Experience all that Iceland has to offer on a 10-day epic road trip of the Ring Road!
See Iceland’s best of the best on this 10-day road trip around the Ring Road. Start in Reykjavik, grab your rental car, and set out into the wild on your very own Great Icelandic Road Trip!
First, drive around the famous Golden Circle. Then hit the South Coast, for an extra Glacier Experience, on the way to Vatnajokull National Park, Jökulsárlón, and the East Fjords.
Continue on to North Iceland, exotic Lake Mývatn, Akureyri, and add on Dalvík for whale watching. Explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula on your way to the hot springs in Borgarfjörður.
Take an optional detour to the Blue Lagoon before crossing the finish line back in Reykjavik.
Meet on location
Departs from Overwrite
- Tour highlights
- The Ring Road
- The Golden Circle (Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Hot Springs, and Thingvellir National Park)
- The South Coast
- Vatnajökull Glacier
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and The Diamond Beach
- The East Fjords
- Lake Mývatn
- Dettifoss and Goðafoss Waterfalls
- Whale Watching in Dalvík (optional extra)
- Snæfellsnes Peninsula
- The Blue Lagoon (optional extra)
- 10-Day Car Rental (with all basic insurances: Collision Damage Waiver, Personal Accident Insurance and Theft protection)
- 9 Nights Accommodation (with private bathroom)
- Breakfast Each Morning
- Glacier hike on Sólheimajökull Glacier (optional extra)
- Whale Watching Excursion in Dalvik (optional extra)
- Detailed Map, Itinerary, and Information Package
Put your foot on the gas, your hands on the wheel, and hold on for an adventure of a lifetime. Go on a solo drive or bring a group of friends and make your way out of Reykjavik around the whole island of Iceland. Pick up your car in Reykjavik and embark on 10 days of nonstop natural wonders.
Begin and end in Reykjavik. The bustling heart of Iceland, Reykjavik has plenty of great restaurants, sights, and nightlife. Get a feel for Iclandic culture and a nice meal or two while you load up for your trip. Walk downtown, gaze out across the harbor, and explore the city’s museums before heading out into the Iceland wild.
The famous Golden Circle is home to Iceland’s most famous attractions like Þingvellir National Park, Geysir, and Gullfoss Waterfall. Travel the most visited route in Iceland, stopping at Iceland’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site and further exploring the geologic rift separating the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.
Vatnajokull & Jokulsarlon
Visit the massive Vatnajokull National Park in all its glacial glory. Also stop at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the Diamond Beach to watch the ice shine in the sun. See the Iceland’s exclusive natural wonders and mind-blowing geological phenomenon. Marvel at basalt columns, looming glaciers, towering see stacks, drifting icebergs, and volcanic sand.
Traverse North Iceland’s rugged and peculiar landscapes. See Lake Myvatn, and meet local Icelanders in Akureyri and Dalvík. Looking more like another world than just another region in Iceland, the North is filled with surging waterfalls, volcanic lava fields, alien steam vents, and soil painted in every conceivable color.
Wind your way through the pretty peninsula called Snaefellsnes. Go up and down the weaving roads stopping at all the quaint small towns and beaches. Look out across the sea from the rising hills of Snaefellsnes and see the beaches and cliffs at Snæfellsjökull National Park. A relaxing and spectacular finale before returning back to the capital city.
Choose to go Glacier Hiking on Sólheimajökull Glacier on Day 3. Expert guides and all necessary equipment (crampons, safety equipment, etc) will be provided. Sign up during booking and be guided up the icy face of a glacier. This exclusive to Iceland experience can be added on to your self-drive tour for an extra fee.
On Day 10, you have the option of going for a soak in the famous Blue Lagoon located in the Reykjanes Peninsula if your flight schedule allows. Blue Lagoon admission fee is not included in our self-drive package, and since a pre-booking is required to enter the Lagoon, we recommend you booking your visit the Blue Lagoon website. Please remember to bring a bathing suit and a towel if you’re not planning to rent them at the reception.
