7 Days in Iceland: Ultimate 7 Days Iceland Itinerary (With Maps)

7-8 Days in Iceland: Itinerary (With Maps)

If you are about to organize a trip to Iceland, wouldn’t it be really fantastic to be able to have at your complete disposal a tested travel itinerary to use, from which to take inspiration?

Then you will like to know that in the following lines you will find a  7-8 day itinerary in Iceland (depending on the landing and departure times) which includes a complete tour of the island, following the Hringvegur, or route 1.

Before moving on to the program day by day, however, I would like to answer some questions that many of you have asked me, hoping that they will be useful to clarify your ideas or resolve any doubts (if you had any).

1) How to get around in Iceland?

The best way to get around Iceland is by car, in order to fully enjoy the beauty of the island (don’t forget to take out a policy for stones on the windscreen).

By following the Hringvegur, Iceland’s main road, you can also go full circle.

However, consider that if you want to organize your trip to Iceland by public transport, this is the company to organize your trips by bus, even if I advise against it especially in the winter months.

2) How many kilometers is it to travel around Iceland?

The Hringvegur or Ring Road allows you to go around the island in just 1,339 kilometres, with crazy panoramas to admire from the window or desolate expanses in which to get out of the car and feel incredibly alive.

Be careful not to press too hard on the accelerator: reindeer or other animals can pop out at any moment and the wind could “help” you steer, even when you don’t want to.

Pay particular attention to gusts of wind when you pass a car or truck in the opposite direction.

3) How many days do I need to go around Iceland?

7-8 days is the minimum I recommend if you want to go around Iceland.

Keep in mind that while road conditions will slow you down in winter, it will be the high number of tourists that will slow you down in summer.

If you have more time on your hands, I recommend you switch to the 10-day Iceland tour to enjoy more attractions and at a more leisurely pace.

4) Is the Icelandic Ring Road passable even in winter?

Yes, the Icelandic Ring Road is cleaned even in winter and as a result, you shouldn’t have any problems following this route.

Remember, however, that you are in a place where the weather changes rapidly and in winter the roads could be closed due to heavy snowfall or strong winds.

Pay attention and make sure you have enough time for any unexpected events.

The itinerary that you will find in the following lines took place in winter, at the end of February.

Precisely because of the complexity of this period, you will have no problem bringing it back even in the spring, summer and autumn months.

However, know that during a winter trip it is better to focus on the south of the island, perhaps following a 5-day tour in Iceland around the capital, which still contains the main attractions of this magnificent land.

Don’t forget that there are very few daylight hours in December, so customize your itinerary based on the exact time you’re going.

Complete Iceland Itinerary 7 Days

Premise: following the itinerary that you will find in the following lines is quite demanding.

As you will see in the day-to-day guide, you may need to be in the car for quite some time.

This route is purely indicative (however, I have tested it and it is feasible), but you could consider it as a starting point for organizing your trip.

Alternatively, at the bottom of the article you can find other PDF itineraries that could satisfy your requests if you have more days available, divided by season.

Continue reading to discover the 7 or 8 days Iceland itinerary with the day-by-day map and the best activities based on the season in which you will go.

Day 1: Arrive in Iceland

To start your adventure journey in Iceland, I suggest you start slowly: as soon as you arrive at Keflavík airport, pick up your rental car and then head to the Guest House where you will spend the night.

Remember that this area is known for the presence of the volcano near Mount Fagradalsfjall famous for having erupted for several months in 2021 and restarted again in August 2022.

Overnight Mar Guesthouse – Grindavík. Accommodation with kitchen. About 20 minutes by car from the airport.

Get the day 1 itinerary on Google Maps.

Day 2: Golden Circle and Waterfalls

On this second day of the 7/8 day Iceland itinerary we are off to a really great start!

Today I suggest you visit the Golden Circle to get a taste of what you will see on this amazing journey.

Let’s get one thing straight first: What is the Golden Circle?

The Golden Circle is one of the most popular tourist destinations, because a short distance from the capital, Reykjavík, it is possible to visit three important attractions: Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geyser and the Gullfoss waterfall.

Depart early in the morning to reach Thingvellir National Park as the sun is about to rise.

The park is now included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

It is one of Iceland’s best-known national parks, highly regarded for its spectacular geysers and remarkable scenic beauty.

It rises in a point of great geological interest, on the Icelandic rift valley: this is the point where the American and European plates move away from each other.

The most exciting thing that a diving lover can think of doing here is definitely diving in the Silfra fault (activity that can be done all year round), in the middle of the two continental tectonic plates.

The largest lake in the country is also located in the park.

Following the indications you arrive directly at the parking lot (for a fee) and after a few steps, you are right in the park.

