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Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

This Iceland 2 week itinerary follows the famous Iceland Ring Road on a fantastic self-drive adventure. It takes you across this island of fire and ice in search of Iceland’s famous sights as well as its off-the-beaten-track attractions. Zig-zagging in and around fjords and detouring to remote spots, we track down the best of what Iceland has to offer.

standing seemingly underneath Skogafoss waterfall, Iceland

Skógafoss

If exploding geysers, boiling mud plains, sweeping glaciers, beached icebergs, thundering waterfalls, architectural masterpieces and friendly Icelandic horses, feature on your wish list itinerary, then you’ve come to the right place. Oh, and let’s not forget the icing on the cake … a mesmerising show of Northern Lights.

To ensure that you make the best of your visit, our Iceland travel guide includes:

(If you don’t’ have 2-weeks to spare in Iceland, then we’ve also put together a suggestion for 4 days in Iceland. You’ll find three great options for a 4-day Iceland trip, all starting and finishing in Reykjavik below. (Jump straight to that here)

The rumours are true, Iceland remains the rugged and untamed wild west of Europe. Its beauty is touched with a rawness that makes you realise Mother Nature is definitely calling the shots here. For such a small island, roughly 490 km x 412 km, it sure packs a salivating mix of diverse and captivating landscapes.

Iceland is a treasure trove of exciting adventures. Let’s go explore!

Diamond Beach … a fitting name

Iceland 2 Week Itinerary: Quick Overview

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Day 1

  • Reykjavik: Sun Voyager,
  • Hallgrimskirkja,
  • Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat,
  • Tjörnin Lake,
  • Harbourside Old Fisherman Huts and
  • Chase the Northern Lights. 
'Strokkur' Geysir

Day 2

  • Golden Circle route:
  • Reykjavik to Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park
  • Kerið Crater,
  • Geysir field including ‘Strokker‘,
  • Gullfoss Waterfall and
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.
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Day 3

  • Seljalandsfoss waterfall,
  • Rutshellir Caves,
  • Drangurinn í Drangshlíð 2 (ancient rock dwellings),
  • Skógafoss waterfall and
  • Kvernufoss waterfall.
Reynisfjara beach, Iceland

Day 4

  • Solheimasandur Plane Wreck, 
  • Dyrhólaey (rock arch in the sea), 
  • Reynisfjara Beach (black volcanic sand) and Basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall.
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Day 5

  • Hofskirkja, 
  • Svartifoss /Magnúsarfoss /Hundafoss (x3) waterfalls, 
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Diamond Beach.
black lava sand beach, Hvalnes beach, iceland

Day 6

  • Hvalnes Nature Reserve Beach and Lighthouse,
  • Eggin í Gledivik – egg sculptures, viewpoints and
  • Hafnarnes Lighthouse
many granite eggs on small pedestals lining the harbour front, iceland

Day 7

  • Egilsstaðir – Vinland Camping Pods,
  • Seyðisfjörður (Seydisfjordur)
  • Geirastadakirkja.
Detifoss waterfall gushing over a chasm, Iceland

Day 8

  • Detifoss, Selfoss and GoðafossWaterfalls
  • Asbyrgi Canyon,
  • Husavik Church,
  • Hverir lava fields and Grjótagjá Cave
  • Myvatn Lake
turf covered stone church in Iceland

Day 9

  • Akureyri church,
  • Akureyri Botanical Gardens and
  • Saurbæjarkirkja church.
spoked wheel shaped sheep corral, Iceland

Day 10

  • Víðimýrarkirkja (turf church), 
  • Vatnsdalsholar Hillocks,
  • Hvitsekur rock arch 
  • Hamarsrétt sheep corral
walk along the stony beach towards a lighthouse, iceland

Day 11

  • Snaefellsnes Peninsula – Ingjaldshóll Church, 
  • Skarðsvík Beach (site of Viking burial) 
  • Hike within Snæfellsjökull National Park.
propping up a whale bone near the beach in Iceland

Day 12

  • Djúpalónssandur Beach
  • Malarrif Lighthouse and Saltus
  • Londrangar rock pinnacles, 
  • Saxhólar Crater, 
  • Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss 
  • Gatklettur stone arch of Anarstapi. 
clilff of basalt columns, ICeland

Day 13

  • Snaefellsnes Peninsula – Búðakirkja church,
  • Ytri Tunga seal watching, 
  • Gerðuberg basalt columns, 
  • Ölkelduvatn Mineral Spring.
Hallgrimskirkja church with architecture based on looking like a volcano

Day 14

  • Reykyavik

Video: Iceland in 2 Minutes 

Here’s a taster.

Map: Iceland Roadtrip Itinerary with Attractions

To use this map, expand it using the square symbol on the top right-hand side and then look to the key on the left-hand side. By clicking each location you will find the corresponding position on the map. 

  • Blue circles with a star denote an attraction;
  • Dark Green circles denote overnight accommodation;
  • Black circles denote churches;
  • Yellow circles denote viewpoints;
  • Brown circles denote alternative route to the toll road;
  • Orange denotes the DC3 plane wreck;
  • Light Green circle denotes an alternative option.

Where to Drive to See the Best of Iceland

Following the Ring Road in Iceland will pretty much guarantee that you’ll get close to most of the great attractions that Iceland is renowned for. The Ring Road is 1332 km (or 828 miles long), making it the longest road in Iceland. You can choose to drive it clockwise or as we did, anti-clockwise.

The Ring Road closely follows the coastline for much of its route avoiding the inland mountainous terrain. Further down in this article, we include a map of attractions to give you a better idea.

Route Overview (Iceland’s Ring Road)

ring road of Iceland map

Iceland’s Ring Road

Iceland 2 Week Itinerary on the Ring Road

Two weeks driving on the Ring Road will allow enough time to visit pretty much all of the famous landmarks in Iceland. There is a bit of driving on this  Iceland itinerary but each day has its share of interesting places to stop at. This breaks up the kilometres into manageable chunks.

