The Perfect 10-day Itinerary Iceland Ring Road + Tips & Map

You are about to see the best 10-day Itinerary in Iceland, with all you need to plan for your perfect Iceland Road Trip!

With this Iceland Itinerary, you will find some of the Best Landmarks in Iceland – from the capital Reykjavik, driving through some highlights on the south coast, to the north and east of the island where you will find some of the best-hidden gems in Iceland. Besides the Ring Road, you will also enjoy the Golden Circle, and be able to explore one of the best Glaciers in Iceland.

Iceland is considered a Dream Destination, and the Ring Road is one of the best road trips in the world. Offering the opportunity to explore the vast variety of breathtaking nature and landscapes will make this trip an adventure of a lifetime. 

To start your 10-days in Iceland itinerary, the first step is to decide where to start your trip, and by calculating the distance and total driving hours. This guide provides all the logistic information you need to make the most of your trip.

The Ring Road is the main road that makes a loop around Iceland, and it has 828 miles (1,332 km) long and can be driven in either direction a 10-day Iceland itinerary is enough to uncover the best of Iceland at a relaxed pace.

You will also enjoy:

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary
Iceland ring road 10-day Itinerary

Iceland Ring Road 10-day Itinerary Overview

ICELAND ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTSOVERNIGHT
DAY 1: Visit Borgarnes Village |Grabrok Crater | Turf Farm Glaumbaer Hofsos
DAY 2: Drive North Iceland | Start exploring the Myvatn area Akureyri
DAY 3: Husavik for whale watch | Myvatn Geothermal | Myvatn Nature Bath Myvatn
DAY 4: Dettifoss Waterfall | Egilsstadir town | Gullfoss Waterfall | Seydisfjordur Town Seydisfjordur 
DAY 5: Jokulsarlong Glacier | Diamond Beach | Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon Hofn
DAY 6: Glacier hike and Ice Climb | Vatnajokull National Park Hofn
DAY 7: Green Lava Walk | Vik Town | Skogafoss Waterfall Vik
DAY 8: Golden Circle: Geyser Geothermal | Kerio Crater Lake | Þingvellir Site Selfoss
DAY 9: Golden Circle: Seljalandsfoss Waterfall | Dyrhólaey | Sólheimajokull Glacier Lake. Selfoss
DAY 10: Reykjavik Tour Reykjavik

 

10-day Itinerary in Iceland Map

** Click the icon at the top left of the map to see day by day route details **

How to rent a car at the Keflavik International Airport

You will need to decide on the itinerary and what time of the year, before you make a decision if renting a car in Iceland, and if a 4WD is necessary. If you are driving this Iceland Ring Road 10-Day Itinerary you can hire a 2WD.

If you choose any of the car rentals below, you can pick up your car at the Keflavik International Airport.

You can get a 15% off your rental car when you book through this site. I use and recommend RentalCar because it is the most reliable rental car source, and it allows you to compare the prices of different places.

Starting your 10 Day Itinerary in Iceland: Arrival in Reykjavik

International flights to Iceland arrive at Keflavik International Airport, which is located on the Reykjanes peninsula, and you can pick up your rental car at the airport.

If you arrive in Reykjavik in the morning, it’s possible to start driving that day. If your flight arrives late afternoon or evening, I recommend spending the first night in Reykjavik before you start your Iceland itinerary.

You will find that 1-day itinerary in Reykjavik on the last day of my Iceland itinerary. If you have more time to explore, there are amazing day trips from Reykjavik either by driving or joining a tour.

Before you start your 10 days road trip in Iceland, make sure you stock up on snacks, gas, and water before you leave the town – you may drive for hours without seeing anything.

There is a Costco on the way from the airport. If you are a member, consider stopping to buy snacks and food before you continue your adventure. You can also find the local Iceland grocery stores Netto and Bonus for your grocery needs throughout Iceland. In smaller towns, you can only find local stores with limited items to sell and also convenience stores.

BEST ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN REYKJAVIK

  • BUDGET | 201 Hotel is well located, with jogging and walking paths around, breakfast is available, and a fitness center. Free WiFi
  • MID-RANGE | Reykjavik Residence Apartment – Located in the heart of Reykjavik, it combines hotel services with self-catering apartments. Only 50-min from the airport.
  • BEST RATED | Freyja Guesthouse & Suites -They offer free bikes and free WiFi, situated close to the Hallgrimskirkja church, Continental breakfast is available.
Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary

DAY BY DAY: Iceland Ring Road 10-Day Itinerary

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary

DAY 1: Visit the Glabrok Crater & The Turf Farm


The first day of this 10 days in Iceland Itinerary sounds like a long 5 hours, but there are great sites to visit along the way, which makes the driving distance between sites a short drive 45-60 minutes drive.

STOP AT THE BORGARNES VILLAGE

Making the short 47-mile (76 km) trip from Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik to the western waterside village of Borgarnes is easiest by self-driving. Visit this picturesque village on a rocky peninsula, as it offers great views in all directions.

The visit is short, around 1 hour and you can see the whole town, take some pictures, have a coffee, and stretch your legs before your next stop.

VISIT THE GRABROK CRATE

Your next stop is at the Grabrok Crater. It looks resembles a moon-like landscape of extinct crater domes, including one volcano in which you can walk around on very nicely maintained wooden walkways. Keep in mind that it is very windy – wear a windbreaker jacket.

VISIT THE TURF FARM IN GLAMBAER

This is your next stop. It really looks like something from a fairy tale. The oldest parts of the turf house date back to the mid-18th century. It is free to walk around the grounds and take pictures, and you can also pay $14 to visit the museum inside the houses, and see how they used to live on farms before.

Iceland Ring Road 10 day itinerary with map
Turf Farm with the oldest parts of the turf house date back to the mid 18th century

LAST STOP AT HOFSOS TOWN

Hofsos town is the last stop of your Iceland Ring Road road trip on day 1. Hofsos is located on the banks of Skagafjörður fjord in north Iceland is one of the oldest trading centers in Iceland.

