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One week itinerary for a road trip in Iceland

one week road trip route in Iceland

Article mis à jour le 5 Jan 2024

One week itinerary for a road trip in Iceland

For a few years now, Iceland has been on the top of my bucket list. So it was with great expectations and hopes that I went there… I can now tell you that this destination has far surpassed all my other trips. So it is with unabashed pleasure that I detail the itinerary of my week-long road trip to Iceland!

Before starting the story of my trip to Iceland in summer, here are some indications to organize yourself well:

  • For practical information: when to go to Iceland, the budget for a week, what equipment to wear for the road trip etc. I give you an appointment at the end of the article
  • For information and reservations for the Nordic Nomads road trip in Iceland, in a 4×4 tent on the roof, visit their website.

Road Trip Itinerary: what to do in Iceland in summer?

I went to Iceland for a week with Nordic Nomads, which offers a complete road trip and provides a 4×4 with a tent on the roof to sleep. They take care of booking the campsites, you don’t have to do anything before and during your trip, just enjoy. It’s a real adventure that I 100% recommend you to try.

The tour offered by Nordic Nomads is great value for money! I talk in detail about the budget for a week in summer in Iceland at the end of the article.

Day 1: Arrival in Iceland 

Find the GPS route of these stages by clicking on the titles. I will give you the link for each day. Other places to visit were in the road book, but we were too tired.

If you are flying to Iceland, you will arrive at Keflavík airport, located south of the capital Reykjavik. If you have booked your flights through the agency, a Nordic Nomads shuttle bus will be waiting there to take you to the base camp (15 minutes drive), to collect your car for the week! Otherwise, you will have to get there on your own with a taxi. All information will be sent to you by email before your departure.

Your car, your accommodation for the trip to Iceland

All the necessary equipment for a one week road trip in Iceland is included in the price of the Nordic Nomads trip, namely:

  • the rental of the 4×4 with tent on the roof
  • mattresses, sleeping bags, sheets, pillows
  • a complete itinerary booklet with all the information
  • a pre-programmed GPS with the route
  • all kitchen equipment, chairs and table.

Once you have collected your car, it’s time to hit the road to the first spot! If you are tired from the flight and arrive late, I recommend that you go straight to the campsite which is located before the places I mention below. That way you can sleep peacefully and visit them the next day.

The Iceland road trip itinerary.

Every Nordic Nomads traveller receives a complete road book for the week, with practical information and explanations about the places to visit. Each day you will find 2 options: a short route, a longer route. All the stages are detailed and you even have playlists planned!

Small clarification: I did not follow the road book to the letter, besides you have no obligation to follow it 100%. There are places indicated in the Nordic Nomads itinerary that I did not do, and others that I added. This is a no-headache trip, so do as you feel like it, as you are tired… On the other hand, make sure you go to the campsites booked by the agency in the evening (included in the price), so as not to pay another one for nothing!

➡️ Start of the road trip in Iceland: Geysir

In Iceland, you will be surprised by the geothermal phenomena that occur inland. Geysir is one of them. This site is the most famous to observe geysers that spring up from the ground. It is very impressive when you know that the water that comes out is at +100°C! No need to walk long from the car park, you will be there in just 2 minutes.

geysers iceland

➡️ Gullfoss, the “golden falls

Many beautiful waterfalls decorate Iceland’s landscape. You’ll get an eyeful throughout the week. In summer, the water flow of Gullfoss is 140 m³ per second. The noise and mist coming out of it is incredible! Bring a mackintosh so you don’t get soaked, either for here or for others! Access is a 5 minute walk from the car park.

Little extra: when it’s sunny, a rainbow appears above the falls.


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Une publication partagée par Sami Hughes (@samigray26)

Day 2: Waterfalls & Wonders

Day 2 will be all about water! On the agenda are 3 beautiful waterfalls and a black sand beach.

➡️ Seljalandsfoss

A little aside: whenever you see an Icelandic name ending in “foss”, it is a waterfall.

