Is spending a few days in Iceland worth it at all? Is it possible to leave it without irritation, because you haven’t seen the whole island? Sure!
This ‘4 days in Iceland’ itinerary is for all of you who can spend only several days on the island. You’ve probably heard that you need some time to go on a classic Ring Road trip; at least 7 days, and ideally – 10-14 days. So what to do when you have just a few days? Many tourists end up wandering around Reykjavik and spending a day on the Golden Circle tour, which is the most popular tour in Iceland (read: it’s really crowded all year round). It includes the famous Geysir (or rather Strokkur), Gullfoss waterfall and the first Icelandic parliament Þingvellir). Of course, all these attractions are obviously worth seeing, but if we were in your shoes and had to choose what to do in Iceland, having only four days, we would leave the Golden Circle for another occasion. Golden Circle is always far from an adventure. Instead, rent a car and prepare for something exciting.
Snæfellsnes Peninsula – Iceland in a nutshell
Don’t follow the masses, roam the Icelandic roads and visit the magical Snæfellsnes Peninsula. If you have little time, it’s better to focus on the area located not so far from the airport. Why Snæfellsnes? The answer is short. It has almost everything that Iceland has to offer: breathtaking landscapes, alluring seascapes, lava fields, glacier, abandoned farms, great hiking trails. No surprise that it’s often called ‘Iceland in a nutshell’. We have been there several times, and every time it delighted us. You will find there a few dozen attractions because in fact the landscape is extremely diverse and the stunning scenery changes very quickly. There’s something incredible awaiting you around every corner. On Snæfellsnes you can do whatever you’ve dreamt of doing in Iceland: wander on fairytale lava fields, admire the spectacular fjords, encounter remarkable rock formations, go for a horseback riding trip and even arrange a face to face meeting with a glacier. Sounds good, doesn’t it? The Peninsula is also famous for its remarkable quietness and very mysterious atmosphere. Besides you can visit Snæfellsnes all year round. In each season it looks equally magnificent, and the roads are open also in the winter.
To make it all happen, you have to rent a car at the airport in Keflavík. Forget about hitchhiking and travelling by bus. You don’t have enough time. It’s best if you are landing in the morning or at least around midday and leaving in the evening. Otherwise, you’ll need an extra day.
Berserkjahraun lava field. Adventure ahead!
There are many fantastic waterfalls near Grundarfjörður.
And here it is! Kirkjufell, an iconic mountain. You’ve probably seen a similar shot many times.
Have a look at our original Icelandic fine art prints!
4 days in Iceland Itinerary
Arrival in Iceland, collecting a car at the airport and a ride to Grundarfjörður.
It’s 220 km from Keflavík to your destination. There aren’t any major tourist attractions on the way, but the way is an attraction in itself. If it’s your first contact with the island, you’ll stop to take some pictures all the time. You’ll arrive in Grundarfjörður probably in the evening and if earlier, then even better – you can start sightseeing immediately. The town of Grundarfjörður will be your springboard into the region for the following two days. You can choose from hotels, hostels and guesthouses. There is an outstanding view over Kirkjufell mountain, the mountain which you must have seen before, from the hostel located by the harbour. If you prefer, you can also stay in Stykkishólmur. It’s a lovely small town as well.
Start to explore Snæfellsnes peninsula. There’s a lot to see, just have a look on the list below and on our map.
Today visit these places which you didn’t manage to see yesterday. We are sure that something is left.
If you have your flight in the evening, then it’s fantastic – you still have a whole day full of attractions. Start early in the morning and stop by in Reykjavík for a cup of coffee and lunch in one of its charming cafes. You’ll probably have time for short sightseeing too. Go for a walk on famous Laugavegur and have a look on the colourful roofs of the capital from the church tower of Hallgrímskirkja. Reykjavik has its charm, so it’s definitely worth visiting even for a couple of hours. Remember that you can get everywhere in the centre on foot. And if you don’t like visiting cities, then go to have a soak in the famous Blue Lagoon instead. Just remember that you have to book a ticket at least a week in advance. You can also go for a walk in the geothermal area Krýsuvík-Seltún – it’s a place not from this world! You’ll have plenty of things to do before departure.
First snow. What a view!
Nothing, nothing at all. Black desert, Berserkjahraun.
Snæfellsnes treasures – must see places
Grundarfjörður – a small town where you can see the icon of the whole peninsula – Kirkjufell, an amazing, unusually shaped mountain. We wrote about charming Grundarfjörður before.
Berserkjahraun – marvelous lava field. This place is so enchanting, that you can easily spend here a couple of hours, especially if you like taking pictures. You can park your car somewhere where Berserkjahraunvegur road starts and go for a long walk. You can also explore the area by car. You don’t need a 4×4 to do this.
Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum – little museum where you will learn everything about an intriguing Icelandic snack, fermented shark, called hákarl. The museum is run by a family which has been producing this staple for decades. Of course, you can’t leave the place without trying this peculiar delicacy 🙂 You can read more about hákarl and other Icelandic treats in our post ‘Feast of the Vikings’
Hellnar – in the past it was a fishing village and it dates back to 1560. On the beach you can stumble upon spectacular rock formations and admire Baðstofa cave. From Hellnar a spectacular seaside trail leads to Arnarstapi. It take around two hours to complete this short hike. We definitely recommend it!
Arnarstapi – a charming little village located just at the foot of Snæfellsjökull glacier. The surroundings abound in enchanting terrains like Dritvík bay, where you can admire amazing rock formations.
Djúpalónssandur – a mysterious black beach near Dritvík.
Rauðfeldsgjá – a splendid ravine. You can get there walking through a secret, very narrow and mossy path, well more like jumping on the rocks in the creek, which flows between. It looks like a magical mountain chamber known from fable stories.
Búðir – a little and black as a pitch church located in terrific surroundings. It is worth to stop there and see how a typical Icelandic church looks like. Nearby you can find Búðahraun, an extraordinary lava field.
Vatnshellir – a truly amazing volcanic cave. When someone is up for a mesmerizing underground journey definitely should visit this 8000 years old lava tube, it’s an unforgettable experience.
Gerðuberg – famous basalt columns, a real jaw-dropping nature’s masterpiece. They look like a castle’s fortification.
Snæfellsjokull – a majestic glacier; Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth starts exactly here.
We are sure that the breathtaking, diverse Snaefellsnes nature will leave you speechless. Iceland as a long weekend destination is definitely a great idea!
Abandoned farmhouse. Spooky as hell!
And this one is still in use.
It’s time to set off into the unknown! Berserkjahraun lava field.
Below you can find an interactive map of the route with all major attractions. By clicking the square in the top right corner, you’ll enlarge the map. Click on the markers to get to know more about different places. Have fun planning your adventure!
A couple of days in Iceland is not that much. You arrive at Keflavik Airport probably a little tired and you have to deal immediately with renting a car. Then you are in a hurry to manage to see all the attractions. And you came here to have some rest, didn’t you?
And what would you say if someone else would take you to all these breathtaking places? Someone who is very experienced with driving in Iceland (both in summer and in winter) and knows a lot about these fantastic spots. And you could just relax and immerse yourself in everything that Iceland has to offer.
You can experience Snæfellsnes peninsula on a private tour in a comfortable 4×4 with a guide, who will be more than happy to answer all of your questions about Iceland. You will get to know much more about this fascinating island than if you were travelling on your own, that’s for sure!
Below you can find out more about Snæfellsnes Private Tour of our trusted partner tour operator. We’ve been on many tours here in Iceland and honestly – their tours are one of the best.