HOW TO SEE ICELAND IN 5 DAYS (ANY TIME OF THE YEAR)
Are you planning your 5-day Iceland itinerary and wondering about what to do and see in Iceland in 5 days? Then this post is for you. Here I share my tips for your 5-day trip to Iceland.
Iceland is probably one of the most unique countries in the world and so it does not surprise it has become incredibly popular.
Whether you visit in spring, summer, fall, or winter – this 5-day in Iceland itinerary can be used at any time of the year. You will also find many travel tips for your trip.
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 5-DAY ICELAND ITINERARY
Iceland might have less than 400,000 inhabitants, but it is a – geographically seen – big country.
While it would be great to spend more than 5 days in Iceland, most of us do not have unlimited time to spend there. So this itinerary will help you to find out about the main sights and attractions. And 5 days are better than nothing, right?
The good news is that this post not only offers you the best sights but here you will also find out about the best ways to get around + tips. You can use this itinerary whether you do guided tours or plan a road trip.
I have visited Iceland twice: once in the winter (December/January) and once in summer (July). I was lucky enough to have different experiences over the course of 21-22 days. I created this itinerary for any time of the year with the travel highlights of my Iceland trips.
Here are some quick travel tips for your trip to Iceland.
Best Time to Visit Iceland in 5 Days
Whether you visit Iceland in winter or summer – or fall and spring – each season has its charms.
- I loved visiting Iceland in the summer. It might be busy, and the prices for accommodations are high (and attractions are very crowded), but the many, many hours of daylight helped me to squeeze in many activities in a day. I saw about three or four times as much as I did in winter.
- In winter you will have much less time to visit the sights. Honestly, you will just have a few hours each day as it really gets dark very early (and quickly). Keep in mind that winter in Iceland can be very extreme – and you might not be able to road trip. Check out my Iceland in Winter guide to see if that is the perfect time for your trip or not.
This is also why I will share some of my winter and summer pictures in this post – so you can imagine yourself better for when to use this Iceland itinerary for. I have a detailed post on the “best time to visit Iceland,” where I compare the winter and summer seasons.
To find out why winter can be tricky, check out my guide on what I really think about visiting Iceland in December.
IMPORTANT: Keep in mind, that you have to pick a few places for each day. Even in the summer months, you might not be able to see all stops unless you travel fast. I saw A LOT when I visited in July and loved my long days of exploring. This Iceland itinerary was feasible for me. However, it might be too much for you.
When I visited in the winter, I did not see much. So, you have to pick those attractions that you find the most interesting and leave out a few other sights.
Costs of Visiting Iceland
- Iceland can be expensive and it surely will never be a budget-friendly destination. Check out my post on how expensive Iceland is to find out more.
- You can pay everywhere with your credit card, even if you just want to use a toilet to pee. However, if you camp, you need cash because you might need coins for using the shower (though not necessarily) or pay cash.
Language in Iceland
People speak English everywhere in Iceland. If you speak English, you are good to go. Given that Icelandic does not seem like an easy language to learn, this is one of the best news.
How to Get to Iceland For Your 5-Day Trip
Iceland has several airports. Most likely, you will fly into the Keflavík International Airport which is near Reykjavik. A smaller domestic airport in Reykjavik (Reykjavik Airport) is close to the city center, but that is not the one you will fly into.
Keflavík International Airport is about 50 km from the city center of Reykjavik.
- One of the best ways is to get a rental car from the airport and then drive to the city center. In summer, I road-tripped Iceland and picked up my little camper van from the airport. The process was very smooth and I assume the same goes for all rental cars.
- I read somewhere that a taxi for that distance will cost you more than 200€ – and given how expensive Iceland is, this sounds believable. There is no uber in Iceland.
- You can either buy a ticket for the shuttle bus once you are at the airport or book your shuttle bus ticket in advance. The buses normally drop you off in the city center. Then you can get to your hotel by bus/taxi or walk. I used it in winter and really enjoyed the smooth transfer.
