Iceland trip itinerary suggestions - from one day to two weeks

Best Iceland Itinerary Suggestions

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Are you planning a trip to Iceland and looking for the best Iceland itinerary? Read on!

Every day I get reader questions about how to plan their Iceland itinerary… You may have seen articles claiming they have the best Iceland itinerary for X days for any season, but in reality, it’s not possible. Just one example, Iceland in winter or in summer is like two different countries… The weather is different, the sights are more or less accessible, and the daylight time varies from just 3 to 24 hours…

So the best Iceland itinerary for your trip will depend a lot on when you travel, how much time you have, and of course on your interests.

While there is not one short answer and not one itinerary that fits it all, I created several suggested Iceland trip itineraries for different durations. This article covers some of the most popular Iceland trip itineraries for one, two, three, four, five, six days, a week and more. These itineraries are meant to show you what’s worth visiting and how much time it normally takes to do it with regular sightseeing days of about 8-10 hours.

These suggested Iceland trip itineraries are based on our experience. The shorter trips, up to one week, only focus on Reykjavik and South Iceland and can be done in any season. The two longer trips – Akureyri to Reykjavik and the complete Iceland Ring Road tour – are recommended in summer only.

I included the most beautiful places of Iceland in each Iceland itinerary, so that you get the most out of your trip, no matter how much time you have in Iceland, or in which season you travel.

How much time do you need in Iceland?

First, let me tell you that Iceland is worth a longer trip than just a day or two. No matter whether you’re traveling in summer or in winter, I think one week is the minimum time you need in order to see at least some of the main highlights of Iceland.

Nevertheless, I know that Iceland has become a popular stopover destination and there are many people looking for suggestions on what to see and do in Iceland in just one, two, or three days.

So in this post we have suggestions for any Iceland itinerary. Whether you have just a few days or a few weeks in Iceland, this article will help you plan your trip. Find out!

Best Iceland itinerary - one day to two weeks

Best Iceland itinerary suggestions from one day to two weeks

Below is an overview of several suggested Iceland trip itineraries for different durations of your stay. In order not to repeat myself, I only give a longer explanation of the specific location once. So if you are looking at a three day trip in Iceland, you’ll have to read the explanation of day one and day two as well.

1 day stopover in Iceland – best of Reykjavik in a day

Day 1 : Reykjavik city tour + Blue Lagoon or 1/2 day excursion

Reykjavik isn’t such a big city, so you can see the main highlights in just half a day:

  • Walk along the waterfront and see the two main landmarks – the Harpa concert hall and the Sun Voyager sculpture.
  • Stroll the two main shopping streets, Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur.
  • Visit the Hallgrimskirkja church and make sure you go all the way to the top for the best views.
  • If you have time, you can visit one of the museums of Reykjavik.

In the afternoon head to the Blue Lagoon – the most famous hot tub of Iceland. It’s located a bit outside of the city and the best way to get there is by booking a bus transfer that includes the entrance to the Blue Lagoon.

Alternatively, take a short excursion from Reykjavik – there are so many amazing options! Here you can find our guide to the very best half-day tours from Reykjavik.

For dinner, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and pubs in the city center. Reykjavik is also famous for its nightlife. Not sure where to start? Check these great Icelandic food tours in Reykjavik.

Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik


How to spend two days in Iceland (no car needed)

Day 1 : Reykjavik city tour + Blue Lagoon
Day 2: The Golden Circle

If you have two days in Iceland, spend one day in Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon (as described above), and the second day exploring outside the city.

The most popular day trip from Reykjavik is a visit to the area called the Golden Circle. It includes a visit to Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and the Geysir area. You can do this tour by car, but if you don’t feel like renting a car for just a day, you can easily book one of the organized tours. Here you can book a highly-rated Golden Circle group tour or a private tour.

Some of the Golden Circle tours offer combination tours that include food tasting, whale watching, geothermal lagoons, or Northern Lights viewing (in winter). You can find the best Golden Circle tour options here or check our hand-picked selection of the best day trips from Reykjavik.

Alternatively, you can opt for a tour that combines the Golden Circle and the South Coast, but it’s a very long tour of 12 hours. Perfect for those who have little time, but otherwise better split these two areas over two days.

