The Ring Road with Whale Watching in Akureyri

Come along on an epic journey of the island of ice and fire, where you circumnavigate the most popular attractions of Iceland, along with hidden gems off the beaten track. This is a package tour for anyone looking to experience the country as the locals do, whilst sitting back and allowing someone else to take care of the details.

Driving the ring road through the scope of a week has long since been a favoured summer activity to the people of Iceland. This tour operates for small groups, and each trip is unique in many ways, crafted to your personal interests, as well as the temperamental weather conditions of this volcanic island.

The tour offers such marvellous highlights as whale watching, the Golden Circle, the wonders of the South Coast, the remote East-Fjords, three national parks, Lake Mývatn, and a visit to Akureyri; the capital of the North.

Be prepared to behold misty waterfalls, spouting geysers and bubbling hot springs, along with countless other sights and scenic adventures. Your guides will inform you of the history of the locations visited, on this tour ideal for anyone interested in the culture of Iceland as well as its nature.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity of seeing all the best of which Iceland has to offer, all in one unforgettable expedition. Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Activities: Caving, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 10 years old
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Akureyri , Jokulsarlon , Lakagigar , Eldgjá , Mývatn , Dimmuborgir , Vatnsnes , Goðafoss , Dettifoss , Skógafoss , Seljalandsfoss , Geysir , Gullfoss , Eyjafjallajökull , Þingvellir , Hraunfossar , Deildartunguhver , Strokkur , Skagafjörður , Hvalfjörður , Skaftafell , Eyjafjörður , Borgarfjörður , Höfn , Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach , Reykholt , Barnafoss , Skeiðarársandur , Skútustaðagígar , Grjótagjá , Vík i Mýrdal , Seyðisfjörður , Víti in Krafla , Sauðárkrókur , Glaumbær , Skriðuklaustur , Laugarvatn , Hofsós , Flúðir , Kirkjubæjarklaustur , Reynisfjall , Reynisdrangar , Hvítserkur , Haukadalur , Lagarfljót , Hengifoss , Djúpivogur , Namaskardh , Þorvaldseyri , Stokksnes , Hallormsstadaskogur , Reykir , Diamond Beach , Möðrudalsleið , Snorralaug
Pickup information:
Please be at your pickup location in time for your departure. Should your pickup location be at a bus stop and you need assistance finding it, seek guidance in your Hotel's reception or contact your tour provider directly.
  • Fully escorted 7-day bus tour with an English-speaking guide.

  • Accommodation with breakfast for 6 nights

  • Entrance with towel at Myvatn Nature Baths

  • Entrance to all museums

  • Whale Watching in Akureyri

  • Dinner

  • Lunch

What to bring:
  • Warm clothes

  • Hiking shoes

  • Packed lunch

  • Camera

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - The Golden Circle

The Ring Road with Whale Watching in Akureyri

Heading out from Reykjavík City, your adventure starts with the number one attraction of Iceland, the Golden Circle route. First up is Þingvellir National Park, a volcanic wonderland situated on the very rift of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Next up, after a stop at Lake Laugarvatn, is the one and only Gullfoss, a massive three-stepped waterfall of incredible, unharnessed power. Keep an eye out for a stone mural of the woman who threatened to throw herself down the falls for their protection, which is now thankfully established by the state.

Then it is off to the geothermal paradise Haukadalur, home to the two famous geysers Geysir and Strokkur. The mostly dormant Geysir is the very namesake of the phenomena, but Strokkur is still alive and kicking, spouting every 10-15 minutes in a striking display of hydrothermal activity.

After lunch, you will make your way to Flúðir, an archaic village of greenhouse activity and general horticulture. Then it is time to get back on the highway and head south, witnessing the sun setting behind the infamous and active ice-capped volcano Eyjafjallajökull.

Your final destination for the day is Seljalandsfoss, one in the most visited waterfalls in Iceland, in large due to the fact that you can walk behind it. Standing in the mist of the waterfall in the twilight is the perfect end to your first day, after which you will retreat to your accommodation for the night.

Day 2 - The South Coast

The Ring Road with Whale Watching in Akureyri

On your second day, you will continue your exploration of the south coast and its plentiful attractions. First up is a visit to Skógafoss, one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland, plummeting 15 metres off the cliffs of a former coastline. Because of the waterfall's great produce of mist, it is common for it to display a rainbow or two whenever the sun is smiling.

Your next stop will be at the family farm Þorvaldseyri. There you will watch a short documentary on the nearby Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which so memorably erupted back in 2010, causing a near global disturbance to air travels.

Next up is the black sand beach Reynisfjara by the village of Vík in Mýrdalur. Visible just offshore are Reynisdrangar Cliffs, a unique formation of basalt sea stacks. Remember to look up at Mt. Reynisfjall for the numerous colourful puffins that nest in its cliffs during the summer months.

You will then drive across the post-apocalyptic lava fields of Eldgjá and learn all about the catastrophic eruption of the 18th century, that nearly wiped out the island’s entire population. Be prepared to behold clusters of volcanic craters and a landscape of ancient cataclysms.

After a stopover in the tiny village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, get ready to venture across the vast expanse of Skeiðarársandur, where Europe’s largest ice cap Vatnajökull hovers over the horizon.

The last stop of the day is the one and only Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, where huge pieces of ice, broken from Vatnajökull, float in an ever changing scenery. The neighbouring Diamond Beach is where some of the ice collects to glisten in the sun.

Your accommodation for the night awaits, where you can gather your strengths for the following days on the road.

Day 3 - Trailing through Fjords

The Ring Road with Whale Watching in Akureyri

It’s time to venture to the south-east, where you will begin by visiting the town Höfn and its surrounding area of Hornafjörður. Reindeer commonly reside in these domains, and there is a good chance of spotting them en route.