Say ‘Hi!’ to the Friendly Icelandic Horses

Before we jump right into the road trip, here is something you can do on any given day of the itinerary. Make friends with the Icelandic horses. You’ll find them all over Iceland, enclosed in paddocks and close by the ring road. It’s absolutely fine to stop and give them a pat and in turn be nuzzled but I wouldn’t suggest you feed them anything.

Icelandic horses are surprisingly different from other types of horses, in that they seem to really enjoy human company. When we walked the fence-line, the horses would follow and jostle each other for a pat. It’s a lovely opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up.

rearing Icelandic horses

Icelandic horses have plenty of charisma

Day 1: Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

ReykjavikSun Voyager, Hallgrimskirkja, Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat, Tjörnin Lake, Harbourside Old Fisherman Huts and chase the Northern Lights. 

Depending on your arrival and departure time into and from Reykjavic – you can use either day one, day 14 or both to explore the capital city’s attractions. 

Sun Voyager 

This sculpture of a large steel ship’s skeleton is sited right by the sea and is the artist’s impression of the ‘promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom’.

sun voyager - Iceland

Unmistakable … Sun Voyager

Hallgrimskirkja 

A hard-to-miss landmark on the skyline within central Reykjavik is the 74m high Lutheran church of Hallgrimskirkja. It is on a hilly rise which helps to accentuate the size of this impressive structure. Above the bell tower is an open-air observation deck which can be accessed via an elevator.

Hallgrimskirkja church with architecture based on looking like a volcano

Hallgramskirkja – architecture inspired by a volcano

Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat

This 1994 sculpture of a faceless man holding a suitcase with a block of stone for both his head and upper body, represents the thankless, anonymous job of the bureaucrat.

the unknown bureaucrat, Iceland

‘The Unknown Bureaucrat’

Tjörnin Lake

This small lake is really a shallow pond and is found in central Reykjavik. It is popular for its walkways, trees and many sculptures and works of art. A bridge crosses over the lake offering a great view back to the Reykjavik City Hall. The lake is home to many different bird types, which in turn attracts many bird photographers to its shores.

Tjornin-Lake, Iceland with a swan on the lake and church in background

Tjörnin Lake

Harbourside Old Fisherman Huts 

Here you can find a few of the old fisherman huts that have been expertly renovated into restaurants. Look for a large information board (below) that can give you bearings to the ‘what’s what’ in the area.

old harbour map, Iceland

Harbourside map to get your bearings

Northern Lights of Iceland

From Reykjavik, we headed south to the Lake Kleifarvatn which gave us fantastic views over the water.

Northern Lights, Iceland_

Long exposure image over Kleifarvatn and  photobombed by a plane (red dashes top left)

You most likely already know that there is no guarantee you’re going to see the Northern Lights on any given day. Even with promising Northern Light forecasts, your hopes may be dashed by cloud cover, an artificially lit night sky or just Mother Nature deciding that she isn’t in the mood to let her lights out to play.

You can’t compete with Mother Nature but you can tip the odds in your favour by:

  • Planning a visit between September and April when the night sky will be dark enough to view the lights
  • Monitoring weather conditions. The Icelandic Met Office (vedur.is) forecasts the KP index for the Aurora Borealis along with cloud cover, precipitation and wind. The KP Index is a number from 1 to 9 indicating geomagnetic activity with a higher number representative of a greater probability of the Northern Lights being visible
  • Seeking a viewing location away from any city or town that is a source of light pollution

We drove 45 minutes south of Reykjavik, over the mountains, to Kleifarvatn Lake and further south again to Grænavatn Lake which offered great views over the water (for the locations, check out the yellow markers on our Iceland Road Trip and Attractions map above).

For more Northern Lights inspiration – checkout our Northern Light experience in Lofoten, Norway

Day 2: Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

Golden Circle route: Reykjavik to Þingvellir National Park / Thingvellir National Park, Kerið Crater, Geysir field including ‘Strokker‘, Gullfoss Waterfall and Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.

Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park 

This first leg of the day is 50km from Reykjavik. This location sets the scene for the rest of your Iceland visit. Wander the trails to enjoy the lava fields, ravines and the meltwater lakes of this World Heritage-listed site.

There are plenty of trails to choose from with many abandoned farms in the area (Vatnskot, Hrauntún and Skógarkot). A visitor centre is open from 09:00 am to 07:00 pm with a souvenir shop, cafeteria and an exhibition you need to pay for. Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park offers this free hiking map for download.

Thingvellir National Park with snow topped  mountain in teh background

Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park

Kerið Crater

It is called a crater lake but it is widely agreed that this used to exist as a volcano but collapsed in on itself forming the crater you see now at 170m diameter and 55m height. The beautiful green-blue coloured water cupped at its base is groundwater that has seeped through the rock and can vary in depth from 7m to 14m.

There is an entrance fee but it won’t break the bank at a very reasonable price of ISK200 (approximately 2 Euros).

Kerið (Kerid) crater

Geyser Field

Geyser is Iceland’s famous geyser in the Haukadalur Valley. However, it stopped erupting some time ago but don’t worry, you won’t miss out; Strokkur, a nearby geyser, promises an impressive eruption anywhere between 4 and 10-minute marks. 

The telltale sign for an eruption is to spot the large bubble of steam rising from the water depths which is the precursor for the eruption. You’ll only have a split second to fire the camera shutter button. 

Park at the Geyser Centre which is on the opposite side of the road to the geysers and also happens to be free. The geysers and hot springs are roped off areas.

'Strokkur' Geysir

Strokkur‘ draws quite a crowd

Gullfoss waterfall

Located in Hvítá river canyon, is a magnificent twin-tiered waterfall which pushes the surging water through at a rate of 140 cubic metres (459 cubic feet) a second, before disappearing down into the canyon. However, in spring, the volume can be 20x more, topping out at a whopping 2000 cubic metres per second!  

