The Ring Road & Highlands of Iceland | 4-Day Assisted Trekking Tour & 10 Day Self-Drive Tour
Discover the diversity of the Icelandic nature with this 14-Day summer tour. This adventure will take you deep into the Highland region where you’ll see pitch-black lava fields, colourful mountains, and geothermal areas on a guided hiking tour. Then, you’ll take the wheel and travel the circle of Iceland, seeing places like the Golden Circle, Lake Mývatn, and Snæfellsnes Peninsula on your own terms. Those looking for isolation, untouched nature, and the freedom to explore, need to look no further.
Once you land in Iceland, you’ll be transported to Reykjavík where you’ll spend your first night in the capital. On day two, your journey begins when you’ll be taken to the unspoilt wilderness of the Highlands. There, you’ll spend the next four days hiking and exploring this remote region; spending the nights in mountain huts, far away from civilisation.
After hiking in the Highlands, your road trip begins. You’ll be provided with a rental vehicle so you can spend the next ten days circling the country. You’ll visit charming towns, sparkling waterfalls, glittering glacier lagoons, and black sand beaches.
We will take care of all accommodations and transportation before you arrive, and all meals during your 4-day hiking trip are included. You will also receive a personal itinerary for your self-drive portion which you can customise to include amazing excursions. These include hiking up glaciers, visiting ice caves, snorkelling between continents, whale watching, and relaxing at the Blue Lagoon.
Get to know Iceland in-depth this summer with this 14-day tour. Book now to secure your spot on this epic journey.
During 4 day Assisted Hike Tour
During 10 day Self-Drive
Arrival in Iceland
As the plane approaches the airport, you’ll see the vast lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula emerge before your eyes. Located in this barren terrain is Keflavík International Airport. After collecting your bags, use your voucher to board a bus heading across the moss-covered lava fields to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík.
- Reykjanes Peninsula – A large stretch of land filled with moss-covered lava fields and geothermal areas
- Reykjavík – The lively capital of Iceland welcomes you
South Iceland’s Farmlands and Volcano
Close to your hotel is the Reykjavík Central Bus station. There you will meet your guide who will take you out of the city and into the wild countryside for today’s trekking adventure.
- Mt. Hekla – A mighty volcano surrounded by moss-covered lava fields
- South Iceland’s farmlands – Where you’ll have a chance to see free-roaming sheep and horses.
- Time: 3-4 Hours
- Distance: approximately 10 kilometres (6 miles)
- Altitude: 135 -175 metres (443 – 574 feet)
Westside of Mt. Hekla
After breakfast, you’ll head out to explore the western side of Mt. Hekla. Today will see your first river crossing as you cut across the west side of the river Rangá. You will continue past hills of palagonite rocks until you reach the base of Mt. Hekla.
- Western plains of Hekla – A flat plateau of dark, volcanic slag
- Rangá River – A beautiful river which originates in the Sölvahraun lava field
- Time: 6-8 Hours
- Distance: approximately 22 kilometres (14 miles)
- Altitude: 175 – 320 metres (574 – 1050 feet)
The Icelandic Highlands
The landscapes will begin to soften as you move away from Mt. Hekla. Lava fields will make way for verdant lands with green, mossy hills, mountains and lakes. You’ve now entered the mountain range of Kerlingarfjöll in the Icelandic Highlands.
- Kerlingarfjöll Mountains – A high mountain range nestled between two glaciers: Langjökull and Hofsjökull.
- Löðmundarvatn Lake – A beautiful mountain lake which lies by the southern end of Mt. Löðmundur
- Landmannahellir Cave – A small cavern by the foot of Mt. Hellisfjall
- Time: 6-7 Hours
- Distance: approximately 17 kilometres (11 miles)
- Altitude: 320 – 590 metres (1050 – 1940 feet)
Landmannalaugar Geothermal Area
Your trek today will take you through the geothermal region of Landmannalaugar. After passing by a glittering lake, you’ll climb the northern side of Hrafntinnusker Caldeira where the spectacular views of Landmannalaugar will greet you.
- Hrafntinnusker Caldeira – Named from the black glass rocks, obsidian, which cover the area.
