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The Best 10-day Itinerary in Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfall on the South Coast of Iceland.
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Description

Details

Tour starts
Keflavík Airport
Starting time
Flexible
Duration
10 days
Ending place
Keflavík Airport (KEF), 235 KEFLAVÍKURFLUGVÖLLUR, Reykjanesbær,
Languages
English
Difficulty
Easy
Available
Mar. - Aug.
Minimum age
8 years old

Description

Dive into the adventure opportunities offered by the magnificent land of ice and fire this summer with a ten-day trip around Iceland. If you want to visit all of the country’s most incredible regions and have the chance to embark on a different activity every day, then this is the tour for you.

Under the guidance of a friendly local, this summer package will take you on an epic, ten-day journey circumnavigating Iceland’s Ring Road and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. This route will reveal to you all the spectacular natural features that make this country so famous; the geysers of the Golden Circle, the icebergs of the Jokulsarlon lagoon, the volcanoes of the south, and the hot springs of the north are all examples of what’s ahead.

Each night will be spent in a hotel along the ring road trip. The first and last will be spent in the capital. Reykjavik is a beautiful place to begin and end your holiday, as it is bursting with history and attractions.

Furthermore, almost every day you spend on the road, you will have a different activity you can partake in, each of them showing you a different facet of Iceland’s character. A boat ride, caving, hot spring bathing, and horseback riding are optional, while glacier hiking and whale watching are included!

On top of this, you’ll have a chance to enter the Blue Lagoon Spa and experience the geothermally heated waters of Iceland’s most famous attraction.

A great bonus of booking this summer vacation package is that everything is organized for you after you select your excursions and a few other details, from your airport transfers to your hotels. This will allow you to enjoy the build-up to your holiday and your time here without any niggling stresses.

Finally, due to the season, you are traveling, all of your adventures will be conducted under the Midnight Sun, extending the length of time you can sightsee every day and providing you with glorious light throughout the evening.

Embark on adventures all around the Ring Road of Iceland with this 10-day summer vacation package. Check availability by choosing a date.

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Included

8-day small group guided tour of Iceland, travelling around the ring route
7 nights of accommodation in country hotels with breakfast included and a private bathroom
2 nights of accommodation in Reykjavik (different levels available; breakfast not included for Super Budget or Budget levels; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)
Return transfer between Keflavik international airport and Reykjavik city
Detailed Itinerary
Personal travel agent
Taxes
Glacier hike in Skaftafell
Whale watching tour
Travelers who book with Guide to Iceland may have a PCR or rapid antigen COVID-19 test prearranged prior to their departure from Iceland, if needed.

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Super Jeep
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Boat Trip
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Helicopter
Ice Caving

Daily itinerary

Day 1
The Sun Voyager Monument on the foreshore of Reykjavik at sunset.

Day 1 - Welcome to Iceland!

Welcome to Iceland! Your Flybus will be waiting to take you to Reykavik as soon as you pass through customs at Keflavik International Airport.

On your way to Iceland’s capital city, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It is located in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere. If you add the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged according to your flights. If there is no time to visit the lagoon today, it can be added to another day; your travel consultant will arrange this for you.

If you have energy after your travels when you get to the capital, be sure to check out the city; you’ll be on the road for the next eight days, after all. Reykjavik boasts architectural marvels such as the Harpa Concert Hall, nature views over beautiful sites such as Mount Esjan, pubic art such as the Sun Voyager Monument, and plenty of museums and galleries, restaurants, and bars.

Once you are tuckered out, you’ll spend the night in the city.

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Day 2
The mighty Gullfoss Waterfall on the famous Golden Circle Tourist Route of Iceland.

Day 2 - Golden Circle

Your guide for the next eight days will pick you up bright and early on the second day of your holiday in Iceland, and you will begin your adventure around the country. The focus for today will be the sightseeing route of the Golden Circle, which boasts the diverse attractions of Thingvellir, Geysir, and Gullfoss.

Thingvellir is a magnificent valley framed by the dramatic cliffs that mark the edges of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. Within it, you'll find fields of twisted lava, abundant forests of birch, and ravines where continental forces have torn the earth apart; around it, you'll marvel over the largest lake in the country and dramatic volcanic peaks.

This site has the honor of being both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Park. It is also the original site of the world's longest-running, still ongoing parliament.

The Geysir Geothermal Area is an incredible place to marvel over the geothermal forces that continue to shape Iceland's nature; hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pits are scattered across a field dyed strange colors by the elements of the earth. It is most famous for the explosive geyser of Strokkur, where, every few minutes, you can observe a dramatic eruption.

