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.
Best of the Golden Circle
Beyond the highlights, the Golden Circle is packed with surprises. You can relax in the Secret Lagoon, which is fed by warm natural springs in the village of Fludir, or take a hike amid the lava fields and rhyolite mountains of the Highlands of Iceland. There’s also the surreal site of the Kerið Crater, a blue crater lake surrounded by red volcanic soil.
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Golden Circle Essentials
Iceland's hot springs are world-famous, as many travelers flock to the country to soak in the hot and healing geothermal pools. You'll find hot springs in every corner of the country, including popular baths like The Blue Lagoon and Fontana near Reykjavík. Or, you can venture out of the west and visit unique pools like Vök Baths and GeoSea. If you want a true adventure, you'll also find baths that require hikes, like the scenic Seljavallalaug pool.
Many travelers visit Iceland for its unique terrain, volcanic activity, and geologic history. Known as the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland has many volcanoes, with some covered in ice caps. You can hike atop an active volcano, walk across lava fields and steamy valleys, or visit lava tunnels and museums. Learn about the inner workings of Iceland's volcanoes and discover how they connect to the glaciers and mountains that surround them.
Iceland's famed Golden Circle features some of the country's most beloved natural attractions, including Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area (with the Great Geysir and Strokkur Geysir), and the one-and-only Gullfoss Waterfall. Opt for a day trip or spend more time in the region, snorkeling between tectonic plates, hiking through geothermal valleys, rafting along white-capped rivers, soaking in hot springs, and more.
With over 250 glaciers, Iceland's famed ice caps draw the crowds. You can enjoy various activities, including hiking across glaciers, exploring ice caves, snowmobiling atop volcanoes covered in ice, kayaking in glacial lagoons with icebergs, and boat tours. You can also visit the non-icy products of Iceland's glaciers, including its river canyons carved out by the receding ice long ago.
Route 1—known as Iceland's famed Ring Road—loops around the entire country, allowing you to see all the sights, east to west, north to south. A road trip along the Ring Road features some of Iceland's most popular destinations, like the Blue Lagoon, the canyons and glaciers of the South Coast, the famous Gulfoss waterfall, black-sand beaches, and geothermal areas. In addition, the route is packed with excursions like glacier hikes, river rafting, hiking, and (of course) soaking in hot springs.
Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital, is an excellent hub for exploring some of the country's famed natural surroundings. From the city, discover wildlife like seal colonies and whale populations or explore inside and outside the active Geldingadalir volcano. Relax in thermal waters and thoroughly enjoy the vast and diverse Icelandic landscapes, all while returning to a vibrant and artsy city each night.
Although Iceland offers a diverse range of activities to enjoy, its natural environment is one of its main draws—and with that comes a nearly endless assortment of active outdoor excursions. Experience kayaking through a glacial lagoon or hiking to the country's many waterfalls. Go ice climbing up one of the glaciers or ride horses along the coast. Snorkel between tectonic plates and zip line over river canyons. You can do all this and more in beautiful Iceland.
Golden Circle Itineraries
Starting in Reykjavík, this six-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 Þingvellir National Park, where tectonic plates meet. Finish the adventure with a soak in the Blue Lagoon before your return flight home.
This weeklong itinerary will take you to the north, away from the crowded south coast. On this trip, you will enjoy the volcanic Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the scenic and remote Westfjords.
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.
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.
In one week, enjoy three of Iceland's most beautiful regions. Explore the black-sand beaches, cliffs, and fishing towns along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the geothermal geological highlights in the Golden Circle, and the stunning waterfalls and glaciers along the South Coast. The trip closes out with a visit to Reykjavík and a tour of the Reykjanes Peninsula highlights, including several opportunities to soak in natural hot springs and lagoons.
This five-day, self-drive trip is a great way to experience the best of Iceland without driving too far from Reykjavík. Begin in Snæfellsnes Peninsula to tour the Djúpalónssandur black-sand beach, Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, and more. Then, visit the Golden Circle's Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, along with Þingvellir National Park. Next, stop at the South Shore's Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls and Reynisfjara Beach, before reaching Vik. The trip concludes with sightseeing in Reykjavík and a taste of the dining and nightlife scenes.
