What can you see and do with seven days in Iceland? Is seven days enough in Iceland if you want to travel around the whole Ring Road and fit in numerous activities? How much does seven days in Iceland cost? Read on to find out the best ideas for your Iceland itinerary (seven days) in summer and winter.
Is a week enough time in Iceland? Good news for you, a week is more than enough time to experience the many cultural and natural highlights on offer in Iceland. With one singular asphalt road, The Ring Road circles the entirety of the island, traveling from one corner of the country to the next. It is more than possible to complete the Iceland Ring Road in seven days and fit in all kinds of activities and adventures.
What is the cost of seven days in Iceland? Although Iceland is known to be a relatively high-end destination, there are several ways to keep your costs down and still enjoy an incredible adventure. Ideas include staying in shared accommodation and preparing meals rather than dining out. It is tricky to put an exact figure on how much it costs to spend seven days in Iceland because there is a significant variation in how people travel. Check out this itinerary idea for seven days off affordable adventure in Iceland.
Despite the apparent occurrence of spring and autumn, it is, undeniably, the summer and winter seasons that dominate the mind, culture, and landscapes of the Icelandic psyche.
Summer and winter are considered the main seasons because of the seasonal extremes and their benefits. The winter sees the Icelandic countryside blanketed with pure white snow, the northern lights dancing luminescent overhead. On the other hand, summer sees nearly 24-hour light under a phenomenon known as the midnight sun.
The winter season begins between September and October. At this time, the Central Highlands are inaccessible to hikers and vehicles. Still, freshly formed ice caves are ready for exploration (although tours only run between mid-October and November to March). The slopes of Iceland's ski and snowboarding resorts also open in winter. As previously mentioned, the aurora borealis is an elusive presence in the night sky throughout this period.
Summer starts in March, although there will still likely be snow on the ground for the initial few weeks. The summer sees an abundance of creative and cultural energy as the local population ventures out into the sunshine with a range of festivities and events. Hikers will now be able to access the trails of Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork Valley.
Whichever season you decide to travel here, you'll be sure to find plenty of adventure, beauty, and promise. Many travelers choose to come back to Iceland to experience both seasons as it feels like visiting an entirely different country.
Thankfully, most of Iceland's major attractions are readily available in both the winter and summer. Two such examples are the famous Blue Lagoon Spa and the Golden Circle sightseeing route, which comprises the three major features, Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Haukadalur Geothermal Area. You can even go scuba diving and snorkeling in the dead of winter, a truly unique and magical experience.
So you've managed to bag yourself a week in the summer to discover the many magical experiences in store for you in Iceland. Travelers during this period should make the most out of the long days, traveling as much of the country as they can in the time available. We would recommend that you spend at least one or two days in Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik, before traveling out to the rest of the country.
Is Iceland Ring Road worth it? Yes, it is! You can take in many of the top attractions in the country when you follow the Ring Road. To travel the entire Ring Road within a week, you will need to drive approximately four hours a day and limit your time at each attraction. Take into consideration that between late May and early August, you'll have nearly 24 hours of daylight, providing plenty of time to explore, as well as providing you with that extra burst of energy.
If you're looking for a more relaxing holiday experience, we recommend choosing one particular region of the country to explore. From Southwest Iceland, it is relatively easy to combine attractions found in the north and along the South Coast. Iceland's most popular sightseeing route, the Golden Circle, is an easy drive from the capital.
For those looking to remain independent and travel the country themselves, we would highly suggest this Seven-Day Self-Drive | North Iceland and Myvatn package that takes you around the incredible natural attractions of Iceland's north. If you'd like to explore the other side of the country, here is a suggested Six-Day Self-Drive | South and Jokulsarlon, a modifiable tour, and this self-drive trip to the highlands: Six-Day Self-Drive | Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork.
If you'd prefer not to drive yourself, choose between plenty of day trips or multi-day tours departing from Reykjavik. For example, this Seven-Day Summer Package | Inside a Volcano and Glacier Lagoon provides a real insight into why Iceland is "The Land of Ice & Fire," combining a glacier lagoon with a tour inside of a volcanic magma chamber.
These packages are the perfect choice for those looking to avoid any organizational responsibility. For instance, you'll be picked up from the airport and driven directly to your accommodation or activity.
