Jump aboard this seven-day guided tour all around the circle of Iceland. If you want to see and learn about as much of this incredible country as possible, without worrying about organising or driving, then this is the perfect tour for you.
Over a week, you will see a vast variety of sights, including world famous spots such as the Golden Circle and Jökulsárlon glacier lagoon, as well as little-known national treasures, such as hidden waterfalls and the Eastern fjords. The price includes entry to multiple museums, and to top it off, this tour includes some fantastic adventures, including glacier hiking and whale watching.
This tour is designed to be relaxing, easy, and exciting. Furthermore, it is conducted in a mini-bus which hosts a maximum of fifteen passengers, ensuring a comfortable and personalised trip. There are few better ways to bond with fellow travellers than exploring such a beautiful country with them in a small group.
The first day of this tour takes you on the classic Golden Circle route, with a few bonus stops such as at Kerið crater lake and Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The second will centre around glaciers and volcanoes, as you observe the notorious Eyjafjallajökull, the mighty Vatnajökull and the stunning glacier lagoon; on this day, you will also have the option of glacier hiking.
The East Fjords, one of Iceland’s least visited regions, will be next on the agenda, providing you with unbelievable scenery and an abundance of wildlife. On the fourth and fifth days, you will see the diverse north, witnessing the beauty of the Lake Myvatn area, visiting some stunning waterfalls, and partaking in a whale-watch from Europe’s whale-watching capital Húsavík.
The final two days will show you the west of the island, including the Snæfellsnes peninsula, which is often called ‘Iceland in Miniature’ due to its diverse beauty.
This tour has appeal to people of all interests, be they photography, sightseeing, wildlife, adventure or culture. For those who have the time, it provides an excellent and informative way to see the country.
So jump aboard, and see as much of Iceland is as possible in a week, in comfort and style. Check availability by choosing a date.
The Golden Circle is a 300 km route to the 3 most popular natural attractions in Iceland. The Golden Circle consists of Geysir, Gullfoss and Thingvellir.
See this for Golden circle tours.
Geysir is a geyser that gives its name to hot springs all over the world. But although Geysir itself is not active anymore the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur (spouting a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, regularly about 15-20 meters into the air), Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
The 'Golden Waterfall', is the second part of the Golden Circle, and one of the most beautiful and powerful waterfalls in Iceland, plummeting 32 meters into the river gorge of the popular rafting river Hvita. It is Iocated about 10 km from Geysir.
The largest attraction of the Golden Circle is Thingvellir National Park. The Icelandic parliament was founded there in 930 and remained until the year 1798.
Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important places to visit in Iceland, not just for its historical and cultural values, but for also its magnificent landscape.
Thingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain and volcano range and is the site of a rift valley, where the tectonic plates meet, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic ridge.
Of particular note at Thingvellir are the magnificent Almannagja gorge, and the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland. The popular Gjabakkahellir lava cave is also in the area.
The fissure Silfra is located by Thingvallavatn, Iceland's largest lake, and is famous for its clear waters and popular for diving and snorkeling, as you can literally swim between continents.
Stretching from the wide Eastfjords mountain range, set with many small fjords, through the fertile Fljotsdalsherad district and towards the highlands, East Iceland is a vast area of incredible nature, striking contrasts and fascinating history and culture.
East Iceland is characterised by a large number of fjords, surrounded by high villages. Fishing villages can be found by most of them.
From Seydisfjordur a ferryboat goes to Scandinavia, and the town also hosts the popular annual festival LungA. Neskaupsstadur features two highly popular annual festivals, Neistaflug and Eistnaflug, as well as being the home to a highly interesting museum and close to fascinating nature.
The main airport of East Iceland is in Egilsstadir, the largest town of the East and its main centre for service, transport and administration.
Further inland is the fertile agricultural district Fljotsdalsherad (see the link above). Natural birchwoods are in the area, the most famous being Hallormsstadaskogur, the largest forest in Iceland. Big rivers run through the district and by their estuaries many seals may be found.
Up in the mountains is also the Karahnjukar Hydroelectric Power Station, the construction of which led to hot debates and continues to do so. The station serves the aluminium smelter by Reydarfjordur.
The impressive mountain Snaefell is close by, Iceland's highest freestanding mountain. East of Snaefell is the highland oasis Eyjabakkar, one of the largest nesting place for the pink footed goose in the world.
Of particular cultural note in Fljotsdalsherad is the cultural and history center Skriduklaustur. In the middle ages a monastery stood there, and in the 20th century, Icelandic author Gunnar Gunnarsson lived there. Gunnar wrote such masterworks as Adventa (e. The Good Shepherd), Svartfugl (The Black Cliffs), Saga Borgaraettarinnar (Guest the One-Eyed, made into the Danish film Borgslægtens history in 1919) and the autobiographical novel cycle Fjallkirkjan ('The Church on the Mountain' published in English as Ships in the Sky and The Night and the Dream).
Other notable attractions of the beautiful Fljotadalsherad district, of which there are many, are listed under the Egilsstadir section.
Reindeer roam the mountains of East Iceland and a large number of migratory birds land near Hofn in Hornafjordur, in the Southeast, on their way from Skotland, returning back to Scotland in late summer.
