6 Day Iceland Itinerary: Time to Road Trip!

This is a series focusing only on itineraries— you won’t find recaps or in-depth stories here (I’ll link to any that I write about, of course!), just a list of what I did and where I went to help inspire anyone who might be planning a similar trip.

6 Day Iceland Itinerary

Last year, a good friend of mine from college and I decided, on a whim, to visit Europe over the summer. When we found a good flight deal to Reykjavik, we jumped at the chance to spend a week driving around the island, even though we’d originally thought we’d headed to places like London or Paris or Amsterdam.

Neither of us knew a lot about Iceland, and none of our friends had been.  We started planning our trip from scratch, relying heavily on Pinterest, Google, and Lonely Planet. A lot of the information we found focused on slow travel, but we had limited time and wanted to see more of the country than many of the itineraries listed.

The good thing about visiting Iceland in July is that we had nearly 23 hours of daylight to work with, allowing us to fit a lot more into our trip than if the days had been shorter.

I included what we did below, and it’s pretty fast-paced. This style of travel is not for everyone but it worked out great for us. As part-time travelers with limited vacation time, we got to see a lot, and still had time to hike, explore, and take in the natural beauty of some of the most stunning landscapes I’ve seen.

A 6-day itinerary for a road trip around Iceland, including tips for places to see and things to do.

DAY 1: KEFLAVIK, BLUE LAGOON, REYKJAVIK 

Iceland Blue Lagoon Meg Runs The World
Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

DAY 2: SOUTH COAST DRIVE

  • Leave Reykjavik and head to Seljalandsfoss & Gljúfurárfoss waterfalls
  • Hike to Seljavallalaug Pool (this post has a great map to help you find this natural spring)
    • Bring a swimsuit and towel as the pool has facilities you can use to change. We spent about 2 hours here between the hike there and back and the swim.
  • See Skógafoss & Kvernufoss (you’ll also be able to see the Turf Houses at Skogar Museum)
    • To get to Kvernufoss, enter Skógar from the N1 and instead of turning left to Skógafoss, keep straight. At the end of the road, you’ll see the Hotel Edda. Turn right toward the Skógar Folk Museum. Keep driving until you get to a sheep fence. Leave your car here. Behind the last museum building, close to the hillside, you’ll see a small, slightly sketchy ladder that will get you over the fence. Now, you have a fairly easy 15-minute hike to this secret waterfall. There is a slight rock scramble, but I was able to do it in running shoes. This fantastic post is how I discovered this isolated spot. 
  • Dyrhólaey Headland Natural Reserve to spot puffins (during the summer months, only)
  • Black sand beach at the Reynisdrangar Pinnacles in Vík
  • Overnight: Hotel Edda Vík
Seljavallalaug Natural Pool Iceland
Seljavallalaug Pool

DAY 3: JOKULSARLON GLACIER

  • Drive to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Leave early and drive straight to Jökulsárlón with stop at Fjallsárlón Glacial Lagoon)
  • Take a boat tour of the Lagoon and visit the beach across the street to see icebergs on the sand
  • Backtrack to Selfoss: Hike in Skaftafell National Park to Svartifoss Waterfall
  • Spot Foss á Síðu Waterfall from the road
  • Hike in Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon:
    • There are signs advertising the canyon, but they are not large or obvious. Take the 206 road to Lakagigar (locals call it the Laki Road), and drive just past the Hunkubakkar guesthouse. When you get to the canyon, you’ll see a sign advertising your arrival and a bridge that crosses the river.
  • View Eldhraun Lava Field along the drive
  • Overnight: Geirakot Farm in Selfoss Area via Icelandic Farm Holidays

Note: If we didn’t have 23-hours of daylight, it’s unlikely we would have been able to accomplish as much as we did this day—we didn’t get to our farm house in Selfoss until 11:30 PM. I recommend breaking this drive into two days or trying to stay a little south of Vík. 

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Iceland
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

 

Reynisdrangar Pinnacles Dyrhólaey Black Sand Beach Iceland Vik
Reynisdrangar Pinnacles and Black Sand Beach Near Vik

DAY 4: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE 

Iceland Horses Golden Circle Iceland
Icelandic Horses Along the Golden Circle

DAY 5: SNAEFELLSNES PENINSULA

Church on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Church on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Cliffs Snaefellsnes Peninsula Iceland
Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Note: I loved, loved, loved this day. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula, or the Snuffaluffagus Peninsula as I called it because Icelandic words are HARD to say, is often referred to as “Iceland in miniature” and it’s easy to see why: jagged coastlines, black & gold sand beaches, mountain peaks, lava fields, hot springs; you could easily spend all of your time in Iceland here. In fact, I highly suggest spending more than one day on the Peninsula. While we did almost everything we wanted in one day, we felt a bit rushed toward the end. 

DAY 6: SAY GOODBYE TO ICELAND 

  • Leave from Keflavik Airport around 9 AM knowing you already want to come back to Iceland one day soon.

A 6-day itinerary for a road trip around Iceland, including tips for places to see and things to do.

What are your tips for an amazing Iceland road trip? Or, is Iceland on your Travel Bucket List?

 

 

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Meg Roberts
Meg Roberts is an avid runner, travel fiend, and content strategist based in Tampa, Florida. She enjoys exploring new places on foot, mile by mile. Follow along as she writes about making time to run, travel, and dabble with other hobbies, all while holding down a full-time office job that she loves.

10 comments

  1. Iceland looks absolutely unreal and I’m desperate to go! 23 hours of sunlight must be so strange, but so fun as well – so much time for activities! How was the weather in July?

    1. The minute I left, I was already thinking about how soon I can go back. It’s a stunning place.

      The weather was wonderful. We had temperatures in the 50s-60s Fahrenheit, and it only rained a handful of times, but never too heavy– more like a light mist. My only caution is for the bugs, which are out in full force throughout the country!

  2. I love love love how detailed this post is! And local hidden gems!? Yes!

    I will definitely be using a lot of your information from here on my trip next month. Thank you so much for the details!

  3. This is fantastic! We’ll be doing almost the same itinerary this May, although with a 8-month old baby so skipping all the tours. Our goal is to NOT have 10 hour days since I don’t think our little guy will tolerate that well. Do you think it’s still doable? Thanks for all of these details!

  4. “The Snaefellsnes Peninsula, or the Snuffaluffagus Peninsula as I called it because Icelandic words are HARD to say” I literally laughed out loud when I read it because that’s what I call it too. Heading to Iceland in 3.5 weeks. Can’t wait. Thanks for the info.

  5. Do you have an estimate of what you spent in this itinerary? Trying to budget for a trip with my sister and would love to have an idea of what the land costs might be.

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