Spending 13 days in Iceland offers you plenty of time to hit the road and explore the land of ice and fire at your own pace. Here are three self-drive Iceland itineraries that take you to the island nation's iconic sights and give you time to marvel at spectacular waterfalls, wander past legendary lava formations, and soak in Iceland's famous geothermal baths. Two itineraries include hiking and other outdoor sports and are best suited for summer travel, but for a truly unique adventure, consider a self-drive winter tour of Iceland's Ring Road.

Itinerary #1: Iceland Westfjords Self-Drive Tour

For travelers who like to delve into the cultural highlights and explore the outdoors, this self-guided Westfjords road trip will take you to some of western Iceland's best-known fjords, geysers, and hot springs and a few off-the-beaten-path destinations, including Ísafjörður, a fishing village. You can hike and birdwatch to your heart's content, wander through museums focused on witchcraft, whales, and local history, and explore Iceland's unique geologic landscape.

Ísafjörður, Iceland
Ísafjörðdur, northwest Iceland
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Iceland, Drive to Snæfellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 2 Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall & Puffin Tour Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 3 Drive to Hólmavík, Visit the Witchcraft Museum  Hólmavík
Day 4 Drive to Ísafjörður, Optional Stops Ísafjörður
Day 5 Free Day in Ísafjörður Ísafjörður
Day 6 Ísafjörður Optional Activities, Drive to Þingeyri Þingeyri
Day 7 Hike Mount Kaldbakur Þingeyri
Day 8 Ferry to Stykkishólmur Stykkishólmur
Day 9 Drive to Borgarnes, Optional Activities  Borgarnes
Day 10 Borgarnes Museum, Explore Borgarfjörður Borgarnes
Day 11 Drive to Reykjavík, Optional Activities Reykjavík
Day 12 Drive the Golden Circle Reykjavík
Day 13 Tour Reykjanes Peninsula, Depart Iceland  

Pick up your rental car at Keflavík Airport and drive to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where you'll hike to waterfalls and lava formations, view puffins from a traditional wooden boat, and watch wildlife. At Hólmavik, delve into Iceland's mystical past at the Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum. Next, head to Ísafjörður, a fishing village, which is a perfect home base for visiting fjords, beaches, and museums, including Önundarfjörður fjord and the Ósvör Museum. Then it's off to Þingeyri for a challenging hike up Mount Kaldbakur. In Stykkishólmur, you can hike Mount Helgafell and ascend Súgandisey Island Lighthouse for spectacular views.

Next, travel to Borgarnes, where you'll learn about Iceland's history at the Borgarnes Settlement Center, then visit Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, nearby waterfalls with sharply contrasting features. Day 11 takes you to Reykyavík, Iceland's capital, where you can explore the Whales of Iceland Exhibition, soak up culture at the Harpa Concert Hall, or explore the city. Then it's time to drive to the iconic Golden Circle to see some of Iceland's famous geysers and hot springs. Before leaving Iceland, spend some time in the Blue Lagoon or see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at the Reykjanes Geopark on your way to the airport. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Iceland Summer Self-Drive Tour

This 13-day itinerary circumnavigates the island and takes you to waterfalls, glaciers, geysers, caves, black sand beaches, and Fagradalsfjall, an active volcano. Pack your hiking boots and prepare for adventure.

Skálfandafljót, Iceland's fourth-longest river
Skálfandafljót, Iceland's fourth-longest river
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Iceland, Fagradalsfjall Volcano Tour South Coast
Day 2 Þingvellir National Park, Geysers & Waterfalls South Coast
Day 3 Jeep Tour of Fjallabak Nature Reserve South Coast
Day 4 Drive to Vík, Beaches, Canyons & Glacier Hike Skaftafell
Day 5 Zodiac Boat Tour Skaftafell
Day 6 Drive to Höfn & Vestrahorn Mountain East Fjords
Day 7 Drive to the Diamond Circle, Waterfalls & Hot Springs Lake Mývatn
Day 8 Explore Lake Mývatn & Grjótagjá Cave Lake Mývatn
Day 9 Whale Watching in Húsavík, Ásbyrgi Canyon & Dimmuborgir Lake Mývatn
Day 10 Drive to Snæfellsnes Peninsula via Akureyri & Waterfalls Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 11 Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Beaches & Lava Formations Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 12 Gerðuberg Cliffs & Waterfalls, Drive to Reykjavík Reykjavík
Day 13 Depart Keflavík  

