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Iceland Road Trip: A One-Week Itinerary


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Augusta Miceli



Welcome to Iceland, a land of stunning natural beauty and an ideal destination for an unforgettable road trip. With its dramatic landscapes, picturesque villages, and unique blend of geothermal wonders, Iceland offers a magical experience for travelers seeking adventure and awe-inspiring sights.


Embarking on a one-week road trip allows you to explore the diverse regions of Iceland, from the vibrant capital city of Reykjavik to the tranquil countryside and breathtaking coastal drives. This itinerary will take you on a journey through some of Iceland’s most iconic destinations, ensuring that you make the most of your time on this captivating island.


Before we dive into the details of the road trip, it’s important to note that Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to pack accordingly and be prepared for sudden changes. Additionally, renting a 4×4 vehicle is highly recommended, as some of the more remote areas require a vehicle with off-road capabilities.


Now, let’s map out your epic adventure through Iceland!


Day 1: Arrival in Reykjavik

Your Icelandic adventure begins in the charming capital city of Reykjavik. After landing at Keflavik International Airport, you’ll make your way to the city, which is only a 45-minute drive away.


Reykjavik offers a perfect blend of modern amenities and small-town charm. Take some time to explore the city’s colorful streets, lined with cafes, shops, and vibrant street art. Head to the iconic Hallgrímskirkja Church, where you can take in panoramic views of Reykjavik from its observation deck.


If you have an interest in history and culture, be sure to visit the National Museum of Iceland or the Reykjavik Art Museum. And if you’re a fan of quirky attractions, don’t miss the Icelandic Phallological Museum, which houses a collection of over 280 penises from various animal species.


For a taste of Icelandic cuisine, indulge in a traditional seafood dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants in Reykjavik. Try the local delicacies like smoked salmon, langoustine soup, or even the infamous fermented shark for the brave-hearted.


If you’re up for some nighttime adventure, Reykjavik’s nightlife scene won’t disappoint. The city is known for its vibrant music scene, with live performances and DJ sets in various venues. Join the locals in experiencing the energetic atmosphere and dance the night away.


After a thrilling first day in Reykjavik, retreat to your accommodation and rest up for the exciting days ahead. Remember to set your alarm early, as tomorrow you’ll embark on an unforgettable journey through the famous Golden Circle.


Day 2: Exploring the Golden Circle

On day 2, get ready to embark on a classic Icelandic adventure as you explore the Golden Circle, a popular route that encompasses three must-see attractions in Iceland.


Your first stop is Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that holds historical and geological significance. Marvel at the rift valley where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet, creating a dramatic landscape. Take a walk through Almannagjá Gorge and imagine the ancient Vikings gathering at the site of the world’s oldest parliamentary institution, Þingvellir (the Parliament Plains).


Next, make your way to the geothermal area of Geysir, where you’ll witness the powerful eruptions of the Strokkur geyser. Be prepared with your camera to capture the moment when boiling water shoots high into the sky, creating a mesmerizing display of nature’s forces. Take a stroll around the area to witness the various bubbling mud pots and other geothermal features.


The final part of the Golden Circle is the majestic Gullfoss waterfall. As one of Iceland’s most iconic waterfalls, Gullfoss will leave you in awe as you witness the powerful cascades of glacial water tumbling into the rugged canyon below. Take a walk along the paths to get different perspectives of this breathtaking natural wonder.


Along the Golden Circle route, there are additional attractions worth exploring, such as Kerið, a volcanic crater lake, or the charming town of Hveragerði, known for its geothermal hot springs. You can also indulge in some traditional Icelandic cuisine at one of the local restaurants along the way.


After a full day of exploring the Golden Circle, make your way back to Reykjavik to relax and reflect on the incredible sights you’ve witnessed. Enjoy a delicious dinner and perhaps take a dip in one of the city’s geothermal pools to rejuvenate before another exciting day of adventure in Iceland.


Day 3: South Coast Adventure

Get ready for an exhilarating day as you embark on a South Coast adventure, discovering some of Iceland’s most stunning natural wonders.


Start your day by driving along the picturesque south coast, where you’ll be greeted by breathtaking landscapes at every turn. Your first stop should be the famous Seljalandsfoss waterfall, known for its unique feature that allows you to walk behind the cascading water curtain. Be prepared to feel the mist on your face and capture incredible photos of this iconic waterfall.


Just a short distance from Seljalandsfoss, you’ll find another gem, Skógafoss. This massive waterfall is one of the largest in Iceland, with a drop of 60 meters. Take a walk up the staircase beside the waterfall to enjoy magnificent views from above and feel the power of the rushing water.


Continuing along the South Coast, make a detour to the black sand beach of Reynisfjara near the village of Vik. Here, you’ll be awestruck by the dramatic basalt columns, towering cliffs, and the powerful waves crashing onto the shore. Keep an eye out for puffins nesting on the nearby cliffs during the summer months.