Take in Iceland's winter wonderland with this five-day, self-drive tour. See crashing waterfalls and ice caves along the Ring Road and visit the city of Vík for glacier hikes and ice climbing. Then it's on to the Golden Circle and astonishing views of the aurora borealis dancing in the night sky. Snorkel in the underwater world of the Silfra fissure and relax in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon before closing your trip on the Reykjanes Peninsula, with its erupting geysers and bubbling hot springs.
Perfect for active families, this seven-day road trip combines the best child-friendly excursions with Iceland's stunning highlights. Discover lava tunnels, lunar landscapes, and thundering waterfalls as you drive the country's Golden Circle. Set sail to the volcanic island of Heimaey and explore the icebergs, glaciers, and glittering black sands of the South Coast. A day in Reykjavík concludes this family adventure.
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.
Most people visiting Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, and South Coast spend about a week to eight days in Iceland, which usually includes some time in Snæfellsnes Peninsula as well. For travelers wanting to visit Reykjavík, Golden Circle, and South Coast exclusively, plan five to six days for a well-paced trip. A fast-paced highlights trip is possible in two to four days for travelers with limited time. Read on for the best itineraries, including Reykjavík, Golden Circle, South Coast, and beyond.
Experience the best of Iceland on this 14-day family road trip that combines thrilling icy excursions and memorable encounters with whales and puffins. Uncover the treasures of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula before spending quality family time together as you explore the waterfalls, secret lagoons, and geysers of Iceland's Golden Circle at your own pace. Spend a relaxed couple of days on volcanic Heimaey Island before an exhilarating simulated flight ride in Reykjavík completes your adventure.
This 14-day self-drive tour of Iceland takes you on an excursion to some of the country's most amazing sights. Start in West Iceland and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, with visits to the crashing waterfalls and powerful hot springs of Reykholt. See black-sand beaches, walk through historic Þingvellir National Park, and ferry over to the Westman Islands for beluga whales and puffins. Walk among massive icebergs at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, then end your stay in the vibrant capital city of Reykjavík.
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.
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.
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.
Explore the wintry side of Iceland on this nine-day, snow-filled adventure. Take in the spectacular frozen waterfalls en route to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Explore several glaciers—go snowmobiling around Langjökull, ice walking in Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and hiking in Sólheimajökull. Stay in the countryside, where there’s minimal light pollution, and enjoy great views of the Northern Lights, while setting aside some time for illuminated, warming soaks in hot springs and lagoons along the way.
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.
If your goal this winter is to reconnect with nature amid the spectacle of ice and snow, then there are few better places for it than Iceland. This five-day jaunt may be quick, but it packs in some of Iceland's most incredible natural highlights as you enjoy a road trip around the stunning South Coast. During the excursion, you'll visit waterfalls, see the northern lights, hike glaciers, visit sparkling ice caves, and ride ATVs on volcanic beaches.
You can experience some of the best of Iceland in a mere five days. This brief itinerary maximizes sightseeing by putting you on a road trip around the waterfalls, national parks, and geothermal areas along the famous Golden Circle route. Along the way, you'll see the northern lights, fly over glaciers, and take a well-deserved soak in the legendary Blue Lagoon.
This 13-day driving tour of Iceland takes you to some of the country's most amazing landmarks and historic sites. Travel along Iceland's Ring Road, where you'll see crashing waterfalls and long stretches of lava fields at Lake Mývatn. Visit historic fishing villages for beautiful harbor views and marine life tours, then hike the peaks of Kaldbakur Mountain. See geysers erupt into the sky, walk the cliffs of Arnarstapi, and take in the geological wonders of the Golden Circle and Þingvellir National Park.
Iceland is for you if your dream of a winter getaway involves more ice and snow than sun and sand. Even with five days, you can enjoy its highlights on a road trip around Reykjavík and along the famous Golden Circle to waterfalls and geothermal areas. You can also stop to see full-size replicas of Viking ships, embark on mountain hikes, visit museums, and glimpse the unforgettable northern lights.
Most travelers will find that six days to a week is perfect for a well-paced Iceland trip with stops in Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, South Coast, and Westman Islands. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in five days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. Or, extend your trip and explore more of the country—some of the best-loved trip extensions include the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, East Fjords, or Reykjanes Peninsula. Keep reading for more inspiring Reykjavík, Golden Circle, South Coast, and Westman Islands itineraries.