Thingvellir National Park is one of the three stops on the Iceland Golden Circle Tour

Oxararfoss waterfall in Thingvellir National Park

Iceland itinerary for three days (no rental car needed)

Day 1: Reykjavik city tour + Blue Lagoon
Day 2: The Golden Circle
Day 3: South Coast – glaciers, waterfalls, and beaches

Days one and two as above.
Day 3. Another great day trip from Reykjavik is a trip to Southern Iceland. The highlights include black sand beaches of Vik, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, and also glaciers. Here is the best price-quality day trip to South Coast that I found. Alternatively, check out this tour – it is more expensive, but it includes glacier hiking as well.

Once again, you can do this tour with a rental car, or you can book a day trip from Reykjavik. If you rent a car, consider staying in Hvergaderi area after you visit the Golden Circle, instead of heading back to Reykjavik. It will save you quite some driving time. If you do this, you can easily add a glacier hike to your day 3 itinerary as well.

Alternatively, you can opt for a South Iceland tour that takes you all the way to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, but it will be a very long day with lots of driving.

Scenery along South Coast Iceland

Scenery along South Coast

If you only have 1-3 days in Iceland, stay in Reykjavik and make day trips from there. Most day tours will pick you up at the hotel in Reykjavik.

Four days in Iceland – itinerary suggestions

Day 1: Reykjavik city tour + Blue Lagoon
Day 2: The Golden Circle
Day 3: Southern Iceland – glaciers, waterfalls and beaches
Day 4: Skaftafell National Park – Jokulsarlon – Fjallsarlon

If you have four days in Iceland, you’re probably better off renting a car.

Days 1-3 as above.
Day 4. Take one of the many hikes in Skaftafell National Park. Then drive to the famous glacier lagoon – Jokulsarlon. You can explore the area of the lagoon on foot or – weather permitting – take a boat tour on the glacial lake. Make sure to also visit the Jokulsarlon beach, also called the Diamond beach, and the smaller glacial lagoon Fjallsarlon.

Update: we now published a more detailed Iceland 4 days itinerary. Check it out!

Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon should be included in every Iceland itinerary

Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon

Iceland itinerary for five to six days

The main highlights from days 1 to 4. In addition, you can add some of the following highlights to your 5-6 day Iceland itinerary:

Glacier hiking guides in Iceland

Our glacier hike guides

Iceland one week itinerary

I have already shared our detailed one week Iceland trip itinerary in one of the previous posts. While it’s a winter itinerary, you can do the exact same trip any time of the year. In summer the days will be much longer and so you’ll have more time to explore and/or add some additional activities to your trip.

In summer, consider a trip to see whales or puffins. And I definitely recommend spending more time in Skaftafell NP. There are some amazing hikes in this national park!

Skaftafell National Park in Iceland

Skaftafell National Park

The best Iceland road trip in summer – 10 days from Akureyri to Reykjavik

The first time we visited Iceland in summer, we took ten days to explore this beautiful country. This is our 10-day Iceland trip itinerary from Akureyri to Reykjavik in a nutshell. If I find more time, I’ll post a detailed ten day itinerary later, but this should give you an idea of where to go and how much time you need.

Please note that this is a summer itinerary. We visited in June, and there were still quite some places we couldn’t get to and things we couldn’t do. I would only recommend this trip in June, July or August, maybe still in September – October, but be prepared for some snow…

Day 1: Flight to Akureyri
Day 2: Akureyri via Godafoss to Mývatn
Day 3: Highlights of Myvatn
Day 4: Dettifoss, and to the Eastern part of Iceland
Day 5: Eastern fjords to Höfn
Day 6: Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and excursion to Ingölfshöfdi puffins
Day 7: Skaftafell National Park
Day 8: Vik black sand beach, Skogafoos, and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, Hekla volcano lava fields
Day 9: The Golden Circle
Day 10: Reykjavik

Namaskard geothermal area north Iceland

Namaskard geothermal area

Complete trip around the Ring Road – two weeks Iceland itinerary

Just as the 10-day trip, the complete Iceland Ring Road trip is best done in the warmest months +- June to September.

Someone told me I shouldn’t say it’s not possible to do the whole Ring Road in winter. It’s true, it’s not impossible. However, you might face road closures and icy roads, so I do not recommend driving in the North in winter unless you are very flexible with your schedule and feel confident driving in a serious snowstorm the dark. You may want to read this post for more information about driving in Iceland in winter.