In the old village surrounding the harbor, you will see that many houses have been renovated recently, giving the town a unique colorful look. Walk around and take some great shots.

If you have more time, you can go to the Hofsós swimming pool. This gorgeous infinity pool with amazing views, that while you are swimming you have the impression you are stretching into the ocean.

A good place to eat while in Hofsos is the Lonkot Rural Resort, with delicious Scandinavian dishes.

Iceland self-drive itinerary in Hofsos
Hofsos is one of the oldest trading centers in Iceland and this beautiful village is surrounded by the harbor.

BEST ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN HOFOS

  • BUDGET | Sunnuberg Guesthouse – The rooms have a view of the fjord and it is very close to the Hofos pool and the ocean.
  • MID-RANGE | Fraendgardur  accommodation with free WiFi and river views. The property features sea and city views
  • BEST RATED | Guesthouse Gimbur-Rated as excellent, this guesthouse has a hot tub and offers horse riding and rooms with an ocean view.

DAY 2: Drive north of Iceland and start exploring the Myvatn area


STOP AT THE TOWN OF SIGLUFJORDUR

Your first stop on day 2 of the 10-day Iceland itinerary is the town of Siglufjordur.  If you like photography, you will be stopping along the way for some photos because the landscape is just stunning. Siglufjordur is a geographically isolated place, with colorful houses by the harbor and it is a pleasant place to walk and explore. Grab some lunch before you continue your journey.

PRO-TIP

I opted to take the alternative scenic Trollaskagi Peninsula via Route 76, just north of Hofsos. I strongly recommend this route, since it runs along the fjords on the North coast of Iceland. It is one of the Icelandic hidden gems, a bit separated from the rest of the country because of the high and dense mountains bordering the ocean.

If you are short on time, you can continue on Route 1– it will take about 30 minutes less (than taking 76 without stops for pictures, admiring the view, or lunch in Siglufjordur) but it is less scenic.

Iceland Ring Road 10 day itinerary
The Iceland Ring Road driving to Siglufjordur is just stunning

VISIT THE GODAFOSS WATERFALL

Your next stop is at the Godafoss, also known as the “Waterfall of the Gods”, which is one of the most famous Icelandic waterfalls because of its neat history. Park your car and walk 10 minutes to the waterfall. You also have the option to hike around the fall making it approximately 1 hour for the whole loop.

Iceland Ring Road 10 day itinerary
Godafoss Waterfall is one of the most famous Icelandic waterfalls and it is a must-visit on the Ring Road

WALK AROUND DIMMUBORGIR LAVA FORMATION

Dimmuborgir Lava Formation is only a 45 minutes drive from Godafoss, is the incredible formation of these lava cliffs and pillars stems from 2,300 years ago, consists of huge lava rock formations which make you feel like you stepped into another world. Wander the maze and wonder at the incredible formations.

10 day Iceland Ring Road Itinerary
The incredible formations of the lava cliffs at Dimmuborgir from 2,300 years ago

EXPLORE THE MYVATN GEOTHERMAL AREA

The last place to explore on day 3 of the Iceland itinerary is the amazing Myvatn Lake and Pseudocraters. From the parking lot, you can walk to the volcanic lake Myvatn, and enjoy stunning views with a mix of color and formation. Walk around many of the pseudocraters on the shore of Myvatn Lake and loop around the small lake Stakholstjorn. Outstanding views!

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary
The amazing Myvatn Lake and Pseudocraters that you can walk to the volcanic lake Myvatn, and enjoy views with a mix of color and formation

LAST STOP AT AKUREYRI TOWN

At the end of this long and amazing Iceland Itinerary day, you will drive back to Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest city. With only 20,000 people who live here, Akureyri is often called the ‘Capital of the North.

If you still have time (and energy) to explore Akureyri, you can visit the Akureyri Church, the symbol of the city. You can also go on a 3-hour whale watching tour. Go relax at the Akureyri Swimming Pool, a geothermal swimming pool right behind the church and treat yourself with a relaxing hot tub soak or steam room cleanse.

And depending on the time of the year, you can go on a tour to see the northern lights – one of the best things to do in Iceland!

You’ve got to be starving, so grab the best fish & chips in town Akureyri-Fish, and have a local beer on tap.

PRO-TIP

Driving from Akureyri to Myvatn, besides taking 45 minutes, adds more expenses as you will have to pay US$15 each way for the toll to cross the tunnel (plus gas), and pay online within 3 hours – BE AWARE and read more about Iceland traffic tickets here.

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary

BEST ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN AKUREYRI TOWN

  • BUDGET | Centrum Guesthouse – Great value for the money. Very well situated in the central Akureyri and free Wi-Fi
  • MID-RANGE | Saeluhus Apartment – these self-catering apartments feature free WiFi and a kitchenette. Great location, Akureyri town center is 2,650 feet away.
  • BEST RATED | Islandsbaerinn Old Farm – Rated as Exceptional, the villa offers a hot tub, and barbecue facilities and the rooms are extra comfortable.

DAY 3: Go whale watching at Husavik and explore the Myvatn Lake


DRIVE TO HUSAVIK TO DO WHALE WATCHING

This is the first activity on day 3 of this Iceland Ring Toad 10-day itinerary.  Husavik is considered the whale-watching capital of Iceland. I recommend booking your tour in advance, especially during the high season – I used this tour as they are very professional, they provide proper warm clothes and a rubber layer so your clothes don’t get wet. 

The whole tour duration is  3 hours and I did see a couple of humpback whales.  If you do the tour in the morning, you will be done by lunchtime. Have lunch at Husavik

DRIVE TO THE MYVATN GEOTHERMAL AREA

Heading East along the Ring Road, the first detour is the Hverarond geothermal area (don’t worry, you won’t miss it as you can see all the steam from the road). Here you can walk around various bubbling mud pits and steam vents.

There is a lot to see and explore in the Myvatn area, from lava fields, and geothermal sites, to nature baths. Really, it was one of my favorite areas to explore in Iceland and I highly recommend planning ample time to explore this area. Depending on availability and if you have less time, you may want to shorten it for 1 day and 1 night here.

