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4 to 5 Day Southern Iceland Itinerary and Tips for Your Visit • McCool Travel

View inland from Dyrholaey lighthouse Iceland

This versatile Southern Iceland itinerary takes benefit of lengthy summer time days to pack plenty of magnificence and enjoyable right into a 4 or 5 day go to to the land of fireside and ice. We have now included maps and stops, plus recommendations on how to regulate your itinerary when you have additional days to discover.

View inland from Dyrholaey lighthouse Iceland

View inland from Dyrholaey lighthouse Iceland

Whereas guided excursions can be found, we encourage vacationers to lease a automotive for most flexibility. Driving alongside the southern coast Ring Street is straightforward in summer time, and you’ll respect having the ability to regulate your schedule if the climate turns.

Ring Road Southern Iceland

Ring Street Southern Iceland

We visited Iceland as a household with two adults and two teenagers, and our emphasis was on outside exploration and hikes. Relying in your companions and curiosity, your mileage might range, however you’ll discover it straightforward to decide and select from this Iceland itinerary to fit your style. You’ll discover extra footage and ideas for photographers in our article eight Nice Iceland Photograph Locations.

Day 1: Waterfalls and Coastal Views, Reykjavik to Vik

This Ring Street drive alongside the southern coastal space to Vik highlights Seljalandfoss, one of the preferred waterfalls in Iceland. The drive is beautiful and you possibly can match lots into the day with the midnight solar guiding you.

Southern Iceland Day 1 Map


This extraordinarily widespread spot options a gorgeous collection of three waterfalls. Most guests concentrate on the primary and largest of the falls, and the trail that permits you to hike behind the falls. It’s a enjoyable image spot, however anticipate to discover slippery circumstances and be ready to get just a little moist. Be certain to hike down to the third waterfall the place you’ll be able to enter a cave on the backside and lookup on the falls.

Behind Seljalandsfoss Iceland

Behind Seljalandsfoss Iceland

Seljalandsfoss waterfall cave Iceland

Seljalandsfoss waterfall cave Iceland


This was our household’s favourite waterfall of the journey. The views from the underside will remind you of how tiny we people are, and the climb to the highest of the falls gives beautiful rainbow views on sunny days. When you attain the highest, climb over the fence (a ladder makes this straightforward) and proceed to hike alongside the trail above the falls for extra waterfalls and unimaginable views. We might have spent an entire day climbing and enjoyable right here. We had lunch on the meals truck close to the doorway—yummy fish and chips!

Skogafoss Southern Iceland

Skogafoss Southern Iceland

iceland photos skógafoss

A rainbow seen from the highest of Skógafoss. Photograph: Katherine McCool

Dyrhólaey lighthouse

There are two stops on the street to Dyrhólaey and they’re each superb. Look for a spur on the appropriate as you close to the coast, which follows a steep dust street up to the lighthouse. You’ll have unimaginable views of the coast, the black sand seashore, and the distant mountains. Again on the primary street, proceed straight to views of an enormous pure arch and extra of these black sand seashores.

Reynisfjara Beach from lighthouse Iceland

Reynisfjara Seashore from lighthouse Iceland

arch near Dyrholaey lighthouse Iceland

Arch close to Dyrholaey lighthouse Iceland

In a single day in Vik

We have been unable to discover lodging so had to backtrack to our Airbnb in Hella, however Vik is a extra handy spot to spend the night time. The city has a number of inns and Airbnb properties plus handy locations to eat. We picked up sandwiches on the Vikurskali retailer, however Halldorskafi seemed like a pleasant cease if you need a full service meal.

Day 2: Black Sand Seashore and A Beautiful Canyon, Vik to Fjaðrárgljúfur

You definitely might match the Reynisfjara Black Sand Seashore into the day past’s itinerary, however in case you in a single day in Vik you’ll have extra time to take pleasure in your cease and do some seashore strolling. After the seashore, head to one of the crucial difficult names on our Iceland itinerary—Fjaðrárgljúfur—for climbing each above and by way of a stunning canyon.

