Get behind the wheel for two weeks of road-tripping around Iceland and Norway. There's just enough time to hit the highlights, beginning with a drive around half of Iceland, where you'll stop at towering waterfalls, spouting geysers, volcanic beaches, glacial lagoons, and relaxing hot springs. Then, travel around the UNESCO-listed Fjordland of western Norway, visiting historic cities like Bergen, hiking up soaring mountains, enjoying boat rides across glassy fjords, and much more.


  • Enjoy Viking tours and long soaks in Iceland's geothermal springs
  • Visit famous Icelandic marvels like geysers, waterfalls, and glaciers
  • Stroll the UNESCO-listed Bryggen Wharf in the Norwegian city of Bergen
  • Hike around the glaciers and waterfalls of Folgefonna National Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Reykjavík (Iceland), Blue Lagoon & Viking Tour Reykjavík
Day 2 Iceland Virtual Flight, Reykjavík Whale Watching & Food Walk Reykjavík
Day 3 Golden Circle Tour: National Parks, Geysers & Waterfalls Golden Circle
Day 4 Drive to Vík: Waterfalls, Beaches & Lava Show Vík
Day 5 Katla Ice Cave, Paragliding & Dinner in Vík Vík
Day 6 Drive to Höfn: Glacier Hikes, Lagoons & Diamond Beach Höfn
Day 7 Visit Stokksnes Peninsula, Glacial Kayaking Höfn
Day 8 Drive to Hella: Lava Fields, Caves & Coast Hella
Day 9 Fly to Bergen (Norway), Food & Culture Walk Bergen
Day 10 Free Day in Bergen: Optional Activities Bergen
Day 11 Drive to Voss, River Canoeing & Hiking in Nærøyfjord Voss
Day 12 Mountain Bike Tour, Gourmet Farmhouse Dinner Voss
Day 13 Drive to Odda via Hardangerfjord Cruise & Folgefonna National Park Odda
Day 14 Drive to Bergen, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavík (Iceland), Blue Lagoon & Viking Tour

What better introduction to Iceland than a soak in the world-famous Blue Lagoon?

Welcome to Iceland! Forged through volcanic activity over millions of years, this northern island nation was first settled by Norse Vikings in the ninth and 10th centuries. Although there are pockets of modernity (namely the progressive European capital of Reykjavík), it retains much of its wild frontiers and unspoiled landscapes.

The action begins right on arrival at the Keflavík Airport on Iceland's west side. A driver will meet you at the terminal and take you to the famous Blue Lagoon. Surrounded by volcanic fields, the lagoon's milky-blue coloring comes from its rich mineral content, algae, and silica. This benefits your skin and is great for rejuvenation. So relax, soak in the luxurious 98-104°F (37-40°C) waters, swim under the human-made waterfall, and maybe treat yourself to a white-mud facial at the on-site day spa.

Newly rejuvenated, leave the Blue Lagoon and transfer about 45 minutes to Reykjavík. After checking into your hotel, you'll take a walking tour of the city's highlights. Leading the way is no ordinary tour guide—you'll be strolling alongside an Icelandic Viking. They'll take you to famous landmarks like the Sun Voyager dreamboat sculpture and the gleaming Harpa Concert Hall. You'll also visit Hallgrimskirkja, Iceland's tallest church, which sits on a hill overlooking downtown. At the end of the tour, say goodbye to your guide and spend the evening enjoying the downtown's restaurant and nightlife scene.

Day 2: Iceland Virtual Flight, Reykjavík Whale Watching & Food Walk

Icelandic cuisine is traditional and hearty, with many dishes dating back generations

In the morning, embark on a scenic flight over Iceland in just 35 minutes. FlyOverIceland is an immersive cinematic experience located in the harbor area adjacent to downtown. More than a movie, you'll be suspended in a gondola-style seat before a 65-foot (20 m) spherical screen reproducing the feeling of flight—an experience that utilizes all five senses. That means as you soar over the four corners of Iceland, you'll feel the chill of wind as you pass glaciers, the spray of mist from overhead clouds, and pick up native scents like the smoke of lava fields and sulfuric fumaroles of geothermal fields.

After your virtual flight, transfer to Faxaflói bay and board a boat for a whale watching tour. This is an especially popular activity during the summer months, as it's the best time to spot the humpback and minke whales congregating offshore. Also aboard the boat is a marine biologist who will point out the whales and other marine mammals you spot, including white-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoises, and even orcas. The bay is also full of birdlife, from puffins and gannets to guillemots. View these animals from the outdoor viewing platforms or the below-deck salon with wraparound windows.

Later in the afternoon, discover the history and culture of Iceland through its cuisine. Meet a local guide for a three-hour food walk, during which you'll visit 5-6 local restaurants and markets. As you go, you'll taste various dishes and tidbits specific to this part of the world, including Icelandic lamb, artisanal ice cream, fresh seafood, and local cheeses. You'll even grab a bite at Iceland's most famous hot dog stand. At each stop, you'll meet the chefs, owners, families, and purveyors responsible for delivering these delicious dishes to the table. This tour does accommodate dietary restrictions. 

Day 3: Golden Circle Tour: National Parks, Geysers & Waterfalls

Gullfoss is one of the largest (and most famous) waterfalls in Iceland

Pick up your rental car after breakfast and head southeast on Route 1 (Ring Road) out of Reykjavík for a drive along the famous Golden Circle. This 190-mile (300 km) route features some of southern Iceland's most popular natural attractions. First up is Þingvellir National Park, home to many natural wonders. One highlight is the Silfra fissure, a rift located in a crystalline lake on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It's the only place in the world where you can dive between two continents. Also here is Brúarárfoss, a small waterfall on the Brúará River whose rushing cascades are a vivid ice blue.

Next is the Geysir geothermal area. With its bubbling mud pits, steam vents, and erupting geysers, this is one of the most impressive geothermal zones in the country. The geyser is rarely active these days but can reach up to 230 feet (70 m) when it does erupt. However, the area, which covers much of the Haukadalur Valley, is also home to the Strokkur geyser. It erupts like clockwork every 5-10 minutes and can reach up to 130 feet (40 m).

For lunch, you'll visit a sustainable tomato farm for a tour of the greenhouses, followed by a delicious farm-to-table meal. Then, it's on to Gullfoss, one of Iceland's most impressive waterfalls. You can follow trails to the top of the falls or view them above the canyon's edge. Cap the day with a visit to the Secret Lagoon. Created in 1891 in the Hverahólmi geothermal area, this is the oldest human-made swimming pool in Iceland, with water remaining between 86°F-104°F (38°C-40°C) year-round. After enjoying the lagoon, you'll drive to a nearby hotel on the Golden Circle, where you'll overnight.

Day 4: Drive to Vík: Waterfalls, Beaches & Lava Show

Stop for a brief hike leading behind the romantic waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss
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Continue south this morning on Route 1 to Vík, the southernmost town in Iceland. The drive takes around two hours, but you'll stop at major landmarks, including Urriðafoss, a waterfall on Iceland's longest river of Þjórsá. Two other falls are also worth a visit: romantic Seljalandsfoss plunges 200 feet (60 m) into a lagoon, and Skógarfoss is a massive cascade that drops 200 feet (60 m) over a cliff into the Skógá River. According to legend, a Viking hid treasure here, and it has yet to be found. Also, on the coast near Vík is Reynisfjara, a beach famous for huge hexagonal rock formations rising up out of the sand. 

The last stop on today's road trip is Seljavallalaug Pool, located just west of Skógar. This 82-foot (25 m) public pool was built in 1923, making it one of the oldest in the country. Situated next to a river and nestled between sloping hills, it's a great place to take a dip, relax, and enjoy the geothermal waters, which remain at 68-86°F (20-35°C). Afterward, you'll drive to your hotel.

