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.
South Coast Waterfalls & Beaches, South Coast
Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a must-see and makes a good first stop if you're coming from Reykjavik, which is just about 2 hours from the cascade. What's most appealing about this unique waterfall is the possibility of walking behind it. Just a bit further as you continue toward the town of Vik is the picture-perfect Skogafoss waterfall, often accompanied by rainbows, making it a favorite for photographers.
Keep going and make a slight detour before reaching Vik, heading south toward the black-sand beaches of Reynisfjara. This area offers hikes and fantastic views of the Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks and the famous Dyrholaey Cliff.
Vik is a great place to stop, but if you'd like to keep going, you'll find a few other worthy stops and detours along Route 1, including Axlafoss, Foss a Sidu, and the famous Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck on a jarring black-sand beach.
Read more about experiences on the South Coast.
Itineraries with South Coast Waterfalls & Beaches
Make the most of your limited time by driving one way from Egilsstaðir to Vík to Reykjavík—without retracing your steps. On this six-day road trip, take in the dramatic landscapes of the Eastern Fjords, from Seyðisfjörður to Vatnajökull National Park, and enjoy more time seeing new places along the South Coast (Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Skógafoss, and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls) and Golden Circle (Gullfoss, Geysir, and Þingvellir National Park), rather than doubling back. You can embark on this route in either direction, but a domestic flight to Egilsstaðir at the beginning of your trip is more efficient, without large crowds, to explore remote areas on your own terms.
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.
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 Gullfoss 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 Reykjavík, 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.
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.