Here it is possible to witness a breathtaking sunrise and cross the suggestive walkway that divides the 2 tectonic plates.

7 days Iceland itinerary

To reach the next destination it is necessary to get back in the car and after about half an hour you will be able to witness one of the most unique phenomena of the island: the area of ​​the erupting Geysir springs.

There are many geysers in the Haukadalur valley, but the most famous is Geysir, after which all geysers are named.

As soon as you get out of the car, you may smell a very strong smell of sulfur.

A short distance from the parking lot, you can see Strokkur erupting with your own eyes: it’s a smaller geyser than Geysir, but still crazy.

And Geysir? Geysir once erupted jets of water up to 80 meters high, but unfortunately today it doesn’t erupt anymore.

Tourists used to throw stones inside to try to make it erupt in their presence.

Due to the huge amount of stones thrown inside, today, unfortunately, it no longer erupts.

Strokkur, on the other hand, does this regularly every 4-8 minutes.

7 days Iceland itinerary

The next stage of our 8-day Iceland itinerary is located about ten kilometers from Geysir.

The third and final stop on the Golden Circle is one of Iceland’s most beautiful and impressive waterfalls.

Gullfoss, the golden cascade (Gull = gold, foss = waterfall).

It is a waterfall formed by two jumps that disappear into a narrow and deep canyon.

Without a doubt one of the most impressive waterfalls! The double jump, visible from two different locations, and the color of the water make it a spectacle of nature.

It is accessed from a large parking lot that overlooks it and from a small, not at all demanding staircase.

Here the wind can be very strong, so as to lift the frozen pieces of snow and use them as whips on the face.

Following the route, you can stop to admire, but above all listen to, the power of the water.

8 days in Iceland itinerary

In the afternoon, leave for Vík, the place where I suggest you spend the night.

On the way you will meet some beautiful waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui and Skógafoss.

Their dimensions are not even remotely comparable to those of Gullfoss, but they are still two very pleasant places, which I recommend you include in your 7 days Iceland itinerary.

The (paid) parking lot at both waterfalls is easily visible from the street.

You then walk along a small path, and immediately the waterfall appears before your eyes.

The two waterfalls are about half an hour away by car.

In this journey it is possible to notice other (less large) waterfalls right from the car.

If the wind is strong, standing under the waterfall is a bit like being in the shower.

Especially in winter, some areas could be delimited by the CLOSED sign, due to the danger caused by the possible fall of large pieces of ice.

Never underestimate the danger, especially if it is well signposted!

Overnight in Vík at Guesthouse Carina or at Hotel Vík í Mýrdal (I advise you to book in advance as accommodation in Vík is sold like hot cakes).

Iceland itinerary

Get the day 2 itinerary on Google Maps.

Remember : taking out travel insurance will save you having to pay the cost of the ticket (which no, it’s not cheap at all) in case you need treatment in Iceland.

It’s just a few extra eros which won’t make a huge difference to your travel budget, but will avoid a lot of problems.

Day 3: Black Beach and Glacier Lagoon

Early departure from your accommodation in Vík in the direction of the great promontory of Dyrholaey, a seabird sanctuary (from May to August you can indeed see puffins here).

The place offers magnificent sceneries between the ocean and the black lava beaches.

Then head to Reynisfjara: one of Iceland’s main attractions, a unique black beach in the world.

These two places are very close, from the promontory you can see the beach and vice versa, but to get right to the beach you need to use the car.

I recommend arriving early in the morning and spending the whole morning on the Dyrholaey and Reynisfjara headland.

The panorama that can be seen on reaching the beach is nothing short of breathtaking: two majestic stacks emerge from the fog and then flow into the sea.

In front of all this, however, words are not needed.

I can’t deny that this has been one of my favorite Icelandic destinations, perhaps precisely because of the sense of peace felt in front of that immensity.

Iceland itinerary - things to do

Around 12:00 we drive back to the Svínafellsjökull glacier.

Following the signs you will come to a dirt road which may seem not too reliable, but there is no danger! With a 4×4 car with studded tires you can pass even when it is completely frozen.

You then arrive at this small pitch in which to park your car, and after a few steps, you arrive right at the foot of the glacier.

Here the silence is deafening.

You can get very close to the glacier, and notice that it is incredibly blue.

The question arises : the water is transparent, but then why is the glacier blue?

The intense blue color of the glaciers depends on the fact that the snow that settles on the surface and then solidifies contains many spaces filled with air.

When the glacier moves, the air is released, changing the structure of the crystals, which turn blue.
Not bad right?

At the end of the day arrive at the wonderful Jökulsarlon Glacial Lagoon.

Many icebergs float in this lagoon created by the melting of the Vatnajökull ice creating a surreal landscape.

These icebergs descend more and more towards the sea, until they reach it.

The waves then wash these chunks of ice ashore, forming Diamond Beach.

A black beach completely covered with chunks of ice, which look just like diamonds – the scenery in front of your eyes will be amazing.

Even more special will be the show, if you’re lucky enough to be there on a nice day: the sun’s rays will illuminate the chunks of ice, making them sparkle just like diamonds.

Overnight: At Gerdi the village just after the glacier lagoon and 15 minutes away.

Consider staying in a room at Ekra Glacier Lagoon or a cheaper one at Reynivellir II with a shared kitchen.

Iceland itinerary - things to do

Get the day 3 itinerary on Google Maps.

Day 4: Vatnajökull Glacier

If your 7/8 day Iceland itinerary will take place approximately in the months from November to March, you can take part in an excursion inside the ice caves (in summer it may not be available due to the increase in temperatures, but still check availability).

You can book this tour inside the Vatnajökull Ice Caves.

The best time slot for the excursion is the earliest available in the morning.

In this time slot the sun’s rays illuminate the caves with a bright blue and it will also be useful to avoid them being too crowded.

At the foot of the glacier you will be provided with protective helmets and crampons, before entering the beautiful cave.

It might seem a little dark at first, but as the sun’s rays pass through the ice, they will create a unique spectacle.
The ice turns bright blue and the cave lights up.

You should also know that different caves are formed every year.

If the tour is not available because you went to Iceland in the summer, know that you can still participate in a trek on the Vatnajökull glacier, to admire the largest glacier in Europe up close, very close.

Iceland itinerary - Day 7

After the visit inside the caves, we leave towards Myvatn.

During the journey you will see the great glacier and then the beautiful Eastfjords.

You will then pass through some villages located by the sea, where the main activity is fishing.

The road is like an amusement park for those who love to drive: steep climbs and as many descents, endless and perfect roads, without even a hole but pay attention when crossing reindeers though.

Continue to the most important village in the east, Egilsstaðir (where I advise you to spend the night, in case of bad weather to travel).

You can take the coastal road along all the fjords or shorten it in some places.

If, on the other hand, you are lucky enough to find a beautiful day, I suggest that you arrive in Myvatn by evening.

Here you will meet fewer people, and the climate will be cooler.

After an amazing but exhausting journey, head to your chosen hotel for the night.

Hotel? Yes, I did say hotel!

You could choose yet another guest house, but at this point in your journey you deserve a hotel!

Overnight at Laxá Hótel  with call to room in case of Northern Lights sighting (visible from September to March).
What to ask for more?

Pernottamento: al Laxá Hotel and al  Laxárdalur Cabin.

Get the itinerary for day 4 on Google Maps.

Day 5: Dettifoss and Sellfoss Waterfalls

In the morning, leave for Húsavik, considered the whale-watching capital of Iceland.

And guess what the scheduled activity will be today? A tour to see whales.

At the end of the excursion you return to Myvatn, but not before stopping in Ásbyrgi, the Refuge of the Gods, which is a 3.5 km long and 1.1 km wide canyon surrounded by majestic rock walls 100 m high.

The route then leads around the Tjörnes peninsula, one of the best-known geological locations in the country.

Layers of fossil shells and lignite can be found on the coastal cliffs.

Colonies of puffins and other seabirds nest on the cliffs along the east coast (remember, May through August only).

If waterfalls are never enough for you, make a final stop at Dettifoss.

Dettifoss means “waterfall that ruins”, and in fact it is quite impressive: 44 meters high, over 100 meters wide.

In this area the wind can be very strong, so much so that it is difficult to reach it.

Here you have a strong testimony to the power of nature and water.

But be careful : the road 864 that google maps often suggests, is an “F” road, that is an Icelandic mountain road that you can only travel with a 4×4 car.

If you don’t have a 4×4, take route 862 from the opposite side of the canyon.

This will take you to the west side of the waterfall instead of the east side.

If, on the other hand, you want to take the F864, you can find the opening dates for the mountain roads here.

Overnight : Laxá Hótel or Laxárdalur Cabin  (second night).

Iceland itinerary - what to do

Get the day 5 itinerary on Google Maps.

Day 6: Hot springs, Terme e Godafoss

The first stop on the sixth day of the Iceland itinerary is Hverir : the smoking land, that is, a sulphurous area included in the geothermal area of ​​the Krafla volcano.

Getting off the car you begin to walk among the various fumes and craters of the small volcanoes scattered across the field.

Some signs warn of the risk of getting burned, because the sludge and the steam reach 80/100 degrees Celsius.
Considering that I don’t think you really want to untie your shoes, follow the path and avoid the cordoned-off areas.

