Itinerary #1: Iceland Highlights - Snæfellsnes, Golden Circle, & South Coast
A highlights trip is a great way to experience the best of Iceland without venturing too far. Ditch the crowds in favor of small towns in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Then, move on to the Golden Circle, and South Coast. This trip is a great way to combine bucket-list highlights with a lesser-visited region.
|Day 1||Arrival in Reykjavík and Travel to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula||Snæfellsnes Peninsula|
|Day 2||Snaefellsnes Peninsula - Black Sand Beaches and Fishing Towns||Snæfellsnes Peninsula|
|Day 3||Explore Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Travel to the Golden Circle||Golden Circle|
|Day 4||Discover Waterfalls, Beaches, and Cliffs and Travel to Vík||Vik|
|Day 5||Tour the South Coast and Explore Reykjavík||Reykjavik|
|Day 6||Visit the Reykjanes Peninsula and Depart From Reykjavík|
Arrive in the morning and pick up your rental car. Begin the 2-2.5-hour journey to Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Stop in Glymur Falls for 2-3-hike, followed by a visit to Borgarnes for a history lesson and walk by the shore. Once you arrive at the peninsula, visit the seaside cliffs and spend the night in Hellnar. Wake up and discover the lava formations, black-sand beaches, and coves. Then, visit the Saxhóll crater and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, before retiring for the night in Stykkishólmur.
In the morning, head to the famous Golden Circle. Continue to the Golden Circle's best spots, including Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area, and the massive Gullfoss waterfall. Wind down with a soak in the Secret Lagoon, with a chance to spot the Northern Lights (from September-April).
Head to the south in the morning. View stunning Seljalandsfoss falls from behind, and in Skógafoss, follow the Fimmvörðuháls Trail, and climb the stairs to Waterfall Way. Take in the cliffs of Dyrhólaey, the black rocks and famous columns of Reynisfjara Beach, and tour the scenery around Vík. Drive back along the southern coast, and hit any stops you missed along the way. Or, stop at new spots like the Rekjadalur hot spring river, Seljavallalaug pool, the falls of Urriðafoss, Kerið Crater, and more.
Return to Reykjavik and stroll compact downtown’s street art, take in views from Hallgrímskirkja tower, and do some whale watching from Reykjavík Harbour. Grab a bite and experience the bar scene. On your last day, soak in the Blue Lagoon, and do some exploration of the Reykjanes Peninsula on your way to the airport. Learn more
Itinerary #2: Golden Circle, South Coast, & Westman Islands
Take a well-balanced vacation to popular sites through the Golden Circle and the South Coast, along with the Westman Islands. Highlights include the best waterfalls, like Gullfoss and Skógafoss, and the incredible glaciers of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
|Day 1||Arrival & Golden Circle Highlights||Golden Circle Area|
|Day 2||South Coast Waterfalls & Black-Sand Beaches||Kirkjubæjarklaustur|
|Day 3||Glaciers at Skaftafell, Svartifoss, & Jökulsárlón Lagoon||Kirkjubæjarklaustur|
|Day 4||Ferry to Westman Islands for Hiking & Puffins||Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar)|
|Day 5||Drive Back & Exploring Downtown Reykjavik||Reykjavik|
|Day 6||Volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula, Blue Lagoon & Departure|
Touch down, pick up your rental car, and hit the road to your first stop: the Golden Circle. Visit Þingvellir National Park, Geysir, and the majestic Gullfoss waterfall. Enjoy a post-travel soak in the Secret Lagoon to end the day. Wake up and drive south to visit more waterfalls—roaring Seljalandsfoss and Waterfall Way at Skógafoss are two of the top highlights. On the way to Kirkjubæjarklaustur, make stops to view the Dyrhólaey arch and cliffs, black-rock Reynisfjara Beach, and the otherworldly rock formations along Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon.
