfalls and stop at a scenic town on the water. Drive through the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and explore the basalt columns, lava fields, and small fishing towns. On day three, continuing discovering the peninsula’s black-sand beaches, a crater, and the iconic Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.

In the morning, head south and make stops at a pair of waterfalls before entering the popular Golden Circle area. Tour Þingvellir National Park and go snorkeling in a fissure, followed by visits to Geysir and Gullfoss, and have a soak in the Secret Lagoon to wind down in the evening. On day five, hop a ferry to the lesser-known, stunning Westman Islands—a locals’ getaway. Take a boat tour of Heimaey, the only inhabited island, see a lively colony of thousands of puffins, explore the sea caves and volcanoes, and climb the highest peaks. Enjoy more of the island in the morning, and then ferry back to the mainland. Stop at two gorgeous falls—Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss—and visit beautiful cliffs and black-rock beaches en route to Vik. Then, visit an otherworldly canyon before retiring for the night.

On day seven, tour the beautiful South Coast glaciers, including Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon’s Diamond Beach, which glistens with icebergs, followed by a stop at a turf church. Wake up and continue along the South Coast, before boarding a vehicle to Thorsmork and the highlands. Spend the day adventuring through the valley’s best trails, or take a guided hike to a waterfall. You can also visit a spa and a geothermal area. On day nine, head back toward the capital, making stops at a hot spring river, an ancient swimming pool, a crater, and a lava tunnel. Then, spend more time enjoying Reykjavík on your last night.

On your final day, make a stop at the Blue Lagoon for a pre-flight soak, and tour the highlights of the Reykjanes Peninsula for a grand finale round of exploration. Learn more

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Itinerary #3 Best of West Iceland & Scenic Westfjords

This summertime road trip offers a great escape from the crowds of the South Coast and the Golden Circle. Instead, enjoy remote destinations, like the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the stunning Westfjords. Hike the cliffs and waterfalls, take in the small fishing towns, and visit factories and museums along the way.

Glymur Falls
Glymur Falls
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival, Glymur Falls, Borgarnes, & Drive to Snæfellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 2 Snaefellsnes Peninsula - Black-Sand Beaches & Fishing Towns Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 3 Ferry From Snaefellsnes Peninsula to the Westfjords Patreksfjörður
Day 4 Hike the Látrabjarg Bird Cliffs & Rauðasandur Beach Patreksfjörður
Day 5 Picnic at Dynjandi Waterfall & Explore Isafjordur Isafjordur
Day 6 Day Trip to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve Isafjordur
Day 7 Eastern Westfjords - Isafjordur to Holmavík Holmavik
Day 8 Visit Djúpavík & Explore Remote Westfjords Holmavik
Day 9 Drive From Holmavík Back to Reykjavík Reykjavik
Day 10 Visit the Reykjanes Peninsula & Depart From Reykjavík  

From the airport, pick up your rental car and head toward West Iceland, home to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Make a stop to hike Glymur Falls for a couple of hours, and stroll the shores of Borgarnes. Then, check out the basalt cliffs and small fishing towns. Wake up and visit the large lava formations, a black-sand beach, the top of Saxholl crater, and take in famed Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, accompanied by Kirkjufell mountain. On day three, make a stop for fresh mussels and visit the Volcano Museum on the way to catching the ferry to the Westfjords.

In the morning, drive southwest and start the day with a hike at the edge of the Látrabjarg Bird Cliffs, and take in the incredible views. Next, make a stop at a red-sand beach and check out a beached shipwreck on the side of the road. Day five takes you to the incredible Dynjandi Waterfall, where you can enjoy a picnic among the many falls. Then, drive through Iceland’s longest tunnel to Isafjordur and indulge in the country’s best seafood for dinner. Spend the next day exploring Hornstrandir Nature Reserve’s towering cliffs and native birdlife.

Wake up and drive 3 hours to Drangsnes, which takes you along a beautiful eight-fjord system. Stop at the Arctic Fox Center, take a hike to a thundering waterfall, and visit a small fishing town and a salt factory along the way. Then, take a tour of the unique Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft before spending the night in Holmavik. On day eight, continue along the eastern coast of the Westfjords to check out a fishing town with an old herring factory—you can even spend the night in the factory’s converted hotel. Make a stop to soak in a geothermal pool and head back to Holmavik for the evening. In the morning, drive back to Reykjavík. Stop at a pair of waterfalls, and then spend time enjoying the capital city’s lively art, dining, and bar scene. Learn more

Itinerary #4: From West to North: Golden Circle, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Husavik, Akureyri, & More

This scenic adventure through West and North Iceland allows you to explore beautiful destinations without the heavy crowds. Enjoy the geological sights in the Golden Circle and the geothermal highlights of Lake Myvatn. Explore two different peninsulas, visit the whale watching capital, and more.