Detailed Itinerary Included
√ Detailed map of Iceland with all stops
√ Easily follow daily travel plans
√ Mobile-friendly design
√ Descriptions & photos for all major stops
√ Print your itinerary or share with friends
Rental Car Information
Pick-up: Choose between pick-up locations at Keflavik International airport (KEF) or BSI Bus Terminal in downtown Reykjavik, at flexible times.
For the best experience, we definitely recommend that you pick your car up early on the day of arrival, and return it in the afternoon or evening on your last day.
Drop-off: By default, the drop-off location for your car will be at Keflavik International Airport (KEF), no matter which pick-up location you have selected.
You can, however, drop-off the car at BSI Bus Terminal in Reykjavik, on the last day of your tour. If you prefer this drop-off location you can change it afterward (details can be found in your confirmation email).
Comfort accommodation is included in this package. The hotels are all in great locations, and come with private bathrooms and breakfast included.
Remember to bring: Warm layers, waterproof clothing, headwear, scarf, gloves, hiking boots or shoes, a valid driver’s license, and some sunglasses. If you don’t own all of these clothing items, don’t worry — you can always rent sturdy hiking boots, a waterproof jacket, and pants in the booking process.
What if you don’t own all of these clothing items? Don’t worry, you can always rent sturdy hiking boots, a waterproof jacket, and pants during the booking process.
When booking for 2 or 4 people you get twin/double rooms. When booking for 3 or 5 persons you get a combination of double/twin rooms and a single room.
Entry to the Blue Lagoon is not included in the quoted price for the tour, meaning that you will need to book in advance at bluelagoon.com.
In order to give you the best price possible, this self-drive package is fixed and cannot be changed or altered. The package has been optimized for the best experience.
Day 1 — Reykjavik
Explore the northernmost capital in the world! You can choose to park and explore downtown by foot, or drive outside the city and explore Reykjavik’s neighboring boroughs, towns, and nature.
Arrive any time in the morning on the start date of your tour and pick up your rental car at the airport. Or, choose to pick up your vehicle from the BSÍ bus terminal located in the city. If you choose to arrive in the afternoon, we recommend a pre-night in Reykjavik before the regular itinerary. That way you won’t be pressed for time and can experience everything we’ve planned for you!
Now that you’ve got your car, your journey can finally begin! Investigate the lovely town of Hafnarfjörður, take a walk in Helligerði Park, and immerse yourself in Iceland’s history at the Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum. Marvel at the impressive architecture of Hallgrímskirkja Church and Reykjavík City Hall.
If you have time, go a bit farther! Visit the Perlan Museum and its elevated Observation Deck for breathtaking 360° panoramic views of the city. Meet the Atlantic Ocean at the Grótta Nature Preserve and tidal island.
Remember, this is your trip so go where you want to go. Everything’s up to you!
- Rental Car
Day 2 — Golden Circle
Break out of Reykjavik on Day 2 and head east on Iceland’s famous Golden Circle route!
You’ll first reach Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site packed with glaciers and volcanic geologic formations. Then carry on to the Geysir Geothermal Area, where the word geyser originated, and experience bubbling geothermal pools and blasting geysers. Next you’ll reach Gullfoss Waterfall, arguably the most spectacular and beautiful waterfall in all of Iceland.
After Gullfoss comes the wide and serene Faxi Waterfall. Enjoy food, refreshments, and flowers at the Friðheimar Greenhouse before finishing the day at Kerið Crater, a volcanic crater turned lake. From there it’s just a short drive to a nearby hotel to tuck in for the night.
- Rental Car
Day 3 — The South Coast
On Day 3 you’ll hug Iceland’s South Coast, visiting more waterfalls and glaciers, trippy black sand beaches, and frigid glacial lagoons.
Seljalandsfoss, Gljúfrabúi, and Skógafoss Waterfalls are just waiting to be discovered as you make your way down the gorgeous coastline to the extremely charming tiny town of Skógar.
Further down Road 1 you’ll reach the Dyrhólaey Arch jutting out of the cliffs into the ocean.
