5 Day Guided Ring Road Tour | Explore the Circle of Iceland

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Tour starts
Iceland at 08:30
Duration
5 days
Languages
English
Difficulty
Easy
Available
All year
Minimum age:
5 years old

Explore every single kilometre of Iceland’s famous Ring Road and savour spectacular sights, magnificent natural wonders and dramatic landscapes around the country during 5-Day Guided Tour. 

This incredible five-day tour covers every quarter of Iceland, starting with a memorable first day on the South Coast with its stunning waterfalls and black sand beaches, including an option to hike your way across a glacier. The second day sees us visit the fabulous iceberg lagoon at Jokulsarlon where you will have an opportunity to take an amphibious boat tour amongst the bergs or descend beneath the glacier into an ice cave. From there, we will drive you through the tranquil Eastfjords with stops at the magical mountain of Vestrahorn, the 16th-century fishing port of Djupivogur and, during the summer months, you will also see the spectacular Studlagil Canyon too before an overnight stop at Egilsstadir. The third day continues northwards to Lake Myvatn, an area famous for its geothermal activity, countless hot springs and mud pots, and beautiful walks around places like Grjotagja and Dimmuborgir, with an optional visit to the Green Lagoon. You’ll also see the epic waterfalls of Dettifoss and Godafoss too. Then we’ll go on to visit Akureyri, the capital of the North and the jumping-off point for optional whale watching boat tours from nearby Dalvik. From here, you will follow a detour off the Ring Road to the Vatnes peninsula, where you will get to see the photogenic dragon-shaped Hvitserkur rock, the seals of Hvammastangi and the beautiful Kolugljufur canyon. On your last day, you will visit the Borgarfjörður Area to explore lava cave, Europe's most powerful hot spring area and unique lava waterfalls spread on the one-kilometre distance.

The maximum number of passengers on this tour is 19, offering a comfortable and relaxed way to explore the country. Your overnight accommodation is included, so all you have to do is relax and enjoy the journey. We’ll also provide lots of information on the wonderful additional experiences that you can add to the trip, including glacier hikes, whale watching, visits to an ice cave, a boat tour of the glacier lagoon and incredible spa experiences.

Check availability by choosing a date.

Included

Professional English-speaking tour guide
Pick up and drop off within Reykjavik
Accommodation for 4 nights in a double/twin room with private bathroom and breakfast included
Entrance fee to Hvammstangi Seal Center
Free Wi-Fi and USB chargers on a bus

Activities

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

Attractions

Akureyri
Jökulsárlón
Vatnajökull
Mývatn
Goðafoss
Dettifoss
Skógafoss
Seljalandsfoss
Hraunfossar
Deildartunguhver
Hvalfjörður
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Grjótagjá
Vík í Mýrdal
Selfoss (waterfall)
Gljufrabui
Hvítserkur
Myvatn Nature Baths
Hvammstangi
Grábrók
Víðgelmir
Diamond Beach
Skaftafell Ice Cave
Vestrahorn
Stuðlagil Canyon

Daily itinerary

Day 1
A man silhouetted against the stunning Seljalandsfoss waterfall in South Iceland

Day 1 – The South Coast

On the first stage of this five-day tour, you will travel in comfort from Reykjavik to the South Coast over the wild and windswept Hellisheidi mountain pass, passing ancient lava-strewn plateaus where billowing columns of superheated steam rise from numerous cracks in the Earth’s surface.

Sweeping downhill and enjoying wonderful views of the vast coastal plain and the geothermal greenhouses of Hveragerdi along the way, we will quickly reach some of the most impressive sights the country has to offer.

As we continue our course along Route 1, mountains rise again on the landward side, and the famous volcano Eyjafjallajokull soon comes into sight in the distance, where the majestic waterfall of Seljalandsfoss gushes 60 meters off its cliffs into an enormous plunge pool.

We’ll also guide you to the “Hidden Waterfall” of Gljufrabui, just a few hundred meters away but missed by most Ring Road travellers, tucked away behind a secret rockface.

This stretch of the coast can be very windy indeed, and the smaller waterfalls that spill off the mountains are sometimes blown upwards into the air, defying gravity.

