The Private Grand Circle, Ring Road tour takes you around the entire island stopping at all the most celebrated sights that Iceland has to offer, while taking in breathtaking scenery. This customisable trip can easily be extended or amended to match your number of days and desires. Join our Grand Circle tour for the ultimate ring road trip!

Iceland’s unbroken ring road was only completed in the 1960s, finally giving the locals unencumbered access to the entire country. At over 800 miles, we can understand why it took so long. Let’s explore it together.

Throughout this expansive itinerary we will visit the popular Golden Circle with its erupting geysers, thunderous waterfalls and scarred tectonic boundaries. We will travel the entire south coast making sure to stop at the Vatnajökull National Park where there are countless glacier, icebergs and black sand beaches. In the Eastfjords we will wizz around the winding roads with towering mountains on one side and dramatic coastal cliffs on the other. As we travel north we will visit Iceland’s largest and most stunning waterfalls and take in the geothermally active sites of Mývatn. In the north and west we’ll get a glimpse of rural life and ever changing landscapes before finishing in the south west with the Blue Lagoon, recently active volcanoes. To achieve Iceland’s ring road is to really feel like you’ve ‘seen it all’.


Tour Summary

Arrival & Reykjavík | Take it easy on your arrival day and settle into the Icelandic time!

Day 1 | Golden Circle with Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse Lunch

Day 2 | Travel the entire South Coast of Iceland with black sand beaches and towering waterfalls

Day 3 | Explore Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon aand Diamond Beach, then go off the beaten path through the Eastfjords

Day 4 | Visit the Mývatn geothermal area and Dettifoss waterfall

Day 5 | Navigate the Arctic Coast Way to West Iceland

Day 6 | Traverse the Snæfellsnes Peninsula with its dramatic coastal views

Day 7 | Inland to the west of Iceland and Hvammsvík Hot Pool

Day 8 | Enjoy the Reykjanes Peninsula with its Lava Tunnel or volcano viewpoint and end at Blue Lagoon

Departure day | All good things must come to an end, today is your departure day

Please note:
The proposed itinerary is 8 days in total. Many days can be added to this itinerary with ease. Arrival day, departure day and additional days are not part of the proposed itinerary but will be planned by our Travel Experts for you in your first quote. We also recommend having at least one full day in Reykjavík before or after your tour. 

Day 1 | The Golden Circle

Today you’ll be picked up after breakfast by our guide to start the journey around Iceland. On this first day we’ll see all of the most popular sights of the Golden Circle area, with some unique twists to make the first day even more special. We head first to Þingvellir National Park & UNESCO Heritage Site to see the effects of constant tectonic movement in the midst of an area which is as rich in history as it is beautiful. From there we’ll go to Friðheimar for an all inclusive lunch at this one of a kind restaurant. Tomato ice cream, anyone? Next up is the erupting geyser, Strokkur and its neighbour, the one and only Geysir, along with the impressive Gullfoss waterfall. Then we start heading towards our South Coast accommodation.

Where do we stay?
We love staying at Hotel Vos, Skálakot Manor Hotel & Hotel UMI.

Day 2 | South Coast Highlights

Today we drive along the entire South Coast with its many beaches and waterfalls. We walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall and try to get as close to Skógafoss waterfall as possible before admiring the basalt columns and taking a walk on the black sand beach of Reynisfjara. Here we can have lunch before continuing our drive through the seaside town of Vík. We go past the vast Eldhraun lava field and hike along the edges of Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge. As we reach Vatnajökull National Park the landscape starts to change dramatically due to the effect of Europe’s largest glacier and volcano. As we come into Skaftafell Nature Reserve we will stop at one of the numerous outlet glaciers here for views over these icy giants. 

OPTION 1 | The Icelandic Lava Show in the town of Vík where the locals will share tales of past eruptions before pouring re-melted lava over ice just metres from your face. A great family friendly experience on a cold day.

OPTION 2 | Take a horse ride on the famous Icelandic horse with its smooth 5th gait. These docile animals are as friendly as they are fast. This is a great way to see Iceland’s hidden landscape off the beaten path.

OPTION 3 | Go for an exhilarating ATV tour through rivers and remote wilderness.

Where do we stay?
There are many lovely accommodation options in the southeast, such as Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon.

Day 3 | Vatnajökull National Park & Eastfjords

Today is all about the ice! We start the day at one of our favorite locations in Iceland at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon where we witness the giant icebergs floating in the 8 km long lagoon. If you’re lucky, you’ll be greeted by one of the friendly and curious seals that live in the lagoon. Afterwards we pop over to the Diamond Beach where the smaller broken icebergs wash up on shore.

From here we drive through the Eastfjords, and what a drive that is! Often hailed as the best views in Iceland, the winding roads, towering mountains, steep cliffs and dramatic coast lines will certainly have you believing it. As you head north through the Eastfjords, you’ll want to stop every 5 minutes with breathtaking views at every turn. Don’t worry, your guide knows the best places to stop today.

Where do we stay?
In Egilsstaðir you can stay at the Lake Hotel, Icelandair Hotel Hérað or 1001 Nótt to name a few.

Day 4 | Mývatn, Dettifoss & Optional Stuðlagil Canyon Hike

Heading into the north of Iceland we drive through a desert like landscape. Really quite different from what we have seen so far. But this apparent barren tundra is secretly bursting with life and activity. In the afternoon, we continue into the mystical landscape around Lake Mývatn making sure to stop at Iceland’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss. There, we explore the mars like landscape by Námaskarð and Hverir, with their steaming fumaroles and bubbling mud pits. We’ll then peek into Grjótagjá cave, made famous by Game of Thrones.

