Best of the Golden Circle

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Golden Circle
Just east of Reykjavik, a loop that spans 186 miles (300km) takes in some of Iceland’s most stunning sights. While it's possible to tour as a full day trip from Reykjavik, we recommend spending a night in the area to experience at a slower pace and to see some of the sights before/after the day visitors arrive. Explore the thundering Gullfoss waterfall, hot-water spouting Geysir and Thingvellir National Park. There’s plenty of opportunity for adventure, including horseback riding along rivers, snorkeling and diving at Silfra fissure, and snowmobiling in winter. You can also learn about Icelandic history, exploring places like the Alþingi Site, where the Vikings established the world’s first democratic parliament in 930 CE. 

Beyond the highlights, the Golden Circle is packed with surprises. You can relax in the Secret Lagoon, which is fed by warm natural springs in the village of Fludir, or take a hike amid the lava fields and rhyolite mountains of the Highlands of Iceland. There’s also the surreal site of the Kerið Crater, a blue crater lake surrounded by red volcanic soil.
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Golden Circle Essentials

How to Tour the Golden Circle Like a Local
How to Tour the Golden Circle Like a Local

It's no secret that Iceland is drawing more and more visitors every year. If you're joining the ranks, skip the crowds at the most popular Golden Circle attractions and visit the area's lesser-known (but equally stunning) sights, restaurants, and lodges instead.

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland
The Best Hot Springs Experiences in Iceland

Iceland's hot springs are world-famous, as many travelers flock to the country to soak in the hot and healing geothermal pools. You'll find hot springs in every corner of the country, including popular baths like The Blue Lagoon and Fontana near Reykjavík. Or, you can venture out of the west and visit unique pools like Vök Baths and GeoSea. If you want a true adventure, you'll also find baths that require hikes, like the scenic Seljavallalaug pool.

Volcanic eruption in Iceland
Top Volcano Experiences in Iceland

Many travelers visit Iceland for its unique terrain, volcanic activity, and geologic history. Known as the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland has many volcanoes, with some covered in ice caps. You can hike atop an active volcano, walk across lava fields and steamy valleys, or visit lava tunnels and museums. Learn about the inner workings of Iceland's volcanoes and discover how they connect to the glaciers and mountains that surround them.

The surreal atmosphere of Iceland's glacial landscapes
Top Glacier Experiences in Iceland

With over 250 glaciers, Iceland's famed ice caps draw the crowds. You can enjoy various activities, including hiking across glaciers, exploring ice caves, snowmobiling atop volcanoes covered in ice, kayaking in glacial lagoons with icebergs, and boat tours. You can also visit the non-icy products of Iceland's glaciers, including its river canyons carved out by the receding ice long ago.

The scenic Golden Circle
Best Things to Do in the Golden Circle

Iceland's famed Golden Circle features some of the country's most beloved natural attractions, including Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area (with the Great Geysir and Strokkur Geysir), and the one-and-only Gullfoss Waterfall. Opt for a day trip or spend more time in the region, snorkeling between tectonic plates, hiking through geothermal valleys, rafting along white-capped rivers, soaking in hot springs, and more.

Experience the unique scenery of the Ring Road
Best Things to Do on the Ring Road

Route 1—known as Iceland's famed Ring Road—loops around the entire country, allowing you to see all the sights, east to west, north to south. A road trip along the Ring Road features some of Iceland's most popular destinations, like the Blue Lagoon, the canyons and glaciers of the South Coast, the famous Gulfoss waterfall, black-sand beaches, and geothermal areas. In addition, the route is packed with excursions like glacier hikes, river rafting, hiking, and (of course) soaking in hot springs.

Reykjavik and its natural surroundings
Best Things to Do in Reykjavik

Reykjavik, the Icelandic capital, is an excellent hub for exploring some of the country's famed natural surroundings. From the city, discover wildlife like seal colonies and whale populations or explore inside and outside the active Geldingadalir volcano. Relax in thermal waters and thoroughly enjoy the vast and diverse Icelandic landscapes, all while returning to a vibrant and artsy city each night.

Kayak in a glacier lagoon
Top Active Experiences in Iceland

Although Iceland offers a diverse range of activities to enjoy, its natural environment is one of its main draws—and with that comes a nearly endless assortment of active outdoor excursions. Experience kayaking through a glacial lagoon or hiking to the country's many waterfalls. Go ice climbing up one of the glaciers or ride horses along the coast. Snorkel between tectonic plates and zip line over river canyons. You can do all this and more in beautiful Iceland.

