7-Day Icelandic Road Trip

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Advisor - Abby Kulwicki
Curated By

Abby Kulwicki

  • Luxury Travel

  • Boutique Travel

  • City Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Wellness Travel

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Beaches

  • Group Travel

  • Active Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Local Food

  • Island

  • Wildlife

  • Bucketlist-Worthy

A geyser in Iceland.
Curator’s statement

Iceland's Golden Circle is a famous road trip route! Enjoy a week of traditional Icelandic meals while driving through the country's southern side. There's a mix of luxury as well as adventure!

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Day 1: Arrival at the Blue Lagoon

Views of the black sand beach in Iceland.

Arrive in Reykjavik and rent your car at the airport. Options include Hertz, Budget, Avis and Eurpocar Iceland.

Before checking in to your hotel, hit up Blue Lagoon. You can purchase day visit tickets here ranging between $62-$80 for the day. All tickets include access to the lagoon, silica mud masks, lockers, a towel and a drink. Blue Lagoon is a perfect start to your trip and a great way to relax after your flight!

Once you're done relaxing, head to your hotel to check in. For dinner, check out Kol Restaurant, Grillmarkadurinn to try authentic Icelandic dishes.

Day 2: Explore Reykjavik

A couple marveling the landscape in Iceland.

Start at Braud & Co for a fresh croissant. This bakery smells amazing and their items are to die for. I recommend grabbing a loaf of bread to take along your road trip.

Then, explore Reykjavik! There are complimentary city tours available daily. This is a great way to get the lay of the land and learn about the city's history. Spots to see: The Sun Voyager, Rainbow Street and Hallgrímskirkja (the city's Church).

Try Krost for lunch. Start with the baked white cheese! After lunch, rest as needed back at the hotel. If you're up to it, Lady Brewery is a great spot on the water to grab a beer.

Tomorrow will be an early day, so I'd recommend keeping it an early night. Finish off the day with dinner at Sjávargrillið ($$$) or Cafe Loki ($$). For a more casual grab & go option, check out Bæjarins Beztu for a famous hot dog!

Day 3: Waterfalls & Vik

Waterfalls in Iceland.

Wake up early and grab coffee/breakfast at Reykjavik Roasters before hitting the road. I'd say try to be in the car by 8:30am. Your destination is Vik, which is ~2.5 hrs from Reykjavik.

About 1 hr 45 mins into your drive, you'll stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The hike takes about 35 minutes and provides beautiful views. You won't need much more time than that to experience this, so once you've gotten your fill of photos hop back in the car and head to Seljavallalaug, one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland dating back to 1923. There is a short 20 min hike to reach the pool. You can take a dip if you'd like, but make sure to bring your own towel/change of clothes before getting back into the car.

Continue into Vik to check in to your hotel and grab a bite to eat. I recommend The Soup Company or Smiðjan Brugghús for lunch. After lunch, drive ~20 mins to see the abandoned airplane at Sólheimasandur. You will park and walk to the site of a US Navy plane that crashed in 1973. This is an awesome photo op! You can climb on the plane and walk through the remnants

Before dinner, head down to the black sand beaches of Vik. About ~20 mins from Vik is Dyrhólaey Lighthouse. This is a perfect spot to enjoy sunset! Dinner recommendation: Restaurant Suður-Vík or Black Crust Pizzeria. Grab a drink at Strondin Pub Vik.

Day 4: Fjaðrárgljúfur

Abandoned plane in Iceland.

Wake up at your leisure and grab a hotel breakfast or head to Lava Bakery & Cafe.

After breakfast, go straight on to Fjaðrárgljúfur. This is an ancient river canyon ~1h 10 mins from the airplane crash and ~50 mins from Vik. Once you park, you'll be able to hike and explore the canyon. I also encourage you to pull off and hop out of the car during your drives! You will see multiple opportunities to pet and feed Icelandic ponies and other beautiful scenery along the way. Take your time!

You'll continue on to the furthest point of your road trip: Jökulsárlón. This is called Iceland's "Diamond Beach" and is a famous glacier lagoon. You'll see black sand beaches with large chunks of glacial ice or "diamonds" in the sand! Explore the area and then start to work your way back to Vik (~2.5h drive.)

Put your feet up for a bit back at the hotel. For dinner, try Black Beach Restaurant. Shoutout to the pastas and fried mozzarella/jalapeno sticks.

Day 5: Selfoss Geyser

Driving through the landscape of Iceland.

Now it's time to work your way back towards Reykjavik. You'll be staying in Selfoss for the night, which is about 1.5 hours from Vik.

Grab a hotel breakfast or hit Skool Beans for bagels and coffee. You'll get to Selfoss in the late afternoon, so first head straight to Gulfoss waterfalls. This will be about 2h 15min from Vik. After enjoying the falls, check out Geysir Springs (~10 mins away.) There you'll see a highly active geyser!

Get lunch at Restrauant Geysir Glima for fresh Icelandic cusine or wait until your back in Selfoss to try The Old Dairy Food Hall.

Working your way on to the hotel, stop at Kerid Crater which is a volcanic crater lake ~15 mins from Selfoss. After exploring, check in to your hotel relax before dinner.

Enjoy a pre-dinner glass of wine or cocktail at Risið Vínbar. Samúelsson Matbar is the spot for your last dinner in Iceland. Try: The lava cake for dessert!

Day 6: Time to leave

Iceland landscape and raw nature.

Travel day. Wake up and grab breakfast at Kaffi Krus. It's about an hour drive to Reykjavik, so plan accordingly with your flight. You will also need to drop your rental car prior to your flight. If you don't have time to get breakfast in Selfoss, try Joe & The Juice inside the airport.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Abby's guide Explore Mallorca: 3-Day Itinerary.

Advisor - Abby Kulwicki

Travel Advisor

Abby Kulwicki

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Iceland.