Please note that the route can change due to weather and/or road conditions.
Grand Tour of Iceland & Highland Highlights
Fulfill the dream of exploring Iceland’s best spots, including desolate interior highlands. Reserved for real adventurers.
Prices starting from
Are you ready for a real adventure? This tour takes you to all the Iceland's major sites and natural wonders. Besides that, you also have a chance to travel to interior highlands where only few arrives. Þórsmörk with its stunning green lush valleys backed by the glaciers and active volcanoes varies a lot from the multi-coloured mountains, black lava fields and steaming geothermal springs of Landmannalaugar and Fjallabak. Otherwise, driving along the Ring Road is rather relaxing and serves plenty of fantastic attractions at your fingertips. Each region is very different though. The road no. 1 in the South separates the glacier covered dramatic volcanoes from the coastal cliffs, black sand beaches and puffin kingdom. Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon with the floating luminous-blue icebergs is on the way to the East. Moreover, you visit lake Mývatn, geological and ornithological honeypot in the North and Snæfellsnes Peninsula that in relatively small area covers diverse and fascinating landscape, in the West.
What's included in the Grand Tour of Iceland & Highland Highlights tour?
Included in this tour
- Pickup & return from hotel in Reykjavík area
- Rental car with unlimited mileage, CDW insurance
- Breakfast (except for dormitory accommodation)
- WiFi connectivity in the car
- Map of Iceland and detailed itinerary of your tour
- Pamphlet about driving in Iceland
- Optional meeting with travel consultant
- 24 hour emergency service
- Taxes & service fees
Not included in this tour
- Winter transport to Þórsmörk - needed from 16th October to 30th April
- Gasoline / Diesel
- Personal Travel Insurances
- Additional activities
- Meals or drinks
- Entrance fees unless otherwise stated
- Parking and road tunnel fees
- Any services not listed under list of included items
Explore the Grand Tour of Iceland & Highland Highlights tour day-by-day
You begin a tour by embarking on highlands adventure. After driving along the rough gravel road deeper in the interior, you suddenly enter a green paradise of Þórsmörk Nature Reserve. It has one of Iceland’s most dynamic and beautiful landscapes, where active volcanoes and towering glaciers rise above the lush green valleys below. Feast your eyes on the breathtaking scenery and try out one of several hiking trails. You also have a chance to see an infamous Eyjafjallajökull that paralyzed air traffic in 2010, and affected by the eruption volcanic area of Gígjökull where its glacier lagoon was greatly diminished. Overnight stay in the area.
Driving distance is +-151km.
The South Coast and its various popular attractions are the goal of today. Right before the road from Þórsmörk enters the Ring Road, stop by spectacular Seljalandsfoss waterfall. It tumbles over rocky scarp into a pool, leaving some room between the water and the wall, for the stirring walks behind the waterfall. Then head towards the East along the main road up to the point when you spot an impressive Skógafoss to the left-hand side, in a little distance from the road. You can take steep stairs up the mountain for a better view from above. Shortly before Vík you can turn up the hill to Dyrhólahey. It dramatically rises above the Vík neighborhood revealing the beautiful overlook of the coast. Puffins are keen on nesting in its bluff cliffs in summer time. After that drive back down the hill to Reynisfjara with its impressive black sandy beach backed by Reynisdrangar, basalt sea stacks emerging from the sea. You can visit a little charming community of Vík. Overnight stay in Vík/ Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.
Driving distance is +-158km.
Fjallabak N - Landmannalaugar
You head up to the North to Fjallabak Nature Reserve. Landmannalaugar, the pearl of the region, is your aim. Unbelievably colorful mountains with steaming hot springs and black lava fields build up this wonderland. It is also a beginning of famous Laugavegurinn trail. You can stop by Ljótipollur crater and Frostastaðavatn lake, and generally admire this unearthly world. Afterwords, you drive back to the Ring Road. Overnight stay in Kirkjubæjaklaustur area.
Driving distance is +-188km.
Today you drive towards the East. Do not let your legs get numb though, and use each opportunity to stop by for a little walk or photo shooting. Skaftafell is definitely one of the places that you should not resist. It is a pearl of the whole Vatnajökull National Park. You can go there on a glacier walk with mountain guides that are based on the spot or simply hit one of the trails, e.g. to famous Svartifoss waterfall surrounded by basalt columns. After about an hour drive, you finally reach Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. A surrealistic scene of luminous-blue icebergs floating between Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the North Atlantic Ocean through the narrow passage under the Ring Road will take your breath away. You can take a walk along the shore to be able to admire the view. Alternatively, you may take a memorable amphibious boat trip where you get really close to the icebergs as well as to the seals sailing around. Overnight stay in Höfn area.
Driving distance is +-204km.
East Fjords - Egilsstaðir
It is a day of the East Fjords exploration. If you prefer to reach your accommodation quicker, take a left turn in Breiðdalsvík, which goes behind the mountain straight to Egilsstaðir. Otherwise, drive along the fjords enjoying the little charming fishing villages backed by sheer-sided mountains with endless waterfalls. Either way you took, you can make a little detour to visit Seydisfjordur. Despite of having less than a thousand inhabitants, it is a major port where the only passenger ferry comes from Denmark and Faroe Islands to Iceland. It is also incredibly charming town with its historical multicoloured houses and dramatic snow-capped mountains all around. Overnight stay in Egilsstaðir.
