You’ll have a complete overview of “must-see“ Ring Road attractions such as the Golden Circle, the Glacier Lagoon, Lake Mývatn, Dettifoss and Snæfellsnes Peninsula. You’ll see the amazing diversity of Iceland’s landscapes from volcanoes and glaciers to fjords and thundering waterfalls. We’ve also included some great experiences that show you Iceland’s unique culture and geology.
Day 1: Arrival
Arrival at Keflavík airport. Transfers to Reykjavík are not included in the tour. We would be happy to arrange shared or private transfers for you, so let us know at booking time. You can even visit the Blue Lagoon on your way to Reykjavík!
If you arrive earlier in the day, you might consider adding a day tour. We’d be happy to make suggestions based on your interests. It’s a great way to get to see Icelandic daily life and maybe meet a few locals. It’s also nice to take a stroll in the old city centre, perhaps visiting one of the museums or relaxing with a cup of coffee in a cozy café.
Early this evening there will be an informational meeting at the hotel with your guide. You’ll learn more about the tour and meet other tour participants.
Dinner this evening is at your leisure. Reykjavík offers a multitude of restaurants and/or coffee-houses, making dinner a great way to get better acquainted with Iceland's capital.
Day 2: Þingvellir National Park – Geysir – Gullfoss
Breakfast at your hotel. Meet your guide and start your Iceland adventure!
After a quick introductory of our home city of Reykjavík, head to Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland's largest lake and Þingvellir National Park. This UNESCO heritage site is where the world’s oldest continuing parliamentary government was founded in the 10th century. It is also the place where the North American and European tectonic plates meet. You will have the unusual experience of walking between two continents!
Next on your journey is Gullfoss, the "Golden Waterfall", where various walking paths give you photo-worthy views of the beautiful double-ledged cascade. You’ll also visit the nearby Geysir hot spring area to see the famous Geysir and Strokkur, as well as numerous other hot springs and boiling mud pools.
During the day you’ll get a glimpse into Icelandic local life. Visit an Icelandic family farm where tomatoes are grown using organic geothermal energy. Tour the greenhouse and sample some of the farm’s sweet Icelandic tomatoes.
The day ends in Hveragerði, a pretty town located in an active geothermal area. The locals have made clever use of underground hot springs to provide heat for homes, as well as greenhouses that grow flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Dinner and overnight in the Hveragerði area.
Approximate Driving Distance: 205 km / 127 miles
Day 3: Þjórsárdalur Valley – Skógar – Dyrhólaey – Vík
Breakfast at your hotel. Explore enchanting Þjórsárdalur valley and its ever-changing landscapes of birch woods, sandy lava fields, rivers, and waterfalls. If the skies are clear, you’ll also see the impressive and beautiful Mt. Hekla volcano towering over the region. Visit Stöng, where you can view a replica of a Viking-age longhouse that was buried by a volcanic eruption of Hekla. The area was a filming location for Game of Thrones Season 4.
Drive along the scenic farmlands of Iceland’s South Shore. Stop to admire the scenic waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Each waterfall has its own charm. Continue to Dyrholaey* and the thundering waves of the Reynisfjara black sand beaches. End the day in Vík, Iceland’s southernmost town.
Dinner and overnight in the Vík area.
*Please note that Dyrholaey is closed for the bird nesting season between mid-May and the 25th of June.
Approximate Driving Distance: 295 km / 183 miles
Day 4: Vatnajökull National Park – Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon – Höfn
Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will be in a world of glaciers! You’ll be visiting the southern area of Vatnajökull National Park, named after Europe’s largest glacier. The total park area covers almost 14% of Iceland, making it the largest national park in Western Europe. Drive through vast sand plains created by glacial outwashes as you head east. Visit the national park’s famous Skaftafell area, a site of outstanding natural beauty. Enjoy the views of rich green landscapes and black sands dominated by several magnificent glaciers. You’ll also see Svinafellsjökull, one of the most beautiful glacial “tongues” that are slowly creeping down from Vatnajökull.
Visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon where you’ll enjoy the breath-taking sight of icebergs floating in the fantastic 180m (591 ft.) deep glacial lagoon. You also have the option of enjoying a boat tour amid the ice bergs (must be booked in advance). Nearby is the dramatic beauty of the Diamond Beach, named for the shrinking icebergs that settle on the black sands before drifting out to sea.
Your overnight is in Höfn, a fishing port in the shadow of Vatnajökull glacier. Dinner is on your own. Höfn has a nice selection of restaurants and cafes. The local specialty is langoustines (Norway lobsters).
Overnight in Höfn area. Dinner is on your own.
Approximate Driving Distance: 285 km / 177 miles
Optional Tour - Amphibian Boat tour on the Glacier Lagoon - Sail among the drifting icebergs to see them from a different angle | Duration: 30 mins | Includes: Guided tour on amphibian boat.
Day 5: Hofn – East Fjords – Egilsstaðir
Breakfast at your hotel. Drive from Hofn through Almannaskarð pass, stopping to admire the majestic coastline. Continue to the towering mountains plunging vertically into the sea that form the magnificent East Fjords. We’re sure you’ll love the amazing views, so keep your camera ready. You will also pass villages, each with its own special history and charm. One of these is the tiny village of Breiðdalsvík. Your group will visit the Beljandi Microbrewery and sample some of the wonderful beer. The local community came together in 2017 to transform a rustic warehouse into a charmingly quirky brewery. You’ll meet one of the townsfolk and get a feel for life in a small Icelandic town, as well as see how great beer is made.
The road brings you to Egilsstaðir town, located near Iceland’s largest forest and a lake said to be home to a legendary (friendly) monster.
Dinner and overnight stay in the Egilsstaðir area.
