Going on a week-long holiday doesn’t have to be a race against time. With the right knowledge and planning, an Iceland itinerary for 7 days will get you through all the major sites on this mystic island. Weigh the pros and cons of each season and choose the best road trip car for you before you leave to make the best of your northern holiday.
Is a week in Iceland really enough for all the remarkable things this country has to offer? With the right plan, it certainly is! With our Iceland itinerary for 7 days, you will be able to visit the major attractions and see more of Iceland than many other visitors. Just be ready to hit the road early and don’t be afraid to stop at any of the many attractions along the way.
A Week in Iceland
Whenever you go on holiday, any number of days will feel like they’re just too few to do all the things you want to do. Iceland is no exception, and unfortunately, people don’t take long enough holidays in this fantastic country. Ok, we might be biased in this assessment.
With our Iceland itinerary for 7 days, though, you will catch all the interesting spots, and still have time to relax in certain places if you choose to. Iceland isn’t an incredibly large nation, and you can drive around the entire island in less than a 24-hour day if you put the work in. We strongly advise against it, though.
There is something about this mystical island and adventure. The Land of Fire and Ice is meant to be explored, which is why we are big fans of grabbing a rental car and hitting the road as soon as we land. Experiencing the island in only a week might get intense, but with an Iceland itinerary for 7 days, it’s child’s play.
Traveling Iceland in 7 days by car might be a little different from how you’re used to driving. Make sure to check up on some important information like which are the best road trip cars in Iceland. Also, the most frequently asked questions about driving in Iceland can certainly help.
When to Have a Road Trip in Iceland
In our opinion, any day is a good day to road trip around Iceland. However, there are some things worth keeping in mind when choosing your dates. Checking the Iceland weather for every month is advisable before deciding when to go.
Taking an Iceland itinerary for 7 days in the summer is preferred in terms of weather and road conditions. The days will also be long and mild, which is always good when you’re spending a lot of time on the road.
The drawback will be that an Iceland itinerary for 7 days will be a bit more costly in the summertime, which makes it hard to travel cheaply in Iceland. All attractions will be open and well-staffed, though, so it might be worth the extra pay. Iceland’s summer is beautiful, and there are lots of events going on around the island.
If you’re not afraid of some rough roads and darkness, an Iceland itinerary for 7 days in the winter might be a good option. Even though you will have shorter days and have to drive a bit slower, you will have some unique experiences that you can only have in the winter.
You will be able to spot the Northern Lights in Iceland, for example. What about having a dip in the hot springs while the snow lays thick around you on the ground? It’s truly remarkable.
Driving in Iceland in the winter will be tough for visitors, so snow tires will be important on your trip to keep you as safe as possible.
Spring and Fall
The shoulder seasons are also great for spending a week in Iceland with our itinerary. You will get away with a cheaper price on most things compared to the summertime, and you will not face the same extreme weather as in the wintertime.
All waterfalls will be full of either rainwater or meltwater, so they will be extra powerful. Also, nature will either start coming back to life or settle down for the winter. Simply perfect.
For an Iceland itinerary for 7 days, fall and spring might be some of the best times to visit Iceland. Prices will be lower, there will be fewer tourists, and the roads are still pretty decent.
The Best Iceland Itinerary for 7 Days
This 7-day trip in Iceland is working from the standpoint that you can use half of days 1 and 7 as travel days. If you can’t, then you could skip either the Golden Circle, The Blue Lagoon, or both. The best scenario is if you can spend all days on the road trip, so you can properly experience the best way to see Iceland in 7 days.
Day 1 – Vik I Myrdal
To start this Iceland itinerary for 7 days, we will go south. The aim of the day is to reach Vik i Myrdal where you will be sleeping for the night. On the way, you should try to experience as many of the wonderful sights as you can see. This part of the trip is roughly 187 kilometers long and will demand about 2 and a half hours of driving.
Before you leave, make sure you stock up on some snacks and drinks. Nothing will be more appreciated on a 7-day self-drive tour around Iceland than some snacks when the road trip rumbles set in. Today’s highlights include:
Reynisdrangar stone formation
Day 2 – Höfn
When waking up in Vik, you can take a trip down to the beach and check out Reynisdrangar, if you didn’t do that the day before. The goal of the day is to reach Höfn and spend the midday in Jökulsarlon to admire this amazing wonder and the Black Diamond beach next to it.
