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How to Spend 7 Days in Iceland

Enjoy a week taking in Iceland’s most unmissable sights

|December 8, 2023
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Some might say that a week in Iceland is the perfect amount of time to explore the island. Discover the best seven-day Iceland itineraries.

Are you planning a week in Iceland? For seven-day itineraries, there’s no blanket answer, but the beauty of this is that you can enjoy a number of the country’s top attractions and regions that suit you. When you factor in certain things like the time of year you’re visiting and what you’re most eager to see, you’ll soon get an idea of the best way to spend your week in Iceland.

7-Day Iceland Itinerary for Summer: Hit the Highlands

If experiencing the true wilds of Iceland is at the top of your priorities, then look no further than the Icelandic Highlands. These dramatic landscapes are dotted with jaw-dropping valleys, sprawling glaciers, imposing mountains, and untamed rivers. But for the wild-at-heart adventurer, there’s no better way to experience the best of Iceland.

The Highlands are located within the heart of the island and are navigated through a series of gravel roads, not designed for the faint of heart, known as F-Roads. The F-Roads can only be explored with the use of a reliable 4x4 vehicle: anything short of this will not only leave you unable to complete your journey but could also leave you in danger. Once you’ve got your trusty 4x4 though, you’re ready to experience some of the most amazing sights on the planet.

Days 1 & 2: Reykjavík to Thórsmörk

Dramatic views of rivers and mountains in Thórsmörk, Iceland

Thórsmörk, Iceland

Assuming you’ll be starting your travels from the capital, once you’ve got the keys to your 4x4, head out of the city and into the heart of Iceland. A drive of less than two hours will bring you to your first destination, Thórsmörk or “Thor’s Valley.” This region of the Highlands is one of Iceland’s hidden gems. Dramatic landscapes entwined with expansive trails define the area, which is settled between two glaciers (Eyjafjallajökull and Tindfjallajökull).

The valley is a paradise for those who enjoy hiking and the outdoors. To experience the best of what the region has to offer, join our Thórsmörk hike & Super Jeep tour.

Days 2 & 3: Thórsmörk to Thjórsárdalur Valley

Thjórsárdalur Valley in the Icelandic Highlands

Thjórsárdalur Valley in the Icelandic Highlands

After you’ve had your fill of adventure in Thor’s Valley, it’s time to head towards your second destination on your seven-day Icelandic experience: Thjórsárdalur Valley. Head north, another hour deeper into the Highlands to explore this area.

Here, you can enjoy the serene natural beauty of the area, including the unmissable Háifoss Waterfall. The area is also home to a rarity in Iceland - a woodland forest, called the Búrfell Woods.

Days 3 & 4: Landmannalaugar

The colorful, rhyolite-rich mountains of Landmannalaugar in the Icelandic Highlands

The colorful, rhyolite-rich mountains of Landmannalaugar in the Icelandic Highlands

Heading deeper into the Highlands on day three will take you another two hours along the F-Roads to Landmannalaugar. Many consider this region to be one of Iceland’s most enchanting. Landmannalaugar is a unique geological location in the Highlands, where high quantities of the mineral rhyolite cause the mountains to display a shocking kaleidoscope of colors that you won’t believe until you see them. 

The area is popular amongst hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, but even if you’re just hoping to absorb the stunning beauty of the area, it’s well worth a visit. If you’re seeking more of a thrill, why not consider a Landmannalaugar hiking day tour or even a Safari Super Jeep tour?

Days 4 & 5: Landmannalaugar to Langjökull Glacier

Langjökull Glacier, Iceland, in the snow

Langjökull Glacier, Iceland

The next leg of your Highland adventure will take you even further north of the region to the snow-capped glacier, Langjökull. There’s no end of adventure activities to take part in here. You can choose from the popular Into the Glacier experience, where you can journey into a man-made ice tunnel, or even enjoy an unforgettable Glacier Monster Truck tour.

Day 5 & 6: Hveravellir Nature Reserve

Bubbling geothermal activity in Hveravellir Nature Reserve

Geothermal activity in Hveravellir Nature Reserve

After experiencing the ice of Langjökull Glacier, why not head to one of the most amazing natural hot spring areas in Iceland to warm up? Hveravellir Nature Reserve, also known as the “hot spring fields,” is an interesting geothermal area where you can see Iceland’s volcanic underbelly bubbling to the surface. 

While taking a dip in the region's hot pools might be appealing, they’re simply too hot to safely enjoy. Instead, visit the naturally heated pool that is safe and admire the others from afar!

Day 6 & 7: The Golden Circle and back to Reykjavík

The famous Geysir in Iceland on a snowy day at sunset

The famous Geysir in Iceland

After your time in the Highlands, it’ll be time to head back towards Reykjavík to conclude your time in Iceland. As you make the long journey back to the capital, make sure to stop off Route 1 to enjoy the splendor of the Golden Circle.

