Searching for the perfect 3 days in Iceland itinerary? Whether you are heading to Iceland in winter or visiting during the stunning summer, our three-day Iceland itinerary will fit the bill! Iceland is such a fascinating country to visit and there is so much to see and do! This Iceland itinerary will help you maximize your time to see as much as possible!
We are going to show you have to see so many amazing things in just 3 days in Iceland! You will see everything, from waterfalls to canyons and even black sand beaches! This itinerary will go at a moderate to fast pace, with options to do even more included along the way. It is perfect for a trip to Iceland at any time of year and will not include activities that can’t be done in all seasons.
In order to complete our 3 days in Iceland itinerary, we do recommend that you rent a car as this will be a mini road trip! If you don’t want to rent a car, you can still see many of these sites by booking a group tour or multiple day tours. We will include more details about booking tours in Iceland later in this post if you are looking to go that route.
So why should you trust us over other Iceland itinerary suggestions? We have been to Iceland multiple times and our 5 Day Iceland Road Trip Itinerary has helped thousands of people from all around the world plan their dream trips to Iceland! We are here to help you out and share the information we wish we knew when planning our first trip to Iceland!
To help you with your planning, we put together Where To Stay In Iceland where we break down all of the best lodging options around the Ring Road. We hope you have fun!
Get a FREE printable “Hidden Gems In Iceland” E-book by joining our private Iceland Facebook Group and share your photos and ask for tips and tricks.
Your 3 Days In Iceland Itinerary (Self Drive)
Day 1: Begin Your 3 Days In Iceland Itinerary With Reykjavik And The Golden Circle
Since you are flying into Keflavik Airport to begin your 3 days in Iceland, it makes sense for day 1 of your Iceland itinerary to begin near the airport. Feel free to modify day 1 of our Iceland itinerary depending on what time of day your flight arrives in Iceland. This first day will be jam-packed with fantastic sites and things to do so make sure you sleep on the plane if your flight arrives in the early morning on the first day of your Iceland itinerary!
Stop 1: Visit The Blue Lagoon
People will decry the Blue Lagoon as a tourist attraction and won’t want to go. We were one of those people until our second trip to Iceland when we decided to give it a go. While it can be expensive, it is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever have in your life! We visited the Blue Lagoon during the winter and it was so magical with the snowfall all around us!
Visiting the Blue Lagoon is the perfect way to kick off your 3 days in Iceland itinerary, especially if you arrive on an early flight into Keflavik Airport. They even have Blue Lagoon/Keflavik airport transfer busses!
A note about the Blue Lagoon is that YOU MUST MAKE A RESERVATION and you absolutely cannot just drop in! You can make reservations on the Blue Lagoon website. We recommend choosing the cheapest possible package as we recognize it is an expensive thing to do on your Iceland itinerary but we think it is 100% worth it as it is one of the best things to do near Reykjavik!
The Blue Lagoon pool is huge and even if there are a lot of people visiting, there are places you can swim or walk to that are more secluded! It is a fun way to begin your trip in Iceland and we highly recommend it!
Hotels Near The Blue Lagoon:
Stop 2: Visit A Grocery Store In Reykjavik
Sound like an odd thing to do when you only have 3 days in Iceland? Think again! Grocery stores in Iceland will save you buckets of money during your Iceland itinerary! Before you begin your itinerary and today’s Golden Circle drive, stock up on food and snacks! Purchasing food out, even at gas stations, can add up quickly in Iceland!
Food in Iceland can go from $14 for a single hot dog to $45 for a simple burger and fries or pizza per person! Since the price of food [and everything!] is so expensive in Iceland, we recommend making a grocery store in Iceland your first stop after visiting the Blue Lagoon. If you are staying at an Airbnb in Iceland [which we highly recommend because it will save you money on food] then make sure to buy enough food to eat all meals for 3 days in Iceland.
