There is no place on the planet even remotely like Iceland. Incomparable and amazing, an Iceland vacation should be on every travel enthusiast’s bucket list. Our experts have custom curated this fantastic five-day trip to help every visitor get the most out of Iceland’s spectacular landscapes, sights, and experiences.
Arrive in Rekjavik and transfer to your hotel. Before you head out to explore the natural wonders of Iceland, take today to enjoy some of the city’s most iconic sites like Sólfar, a Viking ship steel sculpture. We also highly recommend the one-of-a-kind and absolutely stunning Hallgrímskirkja Church, which towers over the town as an ode to modernism and the iconic Icelandic landscape.
Next, head downtown to shop for everything from local art to stunning handmade goods and then pick your perfect spot for dinner. After you’ve had your fill of food, it’s time for some tunes. You’ll find dozens of venues with live music that includes everything from bluegrass and folk to rap, reggae, and rock. Rekjavik became known for its music after Björk grabbed the international spotlight. Ever since then it’s a surprisingly large pop culture hotspot.
There are plenty of wonders to explore in Iceland—where there’s almost 24 hours of daylight during the summer months. We suggest a whale watching expedition, where the cold waters host multiple species of large marine mammals. Not only can you spot humpback whales, sperm whales, orcas, and even blue whales, the islands off the coast also teem with white-beaked dolphins, seals, sharks, and fascinating bird life. If the sea isn’t your thing, pop culture fans will want to check out the spectacular filming locations used to create the epic show Game of Thrones. This includes the otherworldly lava fields of Dimmuborgir, multiple spots around lake Mývatn, and Grjótagjá—the infamous location of Jon Snow and Ygritte’s love nest.
During the darker months of November through January, visitors come for the otherworldly spectacle of the Northern Lights. You don’t have to travel far from Reykjavik to take in the view. Just a new miles northwest at the end of the Seltjarnarnes peninsula you’ll find Grótta, which juts into the North Sea for an incredible vantage point. Alternatively, on the southern outskirts visitors can head to Heiðmörk Nature Reserve, a recreational area with no light pollution—giving you a greater chance of experiencing the neon lightshow.
After fortifying yourself with a big breakfast, take a day tour to some of Iceland’s most stunning sites. First up is Faxi waterfall, one of the area’s more hidden gems, and affectionally known as Gullfloss Waterfall’s little sibling. After you’ll get to see why as you explore the magnificent Gullfloss Waterfall, where fresh glacier water falls down 104 feet into the canyon below. Next up is one of the most famous hot springs in the world—Geysir—where you’ll experience the entire area and also stop for lunch. Finally, your full-day experience will end at Þingvellir National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Þingvellir is the location where tectonic plates are pulling apart and is the closest you can be to two continents at the same time.
You can’t visit Iceland without a trip to the Blue Lagoon—a geothermal spa with an otherworldly feel that also happens to be one of National Geographic’s 25 Wonders of the World. Located 30 minutes away from Rekjavik, you’ll want to spend an entire day here, relaxing in the soothing, milky blue 102° F water that provides a stark contrast to the surrounding black lava fields and gray moss. As the steam rises from the hot water into the cool air, your body will instantly feel soothed from the mineral-rich water. The Blue Lagoon offers a variety stress-relieving services, including multiple types of mud masks, an in-water bar, massage options, and multiple restaurants. Make sure to book your day in advance, because spots often fill up ahead of time.