I did the Laugavegur trail in 2008 and 2010 and I'm probably going to go back to Iceland long term later this year. I would suggest the Laugavegur trail if you want to see pretty much every natural landscape Iceland has to offer in a short period of time. It's rough back country highlands so you need some good camping gear. You will essentially be in the middle of nowhere (and I mean middle of nowhere) for 4 days. You probably wouldn't have time to hike to Thorsmork unless you doubled some days, which can be a length 16 mile hike in some cases. Basically you will see Myrdalsjokull glacier, ryolite mountains, hot springs, geysirs, snow, a big lake and more. either way if you do the hike or not you will still feel like you are on another planet if you get to see the Icelandic back country.

Now that I think of it I'm not even sure it can be done in 4 days without doubling up. you'd have to do the trip like this:

day 1: Land in reykjavik, take the bus to Landmannalauger, hike to Hrafntinusker camp (8 miles)

day 2: Hike to Alfavatn then to Emstrur (18 miles)

day 3: Hike to thorsmork, take bus back to reykjavik (18 miles)

Day 4: go home

you wouldn't have time to hike over myrdalsjokull to skogar. It's the best thing I've ever done in my entire life.

the best part is if you pack your food at home this trip aint gonna cost you much. the bus fare to Landmannalauger and back to reykjavik, and they will try and get you to pay at the camp sites on the hike but you can either just camp a little bit away or just never find the person to pay. Otherwise its like 800ISK a night to camp as I recall.

Anyone been to Snaefellsnes or the West Fjords ? I gotta go there soon. Great thing about living in NY is Iceland is only like 4.5 hours away.

I personally found Akureyri to be a lot nicer then Reykjavik, not only in terms of size but for scenery as well. This thread is really getting me excited to go back and spend more time over there. Such a desolate arctic place.