If you can’t think of what you want, at least get bread, sandwich meat [if you eat that] or peanut butter and jelly, fruit, snacks, and bottled drinks. If you want to snack, eat something you purchased at the grocery store instead of breaking the bank by going out to eat!
Driving The Golden Circle
During the first day of your Iceland itinerary, you will drive a loop road called the Golden Circle. It begins and ends near Reykjavik, so once you have grabbed all your food goodies, you will be ready to go out and explore some of Iceland’s stunning nature! The Golden Circle drive is an easy 190-miles round trip. Since the Golden Circle drive is a circle, you can choose to complete it in either direction, but for the purpose of this 3 days in Iceland itinerary, we will be going clockwise.
You can do the drive in under 3 hours if you don’t stop for very long, but we recommend budgeting at least 4-5 hours. Along the way, be sure to stop and pet the adorable Icelandic ponies who are waiting for some love! If you want to opt-out of driving this part, there are many affordable Golden Circle Tours you may like to go on instead.
Stop 3 [First Stop On The Golden Circle]: Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park is one of the coolest stops on your 3 days in Iceland itinerary because it is where the American And Eurasian tectonic plates touch! It is also where the first parliament happened way back in the Viking days! Isn’t that so cool! This is the first stop on this part of your Iceland itinerary and there are walks you can do and pullouts to stop on. Thingvellir National Park can take as short or long as you want to visit. We recommend making it a quick stop to read about the history and see the views before making your way to other parts of the Golden Circle Drive on your Iceland itinerary.
Best Thingvellier Hotels:
Thingvellir Lake Cottage: Check Rates On Booking.com
Blue Grove Guesthouse: Check Rates On Hotels.com
Stop 4 [2nd Golden Circle]: Geysir Hot Spring Area
One thing that makes the Golden Circle great for spending 3 days in Iceland, besides its proximity to Reykjavik and the airport, is the diversity of things you will see on this drive! Boiling mud posts? Check! Geysers that erupt almost on schedule? Check!
If you are basing in the capital for this first day, you can easily make this a day trip from Reykjavik!
Geysir Hot Spring Area allows you to walk among geysers and boiling mud pots so you must be very careful to stay on the approved path or literally risk death by scalding. The main geyser erupts almost on a schedule so you will see it during your stop! Have your camera ready as the best part of the eruption is the giant blue bubble that forms just moments before the geyser erupts hundreds of feet into the air!
Recommended Geysir Hotel:
Stop 5: Brúarfoss Waterfall
Brúarfoss Waterfall is a much lesser-known Golden Circle location that doesn’t even have a proper road going to it! This location isn’t even an official stop on the typical “Golden Circle Drive” but we know the secrets and think you should totally add it to your 3 day Iceland itinerary! The blue water is stunning and really looks this blue in real life! It is a quick but memorable stop!
is located off of the Golden Circle drive and you can find it by typing “Brúarfoss Waterfall” into your GPS! Do NOT type Brúarfoss alone or else your GPS will send you to northern Iceland. Make sure to add the “waterfall” part into your GPS for accurate directions. Apple Maps has a hard time with this one so make sure you are using GOOGLE MAPS to find it! Apple Maps will usually only pull up the Northern Iceland location which is wrong!
Stop 6: Gullfoss Waterfall
Gullfoss Waterfall is the only waterfall in Iceland that looks like it is falling underground! It is one of the biggest waterfalls you will see during your 3 days in Iceland, and we recommend spending the most time on your Golden Circle drive here! Gullfoss is open whether you plan your Iceland itinerary in winter or summer, and it looks totally different during different times of the year!
You can view Gullfoss Waterfall from above, or you can walk downstairs to get up close and personal with this powerful waterfall! There is also a gift shop and restaurant that overlooks Gullfoss Waterfall, but you won’t need any food because you got it from the grocery store, right? If you do choose to eat, this is a great place to grab lunch on the first afternoon of your Iceland itinerary.
