10 Day Itinerary | Ring Road Circle of Iceland & Reykjavik

10 Day Itinerary | Ring Road Circle of Iceland & Reykjavik
Icebergs shimmering in the sunlight on the dark sand's of the Diamond Beach in South Iceland.
Icebergs floating on the serene Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the fading sunlight
Waves crashing on icebergs on the shore of the Diamond Beach
Northern Iceland's Hvítserkur rock in the glowing light of the midnight sun
On a tour of the Golden Circle, you'll see Strokkur, the erupting hot spring at Geysir geothermal area.
The turquoise colours of the waters in Silfra fissure in Þingvellir National Park are spectacular.

Join this tour for 10 days of adventure and travel the whole circle of Iceland, including the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, while joining in the most popular outdoor activities. Those looking to experience Icelandic nature, culture, history and adventure should not let this opportunity pass them by.

Prior to your arrival, all accommodations, transportation and activities will be sorted out for you, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride. You will have a small-group minibus adventure around the country as well as free time in the Nordic capital Reykjavík, with a myriad of optional activities to spice up your itinerary.

You'll use the Ring Road to take a full circuit around Iceland, from the world-famous Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle to the crown jewels of Iceland's natural wonders - Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Dettifoss waterfall, and the black sand beach Reynisfjara. You'll drive through vast lava fields on your way to the remote Eastfjords and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and pass verdant farmlands as you travel the South Coast and the North.

You will also have the opportunity to see some of Iceland's most exciting wildlife, including whales, dolphins and seals, and take part in a glacier hike. It should go without saying that the landscapes, be they glaciers, rugged coastlines or mountain peaks, will leave you in awe for years to come.

So don't delay any longer! Hurry now and you too can experience the best that Iceland has to offer with this thrilling 10-day tour around the country. Check availability by choosing a date. 


Quick facts

Tour information:
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible.

Included:
  • 8-day small group guided tour of Iceland, travelling around the ring route

  • 7 nights of accommodation in various country hotels (breakfast included, private bathroom depending on availability)

  • 2 nights of accommodation in Reykjavik (different levels available; breakfast not included for Super Budget or Budget levels; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)

  • Return transfer between Keflavik international airport and Reykjavik city

  • Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

  • Blue Lagoon entrance (can be added during the booking process)

  • International flights

  • Lunch and dinner

  • Additional activities (Can be added during the booking process)


What to bring:
  • Warm wind- and waterproof clothing

  • Good outdoor shoes

  • Swimsuit and a towel

  • Camera


Good to know:

Customers travelling on their own will receive a single room. Reservations for 2 people will be allocated a double room. For bookings of 3 or more, triple rooms will automatically be allocated. For example, a group of 8 will receive 2 triple rooms and 1 double. If these arrangements do not meet your requirements, please contact the provider.

Iceland is a country of oppositions. The weather might be fickle and change rapidly and can get quite cold even in summer. Wearing proper shoes and overcoats will certainly make your travels more enjoyable.

Please note that only pick up and drop-off from designated pick up locations in the greater capital area is available, not from Keflavík International Airport. Therefore, we do not recommend attempting to start this tour on your arrival day in Iceland.

Arrival time back to Reykjavík at the end of your tour can vary depending on weather and traffic. Your domestic flight from Akureyri to Reykjavík will land in the afternoon/evening. It is highly recommended that you do not book your flight home the same night as bad weather or delays could affect your journey. Please be sure to arrange accommodation for this evening and an airport transfer the next day to take you to Keflavík International Airport for your departure.

Please note that boat tours on the glacier lagoon are only available from May.

If you book the extra activities alongside this tour, you will get them at a lower price.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Iceland!


The majestic Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík bathed in the warm glow of the midnight sun


Now your adventure starts!

After collecting your bags, you'll board a bus go out to the dark lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula. You'll travel through this lunar-like landscape on your way to Iceland's vibrant capital, Reykjavík.

En route is the famous Blue Lagoon Spa, the perfect place for a rejuvenating soak after a flight. You can book an entrance ticket during the booking process and if your flight arrives before 3 pm, you can stop there directly on your way to the city. This visit can also be scheduled on your departure day if you are in a hurry to get into town.

When you arrive into the city, the downtown area will greet you with its many restaurants and cafés to entertain you on your first night in the northernmost capital in the world.

Do a little exploring if you are not too tired, and let the Midnight Sun light up the evening. You can see Hallgrímskirkja church, Harpa Concert Hall, and the Parliament building among other great locations.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

Reykjavík Budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

Reykjavík Comfort

The Fosshótel chain has four 3-4 star Hotels located in and around the city center of Reykjavík. There is a short walk from all of the hotels to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 2 - Golden Circle


The impressive erupting hot spring geyser at Geysir geothermal park is one of three main attractions on the Golden Circle route.