What better way to end the day but at the recently opened Forest Lagoon, right on the towns edge with stunning views over Eyjafjörður fjord.

Where do we stay?
We stay in the city centre of Akureyri

Day 5 | North Iceland

It’s time to depart the North and head west. This will be the longest driving day of the trip but don’t worry, you’ll have some great scenic views as we drive through rural Iceland, passing through the small farming towns of northwest Iceland while driving through the Arctic Coastway. We will stop by Glaumbær farm where we can walk through and see the restored old turf houses and farms and get a sense of life in early times in Iceland. Before coming into our accommodation in the fishing village of Stykkishólmur, located by Breiðafjörður bay.

Where do we stay?
Tonight we spend the night in the charming fishing village of Stykkishólmur at Hotel Egilsen, or we can bypass Stykkishólmur and head to Hótel Búðir.

Day 6 | The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Today we explore Snæfellsnes, a little miniature of Iceland where you’ll see fjords, mountains, volcanoes, endless lava fields, glaciers, and dramatic coastal cliffs, all in one amazing peninsula. From Stykkishólmur we make our headway around the peninsula made famous by Jules Verne and head to Kirkjufell mountain, another Game of Thrones location known as Arrow Mountain, although in Icelandic the name stands for Church Mountain. We explore the lava formations and black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur, no less impressive than the south coast shores. As we continue to go around Snæfellsjökull glacier we head to the stunning Lóndrangar basalt spires and the small village of Arnarstapi, which is surrounded by impressive sea cliffs plummeting into the ocean and boasting its own guardian giant. We’ll make a quick photo stop by Búðakirkja black church before heading to our accommodation for the night. 

Optional activities

From Snæfellsnes Peninsula we can join a whale watching tour out to Breiðafjörður bay for the chance to see humpbacks, Minke whale, pilot whales. To name a few

Where do we stay?
Stay a second night in the same hotel as the night before.

Day 7 | West Iceland & Hvammsvík Hot Pool

The lush countryside inland from Breiðafjörður bay is famous for its beautiful waterfalls Barnafoss and Hraunfoss, and equally known for being the home to Snorri Sturluson who wrote the Edda Prone. There are many options for walks and hikes in this area through the lowland forested areas. By the end of the day, what better way but to end it at the newly opened Hvammsvík Hot Springs, where the lagoons water levels move with the tide of the Atlantic ocean.


We’ll go to the newly opened Hvammsvík Hot Pools

Where do we stay?

We come back to Reykjavík after exploring west Iceland today and stay in one of the hotels in the city

Day 8 | Lava Tunnel, Volcanic Eruption Viewpoint & Blue Lagoon

The Reykjanes peninsula and LAVA Tunnel tour is all about the tectonic effects on the island. We spend the day visiting the UNESCO Global Geopark of Reykjanes Peninsula which is home to some incredible sights.

We start with a visit to Raufarhólshellir, or more widely known as the Lava Tunnel. This is one of the longest lava tubes in Iceland. Here we will explore the depths of this colourful lava tunnel. You will witness the inner workings of a volcanic eruption from 5200 years ago.

Afterwards, we will take part in a moderate hike to the newest lava field on the planet at the dormant volcano, Geldingadalur. We will walk around the lava field learning all about the eruption that started on the 19th of March 2021. There is no hot lava on the surface these days but the dramatic landscape is still well worth the visit. On a clear day it’s possible to hike to the top of the nearby hill for a view of the volcanic crater. Please note, although the volcano has stopped erupting it is not always possible or safe to visit the site. On these days we would add in other great spots on the Reykjanes Peninsula before finishing the day at the Blue Lagoon.

Where do we stay?
Your guide will drop you off either at the luxurious Silica by Blue Lagoon hotel. Or, if you have a spare additional night you can opt for the 5 star Retreat by Blue Lagoon (2 night minimum) for a unique treat to wrap up your stay in Iceland. Both these hotels give you access to their own secluded pools as well as access to the Blue Lagoon itself. If you are on a budget you can always opt to stay at the nearby Northern Lights Inn once you’ve finished bathing in the lagoon. Alternatively, we can head back to Reykjavík.

General Information

May – September

Minimum 8 days
Recommended 10 + days

No minimum*
(* depends on activities)

Easy, but customisable
(depends on activities)

can be customised

Blue Lagoon area
or Reykjavík,
can be customised

All hotel choices are modern, spacious and comfortable with private bathrooms, and include breakfast. Lunch at Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse (all inclusive except from alcoholic drinks) and entrance to the Secret Lagoon geothermal pool. General departure whale watching. Entry to Glaumbær farm. Glacier hike with all safety gear (if chosen). Entry to the Lava Tunnel. Private transportation in a modern and comfortable vehicle and one of our wonderful English speaking guides for the duration of the 9 days.

Flights to and from Iceland, meals unless otherwise specified. Reykjavík based activities and accommodation.

Extensions / Add-ons
We can include Reykjavík based accommodation and activities upon request
It can easily be extended to 10 or more days with ease
Additional or replacement activities can be requested (see form below)

Ready to make this your dream trip?

Please try to give us as much information in your submission as you can. We respond to all tour requests within 7 days, but please reach out to us if your request is urgent, or you want to provide more info.

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