Stop 7: Finish Off Day One Of Your 3 Days In Iceland By Exploring Downtown Reykjavik
The last stop of the first day of your 3 days in Iceland itinerary will leave you exploring Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city, by night. You are probably super tired from your flight and day exploring the Golden Circle, so we don’t blame you if you just want to stay in your lodging and relax and sleep!
If you want to get out, check out the Sun Voyager sculpture in Reykjavik and walk along the riverfront. We also recommend checking out Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavik. It is one of the tallest buildings in the city and located in the heart of downtown.
Where To Stay In Reykjavik:
Optional Activity For Winter: Take A Northern Lights Tour From Reykjavik
If you are completing this Iceland itinerary during the winter, you probably are dying to see the Northern Lights! We couldn’t agree more and they are super excited to see! Since you only have 3 days in Iceland, taking a Northern Lights tour is a good way to maximize your chances of seeing the lights as the guides know where and when the best chance for seeing the lights maybe.
This four-hour Nothern Lights tour departs from Reykjavik and takes you into the darkness for the best chances of viewing the lights. This is actually exactly where we saw the Northern Lights in Iceland on our first trip so hopefully, you will have the same luck! For just $17 more, you can upgrade to a more private Iceland Northern Lights Tour that departs Reykjavik in a mini-bus instead of a full-size bus with lots of people.
Book here: Four Hour Northern Lights Bus Tour
You may also love: Northern Lights Boat Cruise (2 hours)
Where To Stay On The First Night Of Your Iceland Itinerary
Wow! The first day of your 3 days in Iceland was jam-packed with fun things to do! Don’t worry, the next two days will be a bit of a slower pace! For spending the first night of your Iceland itinerary, you can choose to book accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik or more on the outskirts. Since you are leaving town tomorrow and heading to Iceland’s south coast, we recommend booking accommodation more on the outskirts of Reykjavik, but it is up to you what you want to do! If you want to skip Stop 7 which is exploring downtown Reykjavik altogether, you can even spend the night in Selfoss which is right at the end of the Golden Circle drive.
Our Suggested Hotels In Reykjavik:
Day 2: The Second Day Of Your Iceland Itinerary Involves Waterfalls, Hot Springs, And Plane Wrecks
On the second day of your 3 days in Iceland itinerary, you will leave the Reykjavik area and head towards the town of Vik on Iceland’s southeast coast. This is our all-time favorite part of Iceland and an unforgettable part of your Iceland itinerary. The driving is easy and the views are stunning and all come one right after the other so you are in for a real treat!
Stop 1: Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
You will start the second day of your 3 days in Iceland by paying a visit to the stunning Seljalandsfoss Waterfall! This waterfall is located a little less than 2 hours outside of Reykjavik, so if you spent the night on the outskirts of the city or in Selfoss, you will be even closer! Simply put “Seljalandsfoss Waterfall” in your GPS and you will be on your way!
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is a really cool stop on your Iceland itinerary because this is a waterfall you will be able to walk behind! If you are visiting Iceland in winter, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall will be covered in snow and ice so you will not be able to walk behind it but you can still enjoy it from the front! You can see Seljalandsfoss Waterfall from the Ring Road and there is a sign pointing off the road as well. You really can’t miss it!
This is one of the best stops along the Ring Road in Iceland and you really shouldn’t miss it!
Stop 2: Gljúfrabúi Waterfall
If you are already at Seljalandsfoss then you must take some time to visit the hidden Gljúfrabúi Waterfall! This waterfall is located a short walk away from Seljalandsfoss and is such a cool and easy thing to do during your 3 days in Iceland! To find Gljúfrabúi Waterfall, face Seljalandsfoss and walk about 1/4 of a mile to your left.
There you will spot a small sign marking that you have arrived. In order to see the hidden waterfall, you are actually going to have to walk through a gorge until you get to a cave. Here you will see Gljúfrabúi Waterfall in all of its glory! We highly recommend wearing waterproof shoes for this as you will get wet. We have done this during both the winter and summer and promise that you will get wet! This is one of the most fun stops along any Iceland itinerary and there is a big payoff at the end!