Europe's famed Dettifoss Waterfall
Europe's famed Dettifoss Waterfall
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival & Drive to Þingvellir, Geysir, & Gullfoss Falls in the Golden Circle Golden Circle
Day 2 Discover the Volcanic Snæfellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 3 Snaefellsnes Peninsula - Black-Sand Beaches & Fishing Towns Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 4 Arctic Coast Farms, Churches, & Pools to Varmahlid Varmahlid
Day 5 Trollaskagi Peninsula & Husavik Whale Watching Husavik
Day 6 Hike in Asbyrgi Canyon & Dettifoss Husavik
Day 7 Explore Lake Mývatn & Visit Akureyri Akureyri
Day 8 Drive to West Iceland, Visit Grábrók Crater, & Tour Borgarnes Borgarnes
Day 9 Glymur Falls Hike & Afternoon in Reykjavík Reykjavik
Day 10 Visit the Reykjanes Peninsula & Depart From Reykjavík  

When you touch down at KEF, stop for your rental car, and then make your way to the Golden Circle. Tour Þingvellir National Park—including a snorkeling session in a fissure—and take in the shooting Geysir. Check out Gullfoss waterfall, and soak away any lingering travel aches in the Secret Lagoon, with a chance to spot the Northern Lights.

Next, venture to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, home to incredible landscapes—black-sand beaches, lava formations, and basalt cliffs. On day three, continue enjoying the volcanic scenery, along with a stop at Kirkjufellsfoss and its neighboring Kirkjufell mountain. In the morning, explore the north peninsulas, including Vatnsnes to visit a basalt troll and a massive seal colony. Then, visit the turf houses and churches in the area. Check out a pair of pools for some soaking, pass through the fishing town of Siglufjörður and spend the night in Varmahlid.

Day five takes you to the Trollaskagi Peninsula. Stop at stunning Goðafoss Waterfall, and then head to Husavik to go whale watching and spend the night. In the morning, drive to Asbyrgi Canyon and take a few scenic trails, followed by a stop at Dettifoss, one of Europe’s most powerful falls, with an optional visit to Selfoss, too. Wake up and head to Lake Myvatn to explore the volcanic and geothermal highlights, from pseudocraters to lava formations, and soak in the onsite Nature Baths. Then, navigate over to Akureyri, the largest town in North Iceland, and enjoy the dining and bar scene, along with the views of the fjord and a church on a hill.

On day eight, drive to West Iceland. Check out Grabrok Crater and its neighboring volcanic sights, and head to Borgarnes to enjoy the best of this waterfront town. In the morning, stop for a hike at tall Glymur Falls and visit a duo of waterfalls on the drive back to Reykjavík. Tour the capital’s hip art and sculptures and enjoy a delicious farewell dinner and drinks.  Learn more

Itinerary #5: South Coast & Laugavegur Trek

This versatile trip takes you through the popular sights of the Golden Circle and the South Coast, followed by the multiday Laugavegur Trek. Enjoy some time exploring the capital city, along with opportunities to soak in lagoons along the way.

Lake Alftavatn
Lake Alftavatn along the Laugavegur Trek
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival & Drive to Þingvellir, Geysir, & Gullfoss in the Golden Circle Golden Circle
Day 2 Drive to the South Coast & Explore Waterfalls, Black-Sand Beaches, & Cliffs Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 3 Discover Skaftafell, Svartifoss, & Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 4 Drive & Explore South Coast Back to Reykjavik Reykjavik
Day 5 Landmannalaugar Mountain & Volcano Trekking Landmannalaugar
Day 6 Rhyolite Mountains Trek - Hrafntinnusker to Lake Álftavatn Lake Alftavatn
Day 7 Cross the Emstrur Desert & View Hattafell Emstrur-Botnar Hut
Day 8 Explore Þórsmörk (Thorsmork) Valley Thorsmork
Day 9 Final Hike in Thorsmork & Return to Reykjavík Reykjavik
Day 10 Visit the Blue Lagoon & Depart From Reykjavík  

From KEF airport, make a stop for your rental vehicle and then hit the Golden Circle. Visit Þingvellir National Park, stop to check out Geysir, and have a post-travel soak in the Secret Lagoon, and look out for the Northern Lights. Wake up and enjoy the popular highlights of the South, including Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, the Dyrholaey arch and cliffs, a black-rock beach with a shipwreck, the small, scenic town of Vik, and a unique canyon. On day three, tour the incredible glaciers of the South Coast, including Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

In the morning, drive back toward Reykjavik. Make stops at a hot spring river, an old pool, a crater, and a waterfall. Then, enjoy some sightseeing in the capital city, along with good food and drink.

On day five, it’s time to hit the Laugavegur Trek. Board a bus toward the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Take the Dómadalur route and stop at an active volcano and a beautiful crater lake. In the morning, venture through the geothermal Rhyolite Mountains. Discover the glacier-topped Hrafntinnusker volcano and hike through a series of hidden valleys at the foot of a glacier, before setting up camp at Lake Alftavatn.

On day seven, cross the Emstrur Desert and explore the Hattafell cone, followed by a day exploring Thorsmork Valley’s lush trails, green slopes, and gullies. In the morning, enjoy a half-day of hiking in Valanukhur Mountain, then head back to the capital. Stroll the harbor—maybe do some whale watching—and visit a few of the museums. Learn more

More Great 10-Day Iceland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your Iceland trip? Check out these other 10-day Iceland itineraries, ranging from active, to cultural, to luxury, or family-friendly trips.

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