Fantastic 6-Day Ring Road Tour with Summer Glacier Hike and Winter Ice Caving
Experience the whole of Iceland in just six days without rushing any major sites with this incredible Ring Road tour. No matter when you are coming to Iceland, you should not hesitate to book this immersive small-group adventure.
You will be led by an expert guide in a modern minibus, equipped with free Wifi, and stay at beautiful countryside hotels with private bathrooms and a continental breakfast each night. If taking this excursion in winter, you'll find these fantastic bases from which to seek the Northern Lights. Summer travelers, meanwhile, will be able to unwind beneath the Midnight Sun.
On the first day of your trip, you'll marvel over the two most famous sightseeing routes in the country, the Golden Circle and South Coast, which boast geothermal and geological wonders, incredible landscapes, and beautiful waterfalls. On day two, you'll complete the South Coast by visiting the spectacular Vatnajokull National Park, renowned for the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and Skaftafell Nature Reserve.
If coming in summer, you'll embark on a glacier hike in Skaftafell, and if coming in winter, you'll enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime ice caving tour under the Vatnajokull glacier.
You will have the rare pleasure of navigating the magnificent Eastfjords, a little-explored region with countless hidden gems for the third day. You'll travel through North Iceland on days four and five, witnessing Europe's most powerful waterfall, spectacular volcanic landscapes, beautiful coastlines, and whales and dolphins on an incredible whale watching tour.
On the final day of your trip, you'll return to Reykjavik via the stunning sites of west Iceland.
Guests can bring one small day bag and a larger bag up to 44 lbs (20 kg).
Embark on the adventure of a lifetime with this thrilling drive around Iceland's Ring Road. Check availability by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Golden Circle and South Coast
On your first day, your friendly local guide picks you up from Reykjavik and leads you on your Ring Road adventure. Your first sites are those of the Golden Circle, the most popular sightseeing route in Iceland.
You begin by visiting Thingvellir National Park, one of the few places where you can walk between the continents. Framed by the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, this area contains beautiful springs, lava landscapes, and birch forests. Thingvellir National Park also has a fascinating history, with stories dating to A.D. 930.
Next, you explore the Geysir Geothermal Area, which has Iceland's most famous geyser, Strokkur. This feature erupts every five to ten minutes, allowing you to witness its dramatic column of steam and water several times during your stay. Surrounded by geothermal landscapes, the area includes hissing fumaroles and bubbling hot springs.
Finally, you view the Gullfoss waterfall. This breathtaking waterfall is 105 feet tall (32 meters) and thunders down two stages of drops into a beautiful canyon. During sunny weather, you can see the Langjokull glacier. This is the second-largest glacier in the country and the water source of Gullfoss.
With the Golden Circle sightseeing route complete, you begin your South Coast adventure. The first attractions on this route are waterfalls that differ from the Gullfoss waterfall.
First is Seljalandsfoss waterfall, famous for the cavern that opens behind it. On a clear day, you can take the path through the cavern that encircles the waterfall and provides beautiful views. Hidden in a nearby mountainside is the smaller waterfall of Gljufrabui, which is accessible in summer. Finally, you visit Skogafoss waterfall, a classic waterfall that drops 200 feet (61 meters).
After visiting the waterfalls, you reach the beautiful village of Vik, where you spend the night. If the sky is clear and dark, make sure you look for the northern lights!
Day 2 - South Coast and Glacier Adventure
On day two of your once-in-a-lifetime trip around Iceland, you continue your sightseeing along the South Coast. Your first stop is the black sand beach of Reynisfjara, which is famous for its dramatic geology.
The towering offshore sea stacks are named Reynisdrangar. According to local legend, they are trolls that were frozen as they tried to steal a passing boat. The nearby cliffs of Reynisfjall mountain display unusual rows of basalt columns.
After leaving this unforgettable site, you travel to the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. This area boasts enormous glaciers, birch forests, rushing rivers, and sweeping lava fields.
If visiting in summer, you begin a thrilling hike on one of the glacier tongues that flow into the reserve. Your guide outfits you in crampons and a helmet, gives you an ice ax, then leads you up the slopes. Here you discover magnificent views of dramatic crevasses, ridges, and ice walls.
You then head to the spectacular Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Iceland's deepest lake. Located between the sea and a glacier tongue, this lagoon has many icebergs with vivid colors and unbelievable beauty. When the icebergs reach the sea, waves push them back on the black sand shores of the nearby Diamond Beach, your next destination. Look for seals, as they are often at both locations.
