10 Day Itinerary | Ring Road Circle of Iceland & Reykjavik

10 Day Itinerary | Ring Road Circle of Iceland & Reykjavik
Icebergs shimmering in the sunlight on the dark sand's of the Diamond Beach in South Iceland.
Icebergs floating on the serene Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the fading sunlight
Waves crashing on icebergs on the shore of the Diamond Beach
Northern Iceland's Hvítserkur rock in the glowing light of the midnight sun
On a tour of the Golden Circle, you'll see Strokkur, the erupting hot spring at Geysir geothermal area.
The turquoise colours of the waters in Silfra fissure in Þingvellir National Park are spectacular.
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Join this tour for 10 days of adventure and travel the whole circle of Iceland, including the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, while joining in the most popular outdoor activities. Those looking to experience Icelandic nature, culture, history and adventure should not let this opportunity pass them by.

Sit back and let others do the planning. Prior to your arrival, all accommodations, transportation and activities will be sorted out for you, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride. You will have an intimate minibus adventure around the country as well as a full day of free time in the Nordic capital Reykjavík, with a myriad of optional activities to spice up your itinerary.

You'll use the Ring Road to take a full circuit around Iceland, from the world-famous Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle to the crown jewels of Iceland's natural wonders - Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Dettifoss waterfall, and the black sand beach Reynisfjara. You'll drive through vast lava fields on your way to the remote Eastfjords and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and pass verdant farmlands as you travel the South Coast and the North.

You will also have the opportunity to see some of Iceland's most exciting wildlife, including whales, dolphins and seals, and take part in a glacier hike. It should go without saying that the landscapes, be they glaciers, rugged coastlines or mountain peaks, will leave you in awe for years to come.

So don't delay any longer! Hurry now and you too can experience the best that Iceland has to offer with this thrilling 10-day tour around the country. Check availability by choosing a date. 


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Apr. - Sep.
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Hiking, Super Jeep, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Helicopter, Ice Caving
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 10 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, East Iceland, West Iceland , Highlands, Reykjavík, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Húsavík, Goðafoss, Dettifoss, Snæfellsjökull, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Þingvellir, Hraunfossar, Strokkur, Snæfellsnes, Reykjanes, Hvalfjörður, Sólheimajökull, Hvannadalshnúkur, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Borgarfjörður, Þríhnúkagígur, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Hellnar, Reykholt, Borgarnes, Barnafoss, Arnarstapi, Vík í Mýrdal, Siglufjörður, Kirkjufell, Reynisdrangar, Hvítserkur, Mývatn Nature Baths, Námaskarð, Djúpalónssandur, Ytri Tunga Beach, South Coast, Diamond Beach, Ring Road, Diamond Circle
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : 00:00.

Included:
  • 3 nights of accommodation in Reykjavik (different levels available; breakfast not included for Super Budget level; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)

  • Airport transfer on arrival/departure

  • 7 day small group minibus tour around Iceland

  • 6 nights of accommodation in the countryside (double rooms in hostels with shared bathrooms and breakfast)

  • Glacier Hike with a certified glacier guide

  • Whale watching tour

  • Blue Lagoon comfort entrance (upgrade to premium level available) and return transfer

  • Entrance to the shark museum in Bjarnarhofn

  • Entrance to the Mývatn Nature Baths

  • Entrance to the area of Stokksnes and Vestrahorn

  • Entrance to the Icelandic seal center in Hvammstangi

  • Entrance to the Stone museum in Stodvarfjordur

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

  • Lunch and dinner

  • Flights


What to bring:
  • Camera

  • Warm outdoor clothing (including waterproof jacket and pants, headwear and gloves)

  • Swimsuits and towels

  • Good hiking shoes are recommended


Good to know:

Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Iceland!


The majestic Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík bathed in the warm glow of the midnight sun


Now your adventure starts!

After collecting your bags, you'll board a bus go out to the dark lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula. You'll travel through this lunar-like landscape on your way to Iceland's vibrant capital, Reykjavík.

En route is the famous Blue Lagoon Spa and if your flight arrives early, you'll stop there for a rejuvenating soak. This visit can also be scheduled on your departure day if you are in a hurry to get to the city.