10 day trip to Iceland
Hverarond geothermal area – Steams seen from the Ring Road driving

STOP THE SHOWER HEAD FOR (FUNNY) PICTURES

Since you are in this area, and especially if you have a sense of humor, visit a random Shower Head and wonder “How in the world did someone builds something like this?” The shower is actually functioning and warm from the steam water that comes out.

RELAX AT THE MYVATN NATURE BATH

The last activity of the day and the highlight is the Myvatn Nature Bath. The temperature of the water is perfect around 40C and the view of the Myvatn valley is outstanding.

You can consider it a bargain at US$40 per person, compared to the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik since it is overcrowded and overpriced (US$100 per person).

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary
The Myvatn Nature Pool

BEST ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN MYVATN

  • BUDGET | Vogafjos Farm Resort – Located in a unique natural environment on the eastern shore of Lake Myvatn, they offer amazing daily breakfast and dinner. 
  • MID-RANGE | Hotel Laxa – This hotel is quietly situated 1.2 miles from Lake Mývatn and 30 minutes drive from the Godafoss Waterfall and Krafla Crater. 
  • BEST RATED | Ondolfsstaoir Farm B&B – Very modern and comfortable rooms and the homemade breakfast is amazing.

DAY 4 ICELAND ITINERARY: BREATHTAKING SCENIC DRIVE & WATERFALLS


On day 4 of your 10-day Iceland Ring Road itinerary, prepare your camera for this scenic drive today. You will drive through peaceful fjords, small fishing villages and trails tucked away in the hollow of towering mountains. You will also drive uphill and start to see amazing mountains covered in ice and blue lakes formed by the melted ice (if you are driving during spring/summer). The high mountain pass leading to Sejdisfjordur is unforgettable.

VISIT THE DETTIFOSS WATERFALL

Your first visit of the day is the Dettifoss Waterfall, with the greatest volume of any other waterfall in Europe, 500 cubic meters of water per second plunges over the edge, 45 meters high and 100 wide. A nice hiking trail, 34 km goes along the canyon from Dettifoss to Asbyrgi.

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary

STOP AT THE EGILSSTADIR TOWN

Egilsstaðir is the largest town in East Iceland, with a population of 2464 people as of 2018. It is located on the banks of the river Lagarfljót in the wide valley of the fertile Fljótsdalshérað district. Egilsstaðir is the main center for service, transportation, and administration in East Iceland.

It is, therefore, an ideal place for those who are traveling around the Ring Road of the country, and it makes a good stop for gas and some grocery shopping before heading to the next destination.

STOP ALONG THE WAY AT THE GULFOSS WATERFALL

If you are on this route, make a quick stop at the Gufufoss Waterfall, you will see it on the right side of the road if you are on this route.

10 day trip to iceland
Make a stop on your itinerary to visit the stunning Gufufoss Waterfall

VISIT THE SEYDISFJORDUR TOWN AND SPEND THE NIGHT

The tranquil town of Seydisfjordur has a relaxed atmosphere and offers a range of cultural and outdoor activities with unique dining experiences. Lonely Planet calls it, “the most historically and architecturally interesting town in East Iceland.” Less than 700 people live in Seydisfjordur. 

The town stretches along the south side of the fjord, but along the shoreline, you can find access to the sea, rocky beaches, and ruins of former activity. It makes a perfect stop to relax and enjoy the gorgeous views of this amazing Iceland Itinerary.

The pretty Blue Church (also known as Seyðisfjarðarkirkja) is an iconic sight in Iceland, and whenever you see any photos of Seydisfjordur, chances are you will see the church. Another landmark here is Rainbow Road, which leads straight to the church through town

Here you can find good options for restaurants and bars and breweries including the Kaffi Lara El Grillo Bar which offers a great menu and locally brewed beer.

BEST ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN SEYDISFJORDUR

  • BUDGET | Post-Hostel – Excellent location, with fjords, views with either shared or private bathrooms. Communal fully equipped kitchen and comfortable beds.
  • WHERE I STAYED | Hotel Aldan – The Bank – Set in 2 historic buildings in Seydisfjördur village, this accommodation offers free WiFi. Icelandic à la carte dishes are served at the in-house restaurant with the catch of the day (yummy!)
  • BEST RATED | Við Lónið Guesthouse – Rated as Exceptional, rooms feature a Scandinavian minimalist design with the views of fjords.

DAY 5: Exciting Day of your Iceland Ring Road Itinerary by visiting the lagoons and the Diamond Beach


Start day 5 of your Iceland Ring Road itinerary with spectacular views. Keep an eye on the side of the road as you can see groups of reindeer along the way.

VISIT THE JOKUSALON GLACIER

This is the first stop of the day at the Vatnajokull National Park. With blue water dotted with icebergs from the surrounding glacier, it is a fantastic spectacle. If you are lucky, you can see the seals swimming freely among the icebergs in this area – safe from the killer whales hunting offshore.

You have the option to go on a tour of the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and explore the lagoon while getting close to the icebergs and exploring the dramatic landscape of the south of Iceland.

Iceland itinerary 10 days
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon lagoon, with blue water and dotted with icebergs from the surrounding glacier

WALK TO THE DIAMOND BEACH

Just a short distance walk from the Glacier Lagoon is the amazing Diamond Beach. The glacier lagoon flows through a short waterway into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving chunks of icebergs on a black sand beach, making it really look like giant diamonds. It is a dynamic, ever-changing scene shaped daily/hourly by the forces of nature.

Be careful with your electronic equipment. I learned in a bad way and my Canon stopped working exactly at this beach.
BE AWARE The weather in Iceland can be very harsh on electronics – mist, sand, strong winds, rain, steam…they are not electronic friendly. I recommend packing a Camera Cover Bag to protect your camera.

VISIT THE FJALLSARLON GLACIER LAGOON

Another stunning site to visit at a very close distance driving is Fjallsarlon Glacier LagoonIt is smaller than the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, but also very beautiful and less crowded.

You can hike around the lake or pay for a kayak tour or inflatable boat tour among the glacier and icebergs. 

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary

MAKE YOUR WAY TO HOFN

Head to the town of Höfn, an Icelandic fishing town of just over two thousand people in southeast Iceland. Höfn also has some interesting places to visit.

You can visit the Hofn harbor with the colorful boats, it makes a great place for pictures. The Gamlabúð  ‘Old Shop’ is a Folk Museum situated in one of the oldest houses in Höfn.

This popular museum focuses on the history of one of the most isolated parts of Iceland. Hornafjörður Art Museum is a small gallery that hosts exhibitions of the Municipal Art Collection and contemporary local artists. Another place to visit is the Huldusteinn stone museum, with a private collection of Iceland’s diversity of rocks and stones exhibited at Höfn’s old swimming pool.

A great place to eat at Hofn is the Jón Ríki, a farmhouse restaurant at Hólmur, next to the ring road, 32 km from Höfn. It is well known for its small in-house brewery, and beautifully presented, high-quality dishes, made from local products.

Another recommendation is the Nýhöfn New Harbor’, located by the harbor! The building was the first family house to be built in Höfn in 1897.  A small and intimate restaurant with a classic Scandinavian interior. They offer local seafood, langoustine, lamb, and vegetarian options. The food here is just amazing!

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary

BEST ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN HOFN

  • BUDGET | Guesthouse Nypugardar – Located 25 min from Hofn, this is a sheep farm with simple and fresh rooms, and a home-cooked breakfast and dinner buffet.
  • WHERE I STAYED | Guesthouse Holmur This amazing old farmhouse offers traditional Icelandic food made from fresh, local produce. The property offers views of 3 glaciers, including Vatnajökull. and free wifi.
  • BEST RATED | Miðsker 1 – Rated as Superb, with lake views, barbecue, and free WiFi. The apartment includes 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and a full kitchen.

DAY 6: Southwest of Iceland & Adventure day hiking glaciers and ice climbing in Iceland


FIRST OPTION: GLACIER HIKE AND ICE CLIMB

Today was the highlight of my 10 days in Iceland itinerary, and you can read all the details on how to go ice climb and hike the glacier here.

I booked in advance and I recommend you to do the same, use this link to check options or you can check my review on the 12-Best Glacier Tours in Iceland. I chose the combo hike on the glacier + ice climb for a total of 4 hours of activity this was my first-time ice climbing, and I felt safe with the knowledge and fun instructors.

If you don’t want to ice climb, there are tours for every taste and fitness level. I just think it is an amazing opportunity to be close to nature and take advantage to immerse yourself in an adventure while in Iceland. The difficulty level of each tour is adapted to the abilities of the participants.

PRO-TIP

Do not venture onto the glacier without the right equipment (crampons and ice picks) and an experienced guide. The ice is incredibly slippery and you will not make it far. BE AWARE that there are a lot of risks, including avalanches and it is advised not to go off the trail while hiking in popular destinations. You don’t want to cut your trip short slipping on the ice or falling into a crevasse. Please, hire a professional guide to go on the ice climbing.

SECOND OPTION: HIKE VATNAJOKULL NATIONAL PARK

If activities on the ice are still not your thing, another option I would recommend is to explore the Vatnajokull National Park as it offers great options for hiking.

You can also visit the Svartifoss waterfall, which tumbles over black basalt columns. There is a visitor center in Skaftafell that has all the information on how to get to the waterfall since it requires a hike to get there. I spent a second night at Guesthouse Holmur again, as it is close driving distance. 

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary

BEST ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN HOFN

  • BUDGET | Guesthouse Nypugardar – Located 25 min from Hofn, this is a sheep farm with simple and fresh rooms, and a home-cooked breakfast and dinner buffet.
  • MID-RANGE | Guesthouse Holmur This amazing old farmhouse offers traditional Icelandic food made from fresh, local produce. The property offers views of 3 glaciers, including Vatnajökull. and free wifi.
  • BEST RATED | Miðsker 1 – Rated as Superb, with lake views, barbecue, and free WiFi. The apartment includes 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and a full kitchen.

DAY 7: Driving from the Southeast to the South Coast of Iceland Ring Road


EXPLORE THE GREEN LAVA WALK

Begin your morning of day 7 of your Iceland Ring Road 10-day Itinerary at the scenic and enjoy this lava field covered with delicate green moss. It feels like you’ve just stepped into another world. 

Park your car in one of the designed areas and walk on the wood platforms to admire this unique natural formation of moss. Be careful to not step on the moss, it takes 200 years to grow!

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary
Green Lava Walk is covered with delicate green moss

VISIT THE BLACK SAND BEACH

Continue your Iceland Itinerary at Vik visiting some of the best Landmarks in Iceland – The famous Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is the most famous beach on the South Coast of Iceland, which has outstanding views from the columns leaving the water.

This beautiful beach has black sand, powerful waves, and the nearby stacks make Reynisfjara a truly unique place to visit and a popular filming location (Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and more). This is a must-visit place in any Iceland itinerary because it is so wild and has a dramatic beauty where the roaring waves of the Atlantic Ocean power ashore with tremendous force.

Be aware of the sneaker waves and very dangerous sea currents on this beach. If you are traveling with kids, hold their hands tight. If you like selfies, never turn your back to the sea. Many tourists lost their lives at this location.

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary

GO TO THE SKOGAFOSS WATERFALL

Head to the Skogafoss Waterfall and walk to the top for incredible views of one of Icelandic’s most famous waterfalls. The top of the waterfall has a hiking trail that leads into the Vatnajökull National Park and is one of the most scenic and popular walking routes in Iceland guiding you between 2 glaciers.

DRIVE TO THE TOWN OF VIK AND SPEND THE NIGHT HERE

This is the last stop of your 10 days in Iceland itinerary. Vik is one of my favorite towns in Iceland because of its location in the southernmost seafront village in Iceland, making it a place with outstanding views and many sites to visit from here.

