Iceland Road Trip: Our 6-Day Itinerary

Jökulsárlón iceland road trip

Iceland, known as the land of ice and fire, stands as a paradise for nature enthusiasts, offering unparalleled beauty. Our anticipation for this journey had been long-standing, delayed by the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Finally seizing the opportunity, we eagerly booked a six-day escapade to Iceland, a trip we had yearned for. In this article, we will talk about our Iceland road trip. Feel free to use it for your trip 😊

The best way to visit Iceland is on a two-week road trip that goes around the entire island on the famous Ring Road. However, if you don’t have two weeks available like us, you could opt for a shorter itinerary that includes the major attractions on the south coast. Our Iceland road trip started in the Snæfellsnes peninsula on the west coast  and ended in the Hofn village on the east coast. In the end, it turned out to be a perfect 6-day itinerary!

Must Know before going on a road trip to Iceland

If you’re going on a road trip to Iceland here are a few tips that will save you some time and money 😊

Tip #1 Book a rental car in advance

The first thing you will need to do is book a rental car. You should do this in advance as Iceland road trips are very popular and cars tend to rent out quickly, especially in high season. Rental car companies will require a credit card as part of the booking process, however, some companies accept debit cards.

Tip #2 Respect the speed limits

The general speed limits in Iceland are 90 Km/h on paved roads, 80 Km/h on gravel roads, and 50 Km/h on urban roads. We would recommend respecting the limits as the fines for speeding are very expensive – we experienced this firsthand ☹

Tip #3 Avoid going off-road

We strongly advise against veering off-road, even if equipped with suitable vehicles and gear. While Icelandic destinations may appear proximate on maps, the reality often unveils considerable distances between them. Should you embark on a road trip, it’s crucial to maintain awareness of these distances to ensure you fully experience your planned itinerary without omissions. We recommend refraining from overly congesting your days, allowing ample room for breaks and unexpected detours. Iceland’s notorious strong winds can impede driving, potentially altering your plans. Moreover, during winter, certain roads may be inaccessible due to snow, necessitating flexibility in your route

Tip #4 Eat at home

Dining out in Iceland can be pricey, with eateries often scarce for miles. To mitigate this, we recommend packing a supply of non-perishable foods such as pasta, couscous, rice, and canned tuna. This strategy proved immensely convenient for us. For lunch, we stopped at scenic picnic spots, enjoying simple fare like tortillas or sandwiches. Come dinnertime, we cooked meals in the comfort of our rented apartments or cottages. Given that tap water is potable, carrying a refillable water bottle is all you need to stay hydrated throughout your journey.

Tip #5 Beware of weather

Iceland can be cold and windy, especially during winter time. Typically, the coldest months are from November to March. Remember to dress up according to the season. We wrote a dedicated article about what to pack for a winter trip

What if I don’t want to go on a road trip?

If driving is not exactly for you, and you think that an Iceland road trip is not an option, don’t worry. There are several tour companies located across the island that offer countless opportunities to explore the island without you having to rent a car. While we liked the freedom of having our car, we must also consider that driving around Iceland has its cons. For example, it gets tiring having to drive for long hours.

We know a few people who opted to base their stay in Reykjavik and then took organized tours from there. For example, the Golden Circle Tour is the most popular in Iceland. Likewise, Chasing The Northern Lights is one of the top activities in Iceland, and even though there is no guarantee of spotting the lights, the tours offer the opportunity to repeat the expeditions to catch them.

This is what you shouldn't miss if you tour Iceland without a car

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Our Iceland Road Trip Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrival in Iceland and drive to Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Our journey encountered a hiccup on day one when Francesca’s bag went missing. It’s a reminder to always keep essentials in your carry-on! After 3 hours of driving west, we arrived at our place Saebol/Ocean Lair 2 in Grundarfjordur, on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Despite the day did not start so well, in the end, we got lucky as we saw the northern lights! Unfortunately, our camera’s tripod was lost with the bag and so we couldn’t take good pictures. The Snæfellsnes peninsula is known to be a great spot to watch the northern lights, with the iconic mount Kirkjufell in the background. For that reason, we decided to start our Iceland road trip right there, and it paid off.

Northern Lights Iceland road trip

DAY 2: Snæfellsnes peninsula

On day 2 we drove around the Snæfellsnes peninsula, home of the Snæfellsnes National Park. The first stop was at Kirkjufell mountain with its waterfalls. We suggest parking at the free car park of the waterfalls. From there, only a couple of minutes away are the iconic views of the waterfalls with the mountain in the background.

Iceland Road trip: Our 6-day itinerary

The second stop was at Djúpalónssandur Beach, a black sand beach located at the foot of the Snaefellsjökull glacier famous for its spectacular rock formations. On the beach, lie the remains of the Epine GY7, a fishing boat that was shipwrecked off the coast of Djúpalónssandur on the night of March 13, 1948.

