Travel Tips for Iceland

The Best Iceland 3-Week Itinerary


The Best Iceland 3-Week Itinerary

Iceland may be a small country, but there’s a lot to see and do here. From waterfalls to hot springs, glaciers to mountains, black sand beaches to puffins and other wildlife, you could spend days and days exploring — and then even want to come back for more!  With that in mind, plan to spend as much time as possible in the Land of Fire and Ice. 

But, as you book your Iceland trip, what’s the perfect trip length? While not always feasible for every traveller, we feel like spending 21 days in Iceland gives you a good amount of time to see the country in depth, without feeling rushed or like you need to spend a minimal amount of time in each spot along your journey. With a car rental and a well-thought-out itinerary, you can traverse the entire country and really get a feel for the broad mix of landscapes, activities and attractions that Iceland offers.

Not sure how to get started? In this article, we’re going to cover exactly what to see in 3 weeks in Iceland, with multiple, full 3 weeks Iceland itineraries, so you can pick the best option for your travel preferences.

 

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

First things first, there are two things you absolutely need to know when planning a 3 weeks road trip in Iceland.

 

It’s Imperative You Choose the Right Driving Route

First, know that you’ll have multiple driving routes to choose from, but you’ll need to make this choice carefully. We lay out your best options below, with considerations for season.

Most travellers choose a Ring Road driving route, as the Ring Road allows you to see all of Iceland’s top spots, and, with three weeks, you have plenty of time to traverse the entire road without rushing around, as well as to take some detours as wanted or needed. In some cases, such as in the winter, when inclement weather is a worry, detours will be necessary in order to avoid road blockages.

Three weeks likewise gives you plenty of time in the winter months, when you may want to spend less time driving and leave more time for winter activities like chasing the northern lights.

It’s worth noting that, in the winter, the Highlands and Westfjords areas are unpassable, but that hardly means you’ll be left wanting for things to do during your 3 week Iceland road trip.

 

It’s Imperative You Book Your Rental Car in Advance

If you want to do any sort of travelling around Iceland beyond taking group tours or just staying in Reykjavik, you’ll need a rental car to get around. Iceland has very little public transportation; it’s virtually non-existent outside of Reykjavik. Because of this, rental cars are very much in demand in the country.

Choose the right car for your trip to Iceland

Especially if you’re planning a long trip, such as a 3-week road trip in Iceland, you absolutely need to book your rental car as far in advance as possible, to ensure that you get the best price possible, as well as the model of vehicle that you want or need. 

Additionally, camper van rentals are very in demand in the summer, given Iceland’s great camping culture. If you want to camp during your 3-week road trip, reserve your camper van as soon as possible.

 Find your Rental Car for your Trip in Iceland  

A Three Weeks in Iceland Itinerary for the Summer

As mentioned, a 3 weeks itinerary in Iceland is ideal for the summer months, when you have plenty of daylight and agreeable weather, and all of Iceland is open for exploring, allowing you to see a greater variety of our beautiful landscapes.

Keep in mind, though, that, while it is summertime, Iceland’s summer months are short, lasting from late May through late August or early September. Also, in Iceland, the summer temperatures are a bit chilly, ranging from about 8 degrees Celsius, or 45 degrees Fahrenheit, to 14 degrees Celsius, or 57 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, you’ll still want to pack your jacket! 

Additionally, if your plans include visiting the Icelandic Highlands or Westfjords, you’ll need to specifically rent a 4x4 vehicle. The Highlands’ F-Roads require 4x4 vehicles by law, and the Westfjords feature unpaved roads that can be difficult to traverse otherwise.

 

A 21-Day Ring Road Trip with a Westfjords Detour

3-weeks itinerary map in Iceland with Westfjords

So, let’s say that you want to spend your 21-day summer road trip around Iceland seeing all of the Ring Road, and then taking a short detour to see the Westfjords. Here’s how we recommend you go about it.

