10 Days Iceland Itinerary (With Stops and Maps)
Do you have 10 days available and want to treat yourself to a do-it-yourself tour of Iceland?
Well, what can I tell you except that you’ve come up with a really great idea? I have prepared something that will save you a lot of work and make planning easier.
In the following lines, in fact, you will find an itinerary to be exploited in the spring and summer months, approximately from April to September.
Also remember that in the final section you will find a section dedicated to useful advice.
If you don’t find an answer to your doubts, you can leave a comment at the bottom of the article and I will answer you as soon as possible.
10-Day Iceland itinerary
During this 10-day trip you will follow the Ring Road, or road 1.
This will allow you to see the main attractions of Iceland, such as the Golden Circle, Jökulsárlón glacier, black beach and diamond beach in the south, but also get to know the wilder and less touristy side of the north of the island, reaching Mývatn and Akureyri, the beautiful peninsula of Snæfellsnes and the capital, Reykjavík.
Of course, the best activities of the season will not be missing, such as trekking on glaciers, thermal baths, excursions to see puffins and whales.
In the map below you can see the main stops of this 10 days tour in Iceland.
After giving it a quick look, scroll below to discover the itinerary day by day.
Day 1: Volcano and Golden Circle
The first stop on this 10-day Iceland tour is the Fagradalsfjall á Reykjanesi volcano, near the airport.
Then go to the most famous attraction in Iceland (thanks also to its location): the Golden Circle and visit the attractions that make it up.
Stroll through Thingvellir National Park, watch the Geysers erupt and marvel at the impressive Gullfoss waterfall.
These attractions are literally a stone’s throw away from the road and are often packed with travellers.
Leaving early in the morning could prove to be a winning choice.
Near the geysers you will also find a place where you can stop for lunch if you wish.
For overnight stays, check availability at the cheap Efra-Sel hostel or evaluate these charming Au44 cottages.
Get the day 1 itinerary on Google Maps.
Day 2: Waterfalls, Black Beach and Vík
In the morning visit Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls .
These waterfalls are right next to the road, and while they’re not the only ones you’ll come across on this route, it’s arguably the most famous.
In particular, Seljalandsfoss is known for the possibility of being able to walk behind its jet of water.
Continue to Dyrhólaey headland (one of the best places to see puffins during May to August) and Vík’s black beach , Reynisfjara.
Visit the small town of Vík, where I suggest you spend the night at Guesthouse Carina or Hótel Kría.
Get the day 2 itinerary on Google Maps.
Day 3: Jökulsarlon and Diamond Beach
Continue on day three of this 10-day Iceland tour by heading to Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon.
Here you will be able to admire the more or less large pieces of icebergs that have detached from the Vatnajökull glacier, the largest in Europe, floating.
Across the road you reach Diamond Beach, where chunks of ice are deposited on the black sand shore by the waves of the sea.
During the day, you can also participate in the trekking on the Vatnajökull glacier, choosing the 5 or 3 hour route.
I assure you that walking on a glacier is an experience that is worth the trip in itself! Overnight in Höfn at the Höfn Guesthouse or Hotel Edda.
Get the day 3 itinerary on Google Maps.
Remember: the health card in case of emergency can be used in Iceland (bring it with you!), but it does not cover the cost of the co-payment which can be requested based on the treatments you may need.
Even any air medical repatriation will be completely at your expense if you have not taken out an insurance policy before departure.
But the nice thing is that a policy costs less than what we are used to believing!
I am confident it can be an additional incentive that will help you make the wisest decision.
Day 4: Fjords, Waterfalls and Stuðlagil Canyon
Departure in the morning towards Egilsstaðir: take the shortest route or continue along the coast, to better enjoy the landscape of the fjords of East Iceland.
Make your way to the basalt-rocked Litlanesfoss and Hengifoss waterfalls, but above all, don’t miss the Stuðlagil Canyon.
Then spend the night in the only accommodation near the canyon, the Studlagil Canyon Country Home, but remember that if you don’t find availability you will have to continue to Modrudalur and stay at the Modrudalur á Fjollum (unfortunately there are not many accommodations in this area).
Get the itinerary for day 4 on Google Maps.
Day 5: Waterfall, Hot Springs and Myvatn
Departure in the morning towards Myvatn.
Today’s first stop is the Dettifoss waterfall, which is generated in a canyon.
Pay attention to the road you take to reach Dettifoss: the F864 is only passable with a 4×4 car and will take you to the east side of the waterfall.
Conversely, if you don’t have a 4×4 car, take road 862 to get to the west side of the waterfall ( you can find more information and opening dates of the mountain roads on this page ).
Returning to the main road, you will encounter Hverir, today’s second stop: this is an area where the water boils and the earth smokes (you will probably get your shoes dirty and the air will smell of rotten eggs due to the sulfur smell present ).
The “visit” won’t occupy you much, so I suggest you then enter the Myvatn Nature Baths, to give yourself an afternoon of well-deserved rest to celebrate the halfway point of this 10-day trip in Iceland.
Bring your bathrobe, towel and slippers to avoid paying the supplement and of course your swimsuit.
At the end, if you feel like it, make your own way to the crater of the Hverfjall volcano to admire the view from up there.
Treat yourself to a pampering by staying at Hotel Laxá di Myvatn o al Laxárdalur Cabin.
Get the day 5 itinerary on Google Maps.
