heimaey in Vestmannaeyjar westman islands

The Ring Road including Vestmannaeyjar

11-Day Iceland Self-Drive Tour

Duration

11 Days

Season

Summer (May - Sept.)

Driving distance

Approx. 2200 KM

Accommodation

Private bathroom

Description

If you have 11 days in Iceland, then a visit to Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) would be a great addition to your itinerary. Especially if you are looking for puffins because there you will find the largest Atlantic Puffin colony in the world. Of course, along the ring road you can find other animals in addition to beautiful natural phenomenon.

 

The South Coast will show you beautiful waterfalls and the largest glacier in Iceland. Then the trip takes you to the Eastfjords with sharp mountain peaks, small fishing villages and wild reindeer. In the north you will experience bubbling, hot mud pools, rugged lava formations and the tiny city of Akureyri. Then on your way back to the capital city you will, of course, discover one of the main attractions in Iceland, the Golden Circle.

 

For your trip, we will take care of booking all the activities and accommodation in addition to other mundane details. We can also easily add additional activities for you along the route. You will be kept on the right path with a road map and provided with a travel itinerary and all necessary information and important sights along the way. Hungry in the middle of nowhere? No worries, we will give you tips on our favorite places to eat and relax, in addition to a few secret spots in your path.

 

If this looks like a dream vacation, let’s dive into your itinerary.

 

Included

Rental car for 11 days (different categories available, more info below)
Accommodation for 10 nights (private bathroom, breakfast included)  
SCDW insurance and Gravel Protection for the rental car
Ferry ride on Herjólfur, one car included
Detailed travel information (Roadbook)
Personal travel advisor
Icelandic taxes

Not Included

Flights to and from Iceland
Meals, drinks, and entrance costs, unless otherwise noted
Personal Travel Insurance
Any services not listed above as “included”

Route Map
MapS-8d
Gallery
Itinerary
Day 1
Highlights

Capital Reykjavík

Good to Know

Driving Distance: approx. 50 km

Accommodation: Reykjavík

hallgrimskirkja church view from Skolavordustigur

No matter when you arrive, the rental car will be waiting and your adventure will begin. It could be nice to explore some of the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula on your way from the airport but you could just as well head straight to the capital to explore the city.

 

If you choose the latter option, you can plan a visit to the volcanic sites on your last day, or book an additional “Volcano Day” with us. Either way, you will spend the evening in Reykjavík City.

Optional Activities

Blue Lagoon

Day 2
Highlights

Reykjanes Peninsula

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Good to Know

Driving Distance: approx. 200 km

Accommodation: Vestmannaeyjar Islands

Seljalandsfoss

Today, you will head along part of the Reykjanes Peninsula and part of the South Coast. Your destination is Westman Islands and along the way you will stop at all the most iconic highlights.

 

First you will get an introduction to the geothermal activity in Iceland by visiting Seltún. Here you will see bubbling hot water from underground that gives the surrounding area its otherworldly colors. Along this route you have a few options for caving depending on your interest. On the one hand, you have the man-made caves of Hella, and on the other hand, you have naturally made lava caves and tunnels.

 

Before boarding the boat to the Westman Islands you will discover the unique waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi waterfall. Take some waterproof clothing with you if you don't want to get wet!

 

When you have arrived in the Westman Islands it is time to check into your hotel and relax.

Optional Activities
Day 3
Highlights

Vestmannaeyjar Islands

Good to Know

Accommodation: Vestmannaeyjar Islands

heimaey in Vestmannaeyjar westman islands

After breakfast it is time to explore the island of Heimaey, the largest island of the Westman Islands. You start with a short hike up to the summit of Eldfell volcano for a beautiful view of the islands. Afterwards you head to Stórhöfði to see puffins and other sea birds. It is a nice area to walk around and enjoy the view of the ocean and the other islands.

 

Next destination is Elephant Rock, but we recommend making some stops along the way. First suggestion would be Vikin, black sand beach, before enjoying a few more lookouts along the west side of the island where you could see more puffins and other birds.

 

If you enjoy hiking we recommend checking out Stafsnes and Klif and hiking both Heimaklettur and Dalfjall for the views. Another recommendation would be to take one of the many boat tours Vestmannaeyjar has to offer.

Optional Activities
Day 4
Highlights

Skógafoss Waterfall

Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Good to Know

Driving Distance: approx. 300 km

Accommodation: Vatnajökull area

Today, you will head along the South Coast of Iceland towards one of the largest glaciers in Europe. The highlights along the way are some of Iceland’s most iconic landmarks.

