5-Day Guided Ring Road Tour - Explore the Circle of Iceland
Join this 5-day adventure tour that takes you around Iceland via Route 1 which the local call the Ring Road, to all the best-known wonders and some hidden pearls in an easy and uncrowded way
What to expect
On the first day you will travel along South Coast of Iceland – by far the most well-known area of the island. Its relative proximity to the capital and picture-perfect worthy, diverse scenery dotted all around the region – from world renowned admired waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, to stretches of unique black beach coastlines and enigmatic moonlike formations at Reynisfjara, make it a top favourite. On your first day you will travel all the way to Skaftafell National Park, where you can participate in a very unique activity – Glacier Hike. Admiring a glacier from a distance is one thing but exploring them by foot, using provided safety gear, is a completely different world a part.
Second day starts with the visit at the Glacier Lagoon – unique glacial lake powered by melting ice from the outlet of Vatnajokull Glacier – the biggest one of its kind in Europe. There, depending on the season, you can enjoy either ice caving or an amphibian boat tour among ice bergs floating towards Atlantic Ocean. Then we turn East again travelling further to remote parts of island, where you will find solitude with nature. Enjoy scenic drive though East Fjords with stops at Vestrahorn, Djupivogur, Egillstadir and Studlagil Canyon (April-October). Remember to keep your head up not only to enjoy the beauty of the landscape, but also for unique fauna – wild reindeers are very commonly spotted in this area.
During Day 3 tour continues North though moon-alike landscapes surrounding Lake Myvatn. This area is known for its high geothermal activity, numerous hot springs and mud lakes. There you will go for good hikes and explore amazing places like Grjotagja Geothermal Cave, Dimmuborgir or Hverir just to name a few. Northern Iceland is also famous for stunning waterfalls – just soak up with the view of Godafoss, Dettifoss (April-October) and Selfoss.
Fourth day starts in Akureyri – the capital of the North. This small, remote city is located in a stunning, deep fjord. The city center is located next to the harbour, where one will find both modern architecture, historical wooden houses and Akureyri church located on the hill serving as a viewing point at the same time. In the nearby town called Dalvik you can enjoy a boat tour searching for whales. Their diversity and frequent sightings make this part of the country the European hotspot, if not the world, for whale watching activities both winter and summer alike. Then it is time to jump on the bus again and turn direction to Reykjavik. Along the way we will visit the rock Hvitserkur, the Icelandic Seal Center near Hvammstangi and Kolugljufur Canyon.
Itinerary for your last day is to be chosen by you – explore other parts of Iceland not located by the ring road, but equally stunning and worth visiting. You can visit either the Golden Circle Route – a real classic when visiting Iceland, Snæfellsnes Peninsula – called Iceland in miniature or Borgarfjörður filled with lava themed attractions including world-unique lava waterfalls spread on a distance of nearly 1 kilometre.
The maximum number of passengers on this tour is 19 which we believe creates a more personal and enjoyable experience for our guests.
Day 1 | The South Coast of Iceland
Today we will discover the beautiful south coast of Iceland.
In this part of Iceland you can see many of the most beautiful places in the country. A great combination of Ice, lava fields, lagoons, huge mountains, volcanoes and rough black coastline. There are also plenty of great waterfalls in the area for example Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss and the secret waterfall Gljubrabui, we will enjoy the pure nature and visit many places of interests. We will also stop at Reynisfjara Black Beach which is the most amazing beach in the whole country. Last stop on this day is Skaftafell National Park – a hiker´s paradise.
- Glacier Hike – minimum age 8 (available from April to October) – put the crampons on and enjoy the magnificent, raw views around you. Under care of an experienced, skilled and qualified glacier guide you will discover mind-blowing places, astonishing crevasses and unique ice formations. It is necessary to wear solid hiking shoes and highly recommend wearing warm, windproof jackets. That is basically all you need to bring – we provide the crampons and all necessary equipment to walk safely on glacier. This activity takes approximately 3 hours.
Day 2 | Adventure in the East
This day starts with visit at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon – world famous glacial lake filled with floating ice bergs falling from the biggest glacier in Europe – Vatnajökull. Some of them are being washed back ashore and dazzling in contrast to the black sand beach called Diamond Beach – nearly as famous as the lagoon itself. This area is also known for reach wildlife, including grey and harbour seals swimming in ice-cold waters or resting on the shore.