Southern Iceland Day 2 Map

Reynisfjara Black Sand Seashore

Enjoyable information—Vik is the wettest and warmest space in Iceland, and there isn’t a land mass between right here and Antarctica. Even on a relaxed summer time day the seashore is probably going to be windy and the surf might be extraordinarily harmful, with rogue waves crashing far up the sand unexpectedly. Fortuitously, there’s lots to see with out getting shut to the waves, together with a cool cave shut to the parking space, and basalt towers additional down the seashore.

Black Sand Beach pillars Iceland

Black Sand Seashore pillars Iceland

Basalt cave Black Sand Beach Iceland

Basalt cave Black Sand Seashore Iceland

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

An enormous canyon shaped by a glacial river offers two alternatives for climbing. The trail to the fitting climbs the rim of the canyon. The views down into the canyon and out to the ocean are lovely. If you don’t thoughts moist ft, hike into the canyon, with some shallow wading between sandbanks within the river.

Iceland photos Fjaðrárgljúfur

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, Southern Iceland, photograph: Katherine McCool

Optionally available: Iceberg Lagoon in Jökulsárlón

If you would like to prolong your day additional you possibly can proceed one other 2.5 hours to go to the Iceberg Lagoon. We actually needed to see the icebergs however there simply was not sufficient time left within the day. In the event you do drive out to the lagoon, you’ll be able to spend the night time in Hoff, however you’ll have an extended drive again to Reykjavik the next day.

Day three: Discover Reykjavík

No Southern Iceland itinerary is full and not using a cease within the capital metropolis of Reykjavik. Break up the two-hour drive from Vik to Reykjavik with one other cease at your favourite waterfall, or on the Fákasel Horse Park. You’ll see lovely Icelandic horses on the barn or within the fields, and they have an excellent restaurant serving wonderful burgers at an inexpensive worth.

iceland photos horses

Icelandic horses on the horse park.

Reykjavik is a small metropolis with a cool, walkable downtown. We advise wandering round with a number of deliberate stops however permit free time to discover the outlets, eating places, and bars. Eating in Iceland is dear, however we discovered an awesome deal on an enormous bowl of noodle soup at Noodle Station. The pizza at Eldsmiðjan on Bragagata can also be wonderful.

Downtown street art Rejkyavik Iceland

Downtown road artwork Rejkyavik Iceland

The Solar Voyager sculpture close to the waterfront is an iconic spot for lovely footage, and it is a brief stroll from there to the Harpa Middle. Even in case you are not attending an occasion at Harpa, it’s value visiting to take a look at the structure each inside and out. Stroll over to metropolis corridor for fairly views throughout a lake and to take a look at the blockhead businessman sculpture. Listed here are extra concepts for issues to do in Reykjavik.

Sun Voyager sculpture Rejkyavik Iceland

Solar Voyager sculpture Rejkyavik Iceland

Business man sculpture Rejkyavik Iceland

Enterprise man sculpture Rejkyavik Iceland

Day 4: The Golden Circle and Geothermal Hike

Many vacationers go to as a part of Icelandair’s free stopover program, and they virtually all make Reykjavik and the Golden Circle Iceland a part of their Southern Iceland itinerary. The circle combines a couple of key locations on a route a brief distance from the town, so it’s fashionable with tour buses and vans. Whereas the stops weren’t our favourite a part of our journey, they’re all value visiting.

If you don’t spend too lengthy at every cease, you’ll have time for a unbelievable hike to a geothermal bathing space to finish your day. When you run out of time for the hike, or can deal with a 5 day Southern Iceland itinerary, make a return journey to Hveragardi the subsequent day. You may also think about these options to the Golden Circle, which we want we had recognized about earlier than out journey.

Day 4 Southern Iceland Map

Thingveiller Nationwide Park

Thingveiller is a vital cease for each geological and historic causes. A pathway permits you to hike by means of the rift between the Euroasian and North American tectonic plates; a really distinctive expertise. In a close-by submerged rift referred to as “coin fissure” vacationers toss cash into the clear water and snorkeling excursions can be found. As well as to the geological formations, the park is a nationwide shrine and the location of the world’s first parliament, assembled in 930 AD.

Thingvellir National Park rift

Thingvellir Nationwide Park rift


Whereas the unique geyser that gave this location it’s identify not erupts, the Strokkur geyser nonetheless blows roughly each 10 minutes, making this a well-liked and dependable vacationer cease. In case you are affected person and fortunate, you might give you the option to catch the blue bubble that varieties simply earlier than the spray erupts (we did!).