Although touristy, the Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a must-see. What is original here is the path that has been laid out to go around it. You can admire the 65-metre waterfall from every angle. The walk takes 10/15 minutes and is not difficult.

waterfall iceland

➡️ Skógafoss

A 2 minute walk from the car park will get you as close as possible to Skógafoss, the mighty waterfall that is 25 metres wide and 60 metres high. Watch out for your electronic devices, it gets wet!

For those motivated to observe the waterfall from above, there is an observation platform on the right accessible by 370 steps.

road trip in iceland

➡️ Kvernufoss

Kvernufoss waterfall is less than a 5 minute drive from Skógafoss. It is far less visited than its neighbour and it was my favourite of the day. There is a path to view it from behind.

Park here. Then follow the map below. Kvernufoss is a 10 minute walk away.

access kvernufoss

Iceland summer road trip

➡️ Reynisfjara Beach

Last stop before heading to camp, the sublime black Reynisfjara Beach which was one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones season 7. Apart from this anecdote, the rock formations that border the ocean are surreal. Between its basalt columns, its arch, and the rocks sticking out of the water, we don’t know where to turn!

road trip Islande été
itinéraire Islande été
road trip en Islande 1 semaine

Þakgil Campsite

The road to the campsite is beautiful, so don’t hesitate to stop and enjoy the scenery. Once you arrive, you will be overwhelmed by the calmness that reigns on this campsite… In the morning, don’t hesitate to take the hiking trails in the surroundings.

summer Iceland camping

Day 3 : road trip in Iceland, between land and glaciers

I warn you, this day is going to be busy, both in kilometres and in emotions! Rest well during the night of day 2.

➡️ Fjadragljufur Canyon

The spectacular Fjadragljufur Canyon is 100 metres deep and 2 kilometres long. Green and colourful, it looks like a film set…

The access is super simple from the second car park (no need for a 4×4 as indicated on the signs). You will arrive in 5 minutes at a platform to admire the canyon from above. For those who wish, you can also see it from below by stopping at the first car park but this requires some walking. Bring good shoes and be careful as there are passages that require crossing the river (which is shallow but very cold).

Iceland summer road trip

➡️ Lunch break in front of Lómagnúpur mountain

We were super hungry so we stopped at the foot of Lómagnúpur to eat. It’s a nice quiet spot, but I didn’t see any water nearby for cooking so be prepared!

one week itinerary Iceland

➡️ Fjallsárlón Glacier

I will always remember this place as it was the first glacier I got close to like this. The mountains and the glacier in the background, accompanied by the glacier lake and its icebergs in the foreground are magical! Once again, the access is very easy from the car park (less than 5 minutes walk). Nevertheless, we chose to walk along the lake on the right to get as close as possible to the Fjallsárlón glacier, which made the visit a good hour longer.

trip to iceland one week

one week road trip Iceland

➡️ Jökulsárlón glacier

Ahhh I was so looking forward to discovering Iceland’s most famous glacier! In my opinion, the tourist traffic of the place does not take away from its beauty. Seeing hundreds of icebergs floating on the glacier lake of Jökulsárlón totally fascinated me. That’s when I really thought that Iceland has something special, a nature that can’t be found anywhere else…

glacier iceland

➡️ Diamond Beach

Adjacent to the Jökulsárlón glacier, the black sand beach nicknamed “Diamond Beach” is bordered by the glacier’s icebergs that flow into the ocean. The contrast between the black sand and the ice is striking! The beach is even more beautiful with the sunlight reflecting in the icebergs… So that gives me an excuse to go back one day.

what to do in iceland in summer

➡️ Stokksnes

Stokksnes beach is one of the most beautiful on the island because of the cliffs that dominate it. The reflections of the mountains in the water on the black sand make this place ideal for taking nice pictures. To get the reflections in the water, you have to go there when the tide is going out, approximately between mid-tide and low-tide (check the timetable on the internet). Unfortunately for us, it was very cloudy, so we didn’t see the cliffs, which were hidden by clouds. So I warn you that it is not worth visiting Stokksnes if it is cloudy.

