One Week In Iceland

One Week In Iceland Itinerary

Spending one week in Iceland is a sensory feast, filled with awe-inspiring landscapes, geothermal wonders and the warmth of Icelandic hospitality. The adventure starts as soon as you land in the capital, Reykjavik.

The promising landscapes and diversity of natural, historical and modern experiences you will meet there, demand a very specific list of what is worth visiting during your holiday.

Our full guide covers:

  1. Basic Introduction
  2. Where to stay in Iceland
  3. How to get around
  4. What to see in Iceland
  5. Things to do in Iceland
  6. Tickets you have to buy before – must read
  7. Food and Restaurants
  8. Day Trips from Iceland
  9. Itinerary for Iceland
  10. Packing List
  11. City Map

Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic. It is widely known for its geysers, waterfalls and volcanic ground. It has a very rich cultural history, still preserving the Norse traditions. Its subarctic, unpredictable climate characterised by cool summers and mild winters makes any part of the year a convenient time to visit the most inconvenient beauty.

So, let’s go over your one-week in Iceland itinerary!

1. Basic Introduction

We want to start with a simple intro to the things you need to know before coming to Iceland.

Currency: Icelandic Króna (ISK)

Language Spoken: Icelandic

Population: 372,899 in 2022

Known for: Northern Lights

Accommodation: hotels and guesthouses to hostels and cottages

Find more details in our where to stay in Iceland section below.

Public Transport: Buses

More under how to get around.

Safety: This is the safest country in the world.

Electricity: 230V / 50Hz (European plug); Type F; Type C. Remember to pack your travel plug adapter.

2. Where to stay in Iceland

Whether you choose to stay in Reykjavik for a city experience or decide for a place closer to specific natural wonders, Iceland offers a variety of options to make your stay a great memory.

If you want to be close to some of the most famous natural attractions like Gullfoss waterfall, Geyser or Pingvellir National Park, you should choose the Golden Circle Area, but if you want to explore the East Fjords, then the perfect place to stay in Iceland is the quieter and less travelled part of the country.

The Blue Lagoon area is great for those of you who seek relaxation.

Iceland can offer an unforgettable experience, so here are the places you can take into consideration:

All the cities mentioned above have a certain uniqueness that will fascinate you. Firstly, Reykjavik is famous for its vibrant cultural scene. Akureyri, the second largest and a very charming city in Iceland is a great base to explore the North of the country, rich with unique landscapes and hot springs.

Furthermore, Hafnafjördur is surrounded by lava fields and represents the cultural vibrant life in Iceland, the whole year through. Selfoss is a perfect location while travelling around the Golden Circle, and Stykkishólmur is the jewel in the western part of the country where you will be overwhelmed by the picturesque harbour, colourful houses and the vibes of the cultural life.

I will say a word or two more about each city and try to suggest the best possible accommodation for your one-week in Iceland.

2.1 Where to stay in Reykjavik

Not only a cultural hub but also a cultural and economic heart of the country, Reykjavik takes your attention with its art galleries, museums and theatres.
Harpa Concert Hall, Halgrimskirkja church, Laugavegur shopping street, vibrant nightlife, traditional restaurants and colourful houses are things that will keep your eyes wide open while exploring the city.

Oddsson Hotel, Reykjavik

Very close to Laugardalur Family Park, thus great for a family trip, Oddsson Hotel in Iceland offers modern and spacious rooms and a buffet breakfast. The bus station is across the road and almost everything is close.

Book Oddsson Hotel here

Oddsson Hotel, Reykjavik

Hotel Orkin, Reykjavik

This hotel is very close to the shopping street and the city centre. Hotel Orkin is a good choice for couples or solo travellers who can easily assimilate with the daily urban vibe of the city. Nice rooms and top-notch facilities are what you get there.

Book Hotel Orkin here

Book your stay at Hotel Orkin

2.2 Where to stay in Akureyri

A town located in the northern part of Iceland which offers great access to outdoor activities. Besides those, you can enjoy the beautiful landscapes and visit the Lutheran church with unique views of the city, the Botanical Gardens and the Art Museum. If you’re going to spend one week in Iceland in winter, then you can enjoy skiing and hiking in the surrounding mountains.

K16Apartments, Akureyri

This recently renovated apartment is fully equipped and very cozy. K16Apartments, is very close to the Godafoss Waterfalls and has ski-to-door access. Simply put, it is the perfect choice for a couple or a family.