However, the adventure doesn't end with your arrival in Vík. Once here, you'll transfer to a local theater and experience the only indoor lava show in the world. This hour-long spectacle begins with a short video about the geological history of Iceland. Then, you'll put on your safety goggles and watch as 2000°F (1100°C) lava streams into the showroom, recreating an actual eruption in miniature. Hear the sizzle and pop as molten rock flows over ice; feel the heat of the resulting steam. After the experience, you can explore Vík on your own—be sure to stroll its wide, black-sand beaches.

Day 5: Katla Ice Cave, Paragliding & Dinner in Vík

Explore the shimmering subterranean wonderland below the Katla Geopark

Today, you'll immerse yourself (literally) in the wonders of this region's Katla Geopark, the first such designated area in Iceland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the morning, drive to the geopark and the Kötlujökull glacier, an outlet of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier. There, you'll meet an expert guide, receive your equipment, and go over safety protocols. Then, together, you'll enter the cave and, over the course of 2-3 hours, explore shimmering walls and vast chasms of ice.

After the caves, you'll take to the skies on an exciting paragliding adventure. Iceland has become the unofficial capital of paragliding in the far north of the world, and it's not hard to see why. The mountains and strong offshore winds make the area around Vík the perfect place to enjoy this popular adventure sport. Even if you've never paraglided before, don't worry—you can enjoy a tandem flight with a pro instructor as you soar over Iceland's southern coast for an hour.

After returning to land, celebrate the experience with dinner at one of the town's fine restaurants. There's quite the selection, too. In Vík, you'll find trendy bistros, cafés, breweries, casual eateries, pizzerias, and fine-dining restaurants serving innovative takes on modern Icelandic cuisine.

Day 6: Drive to Höfn: Glacier Hikes, Lagoons & Diamond Beach

See "diamonds" gleaming in the sunlight on Iceland's beaches

The four-wheeled adventure continues this morning as you leave Vík, heading north up the coast to Höfn, a charming fishing village near Vatnajökull National Park (home to Europe's largest glacier). The drive takes a little over three hours, but you can stop on the way to visit natural attractions, like the viewpoints and otherworldly rock formations of the Fjaðrárgljúfur river canyon. There are a couple of famous waterfalls on the way, including Skaftafell and Svartifoss. The latter plunges 65 feet (20 m) over basalt cliffs and is accessible via a scenic 3-mile (5 km) trail.

There's also a stop at Skaftafell Nature Reserve, an outlet glacier extending from Vatnajökull. You won't merely be admiring it from afar—you'll strap on crampons, grab an ice ax, and spend 1-2 hours hiking across it. Upon arrival, meet your guide, grab your equipment, and receive a safety demo. Then, step onto the ice for a walk over what seems like an alien planet. The scenery on this three-hour excursion is spectacular, as you'll pass ice formations, glacial ridges, and deep crevasses.

Later, you'll arrive at Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon on the coast. The icebergs floating on its surface are over 1,000 years old, and if you're lucky, you might spot seals and small whales in the water or on shore. Then, follow the lagoon to the shores of the adjacent Diamond Beach. This black-sand beach is famous for the iceberg fragments that drift ashore from the lagoon and which gleam like diamonds in the sunlight. Enjoy a stroll on the beach, then continue up the coast to your hotel in Höfn. 

Day 7: Visit Stokksnes Peninsula, Glacial Kayaking

Explore the southeastern coast of Iceland by foot and kayak

There's much to recommend the fishing town of Höfn, not least its annual lobster festival held each summer. Today, however, you'll set off on a scenic drive around this coastal region, which is filled with natural wonders along its peninsulas and fjords. For example, just a few minutes outside of town is Stokksnes, a scenic headland. Part of Vatnajökull National Park, the area is known for its remote black-sand beaches and coastal mountains. You'll also find cultural heritage here in the form of an ancient Viking village with traditional turf buildings.

After exploring the coast, you'll head into Vatnajökull National Park to Heinabergslón, a vast glacial lagoon. You won't merely be enjoying the scenery, either—upon arrival, you'll hop in a kayak and paddle out. It's a leisurely three-hour ride during which you'll enjoy peace and tranquility, as this lagoon is off the beaten path and thus free of big crowds. One highlight is stopping for a stroll on one of the massive glaciers floating on the water. After the excursion, you'll drive back to Höfn.

Day 8: Drive to Hella: Lava Fields, Caves & Coast

The Caves of Hella are as wondrous as they are mysterious

It's time to start making your way back to western Iceland and the capital. Today's leg of the journey starts early with a drive from Höfn to Hella, a small town on the Golden Circle route. The drive takes about four hours, but plan on this being an all-day journey, as you'll hit plenty of highlight landmarks on the way. Just north of Vík, you'll stop at the Eldhraun lava field. This enormous field of moss-covered lava rocks resulted from a fissure eruption in 1783 and is believed to have been one of the greatest lava flows in history. 

The next must-see landmark on the itinerary is Hjörleifshöfði. Known as the "Yoda Cave," the entrance to this mountain cavern is shaped like the diminutive "Star Wars" character. Also near Vík is Dyrhólaey, a massive rock promontory and natural arch home to colonies of puffins. You can stop to admire the panoramic clifftop views looking out to the ocean, plus the arch is one of the most Instagrammable coastal features in Iceland. During summer, you can see whales and dolphins frolicking in the ocean below.

Afterward, continue around Vík, heading northwest up the coast to Hella. Before checking into your accommodation, you'll visit the Caves of Hella, one of the most fascinating archaeological sites in the country. This series of 12 ancient human-made sandstone caves is located on the bank of the Ytri-Rangá River, and four are open to the public. They're so old that many believe they predate even the earliest settlements in Iceland. On a tour inside, you'll see wall carvings, ancient crosses, and even carved seats. See if you can help solve the mystery of how and why these caves came to be.

Day 9: Fly to Bergen (Norway), Food & Culture Walk

Bergen's historic and photogenic waterfront
Bergen's historic (and colorful) waterfront is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Alas, it's time to bid farewell to Iceland—don't worry, though, as the adventure is far from over. Leave Hella after breakfast on the 1.5-hour drive to the airport, where you'll drop off your rental car. Then, board a connecting flight (likely in Oslo) to Bergen. Welcome to Norway! Situated on the country's west coast, this is one of the oldest port cities in Europe. Its enviable location lies surrounded by ocean, mountains, and fjords, including Sognefjord, the country's longest and deepest. Upon arrival at the airport, you'll hop aboard the local light rail system for a ride into the city.

After checking into your hotel, you can venture out for a quick self-guided tour. A can't-miss activity is ascending one of the Seven Sisters—seven prominent mountains located on the northeastern side of Bergen. For some of the best city views, ride the Fløibanen funicular (or hike the trail) to the top of Mount Fløyen (1,050 ft/ 320 m). Afterward, take a leisurely stroll back down the path while discovering hidden troll sculptures along the way. Then, you can check out the historic wharf area of Bryggen (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) to view colorful wooden houses that date to the 1700s.

No doubt you'll have worked up an appetite after all that hiking around. Lucky for you, this evening you're off on a fun food and culture walk around Bergen. Leading this three-hour jaunt is an expert local guide who will reveal fascinating insight into the history of Bergen as you pop in at local restaurants and sample traditional Norwegian foods. The bulk of the tour will take you through Bergen's historic center, and you'll stop at five different eateries for snacks—beer included.

Day 10: Free Day in Bergen: Optional Activities

The trip up Mount Ulriken is one of the most popular cable car rides in Norway

After breakfast, the day is yours to explore Bergen at your own pace. Rich in culture and maritime history, this walkable city boasts a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities. Feel free to stroll the Bryggen wharf again, enjoying the sea views and stopping at local cafés and bakeries for a coffee and sweet treat. Nearby is the Maritime Museum, which contains boats and artifacts from throughout the city's seafaring history. 

You can also explore more of the mountain peaks surrounding the city. If you like, ride a cable car 2,109 feet (643 m) up to the top of Mount Ulriken, which offers one of the finest viewpoints overlooking Bergen. If you feel like venturing farther afield, take a day trip by boat from the port in Bergen up to the tiny town of Mostraumen. Along the way, you'll travel through the deep, icy Oserfjord, passing steep mountains and spectacular waterfalls.