Taking a package tour leaves you, as the traveler, free to sit back and relax as nothing but gorgeous scenery and fascinating attractions pass by the Minibus window.
If you want to see as much of the country as possible—meaning, you'll want to conquer the entire Ring Road—then you can partake in this incredible 7-Days Guided Tour | Ring Road of Iceland.
However, consider that this tour does not include a pick-up and drop-off at Keflavík airport, so you will have to arrive in Iceland the night before, making sure that you have an evening flight out of the country. Alternatively, you could add an extra day to your trip.
If you want a flexible tour package, then consider this Seven-Day Summer Package | Customize Your Trip, allowing you to choose between all sorts of exciting activities. With this tour, you could choose to spend more time in Reykjavik, discovering the city's many museums, art galleries, and cultural exhibitions.
Find all tours available here.
For specific ways to spend a week in Iceland in summer, check out the following idea for your Iceland summer itinerary (seven days).
Long summer days and good driving conditions allow you to visit remote regions of the country and pack plenty of sights and activities into your days. See the best of Iceland in seven days with the following Iceland seven-day self-drive itinerary covering the complete Ring Road and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
Day 1: Begin your seven days in Iceland summer adventure by exploring the top Golden Circle attractions. Depart Reykjavik and experience three or four incredible natural wonders in one day. Drive to Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss Falls. If time allows, finish your day at the spectacular Kerid Crater. Stay the night in your choice of hotels in the area.
Day 2: Day two of your Iceland Ring Road itinerary (seven days total) takes you across the awe-inspiring South Coast. Do not miss Skogafoss waterfall, Reynisfjara black sand beach, or Fjadrargljufur Canyon. Stay nearby Skaftafell nature reserve, so you are ready for your third day of adventure.
Day 3: Spend day three of your Iceland in seven days summer itinerary covering two breathtaking areas - the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and the Eastfjords. Marvel at the gigantic icebergs in Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, then be sure to check out Diamond Beach nearby. Then drive to the stunning Eastfjords to see Vestrahorn mountain and Studlagil Canyon. Finish your day relaxing in the Vok Baths before spending the night in a nearby hotel or guesthouse.
Day 4: On day four of your seven-day Iceland itinerary (summer trip), head north to Lake Myvatn, first stopping at the mighty Dettifoss waterfall. When you reach Lake Myvatn, spend time exploring Hverir and Krafla geothermal areas, plus the magnificent Godafoss waterfall. Stay the night in Akureyri.
Day 5: Get off the beaten track for day five of your Iceland travel itinerary (seven days). Head up the picturesque Trollaskagi Peninsula to charming Dalvik village. Next, visit the striking Hvitserkur rock formation before hiking up the tallest crater at Grabrok Volcano. Spend the night near the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, ready for your next day of adventure.
Day 6: Day six of your Iceland road trip itinerary (seven days total) takes you off the Ring Road to explore the natural diversity of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Berserkjahraun lava field, Kirkjufell mountain, and Snaefellsjokull National Park are the main sights to prioritize today.
Day 7: Finish your Iceland travel itinerary (seven days), discovering the best of West Iceland. Start at Deildartunghver hot spring before heading to Barnafoss and Hraunfossar waterfalls. Complete your trip with a caving adventure at the spectacular Vidgelmir cave before heading back to Reykjavik.
Travelling Iceland in the wintertime is an entirely different story to the summer, requiring more forethought and respect. It is a far more accessible and sensible choice in the winter to stay close to Reykjavik, not venturing too far out into the harsh Icelandic wilderness.
Though it might sound strange to say, attempting to travel to some of the country's most remote spots during the winter is not only essentially impossible but dangerous. It puts yourself and others—including the rescue teams—at risk.
Each night throughout your week, you will want to ensure you're looking up at the sky, eagerly hunting down those elusive northern lights. Don't plan your trip solely around the aurora borealis, however, as there are plenty of other exciting places and things to see and do during your seven days. Find the perfect balance between constant star-gazing and filling your evening with something else entirely.
Day tours to the Golden Circle, half-day excursions to the Blue Lagoon, and day tours to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula remain popular during wintertime. We here at Guide to Iceland would still recommend spending at least one night outside of Reykjavik, however, as it provides a fantastic opportunity to see mainland Iceland under a blanket of white snow.