Most people visiting Reykjavík, Golden Circle, South Coast, and East Fjords spend about 9 to 10 days in Iceland, which usually includes some time in Lake Mývatn and Laugarbakki as well. If you're only headed to Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, South Coast, and East Fjords, you can enjoy a comfortably-paced trip in six to seven days. Read on for the best itineraries, including Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, South Coast, and East Fjords and beyond.
Most travelers will find that a week to eight days is perfect for a well-paced Iceland trip with stops in Reykjavík, Golden Circle, South Coast, and Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in five or six days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. Or, extend your trip and explore more of the country—some of the best-loved trip extensions include West Iceland, Westman Islands, or Reykjanes Peninsula. Keep reading for more inspiring Reykjavík, Golden Circle, South Coast, and Snæfellsnes Peninsula itineraries.
This 10-day road trip through southern Iceland perfectly balances winter wonderland adventures and relaxing spa time. The moment you arrive, you'll visit lava caves, fjords, and villages—all while making time to unwind in geothermal hot springs. After a trip around the geysers and waterfalls of the famous Golden Circle, you'll tour glacier lagoons, explore ice caves, and seek out the northern lights before wrapping up the adventure with soaks in even more hot springs like the Blue Lagoon.
Combine adventure, wildlife excursions, and the best of Iceland's magical beauty on this 10-day family road trip. Travel through volcanic fields in Borgarfjörður, steeped in Old Norse mythology, and uncover the treasures of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Enjoy much-needed family time as you explore the waterfalls, secret lagoons, and geysers of Iceland's iconic Golden Circle at your own pace. A relaxed tour of the volcanic Heimaey Island and the glacial gems of the South Coast complete your family adventure.
This relaxed, 10-day road trip is perfect for outdoor-loving families wanting to explore Iceland's stunning natural highlights with a sprinkling of adventure. Recharge at the geothermal Vök Baths in the untouched and remote Eastfjords before journeying west via the South Coast, Westman Islands, and stunning Golden Circle. You'll wind up whale watching in Reykjavík but not before you've hung out with native reindeer, whizzed along a glacier on a snowmobile, and ventured inside a magical ice cave.
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.
Explore the Golden Circle on this well-balanced, self-drive itinerary featuring both popular stops and hidden gems. First, drive to Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall, followed by a relaxing soak in the Secret Lagoon. Next, head to the South Coast to stunning waterfalls—Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss—and visits to Reynisfjara Beach, Vík, and the otherworldly Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. Then, explore the glacial areas of Skaftafell, Svartifoss, and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, followed by a day to discover the lesser-known Westman Islands. Return to Reykjavík for some sightseeing and tour the Reykjanes Peninsula—plus a stop for a final soak in the Blue Lagoon—before your departure flight home.
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.
Experience an entirely different side of Iceland on a winter road trip to explore all the highlights. Grab your coat and head to downtown Reykjavík, which offers incredible views this time of year. Then, head to the Golden Circle to visit the white-washed version of Gullfoss, followed by an action-packed snowmobiling adventure to Langjökull Glacier. Next, discover Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls—complete with frozen fields—and embark on glacier hikes, ice cave tours, and ice climbing excursions at Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. On the way back to Reykjavík, enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot springs of Rekjadalur, followed by a stop at the Blue Lagoon to close out the trip.
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.
Iceland South & West Coast Highlights: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle & Westman Islands - 11 Days
Explore the wonders of western and southern Iceland on this action-packed 11-day self-drive itinerary. Thrill to orca whale watching off the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, hiking atop the Sólheimajökull Glacier, and exploring Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon by amphibian boat. You'll also savor a wealth of other iconic sites and experiences, from Kirkjufell mountain and Strokkur geyser to Skógafoss waterfall and the geothermal wonders of the Golden Circle, plus meet belugas at a sanctuary in the Westman Islands.
This 11-day itinerary checks off an entire bucket list of iconic sites, from Iceland's northernmost to its southernmost points. You'll snorkel the crystal-clear waters of the Mid-Atlantic Rift, hike to see puffins and Arctic fox in the remote Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, and gallop along Löngufjörur Beach on a tame Icelandic pony. These are among many activities you'll enjoy as you explore the Westfjords, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, West Iceland, "Golden Circle," and South Coast, plus Reykjavik.
