- 9 Days / 8 Nights
- Vehicle – All types are suitable
- Season – All year round
Main areas of this itinerary:
Ring Road, Golden Circle, Iceberg Lagoons, East Fjords, Dettifoss, Myvatn
Embark on a timeless journey around Iceland with our Classic Itinerary, circling the island along the iconic Ring Road. This carefully curated route takes you through every point of interest and natural wonder, allowing for leisurely exploration with seven days in hand. Versatile for all seasons, the itinerary features seasonal highlights, making it a year-round adventure.
Day 1 – Arrival and Reykjavik Exploration
picking up your rental car at Keflavík Airport, just a short 45-minute drive from Reykjavik. After a swift check-in at your Reykjavik accommodation, begin your exploration of Iceland’s cultural hub. Take a leisurely stroll through the city and be sure to visit the Harpa opera house, an architectural marvel that changes colors with the sun’s reflection. It serves as a cultural and social center, hosting various events throughout the year. For panoramic views of Reykjavik, head to Perlan (“The Pearl”), located on a hill and featuring a revolving restaurant. This iconic landmark offers a 360-degree observation deck with stunning views of the city and surrounding landscapes.
Optional Activities: FlyOver Iceland, Perlan, Sky Lagoon
Day 2 – Golden Circle Highlights
Depart Reykjavik and head northeast to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where tectonic plates meet. Explore Almannagjá gorge, a dramatic rift between the North American and Eurasian plates. Witness the eruptions of the Strokkur Geyser at the Geysir geothermal area, a captivating display of nature’s forces. Continue to marvel at the power of Gullfoss Waterfall, where the Hvítá River cascades into a rugged canyon. Explore additional gems like the volcanic crater Kerið, a stunning caldera with a vibrant blue lake, and the scenic waterfall Faxi. As the day concludes, overnight in the charming town of Hella.
Optional Activities: Snorkeling in Silfra, Secret Lagoon
Day 3 – South Coast Wonders
Embark on a picturesque journey along the south coast, where you’ll encounter the breathtaking Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss, with its 60-meter drop, allows you to walk behind the cascading water for a unique perspective. Skógafoss, an impressive 25-meter-wide waterfall, offers hiking trails with panoramic views. Admire the black sand beaches of Vik, known for their striking beauty and powerful waves. Explore the iconic Dyrhólaey Cliff, a promontory with stunning arches and cliffs, and savor the charm of Kirkjubaejarklaustur village. Don’t miss Kirkjugólfið, the hexagonal basalt floor that adds a touch of mystery to the landscape. Rest for the night in Kirkjubaejarklaustur.
Optional Activities: Ice Cave
Day 4 – Skaftafell and Glacial Lagoon
Drive along Route 1 with the majestic Vatnajökull glacier on one side and delta rivers on the other. Explore Skaftafell National Park, known for its diverse landscapes, hiking trails, and views of Vatnajökull. Witness the enchanting Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, where massive icebergs float peacefully, creating a mesmerizing scene. Experience the dynamic icebergs up close by considering a summer cruise among them. Conclude the day with an overnight stay in Höfn, a charming fishing town known for its seafood delicacies.
Optional Activities: Glacier Walk, Zodiac in the Glacier Lagoon
Day 5 – East Fjords Exploration
Discover the isolated and serene East Fjords, known for their unique stories and wildlife. Enjoy a ferry ride to Papey island, home to puffin colonies, and marvel at the charming village Seyðisfjörður with its colorful houses and vibrant arts scene. Experience the abundance of trees in this region, a rare sight in Iceland, and encounter the presence of wild reindeer. Rest for the night in the picturesque town of Egilsstaðir, situated on the banks of Lake Lagarfljót.
Optional Activities: Vok Bath
Day 6 – Dettifoss and Lake Mývatn area
Head north to witness the sheer power of Dettifoss, Europe’s mightiest waterfall, located in Vatnajökull National Park. Explore the volcanic landscapes of Krafla, known for its calderas and colorful geological features, and the Namafjall geothermal field with its bubbling mud pots and fumaroles. Discover the tranquil beauty of Lake Mývatn, known for its diverse birdlife and unique geological formations. Encounter the eerie beauty of the “dark castles” at Dimmuborgir, a lava field with unusual rock formations. Stay overnight in either Husavik, known for its whale-watching opportunities, or the Lake Mývatn area.
Accommodation: Myvatn area
Optional Activities: Myvatn Bath
Day 7 – Akureyri and Skagafjörður Horses
Visit the spectacular Godafoss waterfall en route to Akureyri, the northern capital. Explore the city’s botanical gardens, home to various plant species, and enjoy a relaxing cruise in the scenic Eyjafjörður fjord. Encounter Skagafjörður’s renowned Icelandic horses, known for their gentle nature and unique gaits. Delve into Iceland’s past with a visit to the Glaumbær museum, showcasing traditional turf houses and artifacts from bygone eras. Conclude your day with an overnight stay in Skagafjörður, surrounded by mountains and fertile farmland.
Optional Activities: Whale Watching Akureyri
Day 8 – Westward Journey and Hraunfossar
Embark on a westward journey, making stops at the geothermal wonders of Deildartunguhver hot springs, the most powerful hot spring in Europe. Explore the unique rock formation Hvítserkur, a 15-meter-tall basalt stack resembling a dragon or dinosaur drinking from the sea. Discover the captivating Lava Waterfall (Hraunfossar), a series of waterfalls streaming out of the Hallmundarhraun lava field, and the charming Borgarnes village. Before returning to Reykjavik, consider an alternative route via the Kjölur dirt road for a truly unique experience, passing through Iceland’s remote interior with vast landscapes. Conclude your journey with an overnight stay in Reykjavik.
Optional Activities: Into The Glacier, Husafell
Day 9 – Reykjavik – Car drop-off – Flight
Devote your last day to Reykjavik’s charms. Return your car at the airport before your departure. Reflect on the incredible journey through Iceland’s diverse landscapes and cultural treasures.
Among our collection of 50+ itineraries, the Classic Iceland route stands out as a perennial favorite, securing its place on the ‘Top Itineraries’ list of ‘Take Me There Iceland’. Explore the beauty of Iceland at your own pace, guided by our app for an unforgettable road trip experience.