A Complete Iceland 7 Day Itinerary on the Ring Road

If you’re looking for a 7 day Iceland itinerary that shows how it’s possible to do the entire Ring Road route in a week – I’ve got you covered! We spent a fantastic week road-tripping around Iceland! As we were planning our Iceland itinerary, we had read several articles that said a week its not enough time to do the entire Ring Road (the main road that goes around Iceland’s perimeter) and to stay in a smaller area if you only have a week. Because of this, we considered just sticking to the south part of Iceland and the Reykjavik area where a lot of attractions are concentrated.

However, we kept seeing places in the north and east that just looked so amazing- so we decided to be ambitious and do a full Ring Road tour in the 7 days in Iceland that we had. We obviously did not get to see every single spot in Iceland, but we did hit 30+ different locations in the 7 days we were there. Most importantly, we had a fantastic time exploring the country and seeing some truly incredible sights.

The Strategy Behind This Itinerary

This 7 day Iceland Ring Road itinerary is incredibly dependent on using a campervan, and by following our #1 overall tip for Iceland: sleeping during the afternoon/evening and touring in the night and early mornings.

Head over to our traveling by campervan post and read all about that method and how and why we did that type of schedule (spoiler alert: we had even the most famous attractions in Iceland all. to. ourselves!)

Even if you can’t do a sleep during the day – tour during the night plan, this itinerary is still a great guide for touring Iceland’s entire Ring Road in 7 days.

On Flexibility

This 7 day Iceland itinerary is very detailed – I did this not because I think you actually need to follow this itinerary exactly, down to the minute, but I wanted to illustrate how a “tour by night – sleep by day” itinerary would function, and also to give some context to how much time to plan at each spot.

While we did plan our trip out pretty well ahead of time, in practice we were fairly flexible in our schedule. We modified our original itinerary to make stops for sleeping when we were tired (versus always at a specified time/location), and we occasionally modified our schedule when the weather was particularly bad (sleeping or hitting a different location first). That’s the beauty of traveling in Iceland in summer – with all that light you can play around with timing!

Be aware, this schedule also does not have a ton of sleeping or down time built in. Before we left, I was worried that we were going to want more down time, but when we were there we ended up doing even more than we had originally planned!

The country was so incredible to see and it was hard to want to stop! The adrenaline and power naps during the day made it possible for us to keep this schedule and feel fine. That said, we did do some dropping and swapping of some activities we had planned, and I wouldn’t recommend trying to pack in too much more than we did. For each day, I will provide some alternate stops we considered that you could substitute in.

Our 7 day Ring Road Itinerary for Iceland:

This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Day 1

Arrive in Keflkavik International Airport. Pick up campervan, stop by the grocery store for supplies (there’s a Bonus grocery store right by the rental area), and hit the road!

7 day Ring Road itinerary Blue Lagoon
Stop 1: Blue Lagoon (20 minute drive)

Soaking in the milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon is the perfect way to relax after a long flight. It’s expensive, but after relaxing in the steaming, warm water, I think you’ll agree with me that it’s worth it! (bonus- it’s also very Instagramable) Head to the far back of the lagoon for the hottest temperatures and the most secluded spots.

Time spent: 2 hours

7 day Ring Road itinerary Fagradsafjall volcano
Stop 2: Fagradsafjall Volcano (if still active) (20 minute drive)

If the volcano is still active, this is an absolute must-do in Iceland – it was our #1 top favorite activity, no question. It took us about 45 minutes – 1 hour to hike to the viewpoint, and I would plan a full hour to watch the eruptions. Read more about our experience at the volcano here.

Time spent: 3 hours

Campsite at Hveragedi (50 minute drive )

There was nothing particularly scenic about this campsite, but it was clean, there was a covered area for cooking, and the indoor bathrooms and showers were nice (and included in the cost). It is also conveniently located close to the Thermal River. We paid $24 in cash for the two of us.

  • Bedtime: 6:30pm
  • Total Distance Driven: 105 km/65 miles
  • Total Time in Car: 1 hr 30 minutes

Day 2 of our 7 Day Iceland Itinerary

Wake time: 3:45am

This was a day that we rearranged a bit. We had planned to wake up and do the Thermal River right away, but the weather was rainy, windy, and cold. But, we saw that the radar was clear to the east so we headed that way first and decided to swing back after hitting the other sights on our list.

Stop 1: Gullfoss Waterfall (1 hour drive)

A powerful, well-known waterfall in the Golden Circle close to Reykjavik. The waterfall cascades down several ledges before plunging into a canyon! There is a well groomed trail and view area and a restaurant/store and bathrooms.

Time spent: 1 hour

Stop 2: Geysir (10 minute drive)

A series of geysers and bubbling hot pots. Strokkur (pictured here) erupts every 5-7 minutes! There are a ton of interesting features here and we easily could have explored for a couple hours.

Time spent: 45 minutes

Stop 3: Hruni Hot Pot (25 minute drive)

An adorable little stone-walled hot pot in the middle of rolling hills. There’s a little sod-covered hut for changing. Bring 1000 krona or $10 for the requested donation to use.This was one of my favorite parts of our entire 7 day Iceland itinerary!

Read all details on the hotpots we visited and the top ones we’d recommend.

Time spent: 1hr 30 minutes

Stop 4: Reykjadalur Thermal River (1 hour drive)

Nap: 1-7:30pm

When we arrived, the weather was particularly bad – super heavy winds and rain. We were tired anyway, so we went to sleep and woke up to calm winds and clear skies.

Hike: It’s a gorgeous ~1 hour hike through hills and valleys to reach the thermal river. As you get up into the mountains, you’ll see steam starting to rise off the springs in the area. You’ll know you’ve reached the bathing area when you come to a boardwalk along the river – go as far up the boardwalk as you can to reach the hottest spots.

At the trailhead there is a café and nice bathrooms.

Time spent: 3 hours

  • Total Distance Driven: 186 km/115 miles
  • Total Time in Car: 2hr 30 min

Other Options:

  • Bruarfoss – a beautiful, milky blue waterfall. It’s a 1.5 mile hike from the parking area.
  • Kerið Crater – an old volcanic cone with a lake at the bottom.
  • For camping, we were planning to sleep at a campsite located at Gljufrabui, but didn’t because of the weather induced schedule change. We still saw it, though, and it is a fantastic site – highly recommend it if it fits your schedule.

Day 3 of our 7 Day Iceland Itinerary

Start time: Midnight (didn’t sleep after Thermal River on day 2 since we napped before)

Stop 1: Gljúfrabúi (1hr 15 min drive)

Gljúfrabúi is a cave waterfall! You have to wade through water for a few yards to get into the cave, but it’s worth it to see the water pouring down inside the cave.

Time spent: 1 hour

7 day Ring Road itinerary Seljalandsfoss

Stop 2: Seljalandsfoss (1 minute drive)

This spot is just a minute down from Gljufrabui – this is a fun waterfall that you can walk completely behind. The views are stunning!

Time spent: 45 minutes

Stop 3: Skógafoss (20 minute drive)

This might be most famous waterfall in Iceland. It’s incredibly powerful and standing at the base is an experience. (But you can also walk to the top.)

Time spent: 30 minutes

7 day Ring Road itinerary Reynisfjara

Stop 4: Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach (30 minute drive)

This beach is a must-do, in my opinion. Like all beaches in Iceland, it’s a black sand beach, but there are also tall basalt columns lining one edge of the beach, and some pillars out at sea. It is an absolutely stunning location! Watch out for the sneaker waves – every so often there is a wave that breaks much higher up on shore and is very strong. These waves can pull you out to sea, so don’t get too close to the water.

Time spent: 1.5 hours

Nap: 1 hour

Stop 5: Skaftafell National Park (1 hr 45 minutes drive)

We did the Glacier Adventure Tour with the best tour guide I could imagine. Hiking the Falljökull Glacier was beyond cool! If you go, I would highly recommend you do the 5 hour tour instead of the 3 hour tour. The coolest places are a little bit farther up and you don’t have enough time to reach them on the shorter tours.

Don’t even consider any other tour company, this company is the absolute best. They drive right up to the base of the glacier instead of making you hike an extra 0.5 mile each way from the parking lot, so you spend way more time on the glacier instead of the brown gravel leading up to it. The tour group sizes are much smaller, leading to a much more personable experience!

Time spent: 5 hours

Our Campsite: Glacier Lagoon (30 minute drive)

We slept in the Glacier Lagoon parking lot. The bathrooms are open 24/7. Waking up to the icebergs was amazing!

