8 Day Guided Summer Tour | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes in a Small Group Start from 2000$
Come along on a fantastic summer adventure with this 8-day tour around the Ring Road and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. See for yourself the country’s most beautiful spots including Reynisfjara black sand beach, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and Dettifoss waterfall as they are bathed in everlasting summer light. If you’re looking for the perfect multi-day tour, tailored with small groups in mind, there is no better option than this circle trip.
Beginning from Iceland’s charming capital city, Reykjavík, you will tackle the Golden Circle sightseeing route, the stunning South Coast, and the elusive East fjords, before experiencing all that the beautiful north and western regions have to offer.
Under the direction of an experienced local tour guide, you will see the very best of Iceland’s natural attractions and learn about the myths and legends surrounding the country’s rumbling waterfalls, glittering glaciers, and charming towns. You will then spend your nights in comfortable country hotels as the midnight sun lights up the evening sky.
At the end of each day, you will retire to the best accommodation available, giving you plenty of opportunities to rest, recharge and get excited about the next leg of your trip.
To make this already fun-filled trip even more extraordinary, you can spice up your days of sightseeing with adventures which you can get at a reduced price if you book them now. These include riding a horse through the Icelandic countryside, hiking up a towering glacier, spotting whales and puffins on a whale watching excursion, and sailing among floating icebergs.
Experience Iceland’ serenity and beauty when the long summer days are illuminated by midnight sun instead of star shine with this 8-day guided summer tour. Check availability by choosing a date.
Your tour guide for the trip will pick you up in the morning and, after friendly introductions, whisk you away towards the first attraction on the Golden Circle, Iceland’s most popular sightseeing route.
The first stop on this route is Þingvellir National Park, best characterised by its sweeping, moss-laden lava fields and epic scenery; this is one of the only places in the world where it is possible to see the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates standing exposed from the earth.
Next up, you will pay a visit to Geysir geothermal area, home to the famous hot spring Strokkur. This celebrated feature erupts every five to ten minutes, shooting frothing jets of water as high as 25 metres in the air, creating a natural spectacle that is nearly impossible to come by anywhere else.
The final stop of the day will be at Gullfoss waterfall, a 32-metre high feature that sees glacial water, originating from the Langjökull ice cap, tumble into the dark and domineering Gullfossgljúfur canyon. While the walls of this canyon reach up to 70 metres in height, the waterfall itself is split into two craggy steps, providing photographers the chance to catch this epic sight from a number of interesting perspectives.
To add an adventure on your first day, you could choose to partake in a horse riding tour, one of the most culturally authentic activities available. The Icelandic Horse is, without doubt, the country’s most famous animal, known for its short and sturdy physique, intelligence and loyalty and 5 unique gaits.
You will end the day at comfortable accommodation in the Golden Circle area, where you can unwind in a hot tub under the gentle glow of the Midnight Sun.
Today you will be heading down Iceland’s scenic South Coast. Throughout your journey, you will be privy to a plethora of views, from ancient sea cliffs to rolling farmlands. During the drive, there will be mountains and glaciers to your left, while on your right, the rumbling blue waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
First, you will encounter the two waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. While both fall from the same height, these features could not be more different. Seljalandsfoss boasts a much narrower cascade, as well as a walking path that leads directly behind the falling water, bestowing a unique view of the South Coast. Skógafoss, on the other hand, is much wider, creating an ever-present plume of mist as it crashes into the rocks below.
Continuing along the coastline, you will finally arrive at the jet-black sand beach of Reynisfjara. This volcanic and visceral shoreline is sure to inflame the imagination, with its enchanting lava columns and the epic rock stack Reynisdrangar which, according to folklore, is the frozen remnants of an ancient troll.
This second day provides the opportunity for a sincerely exciting adventure; glacier hiking on Sólheimajökull glacier. Equipped with crampons, ice axe, and a helmet, you will scale one of the country’s most beautiful ice caps, seeing firsthand the intricate and natural sculptures, sweeping moulins and sinkholes that make glaciers so special.
In the evening, you will be staying in accommodation near the village of Vík.
Crossing the black sand desert of Sólheimasandur, you will arrive at the foot of Vatnajökull National Park, with the mountain and glacier of the same name towering over you in one of the most stunning and monumental sights in the country. This is truly Iceland at its best, with stark contrasts in landscape and colour with each turn of the head.
