Eight days is enough for a trip around Ring Road, to either the Golden Circle or the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, with more time set aside for another region. Escape the main routes and spend time in Thorsmörk, along the Laugavegur Trek, or to the locals’ favorite getaway in the Westman Islands. Each trip allows for a bit of time in the capital city, but one night, maximum, is ideal, so you can enjoy more time in other areas of Iceland. Learn more about the best eight-day trip options in the six itineraries outlined below.

Itinerary #1: Ring Road & Snaefellsnes Peninsula Self-Drive

This classic road trip includes the often-skipped Snaefellsnes Peninsula, which packs plenty of sights, and is a nice detour off Route 1. Enjoy the South Coast, the Southeast Glaciers, the East Fjords, Lake Mývatn, and more. 

A view of Seljalandsfoss from behind the waterfall
A view of Seljalandsfoss from behind the waterfall
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival & Drive the South Coast to Vík Vik
Day 2 South East Glaciers: Skaftafell & Jökulsárlón Hofn
Day 3 Scenic Eastern Fjords: Hofn to Seyðisfjörður Seydisfjordur
Day 4 Dettifoss, Krafla, & Geothermal Sights to Lake Mývatn Lake Myvatn
Day 5 The North: From Mývatn to Laugarbakki Laugarbakki
Day 6 Laugarbakki to the Volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 7 South to Reykjavík: Snaefellsnes Peninsula & West Highlights Reykjavik
Day 8 Morning in Reykjavík & Departure  

Land in Reykjavík and pick up your rental car, and then head to the Reykjanes Peninsula and visit the Bridge Between Continents and two geothermal areas. Continue on to the South Shore to see the roaring waterfalls of Seljalandsfooss and Skógafoss. Then, check out the cliffs and black-sand beaches in Vík. On day two, visit a canyon filled with unique rock formations and then go on a glacier walk or an ice cave tour at Skaftafell. Head to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to take in Diamond Beach, where the icebergs glisten along black rocks, and spend the night in Hofn.

Next, drive toward the East Fjords and stop at a black-rock beach at Hvalnes Nature Reserve. Walk along the shore of Djúpivogur for great views of the fjords. Head north along the scenic route to Egilsstaðir and hike the trails to the waterfalls in Seyðisfjörður. Wake up and head to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, followed by a stop at Selfoss falls along the basalt cliffs.

Continue on to discover the incredible landscapes of Lake Mývatn on day five, with a stop at a crater along the way. Walk the geothermal lava fields, check out the bubbling mud pits colored in red and orange, and have a relaxing soak in the Lake Mývatn Nature Baths. Then, navigate to Goðafoss to take in the legendary waterfall. Next, go whale watching in Husavik, then explore Akureyri

In the morning, make your way out to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Enjoy a good meal before checking out Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, followed by a climb to the top of a crater. Visit a shipwrecked vessel, the lava formations in Lóndrangar, and two neighboring fishing towns. On the way back to Reykjavík, make a stop to hike Glymur Falls, visit a pair of waterfalls, and cruise through a historical town or two, before ending the day with a walk along the shore at Borgarnes.

On the last day, enjoy time in Reykjavík. View the unique street art and visit a church on a hill for beautiful farewell city views. Learn more

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

This highlights trip takes you to four scenic areas—the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, Westman Islands, and Kirkjubæjarklaustur—along with spending time in the capital city. Take in the diverse landscapes—black-sand beaches, fishing towns, roaring waterfalls, dramatic cliffs, glaciers, and the scenic, locally loved islands. 

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

From Reykjavík, hit the road toward the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. While en route, stop for a hike in Glymur Falls and take a walk by the shore in Borgarnes. Then, check out the basalt cliffs in Gerðuberg, the lava fields along the coast, and walk along the cliffside paths in neighboring fishing towns. In the morning, view more lava formations in Lóndrangar and take a stroll around a shipwreck on a black-sand beach.