Vatnajokull, Europe's largest glacier stretches to the boarders of East Iceland.
Akureyri, ‘The Capital of the North’ is a town in the fjord Eyjafjordur in North Iceland. It lies just 100 km away from the Arctic Circle. It is Iceland’s second-largest urban area with a population of about 17,800.
Akureyri is an important fishing centre and port, but in the last few years tourism, industry, higher education and services have become the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
An international airport is located about 3 km from the center. A large number of cruisers also stop at Akureyri. One of Iceland's best skiing sites is found by Akureyri, at Hlidarfjall.
Traditionally Akureyri has survived on fisheries and some of Iceland’s largest fishing companies, like for example Samherji, have their headquarters there. Other large companies include Brim, Nordurmjolk, and Vifilfell hf, the largest brewery in Iceland.
FSA/Akureyri Hospital is a major employer in the area and is one of two major hospitals in Iceland.
Akureyri has excellent facilities for travelers and is located a short drive from many of Iceland’s top natural, cultural and historical attractions.
Akureyri is surrounded by mountains, the highest one being Kerling (1538 m). The area around it has rich agriculture and a beautiful mountain ring.
The innermost part of the fjord, Pollurinn ('The Pool') further lends the town a special character. The climate in Akureyri is generally very pleasant.
The islands Hrisey in the middle of Eyfjordur and Grimsey, straddling the Artic Circle, both belong to the municipality of Akureyri. Hrisey is often called 'The Pearl of Eyjafjordur' and Grimsey 'The Pearl of the Artic' and these beautiful and peaceful islands are highly popular with travelers.
During World War II the town was an important site for the Allies and the town grew considerably after the war, as people increasingly moved to urban areas.
Akureyri has a strong cultural scene, with several bars and renowned restaurants. Folk culture in general is more prevalent there than in Reykjavik. During the summer there are several notable festivals in Akureyri and its surroundings.
Sites of interest in Akureyri include the brand-new Hof concert hall and Akureyri’s many museums, The Nature Museum, Nonnahus, a.k.a. Jon Sveinsson Memorial Museum, for the writer, David's house or David Stefansson Memorial Museum, for the poet, Akureyri Art Museum.
Akureyri also has several churches, Akureyrarkirkja being the most notable, as well as beautiful botanical gardens. The old town is particularly charming, ideal for a nice walk.
Jokulsarlon is a glacier lagoon in the south of Vatnajokull national park that is easily reached by the Ring Road.
Covered in thick glacial ice until the 1930’s when the glacier started retreating, the lagoon today measures 7 square miles (20 km2). More than 300 feet of ice still breaks away each year, reshaping the lagoon and filling it with icebergs - causing an alarmingly beautiful sight.
The water is freezing cold and contains a mixture of salt and freshwater giving it a blue-green color. There is plenty of fish and birdlife by the lagoon and the vast sand area of Breiðamerkursandur, and hundreds of seals stay there in winter.
Dimmuborgir (e. ‘Black Forts') is a large area of chaotic lava, situated right east of Lake Myvatn, in North Iceland. With its dramatic view, Dimmuborgir is one of Iceland's most popular attractions.
The area is composed of various volcanic caves and rock formations, reminiscent of an ancient collapsed citadel. In folklore the Dimmuborgir lava field has been connected with hell, Satan was to have landed there after being cast from heaven and the Norwegian symphonic black metal band derives its name from the region.
Godafoss waterfall is located the river Skjalfandafljot in North Iceland, the fourth largest river in Iceland. It is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland, falling from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters.
The fall's name means either waterfall of the gods or of the 'godi' (i.e. priest/ chieftain). It is said that when the lawspeaker Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi declared Christianity the official religion in Iceland, after his own conversion, he threw the statues of the old Norse gods into the waterfall.
Dettifoss, in the glacier river Jokulsa á Fjollum, flowing from the glacier Vatnajokull, is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe.
This thunderous fall has an average waterflow of 193 m3 per second. It is 100 meters (330 ft.) wide and plummets 45 meters (150 ft.) down to Jokulsargljufur canyon.
The Snaefellsjokull national park has many famous sites, with the magnificent Snaefellsjokull glacier as its crown jewel.
Along with the glacier, attractions include the two basalt cliffs called Londrangar and the many fascinating lava formations at the beautiful Djupalonssandur creek, such as the arch rock Gatklettur. At Djupalonssandur you may also has test your strength on the four stones, Amlodi ('Useless'), Halfdraettingur ('Weakling'), Halfsterkur (Half Strength') and Fullsterkur ('Full Strength'). The Saxholl volcano crater is worth checking out and so are the many fascinating caves, such as 'the singing cave' Songhellir, called so due to its echoes and the Vatnshellir lava tube. We do adwise uttermost caution when entering the caves and to enter them with a seasoned guide. Snaefellsjokull itself features strongly in folklore and was the site for Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Skogafoss is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls of the island with an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters.
This is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland for travellers to visit. It is located in South Iceland, not far from Skogar, which itself features a highly interesting regional museum. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall often produces a single or double rainbow on sunny days.
Seljalandsfoss in the river Seljalandsa in South Iceland is one of the most sought waterfalls in the country.
