Nine days is a comfortable amount of time to explore two of Iceland's regions. Consider a leisurely road trip around the famed Ring Road, getting off the main route to spend time in Thorsmork and the Highlands or the Westman Islands (a favorite local hideaway). The five itineraries below take you to popular areas, like the Golden Circle and South Coast, while also incorporating lesser-known territories, including the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the Westfjords.

Itinerary #1: Ultimate Ring Road Adventure

Embark on this road trip along Ring Road to explore iconic areas of Iceland. The 828-mile route includes detours to beautiful waterfalls, black-rock beaches, craters and more in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Akureyri, Lake Myvatn, the East Fjords, the South Coast, and the Golden Circle

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Reykjavik, Explore Downtown Reykjavik
Day 2 Volcanic 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 Scenic Eastern Fjords Seydisfjordur
Day 7 Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Diamond Beach & Skaftafell Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 8 South Coast Waterfalls, Black Sand Beaches & Golden Circle Golden Circle Area
Day 9 Golden Circle, Return to Reykjavik, Depart  

Touch down in Reykjavik and enjoy some exploration of the capital city. Stroll the compact downtown area and check out the street art, along with the landmarks along the waterfront and Hallgrimskirkja, a church upon a hill with incredible views below.

On day two, grab your rental car and hit the road toward the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Hike the stunning Glymur Falls, visit several waterfalls, including iconic Kirkjufellsfoss, and stop at unique cliffs, basalt columns, and native lava fields on the coast. Indulge in delicious fish soup in Hellnar for dinner. Spend the next morning visiting any sights missed yesterday, then drive the Ring Road toward Akureyri. On the 4.5-hour drive, make stops to see a turf church, the Icelandic Seal Centre, and a troll-shaped rock formation. Have a nice meal in Akureyri and stroll the café and bar scene.

Get back on Ring Road and stop at historic Godafoss waterfall en route to Husavik to do some whale watching. Then, make more scenic waterfall stops at famed Dettifoss and another giant, Selfoss. Head to Lake Myvatn and soak in the Nature Baths after the long day of exploration. Continue discovering Lake Myvatn on day five—the pseudocraters, lava and rock formations, mud pits, and steam vents are a unique collection of natural sights. Navigate to the remote coastline of the East Fjords, and take a tour of picture-perfect Seydisfjordur. Consider a hiking trail framed by waterfalls and the fjord.

Next, take the drive to visit a few glaciers, including Skaftafell and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, with icebergs strewn upon Diamond Beach. Head west on Ring Road toward the South Coast to see the black-rock beaches and arches. Take in the breathtaking views at Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, and head toward the Golden Circle to soak in the Secret Lagoon.

The final day takes you a few epic destinations—Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area, and Thingvellir National Park. Make a pitstop at the Blue Lagoon on the way the airport for a pre-flight soak. Learn more

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

This well-balanced self-drive tour allows you to explore both popular (South Coast and Golden Circle), and lesser-known areas (Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Westman Islands), alike. 

Go on great hiking trails in Thorsmork
Go on great hiking trails in Thorsmork
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Reykjavík & Drive to Snæfellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 2 Explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 3 Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Drive to Golden Circle Golden Circle
Day 4 Golden Circle & Ferry to Westman Islands Westman Islands 
Day 5 South Coast Natural Wonders Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 6 Skaftafell, Svartifoss & Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 7 Bus to Thorsmork & Hiking Trails Thorsmork
Day 8 Drive the South Coast & Explore Reykjavík Reykjavik
Day 9 Reykjanes Peninsula & Depart From Reykjavík  

When you touch down at Keflavik Airport, pick up your rental car. Stop in Reykjavík for breakfast—or hit the road right away for the Snarfellsnes Peninsula. En route, hike Glymur Falls and walk along the shore in pretty Borgarnes. Be sure to check out the basalt cliffs and lava fields, and walk the cliffside paths with impeccable views in two neighboring towns.

The next day, continue exploring the area’s highlights, including the lava formations at Lóndrangar and a shipwreck along a black-sand beach. Make a quick stop to climb to the top of the Saxhóll crater, followed by a drive around Kikjufellsfoss waterfall with the towering Kirkjufell mountain peak in the background. From there, head to the Golden Circle to explore Þingvellir National Park, and go snorkeling in the Silfra Fissure—between the tectonic plates—followed by a visit to Geysir. Take a load off in the Secret Lagoon—and keep an eye out for the Northern Lights (from September-April).

Head east on Ring Road and ferry over to the Westman Islands, a lesser-known tourist destination but a favorite of locals. Tour the island by minibus or board a fast-paced, inflatable RIB boat around Heimaey to see sea caves and an active puffin colony (in the summer months), and go for a hike to a crater or climb to the highest peak.

Ferry back to the mainland and visit the majestic Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Stop to see the arch and cliffs in Dyrhólaey, followed by the black-rock beach and basalt columns along Reynisfjara Beach. Pass through scenic Vik, toward Kirkjubæjarklaustur, and navigate toward a canyon with otherworldly rock formations. Arrive at Skaftafell on day six, where you'll hike to Svartifoss falls and see the glistening icebergs around Jokulsarlon, all before visiting a turf church in Hof.

From the South Coast, hop a bus to Thorsmork. Plan on a few scenic hiking trails—ranging from 1.5-6 hours, depending on preference—to explore the iconic valley region. Or, tour Stakkholtsgjá Waterfall and take a trip to LavaSPA for some geothermal downtime. Camp or stay at the Volcano Huts for the night. Head back toward the South Coast on day eight and circle back to any missed stops, or consider a hot spring river, a lava tunnel, or perhaps, another glacier visit.

Spend the final night in Reykjavík enjoying the street art, museums, and dining and nightlife scene. On the way to the airport, soak in the Blue Lagoon and explore the Reykjanes Peninsula for a few final highlights. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Best of the West Coast

This West Coast road trip allows you to explore the gorgeous Icelandic landscapes—the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the cliffs, red-sand beaches, and waterfalls of the Westfjords, a witchcraft museum in the Eastern Westfjords, and the scenic Reykjanes Peninsula. 

Majestic Dynjandi waterfall is a great picnic spot
Majestic Dynjandi waterfall is a great picnic spot
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Reykjavik, Explore Downtown Reykjavik
Day 2 Glymur Falls, Borgarnes, Snæfellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 3 Volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 4 Ferry From Snaefellsnes Peninsula to the Westfjords Patreksfjörður
Day 5 Southern Westfjords: Látrabjarg & Dynjandi Isafjordur
Day 6 Isafjordur or Hornstrandir Hiking Isafjordur
Day 7 Eastern Westfjords: Isafjordur to Holmavik Drangsnes
Day 8 Drive from Holmavik to Reykjavik, West Iceland Reykjavik
Day 9 Reykjanes Peninsula, Blue Lagoon, Departure  

Spend your first day in Iceland exploring Reykjavik, including a welcome dinner of fresh seafood. Get your rental car on day two and drive north. Stop to hike at Glymur Falls, and visit the Settlement Center and the pretty shoreline of Borgarnes. Visit a pair of waterfalls, the basalt cliffs and lava fields, and enjoy dinner in Hellnar along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

From Hellnar, walk to Arnarstapi for close views of the lava formations and rock arches. Then, drive to Londrangar to see the lava formations and a black-sand beach that is home to a shipwreck. Climb to the top of a crater, snap photos of Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, accented by Kirkjufell mountain. View the Berserkjahraun Lava Fields, enjoy a lunch of fresh mussels, and board a 3-hour ferry north to the Westfjords (or make the 3.25-hour drive). Grab picnic supplies and head toward Isafjordur. Hike the Látrabjarg Bird Cliffs, detour to a red-sand beach called Rauðasandur, and stop to see the Gardar BA 64 Shipwreck.

Then, head to Dynjandi Waterfall to take in the views, including the several falls below, and enjoy a picnic lunch. Stop at a maritime museum and have some spectacular fish at Tjoruhusid in Isafjordur. Continue exploring the largest town in the Westfjords via hiking, biking, boating, kayaking, or even horseback riding. Visit the Hornstrandir Nature Preserve to see native wildlife along the basalt mountains and towering sea cliffs.

Make the stunning drive to Drangsnes—passing eight fjords along the way. Stop at the Arctic Fox Center, Valagil Falls, a seal colony, and a salt factory along the way. Visit a sorcery and witchcraft exhibit to end the day. Head back to Reykjavik for your final night, and visit any destinations you may have skipped at the beginning of the trip. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Summer Escape to the West & North

This two-region tour allows you to skip the crowded South to experience incredible destinations in both West and North Iceland. Stroll the black-sand beaches and fishing towns of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, enjoy hikes through Asbyri Canyon, and spend time on the Arctic Coast. 

The charming town of Siglufjordur
The charming town of Siglufjordur
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 Explore Lake Mývatn & Visit Akureyri Akureyri
Day 7 Drive to West Iceland, Visit Grábrók Crater, & Tour Borgarnes Borgarnes
Day 8 Glymur Falls Hike & Afternoon in Reykjavík Reykjavik
Day 9 Visit the Reykjanes Peninsula & Depart From Reykjavík  

In your rental car, hit the road to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to visit the volcanic craters, basalt columns, black-sand beaches, waterfalls, and much more. Take to the cliffside paths in Arnarstapi and Hellnar, where you can also enjoy some comforting fish soup. Continue on to the lava formations in Lóndrangar, and stop at a crater, a shipwreck along a black-rock beach, and the popular Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, also home to Kirkjufell peak.

Navigate to the north peninsulas next. View Hvítserkur (a troll-shaped basalt formation), as well as some turf houses and churches. Have a soak in two pools on the way to the fishing town of Siglufjörður and spend the night in Varmahlid. Drive along the tip of the Trollaskagi Peninsula, known as a factory haven. Go whale watching in Husavik and then stop at Goðafoss Waterfall to appreciate the “Waterfall of the Gods.”

Take Route 85 toward Asbyrgi Canyon to do some exploration of the tremendous valley and its surroundings. Consider a few hiking trails, then head to Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Then, stop at Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss to close out the day of waterfall exploration. Tour the natural sites around Lake Mývatn, including pseudocraters, lava formations, and wooded trails, and soak in the Nature Baths to take in the whole scene.

Head to Akureyri, the largest town in the north, and visit a church upon a hill, before enjoying the cafés and bars along the picturesque fjord. Make any stops in West Iceland you forwent on the way out. Take in Grábrók Crater, and stroll, hike, and climb in Borgarnes before spending the night. Go for a hike at Glymur Falls on the way back to Reykjavik. 

On your last day, explore the capital city: enjoy the different museums and the cool street art of downtown, along with a hearty meal and a taste of the nightlife. Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon before catching your return flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Winter Adventures in the West & South

This winter adventure through West and South Iceland allows you to explore the country at its snowiest. There are frozen waterfalls, plenty of glacier activities, warm soaking opportunities in the hot springs and lagoons, and lots of chances along the way to spot the Northern Lights. 

Tour the ice caves at Jökulsárlón Glacier
Tour the ice caves at Jökulsárlón Glacier
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 Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 4 Thingvellir Park, Snorkeling at Silfra Fissure, & Dog Sledding Golden Circle
Day 5 Golden Circle Exploration & Snowmobile Tour Golden Circle
Day 6 Winter Waterfalls & Black-Sand Beaches to Kirkjubæjarklaustur Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 7 Glacier Walks, Ice Cave Tours & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 8 South Coast Glacier Hike & Back to Reykjavik Reykjavik
Day 9 Visit the Reykjanes Peninsula & Depart From Reykjavík  

Start in the winter wonderland of Reykjavik, where you can stroll the sights downtown and join a whale-watching tour along the harbor. Escape the cold indoors at several museums and exhibitions, and enjoy an upscale dinner of seafood and craft cocktails.

Next day, embark on the “Into the Glacier” tour of Langjökull. Your guide will take you through the glacier's ice tunnels, exiting out the top of the ice cap in a special vehicle. From there, head to Borgarnes and check out two waterfalls before reaching the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. View the basalt cliffs and lava formations, and walk the cliffside paths of the small fishing towns. In the evening, enjoy views of Kirkjufellsfoss—hopefully aglow with the Northern Lights.

Drive south for an action-packed day in Thingvellir National Park. Snorkel in the Silfra Fissure, go on a fun, guided dogsledding excursion, and relax with a warm soak in the Secret Lagoon. On day five, make an early-morning stop at Gullfoss falls before the crowds arrive, and then head out on an afternoon snowmobiling glacier tour. Continue enjoying the South on days six and seven: stop at Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss falls, check out the region's stunning cliffs and basalt columns, pass through Vík, and see the Diamond Beach icebergs at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.

Drive back to Reykjavik and stop at Sólheimajökull, an outlet glacier of Mýrdalsjökull. Head out on a glacier hike or some ice climbing, then visit the LAVA Centre to learn about volcanic activity. Visit a crater, a waterfall, and a hot spring river on the way back to the capital. Before boarding your flight home, the last day calls for exploration of the Reykjanes Peninsula and a warm, comforting soak in the Blue Lagoon. Learn more

For more, see all of our 9-day Iceland tours and itineraries. Or extend your trip with 10 Days in Iceland - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas


Map of 9 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 9 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas