The island country of Iceland may be the least populated one in Europe, but you will not have a shortage of exciting adventures and stunning sceneries to enjoy.
To give you an idea of what you can expect, here are the best things to do in Iceland on a 6-day itinerary to this country of supreme contrasts.
6-Day Iceland Tour Itinerary
- Day 1 – Golden Circle.
- Day 2 – Skaftafell.
- Day 3 – Egilsstadir.
- Day 4 – Lake Myvatn.
- Day 5 – Eyjafjordur.
- Day 6 – West Iceland area.
Day 1 – Golden Circle
The first day of your journey begins with a pick-up in Reykjavik, on your way to exploring the Golden Circle.
Spanning 300 kilometers, this is Iceland’s most famous route for tourists as it takes you through the top 3 popular attractions: Thingvellir National Park, the Haukadalur geothermal area featuring the Geysir & Strokkur geysers, and the Gullfoss waterfall.
Thingvellir National Park
Gaze at the wondrous geological features of the Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the first of the country’s national parks to be established.
Filled with folklore and cultural significance, the park’s visitor center has an interactive exhibit which will enlighten you about Thingvellir’s history and political importance.
Check out the park’s campgrounds, take recharging walks on the hiking trails, go horseback riding, or indulge in diving in the submerged rifts filled with remarkably clear water.
Geysir hot springs
A stop at the Geysir hot springs area are will give you a fascinating insight into the geothermal features of Iceland.
The Geysir was a once active geyser that stopped erupting in recent years, but you will still see a highly-active geyser (the Strokkur) hurling boiling water jets that reach 230 feet into the air every 4-10 minutes.
Make unforgettable memories while helping a chef as he boils eggs in the hot spring and enjoy the “hot spring bread” which has been baked for 24 hours, underground.
Prepare for the magnificence of the Gullfoss waterfall, one of the most iconic views in Iceland.
Feel the sheer power of Mother Nature as the water thunders from two tiers, on its way to a churning foamy mass at the seemingly bottomless crevasse.
On a sunny day, you will get to see the awe-inspiring sight of the falls as it is bathed by a golden-colored spray from several viewpoints.
This is also a popular spot for you to witness the beauty of the Northern Lights as they dance across the sky with the vividly-hued spray as a lovely complement.
For more thrills, you can go rafting on the rapids of Hvita – the river that feeds Gullfoss.
A visit to the beautiful Seljalandsfoss Waterfall will get you even closer to the power of nature as it can be fully encircled.
Enjoy a remarkable experience as you follow a path that will bring you behind the falls, where you can feel the true energy from the waterfall.
The walk behind the waterfalls will lead you to a small cave where you can still feel the water thundering down as part of the Seljalands River.
Get your waterproof camera or GoPro out to catch the rainbow that often appears during sunny days – what a fantastic way to take a personalized souvenir photo of the waterfalls!
Skogarfoss Waterfall lets you feel its might as you can stand as close as possible to its base – an unforgettable yet humbling experience as you are faced with the power of nature.
Make sure to use a waterproof camera as you will surely get wet if you go too close to the waterfall.
Go up the stairs (all 500-plus of them) that will lead you to a hilly part above the waterfall where you will get to see Skogarfoss from a remarkable vantage point from above.
Reynisfjara black sand beach
The black sand you will see on the mesmerizing Reynisfjara Beach was created by lava that flowed into the ocean, which then rapidly cooled as it touched the water.
As one of the most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world, Reynisfjara offers a magnificent location for photography enthusiasts – and even if you’d just like breathtaking photos to remind you of your Iceland adventure.
The beach also features basalt columns and stacks, lava formations, basalt caves, and towering cliffs.
Don’t forget to take check out the Garðar, which are a series of columnar joints in a fascinating arrangement, created by volcanic forces.
Just off the beach, you will see dramatic Reynisdrangar rock formations shooting out from the surface of the ocean.
Day 2 – Skaftafell
The second day of your epic Iceland journey takes you to Skaftafell, the Jokursarlon Glacier Lagoon, and the fishing town of Hofn.