  • Day 1: Arrival + Reykjavik

After flying into Keflavik, you’ll pick up your rental car straight away and drive to Reykjavik, where you’ll spend the night before embarking on the first leg of your road trip. If your flight arrived early in the day, you’ll enjoy a few hours to explore the city’s museums, restaurants and nightlife. However, if your flight arrived later in the day, grab dinner and rest up. We have a big trip ahead of us!

  • Day 2: Golden Circle

After spending the night in Reykjavik, it’s time to see one of Iceland’s most spectacular spots and one of the most popular areas of the country. The Golden Circle is a small detour slightly off the Ring Road that can be travelled on its own, as a one-day or few-days road trip, but it also makes the perfect start to a broader exploration of Iceland.

Gullfoss Waterfall is often considered the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland

On this small circle, which is about 300 kilometres, or 186 miles, you’ll see Gullfoss Waterfall, Thingvellir National Park and the Geysir geothermal area. Beyond simply stopping at these sites and taking photos, you can also go hiking, horseback riding and even snorkelling! If it’s the winter, you can take a snowmobiling tour.

Spend the night near the Golden Circle, whether you book a hotel or homestay, or stay in your campervan rental

  • Day 3: Westman Islands

On your third day, you’ll head out on the ferry and explore the Westman Islands. Consider spending your time in the islands hiking up Eldfell volcano, learning more about the islands’ history at the Eldheimar Museum, or going wildlife watching and seeing if you can spot the puffins.

After you return via the ferry, spend the night on the mainland, so you’re positioned to head south the following day.

  • Day 4: South Coast to Vik

Wake up and head south, to Iceland’s South Coast and Vik. The South Coast is another destination in Iceland that makes for a unique road trip all on its own, but that can also be seen as part of a greater Ring Road road trip. There are so many unique spots to see along the way, including Skogafoss Waterfall, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Seljavallalaug Pool, the black sand beach of Reynisfjara and Dyrholaey arch.

Spend the night in Vik.

Reynisfjara in Iceland

  • Day 5: Skaftafell + Jokulsarlon

This day only includes a short amount of driving, as there’s not too much of a drive between Vik and Jokulsarlon. You’ll find plenty of amazing things to see along your route, including Skaftafell National Park, Fjadrargljufur Canyon, the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and Diamond Beach.

Consider stopping for a while to hike at Skaftafell National Park, or take a boat tour into the glacier lagoon.

When you’ve finished exploring, spend the night in Jokulsarlon, or nearby Hofn.

  • Day 6–7: Eastfjords

For the next two days of your journey, you’ll be going a little remote. The Eastfjords are rural, but beautiful, and you’ll spend both of these nights in Egilsstadir, one of only a handful of well-equipped towns in the region, as you explore the surrounding countryside.

Spend these two days wildlife watching, hopping between waterfalls, exploring the largest forest in Iceland, visiting Lagarfljot Lake and taking a dip in one of the iconic Iceland swimming pools.

  • Day 8–9: Diamond Circle

Similarly, for the next two days in your itinerary, you’ll stay in the same place, now in the Lake Myvatn area, in the Diamond Circle. Of course, you have to visit the lake, but other top places to explore include the Dimmuborgir lava fields, hot spring cave at Grjotagja and Dettifoss waterfall. 

Make sure that you book a whale watching excursion in Husavik during your stay! Husavik is the whale-watching capital of all of Europe.

  • Day 10–11: Akureyri 

The next two days, you’ll be making your way into northern Iceland, where you’ll spend both nights in Akureyri, the largest city in the region and filled with museums, restaurants and attractions like a botanical garden. Top sites to visit include Akureyri Art Museum, Akureyri Church and Akureyri Swimming Pool. 

  • Day 12: Troll Peninsula and Skagafjörður

From Akureyri, go on to Trollaskagi and then Skagafjordur, where you’ll spend the night. The former’s name can be translated to “the Peninsula of Trolls,” but don’t worry — there are more scenic coastlines than mythical creatures here. Before you arrive in the latter, make a point to stop in Hofsos for a dip in a thermal pool, and keep your eyes peeled for Icelandic horses along your way.