- Landmannalaugar – An area known for its natural, geothermal hot springs and colourful mountains
- Time: 6-7 Hours
- Distance: approximately 17 kilometres (11 miles)
- Altitude: 590 – 700 metres (1050 – 2297 feet)
Golden Circle Road Trip
Now that you have explored the Highland Region Iceland, it is time to discover what wonders lie along the Ring Road. After breakfast, you will hop into your rental car and head out of the city. Today, Iceland’s most popular sightseeing route, the Golden Circle, is on your agenda.
- Þingvellir National Park – A beautiful area rich in history
- Geysir Geothermal Area – Where the geyser Strokkur erupts every 5-10 minutes
- Gullfoss Waterfall – A stunning waterfall which plummets into an ancient canyon
Waterfalls and a Black Sand Beach on Iceland’s South Coast
Your exploration of the Ring Road continues, and today, you’ll explore stunning waterfalls and a black sand beach found along the coast of southern Iceland.
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall – Falls over a cave in the cliffs in which you can enter
- Skógafoss Waterfall – The land underneath is very flat, allowing you to walk right up to the cascade
- Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach – A beautiful volcanic beach
- Skaftafell Nature Reserve – A verdant area with many hiking trails, one of which leads to Svartifoss Waterfall
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon – A lagoon filled with huge icebergs near a black sand beach known as the Diamond Beach
The Remote East Iceland
Today you’ll drive the winding roads of Iceland’s eastern fjords. However, before you leave South Iceland behind, make sure to stop at the Stokksnes Peninsula to snap a photograph of the beautiful Mt. Vestrahorn and the surrounding black sand beach.
- Stokksnes Peninsula – A headland on the southeastern part of Iceland where you’ll find black sand beaches and the stunning Mt. Vestrahorn
- Hallormsstaðaskógur Forrest – Iceland largest forest which the river Lagarfljót runs through
- Egilsstaðir – A charming town with all modern amenities
- Hengifoss Waterfall – A beautiful cascade which falls down cliffs of black basalt layers sandwiched between layers of red clay
Dettifoss Waterfall & Húsavík Town
Start the day by heading north where you’ll stop at Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss, before exploring the stunning horseshoe-shaped canyon, Ásbyrgi.
- Dettifoss Waterfall – Some might recognise this feature from the 2012 Ridley Scott movie, Prometheus
- Ásbyrgi Canyon – A dramatic, horseshoe-shaped canyon
- Húsavík Town – Whale watching capital of Iceland
The area around Lake Mývatn was created in a series of volcanic eruptions some 2,300 years ago. Today, lava fields, pseudocraters, and geothermal regions dominate the landscape.
- Lake Mývatn – A beautiful lake with pseudocraters and lava pillars
- Grjótagjá Cave – A bright blue hot spring inside a cave
- Námaskarð Pass – A geothermal area filled with steam vents and bubbling mud pools
- Dimmuborgir – A lava field used as the Wildling camp in the HBO series Game of Thrones
- Goðafoss – A beautiful waterfall with a rich history
- Akureyri – The largest settlement outside the capital region
The Troll Peninsula
Akureyri is a vibrant town filled with shops, restaurants and cafés. There are also an adventure or two to be found here. For example, if you missed it yesterday, you can join a whale watching tour from Akureyri. It is quite a popular tour as humpbacks are a common sighting in these waters.
- Tröllaskagi Peninsula – A beautiful, mountainous area in North Iceland
- Dalvík – A small fishing village where you’ll find multiple hiking trek and trails
- Siglufjörður – Visiting the Herring Era Museum is a fantastic way to spend time when visiting this beautiful town
- Hofsós – We highly recommend visiting the infinity pool found in this little village
The Stunning Snæfellsnes Peninsula
The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is a 90 km (55 mi) stretch of land known as ‘Iceland in miniature’ because of the diverse attractions found there. Lava fields, black pebble beaches, waterfalls, and mountains all lie under the watchful eye of Snæfellsjökull Glacier.
- Kirkjufell Mountain – A pyramid-shaped mountain where, nearby, you’ll find the beautiful Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall
- Djúpalónssandur – A stunning black pebble beach
- Arnarstapi – A small town with a stunning pier and coastline. A path from there leads to another village, Hellnar, and the route makes for a great hiking trip
- Búðarkirkja Church – An unusual black church with white doors
The Wonders of West Iceland
Now it is time to head back to the city, but not without discovering what wonders West Iceland has in store for you. This region has many hidden gems, such as Gerðuberg Cliffs, the historical Reykholt village, and the stunning waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss.
