• 7 Reasons To Stay At The Ritz-Carlton Toronto For Your Next Getaway | Luxury Hotel Rooms | What To Do In Toronto | Where To Stay In Toronto | Ritz-Carlton Toronto Hotel Review | Toronto Travel Tips | Best Luxury Hotels | Luxury Travel Tips | Follow Me Away Travel

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary

If taking an epic 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 on a budget airline or 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 Icelandic road trip. If you are searching for how to best spend 5 days in Iceland, we have got you covered! 

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

If the thought of driving the entire Ring Road [the 800+ mile highway circumnavigating the island] doesn’t appeal to you or you don’t have enough time, you can still plan an 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. 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! 

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 road trip 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. 

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

 

Disclaimer: Although shortened, the entire 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 Iceland road trip in 5 days. Take a peek at our Iceland packing list if you aren’t sure what to bring because you are going to want to be prepared.

During your time on the Island, you will still be able to see geysers, hot springs, volcanic rock, ponies, glaciers, puffins, landscapes that look like they should be on another planet and more. 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!

Our Epic 5 Day South-East Iceland Road Trip 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 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. 

See 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! 

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. Regardless, it is a cool place to walk around and take photos.

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!

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: 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 Iceland road trip itinerary is going to be busy!

Discover Affordable Hotels In Vik

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. Seljalandsfoss is a fascinating stop to add to your 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. 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 Iceland Ring Road 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! 

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

 

Stop 3: 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 it is totally worth it to see a freaking airplane on a black sand beach!

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 itinearary 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. 

Day 3: Drive From Vik To Hofn For The Next Day Of Your Iceland Road Trip 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! Jam-packed 5 day Iceland itineraries aren’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. 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 Iceland Ring Road itinerary. 

Discover Affordable Hotels In Hofn

Stop 1: Reynishverfi Basalt Column 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 day 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 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. 

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 started really early or can add more time to your Iceland road trip itinerary, you may be able to take a fabulous tour of one of the Ice caves at Skaftafell National Park! 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! 

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

 

Stop 4: Hofn

You will end day 3 of your 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary by spending the night in the town of Hofn. 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! 

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

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. 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.

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! 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! 

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

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

Highlights: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Dryholaey

Don’t Forget To Book Your Reykjavik Hotel

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. If you want to, there is a road near the Skaftafell National Park entrance that takes you to the base of another glacier. You can drive right to it and it is a great quick stop. If you get to the entrance for the visitor center, you went to far so turn around and keep an eye out on your left for the glacier road. 

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

If you want to spend more time at any of your previous stops, 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!

Stop 1: Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is one of the lesser-known and most underrated stops along our 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. You can walk along the base of the canyon near the river that runs through it or you can climb up to the top for a majestic view inside! 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! 

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. 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. 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: 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. 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. 

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

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! 

Pin This Post:

The Ultimate 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary | Icelandic Road Trip Route | Iceland Travel Tips | How To Take A Road Trip In Iceland | 5 day Iceland itinerary | #iceland #roadtrip #icelandtravel

 

79 thoughts on “The Ultimate 5 Day 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!

  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.

  4. Pingback: Driving Iceland's Golden Circle - Erika's Travels

  5. Pingback: How To Visit Iceland Without Breaking The Bank | GeorgiaWorld News

  6. Pingback: How To Visit Iceland Without Breaking The Bank – One World News Service

  7. Pingback: How To Visit Iceland Without Breaking The Bank | Cheap Trips

  8. Pingback: How To Visit Iceland Without Breaking The Bank | Beautiful Travel Destinations

  9. Pingback: How To Visit Iceland Without Breaking The Bank | News Outlet

  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.

    Thanks!

    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?

    Best,
    Emily

    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

  14. Pingback: Touring Iceland's Golden Circle | The Travelbunny

  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!!

    Best,
    Brian

  16. Pingback: Iceland Bucket List: Guide to the Best Things to See and Do

  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!

    Thanks

    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!

  32. Pingback: Iceland | 4eets

  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

    Hi
    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

  38. Pingback: What to Pack for Iceland in March: All the Essentials

  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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *