- Bathe in the healing mineral waters of the Blue Lagoon
- See massive floating glacier ice at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
- Get up close and personal with marine life in the whale watching capital of Húsavik
- Tour the subterranean world of Iceland's largest lava cave
|Day 1||Arrive in Keflavík, Drive to Vogar via Reykjanes Peninsula & Blue Lagoon||Vogar|
|Day 2||Drive to Hveragerði via Golden Circle & Cave People Civilization Museum||Hveragerði|
|Day 3||Ferry to Westman Islands, Beluga Whale Sanctuary, Explore Heimaey||Westman Islands|
|Day 4||Drive to Vík via South Coast Waterfalls, Dyrholaey & Reynisfjara||Vík|
|Day 5||Drive to Höfn via Fjaðrárgljúfur, Jökulsárlón & Diamond Beach||Höfn|
|Day 6||Explore Höfn, Drive to Eskifjordur via Djupivogur||Eskifjordur|
|Day 7||Drive to Seydisfjordur via Borgarfjordur Eystri & Egilsstadir||Seydisfjordur|
|Day 8||Drive to Raufarhöfn via Northeast Iceland & Arctic Henge||Raufarhofn|
|Day 9||Drive to Húsavik via Asbyrgi Canyon, GeoSea Geothermal Baths||Húsavik|
|Day 10||Seaside Horse Ride, Drive to Lake Mývatn via Dettifoss||Lake Mývatn|
|Day 11||Drive to Hvammstangi via Northwest Iceland & Godafoss||Hvammstangi|
|Day 12||Drive to Olafsvík via Eiriksstadir Viking Longhouse & Stykkisholmur||Olafsvík|
|Day 13||Drive to Húsafell via Snæfellsnes, West Iceland & Borgarfjörður||Húsafell|
|Day 14||Drive to Reykjavík via Lava Cave Tour & Reykholt||Reykjavík|
|Day 15||Tour Downtown Reykjavík, Drive to Keflavik & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Keflavík, Drive to Vogar via Reykjanes Peninsula & Blue Lagoon
Welcome to Iceland, home to some of the world's most amazing geological wonders! Upon your arrival at Keflavík airport, head out on Iceland's Ring Road, or Route 1. This is one of their primary roadways, and as the name indicates, it circles around the whole country. Your journey starts on the Reykjanes Peninsula, a moonlike landscape that provides an excellent introduction to the unusual landmarks and sights you'll find here.
Day 2: Drive to Hveragerði via Golden Circle & Cave People Civilization Museum
Day 3: Ferry to Westman Islands, Beluga Whale Sanctuary, Explore Heimaey
Make the 1.5-hour drive from Hveragerði to the town of Landeyjahöfn, where you'll catch one of the daily ferries to the Westman Islands, or Vestmannaeyjar, an archipelago of 15 islands ranging in age from 50-40,000 years old. Your ferry lands on Heimaey, the only inhabited island of the group. After disembarking, head to the Beluga Whale Sanctuary Visitor Center, a short walk from the ferry terminal, where you can see their puffin rescue, view a native species aquarium, learn about their resident beluga whales, or take a tour into the bay to see the whales up close.
Day 4: Drive to Vík via South Coast Waterfalls, Dyrholaey & Reynisfjara
This morning, take the ferry back to Landeyjahöfn and continue along the Ring Road and Iceland's South Coast. Your final destination is the town of Vík, with several stopping points along the way. Start with Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which is unique in that it is one of the only known waterfalls you can actually walk behind. Access is a fairly easy few-minute walk from the parking lot, and you can stand in a cave under the cliffs and watch the water roaring in front of you. Then, head to nearby Skógafoss, where the waters often create dazzling rainbows, making it one of Iceland's most photographed falls.
Day 5: Drive to Höfn via Fjaðrárgljúfur, Jökulsárlón & Diamond Beach
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Explore Höfn, Drive to Eskifjordur via Djupivogur
Start your day with an exploration of Höfn, locally known as the "lobster capital" of Iceland. This fishing village sits at the base of Vatnajökull glacier and is surrounded by the tongues of many outlet glaciers, making for stunning views all around. For a deep dive into the region's geology, head to the Gamlabud building, which houses an information center and exhibit on the glaciers, as well as the region's birdlife. Then, visit the Seamen's Monument, located just outside the city in Ósland, a conservation area with hiking trails and plenty of bird-watching opportunities.
After your departure from Höfn, your next stop is Djupivogurm, a small town in the Eastfjords. This is another great spot for bird-watching, as the shallow lagoons, coastal lakes, and numerous mudflats are magnets for various avian species. The area is dominated by the pyramid-shaped peak of Bulandstindur, which towers at more than 3,500 feet (1,069 m) and the town itself has several art studios and outdoor galleries. Stop in at Langabud, Djupivogur's oldest standing house, which now serves as a cultural center, or visit Teigahorn Farm, a mining site that offers exhibitions about the region's minerals.
Your final destination today is the town of Eskifjordur. After you arrive and get checked in at your accommodations, take a guided walking tour of this charming seaside village. You'll stroll the streets of the town while a local storyteller shares the history of the area and the Icelandic legends that surround it. Later, head to the nearby Hólmanes Nature Reserve, which has several hiking trails, and end your day with a meal at a local Eskifjordur restaurant.
Day 7: Drive to Seydisfjordur via Borgarfjordur Eystri & Egilsstadir
Travel to Borgarfjörður Eystri, the northernmost region of the Eastfjords. The route takes you along spectacular mountain passes, with your first stop in the tiny town of Bakkagerdi. Visit the Lindarbakki turf-roofed house, one of the few remaining inhabited turf houses in Iceland and an important landmark of the village, then walk to Alfaborg hill, which is believed to be the home of the Elf Queen and offers panoramic views over the town and fjord. You'll also want to see Hafnarholmi hill, an islet that is home to nesting puffins. There is a stairway and viewing platform that allows you to get quite close to the birds.
From here, continue on to the Fljotsdalsherad area and the town of Egilsstaðir, which is about an hour down the road. The largest town in the Eastfjords, Egilsstaðir is often referred to as the "capital" of the region. The town sits on the banks of Lagarfljot, Iceland's third-largest lake, which is rumored to have its own lake monster! You can hike around the area, taking in views of the lake and nearby waterfalls, or have lunch at one of the town's cafés.Your next and final stop for the day is the town of Seyðisfjörður, which is located on the fjord of the same name. Seyðisfjörður fjord is a winding 10-mile (17 km) waterway, with waterfalls and hiking trails nearby. The town is considered one of Iceland's most picturesque, primarily due to the number of old wooden buildings that have been well-preserved here. Visit the Blue Church, which was originally built on the Dvergasteinn Farm, but was moved and rebuilt in Seyðisfjörður, and make the 15-minute hike up to Tvisongur sound sculpture, created by German artist Lukas Kühne.
Day 8: Drive to Raufarhöfn via Northeast Iceland & Arctic Henge
Journey off the beaten path today as you drive Road 870, which takes you along Iceland's Arctic Coast Way in the northeast. Here, you'll find remote fishing villages, incredible ocean views, and fascinating geological formations. Stop at the Melrakkasletta (Arctic Fox) plains, a beautiful natural landscape where you might even catch a glimpse of its namesake. You'll also want to stop at the Langanes and Raudanes peninsulas, where you'll find sea stacks, arches, and caves to explore, not to mention a host of seabirds. You can hike along the cliffs here for miles of endless sea views.
Just as you reach your final destination of Raufarhöfn, one of the most remote villages in Iceland, you'll come across the Arctic Henge (Heimskautsgerðið). Similar to ancient Stonehenge, the Arctic Henge works as a huge sundial, with four 19-foot (6 m) gates and a 32-foot (10 m) high column. The monument was designed by artist Haukur Halldórsson, with its still-underway construction beginning in 2004. Overnight in Raufarhöfn this evening before continuing your drive tomorrow.
Day 9: Drive to Húsavik via Asbyrgi Canyon, GeoSea Geothermal Baths
Visit the spectacular Ásbyrgi Canyon today. This massive landmark curves into a U-shape, taking up about 2 miles (3 km) from north to south. Local folklore says the canyon is the footprint of Sleipnir, Odin's eight-legged horse, but in reality, it was formed thousands of years ago during catastrophic flooding of the Jokulsa a Fjollum river. Stop in at the on-site visitor's center, where you can learn about the geology of the area, glacial floods, and the formation of the canyon. There are also maps there with various hiking routes, which could easily turn into an all-day adventure if you like!