- On my way back to the airport, I stopped at the Blue Lagoon close to the airport. So, if you plan to visit the Blue Lagoon, either on the day of your arrival or your departure, keep that in mind. Then you can combine that.
How to Get Around Iceland
So this 5-day itinerary for Iceland is perfect for anyone. You can do a road trip or do day trips from Reykjavik.
- Day trips tours will not allow you to see all places mentioned here, but the main attractions are included, so it really is up to you what you prefer.
- Road tripping Iceland is pretty fun and easy (with good roads and only a few cars except at the hotspots), but I did not dare to road trip in winter. I did some research and got scared of the conditions of the roads with all the snow.
Both options have advantages/disadvantages, so it is about personal preferences.
Renting a Car/ Campervan: Driving in Iceland is pretty easy. At least, if you visit in summer (or as long as there is no snow and ice, and the roads are open).
F-roads (roads that access the highlands of Iceland) are probably a bit trickier, but I haven’t driven them myself. You need (and have to have) to have 4-wheel vehicles (at any time of the year) if you want to drive them. So, it really makes sense to plan your Iceland itinerary and then rent an appropriate car.
On my second trip, I rented a caravan – for the first time in my life – and I loved it. Iceland is perfect for getting around via camper van (roads are big enough, not too much traffic once you leave the main hot spots), and finding a camping site is quite easy.
If you have ever thought about traveling via camper – then it should be Iceland.
Wild camping is illegal in Iceland, and though there are very few exceptions (like written permission if you stay on private land), it is highly advised to accept Icelandic law and just stay at campsites.
Campsites are pretty affordable and cost around 9-12€ for most campsites (per person, no extra charge for your vehicle).
Where to Stay For Your 5-Day Iceland Itinerary
This Iceland itinerary is perfect for any time of the year – whether you road trip or do day tours from Reykjavik. Check out my guide with the best places to stay in Iceland, and if you road trip, it really depends on how much you get to see in one day.
In winter, you will not be able to see all places mentioned on this Iceland itinerary because hiking routes are closed and days are short.
With a camper/motorhome, it is easy. You can spontaneously decide where to park. Campsites normally are not get fully booked, and there are plenty in Iceland, so you just arrive and pay – even late at night / after midnight.
ICELAND ITINERARY FOR 5 DAYS
So, enough talking. Here is how to spend your 5 days in Iceland:
DAY 1 OF 5 DAYS IN ICELAND
Let us start with an Iceland classic.
GOLDEN CIRCLE + HRUNALAUG + BRUARFOSS WATERFALL
While you could start with the Blue Lagoon and Reykjavik, I actually suggest saving these destinations for your last day.
Reserve one day for the most famous and popular area – namely, the Golden Circle, which has several attractions. The name “Golden Circle“ was derived from Gullfoss, which means “golden waterfall” in Icelandic and is one main attraction for day 1 in Iceland.
The Golden Circle covers about 300 kilometers, looping from Reykjavik into the southern uplands of Iceland and back. There are three main stops on the route – the Þingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss Waterfall, and the geothermal area in Haukadalur. If you do not drive back to Reykjavik, it will be fewer kilometers.
THINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK
Thingvellir National Park is often the first stop. It is a historic site and national park known for the Alþing, Iceland’s parliament from the 10th to 18th century.
You’ll also find the Þingvellir Church and the ruins of old stone shelters, but most people are probably fascinated by the fact that the park sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of 2 tectonic plates, with rocky cliffs and fissures.
- Personally, I only visited in winter, and it had lovely scenery. If you want to take a stroll (or do an easy hike), you can spend a few hours here. Otherwise, 30-60 minutes is probably all you need before continuing your journey.
- There is no entrance fee, but there is a parking fee.
Gullfoss might be the next attraction. If you do a guided tour, the stops might be in a different order. If you drive yourself, then it makes sense to stop here now. This famous waterfall is located in the canyon of the Hvítá river in southwest Iceland.
It is easy to drive here, and you can visit at any time of the year.