Day 1: Flight to Keflavik (Reykjavik) and drive to the Hveragerdi area
Day 2: The Golden Circle: Thingvellir, Geysir en Gullfoss
Day 3: Southern Iceland – glaciers, waterfalls and beaches
Day 4: Skaftafell National Park – Jokulsarlon – Fjallsarlon
Day 5: Eastern fjords, excursion to Papey island by boat
Day 6: To Myvatn and the highlights of Myvatn area
Day 7: Húsavik and Akureyri
Day 8: Northwest Iceland to Westfjords
Day 9: To Isafjordur
Day 10: Isafjördur
Day 11: Dynjandi waterfall and the birds of Latrabjarg
Day 12: Ferry to Snaefellsnes peninsula and Snaefellsnes peninsula
Day 13: Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 14: Reykholtsdal and Reykjavík
Day 15: Reykjavik and flight back home

Puffin in Iceland

You can only see puffins in summer

Resources for planning a self-drive Iceland itinerary

✓ Find the best deals for flights to Iceland here.

✓ Find the best deals for Iceland accommodation here. Alternatively, check this post for the best accommodation suggestions for Reykjavik and a self-drive trip around Iceland.

✓ Find the best deals for Iceland car rental here! Alternatively, check a highly-rated and correctly-priced, Icelandic car and camper rental company Lagoon Car Rental. The booking process is very easy, transparent, and there are no hidden fees. You know exactly what you’re paying for, which car you’re getting, which roads you can drive with the specific type of car, and what is or isn’t covered by your selected insurance. This is the company where we rent our car when we travel to Iceland. Check it out!

✓ Here you can find all our articles and practical tips for traveling to Iceland: Iceland travel guide.

***Read also: How Expensive is Iceland (& Tips How To Make It More Affordable)***

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin these images!

How to see the best of Iceland - itinerary suggestions for any trip from 1 day to 2 weeks

Iceland Itinerary Suggestions for any trip from a short stopover in Reykjavik to a two week trip around the island. See the best of Iceland with these tips!

See the best of Iceland with the best Iceland trip itinerary suggestions. Anything from just one day to two weeks, and from Reykjavik to complete Iceland road trip - this is the only guide you'll need to read!


  1. Hi – Thank you for the ton of information you have shared. We will be doing your recommended 4 day tour this September, and I’m reading a lot about F-roads. Does this itinerary route include driving on F-Roads? I’m planning on renting a small car, as it will be just two of us (me and my wife).

    Thanks again,

    1. Author

      Hi Raja, no, this itinerary doesn’t include any F-roads and is doable with any car. In winter, I’d probably rent a 4wd, but in September you should generally be ok with a regular car. Let’s hope winter doesn’t arrive early this year…
      Enjoy your trip!

    2. Hi Jurga,

      Thank you so much for your very detailed articles and amazing photos! I love too that you are as captivated by natural beauty and wildlife as I am.

      I’m actually on my way to Iceland very soon and have just over four days, traveling by camper van to stay quite flexible and enjoy as much of the outdoors as possible.

      I’m currently planning to follow your 4 day itinerary almost to a “T” but am tempted to use the extra half day to either venture to the Westman island on my way back to Rekjavik, or cram in a few stops along the Snæfellsnes peninsula. I think if I skip the island I could get to the peninsula one afternoon and have part of the next morning.

      I’d so appreciate any thoughts you may have regarding this.

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful posts!

      1. Author

        Hi Robert, it’s really hard for me to say as so much will also depend on the weather. My first feeling is that both of these places – the Westman Islands or Snaefellsnes Peninsula require at least a day each. But you can visit the island in half a day too – it depends on what you want to do there I suppose, and you could see some of the main highlights in just a few hours. I assume that you read my articles on both of those places, but I linked to them both, in case you haven’t.
        I think that the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a bit more difficult because it’s further away from anything else in our 4-day itinerary. We just recently spent an entire day there and felt that it was too rushed. Also, it takes you several hours just to get there, depending on where you are coming from.
        In the end, the choice is yours. But please also keep in mind that the days are much shorter in September already, so you’ll already have to do your best to cover all the highlights of the South Coast as it is. And – you have to stay at the campgrounds (it’s now the law – more info about camping in Iceland) and many of them are already closed for the season, so you should do some research on that as well.
        Sorry, I can’t help you more. It’s a tough choice and I know just too well how tempting it is to try and see it all, but often less is more and you’ll enjoy your trip more if you don’t have to rush from one place to the other all the time…
        Have a great trip and – if you think of it after the trip – feel free to leave a reply here and let us know what you decided and how it went. It might be helpful to the other readers. Thank you!

  2. Hello, we are headed to Iceland the first week in August for 7 days and renting a car. After much research, below is my intinerary. However, after reading your blogs I am wondering if I should make a change.