Day 6: Askja Volcano or Whales Tour
Day dedicated to whale watching in Húsavík, or excursion to Askja Volcano (your choice).
If you’ve opted for whale watching, leave Myvatn in the morning for Húsavík, the whale-watching capital of Iceland.
Here you can join the whale watching tour lasting approximately 3 hours.
If you opt for the volcano tour, know that during the excursion to the Askja volcano (which has nothing to do with the small crater of the previous day), you and your group will climb the volcano in about 4 hours and you can reach the Askja lake and the Viti crater, where the bravest can enjoy a bath in the natural thermal waters (the water temperature fluctuates between 20 and 30°C).
Remember to bring your bathing suit and towel with you! This activity will keep you busy all day.
When you’re done, add Akureyri, where you’ll spend the night at Lava Apartments & Rooms.
If you have time, consider a stop at Goðafoss waterfall as well.
Day 7: Akureyri and Hvítserkur
Visit the town of Akureyri and, if you wish, stop by the Glaumbær Farm & Museum to learn more about Icelandic history and understand how people once lived on this very particular island.
R then add Hvítserkur, a rock in the shape of a rhinoceros, with possible sighting of seals.
To get there you will have to take a dirt road, but you will not run into any problems.
Evening arrival in Borðeyri, where you will spend the night at Tangahús Guesthouse.
Day 8: Snæfellsnes peninsula
Departure in the morning for Kirkjufellsfoss, a famous mountain in Iceland.
Spend the whole day on the beautiful peninsula of Snæfellsnes, admiring lighthouses, breathtaking cliffs and… tasting rotten shark meat! Oh yes, the first stop of this eighth day in Iceland includes the shark museum where you can both see the manufacturing process and taste the putrefied shark meat.
Continue to Mount Kirkjufell, Svörtuloft Lighthouse and Snæfellsjökull, a glacier capping Snæfell Volcano.
Then book your stay at Kirkjufell Guesthouse or Miðhraun lava resort.
Day 9: Whales and Puffins Tour
Departure in the morning towards the capital.
Join a whale watching excursion in the morning (if you haven’t already done so in Húsavík).
By this stage of your trip you will most likely have encountered their own puffins – Puffins – (which reach Iceland between May and August).
If not, spend an hour on this boat excursion to visit a colony of these birds.
By booking the early morning whale tour, you could do both .
To give you a complete overview, I would also like to point out that about 40 km from the capital to the south, there is also the Blue Lagoon, the most famous spas in Iceland.
If you wish, you can buy tickets on this site and spend the day soaking in complete relaxation.
Book your stay for two nights (this and the next) at the Grettir Guesthouse or Hotel R13 in Reykjavík.
Day 10: Lava Tunnel and Reykjavík
Start your day off right with a tour of the Raufarhólshellir lava tunnels just 30km from Reykjavík (but you won’t have to worry about a thing, as transport is included).
Alternatively, consider the tour of the Langjökull glacier cave: during this excursion you will be able to enter the ice cave even in the summer season, as it is an artificial cave.
Then visit the capital, Reykjavík, where you will spend the last night of this incredible journey at the Grettir Guesthouse or Hotel R13.
When to organize a 10-day trip to Iceland
The perfect months to organize this 10 day tour of Iceland are from May to August.
At this stage of the year there are very many hours of light in this land and you will also have a good chance of seeing the puffins that return here every year to nest.
Unfortunately you won’t be able to see the Northern Lights due to too many hours of light, but, with a little luck, you could see them as early as the second half of August.
Speaking of which, September is still a great month to follow this trip to Iceland, taking into consideration that the nights are dark enough, increasing the chances of seeing the northern lights in Iceland as well .
Prefer a guide for a winter Northern Lights hunting trip?
Then you should take a look at this 5 day tour of Iceland (in winter it is not recommended to do the complete tour of the island as you found in this 10 day tour of Iceland. It is preferable to focus on the south and around the capital ).
- Save the Icelandic site of road conditions which will report any closures, perhaps also due to too intense windy days;
- The hours of daylight in spring and summer in Iceland are long, due to the proximity to the Arctic Circle, summer nights are never dark (the sun never sets in June).
Consult the sunrise and sunset times on the page dedicated to Husavík, in the north of the island;
- If you are sensitive to light, it is advisable to pack an eye mask for sleeping;
- Rent a car to enjoy maximum freedom when moving. It is advisable to take out a policy that also covers you in the event of damage caused by stones on the windshield and bodywork (preferably fully comprehensive);
- Although in the summer season, be sure to pack clothing for any situation: the weather in Iceland changes very quickly;
- This is one of the most expensive seasons to tour Iceland: make sure you book your accommodations well in advance to save money;
We have reached the end of this 10-day itinerary in Iceland, which is really good news because now all you have to do is plan your on-the-road tour stage by stage.
Remember that a good way to save money this season is to book your accommodation in advance.
If you have any doubts or questions, leave your comment below and I will gladly answer you.
Are you going to Iceland? Read also:
- Discover all our articles about Iceland: all articles about Iceland are listed here.
- Choose where to stay in Iceland among the 10 best accommodations.
- 7 Days in Iceland: Ultimate 7-8 Day Itinerary (With Maps)
- Best Times and Places to See Northern Lights in Iceland
- Visit Iceland in Winter: 5 Days Iceland Itinerary