On the hunt for the ultimate 3 days in Iceland itinerary? No matter what time of year you are visiting this itinerary will fulfill all your needs! Three days in Iceland supplies you with the perfect amount of time to see all the main sites and attractions of Iceland. However, don’t be surprised if after your first visit Iceland’s beauty and magic pull you back again.
Iceland is an enchanting country that is vastly different from any other travel destination on earth. It’s full of scenic beauty and various natural phenoms that will shock and amaze you. From the exploding geysers to the vivid blue waters to the lava-formed land, Iceland is much more than you could ever imagine. Beyond the natural beauty of Iceland, the capital city of Reykjavik is also very charming. It is also one of the best places to visit on a European girls trip!
Having just 3 days in Iceland will supply you with enough time to explore Reykjavik, drive the legendary golden circle and see some additional sights in Southern Iceland. It is a packed 3-day adventure that will keep you constantly moving. Just be sure to take some time at each site to rest for a moment and appreciate the beauty of Iceland.
Now, prepare for an epic 3 days in Iceland and for a trip, you will never forget.
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3 Days in Iceland Itinerary
In This Post
Day 1 in Iceland: Reykjavik & The Blue Lagoon
Day one in Iceland is all about relaxing and getting your first taste of the countries astonishing beauty. After a long day of travel, you will surely be ready for some relaxation at The Blue Lagoon. More so, on your first day, it is fitting to spend some time exploring Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, and prepare for the remaining 3 days in Iceland which are full of exploring and constant adventures.
Relax at the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is one of the 25 wonders of the world and is one of Iceland’s most famous and sought out attractions. The spa uses Iceland’s unique volcanic landscape to its advantage, as it is lava from a volcanic eruption that has shaped the pools. More so, the water inside the pool is geothermally heated and packed with silica, which is the reason for its milky blue hue.
A visit to the Blue Lagoon is the perfect way to start your Icelandic adventures. It offers the perfect relaxing spa day but with some interesting twists. Not only is the blue-hued water and surrounding area unique and beautiful, but the water is packed with minerals that are amazing for your skin. More so, the water temperature ranges from 98 to – 104-degrees and offers a welcome warmth in an otherwise cold country. The combination of cold air and warm waters is unbeatable!
The Blue Lagoon also offers silica, mineral salt and algae mud masks that allow you to detoxify and hydrate your skin.
Although the Blue Lagoon is one of the most frequented tourist destinations in Iceland, it has not lost its authenticity or value. Plenty of people do visit the Blue Lagoon and you will be among quite a few others in the warm geothermal waters, but the experience is completely worth it.
Prices for The Blue Lagoon start at 55 euros which also includes a free towel, a free drink, and a free mud mask. This price has no restrictions on time or other factors either but be sure to book your time slot in advance as this is required. Try to set aside around five hours for the Blue Lagoon. It truly is an amazing experience and it is important to really relax and experience everything the spa has to offer before the hectic 3 days in Iceland continue.
A visit to the Blue Lagoon is the ultimate bucket list experience! And luckily, this is only one of the many Iceland bucket list experiences to be had, as laid out by Fly Stay Luxe.
Reykjavik is the capital city of Iceland and is an understated itinerary strop. Most visitors arrive in Iceland and pass straight through Reykjavik or find their accommodation, leave to the outer attractions, and never look back. However, Reykjavik is a young, trendy and unique city with an unmistakable draw. There is also quite a bit to do in Reykjavik, therefore, setting aside some hours for exploring and preparing for the additional day tours from Reykjavik is essential.
The best thing to do in Reykjavik is simply wander the streets. The city itself is quite small and walking around it is not very difficult. More importantly, there are no ‘bad’ areas for you to stumble into because Reykjavik is a very safe city. Walking around is the best way to see the city and all it has to offer. This way you can explore all the little Icelandic streets, find local cafes and boutiques, and admire the Scandinavian-looking architecture.
