Have you long been wanting to set foot on the magnificent Land of Ice and Fire in Iceland? Millions of people have actually included this nature-endowed European country in their bucket list because of its amazing landscapes, glacial rivers, and volcanoes. Travelers all over the world are now working their way to booking a unique hotel room, flying on a budget airline, and setting up their outdoor cameras. Since we are passionate in exploring the world and its wonders, we want to share with you some amazing tips on how you could have the best 5 day Iceland road trip itinerary.
For you to be able to get a sight of the highly impressive sceneries along the Iceland Ring Road in just a matter of five days, you have to forego of any plans of driving along the entire highway of Ring Road. With our customized Iceland road trip itinerary, we will allow you to get to different tourist destinations at the least possible amount of time. We recommend that you set at least five days Iceland itinerary for the terrific experience of having a road trip in the Land of Fire and Ice.
What could you be expecting on your road trip in Iceland 5 day itinerary? Well, you will get to catch a glimpse of geysers, volcanic rocks, hot springs, ponies, puffins, glaciers, mountains, and other landscapes that are all so marvelous that you will be doubting whether you are still on earth. Also, expect to just spend little of your time in Reykjavik during this 5-day Iceland road trip primarily because there are still other wonderful sights for you to enjoy. If you are ready, let us go on planning for your adventure.
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Best 5-Day Itinerary Iceland Road Trip Experience
Day 1: Start 5 Days Of Adventure In Iceland By Driving To Golden Circle
The first day on the Iceland 5 day itinerary of your road trip expedition will be filled with nature exploration as you head out on the loop road of the Golden Circle. Driving along the Golden Circle is not at all difficult because you will only traverse 190 miles of road. You will surely have the most serene experience as you savor the natural wonders of Reykjavik during the day. As the sun sets and you feel like having some fun in the city at night, do so by all means, because a single afternoon is already enough to discover the earth’s natural gifts in Reykjavik. Please make sure to spend a few minutes of your driving stop in petting the amazingly beautiful Icelandic ponies. If you are, however, not akin to driving the Golden Circle, you may opt to consider getting affordable tours offered by different companies.
Are you curious how much time you would need to drive the Golden Circle of your 5 day itinerary of Iceland? Well, you can actually drive fast and complete the entire tour of the place and witness the cute ponies and stunning landscapes in only about 3 hours. But if you are not in a hurry, you can add 2 more hours for savoring precious memories in the place. What’s more interesting is that you could actually choose to have the tour in either a clockwise direction or counterclockwise path. For us, the best way to start the Golden Circle tour is through the clockwise direction so that you could immediately see the best sights such as the geysers and waterfalls. Make sure to stop by the local grocery store and stock up on some food to save lots of money during your trip.
Best Golden Circle Stops On Iceland 5 Day Itinerary
First Stop: Thingvellir National Park
If you want to have a feel of how Vikings spent their days before, then you must visit the Thingvellir National Park! It was where Vikings regularly held their meetings. In this tourist spot, you could have a spectacular experience of diving and snorkeling between the historic tectonic plates. But if you don’t want to try such an adventure, walking around the park and taking perfect pictures would already be so satisfying.
Second Stop: Geysir Hot Spring Area
If you suddenly feel the urge to pee during the long road trip along the Golden Circle, then grab the opportunity of stopping at a restroom here in the Geysir Hot Spring Area. Don’t worry, you won’t come here just to pee! You will also be witnessing one of the earth’s most wonderful events – the multiple eruptions of geysers that happen every 7 to 10 minutes. Apart from that you will also get to be surprised by the boiling mud pits, varieties of geysers, and sulfur scents. It’s a must do on your 5 day itinerary of Iceland road trip.
Third Stop: Gullfoss Waterfall
It is a must to visit the Gullfoss Waterfall when touring Iceland for five days. You could decide to do the adventure either during winter or summer. What makes this aquatic adventure so epic? Our usual tours of waterfalls involve gazing from below. But with this experience at the Gullfoss Waterfall, we are actually going to stand right above the waterfalls! Can you just imagine seeing water falling on the ground right from your sight? When visiting Iceland in the low-season or high-season, do not ever forget the Gullfoss Waterfall in road trip Iceland itinerary!
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Day 2: 5-Day Iceland Road Trip By Going From Reykjavik To Vik
Your second day of Iceland road trip is still going to be filled with exciting hours of self-driving. To make your trip a lot more convenient, you have to start by setting Vik as your destination to the GPS program. The navigation app will let you drive beyond Reykjavik through east of the Ring Road. By going through this route of the Iceland Ring Road, you will be given a chance to experience a bit of walking and a whole lot of sightseeing. As we have claimed, you will definitely see the beauty of the Iceland Ring Road in just 5 days starting today!
