12 Day Itinerary for Iceland - Ring Road

Updated: Jul 19, 2019

This is my second time going around Ring Road (Route 1) in Iceland going counter clockwise. My first trip was in May 2014 for 9 days and then June 2019 for 12 days.

Day 1: Arrive in Keflavik early. Tour Reykjavik and visit The Blue Lagoon. Spend the night outside of Reykjavik.

Day 2: Depart from Reykjavik and travel around the Golden Circle. Spend the night around Hella on the Southern Coast. The following places are must visits (in this order):

  1. Þingvellir National Park

  2. Bruarfoss Waterfall

  3. Geysir

  4. Gullfoss Waterfall

Day 3: Depart from accommodations near Hella. Travel along the southern coast and find a place to stay somewhere Skaftarhreppur. There are limited accommodations in this area. You could also stay in Vik but you will have a long day on the 4th day. The following places are must visits (in this order):

  1. Seljalandsfoss and Gljufrabui (same stop)

  2. Skogarfoss and Kvernufoss (same stop)

  3. Solheimasandur Plane Wreck (skip able,but worth mentioning)

  4. Dyrhólaey

  5. Reynisdrangar Seastacks and Black Sand Beach (same stop)

Day 4: Depart from previous accommodations near Skaftarhreppur. Travel further along the southern coast towards Hofn. I would recommend staying somewhere between Jökulsárlón Glacier and Hofn. The following places are must visits (in this order):

  1. Fjaðrárgljúfur

  2. Skaftafell / Vatnajökull National Park (there are many things to see and do here)

  3. Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon

  4. Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

  5. Diamond Beach

Day 5: Depart from Hofn and prepare yourself for one of the longer driving days. You will be traveling most of the eastern coast while heading north. I would recommend staying near Egilsstaðir for a single night. There are no major breath taking stops along this drive (with the exception of the Vestrahorn). But the drive itself is very pretty, but do drive carefully along this part of the ring road. The following places are must visits (in this order):

  1. Vestrahorn/Stokksnes

  2. Djúpivogur (not a lot to see in this small town, but a great place to stop for food)

  3. Petra's Stone Collection (if you are into rocks and collection)

Day 6: Depart from Egilsstaðir either heading back tracking south to two very pretty waterfalls or start heading north west. If you opt to head south, be prepared for a longer driving day, but I believe you won't regret it. I recommend finding a place to stay on the east side of lake Myvatn for 2 nights. The following places are must visits (in this order):

  1. (Heading South) Litlanesfoss and Hengifoss (same hike)

  2. Skriduklaustur

  3. (Heading West) Refuel food and gas in Egilsstaðir

  4. (Skippable) Stuðlagil Canyon. This location has been very popular on social media, but due to the long offroad drive and the hike, I would recommend skipping this location. The hike down to the cliffs edge has a decent amount of exposure and is a no fall zone. If you want to actually walk into the canyon, prepare for a 4 hour hike through private farm land.

  5. Hverir

  6. If you have time and want to relax, visit the "Mývatn Nature Baths". Similar to the Blue Lagoon, but not as busy.

Day 7: From Myvatn, head back east to Dettifoss and north to Ásbyrgi along road 862. Today will involve some longer hikes (if you want) and at the time of writing this (June 2019) a vehicle with AWD/4WD and some ground clearance. The following places are must visits (in this order):

  1. Dettifoss and Hafragilsfoss

  2. Hljóðaklettar

  3. Asbyrgi Visitor Center. Head east out of the visitor center to do the longer hike to the main Asbyrgi view at the very end. This hike took around 4 hours to complete with long breaks.

  4. (Extra/alternative) Drive along road 861 into the center of Asbyrgi.

  5. Back in Myvatn, visit "Lavafeld Dimmu Borgir" in the evening.

Day 8: Depart from Myvatn, but before you do there are a few sights I would recommend visiting before you leave. Your next night should be spent near the attraction You next night will be spent in or near Sauðárkrókur. The following places are must visits (in this order):

Quick stops near Myvatn.

  1. Höfði

  2. Grjótagjá Cave

  3. Sigurgeir's Bird Museum

Stops after lake Myvatn.

  1. Godafoss Waterfall

  2. Akureyri (quick tour of the town)

  3. Glaumbær

  4. Drop your stuff off at your accommodations and drive to the hot pots called "Grettirs Pool"

Day 9, 10 and 11: From Sauðárkrókur you will have a long drive to the west, near Snæfellsjökull National Park. I would recommend either staying in Arnarstapi on the south coast or in Grundarfjörður on the northern coast. I would recommend staying here for 3 nights. Unless you want to spend your final day in Reykjavik. But I will be writing this guide with the assumption you spent 3 nights here. On the 11th day you will drive from your accommodations to Keflavík International Airport (3 hour drive). The following places are must visits during your time here

  1. Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss

  2. Buoakirkja Black Church

  3. Hellnar (town)

  4. Arnarstapi (town)

  5. Vatnshellir Cave

  6. Djúpalónssandur

  7. Saxhóll Crater

  8. Lóndrangar Rock Formations

  9. Svödufoss

  10. Ingjaldshóll

  11. Stykkishólmur (town)

  12. Eldborg Crater