Day 10: Seaside Horse Ride, Drive to Lake Mývatn via Dettifoss
Start your day by taking a closer look at Iceland's coastlines via a guided horseback tour. You'll be matched with a horse that meets your equestrian skills, and your guide will share information about Húsavík's history as you ride along the beaches. The tour also takes you into the hills above the nearby farm of Salfarm, where you'll see fantastic views of the bay of Skjálfandi (known as the "world of whales").
Day 11: Drive to Hvammstangi via Northwest Iceland & Godafoss
You may find the northwest to be less of a tourist hub than other parts of Iceland, but this often-overlooked region has several natural landmarks that are true gems. Visit the monolithic Hvitserkur sea stack, rising from the ocean at a height of nearly 50 feet (15 m). Legend has it that Hvítserkur was once a troll, terrorizing the nearby Þingeyraklaustur convent until he was captured by the rays of the sun and turned to stone. As you drive along the Vatnsnes Peninsula, you're likely to see seals, whales, or other wildlife.
Just a few minutes off the Ring Road is Godafoss, the "Waterfall of the Gods." These thunderous falls flow from the river Skjálfandafljót, with a height of nearly 40 feet (12 m). According to local legend, the waterfall was so named when a local chieftain decide to convert the country to Christianity and threw all the old Nordic gods into the falls. Enjoy the stunning views here and take advantage of these once-in-a-lifetime photo ops.
Make a stop at Borgarvirki, a volcanic plug that is said to have once been a Viking fortress, which offers some truly amazing views if you climb to the top. Later, drive to the town of Hvammstangi, where you'll overnight. This small village is known for its seal population, and a visit to the Icelandic Seal Center there will provide you with information on the best viewing spots for seals and other marine life. The region is also home to Kolugljufur Gorge, which has a large waterfall and beautiful views of the countryside.
Day 12: Drive to Ólafsvík via Eiriksstadir Viking Longhouse & Stykkisholmur
Your drive continues as you depart Hvammstangi and head west toward the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Make your first stop of the day at Eiriksstadir Viking Longhouse, a replica of a Viking turf house built alongside the ruins of the original structure. The house is the former homestead of Erik the Red, and the birthplace of Norse explorer Leif Erikson. You can learn about the Vikings and their way of life, see their weapons, and even try a Viking helmet on for size!
Next, stop in the village of Stykkisholmur, the largest town in Snæfellsnes. Formed in the mid-16th century and named after a small island in the harbor, Stykkid, this charming village features picture-perfect views of bobbing fishing boats, colorful wooden houses, and expansive views. Climb to the brightly-painted Sugandiseyjarviti Lighthouse where you can see all of Breidafjordur Bay laid out before you, then have lunch at one of the town's several local restaurants.
Tonight, you'll stay in Ólafsvík, a village located on the west side of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. You can visit their regional museum, Pakkhus, an old trading store that has been converted to showcase the history of seafarers and Icelandic trading, or stop in at the harbor and see their maritime museum. The town also offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, bird-watching, or just strolling on the beach.
Day 13: Drive to Húsafell via Snæfellsnes, West Iceland & Borgarfjörður
Explore Snæfellsnes today, a 55-mile (90 km) peninsula that is dominated by the Snæfellsjökull glacier volcano, which stands at a towering 4,744 feet (1,446 m). Begin with a visit to Kirkjufell, or "Church" Mountain," a dramatically shaped peak that sits near the town of Grundarfjordur, and its small but impressive waterfall, Kirkjufellsfoss. This was another filming location for the HBO "Game of Thrones" series.
Day 14: Drive to Reykjavík via Lava Cave Tour & Reykholt
Just a short drive from Húsafell is the Víðgelmir lava tube, the largest in Iceland. Take a guided tour into the caves here, where you'll see the vivid colors and unusual rock formations created by volcanic activity. Your guides will share information on the geology and history of the region, and the state-of-the-art lighting and easy-access walkways make it enjoyable for all ages.