Golden Circle Itineraries

A light snow covers the quaint town of Vik along the south coast
Map of Best of Iceland's South Coast & Golden Circle - 6 Days
Best of Iceland's South Coast & Golden Circle - 6 Days

Starting in Reykjavik, this 6-day Icelandic road trip lets you visit classic highlights along the country's south coast including waterfalls, black sand beaches, basalt columns, massive glaciers, and icebergs at your own pace. You'll then join the popular Golden Circle route where you can see Gullfoss waterfall, the geothermal area of Geysir (watch Strokkur erupt like clockwork), and Thingvellir National Park where tectonic plates meet. Finish the adventure with a soak in the Blue Lagoon before your return flight home.

Vik blanked with a light snow
Map of Winter Self-Drive in the West, Golden Circle, & South Coast: 5 Days
Winter Self-Drive in the West, Golden Circle, & South Coast: 5 Days

This chilly, scenic self-drive tour is perfect for nature lovers and adventure fiends alike. Visit the famous Golden Circle, explore vibrant Reykjavik, and get off the beaten path for tours of ice caves and craters, snorkel trips between tectonic plates, and walks behind ice-covered waterfalls.

Seljalandsfoss
Map of Iceland: East Fjords, South Coast, & Golden Circle - 6 Days
Iceland: East Fjords, South Coast, & Golden Circle - 6 Days

Make the most of your limited time by driving one way from Egilsstaðir to Vík to Reykjavík—without retracing your steps. On this six-day road trip, take in the dramatic landscapes of the Eastern Fjords, from Seyðisfjörður to Vatnajökull National Park, and enjoy more time seeing new places along the South Coast (Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Skógafoss, and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls) and Golden Circle (Gullfoss, Geysir, and Þingvellir National Park), rather than doubling back. You can embark on this route in either direction, but a domestic flight to Egilsstaðir at the beginning of your trip is more efficient, without large crowds, to explore remote areas on your own terms.

Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfalls with Kirkjufell in the distance
Map of Iceland Highlights: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, & South Coast - 7 Days
Iceland Highlights: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, & South Coast - 7 Days

In one week, enjoy three of Iceland’s most beautiful regions. Explore the black-sand beaches, cliffs, and fishing towns along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the geothermal geological highlights in the Golden Circle, and the stunning waterfalls and glaciers along the South Coast. The trip closes out with a visit to Reykjavik and a tour of the Reykjanes Peninsula highlights, including several opportunities to soak in natural hot springs and lagoons.

Skogafoss
Map of Iceland Highlights: Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the Golden Circle, & the South Coast - 6 Days
Iceland Highlights: Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the Golden Circle, & the South Coast - 6 Days

This five-day, self-drive trip is a great way to experience the best of Iceland without driving too far from Reykjavík. Begin in Snæfellsnes Peninsula to tour the Djúpalónssandur black-sand beach, Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, and more. Then, visit the Golden Circle's Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, along with Þingvellir National Park. Next, stop at the South Shore's Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls and Reynisfjara Beach, before reaching Vik. The trip concludes with sightseeing in Reykjavík and a taste of the dining and nightlife scenes.

Þingvellir National Park
Map of Golden Circle, South Coast, & Thorsmork - 5 Days
Golden Circle, South Coast, & Thorsmork - 5 Days

This fast-paced Icelandic trip spans three regions—the Golden Circle, South Coast, and Thorsmork—and offers plenty to see over the course of five days. Explore Þingvellir National Park and snorkel in the Silfra Fissure in the Golden Circle. Then, view beautiful waterfalls, like Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, along with black-sand beaches in the South Coast. Next, take a bus to Thorsmork to embark on a day of hiking trails through the valley, and end in Reykjavik to discover the best of the capital city.

Iceland's Skógafoss waterfall
Map of Iceland Winter Highlights: Vík, Golden Circle & Reykjanes - 5 Days
Iceland Winter Highlights: Vík, Golden Circle & Reykjanes - 5 Days

Take in Iceland's winter wonderland with this five-day, self-drive tour. See crashing waterfalls and ice caves along the Ring Road and visit the city of Vík for glacier hikes and ice climbing. Then it's on to the Golden Circle and astonishing views of the aurora borealis dancing in the night sky. Snorkel in the underwater world of the Silfra fissure and relax in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon before closing your trip on the Reykjanes Peninsula, with its erupting geysers and bubbling hot springs.

A family hike through the Iceland landscape
Map of Highlights of Iceland & the Westman Islands: Family-Friendly Road Trip - 7 Days
Highlights of Iceland & the Westman Islands: Family-Friendly Road Trip - 7 Days

Perfect for active families, this seven-day road trip combines the best child-friendly excursions with Iceland's stunning highlights. Discover lava tunnels, lunar landscapes, and thundering waterfalls as you drive the country's Golden Circle. Set sail to the volcanic island of Heimaey and explore the icebergs, glaciers, and glittering black sands of the South Coast. A day in Reykjavík concludes this family adventure.

