The circle tour around Iceland's Ring Road is the most popular for a reason: You get to see almost all the best-known highlights in Iceland in a relatively short period of time. We do the tour with a maximum of 16 people per tour, to ensure a good vibe and a close relationship with your guide.
On this 10-day tour we will visit the Snæfellsnes peninsula, often called 'Iceland in miniature' as you can find practically all natural phenomena in Iceland there; waterfalls, a glacier, volcanoes and lava fields, hot springs, bird cliffs, columnar basalt, and, of course, friendly Icelanders!
In the north, you will visit the beautiful waterfall of the Gods, Goðafoss, as well as the spectacular and awe-inspiring waterfall Dettifoss. You'll get to see the volcanic wonderland of Lake Mývatn, teeming with birdlife in the summer and dotted with an amazing variety of volcanic sculptures and formations.
You will pass through the Eastern Fjords, and down in the south-east of Iceland we'll visit the glacial lagoon Jökulsárlón, where icebergs from the glacier above float in freezing waters. We'll also check out the 'Diamond beach' just below the lagoon, where the icebergs wash up ashore and slowly melt on the beach.
Further west, we'll travel along the South Coast, visiting the black sand beach at Reynisfjara which commands great views of the Reynisdrangar cliffs and Dyrhólaey promontory, and some of the more picturesque waterfalls in Iceland, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss.
Last but not least, you'll travel along the Golden Circle, visiting the most iconic of all the waterfalls, the two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall. Just a short drive from the fall is the Geysir geothermal area and where you can see the geyser Strokkur spout boiling hot water high into the air. Finally, we will visit Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and an area of great historical and geological interest.
If you want to see and experience all that Iceland has to offer, this is the right tour for you!
Today you will arrive at Keflavik International Airport, situated right outside the small town of Keflavik, about 45 minutes drive from the city of Reykjavik. Please note that transfer from Keflavík to the city is not included, but there are plenty of transfer services available that will take you from the airport to your hotel in Reykjavik.
Once you arrive in Reykjavik, there's plenty to see and do in the downtown area: museums, shops, cafés and restaurants. We also highly recommend visiting one of the local swimming pools as there is really nothing better to get rid of the jet-lag than soaking in the geothermal hot waters of the pools.
You will be met by your guide at the hotel lobby at 9 am to start the tour.
We head out of Reykjavik, heading north towards the Snaefellsnes peninsula which is often referred to as 'mini-Iceland' since you can find practically every single natural phenomenon in Iceland there: waterfalls, hot springs, volcanoes and lava fields, sandy beaches, bird cliffs, a glacier and of course, friendly locals!
As we circumvent the peninsula and the Snaefellsnes glacier, we'll make stops along the beautiful coast, experiencing the rich birdlife of the area as well as the stunning natural beauty.
When we reach the northern side, we'll pass through small fishing villages and see arguably the most picturesque mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell, right outside of Grundarfjordur village. One of the last stops on the peninsula is the beautiful small town of Stykkisholmur.
We then head to Borgarnes where we will overnight.
Today we head north along Ring Road no. 1, into the north-western region of Iceland. We'll pass through fjords and valleys on our way towards Skagafjordur, often called the home of the Icelandic horse. We will visit the old bishopric Holar in Hjaltadalur, a site of great historic significance with one of the oldest stone churches in Iceland.
We then turn north and drive along Trollaskagi until we reach Siglufjordur, an old fishing village beautifully nestled between the sea and high mountains above.
We will overnight in Siglufjordur.
There will be some free time this morning to explore the village of Siglufjordur, and we highly recommend a visit to the award-winning Herring Era Museum which is filled with relics and memorabilia from the time when Siglufjordur was the most significant fishing outpost in the country. It explains why the fishing industry played such an important role in the modernisation of Iceland.
We will then head through three mountain tunnels and reach Eyjafjordur, then continue south towards Akureyri, enjoying the mountain scenery and views of the island Hrisey out in the fjord. We will make a stop at one of the fishing villages along the way and visit a local micro-brewery, where you have the option of trying the beer-spa!
