The Best Things to Do in Iceland - Leah Goetzel Photography
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The Best Things to Do in Iceland

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Are you planning a trip to Iceland? Firstly, congrats!! I’m so jealous! Iceland is one of my favorite places I’ve ever been to– it is truly one of the most magical places on Earth.

Here’s my itinerary for a week in Iceland. The most important events are bolded, so if you’re having a quicker trip, pick and choose from those bolded items! 

And if you’re looking for a photographer to capture your vacation, send me a message!

Your Itinerary for a Week in Iceland

Day One: Arrive & Explore Reykjavik

Whenever I went to Iceland, we flew Icelandair and had a great experience. I recommend getting a late night departure so that you’ll arrive super early into Iceland. Take a 2-3 hour nap as soon as you get in and your body will be good to go for the rest of your trip.

  • Grab breakfast (or brunch) at Brauð & Co and take a walk around the Northern harbor. Walking around will help you wake up and give you a nice initial lay of the land.
  • This sounds stupid, but check out Fly Over Iceland. It’s an immersive movie where you’re suspended in air. It was such a great way to start our trip– kind of like a trailer for what was to come.
  • If hungry, check out KEX/Hostel Burger for lunch.
  • Continue walking around central Reykjavik, just explore and get lost.
  • Skál! Foodhall for dinner 
  • Early night in- start watching a show or movie set in Iceland I recommend Eurovision Song Contest or the Icelandic Netflix show Katla.

Day Two: Walking Tour & Hot Springs

Today’s a long day but you’ll probably wake up early anyway, so carpe that diem!

Day Three: Start your Ring Road Adventure

We chose to do the southern half of Iceland and drive along the ring road– it was such a great taste of everything Iceland had to offer and was relatively easy to do. We decided to end in the town of Hof and stayed at the Fosshotel and had such a great experience!

  • Grab breakfast pastries and snacks on your way out (you will have stretches of time where you don’t come across anything. So bring food and stop for gas when you see a station!)
  • There are so many different waterfalls and places to stop at along the way, but here are some of the places I’d recommend stopping on the way out.
  • Stop at Vik for lunch (see restaurant suggestions further down)
  • Fancy dinner at Fosshotel

Day Four: Glacier Tour

  • Have a quick breakfast then head out early to the Svartifoss waterfall in vatnajökull national park.
  • Lunch at Nailed It Fish and Chips
  • Take a boat tour to see the glaciers
  • Pop over to the Diamond Beach

Day Five: Nature Park and Secluded Airbnb

I highly recommend booking a secluded Airbnb for a night or two, it’s great way to see the stars (and hopefully the Northern Lights if you’re there during the season!) I’d recommend choosing a location in between Hof and Reykjavik. We really loved being close to Vik. This was the Airbnb we booked and it was AMAZING.

  • Check out of hotel
  • Fjadrargljufur canyon on way to Airbnb
  • Stop at Gvendarkjör for groceries (not much else near the Airbnb)
  • Have a relaxing night in the hot tub looking at the stars or Northern Lights

Day Six: Day in Vik

Vik is a great location because there’s tons of stuff to see and lots of great food options!

  • Breakfast at Skool Beans
  • Dyrhólaey cliffs
  • Then Reynisdragnar, black sand beaches (please, please use caution at this beach. DO NOT go near the water as there are very serious sneaker waves.)
  • Lunch at one of the great restaurants in Vik
  • Dinner at Airbnb

Day Six: Drive Back to Reykjavik

  • Check out of Airbnb and make your way back to city. Hit up any of the waterfalls you might have missed on the drive in.
  • We decided to do two hot springs on our trip and I highly recommend! It’s a great way to end your trip. I’d recommend going this night at sunset.

Day Seven: Chill Day in Reykjavik or Snæfellsnesvegur

Depending on how you feel and when your flight leaves the next day will determine if you have another chill day in the city or venture north to Snæfellsnesvegur, a beautiful national park with some of the most iconic Icelandic scenery.

Reykjavik Restaurants

  • The Laundromat Cafe: American style diner
  • Brauð & Co: Delicious pastries
  • Skál!: Foodhall
  • Kex Hostel Reykjavik: Burgers
  • Flatey: Pizza
  • Mat Bar: Tapas and wine bar
  • Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur: Hot dog stand

Vik Restaurants

  • Skool Beans: Coffee shop in a school bus
  • Restaurant Suður-Vík: Fancy Icelandic food
  • The Soup Company: Soup in bread bowls
  • Smiðjan Brugghús: Amazing burgers

Misc. Location Restaurants

  • Friðheimar: Reykholt (East of Reykjavik) tomato based restaurant in greenhouse
  • Fosshotel restaurant: Hof (Eastern tip of Iceland) fancy Icelandic food

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