Next, climb to the top of Saxhóll crater and check out one of the most photographed peaks of Kirkjufell, accompanied by Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. On day three, navigate to the Golden Circle to tour Þingvellir National Park, and go on a scuba or snorkeling tour in Silfra Fissure’s clear waters. Then, visit the geothermal Geysir, followed by the Golden Falls of Gulfoss. Wind down with a soak at Secret Lagoon, with a possible glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Wake up and drive east on Ring Road, and then ferry to the Westman Islands. Explore this local hideaway via a guided bus tour. You can also enjoy a fast RIB boat tour around Heimaey to see the sea caves, cliffs, and busy birdlife—including the active summer puffin colony that reaches into the thousands. In the morning, enjoy another hike or boat ride, before ferrying back to the mainland. Make stops the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, followed by the arch and cliffs of Dyrhólaey. Then, explore the black-sand beaches and basalt columns surrounding Vík and continue to Kirkjubæjarklaustur for the night.

On day six, embark on a glacier tour of Skaftafell, Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Enjoy some fresh seafood in Höfn and visit a turf church in Hof. Drive back along the South Coast and make a few stops on the way back to Reykjavík. Visit a glacier, crater, waterfall, hot spring river, and more. Once back in the capital, get out on the town to check out the street art and take the elevator up the tower of a glass church for cool views of the city below. Stroll the museums and go whale watching tour from the harbor.

On departure day, make a morning stop at the Blue Lagoon, along with checking out a few noteworthy spots along the Reykjanes Peninsula, then catch your departure flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Summer Escape in West & North Iceland

This warm-weather route is a great way to beat the summer crowds—but is not recommended in the deep winter months. Explore the South Coast, Golden Circle, and spend more time along the North Coast and Arctic Coast to explore remote areas with great hiking options.  

Lake Mývatn
Lake Mývatn
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Reykjavík & Drive to Snæfellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 2 Snaefellsnes Peninsula - Black-Sand Beaches & Fishing Towns Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 3 Arctic Coast Farms, Churches, & Pools to Varmahlid Varmahlid
Day 4 Goðafoss, Trollaskagi Peninsula, & Whale Watching in Husavik Husavik
Day 5 Hike in Asbyrgi Canyon & Dettifoss Husavik
Day 6 Tour Lake Mývatn & Visit Akureyri Akureyri
Day 7 Hike Glymur Falls & Reykjavík Exploration Reykjavik
Day 8 Visit the Reykjanes Peninsula & Depart From Reykjavík  

Upon arrival, leave Reykjavík and drive toward the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Along the way, make a few stops at the shore in Borgarnes and the basalt cliffs and lava fields along the coast of the peninsula. In the morning, explore the large lava formations and the black-sand beaches, and then climb the steps to view the top of a crater.

On day three, near Vatnsnes, check out the legendary, troll-shaped rock formation and make a stop at the Icelandic Seal Center in Hvammstangi. Stop at a turf house farm nearby, as well as a preserved turf church. Head to two neighboring geothermal pools for some therapeutic soaking, and wind down in Varmahlid.

Wake up and drive to the tip of Trollaskagi Peninsula to the town of Siglufjörður, known for its factories and fishing history. Continue to Husavik, the whale watching capital of the world. The last stop of the day is the majestic Goðafoss waterfall. On day five, the journey leads you to Asbyrgi Canyon, which rests in a nature reserve and offers several scenic trails. Then, head to Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, followed by nearby stops at two more falls—Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss.

Next, explore Lake Mývatn’s highlights, which include pseudocraters, lava caves, rock formations, and geothermal areas, followed by a soak in the mineral waters of the Nature Baths. Continue on to discover Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest city. Drive back south to Reykjavík and stop at Glymur Falls for a hike, as well as two additional falls where clear water seeps through lava fields. Upon your return to Reykjavík, enjoy the best of the downtown art scene, and visit Hallgrímskirkja church, where you can access great views of the city. 

