Road trip around Iceland in 14 days

Jökulsárlón lagoon

Are you bored with your all-inclusive vacations? Did you ever picture yourself exploring the totally out of this world sceneries of Iceland?

You want to get a bunch of friends together and have the road trip of a lifetime?

No, seriously, do you want to travel to Iceland? The answer should be yes. Yess, you do, trust me on this one! Maybe you don’t know that yet, but trust me, you do.

Whichever continent you are from, you can have my word as Misstourist that you haven’t seen nothing like Iceland before. It’s so unique!

Now, what do you need for your Iceland holiday?

  1. Tickets to Iceland
  2. A bunch of friends. (This is optional but highly recommended)
  3. And a car. (Yes! You need a car to complete the road trip, don’t act so surprised!)

This article is written to give you an idea of what you can see in Iceland making a complete circle of the country (which is an island). For more detailed practical information of how to organize the day, where to stay etc, just click to the link describing each day.

This is an overview so, if you have a bit more (or less) days, you can simply adjust it according to the route suggested below.

How to rent a car in Iceland

Lagoon car rental welcome airportRenting a car in Iceland in top season is tricky. It was for me, especially, since I had a full 2 weeks ahead. There was no luck involved here, after going through every possible rental, I found the best rates at Lagoon Car Rental, they even give discounts for one week, two weeks or longer rental periods. They sent this smiley guy to pick me up and take me to their office just a few minutes away from the airport. And they got my name right: check it out!

Also, I found Sixt to give some interesting discounts for car rentals. See the rates for your dates here. If you are renting for 7 or more days, this link gives you 35% off when you book a car.

And because I wouldn’t let you go unprepared, my dear reader, I wrote a guide about how to choose a car, and about driving in Iceland!

Things to do in Iceland – Itinerary overview

Now, for a more in-depth look on the whole trip, I divided the route into 4 posts. I did this so it’s more readable for you. They are split as follows:

Days 1-4: Reykjavik, the South and the South-East of Iceland

Days 5-9: The Eastern Fjords, The North of Iceland

Days 10-12: The West Fjords 

Days 13-14: The North of Reykjavik and the capital

Let’s start!

Days 1-4: Reykjavik, the South and the South-East of Iceland

Day 1 – Relax in the Blue Lagoon

Welcome to Iceland, traveler!

First things first! Relax after your flight in the Blue Lagoon for 1-2 hours and visit the city of Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. Get supplies and a good night sleep, as the adventure is about to begin! Read what where and how, here!

Blue lagoon Reykjavik relax
To have a proper Icelandic welcome on your first day, you can combine the blue lagoon with other activites such as:

Day 2 – Let the adventure begin!

Start with the most common touristic route that you can take even in one day. So, starting early from Reykjavik, this first day you will see the wonders of the so called “Golden circle”: the Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir and the Gullfoss waterfall.

Gullfoss iceland

Do you want to see a perfect shaped crater?

Then there is a bonus places available: visit the Kerið crater. Read more about the itinerary of day 2 and which is the best area to spend the night here.

Kerið crater Iceland

Day 3 – Turf houses and more amazing waterfalls!

In this day you should make your way to the iconic turf house of Kledar.

Afterwards, admire the Seljalandsfoss waterfall (try to pronounce that, huh!).

Seljalandsfoss

Did you ever see how in movies people go behind the waterfall where there is a secluded cavern? This is your chance, because you can get behind Seljalandsfoss!

Don’t forget to visit it’s little sister called Gljúfurárbui down the road, it’s worth it, see here why:

Gljúfrafoss

Next, drive a bit more to the Skogafoss waterfall. It’s powerful and impressive, I would have liked to stay even more!

You can finish your day after another driving session that gets you to the black sand beach of Reynishverfi. Want to know more details about this day and where to spend the night? Click here!

Day 4 –  Hike a glacier!

4 Skatefell glacier

Iceland is full of glaciers! And today you will get your first feel (and taste, if you really want to taste it) of these ice giants. You will reach the Iceland’s second national park, Skaftafell. There are many activities you can do there, glacier walks being the basic ones.

Day 4 should also start early if you are about to take some advantage of these activities. You should really book ahead your glacier activity on Skatafell, especially in the high season. That will take you a big chunk of your day already.

Jökulsárlón glacier

Later on, drive to the Jökulsárlón lagoon, a magical place that gave me one of the best memories of Iceland.

You need more info? Of course I wrote it all in details, including areas where you should spend the night:
Read more: Roadtrip Iceland Part 1 – The Golden Circle and the South

 You can book different type of glacier activities:

Days 5-9: The Eastern Fjords, The North of Iceland

Day 5: Discover Hengifoss waterfall and the Eastern Fjords!

5 Hengifoss

Starting from Either Eglissadir, if you chose a long drive, or from the Hofn area, make your way towards the Hengifoss waterfall. Hope you didn’t get tired of them already because it’s impressive, and rather different than the ones you have seen before!

If the time and weather permits it, you can go on a drive around one or some of the Eastern Fjords.

5 Eastern Fjords Iceland (2)

See more details about day 5 and accommodation info here.

Day 6 – Don’t (or DO?) go chasing waterfalls!

Are you ready for more?

Day 6 is a particularly interesting as the road will take you to many unique places. You’ll start with Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall. It’s massive, you’ll be impressed!

6 Dettifoss2

You won’t be able to wake up from your admiration, as just 10 minutes walking you will see Selfoss, which is stunning in a different way: it’s quitter, but in the shape of a horseshoe with many falling torrents. Something like Rivendell.

Did you ever wonder how Mars looks like? I think you’ll find your answer at the sulfur smelling fields of Hverarond, a mare 20 minutes drive from Dettifoss.

6 Iceland sulf field2

Just around the corner there are the Mývatn nature baths, also known as the Blue lagoon of the North. I suggest you relax here for one hour or so. It is also cheaper than the Blue lagoon, but I still prefer the first one!

This is the picture from my Instagram account:

Myvatn blue lagoon of the north

Aaaaaand we’re still not done yet! Make your way around the Mývatn lake and stop to see Godafoss. The third waterfall of the day, fantastic again!

Day 7 – Have a rest in Akureyri

Tired by now? I’d say so, it has been intense! Take it easy on this day and relax in Akureyri, Iceland’s second biggest town. Click for more info about things to do in Akureyri and how to prepare for the next day.

Day 8 – Boots on, it is time for some hiking!

Hiking boots on! It’s time for a special view in Ásbyrgi.

8 Ásbyrgi hike ICeland

Asbyrgi is a horseshoe canyon with many trails. Take advantage of the wild nature and fresh air and go for a hike. Here is all the info about how to get to Asbyrgi, and where to sleep next.

Day 9 – Spot some whales in Husavik!

How much do you like whales on a scale from 0 to “a whale lot” ?

Huskavik is maybe the best place to do whale watching in Iceland!

And it was one of the best activities in my trip. Description of how to pick the whale watching tour, pictures, and other info wait for you on link:

Here are some options for the whale watching activities in the North of Iceland:

Read more: Iceland roadtrip Part 2 – the North and the East

Days 10-12: The West Fjords

Day 10 – Discover the undiscovered – West Fjords

Iceland GPS Western fjordsReach the unreachable. Time to head West, are you ready?

It’s a long drive to IsaFjordur, the capital of the West Fjords, but well worth it!

Besides the ever incredible views along the road, you should be able to see some super relaxed seals. Click here and I’ll tell you exactly where they are!

Day 11 – Meet some Vikings in a fishing village

11 Suðureyri

This day you can get away with only a short drive (yay!). But there are plenty of activities around Isafjordur that you may enjoy.

They include visiting fishing villages of Suðureyri, Flateyri. Taking food tours, cooking classes and learning the secrets of Viking sushi. All the info is here.

Day 12 – on the edge of Europe

You might have been missing waterfalls by now, right?

There is one that you should not miss in the West Fjords and that is Dynjandi waterfall (also known as Fjallfoss). It’s your first stop of the day and it’s of course unique and worth visiting.