Gullfoss, the final site of the Golden Circle, is the country's most instantly recognizable waterfall. Colored an unusual shade by the glacier water that fuels it, it boasts uniqueness, awe-inspiring power, and striking beauty in equal measure.

After you have enjoyed the attractions of the Golden Circle, you'll be driven to one of the serene villages in the southwest of the country, where you'll spend the night.

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Day 3
A sunset over the small village of Vik in Southern Iceland in summer.

Day 3 - South Coast

On the third day of your ten-day summer vacation in Iceland, you'll begin your circumnavigation of the country, starting with the stunning South Coast. As you depart from your hotel, you'll be driven through some rural landscapes until you reach the sea, then hug its shore as you travel to some magnificent attractions.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall stands at an impressive 197 ft (60m), and tumbles before an enormous cavern scooped from its cliff; such an unusual formation allows it to be admired from several angles. From here, your guide will show you another waterfall, just off the beaten track, that most guests overlook; the magical Gljufrabui.

The third impressive waterfall you'll come to is Skogafoss, by far the most powerful of the three.

After feeling the spray of these features on your face, you'll head to some incredible coastal attractions. The first of these is Dyrholaey, a rock arch so vast that ships have sailed - and small planes have flown - through it. Not only this, but it is a puffin-watching hot spot. Thousands of Atlantic Puffins nest here throughout summer and can be approached surprisingly close.

Near here is the black sand stretch of shoreline named Reynisfjara, which boasts an eerie ambiance and dramatically powerful waves. Towering just off the coast are the basalt pillars of Reynisdrangar, so striking that they were used as a feature in Game of Thrones. In folklore, they are said to be the remains of petrified trolls, who were caught in the sunlight as they attempted to pull a boat into shore.

Near the beach is a tiny village called Vik, from which you can take your optional tour of the day - an ice-caving excursion. You'll board a super jeep and be whisked to the South Coast glacier of Myrdalsjokull, which sits above Katla, one of the country's most famous volcanoes. Here, you'll be dressed in all necessary safety and be led into one of its tunnels.

This trip is a wonderful way to witness the world inside an ice cap, an opportunity few guests get to experience outside midwinter. Furthermore, it is conducted right by the more famous subglacial volcano of Eyjafjallajokull, which erupted in 2010.

At the end of the day, you will retire back in Vik.

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Day 4
Windswept pieces of ice on the Diamond Beach, next to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Southeast Iceland.

Day 4 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

On the fourth day of your ten-day summer holiday to Iceland, you will continue your Ring Road adventure, focusing on two of the most iconic parts of the South Coast: the Skaftafell Nature Reserve and the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. These sites are the most famous features of Vatnajokull National Park, which is named after the largest glacier in Europe within its borders.

Skaftafell boasts several glacier tongues from this mighty ice cap creeping between its mountains, adding more magic to the already magnificent terrain. Your guide will take you down one of the many hiking trails to witness these up close, as well as to the waterfall of Svartifoss. Translated to the ‘Black Falls’, this waterfall falls amongst dark columns of hexagonal basalt.

You'll even get to go glacier hiking here.

The nature reserve has some small glacier lagoons, but they will pale next to Jokulsarlon, the largest glacier lagoon in the country. Hundreds of hundreds of icebergs, some absolutely enormous, gather in the waters here, vividly colored and glistening majestically.

Admiring them from the shore is a mesmerizing way to spend a few hours; even the noises they make as they move and break apart are fascinating due to their almost organic nature. However, to get an even more immersive experience, you can take your optional tour of the day, which is a boat excursion into these beautiful waters.

This is also an excellent opportunity to see seals up close, as many reside in the area.

Before retiring to your hotel near the lagoon, you will head to the Diamond Beach. This black sand coastline is the final destination of the icebergs of the lagoon, which are left on the shore to sparkle spectacularly as they melt away.

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Day 5
Eystrahorn Mountain in Iceland's remote Eastfjords pictured in summer.

Day 5 - Eastfjords

On day five, you’ll enter the most remote region you will encounter on your journey: the East Fjords. As its name suggests, this area is defined by its beautiful fjord lands. Towering mountains, breathtaking bays, sheer cliff faces, and historic fishing villages are all on the road ahead.