Walk behind Seljalandsfoss on the South Coast
Map of 3 Days in Iceland: Blue Lagoon, South Coast, Reykjavik - 3-day itinerary
3 Days in Iceland: Blue Lagoon, South Coast, Reykjavik - 3-day itinerary

If you are short on time, or perhaps you are looking for an extended layover on your way from Europe to North America or vice versa, your options in Iceland are limited to closer to Reykjavik. Here is a 3-day itinerary that will still let you experience some of the spectacular beauty of Iceland.

Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfalls with Kirkjufell in the distance
Map of Iceland West Coast & Golden Circle - 5 Days
Iceland West Coast & Golden Circle - 5 Days

This fast-paced itinerary combines popular Icelandic highlights with off-the-beaten-path gems for a fun road-trip adventure. After a day in Reykjavik, you'll head west for hiking, lava fields, and small fishing towns along the rugged and remote Snaefellsnes Peninsula (called "Iceland in miniature"). You'll then hit the blockbuster sights of the Golden Circle before finishing with your choice of lesser-known natural attractions on your way to the airport.

The Northern Lights above snowy Kirkjufellsfoss
Map of Winter Adventures in West & South Iceland - 9 Days
Winter Adventures in West & South Iceland - 9 Days

Explore the wintry side of Iceland on this nine-day, snow-filled adventure. Take in the spectacular frozen waterfalls en route to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Explore several glaciers—go snowmobiling around Langjökull, ice walking in Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and hiking in Sólheimajökull. Stay in the countryside, where there’s minimal light pollution, and enjoy great views of the Northern Lights, while setting aside some time for illuminated, warming soaks in hot springs and lagoons along the way.

Skogafoss in the wintertime
Map of Winter Highlights: Snowmobiling, Glacier Hike, & Northern Lights - 5 Days
Winter Highlights: Snowmobiling, Glacier Hike, & Northern Lights - 5 Days

Embark on a quick and eventful winter road trip through some of Iceland’s most popular destinations on this five-day itinerary. Go sightseeing in downtown Reykjavik, and enjoy the snowy views all around. Head out on glacier adventures at different destinations, from snowmobiling to hiking, and relish the frozen falls, including Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Skogafoss, during wintertime. Along the way, take in the Northern Lights, which are especially amazing while soaking in geothermal areas and lagoons.

Diamond Beach, Iceland
Map of Iceland South Coast Winter Adventure - 5 Days
Iceland South Coast Winter Adventure - 5 Days

If your goal this winter is to reconnect with nature amid the spectacle of ice and snow, then there are few better places for it than Iceland. This five-day jaunt may be quick, but it packs in some of Iceland's most incredible natural highlights as you enjoy a road trip around the stunning South Coast. During the excursion, you'll visit waterfalls, see the northern lights, hike glaciers, visit sparkling ice caves, and ride ATVs on volcanic beaches.

The northern lights over Iceland
Map of Iceland Winter Escape: Golden Circle & Northern Lights - 5 Days
Iceland Winter Escape: Golden Circle & Northern Lights - 5 Days

You can experience some of the best of Iceland in a mere five days. This brief itinerary maximizes sightseeing by putting you on a road trip around the waterfalls, national parks, and geothermal areas along the famous Golden Circle route. Along the way, you'll see the northern lights, fly over glaciers, and take a well-deserved soak in the legendary Blue Lagoon.

 A statue of Leif Erikson outside the Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavík
Map of Iceland Winter Holiday: In the Footsteps of Vikings - 5 Days
Iceland Winter Holiday: In the Footsteps of Vikings - 5 Days

Iceland is for you if your dream of a winter getaway involves more ice and snow than sun and sand. Even with five days, you can enjoy its highlights on a road trip around Reykjavík and along the famous Golden Circle to waterfalls and geothermal areas. You can also stop to see full-size replicas of Viking ships, embark on mountain hikes, visit museums, and glimpse the unforgettable northern lights.

Unwind in Iceland's natural hot springs
Map of Winter Spa Holiday in Iceland - 10 Days
Winter Spa Holiday in Iceland - 10 Days

This 10-day road trip through southern Iceland perfectly balances winter wonderland adventures and relaxing spa time. The moment you arrive, you'll visit lava caves, fjords, and villages—all while making time to unwind in geothermal hot springs. After a trip around the geysers and waterfalls of the famous Golden Circle, you'll tour glacier lagoons, explore ice caves, and seek out the northern lights before wrapping up the adventure with soaks in even more hot springs like the Blue Lagoon.

Walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall
Map of Iceland South Coast Family Road Trip - 6 Days
Iceland South Coast Family Road Trip - 6 Days

Drive Iceland's south coast for a memorable family adventure in just under a week. After getting to know Reykjavik, you'll check off blockbuster natural sites in the Golden Circle like Thingvellir, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. Finish the self-guided tour with two nights among glaciers and black sand beaches in Vik and the Skaftafell area.

A black sand beach near Vik
Map of Iceland West & South Coast Highlights - 6 Days
Iceland West & South Coast Highlights - 6 Days

This 6-day itinerary includes three key areas of Iceland for a spectacular, fast-paced road trip. Spend your first day getting a taste of downtown Reykjavik before you head to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula with a bit of everything (and a fraction of the crowds). You'll then spend a night in one of Iceland's most-popular regions, the Golden Circle, and visit the best sites after the bus tours are long gone. Wrap it up with a day along the south coast exploring massive waterfalls and black sand beaches.

Seljalandsfoss
Map of Iceland: Golden Circle, South Coast, & Westman Islands - 6 Days
Iceland: Golden Circle, South Coast, & Westman Islands - 6 Days

Explore the Golden Circle on this well-balanced, self-drive itinerary featuring both popular stops and hidden gems. First, drive to Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall, followed by a relaxing soak in the Secret Lagoon. Next, head to the South Coast to stunning waterfalls—Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss—and visits to Reynisfjara Beach, Vík, and the otherworldly Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. Then, explore the glacial areas of Skaftafell, Svartifoss, and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, followed by a day to discover the lesser-known Westman Islands. Return to Reykjavík for some sightseeing and tour the Reykjanes Peninsula—plus a stop for a final soak in the Blue Lagoon—before your departure flight home.

Fjaðrárgljúfur
Map of Golden Circle, South Coast, & Reykjavik - 5 Days
Golden Circle, South Coast, & Reykjavik - 5 Days

Explore some of the most popular highlights of Iceland on this five-day, self-drive trip. Visit Geysir, the meeting of the tectonic plates, and Gulfoss in the Golden Circle. Then, drive the South Coast to explore the waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and cliffs all around. Next, discover a few glaciers, including Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón. On the way back to Reykjavik, stop at a hot springs river and an ancient pool, along with another waterfall and a crater. Take in the highlights of the Reykjanes Peninsula on your way out, along with a comforting soak in the Blue Lagoon.

Skogafoss
Map of Iceland: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, South Coast, Westman Islands, & Thorsmork - 10 Days
Iceland: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, South Coast, Westman Islands, & Thorsmork - 10 Days

In 10 days, discover the highlights of five areas in Iceland. Prepare for minimal driving, thanks to the close proximity of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a ferry trip to the beautiful islands, and on-foot exploration in Thorsmork. Embark on a number of great hikes—from breathtaking coasts and cliffs to lava fields, and through lush valleys and scenic glaciers. This trip is a great way to balance out visiting popular areas (including the Golden Circle) with lesser-known destinations (like the Westman Islands).

Seljalandsfoss
Map of Iceland Winter Highlights: Snowmobiling, Glacier Hikes & Ice Caves - 6 Days
Iceland Winter Highlights: Snowmobiling, Glacier Hikes & Ice Caves - 6 Days

Experience an entirely different side of Iceland on a winter road trip to explore all the highlights. Grab your coat and head to downtown Reykjavík, which offers incredible views this time of year. Then, head to the Golden Circle to visit the white-washed version of Gullfoss, followed by an action-packed snowmobiling adventure to Langjökull Glacier. Next, discover Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls—complete with frozen fields—and embark on glacier hikes, ice cave tours, and ice climbing excursions at Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. On the way back to Reykjavík, enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot springs of Rekjadalur, followed by a stop at the Blue Lagoon to close out the trip.

Escape the crowds and explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Map of Western Iceland Family Road Trip - 6 Days
Western Iceland Family Road Trip - 6 Days

This self-drive itinerary includes a mix of off-the-beaten-path gems and Icelandic highlights for the ultimate family adventure. Grab your rental car and head west for hiking, lava fields, and small fishing towns along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Then, check out a number of blockbuster sights in the Golden Circle before one last night on the town in Reykjavik.

