This is our suggested itinerary for a self-drive Ring Road trip. The itinerary can be changed and customized to suit your needs.
Day 1: Reykjavik to the Golden Circle. Leave Reykjavik to go and explore the Golden Circle attractions. Visit the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall, one of the largest in Iceland, as well as Geysir where Iceland's most active geyser is located (it erupts every 5-10 minutes!). The third attraction on the Golden Circle is Thingvellir National Park, where Iceland's parliament (and the world's first) was founded over 1,000 years ago. This is also where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are drifting apart, an incredible phenomenon that you can only witness in Iceland! You can also go snorkeling, whitewater rafting, or snowmobiling on a glacier. (Approx. 2-3 hours driving)
Day 2: South Coast to Skaftafell. The South Coast is a favorite for many visitors to Iceland due to all of the incredible waterfalls in this area. You will get to stop at several waterfalls (including one that you can walk behind!) as well as a black sand beach and a breathtaking canyon. You will spend the night near Skaftafell, which has some of the best hiking in Iceland. (Approx. 3 hours driving)
Day 3: Glacier Lagoon. Continue driving along the southern coast to Jökulsárlón, Iceland’s famous glacier lagoon. The lagoon is filled with magnificent icebergs that broke off from the glacier in the distance, which is part of Vatnajökull- Europe’s largest glacier. You can walk around the lagoon or take a zodiac tour to see the icebergs from the water. There are a couple of additional, lesser known glacier lagoons nearby as well. We recommend partaking in an incredible glacier-related activity- either kayaking among icebergs in a glacial lagoon (summer trips) or exploring ice caves inside a glacier (winter trips). These are once in a lifetime experiences that you can only have in a handful of places in the world, and Iceland is one of the best! You will spend the night in the charming fishing town of Höfn, the lobster capital of Iceland. (Approx. 2 hours driving)
Day 4: Drive to Egilsstadir. Drive along the East Fjords to the town of Egilsstadir. This relaxing drive along the coast will reveal plenty of beautiful scenery (even some puffin colonies), and if visiting in the winter this secluded part of Iceland is the perfect place to view the Northern Lights! (Approx. 3 hours driving)
Day 5: Lake Myvatn. Today’s drive is to the Lake Myvatn area. This is Iceland’s most famous lake, and a stunning volcanic area. You can explore the lakeshore, head inland to the Dettifoss waterfall or hike to nearby canyons. In the evening, we recommend a visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths (the Blue Lagoon of the north!) for a relaxing soak in the geothermal water. (Approx. 2 hours driving)
Day 6: Akureyri. Today’s shorter drive to Akureyri gives more time to relax and explore the quaint city. Akureyri is Iceland’s second largest city and the main city in northern Iceland. You can shop at the charming shops, visit the museums, or explore some of the nearby towns. You can also go to nearby Husavik, Iceland’s best location for whale watching! (Approx. 1.5 hours driving)
Optional Additional Days: If you would like to extend your trip, you can 1-2 additional nights, or more! You can either spend an additional night along the South Coast or near the Glacier Lagoon (recommended for those who prefer more hiking) or an additional night at the Golden Circle (recommended if you would like to partake in whitewater rafting, snorkeling/diving, snowmobiling, horseback riding, or a glacier hike). You can spend more time in the North, or add an extension to visit the Snaefellsnes Peninsula or the Westfjords.