6-Day Guided Ring Road Tour - Explore the Circle of Iceland
What to expect
This all-encompassing six-day tour takes you to every region in Iceland on the Ring Road and deep into the heart of West Iceland, too, starting with an adventure on the South Coast with its stunning waterfalls and black sand beaches, plus an option to hike your way across a glacier.
The second day takes us to the glittering iceberg lagoon at Jokulsarlon, where you will have the chance to take a boat trip around the icebergs or go ice-caving beneath the glacier. From there, we will whisk you through the peaceful landscapes of the Eastfjords with stops at Vestrahorn, the old fishing of Djupivogur, and, in summer, the breathtaking Studlagil Canyon before an overnight stay in Egilsstadir.
The third day brings us to Myvatn, an area well-known for active geothermal hotspots and magical places such as Grjotagja and Dimmuborgir, with an opportunity to soak the day away in the Green Lagoon. You’ll also see the majestic waterfalls of Dettifoss, Selfoss and Godafoss.
The fourth day will take us from Akureyri to Dalvik, from where your optional whale watching boat tour sails. A short detour away from the Ring Road will later bring us to the Vatnes peninsula, where the dragon-shaped sea stack Hvitserkur, the seals of Hvammastangi, and the beautiful Kolugljufur canyon will be seen.
The fifth day will see us in West Iceland taking in the weird and wonderful lava field waterfalls of Hraunfossar and the piping hot spa springs of Deildartunguhver.
On the final day of this special six-day tour, you’ll have the choice of a circuit of the Golden Circle, or a day exploring the Snaefellsnes peninsula.
The maximum size of the group on this tour is 19, offering you a pleasant and carefree way to discover the country. Your night-time accommodation is included, so all you have to do is sit back and relish the experience. We’ll also give you all you need to know about the optional experiences that you can enjoy on the journey, including glacier hikes, whale watching, visits to an ice cave, lagoon boat tours, and soothing spa experiences.
Day 1 | The South Coast of Iceland
For the first stage of this six-day journey, you will be transported from Reykjavik to the South Coast over a highland pass across a lava plateau dotted with superheated steam vents rising into the air.
Splendid views of the wide coastal plain can be seen as we sweep downhill past the geothermal greenhouses of Hveragerdi along the way, heading towards some of the most beautiful sights the country has to offer.
As we progress along the Ring Road, the land rises again up into enormous mountains and glaciers on the right, with the Atlantic coast on the left. Soon, the world-famous volcano Eyjafjallajokull starts to appear in the distance. This is our first stop, where you will see the splendid waterfall of Seljalandsfoss as it cascades 60 meters down into a blue-green river.
We’ll also take you to the “Hidden Waterfall” of Gljufrabui, just a few minutes away but rarely seen by most Ring Road travelers, as it is concealed behind a secluded rockface.
This section of Route 1 can often be very windy indeed, and the smaller waterfalls might be blown aside or even back up into the air!
A few minutes further along, you will soon see the superb Skogafoss waterfall, easily spotted even before we turn off the Ring Road. Glacial waters gracefully fall 60 meters into the Skoga river, where the eternal spray sparks uncounted rainbows on sunny days. You can also ascend a 500-step path to the top and see the views from there too.
The next stop on the first day is the dramatic black sand beach at Reynisfjara, offering views of the superb stone sea arches of Dyrholaey in the distance, the fascinating basalt columns fastened to the cliff-face and the other-worldly Reynisdrangar, the volcanic rock towers that lurk just offshore.
Powerful Atlantic waves storm ashore here, crashing their way up the beach and often catching out the unwary with their speed – take care when walking along the volcanic sands here.
- 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
The third day sees the tour turn north through moon-like landscapes and into the beautiful lake region of Myvatn, famous for its fascinating lava formations, flat-topped mountains, and a wealth of flora and fauna.
Myvatn is the fourth largest lake in the country, lying across the Mid Atlantic Ridge with geothermal features bubbling away alongside dormant volcanoes.
For Game of Thrones fans, the Grjotagja geothermal cave will be a highlight. In contrast, the dramatic lava fields of Dimmuborgir, with its easy walks, will intrigue others. Nearby is Hverir, a geological marvel where you can walk numerous paths between sulfurous and colorful hot-pots.
This wonderful day will conclude with visits to the gorgeous waterfalls of Selfoss, Godafoss, and Dettifoss, the greatest waterfall in the country, when it is accessible in the summer months.
Glorious Godafoss is not the biggest waterfall in the country, but it is very significant as the place where pagan symbols were forever discarded, thrown into the Skjalfandafljot river when Iceland became a Christian nation.
Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, nearly 50 meters high and a hundred meters wide, producing plumes of spray that are visible from some distance away. Before jumping back on the bus, we will take you on the short hike to admire another waterfall called Selfoss. Please note that both waterfalls are only accessible during summer (April-October)
This region provides visitors with splendid views and ever-changing landscapes, from green fjordside pasturelands to dark, brooding lava fields, bright blue lakes and rivers, snow-capped peaks, and boiling mud pots.
- 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.
Day 5 | Borgarfjordur and Lava Themed Attractions
The fifth day will see you explore the Borgarfjordur area in West Iceland, a region rich in Saga history, marvelous waterfalls, remarkable lava formations, and much more.
We will visit the famous Grabrok craters at Bifrost, celebrated in legend for the rainbow bridge that connected Asgard, the world of Gods, with Midgard, the world of humans.
Next is the lava waterfalls of Hraunfossar, where countless milky-blue streams and rivers pour off the lava field for one of the most breathtaking views in the country. Close by here is Barnafoss, or the Child’s Waterfall, where a sad story of loss is told, and Deildartunguhver – the most powerful hot spring that can be seen anywhere 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.
The destination for the sixth and final day of this fabulous tour is yours to select.
You can either take the famous Golden Circle tour to see the magnificent Thingvellir National Park, glittering Gullfoss waterfall, the gloriously reliable water-spouts at Geysir and the red-earthed Kerid crater; or you can roam for a day on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, to see the places that inspired Jules Verne for “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.
(Option A) Day 6 – The Golden Circle
The most well-known of all Iceland’s grand tours, the Golden Circle offers three unforgettable sights – Thingvellir, Gullfoss, and Geysir.
See the splendor of continental drift at Thingvellir National Park, where Iceland’s historic parliament gathered for nearly a thousand years, and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is your chance to stand with your feet on two different continents!
A few miles further on is the famous hot spring area at Geysir, which gives its name to all such hot water gushers around the world. Geysir itself is dormant these days, but Strokkur regularly sends fountains of superheated water several meters high up into the air.
The next stop on the Golden Circle tour is Gullfoss, otherwise known as the “Golden Falls,” where a two-stage waterfall drops more than 30 meters into a narrow ravine, generating sheets of spray and constant rainbows on sunny days.
Just before heading back to the Ring Road that will lead you home, we will stop at Kerid Volcanic Crater.
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 6 – Snaefellsnes National Park
The Snaefellsnes peninsula is a 100km finger of land stretching far out into the Atlantic Ocean, where you will discover a multi-colored world of windswept beaches, bird colonies clinging to sharp-edged cliffs, rugged lava fields, dazzling blue-water fjords and looming above it all, the gigantic gleaming ice-cap of Snaefellsjokull, a 700,000-year-old stratovolcano.
You will also see the dizzying rock stacks of Londrangar, lovely fishing villages, the black sand beaches of Djupalonssandur, and the seals at Ytri-Tunga.
Then we come to the star of Snaefellsnes – the magnificent Kirkjufell mountain, a peak that has been featured in “The Life of Walter Mitty” and “Game of Thrones”. Kirkjufell is one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland, with its gorgeous arrowhead shape drawing the eye from far in the distance.
Know Before You Go
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