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Your 5 Days in Iceland: Plan Your Itinerary

What to do with 5 days in Iceland

|December 15, 2023
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Are you headed to Iceland for five days? Wondering what you’ll be able to achieve in this time? We’ve got you covered. From the South to the East, the North to the West, five days is plenty of time to get to know the country.


Iceland is a bucket list destination for many, inviting them to explore its numerous attractions and try different activities. The country is ready to uncover its perks depending on how long you plan to stay.

What is the Best Time of Year for 5 Days in Iceland?

This question is important, especially when considering a shorter trip to Iceland. During the winter, daylight hours are limited, and with the potential for extreme weather, fitting in many attractions in a day can be more challenging than any other time of the year. That being said, there are plenty of tours and activities happening in the winter, and that brings a unique kind of magic. From the Northern Lights to frozen waterfalls, if you are limited to a winter break, then Iceland will still be ideal.

If you can choose to spend your five days in Iceland any time of year, the summer offers midnight sun and longer, warmer days. This works in your favor as you plan your five-day itinerary.  You’ll be able to adventure later into the day and see some sights without any tourists at all.

The autumn and the spring offer the beauty of both seasons and are quieter. It’s also the time of year that you’re most likely to find tours with offers and deals, meaning you can experience more for less.

5-Day Itinerary Options

When coming to Iceland for five days, there are lots of options depending on how you want to use your time. You may want to spend your whole time traveling or base yourself in the capital, where there are plenty of dining and entertainment options. Whatever your priorities for your five days in Iceland, there’s lots to keep you busy.

Aerial view of Reykjavík Iceland

5 Days Based in Reykjavík

Day 1: Reykjavík

After arriving in Iceland, one option is to spend the first day wandering the capital. Begin your explorations by strolling through the streets surrounding Hallgrímskirkja, the prominent cathedral that graces the skyline. Then spend some time diving into art culture in Reykjavík by visiting renowned galleries such as the National Gallery of Iceland and the Reykjavík Art Museum.

End your day with a shopping spree along the trendy Laugavegur street, where local boutiques and unique stores are filled with Icelandic treasures.

Day 2: The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Begin your second day early as you embark on a captivating journey to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, famously known as "Lítið Ísland" or Little Iceland. This peninsula has all the enchanting attractions that Iceland has to offer in one area. From glaciers, waterfalls, and quaint fishing villages, all steeped in folklore, it is the perfect way to spend one of your five days.

Nestled in West Iceland, Snæfellsnes is easily explored in a single day on a small-group tour from Reykjavík or can be extended over two days when combined with other nearby wonders.

Day 3: The Golden Circle

On your third day, head out onto the Golden Circle tour, stopping at famous landmarks like Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss Waterfall. The tour can be completed in an afternoon or be extended to last the whole day.

Day 4: A Choice of Adventure

After two days of exploring some of Iceland's most notable sites, you may be in the mood for something a little different. Day four is the perfect time to plan an adventure in Iceland, with numerous options to choose from that depart from the capital. Whether it's whale watching or river rafting, there's plenty to explore.

Day 5: The Blue Lagoon

Heading home on day five doesn’t mean the fun has to end immediately. If you have time before your flight, consider a visit to the world-renowned Blue Lagoon. Situated near the international airport, you can spend the time before your departure relaxing in the geothermal waters, creating a soothing and memorable experience that will end your trip on a high note.

Ring Road in Iceland

5 Days Traveling Around Iceland

If you are looking to travel around Iceland for the duration of your trip, spending your days and nights in different towns and cities, then a self-drive tour might be an attractive option. 

Day 1: The Golden Circle

As soon as you arrive in Iceland, pick up your rental car and drive towards the Golden Circle route. This famous tourist route is the perfect introduction to driving in Iceland and its incredible sights. On this first evening, you can either stay in a hotel along the Golden Circle or opt to stay in the capital.

Day 2: Waterfalls, Glaciers & a Black Sand Beach

On the second day, start heading south towards the incredible Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skógafoss Waterfall, and Sólheimajökull Glacier. You can add extra stops at Iceland's black sand beach before finding a place to eat and rest in the charming village of Vík.

Day 3: Vatnajökull National Park

There is more to explore in the south. After breakfast, head to the incredible Vatnajökull National Park, where you will find the world-famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Here you can watch blue, black, and white icebergs floating past. There are many day tours running from this area, including kayaking, glacier hiking, and boat trips. After exploring the lagoon, head to Diamond Beach, where icebergs wash up onto the contrasting black sand.

Day 4: Lómagnúpur Mountain

Waking up in the south again, you’ll take a slow drive back towards the capital, stopping off at some incredible spots along the way. Lómagnúpur Mountain and Dverghamrar are incredible locations to discover the geology in Iceland. Head into Reykjavík or stop off at other attractions along the way.

Day 5: The Reykjanes Peninsula

On your last day, depending on your flight time, you may have the opportunity to explore some of the Reykjanes Peninsula. This region is full of lava fields and volcanic activity. You can get a real feel for why Iceland is called the land of fire and ice before heading to the airport, which is located within this area.

Browse our variety of day tours and multi-day tours to help you decide the best way to spend your five days in Iceland.

 

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