Gullfoss waterfall  Iceland with a rainbow

Gullfoss waterfall

Day 3: Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Rutshellir Caves, Drangurinn í Drangshlíð 2 (ancient rock dwellings), Skógafoss waterfall and Kvernufoss waterfall.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall 

Visible from the ring road, this impressive waterfall plunges 65m to its base. It is one of Iceland’s most popular landmarks. But it offers something more…

You can walk behind the waterfall via a path. Our recommendation is to wear your waterproofs when tackling this one.

cascading Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Rutshellir Caves 

These ancient man-made caves, just off the main Ring Road, are thought to be the oldest place of habitation in Iceland. The wooden outer structures are very much a 20th-century addition.

You are able to enter the barn and walk a little way into the cave system. It’s free to visit and has a small parking place between the main road and the entrance gate.

Rutshellir Caves, Iceland

Rutshellir Caves

Drangurinn í Drangshlíð 2 

Sometimes referred to as ‘elf rock’, this is a large solitary rock situated below the beautiful Eyjafjöll mountains. Dranggurinn has many caves inside it in which farmers store hay and other farming implements.

The caves have man-made sheds that seem a part of the rock itself. As with many of these Icelandic cave structures, a fable that this cave was also home to elves makes for a much more intriguing story.

Dranchild_Iceland

Drangurinn í Drangshlíð 2

Skógafoss Waterfall 

With a width of 20m and a fall of 60m, this beautiful waterfall cascades right to your feet. Yes, I really do mean right to your feet! Walking the stony river bed will bring you face to face with a wall of Icelandic mountain ice water.

After getting up close and personal, climb the path to the viewing platform at the top.

Skogafoss at dusk, ICeland

Skógafoss Waterfall at dusk

Kvernufoss Waterfall

This hidden treasure is close to, but not visible from, the main ring road. A short hike between the hills, following the river, soon brings this waterfall and its private setting into view.

Pick your way over the wet rocks and follow the gravel path leading up behind the waterfall. Here you can watch the waters cascade 30m. A real hidden gem!

Kvernufoss_5_iceland

Kvernufoss, a secluded waterfall

Following the trail behind the waterfall

Day 4: Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck, Dyrhólaey (rock arch in the sea), Reynisfjara Beach (black volcanic sand) and basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall.

Solheimasandur Plane Wreck

On the black, lava plains, not dissimilar to a moonscape, lies the wreck of a US Navy DC3 plane that crashed in 1973. Luckily, all persons survived.

The walk across this deserted landscape took us about 45 minutes each way.

DC3 plane wreck on the lava plateau, Iceland

DC3 Plane Wreck

If you don’t fancy the walk over the rocky volcanic plain, part with ISK 2000 and let the shuttle bus drive you down. It’s an old Russian missile carrier and begins its journey from the carpark at around 10 am.

Russian missile carrier driving to DC3 plane , Iceland

Russian missile carrier transporter straight to the DC3 plane wreck

Dyrhólaey 

This translates to ‘door hole’ and is a fitting description of the 120m high rock arch that forms a part of a small promontory in this southernmost part of Iceland. When the weather is calm, small boats can pass through the opening.

Dyrhólaey, Iceland

Reynisfjara Beach

Known for its stunning volcanic black sand beach, Reynisfjara Beach has been listed as one of the top ten non-tropical beaches in the world. It is also renowned for its spectacular basalt columns, which regrettably, we didn’t get to see as the accessway to the beach was closed off due to the heavy seas. Game of Thrones fans will likely recognise the scene as Eastwatch in Season 7. 

Reynisfjara black lava sand beach, iceland

The rocky jagged sea stacks sitting close to shore are called Reynisdrangar.

Day 5: Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

Hofskirkja, Svartifoss /Magnúsarfoss /Hundafoss (x3) waterfalls, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon / Jokusarlon Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach.

Hofskirkja

Hofskirkja is the last of the six turf churches built in the late 19th century, in this traditional style.

Norway has its famous Stave Churches, and Iceland has its turf churches. The church has both walls and roof of stone and turf covering. The grass mounds in the church grounds are old burial mounds. It’s a beautiful, quaint looking church.

Hofskirkja

Svartifoss /Magnúsarfoss /Hundafoss Waterfalls

These three waterfalls are located within close proximity of each other in Vatnajökull National Park.

Svartifoss definitely attracts the most attention with its hexagonal basalt columns that have formed around the fringe of the canyon walls. When walking from the car park, Hundafoss (with its 30m fall) is encountered first, then Magnúsarfoss (with a 10 m fall) and finally Svartifoss (20m fall). 

There is a visitor centre near the car park. The round-trip distance between the car park and Svartifoss is around 3 km with a couple of hill climbs thrown in.

Svartifoss, the main attraction

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

This large glacial lake located in south-eastern Iceland forms part of Vatnajökull National ParkIceland. 

“In our opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful sights in all Iceland.”

Large multi-coloured icebergs from the tongue of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier float and drift slowly towards the sea. Iceland. In our opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful sights in all of Iceland. Dress warmly as the temperature really drops here. 

Jokusarlon glacier lagoon, Iceland

Jökusárlon Glacier Lagoon, dazzling beauty

Diamond Beach

The icebergs melt as they drift closer to the sea with some of the smaller ones washing up onto the black, lava beaches on either side of the outlet. It’s the most beautiful sight. You can spend hours here just watching the icebergs float down to the sea and you’ll likely find seals watching you  from the icy water. Perfect!

Diamond beach, iceland

Aptly named … Diamond Beach

Day 6: Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

Hvalnes Nature Reserve Beach and Lighthouse, Eggin í Gledivik – egg sculptures, viewpoints and  Hafnarnes Lighthouse

Hvalnes Nature Reserve Beach

This beautiful black rock beach disappears into the distance and is best admired from the Hvalnes lighthouse. Walk along the beach and dodge the waves that pound this solitary place. Don’t forget to take a look at the nearby jagged hills that overlook this lonely beach, they are quite spectacular.

black lava sand beach, Hvalnes beach, iceland

Views over Hvalnes Beach from Hvalnes lighthouse

Hvalnes orange lighthouse with a mountain background, Iceland

Hvalnes Lighthouse

Hvalnes Lighthouse

Built-in 1954, this lighthouse is a relatively recent building. Although the lighthouse itself is not a particularly attractive structure, it provides the perfect vantage point over Hvalnes Nature Reserve Beach.

