Day 1: Arrival in the Land of Fire and Ice:
Approximate distance: 50 km / 30 miles
Once you have landed at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, please pick up your luggage and head through customs. Collect your rental car at the airport, make sure you receive a tablet with a protective case and chargers, and proceed to your hotel in Reykjavik. The rest of the day is yours to rest and use at your own leisure.
On your way to Reykjavik, you might consider visiting the famous Blue Lagoon for a relaxing dip in the pleasantly warm geothermal waters. We recommend you book your entrance to the Blue Lagoon online well in advance. We can help with that!
Relax or explore Reykjavik, the northernmost capital in the world. Walk down the main shopping streets of Laugavegur and Skolavordustigur or go up to the top of the Hallgrimskirkja church and take in the view of the entire city.
Overnight in Reykjavik.
Please note check-in for most hotels begins at 14:00 – 16:00 (2:00pm-4:00pm)
Day 2: Explore the Golden Circle and the Legendary South Coast:
Highlights: Thingvellir National Park Geysir Center Geysir Gullfoss Seljalandsfoss Skogafoss Reynisdrangar Cliffs Vík
Reykjavik – Thingvellir – Geysir Hot Spring Area – Gullfoss waterfall – South Shore – Reynisfjara – Vik
Approximate distance: 310 km / 193 miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. Today you‘ll visit many of the must-see sights in Iceland. Begin your day with the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, famous for its Viking history and geological wonders. Continue to Geysir Hot Spring Area, with its collection of bubbling pools and spouting geysers. Drive onwards to the majestic, two-tiered Gullfoss (Golden Falls).
Drive along the scenic southern coast and the area near the infamous Eyjafjallajokull volcano which erupted and disrupted air traffic in the northern hemisphere for weeks. If the skies are clear you’ll get a glimpse of this volcano and its beautiful neighbor, Mt. Hekla. Explore the ribbon-like Seljalandsfoss waterfall (which you can walk behind), and the beautiful Skogafoss (make sure your camera is ready to snap amazing shots). Visit a dramatic stretch of coastline, photogenically poised between glacier-topped mountains, rugged sea cliffs, and world-famous black sand beaches. Near Vik village, take a walk along the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach with its views of basalt columns and thundering waves.
Overnight in the Vik area
Day 3: Vatnajokull National Park and the Glacier Lagoon:
Highlights: Skaftafell National Park Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon Hofn
Vik – Kirkjubaejarklaustur – Skaftafell – Jokulsarlon – Hofn – Djupivogur
Approximate distance: 389 km / 242miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. This day is chock-full of selfie-worthy destinations!
You will be in the vicinity of southern Vatnajokull National Park, a recent UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest national park in Western Europe. Drive from Vik village through the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Explore Skaftafell, a green oasis nestled below the great Vatnajokull glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. Here you can go on amazing glacier hikes! Continue across black sand plains created by glacial activity.
Stop at the incredible Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, a filming location for many Hollywood blockbusters. These include Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and the James Bond films Die Another Day and A View to a Kill. On the other side of the road, you can find the unique Diamond Beach. This beach of glittering ice and black sands is where icebergs from the lagoon drift before they are washed to sea.
Head onwards to the seaside town of Hofn. It’s nice to take a break here, grab a coffee and some snacks from a local café, and enjoy the bustling charm of an Icelandic fishing town Then drive onwards to landscapes of steep mountains and amazing views of the coastline. Your destination is Djupivogur village, the gateway to the scenic Eastfjords region.
Day 4: Narrow Fjords and Epic Coastline:
Highlights: Egilsstadir Myvatn Dimmuborgir Myvatn Nature Baths
Djupivogur – The Eastfjords – Egilsstadir – Lake Myvatn
Approximate distance: 351 km / 218 miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. Today you’ll be visiting some of Iceland’s oldest landscapes, the rugged and scenic Eastfjords! Give yourself plenty of time to navigate the steep roads and to enjoy the beautiful views. This is a special part of Iceland that deserves a closer look. The road takes you by towering mountains and charming fishing villages, a perfect setting for photography.
