An Iceland itinerary for 10 days is perfect for taking a trip around the entire island. In just over a week, you can visit the vast majority of all the important sights, without having to rush from one to the other. Not being in a rush helps a lot with road safety, and proper planning allows you to do what you want.
What do you do in Iceland if you have 10 days and want to make the most of it? Well, you follow our Iceland itinerary for 10 days, of course!
Read through the carefully planned trip around Ring Road 1 with all the cool sights to see and places to be. We make sure you don’t miss any of the must-see attractions, and you better bring swimwear because there is a hot spring or two on the list.
Before You Start Driving
If you’re like us, you’re eager to get out and start your Iceland itinerary for 10 days. Yet, there are some things we need to address first.
Season – When to Go
This is a matter of taste. You will be driving Ring Road 1, so you can take this trip in the Icelandic winter as well as the summer.
10 days in Iceland in the summer is often a good choice due to the long days and nice weather. Your road trip will be somewhat warm, and all attractions will be open and running this time of year.
Following an Iceland winter itinerary for 10 days will have to be adjusted to the added time you will spend on the road. When driving in Iceland in the winter, you need to know important things like which snow tires to have in Iceland. Also, how to keep an eye on the weather and Iceland’s road conditions.
Economy – How Much to Spend
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to say exactly how much to spend for 10 days in Iceland. It has everything to do with when you go, what you will do, and if you are going to travel Iceland cheaply or in extravagant style.
If you go in the summer, you need to account for the added expenses since that is the high tourist season. The winter will be less expensive, but you will not have the same number of options for accommodation, restaurants, etc.
The Best Iceland Itinerary for 10 Days
Driving around Iceland in 10 days is the sweet spot for seeing it all and having time to relax between the drives. We have prepared a detailed itinerary that also allows you to make a detour or two if you find something interesting.
Looking at this, you might ask yourself: “How many miles will I drive on a 10 days tour in Iceland?” The answer is that you will first have to get used to measuring everything in kilometers. Otherwise, this will be a confusing trip for you.
Iceland uses the metric system, and the combined length of all the roads we list is 1,684 kilometers. That equals roughly 1,050 miles.
Day 1 – Preparation in Reykjavík
We assume you arrive at the Keflavik Airport today and are not ready to continue the journey for another few hours. Instead, you should start your Iceland itinerary for 10 days by exploring Reykjavík on foot before you hit the road. Driving an Iceland itinerary in 10 days will have a lot of sitting still, so make use of those feet in the city!
Make sure to also visit the stores and buy the things you need on your trip. You will be able to buy snacks in the towns you visit, so don’t overdo the snack shopping in Reykjavík.
Day 2 – Snaefellsnes Peninsula
On the second day of your Iceland itinerary in 10 days, the goal of the day is to get to the Snaefellsnes peninsula. You will get to explore the miniature version of Iceland. The trip to the peninsula is going to be about 2 hours long, and you will need roughly an hour extra for traveling between spots.
We suggest you start at Ytri Tunga to see if you can spot some of the many seals in the area. Then go through Arnarstapi, continue to Djupalonssandur, go around the glacier, and continue to Grundafjördur. Here, you can admire the most photographed mountain in Iceland: Kirkjufell. Going around the glacier requires a higher vehicle due to the state of the road. If you have a low car, then you should rather stick to Road 54 all throughout.
The highlights of today include:
Day 3 – Akureyri
Today will be a day on the road, as the goal is to reach Akureyri in the early afternoon. You'll spend quite a while driving, so knowing which car model to pick, or what the best road trips cars are, really pays off. The route will take you back via Borgarnes, so you can get back on Ring Road 1 and arrive in Akureyri as smoothly and quickly as possible.
This trip should take you about 4 hours and 45 minutes, not counting a lunch stop or the mandatory ice cream break in Borgarnes.
When you get into Akureyri, we suggest you book into your hotel and hit the town. If you’re tired of driving, you can rest assured that the buses are completely free here. You will find that there are many museums, restaurants, and bars here, as well as an impressive geothermal bath in the woods.
Sights to see include:
Akureyri Art Museum
Akureyri Toy Museum
The Icelandic Aviation Museum
Day 4 – Diamond Circle and Myvatn
Today you wake up early in Akureyri to take on the Diamond Circle. Get on the road and head towards Húsavik where you can choose to either get on a whale-watching tour or visit the whale museum in town.
After that, you head north on Road 85 until you get to Asbyrgi canyon in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. Here you can take a short hike, if you have the time, before you continue towards Dettifoss – Iceland’s mightiest waterfall.
After that, your next stop will be Reykjahlid where you can have a relaxing warm bath in the hot springs and stay the night.
Today’s leg includes:
Day 5 – Egilsstadir
Today will be another one of the long legs on your Iceland Ring Road itinerary for 10 days. The mission of the day is to drive to Egilststadir where you can take a trip around the river to experience the gems of Eastern Iceland.
