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The Ultimate 5 Days In Iceland Road Trip Itinerary

If taking an epic 5 days in Iceland road trip is on your bucket list, you are not alone! These days it seems like everyone is suiting up, packing their photography gear, flying with a stopover, and visiting the Land of Ice and Fire. We are one of those people and we think you should absolutely take an Iceland road trip. 5 days in Iceland is the perfect amount of time to spend if you are looking for a good introduction to the country or if you are looking to visit on a stopover.

If you are searching for how to best spend 5 day Iceland itinerary, we have got you covered and have been to Iceland and done this 5 day Iceland itinerary multiple times in all types of weather and in all seasons. This Iceland itinerary can be completed during any time of year, so whether you are visiting in winter or summer, this Iceland 5 day itinerary has got you covered!

Save money in Iceland by staying at an Airbnb! Get a FREE $40 Airbnb Coupon by using our code when you book! 

Driving along the coast of Iceland on an Iceland road trip during a 5 day Iceland itinerary

5 Days In Iceland: The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary

If the thought of driving the entire Ring Road [the 827+ mile highway circumnavigating the island] doesn’t appeal to you or you don’t have enough time, you can still plan a 5 days in Iceland road trip itinerary that covers all the best parts of the country! Our Iceland 5 day itinerary offers you the perfect “snack size” trip to Iceland and fits perfectly with a 48-hour airline stopover or extended weekend trip. We recommend checking out Skyscanner to find the best and most affordable flights into Iceland. We use this tool to discover the best flights for our trip because you can easily compare rates. 

During your time on the island, you can still see geysers, hot springs, volcanic rock, ponies, glaciers, puffins, landscapes that look like they should be on another planet and more. If you are hoping to see Iceland in 5 days, this is the way to do it!

map of route for 5 days in iceland road trip

Instead of driving the entire Ring Road, you will get to see the best parts of the Iceland Ring Road in 5 days. Our Iceland itinerary focuses on the stunning landscapes in the south-eastern part of the Island. You will still get to spend a ton of time on the Ring Road but you will experience it in a do-able amount of time. 5 days in Iceland is a great starting point for seeing all the best sights on the ultimate Iceland road trip.

Disclaimer: Although shortened, the entire 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary we have laid out below is not for the faint of heart. It includes a lot of driving and quite a few stops. That being said, you can always tailor it to your wants and needs so that it best fits your preferred 5 days in Iceland itinerary.  Since this is a 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary, you will be spending minimal time in Reykjavik, but that is okay because there is so much to see. Are you ready? Let’s get to planning!

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Day 1: Begin Your 5 Days In Iceland By Driving the Golden Circle

Highlights: Geysers, Gullfoss Waterfall, Icelandic Ponies, Reykjavik

During the first day of your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary, you are heading out on a loop road called the Golden Circle. It both starts and ends in/near Reykjavik so you can spend the day in nature and the night exploring the city since one afternoon-night is really all you need for Reykjavik. The Golden Circle drive is an easy 190-miles round trip. Along the way, be sure to stop and pet the adorable Icelandic ponies who are waiting for some love! If you want to opt out of driving this part, there are many affordable Golden Circle Tours you may like to go on instead.

Check Out The Best Hotels In Reykjavik Under $80/Night

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | Icelandic Road Trip Route | Iceland Travel Tips | How To Take A Road Trip In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

If you are dedicated to driving the Golden Circle fast, you can complete the whole thing and see all the sights in about 3 hours. We recommend budgeting around 5 hours to make the most of your experience. When you are driving this part of your 5 day Iceland itinerary, you can either start clockwise or counterclockwise. We suggest the clockwise version so you can get started seeing the sights right away! Driving the Golden Circle is a great way to kick off your 5 days in Iceland road trip!

Best Stops On The Golden Circle Self Drive Itinerary:

Stop 1: Thingvellir National Park

Listen up: Vikings used to have meetings here! How cool is that? Thingvellir National Park is also where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet and you can actually go diving/snorkeling between them if you budget enough time in your 5 day Iceland itinerary. Regardless, it is a cool place to walk around and take photos. Many people choose to stay in Thingvellir instead of Reykjavik which is fine if you are looking to be outdoors and close to nature. 

Thingvellir Lake Cottage: Check Rates On Booking.com

Blue Grove Guesthouse: Check Rates On Hotels.com


The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Stop 2: Geysir Hot Spring Area

Boiling mud pits, the smell of sulfur, and lively geysers can all be found at Geysir Hot Spring Area and make a unique addition to your 5 days in Iceland. Geysers erupt every 7-10 minutes so you will certainly be able to capture multiple eruptions on film. The hot spring area is the perfect place to stop at a restroom since there aren’t many on the Golden Circle!

Litli Geysir Hotel: Check Prices On Booking.com | Hotels.com

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Stop 3: Gullfoss Waterfall

Whether you visit Iceland for 5 days in winter or take your Iceland road trip during the warmer months, Gullfoss Waterfall is an epic sight to behold. Unlike most waterfalls that you stand under, you actually stand above and gaze down into Gulfoss. Budget spending the most time at the waterfall because it can’t be missed and should be added to your Iceland itinerary even if you are visiting Iceland in the low-season.

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | Icelandic Road Trip Route | Iceland Travel Tips | How To Take A Road Trip In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

Day 2: Continue Your 5 Day Iceland Itinerary By Traveling From Reykjavik To Vik

Highlights: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, Sólheimasandur Airplane Wreck

Day 2 of your Iceland road trip is going to require a few hours of driving and a bunch of sightseeing and walking around. You will start by programming Vik into your GPS and will head east on the Ring Road out of Reykjavik. As we said above, it is totally doable to see some of the Iceland Ring Road in 5 days and today is when you begin!

During your self-drive in Iceland, you will traverse between a mountain pass, over glacial rivers, and through stunning lava fields. You will spend the night in or near Vik, depending on availability. Make sure to get plenty of rest because Day 3 of your 5 Day Iceland itinerary is going to be busy!

Stop 1: Seljalandsfoss Waterfall [and the hidden Gljúfrabúi Waterfall]

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

A little less than 2 hours outside of Reykjavik lies the stunning Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.
As you approach, you will be able to see the waterfall from the road. There is also a sign and the waterfalls shows up in your GPS so it is quite easy to find! Seljalandsfoss is a fascinating stop to add to your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary because it is a waterfall you can walk behind! Although beautiful, we much prefer the hidden Gljúfrabúi Waterfall.The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | Icelandic Road Trip Route | Iceland Travel Tips | How To Take A Road Trip In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

To find Gljúfrabúi Waterfall, face Seljalandsfoss and walk about 1/4 of a mile to your left. You can also drive to the next parking lot over. There you will spot a small sign marking that you have arrived. In order to see the hidden waterfall, you are actually going to have to walk through a gorge until you get to a cave. Here you will see Gljúfrabúi Waterfall in all of its glory! This is one of the most fun stops along any 5 day Iceland itinerary!

Stop 2: Skogafoss Waterfall

If you thought the first two waterfalls were epic, you are in for a real treat! Skogafoss is only a short drive from stop 1 [about 30 minutes] and there are plenty of signs to direct you where you need to go. When you are at Skogafoss, make sure to head to both the base and the top of the waterfall. This stop is a “must” on your Iceland road trip as it is one of the most iconic spots in the country.

Many people spend a ton of time at the bottom but don’t hike the stairs to the top. Don’t spend the entire time looking at the falls either! From the top of the ridge, turn around and check out the fields and sea in all their glory! These days, Skogafoss Waterfall will be one of the busiest stops on your Iceland 5 day itinerary. There will be hundreds of other people and it won’t be that remote unless you go at sunrise or sunset!

Where To Stay Near South Coast Waterfalls:

The Garage Iceland: Check Rates On Booking.com | Hotels.com

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | Iceland 5 Day Itinerary

Stop 3: Kvernufoss Waterfall

If you are looking for lesser-known things to add to your 5 day Iceland itinerary, this is it! This is one part of your Iceland road trip itinerary that many people miss or don’t know about. Shh, keep it a secret so there aren’t hundreds of tourists! Kvernufoss Waterfall is located down the same road as Skogafoss! Once you turn off the Ring Road, instead of turning left for Skogafoss, you continue straight until you reach the Skogar Museum.

Drive to the remote end of the Skogar Museum, park, and then walk behind the building and hop over a little fence. You will walk through a gorge until you arrive at Kvernufoss Waterfall! When we have visited during past 5 day Iceland road trips, there have only been 5-10 people we see the whole time! You can walk behind this waterfall too and you won’t get super wet either! It makes for a wonderful stop on your 5 day Iceland itinerary.

Find out exact directions for the hike to Kvernufoss in this post!

iceland itinerary 5 days

Stop 4: Sólheimasandur Airplane Wreck

Once you leave Skogafoss, you are heading only a few miles away to make the long trek to Iceland’s hidden airplane wreck. You used to be able to drive down the beach until you reached the wreck, but you are no longer able and must hike around 4 miles round trip. The hike is on flat ground and takes a while, but you get to see a freaking airplane on a black sand beach! This will surely be one of the most unique stops during your 5 days in Iceland!

Make sure that you know what time the sun sets based on the time of year you are completing this 5 day Iceland itinerary so you aren’t stuck rushing your visit and hoping you don’t get stuck in the dark. We were only at this cool landmark for about 10 minutes total because we didn’t budget our time correctly. Don’t make the same mistake we did and be sure to factor enough time into your Iceland road trip itinerary to enjoy this unique site.

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Stop 4: Vik

Spend the night in or near the town of Vik. There are small grocery stores and a gas station if you are looking to purchase affordable food to save some money while in Iceland. If you can’t find any accommodations in Vik, try looking near Selejendafoss Waterfall. Although the waterfall is a bit further out and you will have to backtrack, you can find more affordable accommodations out here. You can visit Vik on the third day of your 5 day Iceland itinerary so don’t fret and consider locations all over the south coast for your second night’s accommodation.

Where to Stay In Vik Iceland!

Budget: Puffin Hostel Vik. Check Rates On Booking.com 

Mid-Range: Guest House Galleri Vik. Check Rates On Booking.com

Luxury: Hotel Kria. Check Rates On Booking.com | Hotels.com

Day 3: Drive From Vik To Hofn For The Next Day Of Your 5 Day Iceland Itinerary

Highlights: Black sand beach, basalt columns, glaciers, Skaftafell National Park

Day 3 of our Iceland road trip itinerary is what we call a “sleep when you die” day because you will be out and about from dawn-till-dusk! This jam-packed 5 day Iceland itinerary isn’t for the faint of heart! You will spend the morning admiring black sand and basalt, the afternoon checking out glaciers and lava fields, and the evening driving to the city of Hofn or somewhere near it if you find an accommodation option closer. It is a lot of work but you can totally make it happen if you only have 5 days in Iceland and want to see as much as possible! If you have a longer time to spend on an Iceland road trip itinerary, split this portion up into two or even three days!

We were able to do all of this and more in the winter when it was completely dark by 7pm. If you are fortunate to visit during warmer months, you will have more than enough time before night falls. Anything you pass up on the way to Hofn you will catch on your way back to Reykjavik. Make sure to budget some time to get out of your car and admire the lava fields during this part of your 5 Day Iceland itinerary.

Stop 1: Reynishverfi Basalt Column Beach

You will start the third day of your Iceland 5 day itinerary by visiting the countries most famous black sand beach. You have seen the photos of these basalt columns darn near everywhere, and now it is your turn to visit! If the tide is out, climb on them for unforgettable photos! You can easily reach the basalt columns by a side road off Highway 1 near Vik. Keep your eyes out and program your GPS accordingly so you don’t miss it and have to backtrack like we did! Get an early start because this is the longest day of your 5 days in Iceland itinerary so you want to make the most of every stop!

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | Iceland 5 Day Itinerary

Stop 2: Vik’s Black Sand Beach

The entrance to Vik Beach is located right near the only gas station in town. Stop for a bite to eat or to stock up on groceries and gas and then walk along the beach and admire the sea stacks and jet black sand. The beach is equally beautiful in both winter and summer. Before you visit, make sure to read up about these 5 things to know about beaches in Iceland! Although they are beautiful, they are quite dangerous and people have died from not paying attention to safety precautions. This is not the way you want to see Iceland in 5 days so make sure to be careful.

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | Icelandic Road Trip Route | Iceland Travel Tips | How To Take A Road Trip In Iceland | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

Stop 3: Skaftafell National Park

Today is the perfect time to make a quick stop in Skaftafell National Park to see what it is all about. The park is massive with tons of hikes and beautiful landscapes, but since you only have 5 days Iceland, it is best to hit the highlights. We suggest a trip to the visitor center followed by a short 2-mile round trip hike to a nearby glacier. The hike consists of walking down a pebble path until you reach the glacier. It is ideal for anyone and doesn’t require much time at all. If you do NOT want to hike to see a glacier, WAIT until stop 4 of today’s itinerary where you can simply drive to one! If you are pressed for time on your 5 day Iceland itinerary, skip the Skaftafell Visitor Center hike and wait for stop 4.

If you started really early or can add more time to your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary, you may be able to take a fabulous tour of one of the Ice caves at Skaftafell National Park! Please note that you can only do this tour during the winter! If you are sticking to our 5 day Iceland itinerary, you will love the glacier hike from the visitor center! Whether you have 5 days in Iceland or more time, make sure to at least drop by Skaftafell National Park!

Where To Stay Near Skaftafell National Park:

Hotel Skaftafell: Check Prices On Hotels.com

Adventure Hotel Hof: Check Prices On Booking.com | Hotels.com

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 Days In Iceland Itinerary

Stop 4: Svínafellsjökull Glacier

If you don’t want to hike to see a glacier, don’t worry! If you drive just a few moments past the entrance to the Skaftafell Visitor Center, you will see a small sign for Svínafellsjökull Glacier. This is the easiest place on your 5 day Iceland itinerary to get up close and personal with a glacier! When you turn off the Ring Road to go down the road to Svínafellsjökull Glacier, you will be driving on a poorly-kept dirt road.

The road is horrible so if you are driving a 2×2 you will have to go slow because of all the potholes. The short drive to Svínafellsjökull Glacier is doable during winter or summer and you will drive to a parking lot and then get out and the glacier will be right there! Walk along the side of the mountain and enjoy the wonderful views! This is a quick and easy stop to see when spending 5 days in Iceland.

Visit Svínafellsjökull Glacier during your 5 day Iceland itinerary | how to spend 5 days in Iceland

Stop 5: Hofn

You will end day 3 of your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary by spending the night in the town of Hofn. If you can’t find any accommodations in Hofn, feel free to search the entire area from Skaftafell National Park area to Hofn area. Don’t fret if you can’t find anything the town is small but the area is popular! In Hofn, you will enjoy local restaurants, a large grocery store, and multiple lodging options. Remember that you can save a lot of money by not going out to eat! 

Where To Stay In Hofn Iceland:

Budget: Hofn Hostel. Check Rates On Booking.com | Hotels.com

Mid-Range: Hotel Hofn. Check Rates On Booking.com | Hotels.com

Affordable: Hofn Guesthouse. Check Rates On Booking.com | Hotels.com

Day 4: Spend The Day Exploring Glaciers And Mountains For The Most Relaxing Part Of Your 5 Days In Iceland Itinerary

Highlights: Stokksnes, Glacier Lagoon, Hofn

By this point, you have done a TON of driving during your Iceland road trip Itinerary and you have a lot more left to do. Take Day 4 of your 5 days in Iceland to relax a little and soak it all in. If you wanted to spend more time in Skaftafell National Park, the nearest entrance is about an hour away so it is totally doable with an early start. Other than that stick around town and the surrounding areas.

Pick up some food at the local grocery store, stroll around town for some Icelandic souvenirs, and walk along the beautiful waterfront of this maritime fishing village. If the weather is nice, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy watching the boats go in and out of the harbor.

Stop 1: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Located less than an hour away from Hofn, you start Day 4 of your Iceland road trip itinerary by visiting a glacier lagoon. You haven’t seen anything until you have seen a glacier lagoon in Iceland! Seeing chunks of crystal-clear blue ice sitting on a perfectly black beach is something you will never forget and a must-see during your 5 days in Iceland. Look out for wildlife because seals often come out to play among the floating icebergs. Rain, shine, or snow, this is an essential stop on any road trip itinerary in Iceland.

Although you will pass the Glacier Lagoon on Day 3 of this Iceland itinerary, we recommend going back on Day 4 because you will want to spend a lot of time exploring the area. While you are visiting the Glacier Lagoon, make sure to go across the street to visit the popular Diamond Beach! This is a must-see during your 5 day Iceland itinerary as the pieces of ice drift out of the lagoon and land on the beach.

Where To Stay Near Glacier Lagoon:

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon: Check Prices On Booking.com | Hotels.com

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Stop 2: Stokksnes

Simply plug the name Stokksnes into your GPS or drop a pin and within 30 minutes you will land on Mars. Okay not really, but Stokksnes looks like it shouldn’t even be on this planet! This stop will be a memorable one on your 5 day Iceland itinerary because the landscape is unlike anything you have ever seen. The landscape consists of giant dunes, seagrass, a black sand beach, and mountains that plunge straight into the sea. Depending on the time of year, you can also see the northern lights! This is as far northeast as you will head on our 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary so make sure to spend some time exploring!

There is an entrance fee of 800 kroners to visit Stokksness and the entry is good for only one trip. If you are looking to photograph the Northern Lights, you will have to buy a ticket in advance so you can get through the gate that is there. Alternatively, you can park your car and simply walk to avoid paying the entrance fee. Stokksness is a great place to visit during your 5 days in Iceland, especially if you are a photographer!

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Day 5: Finish Your 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary By Driving From Hofn To Reykjavik

Highlights: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Dryholaey

The final day of your Iceland road trip itinerary concludes with a 5-hour drive back to the capital of Reykjavik. Five hours seems like a long time, but time flies when you are having fun and taking in the scenery. This will also be the day you visit the famous Blue Lagoon! Visiting the Blue Lagoon at the very end of your 5 days in Iceland itinerary is a great way to cap off a busy Iceland road trip!

If you want to spend more time at any of your previous stops on this 5 day Iceland itinerary, now is the perfect time because you will pass each and every stop on your drive back to Reykjavik. For example, we stopped at Skogafoss again because we didn’t get enough of it the first time! Maybe the first time you stopped at the Glacier Lagoon it was very sunny and today it is moody! Weather changes in an instant in Iceland which is why this 5 day Iceland itinerary is flexible enough for you to modify if necessary!

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Stop 1: Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is one of the lesser-known and most underrated stops along our 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary. This massive canyon is just a few miles away from the main road so it is an easy stop to get to. Please note that you will be driving down a dirt road. This is not an F-road and it is accessible all year round. The road is in pretty good condition but you may have to drive slowly if you are in a 2×2 vehicle.

You are able to climb to the top of the canyon to see some awesome views! We recommend hiking along the whole canyon until you come to the very end so you can see the entire length of it. If you are short on time, just climb to the top to the first lookout, take a peek, and be on your way! Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is less than two hours away from Vik so if you have less than 5 days in Iceland you can still make it a stop. We highly recommend Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon for your 5 day Iceland itinerary, even if you are short on time!

Hotels Near Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon:

Hotel Klaustur. Check Rates On Booking.com | Hotels.com

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Stop 2: Dyrhólaey

Dyrhólaey is a small peninsula not too far from Vik and about a 2 and a half hour drive from Reykjavik. While you could technically make this stop on day 2 of your 5 days in Iceland, it makes for a nice view on your way back to Reykjavik. Feel free to modify this stop as you see fit! You may want to visit on Day 2 or Day 3 as it is near the Basalt Black Sand Beach. Either way, you have multiple options to fit it when you are seeing Iceland in 5 days.

It is the home to Puffin, rock formations, and stunning beaches. This stop is the ideal spot for photography, especially if you arrive during sunset. The cliffs and giant waves are reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest and you will be hard pressed to convince your friends and family that you really weren’t in Oregon or British Columbia!

Dyrhólaey has two parts, a lower beach with one view, and a higher beach with Dyrhólaey for a higher view from above. The drive up to the higher view is on a pretty sketchy dirt road with no guardrails. We have done this short drive in both winter and summer and with both a 2×2 and 4×4 so it is doable either way. The top view of the black sand beach stretch is a highlight on your 5 days in Iceland itinerary. Dyrhólaey is a fantastic way to cap off your 5 days in Iceland and to mark the last stop along your Iceland road trip itinerary.

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Stop 3: The Blue Lagoon

If you can afford it, we highly recommend a stop at the Blue Lagoon at either the beginning or end of your 5 days in Iceland. We love a stop at the Blue Lagoon after your 5 day Iceland itinerary has come to a close because it is a great way to relax and wind down before your flight. You may consider skipping the Blue Lagoon because it is too touristy, but we assure you it is a worthy stop to round out seeing Iceland in 5 days.

The Blue Lagoon is so large and entrance tickets are timed so only 500 people are allowed in at a time. This means it never feels overly crowded compared to some other hot springs in Iceland. The Blue Lagoon also had restaurants, saunas, changing rooms, and a huge pool area so the number of people never feels overwhelming or crowded. The blue water is so unique and you can purchase entrance tickets that allow you to have an included drink and multiple mud masks.

Consider purchasing a Blue Lagoon ticket for later in the evening in case the drive takes longer than expected. This is a wonderful way to conclude your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary!

Hotels Near The Blue Lagoon:

The Retreat At The Blue Lagoon: Check Prices On Booking.com | Hotels.com

Lovely Cabin Close to the Blue Lagoon. Check Prices On Booking.com

The Ultimate 5 days in Iceland itinerary | Iceland in 5 days | blue lagoon Iceland | things to do in iceland | iceland travel tips

Stop 4: Reykjavik

Congratulations! You just completed an epic 5-day Iceland road trip! Spend your last evening resting in the capital, hitting the town, or dropping off your rental car and catching a late flight back to your home country. If you have already seen Reykjavik, we highly recommend spending the night near Keflavik Airport either in the towns of Keflavik or Vogar. This makes your drive to catch your flight so much easier!

There are many ways you can modify this Iceland road trip itinerary so take the parts you love and leave the parts you don’t have time for as you spend a memorable 5 days in Iceland.

Where To Stay In Reykjavik: 

Budget: Reykjavik Hostel Village. Check Prices On Booking.com | Hotels.com

Mid-Range: Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik. Check Prices On Booking.com

Mid-Range: Alda Hotel Reykjavik. Check Prices On Booking.com | Hotels.com

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | 5 day iceland itinerary

Iceland Road Trip Map

If you are a more visual person, don’t worry! We created this Iceland road trip map so you can see where you will be heading during your 5 days in Iceland! Iceland is a very GPS friendly country and you can visit all of the locations listed above by quickly plugging them into your GPS! This makes your Iceland road trip very easy to navigate and your 5 days in Iceland a breeze!

5 Day Iceland Road Trip Map

Is Driving Necessary In Iceland?

Our 5 day Iceland itinerary is a self-drive road trip. If you are tentative about driving in Iceland, we beg you not to be! We are Floridians and if we can drive in Iceland then anyone can! Driving in Iceland is about knowing what you are getting into and we created 7 Things To Know Before Driving In Iceland as a guide for preparing you for the task! We have driven in Iceland in all four seasons including rain, snow, sleet, hail, wind and more. If you take proper precautions you should be 100% fine! 

When it comes to driving in Iceland during your Iceland road trip, keep in mind to look out for local road closures and safety information. You can visit this website to keep up with the conditions during your trip! It is run by locals and has all the up-to-date information you could ever want or need. 

That being said, if you do NOT want to drive in Iceland, there are still some options for you and ways that you can see the majority of this 5 day Iceland itinerary on your own without driving. We recognize that driving is a privilege and we want to provide you with other options! 

Day Tours From Reykjavik

There are so many wonderful day tours that you can take from Reykjavik. If you aren’t driving in Iceland, simply take a bus from Keflavik Airport to the city center of Reykjavik [or your hotel shuttle]. Many tours in Iceland pick you up form your hotel which is a wonderful option. We put together the best 15 Tours in Iceland for your money and the majority of them start in Reykjavik. 

There are many wonderful tour options from Reykjavik if you don’t want to drive like this four hour Nothern Lights tour departs from Reykjavik and takes you into the darkness for best chances of viewing the lights. This is actually exactly where we saw the Northern Lights in Iceland on our first trip so hopefully, you will have the same luck! If you want to visit many of the same locations on this 5 day Iceland itinerary, The South Iceland Full Day Tour From Reykjavik covers everything you need to see from Iceland’s black sand beaches to the most popular waterfalls in Iceland! You will never have to drive and you will still get to see fabulous sites in Iceland!

Multi-Day Group Tours

Another option where you don’t have to drive but can still experience the best that Iceland has to offer in 5 days is by taking a multi-day group tour. You won’t have to plan each individual day on your own and you can truly see the best Iceland has to offer with a local guide. Depending on how long you want to spend in Iceland, these are a few of our favorite multi-day tours in Iceland: 

5 Day Winter Tour Of Iceland: Golden Circle, South Coast, Ice Cave

3 Day Golden Circle, Glacier Hike, Ice Cave, Northern Light Tour Of Iceland


Yes! You heard that correctly! Hitchhiking is very popular in Iceland. Many people experience Iceland simply by hitching rides from others. Unlike the United States, people DO pick up hitchhikers and it is a popular culture in Iceland. This is a safe and free way to get around Iceland without a car. That being said, you will have to put some work into it by standing out until a car passes to pick you up. We saw many hitchhikers and many people picking them up so if you are brave this is totally an option! 

Bus Passports

We have to be honest, busses are not a huge thing in Iceland. That being said, they ARE a thing that exists and you can totally use them if you are interested. The best way to use buses during your 5 days in Iceland is to check into getting a bus passport. This is the most economical way to travel in Iceland if you are going to visit multiple destinations. The busses in Iceland can get you to popular locations such as Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon, and there is even a bus that will take you to Thorsmork in the Highlands if you are interested in doing some hiking during your Iceland itinerary. 

driving in Iceland during your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary

When To Visit Iceland

Don’t be surprised, but there really is no bad time to take your Iceland road trip! We created this whole post that breaks down the best time to visit Iceland and explains the pros and cons of each season. This 5 days in Iceland road trip can be done at any time of the year! Whenever you are planning your Iceland road trip and you have time off to spend 5 days in Iceland is when you should visit this beautiful country!

If you are looking to see the Northern Lights, visit during the winter! Winters in Iceland are quite mild but you need to be sure to dress properly. Want to experience neverending daylight during your Iceland road trip? Then make sure to travel during the summer! The off-season is also the perfect time for an Iceland road trip because everything is more affordable and the weather is still great. No matter when you have 5 days in Iceland to spend, you should ensure you have proper clothing so you enjoy your Iceland road trip!

iceland itinerary 5 days | iceland plane crash in winter

Where To Stay In Iceland

As you know, Iceland is very expensive! When spending 5 days in Iceland, costs can add up quickly. For your Iceland road trip itinerary, we highly recommend that you book an Airbnb or a similar home-share type property because you will gain valuable access to a kitchen OR a hotel that offers food and dining options. We recommend hotels in our 5 day Iceland itinerary above because it is easier to book, cancel, and modify and in the event something goes wrong, the agency will back you up! 

Save money in Iceland by staying at an Airbnb! Get a FREE $40 Airbnb Coupon by using our code when you book! 

We have tried both hotels and Airbnb while in Iceland and prefer each depending on your circumstances. You will not be forced to eat all meals out [which is also expensive] and Airbnbs are roughly the same cost, if not much cheaper, than many hotels or even hostels in Iceland! If you are going for a special occasion or are looking to stay somewhere really unique, then hotels are surely the way to go! There are also some incredible hotels in areas that Airbnbs are not and vice versa. You should compare options between Airbnb and hotels in Iceland!

Check Rates For Hotels In Iceland On Booking.com

See the glacier lagoon during your 5 day iceland road trip itinerary

Safety Tips For Your 5 Days In Iceland

During your Iceland road trip, there are some safety tips that are essential to consider. Iceland is a beautiful but harsh country and it is important to be prepared. First off, you are going to want to watch the weather closely. The weather can change quickly during your 5 days in Iceland and can range from cold to freezing and windy. Make sure you dress in layers so you can easily take off or put on clothes based on the weather. Download a weather app to keep track of local weather during your 5 days in Iceland so that you don’t venture out when it is too dangerous.

If you hear about a wind storm warning, heed the warning and do not drive! Windstorms are common in Iceland and there is a high chance you will experience one during your 5 day Iceland itinerary. These storms often have hurricane-force gusts of wind and can blow cars off the road, especially if it is icy or slick out. When opening your car door on a windy day, be sure to park INTO the wind and hold your door with all your might when opening it.

Always let a family member or friend know if you choose to go hiking during your 5 days in Iceland so if something happens, someone knows where to find you. Luckily, Iceland has very good 4G phone service, even in the middle of nowhere, so if you need to phone for help, you will usually have the ability to do so.

When taking this Iceland road trip, always ensure that you have extra food and water in the car in the event you get into an accident and are stranded for a long period of time. You don’t want to be stuck without food and water while you wait for help. You can fill your water bottle from any tap in Iceland and we recommend a reusable water bottle as well as an emergency bottle of water during your drive.

Finally, when driving in Iceland, make sure that you drive the speed limit. The speed limits may seem a bit slow, but they are there for your safety. As mentioned above, the weather can change quickly and the wind can be strong, so these speed limits take this into account. Driving more carefully and slowly will ensure that you stay safe during your entire 5 days in Iceland.

Safety Tips for 5 Days In Iceland

Quick tips for your Iceland road trip

-Bring plenty of water. When taking an Iceland road trip, you will want to bring plenty of water! Be sure that you bring a reusable water bottle so you can save the earth and fill up in a bathroom or at your hotel. If you must, buy bottled water at one of the Iceland grocery stores to bring with you on your Iceland road trip.

-Be prepared to potentially pee on the side of the road. Iceland is actually a pretty desolate place so don’t be surprised if you have to pee on the side of the road during your Iceland road trip. When taking a road trip through Iceland, you may drive for hours before you see an appropriate bathroom stop. Pull over to a safe spot on the road, open both car doors, and do your business! It is all part of the Iceland road trip experience!

-Driving off-road is 100% illegal in Iceland. When taking an Iceland road trip, you may be tempted to drive off-road. After all, there is no one around and there are so many open spaces. Don’t do it! Driving off-road is actually illegal in Iceland and also destroys the environment. Stick to the approved roads for a safe, legal, and environmentally friendly Iceland itinerary.

-Leave no trace. This means that when you are taking an Iceland road trip, do not litter in any way, shape, or form. If you are driving along this 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary and have trash, do not throw it out your car window. Make sure to put it in a plastic baggie and throw it away in an appropriate receptacle when you arrive into a city.

-Do not speed or drive recklessly. It is super tempting to drive fast on the perfectly straight Icelandic roads but don’t do it! You may risk getting a hefty ticket and that isn’t an enjoyable part of an Iceland road trip. Plus, you don’t want to do anything dangerous or illegal during your Iceland itinerary.

-Make sure to stay safe at all the stops along your Iceland road trip. Places such as the black sand beaches in Iceland are one of the best things to see in Iceland but they are also the most dangerous. When taking an Iceland road trip, make sure to read all the signs and proceed with caution when visiting many of the stops listed above. The warning signs along this 5-day Iceland itinerary are provided in multiple languages so there really is no excuse for doing ill-advised things.

