It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a decade since my husband and I first took our honeymoon trip through Iceland’s Ring Road. 

It was a trip that would change our lives forever.

We fell in love with Iceland and decided to pack up our lives and move here – one of the best decisions ever!

Now, I’m not saying you need to move, but, as far as epic adventures go, the Ring Road is an excellent place to start.

If you’re planning a trip to the land of fire and ice, but only have under a week to do it, then this post outlining our 7-day Ring Road itinerary is for you!

I’ll walk you through day-by-day where we went on our honeymoon, allowing us to see Iceland’s Ring Road with limited time. 

I’ll share information on dining, our daily itinerary, and some awesome tips and resources.

Plus, I’ll highlight places you can skip on the itinerary and what you absolutely must see. 

Let’s get into it!

What is the Ring Road in Iceland?

The Ring Road is also known as Route 1 in Iceland. 

If you’re looking at the map of the Ring Road, the road encircles the entire country and many of the most popular tourist attractions are found on or near this route.

It’s easy to explore and spend as much time as you need at each stop if you choose to do a self-guided tour of the area. 

Picture Of Iceland's Ring Road

The Best Time of Year to Travel The  Ring Road 

The Ring Road is accessible year-round because the roads are regularly cleared of snow and well-maintained. 

However, if you’re following a 7-day Ring Road itinerary, it’s crucial to make the most of every moment you have because it’s a fast-paced trip. 

That means you’ll want to make the most of daylight hours for exploring and avoid any potential delays on the road.

The weather here is unpredictable, and traveling Iceland’s Ring Road in winter can mean road closures due to heavy snowfall, resulting in serious delays in your schedule.

So, while you can technically travel the Ring Road year-round if you’re on a fast-paced travel schedule, summer or autumn is going to be your season to explore!

Length of the Ring Road

You’re probably wondering: How long is The Ring Road in Iceland? And will I actually be able to do it in under ten days?

The answer is YES!

Iceland is a small country and this route is roughly 820 miles or 1322 km long. 

You’ll have enough time to cover the major sights in the area, but you do need to be strategic about it. 

(Keep on reading to learn how…)👇

Iceland Ring Road Itinerary: 7 days

Most of the itineraries for the Ring Road are ten days, so we were worried we wouldn’t be able to fit it into seven.

I remember mapping out the places we wanted to go to and realizing that it could be done. However, we had to decide whether to spend more time at each place or see more places. 

Why can’t I have my cake and eat it too?! 

Ultimately, we opted to see more of the country and spend less time at each place.

And for us, it was so worth it!

While we didn’t get to see some things, we both agreed that doing a 7-day Iceland Ring Road itinerary as a self-guided road trip was a great fit for us.

NOTE: As I mentioned before, this is a fast-paced itinerary. And I mean, very fast. 

What can I say, I was a newbie to Iceland and VERY excited! But when crafting my Iceland Ring Road Itinerary for travelers, I was sure to take out a couple of these stops – because this pace isn’t necessarily sustainable for the average traveler. 

But more about that later, as for now…Here’s a full recap of our 7-day Iceland itinerary around the Ring Road – honeymoon edition!

Iceland Travel Adventures - How To Drive The Ring Road In 7 Days

Day 1: Arrival (Blue Lagoon & Reykjavík)

Our Icelandair flight landed at 6 am, and with the time zone change, we needed a serious coffee pick-me-up.

I asked for the biggest one at the coffee stand and got handed the smallest cup of coffee I’ve seen served!

Lesson learned: size doesn’t matter because Icelanders don’t mess around with watered-down jugs of coffee. 

Their double-strength java packs a serious punch!

Pro Tip: Keflavík International Airport is one of the smallest and fastest airports to get through. But before you leave, remember to stop at the duty-free. The Icelandic government regulates alcohol and it’s very expensive to buy it elsewhere. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

Iceland is notoriously pricey, so if you’re looking for easy ways to save on your trip, check out this post.👇 

➡️ READ: Traveling Iceland On A Budget? Here Are 6 Genius Tips To Save on Food & Drink!

