Self-Drive Iceland Ultimate Itinerary: 7 Days

A seven-day self-drive itinerary is the perfect way to explore the stunning highlights of the land of fire and ice. With a week at your disposal, you have the freedom to set your own pace, delve into the prominent wonders along the South Coast, discover hidden gems, and more.

Whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, we’ve compiled the ultimate Iceland itinerary for an unforgettable week in this Nordic country!

Day 1: Reykjavík 

Given that visitors to Iceland often touch down at Keflavík International Airport (KEF), it only makes sense to start your week in the capital. There’s plenty to do in Reykjavík, from visiting top attractions such as the Perlan Museum, catching a show at Harpa Concert Hall, taking a stroll past Lake Tjörnin, trying the local cuisine, or countless other attractions. If you’re flying over for the holidays, don’t forget to check out the Christmas markets and join in the annual book flood, Jólabókaflóð.

Also, you may want to head down to the nearby Blue Lagoon for a dip either at the start or end of your day. With the mineral-rich pool and the stunning scenery of mountains nearby and mist hanging over the milky blue waters, the experience is a great way to relax and rejuvenate at the start of your trip. 

Early morning view of Reykjavík, Iceland

Day 2: Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is one of the most popular sightseeing routes in Iceland. It’s a classic journey that can be covered on a three-hour self-drive (without stopping). Since it’s easily accessible from the city, you may want to keep your Reykjavík accommodation for one more day. There are three main stops along the Golden Circle route: Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. You’ll want to take your time with the main attractions as well as the ones in between, such as horse farms, Lutheran churches, and restaurants knocking out Icelandic delicacies, to name a few.

Strokkur Geysir on Golden Circle Iceland

Day 3: South Coast 

The South Coast is an ideal midweek stop for your seven-day itinerary. The sheer diversity of Icelandic natural wonders here will leave you spellbound. In just one day, you can experience a waterfall encircled by rainbows, visit a 4,000-year-old glacier, and walk on a black sand beach. 

The most magical of attractions along Iceland’s South Coast is Seljalandsfoss, a stunning waterfall that drops directly off the side of a cliff into a pool below. If you don’t mind getting sprayed a little, there’s a hollow cave behind the falls that you can explore. Another breathtaking wonder is Skógafoss, whose thick curtain of water plunges 200 feet off a blunt rock face!

Tranquil view of Westfjords, Iceland

Day 4: Westfjords and Snæfellsnes Peninsula 

Easily accessible from Reykjavík, the Westfjords is another stunning region that seamlessly fits into a seven-day Iceland itinerary. This remote region is known for its stunning vistas, villages set on rugged landscapes, and seabird cliffs, including the 14-kilometer-long cliff at Látrabjarg which is a prime nesting ground for puffins in the summer. 

One of the highlights of the region is the spectacular Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Also known as “Iceland in Miniature,” the Peninsula comprises moss-covered lava fields, black sand beaches, dramatic cliffs, fishing villages, and the magnificent Snæfellsjökull Glacier which sits atop a stratovolcano that last erupted 1,900 years ago.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland

Day 5: Vík í Mýrdal 

The coastal village of Vík is one of Iceland’s most iconic settlements. Tucked away in the shadow of Mýrdalsjökull glacier, Vík provides an excellent base for exploring the South Coast. Only a 10-minute drive from the village lies the black sand beach of Reynisfjara. There’s also the bird-watching cliffs of Dyrhólaey and the Reynisdrangar sea stack, which makes for a peaceful stroll along the beach – whether under the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights!

You can also enjoy hiking in Vík with nearby campgrounds providing an affordable stay, as well as fantastic activities such as trout fishing, horseback riding, and super-jeep racing in the vicinity. 

Reynisfjara Beach in Iceland

Day 6: Jökulsárlón and Diamond Beach 

The glittering Diamond Beach is an unmissable attraction on any seven-day Iceland itinerary. When the nearby Vatnajökull glacier melts, chunks of ice break off and float into the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and eventually get washed ashore on the black sands of Diamond Beach. Jökulsárlón, which serves as the basin for the Vatnajökull glacier, is best explored on an amphibian boat tour that skirts past the blue icebergs. In the winter, you’ll also find seals feasting on the fish that gather in the waters of the Lagoon.

Glittering chunks of ice on Diamond Beach, Iceland

Day 7: Höfn

On the final day of your weeklong trip to Iceland, drive down to the coastal town of Höfn. Nestled in a peninsula, this fishing hub has a lot of restaurants specializing in seafood so it’s a perfect opportunity to try Icelandic fish dishes such as Plokkfiskur, Harðfiskur, Hákarl, and Humar.

Höfn is a prominent settlement on Route 1 of the Ring Road and offers easy access to nearby attractions such as the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. It has a unique culture of its own, with the local fishing community’s contributions being celebrated in the annual Lobster Festival, held in July. There are also museums showcasing local artworks and handicrafts. 

Sunset in Höfn harbor

As your seven-day self-drive Iceland adventure comes to a close, you’ll discover why its rugged landscapes strike a chord with so many visitors. From thundering waterfalls to glacier lagoons, we’ve compiled an itinerary that best captures the magic of Iceland in a week. Enjoy a seamless self-drive on your rental car as you journey through the land of fire and ice!