The Ring Road of Iceland with Snaefellsnes Peninsula in 8 Days | Small-Group Summer Tour
Take an unforgettable trip around Iceland with a local guide and see waterfalls, black sand beaches, glacier lagoons, glaciers, and volcanoes. Skip the hassle of arranging accommodation and navigating around the country. Instead, simply relax knowing that you will not miss out on Iceland´s best attractions.
The Ring Road is Iceland´s main road that wraps around the country. On this tour, you will spend 8 days travelling the entire Ring Road with an added detour to the fantastic Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
Throughout your journey, you´ll be accompanied by a professional, local guide and travel in a comfortable minibus equipped with free WiFi. You´ll stay at country hotels around the country with a private bathroom, and breakfast is included.
If you wish to make this fun-filled trip even more memorable, you can add various adventures to each day. These include relaxing in a geothermal spa, riding the Icelandic horse, whale watching, and stepping inside an authentic ice cave. You can even add on a visit to the volcano currently erupting in Iceland.
Spend your summer exploring Iceland on this fantastic 8-day adventure. Book now to secure your spot on this popular small-group minibus tour.
Good to know
What to bring
Get up early today because your adventure in Iceland is about to begin. Your friendly, local guide will pick you up in or near your accommodation in Reykjavík in the morning. After brief introductions, your guide will whisk you away from the charming city and into the even more charming countryside. Then, you begin your tour with a trip around the Golden Circle, Iceland’s most popular sightseeing route.
First up is Þingvellir National Park, a place steeped in history. Here, Viking settlers of the country would gather to settle disputes, dispense justice, and lay the foundations of Iceland’s parliament, Alþingi. The park is also a UNESCO world heritage site because of its unique geography. It lies on the boundary between two continents; Europe and North America. Here, the tectonic plates on which the continents sit can be seen exposed.
After exploring Þingvellir, you’ll continue your journey. Next up is the geothermal area of Geysir. The main attraction there is Strokkur, an active geyser that erupts in a large column of water every 5-10 minutes. Other cool features found here are bubbling mud pools, hot springs, and smaller geysers.
Last but certainly not least is the Golden Waterfall, Gullfoss. Why is it called ‘The Golden Waterfall’? Nobody knows. But we don’t really need to know the name’s origin to enjoy the cascade’s glorious appearance. Fed by the glacier Langjökull, the river Hvítá rushes South before plunging 32 metres (105 ft) into a canyon, creating this spectacular natural feature.
After an eventful day, you’ll head to accommodation in the area to rest up for tomorrow’s adventures.
After breakfast, you´ll explore Iceland´s southern coastline. You´ll see stunning waterfalls, majestic glaciers, and a stretch of black sand beach. For today, we recommend you keep your rain gear on hand to explore some of these features up close.
You´ll start at Seljalandsfoss, a beautiful waterfall that falls in a narrow stream over a cave in the cliff-face. While wearing your raincoat, follow the path found there. It will take you inside the cave for a unique view of the waterfall from behind. This short trip will get you wet, hence the rain gear.
From Seljalandsfoss, you´ll travel to another waterfall, Skógafoss. This cascade is much wider and more powerful than its neighbour Seljalandsfoss. Don´t put your raincoat away just yet. Skógafoss falls onto flat land, which means you can walk right up to the falling water. However, doing so will get you a little wet from the tiny droplets.
You might have noticed two massive glaciers out of the window of the minibus. Those are Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers. While booking this 8-day trip, you can add a tour to the Katla Ice Caves, located in Mýrdalsjökull. Stepping into an ice cave in a glacier is a rare opportunity only available for a select few visitors to Iceland. So make sure you reserve your spot early if you want to explore these natural wonders.
Next up is Reynisfjara, a black sand beach close to the little village of Vík. Here, white, frothing waves from the Atlantic Ocean crash upon the jet-black volcanic sands and against the grey cliffs, made of strangely-shaped columns. Out on the ocean rise massive sea stacks that were believed to be petrified trolls. The scene is equally dramatic and beautiful.
You´ll end your day at lovely accommodation near Vík.
Iceland is home to Europe´s largest glacier, Vatnajökul. Incidentally, that is also your destination today. You´ll explore the beautiful natural features found in the realm of Vatnajökull before spending the night at a comfortable accommodation in the area.