If you only want to spend one night away from the bustling capital, then that should be on the South Coast of the country, home to the dazzling "Crown Jewel of Iceland," Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. The South Coast is more easily accessible than the north in the wintertime, although you should find driving to Akureyri or Myvatn relatively straightforward too.
With only a week, you'll need to make your choice of heading north or south. It may be dangerous to cover the whole country in the wintertime, especially in under seven days.
The winter daylight hours are notoriously short (maximum; four hours), and the weather is unpredictable, often switching from clear skies to fierce storms in under half an hour. There is also a far higher degree of ice and snow on the roads, meaning journey times are far longer than optimal conditions.
In mid-winter, you will have the chance to enter one of Iceland's most stunning natural attractions: an ice cave underneath a glacier.
The ice caves are stunningly blue and simply magnificent to see, providing fantastic opportunities for photography and gaining a deeper insight into the geological makeup of the country. However, a visit to an ice cave cannot be guaranteed, as reaching them is highly dependent on the weather.
If it's too warm or has recently been raining, the ice caves will quickly begin to melt, making them unsafe to enter. If you are in the southeast part of the country and conditions for ice caving are optimum, you might find yourself lucky enough to experience one of the most dazzling and authentically Icelandic activities available.
The following Seven-Day Winter Self-Drive | Northern Lights Hunt takes you directly to the South Coast of Iceland, one of the island's most picturesque strips. Suppose you're hoping to explore Iceland's northern side. In that case, you can partake in the Seven-Day Winter Self-Drive | North Iceland and Golden Circle, allowing time to enjoy attractions in Iceland's Southwest.
If you'd prefer to go on an organized tour rather than drive yourself, then we'd recommend this Seven-Day Winter Vacation | Northern Lights and Ice Cave Treat package or this Five-Day Winter Package.
There are also plenty of day trips or shorter two-day excursions available in wintertime. Find all tours available here.
Check out our best seven-day Iceland itinerary idea for winter below.
With short days during winter, you won't be able to fit in as many attractions as you can in summer. Instead, you can focus on two uniquely winter activities - northern lights hunting and ice caving. The following idea for your Iceland road trip (seven days) in winter offers adventure and relaxation covering the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, and South Coast.
Day 1: Start your Iceland travel itinerary (seven days in winter) with some incredible relaxation at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Melt the tension away at this world-class spa destination before driving to Reykjavik to spend the night.
Day 2: On day two of your Iceland road trip itinerary (seven days), drive to the gorgeous Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Must-visit attractions for your day here include Ytri-Tunga beach, Arnarstapi, Hellnar fishing villages, and Snaefellsjokull National Park. Stay at your choice of accommodation nearby.
Day 3: Today, we recommend you spend more time on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, visiting the striking Kirkjufell mountain, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, and Deildartunguhver hot spring. Drive back to Reykavik for the night.
Day 4: On day four of your Iceland trip itinerary (seven days), you will take a round trip to explore the Golden Circle. Do not miss Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir geothermal area, and Thingvellir National Park. You could also take a snowmobile tour before heading back to Reykjavik for some extra adventure.
Day 5: Spend day five of your itinerary for Iceland for seven days exploring the South Coast. Marvel at the stunning Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, Reynisfjara black sand beach, and Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Stay nearby, ready for an epic day tomorrow.
Day 6: Take an ice caving tour in Vatnajokull Glacier for the ultimate adventure. Look out for opportunities to see the northern lights on your drive back to Reykjavik and check out the vibrant city nightlife if you have the energy.
Day 7: Top off your Iceland seven-day itinerary with excellent shopping, culture, and cuisine in Reyjavik. Top attractions include Hallgrimskirkja church, the National Museum of Iceland, and Laugavegur street.
We hope you have plenty of fantastic ideas for your seven-day itinerary for Iceland. Also, be sure to check out our other suggested itineraries for three, four, five, or six days! We wish you all the best for your seven-day trip to Iceland!
What will you do for your seven days in Iceland itinerary? Will you travel here in the summer or the winter? Please, feel free to leave thoughts and queries in the Facebook comments box below.