Best 3-Day Itinerary in Reykjavik
Explore the very best attractions in Iceland with this immersive 3-day itinerary. On this trip, you'll be able to explore the vibrant and quirky city of Reykjavik while having the opportunity to take some incredible trips to the world-renowned Golden Circle, stunning South Coast, and the famous Blue Lagoon. This trip is perfect for those wanting to make the most of their time in Iceland while immersing themselves in the culture and atmosphere of Reykjavik.
Once you arrive, you'll have the option to take a short ride across one of Iceland's rugged lava fields to the Blue Lagoon. Here you can take the opportunity to bathe in tranquil azure waters amid a lava field. It's the perfect way to start your holiday by relaxing and rejuvenating after your flight in the famous waters of the Blue Lagoon.
On your next day, you'll adventure into Iceland's spectacular Golden Circle. During your trip, you'll get to witness the picturesque Thingvellir National Park, the bubbling mud pots, and spouting hot springs at the Haukadalur geothermal area and stand in awe at the thunderous mighty falls of Gullfoss waterfall. This is a day to keep your camera prepped at the ready as you journey through a diverse and wild landscape of some of the most spectacular attractions in Iceland.
However, if you would like to re-order this trip by taking the Golden Circle tour on your first day, you are free to customize as you please. You also have the opportunity to swap or include a trip to Iceland's South Coast. For instance, if you would rather head straight for the Golden Circle on your first day, a trip to the South Coast is another fantastic option for your second day. Or, should you wish, you could visit the Blue Lagoon on your last day for a final dip in Iceland's waters before heading to the airport the next day.
On a trip to Iceland's South Coast, you'll journey through mountains, glaciers, rolling hills, stunning waterfalls, and even the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach. Your final stop will take you to one of the best natural attractions in Iceland, Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Here you can watch magnificent blue icebergs stir in the lagoon on their way out to the shore, stop at the otherworldly diamond beach, and even catch a glimpse of a seal if you're lucky. The sheer variety of natural attractions and picture opportunities make this route well worth being included in your trip.
Make the most of your precious time in Iceland! Customize the tour options to suit you. Check availability by choosing a date and book your Iceland adventure.
Day 1 - Arrival and the Blue Lagoon Spa
Welcome to Iceland, a volcanic island of immense beauty and diversity with plenty of opportunities for adventure.
Once you've collected your bags at Keflavik International Airport, you'll pick up your car and hit the road. On your way to Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik, you have the option of stopping off at the world-famous Blue Lagoon for a dip in the tranquil azure waters.
Known for its spa, healing waters, and luxurious treatments, a stop at the Blue Lagoon is the perfect way to unwind and relax after a long day of traveling.
However, if there's no time on your arrival day or you would prefer to visit the lagoon on another day of your trip, it can easily be added to another day which your travel consultant can arrange for you.
Once you arrive in Reykjavik and check into your accommodation, you can start exploring the northernmost capital of the world. Why not explore some of the cities best-known landmarks such as Hallgrimskirkja church, Harpa Concert Hall, Perlan observation deck, Reykjavik harbor, or even take a stroll down the bustling shopping street of Laugavegur?
Aside from the main landmarks, we'd recommend you sample some of the local cuisines, join in with the local nightlife or check some of the fascinating local museums and art galleries. Alternatively, if you arrived early in the morning, it would be possible to head to the Golden Circle directly to make the most of your time. More details on this option can be found on your day two itinerary.
You will spend each night in Reykjavik accommodation.
Day 2 - The Golden Circle and/or South Coast
On your second day, you will get to visit Iceland's most popular sightseeing route, the Golden Circle. This route is comprised of three spectacular and diverse main attractions: Thingvellir national park, Haukadalur geothermal area, and the mighty Gullfoss waterfall.
Your first stop will be at Thingvellir national park, which is a famous UNESCO world heritage site situated in the middle of two tectonic plates (North American and Eurasian plates). You'll get the chance to explore both the park's beauty and history as the founding location of Iceland's parliament in 930 AD (Alþingi).