Before getting deep into the region, you’ll come to two similar mountains, Eystrahorn and Vestrahorn. Despite looking like each other, they don’t resemble any other peaks in the country; they are composed of dark gabbro and boast defining twin summits. After admiring these, you will continue to the village of Djupivogur and begin to navigate the fjords.

As you travel, it is not just the coastal views to look out for; inland, you’ll see features such as Mount Snaefell, the tallest freestanding mountain in the country, and Lake Lagarfljot, a lake with a legendary monster in its depths. This is just one of many attractions with ties to folklore in the east that your guide can tell you about.

Furthermore, this is one of the best places in the country for wildlife lovers to look out for their favorite animals. Wild reindeer, which travel in spectacular herds, can only be found in this region; those with keen eyes may also spot Arctic Foxes, which are abundant here. The cliffs will be home to hundreds of thousands of nesting seabirds of dozens of species, and offshore you may even see seals, dolphins, or even whales.

Animal lovers can also opt into a horseback riding tour today. Icelandic horses are not like their counterparts around the world. They are smaller, smarter, and have a distinctive, unique gait. Riding one is an absolute joy, and whether or not it is your first time or you have ridden many times before, the tour can be tailored for you.

You’ll retire for the night in Egilsstadir town. If you have energy after your day on the road, be sure to check out the local sites, as Egilsstadir is a charming settlement.

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Day 6
Godafoss Waterfall in the North of Iceland.

Day 6 - Dettifoss, Myvatn & Akureyri

You'll depart the East Fjords bright and early on the sixth day of your Icelandic summer holiday to visit the north. Today, you will follow the Diamond Circle sightseeing route to see all of the region's most spectacular attractions.

Those who book admission to the Vok Baths, however, will get a lovely dip in these waters first. This spa sits on water level with a stunning lake.

The first stop of the Diamond Circle you will make will be at the primordial Jokulsargljufur canyon. Here, you can find three thunderous waterfalls named Hafragilsfoss, Selfoss, and Dettifoss. Though all impressive, Dettifoss is the most beautiful. It is 328 ft (100m) wide and over 131 ft (40m) tall. It is also the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe.

Next, you'll come to Asbyrgi; though also a canyon, it could not be more different from Jokulsargljufur. Shaped like an enormous horseshoe, it is defined by the luscious forest that fills it, as well as its dramatic central island. Because of its surreal scale and formation, early Icelanders believed this to be created by the footprint of a God's horse.

After this, you'll reach one of the most scenic, cultural centers of the north: the village of Husavik. Its serene harbor looks out over the beautiful islands and cliffs of Skjalfandi Bay, and its colorful houses make for postcard-perfect views.

The next major site is the spectacular Lake Myvatn, which many consider the region's highlight.

In summer, the great bodies of water here burst with life, with a range of unique flora and abundant birdlife adding to the appeal. There are also many features of geological wonder to seek out, such as the dramatic Dimmuborgir lava fortress and unusual pseudocraters. Surrounding Myvatn are incredible landscapes of volcanoes, craters, hot springs, and lava fields.

The final attraction you will come to before Akureyri, where you will retire, is the waterfall of Godafoss. In 1000 AD, the law speaker symbolically abandoned Iceland's ties to the Old Gods by throwing his idols into the churning waters.

Once you reach the Capital of the North, be sure to check out the lovely views from its harbor, its stunning examples of Icelandic architecture, and maybe even one of its local restaurants before retiring.

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Day 7
The Hvitserkur Rock Formation off the Troll Peninsula of Northern Iceland.

Day 7 - The Road to Borganes

Day seven of your ten-day summer vacation in Iceland will continue to introduce you to the beautiful sites of the north. After enjoying Akureyri a little more in the morning, you will set off along the spectacular fjord of Eyjafjordur.

Your first stop will be at a lovely coastal village here called Hauganes; you can enjoy your activity for the day by taking a whale watch from the harbor. North Iceland is one of the world’s best regions for spotting the giants of the deep, particularly in summer when the migratory species return. You are thus very likely to see Humpbacks, renowned for their breaches; dolphins and porpoises; and plenty of seabirds, including puffins.

On rare occasions, elusive creatures like orcas and blue whales also make an appearance.

After this, you will continue to travel along the fjords of North Iceland, visiting its beautiful coastal villages and marveling over its landscapes of countryside and mountain ranges, until you reach the Vatnsnes Peninsula.

This site is best renowned for its coastal geology; just off the shore stands the Hvitserkur Rock Formation, a feature that some believe looks like an elephant. This is overlooked by the mighty and historic Borgarvirki lava fortress, created by nature but used by feuding Viking clans for centuries. While enjoying these strange formations, be sure to look out for seals, as many call the waters of Vatnsnes home.

