Laufás turf houses in Akureyri

Reykjavík - Akureyri - Husavik - Jökulsárlón - Keflavik 

It’s difficult to experience all of the incredible landscape that Iceland has to offer in one trip, but it is possible to see plenty in a single self-drive tour. This trip takes in the spectacular waterfalls and whale watching experiences on the northern coast, before heading southeast toward the magical glacial lagoon of Jökulsárlón. 

The whale watching in Husavik is widely recognised as some of the finest in the world, whilst the waterfalls of Dettifoss, Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss are sure to take your breath away. Having seen some of the finest Iceland has to offer, a scenic drive along the south coast, before reaching the airport in Keflavik, will no doubt provide you with even more memorable moments.      

Day 1 - Arrive in Akureyri

The drive to Akureyri takes about 5 hours from Reykjavík and 6 hours from Keflavík international airport. You can also fly from Reykjavík domestic airport and reach the Akureyri in 45 minutes. Depending on what time you arrive in Akureyri, there is plenty to do in north Iceland’s biggest city. Enjoy some seafood in one of many fantastic restaurants, visit the beautiful church and nearby hot springs, or take a day trip to see the mud pots near the Namafjall mountain.

Day 2 - Akureyri to Dettifoss to Husavik

The second day is the start of your road trip. Begin by visiting Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss. The 100m wide Dettifoss crashes down from a height of almost 50m, making it a truly wondrous natural spectacle. The nearby Hafragilsfoss and Selfoss are equally worth seeing, and make this one of the finest areas in the world for waterfall enthusiasts. Finish the day in the seaside town of Husavik.

Day 3 - 4 Husavik to Jökulsárlón

Husavik is famous for its whale watching cruises and there a few better places in the world for a guaranteed sighting of marine mammals. Start you day with a morning cruise, before driving south toward Jökulsárlón, via the fiords that line Iceland’s east coast. Consider stopping off for the night in Fljótsdalshérað, as this will allow you to take a more thorough tour of the fiords, whilst also breaking up the six hour drive to Jökulsárlón.

Day 5 - Jökulsárlón

Spend this day exploring the glacier lagoon, just south of Vatnajokull national park. The lagoon covers an area of around seven square miles, and more than 300 feet of ice breaks away each year, populating the water with eerie, tranquil sculptures of various different shades and sizes. Cruises are available on the water, or consider hiring a kayak and exploring for yourself!

Day 6-7 - Jökulsárlón to Keflavik

As you drive back west along the south coast, the ring road on offers fantastic views of the Vatnajokull glacier, which is the home Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnukur. A hike on the nearby Skaftafell glacier is a great way to spend a few hours. There are a number of cultural and natural sights as you go, including the Saga Museum in village of Hvolsvullur, the notorious Eyjafjallajökull volcano and the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Depending on how much time you want to spend behind the wheel, it is possible to reach the airport in one day, but consider stopping off half way along the coast, perhaps in Dyrhólaey, where you can rest and enjoy your surrounding a little more.

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