  • Bedtime: 6:30pm
  • Total Distance Driven: 356 km/221 miles
  • Total Time in Car: 4hr 30 minutes

Other options:

  • Svartifoss Waterfall
    • We just didn’t have enough time to squeeze this in – which was a bummer! I really wanted to see this waterfall surrounded by basalt columns. It takes ~30-45 minutes to hike to it – if you have time, you should definitely go!
  • Vik Airplane
    • A long walk on a black sand beach to get to an airplane crash site.

Day 4 of our 7 Day Ring Road Itinerary

Wake time: 2:30am

7 day Ring Road itinerary Glacier Lagoon

Stop 1: Glacier Lagoon

Glacier Lagoon was so unique and incredible. Icebergs broken off from the glacier are floating around in the lagoon. The bergs were white, clear, or even blue. You must stop here! We enjoyed a lazy morning here watching the icebergs, birds, and seals from the back of our campervan. A top favorite spot, for sure!

Time spent: 3 hours (like I said, it was a lazy morning. This could definitely be shortened)

Stop 2: Diamond Beach (2 minute drive)

Just across the bridge from Glacier Lagoon is Diamond Beach – where the icebergs that make it out to sea have been pushed back onshore by the tide, all polished and sparkly. It’s definitely worth a stop.

Time spent: 45 minutes

Stop 3: Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon (10 minute drive)

The smaller glacier lagoon! This lagoon is smaller in area and the ice chunks are also much smaller, but there is way more ice in the water, and you have a great view of the glacier.

Time spent: 30 minutes

Stop 4: City of Höfn  (1 hour 15 minute drive)
  • Doctor’s Office & Grocery Store Resupply : Time for a resupply of food and a UTI prescription (I developed a UTI during the first few days in Iceland and needed meds)
  • Sleep: 1-5pm at this campsite
  • Dinner at Ishusid Pizzeria: A delicious local restaurant. Get the langoustine (lobster) pizza – it was incredible! Langoustines are a specialty in this area of Iceland.
  • Höfn City Pool (Höfn Sundlaug): We checked out this pool because city pools are super common and popular with locals in Iceland. It was a very standard city pool – I probably wouldn’t spend my time on this again.
  • Overall this was just a great recharge stop – we were showered, well rested, and well fed.

Time spent in Höfn: 10 hours

Stop 5: Vestrahorn on the Stokksnes Peninsula (20 minute drive)

This location has a great view of the mountain across the bay. It was a stunning location!

Time spent: 1 hr 15 minutes

Camp at Skútafoss (15 minute drive)

This waterfall was recommend to us by a local, and you can get down right to the base and go behind it a bit. We couldn’t go right up to the waterfall with the van because the road became more of an off-roading situation, and our campervan wasn’t rated for roads like that. This was a very remote and off the beaten track location, and we ended up parking and sleeping here for a few hours.

  • Bedtime: 11pm
  • Total Distance Driven: 145 km/90 miles
  • Total Time in Car: 2 hours

Other Options:

  • Múlagljúfur Canyon: We stopped here and wanted to do this hike, but I wasn’t feeling great and we decided we just needed to get to the doctor at Höfn for meds. Still kind of bummed we missed this one! Matthew got out and wandered down the trail for 10 minutes and the view he got just from that looked awesome.
  • Hoffel Hot Pot: We stopped here, but it was closed for renovations (in June 2021) – but looked like it was about finished, so it should be open soon! We took a quick peak though, and the area looked really nice. I would love to come back and take a dip!

Day 5 of our 7 Day Ring Road Itinerary

Wake time: 2:15am

Stop 1: Djúpavogskörin Hot Pot (1 hour drive)

This off the beaten track hot pot is a couple miles to the west of the city of Djúpivogur. The hot springs feed into an above ground tub, with views out over the ocean. Pay attention to the GPS though – the parking lot is just an unmarked pullout on the side of the road and is easy to miss.

Time spent: 45 minutes

Stop 2: Sveinsstekksfoss (15 minute drive)

This was an impromptu stop on the way up to Seyðisfjörður and I’d recommend you stop too! There is an overlook right off the road for a gorgeous, milky blue waterfall. This waterfall, Sveinsstekksfoss, is one of 30 waterfalls that occur on the river Fossa.

