Read more

Day 1: Arrival Day

Highlights: Keflavik The Blue Lagoon Viking World Reykjavik Reykjavik Family Park & Zoo

Upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport pick up your car rental: Iceland awaits!

This day is open to your inspiration with several options available, depending on your flight arrival time. We recommend a visit to the world-renowned Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, located just 15 minutes from the airport. The Blue Lagoon has a mystical appearance, but its unique restorative powers are quite real and ideal for regaining your energy after a long flight. With a warm flowing waterfall, a hidden cave, and silica mud to apply to your skin, there is plenty of relaxation for the whole family to soak up.

Is your family interested in Iceland’s wildlife? You may want to visit the Whales of Iceland exhibit, which is the largest of its kind in Europe. The new Perlan Wonders of Iceland museum is also a fantastic place for discoveries. Your family can explore a simulated ice cave and learn about glaciers, volcanoes, and earthquakes. This is a great introduction to the geological wonders you will see on your trip.

We also recommend Reykjavik Family Park and Petting Zoo in Laugardalur Valley, especially for families with younger children. This elaborate family-friendly complex is part petting zoo, aquarium, and theme park. You can also swim in the nearby Laugardalslaug Swimming Pool. The geothermal water is great for relaxation, and there are great swimming areas for children.

Overnight in Reykjavik.

Approximate Driving Distance: 50 km / 30 miles

Read more

Day 2: Golden Circle of Adventure

Highlights: Gullfoss Waterfall Geysir Hot Spring Thingvellir National Park Kerid Crater Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths

UNESCO National Park – Golden Waterfall – Active Geysers

Breakfast at your hotel. The Golden Circle of natural wonders begins with a visit to the dramatic volcanic scenery of Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO). In a massive rift valley, you will see first-hand how Iceland is being pulled apart where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates converge.

The park has some great history-themed walking trails that take you by historical sites and the scenic ruins of abandoned farms.

Your Golden Circle journey continues to the Gullfoss and Geysir area where you are introduced to the Queen of Icelandic waterfalls herself, Gullfoss. This majestic waterfall of sparkling mist is situated on the glacial waters of the Hvita River. Nearby is the Geysir geothermal field, where you can view various bubbling glaciers and mud pools. There are many active geysers here, but the most famous one is Strokkur geyser, which shoots steaming hot water high into the air every ten minutes. If you’re up for rafting adventure you can take a fun river rafting trip on the Hvita River. The rafting is easy, and you’ll also see first-hand how the river has carved out a magnificent canyon.

Horseback riding is also a great family activity to do in South Iceland—the landscape here is so pretty, and you’ll have the opportunity to view areas of nature you can’t see from a car. Plus, Icelandic horses are friendly and gentle.

After a day of adventure, we recommend relaxing with a visit to the Secret Lagoon, a peaceful hot spring pool with its own erupting geyser nearby. The Laugarvatn Fontana is another great place to visit. Here you can experience a genuine steam bath with relaxing and healthy steam churning from deep beneath the earth.

Overnight in the Golden Circle area.

Approximate Driving Distance: 180 km / 112 miles

Read more

Day 3: Kjolur Mountain Track

Highlights: Hveravellir Geothermal Area Skagafjordur Fjord

Uninhabited Interior – Nature Hiking – Hidden Hot Springs – River Wilderness

Note: If Kjolur is closed due to road conditions you will be redirected to take Route 1.

Breakfast at your hotel. Today, it’s time to discover the undiscovered! The Kjolur 4WD mountain route is open during the summer (from mid-June) and is a straight north and south track through Iceland’s uninhabited interior highlands. This unique trek through vibrant thermal areas between Langjokull and Hofsjokull glaciers reveals Iceland’s true remoteness and nature at its rawest. You’ll surely be impressed by the vast and humbling views of mountains and rocky “deserts” that stretch far into the distance. Remember to leave yourself plenty of time for traveling since you will be driving on unpaved mountain tracks which require slower driving.

Don’t miss Hveravellir, one of the most beautiful geothermal areas in the world with a natural pool under open sky. It’s perfect for relaxing after an invigorating hike one of the trails in the area. You can also walk on special foot paths that take you around mysterious looking steam vents. In the olden times outlaws used to hide out in this otherworldly place. You can even visit a cave where outlaws once lived and imagine what life must have been like.

Upon arriving on the other side of the Kjolur highland route, you will find yourself in North Iceland’s Skagafjordur region, famous for its horse breeding. This area is also well-known as Iceland’s “adventure center” since so many outdoor activities are available. We especially recommend a gentle white-water rafting tour option that offers fun for the whole family. Even a novice can pick up a paddle and thrill in Iceland’s stunning river wilderness.

Overnight in Northwest Iceland.

Approximate Driving Distance: 240 km / 150 miles

Read more

Day 4:: The Troll Peninsula

Highlights: Siglufjordur Dalvik Trollaskagi Peninsula Akureyri The Christmas Garden

Vibrant Fjord Villages – Arctic Whale Watching – Capital of the North

Breakfast at your hotel. If you’re interested in Icelandic animals, we highly recommend visiting The Icelandic Farm Animals, a trio of family farms near Varmahlid. You can meet Icelandic horses, goats and sheep and talk to the local farmers about what it’s like to live on a farm so close to the Arctic Circle.

Drive up Skagafjordur fjord, making a stop at Holar where you can view historical buildings from many periods of Iceland’s history. If you want a unique swimming experience, visit the Infinity Pool in Hofsos town. A clever optical illusion makes the pool look like it stretches far into the sea. Enjoy the peaceful mountain views and crisp Arctic air around Trollaskagi, The Troll Peninsula. Explore the colorful fjord villages of Siglufjordur and Olafsfjordur on your way towards Dalvik village. The dramatic landscapes here were carved by glaciers during the last Ice Age and provide a special sense of discovery as you make your way along the edge of Iceland.

Visit the friendly village of Dalvik, where you can opt for an adventure at sea. Board an oak whale watching vessel and sail into pristine Arctic waters. Marine-life is frequently spotted in these waters, including humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, and small harbor porpoises. If you are lucky you might even glimpse a blue whale, the largest mammal on Earth. Dalvík is also home to a quirky local museum where you can learn about Iceland’s most famous giant.

Drive to the lively town of Akureyri (population 18.000), a town lush with trees and gardens even though it is just 96 km (60 miles) from the Arctic Circle. Surprisingly, this part of Iceland can often be warmer in the summer than the southern part of the country. This evening your family might enjoy soaking up the local ambiance of Iceland’s hip and happening “Capital of the North,” with its heart-shaped streetlights, free transit buses and colorful old-fashioned buildings. We definitely recommend strolling along the charming pedestrian areas filled with outdoor cafes. Visiting the local swimming pool and Brynjuis ice cream shop for some delicious soft serve ice cream is a perfect and very Icelandic way to end your day.

Overnight in the Akureyri area.

Approximate Driving Distance: 185 km / 115 miles

Read more

Day 5: Lake Myvatn and Dettifoss

Highlights: Godafoss Waterfall Myvatn Lake Dimmuborgir Lava Pillars Hverfjall Crater Dettifoss Waterfall

Protected Nature Reserve – Geothermal Spa – Europe’s Mightiest Waterfall

Breakfast at your hotel. Start with a drive through alpine valleys to the picturesque “Waterfall of the Gods,” Godafoss. Your journey continues onwards to explore the Lake Myvatn nature reserve, a geological wonderland of wildly contrasting nature with easy walking paths the whole family can enjoy. Summertime during peak birding season is a good reason to have the binoculars ready for the diverse species and rare sightings like the barrow’s goldeneye. You can take a light hike in the “dark castles” of Dimmuborgir with its rugged crags and towering rocks. We also recommend taking a walk on another planet (at least it resembles Mars) when you stroll on the footpaths around Namaskard. The brightly colored slopes and steam vents and blowholes are otherworldly and a great way to see how underground volcanic activity impacts Iceland.

The crowning glory of this eventful day is a visit into the highlands to Europe’s mightiest waterfall, Dettifoss, a thundering cascade of glacial water and mist among shattered canyons and cliffs of northern Vatnajokull National Park.

We recommend ending your day and relaxing your muscles in the soothing geothermal waters at the Myvatn Nature Spa with views over the lake and its tranquil surroundings.

Overnight in the Akureyri area.

Please Note: The Ring Road route today contains a toll tunnel. More information on the tunnel and fees is here.

Approximate Driving Distance: 310 km / 193 miles

Read more

Day 6: Ring Road to Reykjavik

Highlights: Akureyri Nonni House Kjarnaskogur Forest Hvitserkur Cliff

Botanical Gardens – Viking Horses – Seal Centre

Breakfast at your hotel. The drive between Akureyri and Reykjavik is approximately 4.5 hours. Before departing for Reykjavik, take in some of the northern charms Akureyri has to offer. Stroll through the oldest part of town, Innbaerinn, where you can see colorful wooden buildings lovingly restored to their original glory. Other interesting sights are the northernmost botanical gardens in the world, an adorable Christmas Shop open all year around, and the Kjarnaskogur Woods with backcountry trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

Approximately halfway back to Reykjavik, you may want to take a break at the lovely Gauksmyri Lodge, located on a former farmstead. The owners are horse enthusiasts, and they offer demonstrations of the Icelandic Viking Horse breed and short riding tours in the incredible surrounding nature. Nearby is the Icelandic Seal Center, which provides a fun and interactive learning experience on the six seal species found in Iceland.

Visit the Hraunfoss falls where glacial water seeps through unique lava formations.  You can also visit the powerful hot springs of Deildartunguhver, the mightiest of their kind in Europe. You can’t bathe here, but nearby is Krauma Natural Geothermal Spa where you can relax in a variety of pools created from mixing the hot springs with cool glacial spring water.

Continue onwards to Reykjavik and spend your final night in the “Capital of Cool.”

Overnight in Reykjavik.

Approximate Driving Distance: 480 km /299 miles

Read more

Day 7: Departure Day

Highlights: Keflavik The Blue Lagoon

Breakfast at your hotel.  Depart with plenty of memories and an adventure that will certainly impress and entertain your friends and family for years to come!  Breakfast at your hotel. We recommend departing your hotel in Reykjavik no later than at least 3 hours before your flight departure. It takes approximately 1 hour to drive to the airport, and check-in will start 2 hours before your departure.

If you did not visit the Blue Lagoon on your way to the city on your first day but have some free time today, you might want to use the opportunity en route to the airport. For this detour, please be sure to allow for at least 2-2,5 hours extra so you’ll have ample time at the lagoon. Your rental car should be returned to the airport service area, which is located only 2 minutes from the airport building. A shuttle will then transport you to the departure hall.

Approximate Driving Distance: 50 km / 30 miles

Read more