Book K16Apartments here

Stay at K16Apartments in Iceland

Centrum Hotel, Akuryeri

In the Centrum Hotel, you will be just 3 minutes away from shops, museums and restaurants in the central area of the town. The brightly decorated rooms will offer a feeling of relaxation, and the bar is ideal for a night in with your closest.

Book Centrum Hotel here

Visit Centrum Hotel in Iceland

2.3 Where to stay in Hafnarfjördur

Hafnarfjördur is located about 10 kilometres south of Reykjavik. This town has a very charming harbour lined with cafes, shops and restaurants. The lava park Hellisgerdi, which is impressive for the lava rocks, is a very tranquil place to walk through. The Viking history of Iceland can be observed closer in the Viking Village, while art fanatics can enjoy the Hafnarfjördur Centre of Culture and Fine Arts.

Hotel Viking, Hafnarfjörður

The hotel is located in the West Nordic Culture House in this seaside town. The decoration of the rooms is authentic and inspired by Icelandic history. The cozy Valhalla restaurant is very close, so enjoying the traditional cuisine is a privilege during your stay there. It is a very appropriate place for couples.

Book Hotel Viking here

Enjoy your time at Hotel Viking

Hotel Vellir, Hafnarfjörður

If you’re wondering where to stay in Iceland for a week, consider the superb Hotel Vellir! It is located on the outskirts of the capital city, but it is very close to the mountains, lakes and if you are lucky you will have a chance to see the spectacular view of the Nordic Lights.
The hotel offers nice rooms and a Bistrot Restaurant. Additionally, you will be privileged with free entry to the Reebok Fitness Centre.

Book Hótel Vellir here

Stay at Hótel Vellir

2.4 Where to stay in Selfoss

This town in the southern part of Iceland is located on the banks of the Ölfusa River. There are a few swimming pools, spectacular nature, and the eye-catching Selfoss Church. It is a gateway to the natural wonders and a relaxing place for your one week in Iceland.

Bella Apartments & Rooms, Selfoss

This accommodation offers both guest rooms and self-catering apartments, some of which have balconies. Since the majority of the establishment is made of glass, expect some truly magnificent views from your room! Also, restaurants and supermarkets are near this property, making it a highly convenient place to stay in Iceland.

Book Bella Apartments & Rooms here

Book your stay at Bella Apartments & Rooms

2.5 Where to stay in Stykkishólmur

This picturesque town located on a peninsula in the western part of Iceland offers cultural attractions and a close distance to the natural wonders of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. While staying there, you can explore the charming harbour, the church, the Norwegian House and a few more landmarks of this town.

Hótel Fransiskus Stykkishólmi, Stykkishólmur

Hótel Fransiskus Stykkishólmi has a shared lounge, a garden, a terrace and a bar. I highly recommend this place to stay in Iceland for couples who enjoy the wonders of nature, as its location is perfect for witnessing the Northern Lights – if you’re lucky to catch them, that is.

Book Hótel Fransiskus Stykkishólmi here

Book your stay at Hótel Fransiskus Stykkishólmi

Helgafell, Stykkishólmur

Besides the nice rooms at Helgafell, the surroundings are even more spectacular, so you can really enjoy the balcony with the mountain view. The Northern Lights are very likely to be seen from here, so if that’s a must on your one-week in Iceland itinerary, look no further than this excellent establishment!

Book Helgafell here

Have fun at Helgafell

3. How to get around

So, we have your accommodation set, now let us get out and explore.

What I will suggest is to choose the transportation mode that best suits your needs, keeping in mind your itinerary for spending one week in Iceland. It is also very important in which part of the year you will visit the country because all options have advantages considering what aligns with your travelling style.

Best for Northern Lights Tour: Experience one of the world’s most spectacular natural phenomena with a 4-hour evening bus tour in Iceland.

Car rental: The best way to explore is renting a car, but you have to take care that the road conditions can vary and the weather is very unpredictable, especially in winter, so you have to stay up to date with the forecast.

Camper Van or Motorhome: This concept of transportation and accommodation at the same time is perfect if you want to stick to your own pace. It can be very convenient and it gives you a chance to stay close to attractive locations during your one week in Iceland.

Public Buses: Major towns are connected with very strictly scheduled public bus transport, but the coverage is limited.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing: In the capital city of Reykjavik and some other larger towns you can count on taxi services, but they can get very expensive, so try to use a taxi only for a short ride. Ridesharing services, such as Uber, are not that common in Iceland.

