Epic 4 Days in Iceland Itinerary

How to Spend a Perfect 4 Days in Iceland Itinerary

Iceland has become a top bucket list destination and I totally get why! As we self-drove countless hours through Iceland, we couldn’t stop thinking, “wow, it feels like we are on another planet!”. Below, I cover the best things to do in Iceland including visiting Vik’s black sand beach, glaciers, the blue lagoon, and more in this self-drive ultimate itinerary to 4 days in Iceland!

View of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon with 4 days in Iceland Itinerary
Explore Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon with 4 days in Iceland

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Is Iceland Expensive

The first thing everyone asks us about Iceland is if it’s an expensive destination. It’s true, Iceland is extremely expensive! We found great flight prices on Skyscanner, but once you land, your gas, food, and even your stay will cost a pretty penny.

For example, everything on the menu will cost you at least $20 USD from what we saw. It can be as simple as a bowl of soup, BAM $23 dollars. Even gas for our compact car cost around 70$ USD (in NYC costs about 30$USD).

It’s still definitely doable to visit Iceland on more of a budget but just be prepared. Some ways we were able to budget in Iceland was by staying at an Airbnb in Selfoss (outside the city) and we bought groceries so we didn’t have to eat out much.

How to Get Around Iceland

The best way to get around Iceland is by renting a car. Iceland is a country you will want to explore, especially with 4 days in your itinerary to spare. Along with flights, you can also look to rent cars through Skyscanner.

Depending on the time of year you visit, it might be required to have chains on the tires and 4 wheel drive. We visited Iceland in April and didn’t need chains, however, we did notice little metal studs in our tires!

We found it was very easy to self-drive in Iceland as long as you pay attention to their signs.

Getting a car with Wifi was a huge help for all of our road trips. Also, pay attention to speed limits since there are a ton of cameras for speeding tickets along the main highways!

Viewing the Northern Lights in Iceland

Depending on the time of year, you might have the chance to see the Northern Lights! The best time to see the aurora in Iceland is from November to the end of March.

It is not guaranteed to see them, but your best bet is to do a Northern lights tour since they will know the best places to spot them. You can even use this link to check the forecast for the lights!

Also, make note that the Northern lights might not appear the same as you have seen in photos or videos. Without getting too technical, cameras are able to capture more light than our eyes, making the photos appear way more vivid than our eyes can see.

Day 1: Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon

With 4 days in your itinerary, The Blue Lagoon is easily a must-do Iceland attraction! I mean did you even visit Iceland without seeing the turquoise water of this geothermal feature?

The best time to visit the Blue lagoon is upon arrival or departure since it is right next to the international airport (not to be confused with the Blue Lagoon Spa in Reykjavik)!

So depending on your flight, this might be on your last day instead.

The Blue Lagoon is a must-see with 4 days Iceland Itinerary

Because the Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular things to do,  you should book your ticket in advance if you want to visit.

The tickets were around $100 USD each for the basic package, which I believe was more than enough. It included your towel, a free silica mask, and a free drink.

So, is the Blue Lagoon worth all the hype? I think so! It was pouring rain and extremely windy the day we went so we weren’t expecting much.

The tickets were nonrefundable, so we said, “let’s just jump in and jump out of the lagoon quick”, just to say we did it.

To our surprise; once we were inside the water, it was magical. The water was so warm making it the perfect relaxation after our 5-hour flight and arrival at 4 AM!

Tip: When driving there, make sure you drive the Blue Lagoon next to the International Airport, and not the resort Spa which is about 45 minutes away!

Additionally, I created this Beginners Guide to the Blue Lagoon, so you know exactly what to expect and important tips before going in the water!

Experience The Blue Lagoon with this detailed itinerary on the best things to do during your trip to Iceland!

Day 2: Daytrip to Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach

No Iceland itinerary is complete without some road trips and with 4 days,  Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach are a must-see!

These two iconic Iceland attractions are situated directly across from each other! Seeing the Jökulsárlón Glacier was an incredible experience and the first glacier I’ve ever witnessed!

My favorite was hearing the ice all cling together as the water swished back and forth. As you make your way to Diamond beach across the street, you will see pieces of the glacier scattered along the beach literally glistening like diamonds!

From Selfoss, where we stayed is about 4 hours away. Reykjavik is approximately  5 hours away so you will want to start early!

This road trip will take the full day and include some awesome stops along the way. While driving you will pass epic waterfalls such as Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skógafoss Waterfall.

