Julie Iceland, Itinerary 18 Comments

If you are planning a trip to Iceland, this is a great place to start. There are many different ways to plan your “perfect Iceland itinerary,” depending on your interests. Visit the highlights, road trip around the island, go off-the-beaten-path, or hike some of the best trails in Iceland. If you have 10 days in Iceland, we have four itinerary ideas for you.

For first-timers to Iceland, the Golden Circle, Reykjavík, the Blue Lagoon, and the waterfalls along the south coast usually make the “must-see” list. With 10 days in Iceland, you have enough time to visit all of these spots plus several more. How to do this is spelled out in our Highlights for First-Time Visitors itinerary.

If you like the idea of road tripping around the entire island, check out our Ring Road Itinerary.

If this is your second or third visit to Iceland, or you just like the idea of visiting quieter, less touristy destinations, take a look at our Off-the-Beaten-Path Itinerary.

For those in search of big adventures, don’t miss our 10-day Adventure Itinerary, where you will visit Landmannalaugar, Kerlingarfjöll, and hike the spectacular Fimmvörðuháls trail.

Which one will be your favorite?

About These Itineraries

It is best to do these itineraries from May through September, when the days are long and the roads are clear of snow. During the remaining months of the year, the days are just not long enough to visit everything as we have it written.

If you are interested in our Adventure Itinerary, this needs to be done from mid-June to September. The Fimmvörðuháls trail can only be hiked during this time frame.

You will need to rent a car for each of these itineraries. For the Adventure Itinerary and the Off-the-Beaten-Path Itinerary, you will need to rent a 4×4, since these itineraries involve driving on F-roads. Ideally, you should also plan to rent a 4×4 for the South Coast Highlights Itinerary, since it involves a day trip to Landmannalaugar. However, you can visit Landmannalaugar as a tour or get there by bus, and in this case, a 4×4 would not be necessary. The Ring Road Itinerary can be done without a 4×4.

For more valuable tips about visiting Iceland, including trip costs and driving tips, make sure you read our article Iceland Travel Tips: Things to Know Before You Go.

10 Day Iceland Itinerary

Here are four different ways to plan your 10-day Iceland itinerary.

#1: Highlights for First-Time Visitors

This is our “classic” Iceland itinerary, where you visit the most popular spots in Iceland.

Top destinations on this itinerary include the Blue Lagoon, Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, Kirkjufell on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, Reynisfjara Beach, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, a glacier walk, and Landmannalaugar.

10 Day Iceland Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

Day 1: Arrive in Iceland, visit the Blue Lagoon
Day 2: Kirkjufell and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 3: Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 4: Golden Circle
Day 5: Day trip to Landmannalaugar
Day 6: South Coast Sights
Day 7: Glacier Walk
Day 8: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Day 9: Reykjavík
Day 10: Fly Home

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (daily things to do and the driving route). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest. If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Day 1: Arrive in Iceland, Visit the Blue Lagoon

Flights to Iceland arrive at Keflavík International Airport, which is located on the Reykjanes peninsula. Pick up your rental car at the airport.

Instead of zipping right to Reykjavík, we recommend visiting the Blue Lagoon. From the airport, it takes 45 minutes to drive to Reykjavík but only 20 minutes to drive to the Blue Lagoon. By visiting the Blue Lagoon first, you save a lot of extra time driving and backtracking to and from Reykjavík. Plus, relaxing in the thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon is a great, low-key activity for jetlagged travelers arriving in Iceland.

Iceland Itinerary with Blue Lagoon

Sleep near the Blue Lagoon, or if you arrived into Iceland on an early flight, you could have enough time to visit the Blue Lagoon midday and then spend the evening in Reykjavík.

Day 2: Kirkjufell and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Today is the first of two days that you have to spend on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. From the Blue Lagoon, it is a 3-hour drive to get to the peninsula.

Optional Detour: If you are a hiker or want to visit one of Iceland’s tallest waterfalls, consider hiking to Glymur waterfall. It’s a fun hike and can easily be added on to this day. Click here to learn more.