Where To Stay Near South Coast Waterfalls:
Stop 3: Seljavallalaug Hot Spring
Now after driving in the car and exploring two waterfalls, it is time for a short hike and a relaxing soak in Seljavallalaug Hot Spring. This hot spring is located in the mountains just past the waterfalls you just visited above! To get there, simply type “Seljavallalaug Hot Spring” in your GPS and you will be on your way! If you decide to skip the Blue Lagoon during your 3 days in Iceland but still want to add a hot spring to your Iceland itinerary, this is a great and free alternative!
From the parking lot, you will walk a short 20-minute hike to get to this hidden swimming pool in the mountains of Iceland heated by geothermal water! The walk is winding and has a bit of uphill and downhill, but it is moderately easy. The Seljavallalaug Trail is open all year round and the hot spring is particularly inviting during the winter!
Stop 4: Skogafoss Waterfall Is A Must On Your 3 Days In Iceland Itinerary
Your next stop will be the impressive Skogafoss Waterfall! This is another waterfall in Iceland that you can see from the road so you won’t waste time trying to find it if you only have 3 days in Iceland! Skogafoss Waterfall is easily accessible in both the winter and the summer and you shouldn’t miss it!
When visiting Skogafoss Waterfall on your Iceland itinerary, make sure to walk the stairs on the right side of the waterfall to the top! Here you will get a unique perspective on Skogafoss Waterfall and will also get to turn around and look out over the ocean and the Ring Road below! You can even choose to walk along the top of the waterfall along the river that feeds it if you want to spend more time exploring Skogafoss! This is our favorite waterfall in the world and if you have 3 days in Iceland you really need to stop here!
Stop 5: Kvernufoss Waterfall
Kvernufoss Waterfall is another little special hidden gem that isn’t included on most 3 day Iceland itineraries! We got your back and are including it here! This waterfall is located off the same Ring Road stop as Skogafoss Waterfall above, but there are no GPS directions to visit Kvernufoss Waterfall!
The short hike to this waterfall begins from behind the Skogar Museum so navigate yourself there and then begin! You will have to (legally) hop over a fence but it is set up so that you can easily jump over and continue your walk! Not far from the fence you will come across the hike that will lead into the gorge. The hike goes along the river until you reach Kvernufoss Waterfall! Kvernufoss Waterfall is another waterfall that you can walk behind and it is quite a cool experience to add to your 3 days in Iceland itinerary!
Stop 6: Sólheimasandur Airplane Wreck
Looking for a really unique thing to do during your 3 days in Iceland? Visiting Sólheimasandur Airplane Wreck on a black sand beach in Iceland will certainly be one of the more memorable things to do on your Iceland itinerary! Luckily, no one died in this plane crash so you can explore without being disrespectful! Sólheimasandur Airplane Wreck is located very near the Skogafoss Area so keep your eye out when driving for a small makeshift parking area.
The walk from the parking lot is long [about 4km round trip] and on flat to a slightly rocky beach. Depending on how fast you walk, the walk can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes each way. You will not see the plane until you come over a hill and are right upon it. Make sure to budget plenty of time for this walk so that you don’t get caught out in the dark [if you aren’t visiting during the summer] and have enough time to enjoy your stay!
Here are the exact coordinates to get to the Plane Crash – 63.459523,-19.364618
Spend The Night In Vik To Cap Off Day 2 Of Your 3 Day Iceland Itinerary
For the second night of your 3 days in Iceland itinerary, you are going to spend the night in the cute town of Vik! Although it is a small town, there are a variety of accommodations options ranging from nice hotels, hostels, and Airbnb options. There is a small grocery store and a gas station but you shouldn’t need much food if you stocked up in Reykjavik on the first day of your Iceland itinerary. Spend the night here and get ready for a lot of fun on your last day in Iceland!