Iceland Road trip: Our 6-day itinerary

The third stop was at the Snaefellsjökull glacier, which has formed on top of its ominous volcano. At the top of the glacier was very windy and cold and so we just stopped for a bit to enjoy the views. While driving around the peninsula we stopped multiple times to admire the panoramas: absolutely stunning! Later, we drove towards the Golden Circle where we had our cottage booked.

Overnight: Middalskot Cottages

Middalskot Cottages are located in a peaceful, rural location away from the roads yet in the iconic sightseeing route of the Golden Circle. Here we got to see the northern lights again, even if just for a short time. The cottage has a dining area and a kitchen complete with an oven and a microwave. They also provide towels and bed linen. We would recommend Middalskot Cottages if you’re touring the Golden Circle.

DAY 3: Golden Circle

On day 3, we drove around the Golden Circle. This is the most popular route in Iceland and certainly one not to be missed. We started the day with a visit to the geothermal area of Haukadalur Valley, most notably known as “Geysir”.


Geysir is a sprouting hot spring that gave the name to what we know today as geysers. Although Geysir itself is currently inactive, Haukadalur Valley boasts a plethora of hot springs and geysers, including the powerful Strokkur. We honestly thought that we were just going to see two hot springs, but we were happily surprised that was not the case! You will get to walk around a wealth of fumaroles, some shining with sparkling blue colours, and of course, admire the power of Strokkur. Have your camera ready, as Strokkur shoots boiling water every five to ten minutes: an absolute spectacle of nature.


Our next destination was the majestic Gulfoss waterfall, a highlight of Icelandic natural wonders. Renowned as one of Europe’s largest waterfalls in terms of volume, Gulfoss commands attention with its awe-inspiring power. Accessible via a straightforward walking path, the waterfall offers multiple vantage points along the trail, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in its grandeur. We savored our time at Gulfoss, marveling at nature’s might from its two main viewpoints, before continuing our journey to the next destination.

Gulfoss Iceland road trip

Secret Lagoon

The Secret Lagoon is a man-made pool fed by naturally occurring hot springs located in the Golden Circle. Amidst Iceland’s abundance of such geothermal wonders, the temptation to indulge in their warmth was irresistible. We relaxed at the pool and re-charged our batteries. The Secret Lagoon is the oldest pool in the country, and although relatively small, it offers services and facilities. Booking a spot in advance is highly recommended.

Kerid Crater

Our fourth stop of the day was at Kerid Crater, a spectacular crater lake. Scientists believe the crater to be relatively younger than other volcanic formations in the area, which would explain its red rock formations. This red colour contrast dramatically with their surroundings, particularly with the intense azure colour of the waters within the crater lake, and the verdant bursts of vegetation. There is a small fee to visit the site; only about 3 Euros. We walked around in a circle on the crater’s edge and descended to admire the crater lake.

Kerid Crater Iceland road trip


Just before sunset, we stopped at the Urridafoss waterfall. It was not a programmed stop on our planned itinerary but it was surprisingly beautiful!

Overnight: Asolfsskali Cottage

Asolfsskali cottage is located just off the Golden Circle, on a quiet farm away from the road. The cottage is beautifully decorated, very cozy, and comfortable. Katrin the host is very friendly and welcoming. Mosi the farm dog is soooo adorable! When we arrived at the property he even accompanied us to our cottage 😊 We had a great stay at Asolfsskali cottage.

DAY 4: Iceland Road Trip: South Coast


The first stop of our day 4 was at Skogafoss waterfall. Don’t be surprised if we have already visited 3 waterfalls by now! Waterfalls are everywhere in Iceland. You will notice that during your trip they will become a routine! Skogafoss waterfall is truly beautiful. Standing at 60 meters tall, the heavy veil of water is impressive. You can walk up very close to the fall, just make sure to wear a rain jacket. There are steps that you can climb to the top of Skogafoss, where you will find a nice viewpoint, although not quite as impressive.

Skogafoss Iceland road trip

Reynisfjara Black Beach

The second stop was at Reynisfjara: a world-famous black-sand beach just beside Vik í Myrdal. With its enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves, and stunning panoramas, Reynisfjara is widely considered to be the most beautiful example of Iceland’s black sand beaches. In fact, we have to say the beach and its rock formations are quite impressive. Just be aware of the strong winds and stay away from the water’s edge! Reynisjara can be visited while on an Iceland road trip or as part of the Waterfalls and South Coast Tour.

Reynisfjara beach
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After Reynisjara, we stopped in Vik for lunch. Vik is a small fishing village, and it is very popular amongst tourists for its convenience and beautiful surrounding landscapes. As the rain was hitting hard, we didn’t do much in Vik and went ahead with our journey toward the West.


Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is only 2 million years old 😀

This is what we said in our reel about Fjaðrárgljúfur on our Instagram Page. The Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon was an amazing surprise that was not on our planned itinerary. This hidden gem, not so popular among tourists, ended up being one of the main highlights of our trip. Truly impressive and breathtaking!

iceland with a car

Overnight: Guesthouse Nypugardar

For our fourth night, we stayed at Guesthouse Nypugardar. This guesthouse is conveniently located close to the Vatnajokull glacier, not far from Hofn village. They do breakfast and dinner and have comfortable beds. Outside the guesthouse, we got to see the northern lights again! A great place to stay for all visiting the West Coast.

DAY 5: Iceland Road Trip: West Coast and travel back

On day 5, we were close to the majestic Vatnajokull glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. The glacier is truly immense and it makes you feel so small! Around this area, the Ice Cave Tour and the Glacier Trekking Tour are the most popular activities. Although we were very tempted, we didn’t go for it.

Diamond Beach

Our first stop was at Diamond Beach. This black sand beach takes its name from the serval ice rocks that lie on the sand, which look like diamonds. These icebergs were once part of a glacier. After breaking away, the blocks of ice ended up on this beach.

diamond beach iceland
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Only a few minutes walking from Diamond Beach lies the Jökulsárlón, a large glacier lake. Jökulsárlón provides outstanding views of the Vatnajokull glacier and of the icebergs that float on its waters. The icebergs that calve from the glacier edge are seen in two colours: milky white and bright blue. These colour formations depend on the air trapped within the ice and are an interplay of light and ice crystals. A true joy for the eyes. Jökulsárlón is one of the top attractions of Iceland. Not to be missed.

Jökulsárlón iceland road trip


After Jökulsárlón, we started our journey toward the East and stopped at Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Seljalandsfoss is located in the Golden Circle and it is very popular among tourists. As our day at Golden Circle was full, we decided to visit it on the way back. There is no need to say that Seljalandsfoss is just another beautiful attraction of Iceland that deserves a visit. The most distinguishing feature of Seljalandsfoss is the pathway that stretches around it. You can walk around the waterfall, however, be prepared to get soaked.

Seljalandsfoss iceland

Overnight: Borg Apartments

Borg apartments are nice modern apartment units. The apartment we stayed in, included a fully equipped kitchen, washing machine, and dryer available. We had a good stay at Borg apartments.

DAY 6: Reykjavik & Blue Lagoon

For our last day, we decided to take it easy. In the morning, we spent a couple of hours in Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. Although we didn’t spend much time in Reykjavik, we we feel it is a lively city with much entertainment going on, especially at night. We walked along the harbor until the Sun Voyager. Then we visited the great church of Hallgrímskirkja and walked around in the little lanes.

Reykjavik iceland road trip

In the afternoon we spend the rest of the day relaxing at the Blue Lagoon. If you have thought about a trip to Iceland, you must have come across the Blue Lagoon, the geothermal spa that draws people from all across the world. The Blue Lagoon is considered to have notable regenerative qualities because the water is rich in silica and sulfur. Included in the price is some silica mud to make a face mask and also a drink. Our Iceland road trip, after many hours of driving, ended up beautifully at the Blue Lagoon. If you want to include the Blue Lagoon, be aware that a spot must be booked in advance. Entry tickets vary depending on the days and time slots. However, should you book with our partner, the price will always be the same.

Overnight: Comfort and Rest

Comfort and Rest is a cozy apartment conveniently located near the Keflavik airport. Jolanta the owner was very welcoming and helpful: she even prepared the hot tub in the garden for our arrival. Highly recommended to those who need to catch an early flight from Keflavik the next morning!

Iceland FAQ

Iceland where to stay

We recommend staying at cottages for authentic experience

When are Iceland’s northern lights?

The best chances of witnessing this natural phenomenon are during the winter months when the nights are longest and the skies are darkest.

What Iceland Volcano is erupting?

Whilst we did not experience any eruption during our trip, volcanic eruptions are frequent in Iceland. We recommend checking the latest news or official sources for the most recent volcanic activity in Iceland. 

Why Iceland is the best?

Iceland is known for its stunning landscapes, and unique geological features

Bonus End of Trip

  Francesca got her luggage back!

  It was delivered at Comfort and Rest on the last night of the trip. 

  What shall we say….” all’s well that ends well”.

So this is the end of our road trip to Iceland. Have you been to Iceland? Do you want to make a suggestion or share your experience? Please do so in the comments below!

We’ll see you soon

Do you like city breaks? Read our articles on Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dubrovnik, Lisbon, Naples, Paris, Budapest, London, Edinburgh, Rome and Barcelona !


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