Vatnajokull National Park
The Vatnajokull National Park features a variety of land features that were formed by the forces of geothermal activity, glacial ice, volcanic activity, and river water movement.
As such, you can be sure that you will have a lot of thrills and scenic sights to look forward to!
This national park is home to the Vatnajokull glacier and its surrounding areas – an extensive area that encompasses approximately 14% of the total land mass of Iceland, making it the largest national park in Europe.
The northern side of the glacier is where you will see glacial rivers dividing the highlands; this is also where the volcanoes Kverkfjoll, Askja, Snaefell, and what is considered the most beautiful mountain – the Herdubreid – are located.
The south side showcases towering mountain ridges with outlet glaciers that drop into the lowlands; it is home to the highest peak in Iceland – Hvannadalshnjukur, and the ice-covered volcano Oraefajokull.
Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon
Head on to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon for mesmerizing views of the vivid blue water – flowing into the Atlantic Ocean – dotted by icebergs.
Watch the seals as they swim on the lagoon, or just leisurely bathe in the sun on top of an iceberg.
Check out the nearby black beach (Breiðamerkursandur) referred to as “Diamond Beach”, because the ice pieces strewn over the black sand look like shimmering diamonds.
This lagoon is also home to several bird species, including the arctic tern.
Enjoy the spectacular views in and around the lagoon and see the sights that been featured in blockbuster masterpieces such as Tomb Raider, and the James Bond films A View to a Kill and Die Another Day.
Prepare for the unique excitement offered by the activities in the lagoon, as you go an amphibian boat tour, kayaking or paddle boating amidst floating icebergs, or go on an enchanting crystal cave tour for the adventure of a lifetime.
Relax for the rest of the evening with an overnight stay at an accommodation in the fishing town of Hofn.
Day 3 – Egilsstadir
Your third day begins with a picturesque drive following the coastline, on the way to the town of Egilsstadir, where you will also get to explore the Hengifoss Waterfall.
As the trade and service center for the majority of East Iceland, the town of Egilsstadir is home to numerous businesses, local companies, financial institutions, and retail establishments.
Aside from its trade significance, the town is also famous for its beautiful sights.
Exploring the natural wonders of the area can be enjoyed with biking, hiking on various marked trails for all fitness levels, and horse riding for that an exhilarating experience.
Take a dip in a geothermal pool of Laugarfell in the middle of the highlands, while surrounded by majestic ice-capped mountains and glaciers.
A short hike will take you to the Hengifoss waterfall, which, at 419 feet, is Iceland’s third highest waterfall.
The water comes from a plateau and rushes down into a splendid gorge.
The rock face presents a series of colors with various layers that have resulted from volcanic eruptions.
You can hike very close to the gorge’s edge to take a peek into the smaller waterfalls that dot the rockface.
Check out Litlanesfos waterfall, which is framed by fascinating basalt columns.
A cozy accommodation in the area will be your home for the night.
Day 4 – Lake Myvatn
From the Hengifoss area, you will then take a trip to the Lake Myvatn area to see the Dettifoss waterfall, Myvatn Nature Baths, Hverjfjall, Dimmuborgir, and Godafoss waterfall on the way to Akureyri.
The Dettifoss waterfall is said to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe, with the greatest water volume that thunders over the edge at the rate of 500 cubic meters per second.
Explore the area with a hike while surrounded by the mighty waterfall, following a 34-kilometer trail that goes along the canyon all the way to Asbyrgi.
Take lots of photos and videos as part of your adventure, and to immortalize the power of the Dettifoss.
Namaskard geothermal area
The Namaskard geothermal area encompasses 4 square kilometers and is one of the largest Sulphur spring areas in Iceland.
This is where you can feel the power coming from the center of the earth with numerous steam springs and sulfuric mud springs that dot the landscape.
Myvatn Nature Baths
A visit to this geothermal area will be made even more memorable by experiencing a bath at the Myvatn Nature Baths, which is also called the “Blue Lagoon of the North”.
