Circumnavigate Iceland while traveling the island's famous Ring Road. Hike along a pristine glacier, stand in awe at the base of tumbling waterfalls, board a boat in search of whales from Dalvik and a chance to ride across Langjokull Glacier on a snowmobile. Your trip concludes in Snaefellsnes, where you will explore an atmospheric fishing village surrounded by spectacular cliffs and unique black-pebble beaches and Trek through the remote Icelandic Highland. This tour showcases some of the best of Iceland's natural wonders in just 8 days. Return to Reykjavík after an exciting week of exploration!
Join like-minded travelers! For small group tour departure dates and pricing, visit the Best of Iceland itinerary page.
Circumnavigate Iceland while driving the Ring Road
The day begins with an early-morning pickup at your accommodation or central location in Reykjavík. You leave the city bound for one of Iceland's most famed attractions - the Golden Circle. Explore the Þingvellir National Park, discovering why this UNESCO World Heritage Site holds a special place in the heart of every Icelander. Continue onward toward Geysir, a geothermically active hot spring area. You then complete the Golden Triangle with a visit to the thunderous Gullfoss waterfall, largely considered one of the most beautiful Icelandic waterfalls. Continue along the south coast, stopping at the magnificent Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls before making you final stop at Reynisfjara black sand beach, home of the legendary Reynisdrangar peaks.
You conclude your first full day of sightseeing with an overnight in the charming town of Vík.
Enjoy an early breakfast before venturing south toward Skaftafell and Vatnajokull National Park. Within this 13,600 km2 protected wilderness you will visit natural treasures such as Vatnajokull glacier, Hvannadalsnukur, the highest peak in Iceland, Skaftafell and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Stop for photos and scenic views before heading to the Skaftafell Glacier, this day you join a shared group tour with other travelers and experience an exciting glacier hike led by a certified guide. Equipped with crampons and all necessary glacier equipment, explore this vast area of brilliant blue, deep crevasses and extraordinary views. Rejoin the minibus and head toward yet another magical glacier experience at Jokulsarlón Glacier Lagoon. Be sure to look out the window as you approach the lagoon, as you will glimpse a procession of mystically floating icebergs broken free from the retreating Breidamerkurjokull Glacier. These glittering blue icebergs eventually make their way to the sea at Diamond Beach, a black sand beach close to the Glacier Lagoon. Here, the icebergs washed ashore come to rest. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the translucent icebergs against the coal-black sand.
You stop for the evening to rest at a hotel near Hofn.
Today you leave behind the Vatnajokull National Park area, continuing along the twisting and turning road, flanked on each side by the coast and majestic mountain peaks, toward the town of Egilsstadir. This picturesque town is located on the banks of the Lagarfljot River, and is home to the legend of Largarfljotasormurinn, the Largarfljot worm. Tales of the giant Largarfljot worm, which is said to reside in the lake and show itself from time to time, are firmly established within Icelandic folklore. Stop along the way at Djupivogur, a remote fishing village. The North Atlantic waves wash over the black sandy beach and a rich birdlife thrives - most Icelandic birds can be spotted around the area.
You will also have the opportunity to move your legs with an easy 3-hour hike to Hengifoss, one of the highest waterfalls in Iceland. Look out for layers of red strata threading their way through the cliff walls around the waterfall, and also for the towering cascade of the hike's second waterfall, Litlanesfoss. Stop for a moment to enjoy the cascading falls, appreciating a truly photogenic moment.
After the hike you make way to your accommodation in the picturesque town of Egilsstadir.
Stay at Hotel Valaskjalf or similar
Day 4: Dettifoss, Lake Myvatn, Godafoss - Akureyri
Today you will experience the stunning scenery of North Iceland. The drive north from Egilssadir takes you through vast and remote landscapes, passing by the Modrudalur farm on the way to the Dettifoss waterfall. Standing at 469m, the Modrudalur is the highest farm in Iceland. The thundering Dettifoss Waterfall is the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe, and the Jokulsa a Fjollum River dropps 44m through the rugged canyon.
