This compact circle tour allows you to see many of Iceland's main attractions. In the country's west, from mid-June through August, you have the chance to either continue along the Ring Road or, if you have the appropriate vehicle*, to traverse the uninhabited interior of Iceland via the Kjolur highland route. Additional nights can be added in Reykjavik at the end of the tour.
Day 1 Keflavík Airport – Hveragerði 100km
Geothermal Lagoon – Flower village – Geothermal Greenhouses
Pick up the car at the airport and start your Iceland experience. From Keflavík International Airport we recommend driving the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula towards your first overnight stay in the charming village of Hveragerði. The village is one of the few sites in the world located directly on top of a geothermal area and because of its many greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs it is often called the flower village. Overnight in Hveragerði. *Note: For departures in October and April you will stay overnight in Reykjavik, instead of Hveragerði. Distance from Keflavik Airport to your Reykjavik hotel will be approx. 52km.
Day 2 Hveragerði - Thingvellir – Gullfoss – Geysir – South Shore - Vik 392km
National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO) – Exploding Geysers – Puffin Colony – Black Sand Beaches of the South Shore
Leave Hveragerði and head south east. Enjoy a day visiting the natural wonders of the Golden Circle region. Today's highlights include Thingvellir National Park, a place of great geological and historical interest, the spectacular Gullfoss Waterfall and the Geysir hot-spring area. Drive along the south shore, visiting Dyrhólaey Nature Reserve, and viewing Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls, the black sand beaches around Vík and the Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Overnight in the Vik area. (Please note that Dyrhólaey is closed during nesting season: mid-May to late-June).
Day 3 Vik - Kirkjubæjarklaustur – Skaftafell – Jökulsárlón – Höfn 285km
Lava Fields - Europe's Largest National Park - Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs - Europe's Largest Glacier
Drive from Vik further east through the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, explore Skaftafell National Park, a green oasis nestling below the great Vatnajökull glacier surrounded by black desert sands. Continue to Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon where you can see icebergs floating on blue water. Diamond Beach is nearby. Onwards to the charming harbour town of Höfn, known as the lobster capital of northern Europe. Overnight in the Höfn area.
Day 4 Höfn – Djúpivogur – Reyðarfjörður – Egilsstaðir 265km
Narrow Fjords – Steep Mountains – Picturesque Coastline – Mineral Collection
Drive from Höfn north along the rugged coastline of the East Fjords with their towering mountains and charming fishing villages. Perhaps you'll visit Djupivogur village harbour and its unique egg sculptures or Petra‘s famous stone collection at Stodvarfjordur Fjord. You can then either drive straight through Fagridalur to Egilsstadir or head along the East Fjords, one of the oldest regions in Iceland, shaped by glaciers during the Ice Age. Perhaps stop to swim in a genuine hot spring lake at the Vok geothermal area near Egilsstadir. Overnight in the Egilsstadir area.
Day 5 Egilsstaðir – Dettifoss – Húsavík – Mývatn 275km
Highland Desert – Europe's Most Powerful Waterfall – Glacier Carved Gorge
Travel across Möðrudalsöræfi highlands, renowned for their stark, untouched beauty towards Dettifoss, Europe's mightiest waterfall. Visit the magnificent horseshoe-shaped canyon Ásbyrgi. Drive onwards to Tjörnes peninsula and the friendly Húsavík fishing port, famous for whale watching. A great way to end the day is with a relaxing swim in the warm sea waters of Husavik's GeoSea Baths. Overnight in the Mývatn area.
Day 6 Mývatn – Akureyri - Akureyri / Skagafjörður 165km
Bizarre Lava Forms - Geothermal & Volcanic Activity - Rich Birdlife - Waterfall Of the Gods
Explore highlights of the Lake Mývatn area, including the mystical volcanic formations at Dimmuborgir, the pseudo craters at Skútustaðir, the colourful sulfurous slopes of Námaskarð and Krafla volcanic area. En route to Akureyri visit Goðafoss waterfall. Overnight in the Akureyri area or Northwest Iceland (Saudakrokur and Varmahlid area).
Day 7 Akureyri - Reykholt - Borgarnes - Hvalfjörður - Reykjavík 490km
Fertile Farmlands - Glacial Rivers - Folk Museum - Scenic Fjord
Drive through historical Skagafjörður region, renowned for horse breeding. You may like to visit the old farmstead at Glaumbær, a great example of old Icelandic architecture. Continue to the bay of Húnaflói and across Holtavörðuheiði plateau, enter Borgarfjörður area. On to Reykjavík for overnight stay.
Another option today is to travel across the barren Kjolur highland route, to a geothermal wilderness oasis at Hveravellir, before driving to Reykjavik. If you choose to do this you must have a Group 5.0 or higher 4WD vehicle. This route is only open from mid-June through August.
Day 8 Reykjavik - Keflavik Airport 52km
Your tour concludes with car drop-off at Keflavik International Airport.
2024 departures: daily 01 April - 30 October
May - Sep departures only: the first night of your tour is spent in the Hveragerdi area, a small town about 45km from Reykjavik, to enable you to then head off into the countryside the next day without having to go through Reykjavik. Additional nights can be added in Reykjavik at the end.
Choose from three different levels of accommodation:
- Shared facilities
- Standard rooms in budget hotels, guesthouses and farmhouse accommodation
- First night in Hveragerdi includes private facilities
- Private facilities
- Standard rooms in comfort hotels, guesthouses and farmhouse accommodation
- Private facilities
- Standard rooms in quality hotels and guesthouses
- Superior rooms in comfort hotels and guesthouses
The names for individual accommodations are not available prior to booking, as the tour package is based on hotel price categories and not on specific hotels/accommodations. The exact location of the countryside hotels will vary according to availability - the itinerary indicates the region for each overnight stay (with the exception of the last night which is always in Reykjavik itself).
The price is based on 7 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of car pick up and finishing at the same time. Additional use of the car beyond this time frame will incur additional days rental fee.
Please note that October & April departures, rental car must be a 4WD.
For the Group 5.0 medium 4WD manual rental car needed to take the Kjolur highland route (Day 7, mid-June to Aug only), other car types and other accommodation option prices, please enquire.
If you would like to have dinner in the hotel restaurant, we recommend making a reservation with the hotel reception desk at the time of check-in at each hotel en-route.