In the afternoon, explore the breathtaking Sólheimajökull glacier. Join a guided glacier hiking tour and step foot onto the massive ice cap, marveling at the stunning blue hues and unique ice formations. It’s an unforgettable experience that will give you a glimpse into the otherworldly beauty of Iceland’s glaciers.


As you make your way back towards Reykjavik, consider making a stop at the charming village of Skógar, where you can visit the Skógar Folk Museum and gain insight into Iceland’s rich cultural heritage. You can also explore the hiking trails in the area, offering mesmerizing views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers.


After a day filled with awe-inspiring natural wonders along Iceland’s South Coast, return to Reykjavik and unwind at one of the city’s cozy cafés or trendy bars. Reflect on the magnificent sights you experienced and recharge for another day of adventure in Iceland.


Day 4: Glacier Hiking in Vatnajökull National Park

Day 4 of your Iceland road trip brings you to Vatnajökull National Park, home to Europe’s largest glacier and a wonderland of ice and snow. Brace yourself for an incredible glacier hiking experience that will take you deep into the heart of this icy wilderness.


Start your day with an early drive from Reykjavik to Vatnajökull National Park, located in the southeastern part of the country. As you approach the park, you’ll be greeted by the awe-inspiring sight of Vatnajökull, a massive ice cap that covers more than 8% of Iceland’s landmass.


Upon arrival, join a guided glacier hiking tour led by experienced professionals who will provide you with the necessary equipment and safety instructions. Strap on your crampons and embark on an adventure that will take you across the ever-changing glacial landscape.


As you step onto the glacier, you’ll be greeted by a world of shimmering ice formations, ridges, and crevasses. Listen to the sounds of the ice, and witness the shades of blue that come alive in the sunlight. Your knowledgeable guide will share fascinating information about the glacier’s formation, its history, and the magnificent forces that have shaped it over time.


During the hike, you’ll have the opportunity to explore ice caves, where sunlight filtering through the ice creates a magical atmosphere. These ethereal formations are unique to each season, as the glacier continuously morphs and transforms.


As you traverse the glacier, take a moment to soak in the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The sheer vastness of Vatnajökull National Park is awe-inspiring, with snow-capped peaks, glacial rivers, and panoramic views stretching as far as the eye can see.


After a few hours of hiking and exploring, bid farewell to the glacier and make your way back to the park’s visitor center. Take some time to learn about the park’s diverse flora and fauna and its importance as a protected natural reserve.


As the day comes to an end, drive to your accommodation near Vatnajökull National Park and relax, relishing in the memories of your extraordinary glacier hiking experience. Tomorrow, get ready to explore the enchanting landscapes of the East Fjords.


Day 5: East Fjords Scenic Drive

On day 5, prepare to embark on a breathtaking scenic drive through the mesmerizing landscapes of Iceland’s East Fjords. A true hidden gem, this region offers stunning views of towering mountains, picturesque fishing villages, and tranquil fjords.


Start your day by leaving Vatnajökull National Park and heading east along the Ring Road. As you drive, be prepared to be amazed by the dramatic cliffs and stunning coastal views. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the way, as the East Fjords are home to a wide variety of bird species, including puffins and arctic terns.


One must-visit destination in the East Fjords is the charming town of Seyðisfjörður. Nestled at the end of a picturesque fjord, Seyðisfjörður is known for its colorful wooden houses and artistic vibe. Take a walk around the town, visit the local art galleries, and enjoy a meal at one of the cozy cafés or restaurants.


Continue your scenic drive along the winding roads, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and fjords. Make sure to stop at various viewpoints along the way, allowing yourself to fully immerse in the beauty of this remote and untouched region.


Another highlight of the East Fjords is the opportunity for outdoor activities. Take a hike along one of the many trails in the area, such as Stórurð or Hengifoss, and be captivated by the stunning landscapes that surround you. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider trying your hand at sea kayaking or fishing in one of the fjords.


As the day comes to an end, find a cozy guesthouse or hotel to spend the night in one of the charming fishing villages along the coast. Relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere while reflecting on the natural beauty you’ve witnessed throughout the day.


Day 5 of your Iceland road trip will leave you with a deep appreciation for the rugged beauty of the East Fjords. Tomorrow, get ready to immerse yourself in the geothermal wonders and natural baths of Lake Mývatn.


Day 6: Lake Mývatn and Nature Baths

Day 6 of your Iceland road trip takes you to the enchanting region of Lake Mývatn, known for its geothermal wonders and stunning natural scenery. Prepare to immerse yourself in the soothing waters of the Nature Baths and explore the unique volcanic landscapes in the area.


Start your day by driving from the East Fjords to Lake Mývatn, located in the northeastern part of Iceland. As you approach the lake, you’ll be greeted by a surreal landscape of steam vents, bubbling mud pots, and volcanic craters.


Begin your exploration by visiting the mystical Hverir geothermal area. Walk along the boardwalks and observe the steam rising from the ground, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. The vibrant colors of the mineral-rich mud and the smell of sulfur will make this an unforgettable sensory experience.