-If you want to walk on the road, make sure to watch out for cars and give them the right of way. Many articles tell travelers to never walk on the road during their Iceland road trip but we disagree. Roads in Iceland are beautiful to photograph but you must do so safely. First, make sure you pull off the road as far as you can and that you stop on a straight stretch of road where you can see for a good distance and not on a hill or a corner. Then, if you are doing your Iceland road trip in a group, make sure that you have someone stand watch for oncoming cars. If you are alone, make your time walking down the road very short and quick. Never walk in the road at night at any point during your Iceland road trip.

-You do not need an international drivers license to take an Iceland road trip. As long as you have a driver license from your home country, you should be good to go when driving in Iceland. Save yourself time and money and forgo the international driving permit. If you aren’t sure, it is always good to ask the car rental company you are hoping to take your Iceland road trip with for clarification.

-Always make sure you have enough gas. The gas stations in Iceland are few and far between so if you think you need to fill up, you probably should! It is better to be safe than sorry and stranded on a desolate Icelandic road. When taking an Iceland road trip, it is always a good idea to top off your tank when you pass a gas station, especially if the nearest town is a few hours away.

Seeing cute churches in Iceland is the best part of your 5 day iceland itinerary | iceland in 5 days

Additional Reading To Help You Plan Your Iceland Road Trip

Planning your 5 days in Iceland road trip should be fun but not hard and stressful! We know that planning your Iceland road trip for the first time can become overwhelming at times, which is why we created a whole lot of helpful posts!  These posts will provide you with further reading and additional information when planning your 5 days in Iceland! Check out these posts below for further help on planning and preparing for your Iceland road trip:

Iceland vacation planning articles:

Top Things To Do And See In Iceland In 5 Days:


Start shopping for your Iceland road trip:

Heading to Iceland for 5 days soon? Which one of these stops along our Iceland road trip itinerary has you most excited? Have you taken an Iceland road trip? Where did you head? Let us know in the comments! 

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The Ultimate 5 Days In Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | Iceland travel tips | Iceland itinerary in 5 days | Iceland bucket list | Iceland road trip route | 5 day Iceland itinerary | top things to do in Iceland #iceland #bluelagoon


The Ultimate 5 Days In Iceland Road Trip Itinerary will help you plan your iceland itinerary. With the best things to do in Iceland during your trip and best photo stops including a map, this Iceland travel itinerary is here for you!

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149 thoughts on “The Ultimate 5 Days In Iceland Road Trip Itinerary

  1. Sarah

    Great advice! We drove the ring road in 3.5 days, which may sound ridiculous, but it really wasn’t bad. Iceland remains at the top of our favorites list! So much natural beauty!

      1. Shraddha

        Hi, I just finished an Iceland road trip based on your itinerary and it was epic! The blog was super useful and helped us in an otherwise super time constrained planning environment to effectively utilise our time relying on the tips you provided. Thanks a bunch and please do keep sharing such blogs for your future travels. Cheers!

  2. Mary

    Thats pretty much what we did when we went! Make sure you wear good shoes for the hike to the airplane!! My feet died and we missed out on a whole day of things 🙁 Next time around!! Loved Iceland especially near Vik!

  3. Jane

    We were there for 2 weeks and we started out going west towards Snaefellness peninsula and the Westfjords. We loved the Westfjords! No tourists and you find yourself alone for hours on the drives. It’s just you and nature, which was the best! The towns are farther apart and smaller, with very little amenities, which is probably why there aren’t any tourists. We also loved the north. The more east we went, the more crowded it got.

    The places you mentioned are gorgeous (missed the hidden waterfall, but we didn’t spend much time at Seljalandsfoss) and well worth the visit, but we found the Westfjords a hidden gem that I almost don’t want to tell people about it so that it keeps the tourists away. Lol! However, there are so many places we missed that we plan to go back and explore more, especially along the F roads.

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  10. NANCY

    My girlfriends and I are planning on following this 5day roadtrip itinerary.
    Do you know a ballpark estimate on how much you guys spent on gas?

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hey Nancy! For this trip, we would suggest budgeting around $200-$300 total. If you are splitting it, the cost won’t be as bad! To fill up, we generally end up spending around $50 USD and the cars we rent are economy not SUV or anything. Thanks!

  11. Alex

    Hi! This itinerary sounds awesome. I Was just wondering if there were any hostels you’d recommend staying at during this trip? Preferably affordable ones.


    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Iceland is such a fantastic place to visit!! We could go back lots of times too! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  12. Peter

    What month did you visit? Were the roads accessible during this winter time? I plan to take my girlfriend and probably propose in Iceland 🙂

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hi Peter! We went once in March in the dead of winter and once in mid-November which was the start of winter. The roads were perfectly accessible as long as you don’t head north. The south and parts of the west are perfectly fine. Don’t worry about getting a 4×4 car either, we have only used 2×2 with no problems. Good luck!

  13. Emily

    Hi! Thank you for this great post. I’m planning to follow this itinerary more or less in August! Do you have any suggestions about lodging/hotel, such as the places you stayed and if you’d recommend them?


    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      That is so exciting that you are going to Iceland! During both our trips, we have stayed at Airbnb properties. They are more affordable and there are more options than hotels. Simply join Airbnb and give it a look. Make sure to put in your budget! If you look to the right side of our website, we have a coupon code for $35 off your first booking too! Good luck 🙂

      1. Emily

        I’ve heard other people say that Airbnb is the best option in Iceland as well, so I’ll definitely plan for that. Thanks for the heads-up about the coupon!

        – Emily

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  15. Brian

    Hi there!

    Thank-you for the great post and itinerary! I wanted to write and let you know I did this road trip last week (4/29/17 – 5/6/17) and it worked great! Really enjoyed the scenery of the southern coast. Thank-you again for the excellent advice!!


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  17. Nicole

    I’m planning on doing an Iceland road trip this upcoming January. Do you think this is doable in a standard car or is a jeep or something more ambitious necessary?

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      NO! There is no point to get a jeep or 4×4 during the winter as you cannot off-road anyway! Go for the cheapest economy car you can find so you save money and also save on gas. Do not get a big car! We visited in the dead of winter with snow and a small car and had no problems at all! Good luck 🙂

  18. Anthony

    Hi There,

    I’m going to Iceland in a couple of months at the end of July this year with 2 of my friends.
    Sadly however, we will only have from August 3rd till August 7th to tour around the country due to work engagements.
    I loved how you detailed everything and I’m thinking of doing the same stops you did.
    I just have a couple of questions if you can help me out.

    We’re from Lebanon so the weather will definitely be a big change for us as well as several things. My questions are what do you recommend for clothing during the time we are going? Also about the food? i heard Iceland has excellent cuisine.

    We’ll be renting a car so my next question is are the roads easy to drive and safe?
    And Finally, Since we’ll be doing the same trip as you did most probably, what do you recommend from your personal experience?

    Thank you in advance 🙂

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hello Anthony! So exciting you are going to Iceland! The weather will be chilly but not that cold! Bring a light jacket and long pants and layer if you have any thin pair of long underwear as it may be windy. Bring closed toed shoes. Food in Iceland is VERY expensive so we do NOT suggest eating out. Rather, go to a grocery store and buy food and make at your hotel or Airbnb. We have a lot of content on Iceland on a budget so just look at our destinations > Iceland tab on our site to see more. The roads are very easy to drive and very safe. Don’t get a 4×4 as a economy car works just fine. Our advice would be to skip the “Golden Circle” and head to the south and up to Hofn and spend a little more time there. Since we wrote this post we went back and that is just a way cooler area. Either way you won’t be disappointed!

  19. Alex

    Google Maps is reporting the drive from Hofn to Reykjavik is actually 11 hours. Any idea why when you guys say you did it in 5?

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Did you type in the correct name? 🙂 We just tried it and it says 5 hours and 18 minutes! It takes 20 hours to do the entire ring road so 11 hours would be half of it. Don’t let the time scare you away it certainly isn’t that far!

