Travel Tips for Iceland

The Best Iceland 2-Week Itinerary (Summer & Winter)


The Best Iceland 2 Week Itinerary (Summer & Winter)

If you’re planning to spend two weeks in Iceland, there’s a lot that you could feasibly see and do. The minimum amount of time we generally recommend travellers spend in Iceland is about a week, so, with 14 days, you really open up your schedule to create an all-encompassing trip that allows you to see the best of the best of the entire country. However, making sure you don't squander your time requires careful planning.

To help you pick the best 2 weeks itinerary in Iceland, we’ve laid out our top suggestions for a 14-day Iceland road trip, whether you're visiting during summer or winter. Keep reading to find out…

  • What you should prioritize when visiting Iceland
  • The best route for driving around Iceland
  • What you need to drive around Iceland for 2 weeks
  • What you should budget for a 2 weeks road trip in Iceland
  • And more!

3 Quick Things to Know When Planning a 2-Week Road Trip in Iceland 

Before we get started planning your itinerary, though, there are a few quick things you need to know.

  • Your driving route options

Spending 14 days in Iceland is enough time to drive around the Ring Road without any rushing around, as well as to take a few detours to see more of the country. However, how extensive your driving route is will also depend on the season of your visit. If you visit during the winter months, for example, your route will need to be shorter, as certain areas of the country are shut off to travellers due to snow and ice, and it just takes longer to get around the island in the winter in general. 

  • You’ll need to choose your rental vehicle carefully

Your rental vehicle for your Iceland road trip will also impact your route. For example, if you only rent a 2WD vehicle, you may not be able to access some areas of Iceland, even during the summer months. 

To help you decide which car rental is best for your trip, read our guide to renting a car in Iceland.

Rent a car for your 2-week road trip to Iceland

  • Book your car rental well in advance

Whatever rental car you end up choosing, make sure that you book your rental car well in advance of your arrival dates, to guarantee you actually get the car you want. Rental vehicles are in short supply in Iceland and often sell out, especially in the summer. 

Top Questions About Iceland Road Trips

Let’s also get some of the top questions we hear about Iceland road trips out of the way, so you know what to expect as you begin planning!

Should I drive clockwise or counter-clockwise around Iceland?

Iceland is shaped, more or less, like a circle, and the Ring Road is, obviously, a ring, so you could drive around Iceland in either direction. Most itineraries recommend you drive in a counter-clockwise circle, starting with the Golden Circle near Reykjavik and then travelling south from there, as the Golden Circle is a perfect introduction to some of the top sites in the country.

Should I go to Iceland in the summer or winter?

This all depends on your personal preferences. Both seasons come with their pros and cons.

If you visit during the summer, you’ll get the best weather and easiest driving conditions. However, you’ll also find higher pricing on just about everything, as well as larger crowds.

If you visit during the winter, you’ll get lower prices, unique activities you won't find in the summer months (such as northern lights chasing), and fewer crowds, but you might not like the chillier weather and the snow and ice that can make driving a little more challenging. 

If you travel to Iceland in winter, you may see the northern lights

Are 2 weeks too long to spend in Iceland?

We recommend travellers spend at least one week in Iceland. However, 2 weeks is even better, as it gives you more time to see all of the island, without rushing. You may even find that you want to come back after 2 weeks, to see even more!

How Much to Budget for 2 Weeks in Iceland 

So how much do you need to budget for 14 days in Iceland?

Your primary costs are going to be your…

  • Car rental
  • Accommodations
  • Food
  • Tours and activities

For your car rental, you can check the most up-to-date pricing for your trip dates on the Lava Car Rental website. It’s worth noting that car rental prices are higher in the summer and the closer to your travel dates that you book. 

Additionally, 4x4 rentals in Iceland are more expensive than 2WD vehicles. However, this is one area of your budget where you won't want to skimp. If you truly need a 4x4 car and you go with an economy car rental in Iceland instead, just to save money, you may find that you can't drive everywhere you'd like to go. 

Hotels are generally your priciest accommodations option in Iceland. You can check the current prices on sites like booking.com to get a feel for the rates for your dates. However, if you'd like to save money, you might want to consider booking a camper van. Going with a campervan rental in Iceland will allow you to bundle the cost of your accommodations with the cost of your transportation. Plus, you get the added benefit of always having your accommodations with you, no matter where you drive!

Combine transport and accommodation with a campervan rental in Iceland

For food costs, check the current grocery prices in Iceland. For dining out, affordable restaurants will typically cost you about 2,500 ISK (20 USD or 16 EUR) per person, with prices being lower for fast food and higher for nicer restaurants.

