Make the Most of Your Time in Iceland

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Reykjavik, Iceland
How Many Days to Spend in Iceland

You can have an epic Iceland experience when you spend 5 days or more in Iceland. Shorter trips are possible but won’t give you enough time to really explore beyond the Reykjavik area and the western section of the South Coast. Starting at 8 days or more you can complete the famous ring road and experience Iceland’s natural beauty in all its glory, seeing incredible sights most tourists miss, like Godafoss Waterfall, the unique volcanic hotspots surrounding Lake Myvatn and the Westfjords.

Iceland
Map of 5 Days in Iceland - 7 Self-Drive Itineraries
5 Days in Iceland - 7 Self-Drive Itineraries

Have only 5 days to explore Iceland? While it might be tempting to stay in Reykjavik and do day trips from there, we recommend to head out into the country side using one of these unique itineraries that help you make the most of your time.

Goðafoss Waterfall
Map of 5 Days in Iceland - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in Iceland - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Five days may seem like a short amount of time for an eventful trip to Iceland, but with the right itinerary, a rental car, and internal flights at your disposal, you can explore the highlights in up to three regions. Tour popular spots like the Golden Circle and South Coast, or venture to areas with less tourist traffic—the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Lake Mývatn, and the Eastfjords are all great picks. Going in winter? Check out itinerary #6 to make sure the most of the snow, ice, and Northern Lights.

Seljalandsfoss
Map of 6 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itineraries
6 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itineraries

Six days is enough time for a quick and eventful road trip through a couple of regions of Iceland, but not enough time to drive the full Ring Road. Most trips offer plenty of flexibility to circle back to any sights missed along the way. Tour dozens of destinations among the stunning Icelandic landscapes, from the Golden Circle to the South Coast. Enjoy both warm and cold adventures—with chances to enjoy more winter-forward excursions and sightings of the Northern Lights in the summer—in these five trip plans.

7 Days in Iceland - 7 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 7 Days in Iceland - 7 Unique Itinerary Ideas
7 Days in Iceland - 7 Unique Itinerary Ideas

A full week in Iceland is an ideal amount of time to explore three regions. In the itineraries below, explore the classic Golden Circle and South Coast stops, or venture to lesser-known areas like the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Arctic Coast, and the Westman Islands. For adventurous hikers, the multi-day Laugavegur Trek offers an incredible outdoor experience, while winter travelers can enjoy an entirely different side of the country, complete with seasonal activities and snowy scenery. Read on for more 7-day trip inspiration.

An endless view over Iceland's east coast
Map of 7 Days in Iceland - 4 Unique Road Trip Itineraries
7 Days in Iceland - 4 Unique Road Trip Itineraries

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.

Dettifoss
Map of 8 Days in Iceland - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
8 Days in Iceland - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Eight days is enough for a trip around Ring Road, to either the Golden Circle or the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, with more time set aside for another region. Escape the main routes and spend time in Thorsmörk, along the Laugavegur Trek, or to the locals’ favorite getaway in the Westman Islands. Each trip allows for a bit of time in the capital city, but one night, maximum, is ideal, so you can enjoy more time in other areas of Iceland. Learn more about the best eight-day trip options in the six itineraries outlined below.

Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall
Map of 9 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
9 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Nine days is a comfortable amount of time to explore two of Iceland's regions. Consider a leisurely road trip around the famed Ring Road, getting off the main route to spend time in Thorsmork and the Highlands or the Westman Islands (a favorite local hideaway). The five itineraries below take you to popular areas, like the Golden Circle and South Coast, while also incorporating lesser-known territories, including the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the Westfjords.

A waterfall in the Westfjords
10 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Ten days in Iceland is a perfect amount of time to complete the rightfully famous Ring Road. Alternatively, you have time to explore up to three areas in-depth. A great option is to visit the popular Golden Circle and South Coast, coupled with lesser-known destinations like the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula or the Westman Islands. If you prefer to escape the crowded south, consider summertime itineraries to the West, North, and Westfjords for off-the-beaten-path discoveries. Active travelers can work the trails of Thorsmork or the Laugavegur Trek into their itinerary.

Hiking in Reykjadalur Geothermal Valley
Map of 11 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
11 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

You can explore diverse regions in 11 days, providing enough time to check off many of Iceland's most iconic as well as popular sites and plenty of lesser-visited destinations. Maybe you want an experiential tour focused on hiking, such as around the Golden Circle and South Coast. Or, pack in active adventures in these two popular regions, plus more off-beat destinations such as Westfjords and Snæfellsnes Peninsula. And if you love to drive, follow the Ring Road from beginning to end.

The iconic kirkjufell mountain  at sunset
Map of 12 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
12 Days in Iceland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Travelers with 12 days to spend in Iceland have plenty of options. You can circle the entire island on a grand tour or focus your time on an in-depth exploration of two or three regions, such as the Westfjords, Snæfellness Peninsula, and Golden Circle. Perhaps you want a winter adventure, or an active adventure combining kayaking, hiking, and riding e-mountain bikes in West and South Iceland. These five itineraries show you how to make the most of your visit.

2 Weeks in Iceland - 2 Unique Itineraries
2 Weeks in Iceland - 2 Unique Itineraries

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.