If you want, you can also visit Látrabjarg, Europe’s most western point. It is an enormous bird cliff that is also a home for puffins, adorable birds that are so close, you can almost touch them!

puffins iceland birds western point

Beware, that you do need a 4WD normally to reach it, but if not, you can arrange a tour.

Find out on this link which way to take next and all the extra info you’ll need:

Read more: Iceland roadtrip Part 3 – the West Fjords

Days 13-14: the North of Reykjavik

Day 13 – There is still so much to see!

Hraunfossar waterfall Iceland

Day 13 already, and still more amazing things to see and do!

Wake up early and go see the Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls. Believe me, they will amaze you again, even after seeing so many other impressive waterfalls.

You can choose to go to an Ice cave, a lava cave, or both.

If you manage to plan it well enough. On your way to Reykjavik, stop to see the out of this world boiling (!!) river.

All described and pictured for you here.

Day 14 – Don’t forget about Reykjavik

Reykjavik city view

Day 14 concludes the tour of the island. It has been a long drive, but totally worth it.

We are heading back in Reykjavik,but do not be sad, there are still many great activities you can take before your flight back.

Your visit of the capital does not have to break the bank, check out my guide called “Reykjavik on the budget”.

Read more: Reykjavik on the budget

Around blue lagooon in iceland

Bonus – any day, but a MUST DO!

1. Horse riding in Iceland

Horses in iceland

It does not really matter for me WHERE in Iceland you will do horse riding, but please promise me you will do it!

Icelandic horse is a breed developed in Iceland. They are special – something in between a pony and a horse, and VERY cute! They have been brought by the Viking colonists over 1000 years ago to the island, and they have not been bred with any other race ever since!

You can find some Icelandic horses outside Iceland (expensive) but you CANNOT find any normal horses inside Iceland. It is done in order to protect the breed, to keep it clean. It is illegal to import horses in Iceland. Point.

Just look at this, how can you not adore them?

Icelandic horseriding near Reykjavik

No wonder why I was so excited to see them, to pet them and obviously to ride them!

horse riding in IcelandI found a farm close to Reykjavik that do not have a site, so I can’t recommend you which one was it, but there are plenty of companies that do that, just ask your hotel or ask around.

It was great and I really can recommend that experience to anyone who likes horses! Even though my horse knew oh-to-well what to do and I found it hard sometimes to manage it. After all, Icelandic horses have quite a wild spirit, even if treated in a farm.

P.S. if you are afraid to ride horses, no worries, it is not a big deal. But at least stop from time to time when they pasture to look at them, and maybe you’ll find the courage to pet them!

P.S.S. If you cannot choose which Iceland horse riding to choose, I recommend this one or this one. They are both close to Reykjavik and you can be sure about the conditions the horses are kept and the staff qualification.

COST: It really depends from the company and the tour you are taking (private or in a group), but it should not be more than 40 EUR per hour for group horse riding.

2. Whale watching

whale watching tours from Reykjavik Iceland

Other cool things to do – whale watching! The best place to do it in Husavik. I wrote quite an elaborated piece about my experience here! But, if you are not reaching Husavik, you can try your luck in Reykjavik. They too know how to spots whales, this is a good environmentally certified whale watching company.

Or, if you want to combine the whale watching and horse riding together in one organized tour – this one is for you!

3. Silfra Fissure Snorkeling

Silfra Fissure Snorkeling Iceland

Don’t miss your chance to snorkel one of the TOP 10 diving spots in the world!

Silfra Lava Fissure is the place where American and European continental plates meet, and guess what? You can swim in between them!

I haven’t personally done that yet, but swimming in the crystal clear water between 2 techtonic plates is one of the main reasons I want to come back!

This tour has a PADI certified snorkeling guide, all gear and admission fee included.


Conclusion:

If you are looking for road trip itinerary around Iceland, this guide will give you an idea of the things you can do there during two weeks.

You can use it as it is or you can make your own trip from the main points I sketched here.

Either way, you are in for a wonderful adventure!


