An in-depth 7-day Iceland Itinerary for a summer time street journey with journey recommendations on the place to go, what to see and the place to remain. Self-drive round this magical moonscape!
Ever since I watched the movie Heima in 2007 I couldn’t cease obsessing over Iceland. Heima (Icelandic for “at house” or “homeland”) is an inspirational documentary movie about certainly one of my favourite Icelandic bands, Sigur Rós, once they undertook a collection of free, unannounced live shows for two weeks round Iceland, their house nation.
It’s an alternate primer for Iceland as a desolate, magical land the place Nature is king. It’s completely soundtracked by the ethereal music of Sigur Rós. Very very highly effective movie and music. It fuelled my rising obsession with Scandinavia and the Nordic area, in all probability my favourite area on Earth.
Once I slept I dreamt of Iceland. That was in 2007.
In the summertime of 2011 I lastly made my goals occur and gifted myself a visit to Iceland. It was my commencement present for efficiently ending my 2-year Erasmus Mundus Masters in Europe. My Iceland journey was every thing I ever dreamed of and extra!
I completely love Iceland with its dramatic landscapes and beautiful pure magnificence. It’s residence to beautiful glacier lagoons, wild waterfalls, moody moonscapes and therapeutic scorching springs. It’s probably the most magical locations I’ve visited up to now. It’s completely a #DreamEuroTrip vacation spot. Have you ever all the time needed to go to?
Like most locations with 4 seasons, Iceland could be very totally different relying on once you’re visiting. However to be trustworthy Iceland solely has two seasons: summer time and winter. You don’t actually discover spring or fall as a result of there usually are not many timber in Iceland! It’s all about dramatic rocky landscapes that appear to be you’re on the moon. So principally winter slowly turns to summer time and summer time slowly turns to winter.
Summer time season often begins round March or April though you’ll in all probability nonetheless see some snow as a result of summer time hasn’t absolutely arrived but! Winter season is round September or October when it begins to snow and the magical Northern Lights seem within the sky. Please don’t anticipate to see Northern Lights when you’re planning a visit in the summertime.
Summer time is a superb time to go to Iceland as a result of you are able to do plenty of issues outdoors and also you’re not freezing to dying. You possibly can street journey round Iceland’s well-known Ring Street, hike to varied waterfalls and expertise the midnight solar. The times are loooooong in the summertime. They’re virtually so long as 22 hours!
- 1 Day 1 – Welcome to Colourful Reykjavik
- 2 Day 2 – The Quintessential Golden Circle
- 3 Day three – Do Go Chase Waterfalls (and Black Sand Seashores!)
- 4 Day four – Tropicool Icy Iceland
- 5 Day 5 – Snæfellsnes Peninsula
- 6 Day 6 – Pamper your self on the Blue Lagoon
- 7 Day 7 – Final Day in Reykjavik
Deciding the place to go in Iceland in the summertime
Iceland is large and there are such a lot of superb locations to discover within the nation simply accessible by way of the Ring Street. Iceland’s Ring Street encircles the complete nation overlaying over 1,332 kilometers. You may in fact drive the whole Ring Street in 24 hours or much less however you gained’t.
Since you’ll be stopping each 10 minutes or so to take an image!
Iceland is so picturesque. It’s a photographer’s dreamland. You’ll be snapping each random nook and cranny of the nation very quickly. Embrace the time spent exploring waterfalls or strolling on glaciers then you definitely’ll want loads of weeks to discover the highlights of the nation. In the event you do determine to drive the whole Ring Street, know that you simply’ll be driving round four hours or extra every day and also you gained’t have a lot time to loosen up and benefit from the surroundings. As a result of Iceland is all concerning the surroundings in fact.
If you wish to have extra time to loosen up and luxuriate in every place, my recommendation is to decide on an space to discover in Iceland. You’ll be able to both discover the south or the north. If it’s your first time in Iceland (and I’m guessing it’s) then it would be best to discover the south extra because it packs a lot of the greatest pure points of interest within the nation.
Let me information you with this prompt 7-day street journey itinerary within the south of Iceland in the summertime together with recommendations on the place to go, what to see and the place to remain. You’ll be able to in fact DIY your personal itinerary from the listing of locations under in case you are touring Iceland for three, four, 5 or 6 days!