Your road trip itinerary of Iceland along the scenic landscapes of Iceland will allow you pass through mountains, glacial rivers, and lava fields. Because the sightseeing adventures along the way may eat up your energy, you will have to make sure that you get enough sleep in the gorgeous town of Vik. This will be in preparation for your third day of a truly epic adventure to the country of Iceland.
First Stop: The Stunning Seljalandsfoss Waterfall And The Hidden Gljúfrabúi Waterfall
The Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is a sure stopper on your road trip. You will find this body of water after traveling 2 hours from Reykjavik. A lot of people fall in love with Seljalandsfoss Waterfall because of the characteristic of this aquatic resource that allows you to walk behind it. Although it is supremely fascinating, we still much adore the hidden wonder of Gljúfrabúi Waterfall.
If Gljúfrabúi Waterfall is hidden from the public’s eye, where then can we find it? Just as how the most precious things are hidden from initial sight, you will have to exert effort in finding it. Walk through 0.25 miles to the left of the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. Upon seeing the tiny sign, you will need to pass a gorge that will lead you to a mystical cave. As you go further in the cave, you will be surprised with what awaits you. It is the Gljúfrabúi Waterfall! This glorious surprise will make your travel to the Iceland Ring Road the most unforgettable experience ever during your 5 day itinerary of Iceland.
Second Stop: Skogafoss Waterfall
Maybe you will be thinking that the two waterfalls are already the best. But let us disclose a further treat: a waterfall named Skogafoss is even more epic than the two! You can get to this natural wonder by driving for 30 minutes from the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. Don’t worry about directions because the road actually has lots of road markings to guide tourists. To get the best experience of this iconic place, you must see waterfall both from its top and its base.
Why shall you not be content in spending all your time looking at the waterfall from its base? Well, the top actually contains hidden treasures. You must readily hike to the topmost part of falls in order to see the glorious fields surrounding it on your Iceland 5 day itinerary.
Third Stop: Sólheimasandur Airplane Wreck
Have you ever seen an airplane wreck in a body of water? You will have to drive a few miles from Skogafoss and get yourself ready for a long trek in order to see Iceland’s highly interesting airplane wreck. From your driving stop, you will need to hike on a flat ground 4 miles back and forth. But what awaits such journey is an amusing sight of an airplane wreck right on a beach with a black sand. How interesting!
To prevent any hassle, you have to be totally aware of your travel time and the prediction for the time of sunset. It would be very difficult to get trapped in a gloomy night. Note that different times of the year also have different times of sunset. In preparing your 5-day Iceland itinerary, be sure that you will consider time as a great factor in order to prevent any unnecessary rush.
Fourth Stop: Vik
If you want to save some money while in Iceland, you will have to be wise in choosing your accommodation and food. The town of Vik is the perfect place for those who are looking for cheaper options for grocery stuff, rooms, and gas supply.
Day 3: On Your Third Day Of Iceland Tour, Travel To Hofn
Looking for some test of stamina and endurance? Then you have to get going with the 3rd day of your Iceland road trip itinerary. If driving from dawn until dusk appeals to your adrenaline, then you will surely be having the best time of your adventurous life. Your morning drive will be filled with awe as you witness the beach with stunning black sand. Your afternoon will then be brimming with astonishment as you see glorious glaciers and some impressive lava fields. Lastly, your evening drive to the city of Hofn will also be filled with excitement. If all these activities seem tiring and you still got lots of days available for vacation, you may opt to split these tours into a couple of days.
It would be more pleasant to tour this place in the warm months so that you could have more time to enjoy the sceneries before the sun sets. But if you happen to schedule a trip during winter, it is still good; because from experience, we were still able to a lot of things before the night completely fell. Allot some of your time to stare at the lava fields. Do not ever let this pass because it is a true gift from your 5 day Iceland itinerary.
Stop 1: Reynishverfi Basalt Column Beach
The Reynishverfi Basalt Column Beach is one of the popularly distributed photographs of Iceland. You surely would not miss the opportunity of having your own picture taken in this grandiose sight. If the beach is acting nicely and when there is low-tide, you may want to climb on the columns for more fun photographs. Know that the trip to the Reynishverfi Basalt Column Beach is the toughest of your drive during the 5 days of road adventure in Iceland. Do not forget to start driving early in the morning and make sure that your GPS is correctly programmed to this destination.
Stop 2: Black Sand Beach At Vik
The town of Vik offers a perfect combination of convenience and pleasure. It has your much-needed gas station, stores, and the famous Vik Beach. Despite its innate beauty during both the winter and summer seasons, it is still best to tour the place with caution. But for sure, you will love the stunning sea stacks and the admirable jet black sand of the Vik Beach!
Stop 3: Skaftafell National Park
Maybe you already feel tired from long hours of driving and you would like your feet to get a feel of the earth. Then it would be great visit the Skaftafell National Park where you could enjoy some physical exercise as you go on hiking to reach some magnificent landscapes and continue walking down pebble paths to reach gorgeous glaciers. All these things you could do at such a limited timeframe on your Iceland 5 day itinerary.