After driving across a desert of black sand, created in a glacial flood many centuries ago, Vatnajökull will start to appear on the horizon. Located underneath this massive ice giant is one of the most spectacular attractions in Iceland, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
You´ll see enormous icebergs which have broken off the glacier float on serene, aquamarine water, and between the bergs swim playful seals. The scene is not only gorgeous but also incredibly tranquil. The icebergs make a low, rumbling noise as they drift slowly towards the ocean, which can be quite calming to listen to.
Jökulsárlón is an extremely photogenic place. However, suppose you are looking to get an even better shot or just a closer view of the icebergs. In that case, we recommend adding a boat tour during the booking process. You´ll get as close to these massive bergs, many of which are thousands of years old.
A short walk from Jökulsárlón is the Diamond Beach. When the icebergs from the lagoon reach the ocean, they break up into smaller chunks which the surf returns to shore. That is how the Diamond Beach got its name. The broken-up icebergs look like these precious gemstones as they lie scattered on the black sand beach.
Today after breakfast, you´ll hit the road again. You´ll travel roads that wind around East Iceland´s many fjords, stopping at sleeping fishing towns for a glimpse into the old way of life here in Iceland.
One way to completely immerse yourself in the old lifestyle of Icelanders is with a horse riding tour. Icelandic horses are a unique breed that has been isolated here on the island for over a thousand years. They are quite small but very strong and have served Icelanders well since the times of the Vikings. Sightseeing on top of the Icelandic horse is a fantastic way to get to know both our nature and culture. You can add a horse riding tour as an additional activity to this day.
You´ll stop at a rare sight in Iceland; a forest. You may have noticed a lack of trees on your journey so far, but Iceland does have a few forests, and Hallormsstaðaskógur is the largest one. Here, you´ll stop for a little exploration of the area and Lake Lagarljót. Keep your eyes on the lake; it is said to be home to a mythical monster known as the Lagarfljót Wyrm.
You´ll continue your journey towards your accommodation in North Iceland, in the Lake Mývatn Region. You´ll explore this otherworldly area better tomorrow. Still, if you are looking for a sneak peek, we recommend stopping at the Mývatn Nature Baths. It is also a fantastic way to unwind after a long day on the road. Make sure to reserve tickets to the spa during the booking process as they tend to sell out quickly.
The landscape around Lake Mývatn was created in a volcanic eruption over 2,000 years ago. That is what gives it its “otherworldly” appearance. You´ll spend today exploring geothermal regions and lava fields near Mývatn. You´ll also visit waterfalls, canyons and charming towns.
You´ll begin at the geothermal area of Námaskarð Pass. A small warning, just like at Geysir, there is a smell of sulphur in the air, and though harmless, it does stink a little bit. However, you do get used to the smell quickly (which people have described as smelling like eggs or farts), and then you can enjoy the uniqueness of this place. The ground here is orange or red, reminiscent more of Mars than Earth. You´ll find hissing steam vents and blue, bubbling mud pools, which only lends the scene more of an alien feel.
Next up is Dimmuborgir, a natural labyrinth made of lava pillars. Though it is summer, you might find evidence of the Yule Lads here; they are 13 half-trolls that visit Icelandic children at Christmas to bring them presents.
From there, you´ll travel to Dettifoss, one of Europe´s most powerful waterfalls. It is big. Dettifoss is around 100 metres (330 ft) wide and has a drop of 44 metres (144 ft). It plunges with a great force quite dramatically into the ancient Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon below. A short drive away is Ásbyrgi Canyon which is your next stop. The horse-shoe shaped canyon encompasses a beautiful, verdant area filled with hiking trails and tracks.
The charming town of Húsavík is next on the agenda. The little fishing town has always been popular amongst locals, but it gained international attention recently when it appeared in the 2020 Will Ferrell´s movie, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. The town inspired one of the songs in the film, which later got an Oscar nomination.
Before reaching your accommodation in the town of Akureyri, you´ll stop at the lovely Goðafoss Waterfall. The cascade falls over arch-shaped cliffs, which has prompted people to compare it to Niagara Falls.