In the morning, en route to the airport, stop for a pre-flight soak in the Blue Lagoon. Then, set aside some time for some final sightseeing around the Reykjanes Peninsula before boarding your departure flight. Learn more

Plan your trip to Iceland
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Itinerary #4: Best of the West - Snaefellsnes Peninsula & Westfjords

This westward getaway is an ideal route to escape the most-visited sites. A fantastic trip for summer travelers, if you are looking for great cliffside hikes and birding opportunities, enjoy the best of the Westfjords.

Dynjandi Waterfall
Dynjandi Waterfall
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Reykjavík & Drive to Snæfellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 2 View the Volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula & Ferry to Westfjords Patreksfjörður
Day 3 Hike the Látrabjarg Bird Cliffs & Rauðasandur Beach Patreksfjörður
Day 4 Picnic at Dynjandi Waterfall & Explore Isafjordur Isafjordur
Day 5 Day Trip to the Hornstrandir Nature Preserve Isafjordur
Day 6 Eastern Westfjords: Isafjordur to Holmavik Drangsnes
Day 7 Drive South to Reykjavík & Town Highlights Reykjavik
Day 8 Morning in Reykjavik, Blue Lagoon Soak, & Departure  

From Keflavik Airport, head to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, making pit stops to hike Glymur Falls, and Borgarnes to stroll the Settlement Center and the shoreline. Then, visit the basalt cliffs and lava fields in the peninsula, along with two neighboring fishing towns with beautiful views. Wake up and explore more lava formations, a black-sand beach home to a shipwreck, and a crater you can view from atop. Kirkjufellsfoss falls is your first major waterfall stop (with Kirkjufell mountain by its side). Then, head to Stykkisholmur and hop a 3-hour ferry to the Westfjords, driving to Patreksfjordur to spend the night.

On day three, drive to the southwest tip of the Westfjords and hike the Látrabjarg Bird Cliffs with incredible water views below. Then, check out Rauðasandur Red Sand Beach and another beached shipwreck. Wake up and make your way to Dynjandi Waterfall. Park and walk around several falls below the massive Dynjandi, and enjoy a picnic lunch along the fjord. Then, navigate to Isafjordur to have an award-winning fish meal at Tjoruhusid, stop at the maritime museum, and join a historical walking tour of the town. On day five, head to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve to view the endless basalt mountains, deep fjords, and beautiful valleys.

Wake up and make the 3-hour drive to Drangsnes—on an incredible, eight-fjord route. Stop in Súðavík’s Arctic Fox Center, take a short hike around Valagil Falls, and explore the small fishing town of Hvítanes to see the active seal colony. Check out the Saltverk Salt Factory and then head to Holmavik, home to the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft. Take a tour and visit the Sorcerer’s Cottage to end the day. Depart the Westfjords region on day seven and drive to Reykjavík, and make any stops you missed along the way. Close out the day in the capital—walk compact downtown, peruse the urban art, and stroll by the harbor for a whale-watching tour.

Wake up and continue enjoying Reykjavík’s historical offerings on your last day. Then, stop at the Blue Lagoon for a sendoff soak on the way to the airport. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Iceland Winter Highlights

On this winter vacation to Iceland, enjoy the snow-capped views of the capital city, frozen waterfalls, and scenic, white-washed lookouts along the way. 

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival & Discover Winter in Downtown Reykjavik Reykjavik
Day 2 Into the Glacier Tour, Frozen Waterfalls, & Snaefellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 3 Snæfellsnes Peninsula Winter Drive Highlights Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 4 Golden Circle Sights & Snowmobile Tour Golden Circle
Day 5 Winter Waterfalls & Black-Sand Beaches to Kirkjubæjarklaustur Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 6 Skaftafell & Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Exploration Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 7 Drive & Explore South Coast Back to Reykjavik Reykjavik
Day 8 Morning in Reykjavik, Blue Lagoon Soak, & Departure  

Touch down in Reykjavík and spend the day enjoying the sights in the snow-kissed capital city, from the Sun Voyager Sculpture to Hallgrimskirkja church on a hill with incredible views. Stroll the museums, if the weather sends you inside, and enjoy a nice meal and drinks about town. On day two, en route to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, embark on the “Into the Glacier" tour of Langjökull. In the morning, make a few stops to see the frozen waterfalls, basalt cliffs, and lava fields on the coast. Enjoy a warm fish soup before checking out more lava formations, along with black-sand beaches and a crater.

On day four, explore another side of Langjökull on a snowmobiling tour and enjoy a post-excursion, geothermal soak in the Secret Lagoon. Wake up and visit more waterfalls—from Seljalandsfoss to Skogafoss—beautiful cliffs and an otherworldly canyon on the way to Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Continue the glacier discovery on day six, beginning with Skaftafell. Join an ice cave tour, head out on a glacier walk, or embark on a challenging ice-climbing excursion. Next is Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon, followed by a stunning view of icebergs strewn along Diamond Beach at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Wake up and drive back along the South Coast to Reykjavík with a few more stops along the way, including a hot spring river, an ancient swimming pool, one last waterfall, and a crater. Indulge in a delicious dinner back in the capital.

On your last day, continue enjoying the city sights. Stroll the museums and exhibitions, and then stop at the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport for a final, relaxing soak. Learn more

Itinerary #6: Laugavegur Trek in Iceland's Highlands

This unique Icelandic trek (available guided or unguided) takes you along one of the most famous journeys in the country. Hike from the volcanoes, glaciers, and craters of Fjallabak Nature Reserve to the geothermal Rhyolite Mountains.

The landscapes of Landmannalaugar
The landscapes of Landmannalaugar
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Reykjavík & Self-Guided Tour Reykjavik
Day 2 Landmannalaugar Mountain & Volcano Trekking Landmannalaugar
Day 3 Rhyolite Mountains Trek - Hrafntinnusker to Lake Álftavatn Lake Alftavatn
Day 4 Cross the Emstrur Desert & View Hattafell Emstrur-Botnar Hut
Day 5 Explore Þórsmörk Valley Thorsmork
Day 6 Þórsmörk - Discover Goðalönd & Fimmvorduhals Pass Thorsmork
Day 7 Final Hike in Þórsmörk & Return to Reykjavík Reykjavik
Day 8 Visit the Blue Lagoon & Depart From Reykjavík  

Enjoy some sightseeing in Downtown Reykjavík upon arrival, along with a nice dinner and drinks to pair. Wake up and take the bus to Fjallabak Nature Reserve, and head out on the famed Dómadalur route to an active volcano and a crater famous for its bright colors and lava layers. Then, discover Bláhnúkur, a volcano with views of five glaciers. On day three, trek through the stunning Rhyolite Mountains, an active, geothermal area home to a glacier-topped volcano, and venture into the heart of the collapsed caldera. Next, hike through small, hidden valleys at the foot of another glacier, and enjoy the night camping by Lake Alftavatn.

On day four, cross the Emstrur Desert, colored with black sand and laced periodically with bright-green mountains. Visit the Hattafell cone prior to arrival at the night’s campsite. Next, it’s on to Thorsmörk Valley to explore the alpine area’s green slopes and gullies. On day six, head over the Krossá River by footbridge to Goðalönd, known as “Land of the Gods.” Sitting at the foot of two glaciers, take in the grass-and-flower-covered ridges and cliffs.

Continue along the contrasting volcanic landscape; pass craters and a lava field from a 2010 eruption, and spend the night back in Thorsmörk. Wake up and hike a bit more through Thorsmörk Valley, and then head back to Reykjavík. Stroll the museums and indigenous exhibits and do some whale watching from the harbor.

On your final day, enjoy a nice breakfast in the capital, then head to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing, pre-flight soak. Learn more

Start Planning Your Perfect Trip to Iceland

For more, see all of our 8-day Iceland tours and itineraries, or extend your trip with 9 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas. Describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.


Map of 8 Days in Iceland - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 8 Days in Iceland - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas