Discover Iceland's most famous attractions and natural wonders on this exciting 8-day Ring Road tour. Explore Reykjavik's quaint streets and charming cafes, taking in the essence of this Arctic capital city. Hike a shimmering glacier, stand at the base of thunderous waterfalls, soak in thermal baths and head to sea in search of whales. This tour is ideal for those wanting to explore the best that Iceland has to offer in just 8 days.
Your Iceland tour begins in the charming Arctic capital city of Reykjavík. The day is yours to explore as you wish, creating your itinerary from the myriad of streets and cafes that compose the city. Walk the famous streets of Laugavegur and Skólavorðustígur, browse local boutiques, tour museums, and visit the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church. Start or end your day with a dip in Reykjavík’s thermal swimming pools.
Return to your included hotel in Reykjavik for a restful evening before tomorrow’s adventures.
Please contact us if you would prefer to arrange a guided tour of Reykjavík today.
Day 2: Golden Circle and South Coast
Please be ready at the specified pick-up location in Reykjavik at 8:00 a.m. The pick-up process will take up to 30 minutes, and there might be a short wait depending on your location within Reykjavik. Today is primarily focused on exploring the renowned Golden Circle attractions.
The journey begins with a visit to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its geological and historical significance. It was here that the Icelanders established their historic Parliament, Alþingið, in 930 CE, making it one of the earliest democratic governments in the world. The Law Speaker had an awe-inspiring platform, with the mighty rift valley cliff as a backdrop. The Þingvellir area lies on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates continue to drift apart, gradually widening the rift valley.
Next on the itinerary is the Geysir hot spring area, where you can witness the Strokkur hot spring erupting with impressive jets of hot water and steam every few minutes. You can also see bubbling fumaroles in this fascinating geothermal region. Geysir is the origin of the English word 'geyser,' which was adopted to describe this natural phenomenon.
The final attraction on the Golden Circle tour is the majestic Gullfoss waterfall. Witness the enchanting golden-hued mist as the Hvítá (White River) cascades down from Langjökull (Long Glacier), roaring through the rugged canyon. Gullfoss is a two-stage waterfall with a drop of 32 meters.
En route to your country hotel near Kirkjubæjarklaustur, visit two more captivating waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Seljalandsfoss is particularly unique as visitors can walk behind the cascade, offering a one-of-a-kind perspective.
*from September through April, you have the opportunity to venture out with your guide to search for the mesmerizing Northern Lights, provided the forecast is favorable.*
Explore the atmospheric Reynisfjara black sand beach, taking in the magnificent Reynisdrangar peaks, and visit the basalt column cave. The journey then leads to the glaciers.
Pass by the impressive Mýrdalsjökull glacier, known for the renowned and feared Katla volcano beneath its icy surface. If visibility is good, you may catch a glimpse of the formidable volcano. Driving across the Eldhraun lava field, remnants of previous volcanic eruptions come into view before reaching Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. Skaftafell, a lush oasis with green birch forests, stands as a gem amidst the rugged black sand desert.
Experience a three-hour glacier hike, guided by a specialist glacier guide, on one of Vatnajökull's outlet glaciers, Europe's largest glacier. From October to April, the glacier hike is replaced by an enchanting journey through the Crystal Ice Cave.
The famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is the next stop on the itinerary. Participants are treated to the mesmerizing sight of the lagoon filled with icebergs. The famous Diamond Beach, adorned with glittering blue and white icebergs washed ashore, adds to the enchantment of the experience.
In the evening, you will rest up after your big day at a comfortable accommodation near Hofn.
*From September to April, guests have the chance to venture out from the guesthouse at night to chase the captivating Northern Lights.*
On this day, explore the captivating East Fjords of Iceland. Continue along the coastline, navigating through some narrow roads around the remote and stunning Hvalnes peninsula, as well as the Þvottárskriður landslide area between Lóns and Álftafjarðar.
A stop is planned at Djúpivogur, a charming traditional fishing village known for its outdoor sculpture called Eggin í Gleðivík, which translates to "The Eggs of Merry Bay."
Later in the day, have the opportunity to unwind and relax at the geothermal Vök Baths, offering a remarkable setting by Lake Urriðavatn. Notably, these baths are recognized for their modern design and being the only floating infinity pools in Iceland. The option to enjoy the hot baths is available as an optional extra, and participants can book it at their own expense during the booking process.