A few miles further along Route 1, we will bring you to another marvellous waterfall, Skogafoss, quickly spotted even before we turn off the Ring Road.

Here, ice-cold glacial waters plummet more than 60 meters off a perfectly proportioned south-facing drop, where the endless spray triggers countless rainbows on sunlit days. It is possible to climb up a sturdy wooden staircase for its entire height and to see the waters tumble from the top too.

The next stop on our first day is the world-famous black sand beaches of Reynisfjara, from where you can enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the incredible stone sea arches of Dyrholaey.

Walk along the black sand beach to see incredible basalt columns resembling the pipes of a church organ clinging to the cliffs. Gaze at the Reynisdrangur, the looming fingers of black rock that tower upwards into the sky just a few meters off the beach.

The Atlantic crashes ashore here every few seconds, pounding the lava sand into ever smaller particles with enormously powerful white-capped waves.

Optional extra:

Here you will have the chance to add the optional experience of a magical glacier walk at Skaftafell in the renowned Vatnajokull National Park. Here, colossal tongues of ice drip their way downhill through enormous valleys - a great chance to get up close to this marvel of nature. This three-hour hike will take you across a large sheet of ice, picking your way between breathtaking crevasses and gorgeous glacial formations, all under the expert guidance of knowledgeable local guides and properly kitted out with crampons and other safety equipment. There is a minimum age restriction (8 years and above), and this tour is available from April to October.

Day 2
Studlagil Canyon in East Iceland

Day 2 – Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the Eastfjords

The second day takes you further east on Route 1 past vast expanses of grey glacial river outflows, known locally as the Sandar, with the landscape alternating between pancake-flat sand deltas and velvet moss-covered lava fields.

Soon, we come to the stunning Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, where immense, ghost-blue icebergs seperate from Breidamerkurjokull glacier, dropping into an enormous 25 square kilometer lake, from where they will ever so slowly make their way onwards to the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

This is a serene and surreal place, featured in James Bond's 'Die Another Day', providing incredible images for your camera, with ever-changing vistas as the wind and water-sculpted bergs gently meander, occupied occasionally by sunbathing seals and resting birds.

On the other side of the road from the glacier lagoon of Jokulsarlon lies yet another spectacular scene – the Diamond Beach. Here, the icebergs finally meet the crashing surf and start to break down into ever smaller pieces, taking on fantastic shapes as unique as a snowflake.

We’re now leaving the tourist crowds behind as we journey onwards into the sheer-sided Eastfjords, a more peaceful and tranquil region, dotted here and there with picturesque fishing villages and dominated by majestic mountains.

There are Instagram-worthy stops at the striking mountain range of Vestrahorn and at one of the oldest ports in Iceland, Djupivogur, where fishing traditions date back to the 16th century.

During the longer days in the summer months, we will also take in the newly-discovered Studlagil Canyon with its striking basalt columns, finishing with an overnight stop in Egilsstadir, the capital of the eastern region.

On the way, the ever-changing Icelandic landscape will continue to take your breath away, but be sure to keep your eyes open for wild reindeer too, as they are often seen in this part of the country, where fewer people live.

Optional extras:

Depending on the season, you can also choose to add a visit to an ice-cave here or to take an amphibian boat tour and get in amongst the icebergs. Alternatively, you might prefer to luxuriate at a geothermal spa instead.

During the winter months, from November to March, you can opt for a thrilling Super-Jeep ride right across the glacier to reach the natural wonder known as the Blue Ice Cave. A three-hour expedition allows you to descend beneath the Breidamerkurjokull glacier and see the fabulous frozen formations close-up, assisted by local guides, and equipped with appropriate safety gear.

In the summer, from May to September, you will have the chance to take a 45-minute amphibious boat tour among the floating bergs, looking out for seals swimming in glacial waters or lolling about on the beach.

Another year-round option is to relax in the warming waters of Vok Baths, set on the beautiful Lake Urridavatn. Hot springs buried deep under the lake heat these man-made pools, allowing visitors to soothe any aches and pains from days of wonder and exploration.