I also suggest driving through the town of  Vik and visiting the black sand beach and basalt columns!

Find the full detailed Road Trip Guide to Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach with all the best stops along the way!

See the Diamond beach with 4 days in Iceland itinerary

Day 3: Self-drive the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle drive is another bucket list-worthy thing to do in Iceland. The Golden Circle is probably the largest tourist attraction in Iceland aside from the Blue Lagoon, and it’s totally worth diving with 4 days to spare.

This incredibly scenic road trip takes about 3 hours with no stops, so you will definitely want to give yourself an early start!

During your trip, you will have the opportunity to experience Iceland’s Geysers,  interact with Icelandic Horses, visit Þingvellir National Park, more waterfalls, and even scuba between two continental plates.

I’ve included a full Road Trip Guide with a map and points in this Self Drive Golden Circle Road Trip.

If you don’t feel like having another day of driving, you can also do a Golden Circle tour. They usually will leave out of Reykjavik.

You will definitely see Iceland horses with 4 days

Visit Gullfoss Waterfalls while driving the Golden Circle
Gullfoss Waterfalls found on the Golden Circle Drive

Day 4: Kirkjufell and Reykjavik 

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? If so, you will want to make sure you visit Kirkjufell which appeared in seasons 6 and 7! Even if you’re not a fan of GOT, it’s still worth a drive if you love scenic views and waterfalls!

I must admit since this Iceland itinerary is so jam-packed, you might want to have a more relaxing day on day 4. If this is the case, I’d suggest spending more time in Reyjavik or heading to one of the Iceland Lagoons.

Road Trip to Kirkjufell

Kirkjufell is a bit of a drive from Reykjavik (about 2 hours), but after being inspired by a fellow travel photographer and blogger friend of mine, Marielena from Epic 7 Travel, we decided to do the road trip.

These 2 hours consisted of numerous roundabouts, the longest underground tunnel we’ve ever driven through, and incredible landscapes!

Kirkjufell is known to be one of Iceland’s most famous mountains. It stands 463 meters high and is located on the North coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Behind Kirkjufell, you will also find 3 waterfalls and mountains.

Best Things to Do Reykjavík, Iceland

If you didn’t stay in the city of Reykjavik, you will want to make a point to stop here. We stayed in Selfoss since we knew we would be doing a lot of road trips. However, if I could do it over again, I would definitely stay in Reykjavik.

The city is so charming with tons to see and eat. I would recommend at least one full day here if you are not lodging here to check out the town and even get some Iceland souvenirs.

Parking is also free after 6 pm on Saturdays and free all day Sunday.

Hallgrímskirkja Church

First head to the famous church Hallgrímskirkja. This unique church is the tallest in Iceland and among one of the tallest buildings in the Country. You even have the opportunity to go to the very top and lookout. Just make sure you are there before 5 pm!

Address: Hallgrímstorg 101, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

reykjavik Church in Iceland Hallgrímskirkja

Sun Voyager

The Sun Voyager is a steel sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason. The boat is meant to symbolize a dreamboat; a promise to itself seeing undiscovered lands, a dream of hope, progress, and freedom.

I truly admired this piece of art and all that stands behind it as so many of us can relate to this message! It especially hit home for me since we had just quit our jobs about 1 week before arriving in Iceland to pursue our dreams of travel.

The Sun Voyager in Iceland
The Sun Voyager

The Harpa

To the left of the sculpture, you will see the Harpa. This unique building is a concert hall. The Harpa is the perfect spot to run inside to warm up, serves food, have great views, and also have some gift shops. You can also get free wifi here!

Discover the best of Iceland including seeing the Harpa in this detailed 4 day Itinerary!

Where to Stay in Iceland

During our time visiting Iceland, we decided to get an Airbnb in Selfoss. We chose Selfoss because of the location to the Golden Circle and Glacier Lagoon

. As I mentioned before, I think staying in Reykjavik is better since there is a lot more to do and places to eat.

If you decide to stay at an Airbnb, we were told to not mention it to locals, since they are not pro Airbnb. With this Airbnb link, if you sign up,  you can receive up to $40 USD off your stay! This link only works for new accounts. 

If you prefer the comforts of a hotel room, we always use booking (dot) com and you can view their best rates here.