Arnarstapi, Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Map of Iceland South & West Coast Highlights: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle & Westman Islands - 11 Days
Iceland South & West Coast Highlights: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle & Westman Islands - 11 Days

Explore the wonders of western and southern Iceland on this action-packed 11-day self-drive itinerary. Thrill to orca whale watching off the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, hiking atop the Sólheimajökull Glacier, and exploring Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon by amphibian boat. You'll also savor a wealth of other iconic sites and experiences, from Kirkjufell mountain and Strokkur geyser to Skógafoss waterfall and the geothermal wonders of the Golden Circle, plus meet belugas at a sanctuary in the Westman Islands.

Hike remote Hornstrandir and see puffins and Arctic fox
Map of Active Iceland Adventure: North to South – 11 Days
Active Iceland Adventure: North to South – 11 Days

This 11-day itinerary checks off an entire bucket list of iconic sites, from Iceland's northernmost to its southernmost points. You'll snorkel the crystal-clear waters of the Mid-Atlantic Rift, hike to see puffins and Arctic fox in the remote Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, and gallop along Löngufjörur Beach on a tame Icelandic pony. These are among many activities you'll enjoy as you explore the Westfjords, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, West Iceland, "Golden Circle," and South Coast, plus Reykjavik.

Thorsmork Valley
Map of Classic Iceland Ring Road Adventure: ATV, Zipline & Horseback - 12 Days
Classic Iceland Ring Road Adventure: ATV, Zipline & Horseback - 12 Days

Packed with exciting activities from the off-beat to iconic experiences, this 12-day self-drive adventure also explores a long wishlist of Iceland's top sites, from Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and the geological wonders of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula to Gullfoss, Dettifoss, and Godafoss waterfalls. You'll thrill to ziplining, rides by ATV and horseback on black-sand beaches, hiking in Þórsmörk and Fjaðrárgljúfur canyons, and soaks in geothermal lagoons and even a beer-filled hot tub.

Skogafoss Waterfall, frozen in the winter
Map of Iceland Family-Friendly Winter Road Trip - 7 Days
Iceland Family-Friendly Winter Road Trip - 7 Days

This self-drive tour takes you along Iceland's south and west coasts for those in search of unique family adventure. After a day exploring the capital city, Reykjavik, you'll head west to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula, known as "Iceland in miniature" with a bit of everything (and a fraction of the crowds). You'll then continue to the more popular Golden Circle (Thingvellir, Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall), and finish with two nights along the south coast discovering glaciers and black sand beaches.

Hraunfossar in the wintertime
Map of Iceland: Winter Waterfalls & Glacier Tours - 7 Days
Iceland: Winter Waterfalls & Glacier Tours - 7 Days

Enjoy the snowier side of Iceland on this seven-day winter adventure. On arrival, head "Into the Glacier" at Langjökull, on the way to discover the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, filled with basalt columns, black-sand beaches, and beautiful cliffs. Then, go on a snowmobiling excursion out of the Golden Circle, and wind down with a warm lagoon soak. Next, visit the spectacular frozen falls along the South Coast, including Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, and go on glacier walks at Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón. Wind down with some exploration of snow-topped Reykjavik before heading home.

Looking through an ice cave in Iceland
Map of Winter Road Trip in Iceland: Glaciers, Caves & Waterfalls - 7 Days
Winter Road Trip in Iceland: Glaciers, Caves & Waterfalls - 7 Days

This weeklong winter adventure in Iceland takes you to the country's most famous natural highlights, including its largest glaciers. Upon arrival, you'll hop in a car and explore the waterfalls and national parks along the legendary Golden Circle route. Throughout this epic journey, you'll stop at glaciers for ice hikes, cave tours, and even snowmobile rides.

Seljalandsfoss at sunset
Map of Iceland's Winter Wonders: Snæfellsnes, Golden Circle & Reykjanes Peninsula - 7 Days
Iceland's Winter Wonders: Snæfellsnes, Golden Circle & Reykjanes Peninsula - 7 Days

Explore the magic of winter in Iceland on this seven-day, self-drive tour. Your journey begins with a drive to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where you'll stop in the picturesque town of Akranes and take a guided tour of Langjökull Ice Cave. Then, it's on to the Golden Circle for a visit to Þingvellir National Park and a snorkeling tour of Silfra fissure. See the wondrous phenomena of the aurora borealis, then close your trip with a soothing dip in the waters of the Blue Lagoon.

Teenage girl with Icelandic horse
Map of East to West Iceland Family Adventure -7 Days
East to West Iceland Family Adventure -7 Days

Perfect for families with older children in search of adventure and a digital switch-off, this seven-day road trip combines breathtaking excursions and a tour of Iceland's remote Eastfjords region. Discover wild reindeer, wintry glaciers, narrow fjords, towering basalt cliffs, and beautiful waterfalls as you venture from east to west. Along the way, you'll ride Icelandic horses, step inside a volcano, and relax in a geothermal infinity pool, ending your holiday restored, relaxed, and refreshed.

