Iceland is the country of jagged mountains, hot springs, vast glaciers and stunning coastline. Known for its Viking heritage, geothermal energy and welcoming people, it makes for a dream destination for people around the world.
But maybe the 2020 crisis has forced you to postpone a trip to the Land of Fire and Ice? While you wait for your travels, we invite you to take on a virtual tour of Iceland with us.
With the help of Google Maps Street View, go on an online adventure around the country. Based on our Iceland Full Circle Classic, you’ll see the best highlights of the Ring Road. And don’t forget some views are 360° so you can drag the image around for more.
Welcome to (virtual) Iceland!
- To visit the top highlights in the shining midnight sun, browse these Iceland summer tours
Day 1: Arrival in Reykjavík
Snap your fingers and your flight is over. You’re stepping out of the airport into the fresh air and lunar-like landscape of the Reykjanes Peninsula. You’ll then journey to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavík.
You have time to explore this colourful city today. We recommend walking along the Faxaflói bay. Here you’ll find the Sun Voyager and the shiny Harpa Concert Hall. You also shouldn’t miss the main street Laugavegur, dotted with shops, restaurants and bars.
Nearby, you can spot the tall Hallgrímskirkja cathedral. It’s free to visit, but you can pay a small fee to go up the tower. You’ll be rewarded by a wonderful view over the city, bay and nearby mountains.
Day 2: The Golden Circle
This morning, you get started on your road trip. Imagine yourself breezing through the sweeping landscape, your favourite music playing. Go ahead and put it on, it’ll add to the experience!
The first part of the itinerary is the famous Golden Circle. This semi-circular route is located between the capital and the South Coast and is home to many popular attractions.
This day itinerary is made up of three locations. First, take in the grandiosity of Gullfoss waterfall, in all its thundering power. You can then see geysers erupting at the steaming, geothermal Geysir and Strokkur area.
Finally, have a walk at the historic Þingvellir National Park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is where the two continental plates of Eurasia and North America meet.
You can finish your day by stopping to take a photo of the impressive crater of Kerið.
- A great way to pair independent travel with day trips is to take on a multi-day tour of Iceland
Day 3: Waterfalls and beaches
Today is another day of impressive sights along the South Coast of Iceland. You’ll first admire the views of the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can walk behind the cascade, and the gorgeous 60-metre high Skógafoss waterfall.
You’ll then stop by Vík, a quaint seafront village. It is mostly known for its proximity to the beautiful volcanic beach of Reynisfjara. It is striking with its black sand and basalt columns. From the beach, don’t miss the arched cliff of Dyrhólaey and the Reynisdrangar sea stacks.
The last stop of the day is to the stunning Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. It’s a perfect spot to go hiking or simply admire the views (as you’re doing today).
Day 4: Highlights of the South Coast
Explore the southern part of the immense Vatnajökull National Park. Skaftafell is a preservation area located here, which is famous with hikers. If you’d rather keep it short, a quick walk will take you to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall.
When you’re here in person, you may want to take on adventures to really discover this area. There are many pursuits you could choose from, including glacier walking and ice climbing.
You’ll then experience the real ‘gems’ of Iceland. Stop by the amazing Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. You could even join a boat ride among the maze of floating icebergs. Across the road from this location, you’ll find the famous Diamond Beach.
- Our Iceland self-drive tours are the ideal road trips to discover the island at your own pace
Day 5: From the Eastfjords to North Iceland
You have a long day of driving ahead, but it’ll go by quickly we swear! First, drive along East Iceland, which is characterised by sweeping fjords and lovely fishing villages. It is a region that you could explore in more depth on a longer tour.
And here you are! You’re already at your destination, the otherworldly Lake Mývatn. There are so many interesting locations to visit in this area. You have today and tomorrow to explore as you wish.
- A privately guided tour of Iceland allows you to relax and take in the sights with a local at the wheel
Day 6: Lake Mývatn
Visit more of this interesting area or go on fun excursions. Nearby, you could hop onboard a whale-watching boat tour from the village of Húsavík. It is known as the “whale watching capital of Iceland” after all!
We also recommend driving through the northern part of the Vatnajökull National Park and visiting more sights along the way. Two great stops are the Ásbyrgi canyon and the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss.
To relax after all this fun, go bathing in the warm geothermal waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths. At the height of summer, you can bask in the glow of the midnight sun until well past midnight.
Day 7: Exploring North Iceland
For this morning, you shouldn’t miss a visit to Goðafoss, or “The Waterfall of the Gods”. You’ll then make your way to Akureyri, known as the capital of the north. You can spend some time visiting the museums, shops and even the world's most northerly botanical garden.
Later, you could head straight to Skagafjörður or take a worthwhile detour through the Tröllaskagi, or “The Peninsula of the Trolls”. There is some fantastic scenery along this road.
Your last stop of the day is Skagafjörður. It is known for its purebred Icelandic horses, so it’s perhaps the perfect time to go horseback riding in the stunning landscape.
- If you’re planning to discover Scotland at your own pace, check out our Scotland self-drive tours
Day 8: Journey to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
The last stretch of your journey is to the beautiful Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
On the way there today, you can admire and visit many attractions. There are the mounds of Vatnsdalshólar and the beautiful Þingeyrakirkja church. You could also learn about famous Viking Erik the Red at the living museum at Eiríksstaðir. Or take a warm dip at the geothermal pool of Guðrúnarlaug.
You can also visit Stykkishólmur, a picture-perfect fishing village overlooking Breiðafjörður bay. Our top tip is to walk up the local hill, Súgandisey, for a panoramic view over the town, sea and surrounding mountains.
- Browse our small group tours for a structured way to visit Iceland with likeminded travellers and a local guide
Day 9: Snæfellsjökull National Park
While you’re travelling along this western peninsula, you must experience the stunning Snæfellsjökull National Park. It contains lush valleys and lava fields and is known for its thriving birdlife.
You'll then make your way back to Reykjavík for the last night of your Icelandic adventure.
Day 10: Departure
Today is the time when you must leave Iceland and return home. If your flight is later, you could explore Reykjavík one last time and pick up a few more souvenirs.
You could also end your trip on a relaxing note with a stop at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. It is, after all, on the way to the airport.
- To take in more glacier and snowy landscapes, and even catch sight of the northern lights, visit Iceland during the winter
While your online adventure around Iceland is over, your trip to the Land of Fire and Ice can still become a reality. And if you must wait a little longer, fear not, this stunning landscape isn’t going anywhere.
When you’re ready to start planning, get in touch with our local travel experts. The Iceland consultants are based in Reykjavík and will use their insider knowledge to help you devise your ideal itinerary.