Put the road on hold for a while and sign up for an optional glacier hike on Sólheimajökull Glacier. Gear up and walk up the crystal glacier with one of our expert glacier guides. This glacier experience is optional and can be added on to you your self-drive tour for an extra fee.
Next is the famous black sand Reynisfjara Beach, where dark volcanic sand meets the surf in the shadow of a massive stone sea stack and hexagonal basalt columns. You’ll end the day in the seaside fishing village of Vík and spend the night at a nearby hotel.
- Rental Car
Day 4 — Vatnajökull National Park, Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, and The Diamond Beach
You’ll spend Day 4 continuing along the South Coast to Iceland’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the largest national park and the biggest ice cap in Europe — Vatnajökull National Park!
There are plenty of sights to see before you reach Vatnajökull. Check out Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, the Church Floor (a floor-like hexagonal basalt formation), the Dverghamrar Cliffs, and Lómagnúpur Mountain. Once you arrive at Skaftafell National Park, which is now part of Vatnajökull National Park, take the time to head out and explore on your own a little. But whatever you do, don’t miss the amazing Svartifoss Waterfall and Vatnajökull Glacier!
Your next stop is Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon and the renowned Diamond Beach. Drink in the views of floating white icebergs as they sail down the chilly blue water of the lagoon. Then watch the sunset from the black sand Diamond Beach dotted with i sparkling ice crystals. Your next hotel is located a short drive away near the town of Höfn.
- Rental Car
Day 5 — East Fjords
You’ve never quite seen anything like Iceland’s East Fjords. On Day 5 you’ll immerse yourself in Iceland’s wild country first hand!
Venture out from Höfn to Vestrahorn, Iceland’s horned mountain. Weave in and out of the fjords, stopping at the scenic town of Djúpivogur, Havarí Farm, Stöðvarfjörður, and Petra’s Stone Collection.
Make time for Saxa Cliff and the natural wonder that is Hallormsstaðarskógur, the largest forest in Iceland (though it’s not really that large). Cap the day off with a visit to Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss Waterfalls before crashing at your hotel near Egilsstaðir.
- Rental Car
Day 6 — Dettifoss, Lake Mývatn, and Goðafoss
On Day 6 you’ll cross over the Northeast Highlands into North Iceland. Here you’ll enter a whole new world of wonders.
The alien landscapes of North Iceland are full of fascinating natural oddities. Find more waterfalls as you continue on your adventure, like Rjúkandi Waterfall and the mighty Dettifoss Waterfall — the most powerful waterfall in Europe!
Visit the ancient Stóra-Víti Crater, Grjótagjá Cave, and the otherworldly Lake Mývatn area. Stretch out your legs at the Dimmuborgir Lava Field and set your sights of Goðafoss Waterfall
(“the waterfall of the gods”). You’ll eventually reach Akureyri, the “Capital of the North”, and your hotel for the night.
- Rental Car
Day 7 — Akureyri, Dalvik, and Whale Watching
Enjoy a calm morning in Akureyri and head out to Dalvik, the best place to whale watch in Iceland!
Day 7 will be filled to the brim with native Icelandic wildlife. Take some time to wander magical Akureyri before you head to Dalvik for an optional whale watching excursion off the North Coast of Iceland. The whale watching tour from Dalvík is not included in the base tour but can be added on for an extra fee.
You’ll also visit the Skagafjörður Region for a glimpse of wild Icelandic horses. Then make your way to the coast to peer out at the Hvítserkur Sea Stack and Drangey Island. Your hotel is farther west in the small village of Hvammstangi.
- Rental Car
Day 8 — Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Travel to the tip of Snæfellsnes Peninsula on Day 8. You’ll stop at quaint small towns as you wind your way around the rugged peninsula.
There’s something around every curve in the Snæfellsnes Region. Stop at Kolugljúfur Canyon, Grábrók Crater, and Kirkjufell Mountain, the most photographed mountain in Iceland. Make a pit stop in the town of Stykkishólmur near Djúpalónssandur Beach and discover Dritvík Cove.
Explore Snæfellsjökull National Park and see the Lóndrangar Cliff. Be sure to veer off to any small town you come across, like charming Hellnar or Arnarstapi.
