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Day 1: The Volcanic Wonders of Lake Myvatn

Highlights: Akureyri Godafoss Waterfall Myvatn Lake Dimmuborgir Lava Pillars Krafla Volcano Myvatn Nature Baths

Waterfall of the Gods – Volcanic Wonderland – Mysterious lava formations – “Martian” landscapes

Pick up your car from the Akureyri airport. The day begins with a drive through beautiful alpine scenery en route to Godafoss (the Waterfall of the Gods). Here glacial water thunders around surrounding lava to create a beautiful half-circle shaped cascade. Travel to the unforgettable Lake Myvatn area, a geological wonderland that includes the peculiar lava formations at Dimmuborgir, and the pseudo-craters at Skutustadir. Some of the most bizarre attractions in the region are the bubbling mud pits and vibrant colors of Namaskard geothermal area (it’s like walking on another planet – perhaps even Mars?) Looming over the area is Krafla, the volcano that created this bizarre wonderland and whose energy provides power and hot water to the region. Myvatn’ s fantastical landscapes have made it a filming location for the popular HBO Game of Thrones series, as well as several Hollywood movies (Star Wars, Oblivion, Fast and Furious).

A great evening activity is a visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths where you can relax in the azure blue waters in a tranquil wilderness setting. Restaurants in the area offer local specialties such as arctic charr, locally smoked lamb and geothermally baked rye bread.

Overnight in the Lake Myvatn area.

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

Approximate driving distance: 105 km / 65 miles

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Day 2: Husavik – Asbyrgi Canyon – Akureyri

Highlights: Akureyri The Christmas Garden Kjarnaskogur Forest GeoSea Baths Asbyrgi Canyon

Whale Watching and Ocean Spa – Ancient Canyon – Magnificent Fjord Setting – Northern Iceland’s “Capital”

Breakfast at your accommodation. We suggest today to take a visit to Husavik, a charming fishing town known for its great whale-watching opportunities (March – November). In addition to whale watching, you can enjoy Husavik’s relaxing GeoSea Baths. The baths are healthy and soothing geothermal ocean water, and the view over the Arctic Circle is beautiful. Most recently, the town gained international fame for its appearance in the 2020 Netflix movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Walking tours are available where you can visit filming locations.

Drive around the Tjornes peninsula to northern Vatnajokull National Park, where you can visit Asbyrgi, a magnificent horse-shoe shaped canyon. A series of trails leads to the canyon’s lake and scenic overlooks. (We also recommend visiting the park’s visitor center, which has great interactive information about the park and updates on the trail and road conditions.)

After your visit to Husavik and/or Asbyrgi, head to Akureyri, the largest town and “capital” of North Iceland.

The rest of the day is open to enjoy Akureyri and surroundings. This town has gained an international reputation for its combination of small-town charm and a great cultural scene. Take a stroll down the art gallery street and catch the vibes of North Iceland’s creative culture at a coffee shop. Enjoy outdoor fun just on the town’s doorstep. The surrounding Eyjafjordur area also has a nice focus on local food culture with microbreweries, family-run bakeries, ice cream shops and a cafe located on a dairy farm. Between November and April, the Hlidarfjall ski area is open, offering ski runs for different levels and a fantastic view over the fjord. A great selection of restaurants and pubs makes Akureyri a great town for friendly nightlife.

Several farms in the area also offer guided farm visits where you’ll meet Icelandic sheep, goats and horses and even visit a reconstruction of an old-fashioned turf stable. We definitely recommend visiting the fantastic Akureyri Geothermal Swimming Pool. It is one of the largest in the country and has a variety of pools, hot tubs and a steam room you can enjoy. After your swim, do like the Icelanders do and enjoy a hot dog or an ice cream cone.

A great evening activity suggestion is whale watching, with tours departing the Akureyri harbor.

Overnight in Akureyri area.

Late May/early June – Sep: If you have a vehicle 2.0 or higher, you might also consider visiting Dettifoss, Europe’s largest waterfall, by taking Roads 864 and 862. Visit Dettifoss, Asbyrgi Canyon, then head to Husavik via Road 85 and then on to Akureyri.

Roads 864 and 862 open in late May/early June, subject to weather conditions. Please note Roads 864 and 862 are gravel roads, and you must heed warning signs in the area if road conditions are not ideal for driving.

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

Approximate driving distance: 250 km / 155 miles

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Day 3 : The Troll Peninsula

Highlights: Siglufjordur Trollaskagi Peninsula Dalvik The Herring Era Museum

The Troll Peninsula

Scenic Coastal Roads – Charming Villages – Troll Peninsula – Historical Siglufjordur

Breakfast at your accommodation. You will be following scenic and winding coastal roads. Remember to listen to the weather forecast and take the driving at a slow pace, both to enjoy the view and to be safe. Drive along Eyjafjordur Fjord and to the area of Trollaskagi, the Troll Peninsula and Siglufjordur Fjord overlooking the North Atlantic and nearby Artic Circle. Enjoy the views of steep mountains and the Arctic Ocean as you drive past through charming fishing villages en route to Siglufjordur. This town is considered one of Iceland’s most beautiful, with carefully preserved old houses and new buildings cleverly constructed to blend in with the historical architecture.

