The Ring Road - 10 day Self Drive Tour
Along National Road Number One
Travel at your own pace and explore Iceland’s majestic nature, with its national parks, beautiful waterfalls, striking glaciers, magnificent volcanoes and geothermal areas.
This classic self drive brings you along the Ring Road (the main national road) as well as other roads looping out from the Ring Road. You will see the City of Reykjavik, do the Golden Circle, see hot springs, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, Skaftafell nature resort in Vatnajokull National Park, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, the East Fjords, impressive Dettifoss Waterfall, the towns of Husavik and Akureyri, and much more.
Check out this guided minibus tour: The Ring Road - 7 day package tour with northern lights hunting.
Your tour begins when collect your car at the international airport of Keflavik (you'll need to book this, and give us the specifics about your flight). Your route takes you along the Reykjanes peninsula which is the most southwesterly point in Iceland and also the youngest part of the country. The North Atlantic ridge comes ashore here and visible signs of volcanic activity, created by that ridge, can be seen all over this peninsula. Lava fields, lava tubes, rifts and hot springs can be found in a number of locations here.
Before you drive to Reykjavik, you could take the time to relax in the Blue Lagoon Spa. The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most unique and popular attractions. Guests enjoy bathing and relaxing in Blue Lagoon´s geothermal seawater, known for its positive effects on the skin. A visit to the spa promotes harmony between body, mind and spirit, and enables you to soak away the stresses of modern life. Visitors to the Blue Lagoon rekindle their relationship with nature, soak up the scenic beauty and enjoy breathing the clean, fresh air. Your route will now take you to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik where your accommodation for your first night should be arranged.
Optional: Restaurants in the Reykjavik area
Optional: Visit the Blue Lagoon
The Golden Circle
Your tour begins today with a drive to Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic parliament. Enjoy the landscape, the history and the wonders of nature where the tectonic plates of America and Europe meet and the rift valley is clearly visible. From here your route will take you to see the famous Geysir hot-spring area. Take a look at the Great Geysir, although it is not active nowadays. Strokkur will surely be active and spouting every few minutes - this is a great place to see geysers in action. Make sure you do not miss the mighty Gullfoss Waterfall which is just a five minute drive away.
We recommend you arrange your accommodation for the night in the area surrounding Gullfoss/Geysir.
Optional: Snorkeling under the midnight sun (May - Aug)
After breakfast your route will take you south east to the villages Hella and Hvolsvollur and a visit to the Saga Museum at Hvolsvollur is recommended. From here you will need to follow the road to Fljotshlid, which on a clear day will give you a very good view to Eyfjafjallajokull central volcano, other central volcanoes and glaciers around this area before you drive to the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Take a walk behind Seljalandsfoss and enjoy the power and might of Skogafoss. At Skogar you could visit the nice Folk Museum before heading to Solheimajokull glacier, an outlet glacier from Myrdalsjokull glacier - you could go snowmobiling here before driving to Reynisfjara beach and then on to the village Vik. From Vik you will need to drive east over Myrdalssandur sand giving you a view up to the volcano Katla which is sleeping nicely under the Myrdalsjokull glacier. On the way you cross over Eldgjarhraun lava field, which is the biggest lava field from historic times in the world (19 cubic metres), and cross over some glacial rivers. Next you will cross over Eldhraun which is the second biggest lava field from historic times in the world (13 cubic metres) before continuing to the village Kirkjubaejarklaustur, situated in a very interesting landscape where you could look at Kirkjugolf, a specific columnar formation.
Your accommodation for the night should be arranged in the area surrounding Kirkjubaejarklaustur.
Optional: Snowmobile tour on Myrdalsjokull glacier (all year)
Skaftafell in Vatnajokull National Park and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
From Kirkjubaejarklaustur the tour will take you on a drive to Foss a Sidu (a waterfall) and then to Dverghamrar and on to Skeidararsandur. Your route today will take you on a drive over big glacial rivers and give you a good view up to Vatnajokull glacier seeing Hvannadalshnukur, Iceland’s highest peak, and other glaciers around this part. You could choose to hike in Skaftafell, or to take a glacier hiking tour with a guide, a walk to the edge of Skaftafellsjokull glacier which offers a view to the Skaftafellsjokull and Svinafellsjokull glaciers. Your tour continues to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, where you could enjoy a boat tour, before ending the day in the Hofn in Hornafjordur area.