We have an entire article about Where To Stay In Vik Iceland so if you are searching, this is the place to check out even more detailed suggestions!
Where to Stay In Vik Iceland!
Day 3: Finish Off Your Iceland Itinerary With Canyons And Black Sand Beaches
This is the last day of your 3 days in Iceland so you really want to make the most of it! Since you spent the night in Vik, you are in luck as there are a lot of great things to see and do nearby! First, you are going to backtrack a little [only by about 10 minutes] and drive the Ring Road back the way you came! Then you will drive about an hour further past Vik to see an amazing canyon! This is also a great time to see anything suggested on this 3-day itinerary that you may have missed or skipped for the sake of time on the other two days!
Stop 1: Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach And Basalt Columns
Reynisfjara Beach is literally located less than 5 minutes out of Vik back the way you entered the town! You have seen the photos of these basalt columns darn near everywhere, and now it is your turn to visit! You can easily reach the basalt columns by a side road off Highway 1 near Vik. Keep your eyes out and program your GPS accordingly so you don’t miss it and have to backtrack like we did!
If the tide is out, and we mean way out, you can climb on the basalt columns on Reynisfjara beach. Otherwise, walk along the beach and marvel at the stunning views and black sand! This is one of the most dangerous beaches in Iceland and “sneaker waves” have claimed the lives of tourists in the past.
Stop 2: Dyrhólaey Lighthouse
Dyrhólaey is located down the hill on the Ring Road after you get back on the main road from the beach above in stop 1. Make sure to keep an eye out for the small sign! There are two parts to Dyrhólaey, a lower part where you can walk around rocks and down onto the beach, and a higher part where you can drive up to Dyrhólaey Lighthouse!
If you want to add Dyrhólaey Lighthouse to your 3 days in Iceland itinerary, understand that the drive is short but steep and winding and there are no guardrails! It is totally doable during the winter in a 2×2 car but just a teeny bit sketchy! When you arrive and park your car, get out and walk straight towards the edge of the cliff. Here you will be rewarded with a view of black sand beach stretching as far as the eye can see!
This view will be one of the best you will see during your time in Iceland! While you are up there, make sure to walk around Dyrhólaey Lighthouse and explore the different views that you can see from the top of the cliff! There is an archway with a hole carved in the rock formations that is pretty cool to take pictures of as well! If you are a photographer, this is a particularly epic stop on your Iceland itinerary!
Stop 3: Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
After you explore the black sand beaches near Vik, drive east (right) on the Ring Road for about 50 minutes until you come across the sign for Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. This is the furthest you will go on the Ring Road since you have just 3 days in Iceland but this is well worth the stop! Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is a lesser-known stop and is rarely included on many Iceland itineraries but it is stunning and easy to get to.
To get to Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, simply plug it into your GPS or Google Maps and you will be taken right to the mouth of the canyon. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is located right off the Ring Road and there is a bathroom and parking lot at the bottom. Once you arrive and park, you can walk down in the canyon or up along the edges. This makes for some fantastic photo opportunities! Just be careful when walking near the edge of the cliff as the edge of the dirt may be loose and it could be dangerous!
Stop 6: Optional Drive To The Glacier Lagoon And Diamond Beach
We say that this stop is optional on your 3 day Iceland itinerary because the Glacier Lagoon is a bit far from Reykjavik for your drive back. You can choose to wake up very early and drive out to the Glacier Lagoon, but we won’t hold you to it! While it is doable, it is quite a lot of driving so keep that in mind when you make the choice!
You haven’t seen anything until you have seen a glacier lagoon in Iceland! Seeing chunks of crystal-clear blue ice sitting on a perfectly black beach is something you will never forget a must-see if you can swing it during your 3 days in Iceland. Look out for wildlife because seals often come out to play among the floating icebergs. Rain, shine, or snow, this is an essential stop if you want to drive this far during your Iceland 3 day itinerary.
