5-Day Iceland Itinerary: Adventuring in Fire and Ice
Iceland is one of the most beautiful places to both explore nature and relax. This easy to follow 5-day itinerary will showcase some of the country's most impressive natural beauties from waterfalls, glaciers, and black beaches with spa-like stops along the way in natural hot springs.
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Where to stay
Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre
For the smart rooms and a heart-of-the-action location, this stylish boutique hotel is favorite with first-time visitors.
In southern Iceland, this lodge-like resort is the spot to experience the magical Northern Lights go star gazing with the experts.
$50 hotel / resort credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Beautifully decorated rooms in a prime location on the South Coast of Iceland featuring traditional Icelandic cuisine and access to the Northern lights (depending on the time of year.)
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Day 1: Blue Lagoon
You will likely arrive to Keflavík airport early in the morning! After you pick up your bags and rental car, head to the Blue Lagoon! The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa found on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland. There are a few better ways to recharge after a long flight - You will soak in gorgeous blue water while sipping champagne or a smoothie. There are also packages to enjoy a face mask made from the silica and sulfur produced in the lagoon. Afterward, enjoy lunch in your robe at LAVA at the Blue Lagoon then drive to Reykjavik to check into your hotel! I recommend staying at Canopy Hotel Reykjavík or Hotel Apotek - both have amazing restaurants and bars!
Day 2: The Golden Circle
Wake up in Reykjavík and grab a coffee and local pastries at a cafe! After this, you will begin your journey through the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is a route outlining Iceland's most popular attractions. You will start in Thingvellir National Park. Here you will be able to visit notable cliffs, gorges, and rivers. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also snorkel in the Mid-Atlantic Rift in a chilly spring water ravine called Silfra. This is the rift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates and it is filled with crystal clear water allowing you to see up to 330ft (110m).
You will then move on to Strokkur in the Geysir geothermal area. Every 5-10 minutes it will burst a stream of boiling hot water into the air, reaching up to 130ft (40m). You can enjoy lunch and do some shopping in this area. Next stop is Gullfoss Waterfall, one of the most beautiful and powerful waterfalls in Iceland. There are some detours from the Golden Circle you can add to your list as well including Kerid Crater, Fontana Spa, and Secret Lagoon. After you are done exploring, you will stay the night at Hotel Rangá.
Day 3: Southern Coast
From Hotel Rangá, you will get to see some of the most beautiful spots on the southern coast! You will stop at Seljalandsfoss, Kvernufoss, Skógafoss, and Sólheimajökull to see some amazing waterfalls and glaciers. Then the landscape will change as you move into Vik. You will stop at Reynisfjara Beach to see black sands and basalt columns. Then head to Dyrhólaey, a nature preserve known for its picturesque views of the volcanic rocks in the sea. You will check into Hótel Kría for the night! Enjoy dinner at the local Restaurant Suður-Vík for some delicious burgers, pizza, and soups.
Day 4: Continue along Ring Road
Ccontinue along the Ring Road on the southern coast of Iceland. Your first stop should be Skool Beans, Iceland's first micro roaster! Then you will move on to visit Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon where there is a two-mile loop to see some beautiful views of the rocky canyon. Next up is a visit to Jökulsárlón Glacier where you will get to see Iceland's glaciers up close. Here you can take a Glacier Lagoon Zodiac Boat Tour. Then you can venture across the bridge to Diamond Beach to touch glaciers up close! If you don't want to do a boat tour, I HIGHLY recommend going on a glacier hike. It is an amazing way to see glaciers that most people do not get to experience! Return to Hótel Kría and enjoy dinner at their restaurant before heading to bed.
Day 5: Sky Lagoon and Reykjavík
You will circle back along the Ring Road to head back to Reykjavík, stopping at Sky Lagoon on the way. This is a beautiful oceanside lagoon with a seven step relaxation Ritual involving saunas, scrubs, cold water plunge, and steam. You will then head into Reykjavík, check into your hotel, and explore the city! You can shop, visit museums and art galleries during the day and have delicious dinner and cocktails at night. I recommend trying Sjávargrillið, Kol, Apotek Restaurant, Dill, Grillmarkadurinn for dinner and Duck & Rose and Apotek for cocktails.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Iceland.