You will stop at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, sometimes called “The Crown Jewel of Iceland” due to its extraordinary and memorable aesthetic. Here, icebergs break away from a nearby glacier, falling impressively onto the lagoon’s mirror-like surface. Floating gently, these icebergs make for an impressive spectacle, creaking and groaning under their own weight as the resident seals play and splash in between them.
If you are visiting between May and August, you can add to this day an exciting boat tour where you’ll cruise between ancient icy giants on Jökulsárlón’s crystal waters. Only a limited number of boats are allowed on the lagoon and these tours are consistently sold out so be sure to consider this during the booking process.
On an Amphibian boat tour, you’ll explore this otherworldly spot that has featured in many Hollywood blockbusters. A large vessel, this preference is great for families and big groups and anyone who wishes to experience the novelty of driving into a body of water!
Over time, these icebergs make their way out towards the next stop, Diamond Beach. This is a photographer’s paradise, with the blue ice washing up on the black sand shore creating a bewitching disparity in colour.
Tonight, you will be staying in the Jökulsárlón area.
Due only to their distance from Reykjavík, the Eastfjords are one of the country’s least visited regions. Yet they are of striking beauty, boasting dark peaked mountains, cragged coastlines and unique wildlife. During the day, your guide will stop at their personal favourite locations, offering guests the chance to see many natural attractions and sites that would otherwise be missed.
You will also be paying a visit to Lake Lagarfljót, one of the most beautiful bodies of water in Iceland. According to legend, a large worm-like creature is thought to live in its glittering depths—think of it as the Icelandic version of the Loch Ness monster!
You will take time exploring Iceland’s largest national forest, Hallormsstaðaskógur, something of an oddity in a largely treeless landscape. The forest is found close to the East’s largest town, Egilsstaðir, and is famed for its lovely hiking trails, scenic picnic spots and variety of tree and bird species, including the likes of redpolls, goldcrests and the iconic ravens.
At the end of your fourth day, you will spend the night at accommodation in the Eastfjords.
On your fifth day of this guided adventure, you will tackle the Diamond Circle, considered to be the north-eastern version of the Golden Circle sightseeing route. The Diamond Circle is comprised of four attractions; Dettifoss waterfall, Ásbyrgi canyon, the fishing town of Húsavík, and Lake Mývatn.
First, you will visit “The Beast”, Dettifoss Waterfall. With a height of 44 metres, this incredible feature was once famously portrayed in the Ridley Scott science-fiction film, Prometheus, but has long been one of the country’s most beloved attractions. Dettifoss is Europe’s most powerful waterfall, creating a plume of mist that, on clear days, can be seen from miles away.
Next up, you will pay a visit to the horseshoe-shaped canyon of Ásbyrgi which, according to folklore, is the print left by Odin’s eight-legged horse, Sleipnir. The canyon measures 3.5 kilometres in length and boasts a width of 1.1 kilometres, with enormous cliffs on each side that reach a towering 100 metres.
Continuing from Ásbyrgi, you visit the sleepy fishing town of Húsavík. With its historic buildings and picturesque harbour, Húsavík is among Iceland’s prettiest towns and has a year-round population of little over 2000 people. Visitors here could choose to visit some of the town’s most famous institutions, including The Exploration Museum and Húsavík Whale Museum, as well as the wooden church Húsavíkurkirkja, built in 1907.
Finally, you will make a stop at the glittering Lake Mývatn, a body of water that was formed following volcanic eruptions 2300 years ago. The lake covers a total area of 37 km² and is surrounded by dark, cragged landscapes blended beautifully with lush wetlands, creating a true haven for birdlife.
While in the region, you will visit the geothermal area of Námaskarð Pass, a valley that more closely resembles Planet Mars than earth, with its pillars of steam, bubbling mud pots and striking red sands.
After a day of exploration, you can choose to spend some time luxuriating at the Mývatn Nature Baths, considered to be the perfect alternative to the famous Blue Lagoon Spa on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Nothing can beat soaking it smooth, silky water, admiring the surrounding volcanic scenery.
In the evening, you will be sleeping at accommodation near Lake Mývatn.
You will begin your sixth day by visiting some of the other noteworthy attractions near Lake Mývatn, starting with Dimmuborgir, “The Dark Fortress”. This accumulation of black lava pillars and stunning rock formations has long been held to be the home of Iceland’s Huldufólk, a race of elves known for their magic and mischief, as well as the half troll, half ogre, Grýla, mother of the thirteen Christmas Yule Lads.