Black sand beaches, waterfalls, volcanoes, remote lighthouses, lava fields, street art, some of the most dramatic coastal cliffs in Iceland, and of course, iconic Kirkjufell…these are the things you will see on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.




Iceland Lighthouse

Svortuloft Lighthouse

For the best things to do, where to stay and where to eat, read our article 20 Best Things to do on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Day 3: Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Spend today touring the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, visiting the places that you did not get to yesterday.

In the afternoon, drive to the Golden Circle. On the Golden Circle, there are several small towns you can choose as your home base. We stayed in Fludir which was very handy for touring the Golden Circle and day tripping to Landmannalaugar.

Day 4: The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is a 300 km (186 mile) loop that connects three of Iceland’s most popular spots: Gullfoss, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Thingvellir National Park. To visit all three of these places, it takes about 5 to 7 hours, depending on how quickly you move.

Iceland Itinerary with Golden Circle


The Golden Circle doesn’t fill an entire day. You can either use the remaining time to relax or add on one or more of these destinations:

  • Brúarfoss is waterfall that is famous for its sky blue color.
  • The Kerid Crater is a 3,000 year old volcanic crater that is filled with water. This is a quick and easy add on to your Golden Circle tour.
  • The Secret Lagoon is a hot spring that has become so popular that it’s no longer a secret. But if you like hot springs, this would be a relaxing way to end the day.

Day 5: Landmannalaugar Day Trip

Landmannalaugar is famous for its colorful rhyolite mountains and epic day hikes. Geothermal hot springs, lava fields, and unique hiking trails attract adventurous travelers all summer long.

If you are a hiker, this will be one of your highlights on a trip to Iceland. But you don’t have to be big into hiking to enjoy this day trip. The landscapes at Landmannalaugar are extraordinary, and to journey into the highlands of Iceland will most likely be one of the most memorable days of this trip.

Iceland Itinerary with Landmannalaugar

Click here to read our Landmannalaugar Guide and learn how to get here, what to expect, and which hikes to do. Hikes range from short, easy strolls to strenuous mountain climbs, so there is something here for everyone.

On the drive back to the Golden Circle, don’t miss Sigöldugljufur and/or Háifoss waterfalls, gorgeous waterfalls that are relatively easy detours to add on to today.

Best 10 Day Iceland Itinerary


Day 6: South Coast

Today you will tour the highlights of the south coast of Iceland. This is the day where you will visit several of Iceland’s most famous and recognizable spots.

Here are the top places to visit, in order as you drive from the Golden Circle towards Vik:

  • Seljalandsfoss
  • Gljúfrabúi
  • Skógafoss
  • Dyrholaey Lighthouse and Arch
  • Reynisfjara black sand beach

For the full list of places to visit, plus tips to have the best experience, read our post 20 Best Things to do on the  South Coast of Iceland.



Tonight, sleep in Vík.

Day 7: Walk on a Glacier

Glacier hiking was one of our favorite experiences in Iceland. There are a lot of ways to do this, depending on your activity and adventure level. Tours can range from short, 3-hour, easy walks to all day hikes where you use crampons, an ice axe, and even do a little ice climbing.

On the south coast, there are two places to walk on a glacier. Sólheimajökull is a popular spot for day trippers from Reykjavík. But for an epic experience, walk on Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe.

To do this, you will drive to Skaftafell and spend the day on the glacier. We did a five-hour tour with Arctic Adventures where we got to spend three hours on Vatnajökull glacier. We walked through crevasses and climbed up and over huge chunks of ice.

Iceland Itinerary with Glacier Walk


Afterwards, you can add on the hike to Svartifoss, a beautiful waterfall that features black, volcanic basalt columns.

10 Day Iceland Itinerary Svartifoss

Tonight, sleep near Skaftafell.

Day 8: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

In the morning, make the short drive to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. This is a beautiful place and hopefully you will have better weather than we did.

You can view the lagoon from the parking lot, but for a better experience, consider joining a kayaking or zodiac boat tour of the lagoon.

Kayaking Iceland


Just a short drive away from Jökulsárlón is Diamond Beach. Chunks of ice from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon wash up onto this black sand beach, creating an extremely photogenic spot.