Reykjavík, Golden Circle, South Coast, Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Westman Islands: Best Itinerary Ideas
Most travelers will find that 8 to 11 days is perfect for a well-paced Iceland trip with stops in Reykjavík, along the Golden Circle, South Coast, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and Westman Islands. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in seven days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. Those with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop or explore more of the country—some favorite itinerary extensions include Thórsmörk, Reykjanes Peninsula, or West Iceland. See more ideas for Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, South Coast, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and Westman Islands itineraries below.
Packed with exciting activities from the off-beat to iconic experiences, this 12-day self-drive adventure also explores a long wishlist of Iceland's top sites, from Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and the geological wonders of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula to Gullfoss, Dettifoss, and Godafoss waterfalls. You'll thrill to ziplining, rides by ATV and horseback on black-sand beaches, hiking in Þórsmörk and Fjaðrárgljúfur canyons, and soaks in geothermal lagoons and even a beer-filled hot tub.
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.
Epic Iceland: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, South Coast, Westman Islands, & Thorsmork - 10 Days
In just 10 days, discover the highlights of five distinct regions of Iceland. It's an efficient adventure that combines road trips, boat rides to offshore islands, hiking excursions, and glacier visits. You'll explore the rugged cliffs of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, trek in "Thor's Valley," hit the road down the famous Golden Circle, enjoy boat rides on the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and much more.
Enjoy the snowier side of Iceland on this seven-day winter adventure. On arrival, head "Into the Glacier" at Langjökull, on the way to discover the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, filled with basalt columns, black-sand beaches, and beautiful cliffs. Then, go on a snowmobiling excursion out of the Golden Circle, and wind down with a warm lagoon soak. Next, visit the spectacular frozen falls along the South Coast, including Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, and go on glacier walks at Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón. Wind down with some exploration of snow-topped Reykjavik before heading home.
Explore the magic of winter in Iceland on this seven-day, self-drive tour. Your journey begins with a drive to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where you'll stop in the picturesque town of Akranes and take a guided tour of Langjökull Ice Cave. Then, it's on to the Golden Circle for a visit to Þingvellir National Park and a snorkeling tour of Silfra fissure. See the wondrous phenomena of the aurora borealis, then close your trip with a soothing dip in the waters of the Blue Lagoon.
Venture off the beaten track with this seven-day family road trip that takes you through Iceland's beautiful Snæfellsnes Peninsula, across the iconic geysers of the Golden Circle, and to the breathtaking waterfalls of the South Coast. Discover orcas as you ride the ocean waves on a whale watching tour, and ride horses along the glittering black sands of Vík before getting up close and personal with the colorful puffins at Ingólfshöfði Cape.
This weeklong winter adventure in Iceland takes you to the country's most famous natural highlights, including its largest glaciers. Upon arrival, you'll hop in a car and explore the waterfalls and national parks along the legendary Golden Circle route. Throughout this epic journey, you'll stop at glaciers for ice hikes, cave tours, and even snowmobile rides.
Perfect for families with older children in search of adventure and a digital switch-off, this seven-day road trip combines breathtaking excursions and a tour of Iceland's remote Eastfjords region. Discover wild reindeer, wintry glaciers, narrow fjords, towering basalt cliffs, and beautiful waterfalls as you venture from east to west. Along the way, you'll ride Icelandic horses, step inside a volcano, and relax in a geothermal infinity pool, ending your holiday restored, relaxed, and refreshed.
This 13-day, self-drive adventure takes you along Iceland's famous Ring Road, which circles the entire country. Start in the Golden Circle for views of erupting geysers, iced-over crater lakes, and natural hot springs. Then, head to the southern coast for massive waterfalls, icebergs drifting in the sea, and black-sand beaches. Drive snowmobiles across icy glacial landscapes, search out herds of wild reindeer and close your tour in the modern city of Reykjavík with its vibrant cultural scene.