On the way, you might consider a visit to the one-of-a-kind Beer Bath Spa with a skin-soothing geothermal bath made from a mixture of beer, water, hops and yeast. Though this mixture is not drinkable, you can enjoy a glass or two of local craft beer while you bathe. (the spa visit must be booked in advance). If you like quirky museums, visit Dalvik town’s wonderfully eclectic Hvoll Museum. Discover some local history, including the story of Iceland‘s most famous giant. Dalvik and the town of Hauganes are both great areas for enjoying a whale watching tour.

Siglufjordur is also an excellent base to explore the area’s history and culture. The town’s award-winning Herring-Era Maritime Museum takes you back to the days of the early 20th century when a herring “gold rush” changed both Siglufjordur and Iceland. The town also offers an artisan chocolate shop, a family-owned microbrewery (Segull 66), and dining at several restaurants with a home-like ambience. If you’re into suspense and mysteries and saw the television series Trapped, you might recognize some of the buildings. Both seasons of the show were filmed in Siglufjordur.

If you enjoy outdoor activities, summer offers hiking trails, boat tours and fjord horseback riding. Wintertime is excellent for guided snowshoe hikes and for skiing at the town’s nearby ski area.

Overnight in the Siglufjordur area.

Approximate driving distance: 80 km / 50 miles

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Day 4: History, Heritage and Outdoor Fun on Top of the World

Highlights: Skagafjordur Fjord Saudarkrokur Icelandic Emigration Center Hofsos Drangey Island

Peninsulas and Fjords – Saga Island – Local Heritage – Outdoor Adventure

Breakfast at your accommodation. Today you’ll be following scenic and winding coastal roads. Remember to listen to the weather and forecast and take the driving at a slow pace, both to enjoy the view and to be safe.

Today is open for you to explore the Skagafjordur region, known for interesting historical sites and outdoor activities. If you want to enjoy a swim with a great view, visit the Hofsos Swimming Pool (the locals call it the “Infinity Pool.”). This public swimming pool is set up with an optical illusion. It seems to extend forever into the ocean and has fantastic views of Drangey Island.

Drangey is the legendary hideout of the Viking saga outlaw, Grettir the Strong. Between mid-May and August you can take a guided boat tour out to Drangey. The tour departs from Suadarkrokur town’s harbor. Take a boat to Drangey Island, then hike with your guide to the top of the island on a trail bringing you into good viewing of seabirds, including puffins (Puffins best seen mid-May to early August

Holar community has interesting buildings of religious and historical significance reflecting 900 years of Icelandic history, including a beautiful church. Don’t forget to visit the Icelandic Horse History Center (Skagafjordur is known for its excellent horses).

If you are interested in Medieval/Viking history and battle strategies, we suggest a visit to the 1238: Battle of Iceland exhibit in Saudakrokur town. Innovative virtual reality transports you into the past and the fateful Battle of Orylyggsstadir, part of a fateful civil war. (The battlefield is located in North Iceland.)

If you are interested in Icelandic handicrafts, the Tannery Visitor Centre is a unique Icelandic tannery (also in in Saudarkrokur) that includes fish skin among its quality products. The center is open weekdays 8:00 – 16:00 (8:00 am – 4:00 pm).

Depending on your schedule, you might also visit Glaumbaer, an interesting turf manor house. Occupied between the 18th century and the 1940s, Glaumbaer is now a museum showing how rural Icelanders lived. The building was an inspiration for the manor farm in Hannah Kent’s famous novel Burial Rites (now in production as a film).

During the summer you can also enjoy amazing activities in the Skagafjordur area such as horseback riding and river rafting. Winter activities include horseback riding and skiing at the Tindastoll ski area.

Overnight in the Siglufjordur area.

Approximate driving distance: 250 km / 155 miles

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Day 5: Siglufjordur to Akureyri

Highlights: Akureyri Akureyri Folk Museum

Farewell to the Mountains and Fjords

Breakfast at your accommodation. Today drive back to Akureyri, visiting towns and enjoying a last outdoor adventure en route or a visit to the Beer Spa. There’s also plenty time to enjoy Akureyri’s museums, galleries and restaurants.

Overnight in the Akureyri area.

Approximate driving distance: 80 km / 50 miles

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Day 6 : Farewell to the North

Breakfast at your accommodation. Drop off your car at Akureyri airport before your flight back to South Iceland. We suggest departing your hotel no later than 60 minutes before your flight.**

**Please note that the package price is based on 5 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of picking up your car. If your flight to Akureyri arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 6, you will be charged a supplement for the additional day.

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