The Ultimate Iceland 10-day Itinerary

Iceland 10 day itinerary

blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    We will always recommend that a visit to the island be at least two weeks. However, sometimes it’s simply not possible between work, family, and other responsibilities. That being said, if you can at least squeeze in a 10-day vacay, we have a few wonderful options for your Iceland 10-day itinerary.

    Luckily, we’ve got the perfect trip suggestion for you! It does not matter if you intend to visit during the summer or the winter. Even if you want to stick to a popular road trip route or a specific region. So, let’s dig in!

    Travel Around Iceland in 10 Days

    Step aside “Around the World in 80 Days” because this adventurous itinerary around Iceland in 10 days promises to be the trip of a lifetime:

    Day 1 – Reykjavík

    If you land early enough, you can either book a tour, rent a car or arrange a shuttle or taxi to take you to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing soak. The Blue Lagoon is probably one of the most notorious hot springs in Iceland. It has been featured in many movies such as Hostel and Star Trek because of its beautiful aesthetics.

    Here you can let the warm waters take away any aches, pains, and tension from the flight, and have your skin rejuvenated by the mineral-rich water. You can also lather the silica-rich mud all over your body and face for skin softer than a newborn baby’s. For extra pampering, you can visit the spa and choose from a variety of treatments.

    From here you can continue on to the capital city where you can visit some of the museums and shop ‘till you drop in Laugavegur street. You can also stare in awe at the astounding architecture of Hallgrimskirkja and dine at some of the local eateries.

    Highlights of the day:

    Iceland 10 day itinerary

    Day 2 – Caving & Hveragerdi

    Drive to Blafjoll County Park, 20 kilometers east of Reykjavík. Here you will take a 3-kilometer hike, thereafter a cable car will “funnel” you 120 meters down. You will then get to explore the gigantic magma chamber of the Thrihnukagigur volcano.

    After your underground excursion, it’s time to head out to the Reykjadalur Geothermal Valley. Here you will do much of the same that you did at the Blue Lagoon, but just in its original and natural setting. If you still have time for yet another adventure after that you can go even deeper into the mountains above Hveragerdi. And you can do so on the back of an authentic Icelandic Horse. In the mountains, you will get to see lava fields and even more hot springs.

    Highlights of the day:

    Iceland ring road itinerary 10 days

    Day 3 – Waterfalls, Reynisfjara & Klaustur

    Drive further east across the lowlands to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. This is one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland, clocking in at an astonishing 60 meters. But this waterfall is also a photography favorite, as it has a walkway behind it. This allows visitors to look over the magnificent landscape from behind a veil of water.

    From Seljalandsfoss you’ll travel to Seljavellir, where a short walk on an old path with lead you to Seljavallalaug outdoor pool. The pool has been collecting lukewarm water from the hills since 1923. This makes Seljavallalaug one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland.

    Whether you’re just popping around to take a quick peek or a quick dip, don’t dilly-dally too long. The next stop is Skogafoss Waterfall, just 10 kilometers east of Seljavellir. Like Seljalandsfoss, this waterfall plummets 60 meters to the ground and tumbles over the cliffs. It separates the coastal lowlands from the Icelandic Highlands.

    But we’re not even halfway done with our adventures of the day. The next stop is the Skogar Folk Museum where you’ll find more than 15000 regional folk craft artifacts displayed in six separate buildings.

    When it becomes late afternoon, it’s time to go take a walk on Reynisfjara, one of the most famous black sand beaches in Iceland. Just keep in mind that this is not a swimming beach, since heavy surf and strong undercurrents are the order of the day here. And you should never turn your back on the ocean here, since Reynisfjara is known for its sneaker waves (aptly known as its waves that sneak up on you).

    From here, you will head out to Kirkjubaejarklaustur where you will spend the night. If you still have some time available, try to stop by Systrafoss Waterfall and Systrastapi (Sister’s Rock).