Seljalandsfoss has a narrow cascade but is one of Iceland's highest waterfalls, at 63 meters. The waterfall is highly picturesque and has the rare distinction that one can actually walk behind it.
Geysir is a famous hot spring in Haukadalur valley in South Iceland. Part of the ‘Golden Circle', Geysir gives its name to hot springs all over the world.
Though Geysir itself is hardly active anymore, the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur, which spouts a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, around 15-20 meters into the air, Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
North of Geysir are fumaroles, i.e. unlike the hot springs that emit hot water, only steam and gas emanate from these. You may be able to observe bright yellow stains at the fumaroles, this is native sulphur, which crystallizes from the steam. At the southern part of the geothermal area, called Thykkuhverir, you‘ll find various mud pots. Such mud pots are actually fumaroles that boil up through surface water/groundwater and may become steaming fumaroles during dry spells, rather than the usual boiling mud pots.
About 2 km from Geysir is an old preserved natural pool called Kúalaug. One can bathe in it and it has room for 3-5 people at a time, but care should be taken, as the area around the pool is very delicate. The temperature is 39-43°C, depending on how you are positioned in the pool. The water is slightly muddy, as the pool is built on soil, and the bottom is slippery due to algae, so caution is advised.
In Haukadalur there has also been tree planting in recent times and today the forest Haukadalsskógur is one of the largest in South Iceland. Aspen, various types of pine, and other plants have been tried out there and experiments and research continue. We also recommend visiting the tree museum, built in the memory of forester Gunnar Freysteinsson. There are good paths and roads in the forest and the wood is specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
Haukadalur has been a church site since ancient time. The current wooden church was last rebuilt in 1938 but the variety and appearance of the church dates back to 1842, making it one of the oldest of its kind in Iceland.
Haukadalur is indeed a historical place. It was settled during the age of settlement and scholar Ari “The Wise“ Thorgilsson grew up there. The first pastoral school in Iceland was also built there.
For accommodation, Hotel Gullfoss is about 7 km from the Geysir area, and closer still is the Hotel Geysir.
Gullfoss (translated to ‘Golden Falls’) is one of Iceland’s most iconic and beloved waterfalls, found on the Hvítá river canyon in south Iceland. The water in Hvítá river travels from the glacier Langjökull, finally cascading 32m down Gullfoss’ two stages in a dramatic display of nature’s raw power.
Because of the waterfall’s two stages, Gullfoss should actually be thought of as two separate waterfalls. The first, shorter stage of the waterfall is 11m, whilst the second stage is 21m. The canyon walls on both sides of the waterfall reach heights of up to 70m, descending into the 2.5km long Gullfossgjúfur canyon (geologists indicate that this canyon was formed by glacial outbursts at the beginning of the last age.)
In the summer, approximately 140 cubic metres of water surges down the waterfall every second, whilst in winter that number drops to around 109 cubic metres. With such energy, visitor’s should not be surprised to find themselves drenched by the waterfall’s mighty spray-off.
In the early days of the last century, Gullfoss was at the centre of much controversy regarding foreign investors and their desire to profit off Iceland’s nature. In the year 1907, an English businessman known only as Howells sought to utilise the waterfall’s energy and harboured ambitions to use its energy to fuel a hydroelectric plant.
At the time, Gullfoss was owned by a farmer named Tómas Tómasson. Tómas declined Howell’s offer to purchase the land, stating famously “I will not sell my friend!” He would, however, go on to lease Howells the land, inadvertently beginning the first chapter of Icelandic environmentalism.
It was Tómas’ daughter, Sigríður Tómasdóttir, who would lead the charge. Having grown up on her father’s sheep farm, she sought to get the lease contract nullified, hurriedly saving her own money to hire a lawyer. The ensuing legal battle was an uphill struggle; the case continued for years, forcing Sigríður to travel many times by foot to Reykjavík if only to keep the trial moving. Circumstances became so difficult that Sigríður threatened to throw herself into the waterfall if any construction began.
Thankfully, in 1929, the waterfall fell back into the hands of the Icelandic people. Today, Sigríður is recognised for her perseverance in protecting Gullfoss and is often hailed as Iceland’s first environmentalist. Her contribution is forever marked in stone; a plaque detailing her plight sits at the top of Gullfoss.
Besides Gullfoss, visitors can enjoy the views from Gullfoss Cafe, a locally run delicatessen that serves a wide variety of refreshments and meals. The menu has options to tantalise everyone’s taste buds; hot soups, sandwiches, salads and cakes. There is also a shop on site where visitors’ can browse and purchase traditional Icelandic souvenirs.
Thingvellir is one of the most important sites to visit in Iceland for its landscape, history and cultural value.
The Icelandic parliament was founded in Thingvellir in 930 and remained there for centuries.Thingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range and is the site of a rift valley, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic range. Today it is a natural park, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and considered a vital part of the ‘Golden triangle’ (with Geysir and Gullfoss). Of particular note is the magnificent gorge Almannagja, which marks the eastern boundary of the north American plate and into which the beautiful waterfall Oxararfoss falls.
Other notable attractions within the park include the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, the Silfra fissure, one of the world's top dives, and Gjabakkahellir, one of Iceland's most interesting lava tubes.
Hraunfossar in Borgarfjordur district is a series of beautiful waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming from a short distance out of the Hallmundarhraun lava field.
The lava field flowed from an eruption of one of the volcanoes lying under the glacier Langjokull. The waterfalls pour into the Hvita river from ledges of less porous rock in the lava. These are some of the most magnificent falls found in Iceland and not to be missed.
Deildartunguhver, by Reykholt, in Borgarfjordur district, has the highest flow rate for a hot spring in Europe.
The flow rate of Deildartunguhver is 180 liters/second and water emerges at 97 °C. The place is also unique for being the only place in the country where the hard fern grows.
Snaefellsnes is a large peninsula extending to the west from West Iceland ending with a national park, Snaefellsjokull National Park, where the glacier towers over the scenery, as can sometimes be seen from Reykjavik, lending its beauty to the area.
The peninsula stretches over 100 km to the west as a mountain ridge that includes active volcanoes and is unique in the variety of mountains found.
A few small and beautiful villages are located on the south side and a few fishing villages are on the north side: Rif, Hellissandur, Olafsvik, Grundarfjordur and Stykkisholmur. The last one is highly popular for travelers, featuring a volcano museum and a ferry that takes you across the fascinating Breidafjordur bay to Brjanslaekur on the south border of the Westfjords.
Other museums you might want to check out are the Maritime Museum at Hellissandur, the regional museum Pakkhusid at Olafsvik, and, last but not least, the shark museum at Bjarnarhofn, indeed listed as the nr. 1 Snafellsnes attraction by Lonely Planet Travelers. Also, many of the Icelandic sagas take place at Snaefellsnes.
Snaefellsnes has an abundance of interesting sights. At the national park, you can witness the impressive lava formations of Djupalonssandur creek and test your strength on its four stones, see the two massive lava formations that compries Londrangar, explore the Saxholl volcanic crater and enjoy the echo of 'The Singing Cave', Songhellir. You may also hike on the majestic Snaefellsjokull glacier. The glacier has strong ties with folklore and was the setting for Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Other sights we can recommend at Snaefellsnes recommend include Raudfeldsgja canyon, east of the national park and the rugged and colourful Berserkjahraun lava field, near Bjarnarhofn, on the north side of the peninsula.
Last, but not least, Snaefellsnes is one of the main setting for Laxdaela saga. Chieftain Snorri godi, Gudrun Osvifursdottir, Bolli Thorlakssson all lived there as well as his namesake Bolli Bollason, the first West Norse member of the Varangian guard, an elite unit of the Byzantine army. Iceland's most famous mass murderer, Axlar-Bjorn, also lived at Snaefellsnes.
Solheimajokull is a beautiful outlet glacier of the Myrdalsjokull icecap.
Solheimajokull is a rugged glacial tounge riddled with crevasses and spectacular ever-changing ice formations, jagged ridges and sinkholes and is popular for hiking and ice climbing.
The glacier river Jokulsa a Solheimasandur has its source at the glacier, flowing over the sand plain of Solheimasandur towards the sea.
The world-famous Reynisfjara shore, near the village Vik in Myrdalur on Iceland's South Coast, is widely regarded as the most impressive black-sand beach in Iceland.
To reach Reynisfjara you can either drive there yourself. Here you will find the largest and cheapest car rentals in Iceland. Or you can join this summer tour to the South coast, or this winter tour to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Reynisfjara is a black pebble beach and features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid, which is called Hálsanef. Out in the sea are the spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has a rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.
The waves at Reynisfjara are especially strong and unpredictable, and fatal accidents have occurred at this beach, so people are advised to take extra care when visiting the area.
According to folklore, two trolls attempted to drag a ship to land but were turned to stone as daylight broke, turning them into the Reynisdrangar stacks, clearly visible from the beach.
Bjarnarhofn is a farmstead on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Many notable Icelanders lived here. Bjarnarhofn's church and shark museum are listed as the nr. 1 Snaefellsnes attractions by Lonely Planet travellers. Also don't miss the colourful Berserkjahraun lava field.
At the shark museum you can learn about the habits and biology of the Greenland shark and the seafarers who risked their lives hunting it. Try a bit of shark, best washed down with a nice portion of Brennivin.
Above Bjarnarhofn lies Bjarnarhafnarfjall, where seagulls are parricularly common and nearby is the rugged Berserkjahraun lava field, 'Berserk's lava'. It has all kinds of strange shapes, with beautiful colours, and stark contrasts in the rock and mosses. The area is steeped in history, featuring prominently in Eyrbyggja saga and Heidarviga saga.
Hellnar is an old fishing village on the westernmost part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. It used to be one of the largest fishing stations of the peninsula, the oldest record of seafaring there being from 1560.
At the shore are spectacular rock formations. Among them is a protruding cliff called Valasnos. Tunneling into the cliff is a cave renowned for its changing colourful hues, according to the light and sea movement. Large colonies of birds also nest in the area.
At Gvendarbrunnar a.k.a. Mariulind you can taste excellent spring water which is said to have healing powers.
Hellnar hosts the guesthouse for Snaefellsnes National Park and has a very interesting exhibition about the economy of former times and on the geology, flora and fauna of the national park.
