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Epic Iceland Itinerary 5 days (+5 samples)

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Iceland is a country of many wonders. From the massive glaciers and black sand beaches to the powerful waterfalls, there is much to explore in this beautiful country. You can enjoy a variety of activities, such as hiking, sightseeing, and even geothermal baths. So here’s an epic Iceland itinerary 5 days to make the most of your visit.

Girl in Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Snaefellsnes Peninsula: 5 days in Iceland itinerary

Whether it’s your first time in the country, your second, or if you are looking for something offbeat, we got you covered with our 5 days in Iceland itinerary guide. 

With its unique landscape and variety of activities, Iceland is a country that should not be missed. So let’s help you plan your dream trip!

Short on time? Read our 3 days in Iceland itinerary

5 days in Iceland: The Ultimate Iceland Itinerary 5 days

5 days in Iceland itinerary pin
5 days in Iceland itinerary

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What can you do in Iceland for 5 days?

As a country, Iceland is not very huge. You can drive around the country in about 1.50 days (non-stop drive), but of course, you have to stop, admire and soak in those stunning landscapes.

So depending on your interests you can surely plan a great Iceland 5 day itinerary – with a little bit of everything.

Colorful streets of Reykjavik
Colorful streets of Reykjavik

In this post, we will share a popular 5 day Iceland itinerary, which is perfect for all year round (especially off-season and summers), another one that is for winter outdoorsy exploration, plus a regional itinerary (like north and east), and a Ring Road itinerary.

You will also find ways to explore Iceland with or without a car. 

So there is a lot that you can do in 5 days in Iceland, here are our top 5 itinerary samples, 

Iceland Itinerary 5 days for summer (Sample 1)

  • Day 1: Arrive and explore Reykjavik (choose Blue or Sky Lagoon stop)
  • Day 2: Golden Circle Route with Secret Lagoon
  • Day 3: South Coast 
  • Day 4: West Coast – Snæfellsnes Peninsula 
  • Day 5: West Coast – Silver Circle Route

Iceland Itinerary 5 days (Sample 2): Perfect for all year round, with unique activities 

  • Day 1: Arrive and explore Reykjavik (choose Blue or Sky Lagoon stop)
  • Day 2: Golden Circle Route with Secret Lagoon
  • Day 3: South Coast 
  • Day 4: Day of activities (horse riding, volcano hike. Seasonal activity options like whale watching/puffins, snowmobiling, ATV, and midnight summer)
  • Day 5: West Coast – Silver Circle Route

5 day Iceland winter itinerary (Sample 3): Northern lights, and winter activities

  • Day 1: Arrive, stop at the Blue Lagoon, and explore Reykjavik museums (indoor activity suggestions)
  • Day 2: Golden Circle Route with Secret Lagoon + northern lights tour
  • Day 3: Full day South Coast tour
  • Day 4:  Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach
  • Day 5: Ice Cave Tour Vatnajökull National Park in Southern Iceland (+ Sky Lagoon)

5 days in Iceland Road trip guide: Perfect for road trippers on the Ring Road (Sample 4)

  • Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik, and explore 
  • Day 2: Golden Circle + South Coast waterfalls
  • Day 3: More of the south coast (with glacier walks/hikes add on)
  • Day 4: East Fjords 
  • Day 5: Myvatn Lake area, and whale watching 

Iceland itinerary 5 days: North and east coast (Sample 5)

  • Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik, and fly to Akureyri. Explore 
  • Day 2: Visit Godafoss, and the Myvatn Lake area (Diamond Circle)
  • Day 3: Dettifoss, Husavik for whale watching 
  • Day 4: Hiking trails in and around Akureyri/ Grímsey
  • Day 5: Return to Reykjavik. Visit Sky or Blue Lagoon 

Are 5 days enough in Iceland? 

If you’re wondering whether five days in Iceland is enough time to see everything this amazing country has to offer, the answer is: probably not. There’s just too much to explore! 

But that doesn’t mean five days isn’t enough time to have an incredible Icelandic adventure. In fact, with a little planning, you can make the most of your five days and experience all that Iceland has to offer.

Arnarstapi Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Here are a few ideas on how to make the most of your five days in Iceland:

1. Spend one day exploring Reykjavik. Take a walking tour of the city, visit some of the museums, and enjoy the unique Icelandic nightlife. (city and museum enthusiasts) 

2. Spend two days driving the Ring Road. This iconic route takes you around Iceland’s entire perimeter, and along the way, you’ll see some of the country’s most stunning scenery, including glaciers, waterfalls, lava fields, and more. (road trippers)

3. Spend a day hiking in one of Iceland’s many national parks. With so much beautiful nature to explore, you’ll want to spend at least one day hiking in Iceland. (outdoor/hiking lovers)

4. Spend a day doing unique activities such as Icelandic horseback riding. This is a unique opportunity to experience. Icelandic culture and nature at the same time. Or whale watching, snorkeling. (adventure)

5. Spend a day on an Icelandic glacier. There are several glaciers you can visit in Iceland, and spending a day exploring one is an unforgettable experience. Or ice cave, lava tours. (once in a lifetime activity)

Plus you can always add a stop at one of the geothermal pools!

With a little planning, you can make the most of your five days in Iceland and have an incredible adventure.

Is Driving Necessary In Iceland?

No, it is not necessary to rent a car and drive in Iceland. I did a solo trip to Iceland for 10+ days using tours, and domestic flights to explore the south, west, and northeastern parts of Iceland.

These were small group tours that allowed me to experience the natural landmarks intimately without being rushed, plus I was able to take a lot of photos and enjoy it too. 

Having said that, driving in Iceland is not difficult. You can book a rental car prior to arriving in the country, download all the maps needed, and follow signs to check out various attractions, trails, etc. Roads are well marked. The parking areas where our minivans (from tours) stopped are the same for all vehicles. 

Without Iceland guided tours, you can use taxis or private transfers (which could be very expensive). 

Typical buses in Iceland (shown here: Destination Blue Lagoon)

Or hop on a bus. Although you won’t be able to cross the length and breadth of the country using buses, with careful planning you can explore areas in and around Reykjavik, and the north/east near Akureyri and Myvatn areas using public transportation/bus. There are no passenger trains to travel within Iceland. 

Reykjavik Domestic Airport does have flights to the north like Akureyri and I did use them on my solo trip. They are reliable, and in the fifth itinerary sample, we will go over it in detail below. 

Reykjavik Domestic Airport
Reykjavik Domestic Airport: Trip Iceland

Preparing for Iceland 5 day itinerary: Iceland Travel Tips

If you are a first-time visitor, here are essential tips for preparing for your trip to Iceland for 5 days (or more).

Iceland belongs to Europe. It is a European state, located midway between North America and mainland North America. Its capital city is Reykjavík and is also the largest city

Hallgrímskirkja as seen on the main street in Reykjavik Iceland in 5 days
Reykjavik City

If you are traveling from overseas, especially from Asia, the United States, or Canada, you will arrive at the Keflavik International Airport, located 45 minutes from Reykjavik. In order to get to Reykjavik, you can pick up a car rental or book a transfer.

Keflavik to Reykjavik transfer: Book here

After Reykjavik, Akureyri is the next biggest city. Akureyri is located a 5+ hour drive from Reykjavik. There is also an airport and you can book a flight from the UK and certain European destinations (like Copenhagen). 

Note that Iceland is not a part of the European Union, but it uses the Schengen Agreement for tourist visa purposes. If you require a tourist visa to Europe or the Schengen zone, you can use the same visa to enter Iceland. 

Visitors with US and Canadian passports do not require a visa to enter the country and stay for 90 days; however, from 2025, an online authorization – ETIAS – is required prior to travel. 

Iceland, being a premier destination, is expensive to visit; but it is still possible to keep sightseeing within budget. Iceland’s official currency is the Icelandic Krona (ISK). 

Euros are accepted in most places. But prices are listed in ISK. We used a credit card throughout our trips to Iceland. Any experience or tickets that could be paid for online – we paid for them before our trip (in CAD, just to manage the budget).

For getting around in Iceland, a car is the best option. But be sure to rent a car that’s equipped for driving on Iceland’s rough roads. You can also get around by taking guided tours or flying between Iceland’s main cities (which is what we did).

Iceland can be a cold and wet place, so be sure to pack plenty of warm, waterproof clothing. Good walking shoes are also a must. And if you’re planning on doing any hiking or camping, don’t forget to pack a tent and sleeping bag.

Here are the top 5 packing items for Iceland: 

  1. Carry a waterproof warm/light jacket (all season), or winter parka for winters
  2. Wear comfortable walking or hiking shoes
  3. Don’t forget your camera and universal adaptor for charging your electronics 

Best 5 day Iceland Itinerary: The best of everything for summer (Sample 1)

Kickstart your 5 day Iceland itinerary by landing at the Keflavik International Airport. Plan to stop by the famous Blue Lagoon Spa upon arrival. 

For this itinerary sample, consider keeping Reykjavik as a base, and then take day trips (with or without a car). Learn how to spend one day in Reykjavik itinerary

Where to stay in Reykjavik Iceland?

Girl at the Center Hotel Plaza Reykjavik Iceland
View from Center Hotel Plaza
View from Guesthouse Sunna Reykjavik
View from Guesthouse Sunna
  • Center Hotels Plaza: This is one of the best properties to stay in the heart of Reykjavik City. When taking tours, you will be a 3-minute walk to the meeting point (Bus no 1), and within walking distance to many attractions including the Pond Tjörnin and lots of restaurants, souvenirs, and grocery stores nearby. Their rooms are great. Plus they also offer free breakfast. I stayed at their deluxe/premier suite and loved the views. Book your stay here
  • Guesthouse Sunna: Located just by the tallest church in Iceland, Guesthouse Sunna offers rooms and apartment stays for solo travelers, couples, and families. Parking is available on-site, and paid breakfast. My stay here was comfortable and loved the views of the Hallgrimskirkja. Check out more reviews 
  • Room with a View Apartments: Located on the main street of Reykjavik Laugavegur, we stayed here on our very first trip to Iceland. The rooms are spacious and walkable to various city attractions and restaurants. Book your stay here

Read: Best apartment hotels in Reykjavik

Day 1 of 5 day Iceland itinerary: Arrive and explore Reykjavik (choose Blue or Sky Lagoon stop)

Blue Lagoon Spa is located about 15 minutes from Keflavik Airport. If you are renting a car, pick up your rental and drive there. 

Or book this transfer from Blue Lagoon to Reykjavik

Tickets + Transfer: Book Here

The Blue Lagoon is considered to be one of the 25 Wonders of the World. It is a man-made thermal spa and is known for its healing waters.

Girl at the Blue Lagoon
At the Blue Lagoon Iceland

Consider the following things when visiting the lagoon,

  • Make a reservation prior to your visit to the Blue Lagoon. Tickets get sold out fast (and sometimes weeks in advance), so plan ahead of time and make your bookings online.
  • We recommend paying for a transfer (airport transport) at the same time. 
  • There are 3 packages or ticket levels at the Blue Lagoon. The basic or the Comfort Package is all you need. In this, you get access to the waters, public changing facilities, a silica mask, a drink, and a towel. 
  • There is a luggage storage room at the Lagoon entrance area. Fees start at 800 ISK.
  • Remember to pack your swimsuit (which can be rented as well), and leave your jewelry in the locker before getting into the pool
  • Plan to spend about 2 hours at the Blue Lagoon (before leaving for Reykjavik)

Things to do in Reykjavik

Depending on your interests, you can do a lot (or nothing) in Reykjavik. We personally loved the energy of this capital city and it truly has a lot to offer, from great restaurants and bars to museums and art galleries. 

Spend the (rest of the) day exploring all of Reykjavik’s prime and popular attractions, like the Harpa concert hall and the Hallgrimskirkja church.

Hallgrimskirkja church

Hallgrimskirkja church is the tallest church in Iceland, and it should not be missed. This is a Lutheran church, and it is visible from almost any corner of Reykjavik. You can eat or stay in a hotel with church views!

The city is very compact and walkable, especially in the downtown area. Here are some of the things to do in Reykjavik,

  • Hallgrímskirkja: Visit the tallest church in Iceland. It is free to visit inside and out. We recommend taking the church lift to the top, for amazing city views
  •  The Einar Jónsson Museum: Located just a 2-minute walk from the church is the museum and garden full of Einar Jonsson’s creations. The sculpture gardens are free to explore
  • Tjörnin: This is the pond, located by the city hall, and is perfect for a stroll any time of the day. You can also visit the City Hall
  • Sun Voyager: Sun Voyager sculpture is a historical art landmark and is one of the popular Reykjavik symbols
  • Laugavegur: This is the Main Street of Reykjavik, and it is perfect for a walk, to check out colorful houses, street art, and restaurants 
  • Reykjavík Harbour: Amazing views of the bay and surrounding mountains 
  • Austurvöllur and the Parliament: Enjoy a picnic at the parliament grounds/square

If you love food tours, you can join one in Reykjavik too. I did a 3+ hour food tour in the evening that included 5 restaurants, and lots of Icelandic food samplings. Here is the food to book. 