There is not much walking required to get here from the (free) parking slots. And there it is – the impressive Gullfoss (“foss“ in Icelandic means waterfall). The water cascades down in two stages, one 11 meters high and the other 21 meters, into the 2.5 km-long crevasse below.
I visited in winter and summer and liked it in winter better. However, in summer, you can take walks and stroll the area (which in winter is mostly forbidden).
- I would suggest spending 30-90 minutes in that area.
- It is free to visit, with no parking fees.
Tip: If you want to take a snowmobile tour, then you can start here. Again, it depends whether you road trip or do guided tours. I booked my tour in December and was picked up from Reykjavik and brought to the waterfall before continuing our trip to the Highlands. However, due to extreme snowfalls, once we arrived at the camp, the tour was canceled. I am sure it is an amazing experience, and if you are up for it, you can check out tours starting from here. Check out prices and options.
Strokkur in Haukadalur
It is then time to see the geyser, which is periodically spouting hot springs. The Strokkur is an active, fountain-type geyser, which typically erupts every few minutes.
Its usual height is 15–20 meters, but it can sometimes erupt up to 40 meters high. So, even if you have just a few minutes, you will see it erupt – it is quite loud and I was startled by it every time.
This again is a popular sight, and since it is on the way to the other attractions, it is definitely a must-visit place.
- I would probably spend around 30-45 minutes here so you can see the eruptions more than 2-3 times.
- It is free to visit, no parking fees.
TIP: All of the above-mentioned places have at least one restaurant/cafe and restrooms (which you might have to pay for).
At this point, you have seen the three main sights along/near the Golden Circle. However, there are a few more places worth visiting. Most guided tours do offer one or two additional stops. You just have to decide which one is the most attractive to you.
If you road trip during the long summer days, I suggest adding at least two more places to your itinerary for day 1. In the short winter months, you might not be able to squeeze in more attractions.
Kerid Volcanic Crater
Kerid Volcanic Crater is a volcanic crater lake that is a popular stop off the Golden Circle. You can get up and even walk around the volcano. Due to its location – close to the Golden Circle – it can get busy. I can’t say much about that one because I did not visit, but the reviews are good.
- There is a small entrance fee (about 400 ISK), so have some cash with you.
- If you booked a guided tour, it might be included in the price. I have listed several day tours at the end of “day 1”, so check them out.
Another popular spot off the typical Golden Circle is the Secret Lagoon. It is a man-made pool fed by naturally occurring hot springs located at Hverahólmi, which is the geothermal area next to the village of Flúðir.
It is the oldest pool in the country – but nothing is secret here anymore and it is surely not a hidden gem. However, it is great after a day out to hop into the hot spring.
- This stop should take around 60-120 minutes.
- I visited in winter with a guided tour, and it had the entrance fee already included. Tickets for adults are around 20€ ($23).
- There is no parking fee.
GUIDED TOURS FOR DAY 1
If you do guided tours, then check out these options. I, personally, mostly use GetYourGuide when I book tours and I also used the website for my Iceland tours.
- Check out this tour to find a Golden Circle Tour + Kerid Crater
- This day trip from Reykjavik additionally includes the Secret Lagoon
- Here is a day trip that includes photo stops at the three main places along the Golden Circle plus a snowmobile tour.
- If you just want to focus on the three main attractions along the Golden Circle (the first three ones I mentioned here), you should check out this tour.
Another place you could visit – also instead of the Secret Lagoon – is Hrunalaug. This hot spring is privately owned and is quite small, but the views are amazing.
The road there is a bit bumpy – but I had no big problems getting there in my 2wheel drive. It takes some time to get there as you can’t drive fast. Guided tours normally have this stop NOT included – this is perfect if you are road-tripping yourself.
- The owner normally sits in front of the pool and you have to pay an entrance fee. It is either 1,000 ISK, 10€ or $10 and in cash only.
- Parking is free.
- Before paying the entrance fee, I would ask how many people are in already. If there are already more than 5-10 people, then I honestly would not enter.