You will then make a detour to the headland Stokksnes to admire the towering cliffs of Vestrahorn. Be prepared to drive through this desolated area, once home to a navy base, under the watch of imposing mountains and deserted fjords.

Your next stop is at Djúpivogur, a peninsula-nesting town in the east. It is home to the strange sculpture installation known as the Eggs of Merry Bay, by local artist Sigurður Guðmundsson. You will rest at this picturesque town for a short while before getting back on the road.

You will then continue on your trail east, driving from village to village while enjoying the scenery of the fjords so central to this part of Iceland. Remember that the exact locations of this tour are interchangeable to the needs and wants of the group, but each location has a story to tell and sights to behold.

Day 4 - Lake Mývatn

The Ring Road with Whale Watching in Akureyri

The east of Iceland is on today’s agenda. You will start by exploring the great lake Lagarfljót, home to the legend of Lagarfljótsormurinn; an aquatic monster believed to live in the depths of the waters. Near the lake, you’ll find Hallormsstaðaskógur, one of Iceland’s larger forests.

Depending on the weather conditions of the day, you will visit the waterfall Hengifoss, the ancient manor estate and museum Skriðuklaustur, or drive to the idyllic fjord town Seyðisfjörður.

Your journey continues through the wilderness of Möðrudalsöræfi, driving for hours through an otherworldly and uninhabited mountainous terrain. The sense of isolation in this area is an experience of its own, but you might catch a glimpse of the few habitat reindeer.

Afterwards, you will visit Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, where you can feel the earth trembling beneath your feet. The route will then take you to Lake Mývatn, a wetland conservation area and one of the highlights of your journey.

This eutrophic lake of the North is situated in an area of active volcanism. The geothermal fields of Námaskarð boast of a multi-coloured scenery, roaring steam vents and bubbling mud pools. Nearby lies the Krafla caldera, where you will visit the volcanic crater Víti.

Your fourth day ends with a much-needed soak in the Mývatn Nature Baths, renowned for the skin-healing abilities of the alkaline and mineral-rich water. You will spend the night at an accommodation in Lake Mývatn.

Day 5 - The North

The Ring Road with Whale Watching in Akureyri

On your fifth day, you will continue your exploration of Mývatn’s nature reserve, hiking through the lava formations of Dimmuborgir, a citadel of volcanic rocks. Numerous caves are to be found in the area, including the lava cave Grjótagjá and its geothermal hot spring; location of a wildling love scene in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

After emerging from the cave, you will pay a visit to the Skútustaðagígar pseudocraters, formed by powerful gas explosions when boiling lava flowed over the wetlands. Then, it is time to get back on the bus and drive up to the stunning falls of Goðafoss, rightly named ‘waterfall of the gods’.

The falls get their namesake from when the pagan chieftain Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði, back in 930 AD, hurled figures of the Norse Gods into the falls, demonstrating the end of pagan worship and the beginning of Christianity.

You will also visit a nearby old church dedicated to the memory of Þorgeir. The route up north continues to the fjord Eyjafjörður; home to Akureyri, your final destination for today.

Day 6 - Whale Watching

The Ring Road with Whale Watching in Akureyri

Welcome to Akureyri, the ‘capital of the North’. You will start your perfect day in this picturesque town by going whale watching in the waters of Eyjafjörður, where you can gaze upon majestic creatures such as the larger-than-life Humpback in their natural habitat.

In the early afternoon, you will leave Akureyri to drive to the countryside. The routes planned for today vary according to the weather, but possibilities include the town Hofsós and its infinity swimming pool, as well as the Glaumbær Folk Museum; a heritage museum in Skagafjörður.

Next up is the town Sauðárkrókur, where you will learn all about one of its former residents, Grettir the Strong, an infamous outlaw of the 10th century. As you continue your drive through the farmlands and small villages of the area, you will find that every one of them has a story to tell.

One of these historic stops is at the desolate Þrístapar, where the last public execution in Iceland took place in 1830. Hidden beneath the peaceful turf is a fascinating story of murder, passion and deceit.

Your last stop for the day will be at Hvítserkur, a 15-metre high basalt rock formation just off the shore of the Vatnsnes Peninsula. The pinnacle is an incredibly popular stop and provides a unique photo opportunity, since the two holes at its base give it the odd appearance of an animal, such as a dragon, standing in the water.

Day 7 - Back to the City

The Ring Road with Whale Watching in Akureyri

On your last day, you will visit the numerous interesting sights of the larger Borgarfjörður area, starting with a stop at the local museum at Reykir. This charming museum holds farming and fishing equipment from the 19th and 20th century, as well as the driftwood ship Ófeigur and the only remaining shark-fishing boat in Iceland.

The land around Borgarfjörður fjord has been inhabited ever since the Age of Settlement and holds numerous citings in the Icelandic Sagas. Much later, the fjord was considered the mecca of Icelandic intellectualism, being the homeland of the acclaimed medieval author and scholar Snorri Sturluson.

You will visit the village Reykholt where he resided, and the ancient bathing pool Snorralaug named after him - the oldest human-made structure in Iceland. From Reykholt you will proceed to Deildartunguhver in Reykholtsdalur, the hot spring with the highest flow in all of Europe.

Close by are the two waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafossar, some of the last sights of your ring road excursion. The series of waterfalls are some of the most unique in the whole of the country, formed by rivulets of a lava eruption.

Lastly, you will drive through the fjord of Hvalfjörður, a site of fascinating WWII historical connotations and gorgeous landscapes. You will reach Reykjavík City around dinner time, where your ring road adventure comes to an end.

With your head full of memories and your memory card full of photos, retreat to your chambers knowing you just ventured all around this beautiful island. Book your ring road adventure now.

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