7-day itinerary in Iceland
If you ask me, I'll tell you that 7 days in Iceland are not enough. I would add at least 3 days or one more week, as exploring the country touring the Ring Road is simple and offers endless possibilities. However, a week may be enough to open mouth in Iceland. Believe me, it doesn't matter when you go… You want to go back: Iceland is a country of two eras. In winter, Iceland gives you aurora borealis, wonderful snowy scenery and many other advantages that I told you here. In summer the colors change dramatically and the hours of light are endless, so you can visit more with less time in the country. Have you chosen what time you want to go?
Itinerary to visit Iceland in winter
In our case we opted to visit the country from Húsafell to Jökullsárlón, including the peninsula of Reykjanes. As I have told you, a week in winter is not enough to tour the entire Ring Road so we had to select what to visit. Due to the snowfall of the century (seriously, it did not snow so much in Iceland since the years 50) our flight was delayed almost 24 hours, so our week in the country was still shorter. At the time when we visited Iceland-from the end of February to the beginning of March-the sun went out about 9:00 and it was on the 18:00, so we tried to take advantage of the hours of sun to the maximum getting up before sunrise. During our week in Iceland we rented a 4×4 that took us safely everywhere, even in the blizzard. Read here all you need to know to drive in Iceland safely. Do you want to know what we visited?
Day 1: Arrival
We arrived by night to Keflavik, the international Airport of Iceland, only 20 hours later than expected. There we picked up the boy from Lagoon car rental (click here to learn more) and after managing the rental of our car for a week we drove through the blizzard to the Hotel Húsafell. * Our plans for this day were totally opposite. We had a reservation for the previous night in a hotel near the airport and our initial idea for this day was to explore Reykjavik and the surroundings of Húsafell, ending the day at the hotel's thermal pools.
Day 2: Húsafell
After a repairing dream after our long odyssey, we had breakfast at the Húsafell hotel and waited patiently for the roads to be opened towards Reykjavik, as we woke up with the roads cut off. Once the roads were opened we visited the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, as well as the Deildartunguhver spring, where you will find the most beautiful dog in all of Iceland. On the way to Reykjavik we also had our first encounter with the beautiful Icelandic horses. The road is beautiful and the scenery is amazing. The amount of snow is amazing and we must go very slowly. We stop to refuel in Reykjavik and continue to our next destination: Hvolsvöllur, where we sleep on a farm. Many of the roads were cut so at the end we spent most of the day driving. * Once again, the plans for this day were not these. Our intention was to visit the Golden Circle this day but it was not possible as the access roads to it were closed.
Day 3: Thórsmörk
We woke up at sunrise to do the Midgard Surprise tour with Midgard Adventure, one of the best decisions of the whole trip. With them we visited the Thor Valley: Thórsmörk. This is one of the hardest-to-reach places, especially in winter. With them we waded rivers and found Arctic foxes as we explored glaciers and volcanoes. It was one of the most amazing days of the trip. We ended the day at the Seljalandfoss Waterfall and headed to our hostel in Vík í Myrdal. That same night we drove a few minutes to the West and for the first time we met the Northern Lights.
Day 4: Svínafellsjökul, Jökulsárlón and Svartifoss
We left Vík í Myrdal to continue advancing eastward and the landscape was changing drastically as we approached to the Vatnajökull Glacier. Our first stop was in the language of the Svínafellsjökull Glacier and then we headed towards Jökulsárlón and Diamond Beach. We didn't get the hours to enjoy these magical places! From here we head to Svartifoss, the basalt cascade. After falling on the ice a couple of times (or three), we headed to our next accommodation in Kirkjubaerjarklaustur, where we could see the northern lights in a much clearer way.
Day 5: Surroundings of Vík
Kirkjubaerjarklaustur is very close to Eldhraun, the lava desert of the Laki volcano. We saw it completely covered with snow, so it does not appreciate very well. We continue driving in the direction of Vík í Myrdal and our next stop is the famous Black Sand Beach with its basalt columns, the trolls on one side and Dyrhólaey the other. The words fall short to describe the beauty of this place. As always in Iceland you seem to be on another planet. We continue driving along the most amazing stretch of road that takes us to Dyrhólaey. The climb is made by dirt tracks that can hardly pass two cars at the same time but the views on the top deserve the climb. Then we visited Sólheimasandur, the plane crashed on the beach and if I had to define the experience in a single word it would be overcrowded. I guess Instagram will have something to do with this… And to finish the day we visited the waterfall Skógafoss, but too late to see it with the typical rainbow that usually accompanies. However we were able to enjoy it without a few people, after the burden of Sólheimasandur. On your visit to Skógafoss do not forget to go up the steps that allows you to get a dizzy view, literally. I'm not afraid of heights but there I could feel it! Tonight at Thykkvibaer we enjoy the most amazing aurora Borealis of the trip, and also from the warmth of the home! We stayed in Fjarkastokkur, a beautiful new house from where you can see the auroras perfectly with just peeking at the window.
Day 6: Reykjanes Peninsula
This day we took it very calmly. We head towards the Reykjanes Peninsula (whose roads were icy!) to visit Lake Kleifarvatn and Krísuvík before spending about 3 hours soaking in the Blue Lagoon. After the bath we headed to Reykjavik, where after leaving our stuff at the guesthouse we decided to go out and try the city's most famous hot dogs at Baejarins Beztu Pylsur and visited the Harpa building for another infinite photo shoot.
Day 7: Golden Circle
We get up with time to visit Hallgrímskirkja, the Cathedral of Reykjavik and Solfar, the sculpture that represents an ode to the Sun, before heading for the Golden circle. The Golden circle includes Thingvellir, Geysir and the Gullfoss waterfall and was certainly the most crowded of the entire trip. On the way down the car a few times to pet horses during which would be our last hours in the country. And after a short stop in Reykjavik to refuel we headed to the airport to catch our night flight back to Spain. * As you can see, in Iceland you spend a lot of time on the road, but being on the road is truly enjoyed and is part of the trip. To make this itinerary I counted with the help of Alberto de with a pair of boots, expert in Iceland and better photographer. Do not hesitate to check your blog if you are preparing a trip to Iceland! In this other post you will find different accommodation options, for all tastes and budgets. And remember that you can get your travel insurance for Iceland with Hey Mondo with a 5% discount by clicking here.