Iceland is brimming with spectacular landscapes and staggering natural wonders. With only 3 days in Iceland, you’re probably wondering how you’ll fit it all in! To make planning your trip easier, we’ve come up with a 3 day itinerary that is sure to impress. Now you can enjoy your weekend in Iceland without any of the work.
Are 3 Days Enough To See Iceland?
The good news is, YES, you can spend 3 days in Iceland and have a phenomenal time. You can spend 3 days in Reykjavík, or go a little further afield and spend 3 days in Reykjavík and South Iceland. Either way, there are lots of things to see in this area of the country. If you want to travel around the Iceland Ring Road, or see sites in the North, East or West, you’re going to need 7 to 10 days. In any case, make sure to book your car rental in Iceland in advance, as relying on public transport on the island will limit your options a lot, especially in winter.
Iceland Itinerary for 3 Days
This Iceland itinerary is for 3 full days in Iceland. However, you can adjust it to make it work for 2.5 days (assuming you have an early arrival and a late departure).
Day 1: Golden Circle Route
To start your three days in Iceland, it’s likely you’ll arrive in the morning at Keflavik airport, where you’ll pick up your car rental.
From the airport, you’ll head to the Golden Circle. This tour takes you to a number of Iceland's famous attractions and offers great views of waterfalls like Gullfoss. The name Golden Circle derives from the name of one of the waterfalls on this route.
The first attraction you’ll want to stop at on the Golden Circle is Thingvellir National Park, followed by the Geysir geothermal area. The ground here is steaming through fissures in the earth, and caverns that shoot hot water and steam into the air. Definitely not something you see every day!
One of the most popular attractions on the Golden Circle is Gullfoss, otherwise known as the “Gold Waterfall”. At 105 ft tall and 100 ft wide, this is a testament to Mother Nature’s power.
Day 2: South Coast of Iceland
Day 2 and day 3 of your trip to Iceland will follow Route 1 (Iceland’s Ring Road) along the south coast and back again. This means, anything you missed on day 2, you can catch them again on your way back to Reykjavík on day 3.
First Stop on the South Coast
Your first stop should be the award-winning Lava Centre in Hvolsvollur. This is a recently opened award-winning museum. It will teach you everything you need to know about the volcanos and the geology of Iceland.
Second Stop on the South Coast
Your second top is Seljalandsfoss, an impressive waterfall just off Route 1. Seljalandsfoss stands out compared to the other waterfalls in Iceland as it’s one of the few you can walk behind.
Third Stop on the South Coast
Continue along the Ring Road for your third stop; Skogafoss. This thundering waterfall is 15 meters wide with a sixty-meter drop. You walk right up to it, or climb the stairs and see the drop from above. Nearby is the Skogar Museum, focusing on cultural heritage.
Fourth Stop on the South Coast
Take a trip to Reynisfjara Beach and enjoy the unusual black sand, and beautiful sea view. Careful though - the sea is strong here; pulling tourists to the death every year. Make sure you stay away from the water edge.
Fifth Stop on the South Coast
After Reynisfjara Beach, continue along Route 1, through the town of Vik to the Eldhraun lava field. Today, the lava field is covered in a lush moss, giving the area a fantastical look out of a fairytale. There are plenty of footpaths in this area, so make sure to enjoy the fresh air and take a walk.
Final Stop on the South Coast
Your final stop of day 2 is Fjadrargljufur Canyon. The canyon was created by a slow-melting glacier that carved the landscape over thousands of years. The canyon is best viewed by the look-out post, which is near the car park.
At the end of day 2 of 3 days in Iceland, we suggest staying somewhere in the area rather than heading back to Reykjavík. There are plenty of campsites, hotels and holiday homes available.
Day 3: South Coast of Iceland & Reykjavík.
On your third and final day in Iceland, you have two options;
- Option 1: spend the morning at the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Then, spend the afternoon driving back along Route 1 to see any sights you missed yesterday, or
- Option 2: drive back to Reykjavík in the morning and spend the afternoon enjoying the capital city before catching your flight.
Reykjavik is a vibrant city with plenty to do, and is a great way to end your Iceland 3 days itinerary. Spend an afternoon there and take advantage of the free walking tours or the hop-on-and-off bus tours. There are museums to visit, the harbor, a cathedral, and so much more!
Travel Options For A 3 Days In Iceland:
If you’re only spending 3 days in Iceland, you’ll have a lot to see in a short amount of time. Choosing the right mode of transport will make a huge difference to your experience, and allow you to make the most of your 3 days in Iceland.
Smaller than a campervan, cars are ideal for popping in and out of Reykjavík. You can use the city as a home base during your weekend in Iceland and take for day trips. You can also drive the car out of the city entirely and camp with a tent at one of Iceland’s many campsites.
Maybe in 3 days you can not get the most out of it by doing many kilometers, but it will allow you to stay overnight in campsites. This way, you can be more in contact with the nature of Iceland. Especially in the months of better weather, it is a highly recommended option.
There are a few options when it comes to choosing an organized tour on your 3-day trip to Iceland. You can stay in Reykjavík and only take organized day trips out, or sign up for an all-inclusive 3 day Iceland tour. This is a great option for anyone who isn't comfortable driving on the country's bumpy roads. It tends to be more expensive though and offers you less freedom.
Now that you’ve seen how much you can pack into three days in Iceland, it’s time for you to start packing your suitcase. Or, you can use this sample itinerary to make your own. Happy travelling!