Next, explore Iceland’s glaciers—Skaftafell, Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon's Diamond Beach, where icebergs rest along the black sands. In the morning, begin the drive the incredible Westman Islands. Join a guided tour by minibus or hop on an adventurous RIB boat tour around Heimaey—a favorite holiday spot of the locals, but one very few tourists make the trip to experience—to see the cliffs, sea caves, glaciers, and volcanoes—and the best and busiest puffin colony in the summertime. Explore the craters and ascend the highest peaks, and learn about the recent volcanic eruption from 1973 while witnessing the ruins.
Ferry back to the mainland and head toward Reykjavík, with a stop in Reykjadalur, an active, geothermal area and hot springs, along the way. Then, park in the capital and do some solo exploration. Visit Sun Voyager Sculpture, Harpa Concert Hall, and take in views from atop Hallgrímskirkja. Stop for a famous hot dog at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur. Enjoy a final soak in the Blue Lagoon, and experience the highlights of the Reykjanes Peninsula for one last chance to stretch your legs before boarding your flight home. Learn more
Itinerary #3: Best of Northern Iceland - Arctic Coast & Lake Mývatn
This North Coast road trip through Iceland offers an escape from busy landmarks or a great, second route through the country for returning tourists. Check out the volcanoes and geothermal areas of Lake Mývatn, visit the small fishing towns of the Arctic Coast, enjoy the best whale watching from Husavik, and more.
|Day 1||Arrival in Reykjavík & Tour West Iceland||Laugarbakki|
|Day 2||Drive the Arctic Coast - Hvammstangi to Siglufjordur||Siglufjordur|
|Day 3||Discover Akureyri, Goðafoss, & Lake Mývatn||Lake Myvatn|
|Day 4||Whale Watching in Husavik & Drive Back West||Laugarbakki|
|Day 5||Explore West Iceland & Sightseeing in Reykjavík||Reykjavik|
|Day 6||Visit the Reykjanes Peninsula and Depart From Reykjavík|
To start, head straight for Snæfellsnes Peninsula, about 2-2.5 hours away. Stop for your first hike at Glymur Falls. Then, walk the path of Borgarnes and learn about Icelandic history at the Settlement Center. Pass small towns and spend the night in Hvammstangi/Laugarbakki. Wake up and choose your route for the day. Head toward Hvítserkur and the Icelandic Seal Center. Experience the turf houses along Glaumbær Farm or visit Víðimýrarkirkja Church, and take a detour out to two geothermal pools, before landing in the fishing town of Siglufjörður.
Continue south to Akureyri, home to Iceland's second-largest city, and visit the local church. Visit Goðafoss Waterfall before heading into Lake Mývatn territory, with its craters, lava formations and caves, and geothermal areas. Take a break in the mineral baths with beautiful views around the lake. Drive to Husavik next to do some whale watching, then head back to Akureyri. Circle back to sites you did not have time to explore on day two, then stop for a short walk up Grabrok Crater.
On the drive back south, visit more waterfalls, before returning to Reykjavík. Stoll the downtown street art, visit the museums, and check out Reykjavík Harbour. Enjoy a nice restaurant and some drinks on your last night in Iceland. In the morning, there’s more exploring to do—visit geothermal areas along the Reykjanes Peninsula, along with other stops, and treat yourself to one last soak in the Blue Lagoon. Learn more
Itinerary #4: East Fjords, South Coast, & Golden Circle
On this one-way, self-drive trip through Iceland, start in the east fjords and conclude in Reykjavík. This trip allows you to make the most of your short time to explore the fjords, glaciers, volcanoes, and sights along the South Coast.
|Day 1||Arrival & Domestic Flight to Egilsstaðir||Seydisfjordur|
|Day 2||Scenic Eastern Fjords - Egilsstaðir to Höfn||Höfn|
|Day 3||Jökulsárlón, South Coast & Vík||Vik|
|Day 4||South Coast Waterfalls, Beaches, & Golden Circle||Golden Circle|
|Day 5||Golden Circle & Back to Reykjavik||Reykjavik|
|Day 6||Morning in Reykjavík & Departure|
Arrive in Reykjavik and catch a domestic flight to Egilsstaðir in the east fjords. Pick up your rental car and drive over the mountain pass to Seyðisfjörður. Hike trails to waterfalls, and explore the art culture. Drive south on your route of choice. Visit Kaupfjelagið for local treats and apparel. Stop and stroll along the shores for views of the fjords, and enjoy fresh seafood. Spot swans below jagged cliffs at Hvalnes Nature Reserve and end the day with views of Vatnajökull Glacier in the distance.
View the rock formations at Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon on the South Coast in the morning. Next, go on an ice cave tour or a glacier walk around Skaftafell—the hike to Svarifoss is a popular one—and explore Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Continue on to the lava ridges and stop in Vík for the night. Keep enjoying the sights of the South Shore. Visit Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, as well as Reynisfjara Beach and the cliffs of Dyrhólaey. Relax your muscles with a soak in the Secret Lagoon, followed by a hike up Kerið Crater. Enjoy dinner along the Golden Circle Route.
The morning takes you to Gullfoss and Geysir to see Strokkur shooting into the sky—an early visit to both will ensure you beat the rush. Then, tour Þingvellir National Park, and drive to Reykjavík for a nice meal and a taste of the bar scene. Wake up and spend the morning exploring the capital city after a local breakfast. Take in views of the city from Hallgrímskirkja and spot whales at Reykjavík Harbour, before catching your return flight home. Learn more
Itinerary #5: Winter Adventure - Snowmobiling, Glacier Hikes, & Ice Caves
Embark on a winter vacation to experience a different side of Iceland—one filled with adventures through glaciers, ice caves, and frozen waterfalls. By spending more time outside of Reykjavík, your chances increase to see the Northern Lights, thanks to the minimal light pollution. To balance out the chill, make sure to stop for soaks in hot springs destinations along the way.
|Day 1||Arrival & Discover Winter in Downtown Reykjavík||Reykjavik|
|Day 2||Golden Circle Exploration & Snowmobile Tour||Golden Circle|
|Day 3||Winter Waterfalls & Black-Sand Beaches||Kirkjubæjarklaustur|
|Day 4||Glacier Hike, Ice Cave Tour, & Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon||Kirkjubæjarklaustur|
|Day 5||Drive & Explore South Coast Back to Reykjavík||Reykjavik|
|Day 6||Morning in Reykjavík, Blue Lagoon Soak, & Departure|
Bundle up and do some self-touring of the Icelandic capital. Check out the unique art downtown, take in views from a church on a hill, and spot whales from the harbor. Visit the museums if you need an indoor break from the cold. Indulge in a delicious welcome dinner, and bar hop after sunset. Get an early start at Gulfoss in the morning, then, meet up with your guide for a transfer to Langjökull Glacier basecamp for a scenic snowmobiling adventure. Next, tour Þingvellir National Park, and the nearby craters and geysers, and unwind with a soak in the Secret Lagoon.
Hit the road to explore the south with stops at Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss—don't miss Waterfall Way. Head to the cliffs of Dyrhólaey, the black-rock Reynisfjara Beach, and the town of Vík. Witness the unique formations of Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon to end the day. Then, it's more glacier adventures—hit Skaftaefell to go ice climbing, take a glacier walk, or enjoy some ice cave touring. Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon allows for up-close views, and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon provides a cool scene of icebergs strewn upon the black sands.
Drive back along the South Coast toward Reykjavík, and make stops at Reykjadalur hot springs and the Selkavallalaug pool, before a final dinner in the capital. Head to the Blue Lagoon for a pre-travel soak prior to your departure flight tomorrow. Learn more
More Great 6-Day Iceland Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your Iceland trip? Check out these other 6-day Iceland itineraries, ranging from active, to self-drive, winter, or family-friendly trips.
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