Arnarstapi is a village in the southern part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The area has several old and charming houses with interesting stories to them and is furthermore renowned for its beautiful nature.
The beach holds a particular attraction. It has an eroded circular stone arch, called Gatklettur, and three rifts, Hundagja,Midgja and Musagja. The interplay of spectacular waves and the light of the sun creates a fascinating spectacle. Large colonies of the arctic tern also nest in the area.
An old horse trail through the lava field Hellnahraun is highly popular for hiking, due to the impressiveness of the surrounding landscape.
Vik in Myrdalur valley is the southernmost village on the Icelandic mainland, located 186 km from the capital Reykjavik.
Vik is important as a service centre for the inhabitants and visitors of the marvellous Reynisfjara beach.
Reynisfjara is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches on earth (see for example Islands Magazine). This black pebble beach boasts an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns called Gardar, which resembles a rocky step pyramid and out in the sea are the spectaculary shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.
Kerid is a volcanic crater lake in Grimsnes in South Iceland. It is a popular stop when traveling the Golden Circle.
It is believed that Kerid was originally a cone volcano that erupted and and emptied its magma reserve. Once the magma was depleted, the weight of the cone collapsed into an empty magma chamber, later to be filled with water.
The Kerid caldera is composed of red volcanic rock and is around 55 m deep, 170 m wide and 270 m across. There is little vegetation in the steep-walled crater, save for one wall with a gentler slope which is covered with deep moss. This wall is fairly easy to descend.
The lake itself is fairly shallow and is striking in its beauty. Opaque and aquamarine, surrounded by the red crater walls, Kerid offers a great contrast of colours and a highly impressive scenery.
Hvítserkur, sometimes referred to as the “Troll of North-West Iceland”, is a 15m (49ft) basalt stack protruding from Húnaflói bay, along the eastern shore of the Vatnsnes peninsula. Hvítserkur gets its name from the birdlife nesting atop it. In Icelandic, the name translates to “white shirt”, a nod to the colour of the bird droppings that cover the rock.
It should come as no surprise that Hvítserkur is often referred to as a troll. Folklore implies that Hvítserkur was originally a troll determined to rip the bells down from Þingeyraklaustur convent, an apparent allusion to the people’s stoic resistance to the Christianisation of Iceland. However, as goes the story, the troll paralysed by walking out under sunlight and quickly turned to stone. The Hvítserkur stack is all that remains.
The scientific community has another explanation. Erosion from the cascading sea water has carved three large holes through the basalt rock, sculpting and shaping it into what appears as some petrified, mythological animal. The base of the stack has been reinforced with concrete to protect its foundations from the sea, but this has not stopped visitors’ interpreting the rock’s peculiar shape. Some say Hvítserkur looks like an elephant, others a rhino. Some onlookers have gone as far as to claim the rock appears as a “dinosaur drinking.” Whatever the case, the rock is a nesting ground for seagulls, shag and fulmar, making it appear constantly in motion, further enforcing the idea that Hvítserkur is, in some way, very much alive.
To the south, visitors to Hvítserkur can detour toward Sigríðarstaðir, a location reputable for viewing seal colonies. Hvítserkur is also only a short drive from the historical and quintessential Súluvellir farm, a location that boasts incredible views of the surrounding landscape.
Iceland has one main ring road: Route 1. This ring road goes all around the island and is 1332 km long (828 miles). The road connects the capital, Reykjavík, to the second biggest city in Iceland, Akureyri, in the north of the country. Other notable towns that are connected via the ring road are Borgarnes, Blönduós, Egilsstaðir, Höfn, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Vík, Hella, Hvolsvöllur, Selfoss and Hveragerði.
A number of popular tourist attractions are also found by the ring road, such as Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Lake Mývatn and the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss and Goðafoss.
The ring road consists mainly of paved two lanes road (one each direction). Some parts of the ring road are still unpaved however. In various places the road contains single lane bridges, especially in the east part of the country. The speed limit is 90km per hour on the paved section of the road (lower when it passes through towns), but 80km per hour on gravel.
The road was only completed in 1974, with the opening of Iceland's longest bridge, that crosses Skeiðará river in southeast Iceland. In 1998 a tunnel below the fjord Hvalfjörður shortened the drive around Iceland by about one hour (or 45km along a winding fjord). Hvalfjörður tunnels are the biggest tunnels in Iceland, 5,8 km and 165m below sea level. The ring road has another tunnel called Almannaskarð in the southeast by Höfn and by 2017 the Vaðlaheiðar tunnels should be open in north Iceland, shortening the distance between Akureyri and Mývatn.
Some sections of the ring road are original 1940's country roads, and a number of sharp curves, blind curves, blind summits as well as single lane bridges mean that people need to drive cautiously. In wintertime most of the ring road is kept open, with the exception of a short passage in the east part of the country that may be closed due to heavy snow (a detour is needed to travel from the north to the east during wintertime).
Guide to Iceland would advise people to drive cautiously on the ring road both in summer and wintertime, but also to explore other roads leading from it to multiple attractions.