  • Day 13: Westfjords, Holmavik

The Westfjords have some of the most scenic roads in Iceland

After you wake up in Skagafjordur, it’s on to the Westfjords, a gorgeous location with rugged terrain. If you can brave the winding, mountainous roadways, you’ll be treated to picture-perfect views aplenty, as well as some historic and cultural spots, such as the Hvitserkur monolith and the Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum.

Stay the night in the coastal village of Holmavik.

  • Day 14–15: Isafjordur

You’re still in the Westfjords, but for these two days, we focus on getting to and staying in Isafjordur, a small historic town with very dramatic scenery. Take in both the mountains and the oceans as you drive through the region and, if it’s the right season, you might even be lucky enough to spot a whale or two. 

Once in Isafjordur, where you’ll spend the next two nights, popular spots to visit include the Westfjords Heritage Museum and the Isafjordur cultural centre, which was once a hospital.

  • Day 16–17: Patreksfjordur

Yes, we’re still in the Westfjords, but now we’re exploring the areas nearest Patreksfjordur, where you’ll spend two nights. While you’re in the region, make time to explore top spots such as the Skrudur botanical garden, the museum dedicated to Jon Sigurdsson in Hrafnseyri, the Dynjandi waterfalls and the cliffs of Latrabjarg. These cliffs are renowned for puffin watching.

  • Day 18–19: Snaefellsnes

It’s time to take a ferry trip to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. This peninsula is home to a vast array of landscapes that truly show off some of Iceland’s finest scenery. You’ll spend two nights here, and, during your stay, you’ll enjoy visiting Snaefellsjokull National Park, Snaefellsjokull glacier, small villages, beaches, lava fields and more.

  • Day 20: Silver Circle (West Iceland)

You’re almost finished with your 21 days in Iceland! Now, in West Iceland, as you begin making your way back to Reykjavik, you’ll be able to stop off at the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, the Langjokull glacier and the Vidgelmir lava tubes, as well the largest hot spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver. For history buffs, check out Snorrastofa in Reykholt, a medieval research institute.  

You’ll spend the night in Reykjavik, before getting ready for your flight out of the country tomorrow.

  • Day 21: Blue Lagoon and Departure 

We can’t think of a better way to spend a final day in Iceland than with a relaxing trip to the Blue Lagoon. If you have time before your flight, be sure to head here to take in the mineral-rich waters, indulge in a spa treatment or two and enjoy the scenery. 

You’ll feel rejuvenated and refreshed before you head on to the Keflavik Airport, which is just located a short drive away. Dropping off your rental car before you do is easy.

 

A 21-Day Ring Road Road Trip with a Highlands Detour

3 weeks itinerary map in Iceland with Highlands

However, what if you’d rather make a detour and see the Icelandic Highlands, rather than the Westfjords?

That’s entirely possible, too — so long as you visit the country during the time of year the Highlands are open. The Highlands are Iceland’s most rugged region, and are only open during the mid-summer months, mid-June to September. The rest of the year, they’re completely closed off to outside traffic. Additionally, no matter what time of year you visit, it is required by law that you only drive a 4x4 car on the regional roads, which are known as F-roads.

Here's how to fit a visit to the dramatic Highlands into your 21 day road trip through Iceland.

  • Day 1: Arrival + Reykjavik

On your first day, you’ll head from the Keflavik airport to Reykjavik, just a short drive away, where you’ll get a chance to explore the city’s museums, dining and nightlife. Book a hotel in the city’s centre so you can fully take it all in, before getting a good night’s rest in your hotel, in preparation for the adventures that are about to kick off the next day.

  • Day 2: Golden Circle

On the second day, you’ll head east from Reykjavik and toward the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is easily one of Iceland’s most popular driving routes, and for good reason. It only takes a few hours to traverse, but allows you to see multiple top attractions, including Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss Waterfall. 

Go at a leisurely pace and spend the night nearby, so you never need to rush.

  • Day 3–4: Landmannalaugar

It’s already time for the Highlands! Travelling further east, head to Landmannalaugar. This is where you’ll be introduced to your first F-road, F-208 — and remember, it’s illegal to drive on the F-roads with anything other than a 4x4 vehicle.