Our Iceland Ring Road 7-day itinerary started with a trip to The Blue Lagoon. After leaving the airport, we decided to treat ourselves to the mineral-rich geothermal spa waters of the Blue Lagoon. It felt AMAZING after the long flight.

Are you excited about experiencing Iceland’s hot springs? Check out the post below for the top Blue Lagoon alternatives.👇

➡️ READ: Top 10 Blue Lagoon Alternatives: Hot Springs, Pools, and Spas That Are Just as Breathtaking

Next on the list, we explored Reykjavík. Laugavegur is the main street in the city and is filled with so many cute shops and restaurants.

Staying at a Backpackers Hostel was nice on the budget and made it convenient to walk around much of the city. 

I researched the best ice cream places in Reykjavík (yes, I’m that person) and let me tell you, Valdís definitely held up to its hype.

Eating Ice Cream in Reykjavík on our 7-Day Ring Road Adventure

For our anniversary dinner, we had reservations at the Fish Market. If you are in Reykjavík and looking for delicious cuisine, this place is amazing!

We had raw whale for appetizers, which was heavenly. 

And for entrees, the Icelandic lamb and salted cod were to die for.

Our server was awesome and knew we were celebrating our honeymoon, so he brought out a huge dessert sampler platter.  We felt like royalty!

Looking for the best places to wine and dine in Reykjavík? Then you don’t want to miss this post.👇

➡️ READ: Reykjavík Food & Drink Guide: The Best Foodie Hot Spots In Iceland’s Capital

Day 2: Golden Circle & Entering the Ring Road

We knew we had a big day of exploring ahead of us, so we woke up early to get some breakfast before hitting the road. 

In Iceland, it’s rare to find places open before 10 am, especially for a hot breakfast. 

Thankfully we drove past a cafe in the harbor serving meat croissants and coffee – always a small coffee. 😄

Golden Circle Route: We started the day off with the traditional Golden Circle route. The drive through the Golden Circle and Þingvellir is beautiful, but unfortunately, we had rainy and foggy weather, so we headed for our first stop: Gullfoss waterfall. 

Picture Of Jeannie Standing at Gullfoss Waterfall Along The Ring Road

In Icelandic, this translates into “golden falls” and was a stunning sight to see massive amounts of water falling into an impressive gorge. 

Geysir is another popular stop along this route, which I didn’t get too excited about. It was neat to see, but I could have lived without it.

If you love discovering hidden gems, you’ll want to watch this video👇

Seljalandsfoss: When we reached Seljalandsfoss, I was really excited. We were finally on the Ring Road and I love waterfalls! The unique thing about this one is you can walk behind it! Just make sure you have your rain gear on and bring a wide-angle lens for your camera. It’s way bigger than it looks when you walk behind it!

Natural hot spring: After lots of photo taking, we drove down the road for the next stop: a pool at the base of a glacier naturally filled with hot spring water. 

Is this for real?! 

The pool is slightly hidden – over a stream and in a valley – which requires a short 30-minute walk to get to. Despite the rain and wind, swimming in this warm water surrounded by mountains was surreal. This pool is a little off the beaten path, so we were the only ones there most of the time!

✅ Tired of the non-stop research for your Ring Road trip? 

Let’s skip to the good part where you can enjoy stress-free planning with my 👉 Ring Road Travel Guide.

With over 190 five-star reviews, you get planning worksheets to build your itinerary, accommodation recommendations, and a digital map with over 500 pinned locations for pools, pharmacies, hidden gems, grocery stores, and more!

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Day 3: South Coast (Skógafoss to Svartifoss)

We had breakfast at one of the hotels along Iceland’s Ring Road: Hotel Skógafoss, which directly views the gorgeous Skógafoss waterfall. 

I know it seems like this trip has been all about waterfalls so far (which is ok with me!) but I promise, they’re all very different. 

