This chilly, scenic self-drive tour is perfect for nature lovers and adventure fiends alike. Visit the famous Golden Circle, explore vibrant Reykjavik, and get off the beaten path for tours of ice caves and craters, snorkel trips between tectonic plates, and walks behind ice-covered waterfalls.
Iceland Self-Drives and Itineraries
Iceland has plenty to offer all year-round, but if there’s one holiday worth planning a trip around, it's New Year’s Eve. Check out this self-drive itinerary idea that starts with Reykjavik's famous year-end festivities and continues with a week of the winter activities Iceland is known for.
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.
Northeast Iceland is more remote and wild than its southern counterpart. It’s known for abundant wildlife, from whales in Húsavik harbor to puffins on the Rauðanes Peninsula, as well as desolate cliffsides by the sea.
Often overlooked by visitors traveling the famed Ring Road, West Iceland is packed with photo-worthy natural features and cultural history. Get off the beaten path on your next trip to Iceland and take in the waterfalls, geothermal pools, and cultural lore that make this region special.
Landmannalaugar is a geothermal wonderland in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, home to lava fields, hot pools, and steam puffs that rise from the earth. Hike among vibrantly hued mountains and explore highlands dotted with glaciers, black sand beaches, geysers, and waterfalls. Stunning and remote, this area is a perfect representation of all the Icelandic landscape has to offer.
With 7-9 days in Iceland, we recommend you hit the road and explore the incredible wonders further afield from Reykjavik. We’ve put together these unique one week Iceland itineraries which let you explore a variety of landscapes: volcanoes and lava fields, green pastures and farmlands, scenic vistas above fjords, beaches of every color, glaciers and ice caves, and the rugged interior. Here are our recommended drives, an option for all travelers and seasons.
The Ring Road is the most popular way to see and experience a variety of landscapes and sights all over Iceland. Route 1 starts from Reykjavik and circles to Akureyri in the North, to the small fishing villages in the East Fjords, passing Vatnajökull National Park and the South Coast. From this highway, you can also get to all the main detours like Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the remote Westfjords, Thorsmork, and the Highlands.
This example driving itinerary is great for the summer when the crowds of the south coast and golden circle area are at their peak and accommodation can be hard to find. Instead, escape to the more remote areas of the country to experience some of the best that Iceland has to offer, with few other people to share it with.
If you have 4 days in Iceland you can enjoy Reykjavik's city life and then leave the masses behind by heading north to explore beautiful Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its waterfalls and volcanoes. This way you'll get a great sampling of all Iceland has to offer. Day 1: Arrival, Reykjavik Day 2: Glymur Falls, Borgarnes, Snaefellsnes Peninsula Day 3: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, back to Reykjavik Day 4: Blue Lagoon, Departure
If you are short on time, or perhaps you are looking for an extended layover on your way from Europe to North America or vice versa, your options in Iceland are limited to closer to Reykjavik. Here is a 3-day itinerary that will still let you experience some of the spectacular beauty of Iceland.
For a unique Iceland experience, avoid the crowds of the south completely. This trip has it all: volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs, nature baths, whale watching, fjords and more. Below are 2 great ways to experience the north: all the highlights with only a fraction of the people. You can maximize your time by taking a domestic flight over the beautiful highlands of the interior to Akureyri, or you can drive one way and fly from Akureyri back to Reykjavik.
This 5-day self-driving itinerary is a great way to get away from the crowds of the south and explore the more remote areas in the north of Iceland. Maximize your time exploring with a one-way domestic flight from Akureyri back to Reykjavik.
With 2 weeks in Iceland, you can complete the entire ring road and add some great detours. This grand tour will take you to all the best places giving you plenty of time to hike, explore, and soak it all in. This 14-day itinerary covers all the major regions except the highlands, which you can see with a couple more days or by spending less time in some of the areas below.
This itinerary packs a lot into 8 days, but if you have limited time and have your heart set on driving the entire Ring Road, then this guide will be your best friend for the journey.
This 7-day itinerary will take you to the north, away from the crowded south coast. On this trip you will enjoy the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the scenic and remote Westfjords.
Explore Iceland in 5 days - Seven Optimized Itineraries to help you make the most of your Short Trip to Iceland
Have only 5 days to explore Iceland? Most people stay in and around Reykjavik and do day trips, While there are plenty of great things to see and do in that area, staying near Reykjavik will have you experience Iceland along with all the crowds and tour buses.
Explore the best of the west and south with this 7-9 day itinerary. Hike through lava fields, along cliffs, and up volcanoes in Snaefellsnes. Walk behind waterfalls, on black sand beaches, and on glaciers in the south, and finish with a tour of the famous Golden Circle with tips to avoid the big crowds.
Pack your short trip to Iceland with adventures away from the crowds while still experiencing the most popular sights. This itinerary is perfect for travelers who have lots of energy and want to make the most of a short visit to Iceland.
Have less than a week in Iceland and a lot on your bucket list? This itinerary will help you see lots of amazing sights in 5 days. You’ll start off with a spectacular local flight over the heart of Iceland followed by three days of scenic driving along the coast.
Iceland is a rugged place, with much of it inaccessible by a standard vehicle. Drive a Land Rover through unique terrain, over lava fields, and through scenic mountain roads. With these modified vehicles you will explore parts of Iceland not possible with a normal rental car. Explore the dramatic landscapes without the big crowds.
Experience the best of Western and Southern Iceland on this 9-day tour: volcanoes, fjords, red and black sand beaches, glaciers, hot springs, wildlife and more.
This 5-day itinerary lets you experience the main highlights of Iceland: Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, the scenic South Shore, the famous Golden Circle, the popular Blue Lagoon, many other glaciers, waterfalls, natural formations, and if you’re lucky the elusive Northern Lights.
Enjoy an active week in Iceland filled with activities and beautiful sights in the south, including remote areas as well as top attractions. Iceland offers a long list of outdoor adventures, whether it's hiking, mountain biking, 4x4 off-roading, lava tube caving, horseback riding, snowmobiling, or soaking in geothermal lagoons.