When you arrive in the city, the downtown area will greet you with its many restaurants and cafés to entertain you on your first night in the northernmost capital in the world.

Do a little exploring if you are not too tired, and let the midnight sun light up the evening. You can see the Hallgrímskirkja church, Harpa Concert Hall, and the Parliament building among other great locations.


Day 2 - Golden Circle and the South


The beautiful Öxarárfoss in Þingvellir National Park flows over the Almannagjá gorge which marks the eastern boundary of the North American Plate.


It’s the first real day of adventuring outside of the city. Today, you will be discovering the three fantastic natural attractions that comprise the world-famous Golden Circle sightseeing route.

The first of these sites is Þingvellir National Park, Iceland’s one and only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Þingvellir is beloved by travellers and locals alike for two main reasons; first, the area has a captivating history. After all, this is where the world’s first democratically elected parliament was formed in 930 AD.

The second reason falls down to the area’s geology. Þingvellir is located in the rift valley, nestled between two tectonic plates, both of which can be observed up close as you make your way through Almannagjá gorge.

After your time at Þingvellir is over, you will discover the magnificent Haukadalur Valley, known for the hot springs, Geysir and Strokkur. Whilst today Geysir lays dormant, Strokkur routinely erupts every five minutes or so, shooting enormous jets of water high into the air.

The final stop of the Golden Circle is the route's namesake, Gullfoss, one of the most beautiful and dramatic waterfalls in the whole of Iceland. But this is not the end of your adventure! You will be seeing two other popular sites; the water-filled crater-lake Kerið, and the South Coast’s most famous waterfall, Seljalandsfoss. That night, you will be staying in a guesthouse besides the falls themselves.


Day 3 - South Coast and Jokulsarlon


Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon painted in pink colours from the midnight sun


The third day of this exciting excursion sees you travelling to the South Coast. The South Coast is, by far, Iceland’s most popular sightseeing route, due in large part to the fact that the area is so characterised by its rugged coastlines, distant mountain peaks, rolling hillsides and gently cascading waterfalls.

Throughout your time on the South Coast, you will be privy to Eyjafjallajökull, the stratovolcano famous for its violent 2010 eruption. One of your first stops of the day will be at Skógafoss, one of the country’s more beautiful waterfalls with its giant, 60-metre high curtain of falling water. Whilst here, you will also a pay a visit to Írafoss and Kvernufoss, the waterfalls’ lesser-known neighbours.

Another stop you will make is at Reynisfjara black sand beach, known for its jet-black volcanic sand, strange rock formations and the iconic basalt stack, Reynisdrangar, which folklore dictates is the petrified remains of an ancient troll, frozen in the sunlight.

One of the major highlights of the day will be the opportunity to hike the glittering glacier, Sólheimajökull. Not only is this one of the most authentically Icelandic experiences that one can partake in, it also offers incredible panoramic views over the South Coast.

Don’t worry if you’ve never been glacier hiking before as your guide will make sure to fit you out with all of the necessary equipment, including helmets, walking poles and crampons, and will also provide a safety briefing about walking on the ice. Fear not, you’re in good hands!

After your hike, you will continue along the South Coast, finally driving under the shadow of Vatnajökull Glacier. Here, you will make a stop at the 'Crown Jewel of Iceland', Jökulsárlon glacier lagoon, where you can serenely watch enormous icebergs floating on the water’s peaceful surface.

Only five minutes walk away is Diamond Beach, a black stretch of shoreline famous for the icebergs that wash up against its volcanic pebbles. This makes for fantastic photographs and is equally held in high esteem by nature and wildlife enthusiasts who will cherish the ethereal ambience of this site.

That night, you will spend the evening in accommodation in the southeast of Iceland.


Day 4 - The Eastfjords


A lonely building on the banks of Lake Lagarfljót in eastern Iceland


At the beginning of your fourth day, you will make your way to one of Iceland’s most distinguished mountains, Vestrahorn, known for its jagged peaks and profile on the flat, natural horizon. Following this, you will get a dose of culture at the settlement of Stokknes, as well as pay a visit to the nearby Viking Village.

