So you’re thinking of spending 3 days in Iceland, maybe a long weekend or maybe a special mid-week break. Either way, 3 days is enough for a taste of what Iceland has to offer. However, I’m sure as a result you’ll be soon looking to come back to explore even more…
Before we delve into your 3 days in Iceland, I just quickly wanted to cover what you should bring with you. Iceland is cold and you’re going to require the proper attire to deal with the climate. Some of these things are also great if you’re planning on saving money in Iceland by purchasing food from the local supermarkets.
Are Three Days In Iceland Enough?
What’s great about 3 days in Iceland over a longer trip is the amount you’ll need to budget. It’s no secret that Iceland isn’t one of the cheapest places to visit within Europe. However, the expense can be drastically reduced by cutting down on the amount of time you spend here.
This long weekend Iceland itinerary is also great for those who are looking to tag Iceland on as a part of a larger trip around Europe.
If you were looking at leaving Reykjavík and maybe doing the popular ring road (an 800 mile journey around the circumference of Iceland) then you’d need to extend you’re long-weekend in Iceland into 7 – 14 days depending on the depth in which you’d like to travel, and the amount of time you’d like to spend driving. The incredible Blonde Abroad has a detailed blog post covering how she achieved the trip in 10 days.
Things To Do On A Long Weekend In Iceland
During a long weekend in Iceland you can easily visit some of the major tourist attractions and begin to understand why so many people from all over the world have fallen in love with this country. We’d suggest the following itinerary.
Day One – Reykjavik, Iceland’s Capital
You’ll arrive into Keflavík International Airport early morning, catch the transfer over to your accommodation in Reykjavík before heading out to explore the city. You’ll start by visiting the tallest church in Iceland, Hallgrimskirkja which at 74.5 metres tall towers over the rest of the city and provides an incredible vantage point.
After you’ll head to the Museum of Iceland to learn more about Icelandic heritage and the Icelandic people. You’ll finish by taking the 2km walk (or taxi journey) across to the coast to see the incredible Sun Voyager sculpture and walk along the shore.
If you’re planning on trying to see the Northern Lights during your trip then today would be a great day to do so. Alternativly, day three is a great choice depending on your flight time that day (or the following day). We suggest this as day two of your three day Iceland itinerary is very extensive with internal travel as part of a tour.
Day Two – South Shore Adventure & Waterfalls
Day two of your three days in Iceland will see you take on a day trip departing from the capital of Reykjavík. In our case, we went on the South Shore Adventure. This tour lasts around nine hours with two different pickup times (early morning and late morning) with a stop off for lunch.
If you plan on hiring a car then you’ll be looking to go on a self-guided tour of the attractions nearby. In which case we suggest also reading about some of the best waterfalls in Iceland.
Day Three – Blue Lagoon & Icelandic Wildlife
Your final day in Iceland will see you visit the famous Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is something Helen and I are yet to experience on a trip to Iceland. So, for this experience, we hand the reins over to our friends Victoria and Terrance from Follow Me Away.
We suggest visiting the Blue Lagoon on the final day of your long weekend in Iceland due to its proximity between Keflavík International Airport and Reykjavík. However, if the Blue Lagoon is too overcrowded or mainstream and you’re looking for something else. Consider visiting one of these alternatives instead.
If hot springs aren’t your thing entirely, then consider going to visit some of the Icelandic wildlife.
Icelandic horses are all domestic and used for riding and meat. They are a common sight while travelling to the countryside of Iceland, however, you can experience a closer encounter with them at Sturlureykir-Visiting Horse Farm. Visiting this farm will require you to have a car and drive, however, if you’re not planning on getting a car for your visit to Iceland then some of the tours below include direct transfers from hotels in Reykjavík.
Whale Watching in Iceland
Whale watching is popular in Iceland, with the best chances of spotting a whale being June – August. You’re going to need to be part of a tour to go out whale watching during your visit, luckily due to the increased demand there’s a great range of tours available.
Seals of Iceland
Seal spotting is something you can do independently or as part of a tour during your long weekend in Iceland, that is if you know where to look. Travel Reykjavik has an extensive post on where and when you can find seals in Iceland. However, once again if you don’t hire a car during your visit you’re going to want to go out on a pre-arranged tour.
Puffins of Iceland
Finally, the puffins which can commonly be viewed in Iceland from April until the end of August. The south coast of Iceland is home to the largest Puffin colony in the world, so if you’re looking at taking a self-guided tour to spot one this is the best place to do so.