Day 1 – Welcome to Colourful Reykjavik
Reykjavik is the capital and the most important metropolis in Iceland. It’s tucked right into a bay in southwest Iceland with dramatic views of mountains throughout the water. There are numerous issues to see and do within the metropolis however in your first day in Reykjavik, I recommend exploring the town middle and grabbing lunch on the go from Pylsuhusid, a kiosk serving scorching canine, Iceland’s favorite quick meals. Should you want to take a seat down on a sunny terrace then order a seafood dish from native favourite, Uno restaurant.
Since Iceland is out of this world, stroll to the spaceship aka Hallgrímskirkja church and marvel at its commanding contours. Go up the church tower so you’ll be able to have a panoramic view of Reykjavik with its colourful homes. Within the night you’ll be able to stroll over to the harbour and take a look at Harpa, an enormous live performance corridor which is residence of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Icelandic Opera. It’s a ravishing, Instagram-perfect piece of structure.
Be happy to stalk Björk however I heard she hates it when followers knock at her door.
There’s extra to see and do within the metropolis however let’s reserve it on your final day!
The place to sleep: Reykjavik
Day 2 – The Quintessential Golden Circle
The Golden Circle makes up Iceland’s three hottest pure points of interest: Þingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss. It’s an all-in-one loop the place you’ll be able to see one assembly level of the Earth’s continental plates (Þingvellir), a spouting scorching spring (Geysir) and a powerful roaring waterfall (Gullfoss). Loads of the belongings you’ve discovered in your Earth Science courses in highschool will all come to life!
Iceland continues to be volcanically lively and you may simply see rifts and fissures in lots of areas of the nation. Iceland is actually drifting aside. The closest website to see these rifts and fissures up shut is present in Þingvellir Nationwide Park. At Þingvellir you’ll clearly see the continental drift between the North American and Eurasian plates. The most important crack is known as Almannagjá and you’ll be able to stroll via it. Which means you’ll be strolling between two continents. How superior is that?
Subsequent is a geothermal magic pit cease at Geysir (the unique “geyser” on the earth) and it’s extra lively neighbor, Strokkur, which spouts boiling water as much as 20 m (66 ft) excessive each ten minutes or so. If this doesn’t amaze you. Then perhaps the subsequent one will.
Gullfoss, or Golden Waterfall, is the preferred waterfalls in Iceland. It provides a spectacular view of the forces and great thing about untouched nature. There’s a walkway so you will get nearer to the waterfall and really feel the facility of nature up shut. Shimmering rainbow could be seen over the falls on a sunny day.
The place to sleep: You’ll be able to spend the night time in Arborg or the long-lasting Ion Lodge in Þingvellir.
Day three – Do Go Chase Waterfalls (and Black Sand Seashores!)
Discover the jewels of the south coast and DO go chase waterfalls as there are many them right here.
First cease: Seljalandsfoss waterfall. It’s greatest to go at dawn to take pictures of this place so higher get up early. You possibly can hike behind the waterfalls and climb up on the prime to get higher views. You will get moist so be sure to’re sporting waterproof jackets and shield your digital camera.
Your subsequent cease, Skógafoss waterfall, is just 20 minutes away from Seljalandsfoss waterfall. In your solution to this waterfall you’ll move by the Eyjafjallajökul glacier volcano, well-known for its vicious volcanic spews of ash in 2010, which introduced Iceland to the tourism map once more! Unusual, I do know. However what isn’t in Iceland?
Skógafoss is far wider and extra highly effective than Seljalandsfoss. It in all probability rivals Gullfoss as Iceland’s most well-known waterfall. And when it’s sunny, you’re assured rainbows in your Instagram photograph. It’s undoubtedly some of the accessible waterfalls in Iceland. There’s additionally a picket stairway that brings you to a viewing platform on the highest.
Sólheimasandur Aircraft Wreck
In your approach to the well-known black sand seashore, do a fast pit cease on the Sólheimasandur Aircraft Crash, one other iconic images spot in Iceland. In 1973 a United States Navy DC aircraft ran out of gasoline and crashed on the black seashore at Sólheimasandur seashore and by chance everybody in that aircraft survived. Now the deserted aircraft is nonetheless on the sand very near the ocean. Watch out driving there although as you may get misplaced and get caught within the black sand.
Lastly, head extra south to the well-known black sand seashore referred to as Reynisfjara. I do know it feels like the whole lot on this publish is legendary this or well-known that. As a result of they’re! Anyway, Reynisfjara seashore is a geologist’s moist dream with an array of unimaginable rock formations and options. Yow will discover superb cliffs shaped of tubular basalt columns, referred to as Gardar, rising up out of the sand. Magical stairway to Saturn, perhaps?
The place to sleep: Vik could be very near Reynisfjara so it is sensible to sleep right here.
