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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 scenery of Iceland?

Do 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. Yes, 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 take my word as Miss Tourist that you haven’t seen anything like Iceland before. It’s so unique!

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

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

Now, what do you need for your Iceland vacation?

  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!)
  4. Some items you should get from home because in Iceland they are expensive

How to rent a car in Iceland

Lagoon car rental welcome airport2Renting a car in Iceland in the high season is tricky. It was for me, especially since I was booking for a full 2 weeks of travel. 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 RentalCars gave some interesting discounts for car rentals. If you are renting for 7 or more days,  chances are you are going to get some big discount – check the rates for your dates here!

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!

What to pack for an Iceland road trip?

Iceland All Seasons Packing List cover facebookUPDATE: I have written a detailed blog post with an all-seasons ultimate packing list for Iceland. It has recommendations on everything you will ever need for your trip!

Iceland is a very expensive country, and that’s why I suggest you bring with you all you’ll need, and not expect to buy things in Reykjavik without breaking your budget. That’s just not an option. As long as you bring your essentials, you’ll be fine, and you’ll be able to have a great vacation following this itinerary.

Regardless of the season, you’ll need a few items in Iceland. Also, if you plan to camp, you’ll need some camping gear.

The essential packing list for an Icelandic road trip consists of:

  • A good waterproof and winbreaker jacket – a must have in Iceland. I’ve been there in August and although it was summer, it was cold, rainy and windy almost everyday.
  • Hiking boots – you’ll need a good comfortable pair, and the prices for these in Reykjavik were plain scary. You are going to hike, walk on ice sometimes and get wet near the waterfalls. Get a good pair!
  • Hiking pants for hiking obviously, but also because they are so comfortable!
  • A fleece jacket – you will wear it the most throughout your trip.
  • A thermos – sometimes you’ll go for hours without finding a place to buy a cup of coffee or tea, and I love tea! This was one of my most used items.
  • A GPS device – check if your rental car has one – otherwise it will be at least US $10-$15 per day if you rent one. If your car doesn’t have one you can bring your own and use it back home as well.

Optional items:

  • If you are into photography – a great camera and a tripod are essential.
  • In the same category – a GoPro is a cool thing to get. There will be endless opportunities to use that wide angle for spectacular movies and images.
  • A power bank is always useful, especially since car chargers can be very slow
  • A power transformer, because if you come from the US, Iceland is hooked to 220V not 110 and this way you can use your electronic devices, if you bring any.

You can skip some items from this list but don’t skip these:


Things to do in Iceland – Itinerary overview

Now, for a more in-depth look at the whole trip, I divided the route into 4 posts. I did this so it’s more easily 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’s sleep, as the adventure is about to begin! Read what, where and how, here!

Read my Reykjavik on a budget article to find more information about what to see and do in the city. Here you can find lots of hotel recommendations!

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 touristy route that you can take in one day. So, starting early from Reykjavik, this first day you will see the wonders of the so called “Golden Circle”: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir and Gullfoss Waterfall.

Gullfoss iceland

Do you want to see a perfect shaped crater? Then there is a bonus stop 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!

On this day you should make your way to the iconic turf houses of Keldur. Afterwards, admire the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (try to pronounce that, huh!).


Have you ever seen people in movies go behind a waterfall where there is a secluded cavern? This is your chance to do it, 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 why here:


Next, drive a bit more to Skogafoss Waterfall. It’s powerful and impressive, I would have liked to stay even longer! 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 Iceland’s second national park, Skaftafell. There are many activities you can do there, glacier walks being the basic one. Day 4 should also start early if you want to take advantage of these activities. You should really book your glacier activity on Skatafell ahead of time, especially in the high season. That will take up 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 about it all in detail here, including areas where you should spend the night:

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 choose a long drive, or from the Hofn area, make your way towards the Hengifoss Waterfall. Hope you didn’t get tired of all those waterfalls already because this one is impressive and rather different than the ones you have aready seen!

If the time and weather permits it, you can go on a drive around one or more 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 particularly interesting as the road you travel 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 after just a 10-minute walk you will see Selfoss, which is stunning in a different way: it’s quieter, but in the shape of a horseshoe with many cascading torrents. Something like Rivendell.

Did you ever wonder what Mars looks like? I think you’ll find your answer at the sulfur smelling fields of Hverarond, a mere 20-minute 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 an hour or so. It is also cheaper than the Blue Lagoon, but I still prefer the first one!

This is a picture from my Instagram account:

Myvatn blue lagoon of the north

Aaaaaand we’re still not done yet! Make your way around 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 natural surroundings 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 go whale watching in Iceland!

And it was one of the best activities on my trip. Find a description of how to pick a whale watching tour, pictures, info, and other options for whale watching activities in the North of Iceland at this link:

Days 10-12: The West Fjords

Day 10 – Discover the undiscovered – West Fjords

Iceland GPS Western fjords Reach 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 the 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 be 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 to, 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, you do need a 4WD normally to reach it!

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

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 are described and pictured for you here.

Day 14 – Don’t forget about Reykjavik

Reykjavik city view

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

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

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

UPDATE: I now also have an article that will help you book ALL hotels in Iceland in under 10 minutes – they are sorted by cities and prices for your convenience and they all have great reviews!

Around blue lagooon in iceland

Bonus – any day, but a MUST DO!

Here are some amazing tours that you should consider taking! I did not post them by a specific day because you can take them in many places, but it would definitely be a shame if you don’t do them!