Skógafoss: This is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland and it’s simply stunning to see.  There is also an easy walking path to get to the top where there’s another great view of the falls and out to the ocean.

Reynisfjara and Dyrhólaey: Our next stop on our 7-day Ring Road itinerary was Reynisfjara which is a black sand beach with big rock formations coming out of the ocean. We hoped to see some puffins, but they had already left for the season.

Dyrhólaey Arch that we visited on Day 3 of our Ring Road Itinerary

Dyrhólaey is a short drive from Reynisfjara and was one of my favorite parts of the trip. It’s a massive rock formation that juts out into the ocean with an open arch underneath. 

It translates to “hill-island with a doorhole.” We walked out to the end where the view was amazing. Black sand beach and columns on one side, ocean ahead, a glacier behind, AND you can see up the coastline for miles. Amazing!

After the breathtaking views, we continued East to Skaftafell National Park. 

Something you’ll notice about driving Iceland’s Ring Road is the incredible scenery around the country. I swear, every turn was more beautiful than the last! 

As we were driving, we saw unique and vibrant moss growing on top of lava. 

*Warning: DO NOT walk on the moss, it can take years to regrow if it is damaged!*

Fjadrargljufur: Before Kirkjubaejarklaustur and a little off the beaten path is a beautiful gorge called Fjadrargljufur. Just up the road, we started our hike in search of Svartifoss.

Svartifoss:  Skaftafell National Park is nestled at the base of the biggest glacier in Europe – Vatnajökull – and the hike overlooks the ocean for more magnificent views. One of the most iconic waterfalls in Iceland, Svartifoss translates to the black waterfall and is unique because black lava columns frame it. 

Fun fact: These black columns inspired Hallgrimskirkja (the famous church in Reykjavík).

Wondering what the best waterfalls in Iceland are? See my top 10 favorites here.👇

➡️ READ: Chasing Waterfalls in Iceland: Discover The Top 10 Breathtaking Waterfalls In Iceland

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon along Iceland's Ring Road In South Iceland

Day 4: South Coast (Jökulsárlón & The Northern Lights)

This was hands down my favorite day and it started at Jökulsárlón – the glacier lagoon. 

Words can’t describe this place and a picture doesn’t do it justice.

It’s truly a must-see! As icebergs break off the main glacier, they float around in the lagoon, eventually drifting down the river and out to sea.  

Some pieces stay ashore on the beach, making for great photos.

➡️ TAKE A TOUR: Amphibian Lagoon Tour

The Eastern Ring Road travels right along the ocean weaving in and out of fjörds. This is another time when pictures can’t capture the scale and beauty of it. 

After a day of exploration, there’s a charming little town called Egilsstaðir where you can spend the night. We had dinner at a restaurant and it was the first time I tried reindeer meat.

Pro Tip: Reindeer can only be found in the East of Iceland, so if you see it on a menu, you’ve got to try it, it’s incredibly delicious!

As we headed home, we noticed how clear the night sky was. We decided to check the Northern Lights forecast and the site said: “In the next 24 minutes the aurora will be STORM LEVEL.”

We immediately got in our car and drove to the middle of nowhere.

Iceland Travel Adventures - How To Drive The Ring Road In 7 Days

You 👏guys! 👏 

The first time I saw the Northern Lights I thought my heart was going to burst open!

We were all alone in the middle of nowhere, it was pitch dark, and the green lights were POURING down on us and dancing around the whole sky. 

This was at the top of my bucket list and it was incredible to check it off.

It was the most breathtaking and memorable experience I ever had!

Find out more about the best places to spot the Northern Lights in Iceland by heading to this post.👇

➡️ READ: How To See The Northern Lights In Iceland: Best Viewing Spots, When To Go And MORE

Day 5: Húsavík & Lake Mývatn

Still euphoric from the night before, we drove to Húsavík but stopped at Lake Mývatn along the way. 

Driving around Lake Mývatn, we also hiked up an inactive volcano dust bowl. Honestly, I could have left this whole part off the itinerary. 

