Stunning 8 Day Self Drive Camping Trip with the Complete Ring Road of Iceland
Book this 8-day self drive camping trip around Iceland. This tour will help you uncover the very best spots around the entire country, while you camp each night in Iceland's beautiful nature. This tour is perfect for outdoor and nature lovers who want to explore and travel the country on a budget.
You'll travel around Iceland's Ring Road and explore the whole country. As the driver, you can go where you like and ignore a set schedule without worrying about tour guides or other group members. Across your journey, you'll travel through an array of stunning terrains that include rolling hills, lava fields, past mountains, glaciers and volcanoes, incredible fjords and the very best natural geothermal hotspots.
There are quality camping facilities with plenty of amenities all across the country, and you'll be surrounded by spectacular nature no matter where you pitch up your tent. Along the way, you can explore popular spots including the world-renowned Blue Lagoon, the famous Golden Circle, the stunning wildlife and glaciers of Skaftafell Nature Reserve, the geothermal hotspot of the Lake Mývatn Area and the magnificent waterfalls of the West.
To guarantee that you have a selection of the most popular locations with some more private areas to enjoy, Guide to Iceland has chosen a few unique attractions well worth visiting on your travels across the country. These sites are listed in a personal itinerary you will receive after you book, allowing you to revel in the natural landscapes Iceland is famous for without the crowds. The route also sends you to explore many of Iceland's fantastic geothermal hot springs.
This tour can be enhanced further by adding various activities along the way. These include snorkelling between 2 continents, snowmobiling on top of some of Iceland's mighty glaciers, challenging yourself with a glacier hike, delving into the natural phenomenons of Iceland's ice caves, dazzling whale-watching tours and a boat tour on the spectacular glacier lagoon. Add a once in a lifetime experience to your trip by selecting these extras during the booking process.
Reserve this camping trip now for an affordable self-drive tour to see the best attractions in Iceland! Check booking availability now by choosing a date and book an Iceland adventure to suit your budget now.
Day 1 - Arrival in Reykjavik
After landing at Keflavík International Airport, collect your bag and car and head out to the lunar-like lava field of the Reykjanes Peninsula.
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 colours 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 be able to arrange this for you. There is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes Peninsula if you have extra free time.
If you wish, you can explore Reykjavík city a little before you set out to the little village of Þorlákshöfn where you'll find your camping site for the night.
Day 2 - The Golden Circle & Southwest Iceland
Day two sees you embark on the famous Golden Circle tour before you reach the south coast. Begin with a visit to Þingvellir National Park, where you can walk the valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and discover the original site of the world's longest running representative parliament. You can also opt for a snorkelling tour here, in the crystal clear ravine Silfra.
Next up is the Haukadalur geothermal valley, home to the great Geysir—the original “geyser”. Its more active neighbour, Strokkur, erupts every ten minutes or so, sending boiling water up to 20 m (66 ft) high, and the area is dotted with bubbling hot springs and steaming fumaroles.
End the circle with a visit to the mighty Gullfoss waterfall; you can approach it right to its edge to observe its incredible scale and power. From here, you can also take the option of going on a snowmobiling tour on Langjökull glacier. If that does not appeal, look into booking a horse-riding tour.
Following this, head to the south coast and visit one of Iceland's most beautiful waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss, which you can walk all the way around. The towering Skógafoss waterfall is also nearby. Further along the coast, stop to admire the black volcanic beach at Reynisfjara, and the dramatic Dyrhólaey rock formations. Other sights along the route include the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which will be on your left-hand side.
Spend the night at a campsite in Vík village.
Day 3 - Hiking Day in Skaftafell Nature Reserve
Day three should be spent travelling to, and marvelling over, the many sights of the beautiful Skaftafell area of Vatnajökull National Park. Before you depart, however, you can opt for an ice cave tour, where you'll explore a dazzling cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier.
At Skaftafell, hiking enthusiasts will truly be in their element. There are plenty of challenging tracks and trails to be found, including one that leads to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall. This fall tumbles down unique basalt columns, which inspired the design of Reykjavík's Hallgrímskirkja church.
This is also an ideal place to go glacier hiking, allowing you to behold some incredible views. It's an unforgettable experience, which comes highly recommended.
Backtrack a little to a campsite near the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur on the South Coast where you will spend the night.
Day 4 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
On your fourth day, continue your drive eastward to what is one of Iceland’s most famous attractions and primary photo spots, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Here you can enjoy a boat cruise amongst the serenity of the icebergs, the shapes and colours of which will take your breath away. There are zodiac and amphibious boats to choose from. Even if you choose not to take either, however, you'll have incredible views from the shore.
Don't miss a walk down to the Diamond Beach, where these icebergs wash up on the black shore like glistening jewels. Also, keep a keen eye out for the seals that call the lagoon and beach home.
After exploring this beautiful area, continue your journey to the Eastfjords. This is an incredibly beautiful area of jagged mountains, tranquil villages and stunning coastline. Spend the night at a campsite in one of those charming towns of the Eastfjords.
Day 5 - Lake Myvatn
Start the day early and drive to the Lake Mývatn area, a hotbed of volcanic landscapes, which includes the Námaskarð Pass, the Skútustaðagígar pseudo-craters, and Mt. Krafla. Take a stop at Dimmuborgir, the 'Dark Fortress', named as such because the lava in the area twists into strange and unreal shapes which resemble a crumbling castle, complete with towers and turrets.
After a long day on the road, take a dip in the soothing geothermal waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths, before spending the night at a campsite just outside of Akureyri town.
Day 6 - North Iceland
Use day six to further explore Lake Mývatn and its unique surroundings. Highly recommended is a drive through the Jökulsárgljúfur region of the Vatnajökull National Park, stopping at sights such as the Ásbyrgi canyon and Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Another great way to spend some time is a visit to Húsavík, renowned as the whale watching capital of Europe. You can opt for an incredible whale watch here, and even upgrade it to include puffins.
After making the most of these sights, head towards Akureyri. Just be sure to stop and appreciate the mighty Goðafoss waterfall on the way.
Known as 'the capital of the North,' Akureyri is a charming town with a plenty of shops and museums, as well as one of the world's northernmost botanical gardens. Enjoy the area, before either returning to your campsite just outside of town, or heading to a new one in one of the pleasant villages on the Tröllaskagi Peninsula.
Day 7 - West Iceland
Your seventh day should be spent exploring the best that West Iceland has to offer. It is a fairly long drive from the north-west to the capital, but there is a lot to see along the way. Be sure to visit the Icelandic stone citadel at Borgarviki, as well as Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe. Along the coast, stop to admire the mesmerising Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, or visit the Settlement Centre in Borganes.
There are two very different caving tours you can opt for on this day. You can enter the man-made tunnels carved into the side of Langjökull glacier, or else the natural lava tubes of Víðgelmir.
At the end of the day, make your way to the town of Akranes where you'll find your last campsite on this journey.
Day 8 - Blue Lagoon & Departure from Iceland
Be sure to drop your car back at the airport in time for your flight home. 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.
What to bring
Good to know
Off-road driving is illegal in Iceland. It is a highly fined offence. Avoid legal problems and make sure to stay on marked highland roads and paths. Believe us, this will already be adventure enough! Also note that highland roads are closed during wintertime, which normally open in mid-June and close in September.
Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavík City or at Keflavik International Airport. A valid driver's license is required, along with a one-year long on-road experience. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to better fit with your arrival date and time.
Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing.
The vehicles offered for our self drive camping tours are highland capable and equipped with a roof top tent and necessary camping equipment suitable for two people. They come with Wi-Fi and CDW insurance.