You´ll wake up in Akureyri, the largest settlement of the North. After breakfast, you´ll explore this lively town before embarking on a journey of Northwest Iceland.
The main street of Akureyri is filled with charming cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. A short walk from there are the Akureyri botanical gardens. They have a variety of flowers that are in bloom this time of the year. It is a lovely visit for those looking for a small oasis in a busy town.
After you´ve explored the many wonders of Akureyri, you´ll hop aboard the minibus again to continue your journey around Iceland. First, you´ll stop at a charming farm/cafe called Kaffi Kú or ´Cafe Cow´. This is a working cow farm where a cafe has been built above the barn. You can enjoy a delicious drink or meal while watching the cows below.
The next stop is the tiny village of Hauganes. Here, you´ll find a lovely harbour and a black sand beach with great views out on the ocean. The seas here are also home to around 20 species of whales and dolphins. Here, you´ll have the opportunity to join a whale watching tour to see these majestic creatures up close. If you want to see the whales in their natural habitat, you can add the tour to this day during the booking process.
Continuing your circle tour, you´ll next head out to Hvítserkur Rock Stack. According to legend, this photogenic rock is actually a troll turned into stone by the sun. From there, you´ll make your way to West Iceland, where you´ll spend the night in the Borgarfjörður region.
Today, you’ll take a day-long detour from the Ring Road (Iceland’s main road which circles the country) to visit the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Here, you’ll find various attractions such as majestic mountains, silvery waterfalls, dark lava fields, sleeping fishing villages, and a great glacier.
You’ll start at the cliffs of Gerðuberg. They are made of hexagonal cliffs, similar to the ones you saw at Reynisfjara Beach in South Iceland. From there, you’ll travel to Ytri-Tunga. Unlike the beaches you’ve seen so far, Ytri-Tunga is a white sand beach, a rare sight in Iceland. It is home to a large seal colony, so keep your camera ready for your chance to snap a photo of these cute creatures.
You’ll visit Lóndrangar, a pair of tall sea stacks which protrude out of the ocean. You’ll see countless seabirds flying around these rocks, perhaps even puffins. You’ll then visit the black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur. Scattered around the beach are the remains of a trawler that perished in the waters over 50 years ago, forever serving as a reminder of how dangerous the waters around Iceland can be.
You’ll travel around Snæfellsjökull Glacier on your way to your next destination, Mt. Kirkjufell. This cone-shaped mountain is one of the most photographed features in Iceland. Nearby is a small but beautiful waterfall which you can photograph with Kirkjufell in the background.
Before returning to your accommodation in Borgarfjörður, you’ll have the opportunity to descend into one of the longest lava caves in the world, Víðgelmir. Travel the path molten lava created thousands of years ago while your guide tells you tales of trolls, elves, and outlaw Vikings.
On your last day on the road, you’ll explore West Iceland. First, you’ll see beautiful waterfalls, bubbling hot springs, and historical places where Vikings roamed a thousand years ago. Then, back in Reykjavík, you will have the opportunity to visit an erupting volcano.
You’ll start the day off with a visit to Deildartunguhver hot spring. Get ready for a steamy time because Deildartunguhver has a flow rate of 180 litres (380 pints) per second, and the water emerges at 97 °C (206.6 °F). The minerals in the water have coloured the surrounding rocks bright red and orange.
You’ll then visit the historical site of Reykholt. Here you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Iceland’s Viking history. Reykholt was the home of historian, poet, and Viking chieftain Snorri Sturluson, famed for writing a few of our Sagas.
From there you’ll visit two waterfalls which are within walking distance of each other. The first one is Hraunfossar. It is formed by rivulets of water emerging from a lava field that is covered by green moss. Barnafoss Waterfall is just a stone’s throw away but is vastly different. It is made up of a bright blue stream rushing through a ravine.
You’ll then travel back to Reykjavík, having completed the entire circle of Iceland. However, if you are looking for one last adventure, you can opt for a visit to the active volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula during the booking process. The hike to the erupting volcano will take around 1.5 hours one way, but it is definitely worth the effort. Seeing the lava flow is undoubtedly a once in a lifetime experience. Afterwards, you’ll be dropped off back in Reykjavík.