Visit the famous Vík ï Mýrdar Church on top of the hill and the local cemetery, they have awesome views from there and make stunning pictures. Another interesting thing to see while visiting Vik is the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, just north of Vík, which stands at 1,493 m (4,898 ft) in height and covers the upper part of Katla, an active volcano that has a history of erupting every 40 – 80 years. There is also an interesting (small, but free) museum at the tourist information center in downtown Vík.

A great option to eat while in Vík is the Halldórkaffi, offering some traditional Iceland dishes, such as cured lamb fillet, pan-fried arctic char (my favorite!), and also pizza baked in a wood-fired oven.

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary
The town of Vik is a popular stop due to the beautiful sites to visit, and shopping options

BEST ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN VIK

  • BUDGET | Guest House Carina – Cozy, bright, and with great views of bedrooms, with free WiFi and breakfast served daily. 
  • MID-RANGE | Sólheimahjáleiga Guesthouse – This farm property offers a communal kitchen, lounge, and terrace. Public area Wi-Fi. Vík town center is within 20 minutes drive, while Skógarfoss Waterfall is even closer. Breakfast is served daily.
  • BEST RATED | Black Beach SuitesWith an ocean view, all units offer a dining area and terrace. Fantastic rooms and well equipped. 

DAY 8: Start off your Iceland Golden Circle Itinerary


The whole Iceland Golden Circle route can easily be done in one day, as the classic journey covers around 230 kilometers (140 miles ). Therefore, day 8 of this Iceland itinerary didn’t start as I planned as it was a stormy day, with hurricane-force gusts.

Around 5 PM the rain stopped and I was able to take full advantage until 9 PM since spring days are long and the sun doesn’t go down until late.

PRO-TIP

In Iceland, you have to be prepared for different weather conditions and be flexible with your itinerary. I tried to visit some sights and after getting out of the car for a few minutes, I was soaked in the rain. The beauty of a day like this is that it will force you to find alternatives, and sometimes you can find some hidden gems. I stopped for lunch at the Fludasveppir Farmers Bistro and this is the only farm that grows mushrooms in Iceland.

VISIT THE GULFOSS WATERFALL

This is your first stop on day 8 of your Iceland 10-day itinerary. Gullfoss translates to “Golden Falls” and it is easy to get to and easy to view. There are multiple angles that you can view the falls from and each offers a stunning perspective of the powerful waterfall crashing into the river below.

Gulfoss is part of the Ring Road one of the best Iceland attractions

EXPLORE THE GEYSER GEOTHERMAL AREA

Geyser Geothermal is a geothermal field that has a total surface area of approximately 3 km². The incredible geyser is known to shoot boiling water up to 70 meters into the air, and it erupts approximately every 10 minutes.

Just 20 meters into the geyser’s feeder channel, you can find water reaching a temperature of nearly 125 ºC! Aside from the geyser, you can also see bubbling pools and smoking craters.

HIKE AROUND THE KERID CRATER LAKE

Kerið Crate Lake is only a 20 minutes drive and one of the most amazing landmarks to visit in Iceland. It is possible to take a path right to the crater’s edge, to fully encircle it, and descend down to the pristine waters of the crater lake.

This site was created by volcanic activity about 3,000 years ago and is what caused the iron deposits that form the red hue.  You can explore all over the Kerið Crater, walking around its entire diameter and descending a gradual path to the lake at the bottom.  The best time to visit the crater is first thing in the morning or early evening in order to avoid large tour groups. 

DRIVE TO THE PINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK SITE

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Þingvellir National Park is where you can walk between the two continents – American and European – and it is also, among my favorite places in Iceland.

The drive is absolutely incredible, going up and down the hills and observing geothermal landscapes along the way. As you enter the National Park, you descend a steep cliff into a valley. Looking upon the face of this cliff is to literally look at the edge of North America. If you drive through the park, you will ascend to the other side adjacent to another wall; this is Eurasia. The valley in between, in which Þingvellir is contained, is the rift valley.

The tectonic plates move apart at approximately 2.5 centimeters a year and have done for millenniums. The lava fields fill the valley, from magma that welled up as the continents spread, and the whole area is littered with ravines, ripped open by centuries of earthquakes. Pretty amazing, right!?

Also, while you are in this area, visit the amazing waterfall of Oxararfoss.

GO SILFRA FISSURE SNORKELING

Another amazing activity while visiting the Þingvellir National Park is to schedule a tour to go do snorkeling or scuba dive at the Silfra Fissure.

Take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience and snorkel at a site National Geographic called one of the top dive sites in the world. Located inside the Þingvellir National Park, the Silfra Fissure lies in a valley where the tectonic plates of North America and Europe drift further apart every year.

I recommend booking the tour in advance to guarantee your spot, as this activity is very popular and they have only a limited number of people who go per day. You can either go on Snorkeling Tour with Underwater photos or you can choose to go Diving in the Silfra.

DRIVE TO SELFOSS AND SPEND THE NIGHT HERE

Selfoss is the place I choose to spend 2-nights while I was exploring the Golden Circle Route – because of its convenient location.

Located 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Reykjavík, Selfoss is the largest town outside of the capital area in the southwest. It sits on the Ring Road that encircles the country and is one of the last stops en route to the South Coast.

I spent 2-nights at the Lambastadir Guesthouse – They are an excellent option for accommodation. Comfortable bedrooms and bathroom, great location if you are exploring the Golden Circle, and I could enjoy the outdoor sauna and hot tub, just a perfect end for a busy day in Iceland.

Iceland ring road itinerary 10 days

BEST ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN SELFOSS

  • BUDGET | Country Dream – Langholt 2 Excellent location close to the Golden Circle. With free WiFi, hot bub, and sauna.
  • MID-RANGE | Lambastadir Guesthouse – This guest house is set on a family-owned, working farm with animals. Central Selfoss in southern Iceland is 4.3 miles away. WiFi, sauna, and outdoor hot tub access are free.
  • BEST RATED | 360 Hotel & Thermal Baths -Rated as Superb, the rooms offer great views, buffet breakfast, and an on-site restaurant, including vegetarian options.