Then it is on to mountain Vestrahorn (which is one of the best spots for photos in Iceland) and continue along the dramatic east coast boasts long, narrow fjords with steep sides and jagged peaks which contrast with inland fertile farmlands. Natural harbors mean picture-postcard fishing villages and seemingly never-ending roads cross the region, providing beautiful sweeping views with steep mountains towering just behind the houses. One of the visited settlements is Djupivogur, located in Berufjordur – long and narrow fjord rich in birdlife. This charming fishing village had a long trading history dating back to 16th century. In present days, local harbour serves only fishermen, but you can still catch the spirit of this place while talking a short walk around the port buildings – including Langabud, old trading station build in 1790.
During spring and summer (from April to October) we also visit Studlagil Canyon – the hidden gem of Iceland. Turquoise waters originating in Vatnajokull glacier run between the biggest formation made of basalt columns in the whole country, that you can admire once taking just a short walk from the parking lot.
This day ends at Egillsstadir – the capital of the East Iceland.
- Blue Ice Cave visit – minimum age 8 (available from November to March) – start your day with super-jeep ride across the glacier to reach the natural phenomenon – Blue Ice Cave. This 3-hour long expedition will leave you with many, unforgettable memories. All the safety gear will be provided. Please make sure to wear warm clothing and solid hiking boots.
- Amphibian Boat Tour at Jökulsárlón (available from May to September) – take a 45-minute-long amphibian boat tour among floating ice bergs. Remember to keep your head up for seals swimming in the ice cold waters or resting on the shore.
- Vök Geothermal Floating Pools – new geothermal SPA built on the beautiful Lake Urridavatn. Put your swimwear on, relax and enjoy the view over the untouched landscape. Pools are filled with warm waters streaming up from deeps under the lake.
Day 3 | Lake Myvatn and Waterfalls
This part of Iceland is by many considered the most beautiful part of the country. Unfortunately, since located it the remote part of Iceland, not so many people have chance to explore this area. Lake Mývatn is one of the wonders if Iceland. It is a unique natural environment created in a lava eruption 2300 years ago. Here you can find geothermal hot springs, caves with steaming blue waters, big rock formations, unique bird life and fauna. The most remarkable point is the magnificent Dettifoss, which is Europe’s most powerful waterfall. Before jumping back on the bus, we will take you on the short hike to admire another waterfall called Sellfoss. Please note that both waterfalls are only accessible during summer (April-October). On that day, we go for visits in the area to the following places Hverir, Grjótagjá, Dimmuborgir and Krafla power station. Last stop on this exciting route is Godafoss – the waterfall of Gods.
- Mývatn Natural Geothermal SPA – take a deep plunge into silky, blue waters reach in minerals, that will make you skin smooth and relaxed. Simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings of lake Mývatn – fourth largest lake in the country.
Day 4 | North Iceland – region famous for reach wildlife
Last day starts from Akureyri – the capital of the North. This small, remote city is located in a stunning, deep fjord. The city center is located next to the harbor, where one will find both modern architecture, historical wooden houses and Akureyri church located on the hill serving as a viewing point at the same time. The day continues by going to the north coastline heading Dalvík – small fishing village. While driving through the North Coast you will easily realize how each region of Iceland differs from another – but still each one can amaze you equally. In the North we will be visiting the rock Hvítserkur which is a unique formation and a great place for photos, and Kolugljufur Canyon with spectacular waterfall (accessible only from April to October).
- Whale Watching Boat Tour – if spotting whales from the distance is not enough for you then you should secure your spot on this activity. The whale watching tour takes around 3 hours and the chances to see the huge mammals playing in the sea are very positive in this area of Iceland.
(Option A) Day 5 – The Golden Circle
The Golden circle is the most popular day tour in Iceland. Geysers, The Golden waterfall and Thingvellir are classic destinations for any visitor to our island.
We want to add something unique to your experience and that´s why we will also visit the big volcanic crater called Kerid. The crater is 270 m wide and more than 55 m deep. There is a lake in the bottom of the crater which gives it a little bit of magic. The lake is almost 14 m deep.