    Highlights of the day:

    • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
    • Seljavellir
    • Seljavallalaug Outdoor Pool
    • Skogafoss Waterfall
    • Skogar Folk Museum
    • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
    • Systrafoss Waterfall & Systrastapi (if time permits)
    • Kirkjubaejarklaustur

    Reynisfjara, Iceland

    Day 4 – Skaftafell & Jokulsarlon

    Today you will be heading into Skaftafell Nature Reserve (a part of Vatnajokull National Park). Except for the beautiful landscape with stunning views of the Vatnajokull ice cap, one can go glacier hiking as well as hike various trails. The most famous one is Fossaleid (Trail of Falls) that will lead you to Hundafoss Waterfall as well as Svartifoss Waterfall.

    After your hike, it’s time to travel 54.7 kilometers east of the Skaftafell campsite to the magnificent Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Here you can see seals playing in the water and mountains of ice. You can even go on a boat tour during which you can get close enough to almost touch the ice.

    Thereafter, you pop around “next door” to Diamond Beach. It is a black sand beach with glistening pieces of ice scattered across the sand, reminding one of sparkling diamonds. Eventually, you can head back to Skaftafell where you will lay your head down for the night.

    Highlights of the day:

    • Skaftafell Nature Reserve
    • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
    • Diamond Beach

    Around Iceland in 10 days

    Day 5 – East Fjords & Egilsstadir

    You will start your day by driving 3 hours to Egilsstadir (the largest settlement in the eastern region). The road to the town is one of the most picturesque routes. The eastern capital is split by the third-largest river in Iceland; Lagarfljot. You need to keep your eyes open because legend has it that a worm-like monster lives in these waters. And before you just chalk it up to the imagination, a video of the creature was captured in 2012.

    Driving along the east coast, you’ll encounter long fjords with jagged peaks and steep sides. From Egilsstadir you will drive 25 kilometers south to Hallormsstadaskogur National Forest (the largest forest in Iceland). The forest is filled with hiking trails and offers boat rentals and horseback riding. You can choose to either camp at one of the fully equipped campsites in the forest, or head back to Egilsstadir for the night.

    Highlights of the day:

    • Egilsstadir
    • Hallormsstadaskogur National Forest

    East fjords, Iceland

    Day 6 – Asbyrgi

    Start your day off by driving 190 kilometers northwest of Egilsstadir to Asbyrgi Canyon (The Shelter of the Gods). The canyon is an impressive 3.5 kilometers long and 1 kilometer across, and is divided by a 25-meter-high rock formation called Eyjan (The Island).

    Here you better keep a close eye since legend goes that the steep sides of the canyon are home to the Icelandic Hidden People (Huldufolk) who are a type of elf. At the canyon, you can take the stone-stepped trail to Botnstjorn Pond. It is crazy to think that this tiny mass of water was once a roaring waterfall. You can spend the rest of the day exploring the canyon and then find accommodation close by.

    Highlights of the day:

    • Asbyrgi Canyon

    Best Iceland itinerary 10 days

    Day 7 – Myvatn

    Drive northeast inland and head out to Lake Myvatn, approximately 89.7 kilometers away. The Lake was formed by a volcanic eruption more than 2000 years ago, and today it holds the title of one of Iceland’s largest lakes.

    The area is absolutely gorgeous, but the lake is usually the highlight of the Iceland 10-day itinerary for bird-watchers. The lake attracts quite a variety of birds! From the lake, you travel east to Dimmuborgir (Dark Cities), unusually shaped lava fields. Then you head out to the Myvatn Nature Baths for some much-needed rest and relaxation in the warm waters of the hot springs.

    Highlights of the day:

    Lake Myvatn, Iceland

    Day 8 – Husavik & Akureyri

    Head towards the northern Skjalfandi Bay and the whale watching capital of Iceland, Husavik. Here you are guaranteed to see at least one of these giants of the ocean, especially if you book a spot on a whale watching tour.