    Staying in the city the first two nights
    1st day – Friday. Explore the city (we arrive from the US very early)
    2nd day – Saturday. golden circle
    Leave for the south coast Sunday morning. Explore Vik and south coast on the way
    3rd night – stay in the south (we are close to jokulralson)
    Monday – head back toward Reyjavik stopping at more sites along the way back. Check back into the city Monday night.
    4th night – Tuesday. stay in the city. take a tour perhaps whale and puffin watching. Planned for no driving to break up the drives.
    Wednesday – drive up to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula for the day and drive back to the city.
    5th night – stay in the city and then Thursday morning head to the blue lagoon for a few hours before flying back to the city.

    I am wondering if we should stay near Vik Monday night instead of driving back to Reykjavík And drive back to Reykjavic Tuesday morning instead. What are your thoughts? This would break up the long drives and give us more time in the south (is there enough to do this long.) but it would also have us driving every day. I’m not sure which is better.

    1. Author

      Hi Pam, sorry for a late reply. Somehow this comment got lost along a mountain of emails in my mailbox… And I also think that I already answered this or something very similar recently, so not sure I’m not repeating myself…
      Anyway, yes, I think that one night along the South Coast is a bit short. I usually recommend this itinerary for the Golden Circle and the South Coast
      Also, you could visit Snaefellsnes Peninsula first, then go to the Golden Circle, and then the South Coast (following our detailed itinerary I linked to) – no need to go back to Reykjavik in between, especially because you already stay there in the beginning and at the end of your trip.
      Hope this helps. Also, a lot will depend on what accommodations you can still find, so book asap.

      1. Appreciate your reply. Thank you

  3. Dear Jurga
    Thanks a lot for such wonderful blog on Iceland. We are planning for 11 days trip in the month end of July. We will be traveling with our son (5 years old) and we will start our trip from Reykjavik and will end it in Reykjavik. We would like to cover the places by road and would like to make night stops at hotels. I read your post (10 days trip), but it starts from Akureyri. Should I use this itinerary in reverse order 🙂 or would you suggest some other. It would be great if you could recommend how many nights we should stay at which places, so that I can plan the bookings accordingly.
    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    1. Author

      Hi Kumar, in July you could try and do the whole Ring Road in 11 days. Take our 2-week itinerary and skip the West Fjords (days 9-11). So from North Iceland head straight to Snaefellsnes Peninsula. You can do it in reverse order as well.
      I don’t have a lot of details for the whole Rin Road, but I have a very thorough article that covers the South Coast, so at least for that part of the journey you can use it to plan what to see and do each day.
      Hope this helps. Have a great time in Iceland!
      PS book your accommodations ASAP – best-priced places sell out really quickly. You can find some suggestions here: where to stay in Iceland.

      1. Dear Jurga

        Thanks a lot for your reply. It’s helpful.


  4. My wife is fearful of “cliff-driving” (narrow shoulders, long way to the bottom). Is there much of this on the “Ring Road”? thanks

    1. Author

      Hi Barry, there is very little to no such driving along the Ring Road in Iceland if I remember well. We just came back from Northern Italy and the mountain passes there are a whole other story… I really wouldn’t worry about that in Iceland.

  5. hello! thank you for all of your suggestions! my family (me, husband and 2 kids ages 4 and 6) are going in august. we are staying 2 days in reykjavik (blue lagoon, golden circle) and 2 nights in hella (as a base for touring southern iceland from skogar to jokulsarlon).

    I am keeping myself up at night worrying that my 4 year old will fall into a waterfall or off a cliff! ahh! help! are there any areas i should avoid? or am i worrying too much? He is great at hiking and outdoors etc, but if i take my eyes off of him for a second, are there any sites that are too treacherous? the kids are SO excited about the trip, and now I’m getting nervous.

    1. Author

      Hi Katie, I can so relate to this! We have three boys and if I start to think of everything that can go wrong during the trip, I end up having nightmares… The reality is, however, that most accidents happen at home in a familiar and safe environment. When you are out and about exploring, you tend to be much more cautious, alert and more careful. The same is true for the children. So please stop worrying and try to concentrate on the fun side of preparing for an exciting trip.
      My best suggestion is to use common sense, be aware of the surroundings, obey the signs and hold on to your kids in the more dangerous places. There is just one place that comes to mind that doesn’t look dangerous, but actually is and it’s a black sand beach Reynisfjar in Vik. The current is very strong there and the water comes up higher than you think without much prior warning. We have been told that some accidents happened there in the past. So keep a safe distance from the water there, even if it looks very calm.
      Enjoy your trip! Iceland is a beautiful country and I’m sure you and your family will have a great time there.