DAY 9: Explore the South Coast of Iceland


I decided to reserve 2 days to do the Golden Circle, just to take my time and to explore this region at my own pace. Keep in mind, based on the proximity to Reykjavik, these are the most visited sights in Iceland. Most visitors to Iceland stay within the Reykjavik to Vik (south coast) loop.
Because I had planned 2 days in this area, I took the opportunity to backtrack to some of the sites along Route 1 on the South Coast that I missed due to the harsh weather conditions.

EXPLORE THE SELJALANDSFOSS & GLJUFRABUI WATERFALLS

Start Day 9 of your 10-day Iceland Ring Road itinerary visiting Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. This waterfall originates from the volcano glacier Eyjafjallajokull and falls 200 feet. Besides being gorgeous, it allows you to walk behind the waterfall to feel the power of nature. It was one of my favorite things to do while I visited Iceland.

Gljufrabui Waterfall is just a short distance walk from Seljalandsfoss and is inside a canyon. It was my favorite waterfall in Iceland, and it offers a spectacular view of the waterfall inside a cave. You will have to wade an ankle-deep stream to enter the cave (stepping from stone to stone). Either wear high waterproof boots or go barefoot. It is worth it!

DRIVE TO DYRHÓLAEY

A short 40-minute drive from there, your next stop is Dyrhólaey literally means “the hill island with the door hole”.  It’s 120 m high and you are able to walk the arch or the bridge if you are not afraid of heights.

Up there you can also find a spectacular and big “castle-shaped” lighthouse. Once you are on top in the higher area of Dyrhólaey you will have a breathtaking view in all directions – to the north you see the Mýrdalsjökull glacier.

To the east, you will see the beautiful black lava sea stacks Reynisdrangar and to the west, you can view the endless black coastline, and then in front of the peninsula, there is a huge black arch of lava reaching out into the sea which the peninsula takes its name from.

iceland road trip itinerary
Dyrhólaey literally means “the hill island with the door hole”

EXPLORE THE SÓLHEIMAJOKULL GLACIER LAKE

Your last stop at the Iceland Itinerary is at the Sólheimajokull Glacier Lake. This lake is much smaller than Jokulsarlón or Fjallsárlón Glacier Lakes, and less crowded. You are able to walk right up to the base of the glacier and take some wonderful pictures.

I spent a second night at the Lambastadir Guesthouse as the location is very convenient to explore this area of Iceland.

iceland ring road itinerary
Hike around the Sólheimajokull Glacier Lake and explore this amazing area

DAY 10: Spend the day exploring Reykjavik

For the final day of this Iceland Ring Road Itinerary, head to Reykjavik. I had 6 hours before I head to the airport, and it was enough time to explore the main sites of Iceland’s capital and largest city. With a population of 122,900, it is still small and very walkable.

You also had the option to take the hop-on-hop-off tour bus and visit the main site in Reykjavik.

Explore the harbor and visit the Sun Voyager Sculpture, Halgríms church, and the Art Museum that is spread across town and housed in the Hafnarhús, Kjarvalsstaðir, and Ásmundarsafn buildings, and the shopping area around Laugavegur is attractive.

Don’t forget to stop for a coffee at the famous Reykjavik Roaster – I literally had the best coffee of my life!

Another option is to soak for a few hours in the Blue Lagoon, as it is very convenient since it is located near the airport and can easily be included in your 10-day Iceland itinerary.

iceland 10 day itinerary
Explore the harbor and visit the Sun Voyager Sculpture

BEST ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN REYKJAVIK

  • BUDGET | 201 Hotel is well located, with jogging and walking paths around, breakfast is available, and a fitness center. Free WiFi
  • MID-RANGE | Reykjavik Residence Apartment – Located in the heart of Reykjavik, it combines hotel services with self-catering apartments. Only 50-min from the airport.
  • BEST RATED | Freyja Guesthouse & Suites -They offer free bikes and free WiFi, situated close to the Hallgrimskirkja church, Continental breakfast is available.
Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary

3-Minutes 10-day Itinerary in Iceland

Travel Insurance for your trip

I never leave my home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. Things can go wrong, and you don’t want to get stuck paying tons of money if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance. 

World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers. Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!

10-day Itinerary in Iceland | Trip Resources

Planning a Trip to Iceland

During my planning for this Iceland self-drive itinerary, I researched the internet and also bought some books and maps to help me with my itinerary in advance – Check here for all you need to know to Plan your Trip to Iceland

Some of the excellent guide books that helped me to prepare in advance are Rick Steves Iceland and Lonely Planet IcelandIf you are planning to drive to Iceland, I recommend buying an Iceland Map

During planning your trip to Iceland, make sure you do some preplanning, research, and understanding of what you are looking for will help make your travels far more successful and safe.

Flights to Iceland

If you live in the US, take advantage of the proximity and the prices for flights. I flew from Florida and took a direct flight of only 7 hours.

There are many options for direct flights from the US to Iceland and some very cheap options, for example, leaving from NYC for approximately $600.

  • Choose to fly during the low season (Iceland wintertime)
  • Compare prices leaving from different airports, instead of only considering a direct flight from your town. Sometimes a domestic connection is a good option and will save you some money.

There are several airlines for you to choose from, depending on your departure location. Your destination in Iceland will be Keflavik International Airport (KEF).

Price for a 10-day trip to Iceland for 2-people

That was the first question I had since we all know that Iceland is expensive to visit.

Prices can vary a lot depending on your travel style and budget, check for pricing comparison to help you to visit Iceland, without breaking your bank account.

Pro Tips to be on a budget:  Book accommodations at Guest Houses instead of a hotel, cook your meals, and reduce restaurant to once a day, I bought my wine at the free shop at the airport, rent a 2WD car instead of a 4WD or a van and book your tours in advance.

