Loading...
Menu

Ring Around the Island

(11 days / 10 nights)

View Photos View Map

A fresh take on the beauty & adventure of Iceland

Experience Iceland's famed Ring Road and the Snæfellsnes peninsula a little differently. This alternate itinerary to our popular full-circle tours combines all the pristine nature and rugged beauty of Iceland with several overnight stays outside of the areas most frequented by other travellers, so you'll see it all and do it all with more peace and quiet mixed in for good measure.

Type

Self-Drive

Interest

Active, Classic, Family, Slow Paced

Season

1 May - 30 Sep

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

1993/1239 km/mi

Price p. p. from

Expand

Find your price

Tour Request

Itinerary

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

Download PDF
  • Day 1: Welcome to Iceland

    On arrival to Keflavik International Airport, you will be greeted by a driver who will take you to your accommodation in Reykjavík. The rest of the day is free for you to settle in and explore Reykjavík at will. Visit the city's many museums, galleries and landmarks or enjoy its cafés and restaurants; all accessible by foot. Central Reykjavík is also home to many bars and nightclubs for those interested in experiencing the city's renowned nightlife.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

    Highlights Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity
  • Day 2: History, Hotsprings & Waterfalls in the West

    Begin your journey outside the capital by driving through the historical Borgarfjörður area. For those interested in the history of Iceland, pay a visit to the Icelandic Settlement Centre.

    Next up is some exquisite nature and more for history-buffs, with the road taking you by Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, Reykholt, which was once home to medieval writer and chieftain Snorri Sturluson, and Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe. Other places of interest in the area are Víðgelmir and Surtshellir caves.

    Ever dreamt of venturing inside a glacier? This is your opportunity! From Húsafell you can take an optional tour to Langjökull where a manmade ice cave was recently opened to travellers.

    Spend the night in Borgarfjörður area.

    Driving distance approx. 187 km / 116 mi.

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Optional Activity
  • Day 3: Stunning Snæfellsnes

    Experience the unique Snæfellsjökull National Park, with its rich birdlife, lush valleys and rugged lava fields. The drive around the peninsula is full of opportunity to explore numerous natural sites and geological phenomena, including Dritvík Cove, Lóndrangar Cliffs, Hellnar, Arnarstapi and many other small villages along the coast.

    Test your strength and seaworthiness with the lifting stones on Djúpalónssandur or participate in some of the peninsula's many optional activities, including horse riding, hiking, and short cruises (summer only). Or just enjoy the drive and the spectacular scenery in the glow of Snæfellsjökull glacier's alleged supernatural energy.

    Spend the night in Borgarfjörður area.

    Driving distance approx. 325 km / 202 mi.

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Optional Activity Optional Activity
  • Day 4: The Magical North

    Journey towards the valley of Skagafjörður. As the Mecca of horsemanship in Iceland it's the perfect place to experience firsthand the pleasure of riding a friendly, sure-footed Icelandic horse. When in Skagafjörður you may want to take a dip in Grettislaug hot spring or visit the Glaumbær heritage house exhibit.

    Continue onwards to Siglufjörður and the Troll peninsula. Siglufjörður is the historic centre of Iceland’s herring fleet and a town well-known for nature and culture lovers. On the way, we recommend stopping at the geothermal pool at Hofsós for amazing views over the islands in the fjords while relaxing in the warm water.

    Spend the night in the Siglufjörður area.

    Driving distance approx. 334 km / 208 mi.

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Optional Activity
  • Day 5: Charming Villages & the Capital of the North

    Spend the first part of the day at leisure in Siglufjörður where you can enjoy hiking in the nature or a cup of coffee at the charming bakery.

    Next, drive towards Akureyri, the so-called “Capital of North Iceland.” Sights along the way include some of the most beautiful mountains, cliffs and fjords in Iceland so plan on many photo stops. Depending on time, a stop at Dalvík can include a ferry ride to Hrísey island. There are also many hiking trails and geothermal pools in the area.

    On arrival in Akureyri, take a break to enjoy the cosy cafés and shops or take a walk in the historical old town centre along the streets of Hafnarstræti and Aðalstræti to view the old houses and visit the Nonni Museum, charming old home in the town centre.

    Spend the night in the Akureyri area.

    Driving distance approx. 77 km / 48 mi.

