Itinerary for a Summer Weekend in Iceland
For such a small country, there is a lot to do in Iceland. It’s a land bursting with natural wonders, from the peaks of its mountains to the depths of its springs.
Many visitors only have time to take in this country over a weekend, so the ‘to do’ list can be overwhelming. But because the country is so compact and user-friendly, you can fill a short break with enough memories to last a lifetime.
We offer some cool three-day packages that take care of everything. But if you’d like to go at your own pace and mix and match, we’ve put together some of our favorite individual summer attractions.
Here’s a breakdown of how you could make the most of a short break to our magical country during the summer months.
On your first day, we’d suggest going straight for the iconic landmarks, ideally close to Reykjavik.
You’re never too far from a hot spring in Iceland, and indeed, they are something of a national institution.
If you want to take a dip on your way from the airport, you’re in luck. There’s a stop-off option at Blue Lagoon (from the airport or from Reykjavik).
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s best-known springs and spas. Established in 1976 as an attraction, this natural resource dates back far longer. It’s a geothermal spring of hot water, rich in algae, minerals and silica. Many visitors praise its healing and rejuvenating properties. Most opt for the free white silica mud mask that’s available to all guests.
Relax, soak, let the water do its work, and take in the spectacular, unique surrounds.
There’s also a skincare shop, café and the Lava Restaurant on site, allowing visitors to spend as long as they like to unwind and enjoy.
Golden Circle Half Day Tour
As we mentioned above, there’s a lot to take in when you visit Iceland, so a tour with multiple stop-offs is a popular option for short breaks.
The Golden Circle Half Day Tour lasts for six hours and starts at the majestic Thingvellir National Park. This is a place of both immense historical importance and great beauty. In 930 AD, the first parliamentary meeting took place in Thingvellir. It’s also the location of “The Law Rock”, where laws were proclaimed in the olden days.
The National Park itself is a sight to behold, with the incredible Öxarárfoss Waterfall, the Almannagjá rock gorge (which was formed by lava), and much more.
After that, you’ll visit the geothermally active area, where you can marvel at the Great Gesir, the hot spring that inspired the English word “geyser”. This includes the spring, Strokkur, which erupts super-heated water every 8-10 minutes. Watching these geysers erupt is a unique, bucket-list-ticking experience.
Finally, you’ll be brought to the “Golden Falls”, officially known as Gullfoss. This epic waterfall stretches 32 metres and is a humbling, breathtakingly beautiful attraction.
You’ll return to Reykjavik by around 7pm.
Summer in Iceland is the best time to make the most of the nation’s abundance of water, whether that means sightseeing on the sea, or hitting the rapids…
One of our most popular family tours, whale watching brings you up close and personal with our local humpback whales, minke whales, porpoises, dolphins and many other types of cetacean. Cruise around Faxaflói to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.
While our whale watching tours run all year, summer time is the best time to see certain species (and the most comfortable too!). On chilly days, you can watch the whales from inside the ship’s cabin.
(If you’re staying for longer than a single weekend, Dalvik in Northern Iceland is also a popular whale watching spot.)
Visitors and Icelandic locals both love to take to the rafts when the weather is good. And the Gullfoss Canyon Rafting Tour is a chance to take in the country’s beauty from a different perspective.
Float down the Hvítá River, which runs from Iceland’s second-largest glacier. Take in the epic views of the Brúarhlöð canyon, with its unique rock formations and high walls. And – if you’re up for it – finish the trip with a dive into the canyon’s waters.
We also have combination tours, which feature a morning of whale-watching followed by an afternoon of rafting.
All of this activity might make you thirsty. Thankfully, Reykjavik has more than its share of excellent watering holes. We have a few blog posts about the city’s finest bars and tours, but if you’d like a professional, local guide, we also have pub crawl tours to check out.
Whether you fancy a cocktail, a craft beer, fine whiskey or something else entirely, a pub crawl tour is perfect for anyone who wants to sample the city’s nightlife. Those travelling alone or in small groups are especially fond of these little jaunts.
Towards the end of your weekend trip, you might want to wind down with some low-key, mellow experiences…
Reykjavik Food Tour
Over the course of about three or four hours, this walking / eating tour in Reykjavik will introduce you to 6 of the tastiest eateries in town. Learn about this fascinating city with every step. The food you’ll try will be a mix of the city’s most famous restaurants and a few smaller, hidden gems.
Bring comfortable shoes, raingear (this is Iceland, after all!) and an empty stomach.
See you in Iceland!
The beauty of Iceland is that you can have incredible, memorable experiences, even within a short space of time. Whether you’re popping over for a brief break, or a longer holiday, we look forward to seeing you.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our diverse range of multiday trips.