Next, make your way to the iconic Dimmuborgir lava formations. These dark, towering rock formations will transport you to a surreal world that feels like something out of a fantasy novel. Take a leisurely walk along the marked paths and admire the intricate lava pillars and arches.


A highlight of your day in Lake Mývatn is a visit to the Mývatn Nature Baths. These geothermal baths are the perfect place to unwind and relax. Immerse yourself in the warm, mineral-rich waters and let the healing properties of the geothermal springs rejuvenate your body and soul. The panoramic views of the surrounding volcanic landscape from the baths are simply stunning.


After a relaxing soak, take some time to explore the other attractions around Lake Mývatn, such as the Krafla volcano or the Grjótagjá cave, known for its geothermal hot spring. Bird enthusiasts will also delight in the abundant birdlife around the lake, including various species of ducks and geese.


As the day comes to a close, find accommodation in the area and indulge in a delicious dinner at one of the local restaurants. Reflect on the unique geological wonders and tranquil beauty you’ve experienced at Lake Mývatn, as tomorrow you’ll head west to explore the stunning Snæfellsnes Peninsula.


Day 7: Snæfellsnes Peninsula Exploration

On your final day of the Iceland road trip, get ready to be amazed as you explore the captivating Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Known as “Iceland in Miniature,” this region showcases a diverse range of natural wonders, from towering cliffs to volcanic landscapes and picturesque seaside villages.


Start your day by driving west from Lake Mývatn towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. As you approach, you’ll be greeted by the iconic Snæfellsjökull volcano, a glacier-crowned stratovolcano that dominates the skyline.


One of the must-visit attractions on the peninsula is the stunning Kirkjufell mountain. This picturesque peak, often referred to as “the most photographed mountain in Iceland,” offers a stunning backdrop for any nature enthusiast. Take a walk around the nearby Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, capturing the perfect shot of this iconic scene.


Continuing your journey, explore the charming seaside villages along the coast, such as Grundarfjörður or Stykkishólmur. Stroll through the colorful streets, visit the local museums, and relish in the coastal atmosphere. If you have time, consider taking a boat tour to explore the nearby Breiðafjörður Bay and its countless islands and bird colonies.


Another highlight of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is the rugged coastline and dramatic cliffs. Make sure to visit the mesmerizing Djúpalónssandur black sand beach, known for its unique rock formations and the remnants of a shipwreck. Test your strength by attempting to lift the ancient “lifting stones” that fishermen once used to showcase their strength.


For those seeking a bit of adventure, take a hike in the Snæfellsjökull National Park, which encompasses the glacier and its surrounding landscapes. The park offers various trails for all levels of hiking experience, each providing stunning views of the glacier, volcanic craters, and lava fields.


As the day comes to an end, bid farewell to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and make your way back to Reykjavik, completing your epic Iceland road trip. Reflect on the incredible landscapes, natural wonders, and unique experiences you’ve had throughout the journey.


Your road trip through Iceland has taken you on an unforgettable adventure, immersing you in the beauty of the country’s diverse regions. From the geothermal wonders to the majestic waterfalls, rugged fjords, and captivating volcanic landscapes, Iceland has certainly left a lasting impression. As you depart, carry with you the memories of this extraordinary journey and the anticipation of returning to explore even more of this magical island in the future.



As your Iceland road trip comes to a close, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and gratitude for the incredible experiences and natural wonders you’ve encountered along the way. From the vibrant streets of Reykjavik to the tranquil beauty of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland has captivated you with its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage.


Throughout your journey, you’ve witnessed the power of nature at the roaring waterfalls, explored the depths of ice caves, immersed yourself in geothermal baths, and marveled at the unique geological formations that define Iceland’s identity. The diverse regions you’ve traversed, from the Golden Circle to the South Coast, the East Fjords to Lake Mývatn, have showcased the country’s dramatic beauty and left an indelible mark on your memories.


But Iceland is more than just its natural wonders. It’s a place of warm hospitality, fascinating folklore, and a strong connection to its Viking past. From the charming fishing villages to the bustling streets of Reykjavik, you’ve encountered a vibrant culture that is as captivating as the landscapes that surround it.


As you reflect on your journey, you can’t help but feel a sense of appreciation for the careful balance of preservation and accessibility that Iceland has achieved. The country’s commitment to sustainable tourism ensures that future generations can also experience the wonders you’ve witnessed.


Whether it’s your first visit or a return trip, Iceland will continue to inspire and beguile you. Its ever-changing landscapes, the dance of the Northern Lights, and the warmth of its people will keep drawing you back time and time again.


As you bid farewell to this captivating island, take with you the memories of scenic drives, stunning waterfalls, epic glaciers, and the sense of serenity that comes from being surrounded by nature’s raw beauty. Your Icelandic road trip has been a journey of discovery, adventure, and connection. It has reminded you of the indescribable power and wonder of our natural world.


Until your next visit, let Iceland’s breathtaking landscapes and warm spirit live on in your heart as a reminder of the remarkable journey you’ve undertaken.