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.
Iceland 5-Day Tours & Itineraries
5 Days in Iceland lets you explore the capital and 2 other nearby regions, such as the South Coast, Golden Circle, or Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It's not enough time to drive the full ring road, which requires a minimum of 7 days even on a fast-paced trip.
Most travelers focus on the South Coast and Holden Circle Highlights, and these areas can get quite busy especially in the southern months and accommodation can be difficult to find along the south coast. For travelers looking to mix highlands and less-crowded sights, a mixture of the Golden Circle and Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a great option with minimal driving.
If this isn't your first time in Iceland, consider driving north to explore the Arctic Coast and Lake Myvatn where you can explore some smaller fishing villages and experience the best whale watching and geothermal hotspots.
See detailed itineraries below, or take a look at our selection of unique itineraries to see Iceland in 5 days.
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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.
Hike Iceland's best-known trail from the geothermal valley of Landmannalaugar, through the Þórsmörk valley, and along the base of the famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. On the 35-mile-long Laugavegur trail, you'll see colorful rhyolite mountains, cross black sand deserts, venture into canyons, and hike between birch tree groves. After each long day of exploring, stay the night in cozy, rustic mountain huts.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.