Day four – Tropicool Icy Iceland
Yep that’s a reference to Tropical Iceland, considered one of my favourite songs from The Fiery Furnaces. Why? As a result of the fourth day is all about unimaginable icy landscapes! It’s your day on ice.
There are not any phrases to explain the sensation of strolling on a glacier. Among the best methods to expertise a glacier up shut and private in Iceland is to discover the Sólheimajökull glacier that stands proud of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Sólheimajökull glacier has an superior otherworldly panorama typical of Iceland. It has a singular terrain filled with ice ridges, sinkholes and crevasses.
NEVER go there alone. You want correct gear and an skilled information to hitch you as a result of it’s harmful when you haven’t hiked a glacier earlier than. Ebook a glacier stroll prematurely and meet your information on the assembly level.
Jökulsárlón Ice Lagoon
Drive to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon which streams from the glacier tongue of Breiðamerkurjökull. That is the place the large icebergs break and crumble into large, floating bricks of ice at midnight water. Simply throughout the street is Diamond Seashore the place the icebergs have damaged up and unfold out over the coast on a a black sand expanse. They name it Diamond Seashore as a result of the ice chunks mendacity on it resemble diamonds glistening within the solar. There are boat excursions on the lagoon throughout summer time season. Take a look at all of the Jökulsárlón ice lagoon excursions.
The place to sleep: Drive again to Reykjavik and spend the day night time there so you’ll be able to discover the southwest aspect the subsequent day.
Day 5 – Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Snæfellsnes peninsula is situated within the west of Iceland. Discover this microcosm of Iceland in at the least a day.
Kirkjufell mountain and waterfalls
Kirkjufell is probably the most photographed mountain in Iceland simply west of the city of Grundarfjörður. Simply take a look at that! It’s a superbly formed and symmetric mountain. Its identify means ‘Church Mountain’. There are additionally three small waterfalls which individuals like to photograph together with the mountain. You’ll be able to hike up the mountain for 1.5 hours when you have extra time.
That is undoubtedly the most important attraction within the peninsula. Snæfellsjökull is an lively volcano and an enormous glacier that stands 1,446 meters excessive. It’s stated to be one of many seven biggest power facilities on earth. The glacier can also be believed to have mysterious powers and is the setting for Jules Vernes’ well-known novel ‘Journey to the Middle of the Earth’. As with Sólheimajökull glacier, you could ebook an skilled information to hitch you discover it.
Landbrotalaug scorching spring
You’ll be able to’t actually journey in Iceland and never discover your personal pure scorching springs, proper? Properly, after exploring the Snæfellsnes peninsula you possibly can finish your day by enjoyable in a single. Ahhh…to be utterly bare in nature and dipping into a wonderfully heated pure pool in the midst of nowhere in Iceland! Goals are product of this.
Take a look at Landbrotalaug scorching spring. It’s a bit tiny however what it lacks in measurement it makes it up in magnificence. It has an superior view of ice-capped Icelandic mountains and lakes. And it’s completely scorching. One of the best time to go is early within the morning or later within the afternoon as a result of it tends to get busy through the day. You’ll find it right here on Google Maps. You’re welcome.
The place to sleep: You possibly can both sleep in Snæfellsnes so that you don’t really feel rushed (I want this) or drive again to Reykjavik and spend the night time there.
Day 6 – Pamper your self on the Blue Lagoon
In any case that driving and exploration within the final 5 days, it’s time to really pamper your physique. Spend a day on the Blue Lagoon. You deserve it. Want I say extra? Simply don’t overlook to make a reservation prematurely!
The place to sleep: Reykjavik
Day 7 – Final Day in Reykjavik
In your final day discover the remainder of the town with its many colourful and nice road artwork. Take pleasure in snapping them! There are various cute, cozy cafes and eating places within the metropolis in addition to good parks the place you possibly can have a picnic beneath the solar. I additionally beloved strolling by the ocean overlooking the mountains within the north.
And should you’re like me who loves to buy native garments (or meals) if you journey, seize an Icelandic wool sweater with its iconic colourful Icelandic sweater patterns. Perhaps you’ll use it on your subsequent journey to Iceland in winter! *wink wink*
Another locations I ought to add on this listing?
Photograph credit: A number of the photographs are shot by Johannes Martin, Neil MacWilliams, Leroy Chew, Dconvertini, Marco Nürnberger, Moyan Brenn, Arian Swegers, Moonjazz, Fran, Adam Friedman, McKay Savage, Jim Kelly
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