Once we arrive in Akureyri, we will do a short tour in the downtown area to show you the main items of interest and then the rest of the day is free at your leisure. There is a great selection of optional tours in Akureyri such as whale watching, horseback riding and even sailing north to Grimsey island which is right on the arctic circle!
We will overnight in Akureyri.
Today we will explore some of the most spectacular highlights of the north. First, we will visit the waterfall of the Gods, Godafoss and then continue to Lake Myvatn, a volcanic wonderland that was formed in an eruption some 2.000 years ago and bears clear signs of the volcanic activities, some as recent as 1984.
At Myvatn we will visit the pseudo craters at Skutustadir, explore the lava mazes at Dimmuborgir (the Dark Castles) and get close to the geothermal heat at the Namaskard solfatara field. Myvatn is also considered a bird-watchers paradise as countless duck and bird species nest there during the summer months. At the end of the day, we´ll visit the Nature Baths, where you will have the option to soak in the geothermal waters.
You will overnight in either the Myvatn area or the nearby town of Husavik.
Today we will make our way around the Tjornes peninsula, heading towards the national park Jokulsargljufur. Our first stop will be the horseshoe-shaped canyon Asbyrgi, which legend tells us was created when Odin's eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, touched one of its hooves there.
We then head south towards Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall. From the parking lot, it's an easy 20-minute walk to the waterfall itself.
We then head east through the Modrudalsoraefi, a barren desert of desolate beauty that provides views of the stunning Mt. Herdubreid, and onwards through Jokuldalur towards Egilsstadir, the largest town in the east.
Overnight in the area.
We start the day by driving along the coast of the Eastfjords before we reach the village of Höfn. Continuing west, Europe's largest glacier Vatnajokull and its many outlets start to become visible, and we will soon enter the famous Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, where icebergs float in the icy waters.
We'll also visit the so-called 'Diamond beach' where some of the icebergs from the lagoon have washed up ashore and are slowly melting in the sand.
Further west, we come to Skaftafell Nature Reserve with stunning views of the surrounding glacial outlets. We'll have a chance to walk up to Svartifoss waterfall, which is about a 2-hour hike.
We will overnight in the Skaftafell area.
Today we continue west, towards the town of Kirkjubaejarklaustur before we cross the Eldhraun lava field, created by the largest lava flow in recorded history, during an eruption in 1783-84.
We will then reach the small village of Vik, famous for its woolly sweaters and stunning black sand beach which offers breathtaking views of the Reynisdrangar cliffs.
We will also get the chance to see the cliffs from a different angle when we reach Reynisfjara beach, where we take a short hike along the shore.
In the afternoon we will visit two of most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss before we end the day in the area of Selfoss where we will spend the night.
We like to leave the best until last and so today; you'll visit The Golden Circle.
We first head up to the most iconic waterfall in all of Iceland: the two-tiered Golden waterfall, Gullfoss. After viewing it from multiple angles, we'll drive to the nearby Geysir geothermal area where we'll see the geyser Strokkur spout boiling hot water up 15-20 meters in the air every 5-10 minutes!
We pass Lake Laugarvatn on our way to the last stop of the day, Thingvellir National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thingvellir is historically very significant as Iceland's ancient parliament was founded there more than 1.100 years ago.
From a geological perspective, Thingvellir offers us a clear view of the fact that Iceland is situated on top of two continental plates, as you can see the rift between the plates there.
We then drive to Reykjavik where the tour formally ends.
Overnight at hotel in Reykjavik.
It is time to say goodbye to the land of ice and fire. If your flight departs in the afternoon, you may have time to explore the city more, do some last minute shopping or visit the Blue Lagoon on your way to the airport. Remember that the airport transfer is not included in the package (but can be booked separately beforehand or in the lobby of your hotel the night before).
Please note that arrival and departure transfers are not included. The tour starts on the morning of day 2 at 9:00 when you will be picked up in Reykjavík