The great thing about tours and activities in Iceland is that, while other aspects of travel in Iceland might be expensive, the top things to do in the country are often free. Much of the outdoor attractions, from waterfalls to volcanoes to hot springs, are free to visit, except for an occasional parking fee here or there. You’ll only pay extra if you book a special tour.

For more budgeting tips and advice, check out our guide to travelling Iceland on a budget.

An Iceland Two-Week Summer Itinerary  

Now that you know all of the above, are you ready to find out what to see in 2 weeks in Iceland? Here’s how to spend 14 days in Iceland in the summer. 

Note that this summer itinerary is intended to take advantage of Iceland’s long summer daylight hours, as well as the good weather. It also takes advantage of the fact that the Icelandic Highlands are open in the summer, as are the Westfjords. We're focusing on the Westfjords for this itinerary, but you can adapt it to focus on the Highlands instead. Regardless, it is advised you rent a 4x4 vehicle for this itinerary. 

Here's a quick day-by-day rundown: 

  • Day 1: Arrival + Blue Lagoon + Reykjavik
  • Day 2: Golden Circle
  • Day 3: South Coast to Vik
  • Day 4: Skaftafell + Jokulsarlon
  • Day 5: Eastfjords
  • Day 6: Diamond Circle
  • Day 7: Akureyri + Troll Peninsula
  • Day 8: Westfjords (Holmavik)
  • Day 9: Westfjords (Isafjordur)
  • Day 10: Westfjords (Patreksfjordur)
  • Day 11: Snaefellsnes (ferry)
  • Day 12: Snaefellsnes
  • Day 13: Silver Circle (West Iceland)
  • Day 14: Reykjavik + Departure

Let's go into detail.

  • Day 1: Arrival + Blue Lagoon + Reykjavik

After you arrive at Keflavik Airport, you’ll head to Reykjavik. Along the way, you’ll pass Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most recognisable landmarks. If you have time, stop by. If not, go on to the city, where you can spend the night. 

Relax in the Blue Lagoon after you land in Iceland

  • Day 2: Golden Circle

After a night in Reykjavik, head to the Golden Circle. This small driving route is one of Iceland’s most popular and it only takes a day to see, but it packs some of Iceland’s most popular attractions into one small area, so you’ll want to take your time. Plan to spend the entire day here and book a place to stay along the route (or book a camper van so you can camp where it makes the most sense).

Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland

  • Day 3: South Coast to Vik

After you're finished with the Golden Circle, it’s time to head south, along Iceland's beautiful South Coast. There are many waterfalls and black sand beaches to see along the South Coast and, if you visit during the winter, you can explore ice caves and glaciers with specialised tours as well.

Stop at the sights that catch your fancy along the way, then spend the night in or near Vik. 

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland

  • Day 4: Skaftafell + Jokulsarlon

On Day 4, you’ll drive between Vik and Jokulsarlon, with a stop at Skaftafell National Park along the way. Other popular things to see and do between these two destinations include the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach. 

Spend the night in Jokulsarlon or in nearby Hofn.

Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in Iceland

  • Day 5: Eastfjords

After your time spent in Reykjavik, around the Golden Circle and along the South Coast, you’ll head to some of Iceland’s more remote areas, where there aren’t as many travellers. The Eastfjords are filled with beautiful small villages, wildlife, waterfalls and mountains. 

On Day 5, drive all the way to Egilsstaðir, near Lagarflöt Lake, where you can spend the night. 

  • Day 6: Diamond Circle

Next, it’s time to see one of Iceland’s other notable driving circles, but unlike the Golden Circle, the Diamond Circle is much less popular and not at all as crowded. The Diamond Circle will take you to hot springs, lava fields and waterfalls. 

Spend the night in Akureyri.

Dettifoss Waterfall in Iceland

  • Day 7: Akureyri + Troll Peninsula

Take your time to see Akureyri, the largest city in Iceland’s north, in the morning. You’ll find several museums, a notable botanical garden and a range of tours available, such as whale-watching tours

In the afternoon, head on to Skagafjörður. Along the way, you’ll enjoy views of mountains and small fishing villages, and, if you're lucky, you might even see a few wild horses. Then, spend the night in Sauðárkrókur. 

  • Day 8: Westfjords (Holmavik)

As you drive from Sauðárkrókur, along the Westfjords toward Holmavik, you’ll pass the Borgarvirki natural fortress and the Hvítserkur monolith, both worth a stop. Make sure to allow time to spend the afternoon in Holmavik, though, where you can visit the Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum.

Later, overnight in Holmavik.