It’s the first real day of adventuring outside of the city. Your guide will pick you up in the morning and take you to the first stop on your 8-day adventure; the world-famous Golden Circle sightseeing route.

You'll begin at Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site beloved by travellers and locals alike for two main reasons. First, the area has a captivating history as this is where Viking settlers formed Alþingi in 930 AD, the world’s first democratically elected parliament.

The second reason falls down to the area’s geology. Þingvellir is located in the rift valley, nestled between two tectonic plates, both of which can be observed up close as you make your way through Almannagjá gorge.

After your time at Þingvellir is over, you will discover the magnificent Geysir geothermal area. The region is known for the geyser, Strokkur, which routinely erupts every five minutes or so, shooting enormous jets of water high into the air. You will also find steaming fumaroles and colourful hot springs dotted around.

The final stop of the Golden Circle is Gullfoss, one of the most beautiful and dramatic waterfalls in the whole of Iceland. Here, you'll see glacier water plunge down into an ancient canyon with tremendous force, it is quite the sight.

This is doesn't have to be the end of your adventure for the day, however.  You can choose to further explore the Icelandic countryside on horseback. The Icelandic horse is well known for its intelligent and friendly temperament so this tour is perfect for everyone, even those with no riding experience.

Your accommodation for the evening will be close to the Golden Circle area,


Accommodation

Fosshótel Hekla

Fosshotel Hekla is a 3-star hotel in the Golden Circle area. The hotel has a restaurant which serves traditional Icelandic cuisine, a bar and a lounge. Free access to hot tub. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Stracta Hotel Hella

Stracta Hotel Hella is a 3-star hotel in the town of Hella. The hotel has an on-site bar with a lounge for guest and a sun terrace. Free access to hot tub. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 3 - South Coast


The black sands of Iceland's South Coast meet the Midnight Sun.


The third day of this exciting excursion sees you travelling along the South Coast. It is one of Iceland’s most popular sightseeing route, due in large part to the fact that the area is so characterised by its rugged coastlines, distant mountain peaks, rolling hillsides and cascading waterfalls.

Throughout your time on the South Coast, you will be privy to Eyjafjallajökull, the stratovolcano famous for its violent 2010 eruption. Your first stop of the day will be the wonderful Seljalandsfoss waterfall characterised by the large cavern that sits behind the water which allows visitors to see the falls from behind the falling spring water.

Your next stop will be at Skógafoss, one of the country’s most beautiful waterfalls with its giant, 60-metre high curtain of falling water. On sunny days it's often possible to see rainbows at this impressive natural feature.

One of the major highlights of the day will be the opportunity to hike the glittering glacier, Sólheimajökull. Not only is this one of the most unique experiences that one can partake in, but it also offers incredible panoramic views over the South Coast.

Don’t worry if you’ve never been glacier hiking before as your guide will make sure to fit you out with all of the necessary equipment, including helmets, walking poles and crampons, and will also provide a safety briefing about walking on the ice. 

Another stop you will make is at Reynisfjara black sand beach, known for its jet-black volcanic sand, strange rock formations and the iconic basalt stack, Reynisdrangar, which folklore dictates is the petrified remains of an ancient troll, frozen in the sunlight.

You will spend your night near the little village of Vík.


Accommodation

Puffin Hótel Vík

The Puffin Hótel Vík is a country hotel and guesthouse situated in the coastal village of Vík. Located next to a restaurant, museum and swimming pool. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Hotel Katla

Hotel Katla is a 3-star country hotel situated 5 km east of Vík. Comfortable private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a hot tub and a sauna. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 4 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon


Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon painted in pink colours from the midnight sun.


Back on the road! You will race across the magnificent black sand desert, Sólheimassandur to reach your first destination of the day, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. This stunning natural feature is often called “The Crown Jewel of Iceland” and once you have been there, you will understand why.

Icebergs of various sizes and shades of white and brilliant blues gently float through the lagoon on their journey to the sea. Seals live in the area and it’s often possible to see them in the water, playing amongst their icy neighbours.

If you're visiting from May, you can join the seals on the water on a boat tour! Take an Amphibian adventure in which you board a large vessel that is capable of driving into the water. This is a great option for families and larger groups. There are only a limited number of vessels allowed on the water each day and these tours regularly sell out so don’t miss your chance to explore this brilliant location properly.

Once you have fully taken in the magic of Jökulsárlón, you have the opportunity to walk among the ice on the legendary Diamond Beach where the icebergs sometimes wash up on shore. Marvel at the crystal clear ice standing in sharp contrast to the black sand on the beach.

You will spend the evening at accommodation not far from the lagoon.


Accommodation

Fosshótel Vatnajökull

Fosshótel Vatnajökull is a country hotel situated near the coastal village of Höfn. Europe’s largest icecap Vatnajökull can be seen from the location. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included

Hótel Höfn

Hotel Höfn is a 3-star hotel located in Höfn town central. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included


Day 5 - Eastfjords


The remote and far flung Eastfjords will have you captivated by their astonishing beauty.


Today you will be exploring the wild and remote Eastfjords. This part of the country is known for its quiet fishing villages and winding mountain roads.

On this day, your local guide will make stops at some of his favourite locations. These can include scenic sights such as dramatic beaches or small, idyllic little towns. Gorgeous mountain views will have you mesmerised throughout the day as you wind along towards the capital of the East, Egilsstaðir.

Before you reach your accommodation for the evening, you will pass the largest forest in Iceland, Hallormsstaðaskógur, a national treasure in a mostly treeless country. Close by is Lake Lagarfljót which is rumoured to be inhabited by a giant beast, not too dissimilar to Scotland’s Loch Ness.

Get to know the charming town of Egilsstaðir and go for an evening stroll in the Midnight Sun.


Accommodation

Fosshótel Austfirðir

Fosshótel Austfirðir is a picturesque country hotel in the fjord of Fáskrúðsfjörður. Guests can enjoy Icelandic cuisine at the elegant restaurant L’Abri. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Lake Hótel Egilsstaðir

Lake Hotel Egilsstaðir is a 3-star hotel located right by the lake Lagarfljót. It is also within a short walking distance from the centre of Egilsstaðir town. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Spa on site for an additional price. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 6 - Dettifoss & Myvatn


Dettifoss waterfall is the most powerful waterfall in Europe and it never fails to impress.


Your sixth day in the country has a ferocious treat in store for you! The magnificent Dettifoss waterfall is the most powerful in Europe and is truly a sight to behold. For its size, it has been nicknamed ‘The Beast’ and it's possible to see the enormous spray it sends up from far across the gnarled and rocky world of Jökulsárglúfur canyon.

Your next stop will be the lush and rocky Ásbyrgi canyon which is shaped like a horseshoe. The legend goes that this great valley was formed and given its unique shape by Odin’s 8-legged horse, Sleipnir stamping down on the earth.

Following the coastline, you will pay a visit to the sleepy town of Húsavík which boasts pretty multi-coloured houses, an enchanting harbour and a striking wooden church.

Moving on, you will carry on to Lake Mývatn (‘Fly Lake’) named after the small flies that call it home. The area surrounding Lake Mývatn is home to many beautiful natural features and it is especially geothermally active. There’s perhaps no better spot to see these processes than at Námskarð Pass where mud puddles boil and bubble and fumaroles steam endlessly.

You can really get a feel for the area by choosing to immerse yourself in the revitalising waters of Mývatn Nature Baths which are geothermally heated and guaranteed to lead to immediate relaxation. Your accommodation for the evening will be in the Mývatn region.


Accommodation

Fosshótel Mývatn

Fosshótel Mývatn is situated by Lake Mývatn in North Iceland. All rooms include a flat-screen TV with private bathrooms and a hairdryer. Breakfast is included. Free Wi-Fi.

Vogafjós Farm Resort

Vogafjós is a family-run guesthouse on the shore of Lake Mývatn surrounded by unique landscapes. Free WiFi. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Breakfast is included.


Day 7 - Godafoss Waterfall & Akureyri Town


Godafoss waterfall can be found close to the town of Akureyri, the capital in the north.


Today you will continue your exploration of the fascinating Mývatn area, starting with a trip to the dark labyrinth, Dimmuborgir. This expansive lava field is the legendary home of Iceland’s most wicked character, Grýla, who delights in boiling and eating naughty children.

Another day, another waterfall, and this time, it’s Goðafoss, which translates to ‘the Waterfall of the Gods’. This powerful feature got its name from a moment in history, the Christianisation of Iceland, upon which the country’s former pagan inhabitants tossed their heathen idols into the waterfalls’ frothing white rapids.

In Akureyri, you will have the opportunity to explore the city, taking in its many museums, restaurants and cafes and shops, as well potentially visit the beloved Botanical Gardens. There's also a large swimming pool with hot tubs and three grand water slides which is worth a visit.