Next, if traveling in winter, you begin a tour of an ice cave, one of Iceland's best excursions. The large glacier caves under the Vatnajokull glacier display vivid blues with beautiful lighting effects.
Finally, you go to your night-time accommodation near the town of Hofn.
Day 3 - East Fjords
On the third day of your tour around Iceland's Ring Road, you explore East Iceland's remote and beautiful landscapes. This region is known for its incredible coastline, abundant wildlife, and minimal crowns.
You begin touring the remote and spectacular wilderness of the Hvalsnes Peninsula, where you may see many seabirds and seals. You reach the charming village of Djupivogur, which is known for its public artwork and slow-paced lifestyle. Your guide will direct you to the famous Eggs of Merry Bay.
Next, you visit the Hengifoss waterfall. This is the third tallest waterfall in Iceland, dropping 420 feet (128 meters) over a red-layered cliff. Nearby is Litlanesfoss waterfall, which falls over unique basalt columns. The hike to these two incredible sights takes about three hours, but your guide ensures an enjoyable trip.
You finish the day at a beautiful hotel near the town of Egilsstadir. If traveling in winter, be sure to look for the northern lights.
Day 4 - The Diamond Circle
After breakfast on day four, you leave Egilsstadir and East Iceland to visit the great sites of the North. You'll be traveling the Diamond Circle route in the opposite direction to most travelers allowing you to avoid large crowds while sightseeing.
The first site you experience is the Dettifoss waterfall. This is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, with a flow of around 6,816 feet³/second (193 meters³/second). It drops a magnificent 144 feet (44 meters) and measures 330 feet (100 meters) wide. This site is so dramatic that it was featured as a setting for the "Alien" franchise.
Next, you head to the Myvatn area, a spectacular place of geological and geothermal wonders. You explore the Dimmuborgir lava fortress, the barren Namaskard Pass, the pseudo-craters of Skutustadir, and the shores of Lake Myvatn. In the summer, you can see many wildflowers and birds, while in winter the waters will be beautifully frozen.
You then visit Godafoss waterfall, an incredible feature with a fascinating history. In A.D. 1,000, the lawspeaker of Iceland threw his idols of the Old Norse Gods into the waters of Godafoss. He then began the conversion of Iceland to Christianity to avoid invasion by the zealous Norwegian king.
Finally, you go to your accommodation around the breathtaking fjord of Eyjafjordur bay.
Day 5 - Whale Watching and North Iceland
On the fifth day of your trip around Iceland, you arrive at Akureyri, the largest town in the north. You take a quick tour of its beautiful sites, including its harbor, church, and concert hall. Next, you drive up the shore of Eyjafjordur fjord, with its gleaming waters and flat-topped mountains.
You then arrive in Dalvik, a village famous for incredible whale-watching opportunities. From here, you board a ship and set out into the fjord. Humpback whales and white-beaked dolphins are common, but you may also see other species, such as belugas and orcas. In the summer, you might also spot blue whales and fin whales!
Next, you visit Siglufjordur village, with its magnificent harbor and fascinating culture. Then you navigate the beautiful Trollaskagi coast towards your accommodation in Laugarbakki.
Day 6 - West Iceland
On the final day of your six-day trip around Iceland, you return to Reykjavik via the fantastic sites of West Iceland. You begin at the spectacular crater of Grabok volcanic crater.
Next, you travel to Deildartunguhver, the highest flowing hot spring in Europe. It provides warm water to most of the region and the nearby Krauma Spa.
You then experience the Hraunfossar waterfall as it gently drops down a plateau of lava. Surrounded by birch woods, the calm atmosphere differs from the dramatic waterfalls you've encountered on your trip. You can also enjoy the nearby Barnafoss waterfall.
Your last stop of the tour is the village of Reykholt, with its charming red church, stunning scenery, and fascinating history. The medieval historian, chieftain, and writer Snorri Sturluson lived most of his life here and wrote much about Old Norse Gods, such as Thor and Loki.
Finally, you pass through the beautiful, green Hvalfjordur fjord for some incredible last views. Once in Reykjavik, you can enjoy dinner and drinks to celebrate your journey!
What to bring
Good to know
Each traveler is allocated a small backpack and one piece of luggage weighing up to 44 lbs (20 kgs). Extra baggage can be stored in the tour operator's Reykjavik office for a minimal fee.