Iceland Summer: A Five-Day Adventure

Shivani Patel Travel Agent
Curated By

Shivani Patel

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  • Iceland

  • Active Travel

  • Arts & Culture

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  • Nature Escapes

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Outdoors

Cascading waterfall in Iceland
Curator’s statement

No other place on the planet captures the extremes of fire and ice, and showcases every state of water with such intensity, as Iceland. From the Blue Lagoon to geysers, waterfalls, glaciers and lagoons, the natural wonders of this country leave you in total awe. Iceland in the summer is lovely, as the sun doesn’t set until 10pm, allowing you to pack in a few extra hours of adventure.

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Where to stay

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Hilton Reykjavik Nordica

Affordable accommodations with spacious rooms and a spa.

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

Sleek panoramic accommodations that marry indoor and outdoor living and feature a wooden hot tub.

Adventure Hotel Hof

Charming communal cottages in Öræfi available for an affordable rate.

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Day 1: Check out the tourist attractions in Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon

Tourists swim in blue lagoon in Iceland on a cloudy day

On your first day, you will arrive in Reykjavik, pick up your rental car and head straight to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa to kickstart your vacation. Where else than a spa would you rather kick off your holiday, anyway? Sure, it's touristy, but it's famous for good reason. You can easily spend a couple of hours relaxing in the warm waters. 

After the spa, drive into downtown Reykjavik and spend half the day wandering the streets, checking out the weekend flea market, the Hallgrimskirja church, etc.

After dinner, prepare for a hike to the Fagradalsfjall volcano. Be sure to check alerts, weather and gas info before heading out. Fagradalsfjall volcano is best seen when the daylight starts dimming, because this is the moment that you can see the impressive red lava in the dark. 

A note from Shivani

I'd suggest packing lunches and snacks every day, so you're not hungry on the road. If you're a vegetarian, I'd recommend a mini rice cooker on your trip. It's a great way to cook veg-friendly meals without having an actual stove or kitchen set up. Plus, Iceland can be expensive and this helps save money!

Day 2: Iceland’s Golden Circle

Wooden boardwalk surrounded by green grass in Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

Drive Iceland's Golden Circle and enjoy Thingvellir National Park, Geysir and Gulfoss. This is one of the most unique spots on the planet as you can discover geysers, hike to waterfalls and admire the beauty of the landscape. Take the day to explore the region. 

Day 3: Chasing Waterfalls in Iceland

Two people stand behind cascading Seljalandfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Drive a portion of Iceland's Ring Road today, hitting Skogar glacial lagoon and several impressive waterfalls, including Seljalandfoss(you can walk behind this waterfall) and Skógafoss (see this waterfall from the front or from above.) Additionally, it is worth climbing up the staircase and following the Skóga River upstream for more waterfalls, lush, green landscapes and dramatic canyons. It's easy to get lost and spend five or six hours reconnecting with nature here. 

A few other notable spots in the region include the Dyrhólaey Lighthouse, Reynafjara Beach, Reynisdrangar sea stacks and Gujufrabui Waterfall.

Day 4: Exploring the beaches

Diamond Beach in Iceland

Start the day driving from Vik to Fjadragljufur or the Feather Canyon to go on easy and rewarding hikes through the canyon and a waterfall.

Continue driving to the Jokulsarlon Lagoon and Diamond Beach, a beautiful lagoon where icebergs have detached from the glacier and float out to sea. Try a lagoon boat tour or make reservations for a glacier jeep, snowmobile tour, or other activities. 

Day 5: National Parks and hiking

Cascading Svartifoss Waterfall in Iceland

Drive to the Skaftafell National Park, where you can spend a few hours hiking to Svartifoss and Skaftafellsjökull. This destination features more stunning waterfalls and icebergs that truly display all of nature’s extremes in Iceland. You may want to continue driving the entire Ring Road, or this is also a good chance to head back to Reykjavik, circling back to any place you missed on the way.

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