Next up, you will pay a visit to the waterfall of the Gods, Goðafoss. This feature’s name is derived from its place in history; upon the Christianisation of Iceland in 1000 AD, a Norse chieftain visited the waterfall and threw his pagan idols into the frothing water as a means of demonstrating their commitment to a new God. Finally, you will arrive at the unofficial northern capital of Iceland, Akureyri.
Here, you will have the chance to opt-in for an added whale watching excursion from Akureyri’s picturesque harbour. Iceland is home to over twenty different types of whales, from Minke Whales to Humpbacks to Harbour Porpoises, and there can be no better way of viewing these magnificent creatures close up than taking to the ocean.
Back on land, you now have the rest of the day to enjoy the city’s vibrant and unique culture. For starters, you could visit the gorgeous Botanical Gardens, in full bloom during the summer months, or spend a few idle hours enjoying the sunshine over a latte, taking part in Akureyri’s pleasant coffee house culture.
Another option could be to enjoy the city’s swimming pools, or alternatively, visit some of the museums, where you can learn more about the region’s fascinating history before spending the night at accommodation in this charming town.
Today, you will spend much of your time on the road, appreciating a plethora of incredible scenery from the window, and making photography stops at your guides’ discretion as you head westward. Throughout your journey, you will see a wide range of mountains, attractive coastlines and rolling farmlands, in which you will likely see Icelandic horses grazing in the heat.
Your first official stop of the day will be at the “Troll of the North”, Hvítserkur, the 15 metres tall basalt rock stack that protrudes cinematically from Húnaflói Bay. This prominent feature is the nesting ground to numerous bird species, including shags, gulls and fulmar.
Your next is attraction is Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver. This thermal area provides 180 litres a second of 100°C hot water, the majority of which is used to heat the nearby towns of Akranes and Borgarnes. While here, you will be privy to a stunning curtain of ever-present steam rising from the ground, creating an unforgettable experience that will cement in your mind just how active and powerful Iceland’s underbelly is.
The two waterfalls, Barnafoss and Hraunfossar, are next on the itinerary. Barnafoss has an incredible azure shade, framed each side with dark and jagged rocks while Hraunfossar, on the other hand, is better described as a series of coldwater rivulets seeping out from a dried lava field.
You will spend the night at Reykholt, a village of little more than 60 people. Reykholt was home to the poet and politician Snorri Sturluson, whose work on Norse Mythology has since become an invaluable commodity to historians and scholars.
The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is known as “Iceland in Miniature” due to its plethora of natural attractions, including snow-peaked mountains, tumbling waterfalls, black sand beaches and, of course, the incredible glacier and volcano, Snæfellsjökull. Without a doubt, Snæfellsnes is one of the most memorable and beautiful regions in the entire country, truly worthy of your last day on this guided summer tour.
One of the peninsula’s most iconic sites is the ‘mountain like an arrowhead’, Kirkjufell, made famous from Season 7 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. As the town landmark of Grundarfjörður, Kirkjufell is found on the peninsula’s northern shore and holds the title as Iceland’s “most photographed mountain” due to its unique and striking aesthetic. The mountain reaches a height of 463-metres and is often captured alongside its resident waterfall, Kirkjufellsfoss.
You’ll next make a visit to the black sand beach of Djúpalónssandur, found at the base of Snæfellsjökull glacier. Once a popular fishing village and port, Djúpalónssandur now lays deserted, save for the four famed lifting stones that, throughout history, have been used a test of strength among local fishermen.
If you want to spice up your day, you could choose to explore Vatnshellir lava tube, an 8000-year-old cave situated 35-metres under the ground. Visitors here will descend a metallic staircase, revealing a 200-metre long subterranean world filled with intricate rock formations and captivating colour shades.
Before you make your way back to Reykjavík, your guide will make stops at a number of their favourite attractions, as well as some of the peninsula’s most picturesque villages. Your tour then ends, as you arrive in Reykjavík in the late afternoon. It is not recommended that you plan to fly home the same evening as delays and bad weather could possibly affect your journey
Pick up might take 30 minutes. Please be ready at your selected location. Read carefully on your voucher whether you will be picked up at your hotel or at the nearest designated area (Bus Stop). For walking distance to bus stops, please check busstop.is.