This is a real show of bubbling water and mud and smoking earth! Walking in this land, however, it will be very easy to get your shoes and even your pants dirty with mud, so I suggest you bring a change for the day.

things to do in Iceland

By evening the itinerary plans to leave Myvatn, so I recommend savoring all that this enchanted place still has to offer.

So take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the unmissable Myvatn Nature Baths, the must-try spas during a trip here.

They are only 5 minutes away from the Hverir area.

The ideal time for entry is 12:00 – 13:00 when the toilets are less crowded.

The characteristics of the water are unique: it contains a large quantity of minerals, it is alkaline and well suited for bathing.

Geothermal water in Iceland usually contains some sulfur. Therefore you should avoid taking brass or silver jewelery into the water.

However, sulfur is considered to have a positive effect on asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Once you’ve gotten over the shock of stepping from the changing rooms into boiling water in your swimsuit, you’ll realize that it’s actually great soaking in it, but the quintessentially Icelandic wind might not leave you.

The “trick” is simply not to get wet from the chin up.

You can add one more stop to this 7/8 day Iceland itinerary: in the afternoon you can climb the Hverfjall volcano.

Following the indications you will arrive at a parking lot.

Most people stop there seeing the rocky and difficult path continue, but you must know that you can get even closer, up to the very foot of the volcano.

Arrived at the foot of the crater you will find yourself in front of a path that leads to the top.
A not too demanding climb, steep but short.

Once above you will have the opportunity to walk around the crater in its entire circumference.
A guaranteed show!

what to do in Iceland

Leave Myvatn and go to Goðafoss waterfall : one of the best known and most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland.
Goðafoss in Icelandic means waterfall of the Gods and is an unmissable stop and to be included in your itinerary!

Here you are catapulted into a magical scenario, at times fairy-tale, absolutely Viking, pristine and peaceful.

You can park a few steps from the waterfall.

It is also possible to admire the waterfall both to its right, in this case from a terrace, and to its left, standing very close to the water (remember that during the autumn and winter seasons, this is also a great spot to see the aurora borealis in Iceland ).

what to do in Iceland a week

If you are looking for a truly complete experience in Iceland with a volcano theme to live in the summer, you should consider including this tour in your itinerary: excursion to the Askja volcano.

You will be able to reach the top of a volcano located near Myvatn and dive into the natural thermal waters that reach 30ºC.

This tour will take you all day, so consider adding a day here to your itinerary, or replacing activities with this one more complete.

1 week in Iceland

Conclude the day by reaching Akureyri.

In the evening you can take the opportunity to go hunting for the northern lights (in the months from September to March), leaving the city.

OvernightTown Square Apartments in Akureyri.

Get the day 6 itinerary on Google Maps.

Day 7: Akureyri and Grundarfjörður

In the morning visit of your choice what Akureyri has to offer.

Akureyri is a city at the foot of the Eyjafjörður fjord in northern Iceland. In the center stands the church.T he square offers views of the fjord.

Nearby the Akureyri Art Museum exhibits contemporary works, not just Icelandic.

To the south is the botanical garden, which houses specimens from all over Iceland.

The exhibits at the nearby Akureyri Museum tell the story of the place through the ages, from Viking times to today.

The wooded area of ​​Kjarnaskógur to the south offers walking trails, a playground, picnic areas and a camouflaged bird-watching hut.

West of the city is Hlíðarfjall, one of the largest ski resorts in Iceland, with cross-country ski trails and steep slopes.

In the early afternoon we then leave for Grundarfjörður (about 5 hours by car).

Grundarfjörður is a municipality in the Vesturland region of Iceland.

Nearby Kirkjufell mountain is one of Iceland’s most photographed spots (both day and night with the aurora above).

Overnight : Hamrahlíð 9 Guesthouse or Hellnafell Apartment in a spectacular location.

1 week Iceland itinerary

Get the itinerary for day 7 on Google Maps.

Day 8: Geothermal Spring

Spend your last day in Iceland in Reykjavík visiting the Icelandic capital or spending time relaxing in the Sky Lagoon, a thermal pool overlooking the ocean, or in the waters of the Blue Lagoon.

OvernightMar Guesthouse in Grindavík to be in the vicinity of Keflavík airport.

Get the itinerary for day 8 on Google Maps.

Here is the link to the complete map of this itinerary.

Did this 7/8 day travel Iceland itinerary inspire you?

If so, I’d be really happy! Remember, however, that this tour in Iceland simply wants to be a starting point to help you plan your trip based on your personal tastes and needs, even if, as I already told you, I followed it this way.

Do you need some tips or advice to customize it? Leave your comment below and I will gladly help you.

Are you going to Iceland? Read also:

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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