Day One | Blue Lagoon + ReykjavÍk
You’ve made it to Iceland! Hopefully you were able to get some sleep on the plane, we know those Northern Lights can be quite distracting. Once you land, it’s best to hit the ground running…there’s so much to see! Grab a quick snack in the Keflavik Airport, pick up your Tesla, and let’s get started!
Not far south is the best cure for jet lag; the soothing, milky-blue waters of the Blue Lagoon. This geothermal sea-water is the perfect temperature to soak in for an hour or two…or three. Once you’re feeling rejuvenated, enjoy lunch on-site at the Blue Lagoon Cafe, or Lava Restaurant.
If you have the energy, nearby are the trailheads to the Fagradalsfjall Volcano. Check to see if there is any volcanic activity or lava flow during your trip, it would be worth the two-mile hike to see. Otherwise, hit the road up to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik.
The charming downtown area of Reykjavik is best explored on foot. Check into your hotel, strap on your sneakers, and hit the streets! One of the most iconic buildings is Hallgrimskirkja, a beautiful church built in the city-center to look like the columnar basalt formations of Iceland’s landscape (you’ll see these later in the trip!)
After enjoying the exterior, venture inside to see and hear the unique pipe organ, then climb to the top for a view of the city! Stop by Braud & Co. for some delicious baked goods as you make your way down to the River Walk and take in the views of the bay. Wind your way over to Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur for a famous Icelandic hotdog before heading back to the hotel. You will no doubt be ready for a good night’s rest.
Day Two | Golden Circle
If you’re feeling ambitious, and ready to start your day off with a bang, head to Thingvellir National Park to snorkel between continents! Clear, glacial waters fill the Silfra Fissure where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. Be sure to bring an underwater camera, you’ll definitely want to show your friends.
Otherwise, make your way to Laugarvatn Fontana by 11:45am to experience a geothermal bakery! Watch as delicious bread is dug up from the ground, where it has been cooking overnight, and then served hot with Icelandic butter.
Continue up the road until you arrive at a small parking lot designated for Bruarfoss Waterfall. After a scenic hike along the river, passing several smaller waterfalls, you will arrive at Iceland’s bluest waterfall. Bruarfoss is a great way to start the day since everything just builds from here!
Further up the road you will arrive at Geysir hot spring area where you will find everything from boiling mud pots to the explosive geyser Strokkur, launching hot water 100 feet in the air. Stick around a few minutes, some eruptions are much larger than others! Walk the pathways and enjoy the area until your stomach tells you it’s lunch time. Grab some food across the street at Restaurant Geysir Glima.
Near the top of the Golden Circle you will find the epic, cascading waterfall Gullfoss. Multiple viewpoints will allow you to see its magnificence in its entirety.
On your way back, two beautiful hot springs await you. Hrunalaug is an intimate, picturesque hot spring with multiple pools and the perfect water temperature. A small shed acts as a changing room. Not far away is Secret Lagoon, which offers a single, larger pool. Enjoy as long as you like, then head into Selfoss for dinner at a local food court.
Budget time to arrive at the Five Million Star Hotel as early as possible, to enjoy this luxurious stay for as long as you can! The private bubbles are truly impressive. Prepare to enjoy the beautiful Icelandic skies and landscapes in complete and absolute comfort. Sleep tight.
Day Three | South Coast
Route 1, or the Ring Road, is one of the most beautiful drives you will ever experience. Pack your things and get ready to see some of Southern Iceland’s most iconic sights, right off the side of this amazing highway.
Today the waterfalls come in pairs! Your first stop will be at the elegant Seljalandsfoss and hidden Gljufrabui waterfalls. Pay a small parking fee and make use of the on-site facilities and snack shops. Seljalandsfoss is hard to miss. This massive waterfall flows off an overhanging cliff into a large pool below, creating a perfect pathway to walk behind the cascading waters for 360 degree views! While it does kick up quite the cloud of mist, don’t let that stop you from taking your time and enjoying the sights from every angle. It’s quite the sight to see. Afterwards, don’t head straight to the car. Follow the path up to Gljufrabui for another uniquely beautiful waterfall! Jump from stone to stone as you follow the river up a slot canyon until it opens up to the hidden waterfall. For a real thrill, climb the large stone at its base to really feel the power of the falls!
If you’re a little damp and chilly from all the mist, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Continue down the Ring Road to the turnoff food Seljavallalaug. Park the car and enjoy a short hike up to one of Iceland’s oldest swimming pools! This large pool is fed by geothermal water and will warm you right up. Use the nearby changing room to slip into your swimmer and relax until you’re ready for more sight-seeing!