On the way, you can visit a series of amazing viewpoints, like the Star Wars film location Gygjagja and the stunning mossy lava field Eldhraun.
The entire trip is roughly 272 kilometers and will take 3 and a half hours of driving. Count on an hour or two in Jökulsarlon to properly take everything in and spend some time at the beach. This route is completely on Ring Road 1 until you reach the exit on road 99 towards Höfn where you will sleep over.
Highlights of this leg:
Gygjagja – “the Yoda Cave”
Svartifoss and Hundafoss
Day 3 – Egilsstadir
Egilsstadir will be your final destination for this part of your Iceland itinerary in 7 days. If you like, you can start the trip by visiting Vestrahorn and the black sand beach Stokksnes.
After that, you will be heading towards Egilsstadir along Road 1 until you reach Road 939. Follow this road and get on Road 95 northbound until you can take a left on Road 931. This road will take you around the wide river and allow you to explore more in the area.
If you rather want to go straight to Egilsstadir and skip going around the lake, just stay on Road 95.
This part of your Iceland Itinerary in 7 days will take about 3 hours and 45 minutes and take you on a 242-kilometer-long ride. This route’s highlights:
Day 4 – Akureyri and the Diamond Circle
Waking up in Egilsstadir, you will have to leave a bit early to have time for everything today. Today’s leg is all about reaching Akureyri and getting a feel for the Diamond Circle.
On an Iceland Ring Road itinerary for 7 days, Diamond Circle isn’t a must, but widely recommended. From Egilsstadir you will simply follow Ring Road 1 for about 138 kilometers. This will be about an hour and a half, so have the snacks ready. You will turn off at Road 862 to take you around Diamond Circle.
If you rather want to skip the diamond circle, we suggest you at least visit the geothermal pools in Myvatn. It is a fantastic option for a rejuvenating bath to relax the body after the drive.
This leg of your Iceland itinerary in 7 days will be the longest one, with 4 hours and 40 minutes of driving time and a total of 378 kilometers of driving. The highlights of the diamond circle include:
Day 5 – Reykjavík
Today will be all about getting back to the capital. You can stay in Akureyri for a bit and enjoy some of the things the town has to offer. The next stop on your Iceland road trip in 7 days will be one of the towns on the northwestern side of the country for lunch. Later on, a stop for the mandatory ice cream in Borgarnes when you start getting close to Reykjavík.
If you take a right at the first exit onto road 717, you can catch the Hvitserkur rock formation. It’s a detour, but worth it.
This is a long leg of the trip, but it is completely on Road 1, so it’s smooth sailing all the way. You can also make stops at the places below:
Hvitserkur stone formation
Day 6 – The Golden Circle
Once you’re back in the capital, it’s time for the most popular route in Iceland: the Golden Circle. No week in Iceland itinerary would be complete without a visit to the Golden Circle. This one you can adjust since you will be coming back to your accommodation in Reykjavík.
You can choose to only visit the “big three” on this route and then head back to Reykjavík, or you can continue east via Selfoss and see the rest of the sights too. The big three are at the top of the list below. The most important stop you can make along this route is Thingvellir. Here you can visit the original assembly spot for the oldest parliamentary assembly in the world.
Along the Golden Circle, you can see sights like:
Geysir geothermal area
Day 7 – Blue Lagoon
We assume that you are pretty tired at this point and maybe not in the mood to go on a long trip, so we haven’t planned one for you. Chances are that this is the end of your 7 days in Iceland. So, the best way to deal with that is to have the most relaxing and rejuvenating hot spring bath Iceland can muster: the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.
This big bath is the perfect ending to your Iceland itinerary for 7 days, since it is literally on the way from Reykjavík to the airport. Just make sure to book a time slot before you get there.
When packing for a road trip, it’s incredibly important to remember to pack lightly and only things you need. Stuffing a car with massive luggage will make your Iceland itinerary for 7 days way more difficult than it needs to be.
Warm clothing that keeps the wind at bay is important, just as hiking boots, a reusable water bottle, and sunglasses. We have gathered all the essentials in our Iceland packing list that will get you ready for any Iceland adventure you want to have.
Choose the Transport That Suits You Best
Now you know exactly how to spend a week in Iceland and see as much as possible without spending the entire holiday in the car. What you need to do now is to have a good look at which car to rent in Iceland to make sure that the trip runs smoothly in the car that fits you best.