Hop into your rental car at Keflavík Airport and head to Fagradalsfjall for a guided tour of this active volcanic area, an excellent way to learn about Iceland's unique geologic history. On Day 2, explore Þingvellir National Park's Law Rock, where the world's first parliament convened, as well as the Geysir geothermal area and two spectacular waterfalls. Day 3 brings more adventure via a Super Jeep 4WD off-road tour in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Thrills continue in Vatnatjökull National Park, where you'll hike across Iceland's largest glacier and tour a lagoon by Zodiac.

On Day 6, lunch in Höfn and seal-watch at Vestrahorn. Start your tour of the Diamond Circle on Day 7. Home base at Lake Mývatn, where you can view the lake, check out Grjótagjá Cave, go whale watching in Húsavík, see the enormous Ásbyrgi canyon, and wander through the Dimmuborgir lava field. Drive to the city of Akureyri en route to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, home to black sand beaches and lava formations. On Day 12, visit Gerðuberg Cliffs' hexagonal basalt columns and the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls before heading home from Keflavík the next day. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Winter Tour of Iceland's Ring Road

For a different perspective on Iceland, consider a winter self-drive tour of the Ring Road. True, winter in Iceland can present challenges, but you'll be amply rewarded with adventures and sights you can only experience during the winter months. Go snowmobiling and dog sledding, hike to waterfalls, search for reindeer, and soak in a geothermal pool surrounded by trees and snowy mountains.

Red-roofed church on the coast in Vík, Iceland
Red-roofed church on the coast in Vík, Iceland
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Keflavík, Drive to the Golden Circle Golden Circle
Day 2 Dog Sledding Tour Golden Circle
Day 3 Drive to Vík, South Coast Waterfalls & Black-Sand Beaches Vík
Day 4 Eyjafjallajökull Snowmobiling Tour  Vík
Day 5 Drive to Höfn, Skaftafell Nature Reserve & Glacier Lagoons Höfn
Day 6 Drive to Egilsstadir, Eastfjords & Vök Baths Egilsstadir
Day 7 Eastfjords Villages, Reindeer Safari Egilsstadir
Day 8 Drive to Lake Mývatn, Mývatn Nature Baths Lake Mývatn
Day 9 Dettifoss, Jokulsargljufur & Husavik, Seaside Horseback Tour Lake Mývatn
Day 10 Drive to Laugarbakki, Akureyri & Godafoss, Forest Lagoon Laugarbakki
Day 11 Explore the Vatnsnes Peninsula Laugarbakki
Day 12 Drive to Reykjavík, Super Jeep Hunt for the Northern Lights Reykjavík
Day 13 Drive to Keflavík via Reykjanes Peninsula & Depart  

Upon arrival at Keflavík Airport, get your rental car and head for the Golden Circle. Stops along the way include Þingvellir National Park's Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss (Golden Falls), Kerið Crater Lake, and Hveragerði's hillside hot springs. Go dogsledding the next day, then head to Vík on Day 3, stopping to see waterfalls, museums, and black sand beaches. Get an adrenaline rush on your snowmobile tour of Eyjafjallajökull. Spend the next two days in Höfn and the Eastfjords, exploring waterfalls, fjords, a glacial lagoon, and Iceland's largest forest, Hallormsstaðaskógur.

On Day 7, look for puffins at Borgarfjörður Eystri and take a guided reindeer safari. Continue to Lake Mývatn, home to enormous lava formations, caves, and craters. At Húsavík, take a beach horseback tour, watching for whales as you go. In Akureyri, stop at a museum before heading to the Troll Peninsula and Laugarbakki. The Vatnsnes Peninsula, where Laugarbakki is located, is a great place to seal watch. The next day, drive to Reykjavík and get to know the city, then take a northern lights tour. Head to Keflavík Airport via the geothermically active Reykjanes Peninsula on your final day in Iceland. Learn more

More Great Iceland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Iceland? Check out these other Iceland itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.