Next, you'll visit the Haukadalur geothermal valley, which is home to bubbling and steaming mud pots and the famous hot springs, Strokkur and Geysir. Although Geysir is no longer active, it famously lent its name to the term 'geyser' for other hot springs around the world. Strokkur, on the other hand, is highly active and will spout a jet of boiling water up to over 66 ft (20 m) roughly every 4-8 minutes.
Your final stop of the day takes you to the incredible Gullfoss waterfall. This is undoubtedly one of the most impressive waterfalls you'll find in Iceland, with the thunderous water from the Hvita river plummeting 105 ft (32 m) over two cascading steps.
If, however, you decide to take explore the Golden Circle on your first day, we'd highly recommend spending this day exploring the beautiful and diverse natural attractions of Iceland's South Coast.
A tour of the South Coast will take you to the stunning and mesmerizing waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach, and all the way through a variety of terrains to Iceland's crown jewel, Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. The journey, however, hosts plenty of spectacles to take in as you travel, such as mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, more waterfalls, and even lava fields you'll not want to miss.
Once you've completed your time at Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, you'll begin your journey back to Reykjavik to rest up for your final day of adventure.
Day 3 - Reykjanes & Departure
It's your final day in Iceland. However, depending on your flight time, you may have the opportunity to fit in some extra activities or sightseeing.
For those who have a later flight, you could take the opportunity to visit the Blue Lagoon today instead. This is often the perfect way to complete your trip to Iceland by relaxing and unwinding in the soothing mineral-rich waters, giving you the perfect time to reminisce on your adventure.
Alternatively, you could use your free time to do the last bit of sightseeing and souvenir shopping in Reykjavik or get another bite to eat at one of the capital's fantastic restaurants.
If, however, you have an early flight home, we wish you a safe and pleasant journey ahead.
What to bring
Good to know
Make sure you arrive in Iceland before noon to do this trip. Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavík City or at Keflavik International Airport. A valid driver's license is required, along with a one-year-long on-road experience. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to better fit with your arrival date and time.
It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is canceled. If your chosen activity is canceled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you.
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary.
Bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s).
Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur.
Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies among locations and availability is highly limited. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level.
Please note that not all locations offer quality level accommodation. Comfort level accommodation will be arranged at those particular locations, which is reflected in the quality level upgrade price.
We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.
Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.
Rooms with a private bathroom in a four star hotel or superior rooms in a quality three star hotel at the best locations in Iceland. Breakfast is included.
Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour.
All our vehicles are new or current models, of maximum 2 years of age. Super Budget levels come with standard CDW insurance, while all other levels also include Gravel Protection (GP) insurance. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars.
All levels come equipped with free Wi-fi. You can enjoy unlimited data with the Wi-Fi device, which can be connected to up to 10 devices at once. The car rental will provide 24-hour roadside emergency services.
Age requirement for each level can be found below. For all levels, the driver must possess a valid driving license for at least one year before the date of the rental.
We recommend Budget 4X4 level for summer driving and Comfort 4X4 for winter driving.
A small 2WD vehicle such as Toyota Aygo or similar, fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions. Compact and comfortable for up to 2 travellers with very little luggage. No highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A basic 2WD vehicle, such as a Toyota Yaris or similar, suitable for travelling in everyday conditions. Comfortable for 3 travellers with light luggage. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A basic 4WD (4X4) jeep or SUV such as a Dacia Duster or similar. Comfortably fit up to 3 travellers with 2 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and decent for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A medium-sized 4WD (4x4) jeep or SUV such as a Toyota Rav4 (automatic) and Suzuki Vitara (manual), or similar. Comfortably fit up to 4 travelers with 3 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and good for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.
A large 4WD jeep such as a Toyota Land Cruiser or similar. Comfortable for up to 4 travellers with 4 large pieces of luggage. Fit for nearly all travelling. Has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.
A large 9-seater van such as a Mercedes Benz Vito (4WD manual, has highland capabilities and better suited for winter driving), or similar. Comfortable for 5 to 7 travelers. If seated full, luggage space is limited. The driver must be of 23 years of age or above.