There is a charge to enter and it costs 900 ISK per person (€6).

➡️ The magic of the Iceland road trip

After all these emotions, we had decided to drive to the evening campsite. It was without counting this breathtaking landscape that forced us to make a stop on the road. The light was sublime. I’ll let you admire it in pictures…

The GPS coordinates of this spot are in the itinerary of day 3 (penultimate stage). I remind you that you just have to click on the titles to have the whole route.

7 day road trip Iceland


Day 4: continuation of the itinerary in Iceland

➡️ Seydisfjordur fjord

This fishing village was my only minor disappointment of the trip. The blue church and its rainbow “staircase” is certainly pretty, but it’s not worth the one hour drive (in my opinion anyway). I’ll put the pictures up anyway if you’re ever interested!

iceland in summer what to do

iceland in summer what to do

➡️ Studlagil Canyon

I was looking forward to seeing Stuðlagil Canyon and I, once again, was not disappointed. It is a unique place in the world. The colour of the water is beautiful and the hexagonal basalt columns surrounding the canyon are surreal!

There are two ways to see Studlagil Canyon:

From above, to the west, without too much effort, from the viewing platform accessible from this car park .

Iceland in summer

  • Or from below, to the east, by walking 1h/1h15 round trip on flat ground (about 5 km). I strongly recommend this option as the landscape is much more impressive along the water. For the start of the hike, park here.

road trip in iceland

➡️ Hverir, geothermal site

I recommend you to make a short stop at the geothermal site of Hverir to observe its landscapes worthy of the planet Mars. You’ll be very surprised, both by the beauty of the place and the stench of volcanic gases (with the accompanying flies). I’m serious about the flies, there are a lot of them and they jump in your face!

Quick note: there are flies everywhere in this area, even at the campsite you’ll be going to in the evening. So get used to it a little.

one week route iceland

what to do in iceland for a week

➡️ Grjótagjá, for GOT fans

Grjótagjá is the cave made famous by the Game of Thrones series. It’s apparently where the scene where Jon Snow and Ygrid farted was shot. Well, in real life it doesn’t give you much to go on, because the cave isn’t lit and you can’t see anything. But on the other hand, it looks good in pictures (long exposures are great) and it doesn’t make you make a diversion, so go and have a look anyway!

The water is 43°C, swimming is forbidden.

Iceland travel guide

Day 5: What to do in Iceland in summer? 

➡️ Myvatn hot baths

Much less touristy than the famous Blue Lagoon located near the capital, I recommend a relaxing moment at the hot baths of Myvatn! The water is deliciously warm, the place is clean and very pleasant! The entrance fee is just under 40€ per person. Book online before you come on this website.

hot baths iceland

➡️ Waterfalls in North Iceland

It’s off to witness a beautiful spectacle of Mother Nature! We’ll be able to observe her omnipotence…


This waterfall has the largest volume of water in all of Europe, with a flow of 400 m³ per second. Dettifoss, just like its neighbour which I mention below, is fed by a powerful glacial river, which in turn flows from the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull. The mist that comes out of it is impressive!

The best way to get there is from the east car park. It’s a 10/15 minute walk from there.

travel to iceland in summer


Selfoss can be approached by walking upstream for about 1 km. It is smaller but also impressive at 100 metres wide.

Selfoss islande


Here you don’t have to walk to see the waterfall. There is a great view from the car park! The sun came out right at that moment, which drew a beautiful rainbow. road trip in iceland

Sleep with a view

Tonight’s campsite has a great view of the ocean and the sunset! You will have the chance to sleep with the melody of the waves…. It was a great time.

road trip in iceland

one week road trip route in Iceland

7 day Iceland itinerary

Day 6: Things to do in Iceland.

Whale watching ?

Another moment that will mark my memory for life: whale watching. This activity is a must do during your road trip in Iceland. This activity is done with respect to the animal, the whales are not chased or attracted by ultrasound. To have the chance to see the whales in their natural environment, whale watching is done between April and October, when the whales migrate to the northern waters for the winter.