Pro tip: If you didn’t find a suitable ticket for Blue Lagoon, consider visiting the Sky Lagoon from Reykjavik (it is located 15 minute drive away. You can catch a taxi or book a transfer from your centrally located hotel). 

Tickets for Sky Lagoon: Pure Pass (mid-level) | Sky Pass (luxury level)

Day 2 of 5 day Iceland itinerary: Golden Circle Route with Secret Lagoon

Just outside of Reykjavik is Iceland’s most popular tourist route, the Golden Circle. This route takes you to some of Iceland’s most iconic natural attractions, like Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area, and the Gullfoss waterfall.

Geyser part of the Golden Circle Iceland Tour
Golden Circle Tour

Spend the day exploring these amazing places, and be sure to take plenty of photos. In the evening, head back to Reykjavik for a night out on the town.

Transportation and tour:

You can book a full-day tour of the Golden Circle Route, along with Secret Lagoon

Another option is the Golden Circle Kerid Crater + Blue Lagoon tour OR

Golden Circle with snorkeling in Silfra (equipment provided)

If you are driving, plan to stop at the Thingvellir National Park (45-minute drive), and then the Geysir area, followed by time at Gullfoss (1.50 hours). You will easily find directions (Google map below) and parking is also available. 

Things to do on this route: 

Thingvellir or Þingvellir National Park should be at the top of your Iceland bucket list. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist destinations for a good reason. 

Located in a rift valley between two continental plates, Þingvellir is truly a unique place to visit. And, it’s also home to some of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions, including the Silfra fissure, where you can snorkel or dive between two tectonic plates – Eurasian and North American.

Chase waterfalls & northern lights,soak in geothermal spas, meet horses & pluffy sheeps & explore Reykjavik's colorful lanes in your 3 day Iceland Itinerary
Thingelliver National Park

If you’re looking for more adventure, you can also hike or bike through the park. There are several trails to choose from, so you can find one that’s perfect for your fitness level. 

This is also a historical site, and home to the Alþing (Althing), the site of Iceland’s parliament from the 10th to 18th centuries. 

If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you can also book a tour that takes on a unique GoT adventure! 

Geysir Hot Spring Area is the second stop on this popular Golden Circle Route.  The area is home to a number of hot springs and geysers, the most famous being Strokkur (“The Churn”), which erupts every few minutes. 

Girl enjoying Golden Circle Iceland
Geysir Area

The hot spring area used to be much more active, with numerous eruptions every day, but in recent years activity has decreased. However, the area is still worth a visit for its landscape. 

Gullfoss is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland.  It is located in the Hvítá river canyon. The waterfall is 32 meters high and it has a great view.

It is an easy stop along the Golden Circle route. You don’t need to hike to get a close view of the falls. There are two viewing platforms that you can use to soak in the Golden Falls aka Gullfoss.

Gullfoss waterfalls

Here you will also find a sculpture and informative plaque about Sigridur Tomasdottir. She was an Icelandic environmentalist and is known for her efforts in preserving the Gullfoss waterfalls, from industrialization. 

She had participated in and led protests, including walking barefoot from the falls to Reykjavík to show her commitment to the cause. 

She even threatened to throw herself into the waterfall to prevent it from being harvested for energy. Do take a peek at the sculpture while you are there.

Plus there is a restaurant on-site if you need a break!

Other than these 3 Classic Golden Circle spots, you can also visit the Faxi Waterfall, located 12 km (7.45 miles) from Gullfoss. Our tour made a quick stop there. 

Faxi waterfall in the fall

It is small but a stunning waterfall, known for salmon fishing. If you are traveling here independently, you can also enjoy a walk/hike with a view.

Kerið crater is another stop and a popular tourist attraction in Iceland. The crater is easy to access along the Golden Circle route and the view from the edge is breathtaking. 

This is a volcanic crater and is believed to have formed about 3,000 years ago as a result of an explosion that occurred when a magma chamber beneath the earth’s surface ruptured. 

You can also go hiking here, on easy to moderate trails (note that there are no washrooms at this attraction). 

The Secret Lagoon or Gamla Laugin is a natural thermal pool, dating back to 1891. It is one of the most affordable geothermal baths in Iceland and can be easily explored on the Golden Circle route. 

Are you planning a trip to Iceland? Read this ultimate guide -Travel Tips Iceland - filled with tips like currency, packing, budget & savings, apps & more
Secret Lagoon

Typically, you will need 1 to 2 hours here. There are restrooms, changing facilities as well as a restaurant and bar on-site. 

Day 3 of 5 days in Iceland itinerary: South Coast and waterfalls

On day three of your 5 day Iceland trip, you must head to the southern coast of Iceland to admire beautiful waterfalls and the remote village of Vík. 

Village of Vik

Transportation and tour:

You can book a full-day tour of the South Coast here. There are many attractions along this route, and tours also offer guided activities like glacier walking, horse riding, and hiking excursions. We have listed them below,

If you are driving, plan to stop at the Seljalandsfoss first (1-hour 45-minute drive), and then the Skogafoss, followed by time at the Reynisfjara black sand beach, and Vik (1.50 hours). In Reynisfjara, you can opt for a horse riding tour, if interested. 

Read: Iceland winter tours

Things to do on the South Coast: 

Start your day with a visit to the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can walk behind the cascading water. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. 


The waterfall is located about 130 kilometers (about 80 miles) south of Reykjavik, on the road to Vik. It is completely free to access the site of the waterfall and view it. Parking costs 800 ISK.

Seljalandsfoss is one of the most accessible Iceland waterfalls near Reyjkavik. You can walk behind it, go on a hike, or just photograph the stunning falls and the Seljaland farm nearby. You can also sometimes see a rainbow in the mist that the waterfall creates.

Seljalandsfoss is also associated with some historical events. The waterfall was mentioned in the Saga of Burnt Njal, a medieval Icelandic saga. The first written reference to the waterfall dates back to 1385.

Skogafoss is the next beautiful waterfall on this itinerary. It is located about a two-hour drive from Reykjavik (155 kilometers or 96 miles) and 28 kilometers (17.4 miles) from Seljalandsfoss. 

Both waterfalls are open year-round, but it’s best to visit in the summertime when the weather is nice. 

Girl at Skogafoss waterfalls near Reykjavik

Skogafoss is fed by the glacial river Skoga and has a height of 60 meters. There is a parking lot in the area, and within a short walk, you will be near the falls. 

Then, head to the black sand beach at Reynisfjara, where you can see the iconic basalt column formations. 

Enjoy a nice walk, and take photos, but be super careful of the waves as they are very strong, and unpredictable. 

Reynisfyara Black Sand Beach The very best guided tours of Iceland handpicked to suit every traveler needs. Whether you like adventure tours or city walking tour, we got you covered.

Continue to the charming fishing village of Vík í Mýrdal to visit the beautiful white and red church – Vikurkirkja.  Because of its location along Ring Road, Vik is a convenient stop for food, views, and souvenir shopping as well. 

All of the above were the classic South Coast stops. And along the way, as you drive (or get on a tour bus from Reykjavik) you will soak in glimpses of the active Hengill volcano, lava fields, and rich coastal farmlands. 

On warm summer days, you can also see the Hekla volcano and the glacier-capped Eyjafjallajökull volcano at a distance. 

You can add other activities on the South coast such as a hike to the top of Solheimajokull glacier, or Mýrdalsjökull glacier.

Day 4 of 5 day Iceland itinerary: West Coast – Snæfellsnes Peninsula 

Day 4 of the Iceland travel itinerary is all about exploring the stunning Snaefellsnes Peninsula, also known as Mini Iceland! 

View of Kirkjufell Snæfellsnes peninsula in west Iceland
Kirkjufell Snæfellsnes peninsula

Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a peninsula in western Iceland. It is known for its dramatic landscape, including the Snaefellsjökull glacier and national park. The small town of Stykkishólmur is located on the peninsula.

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a popular tourist destination, due to its easy accessibility from Reykjavik and its variety of attractions. It can be explored on a day tour or a road trip. This area is best explored in the warmer months when the roads are in good condition and visibility is good.

Black Church in Snæfellsnes peninsula
Black Church in Snæfellsnes peninsula

If you are looking for a place to stay on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, there are a number of hotels and guesthouses to choose from as well. 

Transportation and tour:

I booked a full-day tour of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the spring months, and it was so worth it. It was a small group tour, and we were blessed with the best weather. 

Here is the full-day tour of Snaefellsnes Peninsula to book. It does make for a long day, but the attractions that it covers, it is amazing. Do pack some snacks, and drink/s, and wear hiking shoes for a full day of sightseeing!

If you are on a road trip from Reykjavik, you can follow similar stops. It takes about 1.50 to 2 hours to get to Snaefellsnes. 

Your first stop can be at Borgarnes, a small town where you can pick up food, fuel up, or use a washroom break. All tour operators stop in this town as well. 

Things to do on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula: 

As you start from Borgarnes towards the national park, you will catch a glimpse of the ice-capped Snaefellsjokull stratovolcano. 

Located here is the Berserkjahraun lava field and which is over 4000 years old. This is your first stop. 

Girl at the Kirkjufell Snæfellsnes peninsula
Kirkjufell Snæfellsnes peninsula

From here, you can capture views of the iconic Kirkjufell. Kirkjufell means ‘church mountain’, and it is widely popular due to its feature on the “Game of Thrones” television show. 

This mountain and the nearby waterfalls together are also the poster boy for all things Icelandic and are truly the most-photographed mountain in the entire country. 

When you drive closer to Kirkjufell, you will find a parking lot. From there, it is a quick walk to the mountain and the waterfalls. There are hiking trails near the mountain but are accessible without a strenuous hike as well. 

Up next is the Saxhóll Crater. It is a 100-meter-high volcanic crater, and to get to the top you will be taking the ‘Stairway to Heaven’. 

Stairway to Heaven - going down
Stairway to Heaven (going down)

So, I normally don’t hike much but reaching the top of this 3000-year-old crater was not bad.

Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded by the stunning views of the creator and the nearby mountains (note it doesn’t have any water/pool inside so it doesn’t look like the Kerid Crater that we mentioned on day 2 of this Iceland itinerary).

Want more views and some black sand beach with Icelandic history? Then the next stop at the uninhabited settlement of Djupalonssandur is worth it. 

View of Djupalonssandur from the viewing platform

Djupalonssandur is a sandy beach and bay on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland, just above Snæfellsjökull. It was formerly home to 60 fishing boats and one of the peninsula’s most active fishing towns, but it is now unpopulated. 

Once you park your car (or disembark from the tour bus), you can head to the viewing platform first for views and then hike down to the beach. 

You can enjoy a walk/climb/hike and then come back to the parking and washroom area. Set aside at least 45 minutes to an hour for this stop (Note the washrooms are closed in the winter, early spring, and late fall months). 

The west coast is home to Icelandic sagas and history, and the next two stops are all about that. Visit the fishing village of Arnarstapi, and admire the huge sculpture of Bárður Snaefellsas.

Cliffs and views in Arnarstapi
Cliffs and views in Arnarstapi

Bárður is believed to be the Protector of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The giant monument actually looks beautiful from the harbor views. From here, you can walk to check the beautifully eroded cliffs and listen to seagulls at play!

Now make your way to the Budakirkja or the “Black Church.”  This little church looks hauntingly beautiful with a gorgeous mountain backdrop. You can have a look inside the church and view historical artifacts from the 19th century. 

The last stop for the day on the west coast is the golden-colored beach of Ytri-Tunga. This is a seal beach, and on a nice warm day, you will find seals relaxing on the rocks and soaking in the sun. 

During my visit, the seals were mating, and they were playfully flapping and were coming too close to the shore. 

Ytri-Tunga and seal
Ytri-Tunga and seal 🙂

We need to be careful when we are at the Ytri-Tunga so that we don’t disturb them.

After a long day of sightseeing, you can drive back to Reykjavik (and driving time will be around 2 hours from here). 

Day 5 of 5 days in Iceland itinerary: West Coast – Silver Circle Route

Another west coast day trip from Reykjavik, with waterfalls, Icelandic sagas, hot springs, geothermal pools, and more! 

Turf houses on the Silver Circle route
Turf houses on the Silver Circle route

This area is completely different from what you saw on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and is popularly known as the Silver Circle

The Silver Circle is a nice driving loop, and worth a quick road trip of adventure, views, warm soak, and of Viking history. 

Transportation and tour:

For sightseeing, you can also book a full-day tour. This day tour is not super jamp packed like the day before – it is slightly relaxed with food and restroom stops.

If you are driving, you can make it at a stop at Borgarnes first (reachable in an hour), and then follow along with the attractions as mentioned below.  

Things to do on the Silver Circle route: 

This route is one of the untapped areas, and it takes you away from the busy Ring Road into rich farmland, and across glacial rivers with the Langjokull, the second biggest glacier in Iceland. 

Glanni waterfall
Glanni waterfall

After picking up some snacks from Borgarnes, head to the Glanni waterfall. This is where you will find signs of vegetation and greenery. I found this area to be very different from the lava-ridden sites we saw before. 

This small but charming waterfall is located in Bifrost on the Nordura River. The waterfall has multiple tiers that fall down on old lava fields known as the Grabrokarhraun. 

There is a parking lot for your vehicles, and it is a nice walk to the viewing platform of the Glanni. 


The next stop is at Deildartunguhver, which is considered the most powerful hot spring in Europe. There is a lot of steam and heat coming out from the area, and it is so strong that if you are wearing glasses or on your phone, it will be all wet and steamy.

This hot spring provided warm water and power for the area and beyond. Spend some time walking along with the viewing areas, and then stop by the greenhouse nearby. 

If you have time on your hands, you can also stop at the Krauma geothermal baths and spa, located near the hot springs. 

Next, spend an hour or so at the historic site of Reykholt. There is a beautiful red and orange church here, which dates back to the 19th century. You can enter the church interiors for free and even take photos. 

Snorri's Pool located on the Silver Circle Iceland
Snorralaung (with the church in the background)

Located here is Snorralaug (Snorri’s Pool). This was the home and pool of Icelandic poet and chieftain, Snorri Sturluson, who wrote many sagas. Today, Snorralaug is a protected archaeological site.

You can admire the pool and also enter the house to see. The house is like a turf house, and inside it was some wooden planks. It is very small too. 

After the historical sites, it is time for some waterfalls – not one, but two. The first is Hraunfossar, also known as the “Lava Waterfalls.”  Hraunfossar is unlike other waterfalls seen in this Iceland itinerary.

Hraunfossar falls

There are a series of waterfalls, actually flowing over a lava field, Hallmundarhraun, which was created a thousand years ago by a volcano eruption (under the  Langjokull glacier located nearby).

There are many walking and hiking trails located at the Hraunfossar. You will find many bridges and viewing platforms from where you can even see the meltwater from the Langjokull glacier over the lava fields, pouring into the Hvita River.

Most of these platforms are accessible and don’t require any additional elevation or strenuous hike. Hiking up will give you a bird’s eye view of the falls and the entire area. 

Barnafoss, a waterfall, also known as Bjarnafoss, is near Hraunfossar which burst out of Hallmundarhraun which is a great lava plain.
Barnafoss, a waterfall, also known as Bjarnafoss, is near Hraunfossar which burst out of Hallmundarhraun which is a great lava plain.

As you are walking/hiking in the area, you will see signs for the Barnafoss, also known as “the waterfall of the children”. This waterfall is smaller as compared to Hraunfossar and is named as such due to the tragic tale (myth) of two local children, who lost their lives here.

On the Silver Circle, you can also add an exciting lava cave tour. There is an entry fee to the cave and can be added to the day tour when you book here. The excursion takes place at the Vidgelmir Lava Cave. 

The cave is filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites, with lava formations and multi-colored rocks. 

The guided tour lasts for 90 minutes and is a very ‘out of the world’ like experience. The area in and around the lava cave is considered to be the Icelandic highlands!

If the lava cave expedition is not something you wish to do, then you can opt to visit the Husafell Canyon Baths. 

Husafell Icelandic Highlands
Husafell Icelandic Highlands

Husafell is one of the prettiest with mountains, small turf houses, and artworks by local artists. Be sure to stop by the famous “Lifting Stone of Husafell” and admire unique creations by the modern-day sculptor Pall Gudmundsson.

Husafell Canyon Baths (Giljaböð hot springs) will be a delight on this trip. The baths use the concept of a traditional Icelandic hot spring experience at a sustainable, remote location found deep in the magnificent Hringsgil Canyon. 

To access the baths, you will have to get on a 4X4 provided by the property owners. This excursion is only available with a guide, and the area is secured for you and your party when you visit (providing a very intimate and private experience).

Husafell geothermal pools
Girl at the Husafell Canyon Baths
Husafell Canyon Baths

When I visited, there were 2 geothermally-heated stone pools (both almost of the same temperatures). There is a fully functional washroom and changing rooms for him and her. 

The guide provided us with slippers and towel/s. 

It was a fantastic experience unwinding in the highlands surrounded by mountain (and snow) views. 

Note that to access the bathing pools, you have to climb down 64 steps (and enjoy the views as you go down).

View of Langifoss

Our guide also showed us a waterfall nearby – Langifoss. It has a nice viewing platform but requires you to hike to some steeper areas to get there. We recommend wearing your hiking shoes or boots to Iceland! 

5 days in Iceland Itinerary: All year attractions with unique activities (Sample 2)

This Iceland travel itinerary is perfect for those who wish to experience unique activities along with some sightseeing. 

We recommend setting aside 1-2 days for adventure excursions. We will share a few options that can be done all year round and some seasonal ones.

Chase waterfalls & northern lights,soak in geothermal spas, meet horses & pluffy sheeps & explore Reykjavik's colorful lanes in your 3 day Iceland Itinerary
Thingelliver National Park

We, however, highly recommend keeping days 1-3 as is, if this is your first time in Iceland. 

The Golden Circle, South Coast, as well as the Blue (or Sky) Lagoon visit, is a must, along with exploring the capital city of Reykjavik. So here you go, 

  • Day 1: Arrive and explore Reykjavik (choose Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon stop)
  • Day 2: Golden Circle Route with Secret Lagoon
  • Day 3: South Coast 
  • Day 4-5: Day of activities (horse riding, volcano hike. Seasonal activity options like whale watching/puffins, snowmobiling, ATV, and midnight summer)
  • (You can embark on the Silver Circle Route all year round, however during winters or snowfall, access to the Husafell Canyon Baths will be closed). 

For all year activities, consider the following attractions

Volcano Hike: This hike can be done all year – for the most part. As it is a natural landmark, snow, and strong winds might prevent it from accessing it.

Fagradalsfjall volcano hike
Fagradalsfjall volcano hike

I did this 8 hour tour which included 2 hours of hike, and visits to the Bridge Between Continents, Reykjanesviti Lighthouse, Lake Kleifarvatn, and Gunnuhver Hot Springs on tour from Reykjavík.

You don’t have to book a tour, as you can drive to the Geldingadalur Valley to see the Fagradalsfjall volcano. There is a parking lot (fees apply) near the site, and you can walk to see the molten lava. 

Fagradalsfjall volcano lava
Fagradalsfjall volcano lava

The hike is steep but can be done on your own (just remember to wear hiking shoes and carry poles if needed) for views from above. 

