Iceland’s Ring Road encircles the entire country covering over 800 miles. While you could technically drive the whole thing in less than 24 hours, the reality is it will take you at least a week with stops on along the way. This is because you’ll be stopping a lot. Like every 5 minutes!
The photography opportunities in Iceland are unbelievable, and you’ll find yourself constantly pulling over for photos. I gave myself 12 days in Iceland, with 7 full days to drive the Ring Road itself. Looking back I wish I had spent an extra few days on the Ring Road, at least 5 more!.
While a week is possible, you’ll be moving non-stop and staying at a new place every night, and will miss a few highlights. Especially if you have a bad-weather day. So this is a trip you should do in at least 2 weeks and take in the sights and smells.
Seven days is the minimum, but you’ll be pushing it hard. In fact, I’d recommend at least 12 days so you don’t feel rushed and have time to relax, maybe spending more than a day in some spots.
Your tour starts the moment you hit Keflavik International Airport. You could pick up your rental car or get a pick up service and start. You can drive the route in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, but I recommend driving counterclockwise to hit the most touristy parts of Iceland first.
Day 1: The Golden Triangle
Thingvellir National Park – Geysers At Haukadalur – Gullfoss Waterfall.
Stay at the Fire and Frost Hotel
Day 2: To Vik
You will cover Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skógafoss Waterfall, Sólheimasandur Plane Crash and Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach.
Stay at Hotel Kria
DAY 3: Iceberg Lagoons & Ice Caves
Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, Svartifoss Black Waterfall, Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon, Hidden Crystal Ice Caves.
Stay at Aurora Cabins
DAY 4: Egilsstaðir & The Eastern Fjords
Driving The Coastline. Now you’re officially in the middle of nowhere. Eastern Iceland is an untamed wilderness of rocky mountain peaks and winding black-sand coastlines. Very few people and towns and fantastic vistas. Stop to spend the night in the town of Egilsstaðir.
Stay at Vinland Cottage
DAY 5: Myvatn & More Waterfalls
Icelandic Mountain Passes, Dettifoss Waterfall, Godafoss Waterfall, Námafjall Hverir,
Stay in Hlíd Cottages
DAY 6: Akureyri & North Iceland
Holuhraun Volcano Flight (The Holuhraun Eruption ended February 2015. There are currently no erupting volcanoes on Iceland, but that will probably change in the future.), Whale Watching,
Stay at Hotel Kjarnalundur
DAY 7: Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall, Búðakirkja Black Church
Stay in Fell Holiday Home
DAY 8-10: Explore Reykjavik
Hallgrímskirkja Church, Harpa Concert Hall, Tjörnin Pond and The Blue Lagoon
Stay at Kvosin Downtown Hotel and you could also stay a night on the Blue Lagoon