Welcome back to our third and final installment of your 7-day itinerary for a road trip in Iceland. We are now reaching the end of our trip as we wake up in the beautiful Snæfellsnes Peninsula. I recommend waking up early to take advantage of the entire day. What exciting and breathtaking locations await us in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula?
Day 5 – Snæfellsnes Peninsula
The Snæfellsnes peninsula is often called Iceland in a nutshell. All of the unique geological features that you can find all over Iceland can also be found within the confines of our most westerly peninsula. In reality, to truly explore this area of Iceland fully, you would need much more than just one day. But, we can do this! We are going to look at the must-see locations in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
Day 5 – Grundarfjörður and Kirkjufell
The small town of Grundarfjörður has received exponentially more visitors in the last few years. In the past, maybe one or two cruise ships would dock in its harbor. That number has exploded to well above 15, at a minimum, every summer. The village has an incredibly festive and colorful annual festival during the last weekend in July. This small oceanside village is the perfect place to begin your fun-filled day five of your itinerary. More importantly, the town is the home to Iceland’s, and maybe the world’s, best-known mountain: Mt. Kirkjufell.
Visiting Kirkjufell is a must on your 7-day road trip in Iceland. Wake up extra early and head to her as soon as possible to capture a picture of this geological wonder. Photographers travel from all over the world and come to Iceland just to take a photo of this extremely photogenic mountain. Given the recent rise of tourism here in Iceland, this place is usually crawling with photographers. If you really want to snap a unique picture, take a hike or walk through the surrounding areas to find a location all your own.
For all of you adventurous hikers, you can indeed hike Kirkjufell mountain. However, I would recommend a guided hike if possible. The route can be a little treacherous if you are a novice. Hike to the top if you have enough time. The views from the peak are unbeatable.
Day 5 – Snæfellsjökull National Park
To start, I would leave Kirkjufell by taking Route 54 till you link up with Route 574 (heading west) to get to the national park. You can drive around the entire edge of the peninsula and stop along the way to take some photos and maybe even find a hot spring or two. So get those bathing suits ready. Continue around the outer perimeter of the peninsula until you reach the national park.
The Snæfellsjökull glacier and the national park have been world famous sites for some time now. In Jules Verne’s famous science fiction novel, Journey to the Center of the Earth, he pulls his audience into the incredible story by relating that the center of the earth can be found on the Snæfellsjökull glacier. This was back in the mid-1800s. I can’t imagine what Iceland used to look like back then. But I digress. Even though this is Iceland’s smallest national park, it is easily one of its most diverse. If you have time, try to explore the Snæfellsjökull glacier and the national park.
Optional Stop for Day 5 – Skarðsvík Beach
You have seen plenty of black sand beaches thus far during your road trip in Iceland, so let’s change things up a bit, and go to a more Mediterranean one: Skarðsvík Beach. This beach is an optional stop around the northwestern tip of Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The blue-green waters crash around the brooding volcanic craggy landscape here. This is a perfect destination for a quick pit stop or a great photo opportunity. A word to the wise: like all of the ocean shoreline in Iceland, the tide will change abruptly and unexpectedly. We don’t want you swimming back to wherever you are visiting from, so practice caution and make sure you stay close to the shoreline.
Day 5 – Returning to Reykjavik
From here I would say that you could pick one or two other locations to stop for lunch on the way back to Reykjavik. While the drive is only about two and a half hours back to the capital, I usually err on the side of caution; it will take you much longer to get back. There are so many attractions to see when driving through Iceland, endless photo opportunities, and plenty of naturally occurring hot springs to distract you on your return trip. So, I recommend you take a nice slow leisurely drive back and make sure you stop whenever your gut tells you to.
Day 6 – Reykjavik
If I were to put on my tour guide hat, I would say that today is a free day. Yay! You have just been on the road for six days. Why not sleep in, get a big breakfast and a nice cup of hot coffee. Take this day to relax, reflect on your road trip, and see some of the best that Reykjavik has to offer. For those who are totally lost on where to begin, I will give you some starting points on how to best enjoy your last day in Reykjavik.
Day 6 – Reykjavik Walking Tour
Every major city that I have visited I have always taken a walking tour, and I recommend you do the same. CityWalk Reykjavik is rated #1 on TripAdvisor for a good reason; they are incredible. While you are escorted around the city, they will enlighten you about our Viking past, our medical history, and current culture. You will see Reykjavik’s most famous landmarks and buildings. This is a fantastic way to get acclimated to the city and to get your bearings. Make sure to tip them when they finish, as tips are always appreciated. From here I would recommend getting a snack. And there is no better place to grab a cheap bite to eat than at Icelandic Street Food.
Day 6 – Icelandic Street Food
Located at 8, Lækjargata street, Icelandic Street Food is the best way to try traditional Icelandic dishes at a great price. The concept of the restaurant is simple: they sought to create the first inexpensive, fast food-like restaurant that serves Icelandic food for tourists (and Icelanders alike) quickly. The recipes here are all homemade, and boy can you tell. You can taste the love in every bite. My favorite dish is the traditional lamb soup in a bread bowl. Their soups are to die for. Their staff is incredibly friendly, and they are known for free refills on the soup. Take a load off and recharge those batteries before continuing onto Laugavegur street.
Day 6 – Laugavegur street
Laugavegur street is always busy no matter what time of year. During the day the street is filled with shoppers and tourists, and at night it comes alive with restaurant patrons and party seekers. This is the hub of Reykjavik. You can find just about anything on this street. Stroll down the thoroughfare, window shop, grab an ice cream and just soak up all that Iceland and Reykjavik have to offer. My personal favorite store on this street is Sputnik. Sputnik is a vintage clothing store where you can find some real gems. I have entire portions of my wardrobe based off of things that I have found here. Other popular stores off Laugavegur Street are Verslun Gudsteins Eyjolfssonar (a men’s store), Smekkleysa (an art and music shop), Mal og Menning (a very famous bookstore), and plenty more.
Day 7 of Your Iceland Road Trip
Now that you are well rested and have spent the whole day exploring all that Reykjavik has to offer, it is time for you to head to the airport and return home. But, why not make one last stop before you are crammed into a tiny metal seat while deciding if you want a Coke or Sprite for your complimentary in-flight beverage? Yuck, that sounds horrible. Let’s make sure that you are in as relaxed as possible when you leave Iceland. Before you rush to Keflavík Airport, you should make one last pit stop. What did I have in mind? A spa day of course! Head to the Blue Lagoon Spa.
Day 7 – The Blue Lagoon Spa
I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to start my journey home than by going to the Blue Lagoon Spa. The day spa has become wildly famous due to the rise of Instagram celebrities posting moody photos of themselves trying way too hard to look cool while they wade through turquoise blue waters surrounded by fog. Usually, they have some really terrible cryptic quote accompanying the photo, like, “We all need to find our own personal healing waters…”. What? What does that mean? Why do I follow you? How are you famous?! We may never know the answers to these questions.
However, I do know for a fact that the Blue Lagoon does have healing waters. I know this for two reasons. First I checked their site, and second, I was told that I need to thoroughly bathe myself, naked, before I got into the pool. This is common in Iceland because we don’t use a lot of chemicals in our lagoons and hot springs we have to ensure that the water doesn’t have any contaminants in it. So, before hopping in the water make sure you follow all of the rules of the spa. Besides that, throw on an algae mask and float around to your heart’s content. By the time you get to the airport, you will be so relaxed that you will probably be floating through the air.
7-Day Road Trip Itinerary in Iceland: Days 5, 6 and 7
Well, that’s it. That is the end of your trip. I hope that I could provide you with some insights to help you plan your Ring Road adventure more efficiently. Again, these are my personal recommendations. Feel free to tailor and modify any of these online itineraries for your Iceland trip.
Most importantly though, make sure you take your time. A road trip isn’t about getting to the destination right on time, it’s about the journey. Have fun and be safe. We have tons of other articles that could help you on your trip, so feel free to check those out. And finally, leave a comment below if you have any Ring Road favorites that you think I missed.