- Rental Car
Day 9 — Borgarfjörður and The Capital Region
You’re now in the home stretch! On Day 9, you’ll stop at classic Icelandic hot springs and waterfalls in Borgarfjörður on your way back to the capital area.
Spend the morning at Ytri Tunga, a golden sand beach on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Be sure to check out the Gerðuberg Cliffs right next door. Then you’ll head back towards the big city and hit the last few stops — Deildartunguhver Hot Spring, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, and the Old Akranes Lighthouse in Akranesviti — before returning to civilization.
You’ve finally made it back to Reykjavik, where you’ll be staying for the night. Grab yourself a nice dinner or drink and celebrate!
- Rental Car
Day 10 — The Blue Lagoon and Departure
Time to head back to the airport — but not before an optional stop at the Blue Lagoon before your flight!
Enjoy your last day in Reykjavik however you wish. Hike the Hópsnes Peninsula, visit the Reykjanesviti Lighthouse, or walk the Bridge Between Continents, a small footbridge over a major tectonic fissure.
If you haven’t had enough Iceland and your flight doesn’t leave until the afternoon, then stop and soak in the famous Blue Lagoon. Popular with visitors for good reason, the Blue Lagoon is the best place to freshen up and decompress before your long flight. Paid entry isn’t included. However, the lagoon is a great place to get rid of those extra Icelandic krónur you may have left.
You did it. You saw it all. Góða ferð! Bon voyage!
- Rental Car
Self-drive tour is a package tour that includes accommodation, car rental and suggested itinerary. The tours are self-guided but we provide you with information to make sure you know where to go and what to see, as well as general practical information about Iceland.
Included with our tours are accommodation and car rental, as described for each tour, itinerary with suggested points of interest along the way, GPS points for each stop (accommodation, activities, points of interest), and a detailed self-drive handbook with lots of practical information.
We use a very varied mix of local accommodations.
Comfort rooms are private rooms with private bathroom in guesthouses, hotels, motels, lodges, etc. Approximately 3-star rating.
Budget rooms are private rooms with shared bathroom at guesthouses, hostels, hotels, etc. Approximately 2-star rating.
4WD vehicles are recommended during winter months (October – April) but it doesn’t need to be a jeep, it is safest to drive a vehicle that you are comfortable with so if you’re not used to driving large cars then a smaller, but 4WD, might be a better option. In summer any vehicle is good, depending on how many are traveling together, how much luggage you carry along and how much you’re willing to pay.
This depends on the itinerary, some are faster paced while others are more relaxed. Days can range from 200-400 km, though very few days exceed 350 km. Of course you are your own driver and guide while on a self drive tour so you are free to make detours as you wish.
It is always a good idea to make sure you have good travel insurance, as you never know what might happen while in a foreign country. Sure it costs a bit extra, but it can take a load off the mind and end up being totally worth it in case something should happen.
Take a look at what type of insurance is provided with your credit card, alternatively buy special travel insurance from an insurance provider.
As for the car rental, you can opt to buy extra insurance at the time of collecting the car. It may be wise to buy extra insurance such as windshield protection, as a cracked windshield from a stone being thrown off another car is among the most common incidents on Icelandic roads.
Other extra car insurances would be for example sand and ash protection, or additional insurance to lower the self-risk in case of an incident.
Our self drive adventures have been optimized for the best value experience, which includes doing some thrilling activities in the amazing Icelandic nature. As the packages are offered at the best possible price no partial refunds or modifications to the itinerary can be permitted. That includes opting out of an included activity and getting a refund for that activity. You can, of course, choose not to do the activity but as mentioned there would be no partial refunds of the package price.
You should contact the service provider in question: If there is a problem with the car, contact the car rental. If you have troubles finding the hotel (which shouldn’t happen as you will be provided with the address and GPS coordinates), you should call the hotel.
If you have questions about an activity, contact the activity provider. You will receive all the necessary contact information from us.
We cannot guarantee twin beds but a large majority of our hotels can accommodate twin bed arrangements and clients can contact the hotels directly after purchase to request a twin bed arrangement.