 

The spectacular waterfall of Skógafoss is easily accessible and if you are up for a short hike you can see it from the top and enjoy the view over the ocean towards the Westman Islands where you just came from. On your way along the coast you will see Mýrdalsjökull glacier where you can opt for a fun glacier hike, natural ice cave or thrilling snowmobile action. Before arriving in the town of Vík you will find the black, volcanic beach of Reynisfjara and the troll cliffs of Reynisdrangar.

 

Further along the South Coast, when you reach Vatnajökull Glacier, you can take a short hike to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall, in Skaftafell nature reserve. The basalt columns there were the inspiration for the architecture of the famous Hallgrímskirkja church in the center of Reykjavík.

 

The last stop of the day will be Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Diamond Beach. Icebergs of all shapes and sizes float down the lagoon out towards the Atlantic ocean, where the current breaks them down and scatters them across the Diamond Beach. Keep your eyes open and you might spot the occasional seal!

Optional Activities

Glacier Hiking, ATV Tour, Snowmobiling

Day 5
Highlights

Vestrahorn Mountain

Eastfjords

Lagarfljót Lake

Good to Know

Driving Distance: approx. 310 km

Accommodation: Egilsstaðir

Today you will be driving through the gorgeous Eastfjords. Beautiful fjords, cozy, small settlements, and an amazing view of the ocean, here you are passing by the geologically oldest part of the country. Right before entering the official Eastfjords, though, you will visit the picturesque Mount Vestrahorn with its stunning black beach in front.

 

The East is the home of the reindeer. They roam around freely in the highlands during summer and in the lower plains during winter. Keep your eyes open, you might see them on your drive during the next two days! At the end of your day you will arrive at Egilsstaðir the central hub of the East where, in the evening, you can take a dip in Vök geothermal baths.

Optional Activities

Vök Baths

Day 6
Highlights

Hengifoss Waterfall

Stuðlagil Canyon

Námaskarð Geothermal Area

Grjótagjá Cave

Dimmuborgir Lava Field

Good to Know

Driving Distance: approx. 280 km

Accommodation: Mývatn

Grjótagjá Cave game of thrones hot spring iceland

Day 6 starts with a trip around beautiful Lagarfljót Lake. Here legend tells of a huge monster dwelling and occasionally showing its face. The first stop of the day will be at Hallormsstaðaskógur National Forest, the largest forest in Iceland. After that you head over to Hengifoss, one of the taller waterfalls in Iceland with its famous red striped basalt rock behind. The next stop also includes amazing rock formations. The basalt columns of Stuðlagil Canyon are a true treasure. Here you will see how the glacial river has cut thorough the polygonal rocks to showcase an absolute stunner.

 

Now you journey north to the very popular Lake Mývatn. Right before arriving there you will find the geothermal area of Námaskarð. This alien landscape is the home to hot, bubbling and hissing clay water from underground that spreads the air with a hint of rotten eggs. Don't worry, though, the smell is not that bad! Lake Mývatn itself is a shallow lake surrounded by birch forests and other lava formations. Here you will find Dimmuborgir Lava Field and Mývatn Nature Baths.

Optional Activities

Mývatn Nature Baths

Day 7
Highlights

Dettifoss Waterfall

Húsavík Village

Goðafoss Waterfall

Good to Know

Driving Distance: approx. 240 km

Accommodation: Akureyri

Dettifoss waterfall in north iceland

Discover the magnificent North! Today, your end destination is Akuyreri, the region's largest city, which has an active nightlife, retail outlets, and unique local hotspots. On your way there you will visit two powerful waterfalls, Goðafoss and Dettifoss, and the very special Ásbyrgi Canyon, one of Iceland's few forested places.

 

Húsavík, a lovely fishing village, offers unique whale watching experiences for anyone interested in seeing them up close in their natural environment. You could just as well spend your spare time exploring Húsavík or visiting the GeoSea sea baths where the hot water and breathtaking view will indulge your senses.