The benefit of this area is that it comprises three of Iceland’s top attractions, all situated closely together so they can easily be visited in a single day. The three attractions are Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Geysir Geothermal Area. One of the best ways to enjoy the area is with Golden Circle Superior tour.

Now it’s time to head back to Reykjavík!

If you’d like to experience a week in Iceland without thinking about the planning or logistics, our seven-day complete Iceland tour covers the very best attractions that the beautiful land of fire and ice has to offer.

7-Day Iceland Itinerary for Winter: Take on the Ring Road

Iceland’s Ring Road is a paved and easily traveled road that takes you all around the perimeter of Iceland and hits some of the best attractions the country has to offer. Because the road well maintained, you can travel it even during an Icelandic winter, and usually without the need for a 4x4 vehicle. By sticking to the Ring Road and taking a few well-chosen detours, you’ll have the best week in Iceland imaginable.

While one week is adequate to tackle the Ring Road and hit some of the major highlights, you could certainly spend two weeks if you wanted to leave no stone unturned. But if you’re working with one week, read on to discover the sights you simply have to see.

Days 1 & 2: Reykjavík and the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland

The Ring Road leads you straight out of Reykjavík, so you might as well take some time to soak up the culture of the charming capital city. There are plenty of tours to enjoy, including walking tours and a hop-on, hop-off tour.

After enjoying some time in the city, why not head to the Blue Lagoon to soak in utter luxury or enjoy some supreme spa treatments? The mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon, a result of the nearby Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant, have created one of the most popular spa locations in the world.

Days 2 & 3: The Golden Circle to Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

The Diamond Beach in Iceland at sunset

The Diamond Beach in Iceland

After your time spent soaking, it’s time to get ready for adventure. This is another option to experience the attractions of the Golden Circle, and then carry on to take on some unforgettable and icy sights.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is unlike anything you’ve seen before, and as a result, is one of the most popular places to visit in Iceland. The gentle glacier lagoon is dotted with imposing icebergs floating in the water, which are constantly melting and breaking away from the Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier. If you’re lucky, you might even see seals relaxing on the ice! Get up close and personal with a glacier lagoon kayak tour.

Directly opposite the lagoon, you’ll find Diamond Beach. Here, chunks of ice from the lagoon wash ashore, in stark contrast with the beach’s black sand. It makes for an amazing site and is a top selfie destination! Discover all that the area has to offer with a South Coast tour.

Days 3 & 4: Lake Mývatn

Lake Mývatn, Iceland

Lake Mývatn, Iceland

If all that time spent around the chilly waters of Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon has left you feeling a bit in need of thawing out, you’ll be excited to reach your next destination. Lake Mývatn and the Mývatn Nature Baths (known as “the Blue Lagoon of the North”) are located in the northern part of Iceland, and you’ll get to enjoy some amazing scenery up the country’s east coast on your way there. The lake itself is a geothermal wonder, and the surrounding wetlands host a wealth of local wildlife.

Days 4 & 5: Húsavík and Akureyri

The harbor at Húsavík, Iceland

The harbor at Húsavík, Iceland

After a few days of enjoying the natural wonders of Iceland, you might be keen to experience the northern towns of the island. Húsavík, known as the whale-watching capital of the world, is a charming town, with a rich history, to explore. You may recognize the town as the home of the two main characters in the hit Netflix comedy, Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga.

Next, head on to Akureyri, “the northern capital of Iceland.” Since you’re visiting in winter, you might have a chance to see the aurora borealis on a Northern Lights tour!

Days 5 & 6: Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Kirfkjufell under the Northern Lights

Kirfkjufell under the Northern Lights

As you begin to head back towards the south of Iceland, you simply cannot pass up the chance to visit the wonders of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, rated the most scenic destination in Europe. This small finger of Iceland is packed with some of the best things to see and do in the whole country, and you’ll probably recognize a number of landmarks, like Kirkjufell, made famous in the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones. Enjoy our Snæfellsnes & Kirkjufell small group tour to experience the best the region has to offer.

Days 6 & 7: Snæfellsnes and back to Reykjavík

The famous Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík, Iceland

The famous Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík, Iceland

With your week in Iceland coming to an end, you’ll sadly need to head back to Reykjavík. Take some last-minute time to explore any remaining corners of the city you missed at the start of your journey and prepare to head home with a head full of unforgettable memories. Want a little extra time to recover from your travels before hitting the road on an adventure? Why not plan eight days in Iceland?

Tours with Arctic Adventures are the perfect way to round out your dream week in Iceland. We have a whole host of tours along the Ring Road and in the Highlands to make sure that your adventure is unmatchable. View our day tours and multi-day tours to find out more.


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