  20. Tommy Hoàng Trần

    This is such a helpful post. I am planning doing the exact trip like this, from July 1st to July 6th, but I will arrive Iceland in the afternoon at 2pm on July 1st, and will be leaving on July 6th at 5pm. Since I am arriving late in the afternoon at 2pm, do you think if that is possible for me to do the golden circle on that same day or save it for the last day?
    Also, do you know how is the weather will be in the beginning of July? I booked a mini car Hyundai i20 for my trip and I don’t know if that car can make that trip because I read some articles which said there were a lot of strong winds, high land road or bad condition road such as shevel road so we may need the 4×4 vehicle to drive thru all that condition.

  21. Tommy Hoang Tran

    This is such a helpful post. Me and my wife are planning to travel to Iceland this coming July from Jul 1 to Jul 6 and I really want to do this ring road trip around the whole island.
    I check on google map it shows that to drive the whole circle on Route 1 would take approx. 15-17hrs, so I plan to do it in 4days, but I read some articles and saw a lot of comments saying that it would be insane if I plan to do that with in a shorten time, even though if I can make it, I will spend most of the time driving on the road and I wouldn’t have much time to enjoy the beauty of the country, so I was kinda confuse and thinking that maybe it is not a good idea…
    Thanks a lot for your post here, that really help me a lot on making the decision do or do not make it. another thing that I worry abt is my rental car. Since me and my wife don’t have much stuff so I decided to rent a mini car, which is affordable and save me a lot of money, but I see some people say that it may not be able to make the trip since the wind in Iceland is very strong and the condition of the road is not good at all when I have to drive thru highland, gravel road…
    Also, I will be arriving Iceland at abt 2pm on Jul 1st and leaving at 5pm on Jul 6th, so basicly I will have more than 5days and a half for the whole trip…do you think I should spend the rest of the 1st day to drive around the golden circle or I should save it for the last day? please give me your advice!!!

  22. Sandy

    Thanks for the great article! My boyfriend and I are heading to Iceland in July for a 5 night stopover on our way to Europe and we’ll definitely do something similar to this itinerary!

  23. Divyakshi Gupta

    This is just so exciting. Travel Goals really. In awe of the Geysir hot spring area. Iceland is blessed with such surreal landscapes and so many geological wonders: Glaciers, caves, springs, Volcanoes. And to be road tripping around these would be simply fabulous. Thanks for this virtual trip.

  24. Megan Jerrard

    Fantastic itinerary – we spent 7 days in Iceland and did the ring road, and felt this wasn’t close to enough time lol! Excellent suggestion to start with the Golden Circle – we were actually really underwhelmed with the Golden Circle, though I think that was because we did the rest of the country and then did the Golden Circle at the end, and the rest of the country was spectacular, with almost no tourism, so it was quite a different scenario once we jumped onto the tourist trail :D! So I think definitely start with that, because everything else is only going to get better from there!!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      To be honest, this was written after our first trip to Iceland. After our second trip, we don’t even suggest the Golden Circle to anyone anymore either. Maybe it is time for an update. We do suggest spending more time on the south coast as it is just as far away but has more epic stuff!

      1. Tom Coates

        If you do write an update, let me know as I’m going there in about a month from Sunday to Friday/Saturday and I really want to squeeze every last bit out of the experience.

  25. Cat

    There’s so much to see and do in Iceland! Reynishverfi Basalt Column Beach is quite a magnificent sight! I’ve never been but have been seriously looking into visiting next year. Thanks for sharing your itinerary.

  26. Jen Joslin

    This itinerary sounds amazing! So cool that you can see such a variety of scenery in just 5 days. We haven’t been to Iceland yet, but every time I read about it and see pics I think we have to go soon! I’m sure it’s already changed a lot since so many more tourists are going there now. Thanks for your tips!

  27. Nisha Jha

    This is an awesome road trip itinerary. I would really like to drive along the Golden Circle and make detours in-roads as and when required. I liked all your picture and the place I would like to go first is the Basalt Column. It is is so out of this world.

  28. Sandy N Vyjay

    Road trips are always fun. But if it is a road trip to Iceland, it must be on a different level altogether. The landscapes which are so surreal make this really out of the world. Iceland has always been a dream destination and hopes to get there someday. I am really fascinated by the crashed plane site. I am sure the hike to the plane is in itself a unique experience.

  29. Tami

    I think yours may be the best post I’ve ever seen on Iceland. Clear concise itinerary and stunning photos. Five days seems very doable. It’s it hard to find sufficient lodging outside of Reyjavik?

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Thank you SO MUCH!!! No it is not hard at all!! Feel free to message us and we will help you!

      1. Michael A.

        Victoria and Terrence, thank you! Your post has inspired me to go to Iceland! We will be there from 7/21/18 to 7/26/18. Any modifications to this itinerary you might make in hindsight, now that some time has elapsed? This is our first trip to Iceland. Should we forego the Golden Circle and just to the south coast? I hear the Westfjords are worth seeing. Any car rental recommendations? Thanks again!

  30. Tanuj

    We are planning to visit Iceland in first week of October for 5 days and are thinking to follow your itinerary. Can we visit all these locations on a 2X2 car in the month of October? Also, how much you spent on gas + accommodation?

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hello! Yes, you can visit all of these locations in a 2×2 car and they are much cheaper so that is not a problem! Budget at least $150+USD for gas and accommodations can vary from $50-$70 per night at Airbnb locations to more for hotels. If you have never used Airbnb, you can use our link and get $40 off your first stay which is a great deal! https://www.airbnb.com/c/vyore?s=41&user_id=30179875&ref_device_id=0d456c9cdc318cf302d5b4f0eece618f0fb23837

      1. Tanuj

        Thanks much for suggestions, can you also please help finding Airbnb in Vik and Hofn under 80$ in first week of October 2017? Am unable to find any. Or share where you took accommodation there?

        1. Follow Me Away Post author

          Hello! We included a link to hotels in Hofn! Simply do a search and adjust by price and some should pop up 🙂

        2. Flash Bristow

          I went on a very similar trip to this on honeymoon in Oct 2006 (see http://www.gorge.org/iceland for the travelogue) and we stayed in annexes run by farmhouses thanks to Iceland Farm Holidays. I don’t know if it’s changed by now, but you buy vouchers from their office in Reykjavik, then book on the day with the farm where you want to stay. Some close end of Sept but still many options. We went for the option of private en suite rooms but you can choose sleeping bag dorms if you want to save money – at that time of year it’s unlikely to be busy. In most places we stayed we were the only guests.

          I hope that helps. As you’ll see we stayed in many places but my absolute favourite was Hotel Eldhestar on the last night.

  31. Sylvie

    Hi, can you please provide suggestions on what else to see during 5 days if we skip the Golden CIrcle?

    I will be going in Oct.

    Thank you so much!


    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Do the same suggestions just leave out the golden circle. After going back again, we would forgo the golden cricle to spend more time near Vik! There is lots to do down in that area!

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  33. Sumit Birla

    Just to let you know that we followed your itinerary recently (with some minor changes due to lack of accommodation in Höfn) and it worked out great. Pace was just right to wander off track at times and discover hidden gems. I would add Fjallsárlón to the list of places to visit as it is right off the highway.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Yay!!! Glad you are having an amazing trip!! That is a great place to add! We also have a few things we would probably add to this now too! Maybe a revised edition is in order 😉

      1. Chantal

        Hola! I am going in November to Iceland… very curious when you will update the edition! I hope it will be in time 🙂 please let me know when you are planning to do the revised edition 🙂

        1. Follow Me Away Post author

          Hello! This is pretty much what we would suggest anyone to do on their first trip! The only modification would be to spend more time down in the south by Vik and Hofn as opposed to doing the Golden Circle! Iceland is truly epic!

  34. Alice

    This is a really helpful post! My bf and I are going for the first time from 10/1 – 10/7

    I do want to follow this itinerary closely (minus Golden Circle) but we’re actually going to be in a campervan and it seems like the All Year Campsites are more abundant in the North vs the South.