  6. This is an awesome post!!! We are two 50 year old (active) couples that are going to Iceland in September. We are in Iceland for 5 nights (6 days) would love your thoughts on the itinerary. Day 1 – We are looking at going to Blue Lagoon right when we arrive. Spending afternoon/evening in Reykjavik. Day 2 – leave early and do Thorsmork hike and stay in Vik.. Day 3 – Drive to Jökulsárlón glacier and diamond beach…any other sites we should see in this area? and drive back to Vik to stay overnight. Day 4 – drive to Golden Circle (and see sites along the way) and 3 main sites in golden circle. Day 5 – drive to snaefellsnes peninsula Day 6 – drive to airport (4 pm flight). Do you think going to the snaefellsnes peninsula will be too much driving? Any other recommendations….sites along the way…Thank you.

    1. Author

      Hi Caroline, we are traveling at the moment, so I have very little time. Shirt answer. Please check our Iceland winter itinerary – it will give you a very good idea of the places I recommend visiting on the South Coast.
      As for Snaefellsness Peninsula, I think it’s worth the drive. In September the days are still quite long and the road conditions generally ok, I think it’s doable. If you want to be closer to the airport on the last day, you could consider reversing your itinerary. But I think it looks pretty much ok for the duration of your stay. Enjoy your trip!

  7. Hi Jurga!

    This blog has been so helpful. I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am.

    Three other friends and I are planning a 2-week trip to Iceland in late August. Your 14-day itinerary looks great but I just wanted to ask you if you’d advise us against any particular places on the list if we aren’t adventurous hikers. We love driving and long (safe) walks are no problem but hiking and trekking isn’t really our thing. Would you advise us against anything in your 14-day itinerary knowing this?

    Look forward to hearing from you. Lots of love from India!

    1. Author

      Hi Sid, there isn’t really much hiking in that itinerary, mainly just short walks from the car to the main attractions. Skaftafell NP (day 4) has some hikes, short and long, so you can skip that if hiking isn’t really your thing at all. Most other places it’s really just about exploring the area, so there is of course some walking involved, but no hiking and definitely no trekking.
      If you like to add some variation to your trip and fill in the gaps, try to book some sightseeing excursions here and there, like puffin or whale watching, or maybe horse riding, also Myvatn nature baths are not to be missed, etc. You can find some of those suggestions here: best tours in Iceland.
      Hope this helps.

      1. This was so helpful Jurga! Thanks again.

        I’m sorry to bug you with another question:
        We want to follow your 14 day itinerary but are only in Iceland for 12 days. If you were to reduce 2/3 days from the itinerary, what part of it would you remove?

        Thanks in advance! x

        1. Author

          Hi Sid, I think you can visit pretty much the same places in less time as well. A lot depends on the time of the year when you travel. End of August the days are still quite long, so if you plan well and skip spend less time at the less interesting pieces you’ll be fine. If you have to skip something, you could limit your time in East fjords and/or in the North-West.
          I don’t really have the time to work out an itinerary for you, so you’ll have to do some more research to see what all these places are about and what interests you most. But in 12 days you should definitely be able to see all the main highlights along the Ring Road.

  8. Dear Jurga,

    great blog and extremely helpful! Can I ask you some questions please? I’ll travel to Reykjavik at the end of May for 10 days to visit friends there. Since they will have to work during my trip as well, and I want to see more than Reykjavik, I probably will visit a lot on my own, but i’m not keen on renting a car alone. At first I thought I will make daytrips always starting from Reykjavik, but maybe it would be better (and more affordable, since accomodation in R. is expensive and the guided daytrips as well) to do a short roundtrip of 4 to 7 days using public transport. Do you have any experiences with the public buses? Would you recommend me to do your itineraries of 4 to 7 days even if I’m alone? Which tours can I undertake without a guide to save some money?

    1. Author

      Hi Laura, unfortunately public transport isn’t really an option outside of Reykjavik. So it’s still best to either rent a car or do day tours or a combination of both. Iceland is perfectly safe to travel alone, so I wouldn’t worry about that. The more tricky part is finding accommodations outside of the city on such short notice. You can find some suggestions for accommodations, best day trips, etc in our other blog posts. Check our Iceland page for more information.
      As for what to do alone, most places from these itineraries can be easily visited without the guide. You just need to get there. Depending on accommodation prices in Reykjavik vs outside of town and car rental prices, it can still be cheaper to do tours than rent a car if th are alone. But check it out, maybe you can find a cheap car and some affordable places to stay, you never know before you actually start to compare.