Once finished with this part of the tour, you will make your way further into the mysterious Eastfjords, an area most widely known for its spooky, but glorious scenery. As you travel through this area, you will no doubt be in awe at the pretty strips of coastline and the quintessential fishing villages that line it.

The Eastfjords are also famous as the one place in Iceland that guests can regularly see herds of wild reindeer roaming the countryside. Aside from reindeer, guests here may also have the opportunity to spot whales, dolphins and porpoise and even Iceland’s only native mammal, the Arctic Fox.

Finally, you will make a visit to Petra’s Stone Museum, an amateur, yet astounding collection of different rocks found across Iceland. Spending some time here really provides an insight into the eclectic nature of Iceland’s geology.

Tonight, you will retire to comfortable accommodation in East Iceland.


Day 5 - Lake Mývatn


The areas around Lake Myvatn are known for their geothermal energy.


Your fifth day in the country will see you taking to the eclectic, volcanic landscapes of the Diamond Circle sightseeing route, the unofficial cousin of the Golden Circle, down south.

Following the attractions around the famed Lake Mývatn, you will first pay a visit to the most ferocious waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss, found in the gnarled and rocky world of Jökulsárglúfur canyon. This is, truly, one of the most dramatic sites in Iceland; make sure not to forget your camera!

Soon, however, you will find yourself travelling through the moss-coloured fields that surround Lake Mývatn, making a stop at the geothermal area, Námaskarð Pass, known for its steaming fumaroles and bubbling mud cauldrons. Afterward, you will visit Dimmuborgir “Dark Castles”, an area of twisted volcanic rock that appears as some fantastical, haunted fortress.

To cap off your day, you will stop at the Mývatn Nature Baths for a spot of relaxation. These baths are known as the North's answer to the Blue Lagoon Spa, and boasts incredible views of the surrounding area. That night, you will be staying in accommodation nearby Lake Mývatn.


Day 6 - Akureyri and the North


Whale watching is one of Iceland's most popular activities.


Your sixth day in the country, and now its time to explore the beautiful North. After following a gentle drive along the coach, you will first stumble upon the charming village of Húsavík where you will undertake a spot of Whale Watching.

There are over twenty different species of whale that call Icelandic coastal waters home, with the most common sightings being Minke and Humpback whales.

After this fantastic experience, you will continue towards Akureyri, colloquially known as “the Capital of the North”. En route you will pay a visit to Goðafoss, which translates to ‘the Waterfall of the Gods’. This powerful feature got its name from a moment in history, the Christianisation of Iceland, upon which the country’s former pagan inhabitants tossed their heathen idols into the waterfalls’ frothing white rapids.

In Akureyri, you will have the opportunity to explore the city, taking in its many museums, restaurants and cafes and shops, as well potentially visit the beloved Botanical Gardens. You will be spending the evening just outside of Akureyri.


Day 7 - Heading West


Throughout the 10 days, you will pass a wealth of different scenery.


Continuing along the Icelandic Ring Road, you will make your first stop of the day at the rock stack, Hvítserkur, widely thought to resemble a dragon drinking water from the ocean. This, among many of the sites in Iceland, makes for truly compelling photographs.

Next up is the village of Hvammstangi, known for its large and visible colonies of seals. Whilst here, you can learn more about these lovable pups of the ocean at the Icelandic Seal Centre, an establishment devoted to the protection of these fascinating creatures.

Continuing to the fjord of Borgarfjörður, you will pass the haunting but beautiful lava field of Hallmundarhraun lava field as you do so. A mere 900 metres from here, you will also have the opportunity to look upon two of West Iceland’s most distinguished waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. The first waterfall can be described as wide and gentle flowing, whilst the latter is far more violent. Your final stop of the day will be at Deildartunguhver, a hot spring with the highest flow rate in Europe.

You will spend your last night in the Borgarfjörður area.


Day 8 - Snæfellsnes Peninsula


Kirkjufell is Iceland's most photographed mountain.


