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8-Day Action-Packed Icelandic Adventure | The Ring Road and Reykjavik

The sun setting in the background of the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach on the South Coast of Iceland.
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Description

Details

Tour starts
Keflavík Airport (KEF), 235 KEFLAVÍKURFLUGVÖLLUR, Reykjanesbær,
Starting time
Flexible
Duration
8 days
Ending place
Keflavík Airport (KEF), 235 KEFLAVÍKURFLUGVÖLLUR, Reykjanesbær,
Languages
Difficulty
Easy
Available
All year
Minimum age
5 years old

Description

Squeeze as many incredible Icelandic attractions into your vacation as possible without missing out on any adventure by booking this 8-day holiday. This trip should not be missed by those who want to witness the whole Ring Road of Iceland and make the most of every second they have in the country.

For guests seeking to cover as much ground and create as many memories as possible on their visit to Iceland, there are no better options than this package. Over four days, you will be whisked around the Ring Road that encircles the island, being able to witness the beauty of every region and marvel over countless sites.

Such attractions include the breathtaking Reynisfjara beach, renowned for its black sands and coastal geology; the serene Lake Myvatn and its surrounding geothermal wonders; and the remote East Fjords, far from the tourist crowds.

As part of this Ring Road tour, you’ll also get to partake in some exciting excursions. Those traveling between November to March, for example, will be able to explore a magnificent ice cave, while those coming between May and October can take a boat tour amongst the icebergs of the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.

Upon returning to Reykjavik, you’ll be able to cram in even more adventure, with visits to sites off of the Ring Road, such as the Golden Circle and Snaefellsnes Peninsula. You can further enhance your experience by taking the option to book some thrilling activities, such as a helicopter ride and a descent into a magma chamber. 

Of course, you’ll also have time to enjoy the quirkiness and culture of the unique capital city of Reykjavik.

As this is a guided package, all your hotels, transfers, and tours will be organized for you prior to arrival, leaving you with no concerns but making the very most of your holiday. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about driving on Iceland’s treacherous roads. 

Plunge into some of the world’s most magnificent landscapes with this fast-paced, action-packed vacation around the Ring Road of Iceland and more. Check availability by choosing a date and book your Iceland adventure.

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Included

Airport transfer on arrival/departure
7 nights of accommodation (details below)
4-day small group guided tour along the ring road of Iceland
Blue Lagoon comfort entrance (upgrade to premium level available)
Detailed itinerary
Personal travel agent
Taxes
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
Snorkelling
Caving
Hiking
Snowmobile
Sightseeing
Boat Trip
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity

Daily itinerary

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

Day 1 - Arrival and the Blue Lagoon

On your first day, you will land at Keflavik International Airport and, after getting through customs, board a convenient shuttle bus to Iceland's capital.

Be sure to keep your eyes out of the window from the moment you start traveling, as this 40-minute journey goes along the Reykjanes Peninsula, a wonderland of lava landscapes, volcanoes, fishing villages, and spectacular stretches of coast.

On your way to Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik, 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. 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 if you have extra free time.

You'll be taken to your accommodation in Reykjavik, and once you are checked in and settled, you can set out to explore the city. Iceland's capital is a cultural hotspot, with public artworks, beautiful boutiques, fascinating architecture, world-renowned restaurants, plentiful museums and galleries, and a thriving nightlife.

Make sure, however, that you don't go too wild. Tomorrow, you will set out on your four-day, action-packed adventure around Iceland's Ring Road.

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Day 2
An overhead shot of a glacial tongue on the South Coast of Iceland.

Day 2 - The Popular South Coast

Early on day two, you will be picked up from Reykjavik by your guide for the next four days and begin the first leg of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure: a journey along Iceland's South Coast. Of all the regions you'll visit on this trip, this is the most popular due to its multitude of diverse and spectacular sites.

You will, for example, visit three very different waterfalls early in your travels. Seljalandsfoss is incredibly picturesque, tumbling in a gentle cascade before an enormous cavern. Gljufrabui, meanwhile, is somewhat of a hidden gem, pouring into a grotto out of sight of the main road and thus overlooked by most. Skogafoss is the most powerful of the three, falling from a 197 ft (60m) tall cliff with tremendous force.

As you travel between these waterfalls, you'll get glimpses of many other incredible Icelandic attractions, such as the Westman Islands out to sea and the glaciers of Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull inland.

You'll then make a stop at the beautiful black sand beach of Reynisfjara. Here, you can marvel over the basalt sea stacks of Reynisdrangar and the powerful waves as they shatter on the shore. By this site is the quaint village of Vik, where you'll enjoy lunch.

You will then continue east, through deserts of black sand and by tongues of the mighty Vatnajokull glacier, before coming to your final destination of the day, the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Once a National Park in its own right before being enveloped into a much larger one, this spectacular area is packed with diverse landscapes, such as lava fields, rivers, glacier outlets, and lagoons.

You'll be led along some of the beautiful hiking trails to witness the reserve's highlights, such as Svartifoss waterfall, which is surrounded by black basalt columns. If you elect to do so while booking, you can also organize a thrilling glacier hike here.

After a fantastic beginning to your fast-paced Ring Road adventure, you will retire for the night in a hotel in the area.

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Day 3
Wind swept pieces of ice sitting on the shore of the Diamond Beach, a black sand beach in the South East of Iceland.

Day 3 - The Far-flung East Fjords

On the third day of your action-packed summer vacation to Iceland, you will set out to explore the breathtaking, far-flung East Fjords. Before traveling around this little-visited region, however, you will first make a stop at the final attraction of the South Coast, Jokulsarlon.

Jokulsarlon is the largest glacier lagoon in the country, a giant lake between the coastline and a tongue of the Vatnajokull ice cap. It is filled with enormous icebergs throughout the year, which break from the glacier and slowly cruise towards the ocean. Their scale, vivid coloration, and sheer numbers make a stroll along the shore absolutely mesmerizing.

After an exploration here, you’ll briefly nip to the Diamond Beach, where these icebergs wash up on the black sands and glisten in the sun as they slowly melt away.

Today, you can take a boat tour into the lagoon to immerse yourself amongst the icebergs.

After your adventure, you will set out into the East Fjords. As Jokulsarlon is the furthest east most travelers go, this region is very remote; you’ll thus be able to marvel over the seascapes, towering peaks, and glacier views far from the tourist crowds.

The sites you will visit include the stunning mountain of Vestrahorn, the sleepy fishing village of Djupivogur, and the mysterious Lake Lagarfljot.

At the end of the day, you’ll reach the largest town in the east, Egilsstadir, and retire for the night.

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Day 4
A traveller enjoying the view of a geothermal landscape in the North of Iceland.

Day 4 - Geothermal Hot Pots of the North

On day four, you will continue your journey around the Ring Road to North Iceland. To get there, you will leave the East Fjords and pass through the northern reaches of the spectacular Vatnajokull National Park. If traveling in summer, you will detour to see the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss; otherwise, you will head straight to the beautiful Lake Myvatn.

Myvatn is the most beloved part of the region for far more reasons than the stunning waters that have given it its name. The area has some incredible geology, with lines of perfectly formed pseudocraters, fields of twisted lava, and the basalt fortress of Dimmuborgir.

It also has nearby geothermal areas, such as Hverir and Namaskard Pass and the Myvatn Nature Baths. You can take a dip in the waters of this luxurious spa if you organize a ticket when booking.

In summer, Myvatn also has vibrant flora and an abundance of birdlife.

After being guided around this diverse, incredible area, you will head to ‘the Waterfall of the Gods, Godafoss. Not only is this an astoundingly beautiful feature, but it has a fascinating history that goes back over a millennium, which you can read about on-site.

Finally, you will come to the capital of North Iceland, Akureyri. Be sure to have a look around this cultural hot spot before retiring for the night.

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Day 5
The Hvitserkur Rock Formation that sits off the coast of the Troll Peninsula.

Day 5 - Back to Reykjavik

Day five marks the end of your Ring Road adventure, though it promises to be packed with excitement.

Your first stop on your way back to Reykjavik from Akureyri will be at the village of Dalvik. It is highly recommended to add a whale watching tour here when booking, as the surrounding waters are pregnant with life. Not only are you likely to see Humpback Whales in summer, but also dolphins, puffins, and even orcas.