While walking around there are a few major sites and attractions in the city that are worth visiting. One of which is Hallgrimskirkja Church. This church stands 75 meters high and you can see it from anywhere in Reykjavik. The building has a very unique exterior design and visitors are allowed to enter it and go to the top for a small fee. From the top, you are able to see the whole city of Reykjavik and the view is amazing.
In addition, Iceland is home to various museums such as the Saga Museum, Perlan Museum and many more! There are also various cafes and restaurants throughout the city that serve amazing food and beverage options. One of my favorites was Bergsson, which served homemade bread, free-range eggs, and locally grown vegetables.
Simply walking around Reykjavik and experiencing Icelandic life is a wonderful experience that will make your first day perfect. After you walk around, head to a grocery store to pick up some food and snacks for the night and the following days. Iceland is expensive and it is smart to save wherever possible!
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Day 2 in Iceland: Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is the most famous and popular route in South Iceland that brings you to three major spots – Thingvellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir, and Gullfoss. You can see the golden circle either by car or by tour bus. By car is the best way because you are not held to any time constraints and can make stops at other interesting sites along the way. The whole golden journey experience can take 8+ hours. This is a whole day activity so be sure to pack snacks and prepare to fall in love with the constant adventures during the 3 days in Iceland.
Walk on two Continents at Þingvellir National Park
Þingvellir National Park is the first stop on the infamous Golden Circle tour and the perfect place to start. This national park is one of the most sought out tourist stops in Iceland and is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the mainland of Iceland. Although it appears to be a national park like many others in the world, Þingvellir national park offers much more.
This national park holds both historical and geographic significance that is very interesting. Historically Þingvellir had been a meeting place where Icelandic disputes were settled, starting in 930 AD. Today, it is the longest-running, and still operating parliament in the world.
While its geographic significance is even more compelling. Iceland is split by the Mid-Atlantic Rift, this means that some of Iceland’s land is on the North American tectonic plate and the other part is on the Eurasian. That means that in Þingvellir National Park you can walk on two different continents within meters of one another. Iceland is the only place on earth where the Mid-Atlantic Rift is above sea level. And the edges of the two tectonic plates are viewed most clearly in Þingvellir.
However, there is more to do in Þingvellir than learning about history and witnessing the geography. Many people come to snorkel or dive in between the two tectonic plates! The water comes from the Langjökull glacier and undergoes an extreme filtration process underground, therefore, it is crystal clear and perfect for diving.
More so, if you are a Game of Thrones Fan, this will also have some entertainment value for you because various scenes were shot here! It is visited by various characters in many scenes, only it is slightly edited with special effects to fit the tv series.
Finding something to do in Þingvellir National Park that suits your interests is more than achievable. This first stop on day two of your 3 days in Iceland is just the beginning of a whirlwind of a day.
Witness the Amazing Strokkur Geysir
The next stop on the Gold Circle tour is the fascinating and compelling Geysir hot spring area. This area is a landmine of boiling water pits, geysers and the highly active Stokkur Geysir. The whole area is amazing to see and admire, however, Strokkur is the real star of the show. This Geysir spouts boiling water 30 meters into the air every couple of minutes!
The spot that homes Strokkur is a geothermal area of land called the Haukadalur valley. And although the geysers are what the valley is known for and what people come to see, there are many more features that make it worth a visit.
Such that, the land itself is formed and shaped in unique ways and dyed all different colours. This is because of the various different land elements such as copper, sulphur, and iron. More so, there are mud pits, hot springs, little geysers, and vivid blue pools of water scattered around the ground.
This is only the second day of your Icelandic adventures and stops number two of the Golden Circle tour. However, here you will see yet another Icelandic phenomenon that will shock and amaze you at the powers of nature. This is one of the adventures during your 3 days in Iceland that will stick in your memory for a lifetime.
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Admire Gullfoss Waterfall
Gullfoss is a huge waterfall located in Iceland’s Hvítá river. Although Iceland is full of stunning waterfalls, this is the most visited in the country. It also just so happens to be the last stop on the Golden Circle Tour.