(We chose this over Dettifoss, which I would recommend instead.) 

The Mývatn baths are also close, offering a less touristy alternative to the Blue Lagoon.

Enjoying a hot spring experience in Iceland doesn’t have to cost a thing. Take a look at these awesome FREE hot springs.👇

➡️ READ: Top 10 Free Hot Springs in Iceland: Unwind & Discover These Hidden Gems

When we arrived in Húsavík, I felt like I stepped onto a movie set. This was the most adorable town I had ever seen! 

Husavík - A Charming Town In North Iceland And Incredible Stop On Our 7-Day Ring Road Itinerary

On top of that, it was the most beautiful weather day we’d had yet – at one point I was in a tank top! 

We explored the harbor area, walked through the whale museum, and enjoyed another Icelandic classic – lamb. 

I love this town, make sure you add it to your itinerary.

Day 6: North Iceland

We had a Whale Watching Tour scheduled that I was pretty excited for. It was a fun experience, and I would highly recommend the tour if you are in Húsavík.

Gentle Giants offers one of the best whale-watching experiences in Iceland. Their staff are friendly and knowledgable making sure you have an unforgettable experience with these incredible creatures.

Get a 10% discount on your whale-watching tour with my exclusive Team Iceland code, WHALESWITHAVIEW 👉Book Your Tour Here

Back on the Ring Road, we stopped for one more waterfall: Goðafoss. It’s definitely worth a visit, especially since it’s right off the route.

Akureyri: Our next stop was Akureyri, the second-largest city in Iceland. We wandered around the streets and got the best souvenir – an authentic wool blanket! 

After dinner, as we were walking back to our hotel, we happened to look up and see the Northern Lights – AGAIN! 

Of course, we drove out of the city to get a better look. I will never get tired of seeing them.

Iceland Travel Adventures - How To Drive The Ring Road In 7 Days | Jeannie Along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Day 7: Snæfellsnes Peninsula

We ended up driving a lot on the last day of our 7-day Iceland Ring Road Itinerary. But that was okay because we wanted to experience the must-see Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

It’s known for its stunning coastal drive and iconic sights along the way. 

I wish we had more time to stop at each place, but we got to see some very beautiful things.

One of my husband’s favorite places is the cutest café called Fjöruhúsið. They make a mean latte and homemade waffles and it’s definitely worth going to when you’re in Hellnar.

We also had a wonderful horseback ride, it’s a great way to experience the natural beauty of an area. 

On the Snæfellsnes peninsula is yet another lovely town –  Stykkishólmur. 

It’s surrounded by cliffs and fjords. You can expect colorful wooden houses, quaint streets, and restaurants serving great seafood. 

Since we were obsessed with the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I knew this was a must-see. 

Iceland Ring Road Itinerary

So, was this the optimal Ring Road itinerary?

Not really, but hey – it was my first time visiting the country!

While I don’t regret a single thing and absolutely loved our trip, it was very fast-paced, probably too much so for the average traveler. 

Luckily, I’ve since traveled the Ring Road many times and through the years I’ve pieced together the perfect 👉7-Day Iceland Ring Road Itinerary

The done-for-you itinerary shows you the exact way to spend 7 days exploring the Ring Road.

Rest easy knowing you’ve got an itinerary that shows you the best of the country while still savoring Iceland’s must-see attractions. 

It includes a day-by-day detailed itinerary, downloadable PDFs, a packing guide, and a digital map of the Ring Road in Iceland pinpointing the top attractions, hidden gems, and more.

I lead you through the breathtaking waterfalls in Southern Iceland, the quaint villages of the Eastern Fjords and show you where to relax in the geothermal pools in Northern Iceland.

It even covers accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly, mid or luxury to suit your budget.

And the cherry on top? I provide recommended times to spend at each stop, so you’re making the most of every minute of your trip! You can count on me to handle all the logistics in this 7-day Iceland Ring Road Itinerary.

It’s time to get excited! 👏👏

Happy Planning!

Picture of Jeannie's Signature

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