Last updated on December 5th, 2023 at 03:43 pm
Volcanic landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and the elusive dance of the Northern Lights – Iceland is a land of otherworldly experiences.
Picture yourself wandering through moss-covered lava fields, soaking in hot springs surrounded by snow-capped peaks, and hiking the largest glacier in all of Europe. You can do all this and more with this 7-day Iceland itinerary!
From the vibrant capital, Reykjavik, to the remote corners where glaciers meet the sea and black sand beaches look like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Prepare to be enchanted by the land of fire and ice – an adventure that promises not just breathtaking landscapes but an immersion into the very essence of this extraordinary island. Iceland has so many surprises that are just waiting to be explored and this 7-day Iceland itinerary will tell you how to do them all. Let’s get to it!
Things to Know about visiting Iceland
I had lots of questions before heading to Iceland. Like, do we need to book a different accommodation for every night, if we want to see as much as possible (Yes, this is your best bet). How do people survive in such a cold climate? (Still can’t imagine it, but people seemed happy!) How will I survive in Iceland in March? (With 4 layers of thermal clothing).
So let’s answer some of these burning questions.
Are seven days enough to explore Iceland?
Since a 100 years is not a realistic option, this 7-day Iceland itinerary will definitely get the job done. In these 7 days you are able to see the whole Southern Coast of Iceland, Snæfellsnes peninsula on the West, as well as Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon.
If you have more time on your hands, you can definitely drive around the whole of Iceland.
Where does this 7-day Iceland itinerary start and end?
As the largest international airport in Iceland – Keflavík Airport – is located near Reykjavik, this itinerary begins and ends exactly there. You’ll get to explore the Southern and Western coast of Iceland.
Where should I book my accommodation – in Reykjavik or somewhere else?
This was the question that bothered me the most before our trip to Iceland.
While you could sleep only in Reykjavik and drive every day to different spots (and then drive back), this is quite ineffective and would just waste your time!
This option is only viable for anyone who doesn’t want to rent a car and is looking for booking organised group tours from Reykjavik for each day. Of course, you can do that and I’ll be adding options for group tours wherever possible, if this is your preferred option!
If you’re planning on booking a car and visiting as many places as possible, I advise you to always sleep near the places you’re exploring for the respective day.
Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing all the places we stayed at during our visit – this was hands down the most difficult part of planning our trip. Accommodations in Iceland are not countless, we were trying to look for more budget-friendly places and still be in the most convenient location possible. Combine that with having to find around 5 such places, this was not an easy task.
And because I know how frustrating it can be, you have my full permission to steal this itinerary, incl. the accommodation options, to the very last detail.
Is it possible to drive through all of Iceland in 7 days?
If you don’t stop to catch a break along the way, yes. Jokes aside, Iceland is relatively big. We have some friends that managed to drive along the whole ring road (making a full circle) in 7 days, but they were visiting in the summer, rented a camper van and slept inside. This way, they were not dependent on check-in times at hotels and guest houses, and in the summer the days are much much longer.
We visited Iceland in the winter when the weather is absolutely crazy, so due to storms we even lost some time, so driving through the whole ring road would’ve been impossible. This is why this itinerary only covers the Southern and Western coast of Iceland.
I can imagine that seeing the whole island in 7 days would be a bit hectic and you wouldn’t be able to see everything along the way. Still, it’s possible, so if that’s what you want to do, feel free to use this guide as an inspiration for most of the way, and research some places to visit in Eastern and Northern Iceland.
How do I get around Iceland?
As mentioned, you could stay in Reykjavik and book organised bus trips to different places in Iceland.
I recommend renting a car for the entire duration so you’ll be as flexible as possible. Check fares and options for car rental here.
Make sure you get full insurance – the weather here is so ruthless that anything could damage the car! On our second day, a truck drove past us and picked up a small rock from the road which flew into our windscreen. Not to mention that the glass got a crack and at that moment we were so relieved we had full insurance (damage weaver).
Important: Even the full insurance doesn’t cover some damage, such as broken doors due to strong wind, or sand scratches. Always read the full conditions (and hold the doors tight when opening them!)
What’s the best time of the year to visit Iceland?
The best time to visit Iceland depends on what you want to experience. If you crave the endless days of summer (literally endless – the sun doesn’t set from mid till end of June), with mild weather and vibrant landscapes, plan your trip between June and August.
For fewer crowds and the chance to witness the stunning Northern Lights, opt for September to October (though it’s never guaranteed).
And if you’re a winter enthusiast eager to explore snow-covered wonderlands, go into ice caves and chase the magical Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), November to March is your season.
Iceland’s charm is ever-present; it just changes its coat with the seasons.
What apps should I download for Iceland?
One thing that shocked me about Iceland is that, even though they’re such a small country, they actually have their own apps which makes getting around and planning easier!