Eggin í Gledivik,‘The Eggs at Happy Bay’   

Situated a kilometre outside of Egillstadir, are 34 granite ‘eggs’ perched on small pedestals fringing a quiet harbour. The eggs represent the 34 bird species that nest in the area and were installed in 2009. It’s an awesome work of art as each of these eggs is about a metre in length.

many granite eggs on small pedestals lining the harbour front, iceland

An egg-cellent display

Hafnarnes Lighthouse

Located close to the cliffs and on the south side of Reyðarfjörður, this quaint lighthouse is painted the typical orange as are many lighthouses in Iceland. Hafnarnes lighthouse was built in 1952 replacing the lighthouse of 1912 which lies in ruins beside it. You’ll need to park your car near the road by some abandoned buildings and walk the 150m down to the lighthouse.

orange lighthouse overlloking a bay with a huge mountain as backdrop, iceland

Hafnarnes Lighthouse

Day 7: Iceland in 2 Weeks Itinerary

Egilsstaðir – Vinland Camping Pods, Seyðisfjörður (Seydisfjordur) and Geirastadakirkja.

Egilsstaðir (Vinland Camping Pods)

This is not a natural attraction but worth a mention as it’s something different on the accommodation front. We broke away from choosing the usual 4 walled-affair and opted for a camping pod. Basically, this is a large wooden barrel laid on its side with an inside partition separating the double bed from a small desk and bench. The toilet and shower complex is close by but you’ll need to transit the 100m to a separate building beside the owner’s home for cooking facilities and wifi.

Wooden camping pod, Iceland

Camping Pod… quite cute!

Seyðisfjörður

Ready for a splash of colour and some funky artistry? This pretty east coast town sure is a treat. The road from Egilsstadir to Seydisfjordur crosses a rather large mountain range and it’s only on the descent, that you can sight Seyðisfjörður, hidden away in the fjord. It has a private, cosy little location tucked between the surrounding mountains.

The shores of the fjord are lined with colourful buildings and you get the feeling that you can expect something special here. Seyðisfjörður, a fishing town, also serves as the ferry port both to and from Scandinavia.

coloured buildings with reflections on a fjord, iCeland

The colourful, funky town of Seydisfjordur

The Blue Church in Seyðisfjörður

This distinctive blue and white landmark has had a challenging journey. Having been moved, blown over and re-built, it now finds a safe haven close by the protected shores of Seyðisfjörður

blue church with a rainbow path of bricks in front, iceland

A great splash of colour, the Blue church and rainbow path

Seyðisfjörður’s Rainbow Road

This rainbow-hued brick road through the centre of Seyðisfjörður, was the result of the town’s residents throwing support behind its LGBTQ locals. Either side of the rainbow path are buildings covered with all sorts of interesting and colourful wall art. One end of the road starts at the pituresque Blue Church.

Seyðisfjörður Neon Sign

Above and overlooking the town on a nearby hill, is the neon sign ‘Seyðisfjörður’. We visited during the day so didn’t have the chance to see it light the night skies. It’s a pleasant walk up the hill and you get a lovely view of the village and fjord below.

Geirastadakirkja 

Although not an original turf church, this recent structure has been modelled on one of the turf churches that was unearthed in the area. It sits on private land with a public road running beside it and can be accessed but using the dedicated gate.

new build turf church in Iceland

Geirastadakirkja

Day 8: Iceland in 2 weeks Itinerary

Detifoss waterfall, Selfoss waterfall, Asbyrgi Canyon, Husavik Church, Hverir lava fields, Grjótagjá Cave, Myvatn Lake and Goðafoss waterfall

Detifoss Waterfall

Parking at Detifoss Parking West, this waterfall is closer than Selfoss although they both share the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. Detifoss spans a mighty 100m with a fall of 44m and is Europe’s second most powerful waterfall. The thundering applause from Detifoss’ frenzied waters can be heard from 100’s of metres away. It sure is something to behold. 

Detifoss waterfall gushing over a chasm, Iceland

Detifoss

Selfoss Waterfall

Selfoss, the more famous of the falls with its series of beautiful plunging waters is a captivating scene that could be taken from a mythical Amazonian paradise. The water gently falls from a number of different places along the rim of the canyon creating a breathtaking effect!

man taking a photo of Selfoss waterfall at the edge of a canyon, iceland

Selfoss Waterfall

Ásbyrgi Canyon

Driving 35km north of Detifoss, will place you at the doorway to the Asbyrgi Canyon. This horseshoe-shaped depression, 3.5km x 1.1km, is an old glacial canyon and home to a thriving woodland.

A small lake, Botnstjörn, lies in the depths of the canyon with many accessible hikes both in the canyon and around its rim. A distinctive 25m high rock formation divides Ásbyrgi for almost half its length. 

autumn colours of Asbbyrgi canyon, Iceland

Asbyrgi Canyon autumn colours

Husavik Church (Húsavíkurkirkja)

The town of Húsavík not only draws tourists for its reputation as the whale watching centre for Iceland, (book your whale watching tour here) but also to admire this wooden church that can be found in the middle of town. The church was built in 1907 and interestingly, the wood was imported from Norway

Husavik church, Iceland

Husavik Church, Iceland

Hverir

Hverir is a site of volcanic activity with oodles of boiling/bubbling mud and clouds of sulphuric gas. It creates an other-worldly scene. The pedestrian area covers roughly 400 square metres with the real danger spots fringed with rope barriers. Here you are above the convergence of 2 tectonic plates: the North American and Eurasian plates. A really interesting place that is unlike anywhere we’d ever visited before. 

Steam off the boiling mud in Iceland

Hverir boiling mud fields

Grjótagjá Cave 

This underground, small lava cave is close by Hverir and hides a thermal spring. The spring water takes on an enticing bright blue hue however the site is not open for bathing.