You can also do a Fagradalsfjall Volcano Hike and Blue Lagoon stop as a tour (same tour provider as above, who I booked).

Red Lava Horse Riding Tour: Fancy a ride on a pretty Icelandic horse? This is the tour to book near Reykjavik. 

This experience is for 2.50 hours, and round-trip transportation from Reykjavik can be arranged. 

When visiting from late April to September, you can go whale or puffin watching near Reykjavik. Here is a half day combo tour of whale watching + puffins from Reykjavik.

It lasts for 4 hours and is done on a boat. If no whales/puffins are sighted, you can re-do the tour on a different date. 

You might also like this Midnight Sun whales and dolphins cruise (4 hour tour), perfect for summer trips to Iceland. 

Not into whale watching? Well, climb the Hafrafjall and Ulfarsfell Mountains via an ATV. Join this guided 3 hour tour for some stunning midnight summer fun, and views over Reykjavik. 

Midnight sun activities are best for trips in the summer months of June and July. This is a natural phenomenon wherein the sun doesn’t set until midnight. It occurs in places north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle.

We will cover the perfect Iceland 5 day itinerary for winters below 🙂

Iceland Itinerary 5 days for winter (Sample 3): Northern lights, and winter activities

When visiting Iceland in the winter, consider this 5-day itinerary sample below. Opt to follow days 1 through 3 as these are some of the must-do activities for the first-time visitor. 

Chase waterfalls & northern lights,soak in geothermal spas, meet horses & pluffy sheeps & explore Reykjavik's colorful lanes in your 3 day Iceland Itinerary
5 days in Iceland Itinerary for winter

We have a few winter and indoor suggestions to slightly modify the itinerary to suit the colder months.

  • Day 1: Arrive, stop at the Blue Lagoon, and explore Reykjavik museums (indoor activity suggestions)
  • Day 2: Golden Circle Route with Secret Lagoon + northern lights tour
  • Day 3: South Coast 
  • Day 4: Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon and Diamond Beach
  • Day 5: Ice Cave Tour Vatnajökull National Park in Southern Iceland (+ Sky Lagoon)

Arrive at the Keflavik International Airport on day 1, and stop at the Blue Lagoon before making your way to Reykjavik. 

Plan to visit some museums such as the Icelandic Phallological Museum, art museum, and Perlan. Do join the food tour. 

On day 2 choose the Golden Circle tour, and add in a northern lights experience. You can also add the northern lights guided tour with South Coast attractions.

Northern lights are best seen from late September to mid-April in Iceland. As it is a natural phenomenon, northern lights or aurora borealis sighting chances increase around midnight, and in places that are away from lights (so time and place also matter).

Northern Lights in Iceland Chase waterfalls & northern lights,soak in geothermal spas, meet horses & pluffy sheeps & explore Reykjavik's colorful lanes in your 3 day Iceland Itinerary
Northern Lights Iceland

When you book a northern lights tour and aren’t able to view any, you can rejoin the tour for free on your next availability. 

For this reason, we recommend booking a northern lights tour in the early days of your Iceland trip and re-join (if needed). 

We were lucky to sight the aurora borealis on our first trip to Iceland in October.

Here are northern lights tour options

If you are road tripping, consider staying in a hotel/resort a little outside of Reykjavik like Hotel Ranga.

You can surely join any of the standalone tours (the last 2 listed above) and learn about the stars, get photo help, and more! 

As always you will be invited to join another Northern Lights tour free of charge if the lights don’t appear on the day of booking. 

On day 4 and 5 head to the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon and Diamond Beach. This can be done as a day trip as well. Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. 

The lagoon is located in the southeastern part of the country, just off the Ring Road. 

As you drive towards the lagoon, you can see the mighty Hvannadalshnjúkur mountain and the black sand desert between Skaftafell National Park and the lagoon itself. 

The lagoon first started forming in the early 1930s and has since grown to become one of the largest glacial lakes in Iceland. It is fed by melting water from the Vatnajökull glacier and offers visitors a unique opportunity to see icebergs up close.

Once you arrive there, enjoy a stroll along the shores of the lake. If interested, you can also take a boat tour of the lagoon to get an even closer look at the icebergs. These tours take place from April to October.

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, you can even go ice climbing on the glaciers that feed into the lagoon. This is a popular activity for both locals and tourists alike and is a great way to get up close and personal with Iceland’s amazing natural scenery. 

Glacier climbs and hikes are 2-3 hour guided excursions that are open all year round.

Jokulsarlon sits south of Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier. The icebergs in Jokulsarlon are composed of ice that is over 1,000 years old. 

In the winter, particularly from November to March, opt for an ice cave tour from Jokulsarlon and explore a natural blue ice cave within the Vatnajokull glacier.

These activities can be booked as an add-on to a day tour, or if you are driving you can get to the meeting point yourselves and then participate in the guided excursion. 

Tour options:

If you are not into ice climbing or glacier hiking, you will still love the stunning Diamond Beach located by the lagoon. They make for great photo spots as well, against the black sand with the shining pieces of ice.

We recommend setting aside 2 days for exploring this part of Iceland with the hikes, and ice caving tours, when road tripping.

Sky Lagoon tips and guide
Sky Lagoon

If you are only doing a day tour, use the second day (day 5) to unwind and soak in the warm waters of Sky Lagoon (located 15 minutes away from Reykjavik). 

5 days in Iceland Itinerary road trip guide: Iceland Ring Road Itinerary (Sample 4)

This 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary takes you through the Ring Road. 

Known as Route 1 or Highway 1, the entire Ring Road is all of 1332 kilometers (827.66 miles), and covers the coastal circumference of the island, leaving out the peninsula of Snæfellsnes and the Westfjords. 

North Iceland Ring Road
Ring Road – North Iceland

If you were to drive non-stop, you can cover this route in about 24 hours (give or take). But in the summers when the roads and views are incredible you can turn this into a 5 day trip with stops along the way.

In the day by day road trip sightseeing list, we did add one day for transportation (car pick up, getting essentials, and then driving out on day 2), but you can expand or reduce the activities on each day to fit everything into 5 days. 

This sample takes you from South Iceland to the East Fjords and then to the North. 

  • Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik, and explore 
  • Day 2: Golden Circle + South Coast waterfalls
  • Day 3: More of the south coast (with glacier walks/hikes add on)
  • Day 4: East Fjords 
  • Day 5: Myvatn Lake area, and whale watching 

On day 1, arrive in Iceland. Get your car rental and start for Reykjavik. During the summer months, you can get a regular vehicle, but in the winters a 4X4 is recommended. 