Starting time : 09:00
Hotel pick up & drop off in Reykjavik
7 days minibus tour around Iceland with maximum 15 passengers in the bus
Guesthouse/hostel in double rooms with shared bathrooms and breakfast
Glacier hike (1,5 hours)
Whale watching tour (3 hours)
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
All necessary safety equipment for the Glacier hike
Free Wi-Fi on bus
Lunch and dinner
Warm and water/windproof clothes
Good hiking shoes (if you do not have hiking shoes then we offer these for rent)
This tour typically returns to Reykjavik on Day 7 around 08:30pm (20:30)
If you are a single traveler then a Single Room Supplement of 36.000 ISK is mandatory.
For the first of your seven days of adventure, you will see the most popular locations in Iceland: the three sites of the Golden Circle.
The first of these is Þingvellir National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Icelandic mainland. The reasons for its popularity are twofold. Firstly, it has a fascinating history, being the original site of what has become the world’s longest-running, ongoing parliament; early settlers to Iceland first convened here in 930 AD. Secondly, it has spectacular geology; the park sits right in the rift valley between two tectonic plates, both of which are clearly visible as you travel through.
Following Þingvellir, you will head to see the geysers in the geothermal hot-spot area of Haukadalur valley. Geysir itself, which gave all others their name, only goes off sporadically and unpredictably these days, but its neighbour Strokkur is happy to entertain; every five to ten minutes, you can see it eject water up to forty metres high.
The final stop on the traditional Golden Circle is the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, the most iconic falls in the country. You, however, will get to see two more beautiful locations. The first of these is the vast crater-lake of Kerið, which is far too often overlooked by visitors. The second is Seljalandsfoss waterfall on the South Coast. This waterfall pours off a concave cliff, meaning it’s possible to walk the whole way around it for some incredible, unique views.
You will stay overnight in a guesthouse right beside this beautiful feature.
On day two, you will better explore Iceland’s incredible South Coast.
This stretch of Iceland is renowned for its vast diversity of landmarks and landscapes, all visible from the Ring-Road you will be travelling on. You'll drive through verdant fields, across deserts of black sand, and in the shadows of massive volcanoes and glaciers. One of these volcanoes you may already know about; you will be able to see Eyjafjallajökull in decent weather, the volcano that seriously disrupted air travel in 2010.
You will make multiple stops to appreciate the diverse world you are driving through. For example, you get to visit three unique and magnificent waterfalls: the famous Skógafoss, and the lesser-known Irafoss and Kvernufoss. You will also stop at the black sand beach Reynisfjara, to admire its stark beauty and the fascinating geological formations in the area.
The main highlight of the day, however, will come when you stop at the glacier Solheimajokull. If you are willing, you will have the opportunity to spend an hour and a half hiking on the ice cap, something you can do in very few places across the world. The beauty from atop the glacier is unreal and will stay with you for life.
The day has more surprises to come following this adventure. You will travel in the shadow of the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull, to reach the Jökulsárlon glacier lagoon, which many consider to be Iceland’s most beautiful spot. Watching icebergs cruise through the water, and seeing where they wash up on the Diamond Beach, is mesmerising.
You will stay overnight in a guesthouse in the south-east of Iceland
Your third day will start with a visit to the incredible mountain Vestrahorn, one of the country’s most popular spots for photography. Following this, you’ll have a real taste of culture with a visit to the settlement of Stokknes and the Viking Village.
After enjoying these sites, you will start to head up the East Fjords. This postcard-perfect stretch of coast will completely awe you, as you look down from huge mountains to narrow strips of glistening ocean, and picturesque villages nestled in remote corners.
Nature lovers should keep their eyes firmly out of the window when traversing this area. The East Fjords are the only part of the country with reindeer, but you also could see seabirds including puffins, as well as seals on the shore and maybe even whales and dolphins in the waters.
You will get a museum visit on this day, to the Petru Stone Museum. This appeal of this place extends further than to geologists, as the institution helps paint a picture of the fascinating processes that this volcanic island has gone through, and continues to experience
You will spend the night in East Iceland.
On day four, you will leave East Iceland for its beautiful north, by crossing the magnificent Highlands. En route, you will stop at Europe’s most powerful waterfall, the awe-inspiring Dettifoss.
The highlight of this day, however, is the Lake Mývatn area. This incredible place has more than just serene stretches of water; expect to see fascinating geothermal areas, impressive lava formations, and a huge wealth of unique birdlife.
You will fit a lot of sightseeing into this day; you will visit the Dimmuborgir fortress, with its stunning geology, a hot spring cave called Grjótagja, Krafla powerplant, and the Hverir geothermal area. After all the activity, you will likely be very grateful for some hot springs, thus will finish the day in the Mývatn Nature Baths.
You will spend the night in a guesthouse in North Iceland
On day five, you will better explore the incredible beauty of North Iceland. After a scenic drive along the coast, you will reach the beautiful village of Húsavík, where you will partake in a whale-watch.
Húsavík is not known as Europe’s whale-watching capital for no reason. On your three-hour boat tour, you are almost guaranteed to see mighty, acrobatic humpback whales at very least; but many other species are known to frequent the area. Between whale sightings, it is incredible to admire the nature around you; the serene fjord you are in is surrounded by stunning mountains.
After what is sure to be a delightful experience, you will continue on the road to Akureyri, the capital of the North. En route, however, you will make a stop at one of the country’s most powerful, beautiful, and historical waterfalls, Goðafoss, which translates to ‘the Waterfall of the Gods’.