Grjótagjá Cave, Iceland

Grjótagjá Cave

Myvatn Lake

This large, shallow lake is home to many birds, especially ducks. The marker on our map highlights a great place to photograph the lake with a captivating view of the mighty Hverfjall crater in the background. This crater is one kilometre in diameter and can be hiked.

Looking over Myvatn lake towards Hverfjall crater

Looking over Myvatn Lake to Hverfjall crater

Goðafoss 

Located close by the ring road, Goðafoss waterfall is fed by the river Skjálfandafljót and falls from a horse-shoe shaped rock from a height of 12 meters over its 30 meters breadth. Goðafoss is nick-named the ‘Waterfall of the Gods’ due to its god-like beauty.

godafoss, Iceland

Goðafoss

Day 9: Iceland in 2 Weeks Itinerary

Akureyri church, Akureyri Botanical Gardens and Saurbæjarkirkja church.

Akureyri Church

Built in 1940, this rather modern looking church is a prominent landmark on the old, Icelandic landscape. It takes pride of place on an elevated position overlooking the town of Akureyri.

Akureyrarkirkja, Iceland

Akureyrarkirkja

Akureyri Botanical Gardens (Lystigarðurinn)

Established in 1957 and with over 7000 species of plant, this botanical gardens is the northernmost in the world. Visiting Iceland in September,  allowed us to enjoy the departing summer colours and the vibrant hues of autumn.

The gardens are free to enter.

autumn red, orange colours of a botanical gardens, Iceland

Beautiful autumn colours in the botanical gardens

Saurbæjarkirkja

Built-in 1858, this is another great example of Iceland’s stone and turf-covered churches. It is the largest of the six remaining turf churches in Iceland. 

turf covered stone church in Iceland

Saurbæjarkirkya

Day 10: Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

Víðimýrarkirkja (turf church), Vatnsdalsholar hillocks, Hvitsekur rock arch and Hamarsrétt sheep corral

Víðimýrarkirkja

Built-in 1834, this turf church is a beautiful example of this old style of architecture. The front gates date back to 1936. The green and black colours of the church make for a striking combination.

green turf church in Iceland

Víðimýrarkirkja

Vatnsdalsholar 

These strangely shaped hillocks, that from a distance look like ant-hills, are actually the result of a landslide. The area of these mounds covers roughly 5 square kilometres. Yet another interesting example of Iceland’s diverse landscapes.

many small triangular barren hillocks, iceland

Vatnsdalsholar hillocks

Hvitserkur 

Reaching a height of 15m, this basalt rock formation with its two arches, takes the shape of a dragon bending down to drink. If you think something looks a bit odd it’s because concrete has been added to support the base of the structure as it was in danger of collapsing. Time the tides right, and you can actually walk out to the rock.

rock arch in the sea that looks like a dragon drinking, iceland

Hvitserkur – sitting close by the black sand beach

Hamarsrétt 

Hamarsrett is the only coastal sheep corral in Iceland and you can find it in a natural clearing amongst the rocky hillocks. The sheep are herded from the nearby hills into the round, central hub. Here, owners claim their animals and steer them to the holding pens formed by the ‘spokes of the wheel’. This interesting corral is right by the road.

spoked wheel shaped sheep corral, Iceland

Hamarsrétt

Day 11: Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

Snaefellsnes Peninsula – Ingjaldshóll church, Skarðsvík Beach (site of Viking burial) and hike within Snæfellsjökull National Park.

Ingjaldshóll Church 

This early 20th-century church sits under the watchful eye of Snæfellsjokull Glacier. The church is a distinctive feature amongst its remarkable setting.

Ingjaldshóll church

Skarðsvík Beach 

This secluded beach is in stark contrast to others in Iceland in that it has yellow sand. It might feel somewhat tropical if it wasn’t for the icy winds blowing around us. Surrounded by the readily identifiable black lava rocks, it makes for a great get-away location.

Skarðsvík Beach 

Hike within Snæfellsjökull National Park

There are many hikes through Snæfellsjökull National Park . An easy hike that most will be able to complete, and one that gives a taste of true Iceland, is the 2km long Rauðhóll hike.

Find further hiking details here from Alltrails.

Views around Malariff lighthouse_Iceland

Scenic walks around Malariff Lighthouse forming part of the National Park

Day 12: Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

Snaefellsnes Peninsula – Shipwrecked fishing trawler near Djúpalónssandur beach, Lifting stones on Djúpalónssandur beach, Malarrif Lighthouse, Salthus Museum, Londrangar rock pinnacles, Saxhólar Crater, Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss statue and Gatklettur stone arch of Anarstapi. 

Shipwrecked fishing trawler near Djúpalónssandur Beach 

The Epine GY7, a British trawler, was wrecked closeby on the night of 13th March 1948. The remains of the ship have washed up onto Djúpalónssandur beach and are spread over a large area. These metal remains are protected.

Shipwreck remains spread across Djúpalónssandur beach

Lifting stones on Djúpalónssandur Beach

Walking onto the start of the beach from the car park will have you passing four different sized round stones lying on the sand. These are lifting stones and in the past they were used as tests of strength by workers at the fishing stations.

lifting stones, Iceland

Lifting stones: 23kg, 54kg, 100kg and the  154kg monster!

Malarrif Lighthouse 

This 20m high lighthouse was built in 1917 and is a protected building. It makes for a great photo right by the beach. It sits on the southernmost point of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Malarrif Lighthouse

Salthus Museum 

Close by the Malariff Lighthouse is a small building on the edge of the beach named ‘Salthus’ or Salthouse. This building was originally used by fisherman to dry their cod. 

It has now been restored and acts as a museum hosting some local interesting pieces of work from nearby schools. It’s a great exhibition for both adults and kids and there’s no charge to enter.

The Snæfellsnes Information Center is the building located right beside Malarrif Lighthouse and is open from the 1st May – 15th September daily from 11:00am to 18:00pm.