From the peninsula, you will leave the north and begin to travel through the serene countryside of the west. Your final destination for today is the beautiful settlement of Borgarnes, a commercial hub in this region.

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Day 8
A lava field in the West of Iceland.

Day 8 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula

On your eighth day in Iceland, you'll tour the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Striking geological formations can be found straight away at the Gerduberg Cliffs, which boast hexagonal columns in perfectly straight lines along their faces. Further down the road, you will discover more, such as the rock arch of Gatklettur and the basalt plug of Londrangar.

Londrangar is also renowned for being a wildlife hot spot, with its countless seabirds. Other great places to find animals on the peninsula include Ytri Tunga beach, known for its seal life, and the islands of Breidafjordur bay, which are densely populated nesting grounds.

In terms of its terrain, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula has a row of mountains running adjacent to its coasts but still a lot of diversity. You'll cross the fertile countryside, expanses of black sand, and lava fields on your travels; you'll also head to the dramatic peak of Kirkjufell, which stands alone but for an adjacent waterfall by the coastline.

Snaefellsnes also boasts a range of cultural attractions. Many abandoned villages haunt the beautiful landscapes. Their foundations are reclaimed by nature; Budir, which still has a charming and functioning church, and Hellnar, all but a deserted fishing settlement, both have a particularly mystical allure. However, some villages, like Stykkisholmur, Bjarnahofn, and Arnarstapi, are still thriving and great places to see how Icelandic culture has survived and evolved.

Despite the wonder of these attractions, the most famous and beautiful part of Snaefellsnes is the area on its tip: Snaefellsjokull National Park. Centered around a magnificent glacier, which caps an impressive volcano, this place is jaw-droppingly spectacular. Many with a belief in the mystical have claimed that this is one of the Earth's power centers, and it has inspired great works of art for centuries.

While in the shadow of Snaefellsjokull glacier, you can partake in one more exciting activity. With a helmet and torch, you'll be led inside the beautiful lava cave of Vatnshellir to bear witness to the unbelievable world under Iceland's surface. Even the claustrophobic will find this tour manageable due to the size of the formation and the distracting beauty of its features.

You’ll then travel to the West. However, this land of diverse beauty is so packed with features that you will need all day tomorrow to explore it; you’ll thus spend your final night on the road at a nearby hotel.

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Day 9
Sea cliffs in Arnarstapi, a town on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula of Iceland.

Day 9 - West Iceland

On the ninth day of your Icelandic summer holiday, you’ll set off on an adventure around the beautiful and cultural wonders of the country’s west.

You’ll first head to the charming village of Reykholt, which was once home to one of Iceland’s most famous individuals, Snorri Sturluson. In the middle ages, he recorded vastly important information on the Old Norse Gods and European royal lineages. As a chieftain and law speaker, he was a central part of the county’s bloody civil war.

Near Reykholt are two waterfalls, just a short walk apart but contrasting. Barnafoss is rapid, narrow, and ominous, its beauty tainted by its associated folklore of a tragic loss in its waters. Hraunfossar, meanwhile, is much cheery, streaming over a forested lava field in many gentle trickles.

After a full eight days of exploration, you'll be returned to Reykjavik, where you will spend your final night. Why not celebrate your journey at one of the city's esteemed restaurants, bars or swimming pools before retiring?

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Day 10
The lights of downtown Reykjavík mirrored in the waters of the Tjornin pond.

Day 10 - Farwell to Iceland

On day ten of your Icelandic summer holiday, it is time to head home. A shuttle bus will whisk you back to Keflavik International Airport so that you can depart in time, but those who don’t have to leave until the afternoon can spend more time visiting the sites of the capital.

Reykjavik, after all, has a range of boutiques to help you find the perfect souvenir and a variety of attractions to help you find the ideal final memory.

For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you will finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. If your flight is later, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik.

If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey.

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What to bring

Warm wind- and waterproof clothing
Good outdoor shoes
Swimsuit and a towel
Camera

Good to know

Customers traveling on their own will be given a single room. Reservations for two people will be allocated a double room. For bookings of 3 or more, triple rooms will automatically be allocated. For example, a group of 8 will receive two triple rooms and one double. If these arrangements do not meet your requirements, please contact the provider.

It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is canceled. If your chosen activity is canceled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you.

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.

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