      1. Thank you so much! I’m already excited for the holidays coming up :)!

  9. Hi JURGA
    I am planning a relaxed trip with my wife to iceland this summer in last week of may for 15 days.i am not much interested in north as it is full of drive but at the same time want to include snaefell peninsula.
    How should I plan about it.


    1. Author

      Hi Ankit, 15 days is quite long and you could easily do the whole ring road at a leisurely pace. The days are very long that time of the year and I think that you’ll otherwise find yourself bored with nothing to do if you only stick to the South Coast and Snaefellsnes Peninsula. So I think you could still consider looking at the 2-week itinerary in this post. You can skip some places and spend a bit more time at the others, and make a trip that suits you beset; but once again 15 days is long. If you still rather stick to the South, then I’d say spend a week there, then go to Snaefellsnes for 2-3 days, then maybe to the West Fjords.
      Also, make sure to book your accommodations ASAP – Iceland is very popular and this is already in less than a month. Check this post for accommodation suggestions in Iceland.

  10. Hi, I just subscribed to your blog. It’s wonderful as you travel with kids too. I have a 4.5 yr old son…5 by next summer. I’ll be traveling alone with him in mid August. Planning to do 3 days (two actual full days) in Iceland on our way from Toronto to a wedding in Finland. I may stretch it an additional day. Would you recommend just getting out of Reykjavik and booking a hotel at one of the destination places and travel from there – blue lagoon/ Golden circle? Not sure how interesting a city tour is for a 5 yr. old. How challenging are the hikes? I am also wondering whether a private or a small group tour may be a better option than renting a car? Thanks so much.

    1. Author

      Hi Ilona, that’s a lot of questions and most answers depend on the way you like to travel I suppose. There are small group tours, but honestly with such a young child I think you will enjoy the trip more if you just rent a car and do your own thing. In summer you can easily rent a car and Iceland is perfectly safe to travel on your own.
      As to where to go in three days, Golden Circle – count about a day, then drive in the direction of Vik, visit the waterfalls of the South Coast on the way. I would also go to Jokulsarlon. Yes, it’s far, but the days are long in summer, so you could easily make it. There is not much hiking involved at any of these places.
      If you prefer less driving maybe add some kid-friendly activities like spotting puffins or riding an Icelandic horse (size of a pony).
      It really depends on your preferences. Hope this helps a bit

  11. We are planning a 2 family (4 adults, 2 boys 7&9, 2 girls 14&16) 10-day trip to Iceland in late July 18. I would love to do your 10 itinerary but am afraid we’ll be spending all our time in the car or camper (haven’t even made that decision yet) and not have enough time to soak up the experience. What do you think? Is less more with a crew like us? We’re very active but also want time to relax in between.
    What do you think? Thanks in advance.

    1. Author

      Hi Jenny, if anything, this itinerary isn’t rushed at all. Certainly in July when the days are so long. We did the exact same trip and often felt that we had too much time in the evening. That was beginning of June and there were some places where we couldn’t hike because of the snow still. So maybe in July you can do a bit more hiking, and maybe more excursions (like whale watching or puffins). I really don’t think you should worry that it’s going to be too much, even for the kids.
      PS there is one area that I think you could consider adding if you have one more day and that is Snaefellsnes Peninsula a bit North of Reykjavik.
      If you rather do a bit less driving and more exploring, you can consider the 7 day itinerary and add Snaefellsnes to it. Make it 10 days, it will be really relaxed.
      One more thing, don’t forget to pack sleep masks for the whole family – you’ll need it in Iceland in summer, or you won’t get much sleep. Take a look at this post for more tips for packing for a summer trip to Iceland.

  12. dear Jurga,

    thank you for your swift reply! glacier hike is the only tour i am doing! have to! Just one question. if you had a 4wd would you not attempt the ring road in January at all costs?

    1. Author

      Hi Naina, years ago we were stuck in a snow storm in the North with road closures in June and then the next day we gently slid off the road, so I wouldn’t, but that’s me :). I know some people who did the ring road in December and they said it was icy, but doable. The problem is that nobody can tell you in advance how the roads will be and it can change really quickly… So it all depends on how adventurous you are.

  13. Hi Jurga,
    thank you for your blog. i have read all your blogs on iceland (and way more for research). I just really need help with 1 thing. I am following your 7 day itenary as i am going in January. But i have ten days. everyone says do not drive north :/ what should i do for three more days? we are renting a car but over the budget to spend more on tours. i really wanted to do a dive but figuring out what route i would drive. can you suggest somethiing without having to go too north? (no roads may be opened to go north?)
    thank you o much.

