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A Weekend in Iceland

Date 01 August 2019

A Weekend in Iceland

A Weekend in Iceland

Since Iceland is just over 3 hours from Paris by plane, you can plan a long weekend there of 3 or 4 days.

There is no shortage of package holidays on offer, even for short stays, but the majority of visitors put together their short stays independently.

A long weekend in Iceland


Many tourists just book the flight and organize the rest of their stay independently. What you can fit into a long weekend will mainly depend on whether you decide to book a rental vehicle or not. If you take a rental vehicle, this gives you the freedom to explore autonomously and adapt your days as needed. Otherwise, you can stay in a city and take half-day or full-day excursions (see below) to see the sights.

The best time to visit Iceland for a weekend

The season of travel will change everything about your trip. In winter for example, Iceland has a many charms, but you are locked out of many places that are only open in summer. Many roads are closed and so most of the tourist sites inland in particular remain inaccessible. However, winter is the only season when you can see the famous Northern Lights.

You can find more information in our article: best time to visit Iceland.

Suggested itinerary for a weekend in Iceland

For short stays, most visitors choose not to rent a vehicle, but instead stay in Reykjavík and take tours to the sights around the capital.

For a 3-4 day weekend, stay close to the capital and this makes for a good way to discover Iceland without the hassle and expense of renting a car.

Day 1: Blue Lagoon and Reykjavík

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon

After arriving at Keflavik Airport, head to the nearby Blue Lagoon, a heavenly hot spring to wash off the stress of travel before heading to Reykjavík for your first visit. After strolling through the streets of 101, the capital's tourist district, and visiting Reykjavik's must-see attractions you can stop at one of the many restaurants in the capital.

Day 2: The Golden Circle


Geysir in the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle will be your next adventure: Thingvellir — Geysir — Gullfoss. Visit the 3 sites independently you're driving a rented vehicle., then return to Reykjavík by the end of the afternoon to stroll along its famous shopping street: Laugavegur.

If you haven't rented a car that's no problem at all as there are plenty of day trips to the Golden Circle from Reykjavík:

Day 3: Southern beaches and waterfalls


Skogafoss waterfall

Day 3 can be adapted according to your needs. If you're driving a rented vehicle, you can go down to the south coast to stop near the Kerið Crater. On the way south along the famous Road number 1 you will find the superb Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, which are among the most beautiful waterfalls in the country.

A little further away, the Vik region and its black sand beaches, the Reynisdrangar and Cape of Dyrholaey, are also worth a visit. And depending on the time of year this can be the perfect spot for puffin viewing.

If it's the icebergs that you really want to see, swing through Jokulsarlon and Fjallsarlon for the return trip to see what is perhaps one of the most beautiful sights Iceland has to offer.

You can also choose to return a different way, via the Snaefellsnes peninsula, which is like a small showcase of the best landscapes of Iceland.

If you are not travelling by car, you should know that these visits are still possible at any time of the year via guided tours departing from the capital. Here are a few examples:

Day 4: Return to Keflavik

Aurore boréale

Northern lights in Kleifarvatn

Return to Keflavik with the Flybus and fly out from Iceland.

Many other excursions can be fit into this itinerary, some of which are just for the winter period (between October and March) to observe the Northern Lights for example. Learn more about Iceland in winter.

Some examples of Northern Lights outings:

Also worth reading

A travel journal similar to this journey

Other itineraries: