Julie Iceland, Itinerary 38 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.

In this guide, we list four different 10 day Iceland itineraries. Here is a quick overview and later in this guide we list each itinerary in more detail. 

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.

Below is an overview of this 10 day itinerary. We also have a more detailed version of this Iceland itinerary: 10 days in Iceland for First Time Visitors.

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

Blue Lagoon | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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.

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.


Kirkjufell | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary


Iceland Lighthouse

Svortuloft Lighthouse | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

For the best things to do, where to stay and where to eat, read our article 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

Gullfoss | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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

Landmannalaugar | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

Learn how to plan your visit in our guide about How to Spend one Day in Landmannalaugar 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

Sigöldugljufur | 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.


Seljalandsfoss | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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

Svartifoss | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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

Diamond Beach | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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 | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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.

Below is an overview of this 10 day itinerary. We also have a more detailed version of this Iceland itinerary: 10 Day Ring Road Itinerary. You can purchase a copy of this itinerary in our Etsy Shop.

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 | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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.


Godafoss | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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.


Aldeyjarfoss | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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.


Dettifoss | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary


Iceland Itinerary Ring Road

Selfoss | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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 | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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.

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. 

Stokksnes | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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

Skogafoss | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

Skogafoss | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary


Fjaðrárgljúfur | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

Fjaðrárgljúfur | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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 | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

Strokkur geyser | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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, get average trip costs, and learn more about our eBook:

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 | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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 | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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 | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

Kerlingarfjöll Mountain Resort | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary


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.

Iceland Travel Guide

#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.

Below is an overview of this 10 day itinerary. We also have a more detailed version of this Iceland itinerary: 10 Day Adventure Itinerary.

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.

Hallgrimskirkja | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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 | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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 | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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

Haifoss | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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 Europe. 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 | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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 | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

Reynsifjara Beach | 10 Day Iceland Itinerary

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

Frequently Asked Questions

How many days do you need in Iceland?

For the best experience, plan on spending at least 7 days in Iceland. This gives you enough time to visit the south coast, Reykjavik, and the Golden Circle. With more time (10 days or longer) you can drive the entire Ring Road around Iceland which is a fantastic experience. If you have two weeks, not only can you drive the entire Ring Road, but you can also add on a few off the beaten path locations. 

When is the best time to visit Iceland?

Summer is the best season to visit Iceland. The days are very long, the weather is warm, and the F-roads to places like Landmannalaugar and Kerlingarfjoll are open. Just keep in mind that this is also the busiest time to visit Iceland, so make your hotel and rental car reservations well in advance. If you want good weather and lower crowds, September is a good month to visit Iceland, but some unpaved roads and F-roads can close in mid-September.

What are the best things to do in Iceland?

Iceland may look small on a map, but it is filled with wonderful outdoor adventures. Walk on a glacier, see the northern lights, visit more waterfalls than you can count, stand on volcano, journey into the unique landscape of the Highlands, relax in a hot spring, or hike some of the most scenic trails in the world. Get the full list in our Iceland Bucket List.

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

More Information for Your Trip to Iceland

BEST OF ICELAND:For a list of top experiences in Iceland, don’t miss our Iceland Bucket List. The South Coast of Iceland is jam-packed with wonderful sights to see. You can also photograph waterfalls, explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and take your pick from a long list of hiking trails.

LANDMANNALAUGAR: Landmannalaugar is one of the best places to visit in Iceland. Learn how to plan your visit in our Guide to Landmannalaugar. We also have detailed guides on how to hike Mt. Blahnúkúr, Mt. Brennisteinsalda, and how to combine these two hikes into one epic day hike.

SOUTH COAST OF ICELAND: The south coast is filled with some of the top sights in Iceland. Go glacier hiking and visit Skogafoss and walk the amazing Waterfall Way trail. For the full list, check out our Guide to the South Coast of Iceland.