The water that sources Gullfoss comes from glacier Langjökull and falls a staggering 35 meters down. It is an incredibly powerful amount of water and the roaring sound of the cascading water is astonishing. The waterfall is not only powerful but also a beautiful natural sight to see. Your 3 days in Iceland will be full of beauty and wonder, and this powerful and rushing waterfall will surely be at the top f your list of amazing sights to see.
There are two observation decks at Gullfoss, one closer and one further, so you can view this powerful giant water flow from different vantage points. What’s also great about Gullfoss is that majestic rainbows often arch above the waterfall, giving it a more magical and breathtaking feel. Simply watching this waterfall flow into the river below is astonishing, to say the least.
Extra Stops Along the Way
Scope out some Hobbit Houses
Going on the Golden Circle tour requires quite a bit of driving, and you will probably make a few stops along the way to check out some interesting sites. Of course, you can only stop on your own accord if you rent a car (which I highly suggest) instead of travelling with a tour company. Therefore, if you have a car be on the lookout for interesting and unique Icelandic sites!
One interesting site to keep an eye out for is the ‘Hobbit’ houses built within the rocks and covered in greens. These little buildings look similar to the houses in the Hobbit. And although you can’t go inside them, they are still very interesting and unique to look at. This adventure during your 3 days in Iceland seems more fitting to a New Zealand itinerary but you will be surprised by all the amazing wonders around the world. And no matter how far apart places seem, there are so many similarities between them.
The Crater Kerid
Crater Kerid is a volcanic krater dating back 3000 years. The krater has a small amount of water in it and it is a very unique shade of blue. This is the perfect detour on your golden circle adventures that isn’t as popular as the three attractions listed above. However, it is every bit as fascinating and amazing to view.
Visitors are able to walk around the top edges of the crater to get a stunning ariel view of it. Or you can pay a small amount and go down to the base of the crater. With 3 days in Iceland, you don’t have a ton of time to do extra explorations to further less touristy places. However, you can venture to some of the lesser-known places like Crater Kerid that are quite undiscovered at the moment.
Admire the Scenery
During your 3 days in Iceland, you will stop a lot to admire the scenery. There is just so much beauty and uniqueness to Iceland that you will feel compelled to check it out. Therefore, stopping along your journey to take a moment and admire the beautiful surroundings is encouraged!
Day 3 in Iceland: South Iceland Coast
The final day during your 3 days in Iceland is for exploring the sites and attractions that are not a part of the Golden Circle. There is much more to south Iceland than the three main golden circle attractions. Therefore, today is a full day dedicated to these other amazing sites that are located along the coast! Prepare for a long day of glaciers, waterfalls, abandoned planes, volcanos, and black sand beaches.
Get Wet at Seljalandsfoss
Seljalandsfoss is a 60-meter high waterfall and is the perfect first stop on today’s journey. The water that feeds this massive waterfall comes from the infamous Eyjafjallajokull volcano and crashes down in large volumes resulting in an amazing spectacle. More so, this waterfall is located on jagged, rocky cliffs, and is surrounded by green moss (depending on the time of year you visit). It really looks like a scene out of a movie.
Although Seljalandsfoss is beautiful on its own, it is the path behind the water flow that is the real attraction of this waterfall. The path provides a full 360-degree view of the curtain of water falling from the cliffs and is a breathtaking experience. However, the path is quite rocky and slippery, but as long as you are careful the nervous and exciting journey is completely worth it.
More so, the path behind the falls is full of jagged cliffs and huge rocks, it is a mesmerizing sight to see. Just be sure to pack rain gear for this stop. If you don’t, the mist from the waterfall will soak you.
This is an Icelandic experience you do not want to miss during your 3 days in Iceland! As it is quite rare to walk behind a 60-meter waterfall amongst the wet rocks and lush green moss.
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Chill out at Sólheimajökul
Sólheimajökull is a large and famous glacier located in southern Iceland in between two famous volcanos – Katla and Eyjafjallajökull. This is one of the most popular glaciers to visit in Iceland due to its large size and ease of accessibility. However, there are two ways to experience this glacier.