Once you reach Akureyri, you will have a little time to see the charming town. Your accommodation, however, is a short drive away, immersed in the beautiful nature you came to Iceland to see.
Your penultimate day on this tour has a diverse wealth of scenery for you to marvel over.
As you make your way south, you will stop at a unique rock formation called Hvítserkur, which looks just like an elephant stood in the shallows out to sea; this is a great spot for photographers. Following that, you will head to the village of Hvammstangi, which is renowned as Iceland’s seal watching capital; you will have a chance to explore the fascinating Icelandic Seal Centre while you are here.
Continuing south, you will pass the haunting but beautiful lava field of Hallmundarhraun. Just 900 metres from here, you will find two of the West’s most popular waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. While right near each other, they are vastly different, with the former being wide, serene and gentle, and the latter rushing violently down a narrow gulley. Finally, you will head to Deildartunguhver, the highest-flow hot spring in Europe.
You will stay overnight in the Borgarfjordur area.
On your final day, you will explore Snæfellsjökull National Park, often called ‘Iceland in Miniature’ due to its incredible diversity of scenery.
The first stop you will make is at the crown jewel of the peninsula; Snæfellsjökull glacier. This amazing, cone-shaped mountain is jaw-droppingly beautiful, and you will be left in no wonder as to why it has inspired artists for centuries. It was, for example, where Jules Verne chose to set his novel ‘A Journey to the Centre of the Earth’.
After marvelling over this site, you will head to a farm called Ytri-Tunga. If over the seven days, you have not spotted a seal, you can be almost guaranteed to see a colony here, basking lazily on the rocks with little care for people.
You will continue to travel the coast, passing the beautiful, historic settlements of Arnarstapi and Hellnar. There is stunning geology all in this area, which culminates with the Lóndrangar basalt columns, which tower above the road and ocean.
Djúpalónssandur is another gorgeous black beach you will stop at, and here you can test how valuable a fisherman you would have been in times gone by; four large, smooth stones here are called the lifting stones, and were used to measure one’s strength and suitability to life on the ocean. Your guide will explain the history of each one as you try them out.
You will interrupt your sightseeing for a stop at the famous Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum. There may even be fresh hákarl (the famous “rotten shark”) to try, dried in a shed behind the museum several times per year, along with a taste of Icelandic cumin schnapps to wash it down.
At your last stop, you will find Kirkjufell mountain, rising out of the green hills, surrounded by trickling rivers. This is one of the most popular photography spots in Iceland, so be sure to get a picture for your collection.
You will then head back to Reykjavík, no doubt fully aware that you have made the most of every moment in this amazing country. You should be back in the city around 20.30 pm
We feel very fortunate to sign up for this Iceland tour and the memories from this tour will indeed last us forever. First of all, I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to our guide and driver throughout these 7 days. Ms Lucia, our beautiful and caring guide, I must say that she is a super cool, humorous and friendly person. She is very attentive and patient to our needs throughout the tour. Our handsome and awesome driver - Mr. David, he is such an experienced and trustworthy driver. We felt very safe inside the passenger van with David's driving skills and experiences. David always ensure that we reached our destinations on time and safely. With this tour, we didn't have to worry about driving on Iceland’s narrow roads and still able to enjoy everything that Iceland had to offer without needing to plan for each attraction. Last but not least, the hotels that both of them have arranged for us in this tour were really cosy and with awesome views. It has been a super enjoyable and unforgettable week with Ms. Lucia and Mr. David. We will definitely going to miss both of them so much. To anyone who wish to travel and explore Iceland, I would highly recommend Nice Travels Inc. and the 7 day Ring Road tour.
We signed up for this tour for our honeymoon and we must say that the memories will indeed last forever with us! I would like to thank our guide, Mr Peter who is a very humorous and friendly person. He shared a lot of his personal experiences (both in Iceland and around the world ) with us which made our trip more interesting. He is also attentive and patient to our needs throughout the tour. This round-the-island tour brought us to nearly all the breathtaking sites in Iceland. The schedule is well planned so there are no instances whereby we were rushing for time. Finally, all the guesthouses that we stayed in are simple but cosy enough. Kudos to Nicetravels and I would strongly recommend this tour.
Firstly me and my husband would like to start by saying a big thank you to Mr David and Ms Lucia from Nicetravel for taking care of our daily needs when we were in Iceland.The itineraries and accommodation they planned for us was very well.Everyday is like an adventure that kept us very excited.Thanks to our pretty Tour guide Ms Lucia and handsome driver Mr David.Hopefully can see you guys again.Take care~
Iceland tour in August 2016 was with my wife. I intended to visit popular location and to eliminate the various cumbersome procedures. Thus, we signed up for 7 days Ring Road round bus tour. The tour which uses hostels such as use the shared shower rather than a fine hotel, or uses an ordinary small bus was not luxurious. However, we loved it. Place to visit, accommodation and or restaurants had been re-arranged due to the conditions such as the weather, while we arrived the hostel around the midnight. Efficiency was much better than my last travel in April using rent-a-car. I would recommend this way for the first time. Another aspect of satisfactions was members; Antonio, Guide; Davito, the driver; Sandy, Chris, Jordan and Yin. All were open and hilarious. They made our travel enjoyable. I posted photos on my web site. Please visit, if you are interested in.