  • Day 9: Westfjords (Isafjordur)

The Westfjords take several days to drive through, so you’ll continue along the Westfjords portion of your road trip on Day 9, driving from Holmavik to Isafjordur. Along the way, you’ll pass ancient mountains and picturesque fjords. Take in the ocean scenery and keep your eye out for whales. Then, spend the night in Isafjordur.

Isafjordur is the largest town in the Icelandic Westfjords

  • Day 10: Westfjords (Patreksfjordur)

Your Westfjords journey continues from Isafjordur to Patreksfjörður. Along this leg of the route, plan to stop by the Dýrafjörður fjord, Skrúður botanical garden, Dynjandi waterfall and cliffs of Látrabjarg, before spending the night in or around Patreksfjörður.

The beautiful Dynjandi waterfall in the Icelandic Westfjords

  • Day 11: Snaefellsnes (ferry)

Drive to Brjánslækur and then take the ferry to Stykkishólmur, a fishing town that was used as a filming location in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Explore the village and greater Snæfellsnes peninsula, including Snæfellsjökull National Park. Then, spend the night in Snæfellsnes.

  • Day 12: Snaefellsnes

On Day 12, you get a break from the driving (at least partially), as you won't need to go far. You’ll spend the entire day exploring the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. See the beaches and maybe go on a hike, before spending the night in the same hotel or camper van that you did the night prior. 

The Black Church in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

  • Day 13: Silver Circle (West Iceland)

On the last full day of your trip, explore West Iceland. As you drive from Snaefellsnes to Reykjavik, you’ll pass by Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe, and waterfalls such as Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. You can also stop at the Langjökull glacier for a tour, or Snorrastofa, a medieval research institute. 

Then, spend the night in Reykjavik. 

Hraunfosar Falls in West Iceland

  • Day 14: Reykjavik + Departure

On the day of your departure, you have a few options depending on when your flight leaves. If your flight leaves early, you'll want to head to Keflavik airport straightaway, dropping off your rental car on the way.

If, however, your flight isn't until the evening, consider spending the day exploring Reykjavik or, if you didn’t get the chance to stop at the Blue Lagoon on your first day, stop in for an afternoon of relaxation before your flight. 

Recommended Car Rentals in Iceland for a Summer Roadtrip

For the above road trip, we would recommend a 4x4 vehicle, as it will be best suited to the Westfjords’ gravel roads and often rugged terrain. A 4x4 vehicle will also be more comfortable for driving for longer periods, especially if you're travelling with more than one other person. 

However, if you’re not planning to visit the Westfjords or the Highlands during your Iceland road trip, and you only have one other person in the car, then a 2WD vehicle should be suitable.

You might also consider a 4x4 camper van if you'd like to save on your accommodations and camp along your route. 

An Iceland Two-Week Winter Itinerary  

For a trip to Iceland in the winter, you can follow a similar route, but with a few adjustments. As the Westfjords will be mostly impassable during the winter months, this itinerary bypasses them completely. Additionally, this itinerary allows you to go at a slightly slower pace, as the winter weather may sometimes dictates.

Here’s a day-to-day breakdown of our 14-day winter Iceland itinerary:

  • Day 1: Arrival + Blue Lagoon 
  • Day 2: Golden Circle
  • Day 3: South Coast to Vik
  • Day 4: Skaftafell 
  • Day 5: Jokulsarlon + Ice cave
  • Day 6: Eastfjords 
  • Day 7: Eastfjords 
  • Day 8: Diamond Circle 
  • Day 9: Myvatn
  • Day 10: Akureyri 
  • Day 11: Troll Peninsula 
  • Day 12: Snaefellsnes 
  • Day 13: Reykjavik 
  • Day 14: Reykjanes + Departure 

Let's go into detail.

  • Day 1: Arrival + Blue Lagoon + Reykjavik

On the first day of your trip, you'll arrive at Keflavik Airport, where you'll pick up your rental car and be on your way. If your flight arrived earlier in the day, consider stopping by the nearby Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most notable and well-known landmarks, for a day of spa-like pampering and relaxation. Then, head on to Reykjavik, where you'll spend the night. 

If your flight arrived later in the day, skip the Blue Lagoon and go straight to Reykjavik. 

  • Day 2: The Golden Circle

Start your Iceland road trip off with a visit to one of the country’s most famous driving routes, the Golden Circle. This small circle is easily traversable in just a day and shows you three of the most famous Iceland attractions: Gulfoss waterfall, the Geysir and Thingvellir. 

Take your time driving the circle and then spend the night in the area. 