US$ PER DAY FOR 2 PEOPLE
ACCOMMODATION$100
FOOD$120
RENTAL CAR + GAS$65
ACTIVITIES$60
AVERAGE PRICE PER DAY$345

Where to stay in Iceland

On my detailed 10-Day Iceland Ring Road Itinerary I have provided the best options for accommodations for each place I visited. Great accommodation options and budget-friendly are guest houses, and you can easily find and book them through Booking.com 

The guest houses are pretty much everywhere around the country and very affordable (an average of $100 per day for 2 people). They are normally farmers who build guest houses on their properties, therefore you will be staying on farms and most of them have horses, sheep, cows, chickens, and dogs that give you a feel for how the locals live. Some of them serve a delicious breakfast and have a kitchen where you can cook your own meals.

I always do a lot of research for quality and budget-friendly accommodations, and here are my top picks that I recommend for this 10-day itinerary:

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary

Renting a car in Iceland at Keflavik Airport

You will need to decide on the itinerary and what time of the year, before you make a decision if renting a car in Iceland, and if a 4WD is necessary. If you are driving this Iceland Ring Road 10-Day Itinerary you can hire a 2WD.

If you choose any of the car rentals below, you can pick up your car at the Keflavik International Airport.

You will need to decide on the itinerary and what time of the year, before you make a decision if renting a car in Iceland, and if a 4WD is necessary. If you are driving this Iceland Ring Road 10-Day Itinerary you can hire a 2WD.

If you choose any of the car rentals below, you can pick up your car at the Keflavik International Airport.

You can get a 15% off your rental car when you book through this site. I use and recommend RentalCar because it is the most reliable rental car source, and it allows you to compare the prices of different places.

Book before you go to Iceland

If you opt to join any tour in Iceland, I recommend booking in advance, at least a few days or weeks respecting the high and low seasons – this allows you to pick the best day and time available.

Driving in Iceland

The Ring Road has this name for a reason because it is shaped like a ring around Iceland.

To start your travel plan, the first step is to decide how many days you have and plan your trip by calculating the distance and total driving hours. The Ring Road is the main road that makes a loop around Iceland, and it has 828 miles (1,332 km) long and can be driven in either direction. To start your travel plan, the first step is to decide how many days you have and plan your trip by calculating the distance and total driving hours. The Ring Road is the main road that makes a loop around Iceland, and it has 828 miles (1,332 km) long and can be driven in either direction.

Self-drive the Iceland Ring Road you will be on Highway 1 as it goes around the whole country in the shape of a ring. You will follow this 882 miles (1,323-km) long route to be able to see a lot of the country. You also can get the venture off on other roads so you can explore areas like the Westfjords, Snaefelisnes peninsula, and Reykjanes.

Due to inclement weather, roads can be closed with little warning. One of the great resources is http://road.is. This site will let you know what is open or closed. If you get wireless or wi-fi service, check this site daily. I tried going to a waterfall in the Myvatn region only to find that the road was closed. This detour cost me about 1 hour.

  • Distance: 1332 kilometers (828 miles)
  • Speed Limit: 90 km/h (55 mph). 50 km/h (31 mph) in populated areas.
  • Condition: 98% paved.
  • Lanes: Two lanes in general, but there are some single-lane bridges.
  • Maintenance: Maintained year-round, but occasional road closures can occur.
  • Winter: 4X4 vehicles and experience driving in winter conditions required.
  • Minimum Time to Complete: At least 6 days in summer or 12 days in winter.
  • Ideal Time to Complete: 10-14 days in summer or 20-25 days in winter.
Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary

Best time for driving in Iceland

Maybe you have heard or seen somewhere that the best time to visit Iceland is during summer. But actually, any time is a good time to visit Iceland, it will only depend on your expectations.

BEST TIME FOR SIGHTSEEING: Iceland is renowned for its numerous spectacular waterfalls, geysers, and volcanoes. In order to see as much as you can, you’ll want to have longer days, fewer crowds to interrupt the view, and weather that doesn’t make roads impassable. That means going in the weeks that frame either end of the high season, around the last week of May through mid-June, or anytime in September.

BEST TIME TO AVOID CROWDS: If you’re hoping for a more relaxed experience without the crowds, avoid going to Iceland in the high season, from mid-June through August. By visiting in April or MaySeptember or October, you’ll encounter fewer tourists, yet the days will be long enough to enjoy sightseeing and possibly decent weather (5 AM sunrise; 9:30 PM sunset). The fewest visitors come between November and March, but this is also when inclement weather and short, dark days can affect your plans.

BEST TIME FOR GOO WEATHER: The best time for optimal weather in Iceland is during the high season, particularly in July and August when average highs are around 13°C, though temps can reach as high as 15°C or even 20°C. If you’re hoping to avoid the rain, the lowest amount of rainfall occurs in May and June, and temperatures are often a pleasant 11°C.

Iceland Ring Road 10-day itinerary
Pet horses for free

What to Pack for a trip to Iceland

When planning an Iceland Trip remember the packing rules number one: LAYERS, LAYERS, and more LAYERS!!!

It seems that in every country I write about, I say the same thing: “bring layers”.

But especially in Iceland, you can have pretty much all the seasons on the same day…oh well, not necessarily summer, but I am talking about a big variation of a sunny day, rain, snow, heavy winds, and then it will be sunny again.

The first thing is to check the weather of the season you are going to Iceland and pack accordingly. Here is a list of some essentials to pack:

If you are doing activities such as horse riding or ice climbing, they provide all the gear so, no need to pack it with you.

PACK SMART ALERT!

If you are planning to carry a backpack for your trip to Iceland, I have compiled a very detailed review of the Best Backpacks for Travel in the market today –

Also, I recommend bringing a good and warm jacket a waterproof jacket for your trip, check my complete review guide on the Top Jackets for Travel

Bring some warm pants, you can check the best Warm leggings in the market – especially because they are a great option for layers too.