Take a dip in the milky blue water of a natural steam bath with stunning views on the background and enjoy the health benefits that are said to be given by the high sulfur content in the water.
(Entrance fee to the baths is not included in the tour).
Explore Hverfjall on foot and be amazed at the unique appearance of this tuff ring volcano, which looks like a gigantic black ash cone.
You can walk around the rim of the crater or up the steep slopes to get jaw-dropping views of the surrounding natural beauty.
Head on to Dimmuborgir, also called the Black Fortress, to check out the extraordinary landscape featuring numerous oddly-shaped lava fields.
Hike through the area dotted by rock formations and volcanic caves and be transported to an ancient time when these structures were formed.
Known as the waterfall of the gods for its ethereal beauty, the Godafoss waterfall is one of the country’s most breathtaking natural wonders.
The spectacular views will make for the best photos, especially with summer or autumn colors.
Keep your gadgets – and yourself – protected from the water spray which gets stronger the closer you get to the waterfall’s edge.
Prepare for a restful sleep at a country hotel in nearby Akureyri.
Day 5 – Eyjafjordur
Your 5th day of adventure will take you on an exploration of the town of Akureyri, on to a cruise in Eyjafjordur, and on to the Trollaskagi peninsula to visit Siglufjorður.
A vital fishing and port center, the charming town of Akureyri is also called the “Capital of North Iceland”.
Visit the turf homes which are painstakingly preserved to depict the life of ancient Icelanders.
Check out the splendidly colored flowers at the Arctic Botanical Gardens, see (and maybe take a short dip here?) the outdoor geothermal swimming pool, or visit the Christmas House that will bring you holiday cheer any time of the year.
Eyjafjordur whale watching
Eyjafjordur is one of Iceland’s longest fjords and an ideal spot for whale watching.
This is a once in a lifetime chance to see – and be as close as you can get to – several whale species such as the Minke whale and the Humpback whale, as well as harbour porpoises and white-beaked dolphins.
You also have the option to try your hand at sea angling.
The lovely fishing town of Siglufjorður is situated in a narrow fjord and is the mainland’s northernmost town.
The valley and mountains surrounding the town are ideal places for an energizing hike.
During the winter, this town turns into a skier’s paradise and features a variety of winter activities such as skating, slalom, or gliding on a snowmobile.
Comfortable overnight accommodations await you in the West Iceland area.
Day 6 – West Iceland area
The last day of your adventure will showcase the beauty of the West Iceland region – voted by Lonely Planet as one of the best destinations in 2016.
The day includes stops at Deildartunguhver, the Barnafoss waterfall, Hraunfossar, the historic Reykholt, before taking the journey back to Reykjavik to conclude the unforgettable adventure.
Feel the amazing power coming from underneath the earth’s surface as you visit the biggest and most powerful hot spring in Europe, the Deildartunguhver thermal spring.
This hot spring sits in the middle of a captivating farm, provides a lovely backdrop to the steaming water source.
Taking a shower within a 65-kilometer radius of this hot spring will provide you with hot water directly from this source.
Barnafoss and Hraunfossar waterfall
The Barnafoss and Hraunfossar waterfalls are situated next to each other in Borgarfjordur.
Hraunfossar is formed by a series of big & small cascades, as well as numerous creeks streaming from a lava field.
From the Hraunfossar, a short walk on a marked path will lead you to the Barnafoss waterfall which features an enchanting blue color as the water passes through a small canyon.
Visit one of the most notable historic sites in Iceland, the village of Reykholt.
It is renowned for being the home of the esteemed historian, writer, and chieftain Snorri Sturluson, who was also one of the most celebrated medieval writers in the world.
Take a short trip to the Snorrastofa, an independent research center dedicated to honoring Snorri’s life and contribution to medieval studies.
The rest of this quaint town is also a delight to explore with its scenic surroundings and fascinating features, including one of Iceland’s oldest geothermal structures – Snorralaug geothermal pool.
Your 6-day Iceland adventure concludes with a trip back to Reykjavik.