Day 11: Drive to Voss, River Canoeing & Hiking in Nærøyfjord

Explore the hiking trails around the Nærøyfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

It's to restart your road trip adventures this morning as you pick up a rental car and set off toward Voss. Located about 1.5 hours northeast of Bergen, this picture-postcard town in the Hordaland region enjoys a privileged location surrounded by mountains, lakes, and fjords.

Upon arrival, get out on the water with a leisurely 2.5-hour canoeing excursion along a stretch of the Raundalselva River. It starts with a tutorial where you'll learn the canoeing basics before you set off on a 3.2-mile (5 km) "fun-flow" experience. Even if you're a novice, there's no need to worry—your experienced guides will paddle alongside your canoe in their kayaks, leaving you to enjoy the dazzling scenery. The tour will finish at Palma Fossen—a 49-foot (15 m) high waterfall on the river where you can see a fish ladder that helps salmon swim upstream. Here, a shuttle will be waiting to transfer you back to Voss.

Spend your afternoon relaxing at your hotel, or keep the outdoor adventures coming with a visit to the nearby Nærøyfjord for a self-guided hike to appreciate the majesty of the Fjordland (western Norway). After all, Nærøyfjord is a UNESCO World Heritage site—a narrow body of azure waters surrounded by soaring mountains. There are plenty of nature trails around these peaks, suitable for all skill levels. Each one will take you to prime vantage points overlooking the fjord below. At the end of the hike, you'll return to Voss.

Day 12: Mountain Bike Tour, Gourmet Farmhouse Dinner

Rent mountain bikes in Haugastøl.
Go off the beaten track (literally) as you cycle rough trails around fjords and lakes

Wake up early for an exciting exploration of the Fjordland on two wheels. Meet your guide in the morning and hop on a mountain bike for a 2.5-hour adventure on single-track trails. The route will take you through native forests alongside lakes and fjords. Like all the thrilling activities on this itinerary, you can enjoy today's ride whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro. Expect plenty of stops along the way to take nature photographs.

Back in Voss, meet another guide and travel outside of town to the Store Ringheim Hotel & Restaurant. Located in a former farmhouse dating to the 17th century, this boutique accommodation enjoys a Historic Hotels of Europe designation. The rustic ambience is perfect for enjoying a two-hour food experience at Flor'n, the hotel restaurant.

The multicourse meal you'll enjoy this evening features fresh, locally sourced ingredients from the best producers—some ingredients are grown right on the premises. The kitchen even has a dedicated forager who collects herbs, mushrooms, and fresh berries from the countryside. At the end of the meal, you'll transfer back to your hotel in Voss.

Day 13: Drive to Odda via Hardangerfjord Cruise & Folgefonna National Park

Hardangerfjord is an icon of Norway and one of its most famous fjords

So much gorgeous scenery, so little time. Get back on the road early for another fjord adventure, this time at Hardangerfjord. One of the country's most iconic bodies of water, it's the third-longest fjord in the world, stretching approximately 111 miles (179 km) through western Norway. It's located south of Voss, and when you arrive, you'll board a boat for a leisurely cruise. If the weather is pleasant, relax on deck and admire the passing scenery, which includes charming villages surrounded by soaring mountains.

Later, you'll drive 1.5 hours east to Folgefonna National Park, home of Norway's third-largest glacier. There are many activities to choose from here, including several walking and hiking routes for all abilities—and even a guided ice hike. For something even more thrilling, grab a paddle for a kayak ride on a glacier lake. You can also visit the Folgefonn Centre in the village of Rosendal, which offers interactive exhibitions on Folgefonna National Park, aquatic life in the Hardangerfjord, and climate change. When you're ready to put your feet up, drive to nearby Odda, where you'll spend the night. 

Day 14: Drive to Bergen, Depart

The late summer sun setting over Bergen

Enjoy one last scenic road trip this morning as you make the three-hour drive back to Bergen. There, you'll drop off your rental car and head to the airport in time to catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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