Beautiful lanes of Reykjavik
Lanes of Reykjavik

Do make reservations prior to your visit so that you get the right car (based on your needs, budget, and occupants).

You can stay overnight in lodges, and hotels located along the Ring Road (we will share them as we go over the itinerary). In the summer months, you can also camp outside. 

Set aside days 2-3 to explore the south coast along with the popular Golden Circle route. 

Follow the Ring Road north directions to get to the Thingvellir National Park. Complete the Golden Circle stops with Geysir geothermal area, followed by the Gullfoss waterfalls. 

From here, continue traveling to the south coast to Reynisfjara Beach and Vik. Make stops at the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss before arriving in Vik, and staying there overnight. 

Accommodation: Hótel Vík is a 3-star property offering breakfast, free parking, and more. Check availability here

The next day, start for Skaftafell National Reserve. This is where you can go hiking, and also check out the stunning Svartifoss, the black waterfall, with its massive black basalt columns. 

On this day, you can also add a trip to the stunning Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon with a glacier or ice cave tour. These are guided excursions and are only available with a guide. 

There you can also check out Diamond Beach. At the Jökulsárlón and nearby, there are hiking, kayaking, and boat tours available.

Plan to stay overnight at Höfn (1 hr drive from Jökulsárlón). Hotel Höfn Inn Guesthouse

From Hofn, make your way to the East Fjords on day 4. The distance from Höfn to Egilsstaðir (first stop) is 187 km (116 miles) and it is home to the largest forests in Iceland. 

Next, visit Lake Lagarfljót, and go on hikes in this area. 

Plan to stay overnight in Seyðisfjörður (this is 3+ hours from Hofn). This town has accommodation and other services to continue your forward journey. Stay at the Hotel Aldan – The Post Office

Plus it is colorful, quirky, and artistic – a great way to enjoy some peace and tranquility with stunning greenery with views!

Pseudo craters in Myvatn Lake area
Pseudo craters in Myvatn Lake are

Finish your itinerary with sightseeing in and around Akureyri in the north. Make stops at the Dettifoss waterfall, and then get to the Myvatn Lake area. 

Stop at the Myvatn Nature Baths for 1-2 hours, before continuing your drive to the Dimmuborgir lava formations.

Myvatn Nature Baths
Myvatn Nature Baths

Pro tip: If you are interested in whale watching, skip the nature baths and plan to arrive in Akureyri by 4:00 pm. Most classic whale watching tours leave at 5:00 pm so you can surely add this to your itinerary. 

Close to Akureyri is the Goðafoss waterfall, or the ‘waterfall of the Gods’. Spend time here soaking in the views of the falls from the viewing platforms before reaching Akureyri in the evening (a detailed north Iceland itinerary is below).

As you near Akureyri, you will be enjoying scenic views of Eyjafjörður, Iceland’s longest fjord. You can stay overnight in Akureyri, and then fly out the next day from there. Stay at the IcelandAir Akureyri

Or drive back to Reykjavik and fly out from Keflavik International Airport (a 5+ hour drive from Akureyri to Reykjavik).

Iceland itinerary 5 days: North and east coast (Sample 5)

This epic 5-day Iceland itinerary takes you from Reykjavik to the second largest city – Akureyri showcasing waterfalls, lakes, and natural landmarks on the north and the eastern coast of the country.

Views of Akureyri
Akureyri views
  • Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik, and fly to Akureyri. Explore 
  • Day 2: Visit Godafoss, and the Myvatn Lake area (Diamond Circle)
  • Day 3: Dettifoss, Husavik for whale watching 
  • Day 4: Hiking trails in and around Akureyri/ Grímsey
  • Day 5: Return to Reykjavik. Visit Sky or Blue Lagoon 

On day 1 of this itinerary land at the Keflavik International airport. A visit to the Blue Lagoon is always an option if you wish to do that (just remember to book tickets ahead of time).

If you are driving, pick up a car rental from the airport. Keflavik to Reykjavik is a 45 to 50 minutes drive. 

Drive to Akureyri from Reykjavik is 5+ hours (one way). We have not added much activity on this day so that you can utilize it for transportation. 

Girl at the Church of Akureyri
The Church of Akureyri

Without driving, take the transfer to Reykjavik (45 minutes to 1.50 hours).

You can get to Akureyri by flying from Reykjavik Domestic Airport. Flights are of 45 minutes and are operated by the national carrier – Icelandair. 

Akureyri Airport may have connections from London, and Copenhagen, so it is worth checking it and booking on the IcelandAir site. 

The flight gives you a really nice glimpse of both cities, allowing you to check out the cultural delights (museums, restaurants, and churches in both cities). Read how to get from Reykjavik to Akureyri

Where to stay in Akureyri? 

Icelandair Akureyri hotel
Views from the IcelandAir Akureyri hotel
  • Icelandair Akureyri: I absolutely loved my stay at the IcelandAir Akureyri. Comfortable and clean beds, views, and a wonderful patio restaurant – there is nothing not to like! There is free parking, paid delicious breakfast, and a bar on-site. Check availability here
  • Hotel Kea by Keahotels: Centrally located hotel, the KEA is beautifully placed by the Church of Akureyri. It is about a 12 minute walk from the Botanical Gardens and offers a stunning view of the fjords. Book your stay here
  • A detailed guide to where to stay in Akureyri Iceland

On day 2, take a day trip to check out the Godafoss (waterfall), and the Myvatn Lake area (Diamond Circle). 

Transportation and day tours:

You can book a day tour, which also includes pick up from Akureyri hotels. The tour covers 5-7 stops which we will cover below. It also includes time at the Myvatn Nature Baths

Book this full-day tour here

When driving, you can set aside 8-10 hours with ample stops along the way. The drive takes you from Akureyri along the scenic coast of Eyjafjordur, which is one of the longest fjords in the country.

Girl at the Godafoss waterfall
Godafoss waterfalls

The main attraction on the Diamond Circle is the stunning Goðafoss Waterfall. Goðafoss is formed by the glacial river Skjálfandafljót, has a drop of 12 m (39 ft), and is 30 m (98 ft) wide.

The name Goðafoss means “waterfall of the gods”. According to Icelandic legend,  Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði, the country’s highest-ranking, and most notable lawmaker threw his pagan gods/statues into the waterfall after converting to Christianity.

The best time to see Goðafoss is in the summer when the days are long and the weather is good. The waterfall is best seen from the north side, where there is a viewing platform. 

Godafoss viewing areas
Godafoss viewing areas

There is also a trail on the south side of the waterfall that leads to the bottom of the falls.