‘Salthus’ with Londrangar, the twin rock pinnacles, in the background

Londrangar Rock Pinnacles

These two magnificent volcanic plugs are 75m and 61m in height and are the homes of puffins and other birds in summer. You can walk here from either the Malariff Lighthouse or from the nearby car park. 

Londranger rock pinnacles, Iceland

Londranger rock pinnacles

Saxhólar Crater

This 100m high crater has man-made steps up and down each side making it easy access for most. Basically it’s a lookout, with expansive views over the Atlantic Ocean and the dried lava fields of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula offer a real taste of both Iceland’s sea and landscapes. 

Saxholar crater, Iceland

Saxhólar Crater

Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss 

This huge 10m tall sculpture, designed in 1972, is famous all across Iceland. It depicts the mythical giant half-man half-troll character that lived in the area around Snæfellsjökull glacier.  

Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss

Gatklettur 

Gatklettur is a naturally formed stone arch that has been carved out by the sea. The sea breaks between the arches making for some compelling photography opportunities. It’s another popular location for visitors to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Gatklettur-Iceland

Rock arch, Gatklettur

Day 13: Iceland 2 Week itinerary

Snaefellsnes Peninsula – Búðakirkja church, Ytri Tunga seal watching, Gerðuberg basalt columns, Ölkelduvatn Mineral Spring.

Búðakirkja Black Church

The church you see here now, was re-constructed in 1987, in the same design as the original church which was erected back in 1703 and taken down in 1806. It is a favourite for photographers given its location. The church is quite distinguishable as it is on a rise above a barren stretch of land amid the lava fields.

Búðakirkja church

Ytri Tunga Seal Watching

The large, scattered rocks just off the sandy beach of Ytri Tunga, makes the perfect haven for a seal colony. You can observe seals at a distance where they happily laze about. Sometimes one of the seals beccame inquisitive and swam closer before returning to a safe distance back on the rocks.

Ytri Tunga seal

Gerðuberg Basalt Cliffs

These wonders of nature stretch over a length of 1 km with rows of vertical hexagonal columns. A road follows the base of the structure from start to finish.

clilff of basalt columns, ICeland

Gerðuberg basalt columned cliffs

Ölkelduvatn Mineral Spring

This small natural spring gently bubbles to the surface. Don’t expect clear, pristine-looking water. There’s so much iron in the water that it runs red, even staining the stones about its little stream bed.

However, the water is perfectly acceptable to drink which is verified by a sign close by the spring showing the mineral contents falling within the acceptable limits. It tastes a little fizzy and is apparently very good for you. 

Despite the colour, the water is perfectly ok to drink

Day 14: Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

Reykjavik – Depart Iceland.

If you have time – you can explore more of Reykjavik or see the sights you may not have had time to see on day one of your two week Iceland itinerary. 

Planning Your Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

  • What’s the Best Time of Year to Travel to Iceland?

The best time for you will depend on what you want to see and what activities you’d like to do. The weather is variable – see seasonal averages below:

Summer

(June to August)

Temp: 7 to 13 DegC

Rainfall: 4 to 6cm

Sunlight: 22 to 16 hrs

Spring

(Sept to Nov)

Temp: -1 to 10 DegC

Rainfall: 6 to 8cm

Sunlight: 12 to 5 hrs

Winter

(Dec to Feb)

Temp: -3 to 3 DegC

Rainfall: 7 to 8cm

Sunlight: 4 to 9 hrs

Autumn

(Mar to May)

Temp: -2 to 10 DegC

Rainfall: 8 to 4cm

Sunlight: 11 to 20 hrs

Choosing which season to travel will drive what activities you can do. Factors you’ll need to account for are temperature, rainfall, wind, ice/snow on the roads and the amount of sunlight.

With a name like Iceland, you’d expect to see temperatures falling way past zero, however, Iceland’s average minimum temperature hovers around the -3C mark. This was a surprise for me and also explains why  there are no Icehotels in Iceland.  

 The summer months (June to August) offer extended daylight hours whereas in mid-winter (December), you can expect 4 to 5 hours of light. Summer weather will allow better access to other parts of Iceland such as the inland routes which won’t be snowed in. However, in summer, don’t expect to see the Northern Lights.

We travelled in September which was perfect; out of the tourist season, no icy roads to contend with and we had our best ever show of the Northern Lights … ticking all our boxes. This was our second country to be graced by the Northern Lights, having seen them in Lofoten Islands, during our Norway fjord road trip.

home under a steep volcanic mountain in Iceland

An epic wind-break behind the homes in Iceland

You might want to be in Iceand for certain festivals or events. See Iceland’s Event Calendar below:

Iceland Event Calendar

Regardless of the season, Iceland offers many different festivals and events that will add extra flavour to your visit.  You can find out more by searching:

Some standout options are:

  • Reykjavik Art Festival during the month of May showcases not only Icelandic culture but draws artists and performers from around the globe. 
  • Iceland’s Independence day falls on June 17th which coincides with the birthday of the man who led the movement for Iceland becoming a sovereign state, Jón Sigurðsson.
  • Summer solstice occurs on June 21st, where Icelanders and visitors alike gather for an age-old pagan tradition to celebrate the year’s longest day.
  • Icelandic Horse Competition – ‘Landsmót falls in early July, is a national event in Iceland held every second year (2020, 2022 etc), where all the best horses are gathered and participate in several competitions and shows. This event is for Icelandic born horses that have never departed the country as Iceland bans the import of all horses.
  • Réttir – the annual sheep round-up occurs in September each year and involves the mustering of all the sheep that have been roaming free in the hills. They are herded into a wooden pen and then separated to their rightful owners where they will be corralled for the winter. You are able to join the muster on horseback, through the company, Riding Iceland, if you’re horseback skills are up to the task.
  • Reykjavik Literary Festival occurs in September joined by Icelandic and international authors all over Reykjavik and hosted in English.
  • Iceland Airwaves Music Festival in October / November is big on the international music scene with artists from all around the globe joining to make this one of Iceland’s premium festivals. 
  • Where to Stay for an Iceland 2 Week Itinerary

As much as possible, we booked a stay of 2 nights at each stopover giving us time to see what we wanted without the need to rush. We chose mostly B&Bs and were often granted an earlier check-in which was just brilliant as we could dump our bags, re-group and head out for the day.