    1. Author

      Hi Naina, at first I thought about suggesting Snaefellsnes peninsula, but then I googled a bit and it seems that it also might be a bit problematic in January. It really depends on the weather. Maybe try and keep it as an option in case the weather would be really good and the roads clear… Otherwise, you can spend a bit more time in the area around Skaftafell NP where you can do some more hiking. But then again, a lot depends on the weather.
      I understand you don’t want to do more tours, but maybe just one, like glacier hiking?
      You can also spend a bit more time in Reykjavik, visit museums, or maybe spend more time at the Blue Lagoon… Alternatively, book a really nice and well located hotel, like Fosshotel Vatnajokull and spend a bit more time in Jokulsarlon area. It’s so beautiful there, and if you have more time you can go back several times, make long walks on the Diamond Beach… If you just plan an extra night at two places, you have two days extra. And some places are definitely worth spending a bit more time and traveling slower. Especially in winter.
      Not sure if this helps, I would just really travel a bit slower and spend more time everywhere.

  14. Thank you so much Jurga. You”re reading my mind haha. I thought of doing Reykjavik on Day 2 because we aren’t sleeping the night before do to the plane but I’m also seeing that it’s a small city so perhaps we can do a short tour or a local pool that day. The order may vary of course.
    I’m going with my 68 year mother who has prosthetic knees although she’s very active, she can hike but not for hours so I’m worry that it’ll be too much. The same with the lava cave. Ice cave sounds easy and the Westman Islands too.

  15. Hi Jurga! I found this post today and I followed your tour without knowing it jajaja. I´, going on September with my mother and after a loooooooooooot of research, Excels, Words and blogs the idea will be:

    Day 1: I arrive early in the morning and already have the Blue Lagoon tickets at 12, and then go to Reykjavic at the late afeternoon
    2: Free day to visit Reykjavic with walking city tour
    3: Golden Circle
    4: South coast tour+Jökulsárlón glacier (i´m combining these to have an extra day)
    5: ?????
    6: Snaefellsnes peninsula
    7: I leave early in the morning

    My question for you is: What tour do you recomend for the day 5 between these ones:
    a)Langjökull glacier
    b)Víðgelmir lava tube cave
    c)Westman Islands
    d)Day Trip to Landmannalaugar
    e)Reykjanes Peninsula

    I can only do tours, no driving and I´ve to go back to Reykjavic to sleep because i´ve the hostel paid already. Thank you!!!!

    1. Author

      Hi Maria Laura, you’ll have a very busy schedule this way, but since you’re not driving I guess it’s feasible.
      If I were you, I’d not stay in Reykjavik on Day 2 and go on one of the tours instead. Because afterwards you have 3 very full days with lots of time in the car, so maybe do another tour on Day 2, and then Reykjavik on Day 3 or 4. Also, the day to the Golden Circle is usually not a very full day (depending on what option you choose), so you’ll still have time to see Reykjavik when you return that same day. When you spend a couple of hours in Reykjavik you’ll have a better feeling on how small it actually is, and then maybe you’ll decide that you don’t really need a full day in the city after all. That would give you an extra day to explore the other places that really interest you or spend more time on the South Coast.
      The South Coast + Jokulsarlon day trip will be particularly long. They usually recommend doing it in two days – much more relaxed option, even if that means that you paid an extra night for the hostel, I think it’s worth it. You can even combine it with a glacier hike as well. Check this out for all options. But I see that many people do it in one day and the reviews are good, so I guess it’s still worth it, even if it means that you’ll be in the car for the biggest part of the day…
      As for the recommended tours from your selection, I would go with day trip hiking in Landmannalaugar. It’s my opinion, of course, because I love hiking. This area looks amazing, and very different from anything else.
      Hope this helps! Have a wonderful trip!

  16. Great post Jurga, Iceland is on my list of places to visit one day…I’ve bookmarked your post for future reference! Thank you 🙂

  17. P.S. Our “kids” are in their early 20’s 🙂

    1. Author

      Hi Kathy,
      I assume you’re coming from the US? Icelandair flies to different places in Europe and offers a free stopover in Iceland. So it’s easy to combine with lets say The Netherlands or U.K. or Belgium. All these are just +-3hrs flying from Reykjavik.
      I have some posts on the blog about the Netherlands, you could stay in Amsterdam and make some short day trips in the area (Alkmaar, Kinderdijk, Zaanse Schans, Giethoorn…).
      Alternatively, in Belgium I would suggest Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels.
      Not sure if this is your kind of trips.
      If you like nature more, you could try Scotland or Faroe Islands…
      Hope this helps a bit.