Following the soothing baths, the journey resumes as you head to Egilsstaðir, the largest town in East Iceland, where you can find comfort and relaxation at your hotel for the night.
On this day, explore the northern part of the country. Starting from Egilsstaðir, drive to Stuðlagil Canyon, renowned for its captivating basalt rock formations. The route takes you through the wilderness around Möðrudalur, historically the highest farm in Iceland and now the highest inhabited place and restaurant, situated at an elevation of 469 meters. A visit to Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall, is also on the itinerary, showcasing its truly impressive and voluminous flow.
The exploration then continues to the mystical landscapes surrounding Mývatn Lake. From there, venture into the surreal steaming lunar terrains of the Námaskarð geothermal area, where boiling hot springs, steaming fumaroles, and vibrantly colored bubbling mud pots create a wonderous sight. More natural marvels await at the Hverfjall crater and the fantastic Dimmuborgir formations, famously known as the Dark Castles.
The day's final stop is the vast and enchanting crescent-shaped Goðafoss waterfall, before making your way to Eyjafjörður, a stunningly beautiful fjord adorned with towering mountains.
For accommodation, spend the night at a country hotel in Akureyri. You can also have the opportunity to explore the charming fishing town in the north, and guides will be there to assist you in finding Northern Lights viewing areas near the hotel from November to March.
Day 6: Whale watching in Dalvík - Siglufjörður -Tröllaskagi - Laugarbakki
On occasion, you may have the opportunity to make a brief stop at Akureyri, known as the Capital of the North. The journey passes through the captivating landscapes along Eyjafjörður (the Island Fjord) en route to the charming fishing town of Dalvík.
The whale-watching boat excursion sets off from the traditional working harbor. During the 3-hour trip, you can anticipate sightings of humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, and occasionally the majestic blue whale making an appearance in the bay. If one is lucky, one might catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.
After the boat trip, head to Siglufjörður, a picturesque fishing village with a rich history. In the early 20th century, it was the center of a gold rush atmosphere when the remote community became the herring fishing capital of the Atlantic. Traveling around Tröllaskagi (the Troll Peninsula), witness some of Iceland's most breathtaking coastal scenery and ski areas. The charming small villages on this peninsula offer insight into the lifestyle of remote Icelandic communities. The drive proceeds through thriving agricultural regions before reaching Laugarbakki.
For the night's accommodation, stay at a small hotel in or near Laugarbakki.
On the final day of the tour, explore West Iceland, an area that was voted one of the best destinations in 2016 by Lonely Planet. The day commences with a brief hike up to Grábrók, a volcano crater that provides stunning views of the lava field and the entire area on clear days. Borgarfjörður is renowned for its remarkable attractions, which will be the focus of today's itinerary. Stops will include the Deildartunguhver hot spring, the legendary waterfall known as Barnafoss (the Children's Waterfall), and the Hraunfossar cascade, where water emerges directly from the lava field, creating a unique and atmospheric low and wide falls.
The next destination is Reykholt, a historic and picturesque site known as the home of Snorri Sturluson, the Icelandic historian, lawyer, politician, poet, and author of several Icelandic Sagas. Have the opportunity to see Snorralaug, Snorri's pool, and even feel the water temperature, as it is believed to be the place where Snorri likely bathed. The journey back to Reykjavik will take you around the scenic fjord, Hvalfjörður (Whale Fjord). The estimated arrival time in the city is around 5 to 6 p.m., concluding the tour on a high note.
Day 8: Final Day - Reykjavik
Enjoy your final day in Iceland, wandering Reykjavík's charming streets and checking off things you may have missed on your first day. Explore the network of cycling and walking paths, which thread around the coast and criss-cross the city. Visit the area where the women of Reykjavík used to do their laundry in the hot spring pools. Enjoy the beautiful gardens situated next to Laugardalslaug, the largest swimming pool in Iceland. Shop and browse some more, laze in coffee shops or restaurants, visit another museum or gallery, or squeeze in one last amazing adventure activity tour – the choice is yours!
Depart on the flight of your choice today, or opt to extend your adventure. Let your trip planner know if a hotel night is needed tonight in order to extend your stay.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!