Itinerary for the Iceland Ring Road Holiday on your own in a rental car
Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland
Depending on your arrival time you may want to stop at the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing soak. The afternoon is then spent exploring Reykjavík downtown. You can also choose to pick up the rental car at the airport, at an additional cost.
Optional: Private Super Jeep tour of the Reykjanes peninsula, where you explore the vast, Lunar-like lava fields, see the amazing colours of the geothermal hot spring areas and go to the Blue Lagoon. Learn more about the tour here
Accommodation: A centrally located hotel in Reykjavík. Your self-drive package will be in the reception.
Day 2: West Iceland to Gauksmyri
After picking up your rental car you head out of the city towards West Iceland. The road takes you to the town of Borgarnes in Borgarfjordur bay. There you visit the magnificent Hraunfossar, a waterfall that comes out of the lava. Very close by is Barnafoss which flows through a small canyon. Next up is Deildatunguhver, the most powerful geothermal spring in Iceland. You can also visit Snorrastofa, the home of Snorri Sturluson, writer of the Prose-Edda. After exploring Borgarfjordur you head back to the main road.
Optional: Horseback riding at Gauksmyri
Accommodation: Hotel Gauksmyri
Day 3: Akureyri and Lake Myvatn
Just a few km drive from Gauksmyri you can visit Borgarvirki, between Vesturhop and Vididalur. It's a volcanic plug and the saga says that in earlier centuries it was used by the Vikings as a fortress and hideout. Take a short detour to Hvitserkur, an ocean cliff rising like a giant from the sea before heading to Akureyri, the largest town in Akureyri. From Akureyri to Lake Myvatn is about 100 km and on the way you stop at Godafoss waterfall which is situated in the 175 km long glacial river Skjalfandafljot just south of the Ring Road. In the evening it's perfect to go for a relaxing soak in the Myvatn Baths - and if you are lucky, the northern lights will be displaying above.
Accommodation: Hotel at Lake Myvatn
Day 4: Lake Myvatn
At Myvatn you spend the day exploring the area, seeing sites such as Dimmuborgir lava formations, Krafla caldera and Namaskard hot spring area. There has been a lot of volcanic activity by Myvatn and there's a lot of geothermal heat in the ground, for example in Grjotagja. There are plenty of hiking paths to choose from and optional activities; horseback riding, snowmobiling, caving etc.
Lake Myvatn often has clear skies and can be a great location for viewing the aurora borealis (northern lights).
Accommodation: Hotel Herad in Egilsstadir
Day 5: Jokulsargljufur National Park
Driving east, you go to Jokulsargljufur national park and visit Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall. In winter it can be very slippery by the waterfall, so be extra careful. You can take a hike either to Selfoss waterfall About 1 km hike from Dettifoss or to Hafragilsfoss about 2km to the north. From Jokulsargljufur you drive through Modrudalsoraefi, the most remote area of the Icelandic Ring Road which is quite barren with wonderful big vistas. In Egilsstadir, we recommend relaxing in hot tubs at the local swimming pool.
Accommodation: Hotel in Egilsstadir
Day 6: East Iceland
From Egilsstadir you drive south along the magnificent fjords of the rugged coastline and enjoy the very scenic drive through the beautiful fjords surrounded by majestic mountains. You stop at some of the lovely fishing villages, including at Petra’s stone museum at Stodvarfjordur.
Accommodation: Hotel in Hofn.
Day 6: Skaftafell & Jokulsarlon
From Hofn you travel towards Vatnajokull, Europe's largest glacier. You'll stop at Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, one of Iceland's most famous sights which have been used in many films. When the lagoon is not frozen, you can take a boat ride among the floating icebergs. Next you head to Fjallsarlon glacier lagoon and then Svinafellsjokull glacier outlet where parts of Batman Begins and Game of Thrones were filmed. You then continue to Skaftafell national park where you spend the rest of the day hiking, taking photo stops at places like Svartifoss waterfall.
Accommodation: Hotel by Kirkjubaejarklaustur
Day 7: South Iceland
By Kirkjubaejarklaustur you find Fjardagljufur, which is a spectacular natural formation which formation has probably resulted in approx. nine thousand years ago.
Traveling along the south coast you'll visit the town of Vik where you can go down to the black sand beach and photograph the lava pillars, Reynisdrangar rising from the ocean like trolls.
Dyrholaey peninsula which is shaped like an arc that stands out to sea. From the peninsula you have a breathtaking view on a sunny day of Reynisdrangar, and Myrdalsjokull glacier and the surrounding countryside.
Further west you stop at the two waterfalls of Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss.
At Seljalandsfoss you can take a short path that leads behind the free falling waterfall and feel the spray and drizzle on your face.
Accommodation: 3* Hotel by Hvolsvollur (optional upgrade to 4* Hotel Ranga)
Day 8: Golden Circle
From the south shore you drive inland Selfoss and continue towards the Golden Circle. First you stop for a short photo stop at the Crater Lake Kerid. Then you first arrive to Geysir and see the geyser Strokkur spout boiling water 25-30 m high in the air. After seeing Iceland's most famous waterfall, Gullfoss up close and listening to its roaring thunder as it cascades 32 meters down the mighty glacial river Hvita it’s time to drive towards Thingvellir, you cross the road of Lyngdalsheidi before you arrive to Thingvellir where the oldest parliament in the world was founded and you can see the tectonic plates boundaries. From Thingvellir you complete your Ring Road tour in Reykjavik.
Accommodation: Hotel in Reykjavik.
Day 9 - Departure from Iceland
If your flight is early in the morning, you take a taxi or the Flybus to the airport.
However, if your flight is in the afternoon it's ideal to visit the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport. You can do this on your own, with the Flybus or take our Lunar Landscape Super-Jeep tour.
It's no problem to extend your stay in Iceland, either by spending additional nights in Reykjavik or in the countryside. If you decide to stay longer in Reykjavik you can take a day tour out of the city to see places you didn't visit on the self-drive tour. We have a number of Super Jeep day tours which can take you to areas inaccessible to regular cars. We especially recommend the Thorsmork tour, which is a great 4x4 adventure to one of Iceland's most beautiful places.