Do you know that you could also include a memorably fabulous tour of one of the Ice caves that are located Skaftafell National Park in your Iceland road trip itinerary? Yup, that’s possible for as long as you start your day really early. Go to the center for visitors and get on a hike towards the lovely glaciers! Your five days in Iceland would never be complete without visiting the Skaftafell National Park.
Stop 4: Hofn
We know that the long hours of driving and sightseeing would require the best food and sleep from your body. That’s why Hofn is the perfect place to start your night. It is in the town of Hofn where you could savor local food from reputable restaurants, buy stuff from a large grocery store, and choose among the different lodgings. If budget is tight, put in your mind that it is possible to save a lot of money by not going out to eat during your 5 days in Iceland. You can also read this guide on how to travel Iceland on a budget.
Day 4: Relax As You Explore Gorgeous Glaciers And Marvelous Mountains
Since driving for three days could exhaust your mind and body, let the 4th day of your Iceland road trip be dedicated to relaxation. You may opt to have more adventures in Skaftafell National Park which is about an hour travel from the town or simply enjoy Hofn and the beautiful places surrounding it.
This day would be the most ideal time for your Icelandic souvenir shopping. It would also be calming to your sensations as you enjoy the waterfront of Hofn’s village for marine fishing. Once you get hungry, you could grab some snacks at the local grocery store and bring this for a picnic while boat watching at the harbor point.
First Stop: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
The fourth day of your Iceland itinerary will begin with an adventure as you visit the glacier lagoon which is located about an hour from Hofn. This is a unique wonder because what you will be witnessing are ice chunks that are crystalline blue and are wonderfully set on a black beach. It is like a bunch of shining of jewelry in a velvet box! Apart from the ice wonders, you will also be having a glimpse of wildlife creatures that include cute seals that play on some icebergs that float in the lagoon. Be sure to include this stop in your trip no matter what the weather is. This will make you admire nature even more!
Second Stop: Stokksnes
If you have a desire to visit another planet but have no means and skills to do so, then you have to try going to Stokksnes during your 5 day Iceland itinerary. Let the automobile be a rocket ship that will bring you to a place that is like another planet. This mystical place is just 30 minutes from the first point. It has some of the most unique and beautiful mountains, giant dunes, and landscapes. You could also choose to plunge into the black sand beach that is rich with sea grass and other aquatic resources. And if you are lucky enough to be having this Iceland road trip itinerary at the best time of the year, then you could see the magical northern lights!
Day 5: Drive From Hofn To Reykjavik As You End The Iceland 5 Day Itinerary
If you think that the last day of your 5 day Iceland itinerary would just be extremely boring, then you are wrong! Getting back to Reykjavik for about five hours will allow you to savor the best of Iceland sceneries for the last time. If time still permits, you may also drive through Skaftafell National Park to witness another glacier.
Remember that the entire drive going back to the capital of Reykjavik will be about five hours. If you are still early for your flight, you may decide on going back to the previous stops to savor once more their glorious beauty.
First Stop: Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
Going through Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is not popular among tourists despite its ease of access and inherent wonder. It is actually just a few minutes of driving from the main road and also less than two hours from Vik; thus, it is definitely a convenient stop for you. At the bottom of this massive canyon is a beautiful river. You can even climb up the canyon to find even more majestic sceneries.
Second Stop: Dyrhólaey
If you are longing to see the cute puffins or even wanting to visit the Pacific Northwest or British Colombia, then Dyrhólaey is the perfect place for you. This small peninsula can be reached by just driving 2 ½ hours from Reykjavik. Photographers and travelers love this place because of the picturesque setting. It is where you will marvel at the glory of various rock formations, cliffs, giant waves, and impressive beaches.
For this particular stop, you may choose either of Dyrhólaey’s two parts. The lower beach still offers stunning views from the ground while the higher beach will provide you with heavenly sights. Ending your 5-day Iceland road trip itinerary by visiting Dyrhólaey will help you create a balance of excitement and serenity.
Third Stop: Reykjavik
Oh, are five days enough for this marvelous place? Surely not, but congratulate yourself because you have overcome the challenge of spending the most wonderful days of your life with our epic five-day road tour in Iceland! Since it is your last day, you can modify details of this itinerary according to your plans, budget in Iceland, and time availability. Your last night in Reykjavik can be spent by touring the town, dropping off your rental car, or catching a flight back home. No matter how you spend this last day, you surely have kept some of the best travel memories in your heart to treasure for a lifetime!
Disclaimer: Know that our itinerary was planned for those who have the courage to try different adventures. Despite the shortened nature of the whole road trip to Iceland, still expect that you will be going through long driving expeditions and short stops that are all wealthy of fantastic views. Of course, you could change some of the details of this 5-day Iceland road trip according to your personal desires and preferences.