Once you are done at the Glacier Lagoon, you can simply drive across the street and see the famous “Diamond Beach.” This is where the ice chunks from the glacier lagoon flow into the ocean and the ice chunks wash up on the black sand beach which looks like a diamond. The beach shouldn’t be missed if you choose to head this far east during your 3 days in Iceland.
Where To Stay Near Glacier Lagoon:
Stop 5: End Your 3 Days In Iceland In Reykjavik
If you were too tired to explore Reykjavik on your first day, we don’t blame you! Now is a great time to end your 3 days in Iceland itinerary in the capital city and perhaps do a little shopping or take a walking tour! The drive to Reykjavik from Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon will take about 3 hours and will pass all the sites you saw on Day 2 in the event that you want to stop and see anything a second time. This is also a good time for an evening at the Blue Lagoon if you missed it at the beginning of your Iceland itinerary!
Spend The Last Night Of Your 3 Days In Iceland In Reykjavik Or Vik
Depending on what time your flight leaves, you may choose to spend your third night in Vik as opposed to Reykjavik. This will give you time to continue to explore the south coast of Iceland. If you choose to stay in Reykjavik, we recommend picking a place that is on the outskirts of town if you have an early flight to catch.
Keflavik Airport is pretty chill when it comes to security and getting through the airport because it is small, but you don’t want to be late! Make the decision on where to stay on the last night of your 3 days in Iceland depending on what you want to do on the last evening and based on your departure time.
Where to Stay In Vik Iceland!
Where To Stay In Reykjavik:
Spending 3 Days In Iceland Without Driving (Tours)
If you are looking to spend 3 days in Iceland and don’t want to drive, that is totally okay! We are going to recommend the best tours in Iceland below that mimic what we recommended above so that you don’t have to drive at all if you don’t want to! You won’t be able to see some of the lesser-known spots we suggested, but you will see the highlights and the best of what Iceland has to offer if you choose to do these tours instead of a self-drive Iceland itinerary!
If you choose to take tours during your 3 days in Iceland, we recommend setting up Reykjavik as your home base. This way, you will be near to where the tours start and some even pick you up from your lodging, depending on who you book with!
Day 1: Golden Circle Tour With Blue Lagoon Tour (8-11 Hours)
This trip is one of the bestselling guided tours in Iceland of all time! This tour mimics day 1 of our self-drive 3 days in Iceland itinerary. There are multiple trustworthy options and we have included a few here for you.
If you want to book a Golden Circle tour with the Blue Lagoon, you are going to have to go on a small group tour. On the Golden Circle Full-Day Grand Tour, you are treated to the ultimate Iceland Golden Circle experience. Not one detail is left out and you have plenty of time to take in waterfalls, thermal pools, and geysers which are all the things recommended in our Iceland itinerary above!
It is one of the best Iceland tours because, for an extremely affordable rate, you pack in everything there is to see on the Golden Circle. If want to take a nap the day you arrive, try the 6 hour Golden Circle Afternoon Tour. This tour in Iceland doesn’t last as long and is cheaper than the full-day option. You will want to pack warm gloves as you will be snapping a ton of photos!
You might also like: Golden Circle Afternoon Tour
If you want to see the Blue Lagoon: Small-Group Golden Circle And Blue Lagoon Tour
Day 2: South Iceland Full Day Tour From Reykjavik (10 hours)
This may just be your favorite day out of our 3 day Iceland itinerary especially if you love waterfalls and beaches! You even get more for your money than your self-drive Iceland road trip above because you have the choice to visit Iceland’s stunning and memorable glacier lagoon! The South Iceland Full Day Tour From Reykjavik covers everything you need to see from Iceland’s black sand beaches to the most popular waterfalls in Iceland!
If you want to take it a step further and have the time to explore, consider a south Iceland tour that also stops at Iceland’s glacier lagoon and even includes a boat tour on the lagoon! Although the tour is 14 hours long, seeing the glacier lagoon in Iceland is not to be missed! Packing a day pack for this tour is a must.