Day 3
Godafoss waterfall in North Iceland

Day 3 – Lake Myvatn and the North

The third day takes you northwards through the lunar landscapes that surround the geological treasure trove that is Lake Myvatn, with its stark beauty, majestic lava formations, flat-topped mountains, and lakes which are well known for their birdlife.

Sitting right on the Mid Atlantic Ridge, Myvatn is one of the largest lakes in the country, and one of the most active geothermal zones too, where countless hot springs and mud pots can be explored if you take the chance for a hike around the area.

For Game of Thrones fans, the Grjotagja geothermal cave will be a great attraction, while the jagged lava fields of Dimmuborgir with its easy walks will captivate others. Another option is Hverir, a moon-like realm where you can pick a path between sulfurous steaming multi-coloured mud pots.

Finish off this epic day with visits to the beautiful waterfalls at Selfoss, Godafoss, and, in the summer months, the most magnificent waterfall in the country, the awesome Dettifoss.

Heavenly Godafoss is not the largest or most powerful waterfall in the country. Still, it has great significance as the site where pagan symbols were cast away into the clear blue-green waters of the Skjalfandafljot river forever when Iceland decided to become a Christian nation.

Dettifoss (accessible between April and October) is nearly 50 meters high, and a hundred meters wide, with plumes of spray that can be seen from far off in the distance as the most powerful waterfall in Europe thunders its milky glacial waters onwards.

This part of Iceland offers you continually changing landscapes, from verdant fjord side pasturelands into brown-hued lava fields, azure-blue lakes and rivers, snowy peaks, and bubbling mud pots.

Day 4
Hvitserkur rock formation in the North of Iceland

Day 4 – The North Coast

The fourth day begins in the lovely city of Akureyri – the cute capital of the North, nestling in the longest fjord in Iceland. Sitting just outside the Arctic Circle and dominated by her hillside cathedral, Akureyri offers you a wide array of cozy cafés, seafood restaurants and funky art galleries.

Optional extra:

Just a few miles away across fertile green farmlands, and passing one impressive mountain after another, is the snug little fjord side village of Dalvik. Here you’ll have an option to enjoy a whale watching tour in one of the best places in the world to find these marine mammoths in their natural environment, in both the winter and summer months.

After your memorable encounters with these wildlife wonders, we will take you to the Vatsnes Peninsula to see the famously photogenic dragon-shaped sea stack at Hvitserkur, which some say looks like it is drinking from the sea.

Next, we will go looking for seals at Hvammstangi, where these delightful creatures bask on fjord side islets just a few meters from the roadside, accompanied by curious and noisy birds.

In the summer months from April to October, we will also squeeze in a visit to the Kolugljufur Canyon with its plunging scenic waterfalls.

Day 5
Barnafoss waterfall in the West of Iceland

Day 5 - Silver Circle and Lava Caving

On your last day, you will explore the Borgarfjordur area in West Iceland, a region rich in waterfalls, extraordinary lava formations and much more.

Here you can pay a visit to the Grabrok craters at Bifrost, famous in mythology as the rainbow bridge that connects Asgard, the world of Gods, with Midgard, the world of humans.

We’ll also visit the lava waterfalls of Hraunfossar, where hundreds of rivulets stream off the lava field to create one of the most breathtaking views in Iceland. Nearby lies Barnafoss, the Children's Waterfall, where a tragic tale of loss is to be told, and Deildartunguhver – the most powerful hot spring to be found anywhere in Europe.

Optional extra:

You can explore the depths of the colourful Vidgelmir Lava Cave, an extraordinary opportunity to delve deep into the lava formations that lie just beneath the surface, with nearly 1600 multi-coloured meters to walk in wonder.

What to bring

Warm and water/windproof clothes
Good hiking shoes (if you do not have hiking shoes then we offer these for rent)
Camera

Good to know

Pickup takes place between 08:30 – 09:00 – so please be ready from 8:30 at your pick up location. This tour typically returns to Reykjavik on Day 5 at around 8 PM. If you are a single traveller then a Single Room Supplement is mandatory. IMPORTANT: It can happen that the optional activities can be cancelled because of weather and/or safety reasons. Then we will find other activities when possible and refund the amount paid for the cancelled activities or the price difference between new activity and cancelled one.

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