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.
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.
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.
This 6-day itinerary includes three key areas of Iceland for a spectacular, fast-paced road trip. Spend your first day getting a taste of downtown Reykjavik before you head to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula with a bit of everything (and a fraction of the crowds). You'll then spend a night in one of Iceland's most-popular regions, the Golden Circle, and visit the best sites after the bus tours are long gone. Wrap it up with a day along the south coast exploring massive waterfalls and black sand beaches.
This unique road trip adventure travels from Iceland's lesser-known East Fjords all the way to Reykjavik on the opposite coast. First, you'll fly to remote Egilsstadir in order to make the most of your time without retracing your steps. You'll then continue along the famous Ring Road stopping at volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, hot springs, black sand beaches, small fishing towns, and massive glaciers in protected national parks. End the trip in Iceland's growing capital for buzzing restaurants and nightlife.
This fast-paced itinerary combines popular Icelandic highlights with off-the-beaten-path gems for a fun road-trip adventure. After a day in Reykjavik, you'll head west for hiking, lava fields, and small fishing towns along the rugged and remote Snaefellsnes Peninsula (called "Iceland in miniature"). You'll then hit the blockbuster sights of the Golden Circle before finishing with your choice of lesser-known natural attractions on your way to the airport.
In less than a week, this classic self-drive tour allows you to visit the best highlights along Iceland's south coast including waterfalls, black sand beaches, basalt columns, cliffs, canyons, glaciers, and icebergs at your own pace. Start and end the trip in Reykjavik for two nights in Europe's most northerly capital—a growing city known for buzzing restaurants and nightlife.
This epic 12-day road trip is a perfect way to absorb Iceland as you traverse all four corners of the country. You'll visit popular spots along the famous 828-mile (1,332 km) Ring Road, while also having the opportunity to escape the crowds as you detour through the Westfjords with some of Iceland's most dramatic landscapes (great for mountain biking and kayaking). The self-drive loop also includes stops in Iceland's two biggest cities, and numerous natural sites like volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, glaciers, and blockbuster attractions in the Golden Circle.
This active 10-day itinerary highlights two major hiking areas in Iceland: the southern highlands and the Westfjords. Start off with a bus trip to Thorsmork for a plethora of trails overlooking moss-covered mountains, waterfalls, volcanoes, and glaciers. Next, you'll fly to Isafjordur—a great base for activities in Hornstrandir, accessible only by boat and trail, where you'll take a 3-day trek with a local guide. Return to Reykjavik for a night on the town and a chance to soak your muscles in the Blue Lagoon.
Sandwiched between the North Sea and the looming Mount Esja, the world's northernmost capital is alternately illuminated by the midnight sun and the eerie glow of the aurora. Dotted among its colorful houses are its unique boutique hotels—some are wonders of cutting-edge design, while others are a study in comfort and simplicity.
This self-drive itinerary includes a mix of off-the-beaten-path gems and Icelandic highlights for the ultimate family adventure. Grab your rental car and head west for hiking, lava fields, and small fishing towns along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Then, check out a number of blockbuster sights in the Golden Circle before one last night on the town in Reykjavik.
Drive Iceland's south coast for a memorable family adventure in just under a week. After getting to know Reykjavik, you'll check off blockbuster natural sites in the Golden Circle like Thingvellir, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. Finish the self-guided tour with two nights among glaciers and black sand beaches in Vik and the Skaftafell area.
On this spectacular self-drive itinerary, you'll hit the four cardinal points of Iceland as you loop clockwise around the famous Ring Road. Stop to explore volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, and glaciers from Reykjavik to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and beyond. Finish the adventure with a rewarding soak in the Blue Lagoon before you depart.
This self-drive tour covers some of Iceland's best sites and winter-themed activities with plenty of chances to search for the Northern Lights. Start in Reykjavik and head off the beathen path to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula. You'll then continue to the popular Golden Circle to snorkel between tectonic plates, finishing your trip on the black sand beaches of the South Coast.
This self-driving trip takes you to the highlights of Iceland's west coast and the remote Westfjords area. 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 along 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.
With 10 days on the road, you can discover a variety of regions and landscapes as you loop around Iceland's famous Route 1 (Ring Road). This moderately paced self-drive itinerary will take you to the best spots along the 828-mile (1,332 km) route with stops in its two biggest cities, as well as volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, small fishing towns, and massive glaciers, as well as major attractions in the Golden Circle. This is going to be one gorgeous ride!
This off-the-beaten-path road trip is especially great during summer months when peak crowds head for Iceland's south coast and Golden Circle (and accommodations can be hard to find). Instead, you'll escape to more remote areas of the country, traveling from Reykjavik all the way to its sunnier north coast with stops in Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the Westfjords (by way of car ferry), Husavik, and Lake Myvatn. There's plenty of time to experience unique geological features along the way with lava fields, volcano hikes, massive waterfalls, and geothermal pools, not to mention cool Scandinavian culture and cuisine.
This Icelandic self-drive itinerary covers territory on both horizontal coastlines, from Snaefellsnes to Seydisfjordur, with fun detours along the southern portion of the Ring Road. With a bit more than a week, you'll experience volcanoes, lava fields, hot springs, black sand beaches, small fishing towns, and massive glaciers in protected national parks. Start and end the trip in Reykjavík for culture and nightlife in Europe's most northerly capital.
This self-drive tour takes you along Iceland's south and west coasts for those in search of unique family adventure. After a day exploring the capital city, Reykjavik, you'll head west to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula, known as "Iceland in miniature" with a bit of everything (and a fraction of the crowds). You'll then continue to the more popular Golden Circle (Thingvellir, Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall), and finish with two nights along the south coast discovering glaciers and black sand beaches.
On this scenic road trip, you'll skip Iceland's busier south coast in order to explore the lesser-known Snaefellsnes Peninsula and northern beauties of Akureyri, Husavik, and Lake Myvatn. This all-season itinerary is especially ideal for anyone interested in the unique geological features of Iceland, with lava fields, volcano hikes, massive waterfalls, and geothermal pools—all there for the taking.
Experience the best sites along Iceland's west coast and remote Westfjords region with this 8-day tour. 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 along 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.
This photogenic self-drive adventure along the Ring Road travels from Iceland's capital to its 2nd largest city on the sunnier north coast, with stops in lesser-known Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Husavik, and Lake Myvatn. This all-season itinerary is especially ideal for anyone interested in the unique geological features of Iceland, with lava fields, volcano hikes, massive waterfalls, and geothermal pools, not to mention cool cultural sites and Scandinavian cuisine.
This scenic road trip traverses highlights along Iceland's west and north regions at a more relaxed pace. Starting from Reykjavik, you'll explore the Golden Circle, the lesser-known Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and continue northwest to Akureyri (Iceland's 2nd biggest hub), Husavik and Lake Myvatn for lava fields, volcano hikes, massive waterfalls, and natural hot springs.
This fun self-drive itinerary provides a mix of popular highlights (south coast, Golden Circle) with off-the-beaten-path gems (Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Reykjanes Peninsula) for a real Icelandic adventure. After a day in Reykjavik, you'll head west for hiking, lava fields and small fishing towns along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula (called "Iceland in miniature"). You'll then hit the blockbuster sights of the Golden Circle before finishing on the south coast with black sand beaches, waterfalls, and massive glaciers.
For road trip enthusiasts, it doesn't get much better than encircling Iceland along its infamous Route 1 (Ring Road). This quick-paced, self-drive itinerary will take you to the best spots along the 828-mile (1,332 km) route with plenty of detours to work the leg muscles and camera batteries. With a bit more than a week, you'll experience a variety of landscapes, like geysers, hot springs, black sand beaches, volcanoes, lava fields, small fishing towns, and massive glaciers in protected national parks.
Glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife like you've never seen: fourteen days is plenty of time to experience Iceland beyond what you'll find in any guidebook—both on and off the beaten path. Here are two itineraries that make the most of two weeks in the Land of Fire and Ice.
Keith Fentress and his family were on a mission to see the Northern Lights, and enlisted kimkim to plan their winter trip to Iceland. They were lucky enough to catch the auroras on their week-long adventure, and had lots of wintry fun along the way. From lava caves to glacier snowmobiling and a memorable surprise on their last day, Keith shares more about their experience.
Planning a trip to Iceland in the high season? Skip the most crowded sights on Iceland's South Coast and along the Golden Circle, and visit these equally breathtaking spots throughout the country instead.
If you only have a week in Iceland, consider this compact and well-timed tour. Bookended by two days in Reykjavik — one to get ready and one to relax and recover — the tour takes the best advantage of a limited schedule, while also showing you plenty of unforgettable natural wonders, including glaciers, mountains, valleys and an iconic waterfall.
Experience the powerful and incredible beauty of Iceland's raw and remote landscapes on this full-day Super Jeep tour. You'll drive past smoldering volcanoes, into breathtaking highlands, and past orange and cream colored rhyolite stone. You'll cross rivers and explore thunderous coastal waterfalls, walk on black sand beaches, and find secluded hot springs among the highlands.
Hike Iceland's best-known trail from the geothermal valley of Landmannalaugar in the south, through the Þórsmörk valley, and along the base of the world famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. On the 35-mile-long Laugavegur trail, you'll see colorful rhyolite mountains, cross black sand deserts, venture into deep canyons, and hike between birch tree groves. After each long day of exploring, stay the night in cozy, rustic mountain huts.
It's no secret that Iceland is drawing more and more visitors every year. If you're joining the ranks, skip the crowds at the most popular Golden Circle attractions and visit the area's lesser-known (but equally stunning) sights, restaurants, and lodges instead.
Don't have a lot of time to roam around Iceland? This compact yet comprehensive itinerary is a great introduction to the wild and wonderful wilderness. Experience the remote grandeur of Þórsmörk, see old and new lava formations (some still steaming!) on and around Eyjafjallajökull crater, and witness the thundering majesty of Skógafoss waterfall — all in just 3 days.
Drive through rivers, canyons, and highlands to explore one of Iceland's most iconic natural destinations. From imposing glaciers to lush hills, Thorsmork's varied landscape is a sight to behold, and this day-long tour will give you the full experience.
From striking glacial formations to richly green valleys, Thorsmork offers some of the best views in all of Iceland. On this convenient day trip, you'll get the chance to hike in some of the region's most-visited — and most beautiful — nature reserves.
From brightly colored rhyolite mountains in shades of red, pink, green, and gold to vast 500-year-old lava fields, this three-day trek will take you through the unique, exquisite landscape of Landmannalaugar. Experience unexpected views full of steaming hot springs, boiling mud pools, and raven-black fields of lava.
This trek will take you along the south side of the imposing Torfajökull Volcano with its distinctive red, pink, orange, and blue-green stone, past the deep blue Álftavötn Lakes, and into the black desert of Mælifellssandur. Enjoy some of Iceland's most unique, interesting landscapes as you cross the wilderness on foot.
Hike through Iceland's unique, world-renowned backcountry from Vatnajökull National Park to the Eldgjá Canyon of Fire. Waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, deep blue lakes, craters, and lava formations abound on the route, so don't forget your camera — or your sense of wonder.
As a destination, Iceland is absolutely booming — and that means the list of crowded, tourist hotspots is getting longer and longer. If a more authentic take on this island country is what you're after, veer off the Ring Road. Skip the popular tourist attractions, and explore in all directions. Here are five of our favorites ways to get a deeper look into the Land of Fire and Ice.
If you're looking for a classic Icelandic adventure but are short on time, the Fimmvörðuháls trail in southwestern Iceland does not disappoint. The moderate-to-challenging trek will take you through three distinct landscapes in just one day, making it one of the best options for a single-day excursion. You'll hike past more than 20 waterfalls, before coming to a moonscape-like expanse. You'll then trek between active volcanoes and glaciers, and see some of the most recent geological activity on earth up close.
Discover the incredible landscape of southern Iceland on two wheels on this self-guided day tour. Ideal for those in search of adventure, this biking itinerary is packed with high-energy fun. Enjoy the wide open spaces, cover rugged terrain on a hardy fat bike, and explore the area's natural beauty.
Short on time? This jam-packed 4-day adventure tour was designed with you in mind! Experience Iceland's famed, awe-inspiring landscapes, ice walk on a glacier, and off-road in Þórsmörk, the Valley of the Thunder God, Thor. The summer's long hours of sunlight make it easy to pack even more adventure into your stay.
Landmannalaugar is an otherworldly, sprawling landscape of lava fields, geothermal pools, steaming hot springs, volcanoes, and multi-colored mountains. In other words, an exquisite setting for a day trip. This tour offers an excellent introduction to Landmannalaugar and the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in Iceland's remote Central Highlands. Go off the beaten path and spend the day exploring and hiking around the area.
From natural phenomena like geysers and glaciers to Reykjavík’s buzzing cultural and dining scene, you’ll want to make the most of your trip to Iceland. Learn about your options for touring the country and start planning an adventure that works for you.
This 4-day itinerary offers an introduction to the highlights of southern Iceland, keeping the active adventurer in mind. Experience awe-inspiring landscapes like glaciers, lava-flows, cascading waterfalls, and geothermal pools and rivers, ending each day in search of the Northern Lights. Hike, bike, and stroll as you traverse the rugged lands of Iceland, on foot or in a Super Jeep outfitted for the rough terrain.
Go off the beaten path on this moderately easy hike around Þríhyrningur and its incredible, historic landscape. Camp out overnight at the foot of the mountain and share your favorite stories from the day as you sit around the campfire. Explore the stunning Þórsmörk valley, see remote farmsteads, and discover the Vikings' former hiding spots.
Follow the Þórsmörk, Fimmvörðuháls, and Þríhyrningur hiking and biking routes through stunning valleys, along exposed ridges, and across gravelly rivers. Trek next to the powerful Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which caused international air traffic mayhem when it erupted in 2010. Visit the isolated Troll Church, a speck of white architecture in a landscape of fire and ice. These day hikes are designed to take you through incredible scenery and give you a varied experience of Iceland's dramatic landscape.
The Icelandic Highlands are home to some of the most spectacular scenery and breathtaking landscapes on the planet. Trek the famous Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trails, camp in the Valley of Thor, and walk through volcanic valleys and canyons on this epic week-long adventure.
Explore Thorsmork, the valley of the mighty Thor. Cross rugged terrain in a Super Jeep and hike in the remote wilderness of southern Iceland on this 2-day itinerary. Discover ice-capped volcanoes, deep canyons, and stunning black sand beaches — all while breathing in the fresh mountain air on this adventure tour.
Adventurers get ready: this intense 4-day Iceland itinerary was made just for you. Ice climb, camp, trek, cycle, and Super Jeep your way across the island in small groups, experiencing the best outdoor adventures the country has to offer.
Perfect for the more active adventurer, this high-octane itinerary takes you through beautiful southern Iceland. Explore some of Iceland's most stunning sites on a partially self-guided hiking and biking tour from the Thórsmörk Valley to the black sands of Reynisfjara to the must-see Skógafoss waterfall. Discover impressive coastlines, thunderous waterfalls, towering ice-caps, and glistening glaciers.