You will also have the opportunity to extend your Icelandic adventure out to sea where you can catch a glimpse of the many species of whale that inhabits the waters around Iceland. Choose a whale watching tour during the booking process and embrace the chance to see these gentle giants in the wild.

You will be spending the evening in Akureyri.


Accommodation

Hótel Kjarnalundur

Hótel Kjarnalundur is located in a wooded area next to Akureyri town. The hotel offers an onsite bar, terrace, and a great mountain view. Free WiFi. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Breakfast is included.

Hótel Akureyri

Hótel Akureyri is located in the centre of Akureyri township, North Iceland. Rooms come equipped with luxury beds, private bathrooms, satellite TV, minibar and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 8 - Going West


This sea arch at Hellnar is mesmerising and a photographer's favourite.


Having explored the North of Iceland, it’s now time to make your way West. Continuing along the Icelandic Ring Road, you will make your first stop of the day at the rock stack, Hvítserkur, widely thought to resemble a dragon or elephant drinking water from the ocean. This, among many of the sites in Iceland, makes for truly compelling photographs.

Continuing to the fjord of Borgarfjörður, you will pass the haunting but beautiful lava field of Hallmundarhraun as you do so. A mere 900 metres from here, you will also have the opportunity to look upon two of West Iceland’s most distinguished waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. The first waterfall can be described as wide and gentle flowing, whilst the latter is far more violent.

Your final stop of the day, before heading to your accommodations in the Borgarfjörður area, will be at Deildartunguhver, a hot spring with the highest flow rate in Europe.


Accommodation

Fosshótel Reykholt

Fosshótel Reykholt is a country hotel in West Iceland. All rooms have a private bathroom and free Wi-Fi. The hotel has a restaurant which offers traditional Icelandic cuisine, as well as a bar and TV lounge. Breakfast is included.

Hótel Húsafell

Hotel Húsafell is a 3-star hotel located in Húsafell settlement, surrounded by picturesque landscapes. All bedrooms have private bathrooms that include shower or bath, hairdryer, and free toiletries. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 9 - The Snaefellsnes Peninsula


Kirkjufell is Iceland's most photographed mountain and it's easy to see why.


Your final day exploring the Icelandic countryside will see you visiting the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, known as “Iceland in Miniature” thanks to its wealth of different natural attractions. The glacial stratovolcano, Snæfellsjökull, rests at the peninsula’s tip and avid readers will recognise this glacier as the entrance point to a subterranean world in Jules Verne’s novel “Journey To The Centre of The Earth. ”

Your first stop of the day will be the most photographed mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell. The feature was used in HBO’s Game of Thrones as “the mountain like an arrowhead”, as pointed out by the Hound.

Next up is the black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur where you can test your strength in traditional Icelandic manner; four large boulders here are called “the Lifting Stones”, and were utilised by ancient fisherman to suss out one’s suitability to ocean life.

Should you wish to add further adventure to your day, you can opt to visit Vatnshellir cave, one of Iceland's largest structures of this kind. Live your own Journey to the Centre of the Earth and explore the fascinating wonders waiting below.

Travel the coast further, you will pass the historic settlements of Arnarstapi and Hellnar. This area is known for its stunning geography, culminating with the Lóndrangar basalt columns, towering over the ocean.

Then, your time on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula will come to a close, after which you will make your way back to Reykjavík and your accommodation for the night.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

Reykjavík Budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

Reykjavík Comfort

The Fosshótel chain has four 3-4 star Hotels located in and around the city center of Reykjavík. There is a short walk from all of the hotels to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 10 - Farwell to Iceland


The lights of downtown Reykjavík mirrored in serene waters


It's your final day in the country and its time to say goodbye. If you happen to have an afternoon departure flight scheduled, the morning is free to fill as you see fit. Why not check out some of the capital's fascinating museums and art galleries, or perhaps, take a stroll around some of Reykjavík's parks and inner-city attractions?

If you missed your Blue Lagoon visit on your arrival day, you can head to the geothermal waters of the spa today before your departing flight. 

We hope that you've had a spectacular time in Iceland, and we can't wait to see you again.


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 budget and comfort 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). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. 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.


Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel the booking of this package and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person. The cancellation must be made within a minimum of 48-hours before the listed starting time. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact our service desk by writing to info@guidetoiceland.is no later than 48-hours before departure and declare the cancellation. Please note that this insurance only covers the full cancellation of this entire package. It does not cover cancellations of individual activities and services within the package. The cost of the Cancellation Insurance is neither refundable nor transferable.


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