Goðafoss is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions. It is easily accessible and offers stunning views all year round.

The pseudocraters of Skútustaðagígar are next on the route. The Skútustaðagígar Craters are found in the Lake Mývatn area, and it is formed due to volcanic eruptions. 

During eruptions when lava runs across an area, the heat and water trapped underneath cause a crater-like shape.

Pseudocraters of Skútustaðagígar
Pseudocraters of Skútustaðagígar

As they were not the sources of lava or volcanoes in themselves, they are not considered true craters. Hence the name pseudo-crater

You can spend 30 minutes to an hour hiking and enjoying the site. There are many viewing platforms that you can walk, and climb up to for panoramic views!

Next is Dimmuborgir, or the Dark Cities/Dark Fortress as it is called. Dimmuborgir was formed in an eruption that occurred in the area 2,300 years ago. It belongs to the Lake Mývatn area, which is considered to be very volcanic.

You can go on hiking trails at the Dimmuborgir and the dramatic black lava formations definitely make for an outer of the world experience. There are castles, caverns, and caves all around you. 

Other than hikes (summer months), you can learn about Icelandic traditions. The most famous of these traditions and folklore are that of half-troll, half-ogre Grýla, and her submissive husband Leppalúði. 

Grýla and Leppalúði had thirteen sons who lived in Dimmuborgir and are known as the ‘Icelandic Santa Clauses’ or Yule Lads. 

So on the thirteen nights before Christmas, these trolls come one by one to terrorize Icelanders, each with their own strategy after which they were named. 

When we visited we found costumes and set up of the Yule Lads! 

To view these areas, you must wear comfortable hiking shoes or boots at all times. The surfaces are uneven, and sometimes you may have to climb as well. 

From here, make your way to the cave of Grjótagjá and stop at the hot spring area at Hverarönd in Námaskarð. 

Grjótagjá is a small lava cave located in the Myvatn Lake area. It has a small hot spring inside the cave, and you can feel/see steam coming out of the cave. The water is too hot for a swim and it is not allowed. 

Next is the geothermal area of Hverarönd in Námaskarð. This spot is located a short distance from the huge volcanic mountain Krafla. Hverarönd is home to hot springs, mud pools, and mud pots. 

Hverarönd in Námaskarð geothermal area
Hverarönd in Námaskarð

Because of the geothermal activity, you won’t find any vegetation here, but the colors of the desert land make it a stunning area. In certain spots, you will find boiling water, and there is also the emission of acids with colorful minerals. 

The smell might be very strong for some, but a visit is still worth it! 

Next is the lake viewpoint itself. Lake Mývatn is a volcanic lake, and swimming is only possible in a few areas. The lake is best known for fishing and bird watching opportunities. 

East of here is the Blue Lagoon of the North – Mývatn Nature Baths. This is a naturally heated man-made lagoon, with mineral-rich waters known for their healing properties.

Girl at the Myvatn Nature Baths
Soaking in the Myvatn Nature Baths

We have written a detailed guide to visiting the Myvatn Nature Baths, but know that it is not super crowded and is comparatively cheaper to visit than the actual Blue Lagoon. 

On day 3 of the North Iceland itinerary, go a little slow and visit another waterfall – Dettifoss and then go whale watching in the evening. 

Dettifoss is one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe, and it is located about 2.50 hours from Akureyri. 

You go hiking from the Dettifoss to the canyon at Asbyrgi – a well-forested horseshoe-shaped canyon in Oxarfjordur. The hiking trail is about 34 km (or about 21 miles).

To access Dettifoss, you will need a vehicle, and the road access is from late May or June. This road – South to Road 1 – is closed from January until the beginning of April.

In the evening opt for a whale watching tour. Tours leave at around 5:00 pm, from the port of Akureyri, and last 3 hours. Late April to September is best for whale watching. 

(From late September to mid-April, you can sight the northern lights here)

On day 4, you can explore Akureyri visiting its art museums, Botanical Gardens, historical sites such as the Nonni House, and the landmark – Akureyrarkirkja or The Church of Akureyri. 

Cultural activities in Akureyri (visiting the sites listed above and wandering the town) will take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. 

Hof: Cultural Centre Akureyri
Hof: Cultural Centre Akureyri

Not into cultural excursions? Consider these activities instead. There are also hiking trails in and around Akureyri including heritage walks that you can embark on. 

If interested in water activities, rafting is possible near Akureyri. 

From late April to August, you can also head to Grímsey Island for puffin watching. for more hiking opportunities. 

On day 5, drive back to Reykjavik. Or fly to the Domestic airport. If you have time on your hands, pay a visit to Sky Blue Lagoon. 

So that concludes our Iceland itinerary for 5 days. We hope you enjoy your time in this unique and beautiful country and are excited about your trip! From the snow-capped mountains to the black sand beaches, Iceland’s scenery is truly one of a kind. 

We will leave you with an Iceland itinerary map below (we have used different colors for each route), as well as some FAQs!

Iceland 5 day itinerary: Sightseeing Map

We have listed the attractions and routes by area. The last sections include the Ring Road and North Iceland itinerary.

FAQ: 5 days in Iceland Itinerary

Here are some additional tips, and frequently asked questions answered to help you plan your trip.

When is the best time to go to Iceland?

Iceland is a great place to visit at any time of year, but the best time to go depends on what you want to see and do. If you’re interested in seeing the Northern Lights, late September to early April is the best time to go. 

For whale watching, May to October is the best time. And if you want to see Iceland’s waterfalls at their fullest, plan your trip for June or July.

What to eat in Iceland?

There’s no shortage of delicious food in Iceland. Make sure to try some of the country’s traditional dishes, like Icelandic lamb soup and hákarl (fermented shark meat). And of course, you can’t go to Iceland without trying some of its famous seafood like Arctic Char. Also, try Icelandic hotdog, and yogurt Skyr.

What are the top tips for Iceland?

There are a few things to keep in mind when traveling to Iceland. First, the weather can be unpredictable, so it is important to be prepared for all types of weather conditions. Wear layers and always carry a warm jacket and hiking shoes. 
Second, Iceland is a very remote country, so visitors should be prepared for long travel times. 
Lastly, the Icelandic currency (ISK) is very different from most other currencies, so it is important to have a good understanding of the exchange rate before traveling. Using credit cards is the way to go for travel expenses there.

Share an Iceland 5 day self-drive itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik, and explore 
Day 2: Golden Circle + South Coast waterfalls
Day 3: More of the south coast (with glacier walks/hikes add on)
Day 4: East Fjords 
Day 5: Myvatn Lake area, and whale watching

More Iceland guides:

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