ICELAND TRAVEL ADVICE: First time in Iceland? Here are essential things to know about Iceland, including driving tips, sample costs, SIM cards, when to visit, and more.

EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Get more travel ideas in our article 10 Days in Europe itinerary, which has 10 itineraries for your next trip to Europe. If you have less time, we also have an article that lists 25 different ways to spend one week in Europe.

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

More 10 Day European Itineraries

If you are looking for more ideas on how to spend 10 days in Europe, these itineraries may interest you:

For more great itineraries from Europe and around the world, take a look at our Travel Itineraries page.


10 Day Iceland Itinerary and Travel Guide

Best Iceland Itinerary Summer


Iceland Itinerary 10 days

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Comments 38

  1. Avatar for Francois Desjardins
    Francois Desjardins

    Hi Julie !

    Thank you so much for doing this ! I’m planning the 10 day adventure itinary and I would like to know what are the best spots to spend the 3 nights on the Golden Circle ?

    Thanks !

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
    2. Avatar for Francois Desjardins
      Francois Desjardins

      Hi again Julie ! Sorry to bother you with this. I don’t know if it’s just me but under day 2 of the Adventure itinary I don’t see any place references. I see only that you suggest staying on the Golden Circle and it’s a good home base for the day trips you have plan….

      1. Avatar for Julie Post

        Hello Francois. It’s there! Right under ‘for the day trips you have planned’ is a section “Where to Stay on the Golden Circle” with 3 recommended hotels, plus one we don’t recommend (the place where we stayed and had a bad experience, just in case you come across it in your research). Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Joe

    Hello, thanks for all the useful information. How difficult is it to drive from Svartifoss to the Blue Lagoon area? Google maps says it should take around 4 hours and 30 minutes, but I’ve reading online that google maps can underestimate driving times in Iceland, even during the summer months. I’d prefer to drive straight through, but after reading those comments, I’m thinking of breaking up the drive by staying in Vik or somewhere else a little farther down the road. This will be in July 2024.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      From our experience, the driving times provided by Google were relatively accurate. You may be able to shave a little bit of time off of the 4.5 hours but it won’t be much, maybe 15 to 30 minutes. If you stay in Vik, you could visit Skogafoss in the morning on the drive. Around 8 am is a great time to see it with low to no crowds. Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Janani

    Hello, thank you for this informative post. My question is can the 10-day ring road itinerary or 10-day first time itinerary be used for a trip that’s planned around end of Sept – early October, especially the day trip to Landmannalaugar? Otherwise how would you recommend adapting this trip?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      The road to Landmannalaugar can close in early September. You can still do either itinerary in your time frame, but instead of driving to Landmannalaugar, you will have to join a Super Jeep tour. So, it is still possible, with that modification. Also, since you will be there when there could be snowfall, it will be more important to watch the weather and be prepared for temporary delays or road closures due to snow and ice. You will also have less daylight so there will be fewer hours for sightseeing. However, Iceland will also be less crowded with tourists. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Mandy

    Hello my favorite travel bloggers,
    I‘m not a big fan of waterfalls but I like your waterfall photos so much. What camera settings did you use to take these pictures so that the water looks so nice and beautiful? Best regards from Bavaria and keep it up!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hi Mandy from Bavaria! To take the photos of the waterfalls, we use a neutral density filter, a tripod, and set the camera to have a long shutter speed. This keeps the shutter open for a second or two, to “freeze” the waterfall. In our Waterfalls in Iceland guide, at the end of the article, I got into more detail into how I took these photos. It takes a little practice but it is fun to do and really makes the waterfall more beautiful, in my opinion. Have a great trip to Iceland! Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Candice

    Hi Julie,

    Thanks so much for posting these itineraries. I really enjoy reading them!

    My boyfriend and I are visiting Iceland for the first time. We will be travelling during the last week of August this year. We have nine full days to spend in Iceland, and are leaving on the 10th day. I plan on doing the ring road itinerary, but I eagerly want to visit Landmannalaugar. I really want to do both, but I am not sure if we will have enough time. Do you think it is possible to add a day trip to Landmannalaugar to the itinerary? Is there anything I can omit so I have enough time to do both?

