3 Weeks in Iceland Itinerary

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Iceland is a Nordic Island country between the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. It is linked politically and culturally with Europe and is the most sparsely populated country in the region. Iceland is well-known for The Northern Lights, Blue Lagoon, waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, and overall rugged scenery and landscapes.

The country is famous for The Golden Circle, a 300-km route of Iceland’s most famous attractions. These attractions are Geysir Geothermal Area, Thingvellir National Park, and Gullfoss Waterfall.

This 3 weeks in Iceland itinerary will take you to the famous Golden Circle, dip in the dreamy Blue Lagoon, and explore many unique sites that only in Iceland exists.


4 images - top left if a Mount Kirkjufell with waterfalls in front of it and blue sky, top right is the geothermal locations in Iceland with steam and water coming out of the ground. Bottom right is the city centre of Reykjaviik, bottom left is a Nordic town with traditional houses along the coast with a rock mountain on the backdrop - 4 images - top left if a Mount Kirkjufell with waterfalls in front of it and blue sky - 3 Weeks in Iceland Itinerary

This article also includes tips on planning and creating your own travel itinerary. Below is a list of information on when to go, how many days to spend, Iceland 3-week trip cost, and more.

When is the best time to go to

Iceland’s summer season is from May or early June through August. It is also the country’s peak season. What’s amazing about the summer here is they have the phenomenon of midnight sun, wherein the days are longer and could last close to 21 hours. That’s a pretty nice thing to experience, in my opinion.

The winter season is from November to March, so for those who are fond of skiing and other snow-centric sports, these are the perfect months to visit for you. You can also witness the Northern Lights during these months.

There is no specific time as the best time to visit Iceland. This is because it all depends on what you want to do. If it’s to see the Northern Lights, it should be between November to March. But if it’s the warm weather you want, the best is from June to August.

Another cool thing about Iceland is that they don’t have a rainy season, but the months with the highest precipitation are from October to February.

Are 3 weeks enough for Iceland

3 weeks in Iceland is actually an advisable length of stay. Because in this duration, you may travel at a leisurely pace and can spend more time in the places that you enjoy. You can fully immerse yourself in various experiences without rushing and just soak everything in.

With this vacation duration, you’ll have time to explore both famous sites and underrated locations. The famous attractions will be discussed in the next part of the article, but I’ll give you a list of some of the lesser-known locations.

Grotta, an off-the-beaten-path in Reykjavik; Freidheimar Tomato Farm; Tjoruhusid Restaurant, which is only open during summer and easter; Fjadrargljufur Canyon, and Vesturdalur Valley are some of the locations that come to mind.

2 images - left is the downtown of Reykjavik city centre, on the right is the clock tower of Reykjavik

What to pack

The things you must pack for a trip to Iceland depend on the season you plan to go. Regardless though, you still have to bring a little jacket even though you are coming during summer.

You can check this packing list for a 3-week trip or our winter trip packing list, spring packing list, and what to pack for autumn.

How to get around

The first thing to know is that this country doesn’t have trains or railroads, so the travel options are by bus, private car, camper van, taxi, biking, organised tours, hitchhiking (during summer), and by plane.

Renting a car is actually the most common option here as there are tons of car rental shops all around. If you’re planning to rent a car, the perfect way is to rent from the rental shops near or at the airport.

Organised tours are a pricey option but are perfect for those who are interested in learning more about the locations you’ll visit. Planes are options for those who are not comfortable driving or sitting for longer periods, but it’s honestly no faster than driving.

Hitchhiking is still a famous mode of travel here as this country’s crime rates are low, while biking is steadily gaining popularity as well.

Language and currency

Their most spoken language is Icelandic, which is a North Germanic language. It is spoken by more than 93% of the entire population. On the other hand, most Icelandic speak English fluently, so you can easily communicate with locals.

The currency is called the Krona (ISK). Credit and debit cards are widely accepted across the country, with Visa and Mastercard as major credit cards. However, it is still advisable to bring cash because some establishments still don’t accept cashless payments.

Average travel cost for 3 weeks in Iceland

Iceland is not the most affordable destination, but with good planning, it doesn’t have to be a bank-breaking holiday. The typical cost of exploring Iceland for 20 days is around $3,600 ($180 a day).

Accommodation is the most costly, around $100 a night. Car rental is about $60, while food is around $50 a day. Alcohol is very expensive in Iceland as well, a pint of beer could cost $9.