One way is by simply viewing it from the shore. Heading to Sólheimajökull doesn’t require any huge detour from today’s itinerary, as it is only 30 minutes from Seljalandsfoss and extremely close to the abandoned plane (which is next on the itinerary). Therefore, heading here for a quick look is easy and very worth it.
The other way of experiencing the glacier is by hiking on it. However, you are only able to hike Sólheimajökull with a tour guide who has the proper safety equipment. The tour guides are extremely knowledgeable and will entertain and enlighten you for the whole tour. Most tours take around 3 hours to see everything, so if you choose to do the tour be sure to budget your time for the other attractions. This is an amazing experience and if you are feeling compelled, I urge you to book a tour.
Below are a few great tour options.
Venture to Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck
Sólheimasandur’s black sands are home to one of the most famous plane wreaks in Iceland. The plane crashed on Icelandic soil in 1973 after running out of fuel, but luckily everyone on board survived. Many people visit this site in Iceland due to the eerie sight of the plane shell and the surreal landscape surrounding it. The black sands stretch far in all directions and the plane is the only landmark in sight.
This site is located quite near to Sólheimajökull and is a logical next stop on the day’s adventures. To get here, you should head to their coordinates. 63°29’28.4″N 19°21’48.2″W, which will bring you to a parking lot. From here you won’t be able to see the plane and you will walk for around 45 minutes to arrive at the shell of the plane.
Although it is quite the trek to get to the plane, this site attracts thousands of tourists a year. The scenery surrounding the plane is otherworldly and is well worth a visit. This is a must-visit during your 3 days in Iceland. Just be sure to dress for the weather and bring your camera, you will want to capture this beautiful sight.
View the famous Eyjafjallajökull Volcano
Eyjafjallajökull is an active volcano that is completely covered by an icecap. Its peak reaches 1,651 meters in the air and it is a very popular summit to view in Iceland. Its fame and popularity come from its recent eruption in 2010 that disrupted flights around Europe covered much of the continent in volcanic ash.
This is one of the more famous active volcanos and is visible for much of the day 3 drive along the coast of Southern Iceland. It is worth it to make a stop at one of the many pull-offs along the highway to look at this massive volcanic beast. With 3 days in Iceland, you will surely be stopping plenty during your drives to see the stunning natural wonders of the land.
Walk on Rejnisfjra Black Sand Beach
The final stop along the south Icelandic coast, and during your 3 days in Iceland, is the Black Sand Beaches. These beaches are a stunning natural phenomenon, and the area is full of beauty and breathtaking sights to see. Not only is the sand at this beach completely black, but there is a huge mountain on the beach with large basalt column caves! The whole area, again, looks like something out of a movie.
Despite being called a beach, this is not your regular beach and is definitely not for swimming. There are signs all around the beach warming you to keep away from the water due to the extremely strong waves and tides of the Ocean. Although it may be tempting to touch the water, many tourists have passed away from getting too close to the water and getting pulled away in the freezing current. Be careful!
One of the least talked about aspects of this beach is the basalt columns. They are absolutely amazing to view up close and are like no other cave and rock formation in Europe. During your 3 days in Iceland, you will surely see a ton of stunning and magical natural structures and phenomena, and this one will really amaze you.
I highly suggest you park at this beach and spend some time walking on the sand and admiring the caves. There are also some pull-offs down the highway that will give you a wider angled view of the Black Sands, which is also beautiful.
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Where to stay in Iceland
With just 3 days in Iceland, it is best to find accommodation in Reykjavik and make this city the home base for the adventures. This way you won’t have to be constantly moving around your luggage and you can view more of the city if you have time after the day’s itinerary.
Since Iceland is an expensive country it is best to find accommodation with a kitchen so you can prepare some meals and save a lot of money on eating out. I highly recommend staying at 101 Apartments in Reykjavik. This accommodation is a full apartment with a kitchen and bedrooms. It is the perfect place to relax after a full day of exploring and is in a great area of Reykjavik.
When to go to Iceland
The best thing about Iceland is that it is an amazing travel destination year-round. Every season has its pros and cons, however, no matter when you go you will fall in love with this beautiful country. However, these are some of the best months for highly sought out travel desires.
