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Adventure in Iceland - 4 Day Travel Itinerary
This article is part of a series of our favorite adventure travel destinations highlighting some of the most amazing places and experiences on planet Earth. By experiencing more of the magic of the natural world, we can build momentum to help make sure future generations can enjoy it as well. Don't forget to pack light and always bring a towel.
Rugged and wild with a landscape like no other earthly place, Iceland holds something special for everyone.
This remote island emits a mystical sensibility with its enchanting traditions and rich history complete with infinite rainbows. Enjoy hot springs, elvish studies, and awe inspiring landscapes.
If you are an adventurous nature-loving person set your next travel sights on Iceland. The following itinerary is perfect for a long weekend away. Don't forget your FiveADRIFT towel for those rainy day touring and hot spring soaks. Skál!
Day 1 Reykjavik
Hard to spell. Easy to enjoy. Take the opportunity on your first day to explore the small and charming city. A stay in the central business district allows you to walk to many of the hot spots around town.
Start by grabbing breakfast at Cafe Haiti and then walk to the Old Harbor and Maritime Museum. Check out the shops along the and end at the art installation, Þufa. On your walk back grab an Ice cream @ Valdis and take some photos in front of the Voyager Sculpture & Harpa Concert Hall.
When you have worked up at appetite, stop for lunch at the Laundromat Cafe, which has a fun playspace in the basement. Visit Hallgrimskirkja Church, an imposing Lutheran church which evokes both Scandinavian modernism and nature's inspiration.
Stroll back into the city center and enjoy a traditional lamb dog at bæjarins beztu pylsur hotdogs for a snack. Check out the shops along Laugavegur and take in the beauty of Lake Tjornin. Finish the day with a delicious dinner at Icelandic Fish & Chips
Day 2 - The Golden Circle
Only a 40 min drive from Reykjavik to the first sit, you can actually complete the Golden Circle in one day. I recommend staying in one of the farmhouse Airbnbs along the way. Start at Þingveller National Park and experience standing where two tectonic plates meet.
Have lunch at Fridheimar Farm, a gorgeous tomato greenhouse that feels like summer inside. It's particularly welcoming on a rainy, raw Icelandic day. Follow that with a dip at Secret Lagoon (don't forget a reservation and your FiveADRIFT towel) before visiting the last 2 magnificent sites, Gulfoss Waterfall and Geysir. Finish off the day at Efstidalur II | Farm Hotel, adairy farm where you can eat hamburgers next to cows; not for vegetarians
Day 3 - South Iceland
Head to the southern coast for views of volcanoes, lava beaches, and puffins. Start your day at Seljalandsfoss; a magical waterfall where you can walk behind the cascade.
After lunch in Vik take in the magnitude and solitude of Reynisfjara's black sand beach. Keep a safe distance from the water's edge. The ocean's might is powerful here. For a peak at some puffins head down the road to Dyrhólaey.
As you make your way west drive past Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano that erupted a few years ago, before making a pit stop at the Keldur Turf Houses, Iceland's version of hobbit homes, and an adorable example of how original homes were insulated back in the day in Iceland.
You can't leave Iceland without horseback riding. The Icelandic horse is a coveted breed and Icelanders work hard to keep it pure. In fact, no other horse breeds are allowed on island. They're small and sturdy and great for kids. Hestheimar or Hella Stables for trail rides. If you aren't exhausted at this point of the day, visit Hotel Ranga for an elegant dinner of traditional Icelandic fare.
Day 4 - Departure Day
You completed your whirlwind adventure. Now is the time to relax and unwind before boarding your plane. Make a reservation at Blue Lagoon for a hot soak in the massive thermal mineral pool. There are locker rooms for changing and a delicious cafe, Lava Cafe, for dining before your flight. If you have an hour so to kill, the Viking Museum is a beautiful space to grab a bit of culture before heading home.
- There are a lot of cool airbnb options; book early for summer
- Glacier walks typically have a minimum age of 10
- Audiobooks are nice for longer drives. Check out our list of suggestions.
- Pack hiking boots and performance clothing. Check out our list of favorite sustainable brands.
- fun terms:
- Góðan dag = good day
- Skál! = Cheers!
- Já /Nei = yes/no
- foss = waterfall
- jokull = glacier
- Þ = “th" sound as in Þingvellir sounds like thingvellir