Diamond Beach Iceland


Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon, a lesser known but arguably more beautiful glacier lagoon than Jökulsárlón, is also worth a visit. It’s just a short drive from Diamond Beach and free to visit.


From Fjallsárlón, drive back to Reykjavík. On the way, stop at Fjaðrárgljúfur, also called the Feather River Canyon.

Drive to Reykjavík and get settled into your hotel. You will spend two nights here.

Day 9: Reykjavík

Spend the day exploring Reykjavík. Places to visit include Hallsgrímkirkja church, Harpa concert hall, go shopping on Laugavegur Street, see the Sun Voyager sculpture, visit Perlan Museum, and check out the colorful graffiti.

Reykjavik Iceland

The view from Hallgrímskirkja

We had some great meals in Reykjavík. 101 Reykjavik Street Food was one of our favorite spots. Eat stews and fish and chips that are delicious and budget friendly. Ostabudin and Messinn are also very good.

Sleep in Reykjavík.

Day 10: Fly Home

Drive to the airport, return your rental car, and fly home (or continue on to your next destination).

Read the full itinerary, get recommendations on where to stay, and get average trip costs:

10 Day Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

#2: 10 Day Ring Road Iceland Itinerary

The Ring Road is the main road that makes a loop around the entire island. It is 1,332 km (828 miles) long and can be driven in just a few days. However, you will need more time for detours.

On this itinerary, you will spend 10 days road tripping around the circumference of Iceland. It’s a busy itinerary with a lot of one night stays in hotels or campgrounds, but you will get to see a lot of Iceland.

Places you will visit on this itinerary include Reykjavík, the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, Reynisfjara Beach, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, a glacier walk, Höfn and the Stokksnes Peninsula, east Iceland, Mývatn, Dettifoss and Selfoss, whale watching in northern Iceland, Godafoss, Kirkjufell, and Glymur Waterfall.

A 4×4 is not necessary for this itinerary, but if you have one, you will be able to get to a few off-the-beaten-path destinations that we mention in this itinerary.

10 Day Ring Road Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Iceland, Blue Lagoon
Day 2: Glymur Waterfall, Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 3: Drive to North Iceland
Day 4: Godafoss and Whale Watching
Day 5: Mývatn, Dettifoss & Selfoss
Day 6: East Iceland
Day 7: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Glacier Walk
Day 8: South Coast Highlights
Day 9: Golden Circle
Day 10: Reykjavík

Day 1 & 2: Blue Lagoon, Glymur, Snaefellsnes Peninsula

This itinerary starts off the same as our South Coast Highlights itinerary (above). Spend your first day in Iceland at the Blue Lagoon with the option to spend the night in Reykjavík.

On day 2, drive north towards the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. On the way, you have the option to add on the hike to Glymur waterfall or visit Glanni, Hraunfoss and Barnafoss waterfalls. Spend the remainder of the day touring the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

10 Day Iceland Itinerary Snaefellsnes

Gatklettur Arch on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Day 3: Drive to North Iceland

This is a big driving day, with it roughly taking 5 hours to get from the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to Akureyri.

In the morning, you can visit any remaining sights on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula that you did not get to yesterday, but just be mindful of the time.

On the drive to Akureyri, make the quick detour to Hvitserkur, a wild, unique looking chunk of black rock on the beach that makes an interesting photo spot.

In Glumbaer, you can visit the historic turf houses.

Spend the remainder of the day exploring Akureyri. Sleep in Akureyri.

Day 4: Godafoss and Whale Watching

Spend the morning at Godafoss, one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls. A visit here typically lasts about an hour and you can see the waterfall from both sides of the river.


If you want to go off-the-beaten-path and have a 4×4, consider adding on a visit to Aldeyjarfoss and Hrafnabjargafoss. These two waterfalls are spectacular and they are located in an ancient lava field in what feels like the middle of nowhere. This detour adds on 3 hours and 90 km to this day. Click here to learn more.



In the afternoon, go whale watching from Húsavík, the best place in Iceland to go whale watching.

Sleep in Mývatn.

