The Iceland Ring Road, also known as Route 1, is a scenic drive that circles the entire island nation of Iceland. It is a popular way to explore the country and see its unique landscapes, including glaciers, hot springs, waterfalls, and volcanic valleys. Here is an outline for the ultimate Iceland Ring Road itinerary to help you make the most of your trip.
Iceland Ring Road Itinerary
Day 1: Reykjavik to Vík
Start your Iceland Ring Road journey in the country’s capital city, Reykjavik. From there, drive southeast to the coastal town of Vík. Along the way, make a stop at the stunning Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can walk behind the falls and admire the view. Continue on to Skógafoss waterfall and take a hike up the stairs for a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.
After reaching Vík, visit the nearby black sand beach of Reynisfjara and admire the basalt columns, sea stacks, and natural rock arches. In the evening, enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot springs at the nearby Reykjavik Excursions’ Nature Baths.
Day 2: Vík to Jökulsárlón
From Vík, drive east to the glacier lagoon of Jökulsárlón. On the way, stop at the Skaftafell National Park and take a hike to the nearby glaciers and waterfalls. At Jökulsárlón, take a boat tour and see the floating ice chunks and seals that inhabit the lagoon. In the evening, drive to the nearby town of Höfn and enjoy a traditional seafood dinner.
Day 3: Jökulsárlón to Akureyri
Drive northeast to the town of Akureyri, located in the heart of Iceland’s northern region. Along the way, make stops at the Dettifoss waterfall and the Hvítárvatn hot springs. In Akureyri, spend the evening exploring the town’s charming streets and enjoying its cultural amenities, including museums, art galleries, and restaurants.
Day 4: Akureyri to Mývatn
From Akureyri, drive to the Mývatn region, known for its geothermal activity and unique landscapes. Here, visit the Námaskarð geothermal area, the Hverir geothermal area, and the Mývatn Nature Baths. In the evening, hike to the nearby Dimmuborgir lava formations and watch the Northern Lights.
Day 5: Mývatn to Borgarnes
From Mývatn, drive west to the town of Borgarnes and visit the Settlement Center, a museum dedicated to the history and culture of Iceland. In the evening, relax in the town’s natural hot springs and enjoy the views of the surrounding landscape.
Day 6: Borgarnes to Reykjavik
On the final day of your Iceland Ring Road journey, drive back to Reykjavik and spend the day exploring the city’s sights and attractions. Visit the Hallgrímskirkja church, the National Museum of Iceland, and the Árbær Open Air Museum. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at one of Reykjavik’s renowned restaurants and reflect on your amazing Iceland Ring Road experience.