Affordable: Expect to spend around $2,000–$3,000. Accommodation would be in hostels or guesthouses, and most meals would be self-catered or fast food. Public transport or hitchhiking would be your go-to for getting around. Activities might include free natural sights like geysers, waterfalls, and basic hiking.

Mid-Range: A mid-range budget would be about $5,000–$7,000. This includes staying in 3-star hotels or well-reviewed Airbnb properties, dining at mid-level restaurants for some meals, and maybe renting a car for part of the trip. You can also afford some guided tours, such as the Golden Circle or a glacier hike.

Luxury: For a luxury experience, budget $10,000–$15,000 or more. This allows for 4- or 5-star hotels, fine dining experiences, and private tours. Activities could include helicopter rides over volcanoes, private Super Jeep tours, or premium spa experiences like the Blue Lagoon’s Retreat Spa.


Iceland is not part of the European Union. However, it is a member of the Schengen Area. This means that Iceland practices a Schengen State visa policy.

If your passport is from the US, Canada, or UK, or many places in Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and Singapore don’t need a visa to enter and travel to Iceland.

Other nationalities must apply for a Schengen visa in advance to the nearest Icelandic consulate or embassy near you.

Other travel tips

Another great way to avoid planning too much is to book a 3-week cruise. Many European cruises either start, end, or have Iceland as a port of stop.


Click the enlarge button on the top right corner. Credit: map data: Google


This article includes the list of must-visit locations for your 3 weeks in Iceland. In this list, Reykjavik will be your starting and end point as it has the main airport with flights to major tourist locations nationwide and worldwide.

Other locations included in the list are Golden Circle Loop, Vestmannaeyjar, Hofn, Egilsstaðir, Reykjahlíðr, and the Westfjords region, which will be further discussed in the next paragraphs.

You might also want to check out 3 weeks in Scandinavia itinerary or Europe 3-week itinerary collection.

Reykjavik for 3 days

The first stop for your 20 days in Iceland is Reykjavik. It is the largest city and Iceland’s capital. It is the world’s Northernmost sovereign state capital and is known for having a thriving nightlife scene. It is also famous for its world-class music festivals like Iceland Airwaves.

It is a perfect starting point because aside from having loads of attractions left and right, you can also get everything that you need for your trip here.

For instance, acquire a local sim card, exchange it for local currency, rent a car, and buy your essentials. You can also spend your time planning the rest of your journey here while enjoying everything that Reykjavik has to offer.

Things to do in Reykjavik

Accommodations in Reykjavik

2 images - left is the Blue lagoon. Right is the Gulfoss waterfalls

Golden Circle Loop for 2 days

The Golden Circle is a route containing a lot of natural wonders in Iceland and is the most popular route. It is 250 km from and back to Reykjavik. This scenic route is so famous that it is included on most package tours, such as a 6-day winter package or a self-drive 10-day road trip.

However, since you have three weeks in Iceland and don’t have to jampack your itinerary, you could explore the most visited locations in the Golden Circle loop for 2 days on your own or even more if you want to travel slower.

You can actually visit these locations all year round. Let me briefly explain what each location has. The Gulfoss is a waterfall containing an average of 100,000 litres of water flowing from river Hvita.

The attraction of this Golden Waterfall lies in its unusual cascading shape. Next is the Geysir Strokkur, which isn’t the largest Geysir but is a famous tourist spot because it gushes its boiling hot water up in the air, around 30 meters high, every 8-10 minutes. You can also explore other steam vents and hot springs nearby.

Last but not least is Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site where you can witness tectonic plates that drifted apart, see the largest natural lake in Iceland, and see Oxarafoss Waterfall.

Things to do in the Golden Circle 

  • Silfra Diving and Snorkeling
  • Roadtrip
  • Horseback Riding
  • Puffin Watching
  • Gullfoss Canyon Rafting
  • Langjokull Glacier Snowmobiling

Accommodations around the Golden Circle 

Most people just use Reykjavik as their home base for the first week in Iceland. But you can also stay in the following areas:

Heimaey/Vestmanneyjar for 3 days

Vestmannaeyjar is an archipelago of 15 islands and 30 rock stacks located off the south coast of Iceland. Haimaey is the largest island here, while other islands are uninhabited. These islands are famous for having the world’s largest nesting puffins population during the summer.