Day 5: Myvatn & Dettifoss

In the morning, I recommend visiting Dettifoss and Selfoss, before they get overly crowded.

Dettifoss is Europe’s most powerful waterfall. Selfoss is a smaller but more elegant waterfall located just upriver. Click here to learn more.




Iceland Itinerary Ring Road


Spend the rest of the day touring the sights in Mývatn. Visit the Mývatn Nature Baths, the geothermal area of Hverir, walk through the Dimmuborgir lava field, hike to the top of Hverfjall crater, visit the Grjótagjá Cave (a Game of Thrones filming site), or walk among the pseudocraters of Mývatn.

Grjotagja Cave

Grjótagjá Cave

Sleep in Mývatn.

Day 6: East Iceland

This is one of the longest driving days on this itinerary. Essentially, you drive from north Iceland to southeast Iceland, with the option for several detours along the way.

This is a very pretty drive, especially once you hit the coast between Djupivogur and Höfn. Here are three detours you can add to the day.

Stuðlagil Canyon. Before and during our visit to Iceland, we kept seeing photos of this amazing canyon. While we were in Iceland, we never could figure out the name or the location of this canyon. Well, now we know, and I’m sad we missed it, since it is just a short detour off of the Ring Road. Stuðlagil Canyon is located on Route 1 before you get to Egilsstaðir.

Rjúkandi Waterfall. This waterfall is located right on the Ring Road, near the turn off for Stuðlagil Canyon.

See the puffins at Borgarfjörður eystri. Walk on boardwalk trails and viewing platforms, allowing you to get up close with the puffins without damaging their burrows. Click here to learn more.

Iceland Puffins


Just before arriving in Höfn, you will pass the small but incredibly scenic Stokksnes peninsula. If you are doing good on time, this is a great little detour. 


Your day ends once you reach Höfn. Check into your hotel and have dinner. We had an amazing dinner at Pakkhus Restaurant but Otto Restaurant and the Ishusid Pizzeria are also great options.

Sleep in Höfn.

Day 7: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Glacier Walk

Today you will spend the day at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Skaftafell. While here, you can go kayaking or take a zodiac boat tour of Jokulsarlon, walk on a glacier, visit Diamond Beach and Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and hike to Svartifoss waterfall. If you do everything on this list, it will be a big day, but with some advance planning, it is possible.

Tonight, sleep near Skaftafell.

Day 8: South Coast Highlights

Today, road trip down the south coast, visiting the highlights. These include:

  • Fjaðrárgljúfur
  • Reynisfjara black sand beach
  • Dyrholaey Lighthouse and Arch
  • Skogafoss and Waterfall Way
  • Gljúfrabúi
  • Seljalandsfoss






Tonight, sleep on the Golden Circle.

Day 9: The Golden Circle

Spend the day touring the three main sights on the Golden Circle: Gullfoss, Geysir, and Thingvellir National Park. If you have the energy, you can add on the Secret Lagoon, Kerid Crater, or Brúarfoss waterfall.

Geysir Iceland

Strokkur geyser

Tonight, sleep in Reykjavík.

Day 10: Reykjavík

Visit the highlights of Reykjavík and end the day with a nice dinner. Ostabudin and Messinn were our two favorite dinner spots.

Sleep in Reykjavík and fly home (or continue your travels) tomorrow.

Read the full itinerary, get recommendations on where to stay, and get average trip costs:

Iceland Ring Road Itinerary: The Ultimate Road Trip

#3: Off-the-Beaten-Path

This itinerary is perfect if you have already been to Iceland and hit the highlights. On this 10-day Iceland itinerary, you will visit the Westfjords, go on a scenic drive along the north coast, and drive through the center of Iceland, visiting Kerlingarfjöll on the way.

10 Day Off-the-Beaten-Path Iceland Itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavík
Day 2: Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Day 3: Westfjords
Day 4: Westfjords
Day 5: North Iceland
Day 6: Whale Watching
Day 7: Kerlingarfjöll
Day 8: Kerlingarfjöll
Day 9: Westman Islands
Day 10: Fly home

Day 1: Reykjavík

Pick up your rental car from the airport and spend your first day in Reykjavík.