You don’t necessarily need to download the apps, as they also have websites that can be used for the same purpose.
Vedur.is – this is the first and most important app that we learned about as we got to Iceland. And we literally went to bed and woke up with it – we were checking the weather every single day! I recommend you do the same, as it could help you plan your time better.
Road.is – this is the next website that we were constantly checking. Here you can see every single road in Iceland, what’s its condition (is it icy, slippery, or is it closed off). The most surprising thing – you can see how many cars drove through each section of the road in the past hour, as well as in the past 24 hours! This gives you a great indication whether you can actually pass through there.
This website is extremely important, as weather in Iceland changes rapidly and roads often get closed (in winter) or are quite dangerous to pass due to strong winds. So if the road to wherever you’re going gets closed, you need to change your itinerary for the day or stay at home if the weather doesn’t allow going outside.
Safe.is – another website, sharing information about safe driving. It’s made in a very simple and understandable manner, and it’s super helpful.
My Aurora Forecast – Iceland is famous for the Northern Lights, visible only on dark, clear winter nights. But seeing them can be tricky due to various factors. You can use the My Aurora Forecast app to help you predict where the Northern Lights will be/are visible. It shows where the lights are strong on a world map and sends alerts for potential sightings.
You could also track this on the Vedur.is website in the Aurora forecasts tab.
What/where can I eat if I’ll be out and exploring all day?
Restaurants in Iceland are extremely expensive. Not to mention that it could be difficult to find a restaurant if you’re out in nature all day.
In order to cut down some of our costs and not be dependant on finding a restaurant and wasting time in driving there, waiting for our order etc., we decided to go for the cheapest option possible – supermarket food!
On our first day we went into a supermarket and bought some food that would serve us for breakfast, lunch and dinner – bread, mayo, sausages, fruits, coffee, cereal, milk, pasta, sauces and whatever else we thought would be convenient to eat on the road. We also tried to book accommodation with breakfast wherever possible. All of this cost us around €40 and it lasted us for the full week in Iceland!
We only ate out 3 times for the whole trip – at Subway, at a local tomato farm and at the most famous hot dog stand in Reykjavik (more on that later).
Map for your Iceland road trip
The Perfect Iceland 7 Days Itinerary
This Iceland itinerary is perfect if you’re visiting for a week – each day you’ll be visiting a new place, having a new experience, but there’s still some buffer for unexpected situations.
During our trip, we kind of “lost” 1,5 days due to storms and it was impossible to go out and explore. So you should always be prepared for something like this to happen.
If everything goes to plan, you’ll be visiting some of Iceland’s most popular and mesmerizing waterfalls, you’ll be hiking on a glacier, you’ll be bathing in a hot river bed in the middle of the mountain and so much more.
I wish I had something like this when I was planning our 7-day trip to Iceland. It’s absolutely key to know in advance where you’ll be exploring, because this leads to choosing the right accommodation. The distances are big, so sleeping close to the sights you want to see for that day is crucial. This is why I’ve also added suggestions for accommodation for each night, all based on the places you’ll be visiting.
Where to stay on day 0
Once you arrive in Iceland, we kind of count this as day 0, unless it’s very early in the morning. As we landed later in the evening, we couldn’t do anything on this day, so we had to drive directly to our accommodation.
For the first night I recommend staying either somewhere in Reykjavik (we stayed at Guesthouse Andrea) or somewhere close to the places that we will visit on our Day 1. One option is guesthouse Welcome Edinborg which is super close to where we will be exploring. Keep in mind that it’s about 2.5 hours drive from Reykjavik, so be sure you have enough time to arrive before the check-in closes.
Day 1: Exploring the South Coast – Waterfalls, beaches and even more waterfalls
We’re starting day one by visiting some iconic waterfalls first thing in the morning. Keep in mind that this first day itinerary is super packed and it’s only possible if you’re already sleeping near the first locations. If you’re staying in Reykjavik and need to drive here, I’d suggest seeing as much as you can on the first day and leaving the rest for the second one.
Seljalandsfoss, a 60-meter (200-foot) waterfall on Iceland’s South Coast, is easily accessible and extremely impressive. This was the very first waterfall that we visited on our trip to Iceland and it left us speechless. Nevertheless, it’s only the first stop, so you can only imagine what’s coming next. ?
It’s only 1h 45 min drive from the capital, so you can easily get here if you’re renting a car.
Due to its proximity to the Ring Road and stunning natural beauty, Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland’s most famous and frequently visited waterfalls, known for its majestic and picturesque appearance, making it a popular photography spot.
This is a waterfall where you could actually walk behind it and it’s probably on many photos you’ve already seen from Iceland. As we were visiting in winter, the place was completely covered in ice and we didn’t want to take any chances, so we skipped this part.
This waterfall is even featured in Justin Bieber’s music video for “I’ll Show You,” along with other iconic South Iceland attractions. Additionally, Seljalandsfoss was a notable location in the sixth season of The Amazing Race, an American reality TV series.