- June, July, August – are best for warmer temperatures and long hours of sun. Just be sure to properly pack for Iceland during this season.
- February, March, Septemeber, October – are best for seeing the Northern Lights.
Where to eat in Iceland
As mentioned, food in Iceland is very expensive. Therefore I suggest getting most food from the grocery store and cooking for yourself. However, if you’d like to treat yourself to a nice meal in Reykjavik here are three great options:
- Icelandic Street Food
Tours to take in Iceland
If you are travelling to Iceland and are unable to rent a car, fear not! There are a ton of tours available that will ensure you still have a great Icelandic stay. Here are some options:
Evidently, 3 days in Iceland provides you will the perfect amount of time to see all the main sights and attractions. All days in this 3-day itinerary are full of exciting things to do and see. You will never have a dull moment and will have three days full of adventures.
Planning to spend 3 days in Iceland? Pin this post for later!
Iceland is one place on my list that I have not been able to visit yet. The Blue Lagoon looks beautiful and relaxing, but I think I would love getting out to nature. I love Hiking… I wonder if 3 days is enough time to do some hiking?
Samantha Karen says
It depends on how you spend your time and budget your time 🙂 if hiking is a must you can definitely fit in three days!
I totally love Iceland, I spent a week there in the winter and it wasn’t enough. I only did the capital, a couple of day trips away from the area (including the golden circle). However I think I did spend five hours in the blue lagoon…do you think that was too long in the middle of winter? Cant wait for a return trip and do a road trip on the ring road. Great post for those first timers wanting to hit up the viking island.
Tania Muthusamy says
Your Iceland itinerary sounds perfect. I would love to follow this when I go to Iceland. It really has pushed it up my bucket list. I didn’t know the blue lagoon has silica in it which gives it the milky blue colour, not to mention the health benefits everyone goes there for. The waterfalls are also spectacular. Great post. Saving it.
Wildish Wander says
That blue lagoon is stunning! I never get to see photos of Iceland being green, it’s always black when I’ve had friends visit. Definitely on our bucket list now!
Iceland is definitely a dream destination of mine, even though in recent years more and more people fly there. My dream there, if not able to ride, to discover the island with an Icelandic horse. But I think such a visit to the thermal bath would also like me.
Jim Jones says
I love the little bit of Iceland I’ve seen…it’s awesome! I concur with your review of the Blue Lagoon – even though it’s super-popular, it’s a great place to visit. We didn’t get into the water, but still enjoyed the visit and experiencing the area. I also liked getting to see Gullfoss – so beautiful! I’m going to Pin this for future reference in the event that I am ever able to return to Iceland.
Yukti Agrawal says
Wow what a detailed itinerary and as it is my dream destination, I would surely go with your suggestion. Relaxing in Blue Lagoon tops my itinerary for Iceland. Even the Gulfoss falls look very stunning. Thanks for sharing all tips and information.
Mei and Kerstin says
Iceland looks really wild and beautiful! We’d love to travel there to see icebergs, geysers, volcanoes and the blue lagoon. And your 3 days itinerary seems perfect! But a few months ago I went to a conference, where a professor from Iceland’s Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources explained how much destruction tourism has caused in Iceland. I hope the government will limit the number of daily tourists, or find another solution to preserve the country’s beauty.
Bernie Jackson says
You’ve packed an incredible amount into those three days. I get entirely what you mean about stopping off regularly just to check out something beautiful and alien. That’s a spectacular pic of the glacier too; it looks like marble. I’d have to stop at the black sands beach and see the basalt columns.
Mirela | The Travel Bunny says
Wow, you’ve covered a lot in just three days! It makes me think an Iceland city break is actually possible and worth it. The only thing I’d change would be to finish with the Blue Lagoon, to finally relax and catch our breaths before heading back home 🙂
Kanika Bakshi says
Hi Samantha It was pleasure reading your article got a brief about Iceland and I can plan my trip very soon with the help of your itinerary, will also share in friends circle and family for their reference.