Check out the more detailed posts about each regions:

Part 1 (South),

Part 2 (East and North),

Part 3 (West Fjords),

Part 4 (North of Reykjavik).


10 Western Fjords Iceland


Have you been to Iceland?

Would you add something to this “Things to do in Iceland” list? What is your favorite/most desired activity in Iceland?

“Like” and Share this article, spread the Iceland love! 😉

Yulia


Pin it for later:

Road trip around Iceland in 14 days www.misstourist.com

By | 2017-02-16T05:37:43+00:00 March 8th, 2016|Europe, Iceland|26 Comments

About the Author:

Yulia is originally Russian but truly is a world citizen in heart. She was traveling around the world for over 4 years now. Her blog MissTourist.com is created with the purpose to inspire people to travel more and to share her advice of how to travel "smart".

26 Comments

  1. The Traveling Engineer 12.03.2016 at 01:38 - Reply

    Very informative post Yulia! Iceland has always been on my travel bucket list, and seeing your post makes me feel like going right away.

    • The Traveling Engineer 12.03.2016 at 01:40 - Reply

      How about the food by the way? Did you find any vegetarian food? Being a vegetarian, I am always concerned about finding something to eat.

      • Yulia 13.03.2016 at 02:42 - Reply

        what can i say about the food in Iceland – it is expensive. It definitely wont be a problem to find a vegetarian place in Reykjavik or Akureyri (cities).
        There are cafes in touristic stops and many gas stations on the way to them, but they sell hot dogs and chips, no normal food. Thus, you might want to stock up with vegetables etc. from the supermarket before just in case, so that you dont eat too much junk food! 🙂

        • The Traveling Engineer 14.03.2016 at 19:23 - Reply

          Thank you so much for your reply Yulia! Those are some valuable suggestions. For me, it’s time to start looking for flights now! 😀

          • Yulia 17.03.2016 at 19:06

            Do it! 😉

  2. capsuleofserenity 02.06.2016 at 18:00 - Reply

    Hi Yulia, I heard that is hard to get a restroom when you are on the move. Is this true?

    • Yulia 02.06.2016 at 22:32 - Reply

      all gas stations have free toilets to use, never encountered this problem 🙂

  3. eM 12.07.2016 at 23:30 - Reply

    Very nice post. We went to Iceland last month but we had time only for Reykjavik and for The Golden Circle. Next time we are planing to go to Akureyri.

    • Yulia 13.07.2016 at 19:13 - Reply

      Yes, you should not miss out the North of the country, it is stunning!!

  4. Yvonne 22.09.2016 at 12:37 - Reply

    I enjoyed reading your blog. It’s very informative and it does help me to get an idea on how to plan for my coming trip. May i know which month that you go in your blog? I saw quite a lot of blog going in winter. I’m quite petite and i’m afraid i can’t the cold. I heard driving during winter is difficult. My initial planning to Iceland is probably end of September or beginning of October. Do you think i will be able to catch the aurora?

    • Yulia 24.09.2016 at 12:17 - Reply

      Hi Yvonne, thanks for your comment!
      I have visited in August, which is the busiest but also the warmest time of the year in Iceland.
      End of September/beg of October sound great to me! There is a chance (no guarantee of course) to catch the aurora lights. The weather will be colder, but still not that cold and dark as in, say, January, and the prices for car renal/accommodation will be much lower.

  5. Roy 27.09.2016 at 23:18 - Reply

    Hi Yulia!

    Thanks for the post. I’m gooing to Iceland in two weeks and I would like to know if you had any problem getting to any of the places you visited with the Nissan you rented? I’m trying to decide if I need a sedan or a 4×4 car.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Roy

  6. daniel chua 28.12.2016 at 13:16 - Reply

    May I know the total expenses for this whole trip? 🙂
    I am 16 years old now planning a trip to Iceland maybe just myself or just one more friend at the age of 20-25
    Hope you could reply! 😀

    • Yulia 30.12.2016 at 22:05 - Reply

      Hey Daniel!
      The basic cost of renting a car and accommodation for 14 days was about 2000 Eur altogether for 2 people, if you want to do some tours etc, you should add that as an extra cost.
      You can always diminish your expenses if you stay in camping, the final price really does depend on your budget

  7. Denis 16.01.2017 at 23:01 - Reply

    Wow that is really quite a tour you’ve done! We’ve done diving in SIlfra and that was an incredible experience, it is certainly one (if not the most) expensive dive one can do but certainly worth it!

