This Iceland Must See 6 Day, 5 Night Private Tour Summer Itinerary is designed for people with over a week to spend in Iceland. This itinerary is a combination of must see sights, nature, adventure and culture. From the fishing villages nestled in the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the west, to the still warm volcanoes in the south, to the mighty glaciers in the south east.
Although this trip is a similar duration to our popular Grand Circle tour, there is a lot less driving involved. It’s also possible to complete all year round with some variations. On this itinerary we still cover a large part of the country but focus on the must see highlights of Iceland.
The main difference between this tour and our Grand Circle tour is that on each day we want to spend a little more time in each area. Less driving, more exploring and experiencing. The trip covers all three of Iceland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the ever popular Golden Circle region, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon situated within Vatnajökull National Park, a visit to the archipelago volcanic Westman Islands, geothermal hot springs, rural villages and so much more. In essence, everything that is an absolute must see in Iceland. To experience this trip is to experience Iceland in all its raw natural beauty.
The itinerary below lasts for 6 incredible days of tours, plus your arrival and departure days. However, if you want to add in some extra activities like snowmobiling, snorkeling, whale watching, Blue Lagoon, or additional hikes, it can easily be extended to 7, 8, 9 or even 10 days. Conversely, if you prefer the trip to be a little shorter let us know which day you want to take out and we’ll see if it’s possible. Simply, when you send us a message just let us know how long you have and what else you’re excited to do. We’ll do our best to include all of the must see Iceland sights in the time you have.
Please note that at certain times of year we may need to swap some activities to cater for the changing seasons. We will notify you of any changes when your first query is made. This tour is ideal from mid-May through to September.
Must See Iceland | Tour Highlights
• Hiking on the Falljökull glacier. This glacier is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vatnajökull National Park
• Staying in wonderful countryside accommodation. In the fall you can marvel at the northern lights straight from your window. In the height of summer we experience the never ending days and the glow of the midnight sun
• Taking a stroll on the Reynisfjara and Djúpalónssandur black sand beaches
• Walking behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall and getting to the edge of the roaring Skógafoss waterfall
• Seeing the glacier icebergs up close at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach
• Bathing in the Secret Lagoon geothermal hot pool
• Tasting locally sourced food at the Friðheimar tomato farm and Narfeyrarstofa restaurant
• Revealing the Golden Circle sights; the ever erupting Strokkur geyser, the powerful Gullfoss waterfall and Þingvellir National Park
• Hiking to the top of the still warm Eldfell volcano from the 1973 volcanic eruption in the Westman Islands
• Exploring the depths of the underground Raufarhólshellir Lava Tunnel
Private Must See Iceland 6 Day Tour | Summer Itinerary
The Day To Day
Day 1 / 6
South Coast Sights
On our first two days we travel the entire south coast of Iceland. These two days gives you the time to take in the impressive Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Not to mention the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach with its unique hexagonal basalt columns.
Later in the day, you’ll be amazed by the giant icebergs floating around the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. A definite must see. If you’re lucky, you will spot some curious seals swimming around the lagoon, as well as large crystals of ice washed up on the nearby Diamond Beach. On a clear day they sparkle in the low sunlight. On top of that, you get to explore the endless moss covered Eldhraun lava fields from the devastating Laki eruption. Finally, you will take an easy hike to the feather like ridges of the incredible Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge.
Where do we stay?
We stay either at the wonderful Lilja Guesthouse or at Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon on our first night of the tour.
Skógafoss in Summer. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman
Reynisfjara Black Beach. South Coast. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Paul Fencaros
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman
Seljalandsfoss Aerial. Hidden Iceland. Photo Danny Mcgee. Featured
Eldhraun Lava Fields. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 Day tour. Hidden Iceland | Photo by Dagný Björg
Diamond Beach. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Emily Sillett
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Hidden Iceland. Paul Fencaros
Fjaðrárgljúfur Gorge by Norris Niman
Day 2 / 6
Glacier Hike and Vatnajökull National Park
Our second day will focus more on adventure, namely, hiking on a glacier! This is a must see Iceland sight. Our breathtaking hike on the Falljökull glacier is designed for first timers with good mobility. For around 4 hours you will explore crevasses (cracks), moulin (holes) and seracs (ice sculptures) as you hike on the ice. Today is the most adventurous but also the most rewarding. Especially with the views of the surrounding area from the top of the glacier.
To learn more about what the glacier hike entails you can check out our Glacier Hike Guide here.
Looking for a little bit extra?