Approximate Driving Distance: 260 km / 162 miles
Optional Tour - Vök Geothermal Baths – Enjoy the relaxing experience of floating geothermal pools in a beautiful lake setting | Duration: Flexible | Includes: Vök bathing fee, towel rental and tisane at the tea bar | Not Included: Swimsuit (rentals available), transfer from Vök to the hotel (taxi transfer option available from Vök baths).
Day 6: Lake Mývatn Area
Breakfast at your hotel. Explore the empty vastness of the highland desert plateau Möðrudalsoræfi, desolate and yet hauntingly beautiful, as you head towards the Lake Mývatn area.
Visit fantastical Stuðlagil, an impressive canyon made of basalt columns that seem to resemble organ pipes. A viewing platform near the canyon lets you enjoy the canyon’s unique features. Stuðlagil is one of Iceland’s largest basalt formations. You can see how basalt columns like these influenced the design of Reykjavík’s Hallgrimskirkja church.
Stop at Dettifoss, Europe's largest and most powerful waterfall. Continue onwards to the Námaskarð pass with its boiling mud pools and vibrant colors. We often feel like we are visiting another planet when we come here, and you may feel the same way. It’s such a surreal experience!
Walk along the pseudo craters at Skútustaðir and peek into Grjótagjá, a cave with underground hot springs. Explore the peculiar lava formations at Dimmuborgir. They look as if they were built by fantasy creatures. Legend has it that elves live here, so be respectful during your visit.
You’ll definitely see why the surreal Mývatn area has become so popular as a movie location.
Dinner and overnight stay in the Mývatn area.
Approximate Driving Distance: 255 km / 158 miles
Day 7: Lake Mývatn Area – Goðafoss – Akureyri
Breakfast at your hotel. Start your day’s adventure with visiting sites in the Mývatn area. Next, head to magnificent Goðafoss waterfall, one of North Iceland’s most important symbols. You will also learn how the waterfall got its interesting name.
Afterwards, you’ll head to Akureyri, the colourful northern “capital“ of Iceland. The town has charming buildings and a beautiful view of the Eyjafjörður fjord. Though small in size, Akureyri has a lively cultural scene.
The rest of the day is open for you to explore Akureyri. If you’re interested in culture, check out the trendy Listagil area, the “Art Canyon.” You can stroll the street here, browsing art galleries and stopping in at one of the friendly cafes or pubs for delicious, locally sourced food. Several museums are worth a visit. The botanical garden is open year-round; many visitors find it interesting that a garden so close to the Arctic Circle has such a large variety of plants. Akureyri also has a nice variety of restaurants, so you’ll enjoy the chance to dine out tonight.
Overnight in Akureyri. Dinner is on your own.
Approximate Driving Distance: 85 km / 53 miles
Whale Watching from Akureyri – Take a boat tour to view whales and other marine life in Eyjafjörður fjord | Duration: 3 hours | Includes: Guided boat tour, Wi-Fi on boat, use of warm overalls if needed. | Not Included: Transfers to/from the harbour.
Forest Lagoon Geothermal Spa – Relax in geothermal pools surrounded by trees and a beautiful fjord. | Duration: Flexible | Includes: Forest Lagoon bathing fee and towel rental| Not Included: Swimsuit (rentals available). Transfers to/from the Lagoon.
Day 8: Skagafjörður – Borgarnes
Breakfast at your hotel. Drive through scenic valleys framed by dramatic mountains as you head into the Skagafjörður region. Icelanders consider the Skagafjörður area to be one of the country’s finest places for horse breeding. Enjoy an introduction to the unique Icelandic horse breed with its special fifth gait - the tolt. This horse breed has remained unchanged since Viking times.
Cross the Holtavörðuheiði plateau taking you into West Iceland. Drive through Borgarfjörður, a region that has been getting international recognition for its lovely volcanic and wooded scenery and for its Viking history. Listen to the powerful rushing waters of Deildartunguhver, Europe’s mightiest hot spring area. Stop to admire the beautiful Hraunfossar waterfalls, were brightly blue water rushes through black lava formations. Nearby is Barnafoss, a waterfall with even more brilliantly blue colors. There is an interesting and poignant legend associated with this waterfall.
Dinner and overnight stay in the Borgarfjörður area.
Approximate Driving Distance: 415 km / 258 miles
Day 9: Borgarfjörður – Snæfellsjökull National Park – Reykjavík
Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will explore the amazing variety of natural landscapes in Snæfellsjökull National Park. The park’s crown jewel is Snæfellsjökull glacier itself, which covers a dormant volcano that last erupted in 250 AD. In addition, you’ll also see Kirkjufell, one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. Walk along the uniquely pebbled seascape of Djúpalónssandur beach. At the picturesque harbour village of Arnarstapi, you can observe magnificent basalt rocks in stacked formations.
One Icelandic Saga mentions that Snaefellsnes and its people are protected by a benevolent half troll who lives high on the glacier. You might even find a sense of magic and healing energy in this beautiful peninsula.
During the day, your group will visit Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum, where you’ll learn about “hákarl,” the cured shark meat specialty that Icelanders have enjoyed since Viking time. You can even try some for yourself (if you dare).
At the end of the afternoon, your motor coach heads back to Reykjavík. Your guide will bid you farewell at your hotel.
Overnight stay in Reykjavík. Dinner is on your own.
Approximate Driving Distance: 405 km / 252 miles
Day 10: Farewell to the Land of Fire and Ice
Breakfast at your hotel. Please note that this might be a light breakfast if you are taking an early morning flight. Transfer on your own to the international airport for your departure flight. The airport transfer is not included, but we are happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers.
We recommend you depart your hotel no later than three hours before your departure flight. We wish you a pleasant trip back to your homeland and hope to see you in Iceland again!