Gljúfrabúi is a hidden waterfall in South Iceland, close to the famous Seljalandsfoss.
To reach it, you’ll wade through a stream and a narrow valley to discover the waterfall, which is partially hidden behind a large rock. It’s a breathtaking sight, especially on sunny days with rainbows in the mist.
The path can be a bit challenging and wet, so it’s best for those in good health and sure on their feet, and also when there’s no ice on the ground. Gljúfrabúi is just a short walk from the famous Seljalandsfoss, which you can fully encircle thanks to its unique concave cliff.
As the path was extremely icey, we sadly didn’t manage to get to this waterfall.
Skógafoss is one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls, dropping about 60 meters and spanning 25 meters in width. This was the most impressive waterfall we had seen in our lives… the sheer size of this thing is indescribable.
You can get up close to it, but prepare to get soaked. To top it off, during our visit it was already raining, so getting wet was inevitable. This is why it’s super important to wear waterproof clothing during the winter months in Iceland!
If you’re up for a climb, there are over 500 steps leading to an observation platform above Skógafoss. The effort is well rewarded with a fantastic view of the waterfall and the surroundings.
4. Solheimasandur Plane Wreck
In 1973, a United States Navy DC plane crash-landed on the black sands of Sólheimasandur due to a fuel mix-up. Thankfully, everyone on board survived, and the plane’s wreckage can still be found on the sea where it landed.
The sight of the white plane against the black sand is surreal, making it a paradise for photographers and adventure seekers. You could even enter the plane and see it from the inside.
Sadly, this is one of the places on this list that we didn’t manage to visit due to running short on time. You need to plan quite a bit of time if you want to visit this site.
Previously, you could drive all the way to the plane, but now it’s prohibited due to the soft and fragile nature of the black sand. The walk from the main road to the wreck takes about an hour each way, or alternatively you can book a group ATV tour like this one.
Winter visits are not recommended, especially during heavy snow or bad weather, as the location can be treacherous. It’s best to be cautious and visit with experienced guides if you go.
Dyrhólaey Peninsula, a 120-meter promenade, is renowned for its breathtaking South Coast views, historic lighthouse, and abundant birdlife.
Dyrhólaey, translating to Door Hill Island, was once a separate island before joining the Icelandic mainland. It was historically referred to as ‘Cape Portland’ by passing sailors and marks the southernmost point of the mainland.
The most iconic feature here is the enormous rock arch, formed over centuries. It’s so massive that a pilot even flew through it in 1993, and boats can pass beneath it.
The peninsula is brimming with birdlife, including year-round Eider Ducks and migratory Atlantic Puffins from May to September. It’s one of the best places to spot puffins, and they may allow you to get quite close, but please be respectful and avoid touching them to prevent causing a disturbance in the flock.
6. Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Reynisfjara is a famous black-sand beach on Iceland’s South Coast, near the village of Vik í Myrdal. It’s known for its big black rocks, powerful waves, and stunning views, making it one of Iceland’s most beautiful black sand beaches. National Geographic even ranked it among the world’s top non-tropical beaches in 1991.
As you get to the beach, you’ll see the signs saying to beware of dangerous waves. Stay far from the water and don’t put yourself in any unwanted situations – as beautiful as this beach is, it can also be dangerous.
7. Vík í Mýrdal
Many people exploring the South Coast Icelandic route often choose to stop at Vik í Myrdal. This small village, with only around 300 residents, is popular because of its convenience and beautiful surroundings. It’s a great place to take a break, recharge, or even spend the night.
After you’re done with this looong day of exploring waterfalls, black sand beaches and more, it’s time to drive to the next accommodation which is located close to the places that we will visit on Day 2.
Where to stay on day 1
I recommend Dalshöfdi Guesthouse, which was the best-rated and most affordable accommodation in the area. We stayed here and everything went very smoothly!
Day 2: Glacier Hike & Diamond Beach
One of my most favorite days! Today we’ll be going on the promised glacier hike and overall seeing why Iceland is called Iceland! Dress as warm as possible and get ready for an adventure.
1. Go on a glacier hike at Skaftafell
One of the absolute highlights of our trip to Iceland was the glacier hike we did at Skaftafell. Oh boy, was it magical… So I highly recommend you do it as well!
We booked this ice caves and glacier hikes in Iceland tour as it had great reviews and it was one of the most booked ones on the internet.
I’m not going to share too much in this article, as I’ll be writing a dedicated one all about this glacier hike, but here are some spoilers.
You’ll get to walk on ice with crampons, which feels really badass – it’s something you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do with just your *regular* shoes.
You’ll visit some ice caves which are completely other worldly (only if you’re visiting in winter).
You’ll learn about the history of Vatnajökull – the largest glacier in Europe, and Iceland overall.