Day 2: Snaefellsnes Peninsula

In the morning, drive north to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and spend the day road tripping around the peninsula.

10 Day Iceland Itinerary Suggestions

Black church of Budir

For the best things to do and to get suggestions on where to stay, read our article about the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Iceland Itinerary Places to go

Port Arnarstapi on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Days 3 and 4: Westfjords

The Westfjords are a remote, underrated area of Iceland. Dramatic scenery, quiet roads, and amazing hiking trails can be found here.

On your first day, drive up from the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, drive the scenic coastal roads and visit the amazing Latrabjarg cliffs (a great place to spot puffins in the summer months), Raudisandur beach, and Dynjandi waterfall. Spend the night in Ísafjörður, the largest town on the peninsula.

On day 2, you can take a tour into Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, where you go hiking, spot more puffins, and even see Arctic Fox. Click here for a great one-day tour of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.

Sleep in Ísafjörður.

Day 5: North Iceland

Today you start in the Westfjords and end in Akureyri. On the drive, make the detour to the rocky formation of Hvitserkur and the turf houses at Glumbaer.

For a beautiful drive, take the scenic route around the Tröllaskagi Peninsula, where you will see mountains and glacial valleys, small coastal towns and fishing villages.

The road trip ends in Akureyri where you will spend the next two nights.

Day 6: Whale Watching in Húsavík

From Akureyri, it is just a short drive north to Húsavík, one of the best places in Iceland to go whale watching.

After whale watching, you could explore Ásbyrgi canyon, visit Dettifoss and Selfoss, visit the sights in Mývatn, or see Godafoss. Aldeyjarfoss and Hrafnabjargafoss and two wonderful off-the-beaten-path waterfalls to visit.

Sleep in Akureyri.

Day 7: Kerlingarfjöll

Kerlingarfjöll, located in the central highlands of Iceland, is a geothermal wonderland of steaming vents, boiling mud pools, and rainbow-colored hot springs.

To get here, you will drive on empty, gravelly F-roads into the center of Iceland. Hike some of the most unique trails in the country and spend the night in the quiet, remote hamlet of cabins and campgrounds.

Kerlingarfjoll Mountain Resort

Kerlingarfjöll Mountain Resort


Iceland Itinerary with Kerlingarfjoll

Today, drive down to Kerlingarfjöll, go hiking and exploring, and spend the night here, either in a cabin or at the campground.

Day 8: Kerlingarfjöll

Spend the morning at Kerlingarfjöll and then continue the journey to the south coast of Iceland. You will pass through the Golden Circle, so you have the option to visit sights on the Golden Circle along the drive.

Sleep on the south coast between Hvolsvöllur and Skógar.

Day 9: Westman Islands

Heimaey Island is the largest of the Westman islands and it is the only island that is inhabited. This makes a great day trip destination from the south coast.

The main reason why people visit Heimaey Island is to see the puffins. More Atlantic puffins nest here than anywhere else in the world.

While you are here, see the puffins, hike to the top of Eldman Mountain, take a boat tour around the island, and visit the Eldheimar Museum

How to get to Heimaey Island: Take the ferry from Landeyjahöfn, on the south coast, to Heimaey Island. It takes 35 minutes to get to the island. Book your tickets in advance because they do sell out.

Sleep in Reykjavík or near the airport.

Day 10: Fly home

Fly home or continue your travels.

#4: 10 Day Adventure Itinerary

This is the ultimate adventure itinerary for Iceland. Journey into the remote Highlands, go hiking in Landmannalaugar, walk on the largest glacier in Europe, and hike the amazing Fimmvörðuháls trail. You even get to visit a few of Iceland’s biggest highlights, including the Golden Circle, south coast sights, and spend a little bit of time in Reykjavík.

This 10-day itinerary includes our four top experiences in Iceland: the Fimmvörðuháls hike, Landmannalaugar, a glacier hike, and Kerlingarfjöll.

This itinerary needs to be done between mid-June and September. You will also need to have a 4×4. Renting a 4×4 is more expensive than renting a car, but on this itinerary, you will get your money’s worth. There will be several times where you will drive on remote gravel roads.