Optional Activities

Whale Watching

Day 8
Highlights

Capital of the North: Akureyri

Siglufjörður Village

Hofsós Swimming Pool

Glaumbær Museum

Good to Know

Driving Distance: approx. 250 km

Accommodation: Blönduós

girl playing with water in an icelandic swimming pool

There is plenty to do in the charming Akureyri with plenty of shops, bars and museums. Go on a whale watching tour to encounter the gentle giants of the Atlantic or go for a ride on the cherished Icelandic horse in the countryside. After Akureyri you will enjoy a delightful journey along the Tröllaskagi peninsula, which offers amazing views.

 

Along your drive the most well-known town is Siglufjörður. There you may learn about the main industry that fueled this small town at the quaint and European Museum Award-winning herring museum. When you reach the west coast of Tröllaskagi you will find Hofsós swimming pool which has a truly stunning view out the fjord. In the Skagafjörður valley the museum farm Glaumbaer awaits you with its charming turf huts. At the end of the day you will be staying in the Northwest, close to Blönduós, a seaside village.

Optional Activities

Whale Watching, Horseback Riding

Day 9
Highlights

Hvítserkur Troll Cliff

Seals at the Vatnsnes Peninsula

Deildartunguhver

Hraunfossar & Barnafoss Waterfalls

Good to Know

Driving Distance: approx. 300 km

Accommodation: Borgarnes area

Hvítserkur in the North of Iceland

On day 9 you will head down to Borgarfjörður region. On your way there you can check out the seal colonies on the Vatnsnes peninsula and the fossilized rock of Hvítserkur, which looks like a rhino or an elephant drinking from the sea. If you go all the way down to the beach from the observation deck it offers an even greater opportunity for photos.

 

Before you arrive at your nights accommodation, you will discover the powerful hot spring Deildartunguhver and the beautiful waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. Another place worth looking at is the ancient, intellectual hub of Reykholt where one of the most famous persons in the Icelandic history, Snorri Sturluson, lived.

Optional Activities
Day 10
Highlights

Þingvellir National Park

Geysir & Strokkur

Gullfoss Waterfall

Kerið Crater

Good to Know

Driving Distance: approx. 240 km

Accommodation: Reykjavík

geysir geyser going off pumping boiling water into the air

Today you will drive the famous Golden Circle. This area is the home of the three most visited sights, and offers plenty of opportunities for additional activities. The first stop is Þingvellir National Park a very important place in Iceland’s geological and political past. It is also one of the more unique snorkeling spots in the world, Silfra fissure. Later on your drive you will find the famous Strokkur geyser, shooting boiling hot water into the air up to about 40 meters. Very close by is Gullfoss waterfall where you will see the power of glacial water tumble down 30 meters into the canyon below. If you are interested, from Gullfoss you can take a snowmobiling trip up onto Langjökull, Iceland's second-largest glacier.

 

When you get hungry on the road, the very popular Friðheimar tomato farm is a great destination to sate your hunger. They offer a variety of food to be eaten inside a greenhouse with tomatoes hanging all around. Another great stop is the volcano crater Kerið, offering a strong contrast between its vibrant colors. Now it is time to head to the capital for a good nights rest.

Optional Activities

Snorkeling, Snowmobiling

Day 11
Highlights

Capital Reykjavík

Good to Know

Driving Distance: approx. 50 km

Sunset at sun voyager sculpture in Reykjavik, Iceland.

If your flight back home is not too early in the morning, this is a good day to take a last stroll through the capital or pay a visit to the world-famous Blue Lagoon.

 

Even if you might not want to leave, you will have had an amazing adventure and plenty of stories to tell your loved ones once you are back home!

Optional Activities

Blue Lagoon

Hotel selection in the comfort category

Comfort (Private Bathroom)

In our comfort category, we book rooms with private bathroom in hotels and boutique guesthouses. Breakfast is included.

The hotels are of a good standard and offer towels, hairdryers, and free WiFi. Examples include Storm Hotel, Stracta Hotel, and Hali Country Hotel.

If you book with an odd number of travelers, we provide an extra room. E.g. 3 travelers get 2 rooms.

Toyota Aygo rental car in Iceland

Economy 2WD

Toyota Yaris (automatic) or similar, SCDW insurance and gravel protection are included.Recommended for up to 3 adult travelers.

Standard 4WD

Dacia Duster (manual) or similar, SCDW insurance and gravel protection are included.Recommended for up to 4 adult travelers.

Toyota RAV4 Mietwagen in Island

Comfort 4WD

Toyota RAV4 (automatic) or similar, SCDW insurance and gravel protection are included.Recommended for up to 4 adult travelers.

342,522 ISK Price from p.p.
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