Your final day exploring the Icelandic countryside will see you visit the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, known as “Iceland in Miniature” thanks to its wealth of different natural attractions. The glacial stratovolcano, Snæfellsjökull, which rest at the peninsula’s tip, will be visible throughout this day. Avid readers will recognise this glacier as the entrance point to a subterranean world in Jules Verne’s novel “Journey To The Centre of The Earth. ”

Your first stop of the day will be at the farmstead and beach, Ytri-Tunga. Here, the seals like to rest and play amongst the rocks close to the shoreline, making the animals an easy pleasure to observe.

Travel the coast further, you will pass the historic settlements of Arnarstapi and Hellnar. This area is known for its stunning geography, culminating with the Lóndrangar basalt columns, towering over the ocean.

Another stop on the list is the black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur where you can test your strength in traditional Icelandic manner; four large boulders here are called “the Lifting Stones”, and were utilised by ancient fisherman to suss out one’s suitability to ocean life.

Taking a break from sightseeing for a moment, you will stop at the Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum where you can taste fresh hákarl (the infamous “rotten shark”) as well as the classic Icelandic cumin schnapps. Delicious, no?

Your final stop of the day will be the most photographed mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell. Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones will recognise Kirkjufell as “the mountain like an arrowhead”, as pointed out by the Hound.

After your visit to Kirkjufell, your time on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula will come to a close, after which you will make your way back to Reykjavík, where you will spend the remainder of your holiday days.


Day 9 - Reykjavik Free Day / The Blue Lagoon


The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland's greatest draws.


After a great adventure around the country, it is now time to hit the city streets and get to know the capital. You will have a free day today, and endless options await. 

Reykjavík might not be very big, but it's remarkably cosmopolitan for its size, offering a wide array of museums, restaurants and gourmet eateries. The natives are somewhat mad about their coffee, and the city sports the largest number of slow-roast gourmet cafés per capita in the world.

If the city streets do not hold your interest, we can make the day more active with various tours and trips that you can choose from. If you'd like to head up high, you could hop on a helicopter and see the amazing landscapes from above.

If you'd like to keep your feet planted on terra firma, you can take a sightseeing tour and visit the museums, learning about the history of Icelanders. For those more adventurous, Þríhnjúkagígur volcano awaits. Towering over the Reykjanes lava fields, this monster invites you to visit the now empty magma chamber in the heart of the volcano.

You could otherwise visit the remote Highlands with a day tour to the geothermal area of Landmannalaugar. Hiking enthusiast will love this secluded area, and you can end your day of hiking with a dip in a natural hot spring.

You'll return to the city before the Midnight Sun colours the sky and spend the night in Reykjavík.


Day 10 - Farwell to Iceland


The lights of downtown Reykjavík mirrored in serene waters


It's your final day in the country and its time to say goodbye. If you happen to have an afternoon departure flight scheduled, the morning is free to fill as you see fit. Why not check out some of the capital's fascinating museums and art galleries, or perhaps, take a stroll around some of Reykjavík's parks and inner-city attractions.

If you missed your Blue Lagoon visit on your arrival day, you'll head to the geothermal waters of the spa today before your departing flight. 

We hope that you've had a spectacular time in Iceland, and we can't wait to see you again.


Accommodation in Reykjavik

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For budget and comfort levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. If you are travelling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur. For multi-day guided tours, accommodation cannot be upgraded and the levels below do not apply. Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.

Super Budget

Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostels. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.

Budget

Private rooms with shared bathroom in guesthouses or hostels such as Capital Inn Guesthouse. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.

Comfort

Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels such as Hótel Klettur, or quality guesthouses. Located in the city center or in close vicinity. Breakfast is included.

Quality

Rooms at four-star design hotels in the city center with a private bathroom at the absolute best locations downtown such as Hotel Alda. Breakfast is included.


Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel the booking of this package and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person. The cancellation must be made within a minimum of 48-hours before the listed starting time. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact our service desk by writing to info@guidetoiceland.is no later than 48-hours before departure and declare the cancellation. Please note that this insurance only covers the full cancellation of this entire package. It does not cover cancellations of individual activities and services within the package. The cost of the Cancellation Insurance is neither refundable nor transferable.


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10 Day Itinerary | Ring Road Circle of Iceland & Reykjavik
 
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