It’s an experience I recommend to anyone visiting Iceland, so go ahead and check the prices and the reviews of this glacier hike.
Tucked away near Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier, Fjallsárlón boasts mesmerizing icebergs floating gracefully on its tranquil waters. While it may not be as famous as its neighbor Jökulsárlón, the serene and less crowded atmosphere at Fjallsárlón allows you to soak in the breathtaking scenery at your own pace. You can often hear the soothing sounds of ice cracking and creaking as you explore the lagoon’s shoreline.
You can take boat tours on Fjallsárlón for a close-up experience with the icebergs. These tours use zodiac boats for small groups, lasting about 45 minutes. There’s also a small bistro at Fjallsárlón, offering snacks and refreshments, including sandwiches, salads, soups, cakes, and sweets.
Jokulsarlon, one of Iceland’s natural treasures, is often referred to as the Diamond Beach due to its ice chunks that sparkle like diamonds in the sun. This captivating site draws thousands of visitors year-round who come to witness the drifting icebergs, take lagoon boat tours, and capture photos of the seals that live in these waters.
The icebergs in Jokulsarlon are over 1,000 years old. And its lagoon has expanded four times since the early 1970s.
4. Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach is one of our most favorite places we visited in Iceland! And I’m sure no one can argue that this place is magical.
This black sand beach, right next to the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, is covered with pieces of ice that look like glistening diamonds. Walking among these ice jewels on the dark sand is a unique and tranquil experience, making Diamond Beach an absolute must-see.
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is famous for its floating icebergs, originating from the glacier’s calving process. The icebergs make their way to the Atlantic Ocean through the Jökulsá River, get polished by the waves, and return to the black sands of Breiðamerkursandur (Diamond Beach). This spectacle gives the Diamond Beach its name, as the ice glistens like diamonds on the black sand, creating a stunning contrast in the sunlight.
After a tiring day exploring Iceland’s icey side, it’s time to drive to your next accommodation where you can stay for the next 2 nights, as the things on the itinerary are relatively close together. Alternatively, you can book the previous accommodation for two nights and drive first thing in the morning.
Trust me – not having to pack your stuff after just one night will feel like the best thing ever! So enjoy this moment.
Where to stay on day 2
This was our favorite accommodation by far! This guesthouse is run by an elderly man who loves to travel, has been to many countries and loves to meet people from all over the world! We were the only guests for the night and he literally allowed us to pick which room we wanted to stay in.
Brekkugerdi Guesthouse also provides a wonderful breakfast, hence why I recommend booking it for 2 nights. It was sparkling clean and visitors have to leave their shoes at the front door. It was just amazing and I’d love to stay there again.
Day 3: Hiking the Hekla volcano or a natural spa in nature
It’s time to get active! Iceland is a wonderful place for hiking, so today I suggest you explore some of its unique nature. I have two suggestions for you – either to hike Mount Hekla, or to go on two easier hikes with a final stop – getting into a hot spring river bed in the middle of nowhere. The choice is yours!
1. Hiking Mount Hekla
Mount Hekla, Iceland’s most active volcano, dominates the South Icelandic landscape with its distinctive shape resembling an overturned boat. The area around Hekla, once covered in forests, faced significant changes due to volcanic activity and human habitation, resulting in erosion.
Having erupted more than 20 times since 874 AD, Hekla is closely monitored by geologists, with its most significant eruption occurring in 1104 AD. It erupted four times in the 20th century, the last time in 2000.
The volcano, known as the “gateway to Hell” in European folklore, is a popular hiking destination, offering trails to the summit and skiing opportunities in spring. The Hekla Center provides information, exhibitions, and events, enriching the visitor’s experience of this powerful natural wonder.
If you want to visit Hekla, I recommend planning a day for it, as it takes 3 to 4 hours to walk pretty much to the summit. It’s very important to note that the volcano could erupt without a warning, so you should decide for yourself whether it’s worth the risk.
If you decide not to do this hike, here is another suggestion on how to spend this day.
2. Alternative – Fjaðrárgljúfur Hike + Reykjadalur Valley (natural hot springs)
Deciding against hiking the Hekla volcano is absolutely understandable. Here’s two other hikes you could do that will also take your breath away. Oh, and on the second one, we’ll finish off by warming ourselves up in the natural hot springs in the mountains!
Start the day with the Fjaðrárgljúfur hike – a trail that follows the Fjaðrá river, reaching the beautiful hidden waterfall, Mögáfoss.
P.S. If you decide to do this hike, then I recommend staying at Dalshöfdi Guesthouse the night before, as it’s much closer to the starting point. This means you’ll be staying two nights at this guesthouse and only one night at Brekkugerdi Guesthouse.
Easily accessible from the Ring Road, this trail promises stunning views without it being too long or tiring. Covering a little over 2 km or 1.3 miles, the hike takes about an hour.
