Iceland Itinerary: 3 Days in the Land of Fire & Ice
Looking for an Iceland itinerary that brings you to all the best sites in just four days? We’ve got you covered!
Iceland has long been on my bucket list—in fact, if you look back on the blog, you’ll see that I mentioned it in my 2017 travel goals, so it’s been a long time coming! So when Jet2holidays invited us to Iceland to explore the Land of Fire and Ice, we jumped at the chance.
Though the weather wasn’t on our side, we still managed to see a lot of what this little island had to offer.
So to help you do the same, we put together this three day Iceland itinerary that should help you map out your long weekend.
Iceland Itinerary: Day 1 in Reykjavik + Northern Lights Tour
If you’re flying to Reykjavik with Jet2Holidays, chances are you’re going to arrive bright and early, with a full day of exploring ahead.
Jet2holidays do organise airport transfer to your hotel, which I highly recommend taking if you’re not planning on getting a rental car, as taxis are expensive (along with nearly everything else in Iceland!).
We did rent a car as we had planned to do a lot of driving around over the 4 days, but sadly we got snowed off a lot of our plans (more on this later!). But rest assured that the road from the airport to Reykjavik is almost always open, so the drive to the city centre was easy.
TIP: If your hotel doesn’t have parking, you can use the free car parking space at the supermarket chains Netto. We parked here as it was the closest to our hotel.
Take it easy on your first day, after all it’s been an early start and you’ll want to explore Reykjavik just as much as the rest of the country.
We spent the day wandering around Reykjavik while the sun was shining, and when the weather got too cold to bear, we took shelter in some cute cafes and restaurants.
Here’s a couple of places to star on your Google maps to help you find your way around the city:
#1: Sun Voyager
The iconic Sun Voyager is a steel sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason, located next to the Sæbraut road in Reykjavík, Iceland.
The Sun Voyager is known as a dreamboat, or an ode to the Sun and the artist wanted it to convey the promise of undiscovered territory—a dream of hope, progress, and freedom. Definitely worth a stop off while you’re walking along the seafront.
Hallgrímskirkja features in nearly every tour guide to Iceland, and while it’s not as striking as other European churches, it’s still worth a visit.
At 74.5 metres high, it is the largest church in Iceland and among the tallest structures in the country—so it’s the only place to get views like these!
#3: Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre
Also along the waterfront, the Harpa Concert Hall has a gorgeous glass front that catches the light of the water below.
It also looks pretty spectacular at night, with the multicoloured pastel lights that sparkle through the building.
Laugavegur is one of Iceland’s oldest shopping streets and still has so much charm!
With not a whisper of a H&M or Zara you could spend a couple of hours pottering around little boutiques and vintage stores.
Once you’ve finished exploring the city, you can settle into an evening of great food (honestly some of the best food I’ve eaten has been in Iceland!) or stay cozy in your hotel.
For dinner, I highly recommend you check out Kopar in the harbour. Book a window seat for sunset and order from the pre-theatre menu. It’s three delicious courses of the best seafood you’ll ever eat. We waddled our way out of there!
Iceland Itinerary: Day 2 in the Golden Circle, The Secret Lagoon
Day 2 in Iceland is going to be a big day, so rise early, have a hearty breakfast and get ready to see some of the best sights of the island.
Our original plan was to drive to the Golden Circle, but with bad weather warnings and bit too much ice on the roads for our liking, we decided to book onto a group tour instead.
Whether you’re going to self-drive or hop on a tour, here’s a couple of places you’ll want to stop off along the way!
#1: Thingvellir National Park
Thingvellir National Park is where the earth’s tectonic plates meet (and are continuously being dragged apart).
From the viewing platform, you can also spot the lagoon where you can dive down and swim between the plates—which sounds like a wild experience!
#2: Geysers at Haukadalur
Around the region of Haukadalur you can check out some seriously active geysers and geothermal activity.
Strokkur is one of the biggest geysers in the area and explodes for nearly every five minutes. It’s worth the chilly wait to see it go off!
#3: Gullfoss Waterfall
Nearly all tours will stop at Gullfoss cascade, which is one of the biggest waterfalls in the country.
The turquoise water meets white glaciers and fresh snow making it an impressive view, even from the car park!
#4: Icelandic Horses at Bru Farm
While driving to Golden Circle, you’ll spot so many Icelandic horses (we’ve been told they get offended if you call them ponies!).
If you can, stop off at Bru Farm where the farmer leaves specific horse treats out so you can feed the ponies safely.
#6: The Secret Lagoon
The Secret Lagoon natural hot springs is located in the small village of Fludir, just on the outskirts of the Golden Circle.
Compared to the iconic Blue Lagoon, the hot spring looks and feels natural—it really feels like you have plunged into a rural hot spring in the middle of nowhere (but with the added luxuries of a hot shower and hot chocolate afterwards!).
The water is about 38-40 celsius all year but if you don’t fancy a dip, you can check out the little Geysir which erupts every five minutes just behind the lagoon!
Want to know more about the Golden Circle? Head over to Sarah’s blog where she’s covers everything you need to know about the scenic loop!
After all that exploring, it’s time to head back to the hotel. It gets very, very cold in winter and you might not want to venture far after dark, especially as you’ve been battling the elements most of the day!
TIP: Iceland is expensive, especially when it comes to food, drink, and accommodation. But because the weather is so cold in winter, you’ll end up spending a lot more time in your hotel room than any other city break. So I recommend (if you can!) splurging a little on your accommodation options.
We stayed at Exeter Hotel by Keahotels (kindly gifted by Jet2Holidays) and we loved it! Not only is there a donut shop right inside the lobby which fuelled us each day, but the staff was lovely and helpful, the rooms were stunning and there’s an on-site sauna!
Iceland Itinerary: Day 3 at the Blue Lagoon + Fly Home
Just in case you didn’t get a chance to go to the Secret Lagoon, or you just didn’t get enough of 40-degree outdoor pools, you can stop off at the famous Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport on your last day!
While probably busier (and more expensive) than the Secret Lagoon, the Blue Lagoon is famous for a reason. The icy blue waters are deceivingly hot and the volcanic mud makes for the best face mask!
Finally, fly home knowing you’ve seen some of the best views of the country, but still enough left to see to warrant a return trip!
HOW TO FLY:
We flew with Jet2holidays from Birmingham International Airport on a 4-day round trip. However, Jet2holidays have regular flights to Reykjavik across the UK.