Road Trip Around Iceland in 7 Days!

Road Trip Around Iceland in 7 Days!

Travel Writer, photographer and Guide!

Are you and your friends thinking about doing an epic road trip around Iceland? Here is a good guide to doing a self-drive trip around Iceland in 7 Days!

Whether you are coming to Iceland with friends or with your family (or even as a lone-traveller!), Iceland is sure to become one of your best experiences ever!

It's difficult to know exactly how easy it is to do the tour of Iceland and what not to miss on your road trip...

But you're in luck! As someone who has done a road trip around Iceland in 7 days, I can help you out!


Here is a little overview of what we will cover in this guide:

  • How long do you need to do a tour of Iceland?
  • How to prepare for the road trip? Car, hotels?
  • Day to day plan of a 7 days road-trip

How long do you need to do a road trip around iceland? 

It is difficult to fully get a grasp of how big Iceland is and even more difficult to gauge how easy it is to drive around the island itself.​ 

If you're thinking of doing a road trip around Iceland, the first thing you need to know is that you need at least 7 days for you to be able to enjoy the sights and make the most of Iceland.

Sure, Iceland is not incredibly big, and travellers have probably managed to do the whole tour in less than that, but that would mean spending all your time driving and not being able to stop and witness the wonders that Iceland's nature has to offer!

My advice is this, don't try and rush a full tour if you don't have the time to do it!​

In 7 days, you will be able to do a good tour of Iceland, you'll be able to stop and see most of the great places that you should not miss, and you'll be able to feel relaxed and actually enjoy the road trip!

When some friends and I did the tour of Iceland in 7 Days, the only part of Iceland we were unable to go to was the Westfjords. So bear in mind that doing the tour of Iceland will make you miss that part of the country.

But even so, we got to see some of the most amazing scenery we could have ever hoped to see, and we had the most amazing road trip of our lives!

If you want to do a road trip around Iceland without missing out on the West Fjords (North West of Iceland) then you will probably need 8 to 10 days in total.

A road trip around Iceland done right will be the best experience you will ever have in your life (probably)!

August in Iceland Northern Lights

How to prepare for your road trip around Iceland?

​This part is super important as I will be giving you some tips and recommendations as to how you can prepare for your Icelandic road trip. 

When to do the road trip?

The first recommendation I have for your road trip is to do it in the summer. Or at least, not in the winter!

The reason isn't just that it's warmer, the reason is purely due to daylight. ​It is important that you do not do a full road trip in the heart of winter as Iceland can get as little as 4 hours of daylight and you are at risk of being cut off by snow and ice!

Come during the summer! You will be able to have long bright days, you'll be able to see all the beautiful wonders of Iceland and if you come in June you'll be able to witness the Midnight sun!

How to do your self-drive road trip? 

The first thing you will need is a rental car! Or even a rental caravan so that you can sleep in.

There are many car rental companies in Iceland. One in particular that we recommend ​in particular is Lagoon Car Rental. They are good friends of ours and have proven themselves to be very reliable and trustworthy!

Do you need a 4x4?​

​By keeping on the main road you should not have any problems driving in any car. We did our tour in a fairly small car and aside from a few bumpy bits, the road was good and smooth. If you want to go on some of the more adventurous side f-roads, then a 4x4 is required

A picture of a rental car on an Icelandic road

Do you need to book hotels and camping in advance? 

​In all honesty, although some of you may like to have everything booked and sorted before you go, I don't recommend pre-booking everything. 

A road trip is an adventure, and the second you pre-book everything, it just becomes a schedule.

If you absolutely want to stay in particular hotels then book them in advance for some good prices but if you're like me and you want to keep an open schedule then just get an idea of where you want to be the next night and call up a few guesthouses, hotels and campings, there is always room and sometimes they may even offer you some good last minute deals!

That way, if you want to spend more time in a particular place then you're not in a rush to reach a pre-booked place!​

Icelandic land scape in March

DAY TO DAY PLAN OF YOUR ROAD TRIP

As I mentioned before, the beauty of a road trip is that you are in control of your own adventure! So no ​need to pre-book everything and no need to stick a stick schedule when you want to do something different!

Here is a day to day guide of what my friends and I did on our 7-day road trip around Iceland.

Day 1: Reykjavik, Blue Lagoon and Bars

Try and get a morning flight into Reykjavik. That way you will be able to have plenty of time to get your car, drive to your accommodation in ​Reykjavik before noon. 

In the afternoon you can have a walk around downtown Reykjavik and get your first feel of the Icelandic vibe!

Pre-book a late afternoon session at the Blue Lagoon for the best hot spring experience in the world​ and then go back to Reykjavik for some drinks in the various bars! 

If you want you can even book a Bar Crawl with us or a Reykjavik Beer tour! ​

Day 2:​ Golden circle, waterfalls and Vik

If you get up fairly early in the morning, you'll be able to get underway to the famous spots around the Golden Circle route!