Time spent: 10 minutes

7 day Ring Road itinerary Seydisfjodur

Stop 3: Seyðisfjörður (1 hour 30 minutes)

This little town is on one of Iceland’s eastfjords and is the location of the most adorable rainbow path leading to a blue church. We stopped solely for the photo-op but I was 100% charmed with the little city and the whole valley! The valley it’s located in has waterfalls everywhere you look – we LOVED driving in and seeing waterfall after waterfall after waterfall.

Time spent: 2 hours

Nap: 1 hour

7 day Ring Road itinerary Studlagil

Stop 4: Stuðlagil Canyon (1 hour drive)

There are two ways to view this canyon. You can go to a parking lot for the overlook viewpoint (only recommended if you are short on time and/or need a bathroom break), otherwise, park a couple miles down at the trailhead for the hike. You walk along the rim of the canyon until you reach the basalt column section, and then head down in. I’ve never seen anything like it – it felt completely other-worldly.

Grab dinner at this campsite/restaurant nearby. We were going to sleep here at the campground, but paid for use of the showers and continued on.

Time spent: 3.5 hours at Stuðlagil (about 1 hour hike walk each way), plus 1 hour for dinner and showering.

Camping at parking lot at Dettifoss – West (1.5 hour drive)

In retrospect, we would have just stayed at the campground by Stuðlagil and not here because there were actual signs posted everywhere saying not to camp overnight. We were absolutely exhausted and there weren’t other options nearby so we justified it by saying we weren’t actually going to sleep overnight… just half the night. Still, I wouldn’t recommend it (do as I say, not as I do, apparently). There are great-condition bathrooms at the parking lot (really, Iceland just has very clean facilities) but no water.

  • Bedtime: 8pm
  • Total Distance Drove: 420 km/260 miles
  • Total Time in Car: 6 hours

Day 6 of our 7 Day Ring Road Itinerary

Wake time: 4am

Stop 1: Selfoss/Dettifoss Waterfalls

Selfoss was the more upstream waterfall. It took about 20 minutes to walk here. Dettifoss waterfall was only half a mile from Selfoss and took about 15 minutes to walk there from Selfoss. Dettifoss is the most powerful fall in Europe and both were spectacular sights.

Time spent: 2 hours

Stop 2: Hverir Mud Pots (1 hour drive)

A quick stopoff – VERY sulfury but also is on the continental divide and had some unique features. We might have braved the smell to explore more but we were in a rush to fit our higher priority stops before a firm appointment.

Time spent: 5 minutes

7 day Ring Road itinerary Grjotagja

Stop 3: Grjótagjá Cave (5 minute drive)

A cool little cave with major fantasy novel vibes. There’s a hot springs pool in it, but you can’t swim in it – the water is too hot. It’s small and you don’t need to spend much time here, but definitely worth a stop.

Time spent: 20 minutes

Stop 4: Hverfjall Volcano (10 minute drive)

We almost didn’t stop here because we were running low on time – but we decided to squeeze it in. We literally ran up the side of the volcano but man it was cool! If you have more time, you can walk along the rim and down into the basin of this old volcano.

Time spent: 20 minutes

7 day Ring Road itinerary whale watching

Stop 5: Husavik Whale Watching Tour (50 minute drive)

Húsavík is the whale watching capital of Europe so we had to do a tour! We did a 3 hour whale watching tour with the oldest whale watching company in Húsavík and their ships look very old-timey. They do a great job at finding whales – we saw a TON while we were out.

Time spent: 3 hours

7 day Ring Road itinerary GeoSea

Stop 6: GeoSea (5 minute drive)

An infinity pool hot spring spa overlooking the bay of Húsavík with mountains in the background. This was a gorgeous spot – especially on the beautiful sunny day we had.

Time spent: 1 hour

Campsite at 66.12 North (20 minute drive)

This campsite was amazing! Easily the best spot we stayed on our 7 day Iceland itinerary! It was right on the sea with a great viewpoint for the midnight sun. The owner was super friendly and the facilities were great.

  • Bedtime: 5pm
  • Total Distance Driven: 160 km/100 miles
  • Total Time in Car: 2 hour 30 minutes

Day 7

Wake time: 11:40pm (on Day 6)

7 day Ring Road itinerary midnight sun

Stop 1: Midnight Sun

This was incredible to witness. The north edge of Húsavík is just 20 miles from the Arctic Circle and this was so fun to watch. The sunset lasted for a long time! And when the sun was finally set, it really just stayed riiiiiiiight at the horizon for about 10 minutes and then started coming back up again! As a reminder, we saw the midnight sun on June 4 – so you can see the midnight sun even if you aren’t there right at summer solstice!