Aside from that, the beautiful landscapes, rich history, warmhearted locals, and daring activities, which I will tackle later, are also the main reasons why this place is a must-visit.

If you’re coming from Reykjavik, you could ride the bus and then the Ferry to reach Vestmannaeyjar. However, if you rent a car, you can park your car at the ferry terminal. The port is located at Landeyjahöfn, and travel time is almost 4 hours.

Things to do in Heimaey/Vestmanneyjar

  • ATV ride on Eldfell Volcano
  • Sea Life Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary
  • Heimaklettur Hiking
  • Sagnheimar Folk Museum
  • Elephant Rock
  • Golfing
  • Attend ÞJÓÐHÁTÍÐ Festival
  • Sprangan or Cliff Swinging

Accommodations in Heimaey/Vestmanneyjar

2 images - on the left is a traditional Nordic houses along the coast behind if a rock mountain, on the right is the Landakirkja in Vestmanneyjar

Hofn for 3 days

Hofn is a fishing town located in the Southeast area of Iceland. It basically means harbour and is surrounded by the sea on three sides. It is also the most densely populated area in the district. It is well-known for its stunning coastal sights, excellent lobster restaurants, and charming villages.

You can experience living like a local fisherman here, walk around the tourism office and discover Vatnajökull glacier exhibitions, and have a meal in one of their top-tier restaurants. This is a nice areas to explore and stay for a few days if you want to take a break from the usually tourist crowd and enjoy Iceland like a local.

The distance between Landeyjahofn Ferry terminal to Hofn is 344 km, and the drive will take around 4 hours. On the way to Hofn from Vestmannaeyjabær, you must stop by the stunning and famous town of Vik, with a backdrop of a rock mountain and the ocean.

Things to do in Hofn

  • Ice Exploration Tour
  • Private Jeep Tour
  • Vatnajökull Glacier Walk from Hali
  • Crystal Blue Ice Cave Adventure
  • Snow Scooter Iceberg and Lake Self-Tours
  • Listasafn Svavars Guðnasonar Art Museum
  • Attend a lecture at Nýheimar
  • Eat seafood
  • Day Trip to Vestrahorn Mountains
  • Day Trip to Hoffellsjokull Glacier – join an ice exploration tour
  • Soak in Höfn Swimming Pool
  • Explore the Skaftafell National Park through this expedition
  • Dine at Pakkhús Restaurant
  • Dine at Ishusid Pizzeria Restaurant
  • Explore Gamlabud Visitor Center
  • Glacier Adventure Tour – explore the ice cave and see the natural landscapes of Vatnajökull
  • Glacier Snowmobile Journey Tour
  • Explore Listasafn Svavars Guðnasonar Art Museum

Accommodations in Hofn

Egilsstaðir/The Ring Road for 3 days

The next stop for your 3 weeks in Iceland itinerary is Egilsstaðir, which is the largest town in East Iceland. It is a must-visit as it has excellent connections to remote east fjords, as well as the Vatnajökull National Park. The people who are also traversing The Ring Road could go here to relax and unwind.

This place is well-known for its adventurous activities, natural beauty, and great climate. It’s the perfect area to be if you want to enjoy the eastern part of Iceland where there are lots of lakes, snow-capped mountains, and some hiking and camping options.

Hofn is only a 30-minute drive to Egilsstaðir via Route 93. Along the way, you’ll pass by mountains, coasts, farms, and other natural wonders. Aside from driving, you could also reach Egilsstaðir by bus, but it would take much longer, up to more than 6 hours.

Things to do in Egilsstaðir

  • Hallormsstaðaskógur National Park
  • Waterfall Circle and Laugarfell Hot Springs
  • Wilderness Center Stargazing, Horse Riding, Hiking, or Cable Car Riding
  • Visit Skriduklaustur
  • Join a combination tour to Studlagil Canyon and Rjúkandi Waterfall
  • Explore Hallormsstadur Forestry Reserve
  • Experience the Vök Baths – book your tickets here
  • Visit Litlanesfoss Waterfalls
  • Explore Laugarfell
  • Visit Fardagafoss Waterfalls
  • Visit Waterfall Circle
  • Explore Snaefellsstofa Visitor Center
  • Visit Lagarfljot Lake

Accommodations in Hofn

Reykjahlíðr for 3 days

Reykjahlíðr is a village located on Lake Mývatn shore in the North of Iceland. It is close to various natural attractions, such as Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum and Myvatn Geothermal Area, which have various unique tourist spots.