As the trail weaves alongside the canyon, enjoy the breathtaking glimpses into the gorge below. Be sure to check if the trail is open – sometimes the government closes the trail if there’s a high pedestrian damage.
After you’re done with this short hike, it’s time to drive to the natural hot springs of Reykjadalur Valley, which are located a bit over 2 hours from here.
Reykjadalur, or the Valley of Steam, is a captivating geothermal region, renowned for both hiking and hot spring bathing. The highlight is the heated river formed by water from numerous hot springs, fed by glaciers and rainwater. The result is a comfortably warm stream, offering varying temperatures along its course.
The hiking trail to Reykjadalur, accessible through Hveragerði, is an absolutely beautiful journey, and in just about 40 minutes you’ll reach the warm river, which provides an ideal spot for a relaxing soak. So don’t forget to bring your swimsuit and a towel!
After this long day of hiking, it’s time to go home and rest!
Where to stay on day 3
I recommend spending this night at Brekkugerdi Guesthouse – the most wonderful guest house we stayed at in Iceland! And it’s super close to our destinations for tomorrow.
Day 4: The Golden Circle
This is by far the most popular thing to do in Iceland and something you’ll see in all travel guides. The Golden Circle is a must see, as there are so many interesting things gathered in one place.
1. Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park offers a blend of natural beauty and rich history. It proudly hosted the world’s first parliamentary sessions back in 930 AD, making it a historic hotspot. Imagine standing where Vikings once gathered to settle disputes and shape laws in their harsh environment.
Beyond its historical significance, Thingvellir is home to the remarkable Silfra fissure, a top global destination for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. With its crystal-clear waters and near-freezing temperatures, Silfra offers a unique underwater adventure – the chance to snorkel directly in the crack between two tectonic plates.
We didn’t do the snorkeling experience at Silfra, even though I definitely would’ve done it if we were visiting in a warmer season. However, we spent an hour and a half just wandering around. The whole park was covered in snow making it even more mysterious.
2. Geysir and Strokkur
This is one of the places I was most excited for! I mean, the whole country of Iceland is pure magic, but seeing a geyser erupt in front of your eyes is something I hadn’t seen up to this point.
Geysir, the name of the first-ever geyser (which logically gave the name to all other geysers) is a famous hot spring in Iceland’s Haukadalur Valley.
While Geysir itself doesn’t erupt much these days, the valley is home to other geysers like the lively Strokkur, which shoots up boiling water every five to ten minutes. Strokkur can reach impressive heights of 20 to 40 meters. Geysir, although larger, erupts less frequently, but when it does, water can shoot up as high as 70 meters.
The area also features steamy fumaroles and bubbling mud pots, adding to the fascinating spectacle of Iceland’s geothermal wonders in Haukadalur Valley.
Plan at least 30-40 minutes to walk around the geysers and wait for the Strokkur to erupt. As this happens every (up to) 10 minutes, you might want to see it at least a few times (like us)! Well, I also wanted to be able to take some good photos and videos from different angles, so waiting was inevitable.
The next stop on this Golden Circle tour is the Gullfoss waterfall.
Gullfoss, meaning ‘Golden Falls,’ stands as one of Iceland’s most cherished waterfalls, nestled in the Hvítá river canyon. Originating from the Langjökull glacier, the Hvítá river plunges 32 meters (105 feet) over Gullfoss in two impressive stages, showcasing nature’s formidable force.
A key stop on the Golden Circle route, Gullfoss has two distinct features—a shorter 11-meter (36 feet) drop followed by a more dramatic 21-meter (69 feet) descent. In the summer, the waterfall sees around 140 cubic meters (459 cubic feet) of water per second, creating a mighty spray that may leave you delightfully drenched if you venture too close.
We found this waterfall to be more touristy than the rest – there were a number of large buses that would drop off tourists for about half an hour and then continue with their itinerary. The place allows for it as there were two parking spots, as well as two viewing platforms, specifically made for visitors. Still, it takes away a bit of the magic of a natural wonder like this, but everyone deserves to see this beauty after all. 🙂
4. Faxi Waterfall
One place that seems to be quite unpopular, but we really enjoyed visiting and would recommend to anyone, is the Faxi Waterfall.
Unlike the powerful, roaring giants Iceland is famous for, Faxi offers a more intimate and serene experience. This beautiful cascade is characterized by its wide horseshoe shape and manageable size, making it easily accessible for visitors.
There’s a small parking fee for visiting this waterfall, but this is also valid for quite a few other attractions in Iceland.
5. Grab a tomato soup for lunch at Friðheimar farm
When you visit Friðheimar, a famous tomato farm next to the Golden Circle, you’ll be in for a unique experience. You can explore their greenhouses where they grow tomatoes year-round using artificial lighting, even during Iceland’s dark winters.