    Thanks so much,


    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Candice. Yes, it is definitely possible to add in Landmannalaugar if you don’t mind giving something else up. On our 10 day Ring Road itinerary, I recommend combining days 3 and 4 into one day. From the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, visit Kirkjufell and then drive to Myvatn, visiting Godafoss on the drive. Skip whale watching in Husavik. It will be a long day of driving but gives you an extra day later. Then, at the end of the itinerary, visit Landmannalaugar. Everything after day 3 will not shift a day earlier. I recommend inserting Landmannalaugar into the itinerary in between the South Coast Highlights (day 8) and the Golden Circle (day 9). There is a lot of driving between the Golden Circle and Landmannalaugar, so it’s best in my opinion to not also have to drive to Reykjavik that night.
      So, your itinerary will look like this (1) arrive in Iceland (2) Glymur WF and Snaefellsnes (3) Kirkjufell (Snaefellsnes), Godafoss, end in Myvatn (4) Myvatn, Dettifoss (5) Myvatn to Hofn (6) Jokulsarlon & glacier hike (7) south coast sights, sleep on the Golden Circle (8) Landmannalaugar (9) Golden Circle (10) fly home.
      If you have any other questions, let me know. Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Sarah Adams
    Sarah Adams

    Hii! First off, wanted to thank you for publishing all these detailed and well-researched information online for everyone to access!!! We appreciate your itineraries so much. I was wondering if you could give us advice or at least point us into the right direction. We are first timers but we only have seven or eight days which destinations do you think we could forego? Thank you!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      If you only have 7 to 8 days, I recommend spending about 3 days on the South Coast of Iceland, a day for the Golden Circle, and a day to day trip to Landmannalaugar. Reykjavik + the Blue Lagoon could be another day. That brings you to 6 days. With that time, you could visit the Snaefellsnes Peninsula (it’s nice and not too far away from the Golden Circle and Reykjavik). I would skip northern and eastern Iceland, since it takes awhile to get here and there are plenty of wonderful places to visit near Reykjavik. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for V C Yang
    V C Yang

    Hi Julie,

    Chinese from Singapore, 4pax group age group from 18-55 Or 6pax with age group 18-67
    We would like request recommendation of propose itinerary for 12 Days
    Schedule: 1st week of Sept 2023
    Mode: less adventure type (family)
    Transportation: Self Drive, recommendation on type of transport for 6pax?
    Accommodation: Hotel, Hostel or AirBnB (mid range)
    Place of interest: Southern and Eastern part (e.g. #1 itinerary as per above), Aurora in our bucket list too.

    Please let us know if you require any or more information from us.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello. We do not offer tours. These itineraries are here to help you plan your trip or you can share them with a travel agent. For six people, you are going to need to rent a van or two vehicles. If you want to book this on your own, we do provide hotel recommendations in our more detailed itineraries (click the link in this guide to get to the more detailed itineraries). As for the northern lights, early September might be a little too early but later in September you have a better chance to see them. Just be aware that by the end of September you could also be dealing with snow. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for V C Yang
        V C Yang

        Hi Julie,

        Thanks for the prompt reply.
        Camper van or Van safe to drive in Iceland for 1st timer? which strong wind and enexpected weather change.

        Itinerary with recommended hotel or Airbnb, car rental will great helps to us.

        Good day,

        VC Yang (Mr.)

        1. Avatar for Julie Post

          Hello again. Yes, a camper van or van is OK for a first timer, as long as you have experience driving a larger vehicle. As for the itinerary, you can follow our Iceland Itinerary for first-timers, which lays out a day by day itinerary and has hotel suggestions for each night. To rent your car, I recommend checking the major rental car companies for the best price, because it can vary quite a bit. We rented our car through Hertz. Cheers, Julie

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