  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Geysir & Strokkur
  • Gullfoss​

​You can have a read of my last guide about the Golden Circle route here for more information on what to see and what to do!

Once you finish the Golden Circle Route you can drive South towards Vik. But don't forget to stop at the 2 amazing waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss

The Skogafoss waterfall in South Shore in May in Iceland

Day 3:​ Black beach, South Coast, Jokulsarlon and Hofn

​After spending a well-earned sleep in Vik, you can then enjoy exploring the small coastal town! You can check out its beautiful church and famous black sand beach!

Once you've finished with Vik, you can get on the south coast road, all the way to Hofn. This road is absolutely amazing, the scenery that you get is mind-blowing and there are loads of spots where you can stop for a picnic​ and enjoy the wilderness. 

​I recommend that you stop at Skaftafell for a little glacier spotting hike and then the Jokulsarlon, the most beautiful glacier lagoon in the world.

Day 4: Mountainous trip along the East coast until Myvatn

​Day 4 probably involves the most driving. I recommend setting off early in the morning so that you're not rushed for time.

The East coast is absolutely amazing. Many Icelanders will tell you that it is one of the most beautiful places in Iceland. With its crazy shores, steep mountains and secluded authentic farmhouses, this is Iceland at its finest!

You can stop in Egilsstadir for some lunch​ but be prepared because the road from Egilsstadir to Myvatn will bring you on another planet. No Joke. 

That stretch of land between Egilsstadir and Myvatn is, to me, the most breathtaking part of Iceland​. The landscape is unlike anything you have ever seen and made my dream of discovering new planets that much more real.

As you arrive ​near Myvatn, be sure to check out the odd Hverir geothermal area and then go for an evening dip in the Myvatn nature bath.

Photography by Guillaume Demerliac

Day 5: Akureyri, drive far north, Northern Fjords to Hvammstangi

The first thing you can do the next day is to have a wander around the Myvatn lake. There are some beautiful views and scenery to witness there.

You can drive up to Akureyri straight after that, 'The capital of the North'.

Akureyri is the biggest town north of Iceland so this is a good place to go to for some food shopping, some lunch and a little walk around.

The best part of the day will be your drive ​North from Akureyri on route 83. On this scenic road you'll be able to stop and explore some great authentic Icelandic fishing villages:

  • Dalvik
  • Ólafsfjörður
  • Siglufjörður.

You can then drive southwards through a number of breathtaking Nordic fjords toward Hvammstangi. There are some great campsite and guesthouses around to truly immerse​ in the middle of nowhere! 

Photography by Guillaume Demerliac

Day 6: Snaefellsnes Peninsula 

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is an adventure in of itself! That is why, at Wake Up Reykjavik we offer a special Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour!

Indeed, this is one of the most amazing parts of Iceland, not only for its incomparable beauty but also for the diversity of things you can see and do there!

As you drive from Hvammstangi to the Snaefelsness peninsula, the first place you have to stop at is Grundarfjordur as this is the place you can go and explore the famous and almighty Kirkjufell Mountain

The Snaefellsnes peninsula is also famous for its grand Snaefellsjokull ​Glacier, waterfalls, fishing villages, rock formations & cliffs, as well as the golden beach at Djúpalónssandur 

​Again, on the south coast of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula are some amazing landscapes with some great guesthouses for you to get some rest!

Photography by Guillaume Demerliac

Day 7: Back to Reykjavik

​This is your last day! So make the most of it!

Be sure to book an evening flight so that you have plenty of time to get back in time.

It shouldn't take you too long to get back to Reykjavik if you don't stop too much along the way.

If you get back in good time, you can have one last walk around downtown Reykjavik to do anything that you might have missed!

A few things you can do if you don't have too much time in Reykjavik:

Alternatively, if you are flying out the next day, this is a perfect time to make the most of Reykjavik and to celebrate your epic road trip with us with these experiences: 

A street in downtown Reykjavik

Conclusion

There you have it! A good guide to doing the tour of Iceland in 7 days and making your road trip as good as possible!

Let's have a recap of the main things we covered:

  • You need a minimum of 7 days to do the tour!
  • You will need 8-10 days if you want to include the Westfjords
  • Go in the summer!
  • Make sure you hire a good car with a good car rental company
  • Don't pre-book everything!
  • Make it your own adventure, be wild & free, just make sure you respect the Icelandic nature!

Do let me know if you have any questions about the tour that I did and if you have any other suggestions to make this road trip even better!

I look forward to hearing from you, travellers!

Your travel guide and friend,

Guillaume​

Are you and your friends thinking about doing an epic road trip around Iceland? Here is a good guide to doing a self-drive trip around Iceland in 7 Days!

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