  18. We have 10 days beg June 24..what other trip would you recommend combining with Iceland for 5 days?

  19. I will definitely be saving this post! My husband and I are saving up for a trip with our daughter to Scotland in a few years. We’d love to take advantage of a stopover in Iceland!

    1. Author

      If you can, try to take at least 5-6 days for a stopover in Iceland, Mar. If I remember well, Icelandair allows up to 7 days stopover at no additional cost, so it’s a great way to combine Iceland with another trip.

  20. You have covered a lot on your trips and it is great to see. I think that your pictures are beautiful too. Definitely, pinned this for when I return to Iceland as you give a great range of tips and recommendations.

  21. Hello,

    I have a slight dilemma, Our flight arrives at 2 PM on Tuesday and leaves on 4 PM Thursday. We would like to plan our trip so that we CAN do the Golden Circle, Reykjavik, and blue lagoon. Just not quite sure which would fit what day. If you were working with that time frame, What would you recommend?

      1. Wow,

        Thank you for such quick response. My wife’s bucket list is the Blue Lagoon. So she would like to spend as much time there as possible. Realistically, How much time is Enough time for blue lagoon with a 4 year old and 7 year old. Also, we are planning to rent a car. About how much time should we allocated for Golden Circle starting at reykjavik and back?

        Lastly, 1 restaurant (family style) you would recommend? Our anniversary falls on middle day of our 3 day trip. Thank you SO much!


        1. Author

          Hi Ted, Blue Lagoon will take you 2-4hrs. It takes some time to get in, change, etc. I don’t think you can spend more than an hour, maybe a bit longer in the pool with kids, but you know your kids better of course. It’s far from the city centre, so it will take some time to get there. Count a good half day in total.
          I would count a (relaxed) day for the Golden Circle. If you come back earlier, spend that time in Reykjavik downtown.
          As for restaurants, I really don’t know. Check Trip Advisor for some recommendations.

          1. Thank you!

  22. This is perfect!!! I’m glad I came across this. I’ll be visiting Iceland for 3 days in May before heading to London and my 3-day itinerary is exactly as you recommend. Even though I’m visiting towards the end of May, I guess I better pack for cold weather!! This make me feel better. Great guide!!

    1. Author

      Hi Livi, glad you found this itinerary reassuring. There is a lot you can do in a specific place, but here I cover the highlights, which I think most people want to see if traveling somewhere for the first time.
      As for packing, I really don’t know about May, I think you can have all kinds of weather, just as any other season. Pack a warm waterproof outer layer, and several other layers so you are flexible. You can check this post for Iceland packing suggestions.
      Have a wonderful trip to Iceland!

  23. What an incredible itinerary for everybody! I will definitely be using this when I go!

  24. Iceland looks so beautiful. I can’t wait to visit one day. Thank you for sharing these itinerary suggestions!

  25. Very timely for me, I have 24 hour stopover this summer and just booked my Blue Lagoon ticket yesterday. I can’t read beyond your 1-day itinerary because I’m already sad at all the things I’m going to miss!

    1. Author

      I know how you feel, Leigh! It’s a constant struggle with stopovers… Maybe that short trip will inspire you to go back and visit longer another time.

  26. Your photography is STUNNING. I just love the way you capture the light and contrasts of this beautiful island. Great post!

  27. Great post! I’m gonna bookmark this post for future reference as I’m planning to visit Iceland one day. Thanks for sharing!

  28. I want to go there so badly! When I do I’ll definitely come back to this post and see what I can do in my time 🙂

  29. Those pictures look so amazing. It’s hard not to want to book a trip to Iceland. It’s on our list for this year, so I’m going to save this!

  30. Super double extra triple bookmarked! It is my dream to visit Iceland in the winter and see the northern lights but you are offering so many more awesome ideas I love it! I am not sure when I will get to go but I will be sure to follow this itinerary and all of your tips!

    1. Author

      Thanks Arianne. Glad this inspired you to see more of Iceland, beyond the Northern Lights…

  31. I really want to go to Iceland. It’s been on my bucketlist for such a long time! Thanks for the suggestions!

    – Dominick

  32. This is a great post! We had an amazing trip through the southern part of Iceland 2 years ago and can’t wait to go back and explore the north!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Ashley. We’ve been to Iceland twice, but wouldn’t mind going again either. Beautiful country to explore!

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