Not far further down the Ring Road you will find a turnoff for Skogafoss. This giant waterfall also has a nearby little brother, Kvernufoss, that you won’t want to miss. Skogafoss is absolutely breathtaking. Take a walk directly up to the base and feel its energy. Rainbows will often accompany the mist created from the crashing waters. Skogafoss can also be enjoyed from an overhead viewpoint accessed from a nearby staircase. If your stomach is telling you it’s time to eat, there are a few cafes around the parking area to be explored.
Kvernufoss is just east of Skogafoss. Drive down the road for a closer start on the trail. After a short hike, Kvernufoss enters into view. This smaller, but delightful waterfall also allows you to walk behind and see the waters crash from new vantage points! This beautiful spot also tends to be less crowded than its popular neighbor, Skogafoss.
If you still have the energy and are up for an adventure, head up the road to see the Solheimasandur plane wreck! You will find a small parking area off the side of the Ring Road where you can choose the hour-long walk towards the coast, or pay a small fee to take a bus out to the wreck. This wreckage is a sight to see. Abandoned nearly fifty years ago, this United States Navy plane crash landed on the vast black beaches and is now a surreal sight to behold.
Once back to the car, head into the charming town of Vik for dinner and your night’s stay.
Day Four | Black Sand Beaches
The town of Vik will be your perfect base camp for the next couple days of adventure. Start the morning off with a serene walk across the black sand beach just south of town, then hop in the car to go see some of the most breathtaking vistas Iceland has to offer. Set a course for Reynisfjara, but don’t hesitate to stop along the way and take a peek at the charming church, Reyniskirkja.
Park the car upon arriving at Reynisfjara and head out onto yet another vast black sand beach. Immediately to your left you will see the extraordinary basalt column formations at the base of the massive cliffside. Taking a small climb up the columns is always exciting! Continue down the beach to see a giant, vaulted cave made up of the same basalt columns. Be careful of rogue waves as you head down the beach, they’re known to unexpectedly crash into oblivious bystanders! Be sure to notice Reynisdrangar, large rock pillars rising up out in the ocean, before heading back to the car.
Next, wind up a scenic road to Dyrholaey, an impressive cliffside lookout, complete with a lighthouse. More curious rock formations can be seen along with hundreds of birds, staying airborne using the cliffside currents, having the time of their lives. On the west side, a breathtaking view of Endless Black Sand Beach can be seen, along with more birds!
Grab lunch in Vik before embarking on one of Iceland’s “coolest” experiences…exploring an ice cave! Meet up with your tour group and head off to the Katla Ice Caves where you will strap on crampons and navigate through caverns made completely of ice! Today’s activities can also be swapped, ice caves in the morning, and black sand beaches in the afternoon! Once back in Vik, warm up at The Soup Company with a bowl of red hot lava soup.
Day Five | Jökulsárlón
Grab a pillow and get settled into your Tesla, you need an early start! Today you will make the drive all the way out to Jökulsárlón and make all your stops on the way back to Vik. Once you arrive, venture out onto Diamond Beach and experience first-hand how it got its name. The local glacier sheds ice into the nearby lagoon, which ends up flowing out to sea and washed back up on shore by the tide! These crystal clear, water-polished chunks of ice are a sight to see. All shapes and sizes are contrasted against the beautiful black sands of the beach.
Cross the street and pay a visit to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Take a short boat tour to see the glaciers up close, and keep your eyes peeled for seals! Grab a quick bite to eat at Nailed It Fish and Chips, hop in your Tesla and take the road back towards Vik.
If you’re in the mood to see more of the surrounding glaciers, pull off towards Fjallsarlon and explore some of the many lookout points along the road. See the masses of crevassed, blue ice never gets old.
Continue back on the main road until you reach turn-offs for the epic waterfall Svartifoss. Along the moderate hike you will see the flowing river as well as other waterfalls. You will definitely know when you have found Svartifoss. This elegant waterfall is framed by black, columnar basalt formations. It is truly one of Iceland’s most unique sights, and not one to be missed!
Further back along the main highway, turn off towards Fjardrargljufur Canyon and make the hike up to see the beautiful landscape before heading back to Vik.
Day Six | Reykjavik
Make the most of your final day in Iceland and stop at any of the sights you may have missed along the way! They are all worth the visit. Budget time to return to the airport at the appropriate hour, and see how much you can do before then. Paying a final stop in Reykjavik to relax, take a walk, and have a delicious lunch, will also be a day well spent.