During the winter months we can swap the glacier hike tour out for an ice cave tour in the area, these caves are accessible from mid October through March. Another incredible upgrade that we can work in is a scenic helicopter ride to nearby glacier to visit Blue Dragon Ice Cave!
If you don’t want to do the glacier hike we can easily swap it for something a little more tranquil such as a boat tour on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon or a super jeep tour on top of a nearby glacier.
Falljökull glacier by Danny Mcgee
Falljökull Glacier Hike. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Paul Fencaros
Falljökull Glacier. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon 2 Day Tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Amy Robinson. Feature
Day 3 / 6
The volcanic Westman Islands
After breakfast we head to Landeyjahöfn Harbour and take the short ferry ride to the volcanic chain of islands known as the Westman Islands. The entire island is a must see in our opinion. The main island was almost destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1973. We will visit the Eldheimar Museum before walking to the top of the still warm volcano that destroyed hundreds of homes. It is often referred to as the “Pompei of the North”. We will eat lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Iceland, GOTT, which uses all local ingredients.
After lunch we have more time to explore the islands. With your Hidden Iceland guide you can head to the southern side of the island in search of puffins. On a clear day, you can catch a glimpse of the newest of the Westman Islands, the pristine UNESCO Heritage Site Surtsey.
In the late afternoon we take the ferry back to the mainland and return to our south Iceland accommodation for dinner and a good night’s rest.
Looking for a little something extra?
You can join a 1 hour RIB boat ride (optional extra). The scenic and fun boat tour takes you deep inside sea caves, and around the small islands. If you are lucky you may even get close to the wildlife such as whales and puffins.
Ferry to the Westman Islands. Hidden Iceland. Photo Norris Niman
Westman Islands. Hidden Iceland. Photo By Norris Niman
Puffin by Dagný Björg Stefánsdóttir
Westman Islands by Lucas Peters
Westman Islands. Hidden Iceland. Photo By Norris Niman
Day 4 / 6
The Golden Circle and Secret Lagoon Geothermal Hot Pool
After breakfast we head straight to relax in the warmth of the natural hot springs of the Secret Lagoon, the perfect way to start the day. This is Iceland’s oldest natural swimming pool, opening its doors back in 1891.
Afterwards, lunch will be served nearby inside the tomato greenhouse farm of Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse. Surrounded by busy bees and tomato plants. We will be able to try their famous tomato soup, ravioli pasta, grilled tortilla pizza and homemade bread. Maybe must eat is a better description than must see for this experience. Make sure to pop outside to say hi to the Icelandic horses before leaving.
Next, we get to witness the force of Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most powerful waterfalls. From there, we drive to the must see geothermal area of Geysir. The geyser Strokkur erupts every 5 to 10 minutes.
After all this, we drive to the famous Þingvellir National Park. Þingvellir is the site of the first known parliament in the world, where many of Iceland’s most important decisions were made. It also sits in the rift valley of the separating North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
Where do we stay?
Tonight we stay at Icelandair Hotel Hamar located right outside of the small town of Borgarnes. Alternatively we can have a night in Reykjavík on this night to get a sense of the city life and try some of the best restaurants in town.
Gullfoss waterfall canyon by Norris Niman
Secret Lagoon. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Kat Craats. Feature
Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse Lunch. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Kat Craats
Strokkur at Geysir. Daniel Guindo Amezcua
Þingvellir National Park. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Dennis Stever
The Icelandic Horse. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman | Feature
Day 5 / 6
Enchanting Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Today it’s all about the incredible views and the breathtaking drive. We’ll spend a little bit more time in the car as we wind around the steep cliffs and through the deep gorges of this lesser explored part of the country. On the Snæfellsnes Peninsula day you will witness fjords, mountains, volcanoes, endless lava fields, glaciers, and dramatic coastal cliffs all in one amazing peninsula. We start by visiting Selvallavatn lake and lava fields, before having lunch at one of our favourite local restaurants, Narfeyrarstofa, who use fresh seafood and produce straight from the Breiðafjördur bay.
Then it is on to the famous Kirkjufell mountain, depicted in the hit TV series Game of Thrones as the Arrow Mountain. Another must see Iceland spot. This is a prime ‘must see Iceland’ spot. Next is the lava fields and black sand shores of Djúpalónssandur beach and the small village of Arnarstapi, which is surrounded by impressive basalt sea cliffs plummeting into the ocean. We’ll make a quick photo stop by Búðakirkja black church before heading back to our accommodation for the night.
Where do we stay?