Book here: South Iceland Tour From Reykjavik
Day 3: Explore Reykjavik With A City Tour
On the last day of your 3 days in Iceland itinerary, spend the day exploring Reykjavik. Although this city may be your home base over the past three days, you probably haven’t spent much time exploring it! What better way to see the city than with an affordable hop on hop off bus tour? We particularly love the Reykjavik waterfront so make sure you hop off the Reykjavik city tour and spend some time there doing the things we recommend in our 3 day Iceland itinerary above. If you are looking for the best Iceland tours that show you the city, these are great options.
Get your tickets here: Reykjavik Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour
Want food? Try: Reykjavik Food Tasting Tour (4 hours)
Book here: Reykjavik Minibus City Tour (3 hours)
Optional Day 3: Ultimate Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour (11 hours)
If you don’t care about Reykjavik and are looking to do something totally unique and not included in the above 3 days in Iceland itinerary, consider taking a tour to visit the Snaefellsnes Peninsula! The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a much lesser-known part of Iceland even though it is home to Kirkjufell, a mountain that is seen in almost every article about Iceland!
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula Full Day Tour leaves from Reykjavik and explores the highlights from this western Iceland destination and is the perfect way to cap off your 3 days in Iceland with a ban. By choosing one of the tours in Iceland that head to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, you will get to enjoy the rocky coastline, lava fields, waterfalls, mountains, and more! Socks and warm shoes are a must for this all-day Iceland tour.
Check pricing: The Snaefellsnes Peninsula Full Day Tour From Reykjavik
Iceland Road Trip Map
If you are more of a visual person and are wondering where this 3 day Iceland road trip itinerary takes you, check out this map below! Iceland is a very GPS-friendly country and the majority of locations mentioned can be plugged into your GPS or Google Mapped! This is our Iceland itinerary in map format!
How To Get To Iceland
If you are spending 3 days in Iceland you will be flying into Keflavik Airport. This is the only major airport in Iceland so there is a 99.9% chance this is where you are going to end up! A common misconception is that this airport is located in Reykjavik [we thought so too!] but it isn’t!
Keflavik Airport is located about 45 minutes away from the city of Reykjavik. If you are not renting a car in Iceland or are going to be taking tours, you will want to take this Reykjavik/Keflavik Transport bus. You can buy tickets in advance here! This is also a great option if you are going to be picking up your rental car from Reykjavik instead of the airport.
Keflavik Airport is where your Iceland itinerary will begin and it is a sleek and modern building. Getting through customs is easy and there are places to take out or exchange money right in the airport.
We recommend checking out Skyscanner to find the best and most affordable flights into Iceland. We use this tool to discover the best flights for our trip because you can easily compare rates.
How To Drive In Iceland
If you only have 3 days in Iceland, a great way to maximize your time is to rent a car and drive! Renting a car and driving in Iceland is quite easy to do, even during the winter! Do not be fooled! You do NOT have to rent a 4×4 vehicle to complete this Iceland itinerary, even if you visit in winter! We have never rented a 4×4 for any trips to Iceland and everything we recommend is accessible with a more affordable and gas-efficient 2×2 car.
We created this post to teach you how to drive in Iceland so make sure to check it out for more detailed tips! The roads in Iceland are in incredibly good shape and drivers are not crazy, unlike many other parts of the world, so driving for the first time is easy! There are speed cameras set up around Iceland, so if you don’t want a $200 speeding ticket to cap off your 3 days in Iceland, make sure to proceed with caution and stick to the speed limit!
When driving in Iceland, you will also have to factor in gas because it can get pretty pricey! To fill up a small economy car will cost you $70-$80 USD. Luckily, since you are spending just 3 days in Iceland, you will save on gas as you won’t be driving quite as far as others due to the length of your stay on this Iceland itinerary.
