Sample itinerary for travelling on Iceland's Ring Road - 8 days/7 nights
Explore the island of fire and ice and travel on Iceland's ring road. Discover stunning scenery and dramatic landscapes. A local expert guide helps you explore the unspoiled Icelandic countryside with volcanoes, lava fields, hot springs, mountains, fjords, glaciers and waterfalls.
This escorted tour takes you both to classic nature hotspots and lesser-known sights. The tour includes several soft adventures and cultural visits. Some outdoor activities might differ between seasons depending on weather and road conditions.
Day 1: WELCOME to ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
Private airport transfer from Keflavík International airport to Reykjavík where you spend the night.
Included choice of activities: Blue Lagoon or whale watching depending on arrival or departure time.
Day 2: VOLCANO CRATER, SEALS, FJORDS & MOUNTAINS
(425 km/264 mls)
Travel west, passing the town of Borgarnes and climb the Grábrók volcano crater. In the afternoon visit a natural history & seal museum in a small fishing village called Hvammstangi in Northwest Iceland and stroll around the local harbour. Further north we stop at the turf church of Víðimýri which has been extensively restored to its original form and is widely considered one of the purest and most beautiful examples of traditional Icelandic architecture. We continue along scenic fjord landscape and over several mountain passes until we reach Akureyri, the capital of North Iceland. Overnight in Akureyri.
Day 3: THE CAPITAL OF NORTH ICELAND, LAKE MÝVATN & GEOTHERMAL BATHS (120 km/75 mls)
In the morning we explore Akureyri, a charming town of 17000 inhabitants, visit the botanical garden and enjoy the panoramic view over the Eyjafjörður fjord. In the afternoon we travel to an important spot in Iceland's history, Goðafoss, the waterfalls of the Gods. We continue to Lake Mývatn which is known for its geological wonders and active bird life during summer. We stop at the bizarre lava formations at Kálfaströnd followed by a walk around the many pseudocraters and end an exciting day with a relaxing soak at Mývatn Nature Baths that contains a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms. The warm soothing waters benefit both skin and spirit alike. Overnight location at Lake Mývatn or Húsavik.
Included activity: Whale watching from Akureyri or Húsavík
Day 4: LAVA LABYRINTH, HOT SPRINGS & TRAVEL EAST (250 km/155 mls)
In the morning we hike in a lava labyrinth at Dimmuborgir "the dark castles", hoping to get a glimpse of the trolls who are said to live there. After an optional lunch, we visit the hot spring area of Námaskarð with bubbling mud pools and steaming solfataras. We head through the uninhabited highlands and moon-like surrounding to East Iceland. With some luck, we might spot an Arctic fox or see reindeer. From June to August the tour includes a detour to Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. Overnight location is Egilsstadir or Hallormsstadur region.
Day 5: FJORDS, GLACIER AND ICE (470 km/292 mls)
It's a day to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords and on route we visit an interesting stone and mineral collection. In the afternoon we see Vatnajökull – Europe's biggest glacier that is visible all over Southeast Iceland. Past the town of Höfn, we stop at Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs, and we explore the extraordinary site and might see seals swimming in arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach where large icebergs get stranded. Depending on the season optional boat trips are available. We travel along the southern part of the glacier Vatnajökull and spend time at Europe's largest national park, which has Iceland's highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier. Overnight location is Skaftafell or Kirkjusbaejarklaustur.
Day 6: SOUTH COAST (240 km/149 mls)
A beautiful drive with many natural wonders awaits us today as we head across the Eldhraun lava field, cross the sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by mountainous cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach of Reynisfjara near Vík. In the small village of Skógar, there is the Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. We continue to the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. There is an interesting trail that goes behind the fall – if you are prepared to get wet! Further west we stop at the Lava & volcano information center and learn about geology and active volcanoes. Overnight location is in South Iceland.
Included choice of activities: Glacier hike or snowmobile tour in South Iceland
Day 7: ICELANDIC HORSES & GOLDEN CIRCLE (160 km/99 mls)
We explore classics today as we travel the route of the Golden Circle sights. We start the day at Friðheimar, where you learn about the Icelandic horse, its special qualities and history and visit a geothermal greenhouse. Later on, we see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as we arrive. There is a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools. The original geyser is now dormant but has been replaced by Strokkur "the Churn" which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. We continue to Gullfoss, "the golden falls", which is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts travellers in summer and winter. We travel inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As we return to Reykjavík, we take you for a short city tour to show highlights of the world's northernmost capital. Overnight is in Reykjavik.
Day 8: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Private transfer from Reykjavik to Keflavík Airport.
DAILY DRIVING: Total mileage without airport transfer is 1.665 km (1.032 miles) which is an average of 278 km (172 miles) per day. You spend about 4 hours per day driving, depending on road conditions, traffic and daily distances. On some days the driving might be longer than on some other days.
NOTE: During the offseason, from September to May, in rare cases, a change of itinerary might be necessary especially for winter programs in Iceland, should snow, road and weather conditions not allow to follow the scheduled itinerary, and certain outdoor activities might be cancelled. From mid-September to mid-April there are chances to see the Northern Lights.
- Private airport transfers
- Private tour with English speaking, professional driver-guide for tour program as per itinerary
- Best available hotels (4-star in Reykjavik, a mix of 3-star and 4-star in the countryside)
- Daily breakfast buffet
- Selection of activities as per tour itinerary
- Parking and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Room & board for driver-guide outside Reykjavik
Value-added and included from June to September:
- Boat trip on the glacial lagoon
- Visit to Dettifoss waterfall
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