    However, since we’re from Southern CA and not used to driving in winter-y conditions, we thought sticking to Southern Iceland would be best.

    I’m concerned that there may not be enough overnight parking for us. Are we allowed to park in the summer campsites? I’m not worried about the closed services (toilets/showers), just more worried about parking legally overnight in the South.

    Thank you for any feedback! 🙂

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hello Alice! FOR SURE do the South for safety as conditions are unpredictable! You should be just fine as far as camping goes in the south. We had friends camp in winter and had no issues at all. We suggest simply emailing the icelandic tourism board or asking your camper van company just to be sure! There is plenty of parking options! Have so much fun.

  35. Chris

    We will be traveling to Iceland Sept/Oct of 2018 for a honeymoon. We are planning on spending 6 days in Iceland. I love reading everyone’s experience and suggestions. I would love to do the Ring Road and Golden Circle, but concerned that we may not have enough time and miss our flight. LOL Is the Golden circle part of the Ring Road? Any suggestions on itineraries other then the first one posted here or advice anyone can give so we get the most out of our trip? We are from Hershey in the USA and very much looking forward to this trip so I am trying to get everything covered and booked till we go. Is it best to book hotels in advance or just go with the flow and stop wherever we are? I am worried about taking the chance that we won’t get a room, unless we do the campcar thing.

    1. Alice

      Hi Chris!

      Are you able to see this link? https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CKwDir1H5_i689doOQ6WCxkZWMo&usp=sharing This was our driving itinerary for Golden Circle and part of Ring Road.

      We went in early October this year so it’s around the same time as you’re thinking for next year. The campervan was amazing and I highly recommend it. When you’re driving you don’t have to worry about getting your your airbnb or hotel in time.

      All the campsites we stopped at was very clean as well.

      With the amount of time you’re spending, it’s very similar to our trip. However we did spend the 1st day in Reykavik to explore and then the rest on the road.

      The southern part of Ring Road will have the most to see in a shorter amount of driving time as well. We loved Iceland and plan to go back to explore the northern part of Ring Road 🙂

  36. Dan

    Your article was written with enthusiasm and was fun to read. Very thorough with so much good information! I’m visiting in July and found this quite useful. Thanks!

  37. Mia

    My partner and I are planning our trip to Iceland in Mid March. We would like to follow your itinerary. I have couple of questions though If that’s ok to ask.
    Do you recommend Coming to Reykjavik again after finishing Golden tour or head to Vik the same day?
    Also do you guys took any northern lights or ice cave tours or if yes do you recommend any? Is it possible to see Northen lights from Vik or Hofn by yourself? Also is it possible to visit an ice cave without any tour guides?
    Many Thanks

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  39. Sashur

    Love the detail, thank you! We are doing 5 days (including the day we arrive at 9:15AM), and are renting a motorhome in September. Do you think having the motorhome will allow a bit more flexibility? Perhaps we could do some of the driving at night? I’d love your thoughts!

  40. Eric

    I see you mentioned a few times that you would now recommend spending more time in Hofn/Vik as opposed to the Golden Circle. Could you recommend any specific sites/places/things to see in Hofn and Vik, that of course are not listed here? Thanks!

  41. Rick

    Thanks so much for this amazing plan. Did 5 days following this template. Incredibly helpful!

    One thing to my fellow travellers I would add /modify (from experience) is:

    Day 1 or 2 – do yourself a favour and stop at the Secret Lagoon Hot Spring (Gamla Laugin) – (on the way back on the Golden Cirlce) – cheaper than Blue Lagoon, more intimate and less people. And it is natural. We did it in -10c conditions and it was heaven.

    Day 1 – Kerio crater is very cool and worth the 800Isk fee.

    Day 3 – Skaftafell National Park – the Ice Cave and Glacier walk tour was pricey but worth it and encompassed everything we wanted to do. Company is Into the Glacier. We did the one at 11:45am which meant more time for other things (and also meant we did Viks Blank Sand Beach / Reynisfjara Basalt Column Beach on Day 5).

    Day 3 – Do Jokulsaron on this day if you can fit it in. It means you have a much more relaxing day in Hofn on day 4 as you cut out 2 hours driving back on yourself.

    Day 3 / 4 – Fjallsárlón, Iceland – just as impressive as Jokulsaron iceberg lagoon with massive blue ice lumps but with many less tourists.

    Day 4 – Hoffell Hot tubs 🙂 Also Stokksnes can be a 6km hike if you want to do it.

    Actually got caught in a blizzard on the first day in Reykjavik which meant roads closed and thus no Golden Cirlce on the first day.

    However, we just did it in the morning on the second day, and only missed doing the Sólheimasandur Airplane Wreck on day 2. We did do it on day 5 though on our way back 🙂

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      AMAZING!!!! Thank you Rick!! We haven’t done a single one of these things….okay well maybe a few…but not the crater, hoffell hot tubs etc. This is a great addition and we would love to try adding to this the next time we are in Iceland! So glad you had a good trip!

      1. Rick

        No no, thank you for the fantastic ideas. My girlfriend and I had a wonderful time.

        We also followed your idea on bringing our own food (we just had one luggage with food in it haha), and did not eat out once, only stopping at the supermarket once for veges and fruit, saving a tonne of money 🙂

        I usually bring a couple of things on holiday (especially as I’m vegan and some places might not have much choice), but wouldn’t have been bold enough to bring enough for the entire trip. It was fun rationing food and snacks too, so thank you once again for your time and effort in posting this online 😀

        1. Follow Me Away Post author

          Oh YAY!! So glad someone followed our advice on grocery store/packing food for Iceland! It truly saves SOOOOO much money!! So glad you did it and it worked!!

    2. chirag

      Hello Rick,
      I plan a son/father trip on march 30-april 6 trip. we don’t arrive to rekiyack until 4.45 am on march 31.
      If I were to follow above iteinary. Can u pls suggest the website for lodging/accomdations at different locations on different days. Or Did you guys stayed at rekiyack as your base and drove every day to different locations.
      Any suggestion for suv/jeep rental vs car.
      Best place for snow mobile.
      also, do you have to book ticket or fee in advance for lagoon, ice cave hiking, kerio crater or can you show up at the location and pay for it.
      Also, US dollars/Visa accepted everywhere or need to convert to isk.
      Thank you in advance for any reply.

  42. Lauren

    This itinerary will really be helpful for my trip to Iceland in April! I’m dying to see the puffins – can they be found at any of the stops on your itinerary, or can anyone recommend where to go to see them? Thanks!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Thank you for commenting! YES! You can see puffins at Dyrholey which is one of the last stops here [however you can do it at any time!] Puffins are onl in Iceland certain times of year so be sure to google to be sure they will be there when you arrive!

  43. Brianna

    Oh my goodess! Well you literally just planned my trip for me! I have a 6 day Iceland trip coming up at the end of May and this pretty much covers everything I want to do!

  44. Maike

    Thank you very much for sharing! I already asked myself if it is worth going to Iceland for 5-7 days. Your itinerary sounds great and I will definitely safe it. I wanted to go to Iceland this year but only have a few free days left. I thought this wouldn´t be enough time for Iceland but you convinced me otherwise 🙂

  45. Heta

    This post is so great! Did you calculate how much you ended up spending on petrol whilst driving? I would love to do something similar to this but I am a budget traveller so do not know if I could afford this.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      We did it on a budget on our first trip and followed this exact itinerary. It wasn’t that expensive and we stayed at Airbnb that were $50-$60 a night split between the two of us. I think a car rental was about $375 for 8 days? Gas is expensive and we brought food from America and only brought staples from the grocery store like fruit but that was it!

  46. Mark

    Thank you so much for sharing! We followed this itinerary to the T and literally just got back to Reykjavik from Hofn. It was very helpful and we had a blast!

  47. Stacy D Rhatigan

    We are doing 5 days in September. I’ve seen you reply to skip the golden circle. What shoul d we replace this with?

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      We would suggest taking two days to explore the Vik area so you don’t blow by each location and you can even go back if you must. That being said, if you want to see Gullfoss and the Geyser, then Golden Circle is fine if you don’t want to spend a long amount of time at each place. If 15-20 minutes looking at a waterfall is enough for you then maybe you won’t have to go back. For us, we like to spent 1-2 hours at each place to really take it in so it makes everything take a bit longer! Have fun!

  48. Lauren

    We just booked our flights for the end of September and pretty much plan on just copying your itinerary. Can’t wait!

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Have soooo much fun! Let us know what you think! Feel free to modify any way you see fit as well!

  49. Valérie

    Awesome itinerary! We are heading to Iceland at the beggining of may and will probably follow most of your itinary! We rented a small campervan! Thanks a lot for the advices as well 🙂

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  51. Dylan Wright

    Hey. Thank you for such a useful and enjoyable post. Iceland is just an incredible place and I have long been planning to make a similar trip. But I still can not decide – which transport should I choose? I planned to go with friends and take a car for rent (but we are less than 25 years there may be difficulties) I would be very grateful if you would advise what transport would be better for such a trip

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      YES! I am a floridian who has never driven in the snow, that was the first time, and it was easy as it is a straight flat road! No hills no crazy cliffs nothing like that!

  52. Jessica Carpenter

    Great overview! I definitely will be following this advice and itinerary if and when I visit Iceland! It’s probably somewhere I would love a quick visit to check it out and then come back for a longer visit in the future.

  53. Lenise Calleja

    Pinned your post as I really wish to visit Iceland later on this year. This itinerary although quite short, covers a lot of the places I wish to visit. Thanks for sharing!

  54. Christina Holthuis

    The waterfalls are really beautiful, especially the Gljúfrabúi Waterfall is so incredible, I would definitely visit this amazing place! The 5 Day tour is really amazing, because the pictures express the happiness. I really enjoyed the picturesque moments, you have captured, Thanks for the awesome share!

  55. Mihaela

    Even if I didn’t plan a road trip to Iceland before, now I want to do it after reading your article. It looks like such an amazing experience! Not to mention all the beautiful photos you took along the way!! loved it

  56. Eric Larson

    Thanks for posting this! My wife and I are headed to Iceland over memorial day and we are basically going to follow your itinerary.

      1. Eric Larson

        Thanks for all your help for our trip… we reorganized your itinerary just a tad because it was really rainy for the first few days… so we left the waterfalls on the SW coast to do on the drive back, and that worked out great because it was nice and sunny so you could see the rainbows through the mists!

        We also went a little farther east while staying in Hofn… we drove about 2 hours NE along the coast past Stoksness to see some of the fjords, and they were spectacular! It definitely added extra driving though.

  57. cammie ives

    I echo everyone else’s thanks for this great itinerary. My husband, daughter and I just booked a spur-of-the -moment Iceland adventure for next month. We will skip Golden Circle and head in the direction of Vik from the airport. Can we base ourselves in Vik or Hofn? They seem to be close enough together. We’d prefer to not switch accommodations if it wasn’t necessary.And if so, which town would you suggest? Thanks again.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hello! If you don’t want to switch, I would recommend basing in Vik over Hofn. You can take day trips from Vik and there are tons of things to see and do! Have so much fun!!!

  58. Shashank Shah

    Can we do your entire 5 day tour this summer from 15-20th July in a 2×2 car or do we need a 4×4 . Also if we want to get a visit to a glacier how do we do the same? Would we be able to drive the car to the base of the glacier? Please advice

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hello! YES! You can do the entire itinerary with a 2×2 car, especially in July! There is a glacier right past Skaftafell National Park entrance on your left heading North that you can EASILY drive to! It is right off the road and there is a parking lot at the base!

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  60. Eric Larson

    My wife and I just got back from a fantastic trip to Iceland following this itinerary, and it was a great trip. I do have a piece of advice for everybody on rental cars, though…

    When you book your rental car, it will often come with an included Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) which only pays the excess after you’ve paid $2,000 in damages. When you get to the counter, they will ask you if you want extra insurance… I declined this because my United Airlines credit card (like a lot of travel credit cards) cover your rental car as long as you use that credit card to pay for the car.

    Well on our 4th day there were very high winds, and when we stopped for gas my wife opened her passenger door and the wind took it, pushing it too far and too fast forward. The damages were $1,400. I am HOPING my credit card covers the damages since we used their card to pay for the car and declined the extra insurance…

    Two lessons here… first of all… check if your credit card covers rental car damages and follow their guidance to the letter. Secondly, ask your rental company if you can decline the automatically-included Collision Damage Waiver that comes with the car rental, because almost all credit cards require this.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Thank you SO MUCH for this very helpful comment!! We will actually use this when we go to Iceland in September!

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  62. Danny

    Hi there – how come you sleep at Hofn one night, drive west to Jökulsárlón, then back east to Hofn to Stokksnes? Wouldn’t it save time to start at Sotkksnes then go backwards to Jokul?

    Thanks again for your tips!

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  64. Azhar

    Is there a way to fit blue lagoon in this trip. My flight lands 10:30 am on day 1 and takes off at 3 PM on day 5.

    Thanks for the write up, planning to stick with this itinerary when I visit next month.

  65. Pingback: Next up: Iceland in August | Coat + Coffee

  66. rachel kaye

    Hi, many thanks for this fantastic post!
    I have a day (9.30am-6pm) before my friend arrives I was thinking of doing the Golden Circle (even though you now say it’s not so spectacular :()

    How long will it take me to do the round trip from Reykjavik comfortably? Alternatively is there anything else you recommend I can do?

    Many thanks!

  67. Jennifer SmithParker

    Don’t have a license so don’t have a car to drive. Will have to rely on hitchhiking and buses. Anyway from your itinerary, it seems you stayed a different city each night correct?

  68. sentosa

    Want to ask some questions , I’m gonna switch ring road to last day , can I packed it driving ring road and explore refkjavic in 1 day ?

    or when driving back from hofn to refkjavic do I still have time to do city tour ? I checked google map its about 6 hours driving, if I start at 8am probably at 2pm I will arrive at the city .. and the rest of the time exploring the city ..

  69. Jaffrey

    Great post and pictures, Victoria and Terrence. We plan to follow this. However, we have a 2.5 year old daughter with us – can we (husband + wife + 2.5 year kid) do this itinerary? Anything that would stop us? This is crucial to know. Thanks for your reply.

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Nope that should not stop you! Just make sure to take frequent breaks! Other followers with children age 2-5 did this itinerary recently with no issues! Have so much fun!

  70. ShabbyTrick

    I just got done planning our trip when I came across your site… I’m really happy with everything I booked as it appears to overlap much of your trip that looked great. Found a couple of great spots I missed but have them added to the our must see list

  71. JoshS


    I have a couple extra days, and so I saw you recommended perhaps splitting day 3 into 2 days. What would you recommend if you had 1 additional day to spend on top of that (I have 7 days total)?

    Thanks so much, great article!


  72. Munawer Dars

    Hi Guys

    Great article 🙂 – My wife and I have planned to visit Iceland in first week of May but only for 3 days (3 full days available excluding commute days).

    Can anyone please recommend what to see / skip from above 5 days’ list?

    Need to make hotel arrangements, bookings etc. so quick response would be appreciated 🙂

    Thank in advance


  73. Marjan

    Hey, thanks for this, I think this is the itinerary that we are going to follow. We will rent a car with a roof-top tent so that we can sleep outside and enjoy the nature even more (not to mention the cost), and I think this will be a great trip. We have a lot of experience in sleeping in tents and similar, but not in Iceland. I hope the cold won’t be too much for us!

  74. Pingback: Experiencing The Blue Lagoon, Iceland - The Traveler's Way

  75. Nilu

    Hey! I’m thinking of going here next month and your blog is super helpful. Wondering if you remember how long the walks are to get to some of the main stops in the golden circle, etc… I have an injury so wanted to make sure I can walk it before making plans.

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