Strokkur geyser erupts Geysir Iceland

Strokkur geyser erupts Geysir Iceland

Gullfoss waterfall

The large waterfall often known as Gullfoss makes a dramatic flip because it seems to plunge into the earth. A moist path leads previous hills of flowers to a viewing platform shut to the falls. The views from the decrease platform are higher than those from the cliff, however you need to permit time to go to each.

Gullfoss path Golden Circle Iceland

Gullfoss path Golden Circle Iceland

Gullfoss Golden Circle Iceland

Gullfoss Golden Circle Iceland


Hveragerði Geothermal Hike (Non-compulsory Day 5)

Permit a couple of hours for this hike into the Reykjadalur Valley, as a result of the three.5 km path is steep and you want time to take pleasure in a soak within the scorching springs on the finish. The geothermal hike was a spotlight of our go to to Iceland, higher than something on the Golden Circle as a result of it’s much less crowded and gave us a pleasant exercise. In the event you have time, modify our Southern Iceland itinerary and go to Hveragardi on a separate day.

iceland photos reykjadalur

Reykjadalur Valley hike, photograph: Katherine McCool

The hike begins at a big parking space with a small restaurant and bogs, on the northwestern finish of city. The path climbs steeply on a paved path earlier than leveling out and following a mud path alongside a ridge and by way of the valley. You’ll see effervescent mud swimming pools and steaming scorching springs beside the path (typically fairly shut), and beautiful, picture-worthy views the size of the route.

The payoff for your effort is a river heated by the recent springs and bordered by a picket deck the place you possibly can stroll and change garments (FYI: the altering areas are uncovered). Attempt a number of spots within the river till you discover your good degree of zen. The additional up the river you go, the warmer it will get!

Geothermal river Hveragardi Iceland

Geothermal bathing close to Hveragardi Iceland

Southern Iceland Itinerary Tips

Relying in your arrival time at Keflavik Worldwide Airport, you might have the ability to plan further websites and stops in your first partial day in Iceland. If you need to go to the well-known Blue Lagoon, day one is the right time to achieve this. The lagoon is shut to the airport and it’s a pleasant approach to loosen up and rejuvenate after your flight. It’s your decision to reserve prematurely, since summer season slots can promote out, however permit a minimum of an hour after arrival to get out of the airport and decide up your rental automotive.

If you don’t thoughts a number of lodging modifications, spend your first night time east on the Ring Street moderately than staying in Reykjavik. This protects driving time in your first full day in Iceland. Selfoss and Hella are each good choices for a primary night time location (we stayed in Hella our first two nights.)

The geothermal hike in Hveragardi was a spotlight of our journey and I want we had extra time there. If potential, go for a 5 day Southern Iceland itinerary, permitting a separate day to go to Heveragardi for the hike and to see a number of the city. Listed here are further particulars and footage of the hike.

Iceland is an extremely distinctive and lovely nation, however the panorama is rather more fragile than it seems. Earlier than you go, learn this text about what not to do whenever you go to Iceland, and find out how to shield the panorama throughout your journey.

Our first go to to Iceland was completely magical and we can’t wait to return. Subsequent time we’ll permit 10 days to 2 weeks to drive the Ring Street all the best way round, spending extra time at favourite stops.

Have you ever visited Iceland or is it in your journey want record? Please depart your Southern Iceland itinerary ideas and recommendations within the feedback under. Completely happy travels!

Article by Julie McCool, whose Virginia journey website helps locals and guests discover enjoyable locations to discover, dine, drink, and play within the Virginia, Washington DC, and mid-Atlantic area. Comply with Enjoyable in Fairfax VA on Fb, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. 

A number of pictures on this article are from Katherine McCool, novice photographer based mostly in Virginia. See extra of Katherine’s photographs on Instagram, 500px, and Society6.

Comply with McCool Travel on Fb, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flipboard, Medium, LinkedIn, and Bloglovin.

This flexible Southern Iceland itinerary takes advantage of long summer days to pack a lot of beauty and fun into your visit to the land of fire and ice.

4 to 5 Day Southern Iceland Itinerary was initially revealed on McCool Travel on 22 March 2017.