If you're looking for a thrilling winter trip to Iceland that traverses all the highlights via the famous Ring Road, look no further. Experience glittering snowy landscapes and the bucket-list sight of the magical northern lights with this 14-day, excursion-packed itinerary. Perfect for families with adventurous older kids, you'll dogsled your way across snowy vistas, climb ice walls, hang out with a herd of wild reindeer, and relax in the therapeutic geothermal waters of Mývatn.
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.
Spend eight days unlocking the beautiful highlights of Iceland in the wintertime. First, enjoy snow-capped views throughout Reykjavík while exploring the best of downtown. Then, take a tour inside a glacier, and view frozen waterfalls en route to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Continue discovering the lava formations, black-sand beaches, and craters, before heading to the Golden Circle for a snowmobiling tour around Langjökull Glacier. Follow more waterfalls, arches, and cliffs toward Vík, and spend time in the ice caves of Skaftafell and at stunning Diamond Beach at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. On the drive back to Reykjavík, make a few more stops along the South Coast, and indulge in relaxing soak in the Blue Lagoon on Departure Day.
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.
Enjoy four, scenic regions of Iceland in just over one week. Upon arrival, head to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to take in your first glimpses of the lava formations, black-sand beaches, and waterfalls that make this region famous. Travel the Golden Circle to discover the tectonic plates meeting, geothermal wonders, and a warm lagoon soak. Ferry to the lesser-known-yet-stunning Westman Islands to visit the sea caves, cliffs, a decorated puffin colony, and more—by boat and foot—followed by additional waterfalls, beaches, and incredible arches and cliffs along the South Coast. Venture into the heart of several glaciers and their accompanying lagoons. Tour Reykjavík and make a few final stops in the Reykjanes Peninsula to close out the trip.
Hit the road on Iceland's main highway for a 15-day self-drive adventure. You'll arrive in the west and, from there, head south, stopping at waterfalls, glaciers, and black-sand beaches. As you travel up to the east and north, you'll pass scenic fjords, go whale watching, brave river rapids, hike along sea cliffs, and explore lava caves before completing the circuit back in Reykjavík, Iceland's capital.
Reykjavík, Golden Circle, South Coast, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, East Fjords, Lake Mývatn & Akureyri: Best Itinerary Ideas
Nine to 10 days is a great length for an Iceland trip with stops in Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, South Coast, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, East Fjords, Lake Mývatn, and Akureyri. With more time, you can enjoy extra activities at each stop or a few days in another region like Westfjords, Hvammstangi, or the Reykjanes Peninsula. Get inspired with kimkim's Reykjavík, Golden Circle, South Coast, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, East Fjords, Lake Mývatn, and Akureyri trip ideas below.
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.
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.
Reykjavík, Golden Circle, South Coast, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Westfjords, East Fjords, Lake Mývatn & Akureyri: Best Itinerary Ideas
Twelve to 14 days is a great length for a Iceland trip with stops in Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, South Coast, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Westfjords, East Fjords, Lake Mývatn, and Akureyri. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop, or explore more of the country—some favorite itinerary extensions include Varmahlid or Laugarbakki. Keep reading for more inspiring Reykjavík, Golden Circle, South Coast, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Westfjords, East Fjords, Lake Mývatn, and Akureyri itineraries.
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.
10 days on the road in Iceland is enough time to discover its highlights and off-the-beaten-path wonders. Loop around the famous Route 1 (Ring Road) on a relaxed self-drive adventure, stopping at big cities, active volcanoes, cascading waterfalls, dried lava fields, black beaches, quaint fishing towns, massive glaciers, and the star landmarks along the famed Golden Circle. It's guaranteed to be a gorgeous ride.
This savvy 10-day Iceland tour bypasses the summer crowds in favor of remote road-trip adventures in the west and north. After touring the waterfalls of the Golden Circle, head to the volcanic beaches and rugged cliffs on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, then continue to the far north and the Arctic coast. Discover the fjords of Tröllaskagi, go whale watching in Húsavik, explore the lunar landscapes of Mývatn and more.
Discover two sides of Iceland on this 10-day trip. Begin in the Golden Circle, home to Þingvellir National Park, where the tectonic plates meet and go snorkeling in a fissure. Then, explore the waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and cliffs along the South Coast, followed by a day surrounded by stunning glaciers. Next, visit a few notable sites on the way back to Reykjavik, before hopping a bus to embark on the Laugavegur Trek for the next few days. Hike around the landscapes rich with volcanoes, mountains, scenic lakes, and deserts before reaching the iconic Thorsmork Valley. Return to the capital for one last night, and soak in the Blue Lagoon before departure.
