How many days do you need in Iceland?

How many days do you need in Iceland?

11.01.2024 | Sinnead Robledo

Many visitors find that a duration of 7 to 10 days allows for a comprehensive exploration of some of Iceland's major attractions. Let's break down the suggested durations for visiting Iceland and explore what you can do during each timeframe:

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View over Vík town in Iceland
Vík is a beautiful little town in South Iceland

Looking for the best Iceland itienerary? 

Look no further, we have a wonderful selection of self-drive tours that are fully customizable to your needs and wants. 

Bestseller itineraries:
Around Iceland in 10 days
Higlights of Iceland
My Own Self-Drive - Create Your Own Itinerary
Waterfalls, Geysers, and Glacier Lagoon - 6 days

Short Visit (3-4 Days):

This is a good option for a quick getaway but may not cover more remote or less-visited areas. If you happen to be in a short visit to Iceland you could explore:

Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavík
Hallgrímskirkja Church is one of Reykjavík's main landmarks

  • Reykjavík: Spend some time exploring Iceland's capital city, Reykjavík. Visit landmarks like Hallgrímskirkja, enjoy the local cuisine, and experience the vibrant culture.

  • Golden Circle: Take a day trip to the Golden Circle to see iconic sites like Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and the powerful Gullfoss waterfall.

  • Blue Lagoon: If time permits, visit the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing soak in the geothermal waters. This is a good option to do on your first or last day in the country since the Lagoon is located on the way from Reykjavík to Iceland’s international airport in Keflavík.

Strokkur geyser erupting
Seeing Strokkur geyser erupt is the highlight of visiting Geysir Geothermal Area

Mid-Length Visit (5-7 Days):

In addition to the Golden Circle and Reykjavik, you can venture further to the South.

  • South Coast: Explore the stunning landscapes along the South Coast, including waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Visit the black sand beaches of Reynisfjara and the charming village of Vik.
  • Jökulsarlón Glacier Lagoon: Venture to the southeast to witness the mesmerizing Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and nearby Diamond Beach. Höfn is a must-go town for delicious lobster and historical importance too if you are close to Jökulsarlón.

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Watching the floating icebergs on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is an otherworldly experience

  • Vatnajökull National Park: Discover the wonders of Vatnajokull National Park, which features glaciers, ice caves, and diverse landscapes.
  • East or West Fjords: Depending on your interests, consider exploring the more remote and less-visited West Fjords for unique scenery and local culture. It’s been said that there is a magical aura around them. Or visit the East fjords for their astonishing mountains and beaches.

Extended Visit (8-10+ Days):

With more time you can experience a diverse range of landscapes, including waterfalls, glaciers, hot springs, volcanic landscapes, and coastal areas.

Driving in Iceland
A self-drive road trip is the best way to experience Iceland

  • Ring Road: Embark on a journey around the Ring Road, which offers a comprehensive tour of the entire island. This allows you to experience a diverse range of landscapes, including volcanic areas, geysers, fjords, and more.
  • Akureyri and North Iceland: Visit Akureyri, Iceland's second-largest city, and explore the attractions in North Iceland, such as Lake Myvatn and the Goðafoss waterfall.

  • Westfjords: For a more off-the-beaten-path experience, venture into the Westfjords, known for its dramatic cliffs, remote fishing villages, and stunning scenery.

  • Hiking and Outdoor Activities: If you enjoy outdoor activities, consider hiking in various national parks, exploring ice caves, and taking part in adventure tours.

Hiking in Iceland
Hiking is a wonderful way to really enjoy Iceland's nature and natural wonders

Before planning your trip, consider the specific attractions and activities that interest you, as well as the time of year you'll be visiting. Some activities, such as ice cave tours, are seasonal, and road accessibility can be different in winter compared to summer. Additionally, if you plan to drive the Ring Road, it's important to factor in sufficient time for travel and exploration. Keep in mind that Iceland's weather can be unpredictable, and road conditions can vary, especially during winter. Also, the summer months offer longer daylight hours for exploration. For tips on how to drive in Iceland you can look at our article about how to survive driving in Iceland.

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