10-day Itinerary in Iceland Conclusion

This is my very detailed 10 days in Iceland itinerary, and I hope this can help you to plan your trip to Iceland and explore the best of the Ring Road. Iceland is a very safe country to visit and to go on a self-drive road trip, you just need to make sure you have a good itinerary and some planning prior to your trip.

Here is some further information I think you might need in order to plan your trip to Iceland:

10 days in iceland itinerary

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47 thoughts on “The Perfect 10-day Itinerary Iceland Ring Road + Tips & Map”

  1. I heard lots of time about this place, but I got to know very closely through your beautiful article, Picture are awesome and I enjoyed reading your blog from staying to eating and enjoying to smiling your blog is Rocking
    😉

    Reply
  2. I am shocked! You did manage to do Iceland on a budget! I loved it, but we spent the same amount of money in half the time! I did not make it to Godafoss, nor did we do the ice climbing, but I am happy to see that we saw also a lot! Loved the itinerary, thank you for sharing!!

    Reply
    • Hi Jenn – Yeah, I was so worried about the budget since we always see how expensive it is to travel to Iceland. But I did a lot of research, and I compared prices before my trip. Also, while I was there, I learned many other tricks to keep Iceland on a budget, and it was very possible.

      Reply
  3. This is really a great informative post. I love that you shared so much details…will make planning really simple. The photos are just too gorgeous for words!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Cherene – I am so happy to see that you found this post informative and thank you for the compliments on my photos. Actually it is almost impossible to take a bad picture of Iceland, that place is just epic!

      Reply
    • Hi Christine, I am so glad you enjoyed my super detailed guide. Hopefully you will visit Iceland soon, and I have no doubt you will love it too.

      Reply
  4. Oh Iceland! I visited back in October 2018 and it was such an experience. I want to go back and hit up all the places that you recommend in your post!

    Reply
    • Hi Alexandra – I agree with you, Iceland is an experience. What a gorgeous place with so much to see and explore. Take me with you when you go back 🙂

      Reply
  5. I love your detailed guide for 10 days around the ring road in Iceland. I’ve been wanting to make a trip there every year but I keep pushing it back in favour of more reasonably priced trips (all my friends keep scaring me with how expensive it is there!). But your guide gave me a good idea of a good itinerary and how much I should ultimately budget, thanks!

    Reply
    • Hello Meghan – I think it took so long for me to go to Iceland for the same reason, I only heard how expensive it was. But actually, I spent less than what I thought I could and I am so glad you found my itinerary helpful. Hopefully you can book that trip to Iceland soon, you will love it!

      Reply
  6. I love your detailed guide for 10 days around the ring road in Iceland. I’ve been wanting to make a trip there every year but I keep pushing it back in favour of more reasonably priced trips (all my friends keep scaring me with how expensive it is there!). But your guide gave me a good idea of a good itinerary and how much I should ultimately budget, thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Meghan, and I am so happy to hear that this guide helps, especially to show that it is possible to travel to Iceland without break your bank account. It can be very expensive, but you can make it more affordable if you make the right decisions to budget your trip. Let me know if you have any further question and I will be more than happy to help with ideas on how to budget your trip to Iceland.

      Reply
    • Hello Mona- I am happy you found this guide informative. My goal is to share as much detail as I can, and make it easier for anyone who wants to visit the amazing Iceland.

      Reply
  7. Such an itinerary in Iceland is a dream! I wish I could plan for one in the future and get to see so many amazingly beautiful places in a short period. Will keep this for inspiration!

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    • Hi Ingrid, I hope you can plan your trip to Iceland too. It is an amazing place to visit, the nature is just breathtaking.

      Reply
  8. Seu blog foi muito útil, maravilhoso e completo. Informações precisas, concisas e de muito interesse. As fotos foram decisivas na escolha do local e a diversidade desta terra é fantástica. Obrigada por compartilhar.

    Reply
    • Obrigada Patricia, fico muito feliz que você encontrou boas informações nesse incrível roteiro para a Islandia. Realmente, é uma viagem que vale muito a pena fazer.

      Reply
  9. Que lugar incrível …quero muito um dia poder conhecer esta diversidade retratada nestas fotos maravilhosas!!! Parabéns

    Reply
  10. Wow! This is seriously one of the most comprehensive and detailed Iceland itineraries I’ve ever seen! Your photos are beautiful and I think the money you spent is totally ok for Iceland 🙂

    Reply
    • I am so glad to hear you enjoyed this itinerary Lina – yes, it is long, but I hope it helps anyone who is seriously planning a trip to the Ring Road.

      Reply
  11. This looks like so much fun. We only were able to visit the Golden Circle on our last trip to Iceland but will definitely be going back. I’m bookmarking this page so that I can use these ideas when planning our Ring Road itinerary for our next trip. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
  12. What an amazing article. I am planning to do this next spring (assuming COVID settles down) and this is one of the best articles about it I’ve found. Knowing how much driving time each day REALLY helps in the planning. THANK YOU!

    Reply
    • I am so glad for your feedback Julia, thank you! You will absolutely fall in love with Iceland, and driving is the best part since you will see some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Planet!

      Reply
  13. So glad you included a section on costs! I really want to visit Iceland but have always been a bit terrified of it’s expensive reputation! It definitely sounds like you experienced a lot for your money!

    Reply
    • Hey Danielle, what great feedback. Thanks! I have an article that covers only the Iceland costs and how to travel on a budget, it is really helpful and there are several ways you can travel to Iceland without breaking your bank account.

      Reply
  14. This is truly a great itinerary. I feel like you covered places that I have never seen before. Plus, I love all the details. I have been to Iceland but my time there was too short. I hope to visit again. The landscape there is something I have never seen before.

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    • I agree with you Ruth, Iceland is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited and I would love to go back and continue to explore.

      Reply
  15. Iceland is the dream and this is such an epic itinerary. You’ve given me a lot to think about for when I actually book my trip, and some really helpful tips in here too.

    Reply
    • Oh those memories Cosette – I always remember my Ring Road trip and it brings me amazing memories, what a beautiful place.

      Reply

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