- I read complaints that the water was low, so ask the owner before you pay whether it is busy or if it has water.
- Depending on how much time you have, this stop should take about 1-2 hours.
If you road trip Iceland and are flexible, I suggest paying Bruarfoss Waterfall a visit. Since its location is a bit off the Golden Route, it is not often offered when doing guided tours.
However, it was one of my favorite places in Iceland, and if you can visit, then go for it. After parking your car, you can do a 7 km “hike“ (in total) and will see several waterfalls along the way.
The waterfalls come in an incredible color of blue – the color is insane, which makes it worth a visit. It is not a real hike, but more like a beautiful stroll with some steps in between (and probably some mud puddles, so wear appropriate shoes).
- This stop should take around 2 hours.
- No entrance fee, free parking.
- Google sent me to the wrong parking lot – which is no parking lot any longer and I had to drive back to find the right spot.
- Check out my detailed Bruarfoss guide.
DAY 2 OF 5 DAYS IN ICELAND
One day of your Iceland itinerary should be reserved for exploring the south coast of Iceland – together with the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon, one of the most popular places to visit.
If you do guided tours, you have to pick the one that is the most appealing to you. I have not seen any tour that offers to stop at all of the places mentioned on day 2 in Iceland. You will find the tours at the end of this day.
SOUTH OF ICELAND
One day for the South of Iceland is not a lot – if you visit in the winter, you will only see some places because daylight is not your friend then. You can easily visit all of them in the summer months, though it will be a busy day.
Seljalandsfoss is one of the stops you can’t miss – actually, it is literally impossible to miss this high waterfall.
The waterfall drops 60 meters and is part of the Seljalands River, which has its origin in the volcano glacier Eyjafjallajökull. You can walk behind it and have a unique view. However, in the winter months, the walking path is most likely closed.
- There is not much other hiking to do, so 15-60 minutes is enough.
- There is no entrance fee, but if you have some change, you can donate something, and there is a parking fee.
If you do a guided tour, you will most likely continue your journey. However, if you road trip, make sure to add the two more waterfalls I describe below close to your 5-day Iceland itinerary.
Gljúfrabúi Waterfall is just a ten-minute walk away. You have to leave Seljalandsfoss and get on the “main road“, then head towards the camping site and then follow the directions – it isn’t even a hike, just a stroll.
There you will see this waterfall and you can reach it by climbing some steps. It is definitely worth the few extra minutes you have to spend to reach it.
Your feet might get wet so proper footwear is great (also to avoid slipping).
If you have more time, I highly suggest taking your car and driving about 7 km to another, hidden, waterfall.
- This stop should take between 15-45 minutes.
- No entrance fee, but still a parking fee.
From these waterfalls, continue your journey and drive to this secret waterfall. You can drive with your 2-wheel drive, though you should drive slowly because it is a dirt road but nothing spectacular or scary.
I have not heard from guided tours visiting this waterfall, so you might only be able to see it if you are road tripping or have a private guide.
There are some parking lots where you can leave your car and then you continue to the ravine. Don‘t hike up that hill – I did by accident – just walk towards the ravine.
To get to the waterfall, you definitely need sturdy shoes, and there is some climbing required. However, it is a short, maybe a 10-minute and easy hike and you will be rewarded with this pretty waterfall.
- This stop should take about 45-70 minutes.
- No entrance fee and free parking.
- Check out my quick guide on how to see the secret waterfall.
This second day in Iceland is a lot about waterfalls – before visiting other attractions, you will most likely then pass Skogafoss, one of the most famous landmarks in Iceland.
It is one of the biggest waterfalls – with a height of more than 60 meters and a width of 25 meters. It will be one of the very crowded places. But you should still stop here and either walk right up to the waterfall (in winter it will be very slippery though) or when the stairs are open, you can walk up and see the waterfall from above.
- This stop can take between 10-60 minutes.
- No entrance fee, no free parking.
Then, continue your trip to this glacier – Sólheimajökull. Especially with guided tours, this is a very popular stop. If you are short on time, I suggest skipping this one and visiting another glacier (more on that later).
Sólheimajökull is about eight kilometers long and two kilometers wide and is one of the most accessible glaciers from Reykjavík.
- You can also book glacier walks (also with guided day tours).
- If you just want to see it – without the glacier walk – I think spending about 30-90 minutes here is fine.
- There is no entrance fee and no parking fee.
Solheimasandur Plane Wreck
This is another popular spot that I, however, skipped both times. In 1973, a United States Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and crashed on the black beach at Sólheimasandur, near the town of Vik.
You can still visit the place but have to park your car and walk around 4 kilometers (one way) to get there. There are also buses you can take to get there.
You aren’t allowed to climb on the plane anymore and this, in combination with the time to get there, was why I decided to skip this attraction. But I still wanted to tell you about this attraction because it is quite popular.
- No entrance fee, no parking fee but taking the bus to get there does cost some money.
Then, head to Dyrhólaey, which is the southernmost point of mainland Iceland and offers some beautiful views of the surroundings – you can even see the black beaches in Vik.
It is pretty, but I – personally – do not consider it a must-see but decide for yourself. They recommend driving only with a 4-wheel drive. I, and many others, drove with our regular cars and it was fine. However, there were some moments that got tricky, so be super careful and go slowly when driving up.
- This stop should take about 30-90 minutes of your time
- No entrance fee, no parking fee.
From Dyrhólaey you are fast to arrive in Vik, which is a small village known mostly for its church and the black sand beach, Reynisfjara.
While walking on the beach, the color a result of volcanic explosions, you will find basalt stacks on one side and have views of the Atlantic Ocean on the other.
You could walk there for quite a while, but this is a busy place, so you should take a look and get on the basalt stacks before continuing your journey.
The water – even in the summer – is too cold to swim in here, and the waves can be quite strong as well, so it is better just to enjoy the scenery.
In Vik, you will also find the famous church up on a hill which is a popular photo motif, but other than that I did not really like Vik that much.
- Uhhh, this stop can be from 15 minutes to several hours.
- There is no parking or entrance fee.
I highly recommend visiting Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, though it is not open all year round. The canyon is about 100 meters deep and about two kilometers long.
Due to its popularity and its sensitive flora, they close it once in a while, so make sure to check out opening hours beforehand.
It is near the main road and though it‘s mostly a gravel road, you can easily drive there with all kinds of cars (also with a 2-wheel drive) in the summer months.
From the parking area, it is a short and easy uphill walk. And from there, you have some of the best views in all of Iceland. There are several vantage points, and if you like mountains, this is the place to visit.
Walking in the canyon is not allowed any longer, but the views from above made this stop one of the highlights of my Iceland trip (plus, the weather was in my favor, which probably played a role, too).
- This stop should take around 30-90 minutes.
- No entrance fee, no parking fee.
Jökulsárlón / Diamond Beach
If you drive yourself, you will find many more waterfalls along the way. It would be almost impossible to name all of them. However, there is one particular highlight waiting for you: Jökulsárlón.
If you do guided tours, try to book a tour that brings you all the way here as well. It is a stunning glacial lagoon dotted with icebergs from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, part of the larger Vatnajökull Glacier.
The black sand beach sand nearby is also known as Diamond Beach because the ice chunks – even in summer – look like diamonds (well, kind of).
It is an absolutely magical place – though in normal times, extremely busy. My tip: try to visit at sunset – it gets even more magical at that time of the day.
- This stop takes a minimum of 30 minutes, but I could have spent hours (and probably did so) just staring at the “diamonds”.
- Free to visit, no parking fees.
Vatnajökull is the largest and most voluminous ice cap in Iceland and you can combine a trip to Diamond Beach with a boat tour (in summer only) and ice caving from within Vatnajökull Glacier.
This place is full of icebergs. Climbing on top of any of the icebergs without a guide is not advised and neither is swimming (it is not warm nor safe). I did not do ice caving – and I really regret it. Check out tours here.
And with these places, you have already filled 2 days of your Iceland itinerary.
To see all places mentioned here on day 2, you have to visit in late May, or in June, or July when you have long days. And you have to road trip because I have not seen any tour offering all stops in one day. If you visit at another time, you have to pick those places most appealing to you.
With these activities, you could actually fill all 5 days, but I do have some more suggestions for day 3, 4, and 5, so it is time to head back – not to Reykjavik directly, but past it, heading to the west coast of Iceland.
TOURS ON DAY 2 – SOUTH OF ICELAND
- Here is one of the most popular tours – it includes most of the main attractions and is a day trip from Reykjavik.
- Visit the Glacier Lagoon at Jökulsárlón and check out this trip.
- If you are interested in a glacier hike + South Coast, find out more about this tour.
DAY 3 OF 5 DAYS IN ICELAND
The west coast is a beautiful and popular place in Iceland, though much less crowded and less visited than the Golden Circle or the South Coast.
If you do day trips from Reykjavik (guided tours or on your own), you can spend a full day on the west coast.
If you road trip, and spend the night before on the South Coast, then you have less than half a day because it takes about 4-7 hours to get there (depending on if you made it all the way to Diamond Beach or not). You have to drive back to Reykjavik and then head north.
One full day on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula would be better but even this half-day is great to see the main places.
On Snæfellsnes Peninsula, start with Ytri Tunga. It is a small, beautiful beach area where you will find seals resting and chilling.
It is perfect for leisurely walks and spending time outdoors before continuing your journey.
- You can spend between 30-60 minutes here.
- Free entrance, no parking fees.
Then, stop at the cute fishing village Arnarstapi and go on easy hikes along the coast – the views are impressive.
Just watch out for the evil birds that do attack people if they feel like it. If I wanted to spread rumors, I would say they inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds”. I watched the movie as a child and ever since that day, I am scared of birds (and butterflies because they are also really dangerous animals). I really had a bad time walking this one street when all the birds attacked me. Take an umbrella with you, so you can scare them away.
- Free parking and several cafes/restaurants.
Then, it is time to visit one of the most famous sights in the country: Kirkjufell Mountain, which is a 463-meter-high mountain on the north coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
You can either hike up the mountain or do what is definitely more popular – see the waterfalls with the beautiful mountain as a backdrop.
There is not much more hiking to do, but you can walk around the waterfall and enjoy the scenery. In winter, take some crampons and put them on your shoes with you so you can walk all the way to the waterfall.
- Free entrance, no parking fees.
DAY TOURS TO SNAEFELLSNESS PENINSULA
For the last two days, I recommend visiting some places close by and preparing for heading back to Reykjavik/airport.
DAY 4 OF 5 DAYS IN ICELAND
This day is a bit off-the-beaten-path (not really but kind of). It is an absolutely gorgeous area that is accessible in the winter as well as in the summer. I visited in both seasons and I am not sure which one I liked more. I just loved both! I really, really love this area.
These attractions are not from the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, so you will not be spending too much time in the car. But you can also do it as a day trip from Reykjavik.
Again, if you do guided tours this exact tour might not be available. When I visited in winter, I found a tour offering all the places mentioned below. Now, the exact same tour is not offered anymore. So, it changes and you might have to alter your own itinerary if you do guided tours.
Barnafossar and Hraunfossar Waterfalls
Barnafossar and Hraunfosssar waterfalls are actually a series of waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming over a distance of almost 1 kilometer out of the Hallmundarhraun – which is a lava field that flowed from an eruption of one of the volcanoes lying under the glacier Langjökull. And it is one of my favorite waterfalls in Iceland.
You can do a bit of walking and visit several waterfalls – which come in an intense color – but there are not many other activities to do around here.
Thus, I recommend combining it with another attraction in the area.
- No entrance fee, no parking fee.
- Check out my post on these two waterfalls for more information.
The Cave – Viðgelmir Lava Cave
Another activity you could do is to visit The Cave – Viðgelmir which is the fourth-longest lava tunnel in Iceland.
You can witness the inner working of a volcanic eruption and walk the path where an eruption flowed more than 5,000 years ago. A guided tour will allow you to learn about volcanic eruptions and their effect on the environment, before heading back to the capital.
This lava cave is just 15 minutes away from Husafell Hotel (which could be your next stop).
Hot Pools at Húsafell Hotel
If you have time (getting to Reykjavik does take time and plan to arrive too early rather than too late), add Húsafell Hotel – with its hot pools – or a lava tour to your itinerary.
The pools at Husafell Hotel are beautiful – visiting in winter, I was the only one there, though it is probably much busier in summer. What a perfect place to end the day!
- There is an entrance fee, parking is free.
GUIDED DAY TRIPS FROM REYKJAVIK
- If you plan to do a guided tour, this one offers a stop at almost all the attractions mentioned above. It does not stop at Husafell Hotel – and the day tour I did is not offered anymore, so this day trip sounds like the best option.
DAY 5 OF 5 IN ICELAND
So, for your last day in Iceland, take it easy and do some sightseeing in the capital before resting at the Blue Lagoon.
REYKJAVIK + BLUE LAGOON
This last day would also make a great first day of your 5-day Iceland itinerary. Plan your trip according to the time of your arrival and departure. In general, I like to be close to the city/airport on the day of my departure, so this is why I suggest it for your last day in Iceland.
Reykjavik is a small and interesting town. However, with only 5 days in Iceland, I would not spend too much time in Reykjavik – half a day is enough in my eyes.
Reykjavik is also known for its food scene. Even I, as a 95% vegan eater, had some pretty amazing dishes. I am afraid the food scene in the rest of the country is not that great, so Reykjavik is the place to eat your weight in delicious meals.
THINGS TO DO IN REYKJAVIK
- Visit FlyOverIceland (believe it or not, it was my favorite activity in Reykjavik) – find out more here
- Head to Hallgrimskirkja Church
- Check out Harpa Concert Hall
- Pay a visit to Perlan Museum & Viewpoint
- In summer, you can go on a whale-watching boat tour
- Check out my Reykjavik post for more tips.
The Blue Lagoon is a popular first spot for many Iceland visitors but I suggest visiting at the end, so you can relax before you get on the plane again.
It is a geothermal spa located in a lava field and actually, it is not a natural pool. It is supplied by water used in the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power station
The Blue Lagoon has become one of the most popular, but also busiest, places in the country.
Due to its proximity to Keflavik Airport, you can make it your first or last stop during your 5 days in Iceland.
I visited the Blue Lagoon on my last day in December – but do I wholeheartedly recommend visiting the Blue Lagoon? Yes and no. I am not a big pool fan, so I did not spend much time here. However, I am well aware that this place is unique. If you are not on a very tight budget, and especially if you love pools or won’t be visiting any other pools/hot springs, then I say go for it.
If you book a guided tour to the Blue Lagoon, they normally will pick you up from the airport/city center and then drop you off at your hotel/city center/airport, which is very handy.
- I probably spent 2 hours max. here – I heard people spent a full day at the Blue Lagoon.
- Parking is free.
- Tickets can either be bought directly via the website or here. Tickets sell out quickly!
- Here are tickets for the bus transfer to/from the Blue Lagoon.
- In case, you have to twist your Iceland itinerary, check out this guided tour that includes a visit to the Blue Lagoon + a few more attractions.
CONCLUSION: A PERFECT 5 DAYS IN ICELAND ITINERARY
Iceland is an amazing country – it might be busy at some of the main attractions but given its uniqueness, it is easy to understand why! You have volcanos and lava fields, you have waterfalls, you have icebergs, you have hot pools…
5 days in Iceland will give you a good glimpse of the country and you can see what all the fuss is about. I recommend staying longer, but know it is not always possible.
However, I hope that this itinerary will allow you to make the most of your trip at any time of the year. So, whether you visit in winter or summer – this Iceland 5-day itinerary will hopefully be very helpful to you!