This part of the trip around Iceland in 10 days will take you about 3 and a half hours of driving. If you want to visit Studlagil (which we hope you do) you should add an hour or two to have proper time to explore the area. On the way, you can visit places like:
Day 6 – Höfn
If you feel a bit stiff after all the driving and adventuring, we suggest you have a soak in the Vök Baths right next to the town. Regardless, the next stop on your Iceland Itinerary for 10 days will be Höfn in the southeast.
To get there, we suggest following Road 1 all the way to Höfn. That way, you will experience some of the beautiful fjords in the southeast part of Iceland.
This leg is incredibly scenic, with towering mountain walls and breathtaking fjords. The route will take you roughly 3 and a half hours, not counting the stops along the way. Some scenic spots along the road are:
Saxa Sea Viewpoint
Day 7 – Jökulsarlon and Skaftafell
When you wake up in Höfn, the next stop on your Iceland itinerary in 10 days will be Jökulsarlon and Diamond Beach.
Here, you should really take the time to admire the large numbers of massive icebergs floating about in the lagoon. Take one of the boat rides to get up close and personal and spend some time on the black Diamond Beach with all the stranded icebergs.
After that, it’s time to move on to the Skaftafell area to further enjoy what this amazing nature has to offer. We suggest ending the day with a nice hike in the Skaftafell National Park to move your legs a little bit. If you make sure to arrive early enough, you might be able to book a spot with a dedicated company to have a glacier hike.
This part of your tour around Iceland in 10 days will only take 1 hour and 45 minutes of driving. The distance between Höfn and Skaftafell is only 137 kilometers, so it’s a small drive.
In Skaftafell you can view things like:
Day 8 – Selfoss
From Skaftafell, it’s time to move on towards the Golden Circle – Iceland’s most popular road trip route. On your way, you should stop by the town, Vik, and the different famous black beaches you can find next to the road:
Reynisdrangar Rock Formation
The plane crash will be the big time-consumer, as you will have to take a bus out to see it, and the entire trip back and forth will take about an hour.
After the black sand beaches, you will have the opportunity to stop by Skogafoss, which we recommend. It’s one of the most easily accessible waterfalls you can visit! This waterfall also has a reputation for having a permanent rainbow hanging around. It is created by the massive amount of water turning to mist when it hits the rocks underneath the fall.
Further up the road, you will also be able to see Seljalandsfoss. Another spectacular Icelandic waterfall with the unique feature that you will be able to walk behind it on a little pathway. Well worth the effort.
This route will take about 3 hours and 20 minutes to drive. It follows Ring Road 1 the entire way, but you might have to drive a couple of hundred meters in on another road to get a good look at some of the waterfalls.
Waterfalls to see along the road:
Day 9 – Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is not a long route (compared to what you’re used to), so there is no need to rush through it. You will start in Selfoss and drive it “backward” compared to what most other visitors would do.
Head north along route 35 and enjoy every spot you want to visit. There are too many for us to walk you through all of them. The main attractions are Gullfoss, Geysir Geothermal Area, and last (but not least) Thingvellir national park.
Once you’ve gone through this part of your Iceland itinerary for 10 days, you will return to Reykjavík and prepare for your last day in the country. The Golden Circle will demand almost 3 hours of driving and cover roughly 188 kilometers.
Highlights of the Golden Circle:
Geysir Geothermal Area
Day 10 – Blue Lagoon
The last day of your Iceland itinerary in 10 days will likely be the same day you take your flight home. Hopefully, you will take that flight in the afternoon, so you can enjoy the morning at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.
You will get to enjoy the most relaxing experience in the country. It’s even on the way from Reykjavík to Keflavik, so you can go straight from the spa to the airport and be completely refreshed.
How to Pack for 10 Days in Iceland
10 days on the road need to be carefully planned in the packing department. You don’t want to overpack and sit like a packed sardine in the car, but you also don’t want to pitch up and not be properly prepared. See below for a list of good-to-have things for your Iceland itinerary for 10 days:
Light, breathing, and insulating under layers
Wind- and waterproof jacket and hat (an umbrella won’t help you in Iceland)
Check out our guide to packing for a road trip in Iceland for more good ideas on what to bring.
Time to Book!
With our Iceland itinerary for 10 days, you now know that you can rest assured that you will have time to see everything without any stress. But if you still are not sure about how many days you'll spend in Iceland, check our other itineraries to find the one that suits you best:
5 days itinerary - the best option if you're visiting Iceland on a budget
7 days itinerary - the best itinerary to get to know Iceland in a week
14 days itinerary - the ultimate itinerary if you have the time and budget.
Take your time to plan your trip, then book your flights, rent your car in Iceland and let the adventure begin.