Iceland Itinerary: 10 Days of Adventure

Day 1: Reykjavík
Day 2: Glymur waterfall
Day 3: Landmannalaugar Day Trip
Day 4: Silfra Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
Day 5: Kerlingarfjöll
Day 6: Kerlingarfjöll
Day 7: Fimmvörðuháls Hike
Day 8: Glacier walk
Day 9: South coast sights
Day 10: Fly home

Day 1: Arrive in Iceland, Visit Reykjavík

At the airport, pick up your rental car and drive to Reykjavík.


On this itinerary, you don’t get to spend much time in Reykjavík, just this evening and the final evening of the trip. Reykjavík is a cool city, but the best of Iceland isn’t found in its cities and towns. The best of Iceland is found in its landscapes and waterfalls and glaciers and hiking trails, and that’s where you will spend the majority of your time on this itinerary.

Spend the night in Reykjavík.

Day 2: Glymur Waterfall

In the morning, hike to Glymur Waterfall.

Glymur Waterfall

In the afternoon, you will have enough time to visit some or all of the sights on the Golden Circle, depending on how fast you move. I recommend saving Gullfoss, since you will drive right past it on the way to Kerlingarfjöll, so it’s more time efficient to visit this later on this itinerary.

Sleep on the Golden Circle. You will spend three nights here, as this area makes a great home base for the day trips we have planned.

Day 3: Landmannalaugar Day Trip

Today, day trip into Landmannalaugar, one of Iceland’s best places to go hiking. The landscape, with the multi-colored rhyolite mountains and lava fields, looks like something from another planet.

Landmannalaugar Hike

Learn how to get here and how plan your day trip with our Landmannalaugar Travel Guide.

On the drive back to the Golden Circle, we recommend making a detour to Sigöldugljufur and/or Háifoss waterfalls.

Iceland Itinerary with Haifoss Waterfall


Day 4: Scuba or Snorkel at Silfra

Iceland is the only place in the world where you can dive between two tectonic plates.

Silfra is a crevasse that has opened between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. This fissure is filled with crystal clear (and very cold!) glacial water. With a visibility of over 100 meters, Silfra attracts snorkelers and scuba divers from around the world.

If you are a certified scuba diver, you can dive in Silfra. To stay warm, many divers wear a dry suit, so you will either need a Dry Suit Diver Certification or take a course once in Iceland. If you do not have a scuba certification, you can snorkel in the fissure while wearing a dry suit.

People who do this rave about it. This is still on our bucket list for Iceland, but it sounds so interesting that I couldn’t leave it off of this itinerary.

However, if swimming in icy cold waters does not interest you, you can eliminate this day and use the time to give yourself an extra day in Reykjavík or on the south coast of Iceland.

Day 5: Kerlingarfjöll

Like Landmannalaugar, Kerlingarfjöll is one of Iceland’s most interesting spots to go hiking. Hike past rust-colored mountains, steaming fumaroles, and bubbling mud pools in this very unique landscape.

Even getting here feels like an adventure, with a drive on empty F-roads into the central highlands of Iceland.

Spend the night at the Kerlingarfjöll Mountain Resort.

Day 6: Kerlingarfjöll

Spend as long as you like at Kerlingarfjöll. Once you have had your fill, it is a long drive to south coast of Iceland.

Rest up and eat well today…tomorrow is the amazing Fimmvörðuháls hike.

Day 7: Fimmvörðuháls Hike

This was our favorite experience in Iceland and one of the best day hikes we have done in the world. 26 waterfalls, 1 volcano, 2 glaciers, and 3 unique landscapes all combine for one of the most extraordinary hiking experiences on the planet.

The Fimmvörðuháls hike is a massive hike. It’s 25 km (15.5 miles) in length and done as a point-to-point hike from Skógafoss to Thórsmörk. It will take up the entire day, but what a memorable day it will be!

Skogafoss Hike

Magni and Modi

Fimmvorduhals Hike

Since it is a point-to-point hike, you will have to prearrange your transportation. In our guide, get all of the details and learn exactly what to expect on this hike.