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Optional Activity
  • Day 6: The Power of Nature

    Today is a full day with some of Iceland's biggest natural highlights. Start with a visit to Goðafoss (“waterfall of the Gods”) on your way to Lake Mývatn, an area of surreal landscapes, hot springs and other unique geothermal features.

    Sights in this fascinating are include the bubbling mud-pots at Námafjall, the moon-like pseudo craters at Skútustaðir, the lava maze of Dimmuborgir and the Krafla volcanic area, just to name a few.

    Continue the drive to the eastern fjords, visiting Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, along the way.

    Spend the night in the Egilsstaðir area.

    Driving distance approx. 330 km / 205 mi.

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Optional Activity
  • Day 7: The Friendly Eastern Fjords

    The highlight of this day is the scenic drive through the magnificent eastern fjords towards Vatnajökull National Park. Each fjord is unique, and you will find many small fishing villages along the way, each full of friendly people and rich in picturesque settings.

    Some sights to look out for today include Mt. Búlandstindur and the monster-habitat Lagarfljót, by the town of Egilsstaðir.

    We recommend marking the day with a visit to Höfn, a village known for its delicious lobster dishes and interesting glacier exhibition.

    Spend the night in the Vatnajökull area.

    Driving distance approx. 206 km / 128 mi.

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights
  • Day 8: The many sites of Vatnajökull National Park

    Continue southbound today toward the famed Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, where you can take an unforgettable boat ride between the icebergs floating all around.

    Spend the rest of the day exploring the many wonders of Skaftafell, which is part of Vatnajökull National Park, the largest National Park in Europe. Hikers of all experience levels will enjoy the area's many and varied hiking trails, including one leading to Svartifoss waterfall, which drops from the edge of a wide cliff of basalt columns.

    Continue to drive along the south coast towards Vík, with a possible stop at Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, if time allows.

    Spend the night in the Vík area.

    Driving distance approx. 242 km / 150 mi.

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity
  • Day 9: South Coast & Waterfalls

    Enjoy the exquisite south coast today. Experience the volcanic black sand beaches* near the village of Vík í Mýrdal and the 120 metre-high promontory of Dyrhólaey** with its spectacular rock arch, bird nesting cliffs and amazing views over the unique Reynisdrangar basalt columns rising out of the ocean.

    Visit the stunning Skógafoss waterfall where you can trek the stairway to the top for a fresh perspective over the area, and stop at the graceful Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can walk right behind the flowing water.

    For the more adventurous travellers, we recommend a stop at the nearby Gljúfrabúi, known as the hidden waterfall thanks to its secret location inside a canyon.

    End the day driving toward the Golden Circle area, which you will be exploring tomorrow.

    Spend the night in the Golden Circle area.

    Driving distance approx. 145 km / 90 mi.

    * Caution should always be exercised when visiting Reynisfjara beach near Vík due to powerful rogue/sneaker waves and the strong undertow current. Always stay far back from the water’s edge.

    **The cliffs at Dyrhólaey are closed from mid-May until late June due to puffin nesting season.

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity
  • Day 10: The Golden Circle

    The Golden Circle is a fascinating area featuring some of the best-known and most iconic natural phenomena in Iceland – the great Geysir geothermal area, towering Gullfoss waterfall and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Þingvellir National Park.

    Close your circle around Iceland by heading back to Reykjavik.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

    Driving distance approx. 147 km / 92 mi.

    Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Highlights Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity Optional Activity
  • Day 11: Departure from Iceland

    When it's time to depart, you will be picked up from your Reykjavík accommodation for your airport transfer. If you’re flying in the afternoon, you have the option of visiting the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa for a soak in the warm mineral waters before continuing onwards to Keflavík International Airport.

    Note: If you are interested in extending your stay, we’re happy to arrange extra night and activities in the Reykjavík area or even combine this tour with a visit to Greenland or our other Nordic destinations.

Map

Here’s a map of Iceland, to help put things in perspective.

Reviews

We don’t like to brag, so we’ll let our happy customers do it for us.