Ending the day at the beautiful Hótel Búðir for an overnight stay can also make the Snæfellsnes experience even more special. Alternatively we can make our way slightly closer to the city and stay at Icelandair Hotel Hamar, or even come all the way back to Reykjavík for another night in the city.
Looking for something extra?
Breiðarfjörður bay on the northern side of Snæfellsnes Peninsula is the only place in Iceland where Orcas (Killer Whales) are regularly seen. We can look to include a whale watching tour from Snæfellsnes to see the wild mammals in their natural habitat, without disturbing the orcas while we enjoy the spectacle of them feeding, traveling or playing.
Arnastapi By Tom Archer
Kirkjufell By Tom Archer
Arnastapi by Norris Niman
Búðakirkja Black Church by Norris Niman
Selvallavatn waterfall by Dennis Stever
Last but not least | Day 6 / 6
Reykjanes & Lava Tunnel
The Reykjanes peninsula and LAVA Tunnel tour is all about the tectonic effects on the island. We spend the day visiting the UNESCO Global Geopark of Reykjanes Peninsula which is home to some incredible sights.
We start with a short stop to Bessastaðir, Iceland’s White House, where our president lives. From here we continue on to the Bridge Between Two Continents. This is a small bridge linking the continental tectonic plates. Nearby is Gunnuhver, the largest steaming hot spring in Iceland. Alongside this there are spectacular ocean views. Not to mention Iceland’s oldest lighthouse, Reykjanesviti.
After lunch we’ll head on wards to the geothermal area Krýsuvík, with its bubbling mud springs and mars like landscape. Finally, our true highlight of the tour, a visit to Raufarhólshellir, or the Lava Tunnel. This is one of the longest lava tubes in Iceland and a must see Iceland spot. Here we will explore the depths of this colourful lava tunnel. You will witness the inner workings of a volcanic eruption from 5200 years ago.
Where do we stay?
After today you’ll say goodbye to your Hidden Iceland guide and settle into your accommodation in Reykjavík. Alternatively we can drop you off either at Silica by Blue Lagoon or The Retreat by Blue Lagoon for most indulgent way to wrap up your stay in Iceland.
Looking for something extra?
If you would like to amend this tour to fit with flight times or experience another must see like the Blue Lagoon on this final day we can amend the tour accordingly. Staying at Silica by Blue Lagoon or Retreat by Blue Lagoon is a truly unique way to relax after a few adventure filled days while traveling around Iceland. We recommend spending two nights at The Retreat by Blue Lagoon to get the full experience.
Reykjanesviti Lighthouse. Reykjanes & Lava Tunnel tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo Norris Niman
Seltún, Krýsuvík. Between Continents Reykjanes & Lava Tunnel tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman
Reykjanesviti Island by Norris Niman
Gunnuhver by Norris Niman
LAVA Tunnel Walk by Norris Niman
Kleifarvatn. Between Continents Reykjanes & Lava Tunnel tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman
LAVA Tunnel lights. Between Continents Reykjanes & Lava Tunnel tour. Hidden Iceland. Photo by Norris Niman. Feature
Operates: Spring, summer, autumn (with modifications according to different seasons)
Duration: 6 days of tours
Minimum age: No minimum age, though some activities have a minimum age (10 years old for glacier hike for example)
Level of difficulty: Moderate (glacier hike, can be moderated)
Accommodation, activities requested and private transportation in a comfortable vehicle with wifi. Type of vehicle is dependant on group size. Led by our wonderful English speaking glacier and driver guide for the duration of the trip. Pick up and drop offs in Reykjavík, airport pickup and/or drop off can be requested.
Flights to and from Iceland, meals unless otherwise specified.
Customise Your Must See Iceland Trip?
A private tour allows you to customise this trip to ensure your Iceland experience is perfect. We can arrange pick up or drop off at the airport for those on a tight schedule. Don’t think you are up for a glacier hike? We can take that out and add in more sights, there is so much to see in the south of Iceland. Want to make this trip even more adventurous? We can work with our partners to add in snorkelling between the tectonic plates at Silfrá or snowmobile on top of one of Iceland’s glacier covered volcanoes.
Want to make this trip even more luxurious? Let us know that you wish for 4 star and above type of accommodation. These hotels are some of the best located in Iceland, with the finest appointed rooms to take in the surrounding view. The options are endless, utilise our expertise to help you come up with the perfect experience.
If your budget doesn’t quite allow you to do all these wonderful places with us you can look to combine a number of our scheduled, small group tours that travel to some of the same areas. For our scheduled, small group tours our maximum group size is 12 guests and for our semi private tours the maximum group size is 8 guests.
Ready to make this your dream trip?
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