Family fun in Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Map of South Iceland & Snæfellsnes Peninsula: Family-Friendly Road Trip - 7 Days
South Iceland & Snæfellsnes Peninsula: Family-Friendly Road Trip - 7 Days

Venture off the beaten track with this seven-day family road trip that takes you through Iceland's beautiful Snæfellsnes Peninsula, across the iconic geysers of the Golden Circle, and to the breathtaking waterfalls of the South Coast. Discover orcas as you ride the ocean waves on a whale watching tour, and ride horses along the glittering black sands of Vík before getting up close and personal with the colorful puffins at Ingólfshöfði Cape.

Snowfall over the red-roofed church in Vík
Map of Winter Tour of Iceland's Ring Road - 13 Days
Winter Tour of Iceland's Ring Road - 13 Days

This 13-day, self-drive adventure takes you along Iceland's famous Ring Road, which circles the entire country. Start in the Golden Circle for views of erupting geysers, iced-over crater lakes, and natural hot springs. Then, head to the southern coast for massive waterfalls, icebergs drifting in the sea, and black-sand beaches. Drive snowmobiles across icy glacial landscapes, search out herds of wild reindeer and close your tour in the modern city of Reykjavík with its vibrant cultural scene.

A famous black sand beach near the town of Vik
Map of Iceland South & West Coast Highlights - 8 Days
Iceland South & West Coast Highlights - 8 Days

This fun self-drive itinerary provides a mix of popular highlights (south coast, Golden Circle) with off-the-beaten-path gems (Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Reykjanes Peninsula) for a real Icelandic adventure. After a day in Reykjavik, you'll head west for hiking, lava fields and small fishing towns along the Snaefellsnes Peninsula (called "Iceland in miniature"). You'll then hit the blockbuster sights of the Golden Circle before finishing on the south coast with black sand beaches, waterfalls, and massive glaciers.

Kirkjufellsfoss
Map of Iceland Winter Highlights - 8 Days
Iceland Winter Highlights - 8 Days

Spend eight days unlocking the beautiful highlights of Iceland in the wintertime. First, enjoy snow-capped views throughout Reykjavík while exploring the best of downtown. Then, take a tour inside a glacier, and view frozen waterfalls en route to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Continue discovering the lava formations, black-sand beaches, and craters, before heading to the Golden Circle for a snowmobiling tour around Langjökull Glacier. Follow more waterfalls, arches, and cliffs toward Vík, and spend time in the ice caves of Skaftafell and at stunning Diamond Beach at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. On the drive back to Reykjavík, make a few more stops along the South Coast, and indulge in relaxing soak in the Blue Lagoon on Departure Day.

Dettifoss waterfall in northern Iceland
Map of Iceland Relaxed Self-Drive Tour - 8 Days
Iceland Relaxed Self-Drive Tour - 8 Days

This scenic road trip traverses highlights along Iceland's west and north regions at a more relaxed pace. Starting from Reykjavik, you'll explore the Golden Circle, the lesser-known Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and continue northwest to Akureyri (Iceland's 2nd biggest hub), Husavik and Lake Myvatn for lava fields, volcano hikes, massive waterfalls, and natural hot springs.

Lóndrangar
Map of Iceland: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, Westman Islands, & South Coast - 8 Days
Iceland: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle, Westman Islands, & South Coast - 8 Days

Enjoy four, scenic regions of Iceland in just over one week. Upon arrival, head to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to take in your first glimpses of the lava formations, black-sand beaches, and waterfalls that make this region famous. Travel the Golden Circle to discover the tectonic plates meeting, geothermal wonders, and a warm lagoon soak. Ferry to the lesser-known-yet-stunning Westman Islands to visit the sea caves, cliffs, a decorated puffin colony, and more—by boat and foot—followed by additional waterfalls, beaches, and incredible arches and cliffs along the South Coast. Venture into the heart of several glaciers and their accompanying lagoons. Tour Reykjavík and make a few final stops in the Reykjanes Peninsula to close out the trip.

Views across the countryside near Vík
Map of Iceland Highlights & Ring Road Adventure - 15 Days
Iceland Highlights & Ring Road Adventure - 15 Days

Hit the road on Iceland's main highway for a 15-day self-drive adventure. You'll arrive in the west and, from there, head south, stopping at waterfalls, glaciers, and black-sand beaches. As you travel up to the east and north, you'll pass scenic fjords, go whale watching, brave river rapids, hike along sea cliffs, and explore lava caves before completing the circuit back in Reykjavík, Iceland's capital.

Ultimate Ring Road Adventure - 9 Days
Map of Ultimate Ring Road Adventure - 9 Days
Ultimate Ring Road Adventure - 9 Days

For road trip enthusiasts, it doesn't get much better than encircling Iceland along its infamous Route 1 (Ring Road). This quick-paced, self-drive itinerary will take you to the best spots along the 828-mile (1,332 km) route with plenty of detours to work the leg muscles and camera batteries. With a bit more than a week, you'll experience a variety of landscapes, like geysers, hot springs, black sand beaches, volcanoes, lava fields, small fishing towns, and massive glaciers in protected national parks.

Kirkjufell's mountain landscape on the west coast
Map of Iceland Highlights: West to East - 9 Days
Iceland Highlights: West to East - 9 Days

This Icelandic self-drive itinerary covers territory on both horizontal coastlines, from Snaefellsnes to Seydisfjordur, with fun detours along the southern portion of the Ring Road. With a bit more than a week, you'll experience volcanoes, lava fields, hot springs, black sand beaches, small fishing towns, and massive glaciers in protected national parks. Start and end the trip in Reykjavík for culture and nightlife in Europe's most northerly capital.

Godafoss Waterfall in Northern Iceland
Map of Iceland Relaxed Ring Road Adventure - 10 Days
Iceland Relaxed Ring Road Adventure - 10 Days

With 10 days on the road, you can discover a variety of regions and landscapes as you loop around Iceland's famous Route 1 (Ring Road). This moderately paced self-drive itinerary will take you to the best spots along the 828-mile (1,332 km) route with stops in its two biggest cities, as well as volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, small fishing towns, and massive glaciers, as well as major attractions in the Golden Circle. This is going to be one gorgeous ride!

Goðafoss Waterfall
Map of Iceland from West to North: Golden Circle, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Husavik, Akureyri & More - 10 Days
Iceland from West to North: Golden Circle, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Husavik, Akureyri & More - 10 Days

This 10-day trip covers North and West Iceland and is meant for bypassing the crowded south during the summer months. Enjoy time exploring the geological features of the Golden Circle, the black-sand beaches of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the Arctic Coast in Varmahlid. Discover the best of the Trollaskagi Peninsula and visit the whale watching capital of Husavik. Tour the geothermal wonder of Lake Mývatn, stay in the second city of Akureyri, and go sightseeing in lively Reykjavík.

Silfra Fissure at Þingvellir National Park
Map of South Coast & Laugavegur Trek - 10 Days
South Coast & Laugavegur Trek - 10 Days

Discover two sides of Iceland on this 10-day trip. Begin in the Golden Circle, home to Þingvellir National Park, where the tectonic plates meet and go snorkeling in a fissure. Then, explore the waterfalls, black-sand beaches, and cliffs along the South Coast, followed by a day surrounded by stunning glaciers. Next, visit a few notable sites on the way back to Reykjavik, before hopping a bus to embark on the Laugavegur Trek for the next few days. Hike around the landscapes rich with volcanoes, mountains, scenic lakes, and deserts before reaching the iconic Thorsmork Valley. Return to the capital for one last night, and soak in the Blue Lagoon before departure.

Northern lights over the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Map of Iceland Winter Discovery: Golden Circle, East Fjords & Reykjanes Peninsula - 10 Days
Iceland Winter Discovery: Golden Circle, East Fjords & Reykjanes Peninsula - 10 Days

Nothing compares to Iceland in winter, and this 10-day self-drive tour takes you to some of its most breathtaking natural wonders and historic sites. Visit Þingvellir National Park for snorkel tours of the Silfra fissure and gushing geysers, then see the Streiti Coastline via Jeep, where you'll traverse remote roads and cross unbridged rivers. Hike the winter shores of Lake Mývatn, completing your trip with a spa day at the Blue Lagoon, where you'll soak in mineral-rich waters and enjoy a mud mask.

See herds of reindeer in eastern Iceland
Map of Wild & Wintry Iceland: Northern Lights, Glaciers, & Volcanoes - 10 Days
Wild & Wintry Iceland: Northern Lights, Glaciers, & Volcanoes - 10 Days

This 10-day, self-guided tour of Iceland's winter landscapes combines the natural wonders of waterfalls, mountains, and volcanoes with plenty of wildlife and marine life viewing. Start in North Iceland, where you'll soak in the healing waters of Mývatn Nature Baths. Then, it's off to Húsavík for whale watching tours and the East Fjords to search out reindeer herds. Conclude your travels in the city of Reykjavík for more whale watching and an evening cruise to view the vibrant and colorful northern lights.

