Circle of Iceland | 6-Day Small-Group Summer Minibus Tour
See glacier lagoons, black sand beaches, Lake Mývatn, Dettifoss Waterfall, and the Golden Circle, all hassle-free with this 6-day small-group tour. Make the best use of your time here in Iceland by packing your days with fantastic adventures as you travel the circle of Iceland.
With this fantastic summer tour, you won’t have to worry about navigating the country roads of Iceland or reading road signs with characters such as Þ or Ð. Instead, you’ll have your very own professional, local guide to do that for you. Not only will they drive you to some of the country’s most popular attractions, but they’ll show you some of their favourite hidden gems as well.
Accommodations on the road will also be taken care of for you. You’ll spend the night at comfortable country hotels, with a private bathroom and breakfast in the morning. If you wish, you can purchase the dinner package where we arrange a meal for you at your hotel each night. This means that all you have to worry about is getting fantastic photos of Iceland’s beautiful nature to show your friends and family back home.
Each day is filled with spectacular natural attractions, but if you are looking for something even more memorable, you can add an activity or two to your itinerary. These include visiting an ice cave, unwinding a geothermal spa, horseback riding, and whale watching. You can also choose the activity package, where you’ll do every activity at a discounted rate.
See and do more in Iceland without a worry on this 6-Day Guided Summer Tour. Book now to secure your spot on this popular small-group tour.
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What to bring
Your first day on the road starts when your friendly minibus driver picks you up in Reykjavík and whisks you out of the city. Today, you´ll visit the Golden Circle, a route comprising three destinations, all vastly different but equally beautiful. The first stop? Þingvellir National Park, known for its natural beauty and fascinating history.
This is where Iceland’s Viking settlers created this country’s parliament over a thousand years ago. It is also where the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates meet. These massive continental plates are slowly moving apart, creating cracks and fissures in the moss-covered landscape.
One of those fissures, named Silfra, is filled with meltwater from a glacier in the Highlands. The water travels through porous lava fields, which filter it in the process, making it crystal clear. Snorkelling tours in Silfra have thus been top-rated as the water provides you with unparalleled visibility. If you’d like, you can add a snorkelling tour in Silfra to this day during the booking process.
Next up is the Geysir Geothermal Area, home of hot springs, bubbling mud pools and Strokkur, an erupting geyser. Strokkur goes off every 5-10 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to take a great selfie with the erupting hot spring in the background.
The final stop of the day is at Gullfoss Waterfall. This beautiful feature is 32-metres high (105 ft) and falls in two steps into an ancient canyon. The force of the water hitting the canyon creates tiny droplets that fly through the sky. On sunny days, they make a rainbow above the beautiful cascade.
You will spend the night at a lovely country hotel in the area.
After breakfast, you’ll head back on the road. Today, you’ll be exploring the many sights of Iceland’s southern coastline. The first stops are at two beautiful waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss.
The former falls down a cliff in a small and narrow stream. If you have your rain gear on, you can follow a small footpath that will take you to a cave behind the falling water. Though you will not be walking directly through the stream of water to get to the cave, droplets from when the water hits the ground will probably leave you drenched. However, the trip is well worth it, and you’ll likely grab some great photos from this unique perspective.
Skógafoss is next. It is equally beautiful but vastly different from Seljalandsfoss; it is much wider and more powerful. Make sure you keep your rain gear on because Skógafoss falls onto a very flat surface, which allows you to walk right up to the falling spring water.
On your way to the next attraction, you’ll drive past two glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. Those looking to explore glaciers today are in luck; ice caves can be found inside Mýrdalsjökull Glaciers. The Katla Ice Cave (named after a volcano) is the only one of its kind, open year-round, even in the summer. Thus, providing you with a fantastic chance to have some icy adventures. You can add a tour to the Katla Ice Cave during the booking process.
Last but not least is the beautiful black sand beach of Reynisfjara. Here, the roaring waves of the North Atlantic Ocean crash upon the jet-black shoreline. A cliff made up of hexagonal, volcanic columns can be found here and protruding from the ocean are the massive Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks. In the distance, you’ll see the strangely-shaped Dyrhólaey Peninsula.
You’ll spend the night near the charming coastal town of Vík.
Day three will see you travelling to the South-East corner of the country. Home of the mighty Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. This massive ice cap has influenced the landscape around it greatly. En route to your first stop of the day, Jökulárlón Glacier Lagoon, you’ll travel through a black sand desert created centuries ago in glacial floods.
Glacier Lagoons are formed when meltwater from a glacier reaches sea level or a lowland plateau. Here in Iceland, we have a few glacier lagoons but none as spectacular as Jökulsárlón. Here, gigantic icebergs which have broken off the glacier float on the aquamarine water. Watching them drift off to sea and listening to the crackling sounds they make is a pretty calming experience.