UPDATE: Read my new blog post 10 Best Tours You Have to Take in Iceland

1. Horseback riding in Iceland

Horses in iceland

It does not really matter to me WHERE in Iceland you will go horseback riding, but please promise me you will do it!

The Icelandic horse is a breed developed in Iceland. They are special – something in between a pony and a horse, and VERY cute! They were brought to Iceland by Viking colonists over 1000 years ago and they have not been bred with any other variety of horses since then!

You can find some Icelandic horses outside Iceland (expensive) but you CANNOT find any other horse typw inside Iceland. That is done in order to protect the breed, to keep it pure. 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 does not have a website, so I can’t recommend to you which one it was. There are plenty of companies that offer rides, just ask your hotel or ask around.

It was great and I really can recommend the experience to anyone who likes horses! My horse knew oh-to-well what to do and I found it hard sometimes to manage it because, after all, Icelandic horses have quite a wild spirit, even if raised on 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 you see them in a pasture to look at them, and maybe you’ll find the courage to pet them!

P.S.S. If you cannot choose which Iceland horseback riding company 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 in and the staff qualifications.

COST: It really depends on 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 horseback riding.

2. Whale watching

whale watching tours from Reykjavik Iceland

Another cool thing to do – whale watching! The best place to do it is in Husavik. I wrote quite an elaborated piece about my experience here! But, if you are not going all the way to Husavik, you can try your luck in Reykjavik. They, too, know how to spot whales. This is a good environmentally certified whale watching company.

3. Silfra Fissure Snorkeling

Silfra Fissure Snorkeling Iceland

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

Silfra Lava Fissure is the place where the 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 tectonic plates is one of the main reasons I want to goe back!

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


If you are looking for road trip itinerary around Iceland, this guide will give you an idea of some 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 listed here.

Either way, you are in for a wonderful adventure!

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! 😉



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By |2020-02-20T18:57:22+04:00March 8th, 2016|Iceland, Europe|71 Comments
About the Author:
Yulia is originally Russian but truly is a world citizen in the heart. She was traveling around the world for over 4 years now. Her blog is created with the purpose to inspire people to travel more and to share her advice on how to travel "smart".


  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!


  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?


    • 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!

  12. IcelandBaby 02.08.2017 at 12:30 - Reply

    Could you people please not go to Iceland? You are ruining it. Iceland used to be so nice, small, quiet and just nice. Now you can`t turn around withouth bumping into a ****** tourist taking a dump in someones garden. You throw trash everywhere and behave as if Iceland is your personal amusment park. I miss Iceland so much, in the 70-, 80- and 90s it was so nice. But that`s gone now, gone forever because foreigners are *******.

    • Yulia 02.08.2017 at 14:27 - Reply

      it is a pity some of the tourists behave this way unfortunately. Everyone should travel responsibly no matter what country he is in – foreign or his own.
      Te reality is, your country is amazingly beautiful and unfortunately you cannot keep it just for yourself. 😉

    • Nicole Holding 26.12.2017 at 16:52 - Reply

      I wonder how many people from Iceland travel abroad as well and create havoc int he countries they are visiting or do you all stay permanently in Iceland and never venture out of the country – I would say not. Your post sounds ridiculous. People travel and yes permanent residents can get annoyed but it affects everyone everywhere. People from Iceland also rely on tourists or do you wish your fellow countryman to starve.

  13. Bénédicte 17.11.2017 at 01:43 - Reply


    Which time of the year did you go ?

    Thank you 🙂

  14. MannLee Ong 25.11.2017 at 11:06 - Reply

    Hi Yulia,
    WE are four ladies planning a self drive using the circular road,Any recommodation?, We plan to travel in september 2018 but we are starting our research now.
    We would like to take in the golden circle, the east and west fjiords and other interesting attractions along the way.

    • Yulia 02.12.2017 at 16:30 - Reply

      Hello MannLee!
      Sounds like a great plan!
      First of all, i definitely recommend getting a car for 4 of you, my tips on that here.
      All of the sides of the island that you mentioned are described in details here, check it out!

  15. Ahmed Galal 25.11.2017 at 15:10 - Reply

    Hi Yulia

    how much it cost you for spending 14 days in Iceland (Excluding flight tickets)

    • Yulia 02.12.2017 at 16:28 - Reply

      It has been a long time ago and we have lost all the calculations, thats for sure. My case will be definitely different from yours because now the prices are different, we shared the car expenses for 4 people for 1 week and 2 people for 1 more week etc.
      Keep in mind, it will most probably not be cheap! 🙂

  16. Ines 03.12.2017 at 03:15 - Reply

    Hi Yulia!
    What an epic trip!!!!
    I’ve been to Iceland last may-june and I got to do the Ring Road but I was a little tight on time so I couldn’t do everything I wanted, sadly. I absolutely LOVE your whale watching adventure and the West Fjords part (those puffins…aaahh!! so adorable!!)
    I really want to go back again now!!
    Thanks for sharing this post, loved it!

    • Yulia 05.12.2017 at 13:08 - Reply

      You are more than welcome! 🙂

  17. cecilia 05.12.2017 at 10:21 - Reply

    Hi Yulia
    I am planning a trip to iceland for 7-8 days in the 1st week of November 2018. Do you think its practical to stay in Reykjavik and do day tours every day? Would this be very tiring? My husband is not keen to drive around in winter conditions:)
    We want to see the South and West parts of Iceland:)

    • Yulia 19.12.2017 at 11:14