Your accommodation for the night should be arranged in the area surrounding Hofn in Hornafjordur.
Optional: Glacier hike in Skaftafell (all year)
Optional: Ice caves Vatnajokull National Park (Nov - Mar)
Optional: Boat tour in Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon (Apr - Oct)
The East Fjords
Today your tour takes you on a drive through the spectacular East Fjords with its towering mountains and charming fishing villages as you head to the fertile Egilsstadir area. After you leave the town of Hofn in Hornafjordur heading north across the East Fjords it is good to stop here and there, maybe in the villages of Djupivogur, Breiddalsvik, Stodvarfjordur, Faskrudsfjordur and/or Reydarfjordur. Your drive will take you around Lake Lagarfljot which is a stop offering both historical places of interest and special natural places.
Your accommodation for the night should be arranged in the area surrounding Egilsstadir.
Dettifoss waterfall and Myvatn
From Egilsstadir your tour continues along the national ring road until you need to turn off onto the road to Dettifoss, a truly magnificent waterfall. After enjoying these mighty falls you will need to turn around and head back the short distance to the ring road. Before you arrive at Myvatn you come to the hot spring area of Namaskard (Hverarond), and Krafla Geothermal Power Station. The nearby crater lake Viti is a good place to stop and take a few photos, it is also very nice to see the colourful sulfurous slopes of Namaskard and Krafla volcanic area. The early evening is a good time to explore the highlights of Lake Myvatn.
Your accommodation for the night is recommended to be in the area surrounding Lake Myvatn.
Lake Myvatn and Husavik
This is a day to spend in Lake Myvatn and its surrounding area and you could spend a life time exploring this area! Some of its unique attractions are Dimmuborgir and the pseudo craters at Skutustadir. Do not miss Hverfjall (also known as Hverfell) which is a tephra cone or tuff ring volcano with a crater approximately 1 km in diameter. It is a very easy hike to the rim (giving you a great view of the whole area).
Take a look at Grjotagja, a small lava cave with a thermal spring inside, the water temperature is about 42°C. Or, if you wanted to be a little bit more sophisticated, try Jardbodin, a geothermal spa (also known as Myvatn Nature Baths). Finally, you will need to head towards Husavik.
It is recommended you spend the night in the Husavik area.
North Iceland and Akureyri
You have the opportunity to take a whale watching tour from Husavik in the morning before you drive to Godafoss Waterfall and from there to the town of Akureyri. It is good to spend a few hours exploring Akureyri, the capital of the North and its surrounding area. From Akureyri your route will take you west to the horse-breeding valley of the Skagafjordur fjord.
We recommend accommodation for the night be arranged in the Skagafjordur fjord area.
Optional: Whale watching from Husavik (Apr - Oct)
West Iceland to Reykjavik
Today your route will take you south through Borgarfjordur where there are a lot of places worth visiting including the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls and Iceland´s largest natural hot spring, Deildartunguhver. Next your tour will take you on the road around Hvalfjordur fjord to Reykjavik. Hvalfjordur (Whale Fjord) is a long fjord, a very peaceful and beautiful place in nature.
Your accommodation for the night should be arranged in the Reykjavik area.
Optional: Horse Riding along the Black River (all year)
Optional: River Rafting in North Iceland (May - Sep)
Depending on your departure time you could use this day to explore the capital. You could enjoy a sightseeing tour in or around Reykjavik or try out one of the thermal swimming pools or just go for a walk downtown. Maybe you'd like to seize the chance to hit the mall for some final shopping, or to savour the local cuisine in one of the capital's many restaurants. Reykjavik has many museums and galleries worth visiting. If you have an early morning flight you will need to drive straight to Keflavik International Airport where you will drop off your car (if you have booked this option).