4 Days in Iceland Itinerary Review

This sums up our 4 Days in Iceland Itinerary. Iceland really has so much to offer especially if you wanted to drive the Ring Road ( Iceland Perimeter). We found that 4 days in Iceland really gave us plenty of time to explore the lands, but there was still a lot we would have liked to see.

If you tend to travel and explore at a slower pace, you might want to extend your itinerary for 5-6 days in Iceland. If you plan on driving the Ring Road (perimeter of Iceland) I would suggest 8 to 10 days.

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40 thoughts on “Epic 4 Days in Iceland Itinerary”

  1. Hi Sam, Iceland just looks so incredible!!! This is awesome, thank you. Some fantastic tips, I’ll def head to the Blue Lagoon first!

    Reply
  2. Hi Sam: Great tip to visit the Blue Lagoon right when you arrive… that is so smart & also seems to be the exact right place you want to head immediately after getting off a plane!! Thanks also for mentioning to keep your Airbnb stay quiet when speaking to locals. That’s a pro tip right there.

    Reply
  3. Iceland has been on my bucket list for so long. I was thinking that you would need at least 7 days to explore, so thank you for sharing this! Love your photos, they are absolutely stunning.

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    • Thanks so much! 4 days will let you see a good portion of Iceland, but 7 days will allow you to drive the ring road of Iceland, so of course you will be able to see more!

      Reply
  4. Loved the Blue Lagoon. Cannot believe I missed Diamond Beach. As we went in summer I missed the Northern Lights so I’ll just have to go back to see the lights and the diamonds. Thank you for sharing your beautiful trip and pictures.

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  5. Thanks for this, it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for and perfect timing as looking at a spare 4 days at the end of a Baltic cruise. Iceland sounds perfect.

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  6. Iceland is so high on mine bucket list. Your photos are so amazing. Especially the ones with black beach, an ultimate dream destination.

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  7. Wow you had a full itinerary! I only managed Reykjavik when I went, with Blue Lagoon. Tried to see the Northern Lights and did some whale watching but neither were successful! Hoping to hit some of your spots next time, especially Golden Circle!

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  8. I love Iceland and definitely want to go back, especially to see Diamond Beach. This is an amazing 4-day itinerary! Also, your photos are beautiful!

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  9. I loved Iceland and this a great guide for 4 days, you definitely were able to pack a lot of the south coast in! I agree about spending more time in Reykjavik, I only had an evening there and it definitely felt a bit rushed and I missed out on seeing the sun voyager statue and concert hall. Kirkjufell is another place that is still on my Iceland wishlist, it looks so beautiful! I need to go back because I was hoping to see the Northern Lights on my visit but unfortunately they weren’t active when I was visiting.

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    • We only got a quick glimpse because we went mid-April. I would also love to go back and see Northern Iceland =) Hopefully we will both make it back!

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  10. This is such a good guide and made me want to visit Iceland even more! I’m usually not a fan of cold destinations but Iceland almost seem to good to be true. Kirkjufell and the Blue Lagoon (good to know there are two locations) are at the top of my list 😀

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    • Yes, I usually will not visit cold destinations either but Iceland is amazing and the landscape is really stunning! I hope you will get to visit soon!

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  11. Iceland looks amazing! Thanks for sharing this, so many useful tips! will definitely remember about this post when I plan my itinerary there 🙂

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  12. I loved Iceland so much! Kirkjufell is definitely a stunner and the horses hair made me jealous haha! I think you did a great job of capturing a lot highlights in 4 days.

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  13. Sam, Thanks for sharing such great tips. I missed the Blue Lagoon while there and look forward to checking it out next time. Great to know there are two different ones so that I book properly. I’m so happy you made it to Kirkjufell and enjoyed it. Such a stunning sight and waterfall(s). And, a must see for GoT fans like us! I also sincerely appreciate the shout out!

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    • Thank you so much for such a kind comment Marielena! I am so glad you shared it with me and beyond happy to shout out your amazing blog!

      Reply
  14. Thnxxxx for sharing your travel story with us, and also for the tips of traveling true Iceland.
    It is on my bucket list tooo
    Have a nice day Sam XXX

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      • Iceland has always intrigued me and I always wanted to visit it but I feel it’s somewhat expensive from where I live. Nonetheless, your post has inspire me to save and plan for a future trip.

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        • I have found the flights tend to be reasonable, but once you are there the prices are high. Where I live now, it’s expensive to fly anywhere since its a small airport.

          Reply

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