While the road is unpaved, there are no river crossings until you reach the Fjallabak Nature Reserve’s camping area, where you’ll leave your car and cross the river via footbridge. It’s not advised to take rental cars through river crossings, 4x4 or not.

While you explore Landmannalaugar, you’ll see multicoloured mountains, hot springs, volcanoes and more. Plan for a day filled with hiking, and then a night spent camping among the vast and otherworldly landscapes. Don’t want to camp? If you drive a bit further away, you can find some small hotels and guest houses. 

You need a 4x4 to go to Landmannalaugar in Iceland

  • Day 5: South Coast to Vik

On the fifth day of your journey, you’ll head out of the Highlands for a bit — don’t worry; you’ll be back! — to travel south, to see Iceland’s can’t-miss South Coast and Vik. Top spots to see here include the black sand beach at Reynisfjara, Skogafoss Waterfall and Seljalandsfoss. You’ll spend the night in Vik, a charming town right on the ocean and the southernmost village in the country.

  • Day 6: Skaftafell + Jokulsarlon

You’ll only need to spend a few hours driving during this day of your trip, as you’re headed to Jokulsarlon. However, while the drive itself only takes a small amount of time, you’ll want to plan on making plenty of stops during the journey, to take in Fjadrargljufur Canyon, Skaftafell National Park, the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach.

Plan to stay the night in either Jokulsarlon or nearby Hofn.

  • Day 7–8: Eastfjords

For the next two days, it’s time to explore the more remote Eastfjords of Iceland. This beautiful area is filled with wildlife and dramatic scenery, such as waterfalls and lakes, fjords and mountains. Can’t-miss spots include Lagarfljot Lake, and the town of Egilsstadir, where you’ll spend the night and which will act as your basecamp for the following day as well.

  • Day 9–10: Diamond Circle

After your two nights’ stay in Egilsstadir, it’s time for two days in the Lake Myvatn area. Book a hotel and travel around the region to view what’s known as the Diamond Circle. Beyond the lake, there are also lava fields, waterfalls, whale watching and hot spring caves. Husavik is the whale watching capital of Europe.

  • Day 11: Askja

Now it’s time to head back to the Highlands! However, the F-roads around this part of the Highlands can be very challenging. For this reason, we recommend you remain in the Lake Myvatn area for this day, and join one of these tours. These tour providers will take you into the rugged volcanoes and craters of the Highlands, as well as the lava fields and geothermal waters, for an unforgettable day before you head back to your accommodations near Lake Myvatn.

Askja in North Iceland

  • Day 12: Akureyri 

You’ll be headed all the way north for this day of your Iceland road trip itinerary, to what’s considered the capital of the north: Akureyri. This is certainly the region’s cultural hub, with lots of history, dining and attractions, no matter the season.

Visit historic homes and the historic town centre, or museums and the botanical garden, before enjoying the thriving culinary scene. Book a hotel right in the heart of it all, to truly experience Akureyri at its best.

  • Day 13: Troll Peninsula and Skagafjörður

You’ll spend the next day in Trollaskagi and then Skagasfjordur. The former is known as the Peninsula of the Trolls and offers vast, gorgeous scenery, while the latter is known for its Icelandic horses. Take it all in and consider a stop by a thermal pool in Hofsos, before spending the night in Skagafjordur.

  • Day 14–15: Kjolur Road 

The next two days take you back into the Highlands and onto the F-roads. Kjolur Road is also known as F35 and it’s a long, but very easy to drive, F-road, with no river crossings. During your time on this road, you’ll enjoy great views of the glaciers, and you’ll be able to stop and hike or take a dip in the hot springs, if you wish.

Plan to spend the night somewhere near Hveravellir.

Hiking in the Highlands is one of the best ways to explore the Icelandic nature

  • Day 16-17: Snaefellsnes

For your next two days, explore all the beautiful and varied landscapes of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Beyond Snaefellsjokull National Park, the region offers lovely beaches and coves, lava fields and cliffs, as well as charming villages. Look for wildlife and be sure to plan at least a short hike.