Time spent: 1.5 hours total

Stop 2: Húsavík church (20 minute drive)

A quick stop to take pics by the Húsavík gingerbread church!

Time spent: 15 minutes

7 day Ring Road itinerary Turf House Museum

Stop 3: Turf House Museum (40 minute drive)

We stopped at the Turf House Museum on the way to Goðafoss. The museum was closed but we just wanted to see the outsides anyway.

Time spent: 15 minutes

7 day Ring Road itinerary Godafoss

Stop 4: Goðafoss (20 minute drive)

I loved this horseshoe-shaped waterfall so much! It wasn’t super tall, but the shape of it was really impressive, so much that this was one of my top 2 favorite waterfalls in Iceland.

Read all the details and need-to-know info about the waterfalls in Iceland in this post.

Time spent: 30 minutes

Stop 5: Hauganes Hot Pot (1 hour drive)

This was closed when we got here (we rolled in at 6am, the posted sign said it opens 10am). It looked like it was on private property, with a house right nearby, so we didn’t want to trespass. I’m still bummed to miss out on this hot pot because there is a boat hot tub! Even though we didn’t actually get to go in, I’m including it on this list because if you are in the north of Iceland, you gotta stop here!

7 day Ring Road itinerary Fosslaug

Stop 6: Fosslaug (1 hr 15 min drive)

A hot pot right by a waterfall. There was about a 10 minute hike to the hot pot, and signs by the parking lot that no campervans are allowed before 9am. This was the hottest pot we were in, with temps between 106-112 F. This was the last hot pot we hit in our 7 day Ring Road trip!

Time spent: 1 hour

Stop 6.5: 1 hour nap at a gas station on the way to Reykjavik.
7 Day Ring Road itinerary Reykjavik

Stop 7: Reykjavik (3.5 hour drive)

To wrap up our 7 day Iceland itinerary, we spent about half a day in Reykjavik, visiting the Hallgrímskirkja church (can’t miss this) and other sites around the capital city.

Time spent: 4 hours

Camping: Fagradsafjall Volcano parking lot (50 minute drive)
  • Bedtime: 7pm
  • Total Distance Drove: 618 km/384 miles
  • Total Time in Car: 7 hr 45 minutes

Other options

  • Hvitserkur – A big rock just off-shore that looks like a dragon
  • Guðrúnarlaug – Another cute hot pot option closer to Reykjavik
  • Thingvellir – There’s a rift where two tectonic plates meet. I wish we could’ve fit this one in!

Day 8

Wake time: 3 am

Stop 1: Hike Fagradsafjall volcano again! This time we brought some hotdogs with us to “roast” on the lava fields we passed that were still hot. We also made sure to grab a bunch of lava rock to bring home with us.

Time spent: 3 hours

Head to airport and go home.

Final Thoughts

Phew! Did you make it through? I think the biggest advantage to campervanning in Iceland in summer is the huge amount of flexibility, and the biggest advantage of my 7 day Iceland itinerary is how deserted places are during the “night” (is it actually night if it’s never dark??) But of course, mix and match to make it work for you and have a great trip in Iceland!

Read more:

The Ultimate Guide to Traveling by Campervan in Iceland

Our Iceland Budget: How to Take a Budget Trip to Iceland

Best Food to Eat in Iceland

14 Gorgeous Waterfalls to See in Iceland

Hot Pots in Iceland You Can’t Miss

Pin for later!

Do you love discovering underrated spots and hidden gem destinations?

Me too!

The big bucket list spots are so fun, but there’s something extra exciting about exploring an awesome spot you’ve never heard of before.

Sign up for my newsletter and download my free PDF detailing 30 off the beaten path spots in the US to discover!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Related articles

Hi there, I'm Stephanie

I love doing new things and having new experiences. Here I share recommendations for my favorite destinations and experiences,  as well as book lists set in international locations, tricks for getting good travel deals, and tips for learning a second language.

Let’s go exploring!

Do you love discovering underrated spots and hidden gem destinations?

Me too!

The big bucket list spots are so fun, but there’s something extra exciting about exploring an awesome spot you’ve never heard of before.

Sign up for my newsletter and download my free PDF detailing 30 off the beaten path spots in the US to discover!

My Personal Favorites