Another reason to stay at least a couple of nights at the same place is that packing up and moving on to different accommodation each night gets kind of tiring over 2 weeks. Below is the list of our overnight stops which are also reflected on our map of attractions (as green markers):

Our Overnight Stops for the Iceland Ring Road Itinerary

We relied on Booking.com and Airbnb to source our accommodation. When choosing the right place we factored in price, inclusive breakfast and free parking. Every place we chose included super-fast and reliable wifi.

Night 1 – Reykjavik

Night 2,3 – Skógar

Night 4,5 – Höfn

Night 6,7 – Egilsstaðir

Night 8,9 – Akureyri

Night 10 – Hvítserkur

Night 11,12 – Olafsvik

Night 13 – Reykjavik

  • Vehicle Hire (Car or Campervan)

Not leaving anything to chance, we had all bookings confirmed 6 months in advance using:

The Ring Road is open all year, but in the winter, expect the roads to be subject to snow and ice. This will then drive the need to hire a 4×4 to safely navigate the roadways.

Rentalcars.com: We use Rental Cars.com to source us the best vehicle deals and hired from Iceland Car Rental. The guys at the car rental agency ran through the paperwork, vehicle and some handy pointers with us. The whole process was fuss-free.

Motorhome Republic: How much fun would it be to motorhome around Iceland! We used Motorhome Republic to source us the best deals for campervan/motorhome hire when we campervanned around Europe for a year. They were just brilliant!

 

iceland hire car in the hills

Our Iceland hire car – for 2 people, the smallest sized option was fine

Pick up your rental at Keflavik Airport, Iceland

Most international flights will land at Keflavik airport, the main international airport in Iceland and 50 km from Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. It makes perfect sense to hire a car here from a location close by the airport. There are quite a few hire car companies to choose from so it’s a matter of checking one against the other for the best pricing and insurance coverage.

A free shuttle bus departs from the airport car park (about 100m walk) and circles the nearby area passing most of the main car rental companies. Booking your vehicle ahead of time does not only guarantee you better pricing but also that you won’t needlessly pay for a more expensive option because it’s ‘all we have left’.

Driving in Iceland

Certain roads, called ‘F’ roads in Iceland, can only be driven with a 4wd. However, these roads are predominantly inland within the mountainous areas so unless you are planning on going 4 wheel driving, a normal two-wheel drive will be fine.

We’ve written in detail about the different road classifications, road signs, insurances and the type of vehicle allowed on those roads and show where they actually are in our Iceland in September article.

iceland road sign
iceland road sign
  • Budgeting for Your Iceland Trip

Is Iceland Expensive? It sure is. We thought Switzerland was hard on the pocket, but Iceland took it to a higher level. As full-time travellers, we are very budget-conscious and always looking for the best deals.

As we had our eyes set on a trip to Iceland for some time, we were able to secure the dates for our hire-car and accommodation 6 months in advance to not only guarantee our choice but to get the best deals.

We chose B&Bs so that we could eat a big breakfast (normally consisting of a choice of coffee, tea, jam, ham, cheese and bread) and then make ham/cheese sandwiches for the road. It worked out just fine but boy, after 14 days of that, we sure looked forward to a change in diet.

Bónus supermarket emblem of a piggy bank

Remember the piggy bank sign for the Bónus supermarket 

We did buy extra food of course and always kept an eye out for the budget supermarket chain Bónus, which is found all over Iceland. They stock the necessities and you know it’s a good place to shop when you’re shoulder to shoulder with the locals. Another supermarket, Netto, is also a budget supermarket chain that will do the trick.

Costs Involved in Our 2 Week Iceland Itinerary

To help understand vehicle costs below, we decided on hiring a ‘small size’ 4-door two-wheel drive car. We have not included flight costs in the figures below.

Accommodation

13 nights total = €1170 (Average -€90/night) or USD$1330 (USD$102/night)

 Hire Car

13 days car hire total = €608 (€47/day) or USD$691 (USD$53/day).

This included: collision waiver damage, personal accident insurance, third party liability insurance, 24-hour breakdown service, fuel discount card and unlimited mileage. Just a point to add is that we already had our own travel insurance in place.

Petrol

Petrol costs for 13 days of driving = €164 (€12/day) or USD$186 (USD$14/day)

Food

We did not eat out at restaurants and bought our own food in supermarkets.

Food total cost = €142 (€11/day) or USD$162 (USD$12/day)

We were going to have a takeaway fish and chips but at €15 per serve, we gave it a miss.

Miscellaneous Prices

For approximate conversion purposes: ISK 100 = EUR 0.60 = USD $0.71

  • Milk ISK 169,
  • half loaf bread ISK 469,
  • mixed nuts ISK 998,
  • 1 tin of Heinz baked beans ISK 97,
  • Cooked chicken (300g) ISK 1089,
  • Bananas ISK 245/kg, 
  • Weetbix (48 biscuits) ISK 549,
  • Pink Lady apples (4 apples) ISK 498.
  • Getting a Tourist Visa for Your 14 Day Road Trip in Iceland

Iceland is one of 26 Schengen Area countries. Nationals of particular countries can arrive in Iceland and receive a visa on arrival which allows for a stay of up to 90 days within any of the Schengen countries for a period of 180 days whilst others will need to apply and be granted a tourist visa prior to arrival. You can find Iceland’s visa requirements here.

iceland flag - Iceland itinerary 4 days
  • What to Pack When Travelling to Iceland

    • Waterproof outer clothing – definitely pack both waterproof jacket with hood and waterproof pants. I would classify this as an essential item
    • Waterproof hiking shoes/boots – give serious thought to waterproof footwear as wearing wet boots and wet socks is just not fun.
    • Woollen socks – wool keeps you warm even if it is wet.
    • Woollen gloves – same as above.
    • Beanie or similar – you’ll need to keep that head warm and the beanie can handle a bit of wet weather
    • Swimmers – If you plan on visiting a spa then you’ll need to pack these
    • Flip-flops – what’s to say, these are handy wherever you go
    • Sunglasses – glare from the sun or reflections from the snow can dazzle so pack a pair of sunglasses, ideally polarised.