  • Day 18: Silver Circle (West Iceland)

As you travel between Snaefellsnes and Reykjavik, take your time exploring West Iceland and the Silver Circle. Top spots to see along the way include Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe, and waterfalls such as Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. You’ll also find tours available at the Langjokull glacier and Vidgelmir lava tubes, as well as historical attractions like Snorrastofa, a medieval research institute.

Once you’re done exploring, keep going toward Reykjavik, where you’ll spend the night.

  • Day 19: Reykjavik 

You get an entire day in Reykjavik! Make plans to stop by several museums and some of the city’s landmarks, like Harpa Concert Hall and Hallgrimskirkja Church. Make reservations at some of Reykjavik’s best restaurants to cap off your stay in the city.

  • Day 20: Reykjanes and Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon in Iceland

On your last full day in Iceland, position yourself nearer Keflavik airport, with a trip out to the Reykjanes peninsula. See the volcanoes and geothermal pools and spend a few hours at the Blue Lagoon, unwinding, reflecting on your trip and maybe getting a spa treatment or two. You can spend the night at the lagoon’s on-site hotel, or look for other accommodations nearby the airport.

  • Day 21: Departure 

Drop off your rental car and head to the airport — and maybe begin planning your next trip to Iceland!

 

Recommended Cars for a Summer 21-Day Road Trip in Iceland

So what kind of car rental in Iceland should you book for your summer, 21-day road trip? It all depends on where you’re going.

If you’re headed to the Ring Road and Westfjords, a 2WD economy car will likely be perfectly safe. However, a 4x4 could also make you more comfortable when driving in the Westfjords, due to the gravel roads, sharp turns and similar road conditions. That said, a 4x4 is not mandatory in the Westfjords, like it is in the Highlands.

On that note, if you do plan on taking our Ring Road and Highlands itinerary, or any driving itinerary that includes a visit to the Highlands, for that matter, you must reserve a 4x4 rental in Iceland.

For either road trip, a camper van is a nice option, as it gives you more flexibility in your itinerary, as you won’t be tied down to reserving a hotel for every night of your stay.

  Book your Car in Iceland 

Three Weeks in Iceland Itinerary for Winter

Think winter might be the perfect time for you to visit? If you’re interested in experiencing the winter wonderland that is Iceland in the colder months, we recommend taking a 21-day trip around the Ring Road. The Westfjords will not be easily accessible during the winter, and the Highlands are completely off-limits fall through spring, so the Ring Road is really the best and only way to see as much of Iceland as possible during the winter months.

 

How to Spend 21 Days on the Ring Road in Winter

3 weeks itinerary map in Iceland in wintertime

Here’s how we suggest you spend your time.

  • Day 1–2: Arrival + Reykjavik

Your first day of your trip, pick up your rental car at or near Keflavik Airport, and then drive into Reykjavik, where you’ll spend the next two nights. Reykjavik offers loads to do, so you’ll have no problem finding a way to spend two days. Museums, architecture, art, culture, history, dining, nightlife — we’ve got it all.

  • Day 3–4: The Golden Circle 

The Golden Circle is one of the most popular driving routes in all of Iceland, and a great way to start off a Ring Road road trip, as it’s just a short distance away from both the Ring Road and Reykjavik. The Golden Circle is home to three of Iceland’s most iconic sites: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir geothermal area. While you can see all of this in a day, we recommend going at a leisurely pace and seeing it all and more over two days.

Geysir eruption on a winter day in Iceland

  • Day 5: South Coast to Vik

On the fifth day in your itinerary, head to the South Coast, where you can see Skogafoss waterfall, black sand beaches and Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Spend the night in Vik.

  • Day 6–7: Skaftafell + Jokulsarlon + Ice cave 

Over two days, stay the night in Jokulsarlon and see all of the winter-favourite activities there are to enjoy in the nearby area. For example, you could spend one day ice caving, and then spend another day glacier hiking at Skaftafell National Park. Both are can’t-miss activities, but do require guided tours in order to enjoy safely.

The stunning Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in Iceland

  • Day 8–9: Eastfjords

The next two days, enjoy the more remote Eastfjords, as you keep your eyes peeled for arctic wildlife like reindeer. You’ll spend the nights in Egilsstadir, which is the largest town in East Iceland, even though it only has a few thousand residents. The town sits on a riverbank and among the mountains, and will provide a picturesque hub for your explorations.

  • Day 10–12: Diamond Circle and Myvatn

The Diamond Circle of Iceland is home to Lake Myvatn, the Grjotagja hot spring cave, Dimmuborgir lava fields and Dettifoss waterfall. See it all and spend the night in the Myvatn area.

  • Day 13–14: Akureyri

You’ll fully enjoy two days in the north of Iceland, in Akureyri. This city is home to so much culture, art, cuisine, history and more — plus some winter activities like skiing! Stay in the heart of the city for easy access to it all.

  • Day 15: Troll Peninsula

Spend one day exploring the mountains, cliffs and fjords of the Troll Peninsula, more formally known as Trollaskagi. Spend the night in the Skagafjordur area.

  • Day 16–17: Snaefellsnes

Snaefellsnes offers a vast array of landscapes, from Snaefellsjokull National Park to the glaciers to the beaches to the cliff sides. During the winter, it’s all frozen over, but no less pretty. Pack your swimsuit. No, we’re not going to the beach — but you can still take a dip in the hot springs, regardless of the winter weather!

The northern lights dancing over Mount Kirkjufell

  • Day 18–19: Reykjavik

It’s back to Reykjavik, for you to enjoy the city once again. See the sites that you couldn’t quite squeeze into your first days exploring the city. If you’re lucky enough to be in town for some of the winter holidays, be sure to join in on the locals’ fun.

  • Day 20: Reykjanes + Blue Lagoon 

Reykjanes is home to the Blue Lagoon and multiple volcanoes. Check out the latter and then spend a day at the iconic lagoon relaxing and enjoying the scenery. Then, spend the night there or nearer the airport.  

  • Day 21: Departure

Finally, it’s time to say goodbye, as you depart from Keflavik Airport.

 

Recommended Cars for a Winter 21-Day Road Trip in Iceland

We absolutely recommend you rent a 4x4 car for Iceland winter itineraries, no matter where you’re going or how long you’ll be here. Iceland’s winter weather can be exceedingly unpredictable and difficult to navigate for those who aren’t accustomed to driving in ice and snow, and a 4x4 car’s greater traction and easier handling can assure that you stay safe throughout your trip.

Even with a 4x4 vehicle, though, we still advise that, if you do not have experience driving in snow or icy conditions, you do not drive to the North of Iceland during the winter. Instead, stay in the South and shorten your stay, or visit in the summer months. 

  Rent your Car in Iceland 

Questions to Ask as You’re Planning Your 3-Week Road Trip to Iceland

Still have some questions? Here are some of the most popular questions we hear travellers asking, as they plan a road trip to Iceland.

Should I Drive the Ring Road Clockwise or Counter-Clockwise?

The Ring Road is, of course, a ring — a giant circle going all the way around Iceland. It touches every single region of Iceland, except for the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the Westfjords, which are accessible with just some short detours off the road.

Most travellers start their road trip along the Ring Road either near the airport, in Keflavik, or in Reykjavik, after spending a few days in the city. But do they go right? Or left? Should they take the Ring Road clockwise or counter-clockwise?

We recommend that you start counter-clockwise, travelling east from either Keflavik or Reykjavik — whichever your preference — as this will allow you to see the Golden Circle first. The Golden Circle is easily Iceland’s most famous area, and you can drive the circle on its own, as a mini road trip, but it seamlessly fits into a broader Ring Road road trip as well. The Golden Circle is a fantastic introduction to Iceland, as it features three of our top sites, including Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall. From the Golden Circle, you’ll continue southward, and then on around the Ring Road.

However, if you don’t prefer this option — and if you are camping and not reliant on hotel or home rental reservations — you might consider simply picking your direction once you arrive, based on the weather. Since Iceland weather changes so frequently, this could help you stay clear of storms and enjoy the best weather possible during your sightseeing.