Here you can take a free tour of the greenhouse where a local will tell you all about their work. After that I recommend grabbing some lunch or dinner (depending on when you get there) and try some tomato-inspired dishes at their restaurant or opt for a quick and delicious tomato soup at the bar.
Keep in mind that dining in Iceland can be a bit pricey, so grabbing a tomato soup at the bar is your most affordable option. As we didn’t know we could do that, we sat at the restaurant which was the only time we had a meal at a restaurant in Iceland. We even tried some desserts with tomatoes and a tomato beer which was a unique experience.
6. Kerid Crater
After seeing the Gullfoss waterfall, we made our way to the last highlight of the Golden Circle – the Kerid Crater.
Kerid is a volcanic crater lake which is about three thousand years old. Its red slopes, caused by fresh iron deposits, create a vibrant contrast with the surrounding landscape. Sadly, we didn’t manage to see this contrast, as everything was covered in snow during our visit.
The crater’s dimensions—55 meters deep, 170 meters wide, and a circumference of 270 meters—allow visitors to walk along its edge. Once a cone-shaped volcano, Kerid collapsed and formed a lake, showcasing the geological wonders of Iceland’s Western Volcanic Zone. When there’s no snow, you’d be able to see the vivid aquamarine color of the lake, which comes from minerals in the rocks.
We spent about half an hour walking around the crater and taking photos. As the ground was icy, we were trying to be very careful so we took quite a long time. I recommend planning between 20 and 30 minutes for this site.
Where to stay on day 4
Once you’ve explored the Golden Circle of Iceland, it’s time to drive to our next destination – Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
The accommodation that we found here is Kirkjufell Guesthouse and Apartments. Again, one of the best options when it comes to reviews and pricing in the area.
Day 5: Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Snaefellsnes Peninsula is often referred to as “Iceland in Miniature” because this place has everything! Waterfalls, mountains, a volcano, and whatever else Iceland-related you could think of. Prepare for an exciting day!
1. Mt. Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss
Mt. Kirkjufell, standing proudly at 463 meters, is probably the most prominent and visually striking mountain in Grundarfjörður, and is often hailed as the most beautiful in all of Iceland. Some say it’s one of the world’s top 10 most beautiful mountains
The name Kirkjufell means “Church Mountain,” – some say that the mountain’s elegant silhouette resembles a church. This place has gained recognition as a filming location in Game of Thrones, which is why it’s attracting more visitors than ever.
Our reason to come here is not only to admire the beautiful mountain, but also to visit Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall.On the day that we set off to explore Snaefellsnes Peninsula, we experienced the worst wind we had ever seen (or felt, should I say). I don’t know how we didn’t fall into the waterfall – the place was icy, the wind was so strong that it was able to move people, and we could barely walk.
So we spent about 20 minutes here trying to see something, but eventually we gave up and went back to our guest house to wait for the wind to calm down. I hope you have more luck than us and you’re able to make the most out of this 4th day of our Iceland itinerary!
Be careful! Despite its charm, the mountain holds risks – do not attempt to climb it!
P.S. We came back the next day first thing in the morning, so we can actually enjoy this place and take some photos.
Nestled in the southern part of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Bjarnarfoss is a breathtaking 262-foot (80 metres) waterfall surrounded by the Icelandic hills. Its two-tiered stream flows over magnificent basalt columns, which were shaped by ancient lava flows and provide a captivating contrast to the white spray of falling water.
Windy days add a touch of drama, with mist being able to reach you even if you’re standing further away.
This is not the most spectacular waterfall in Iceland, as it’s not so rich in water, but it’s still lovely to see. Besides, it’s right by the road, so why not stop and check it out.
3. Búðakirkja – The Black Church
Búðakirkja, which dates back to 1703, stands as a charming black church and a local parish gem. This church has earned its place as one of the most photographed churches in Iceland. As one of the three black churches in the country, Búðakirkja is a must-visit attraction if you’re spending some time in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
4. Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge
Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge is a captivating natural wonder on Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Steeped in history and folklore, this hidden gem, known as the ‘Red-Cloak Rift,’ has been attracting more and more adventurous tourists each year.
As you go deeper into the canyon, you’ll be greeted by bright green moss, enchanting rock formations, and the soothing sound of running water. Birds perch along the way, creating a blissful atmosphere. The highlight? When you turn away from the canyon to gaze at the sky, it’s a breathtaking view that becomes even more magical during sunrise and sunset.
5. Hellnar View Point & Fishing town
Hellnar, once a major fishing village on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, now attracts tourists for its serene beauty. You can learn about the area’s history and wildlife, explore dramatic coastal rock formations, hike Valasnös cliff, and enjoy bird watching. Be sure to check out to beautiful rock formations along the coast!
Lóndrangar basalt cliffs are natural wonders shaped by the ocean’s relentless power. These towering rocks were once part of a volcanic crater, but now they stand like a rocky castle, with one being 75 meters high and the other 61 meters. You can visit them easily from the Visitor’s Center, where mossy lava fields create an otherworldly atmosphere.