As you travel, you might option of visiting Petra’s famous collection of local stones and minerals at Stodvarfjordur. Faskrudsfjordur is a pretty town with an interesting historical connection to France. East Iceland also has ties to the Second World War, and if you enjoy history you should check out the Icelandic Wartime Museum in Reydarfjordur town. Egilsstadir, the largest town in the Eastfjords is a good place to take a break. You might also consider a relaxing visit to the new Vok geothermal spa, situated in a scenic hot spring-fed lake.
Travel across the Modrudalsoraefi highlands, renowned for their stark beauty. This area gives you a taste of the vast wilderness interior that makes Iceland such a wild and beautiful destination. Head to Lake Myvatn, a volcanic wonderland. Visit the surreal steam-filled landscapes of Namaskard, the dark citadels of Dimmuborgir, and the pseudocraters of Skutustadir. Depending on your schedule you might enjoy an evening visit to the azure-blue waters of the Myvatn Nature Baths.
Overnight in the Lake Myvatn area.
Day 5: The Diamond Circle of Northeast Iceland:
Highlights: Ásbyrgi Húsavík Godafoss Akureyri Skagafjordur Fjord Dettifoss Hljodaklettar GeoSea
Dettifoss waterfall– Asbyrgi – Husavik – Godafoss – Akureyri – Skagafjordur
Approximate distance: 339 km / 211 miles
Note: Your road today contains a toll tunnel. More information here.
Breakfast at your accommodation. Expect a long day of sightseeing that will take you through the magnificent “Diamond Circle“ of the Icelandic Northeast. Head onto roads bringing you into the majestic canyonlands of northern Vatnajokull National Park. Visit magnificent Dettifoss, Europe’s biggest waterfall. When you get there, don’t forget to visit its neighbor Selfoss waterfall. Explore the magnificent horseshoe-shaped canyon, Asbyrgi. (Depending on your schedule you might also visit the park’s Hljodaklettar, the Echo Rocks.)
Drive onwards to friendly Husavik, a fishing port known as the capital of whale watching. Depending on your schedule you might enjoy a whale watching tour or a nice soak in the warm ocean waters of the GeoSea Baths spa.
Drive to Godafoss waterfall, the scenic glacial waterfall of the gods, en route to Akureyri, the charming “capital” of northern Iceland. Take some time to enjoy this fun and culturally vibrant town before heading to your overnight in scenic Northwest Iceland.
Important: Please note Roads 864, 862 and therefore, Road 85 open for the summer in late May. (Road opening dates are dependent on the weather conditions). Until these roads are open, please take the scenic Ring Road 1 to Road 87 and on to Husavik.
Please note that Roads 864 and 862 are gravel roads, and you need to pay attention to warning signs in the area if road conditions are not good for driving.
Overnight in Skagafjordur area
Day 6: Free Afternoon or Evening in Reykjavik:
Highlights: Deildartunguhver Hraunfossar Barnafoss
Approximate distance: 295 km / 183 miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. Drive to Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, known as the “Capital of Cool.” Depending on your schedule, you might take a detour to Hraunfoss, an intriguing waterfall where glacial water rushes out among natural lava formations. The most powerful hot springs in Europe, Deildartunguhver, is in the area. Nearby is the Krauma Natural Hot Spring spa, which uses these hot springs blended with glacial water for the perfect baths. The rest of the day is open to enjoy Reykjavik.
Overnight in Reykjavik. We recommend fine dining in Reykjavik on your final night. There is an excellent selection of restaurants awaiting you!
Day 7: Departure from Iceland:
Return to Keflavik International Airport**
Approximate distance: 50 km / 30 miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. Drive back to Keflavik International Airport. ** We recommend departing your hotel in Reykjavik no later than at least 3 hours before your flight departure. It takes approximately 1 hour to drive to the airport, and check-in will start 2 hours before your departure.
If you did not visit the Blue Lagoon on your way to the city on your first day but have some free time today, you might want to use the opportunity en route to the airport. For this detour, please be sure to allow for at least 2-2,5 hours extra so you’ll have ample time at the Lagoon. Your rental car should be returned to the airport service area, which is located only 2 minutes from the airport building. A shuttle will then transport you to the departure hall.