See Iceland's wonders as a family
Map of Active Iceland Ring Road Adventure for Families - 10 Days
Active Iceland Ring Road Adventure for Families - 10 Days

Perfect for families with energetic older kids, this exhilarating 10-day road trip takes in the best of the country's natural wonders as you tour Iceland's famous Ring Road. Discover the beauty of the Golden Circle before hiking the black-sand beaches and waterfalls of the South Coast. Explore the wild Eastfjords and raft glacial whitewater in the north as you adventure among volcanoes, canyons, glaciers, and lava caves to create family memories that will last a lifetime.

Kirkjufell's landscape and waterfalls on the west coast
Map of Iceland Ring Road & Snaefellsnes Peninsula - 11 Days
Iceland Ring Road & Snaefellsnes Peninsula - 11 Days

On this spectacular self-drive itinerary, you'll hit the four cardinal points of Iceland as you loop clockwise around the famous Ring Road. Stop to explore volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, and glaciers from Reykjavik to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and beyond. Finish the adventure with a rewarding soak in the Blue Lagoon before you depart.

Godafoss waterfall
Map of Classic Iceland Ring Road Adventure: Snaefellsnes & Vatnsnes Peninsulas & Golden Circle - 11 Days
Classic Iceland Ring Road Adventure: Snaefellsnes & Vatnsnes Peninsulas & Golden Circle - 11 Days

Drive your 4WD in a clockwise loop of the entire island on this 11-day active itinerary packed with exciting adventures for a complete and quintessential Icelandic experience. You'll thrill to whale watching off the North Coast, steering a snowmobile across the Langjökull Glacier, snorkeling (or even scuba diving) in the Silfra fissure, and sleeping under the Northern Lights in a bubble. Along the way, you'll explore the top sites of the Snæfellsnes and Vatnsnes peninsulas, plus the Diamond Circle and Golden Circle.

North Iceland's Viti crater is filled with a bright blue lake
Map of Iceland Ring Road & Westfjords Adventure - 12 Days
Iceland Ring Road & Westfjords Adventure - 12 Days

This epic 12-day road trip is a perfect way to absorb Iceland as you traverse all four corners of the country. You'll visit popular spots along the famous 828-mile Ring Road, and head off the beaten path to detour through the Westfjords (great for mountain biking and kayaking). The self-drive loop also includes stops in Iceland's two biggest cities, and numerous natural sites like volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, glaciers, and more.

Explore Iceland on a road trip of a lifetime
Map of 2-Week Ring Road Self-Drive Itinerary: Highlights of Iceland and the Remote Westfjords
2-Week Ring Road Self-Drive Itinerary: Highlights of Iceland and the Remote Westfjords

With 2 weeks in Iceland, you can complete the entire ring road and add some great detours. This grand tour will take you to all the best places giving you plenty of time to hike, explore, and soak it all in. This 14-day itinerary covers all the major regions except the highlands, which you can see with a couple more days or by spending less time in some of the areas below.

Northern Lights
Map of Chasing the Northern Lights in South Iceland - 4 Days
Chasing the Northern Lights in South Iceland - 4 Days

Check the spectacular Northern Lights off your bucket list with this quick-hit trip to southern Iceland. In addition to nighttime expeditions in search of the Aurora Borealis, you'll tour some of the country's most dramatic natural wonders and unforgettable landscapes. Visit impressive waterfalls, vast glaciers, volcanic beaches, and more on this exciting winter adventure.

The Road to Adventure
Map of Classic Circle Tour of Iceland - 9 Days
Classic Circle Tour of Iceland - 9 Days

If you want to see Iceland's top natural highlights, a self-drive tour is by far the most popular option. Travel at your own pace with plenty of changes to head off the main road in search of your own adventures. This tour also includes the Snaefellsnes peninsula which many call "mini-Iceland" as almost every natural phenomenon in Iceland can be found there, albeit on a smaller scale than elsewhere. 

Ice Cave and Northern Lights
Map of Iceland's South Coast Guided Tour - 5 Days
Iceland's South Coast Guided Tour - 5 Days

This 5-day tour of Iceland's South Coast hits the top natural sights. Visit Thingvellir National Park and Gullfoss Waterfall, see the Reynisfjara black sand beach, and drop by the small village of Vik for coffee and local history. Stop and see the Jokulsarlon lagoon and Skaftafell National Park's many glaciers. Enjoy viewing the Northern Lights in comfort.