Geysir eruption on a winter day in Iceland

  • Day 3: South Coast to Vik

After you're finished with the Golden Circle, it’s time to explore Iceland’s South Coast. On the drive between the Golden Circle and Vik, you’ll see black sand beaches, Skogafoss waterfall and the Myrdalsjokull glacier cap. 

Spend the night in Vik. 

Reynisfjara Black Beach in Iceland

  • Day 4: Skaftafell 

On your fourth day, you get the entire day to explore Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Skaftafell sits within the larger Vatnajökull National Park and is home to glaciers, lava fields, waterfalls, basalt columns and more. Plan a hike that fits your fitness level for a fun day enjoying some of Iceland’s best outdoor scenery.

Svartifoss Waterfall during winter

  • Day 5: Jokulsarlon + Ice cave

Your fifth day is a bit similar, in that you'll spend the entire day exploring one area of the South Coast, versus spending most of the day driving, as you might on other days with this itinerary. 

Use this day to see the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the nearby Diamond Beach. If you fancy a tour, you can book an ice caving excursion in the area. This region is also an excellent spot for northern lights viewing, under the right conditions.

You can spend the night in Hofn.

The ice cave in Vatnajökull glacier

  • Day 6: Eastfjords

On Day 6, it's back to driving, as you explore the Eastfjords. Start in Hofn and make your way to Egillstaðir. Along the way, you'll see mountains, beaches and small towns, all which make great photo ops. 

  • Day 7: Eastfjords

Your Eastfjords journey continues as you make your way between Egilsstadir and Myvatn. Again, the Eastfjords are filled with spectacular scenery, small villages and wildlife, so be sure to take your time driving and feel free to stop along the way if you see something that catches your eye.

Spend the night in Myvatn, which is where you'll actually be spending multiple days, giving you a nice break.

  • Day 8: Diamond Circle

Leave your suitcases in Myvatn, because you'll be returning to your hotel room (or other accommodations) after a day spent exploring Iceland's Diamond Circle. A slightly less popular driving route compared to the Golden Circle, the Diamond Circle features hot springs, lava fields and waterfalls.

  • Day 9: Myvatn

This is your last day staying in Myvatn and, as such, is dedicated to seeing the area’s lakes and hot springs. Visit Myvatn Nature Baths for some relaxation, or see the Grjotagja hot spring cave or Dimmuborgir, both sites which were used as filming locations for the “Game of Thrones” franchise.

Spend the night in Myvatn one last time. 

Lake Myvatn during the winter

  • Day 10: Akureyri

Say goodbye to Myvatn and head to Akureyri, one of the largest cities in Iceland and certainly in the North. Do a little city exploring and see what museums, shops and historic sites await in Akureyri. Since you’ll be staying overnight here, you can stay out as long as you like, before making your way back to your hotel.

  • Day 11: Troll Peninsula

From Akureyri, travel to the Troll Peninsula. The scenic route between Akureyri and Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where you'll spend the night, is full of quick spots to stop and snap a few photos, from Hvitserkur, a large rock formation, to Borgarvirki, an ancient rock fortress. 

Hvítserkur rock formations often reminds to a dynosaur, elephant or dragon

  • Day 12: Snaefellsnes

After you wake up in Snaefellsnes, it's time to explore the entire peninsula — or as much as you can in one day. This peninsula and its national park feature glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls and more. There are so many iconic spots here that the peninsula is sometimes called “Iceland in miniature.” 

After you've finished your explorations, spend one more night in Snaefellsnes. 

Mount Kirkjufell in winter

  • Day 13: Reykjavik

On your last full day in Iceland, get up early and drive to Reykjavik, where you can spend the rest of the day exploring the city. From cultural attractions to museums to shopping and dining, see what all Iceland’s capital city has to offer.

  • Day 14: Reykjanes + Departure 

On your very last day, if your flight leaves later in the afternoon or evening, spend your morning hours exploring the Reykjanes Peninsula. There’s lots to do and see here, but some of the most popular attractions include the volcanoes and lava fields. 

If your flight leaves earlier in the day, however, head directly to the airport, dropping off your rental car along the way. 

Recommended Car Rentals in Iceland for a Winter Road Trip

We always recommend renting a 4x4 vehicle when visiting Iceland during the winter months. The winter weather can prove hazardous for smaller vehicles and you’ll appreciate the extra traction and clearance a larger car gives you. 

Ready to Hit the Road?

Spending fourteen days in Iceland gives you just enough time to see the best of the best of the island at a leisurely pace. To begin planning your Iceland road trip today, book your rental car with Lava Car Rental. With a large selection of 4x4 and economy vehicles, as well as camper vans, we have everything you need to get out on the road and start your adventure. 

Rent your car in Iceland now

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