Now you have decided to take a few days off and go to Iceland, the very first thing to do is you need to prepare an itinerary. Iceland has such so much things to offer, even if you can stay for a week, you can barely cover a part of it, so how you can make the most of your stay in Iceland, go ahead and use our seven days highlighted tours itinerary as a guideline to plan your trip.
1. Starting your Iceland itinerary with the flight ticket to Iceland
Wow Air is the latest airline, it has been very active to offer cheap tickets to and from Iceland, one of its marketing campaigns is offering $199 fare from the United States to Europe and only $99 one-way from California to Iceland, what a deal!
Making it so much easier for passengers coming from the US. On the other hand, Icelandair is slightly laid-back in its marketing. It doesn’t offer a massive deal as its countryman, and the ticket fare is higher than Wow Air, but your baggage allowance is included in the price, you are allowed to have two bags weighing up to 23 kg (50 lbs) each. However, there is a bunch of other airlines that you can choose to get a ticket.
- Easy jet
- Delta Airlines
- Norwegian airline
- SAS airline
- Primera Air
- Air Greenland
- Niki Luftfahrt
- Atlantic Airways
- Greenland Express
- Deutsche Lufthansa
- Edelweiss Air
- Wizz Air
- British Airways
- Discover the world
One of the other ways to get a cheap ticket is searching on Dohop, the website will help you to find the cheapest fares.
2. Booking an accommodation
Icelandic Travel and tourism are one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy; it is estimated to surpass the fishing industry as the primary income of Iceland. In recent years, the locals have been very active in meeting the demands of tourism. Thousands of rooms have been added to the accommodation list, making it much easier for travelers to book accommodation.
Tripadvisor is the best place to find reviews for hotels and apartments, it has a range of hotels from 2 stars till 4,5 stars, go ahead and do a little bit research about it to find the relevant one. You can also have a look at the best hotel options in Reykjavik. During the high season, most of the hotels will be fully booked, so to make sure that you have a place in Iceland as a back-up, going on Airbnb, you can also find about more than 1000 homes around the city to stay. It is becoming trendy lately, as staying in a local house will give you a chance to interact with the people.
3. You finally made it to Iceland, and ready to see all the highlights.
Day 1: Arriving in Iceland
It would be very helpful if you secure your airport transfer before arriving in Iceland, just to avoid hassle and traffic as many flights coming at the same time. If you travel as a group of 2-4 people, rent a taxi, you can divide the cost within your group, and it is the quickest way to get from the airport to your hotel. There are also many other options to get from the airport to town, depending on what companies you are traveling with, the travel time will be various:
Fly bus: 1h15 – 1h25
Airport Direct: 1h15 -1h25
Taxi/ Private car: 45 minutes
Highlights of the day:
Reykjavík city center, museums, shopping district Laugarvegur, old harbor, restaurants, etc.
Day 2: The great golden circle
After a delicious breakfast at your hotel, now you have full of energy and ready for the day. The on the highway to Þingvellir National Park, a unique place from a geological point of view and a place of exceptional beauty. Thingvellir was accepted as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2004.
Drive further to the Great Geysir area where the powerful geyser Strokkur erupts every few minutes. From here, drive to the majestic waterfall Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfall. Continue to the impressive volcanic crater Kerið, which is 270 meters wide and 55 meters deep. Proceed to the south coast.
Driving distance: about 250 km/ 155,3 miles
Highlights of the day: Thingvellir, Gullfoss waterfall, the geysers and some hidden gems like Þórufoss from Game of Thrones, Laugarvatnshellar caves in the tuff or Moberg rocks, Vígða laug (Holy pool), Haukadalur church burial site of the good troll.
Day 3: The South Coast, Skaftafell National Park & Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Heading east along the south coast to the waterfall Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfall. In the summertime it is possible to walk behind Seljalandsfoss, this is a quite enjoyable experience.
Afterward, we continue along the south coast to Dyrhólaey natural reserve and a nesting colony of numerous seabirds in summer. (Dyrhólaey is closed to all traffic during the breeding period until June 25th).
Drive to Reynishverfi with the beautiful coast, spectacular rock formations and thousands of nesting seabirds. Continue across Mýrdalssandur floodplains and Eldhraun, the most extensive lava field ever to flow from face of Earth in historical times, and to the small village Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Fjaðrárgljúfur is a beautiful canyon worth taking a look at a few km. to the west from Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
At Kirkjubæjarklaustur, see Kirkjugólfið (the Church Floor), a protected natural monument just east of the village. Kirkjugólfið is columnar basalt, shaped and eroded by water and the wind, only a few minutes’ walk from the road. Continue from Kirkjubæjarklaustur over Skeidarársandur, vast tracts of black sand desert washed down by numerous torrential glacial rivers.
Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe is to the north from here. In the afternoon of 21. May 2011, a sub-glacial eruption started in the Grímsvötn volcanic system underneath Vatnajökull Glacier. Later the same day, the eruption broke the ice cover of the glacier and started spewing volcanic ash into the air.
The amount of ash fall was the greatest close to the village Kirkjubæjarklaustur. The eruption went on for about a week. It ceased on 28. May 2011. Stop at Skaftafell National Park; an oasis wedged between glacier and sand plains. Its natural beauty is a result of favorable weather conditions and the interaction of fire and ice.
One of the many interesting hiking trails takes you to Svartifoss, one of Iceland’s most picturesque waterfalls, framed in by beautiful basalt columns that surround it. Continue to the Glacial Lagoon Jökulsarlón, where massive icebergs, genuine sculptures of nature, broken off Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, float and grind together in the blue waters of the lagoon.
An exotic cruise among the icebergs on the Lagoon is available during the summer months. Spend the night in the Höfn area.
Driving Distance: 360 kilometers
Highlights of the day:
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skógafoss Waterfall, Dyrhólaey Nature Reserve, Vík Town, Reynisfjara beach, Kirkjubæjarklaustur town, Kirkjugólf Basalt Columns, Skaftafell National Park, Svartifoss waterfall, Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, Höfn.
Overnight: Recommended to stay a night at Höfn / Djúpivogur area
Recommended optional activity:
Amphibian Boat Tour on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Day 4: The Tranquil East Fjords & The Amazing Landscape of Lake Mývatn
Continue from Höfn to Lónsöræfi, a mountainous wilderness traversed by glacial rivers. Drive past towering mountains with bare rock faces, that plunge almost vertically into the sea. Continue to the magnificent East Fjords; many are now deserted, – each a world of its own. Continue to Egilsstaðir, the largest town in the east and drive further across the highland desert plateau towards Lake Mývatn. Making a detour to Dettifoss, the largest waterfall in Europe. Stop at Námaskarð pass, where boiling mud pools and flashing colors merge with lava and ash from the Krafla volcanic system. The Lake Mývatn area is known worldwide for the abundance of birdlife in summer, and it’s a significant number of breeding duck species.
Driving distance: 260 km
Highlights of the day: Seyðisfjörður, Egilsstaðir town, Hallormsstaðaskógur Forest, Lake Mývatn area
Overnight: Recommended stay at Mývatn area
Recommended optional activity:
Whale Watching From Húsavík
Day 5: Myvatn/Husavik
The lake’s surroundings show great variety in strange landscapes and unusual geological formations. Stop at Dimmuborgir, the “Dark Castles” and see the pseudo craters at Skútustaðir and many other scenic spots in the area surrounding the lake.
The Nature Baths at Mývatn are a great attraction too, where one can take a bath all year round in geothermal water in the open air. Continue to Húsavík town, famous for the popular whale watching cruises available during the summer months.
Driving Distance: 260 kilometers
Highlights of the day: Lake Mývatn area, Dimmuborgir, Nature Baths, Húsavík Town
Overnight: At Húsavík
Day 6. Akureyri The Capital of The North
Heading for Akureyri, the largest town in the north. Stop en route at the beautiful waterfall Goðafoss, on road one close to the junction with 85 at Fosshóll. Visit the famous Botanical Gardens of Akureyri and some of the many museums and art galleries the town has to offer.
Driving Distance: 200 kilometers
Highlights of the day: Goðafoss waterfall, Akureyri, Glaumbær Folk Museum, Vatnsdalshólar mounds
Overnight: Akureyri area
Day 7: Borgarfjörður
After the capital of the North, you head to Skagafjörður. In Skagafjörður, you will also be able to join some of the best white water rafting in Iceland. Here we recommend a visit to the old turf and stone farm /museum at Glaumbær and the tiny old church at Víðimýri.
The Icelandic Seal Center at Hvammstangi town, about 7 km from highway number one is an interesting place to visit. It is a research and exhibition center investigating the lives of seals found in and around Iceland. Around Vatnsnes peninsula, you have a unique opportunity to watch both harbor seals and gray seals in their natural habitat.
The primary watching locations are Svalbarð and at Illugastaðir on the west coast and at Ósar on the eastern seaboard. The Icelandic Seal Center at Hvammstangi gives more information about these areas and how to approach the seals with care. It is usually best to see the seals at low tide since seals often rest ashore during low tide but feed during high tide.
Head to the Borgarfjörður District to see Deildartunguhver hot spring, the largest hot spring in Europe, and visit the beautiful waterfalls Barnafossar and Hraunfossar. Overnight stay in Borgarnes area.
Driving Distance: 200 kilometers
Highlights of the day: Vatnsdalshólar mounds, Hvítserkur Cliff, Reykholt town, Deildartunguhver, Hraunfossar, Borgarnes town.
Overnight: Borgarnes area
Day 8. A Relaxing Bath at The Blue Lagoon & Reykjavik
Leave the Borgarfjörður district and head for the scenic and quiet Hvalfjördur fjord. Continue to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing bath after your tour around the country. If you plan to take a bath at the Blue Lagoon, we highly recommend that you book your ticket in advance. It can be booked at www.bluelagoon.com Spend the night in Reykjavík.
Driving Distance: 240 kilometers
Highlights of the day: The Blue Lagoon, Reykjavík
Day 9: Departure
We are sure at this point of your trip; you probably don’t want to leave Iceland. “Time flys when we are having fun”. However, you will find soon a good reason to come back. Again, you will need to have a transfer to bring back to the airport. Airport car service might come in handy, and it takes you approx. 45 minutes from any hotels in Reykjavik to the airport.
If you have any questions regarding this itinerary, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org