This Iceland Must See 6+ Day Private Tour Summer Itinerary is designed for people who have around a week to explore Iceland in summer. This itinerary is a combination of must see sights, nature, adventure and culture. From the mighty glaciers in the south east to the flourishing Westman Islands off the south coast to the remote highlands and all the way to the south west with it’s recently erupted volcano (now dormant). What a week!
This trip is similar to the Iceland Must See Winter itinerary but with the added flexibility of adding in locations not advised to visit in winter, like the Westman Islands, with its extensive puffin colony. Below, the itinerary includes 7 days and 7 nights.
NOTE: If you can only do 6 days, or less, then let us know your preferences in the form at the bottom.
This summer itinerary does not include arrival day, departure day or free time in Reykjavík. Therefore, you should give yourself 8 or 9 days in total to achieve this trip as described. We can of course extend the trip beyond this too, based on your preferences. If you have 10+ days you may prefer to opt for our longer Grand Circle tour which takes you around the entire island. In comparison, the below itinerary spends a little more time in each area. Less driving, more exploring and more activities.
Please note that at certain times of year we may need to swap some activities to cater for the changing seasons.
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 black sand at Reynisfjara and the Diamond Beach
• Walking behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall and getting to the edge of the roaring Skógafoss waterfall
• Seeing the glacier icebergs up close at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
• Bathing in the Secret Lagoon geothermal hot pool
• Tasting locally sourced food at the Friðheimar tomato farm and GOTT 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
• Being driven in an off road 4×4 vehicle into the highlands of Iceland at Þórsmörk.
Private Must See Iceland 6 + Day Tour | Summer Itinerary
The Day To Day
Day 1 / 7
South Coast Sights
On our first day we travel the entire south coast of Iceland to get us right into the action. This is our longest driving day but don’t worry, we have plenty of stops along the way. First, we take in the impressive Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Both are around 60 metres high. Seljalandsfoss is famous for allowing you to walk behind it. Skógafoss is famous for being the filming location of Game of Thrones, Vikings and more recently, Eurovision. Around lunch time we’ll visit the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach with its unique hexagonal basalt columns and crashing waves. In the afternoon, you will take an easy hike to the feather like ridges of the 100m deep Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge. Not a bad first day!
Where do we stay?
We stay at the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon on our first night of the tour (or equivalent)
Day 2 / 7
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 breath-taking 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.
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.
To learn more about what the glacier hike entails you can check out our Glacier Hike Guide here. If you prefer a shorter/ easier glacier hike or don’t want to do the glacier hike at all we can easily swap it for something a little more tranquil in the area. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason. Plenty to see and do.
Where do we stay?
We stay at the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon again (or equivalent)
Day 3 / 7
South Coast Half Day with Optional Extras
Let’s take this day a little easier after such an epic day yesterday. We will start driving back west stopping at some scenic spots along the way, getting to the picturesque town of Vík in time for lunch. For those choosing to take it easy today, we will have ample time to get some souvenirs, try the ‘best coffee in the south of Iceland’ at the Skool Beans converted school bus café. Our hotel for the night is just a short drive from here where you can spend the afternoon relaxing and revisiting all the pictures taken for the past couple of days.
For those wanting to squeeze in even more into your trip you can choose between 3 optional extras, all as exciting as the last. Please note, only 1 is possible this afternoon. Extra days will be needed if you wish to do more than one.
OPTION 1: The Icelandic Lava Show in the town of Vík where the locals will share tales of past eruptions before pouring re-melted lava over ice just metres from your face. A great family friendly experience on a cold day.
OPTION 2: Take a horse ride on the famous Icelandic horse with its smooth 5th gait. These docile animals are as friendly as they are fast. This is a great way to see Iceland’s hidden landscape off the beaten path.
OPTION 3: Snowmobile on top of one of Iceland’s ice caps. To get there you will jump in the back of a superjeep before swapping over to a snowmobile where you will zoom across this snowy landscape with incredible views on clear days.
Where do we stay?