    But if you visit the island during whale season (April to September) you’ll be privy to some pretty spectacular migratory ocean guests. From Husavik, you drive 90 kilometers to Akureyri (the second-largest city on the island). This is where you will stay for the night, but there’s still a lot to discover in the city before bedtime. Go visit a few museums and have a nice dinner at one of the restaurants.

    Highlights of the day:

    • Husavik
    • Akureyri

    Husavik, Iceland

    Day 9 – Husafell

    Today will be a long drive, so you’ll need to get up early. Drive 316 kilometers to the old pastoral hamlet of Husafell. Here you will spend a considerable amount of time hiking the area.

    Trails are leading to pretty exciting attractions such as the Elriksjokull Glacier, the Hallmundarhraun lava field, and caves such as the massive Vidgelmir (one of the largest caves in the world!). Once you’re done with all you're exploring, drive 15 kilometers from the Husafell Service Center to the Hraunfossar Waterfalls.

    These are multiple waterfalls running into the Hvita River. Thereafter, you can head back to Husafell where you can spend the night at some of the local accommodations (hotel, cottages, Airbnb, etc.). Or you can also go camping at the campsite.

    Highlights of the day:

    • Husafell
    • Hraunfossar Waterfalls

    10 days in Iceland summer

    Day 10 – Reykjanes & Heading Home

    Today you will drive 192 kilometers southwest to the Reykjanes Peninsula. Here you will encounter the steaming Kleifarvatn Lake and the Gunnuhver and Seltun Geothermal Fields. You will also have the privilege to see where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates push each other apart. This creates an impressive divide between the continents.

    In fact, in Sandvik on the Peninsula’s southern point, you can walk across a footbridge and literally walk between the two continents. Reykjanes can be a full day on its own, but we do urge those who were unable to visit the Blue Lagoon on the first day to include it in the itinerary for today.

    Then, sadly, the best Iceland itinerary for 10 days has come to an end, and you will head to Keflavik Airport where you will grab a flight home.

    Highlights of the day:

    • Reykjanes Peninsula
    • Blue Lagoon (if not visited on Day 1)

    Blue Lagoon, Iceland

    *Although the above is not a summer-specific Iceland 10-day itinerary, it should not be taken on during the winter. The daylight hours will simply be too few for all the attractions and activities on-route.

    Alternative Iceland 10-day Itineraries

    If the above itinerary doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you have different things on your Icelandic bucket list, or you have some seasonal restrictions, the following might be good alternative itineraries:

    Iceland Ring Road Itinerary for 10 Days

    The following 10-day itinerary will allow you to explore the Ring Road. It'll allow you sufficient time to hit all the attractions along the way, with the daily amount of driving necessary:

    • Day 1 – Keflavik to Reykjavík, exploring the Reykjanes Peninsula
    • Day 2 –The Golden Circle (Reykjavík to Hella)
    • Day 3 – Iceland’s South Coast (Hella to Dyrholaey)
    • Day 4 – Hella to Skaftafell
    • Day 5 – Skaftafell to Hofn
    • Day 6 – Hofn to Myvatn
    • Day 7 – Myvatn to Akureyri
    • Day 8 – Akureyri to Snæfellsnes
    • Day 9 – Snæfellsnes to Reykjavik
    • Day 10 – Reykjavik to Keflavik Airport and Home 

    Ring Road itinerary 10 days

    10 Days in Iceland Summer Itinerary

    The following 10-day itinerary is best to do during summer when there are sufficient daylight hours. You will have sufficient time to hit all the attractions along the way with the daily amount of driving necessary:

    • Day 1 – The Blue Lagoon & Reykjavík
    • Day 2 – The Golden Circle
    • Day 3 – The South Coast Part 1 (Reykjavík to Vik)
    • Day 4 – The South Coast Part 2 (Vik to Jokulsarlon)
    • Day 5 – East Fjords/ Heading North
    • Day 6 – North Iceland (Diamond Circle/Myvatn/Arctic Coast Way)
    • Day 7 – North Iceland (Akureyri and Surrounds, Head to Snæfellsnes Peninsula)
    • Day 8 – Snæfellsnes Peninsula
    • Day 9 – West Iceland via Ring Road 1, Head to Reykjavík
    • Day 10 – Flight Back Home