Forgot to mention, my guide is Antonio, best guide ever
It's a wonderful tour that my guide and driver provided wonderful service. I will definitely recommend this tour to my friends
It was such a great experience and our guide Antonio is the best guide ever for making the trip a really personalized one and having brought us to some charming spots away from the tourists. He is doing great photography so he can take us to the best view. Perfect trip, perfect guide, and our driver David is also cute!
I highly recommend Nice Travels Inc. and the 7 day Ring Road tour. I picked this tour for a couple of reasons; I wanted to relax and enjoy the countryside, I did not want to worry about driving on Iceland’s narrow roads and I wanted to enjoy everything that Iceland had to offer without planning each attraction. This tour was the answer to everything I wanted. Our tour guide, Antonio, was knowledgeable, efficient, and very personable. The tour company outlined a list of attractions of what we would do each day. However, I felt our tour guide made sure that our trip was unique and special to what I personally wanted to see while in Iceland. Antonio stated several times “This is your tour. What would you like to do? I want to make sure you see everything you want”. I saw all of the major attractions and more; I also appreciated our tour guide’s knowledge of Iceland which allowed me to have the best experience possible on my vacation. David was an experienced, knowledgeable and extremely trustworthy driver. Iceland’s roads can be narrow and often times nerve racking considering there are one lane bridges. I felt very safe inside the company passenger van while David drove hundreds of kilometers per day. David got us to our destinations on time and safely. Iceland has more natural beauty than I thought was possible. I was very humbled by this trip due to the overall beauty of the landscape. Go to Iceland to experience it all; travel with Nice Travels and their company will provide you the experience of a lifetime.
Lucia is a great guide, she took good care of us during our 7 day stay with her. She made very detailed plan in her schedule book everyday, and she could always arrange interesting attractions to visit and good restaurant to try, especially the cow farm restaurant. Many thanks for all the amazing arrangement. It is much appreciated.
The round trip offered by Nicetravel was valuable, we had many different sight-seeing that could not see anywhere else. They also arranged fantastic activities for us, such as Glacier Hiking, Whale Watching and Horse Riding. It was the first time I saw so many Dolphins playing around me! Our Italian guide Lucia (also our driver) was very nice and always ready to help us enjoy the trip. She often told us interesting things / stories about Iceland. The food and accommodation was also good. Carmen
It was super fun and super nice to have the seven days trip guided by David and Antonio. They are caring, interesting and sweet persons and brought a lot of joys to the tour. We went hiking, sought for beautiful waterfalls, met the glacier, tried lagoon spa, saw seals and whales together. We have seen many wonders around Iceland from the tour and there are many things that would definitely amaze you. Hotels we stayed in the tour are clean, cozy and comfortable. I highly recommend the tour and extremely recommend David and Antonio to you all. They are great guys and like your friends and there is no doubt you will have a lot of unforgettable memories with them. I have many many cheerful moments here and already miss them :)
We are very lucky to be the first ones to experience this tour. This 7-day tour enables you to visit all kinds of fantastic attractions in Iceland, and all around the island. Our tour guide Antonio is the best! He is super cooooool, humorous and friendly. And he really cares for his clients, including providing any kind of help at any time and offering flexible itinerary as the costumer's wish. Our driver Dawid is also the best! A good driver would make sure your time on bus is relaxing and safe, let alone these two guys were more like your old friends rather than just some boring "companions". Most of the hotels in the tour were really comfy and with beautiful views. Antonio always let us pick the room first to try to make us satisfied. : ) In short, it has been an extremely enjoyable and unforgettable week with Antonio and Dawid. For sure, I highly recommend this tour to anyone who wishes to explore Iceland deeply. We are going to miss our best guide and driver so much!
The 7-day Ring Road Circle of Iceland tour is of the most amazing travel experiences I've had in my entire life. Though we were the first tourists of this tour, this fact definitely offered more personalized experience to it. There are lots of must-see and less-popular-yet more-mysterious sightseeing attractions included in this trip, or even those attractions that I didn't know existed before, which are totally worth visiting if you are the first comer to Iceland. For me, for example, the highlights are the waterfalls, the black sand beach, glacier walking, whale watching and the blue lagoon. Each day, accommodation and properly arranged and time perfectly managed as well. Rooms were nice and comfortable, with breakfast included each day. Also the car came to pick us at the hostel every day on time. The nice, welcoming and humorous guide has lots of knowledge on traveling and Icelandic customs and concerned a lot about my safety; He made detailed explanation on every seeing, and told lots of stories and jokes on the car to us. Even we did spent plenty of time on the minibus, we still had great times sitting in the mini bus listening to music and chatting with the driver and the tour guide (for sure, they added great fun to my experience). Highly! Highly! Highly recommended for those who want to explore every part of Iceland sceneries with ease (The mini bus is so comfortable!) and fun (The guide and the driver could make you laugh all day long). The price is quite reasonable so it is really worth trying if you want to stay for a longer time in Iceland. Unforgettable experience, thanks to nice travel :)