Day 8: Glacier Walk

For another epic adventure in Iceland, spend part of the day walking on a glacier. You can drive out to Skaftafell if you want to walk on Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. Or, keep your driving to a minimum and book a glacier walk at Sólheimajökull. Learn all about what to expect and how to book the best tour in our guide to glacier hiking in Iceland. 

Iceland Glacier Walk

Day 9: South Coast Highlights

Spend the day road tripping along the south coast, visiting Seljalandsfoss, Gljúfrabúi, Skógafoss, Dyrholaey Lighthouse and Arch, and Reynisfjara black sand beach.

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Reynsifjara Beach

Tonight, spend one last night in Reykjavík, or, if you have an early flight tomorrow, consider staying near the airport.

Day 10: Fly home

Fly home or continue to your next destination.

Read the full itinerary, get recommendations on where to stay, and get average trip costs:

10 Days in Iceland: The Ultimate Adventure

Planning Your Iceland Itinerary

Here are links to our three 10 day Iceland itineraries:

Planning a longer trip? Take a look at our two-week itinerary: Two Weeks in Iceland: The Ultimate Iceland Road Trip

More Information about Iceland

TRAVEL ADVICE: Iceland Travel Tips: Things to Know Before Traveling to Iceland
REYKJAVíK DAY TRIPS: 10 Best Day Trips from Reykjavík
BEST OF ICELAND: Iceland Bucket List: 40 Epic Things to Do in Iceland
MUST-SEE WATERFALLS: 20 Beautiful Waterfalls in Iceland and How to Get There
BEST HIKING TRAILS: 10 Amazing Hikes in Iceland to Put on Your To-Do List
SNAEFELLSNES PENINSULA: 20 Best Things to do on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
LANDMANNALAUGAR: The Essential Guide to Landmannalaugar for First-Time Visitors
GLACIER HIKING: The Complete Guide to Glacier Hiking in Iceland

I also recommend you take a look at our Iceland Travel Guide, where you can find all of our articles about Iceland.

If you have any questions about these itineraries or planning a trip to Iceland, let us know in the comment section below.

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Comments 18

  1. Avatar for Nicole

    Hello! First time travelers to Iceland. My husband and I are interested in itinerary #2, the outer ring. Do you have recommendations on where to stay?
    We haven’t set days yet but hoping to be able to make the end of this July work for my birthday. I know lodging may already be pretty booked but hoping to make it work. I need help as I have no idea what I am doing since we have never been. Thanks for this awesome and helpful post!!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Nicole. We have a detailed itinerary on the Ring Road with lots of suggestions on where to stay. This is also one of the few itineraries that we have a PDF version available for purchase for a small fee. I think you will still be OK booking your accommodations. There should hopefully still be enough “good” hotels left with it still being 3 months away from your trip. Happy early birthday! Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Teri Lukin
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      It depends on which itinerary you are referring to. But in general, it’s best to stay towards the south and west areas of Iceland, since this is where many of the highlights are located. It takes a lot of time to travel around the entire island on the Ring Road. If you see an itinerary you like, I can help you modify it. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Michal

    This post is pure awesomeness and I basically could plan my whole trip reading it – we spend 9 days doing ring road + 2 days on Westfjords – that included half a day for Fagradalsfjall active volcano visit (highly recommend, once in a lifetime experience). One recommendation from my side is Geosea thermal waters in Husavik – go there when sky is clear(ish) for beautiful sunset while being submerged in warm water.
    Anyway, I wanted to thank you for making our planning not-so-painful. I try to be very diligent with my planning to really choose the best of the best and you made it much easier thanks to your detailed posts with handy tips. I can’t even imagine how much effort you put into all that content.
    I take my hat off to you!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Thank you Michal. I’m glad we could help you plan your trip, and thanks for the recommendation! We are hoping to get back to Iceland soon. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for rebecca haegele
    rebecca haegele