Driving distance is +-187km.
Today you drive to the lake Mývatn, geological and ornithological honeypot. It serves you diverse landscape of a lake created in a large basaltic lava eruption, volcanic craters, ex. Krafla or Hverfell, and peculiar lava formations of Dimmuborgir. You can also jump into a Mývatn Nature Baths, geothermal natural pool, northern Iceland's version of the Blue Lagoon. Stay overnight in Mývatn area.
Driving distance is +-175km.
Dettifoss - Jökuslárgljúfur - Húsavík
Today is ideal to explore the northern surroundings of the Lake Mývatn. You drive up to Jökuslárgljúfur that is an effect of subglacial eruptions and massive glacial floods from Vatnajökull that formed an impressive ridge and a 30-km gorge. The southern part is represented by the gigantic Dettifoss, one of Iceland's most impressive waterfalls. You can find Vesturdalur's caves and beautiful geological formations in the middle section. Ásbyrgi covers its northern part with the large forested plain surrounded by vertical canyon walls. Then you move on to Húsavík, a charming fishing village best known as the country's greatest spot for whale watching. Another overnight stay in the Mývatn area.
Driving distance is +-217km.
Akureyri - Skagafjörður
You begin a day by driving to the capital of the North. You reach nestled at the head of Eyjafjördur, Akureyri, Iceland's second city. It is rather a charming town than a city though, which makes it a perfect location for a romantic wander. There is several cozy cafes and gourmet restaurants in the center. Then you continue driving to the North, along picturesque Tröllaskagi Peninsula. Tröllaskagi offers dramatic scenery with monumental mountains emerging nearly directly from the sea. There is two must-stops: an old herring-fishing village Siglufjörður that has recently been booming with a little art galleries and buzzing cafes, and Hofsós, a perfect fjordside swimming pool with the stunning view. You finish a day by driving through Skagafjörður region, which is best known for the great horsemanship. Overnight stay in the area.
Driving distance is +-264km.
Kjölur - Hveravellir
You head to the highlands again and drive Kjölur mountain route from the North to the South. The barren landscape between the glaciers Hofsjökull and Langjökull leads you to a little oasis of Hveravellir. It is a geothermal area of fumaroles and hot springs, where you can relax in a luscious human-made bathing pool. Further south on the route you can make a detour to visit the mountain cluster of Kerlingarfjöll. Kerlingarfjöll is defined as an active volcanic area, mostly made out of rhyolite and tuff stone, both dark and bright that poses a stark contrast to the dominating black colour of the surrounding Kjölur area. Overnight stay in Flúðir area.
Driving distance is +-256km.
Your first stop today is at Gullfoss, “The Golden Fall”, a spectacular double cascade waterfall. In only 10-minutes distance there is Geysir, the famous hot spring that has given name to hot springs all over the world. Geysir has been remaining inactive for years now, but its neighbour Strokkur gushes regularly up to the air. Next you drive to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO site and a place of Icelandic Parliament foundation in AD 930. Þingvellir is also located in a rift valley. You have a chance to walk along the part of it, called Almannagjá gorge. From Þingvellir you drive Kaldidalur mountain route north to Húsafell. Overnight stay in the area.
Driving distance is +-200km.
Today you explore the area of Borgarfjörður. Just south of Húsafell you find Hraunfossar, a series of waterfalls formed by a collection of the streams of the lava field from an eruption of one of the Langjökull volcanoes. Continue your drive heading west and you will pass the little village of Reykholt. It used to be one of the most important medieval settlements in Iceland. Close by Reykholt is Deildartunguhver, Europe’s largest hot springs. In Borgarnes you can visit an interesting Settlement Centre. Overnight stay in the area.
Driving distance is +-65km.
You head to the South-West in a direction of magnificent Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Stykkishólmur is the first stop worth a little detour. It is an old fishing town with charming colourful houses and fairly good choice of restaurants. The views of dramatic volcanic peaks from one side and lush fjords from the other represent the northern part of the peninsula. You pass by an impressive pyramid called Kirkjufell, one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. Snæfellsjökull National Park is located at the end of the long arm of the peninsula. There has been numerous legends about this looming glacier and its surroundings, but its main fame was gained thanks to Jules Verne's novel “Journey to the center of the Earth”, where Snæfellsjökull was believed to be a gateway. You can visit Búðir, a small historical hamlet seated on the westernmost tip of the peninsula. Then pass impressive rock formations at Arnarstapi and Hellnar. You continue driving along the broad coastal plain that greatly differs from the northern landscape. Overnight stay in Snæfellsnes area.
Driving distance is +-207km.
It is the time to slowly come back to reality and head back to Reykjavík. You can do a little detour to visit Kerlingarfjöll with its stunning colourful mountains and steamy hot springs. After the last experience in the highlands, drive to the South-West, back to the capital metropolitan area.
Driving distance is +-186km.
Please note that the route can change due to weather and/or road conditions.