Ring Road Tours

Best Ring Road Tours in Iceland

Choose from Iceland's largest selection of Ring Road tours. Driving Route 1 is the perfect way for travelers to explore the country.
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Ring Road Tours

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Frequently asked questions

What is the best Ring Road tour in Iceland?

There are plenty of Ring Road tours worth joining. However, there are some that stand out, like this eight-day guided northern lights winter tour of the complete Ring Road of Iceland. The tour is a guided minibus exploration of the Ring Road and its most iconic natural attractions, including the aurora borealis. The tour costs around 2,467 USD and is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars by over 320 travelers.
If you plan to visit Iceland during summer, then the eight-day summer self-drive tour of the Ring Road of Iceland & Golden Circle is an excellent option. You'll embark on a road trip around the whole Ring Road and visit some of the most fascinating attractions of Iceland at your own pace. The tour costs approximately 1,693 USD and is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars by over 200 travelers.
If you're traveling during winter, the eight-day winter package tour of the Ring Road of Iceland in a small group is your best bet. This guided tour lets you ride on a minibus and explore the Ring Road and the many incredible locations along the way. The tour costs around 2,269 USD and earned 4.8 out of 5 stars from over 50 reviews.

Is it worth it to join a Ring Road tour in Iceland?

Joining a Ring Road tour in Iceland is undoubtedly worth it for several compelling reasons:
Convenience and Expertise: Ring Road tours are typically organized by experienced tour operators who handle all the logistics, from transportation and accommodations to itinerary planning.
Access to Iconic Attractions: The Ring Road connects you to Iceland's most famous natural wonders, ensuring that you don't miss out on must-see destinations like the Golden Circle, Vatnajokull National Park, and the Blue Lagoon. Tour operators know the best times to visit these places, ensuring you have an optimal experience.
Local Insights: Tour guides often provide valuable insights into Iceland's culture, history, and geography. They can share stories, legends, and folklore, giving you a deeper appreciation of the country's heritage.
Cultural Connections: Many Ring Road tours incorporate visits to local communities and cultural attractions, allowing you to connect with Iceland's residents and gain insight into their way of life.

What is the cheapest Ring Road tour in Iceland?

The cheapest Ring Road tour that offers bang for the buck is this express six-day summer self-drive tour of the complete Ring Road of Iceland. For approximately 605 USD, you'll drive around the whole Ring Road without the pressure from other group members or tour guides.
Alternatively, you can join this guided tour of the complete Ring Road of Iceland with Jokulsarlon and Myvatn. For around 1,113 USD, you’ll embark on a four-day expedition of the famous Route 1 and discover its diverse landscapes and breathtaking beauty.
You may also consider this five-day guided tour of the complete Ring Road of Iceland with waterfalls and black sand beaches. For around 1,400 USD, you'll explore the Ring Road, as well as the Dettifoss and Godafoss waterfalls and the world-famous black sand beaches of Reynisfjara.

What is the Ring Road in Iceland?

The Ring Road, also known as Route 1, is a circular highway that circles the entire island of Iceland. It spans approximately 828 miles (1,332 kilometers) and connects most of the country's major towns and attractions, making it an ideal route for a comprehensive Icelandic road trip.

What are the main attractions along the Ring Road?

Some of the main attractions along the Ring Road include the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Skogafoss waterfall, Reynisfjara black sand beach, Mount Vestrahorn, Asbyrgi canyon, and many more.

What major towns and cities in Iceland does the Ring Road pass through?

Naturally, the Ring Road passes through Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, as well as the unofficial “capital of the north”, Akureyri. Other settlements en route include Hofn, Hveragerdi, Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Borgarnes, Selfoss, Egilsstadir, and Vik. Most of these towns have guided day trips that allow travelers to experience activities in the area around the town.

Is it possible to travel the Ring Road during the Icelandic winter?

Yes, the Ring Road is well maintained and is open for travel all year round. Before heading out on the Ring Road during winter, it is wise to check the weather and road conditions. Self-drive tours are an excellent way to explore Iceland in a rental car of your own, without all the stress and hassle of arranging every detail of your trip. Between November and March, Icelandic law requires all cars to be fitted with winter tires. Both winter and summer self-drive tours and vacation packages are available.

Do I need a 4x4 vehicle to travel the Ring Road in Iceland?

The Ring Road is well maintained and it is possible to drive all cars on the Ring Road, from small rental cars to larger transport, such as four-wheel-drive SUVs or buses. Please be aware that while 2WD vehicles will suffice in the summer, driving a 4x4 during the winter is highly recommended. Also, make sure to check road conditions before heading out on the road during winter.

What is the speed limit on the Ring Road in Iceland?

The maximum speed for cars traveling along the Ring Road is 55 miles/hour (90 km/hour). However, there are places along the route where the speed limit is lower. Please adhere to speed limit signs along the route and adapt to road conditions.

Should I drive the Ring Road even in bad weather?

Before heading out on the road in bad weather in Iceland, make sure to check road conditions to estimate the level of danger on the Ring Road. Do not drive unless you are comfortable in your ability to do so.

Is it safe to drive the Ring Road in Iceland?

Driving the Ring Road is generally safe if you adhere to Icelandic driving laws, stay informed about weather conditions, and drive cautiously, especially in remote regions.

How long does it take to drive the Ring Road in Iceland?