Nothing compares to Iceland in winter, and this 10-day self-drive tour takes you to some of its most breathtaking natural wonders and historic sites. Visit Þingvellir National Park for snorkel tours of the Silfra fissure and gushing geysers, then see the Streiti Coastline via Jeep, where you'll traverse remote roads and cross unbridged rivers. Hike the winter shores of Lake Mývatn, completing your trip with a spa day at the Blue Lagoon, where you'll soak in mineral-rich waters and enjoy a mud mask.
Perfect for families with energetic older kids, this exhilarating 10-day road trip takes in the best of the country's natural wonders as you tour Iceland's famous Ring Road. Discover the beauty of the Golden Circle before hiking the black-sand beaches and waterfalls of the South Coast. Explore the wild Eastfjords and raft glacial whitewater in the north as you adventure among volcanoes, canyons, glaciers, and lava caves to create family memories that will last a lifetime.
This 10-day, self-guided tour of Iceland's winter landscapes combines the natural wonders of waterfalls, mountains, and volcanoes with plenty of wildlife and marine life viewing. Start in North Iceland, where you'll soak in the healing waters of Mývatn Nature Baths. Then, it's off to Húsavík for whale watching tours and the East Fjords to search out reindeer herds. Conclude your travels in the city of Reykjavík for more whale watching and an evening cruise to view the vibrant and colorful northern lights.
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.
Drive your 4WD in a clockwise loop of the entire island on this 11-day active itinerary packed with exciting adventures for a complete and quintessential Icelandic experience. You'll thrill to whale watching off the North Coast, steering a snowmobile across the Langjökull Glacier, snorkeling (or even scuba diving) in the Silfra fissure, and sleeping under the Northern Lights in a bubble. Along the way, you'll explore the top sites of the Snæfellsnes and Vatnsnes peninsulas, plus the Diamond Circle and Golden Circle.
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 Ring Road, and head off the beaten path to detour through the Westfjords (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 more.
See the magic of Iceland's Ring Road with this 13-day self-drive tour. Start in Reykjavík for whale watching and a vibrant downtown scene. From here, drive the Snæfellsnes Peninsula with its crashing waterfalls and black-sand beaches, then ferry to the Westfjords. Hike the cliffs of Látrabjarg, kayak to Vigur Island, and ride horses along the Westfjords' "Alps." Walk among icebergs at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, visit breathtaking Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and end with a dip in the iconic Blue Lagoon.
This 15-day Iceland adventure combines tours of natural wonders with enough outdoor excursions to keep you active each day of the trip. You'll be hiking up volcanoes, kayaking the Icelandic coast, riding ATVs on lava fields, climbing ice walls, soaring over gorges on zip lines, and much more. Round out this trip of a lifetime with whale watching, visiting waterfalls, and soaking in natural hot springs.
With two weeks in Iceland, you can complete the entire Ring Road and add incredible 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.
Check the spectacular Northern Lights off your bucket list with this quick-hit trip to southern Iceland. In addition to nighttime expeditions in search of the Aurora Borealis, you'll tour some of the country's most dramatic natural wonders and unforgettable landscapes. Visit impressive waterfalls, vast glaciers, volcanic beaches, and more on this exciting winter adventure.
If you want to see Iceland's top natural highlights, a self-drive tour is by far the most popular option. Travel at your own pace with plenty of changes to head off the main road in search of your own adventures. This tour also includes the Snaefellsnes peninsula which many call "mini-Iceland" as almost every natural phenomenon in Iceland can be found there, albeit on a smaller scale than elsewhere.
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.
See it all on this adventure that covers the highlights and hidden wonders of Iceland. There's no time to waste, as right when you arrive you'll visit the waterfalls, glaciers, fjords, and beaches on the Golden Circle and South Coast. Continue the journey halfway around the island as you travel north to historic landmarks, coastal cliffs, and volcanic landscapes, before returning to the mother of all hot springs, the Blue Lagoon.