Carla and Grady, United States

Ring Around the Island, July 2016

We absolutely loved Iceland

I have traveled the world and I can say without reservation that the Icelandic people are the most friendly, welcoming, helpful people I have ever encountered. The geology of the island is so unique and beautiful. I can't wait to go back in the winter to see the Northern Lights.

marceloot, Brazil

, May 2013

Excellent Planning and Local Knowledge

I did the self drive tour in Iceland and organization from Nordic Visitor proved to to be very efficient. Not a single thing went wrong. Having a local mobile provided by Nordic Visitor was a very nice touch. Material delivered regarding main attractions was of very high quality. Our consultant, Alexandra, was extremely efficient and was very helpful in giving local tips and suggestions. It was very clear she knew what she was talking about. Her recommendations were awesome. It is a very tailor made service and I highly recommend their services.

Stephani, United States

, May 2014

Nordic Visitor will help you plan a trip of a lifetime

Nordic Visitor put together the exact trip I hoped to take. I explained what I was looking for, what I wanted to see and do, and the general area I wanted to explore, and they came up with an itinerary that exceeded my expectations. They made everything seamless too. Once we were in Iceland, we didn't have to worry about a thing - it was all taken care of by Nordic Visitor. We stayed in excellent hotels and visited attractions we may have otherwise missed had they not suggested them. All of my correspondence with them was timely, professional and friendly. We made a few last minute changes (we upgraded our rental car, etc.), and they handled it without issue. I would definitely use them again - for Iceland or any other of the destinations they cover. 
 
I had been to Iceland before and used a different company, and everything with that other company was much more difficult.

Accommodation

Sleep soundly, in the accommodation type of your choice, and wake up ready to enjoy another day of exploration.

Budget

Rooms with shared WC and shower (or bath) in farmhouses, guesthouses or well-appointed hostels. All provide breakfast (i..

View

Comfort

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three-star hotel or well-appointed guesthouse. All provide breakfast (in..

View

Quality

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three- or four-star hotel or the best accommodation available in the are..

View

Rental car

Enjoy the journey, with authorization for two drivers and free GPS in the rental car of your choice.

Ford Fiesta
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x2
  • M

Ford Fiesta
or similar

  • Type: A
  • Description: Economy sub-compact hatchback
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 2
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Ford Focus
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • M

Ford Focus
or similar

  • Type: B
  • Description: Compact hatchback
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Ford Focus Wagon
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • M

Ford Focus Wagon
or similar

  • Type: C
  • Description: Compact wagon
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Ford Mondeo
or similar

  • x5
  • x4
  • x4
  • A

Ford Mondeo
or similar

  • Type: D
  • Description: Mid-size sedan
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Kuga AWD
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Ford Kuga AWD
or similar

  • Type: E
  • Description: Compact SUV, all-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Edge AWD
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Ford Edge AWD
or similar

  • Type: F
  • Description: Mid-size SUV, all-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x5
  • A

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

  • Type: G
  • Description: Full-size SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Volvo XC90 AWD
limited availability

  • x6
  • x5
  • x6
  • A

Volvo XC90 AWD
limited availability

  • Type: H
  • Description: Full-size Premium SUV, all-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Suitcases: 6/3
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Ford Tourneo
or similar

  • x9
  • x4
  • x12
  • M

Ford Tourneo
or similar

  • Type: I
  • Description: Passenger van
  • Passengers: 9
  • Luggage: 5
  • Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Manual

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

  • x6
  • x5
  • x2
  • M

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

  • Type: J
  • Description: Highland SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Luggage: 4/2
  • Doors: 2/4 to 6
  • Transmission: Manual

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
or similar

  • x6
  • x5
  • x2
  • A

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
or similar

  • Type: K
  • Description: Compact MPV Family Vehicle
  • Passengers: 6
  • Luggage: 1/2
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual

Optional activities

This is your trip, what are you interested in doing?

Everything about this tour

  • Extra nights can be added to this package on request.
  • This package can be customized to meet your needs; contact us for details.
  • Optional activities can be added during the online booking process or by contacting your travel consultant.
Currency rate
All bookings are charged in Icelandic Króna (ISK), the official currency of Iceland. Prices displayed in other currencies are indicative only and based on the daily exchange rate as issued by the Central bank of Iceland. Therefore, conversions from ISK to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day.
 
After booking with Nordic Visitor
After booking your package with Nordic Visitor, you will be contacted within two working days by one of our travel consultants, who will serve as your dedicated contact person for all of your travel needs before, during and even after your holiday. Your travel consultant will provide you with details about your booking and your remaining payment (if not paid in full). You will also receive more information about what to expect during your holiday. 

We are here to help

Whether you have a single question or a special request, we're here for you.