    10 days in Iceland summer

    Iceland Winter Itinerary for 10 Days

    The following 10-day itinerary is best to do during winter. It is important to keep an eye on the time whilst stopping at attractions and activities along the way to ensure that you stick within the limits of the few daylight hours available to you:

    • Day 1 – Reykjavík
    • Day 2 – The Golden Circle (Reykjavík to Selfoss)
    • Day 3 – Selfoss to Kirkjubæjarklaustur
    • Day 4 – Kirkjubæjarklaustur to Hofn
    • Day 5 – Hofn to Egilsstadir
    • Day 6 – Egilsstadir to Lake Myvatn
    • Day 7 – Lake Myvatn to Skagafjördur
    • Day 8 – Skagafjördur to Borgarnes
    • Day 9 – Borgarnes to Snæfellsnes and Back to Reykjavík
    • Day 10 – Catch a Flight Back Home

    Iceland winter itinerary 10 days

    How to Pack for 10 Days in Iceland

    If you’re wondering what to pack for your Iceland 10-day itinerary, use this helpful packing list as a guide:

    • Raincoat
    • Long, waterproof coat (if you’re visiting during winter)
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Fleece/woolen sweaters
    • Waterproof pants
    • Casual pants
    • Hiking boots
    • Casual shoes
    • T-shirts & long-sleeved shirts
    • Underwear
    • Thermal leggings
    • Thermal vests
    • Warm woolen socks
    • Warm gloves
    • Warm scarf
    • Warm hat (we prefer beanies)
    • Bathing suit (for dips in the hot springs)
    • A quick-drying towel
    • Flip-flops (for the hot springs and public changing rooms)
    • Toiletries & medication (remember to check flight restrictions!)
    • Electronic devices; chargers, cables, an adaptor, a power bank, etc.

    How to pack for 10 days in Iceland


    Below, we have answered some of your most frequently asked questions: 

    When is the Best Time to do a 10-day Itinerary in Iceland?

    As you can see from our options above, you can do a 10-day itinerary all throughout the year. Although the itineraries may differ based on preferences or seasons, they all promise to be the experience of a lifetime.

    Will an Iceland 10-day Itinerary be rushed?

    Our first recommendation will always be to visit Iceland for at least two weeks to explore the island extensively. But if you follow any of our 10-day itineraries in this guide, you should not feel too pressured for time. Although you will need to keep a closer eye on the time during the winter months due to the fewer daylight hours. 

    How Many Miles Will I Drive on a 10-Days Tour in Iceland?

    Well, that depends on which 10-day itinerary you choose. You’ll also find that the daily amount of driving will differ irrespective of which 10-day itinerary you tackle. 

    How Much Will I Need to Spend for 10 Days in Iceland?

    Well, that will also depend on the budget you have available. Generally speaking, you need to work on roughly $150-$200 per person per day. This, of course, does not include airfare or accommodation.

    Accommodation is probably the highest expense you’ll have, so many opt to go camping. Others rent a campervan in Iceland which takes care of both accommodation and transport. 

    How much to spend for 10 days in Iceland

    An Iceland 10-day Itinerary; A Variety of Options

    As you can see, although we’ll always recommend spending more time on the island, a 10-day itinerary is doable. There are various options to choose from depending on preference and season. There’s also no reason why you need to stick to just one. There’s no reason for you not to return to the island for multiple visits to experience all the 10-day itineraries mentioned in our guide.

    If you can’t afford to visit the island for 10 days and your time is limited to a week or less, we suggest you take a look at our Iceland 5-day itinerary and our Iceland 7-day itinerary. But whichever itinerary/ies you choose, we can’t wait to share the wonders of our island with you soon!

    Let’s go on an adventure!

    Unbeatable prices. Premium customer service.

    Book now
    Book now