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The insides a glacial ice cave in Iceland are like from a fantasy novel.

Best Ideas for What to do With 4 Days in Iceland

Verified Expert

Foss á Síðu, a waterfall in South Iceland, behind a pair of Icelandic horses.

Find out everything you need to know about exploring Iceland in four days. What can you do in only four days? How do people spend four days in Iceland in winter? Are you overwhelmed with the four-day Iceland tour options? Read on for tips on how to make the most of your four-day holiday in Iceland.



Four days is more than enough time to immerse yourself in Icelandic culture and nature. Although you might not choose to tour the whole island in four days, you may want to take multiple trips out of the capital city. You can enjoy several exciting activities and even embark on a multi-day journey into the countryside with four days in Iceland.

Choosing exactly how to spend your limited time in Iceland can be pretty confusing. Your dream holiday depends on the age and abilities of your group, whether or not you want to drive yourself, and your interests. A summer itinerary looks different to a winter one.

Four days in Iceland in summer promises to be a vacation under the midnight sun. There are endless sightseeing opportunities and exciting activities available, such as rafting. Winter in Iceland centers around the aurora borealis, the crystal blue ice caves, and the majestic snowy landscapes.



This image shows the seasonal difference of landscapes at Vík.Photo from Iceland's Seasonal Contrasts

Thankfully, you can enjoy many activities and experiences regardless of the time of year.

Reykjavik, for example, is a colorful, cultural capital filled with cute buildings, impressive street art, designer boutiques, quality restaurants, lively bars, and many museums. Whether you visit in summer or winter, there are a wealth of things to do. Make sure you spend a minimum of a few hours exploring, at least on your arrival and departure days.

A Reykjavik City Card will give you access to many museums, galleries, and swimming pools. It allows you to use free public transport, including the ferry to Videy Island. It also provides discounts to many other cultural spaces, restaurants, and shops. 



Reykjavík is worth a full day exploring in both summer and winter.

You can enjoy the most popular tours out of the capital throughout the year. These tours take you around the Golden Circlethe Blue Lagoon, and along the South Coast.

A Golden Circle tour takes you to three incredible destinations, including a National Park, a geyser, and a great waterfall. Blue Lagoon tours take you to and from the world-famous spa. South Coast tours show you the waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, and coastlines of South Iceland.

These tours can be combined, like this trip to the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon.

Another trendy region year-round is the diverse Snaefellsnes Peninsula, which you can explore on a day-long guided tour from Reykjavik.

Of course, it is possible to rent a car and drive to these locations yourself. Self-driving is only recommended for competent drivers in winter and only then in a four-wheel drive.



The beautiful Westfjords in Iceland in the heights of a glorious summer.

Sightseeing is not the only activity you can enjoy in Iceland over four days. You can enjoy many activities regardless of the season you visit.

For example, whale watching tours leave Reykjavik's Old Harbour throughout the year. In summer, you are more likely to see humpback and minke whales (and it's the only time you can see puffins). In winter, you have more chances of spotting orcas.

Glacier tours, such as glacier hiking, ice climbing, and snowmobiling, are year-round activities too. Most of the horseback, super jeep, and ATV excursions can also be enjoyed in either season.

Despite the winter temperature in Iceland, snorkeling and diving tours are popular due to the beauty of the Silfra ravine. Certain caves are also open throughout the year, so you can always go on an underground adventure through lava tubes like Leidarendi. You can even combine these activities into a single day.

 

What to Do in Iceland for 4 days in Summer

The geyser Strokkur, boiling and blue, on the verge of eruption.

In summer, many tours allow you to enjoy Iceland's beautiful, colorful landscapes and the midnight sun. There are a wealth of activities on offer. While you can piece together a holiday yourself, booking a package tour or a self-drive is often much more convenient.

These packages can dramatically cut down your holiday planning time. Package tours take care of all rentals, transfers, activities, and accommodation before you arrive. 

For example, you can explore Iceland's most famous regions with this four-day self-drive tour of the Golden Circle and the South Coast.

In summer, one of the South Coast highlights is Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

This four-day summer package may appeal if you don't want to drive yourself. It offers a similar itinerary to the self-drive tour above. It also includes the summer-exclusive opportunity to descend into a frozen magma chamber.

Other summer-exclusive activities include river rafting, fishing trips, and day-tours to the Highlands, such as this trip to Landmannalaugar.

If you choose to rent a car rather than book transfers, you can use it to seek out puffins across the country, which arrive in May and leave in September. You could even drive up to the Westfjords, where many natural landmarks are inaccessible in winter. You could also head south and take the ferry to the Westman Islands.

4 Days in Iceland Summer Itinerary Ideas

Check out the following ideas for your four-day summer itinerary in Iceland.

South Coast waterfall Iceland at sunset

Option 1: Reykjavik, Golden Circle, South Coast, and Blue Lagoon

Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik and enjoy exploring museums and art galleries. Take a stroll along the shoreline walk, then bathe in one of the city's swimming pools, complete with hot tubs and saunas.

Day 2: Explore the Golden Circle attractions. Visit Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Kerid Crater. 

Day 3: Check out some of the best South Coast attractions. Start with the much-loved Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls. Then visit the village of Vik and take in the magnificent beauty at Reynisfjara black sand beach. If you start your day early and want to pack in an epic attraction, do not miss Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach.

Day 4: Finish your four-day tour in Iceland with some incredible relaxation and pampering at the Blue Lagoon spa before you head home.

For assistance with this itinerary, book this four-day summer self-drive tour of Iceland's Golden Circle and South Coast with Reykjavik Accommodation.

Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa

Option 2: Head off the beaten track to the Westfjords and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Day 1: Drive from Reykjavik to Isafjordur fishing village in the Westfjords. On the way, stop at Glanni waterfall and take an easy hike up to Grabrok volcanic crater. Make a stop in the charming village of Holmavik to visit the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, then relax in Isafjordur.

Day 2: Explore the rugged beauty of the Westfjords. Do not miss Dynjandi waterfall, the most magnificent waterfall you will see on your journey. Bathe in Reykjafjardarlaug geothermal hot pool by the ocean and spend the night in Patreksfjordur fishing village.

Day 3: Visit the impressive Latrabjarg Sea Cliffs in the most western part of Iceland. Then head to Raudasandur red sand beach to relax amid stunning scenery and peaceful surroundings. Finally, take the Baldur Ferry to Stykkisholmur town and spend the night there.

Day 4: Finish your four-day tour of Iceland by exploring the natural beauty of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Check out the iconic Kirkjufell mountain, then head to Snaefellsjokull National Park to marvel at the awe-inspiring glacier-peaked volcano and incredible vistas.

Simplify this four-day Iceland itinerary with a four-day tour package of the Westfjords and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Action shot of man jumping with illusion of foot against mount kirkjufell Iceland

What to Do in Iceland for 4 days in Winter

In winter, most visitors to Iceland seek the northern lights and the ice caves under the Vatnajokull glacier. While these sights are weather-reliant, you have a great chance of catching both.

Northern Lights tours leave from Reykjavik every night in winter if there is a good chance of seeing them. If you rent a car, you can seek them yourself using the cloud cover forecast and aurora forecast on Iceland's weather website. You could also take this three-day self-drive tour, which focuses on seeking out the auroras as it takes you from hot spring to hot spring. 

For a slightly different experience, it is also possible to take a Northern Lights tour from Reykjavik by boat.



The insides a glacial ice cave in Iceland are like from a fantasy novel.

While the northern lights are visible from September to April, the ice caves under Vatnajokull only open from mid-October to March. Many operators don't start tours until November. Even so, if you are in Iceland within this window, you have the opportunity to see them. 

If you are driving yourself, you can book this convenient three-day self-drive tour to the ice caves. The tour also takes you to Jokulsarlon, Skaftafell, and other marvelous locations in South Iceland. If you book your accommodation and rentals yourself, you can also meet your guides on this tour by Vatnajokull.

Those who do not wish to drive also have plenty of options, including this two-day guided tour or this one that lasts three days. 

A canopy of light covers the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in winter.

A lesser-known winter-exclusive activity is dog-sledding. You can be led across the frozen landscapes of Iceland by a pack of Siberian huskies.

4 Days in Iceland Winter Itinerary Ideas

Check out the following specific ideas for your four-day trip to Iceland in winter.

Option 1: Blue Lagoon and South Coast with ice caving

Day 1: Head straight from the airport to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa for pampering and relaxation in a mesmerizing setting. It's the perfect place to warm up and ease muscle tension. Continue to Reykjavik and take a northern lights tour before enjoying the vibrant nightlife.

Day 2: Travel across the South Coast to see the breathtaking Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and Diamond Beach. On the way, stop at your choice of incredible attractions, from jaw-dropping waterfalls to beautiful black sand beaches. After enjoying the awe-inspiring lagoon, stay at a nearby hotel or guesthouse.

Day 3: Get ready for an incredible winter-only experience ice-caving in Vatnajokull cave. Do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience guaranteed to impress. Drive back to Reykjavik after enjoying the action and adventure of ice-caving.

Day 4: Finish your four-day Iceland tour hanging out in Reykjavik before flying home. Visit museums and art galleries and enjoy world-class cuisine. Be sure to check out the iconic Hallgrimskirkja church with its striking tall tower before you leave. 

Have someone else plan this entire trip, including transport and accommodation, with this four-day northern lights vacation to Iceland's Vatnajokull Ice Cave, Jokulsarlon and the South Coast.

Northern Lights in Icelandic wintertime, dancing over a frozen lake.

Option 2: Travel the complete Ring Road route and take in the top attractions in Iceland

Day 1: Drive from Reykjavik to the South Coast and visit the top attractions in South Iceland. Visit pristine waterfalls and black sand beaches with dramatic rock formations, and go glacier hiking at Skaftafell National Park.

Day 2: Drive to East Iceland, stopping on the way to see the magnificent icebergs at Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Visit the stunning Blue Ice Cave before stopping at the picturesque Vestrahorn Mountain. Finish your adventurous day with a good night's sleep in Egillstadir town, the capital of the eastern region.

Day 3: First, head to Lake Myvatn to enjoy the abundant natural beauty. Make sure you visit the Hverir geothermal fields and Grjotagja geothermal cave before checking out the stunning Godafoss waterfall. Stay the night in Akureyri, the main gateway to North Iceland.

Day 4: Finish this unforgettable four-day three-night Iceland itinerary with a whale watching tour from the village of Dalvik. Enjoy the incredible scenery on the drive back to Reykjavik. 

Take all the hassle out of this itinerary with this scenic four-day guided tour of the complete Ring Road of Iceland with Jokulsarlon & Myvatn.

Grjotagja Geothermal Cave in Lake Myvatn, Iceland

4 Days in Iceland | In Conclusion

What do you think? Can you do Iceland in four days? Regardless of when you arrive and which activities you partake in, a four-day trip to Iceland is doable. It will offer an authentic taste of the country that will undoubtedly leave you eager for more.