This includes Grjótagjá, where the iconic love scene in Game of Thrones was filmed, Hverfjall Crater, Dimmuborgir Rock Formations, Mývatn Nature Baths, which is known as the Blue Lagoon of the North, and more.

The distance between Egilsstaðir to Reykjahlíðr is 164.5 km. There are 2 modes of transportation to reach Reykjahlíðr, by bus and by driving. The travel time is almost the same, the difference lies in the price as riding the bus would be less expensive.

However, the price difference isn’t that much, so you could opt to just continue using a private car if you rent one.

2 images - left is the geothermal in Iceland, water and steam coming out of the ground. On the right is the volcanic mountain of Fagradalsfjall

Things to do in Reykjahlíðr

  • Askja the Caldera Day Tour
  • Ice Cave Lofthellir Exploration
  • Dettifoss Waterfall
  • Asbyrgi Canyon
  • Hverir Geothermal Area
  • Krafla Volcano
  • Godafoss

Ísafjarðarbær/Westfjords Region for 3 days

The Westfjords is one of the most spectacular regions in Iceland. It has untouched landscapes, fjords, and sparse settlements. The only time that this is accessible is during the summer, as the snow can get pretty heavy, and the region gets cut off from the rest of the country during that time.

Some of the must-visit places here are the Pink Sand Raudasandur, Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, Latrabjarg Cliffs, Dynjandi Waterwall, which is often called “Jewel of the Wstfjords”, and Flatey Island, among others.

The distance between Reykjahlid to the Westfjords is approximately 282 km. Depending on your destination in the Westfjords, the travel time by car could be as fast as 4 hours up to 9 hours.

The ideal place to stay in this region is in Ísafjörður, then you could do day trips there. Some of the day trips offered will be included in the list of things to do here.

2 images - on the left is the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss. On the right is the northern lights at Mount Kirkjufell

Things to do in Ísafjarðarbær

  • Hiking and wakeboarding
  • Private Horseriding tour
  • Dyjandi Waterfall and Iceland Farm visit tour
  • Camper van self-drive tour
  • Arctic Fox Center Valagil and Chocolate Factory
  • Vigur Island
  • Hvers Museum
  • Fosshestar

Accommodations in Ísafjörður

Accommodations in Egilsstaðir


3 images - left is a plate of herring on rye bread, in the middle is skyr with fruits, on the right is the hanging is hakarl, dried shark - 3 weeks in iceland itinerary

Iceland might not be known for its cuisine, but there are lots of interesting food and desserts to try during your trip:

  • Hákarl – Fermented shark
  • Harðfiskur – Dried fish, often cod, eaten as a snack
  • Lamb Soup (Kjötsúpa) – Hearty soup made with lamb and root vegetables
  • Plokkfiskur – Fish stew usually made with cod, potatoes, and onions
  • Skyr – A yogurt-like dairy product, often eaten at breakfast or as a dessert
  • Rúgbrauð – Icelandic rye bread, sometimes baked using geothermal heat
  • Hangikjöt – Smoked lamb, traditionally eaten during the Christmas season
  • Kleinur – Icelandic doughnuts, twisted and deep-fried
  • Ástarpungar – Also known as “love balls,” a type of fried dough filled with raisins
  • Snúður – Cinnamon roll often topped with chocolate or caramel glaze
  • Brennivín – A clear schnapps made from fermented grain or potatoes, flavored with caraway
  • Egils Appelsín – Popular Icelandic orange soda


You should visit Iceland at least once in your lifetime. There are just so many sights and sceneries that I think I wouldn’t be able to see in a lot of places. The Northern Lights is one example. Another is the abundance of geysers and geothermal baths which is quite fascinating.

Aside from that, they have tons of fjords, glaciers, and snow-capped mountains that look like they are a movie background setting. Those who want to visit this country during the summer also have many scenic beaches, lakes, and other bodies of water.

I hope that his 3 weeks in Iceland itinerary helped you visualise what a holiday here would look like. If you have the chance to visit Iceland, you definitely have to.


Spend a three-week adventure in Iceland, exploring its otherworldly landscapes, from cascading waterfalls and geothermal hot springs to glaciers and black sand beaches. Immerse in Icelandic culture and epic natural wonders. via @threeweektraveller