When you visit Djúpalónssandur, also known as the Black Lava Pearl Beach on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, you’re in for a treat. You can easily reach the beach from the parking lot above, taking a short walk along the Path of the Bull, which leads you through a stunning lava field. A highlight of this journey is Gatklettur, a peculiar rock with a hole that frames the Snæfellsjökull glacier, making it a perfect spot for sunny-day photos.
This path earned its name from the days when bulls were led down to be watered at the nearby lagoon. Djúpalónssandur means “The Deep Lagoon’s Sand,” named after the two small freshwater lagoons behind Nautastígur. Although not as deep as once believed, these lagoons hold historical importance, with tales of blessings from Bishop Guðmundur the Good.
Probably the most interesting things to see on this beach are the iron remains from The Epine GY7, a British trawler that met its end nearby in 1948.
8. Ytri Tunga
When you visit Ytri Tunga, you’ll find a beautiful beach with golden sand – quite unique as most beaches in Iceland have black sand. Ytri Tunga is also a great place to see seals in their natural habitat. You could see them on the rocks just offshore all year, but it’s best to visit in the summer.
As we were visiting Iceland in March, for some reason we didn’t see any seals. We spent about half an hour on the beach looking for them, but there were literally none. 🙁 I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you have more luck!
The seals you’ll see are mostly Harbour Seals, which are common in Iceland. You might also spot Grey Seals, Hooded Seals, and Ringed Seals sometimes. Seals have a long history in Iceland, and they used to be very important for survival.
To get to Ytri Tunga, drive from Reykjavík to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and follow the signs to the beach. There’s a parking area and a path to a good spot for seal watching. Just remember to keep your distance and be quiet so you don’t disturb them.
After exploring the beautiful Snæfellsnes Peninsula, it’s time to drive back to Reykjavik and also to your last accommodation, where you’ll stay for the next 2 nights.
Where to stay on day 5 and 6
The place that we stayed at and recommend is Guesthouse Andrea – a lovely and affordable guest house right next to the city center and one of the main attractions of the city – Hallgrimskirkja.
Day 6: Reykjavik
As we’re approaching the end of this Iceland trip, it’s time to head back to Reykjavik and explore the capital.
Reykjavik is relatively small and has a walkable city center. To make your visit easier, you can get the Reykjavik City Card, which allows you to use all public transport (perfect for bad weather) and get discounts on the tickets to many attractions. You can also get on a Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour which will take you to all the major places in the city!
Here are some other suggestions for things to do in Reykjavik.
1. Take a free walking tour
If you’ve read any of my other itineraries, especially for European cities, this won’t come as a surprise – free walking tours are hands down the best way to get to know a city. You get a guided walk from a local who takes you to all of the must-see attractions and shares a lot about the history of these places.
We learned so many interesting facts, like for example surnames in Iceland are formed by combining the person’s father’s first name + “son” for men and “dottir” for women. For example, if you’re a woman and your father is named John, you’d be called Johndottir. (Very basic example, but you get it, right!?) So families don’t have one main surname, because it changes all the time.
Reykjavik has a wonderful free walking tour which takes place every day. To reserve your spot, you need to book in advance through their website.
You’ll see key landmarks, such as the Harpa Concert Hall, the Hallgrimskirkja (I recommend going inside the church when you have the time), the Parliament Building, as well as the Sun Voyager Sculpture.
2. Try the famous Icelandic hot dogs at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
If you do the walking tour in the morning (usually from 10:30 until 12:30), you’ll probably be hungry by the time it’s finished and you’d be wondering where to eat in Reykjavik.
For lunch in Reykjavik I strongly recommend the most famous hotdog stand in the country and the oldest still open “restaurant” in Reykjavik – Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur. This way you’ll be able to see another landmark of the city and try this traditional Icelandic food. I mean, we’ve all had hotdogs, so don’t expect something otherworldly, but we really enjoyed trying these ones.
Just be prepared for a long queue – the place is quite popular.
Now that you’re finished having lunch, here are some recommendations for museums you can visit for the afternoon. As you might not have the time for all on day 6, you could also leave one of them for day 7 of our itinerary, which will be a bit more chill.
3. Phallological Museum
The Icelandic Phallological Museum in Reykjavik is an unusual attraction, housing the world’s largest collection of penises. Founded by Sigurður Hjartarson, the museum showcases penile specimens from various mammals found in Iceland, ranging from a 170 cm blue whale penis to a minuscule 2 mm hamster baculum.
They even claim to have the penises of elves and trolls from Icelandic folklore, although their invisibility makes it a bit hard to tell. 😉
The museum has contributed to the study of phallology, bringing recognition to this field. While it may not suit everyone’s taste, this museum is definitely a unique and amusing option to add to your Reykjavik itinerary.