We have plenty to choose from in this area from the quaint Hotel VOS guesthouse to the Skálakot Luxury Manor or the pristine Hotel UMI (or equivalent). All great options based on your budget and preference.
Day 4 / 7
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. If you are feeling up to the challenge you start the day by hiking to the top of the still warm Eldfell volcano with great 360 degree views of the island and coast of Iceland. 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 island. 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 evening, we take the ferry back to the mainland and return to our south Iceland accommodation for dinner and a good night’s rest.
Where do we stay?
We stay a second night at Hotel Vos, Skálakot Manor Hotel or Hotel UMI (or equivalent)
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.
Day 5 / 7
Þórsmörk (Valley of Thor) Highland tour
Today we truly go off the beaten track going into Þórsmörk, a lushly vegetated mountain valley in an off road 4×4 vehicle that enable us to cross deep glacial rivers and handle nearly any terrain. On the way, we head all the way up to Gígjökull, one of the outlet glaciers of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Here, you will get an idea of the forces that were at play during the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. Next stop, we will explore Stakkholtsgjá canyon, a beautiful natural wonder. Walking to the end of the canyon is one of the most rewarding short hikes in Iceland. After our walk in the canyon, we will make our way deep into Þórsmörk, a nature reserve in the southern Icelandic Highlands, nestled between the Myrdalsjökull, Eyjafjallajökull and Tindfjallajökull glaciers. You have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing landscape and take nice short hikes around the area, and really take in the beautiful unspoiled nature of Iceland.
Where do we stay?
We stay a third night at Hotel Vos, Skálakot Manor Hotel or Hotel UMI (or equivalent)
Day 6 / 7
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 give you the chance to explore Reykjavík and try some of the best restaurants in town. We will pick from one of many of our favourite hotels. Reykjavík Residence apartments or the luxurious Canopy By Hilton are two of our favourites but the city has plenty to choose from for everyone’s budget and preference.
Day 7 / 7
Lava Tunnel, Volcano viewpoint & Blue Lagoon
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 visit to Raufarhólshellir, or more widely known as 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.
Afterwards, we will take part in a moderate hike to the newest lava field on the planet at the dormant volcano, Geldingadalur. We will walk around the lava field learning all about the eruption that started on the 19th of March 2021. There is no hot lava on the surface these days but you’re likely to see some steam coming from the rocks. On a clear day it’s possible to hike to the top of the nearby hill for a view of the volcanic crater. Please note, although the volcano has stopped erupting it is not always possible or safe to visit the site. On these days we would add in other great spots on the Reykjanes Peninsula before finishing the day at the Blue Lagoon.
Where do we stay?
Your guide will drop you off either at the luxurious Silica by Blue Lagoon or the 5 star Retreat by Blue Lagoon for a unique treat to wrap up your stay in Iceland. Both these hotels give you access to their own secluded pools as well as access to the Blue Lagoon itself. If you are on a budget you can always opt to catch a self planned taxi to the nearby Hotel Berg once you’ve finished bathing in the lagoon.
Operates: Spring, summer, autumn (with modifications according to different seasons)
Duration: 7 days and 7 nights (can be reduced or increased depending on timescale)
Minimum age: No minimum age, though some activities have a minimum age (10 years old for glacier hike for example)
Level of difficulty: Easy to Moderate (various hikes can be moderated)
Accommodation for 7 nights, activities requested and private transportation in a comfortable vehicle with wifi. Type of vehicle is dependant on group size, though a Mercedes GLS, Landrover Defender, Mercedes V-Class or even Mercedes Sprinter’s are our vehicles of choice for most trips (or equivalent). Led by our wonderful English speaking glacier and driver guide for the duration of the trip.
Flights to and from Iceland, meals unless otherwise specified.
Arrival and Departure day transfers, accommodation and city activities will be included in your quote but can be removed if you prefer to plan this part of the trip yourself.
Customise Your Must See Iceland Trip?
A private tour allows you to customise the trip to ensure your Iceland experience is perfect for you. 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 Silfra 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 luxury only. 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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