Drive Around Iceland 9 Days / 8 Nights & Add in Some Interesting Activities
We’ve put together a high value driving tour that circumnavigates Iceland in a little over a week. Activities and tours that are special to each of the regions are outlined and can be pre-booked when you sign up for the tour to guarantee you their availability in what may be a busy season.
Here's a sample ouline itinerary: Day 1: WELCOME TO ICELAND (49 km/30miles)
Upon arrival at Keflavik Airport, pick up your car at the airport and head out on the mostly new road to Reykjavik. You can check in at your hotel early afternoon, so you could do a bit of exploring on the way. There are some interesting land and sea-scapes on the Reykjanes peninsula, with bird cliffs, hot springs and lighthouses as well as the Blue Lagoon. ( Or you could take this in on your last day, as you head back to the airport.) We’ll provide lots of ideas, enjoy Reykjavik with it’s museums, waterfront, culture, and great restaurant scene. Typically you’ll spend your first and last night here - perfect for a last night out, some shopping, or a chance to party till it gets dark. . Day 2: GOING NORTH (390 km/242 miles)
Explore the saga valley of Borgarfjörður in West Iceland and maybe climb Grábrók volcano in the Bifröst area. Continue to Skagafjörður, valley of the horses and sagas. Here you find the Glaumbær, a turf farm & folk museum on a farm from which a pregnant woman left for North America around 1016 years ago. And across the fjord is the Viðimýri church, one of the most beautiful examples of traditional turf church architecture. 1 night at Hotel Norðurland in Akureyri. Optional activities: Seal watching in Northwest Iceland or horseback riding in Akureyri. Day 3: AKUREYRI - LAKE MÝVATN (130 km/81 miles)
Akureyri is the capital of North Iceland and we recommend a visit to the old town, the modern church and botanical garden. Continue to Goðafoss, the waterfall of the Gods. Lake Mývatn offers a wide spectrum of volcanic and geological features, abundant bird life and a wealth of walking trails.
Venture into the Eastern highlands, if you have 4WD, perhaps take a day tour to Askja.
1 night at Hotel Laxá, Lake Mývatn Optional activity: Early morning whale watching & fjord cruise from Akureyri.
Optional activity: Nature Baths at Lake Mývatn (“blue lagoon of the North”).
Optional activity: Guided Bike & Bath Tour at Lake Mývatn incl. entrance to Nature Baths. Day 4: GOING EAST (280 km/173 miles)
Travel east over Jökuldalsheiði moorland plateau, lava and sand desert. We recommend a detour to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, subject to season. Egilsstaðir is the center of East Iceland, located at Lögurinn Lake and not far from Hallormsstaður woods and Hengifoss, Iceland’s 2nd highest waterfall. Continue to the small village of Fáskrúðsfjörður in the East Fjords and stay at one of Iceland’s most charming hotels.
1 night at Fosshotel Eastfjords in Fáskrúðsfjörður. Optional activity: Whale watching in Húsavík (requires a detour of about 100km/62 miles) Day 5: VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK (420 km/260 miles)
Travel the scenic route along the dramatic fjord landscape and fishing villages of East Iceland before reaching Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier and National Park. The glacial lagoon, Jokulsarlon, may be your best chance in life to touch a genuine iceberg. We recommend a boat tour between icebergs on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and a short hike in Skaftafell National Park.
1 night at Laki Cottages in Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Optional activity: Boat trip on a glacial lagoon. Day 6: SOUTH SHORE (240 km/149 miles)
A beautiful drive with many natural wonders awaits you today as you head across the Laki lava field, pass the waterfalls Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. The bird cliffs of Dyrhólaey and Reynisfjara are simply amazing. We recommend also a stroll on the black lava beaches of Vík and a visit to the folk museum and turf houses at Skógar.
Have lobster by the sea!
1 night at Hotel Örk in Hveragerði. Optional activities: Glacier hike on Sólheimajökull or a snowmobile tour on Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Day 7: SOUTH ICELAND ACTIVITY DAY
The village of Hveragerði is heaven for outdoor activities and surrounded my volcanic mountains and beautiful green valleys with geothermal springs and even some natural hot rivers to take a bath in the wilderness. We recommend a South Iceland activity challenge day or simply explore the nearby seashore villages.
If you are up for more sightseeing by rental car, the Thjórsárdalur valley is well-known for its numerous excavations of old viking farms, which were buried by the ash of an eruption of Hekla volcano in the year 1104. The farm at Stöng is especially worth seeing. In this area are two beautiful waterfalls, Hjálparfoss that is easy to reach and Háifoss waterfall that is a bit off the beaten track. A short walk leads to the ravine Gjáin that offers a surrounding with waterfalls, lava formations and wonderful vegetation. This is an enchanting spot and not to be missed. This round trip is about 170 km / 105 miles. Optional activities: Horseback riding or a guided hiking tour & bathing in a natural hot river or a guided mountain biking & splash tour. Day 8: GOLDEN CIRCLE (195 km/121 miles)
Today’s program is called Golden Circle with Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir hot springs and Thingvellir National Park,each worth seeing for one or more unique aspects. Take some time to explore Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital.
2 nights at Grand Hotel Reykjavík. Optional activities: Horseback riding, river rafting or visit to Fontana historic geothermal steam baths.
Day 9: GOING HOME (49 km/30 miles) Departure. Possibly stopping at the Blue Lagoon
Optional activity: Blue Lagoon, depending on time of departure.
Here are the cars:Toyota AurisT.RAV4T. Land Cruiser
Here are some optional Activities:
Blue Lagoon Visit
Horseback riding for beginners
Reykjavík Bike Tour
Bird watching & Fjord Touring
Bike & Bath Tour ( Nature Baths at Lake Mývatn)
Nature Baths at Lake Mývatn
Boat trip on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
Glacier hike on Sólheimajökull
Guided Hiking & Bathing in a natural hot river
Guided mountain biking & splash tour
Fontana geothermal steam baths visit
One word of caution about touring in Iceland - Unlike many other European destinations you won't find B&Bs or hotels lined up in a row at every crossroad or corner. In a busy season, however you book your trip, don't rely on luck for finding accommodations for each night!
You think you want more Action??
Try This - The Viking Challenge!
Want LESS action? Escorted Tours might be for you.