Accommodations In Iceland
It is no secret that Iceland is expensive. For your 3 days in Iceland itinerary, we highly recommend that you book an Airbnb or some other sort of home share accommodation because you will gain valuable access to a kitchen. If you are wary of sharing with other guests, don’t worry! Many Airbnb in Iceland offers “entire home” accommodations where you will be by yourself completely.
We have tried both hotels and Airbnb while in Iceland and prefer each depending on your circumstances. You will not be forced to eat all meals out [which is also expensive] and Airbnbs are roughly the same cost, if not much cheaper, than many hotels or even hostels in Iceland!
If you are going for a special occasion or are looking to stay somewhere really unique, then hotels are surely the way to go! There are also some incredible hotels in areas that Airbnbs are not and vice versa. You should compare options between Airbnb and hotels in Iceland!
Check Rates For Hotels In Iceland On Booking.com
Is Driving Necessary In Iceland?
Our 3 day Iceland itinerary offers both the option of a self-drive road trip OR completing the entire itinerary via tours. If you are tentative about driving in Iceland, we beg you not to be! We are Floridians and if we can drive in Iceland then anyone can!
Driving in Iceland is about knowing what you are getting into and we created 7 Things To Know Before Driving In Iceland as a guide for preparing you for the task! We have driven in Iceland in all four seasons including rain, snow, sleet, hail, wind, and more. If you take proper precautions you should be 100% fine!
When it comes to driving in Iceland during your Iceland road trip, keep in mind to look out for local road closures and safety information. You can visit this website to keep up with the conditions during your trip! It is run by locals and has all the up-to-date information you could ever want or need.
That being said, if you do NOT want to drive in Iceland, there are still some options for you and ways that you can see this entire 3 day Iceland itinerary on your own without driving. As you can see above we provided this entire itinerary if you want to do it via tours!
Day Tours From Reykjavik
There are so many wonderful day tours that you can take from Reykjavik. If you aren’t driving in Iceland, simply take a bus from Keflavik Airport to the city center of Reykjavik [or your hotel shuttle]. Many tours in Iceland pick you up from your hotel which is a wonderful option. We put together the best 16 Tours in Iceland for your money and the majority of them start in Reykjavik.
There are many wonderful tour options from Reykjavik if you don’t want to drive like this four-hour Nothern Lights tour departs from Reykjavik and takes you into the darkness for the best chances of viewing the lights. This is actually exactly where we saw the Northern Lights in Iceland on our first trip so hopefully, you will have the same luck!
If you want to visit many of the same locations on this 3 day Iceland itinerary, The South Iceland Full Day Tour From Reykjavik covers everything you need to see from Iceland’s black sand beaches to the most popular waterfalls in Iceland! You will never have to drive and you will still get to see fabulous sites in Iceland!
Multi-Day Group Tours
Another option where you don’t have to drive but can still experience the best that Iceland has to offer in 3 days is by taking a multi-day group tour. You won’t have to plan each individual day on your own and you can truly see the best Iceland has to offer with a local guide. Depending on how long you want to spend in Iceland, these are a few of our favorite multi-day tours in Iceland:
Yes! You heard that correctly! Hitchhiking is very popular in Iceland. Many people experience Iceland simply by hitching rides from others. Unlike the United States, people DO pick up hitchhikers and it is a popular culture in Iceland.
This is a safe and free way to get around Iceland without a car. That being said, you will have to put some work into it by standing out until a car passes to pick you up. We saw many hitchhikers and many people picking them up so if you are brave this is totally an option!
We have to be honest, busses are not a huge thing in Iceland. That being said, they ARE a thing that exists and you can totally use them if you are interested. The best way to use buses during your 3 days in Iceland is to check into getting a bus passport.
This is the most economical way to travel in Iceland if you are going to visit multiple destinations. The busses in Iceland can get you to popular locations such as Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon, and there is even a bus that will take you to Thorsmork in the Highlands if you are interested in doing some hiking during your Iceland itinerary.