7 Days in Iceland: The Best Itinerary for Your Visit
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Kick your Iceland itinerary of 7 days off in the capital of Reykjavík with a visit to Hallgrímskirkja. This landmark can be seen from anywhere within the city. It is a concrete church occupying the highest point in the area and features a unique style of architecture meant to emulate the columns of basalt found throughout the country. Entry to this popular attraction is free, but paying the small fee for the lift that takes you up the tower is worth it. One of the city's best views awaits. On sunny days, you can catch a glimpse of Snæfellsjökull glacier.
Your 7-day itinerary now takes you to the National Museum of Iceland. The facility focuses on the history of human habitation on the island. Founded in 1863, it features a huge collection of artefacts that include a Viking longboat and the famed Valþjófsstaður door, which dates to the 13th century. You will journey across the 1200-year history of Iceland through exhibits that take you from the Viking age to the modern era.
Your Iceland itinerary of 7 days now takes you to one of Reykjavík's most charming locations. Tjörnin is a lake located in the city centre that is home to several of the area's most recognizable landmarks. City Hall is situated on its north shore. Several notable museums, such as the National Gallery of Iceland and the Living Art Museum, are also just a few steps from the shoreline. It is a great spot for a relaxing stroll spent admiring the rows of trees and painted houses that line the banks. You will also encounter local flocks of geese, ducks and swans that call this lovely space home. In the winter, the lake freezes over and becomes a popular location for ice skating.
Housed in a former fish freezing factory on the old harbour in Reykjavík, you will find the Maritime Museum. It has been open since 2005 and focuses on the history of sailing in Iceland. Of particular interest is an exhibit on the way that shows how advances in technology transformed the country's fishing industry during the 20th century. You can also go on board the ICGV Óðinn that is docked just outside the facility. This coastguard vessel played a key role in the dispute over fishing waters between Iceland and the United Kingdom in the 1960s and 1970s.
The third leg of your Iceland itinerary of 7 days takes you 2 hours and 30 minutes to the north of Reykjavík to the stunning Snæfellsnesnes Peninsula. Here, you have the opportunity to experience several of the country's most iconic natural wonders. Start things off at the charming fishing town of Grundarfjörður. Looming majestically overhead, you will see Mount Kirkjufell. It is considered by many to be Iceland's most beautiful free-standing mountain and is a great spot to take some memorable photos. Next door to this imposing peak, you will encounter the beautiful Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall. The falls are spectacular enough on their own but take on another level of beauty when you view them alongside the mountain.
Complete your day at the Snæfellsnesnes Peninsula by heading to the tiny village of Arnarstapi. The area is known for its iconic cliffs that overlook the Atlantic Ocean. They are characterised by their imposing basalt columns and serve as a home to a huge number of sea birds. Take some time to admire the view before heading into town to grab a bite to eat at one of the local cafés or restaurants.
Hakið Visitor Centre is the perfect place to begin your exploration of Thingvellir National Park during an Iceland itinerary of 7 days. There is a small entry fee for adults, and children under the age of 17 get in for free. Find out important facts about the region's history while learning about this beautiful park that is located just 48 minutes to the northeast of Reykjavík by car. During your visit, you can get the inside scoop on the best walking routes in the area. It is also located next to a viewing platform. Make sure you take in the surrounding scenery before you head deeper into this beautiful park.
Thingvellir National Park is one of Iceland's most popular attractions for nature lovers. Entry to the park is free, though there is a fee to take one of the guided tours. You also must pay to park at the site for the day. Discover an extensive list of things to see during your time exploring this beautiful expanse that covers around 240 square kilometres. A few recommended highlights include the tectonic plates at Almannagja, Öxarárfoss Waterfall and Lake Thingvallavatn. You can also go on a horse riding excursion that will take you through some of the most beautiful scenery in the region.
Day 5 of your 7-day itinerary takes you to the town of Bifröst. It is located 1 hour and 30 minutes north of Reykjavík. Start things off at Grábrók Volcano. It is the largest of 3 volcanic craters that occupy the same fissure. There is a wooden staircase that you can ascend for some great views of the Norðurárdalur Valley. Head down the nearby trail if you fancy a bit of a walk surrounded by magical Icelandic scenery.
Paradise Hollow is another must-visit area of Bifröst. It is surrounded by a lava field that is covered by moss and is a popular location for picnics as the natural rock formations and trees act as a shelter from the wind. The calm, clear waters of the pond are fed by an underwater stream. Because of this, they are quite cold. You will want to keep this in mind if you are thinking about going for a swim.
A trip to Vatnajokull Glacier National Park is a must for your itinerary booked through Voyage Privé. It is located in Southeastern Iceland, so you will want to get an early start. Vatnajokull itself is the island's largest, most voluminous ice cap. It is also the second-largest in all of Europe. It conceals some of the country's most active volcanoes beneath its ice. Popular activities include hiking and ice caving. There are also boat tours available in the area. This is the perfect day trip from Reykjavík spent exploring another natural wonder of Iceland.
What better way to wrap up this part of your Iceland itinerary of 7 days than by discovering the best nightlife that Reykjavík has to offer? The city is known for its vibrant bar scene. Many of these spots feature live music. It is worth noting that there is often a cover charge for these gigs but the fun, lively atmosphere makes it worth it. We recommend joining in the local tradition of bar hopping across the city centre for a memorable evening. A few recommended locations include the Lebowski Bar, Slippbarinn and the Micro Bar.
Reykjavík is one of the best locations in Iceland to see whales, and many tour operators will take you out for this unique experience across Faxa Bay. More than 20 species of cetaceans can be found in the region. This includes humpbacks and minke whales. It is common to encounter white-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoises and seals also. You are sure to see plenty of puffins as these beautiful sea birds have a large population along this part of the coast.
Laugavegur is considered to be the trendiest shopping street in Reykjavík. It is home to a variety of boutique fashion shops and souvenir stores. You will also find plenty of pubs, clubs and restaurants. It is the perfect place to wrap up your itinerary and make some last-minute purchases to remind you of an amazing holiday.
1. Skuggi Hotel
Located in the capital of Reykjavík, the Skuggi Hotel is a highly recommended booking option for an Iceland itinerary of 7 days. It is home to 100 comfortable rooms and is an excellent location for travellers embarking on the range of tours that regularly head out from the city.
The services and facilities here include a breakfast room, a bar, Wi-Fi, a lift, multilingual staff and air conditioning. Rooms are furnished with a television, a hairdryer and a courtesy tray of tea and coffee.
What we like: We love this property's convenient location that is ideally suited for a holiday spent exploring Reykjavík and venturing into the countryside.
Located next to the old port, you will find the Exeter Hotel Reykjavik 4*. It offers innovative architecture and contemporary design features along with well-appointed rooms and a range of luxury facilities. This is another one of our top picks if you are planning a stay spent exploring the area and heading out for day trips to other parts of Iceland.
On-site facilities include the LeKock and Tail restaurant, the Deig Bakery, a 24-hour reception desk and luggage storage. Rooms are equipped with a coffee machine, a safe, a TV, a shower and a hairdryer.
What we like: We love the included South Shore Adventure excursion and the whale watching tour that is included with longer bookings.
Enjoy a filling breakfast each morning during your stay at the Grandi by Center Hotels Reykjavík 4*. It is a modern property that is located in one of the city's most vibrant districts and features spacious, well-appointed rooms.
On-site amenities include the Héðinn Kitchen & Bar, a breakfast room, Wi-Fi, a concierge service and a 24-hour reception desk. Rooms are furnished with a hairdryer, a TV and a shower.
What we like: We love the Golden Circle direct excursion and the Northern Lights tour that is included with this booking.
The Grand Hotel Reykjavik 4* is home to 314 large, well-equipped rooms. It will serve you well as a base of operations throughout your Iceland itinerary of 7 days and offers some fun-filled included excursions.
The hotel's facilities include a spa, a fitness centre, Wi-Fi, a currency exchange, a 24-hour reception desk, luggage storage and a main restaurant.
What we like: This is another offer with great included excursions. They include a whale-watching guided boat tour and a south shore adventure.
The Hilton Reykjavik Nordica 4* is located just a 10-minute drive from Reykjavík Airport. It offers some excellent included excursions for travellers booking stays of 4 nights or more.
The hotel's facilities include a lift, a 24-hour reception, a restaurant, a bar, spa treatments and a fitness centre.
What we like: We love the whale watching tour that is included with bookings of 4 or more nights. The Wonders of Snaefellsnes excursion is included with stays of 5 nights or longer.
A few tips for a great Iceland itinerary of 7 days include booking your tours and excursions in advance. It rains frequently on the island, so it is a good idea to pack appropriate gear. The local currency is the Icelandic króna, and the official language is Icelandic. With this said, many people in the country speak English as a second language.
The most popular time to visit Iceland is during the summer, but it is an excellent destination regardless of the time of year. Many travellers come during off-peak times to avoid the most crowds.
Located in Reykjavík, Keflavík International Airport is the main arrival hub on the island. Direct flights leave from major cities across the United Kingdom daily. The average in-air time is around 2 hours and 45 minutes to 3 hours for non-stop routes. From the airport, you can hire a car, grab a taxi or hop on the bus.
You will have the opportunity to sample some unique foods during your Iceland getaway. A few recommendations include Skyr yoghurt, Icelandic hot dogs, lamb soup and slow-roasted lamb. If you are adventurous, you may give the fermented shark known as hákarl a try.
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The weather in Iceland is changing rapidly. Be prepared to shelter from the rain and cold with a warm jacket, hat, scarf and gloves. But don't forget sunscreen, sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun! During the midnight sun, take a night mask to help you sleep!
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Iceland has so many wonders to discover! Start with an evening in Reykjavik to get to know the Icelanders. Then go on excursions to discover the Blue Lagoon, Lake Mývatn, Dettifoss Waterfall and the fjords. For animal lovers, take a horseback ride or go and observe the whales. But above all, don't forget to go hunting for the Northern Lights!
Most Icelanders speak several languages. English is taught as a second language, you can easily communicate in English in Iceland.