4. National Museum of Iceland
When you visit the National Museum of Iceland, you’ll step into 1200 years of Icelandic cultural history. From ancient pagan burials to modern icons like Bjork, this museum offers a comprehensive view of Iceland’s rich heritage. Originally known as the Antiquarian Collection in 1863, it became the National Museum in 1911.
Located on Suðurgata Street since 1944, the museum’s main exhibition, “Making of a Nation,” is an interactive experience where you can even chat with a Viking chieftain from 1117 through a one-way telephone conversation and explore fascinating DNA research on early Viking settlers.
The ground floor houses a gift shop, a cafe, and an extensive collection of over four million photographs that tell the story of Iceland’s photographic history.
5. Perlan Museum
Perlan Museum in Reykjavík offers something for everyone (and in any weather). With its modern nature exhibition, indoor ice cave, 4K planetarium, and 360° viewing platform, it’s a great all-weather destination.
The nature exhibition showcases Iceland’s geological wonders, and there’s even a 100-meter-long real ice cave. You can also explore the mysteries of water in Icelandic nature. Perlan’s planetarium show, “Áróra,” lets you experience the northern lights with science and music. You can end your visit with homemade ice cream while enjoying the panoramic views.
6. Kolaportid Flea Market
Kolaportid Flea Market, also known as Kolaportið, is Reykjavik’s biggest year-round flea market located in the city center. It’s a bustling market at Reykjavik’s Old Harbour, offering a wide range of products like second-hand clothes, books, antiques, food, and more, all at good prices.
The market is open only on weekends from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is housed in a large building at Tryggvagata 19. It’s a great place to discover unique items and experience Reykjavik’s local culture. You could also get some souvenirs to bring back home as gifts. 🙂
Day 7: The Blue Lagoon & the Southwest
Sadly, this is your last day in Iceland, but let’s make it memorable! We’ll be visiting the area that’s right next to the airport so you can easily grab your stuff and head there when you’re done. And you deserve a break, so we’ve saved the most relaxing experience for last – the Blue Lagoon!
1. Krýsuvík Geothermal Area
While exploring the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland, make sure to visit Krysuvik, a captivating geothermal area with colorful hot springs, mud pools, and steaming vents. You can follow well-maintained paths and informative signs to explore this unique geological site. Don’t miss the enchanting Lake Graenavatn with its deep green hue.
Krysuvik offers a glimpse into Iceland’s geothermal power and geological history, and it’s easily combined with nearby attractions like Brimketill, bird-watching cliffs, Lake Kleifarvatn, and the ‘Bridge between the Continents.’
2. Relax at the Blue Lagoon
It’s needless to say that we saved the best for last – the Blue Lagoon!
Although, it depends – not everyone is a fan of this type of experience. Our thought process was – the Blue Lagoon will be our last stop where we could relax and rejuvenate after a full week of exploring Iceland. Our tired feet and aching backs will finally have a chance to take a break in one of the most beautiful spa spots we’ve ever visited.
This is why we recommend this as your last stop on your Iceland itinerary! Moreover, it’s located close to the airport.
To visit the Blue Lagoon you HAVE to book an entry slot in advance on their website. Another option, which is suitable if you’re not planning on renting a car, is to book this Blue Lagoon visit incl. Transfer from and to Reykjavik.
Once you enter at your chosen (and previously booked) time – seriously, slots fill up weeks in advance – you can stay for as long as you want. We had our lot booked for 15 o’clock and literally stayed until the Blue Lagoon closed.
To be completely honest, we found the Blue Lagoon to be quite expensive. The price varies depending on the season, and we paid around €75 per person. This was the cheapest package and it included the entry fee, 1 drink of a choice and a mud mask.
We didn’t regret going to the Blue Lagoon, even though it’s probably the most touristic spot in all of Iceland. Still, there are some other mineral baths around the country which you could visit for much cheaper. One example is Mývatn, which isn’t covered in this itinerary as it’s located in Northern Iceland.
Organised day tours from Reykjavik
- South of Iceland Full-Day Trip
- Northern Lights Bus Tour from Reykjavik
- Whale Watching and Marine Life Cruise
- Golden Circle Full-Day Tour with Kerid Crater
- Blue Lagoon Admission with Transfers
- Katla Ice Cave and Super Jeep Tour
- Litla Hrút Volcano Hike with Geologist
In closing, your 7-day Icelandic adventure has been a thrilling saga of fire and ice. From chasing waterfalls to bathing in one of the most beautiful hot springs in the world, you’ve embarked on a journey that’s left you with memories as vivid as the colors in the Northern Lights.
I hope this itinerary was helpful and made your planning a bit easier! Please let me know how your trip went in the comments – I’m always happy to hear what left a great impression on you. And if you have any burning questions – don’t hesitate to drop them as well.