Husavik is the capital of whale watching, book your boat trip here.

whale watching iceland

whales iceland

where to see whales in iceland


Before heading to my second activity, I made a short stop on the road to see the Godafoss waterfall. Choose the west car park to be able to get as close to the waterfall as possible. I put the right parking in the Google Maps itinerary for day 6!

what to do in iceland in summer

Horse riding ?

For 2 hours we went for a horse ride inland with Polar Hestar. The landscapes were splendid! You can book this activity via Nordic Nomads (extra charge).

activity to do in iceland

Day 7: The climax 

This last day was dedicated to the Fagradalsfjall volcano, which has been erupting since 19 March 2021, after 800 years of dormancy. It is possible to get close to the crater on foot. We were very lucky to see the molten lava, but you can’t predict in advance if the crater will be active or if it is taking a nap. For the whole week of the Iceland trip it wasn’t very active and it woke up just in time for the last day!

How do you get to Fagradalsfjall volcano?

First of all, park here. Parking costs 1,000 ISK (€7), you can pay via mobile. From here, three hiking trails are possible, but sometimes they are not all open depending on lava flows.

All information about the volcano, the eruption and access to the trail is updated daily on this official website.

Hiking to get closer to the erupting crater

We hiked along trail C. It takes about 4 hours/4h30 to walk 10 km. The hike is a bit difficult because it climbs steeply, but I saw children of 6 or 7 years old manage it. Go almost to the end of the trail to admire the lava rivers…

erupting volcano iceland

eruption volcano Iceland

erupting volcano iceland

how to see the erupting volcano in iceland

Road Trip in Iceland : Practical Information

When to go to Iceland?

The summer months are perfect for enjoying a road trip in Iceland with a tent! In winter, it is very cold for this kind of travel. That’s why Nordic Nomads only offers this tour in summer.

However, Iceland is beautiful at any time of the year. My dream now would be to go back in winter to see the Northern Lights, ice caves and snowy landscapes.

☀️ The midnight sun in Iceland

Between the end of June and July, the phenomenon of the midnight sun occurs in Iceland, especially in the very north. This means that there is no night. My trip was in August, so the days were very long, which is perfect for making the most of each day. The sun officially set around 10:30pm but it never really got dark. It’s unusual!

Note that in winter, the opposite happens.

What is the budget for a one week itinerary in Iceland?

The Nordic Nomads agency offers week-long trips with very good value for money.

Travel to Iceland: Budget for a week

Be aware that living in Iceland is expensive! That’s why travelling by 4×4 and sleeping in a tent saves a big budget on hotels and restaurants. Here are the details of the expenses for the whole week:

  • 4×4 rental: 590€ per person (including camping and equipment)
  • Petrol: 150€.
  • Food: 150€ for two. I should point out that we did not buy any fresh produce or alcohol. To save as much as possible, shop at Budget, which is a low cost store. There are some all over the island.
  • Flight: expect to pay around €400 per person. Prices may vary depending on dates and departure cities.

Budget for a one-week road trip in Iceland: €1,140 per person, including flights, excluding activities.

Road trip in Iceland: other information

To answer your questions you asked me on Instagram:

  • It was between 10 and 15 degrees in August. Little tip, you can easily find this information on a weather app before your trip.
  • I didn’t feel very cold at night.
  • There are hot showers at all campsites booked by the agency.
  • Be careful with the speed limits in Iceland (maximum 90 km/h), the fine is very very high in case of radar.
  • Drones are not allowed everywhere, check the signs on each site you visit.
  • Iceland is in my opinion a safe country for a woman travelling alone.

How to equip yourself for a trip to Iceland in summer?

My equipment

  • My mackintosh
  • A backpack
  • A swimming costume
  • My checkered jacket
  • My fringed cardigan
  • My patterned jumper (similar)
  • Warm clothes
  • My walking shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Knife, reusable cutlery and can opener
  • Towels
  • Lip balm
  • USB connection for cigarette lighter
  • External battery

I hope I’ve helped you organise your trip to Iceland! Feel free to ask me for more information in comments.

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