Afterwards, proceed to the Námaskarð geothermal region, where we will be greeted with an array of vibrant mud pools and fumaroles emitting hot gases and steam. As you continue with our geothermal exploration, pause for a sightseeing break at Lake Mývatn
Next stop will be Hverafjall, a volcanic crater that was formed due to an eruption 2500 years ago. Explore the Dimmuborgir lava formations, famously called the ‘dark cities’, some of which will tower over you like fairytale giants. Dimmuborgir was created when a giant lava tube's roof collapsed. The experience of standing in Dimmuborgir is one-of-a-kind, and many consider it to be one of the most enlightening experiences in Iceland. Continue to drive around the picturesque Lake Mývatn on our way to Akureyri, where we will stop at the breathtakingly beautiful Goðafoss Waterfall, also known as the waterfall of the gods. Finally, spend the night at a country hotel in Akureyri, Iceland's second-largest city.
Stay at Icelandair Hotel Akureyri or similar
Day 5: Whale watching from Dalvik - Siglufjordur -Trollaskagi - Laugarbakki
This day you join a shared group tour with other travelers. Make your way to the charming fishing village of Dalvik you are treated to an unforgettable view of Eyjafjordur, the longest fjord in Iceland (visibility and weather permitting). Arrival in Dalvik marks the beginning of today's highlight tour - a whale watching experience offering the chance to see Humpback whales, dolphins and porpoises, and, occasionally, seals and blue whales. If you wish, you will also have the opportunity to try your hand at a little sea angling. Upon return to Dalvik, you will enjoy a barbecue from today's catch across the Eyjafjordur Fjord.
Continue around the Trollaskagi peninsula, driving along roads flanked by the towering mountains of Iceland's best ski resorts and the stunning fjord, eventually arriving at the historical village of Siglufjordur. The villages in northernmost Iceland give you a feel for life in Icelandic villages seemingly at the end of the world. You end the day in laugarbakki through its farmland and fields of icelandic horses. Overnight in a country hotel, ready for tomorrow's adventure.
Stay at Hotel Laugarbakki or similar
Day 6: Borgarfjordur - Reykholt - Hraunfossar - Borgarnes
On this,day, you will arrive in Borgarfjordur in West Iceland, an area voted as one of the best destinations in the world by Lonely Planet in 2016. First stop is at Grabrok, a volcano crater. Where you take a short hike to the top.
Next stop will be at the Deildartunguhver, Known as Europe’s most powerful hot spring. The piping hot water comes out of a rocky outcrop covered with algae, creating a steamy surface above the base. If you love to explore the natural beauty, this hot spring is worth to visit. While making a trip to West Iceland, you can visit the nearby places including Hraunfossar Waterfall, and Barnafoss waterfall.
Your final stop of the day is at Reykholt, one of Iceland’s main historic sites, a cultural center past and present. Visit Snorralaug, the hot spring pool which bears the name of Snorri Sturluson, the 12th/early 13th century scholar, lawyer, historian and saga writer. After a day of wonders, Overnight at Hotel Borganes, Spend the night chasing the Northern Lights in the winter months!
Enjoy a leisurely morning before your expert Snaefellsnes guide picks you up around 10am. Snaefellsnes is a truly magical place, and its diverse scenery is typified by sharp coves with craggy cliffs, black pebble and sand beaches, contrasted against shimmering glaciers. First stop is the beach of Ytri-Tunga, home to seals and many bird species. The Ytri-Tunga is an unusual beach in Iceland in that it features soft golden sand and gently undulating dunes with wild grasses. Exploration of Snaefellsnes continues onward through the spectacular countryside, making stops at the charming coastal villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar before the arrival at Snaefellsness National Park.
Onwards to the magnificent black pebble beach at Djupalonssandur, framed by striking cliffs. This coastline is very beautiful but it can be treacherous, evidenced by the remains of the British Trawler, Epine, which was shipwrecked here.
Lastly, you set your sites toward Reykjavík. Stop at the legendary Kirkjufell, which is often considered the most photographed Icelandic mountain. Arrive to Reykjavík around 20:00, where you will be dropped off at your original pick-up location.
Stay at Reykjavik Lights Hotel or similar
Day 8: Reykjavík - Icelandic Highlands
Please note that tour schedule varies depending on the season. Experience the Landmannalaugar Super Jeep Tour in the Central Highlands of Iceland from June to October during the summer. While during the winter, from November to May, take a shared group tour and go snowmobiling on Langjokull Glacier.
When the adventure is over, drive back to Reykjavík and you will be dropped you off at your selected drop-off location around 9 p.m.
Initial deposit is 30% ($400 minimum), and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card.
Final payment is due Final payment is due 70 days (10 weeks) prior to departure prior to departure by Bank transfer, check or credit card. All final payments by credit card may be subject to a surcharge and maximum of $20,000 charge
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.