Day 1: Arrival in Iceland
Highlights: The Blue Lagoon Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja Harpa Concert Hall The Sun Voyager Parliament House
Arrival in Iceland – The world’s northernmost capital city
Approximate distance: ca 100 km / 62 miles
Once you have landed at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, please pick up your luggage and head through customs. Collect your rental car at the airport, make sure you receive a tablet with a protective case and chargers, and proceed to your hotel in Reykjavik.
The rest of the day is yours to rest and use at your own leisure. Take a walk around downtown Reykjavík and check out some of the famous landmarks, museums, shops, and galleries.
Overnight in Reykjavík.
If you arrive early in the day, then you might want to consider adding optional activities to your trip. Please note that the Northern Lights Boat tour is only available mid-September – mid-April. The Puffin Express tour is only available May – mid-August.
Day 2: Thingvellir National Park, Laugarvatn Geothermal Area
Highlights: Mosfellsbaer Halldor Laxness Museum Thingvellir National Park Nesjavellir Laugarvatn Fontana Nature Baths Gjabakkahellir Skalholt
National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Approximate driving distance: 80 km / 50 miles
Breakfast at your hotel. Today you’ll drive north out of Reykjavík, via the small suburbian town Mosfellsbaer and drive to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site. Thingvellir National Park is of great ecological, geological and historical interest. The park itself is situated in a stunning volcanic landscape of mountains and lava flows, on the border of Iceland’s largest lake. Surrounding the lakes are impressive faults and gorges that are considered among the world’s finest examples of the results of tectonic movements. It is the area where the tectonic plates of Europe and America meet, and one can literally see the ridge between the continents. This is also the former site of the oldest parliament in Europe, Althingi. It was founded in Thingvellir in 930 and there most of the greatest moments of Icelandic history took place over a period of 750 years. In the 18th century, a major earthquake took place at this location, after which the parliament was transferred to Reykjavík.
From Thingvellir, you will drive via Lyngdalsheidi heath to lake Laugarvatn geothermal area. It is said that after the conversion to Christianity in the year 1000, the chieftains from the north who refused to be baptized in the cold water of Thingvellir were brought to Laugarvatn to be baptized in the warm spring. We highly recommend adding an entrance to Laugarvatn Fontana for your trip. At the Fontana Geothermal Baths, you can relax in the warm geothermal pools and natural steam rooms while enjoying the spectacular view over the lake. Laugarvatn Fontana also offers an optional geothermal bakery experience where you get to observe a traditional cooking method by using the warm earth as an oven and try a taste of delicious Icelandic rye bread with butter.
An optional stop between Thingvellir National Park and lake Laugarvatn is the Cave People at Laugarvatnshellir cave, where on a short guided tour, explore how two local families cleverly turned a wild cave into a cozy home.
You might also want to consider stopping at Efstidalur II farm, a traditional cattle farm located close to lake Laugarvatn. This farm isn’t just a typical Icelandic farm but also a restaurant and an ice cream shop. The restaurant, overlooking the cowshed, offers local beef and vegetables as well as homemade milk products such as ice cream, feta cheese, and skyr. During your stop, you can watch the cows through a big window in the ice cream parlor.
Another interesting stop is Fridheimar, a charming horse farm and greenhouse facility in the tiny village of Reykholt. Clean geothermal and hydroelectric energy provides resources to grow many types of organic fruits and vegetables. The farm is most famous for its tasty tomatoes. An on-site restaurant specializes in delicious tomato-based dishes like tomato soup and tomato ice cream. We highly recommend Fridheimar as a lunch stop! In order to guarantee a table, please call ahead in advance for a reservation.
Overnight in the Golden Circle area.
Day 3: Gullfoss, Geysir and Reykjavik
Highlights: Geysir Gullfoss Kerid Hveragerdi Hellisheidi Geothermal Plant Reykjavik
Exploding Geysers, Thundering Waterfalls, and Geothermal Bathing
Approximate driving distance: 135 km / 85 miles
Breakfast at your hotel. Continue your tour to the beautiful Gullfoss and Geysir region. The first stop of the day will be at the Geysir hot spring area. It is a colorful geothermal field in a 3 km2 (1.2 mi2) area where hot springs and geysers are abundant. The Geysir spouting spring is the world’s largest geyser—its name is the generic term for this strange phenomenon. Geysir, believed to have formed in the thirteenth century, has a bowl 18 m (59 ft) in diameter with a 20 m deep chamber below. Its eruptions are majestic and since the big earthquakes in 2000 it has erupted several times. A smaller, adjacent hot spouting spring, Strokkur, is a popular attraction, erupting regularly at intervals of five to ten minutes. The whole area contains a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools.
You continue the journey further north to Gullfoss, the “Golden Waterfall”. It is a beautiful double-folding fall that many believe to be the most scenic in Iceland. It thunders 32 m (105 ft) over a fault into a gorge, which measures 2.5 km (1.5 miles) in length and up to 70 m (230 ft) deep in places.
Drive towards the village of Fludir, where geothermal heat is utilized for greenhouses growing mushrooms, tomatoes and more. Fludir is also home to the Secret Lagoon, a natural and unique geothermal swimming pool. In Fludir it is also possible to visit Farmers Bistro, a restaurant located on a farm that cultivates mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes and more.
From Fludir, continue your drive back towards the capital city via the town of Hveragerdi often nicknamed the „flower town.“ Hveragerdi is the country‘s most productive greenhouse area, producing a variety of flowers and vegetables.
Drive to Reykjavik for your last overnight stay. If your flight leaves early in the morning, then we can move your last night to Reykjanes Peninsula. Be sure to mention your request during the booking process.
Overnight in Reykjavik/Reykjanes Peninsula.
Day 4: Departure
Highlights: Reykjavik The Blue Lagoon Viking World Bridge Between Continents
Breakfast at your hotel. Departure from your accommodation is recommended at least 3 hours before the departure of your flight, as it takes approx. 1 hour to drive to the airport and check-in will start 2 hours before your departure. The rental car should be returned to the airport service area which is located only 2 minutes from the airport building. A shuttle will then transport you to the departures hall.
If you did not visit the Blue Lagoon on your way to the city on your first day but have time to spare today, you might want to use the opportunity en route to the airport. For this detour, please be sure to allow for at least 2-2,5 hours extra to make sure you’ll have ample time at the lagoon.
Other possible options would be to either continue exploring the city of Reykjavik or explore the Reykjanes Peninsula. Several natural wonders such as Gunnuhver hot spring, the Bridge Between Continents, Reykjanesta cliffs and Reykjanesviti lighthouse can be found in close proximity to Keflavik International Airport. You could also use the time to visit the Viking World Museum before heading to the airport.