    If I only visit Iceland once and want to see the natural beauty which tour is your must do? I cant do them all!! We do hike, kayak and bike but we don’t have to do it.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      That’s a tough question to answer. Each itinerary offers a different perspective of Iceland. I’d say the first itinerary, the itinerary for first-time visitors, is ideal, since you get to see the Golden Circle, the south coast sights, Landmannalaugar, and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Carre

    Hello! We are looking at going this summer, and would especially like to do one of the glacier walks. Are there any particular type of shoe your kids wore for all the hiking, but also used for the glacier? Or did they have two different sets of shoes. Our kids are a bit younger, if that matters. Thanks!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We prefer hiking shoes to boots, but that is just our personal preference. However, Arctic Adventures, who we used for our glacier hike, required hiking boots. Since we didn’t have any, they rented them to us for an additional fee. Basically, I would recommend trying on boots and shoes and going with what feels more comfortable to you. But also confirm with your glacier hike company what footwear is required and if they rent the “proper” footwear if you have something different.

      Boots have advantages of more ankle stability, less chance of twisting and ankle, and they are higher, which gives you more protection from wet feet when hiking in snow or across creeks. Despite all of these advantages, we love hiking shoes, for the increased range of motion, but that’s just our preference. Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for corina

    Hi Julie
    I came across your Iceland post and love the details on it. Thank you so much for making it easy to read and understand 🙂
    We’re hoping to go in October, as last year we had to (or Icelandic Airline did) cancelled our trip. 🙁
    Would you suggested a 4WD in October due to maybe snow on the road?
    Thanks Cheers Corina

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I’m glad you are replanning your trip to Iceland. It will be worth the wait! I think that renting a high-clearance SUV with AWD is a very good idea in October. It will make it easier and safer to drive on snow covered roads. You might not need a true 4WD…an AWD vehicle might be sufficient, but if having the 4WD capability gives you peace of mind it could be worth the extra cost. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for kelly s bentley
    kelly s bentley

    Love these itineraries. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 boys ages 18 and 15. We have done many national parks and really enjoy alot of hiking. have never been to iceland to tempted for itinerary 1 but 4 is calling to me especially the 15 mile hike! Any thoughts of which one is better? Can we incorporate hikes into all the days for the first one? We are late to the game and trying to plan for August of this year. Any suggestions on best place to search for accommodations?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      If you haven’t seen it, also take a look at our 2 week Iceland itinerary. It makes a whole loop around the island and includes the Fimmvorduhals hike. If you like itinerary #1 and want to add some hiking, then add a day on the South Coast for the Fimmvorduhals hike (add it after day 6), hike to Glymur waterfall on day 2 (on the drive to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula), and consider adding 2 days for Kerlingarfjoll (do this after day 5 – after Landmannalaugar and before going to the South Coast). Kerlingarfjoll will most likely be the hardest place to find lodging. We have links to hotels in the detailed First Timer Itinerary. If this doesn’t work, I recommend Booking.com (this is how we book 90%) of our lodging when we travel. Have a great trip to Iceland! Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Lynda Royce
    Lynda Royce

    I love your adventures and your pictures! We are headed to Iceland in August for 8 days and I would love a printout of your itinerary. Is there a place where I can print it?

    Lynda Royce

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      As of right now we don’t have a printer friendly version of these itineraries. You can print a copy of this post but it will be a lot of pages.

      Press CTRL+P (command+P on a Mac) to open the printer dialog box. And you should be able to select Print from your web browser’s menu (the web browser menu typically looks like 3 dots in either the horizontal or vertical position). Since this post is not optimized for printing, check the page count before sending everything to the printer. You might need to pick the pages you want to print.

      Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Micks
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We spent $125 per day to rent a car. Route 1, the Ring Road, is a two-lane paved road that makes a loop around the island. It’s not windy and it’s easy to drive, at least in the summer months, when there is no snow (but watch out for sheep!). To get to the other towns, the roads are generally paved. But some tourist sites, waterfalls, hiking trails, etc have dirt or gravel roads. These are generally acceptable for a 2WD automobile but a 4WD makes driving much easier. And then there are the F-roads, gravel roads that cut into the Highlands. So, it’s quite the mix. For more info about driving and other things to know about Iceland, check out our Travel Tips post. Cheers, Julie

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