Travel Gear and Accessories

We’ve been on the road continuously for over three years now and have narrowed down our list of preferred travel gear and accessories which you can find on our Lifejourney4two page on UK Amazon or USA Amazon

  • Do I Need a Local SIM Card in Iceland and What Phone Networks Should I Consider?

You may wish to buy an Icelandic SIM card if you need to have constant connectivity but we found that we could do without it when we travelled in September. We relied on the super-fast internet in the B&Bs, where we uploaded all of the day’s photos and updated our off-line maps for the next day.

However, when we travelled, there was no ice or snow on the roads meaning that all roads were open for travel. Fast forward to winter or late autumn, with the potential for unpredictable weather and road closures, then we’d recommend that you consider purchasing a local SIM card. Some of the bigger Icelandic phone network companies that offer SIM cards are Síminn, Vodafone and Nova.

Waterfalls at the doorstep

More Relaxed Two Week Itinerary or a Shorter Iceland Itinerary 

Check out 3 Great Options (all from Reykjavik)

Four days in Iceland is enough time to get a real taste of this land of fire and ice. What blew us away was not only how wild and captivating the landscape is but just how accessible the sights are.

Here are 3 very doable options for a 4-day trip or longer more relaxed trip (starting and finishing in Reykjavik):

Option 1: Golden Circle + West Coast,

Option 2: Snæfellsnes Peninsula,

Option 3: Jökusárlón Glacier Lagoon + Diamond Beach + West Coast

Option 1: Golden Circle + West Coast 

Geysir erupting_Iceland in September

Day 1: (215 km of driving) Golden Circle route: Reykjavik to Selfoss via Þingvellir or Thingvellir National Park, Kerið crater, Geysir field including ‘Strokker‘, Gullfoss waterfall. Overnight at Selfoss.

Skogafoss at dusk, ICeland

Day 2: (100 km of driving) South Coast: Selfoss to Skógar via Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Rutshellir Caves, Drangurinn í Drangshlíð 2 (ancient rock dwellings), Skógafoss waterfall, Kvernufoss waterfall. Overnight at Skógar.

DC3 plane wreck on the lava plateau, Iceland

Day 3: (234 km of driving) South Coast: Skógar to Reykjavik via Solheimasandur Plane Wreck, Dyrhólaey (rock arch in the sea), Reynisfjara Beach (black volcanic sand) and basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall. Overnight at Reykjavik.

Day 4: (20 km of driving) Reykjavik. See the sights of the capital city, Reykjavik: Sun Voyager, Hallgrimskirkja, Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat, Tjörnin Lake, Harbourside Old Fisherman Huts. (If you have extra time, you may choose to end this day trip by visiting the magical Blue Lagoon, 50 km south of Reykjavik OR if you’re chasing the Northern Lights, then drive 30km south to Kleifarvatn Lake. We had a stunning display of lights over this lake without any interference from the bright city lights.)

Option 2 : Snæfellsnes Peninsula

black church of Iceland

Day 1 (195 km of driving) Reykjavik to Ólafsvík via Ölkelduvatn Mineral Spring, Ytri Tunga seal watching, Búðakirkja Black Church. Overnight in Ólafsvík.

Thingvellir National Park

Day 2 (50 km of driving) Ólafsvík to Ingjaldshóll church, Skarðsvík Beach (site of Viking burial), hike within Snæfellsjökull National Park. Overnight back in Ólafsvík.

Day 3 (45 km of driving) Ólafsvík to Anarstapi via the shipwrecked fishing trawler near Djúpalónssandur beach, Lifting stones on Djúpalónssandur beach, Malarrif Lighthouse, Salthus Museum, Gestastofa Visitor Center, Londrangar rock pinnacles, Saxhólar Crater, Bárðar Saga Snæfellsáss statue, Gatklettur stone arch of Anarstapi. Overnight in Anarstapi.

Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavik

Day 4 (200 km of driving) Anarstapi to Reykjavik. See the sights of the capital city, Reykjavik: Sun Voyager, Hallgrimskirkja, Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat, Tjornin Viewpoint, Harbourside Old Fisherman Huts.

Option 3 – Jökusárlón Glacier, Diamond Beach, West Coast

glacier lagoon, iceland

Day 1 (380 km of driving) Reykjavik to Jökulsárlón (Jokusarlon) Glacier Lagoon via Diamond Beach. Overnight near Diamond Beach.

Reynisfjara black lava sand beach, iceland

Day 2 (225 km of driving) Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to Skógar via Hofskirkja, Svartifoss /Magnúsarfoss /Hundafoss waterfalls, Dyrhólaey (rock arch in the sea), Reynisfjara Beach (black volcanic sand) and basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall. Overnight at Skógar.

DC3 Plane Wreck_Iceland in September

Day 3 (100 km of driving) Skógar to Selfoss via Solheimasandur Plane Wreck, Kvernufoss waterfall, Skógafoss waterfall, Drangurinn í Drangshlíð 2 (ancient rock dwellings), Rutshellir Caves, Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Overnight at Selfoss. 

the unknown bureaucrat, Iceland

Day 4 (60 km of driving) Selfoss to Reykjavik. See the sights of the capital city, Reykjavik: Sun Voyager, Hallgrimskirkja, Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat, Tjornin Viewpoint, Harbourside Old Fisherman Huts.

Iceland 2 Week Itinerary – That’s a Wrap

Iceland sure is a land of captivating extremes. Glacial lakes, boiling mud pools, foamy thundering waterfalls, exploding geysers, shimmering Northern Lights and a never-ending choice of stunning landscapes. This is what you can expect from an Iceland road trip – an adventurer’s paradise.

Do you have any favourites you want to experience in Iceland? Have you visited before or would you go again? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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