Thingvellir National park is the National shire of all Icelanders. It lies within the belt of volcanic activity and fissures which pass across Iceland, a part of the mid-Atlantic ridge, the junction of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates. It is a nice feeling to stand with your right foot in Europe and the left one in America.
Geysir – the biggest geysers of Haukadalur are Strokkur and Geysir itself, which gives the others their name. Strokkur erupts every 5 to 10 minutes, throwing a column of water into the air to a height of 20 to 30 meters.
This tour ends with drop off in Reykjavík between 17-17:30 (5-5:30 PM)
Instead of going back to Reykjavík you can also extend your tour and head South to the wold famous Blue Lagoon Spa. Transfer both ways and comfort admission included. By selecting this option your tour will commence in Reykjavik at around 20:00 (8:00 PM)
(Option B) Day 5 – Snaefellsnes National Park
Today you’ll view Snæfellsjökull volcano, wearing a magnificent crown of ice, the highest peak in this area of Iceland and is often visible on clear days from Reykjavik. It is this place that Jules Verne chose as the entrance to the earth’s core in Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne.
Ytri-Tunga is a charming farm with a nearby beach that is a popular seal colony. Animal lovers will enjoy seeing their cute faces as they sunbathe and play in the surf.
Arnarstapi and Hellnar are in a lovely coastal area with a natural harbor. Beautiful rock formations decorate the coastline, spotted with green-and-yellow moss, and you can stroll along the cliffs here to take in the refreshing sea air.
Look for Lóndrangar, two black basalt columns marking the coast, so tall they can be seen from the road! Djúpalónssandur is another gorgeous black beach, where the air is filled with the sounds of birds circling the cliffs and the ocean waves hitting the sand.
At Djúpalónssandur, you’ll find a curiosity on the beach: four large, smooth stones. They are “lifting stones,” used to measure the strength of fishermen who once worked and lived all along the coasts here.
At your last stop, Kirkjufell mountain rises out of the green hills, surrounded by trickling rivers. This is one of the most popular photography spots in Iceland, so be sure to get a picture for your own collection!
(Option C) Day 5 – Borgarfjordur
Today you will explore the Borgarfjordur area where you will see the great Hraunfossar, a series of waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming over a distance of about 900 m (almost 300 ft!) across the Hallmundarhraun lava field, which flows from an eruption of one of the volcanoes lying under the glacier Langjökull. The waterfalls pour into the Hvítá River from ledges created by less porous rock in the lava.
Literally a stone’s throw upstream from Hraunfossar, there is another waterfall called Barnafoss. Its name, “the waterfall of the children,” comes from an accident which is said to have taken place here in a previous century. There was a natural bridge over the waterfall, and two children from a nearby farm fell to their deaths crossing the river on the bridge. Afterwards, the grief-stricken mother had the bridge destroyed.
You will also stop at Husafell – magical place to unwind after a day of wonder, with birch tree woodlands, waterfalls, rugged lava fields, crystal-clear water springs, medieval remains and much more to see.
The fairytale setting of Husafell has been home to many artists, and the modern-day sculptor Pall Gudmundsson now makes interesting faces and even rock harps, which he cuts out of local stones. The Husafell Stone can also be found here, a legendary lifting stone that has been used to test the strength of the locals and in international competitions too.
Finally, we take in the sights at Deildartunguhver, the highest-flow hot spring in Europe.
- Lava Caving – visit to a colorful Vidgelmir Lava Cave. Just shy of 1600 meters the cave features amazing colors and lava formations that lurk in the depths of the earth. During this 1,5 hour long expedition you will have a chance to see one of the largest lava caves in Iceland with its stunning lava stalactites and stalagmites. The area surrounding the entrance to the cave will allow you to realize how powerful eruptions of volcano can be.
Know Before You Go
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Below you will find reviews for all our Ring Road Tours
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NICETRAVEL was founded by three Icelandic families with the aim of helping visitors to Iceland to enjoy a nice and enjoyable experience
All our services are of course fully licensed by the appropriate Icelandic authorities
Fiskislóð 45M, 101 Reykjavík
ID. 650712-0800 | TAX. 120367