In 10 days, discover the highlights of five areas in Iceland. Prepare for minimal driving, thanks to the close proximity of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a ferry trip to the beautiful islands, and on-foot exploration in Thorsmork. Embark on a number of great hikes—from breathtaking coasts and cliffs to lava fields, and through lush valleys and scenic glaciers. This trip is a great way to balance out visiting popular areas (including the Golden Circle) with lesser-known destinations (like the Westman Islands).
Iceland Travel Insights
Iceland's recent history tells a surprising story about its fast rise in popularity: Iceland's economic collapse during the financial crisis of 2008 created the perfect storm for its people to hunker down and join forces to rebuild its travel industry, and the subsequent 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull that grounded world air traffic for several weeks, provided an unexpected spotlight on Iceland's powerful, stunning nature. Together, these forces caused a surge in tourism, helping rebuild the Icelandic economy and earning Iceland a top spot on many travelers' bucket lists.
Discover two sides of Iceland on this 10-day trip. Begin in the Golden Circle, home to Þingvellir National Park, where the tectonic plates meet and go snorkeling in a fissure. Then, explore the waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and cliffs along the South Coast, followed by a day surrounded by stunning glaciers. Next, visit a few notable sites on the way back to Reykjavik, before hopping a bus to embark on the Laugavegur Trek for the next few days. Hike around the landscapes rich with volcanoes, mountains, scenic lakes, and deserts before reaching the iconic Thorsmork Valley. Return to the capital for one last night, and soak in the Blue Lagoon before departure.
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.
Five days may seem like a short amount of time for an eventful trip to Iceland, but with the right itinerary, a rental car, and internal flights at your disposal, you can explore the highlights in up to three regions. Tour popular spots like the Golden Circle and South Coast, or venture to areas with less tourist traffic—the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Lake Mývatn, and the Eastfjords are all great picks. Going in winter? Check out itinerary #6 to make sure the most of the snow, ice, and Northern Lights.
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.
Drive Iceland's famous Ring Road on this quick, seven-day trip designed for warmer travel (so there are no slowdowns due to weather and lack of daylight in the winter). Head south to the most-visited highlights—massive waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and glaciers. Enjoy the scenic route through the East Fjords, before arriving at Lake Myvatn, surrounded by geothermal and volcanic wonders. Join a whale-watching trip from Husavik, the whale watching capital, and spend time in Reykjavik exploring the best of the city, along with enjoying a soak in the Blue Lagoon.
Visit several scenic areas on this weeklong trip to Iceland. Encounter stunning waterfalls, geothermal areas, black-sand beaches, glaciers and more in the Golden Circle and South Coast. Venture to local gem, the Westman Islands, to enjoy the historic beach tours (there’s an active puffin colony in the summer months). Then, embark on an incredible hiking journey through the valleys and peaks of Thorsmork, before returning to Reykjavik for some enjoyment in the capital city.
In one week, enjoy three of Iceland’s most beautiful regions. Explore the black-sand beaches, cliffs, and fishing towns along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the geothermal geological highlights in the Golden Circle, and the stunning waterfalls and glaciers along the South Coast. The trip closes out with a visit to Reykjavik and a tour of the Reykjanes Peninsula highlights, including several opportunities to soak in natural hot springs and lagoons.
Embark on the famed Laugavegur Trail on this seven-day Icelandic trek. Journey through active, geothermal lava fields, the Rhyolite Mountains, and snow-covered passes. Cross through a black-sand desert and land in a native forest. Learn about wild and rare plants and animals, and soak in the hot springs along the way. This scenic-yet-basic camping trek allows you to maximize your time in this unique destination. You can choose to travel with just a day pack (luggage storage can be arranged), and you can opt for a guided or self-guided tour, depending on preference.
Lose the tourists crowding the South in the summer, and hit Iceland’s West and North, instead. This weeklong journey is a great second trip plan for those who’ve already visited popular areas (like the Golden Circle and South Coast). Spend time along the Arctic Coast and explore the remote northeast. Go whale watching in Husavik, tour the geothermal marvel that is Lake Mývatn, discover the fishing towns, black-sand beaches, and cliffs along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and more.
This weeklong trip takes you to the highlights of the West and remote Westfjords. Travel to some of the lesser-visited areas, with only a fraction of the crowds—compared to the Golden Circle and South Coast. Spend a few days in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula before ferrying to the remote Westfjords, home to some of the most dramatic landscapes in all of Iceland. Hike along the jagged cliffs at Látrabjarg, visit a red-sand beach, and picnic at the powerful Dynjandi Waterfall. Spend time in Isafjordur and drive along the eight-fjord system to stop in small towns. In Holmavik, visit a sorcery museum prior to driving back to the capital for some city exploration.
Enjoy the snowier side of Iceland on this seven-day winter adventure. On arrival, head "Into the Glacier" at Langjökull, on the way to discover the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, filled with basalt columns, black-sand beaches, and beautiful cliffs. Then, go on a snowmobiling excursion out of the Golden Circle, and wind down with a warm lagoon soak. Next, visit the spectacular frozen falls along the South Coast, including Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, and go on glacier walks at Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón. Wind down with some exploration of snow-topped Reykjavik before heading home.
Embark on a quick and eventful winter road trip through some of Iceland’s most popular destinations on this five-day itinerary. Go sightseeing in downtown Reykjavik, and enjoy the snowy views all around. Head out on glacier adventures at different destinations, from snowmobiling to hiking, and relish the frozen falls, including Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Skogafoss, during wintertime. Along the way, take in the Northern Lights, which are especially amazing while soaking in geothermal areas and lagoons.
Take a different route—past the large crowds in the south—on this quick and scenic, five-day road trip. This itinerary is especially enticing for those who have been to popular areas, like the South Coast and Golden Circle, as it incorporates different regions. In West Iceland, hike to Glymur Falls, then head to the Artic Coast to check out turf houses, basalt formations, and the geothermal pools. Tour and spend two nights in Akureyri, along with discovering Goðafoss Waterfall and Lake Mývatn’s highlights, before enjoying time in the capital and a soak in the Blue Lagoon.
With just a few days to explore Iceland, make the most of your time by driving one way from Egilsstaðir to Vik to Reykjavik—without retracing your steps. Relish the chance to see the dramatic landscapes of the Eastern Fjords and more time in new places (rather than doubling back). While you can embark on this route in either direction, taking a domestic flight to Egilsstaðir at the beginning of the trip is recommended, so you can leave the larger crowds behind and explore remote areas on your own terms.
This fast-paced Icelandic trip spans three regions—the Golden Circle, South Coast, and Thorsmork—and offers plenty to see over the course of five days. Explore Þingvellir National Park and snorkel in the Silfra Fissure in the Golden Circle. Then, view beautiful waterfalls, like Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, along with black-sand beaches in the South Coast. Next, take a bus to Thorsmork to embark on a day of hiking trails through the valley, and end in Reykjavik to discover the best of the capital city.
Explore some of the most popular highlights of Iceland on this five-day, self-drive trip. Visit Geysir, the meeting of the tectonic plates, and Gulfoss in the Golden Circle. Then, drive the South Coast to explore the waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and cliffs all around. Next, discover a few glaciers, including Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón. On the way back to Reykjavik, stop at a hot springs river and an ancient pool, along with another waterfall and a crater. Take in the highlights of the Reykjanes Peninsula on your way out, along with a comforting soak in the Blue Lagoon.
Explore the highlights of West and South Iceland on this quick, five-day tour. Head to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to visit basalt cliffs, black-sand beaches, lava fields and formations, craters, and cliffside paths in fishing towns. Then, head south toward Vik to visit a handful of impressive waterfalls, from Seljalandsfoss to Skogafoss. Stop at a hot springs river, an ancient pool, another waterfall, and a crater on the road back to Reykjavik, and spend time exploring the funky street art and historical culture in the capital city. Tour the Reykjanes Peninsula's highlights and soak in the Blue Lagoon to close out the jam-packed trip.
Visit the best of the west and north regions of Iceland on this nine-day trip. Skip the summer crowds headed south—this route is not recommended for winter travel, however. Visit the black-sand beaches and fishing towns in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, go on scenic hikes to Dettifoss and Asbyri Canyon, and take in the incredible sights around Lake Mývatn. Enjoy time in the Arctic Coast and less-populated Northeast, along with some whale watching in Husavik. On the way back to the capital, stop in West Iceland’s Borgarnes, and take a memorable hike to Glymur Falls.
In nine days, enjoy Iceland's best waterfalls, black-sand beaches, cliffs, fishing towns, and hiking in the highlands, along with a trip to a locals’ island hideaway. The itinerary includes minimal driving, scenic trails, and a nice balance of popular sights—like the Golden Circle, South Coast, and Thorsmork—and lesser-known gems—including the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Westman Islands. Explore several glaciers, soak in hot springs and warm lagoons, enjoy the highlights of the capital city, and more.
Discover Iceland's famous Laugavegur Trail on this eight-day adventure. Journey through an active geothermal world of lava fields, the Rhyolite Mountains, and snow-covered passes. Cross through a black-sand desert and reach the enchanting, native forestry. Enjoy the wild and rare flora and fauna, typical Icelandic food, and hot springs. This back-to-basics camping trek follows a rhythm designed to maximize your connection to—and enjoyment of—this unique environment. Available as a guided or self-guided tour, luggage transport can be arranged if you prefer to trek with just a day pack.
Spend eight days unlocking the beautiful highlights of Iceland in the wintertime. First, enjoy snow-capped views throughout Reykjavík while exploring the best of downtown. Then, take a tour inside a glacier, and view frozen waterfalls en route to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Continue discovering the lava formations, black-sand beaches, and craters, before heading to the Golden Circle for a snowmobiling tour around Langjökull Glacier. Follow more waterfalls, arches, and cliffs toward Vík, and spend time in the ice caves of Skaftafell and at stunning Diamond Beach at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. On the drive back to Reykjavík, make a few more stops along the South Coast, and indulge in relaxing soak in the Blue Lagoon on Departure Day.
This eight-day Icelandic road trip takes you to the highlights of the west. Travel to some of the less-visited areas, with only a fraction of the crowds of the Golden Circle and South Coast. Explore the Volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula before taking a car ferry past Flatey Island to the remote Westfjords, home to some of the most dramatic landscapes in all of Iceland. Hike along the jagged cliffs at Londrangar to seek out active birdlife, see black-, golden-, and red-sand beaches, and visit the powerful Dynjandi Waterfall. Spend a couple of nights in Isafjordur, a great base for hiking, kayaking, and day trips across the fjord to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve—only accessible by boat and trail.
Explore the scenic peninsulas, waterfalls, lakes, and more on this eight-day tour through Iceland’s west and north regions. This route, especially, allows you to beat the summer crowds headed to the South Coast and Golden Circle, providing more time to hike and take in magnificent viewpoints in destinations like Glymur Falls, Lake Mývatn, Asbyrgi Canyon, and Dettifoss. Absorb the stunning black-sand beaches and small fishing towns in Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Take more time in the Arctic Coast and remote Northeast, and go whale watching in Husavik. End the trip with a tour of the geothermal highlights of the Reykjanes Peninsula.
Six days is enough time for a quick and eventful road trip through a couple of regions of Iceland, but not enough time to drive the full Ring Road. Most trips offer plenty of flexibility to circle back to any sights missed along the way. Tour dozens of destinations among the stunning Icelandic landscapes, from the Golden Circle to the South Coast. Enjoy both warm and cold adventures—with chances to enjoy more winter-forward excursions and sightings of the Northern Lights in the summer—in these five trip plans.
Enjoy four, scenic regions of Iceland in just over one week. Upon arrival, head to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to take in your first glimpses of the lava formations, black-sand beaches, and waterfalls that make this region famous. Travel the Golden Circle to discover the tectonic plates meeting, geothermal wonders, and a warm lagoon soak. Ferry to the lesser-known-yet-stunning Westman Islands to visit the sea caves, cliffs, a decorated puffin colony, and more—by boat and foot—followed by additional waterfalls, beaches, and incredible arches and cliffs along the South Coast. Venture into the heart of several glaciers and their accompanying lagoons. Tour Reykjavík and make a few final stops in the Reykjanes Peninsula to close out the trip.
Drive Iceland's famous Ring Road on this quick, eight-day trip, which includes a detour to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Head south to the most visited highlights, including massive waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and glaciers. Enjoy the scenic route through the East Fjords before arriving at Lake Mývatn, surrounded by geothermal and volcanic wonders. Visit the whale-watching capital of Husavik and venture west into the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, with its small fishing towns, easy cliffside walks, and lava fields, and end by exploring the Icelandic capital city of Reykjavík.
Experience an entirely different side of Iceland on a winter road trip to explore all the highlights. Grab your coat and head to downtown Reykjavík, which offers incredible views this time of year. Then, head to the Golden Circle to visit the white-washed version of Gullfoss, followed by an action-packed snowmobiling adventure to Langjökull Glacier. Next, discover Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls—complete with frozen fields—and embark on glacier hikes, ice cave tours, and ice climbing excursions at Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. On the way back to Reykjavík, enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot springs of Rekjadalur, followed by a stop at the Blue Lagoon to close out the trip.
Explore the Golden Circle on this well-balanced, self-drive itinerary featuring both popular stops and hidden gems. First, drive to Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall, followed by a relaxing soak in the Secret Lagoon. Next, head to the South Coast to stunning waterfalls—Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss—and visits to Reynisfjara Beach, Vík, and the otherworldly Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. Then, explore the glacial areas of Skaftafell, Svartifoss, and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, followed by a day to discover the lesser-known Westman Islands. Return to Reykjavík for some sightseeing and tour the Reykjanes Peninsula—plus a stop for a final soak in the Blue Lagoon—before your departure flight home.
New visitors and returning travelers who’ve experienced the Golden Circle and South Coast can enjoy the best of Northern Iceland—without the crowds. First, explore Glymur Falls in West Iceland, followed by visits to turf houses, the Hvitserkur rock formation, and geothermal pools along the Arctic Coast. Next, tour Akureyri, the stunning Goðafoss Waterfall, and Lake Mývatn at length. Then, go whale watching in Husavik, before heading back west to discover the highlights of Reykjavík and the Reykjanes Peninsula, with a relaxing grand finale at the Blue Lagoon.
This five-day, self-drive trip is a great way to experience the best of Iceland without driving too far from Reykjavík. Begin in Snæfellsnes Peninsula to tour the Djúpalónssandur black-sand beach, Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, and more. Then, visit the Golden Circle's Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, along with Þingvellir National Park. Next, stop at the South Shore's Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls and Reynisfjara Beach, before reaching Vik. The trip concludes with sightseeing in Reykjavík and a taste of the dining and nightlife scenes.
This 9-day self-drive adventure is a great alternative to the full Ring Road loop, especially during summer months when Iceland tourism hits its peak. With more than a week, you'll experience a range of incredible landscapes all over the island, like rugged peninsulas, hot springs, volcanoes, lava fields, small fishing towns, and waterfall hikes with only a fraction of the crowds. To shorten this itinerary, skip the East Fjords and fly back to Reykjavík from Akureyri.
Dark and chilly, December brightens up in the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year's Eve, attracting visitors to Iceland's festive villages and towns. This is a great month to hit the slopes, wander a holiday market, and ring in the new year with a fireworks display over Hallgrímskirkja. Read on to learn more about visiting December in Iceland.
November is a fantastic month to visit Iceland for those who want to see the Northern Lights and experience wintry outdoor activities: ice caving, snorkeling the Silfra fissure, and soaking in a geothermal pool. It's also an ideal time to travel around the lowlands without worrying too much about the weather. Find out what to do and where to go with this monthly guide.
The summer rush is long over, and the winter festivities have yet to begin, making October a peaceful time to visit. Enjoy colorful fall scenery and shorter days, taking advantage of one of the best times of year to view the Northern Lights. Read this monthly guide to learn more.
September marks the end of the high season and is a fantastic month to explore Iceland's iconic scenery without the crowds. This is also a great month to join a Northern Lights tour. Read on to learn what to do and where to go.
August is the last full month of Iceland's busy and expensive high season. With that comes warmer weather, a sporty vibe from tourists and locals who spend as much time outdoors as possible, and loads of fun events like Commerce Day and Fireworks at Jökulsárlón. Read this monthly guide to learn more.
July is high season for Iceland where you can expect the country’s best weather, a lively vibe from locals who spend as much time outside as possible, and loads of fun events. Read this monthly guide to learn more (and how to beat the inevitable crowds).
June begins Iceland’s busiest travel season. With never-ending daylight hours and Midnight Sun tours, the country is alive with festivals and an all-access pass to hiking in the highlands. Find out what to do and where to go with this June guide.
The last month before the summer crowds, May is one of the best times to visit Iceland. Spring is well underway, trading in snowy landscapes with swathes of green land blanketed in purple lupine flowers, tourist crowds are still light, and the days are long—you can expect daylight to last until midnight.
Traveling to Iceland in April offers a lot: crowds are small, hotel and flight deals can be found, there’s still the chance to see the Northern Lights, and there’s enough daylight to do and see a lot each day. Read on to learn more.
With few crowds, low prices, and ever-increasing daylight hours, March is arguably one of the best times to visit Iceland. Enjoy all the winter tours in peace and still have plenty of opportunities to catch the Northern Lights. Find out what to do and where to go with this March guide.
Iceland in February is a perfect place to play in the outdoors with few tourists and lower prices. Enjoy traditional winter activities like skiing and snowmobiling to more unique sports like glacier hiking and ice caving and with the long nights you can view the Northern Lights with ease. Let this monthly guide help you find the best places to visit and things to do.
Take advantage of the snowy season where everything seems more calm and quiet, and when the tourist crowds are at their smallest. This is also one of the best times for viewing the Northern Lights. Read on to learn more about visiting Iceland in January.
With ten days in Iceland, many visitors opt for the classic drive along Ring Road (Route One), visiting volcanoes, glaciers, and the famous Blue Lagoon along the journey. You could also choose to get off the beaten path, enjoying remote hiking to waterfalls and horseback riding adventures in the Westfjords. Read on for three unique ten-day itineraries.
If you want to see Iceland's top natural highlights, a self-drive tour is by far the most popular option. Travel at your own pace with plenty of changes to head off the main road in search of your own adventures. This tour also includes the Snaefellsnes peninsula which many call "mini-Iceland" as almost every natural phenomenon in Iceland can be found there, albeit on a smaller scale than elsewhere.
This 5-day tour of Iceland's South Coast hits the top natural sights. Visit Thingvellir National Park and Gullfoss Waterfall, see the Reynisfjara black sand beach, and drop by the small village of Vik for coffee and local history. Stop and see the Jokulsarlon lagoon and Skaftafell National Park's many glaciers. Enjoy viewing the Northern Lights in comfort.
Check the spectacular Northern Lights off your bucket list with this quick-hit trip to southern Iceland. In addition to nighttime expeditions in search of the Aurora Borealis, you'll tour some of the country's most dramatic natural wonders and unforgettable landscapes. Visit impressive waterfalls, vast glaciers, volcanic beaches, and more on this exciting winter adventure.
Starting in Reykjavik, this 6-day Icelandic road trip lets you visit classic highlights along the country's south coast including waterfalls, black sand beaches, basalt columns, massive glaciers, and icebergs at your own pace. You'll then join the popular Golden Circle route where you can see Gullfoss waterfall, the geothermal area of Geysir (watch Strokkur erupt like clockwork), and Thingvellir National Park where tectonic plates meet. Finish the adventure with a soak in the Blue Lagoon before your return flight home.
This unique self-drive tour travels through Iceland's beautiful west coast and Westfjords region where few travelers roam. Starting in Reykjavik, you'll drive to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula before taking a car ferry to some of the most dramatic landscapes in Iceland. Here you'll hike the jagged cliffs at Londrangar, visit black, gold, and red sand beaches, and see the powerful Dynjandi Waterfall. End the trip in Isafjordur—a great base for activities in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, accessible only by boat and trail.