At nearly a week, this self-drive itinerary includes a mix of off-the-beaten-path gems (Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Reykjanes Peninsula) and popular Icelandic highlights (Golden Circle) for the ultimate family 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 choose between a number of blockbuster sights in the Golden Circle before heading back to Reykjavik for one more night on the town.
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.
With just under a week, this fun road trip takes you along Iceland's south coast for a memorable family adventure. After a day getting to know Iceland's colorful capital city, 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 along the south coast discovering more waterfalls, glaciers, and black sand beaches in Vik and the Skaftafell area.
This spectacular self-drive itinerary allows you to explore all four cardinal points of Iceland as you loop clockwise around the country's famous 828-mile (1,332 km) Ring Road. The 11-day journey includes stops in its two biggest cities as well as natural sites like volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, glaciers, and popular attractions in the Golden Circle. 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 off by exploring the capital, Reykjavik, before you head west to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula, known as "Iceland in miniature" with a bit of everything (and few crowds). You'll then continue to the more popular Golden Circle, for snowmobiling—and even snorkeling!—and then finish with two nights along the south coast for glacier walks and black sand beaches.
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.
Iceland doesn't need a London, Paris, or Rome to fill any travel itinerary — budget, luxe, adventure, or otherwise. With no shortage of beautiful landscapes, untamed wildlife, and plenty of both nature and nightlife, you'll have no trouble keeping busy and entertained throughout your week-long vacation.
Iceland's most visited region attracts more than a million visitors a year with its dramatic landscape. Get inspired to plan your own trip with these itinerary-planning tips and top recommendations for South Coast lodging and dining.
Iceland has no shortage of hotels, but if you're looking for a truly memorable travel experience, why not defy convention? From camping on a glacier to overnighting in a historic herring factory, you're sure to find a unique lodging option for your Iceland trip that's more than just a place to rest your head.
From must-try foods to the perfect time to see the Northern Lights, find answers to all of your most pressing questions about Iceland in this comprehensive list.
Ted Walsh and his family were accustomed to spending the holiday season in sunny Australia, and wanted to switch things up with a real White Christmas somewhere beautiful. And what better place than Iceland? They went all-in with an immersive cultural experience: a homestay in a remote fishing village, complete with authentic Icelandic traditions and, of course, plenty of snow.
With grandparents and a six-year-old in tow, kimkim traveler Lesley Santiago needed to plan a trip that was fun, educational, and great for all ages. Iceland proved to be the perfect place, with plenty of family-friendly wintertime activities to choose from. From the Blue Lagoon to snowmobiling on a glacier, Lesley gives us the highlights and some tips for planning a multigenerational vacation.
The trail to the majestic Glymur Waterfall offers all kinds of challenges - but the stunning views from the top are well worth the adventure. Get to the trailhead prepared for your exhilarating day of hiking with this detailed trail description and other helpful tips.
Every Christmas, kimkim travelers Jen and Garrison Draper give each other the gift of travel. This year, their goal was to glimpse the Northern Lights - so they headed to Iceland for a once-in-a-lifetime winter road trip. From climbing glaciers to eating hot dogs, Garrison shares his favorite moments and some great advice.
Looking for an eventful winter vacation? The South Coast of Iceland is chock-full of fun winter activities, from glacier hiking to snowboarding, snowmobiling and more. If you're lucky, you'll have the chance to witness the unparalleled beauty of the Northern Lights that often grace the crisp Arctic sky. Here's our recommended way to spend the winter on Iceland's South Coast.