Those who wish to get a better view of these massive icebergs can add a boat tour during the booking process. You’ll board a large boat that will take you as close to the bergs as possible. You might also get a better view of the many seals that make the waters of Jökulsárlón their home. It is a fantastic trip for anyone, especially those looking for a great photograph of the lagoon.
A short walk away from the lagoon is the Diamond Beach. Lying scattered across the jet-black shoreline are countless icebergs of all sizes. When the sunlight hits them, they glisten like diamonds on a velvet blanket.
At the end of the day, you’ll head to a country hotel in the area to spend the night.
On your fourth day on the road, you’ll explore the secluded Eastfjords of Iceland. The East is one of the most beautiful but least visited places of the country, due simply to the distance from the capital, Reykjavík.
Here, you’ll find staggering natural beauty with mountains in the West and the glittering ocean in the East. The road winds through the many fjords of the East, which are dotted with charming fishing villages. Your guide will stop at some of their favourite places, which might not even be mentioned in guidebooks.
You’ll travel to Hallormsstaðaskógur, Iceland’s largest forest. Found amidst the 740 ha of woodland are numerous hiking trails, moors, and coves, as well as the lake Lagarfljót. You’ll travel along this large lake, enjoying the views while simultaneously keeping an eye out for the Lagarfljót Wyrm, a cryptid serpent similar to the Loch Ness monster.
If you wish to add some adventure to the day, you can book a horse riding tour. Icelandic horses are friendly, intelligent, and relatively small, making them the perfect companion for both seasoned and novice riders. In addition, riding a horse is a fantastic and fun way to experience Icelandic nature.
At the end of the day, you’ll head to one of the sleeping villages in East Iceland to spend the night.
Day five is truly action-packed. Today, you’ll travel the Diamond Circle, North Iceland’s answer to the Golden Circle. However, instead of three different attractions, you get much more.
You’ll visit Dettifoss, a large waterfall that is one of Europe’s most powerful cascades. Dettifoss is 100 metres (330 ft) wide and has a drop of 44 metres (144 ft). The rugged falls are often known as the ‘Prometheus Waterfall’ as a shot of it was used in the opening sequence of the 2012 Ridley Scott film.
From there, you’ll travel to the horse-shoe shaped canyon, Ásbyrgi, where you’ll find a woodland of birch and willows. The place is steeped in both folklore and history, which your friendly guide will tell you all about. Then it’s off to Húsavík, a small town by Skjálfandi Bay which gained international fame after appearing in Will Ferrell’s 2020 movie, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
You’ll visit Goðafoss, or ‘Waterfall of the Gods’. This is a beautiful arch-shaped waterfall with a dramatic history related to Iceland’s conversion to Christianity. You will also explore the area around Lake Mývatn, such as the lava fields of Dimmuborgir and the geothermal area of Námaskarð.
If you are looking for some relaxation during your adventure-full day, then a stop at the luxurious Mývatn Nature Baths might be just the thing for you. Here, you can unwind in the mineral-rich waters while enjoying the scenery, perhaps with a drink in your hand. Time slots to the lagoon can be added during the booking process.
You will end the day at the largest settlement in the North, Akureyri, where you will spend the night.
You’ll wake up in Akureyri, often nicknamed ‘The Capital of the North’. Begin the day by exploring this vibrant town; you can stroll through the downtown area, where you’ll find a myriad of cafés, restaurants, and shops.
When it is time to hit the road again, you’ll board the minibus and make your way back to Reykjavík. But not before having a few adventures first.
A little North of Akranes is the tiny settlement of Hauganes. Here, you can join a whale-watching excursion where you’ll head out to the ocean on a traditional oak ship. The most commonly spotted animals are humpback whales, minke whales, dolphins, and porpoises. However, the sea is home to over 15 more species of whales, and with wild nature, you never know what you might see. Add a tour during the booking process to secure your spot on this fantastic tour.
From there, you’ll travel through the mountain region of Skagafjörður. Before heading South to Reykjavík, you’ll make a detour to Hvítserkur Rock. Hvítserkur is a strangely-shaped rock that protrudes out of the ocean. Some say it resembles an elephant; others say it’s a dragon. According to folklore, however, it is a petrified troll.
Then you’ll make your way back to Reykjavík. The route might be a little long, but it is very scenic. You’ll see how mountainous areas turn into verdant lowlands, rugged lava fields and even small forests. You’ll travel through the historic Borgarfjörður region in West Iceland; your guide will tell you about the Sagas and point out anything of interest that comes up on your journey.
You’ll then be dropped off by or near your accommodation in Reykjavík, where you will bid farewell to your friendly driver.