    • Yulia 21.01.2017 at 07:09 - Reply

      Thanks Dennis!
      Yes, one of the reasons I d like to come back is to do that dive! 😉

  8. Al 20.01.2017 at 02:33 - Reply

    Hi Yulia!

    I’m looking at renting a car for my trip to Iceland this summer. Unfortunately, I don’t have two weeks so I’ll only be doing the first few days of your suggestions. Some cars can go on the “F Roads” and some can’t. Are any of your recommendations F Road places?

    Also, since I’m flying in and out of KEF, and I only have a few days, do you recommend the stuff to the south of KEF or to the north more? I’ll only have time to do either Days 1-4 or 10-14. Which are better?

    Thanks,
    Al

    • Yulia 20.01.2017 at 03:28 - Reply

      Hi! None of my recommendations need an F Road capable car, maybe in the future when I’ll go again :).If you don’t have many days I suggest the 1-4 itinerary, and if you have one extra day you could go see the waterfalls I described north of Reykjavik. They are less than 2 hours drive from the city!

  9. Elisa 21.01.2017 at 19:57 - Reply

    Hi Yulia! My friend and I are thinking of going to Iceland in May and basically following this full 14 day road trip! We will be 20 and we were wondering if there is any trouble with people our age renting a car? Also do you hve any recommendation to maybe to the road trip in a few less days by still hitting all the key spots? Lastly, how many night do you recommend for REYKJAVIK? Thank you this trip looks amazing!

    • Yulia 25.01.2017 at 11:29 - Reply

      Hi Elisa!
      Sounds like a great adventure! You should read terms and conditions of each individual car rental company. Some have it from 21 yo, some from 25, most will allow the rental from 18 but with extra charge. It really depends on the company in this case.
      If you are intro shopping, night life and art, I would maybe stay for 2 nights, otherwise, if you are in Iceland for nature, 1 night in the capital is enough.
      Lastly, if you would skip something, i would maybe skip one of the fjords- either eastern, either western.

      Hope that helps!
      Have a great trip!

      • Elisa 11.04.2017 at 23:12 - Reply

        Hi again Yulia,
        Just another quick question, how much ISK would you recommend bringing for the 14 days?

  10. anousheh 27.02.2017 at 04:07 - Reply

    Thank you for your post! My daughter and I are traveling this June and your guide is excellent. I think we will follow it -so much more clear than the lonely planet and rough guide books we have been looking at!

    • Yulia 02.03.2017 at 06:23 - Reply

      Aww, thanks a lot! This made my day! 🙂

  11. Nicolas Gouy 26.06.2017 at 15:48 - Reply

    Hi Yulia,

    Would be nice for people reading your blog to indicate the exchange rate you had during your trip as it boomed +25% (euro-wise) in last 12 months meaning +25% cost on everything for europeans (and i believe it is the same for the dollar). Just came back and hopefully we booked everything a long time ago! Also prices have gone up terribly for tourist attraction -> example in husavik where the whales watching tour is around 10000 islandic krones meaning close to 90€ 😮 (due to increase in price and exchange rate)

    Always good to know i think as i heard a lot of tourists are canceling their trip due to those very recent increases 🙂

    • Yulia 02.07.2017 at 06:40 - Reply

      Hello Nicolas!
      Thank you very much for the comment, I will edit the posts where I do the conversion.
      Yes, unfortunately, Iceland is far from cheap nowadays and, if I remember correct, 2 years ago when i visited, the whale watching tour was also about 90 eur.
      Yes, the best way is to book everything in advance and probably, go slightly off-season!

Leave A Comment

3K Shares
Share2K
Pin1K
Tweet6
Reddit4
WhatsApp