Iceland is a popular stopover destination, located between North America and Europe. Do you have a stopover planned in Iceland, or are you visiting Iceland for a long weekend? Good news. Three days in Iceland will give you enough time explore Reykjavík and part of the countryside. You can visit highlights like the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle and the south coast.
If you are planning to stay three days in Iceland, let the following itinerary inspire you.
Day 1 – Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle
After arrival at Keflavík International Airport, you head to the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s most famous geothermal pool. The Blue Lagoon is known for its milky-blue waters with skin-healing properties. In the pool you can get complimentary silica mud masks from a special mud bar, just apply it to your face and body and let it dry for five minutes while you float in the water. Everything about the place is just soothing and relaxing. It doesn’t hurt that you can book all sorts of in-water massages, and that you can order your drinks at the lagoon bar without leaving the water. Usually, people stay for about two hours at the Blue Lagoon.
After relaxing, it’s time to head to the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is the most popular day tour from Reykjavík. There are three stops on the way and those are three of the most spectacular destinations in Iceland. The stops are Þingvellir, a national park where the Icelandic Parliament congregated from 930 until 1798, Gullfoss, an impressive waterfall, and Geysir, a geothermal area with an active geyser.
It’s recommended to book accommodation close to Hveragerði or Selfoss for the first night.
Total driving distance: 250 kilometres, 3,5 hours
Day 2 – South coast
The first waterfall you visit on this day, is Seljalandsfoss. The best thing about this waterfall is, is that in summertime it’s possible to walk behind it. But beware, the path leading behind the waterfall can be slippery, you will have to climb a bit and wearing waterproof clothing is highly recommended. Trust us, this is all worth the unique experience of seeing tons of water splash down right in front of you.
After only a 25-minute drive, you reach the next waterfall, Skógafoss. For many, this waterfall is the most beautiful they have ever seen. This impressive tourist hot spot has a drop of 60 metres and a width of 25 metres. Walk very close to the waterfall to truly experience its power. You can also walk up the stairs next to it to get a view from above. When the sun is shining, a rainbow forms in front of it.
The next stop is glacial tongue Sólheimajökull. There, you can either follow a path up to the glacier, have a look around, and then head back again. Or you can book a glacier walk, a three-hour hike during which a certified guide will take you all the way up the glacier. The views from atop the glacier over the south coast are amazing.
After visiting Sólheimajökull, you drive onward to Dyrhólæy, a small arch-shaped peninsula with a cute lighthouse. From the lighthouse you can oversee the ocean and black shorelines. A little bit down the road, is Reynisfjara, where black basalt columns offer the perfect photo opportunity. Just be aware of the sneaker waves in this area, and don’t go too close to the ocean.
After this, it’s just a little bit farther to Vík, the southernmost point of the Icelandic mainland and the last stop of this day. From Vík’s black sand beaches you can see three stone trolls standing in the ocean. The story goes that these trolls where just pulling a ship onto shore when the sun came out. They hadn’t noticed the sunrise and were turned into stone on the spot.
After visiting Vík, you drive straight back to Reykjavík.
Total driving distance: 340 kilometres, 5 hours
Day 3 – Reykjavík
Don’t worry, today you will not drive nearly as much. It’s time to discover Reykjavík, Iceland’s modern and lively capital. And since it’s not so big, it’s perfect to discover the city on foot. Of course, you can also book a city bus tour. Reykjavík offers a great variety of museums, restaurants, cafés, and shops, and has some really nice parks and swimming pools.
We recommend the following five-kilometres city walk: You start at Hallgrímskirkja church and walk down to the statue Sun Voyager by the coast. From there you walk towards Harpa Concert Hall, and farther towards the old harbour area of Reykjavík. This is where whale watching tours depart, so if you have the time, it’s possible to add a boat tour. Afterwards, head further to the western side of town, and explore the old houses in the street Stýrimannastígur. Then take Öldugata back towards the city centre.
After discovering the city on foot, you drive back to Keflavík International Airport.
Total driving distance: 50 kilometres, 45 minutes
Do you have less time and is your stopover only one day? Read How to Spend One Day in Iceland.