It is possible to drive the Ring Road in about 15-17 hours, though this doesn’t take into account stopping at all the fantastic attractions and natural wonders en route. With that in mind, it is recommended to spend at least one week and preferably more than 10 days driving the Ring Road to give you enough time to take in the sights along the road.

Are all of Iceland’s natural attractions found along the Ring Road?

No, not all of the attractions in Iceland can be found along the Ring Road, some are in isolated locations in the remote Highlands. But there are definitely enough natural attractions along the Ring Road for an adventure-filled road trip around the country.

Which is the best direction to travel around the Ring Road in Iceland?

The more popular direction is to head south first along the Golden Circle route which will then take you towards Iceland's South Coast. Going in that direction will take you to Iceland's most popular destinations first before heading to the more remote Eastfjords. However, it is entirely up to you which direction to go.

Is it possible to camp along the Ring Road in Iceland?

Yes, though you must stick to designated campsites, many of which can be found in towns and villages by the Ring Road. Note that camping in the wild in Iceland is illegal and also that many campsites are only open during the summer months.

Are there gas stations and convenience stores along the Ring Road in Iceland?

Yes, the towns and villages on the route will have at minimum a convenience store and petrol station. However, there can be great distances between towns, so planning ahead is essential.

Can you drive Iceland's Ring Road in a week?

Yes, driving the Ring Road in one week is very much doable with plenty of stopping for attractions along the way. It all depends on how much time you have and how much driving you are willing to do each day. Five days on the Ring Road is the bare minimum and could make you feel rushed, but two weeks gives you a lot of time to explore and go your own way.

Is the Ring Road the same as the Golden Circle?

No, the Golden Circle is a fairly short route with three of Iceland's most popular attractions along the way which can be finished in one day out of Reykjavik. The 'Ring Road' is a nickname for Iceland's Route 1, which is a national road that circles the entire island and takes at least one week to drive, with stops along the way.

What is the best time of year to travel the Ring Road in Iceland?

The best time to travel the Ring Road depends on your preferences and interests. Summer (June to August) offers the most favorable weather conditions, longer daylight hours, and greater accessibility to attractions.
However, winter (December to February) can provide unique experiences, such as the northern lights and snow-covered landscapes. Renting a 4x4 vehicle is recommended as certain roads may be closed or difficult to navigate due to snow and ice.

Can I see the northern lights during a Ring Road tour?

The northern lights are visible in Iceland during winter, typically between late September and early April. The chances of seeing the aurora depend on several factors, including solar activity, weather conditions, and the absence of light pollution. Traveling the Ring Road during the winter can increase your chances of witnessing this natural phenomenon, as you will have access to various locations with minimal light pollution.

Can I rent a campervan for a Ring Road tour in Iceland?

Yes, you can rent a campervan in Iceland for your Ring Road tour. Renting a campervan allows you to travel at your own pace and create a custom itinerary. Be sure to book your rental well in advance, especially during the high season, and familiarize yourself with Iceland's driving regulations and road conditions. Remember to always park your campervan at a designated campsite before going to sleep.

Are guided Ring Road tours available in Iceland?

Yes, there are multiple guided Ring Road tours available that are mostly focused on photography in Iceland. This 10-day photography tour of the complete Ring Road includes an expert photography guide that helps you get the best out of your camera in Iceland, whether you're an amateur photographer or more experienced.

Are there any specific safety tips for driving on the Ring Road?

When driving on the Ring Road, keep these safety tips in mind:
1. Be cautious of single-lane bridges and give way to oncoming traffic as necessary.
2. Watch out for wildlife, such as sheep or reindeer, which may wander onto the road.
3. Be prepared for sudden changes in road conditions, such as transitioning from paved to gravel surfaces.
4. Use designated parking areas and pullouts when stopping to enjoy the scenery or take photographs.
5. Be aware of other road users, including cyclists and slower-moving vehicles.

What are the main driving rules and regulations on the Ring Road in Iceland?

Some important driving rules to keep in mind include:
1. Drive on the right side of the road.
2. Seatbelts are mandatory for all passengers.
3. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05% - it is recommended to avoid drinking and driving altogether.
4. Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited unless using a hands-free device.
5. Observe posted speed limits, which are typically 90 km/h (56 mph) on paved roads and 80 km/h (50 mph) on gravel roads.
6. Keep headlights on at all times, even during daylight hours.
7. Off-road driving is strictly prohibited and can result in heavy fines.

Do I need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive the Ring Road in Iceland?

While an IDP is not mandatory for all visitors, car rental agencies require a valid driver's license written in the Latin alphabet. If your license is not in English or does not use the Latin alphabet, obtaining an IDP is advisable to avoid any issues.

What should I pack for a Ring Road tour?

Packing essentials include warm clothing, waterproof gear, comfortable shoes, and a camera. Specific packing lists may vary depending on the season and activities you plan to do.

What type of accommodations can I expect along the Ring Road in Iceland?

Accommodations along the Ring Road are diverse, ranging from hotels, guesthouses, hostels and cottages. Booking accommodations in advance is recommended, particularly during the high season.

Is there mobile phone coverage along the Ring Road in Iceland?

Mobile phone coverage is generally good along the Ring Road, especially in towns and populated areas. However, there may be some remote stretches with limited or no coverage. It is advisable to download offline maps and inform someone of your travel plans in case of an emergency.

Are there age restrictions for joining Ring Road tours?

Age restrictions may vary depending on the tour operator and the specific tour. Some tours may have age limits for safety reasons, so it's essential to check with the operator before booking.
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