 

Should I Plan a 3 Weeks Road Trip in Iceland for Summer or Winter?

Iceland only has two seasons, summer and winter. Summer lasts from about late May to late August, and then the rest of the year is winter.

If you want to spend a full three weeks in Iceland, we recommend coming in the summer. While this is the busiest time of year to visit Iceland, as well as the most expensive, spending three weeks in Iceland in the summer allows you to really pack your itinerary with interesting things to do, as more of Iceland is accessible during the summer months, and you can do more overall.

While you can certainly spend three weeks road tripping around Iceland in the winter, it’s worth noting that your progress will be slower, due to inclement weather and the short days, and you won’t be able to visit all regions of the country. That said, winter road trips do have their benefits, such as fewer crowds and lower costs, and the opportunity to see the northern lights.

 

Is 3 Weeks in Iceland Too Long?

Lastly, there’s simply the question of whether or not spending three weeks in Iceland is too long. Will you get bored? Will you run out of things to do?

As anyone who’s visited before will tell you, probably not. Most travellers visit Iceland for a minimum of seven to 10 days, and that usually barely lets them scratch the surface of all the country offers. Two weeks gives you a little more time, and three weeks lets you see and experience a little bit of it all.

If you really want to immerse yourself in all that Iceland offers, a three week trip is necessary.

How Much to Budget for Three Weeks in Iceland

We know what you’re thinking: How much is all of this going to cost? While it depends on the season, here are a few things to keep in mind, including average costs and tips for saving money during an Iceland trip.

  • Car rentals

You can find the most current car rental prices on the Lava Car Rental website. Just pick your preferred vehicle and travel dates and you can see what you can expect to pay. 

Keep in mind that car rental prices are lower in the winter and higher in the summer. For example, you could expect to pay around 6,000 ISK/day, or 39 EUR or 42 USD, for a small vehicle in the winter, and about 8,500 ISK/day, or 56 EUR or 60 USD, for a 4x4 vehicle in the winter. Those prices can double in the summer.

Also keep in mind that, while a campervan rental in Iceland might seem expensive at first, it will eliminate the need for you to pay for any accommodations, which will likely ultimately save you money.

Car on the road in Iceland

  • Accommodations

You can often find the most affordable accommodations via travel aggregator sites like Booking.com and hotels.com. The average is around 20,000–30,000 ISK per night for a double room in a nice hotel, which is about 141–212 USD or 133–199 EUR.

Again, you might want to consider renting a campervan in Iceland, to bundle the cost of your rental and your accommodations into one fee.

Travelling in a group? Consider splitting costs of more affordable homeshares, versus staying in individual hotel rooms.

  • Food

If you plan on buying groceries and cooking for yourself, like if you’re camping, you can find up-to-date grocery prices in this guide to the cost of living in Iceland.

If you plan on dining out, you can expect meals to range from about 2,800 ISK, which is 19 USD or 18 EUR, per person for fast food, to about 7,500 ISK, which is 53 USD or 49 EUR, per person for a mid-range meal at a nicer restaurant.

  • Tours & Activities

Many activities, like seeing a lot of Iceland’s natural sites, are free, except for maybe a small parking cost. Otherwise, you can find current Iceland tour prices on the Lava Car Rental tour page.

 

Ready to Book Your 21-Day Getaway to Iceland?

For an all-encompassing, fully immersive Iceland trip, 21 days is the perfect amount of time to see and do it all. A 21-day summer trip to Iceland allows you to fully explore the Highlands or Westfjords, while a 21-day winter trip to Iceland allows you to see the Ring Road at a relaxed, leisurely pace.

Need more tips? Check out the Lava Car Rental resources page for all the Iceland travel tips you need.

Ready to book that rental car for a trip to Iceland? Whether you need a 4x4 SUV that can fit the entire family or a 2WD economy car that’s easy on your budget, we’ve got it all, plus more. Check out our full lineup of vehicles and book your Iceland car rental now. 

  Book your Car in Iceland 

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