Furthermore, the mountains around the fjord that this tour is conducted in are dramatic and spectacular, keeping you in awe between sightings.

After this, you will continue along the beautiful coastline of North Iceland, stopping next at the Vatnsnes Peninsula. This stretch of land is the best place in Iceland for finding colonies of seals, and you will be able to learn all about them at the Icelandic Seal Centre.

Vatnsnes is also renowned for being home to a strange, dramatic monolith named Hvitserkur. A photogenic feature, many compare it to a drinking elephant, a dragon, or a dinosaur, although folklore dictates that it is, in fact, a frozen troll.

After marveling over its unique beauty, you will drive through the scenic countryside of West Iceland back to Reykjavik, where you will be based until the end of your holiday.

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Day 6
The rising steam from the Geysir Geothermal Area which is part of the famous Golden Circle Tourist Route in South West Iceland.

Day 6 - The Classic or the Adventurous

Though your journey around Iceland's Ring Road may be over, you still have plenty of opportunities for adventure. While you are welcome to relax from 4 intense days of sightseeing by chilling in the capital, those eager to see as much of Iceland as possible have many tours they can choose from.

The first option is a classic Golden Circle tour. The Golden Circle trail is the most popular tourist route in the country, boasting three incredible sites: Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall. Considering you have fully encircled the country, a visit here would mean that you had managed to see all of Iceland's most iconic attractions in just six days.

Alternatively, you could embark on a tour of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. You'll be able to see glaciers and volcanoes, such as the world-famous Snaefellsjokull; fascinating formations such as Mount Kirkjufell and the Londrangar sea stacks; countless historic fishing villages; and some incredible stretches of coast. Because of its diversity, the peninsula is nicknamed 'Iceland in Miniature'.

Finally, you could book an Inside the Volcano tour. Available only in one volcano and only in Iceland, this thrilling excursion will have you take a mining lift into the cavernous magma chamber of a dormant volcano. Not only is the scale breathtaking, but the coloration of the rocks and the uniqueness of the opportunity make this a highly sought-after experience.

After one of these fantastic adventures, you can enjoy the city's culture before retiring for the night.

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Day 7
The incredible colour palette from the inside of a magma chamber.

Day 7 - Free Time in Reykjavik and More

The penultimate day of your fast-paced holiday in Iceland can also be as relaxed or as action-packed as you like. You could unwind from all the adventure over the past six days by staying in the capital or organizing one final experience.

Two of these options are the same as yesterday: a sightseeing tour around ‘Iceland in Miniature’, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, or a descent into the magma chamber of a sleeping volcano. However, instead of the Golden Circle, your other option is a helicopter tour, which you will take from the domestic airport in Reykjavik.

This aerial trip will not only get your adrenaline pumping but provide you with an incredible view over the capital city and its surrounding nature. The focus of your flight will be mainly on the thriving geothermal areas around Reykjavik. Weather permitting, this adventure will also include a touchdown on one of the nearby mountains, where you can marvel over some incredible vistas while appreciating the fact that no other tourists will be within sight.

Coming back into the capital, its colorful tin rooftops and striking landmarks will provide you with some fantastic final memories of Iceland.

You will still have an evening to enjoy in the city before returning to your hotel.

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Day 8
Flowers blooming in spring at sunset in downtown Reykjavik.

Day 8 - Departure

Today is the last day of your Icelandic vacation. You will need to take your pre-organized shuttle bus back to the airport in time for your flight, which you can enjoy reminiscing over the incredible sites you have seen.

Considering the action-packed nature of this trip, you will no doubt be proud of the fact that you truly made the most of every moment and will have plenty to discuss with your fellow travelers.

Of course, those with a late departure don’t need to rush and can instead use the time to say a final farewell to Reykjavik. Purchase the last of your souvenirs, visit one more museum or unwind from all the adventure in one of the city’s popular pools.

Have a safe flight home, and come back soon!

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What to bring

Warm and waterproof outdoor clothing
Good hiking boots
Swimsuit and a towel
Camera

Good to know

Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better. Please note that the boat tours on Jokulsarlon are only available from May to October.

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 other 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). 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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