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Take the Wheel and Prepare to be Amazed
Just as the name indicates, on this popular route you’ll navigate Iceland’s legendary and scenic “Ring Road,” and traverse the magical Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Along the way, visit some of the country’s most spectacular natural attractions, including Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss and Goðafoss waterfalls and the lunar landscapes of Lake Mývatn, complete with craters and unearthly rock formations.
- See the massive floating icebergs at the Glacier Lagoon
- Explore the famous Golden Circle route
- Discover the volcanic Lake Mývatn and its beautiful surroundings
- Enjoy the cascading waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss & Skógafoss
- Traverse Iceland‘s beautiful national parks – Vatnajökull, Þingvellir and Snæfellsnes
- Photograph jagged basalt columns & sweeping black sand beaches
- Walk the quaint streets of Akureyri, the unofficial capital of north Iceland
- Enjoy the striking nature of Snæfellsnes and its charming fishing villages
- Walk the quaint streets of the capital city,
- Reykjavik Roam the tranquil villages of the East Fjords
Day 1 – Welcome to Reykjavik
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On arrival to Keflavik Airport, you will be greeted by a driver who will take you to your accommodation in Reykjavík. After settling in, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the vibrant city centre with its abundance of museums, restaurants and bars to suit all tastes. If you're interested in checking out Icelandic design or experiencing the city's thriving coffee culture, head to the main street, Laugavegur, and enjoy its various shops and cosy cafes. Spend the night in Reykjavík. .
Day 2: The Golden Circle
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Collect your rental car in the morning and begin your journey on the classic “Golden Circle” route, home to some of Iceland’s most popular attractions. Start with a visit to the fascinating Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can walk on a path in the rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Next on the route is the Haukadalur geothermal area, where you can see Geysir—the original “geyser”—and its more active neighbour, Strokkur, which spouts water every few minutes. End the circle with visits to the majestic Gullfoss waterfall and the old implosion crater of Kerið. Spend the night in the Hvolsvöllur area.
Driving distance approx. 230 km / 143 mi.
Day 3: Waterfalls and Volcanic Beaches
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Start with visits to the fairytale-like Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can experience walking right behind the misty cascade, and the gorgeous 60-metre high Skógafoss waterfall just a short drive down the road. Further ahead at Vík, you can make a stop at the black volcanic beach south of the village, from where you can view the rock formations Dyrhólaey and Reynisdrangar. The last stop of the day is to the stunning Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. You also have a chance today to join an exciting guided excursion by foot or snowmobile on a glacier! Spend the night in Kirkjubæjarklaustur/Skaftafell area.
Driving distance approx. 157 km / 97 mi.
Day 4: Glaciers and Icebergs
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Enjoy Skaftafell, part of the immense Vatnajökull National Park and a place of great natural beauty with many interesting hiking trails, including a short path to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall. This area is also full of opportunities for more adventurous pursuits, such as guided glacier-walking or ice-climbing excursions. Then, head to the amazing Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, where you can join a boat ride among the maze of floating icebergs (optional). Spend the night in the Höfn or Djúpivogur area.
Driving distance approx. 208 km / 129 mi.
Day 5: Fjords and Fishing Villages
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Your drive along East Iceland today is characterised by spectacular fjords, tranquil fishing villages, rugged tundra and sweeping landscapes. On arrival to the otherworldly Lake Mývatn, you have an abundance of unusual natural wonders to explore, including the Krafla volcano, the curiously-coloured Námaskarð pass, the massive crater of Hverfell and the lunar-like pseudo-craters at Skútustaðir. Spend the night in the Lake Mývatn area.
Driving distance approx. 430 km / 267 mi.
Day 6: Lunar Landscapes of Lake Mývatn
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Use this day to further explore the surroundings of Lake Mývatn. You can start the day with an optional whale-watching trip from the village of Húsavík, “The Whale Watching Capital of Europe”. Then, drive through Jökulsárgljúfur; part of Vatnajökull National Park, visiting such sights as the hoof-shaped Ásbyrgi canyon and the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss. End the day by bathing in the relaxing geothermal waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths, where you can experience the glow of the midnight sun. Spend the night in the Lake Mývatn area.
Day 7: Explore North Iceland
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Spend the first half of the day around Lake Mývatn. We recommend a visit to Goðafoss (“The Waterfall of the Gods”) on your way to the charming town of Akureyri, where you will find interesting shops and museums as well as the world's most northerly botanical garden. After your break in Akureyri, you can either head straight to Skagafjörður or take a detour on the way there to Tröllaskagi (“The Peninsula of the Trolls”), where you can enjoy fantastic scenery of beautiful mountains, cliffs and fjords. Then, continue through Siglufjörður, which was once the centre of Iceland’s herring fleet, and make a stop at Hofsós to relax in the thermal pool (optional) before arriving to Skagfjörður, an area known for its abundance of purebred Icelandic horses. Spend the night in Northwest Iceland.
Driving distance approx. 301 km / 187 mi.
Day 8: Journey to Snæfellsnes Peninsula
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Head to Snæfellsnes Peninsula today. On the way you’ll see the countless mounds of Vatnsdalshólar and the beautiful Þingeyrakirkja church. You may also wish to make stops to the living museum at Eiríksstaðir, home of famous Viking Erik the Red, and the hot geothermal pool of Guðrúnarlaug. Or pay a visit to Stykkishólmur, a picture-perfect fishing village overlooking Breiðafjörður Bay. Here, you can take a walk up to the small hill overlooking the harbour, Súgandisey, for a wonderful panoramic view over the town, sea and surrounding mountains. Spend the night on Snæfellsnes Peninsula / Borgarfjörður area.
Driving distance approx. 335 km / 208 mi.
Day 9: Snæfellsjökull National Park and Snæfellsjökull Glacier
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Experience the unique Snæfellsjökull National Park, with amazing birdlife, lush valleys and lava fields. It is ideal to drive around the peninsula, exploring Dritvík Cove, Lóndrangar Cliffs as well as Hellnar and Arnarstapi Cliffs with its bursting bird-life and the small villages on the coast. You might also wish to test your strength at the stones of the black volcanic beach of Djúpalónssandur like the seamen in past times. Spend the night in Reykjavík.
Driving distance approx. 219 km / 136 mi.
Day 10: Departure
On your day of departure, a shuttle bus will collect you from your hotel in Reykjavík and deliver you back to Keflavík International Airport ahead of your scheduled flight. If your flight is in the afternoon, you can fit in a relaxing visit to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa or even take a short guided tour of the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula (optional; not included).