Book Northern Lights Bus Tour here

Book Northern Lights Bus Tour

4. What to see in Iceland – The Must-Do’s

Wondering what you should visit during your stay in Iceland among so many worth visiting places is definitely a hard decision. That is why I have prepared a list.

The Must-Do’s are:

More great sights to see in Iceland are:

Seljalandsfoss and Skògafoss Waterfalls

5. Things to do in Iceland

You have only a week and there is plenty to do in this country. So, let’s organize and cover the must-do’s!

  • Explore Ice Caves: It is highly recommended to use the guided cave tour because professional guides are not only familiar with the conditions and safety protocols but also provide the necessary equipment and make this adventure an easy and unforgettable memory for you.
  • Hike to Hot Springs: The most popular activity when in Iceland and it offers an outdoor exploration and relaxation at the same time. Try to visit the Laugavegur and Fimmvorduhals trails. When you plan to visit the hot springs, the must-see are the Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon and Landmannalaugar Hot Springs.
  • Go Glacier Hiking: Glacier hiking by no means has to be done with a certified and experienced tour operator. The necessary equipment is going to be provided, you will get safety briefings and professional guides. For the best scenery, visit Vatnajökull and Sólheimajökull.
  • Visit Icelandic Waterfalls: The stunning waterfalls in Iceland are very attractive for nature enthusiasts and those of you addicted to beautiful landscapes. During your one-week trip, try to visit Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Skògafoss, Svartifoss and Godafoss or any other that is on your way.
  • Take a Road Trip on the Ring Road: This road is also known as Route 1 and is a fantastic way to see the diversity of Icelandic landscapes and some natural wonders. You are beginning and ending your route in Reykjavik. This trip can take longer than a week if you are a detailed explorer, but according to the time you have, try to do it like a ride and enjoy the view.
  • Northern Lights Chasing: Chasing the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights is a magical experience. The right time of the year is from the end of September to early April. The peak timing is from October to March. So, what you have to do is be patient and check the Aurora Borealis forecast.

6. Tickets you have to buy before (Must Read)

Of course, we can not predict all the details when we travel, the dates, exact hours or places we will maybe add to our bucket list, but it is better if you buy the tickets in advance, at least for these places:

  • Blue Lagoon – A geothermal spa in a surreal setting. Its warm, mineral-rich waters are a must-visit for relaxation and rejuvenation. Booking ahead is crucial to secure your spot in this slice of paradise.
  • Ice Cave Tours – Explore the ethereal beauty of nature’s frozen sculptures. These tours offer a rare glimpse into the heart of glaciers. Due to limited access and high demand, advance tickets are necessary.
  • Whale Watching Tours – Experience the majesty of these ocean giants in their natural habitat. These tours are highly sought after, especially during peak migration seasons. Pre-booking ensures you won’t miss this awe-inspiring experience.
  • Northern Lights Tours – The elusive and mesmerizing Aurora Borealis. These tours are the best way to witness this natural light show. Given their popularity and the unpredictability of the phenomenon, early ticket purchase is advised.

Remember, securing tickets in advance for these attractions not only saves time but also guarantees you won’t miss out on these once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Happy travels!

7. Food & Restaurants

Apart from visiting the natural wonders during your one week in Iceland, trying the local food is a must! Make sure to include these delicious dishes in your order:

  • Plokkfiskur
  • Lamb
  • Hardfiskur
  • Skyr
  • Hangikjöt
  • Icelandic Hot Dog (Pylsur)

These are a few restaurants that are really great places to try Icelandic food:

  • Dill (Reykjavik)
  • Fjöruborðið (Stokkseyri)
  • Vogafjós Cowshed Café (Myvatn)
  • Kopar (Reykjavik)

So, if you’re planning a trip to Reykjavik and you’re into food and drinks, there’s this really cool walking tour you might want to check out. It’s all about getting a taste of the local cuisine and drink culture. You get to stroll around the city with a local guide, which is awesome because they know all the best spots and can tell you all about what makes Icelandic food special.

Book Food Tour here

Traditional Icelandic lamb goulash and bread

8. Day Trips from Iceland

Discover the beauty of Iceland through a series of captivating day trips. From iconic landmarks in Reykjavik to the charm of Akureyri, the serene havens of Hafnarfjörður, and the landscapes around Selfoss, each destination offers a unique and memorable experience.

How to do the day trips? There are 3 options:


  • Hallgrímskirkja: Marvel at the stunning architecture of this iconic church.
  • Harpa Concert Hall: Immerse yourself in the cultural hub with its modern design.
  • National Museum of Iceland: Explore the rich history and heritage of the country.