- Gerðuberg Cliffs – A large, natural wall made of geometric basalt cliffs
- Reykholt Village – The perfect place for those looking to learn about Icelandic history and Norse Mythology
- Hraunfossar – A series of trickling waterfalls which come from under a lava field, located near the bright blue Barnafoss Waterfall
- Deildartunguhver – Europe’s most powerful hot spring
Sadly, it is time to bid farewell to this land of ice and fire. You’ve had quite an adventure these past two weeks, and we hope you’ve had a fantastic time.
- Hallgrímskirkja Church – The landmark building of Reykjavík city
- Laugavegur Shopping Street – Filled with boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and bars.
- Harpa Concert Hall – A stunning glass building which sits by the ocean
You’ll have a choice of three accommodations levels. See details about each one in the boxes below. All accommodations for this tour have been hand-picked by our local travel experts.
For budget-level, single rooms will be allocated to bookings for one person. Shared twin/double or triple room(s) will be arranged for two or more people. Groups with an odd number of participants will be allotted a single room in quality-level. Children and teenagers will be arranged in the same room as their parents. Additional cost may occur if additional room(s) is needed.
Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies between regions and that not all locations offer quality-level accommodations. At those particular locations, comfort level accommodations will be arranged, which has already been calculated in the upgraded price. We do our best to accommodate special requests, but additional costs may incur.
Nice and comfortable rooms with shared bathroom facilities and shower located in farmhouses, guesthouses or hostels, in good locations with breakfast included. An example of this in Reykjavík would be Kex Hostel.
Comfortable rooms in three-star hotels or quality guesthouses, centrally located, very close to popular attractions. Private bathroom and breakfast included. An example of this in Reykjavík would be Fosshotel Rauðará.
Rooms in four-star hotels or superior rooms in quality three-star hotels at fantastic locations near popular attractions. Private bathroom and breakfast is included. An example of this in Reykjavík would be Icelandair Hotel Marina.
Accommodations are shared; bunk beds in various mountain huts. Please bring your own sleeping bag, but those can also be rented. All huts have running water but not all have hot showers. Tents can be made available for those who want more privacy. Please let us know during the booking process if you require one.
You’ll have a choice of three options for your rental car. See details for each option in the boxes below. We only work with highly reputable dealerships, ensuring you a smooth ride throughout your holiday.
The vehicles for all levels are current models, no older than two years. They all come standard with a medium protection package including CDW (Collision damage waiver), GP (Gravel Protection), Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) and a Theft Waiver (THW). They also come equipped with free Wi-Fi with 3GB total. You will also get 24-hour roadside emergency services from the car rental agency. In the wintertime, all cars have winter tyres.
The driver must hold a valid driving licence which they have had for at least 12 months before the date of the rental. Age requirement varies for each level, and you can find more information on that in the boxes below.
Please note that off-road driving is illegal in Iceland.
2WD vehicle such as a VW Golf, good for city driving and shorter trips. Fits up to 5 travellers & light luggage. No Highland capabilities. Driver must be at least 20 year old.
4x4 jeep or SUV. Fits up to 5 travellers and 2 large pieces of luggage. Decent for snow and off-asphalt driving. Basic highland capabilities. Driver must be min. 20 years old.
Large 4x4 like a Toyota Land Cruiser. Comfortable up to 5 travellers with 4 large pieces of luggage. Full highland capabilities. Driver must be min. 21 years old.
Good to know
What to bring
Need to cancel your tour? Don’t worry, with our Cancellation Insurance you can cancel your package up to 48 hours before the tour start date and receive a full refund — minus the insurance cost, of course.
The price for the insurance is based on the length of your package. The base price is 5,000 ISK per person, and it applies to all packages with a duration of five days or less. An additional 1,000 ISK per person will be added to the base price for each day after the first five.
With our Cancellation Insurance, you will be reimbursed for your package, whether you broke your ankle, got called to jury duty, or there is a global pandemic. Just let us know at [email protected] before 4 PM (GMT) to cancel your booking and claim your refund.