  • Akureyri Church: Visit this charming church with picturesque surroundings.
  • Botanical Garden: Stroll through vibrant flora in a tranquil setting.
  • Akureyri Art Museum: Delve into the local art scene with captivating exhibitions.


  • Hellisgerði Park: Enjoy nature’s beauty in this serene park.
  • Hafnarfjörður Museum: Dive into the town’s history and folklore.
  • Víðistaðatún Park: Relax in a peaceful green space with scenic views.


  • Dverghamrar: Explore the unique rock formations of Dverghamrar.
  • Selfoss Church: Admire the architecture and tranquillity of this local church.
  • Ölfusárlón: Take in the scenic beauty of this lagoon.
Book Day Tour here

Experience day tour in Iceland

9. Itinerary for 7 days

When spending a week in Iceland, you can explore the city itself and its surroundings.

Day 1: Reykjavik Exploration

Reykjavik is a walkable city and many of its attractions are concentrated in the city centre. Take the time to immerse yourself in the local culture, interact with friendly locals and savour the unique charm of Iceland’s capital.

Relax in the thermal pools, enjoy the food, visit the Maritime Museum, explore the Old Harbor, enjoy a tranquil walk around Tjörnin (the pond) and see the Sun Voyager sculpture. Choose a few or do your best and see them all.

Day 2: Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is a must-visit and it can be completed in a day. The weather conditions can change during the trip and it may be crowded, which can be avoided if you start early in the morning. The first spot is the Pingvellir National Park.

Then you proceed to Geysir Geothermal Area, a home to Strokkur which erupts every 5-10 minutes, so you will not miss it.

The next stop is the Gullfoss Waterfall, one of the most famous in Iceland. The views are breathtaking.

Fridheimar Tomato Farm is a perfect lunch-pause stop. The tomato plants all over the area will make your stay very interesting.

Later, on your way back, you can stop at the Kerid Crater filled with a blue-green lake where the view is magical. You can also visit the Secret Lagoon in the village of Fludir.

Book Golden Circle Tour here

Tour around Golden Circle

Day 3: South Coast Adventure

This part of Iceland is rich with many natural wonders and thus great to travel through. If you start from Reykjavik, the first stop will be Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Travelling along the coastline there are Dyrhólaey peninsula and Reynisfjara Beach. You can have lunch in the village Vik i Myrdal and carry on through Fjadrárgljùfur Canyon to finally stop at the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and get back to Reykjavik.

Day 4: Vatnajökull National Park

Vatnajökull National Park is a diverse protected area in southeastern Iceland, known for its stunning landscapes, glaciers, ice caves, waterfalls and volcanic features. Some places in this area can not be accessible in winter. My advice is to join a guided tour for each spot you would like to visit.

Picture yourself in James Bond’s shoes, hiking across the massive Vatnajökull glacier. It’s an amazing chance to connect with nature as you explore the stunning wilds of Skaftafell National Park, guided by someone who speaks English and knows the area inside out. Sounds like an adventure, doesn’t it?

Day 5: East Fjords

The winding roads, fascinating views of the fjords, picturesque fishing villages and mesmerizing nature create the most peaceful atmosphere one can feel. This road begins with Seydisfjordur, a charming small town, goes through Stödvarfjordur where you can visit Petra’s Stone Collection and ends with Seydisfjordur, a town with an artsy vibe and a delightful place to visit.

Day 6: Akureyri and North Iceland

After you’ve visited the landmarks of Akureyri which include the Botanical Gardens, the church, the Art Museum and the Old Town, you will travel to Godafoss waterfalls and Lake Myvatn among the rest, famous for its Nature Baths.

Húsavic, the whale-watching capital of Iceland is on your way, so consider taking a tour.

Day 7: Return to Reykjavik

On this final day of your one week in Iceland, you should get back to Reykjavik, enjoy the city and treat yourself in a fine dining restaurant before you leave this interesting country.

10. Packing List

There is a few things we recommend for your packing list Iceland.

Optional but always useful:

Packing List Europe

11. Printed Guides & Map

These guides are best for the ones looking for a printed version.

Once you come to Iceland, you will also receive a paper map of the city.

Here is again our map of Iceland with the recommended hotels and neighborhoods.

There’s more

Questions? Contact us

I tried to make this guide as useful and complete as possible. However, chances are you still have questions left.

Therefore, any questions? Anything not clear?

Please get in touch with us, I would be very happy to help. I want to make this guide as useful as possible for you.

You see, your question actually helps me as well.

Do not be shy and send me an email.

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