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Iceland: The Golden Circle & Ring Road

10 days Nature & Wildlife
Some of Earth’s most astounding and extreme landscapes can be found in Iceland, where every corner of the country offers something new. Learn about fascinating maritime history and taste traditional fare as you journey from the culturally rich capital to the most remote parts of the coast. Glacier-fed waterfalls, boiling mud pools, moss-covered cliffs—see it all on this whirlwind journey through “The Land of Fire and Ice.”

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 15 - 30 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including wet, slippery gravel and paved paths with some uphill climbs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine, 1 schnapps tasting, 2 traditional food tastings

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of tour of Iceland

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board an overnight flight to Reykjavik.

Reykjavik 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Reykjavik

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Iceland! Get a feel for Reykjavik, often called “the greenest city on Earth,” with your Tour Director leading the way.

• See the iconic Höfði House, Perlan Restaurant and the presidential residence at Bessastadir

• Visit Hallgrim’s Church and the University District

• Pass the Old Town Center, Parliament House and modern City Hall

• Glimpse the artwork of Ásmundur Sveinsson and Einar Jónsson, both famous Icelandic artists

Enjoy a free  afternoon in Reykjavik or add an excursion.

Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner.

Optional Excursion - Blue Lagoon Spa Visit $105pp* Details

Blue Lagoon

Travel to the Blue Lagoon, a famed geothermal spa known for its restorative properties. The lagoon’s light-blue water is a mix of freshwater and seawater, and is warmed deep in the Earth before being sourced and pumped into the lagoon by a nearby geothermal plant. Relax in the lagoon’s spa, admire the surrounding lava field and soak in beneficial minerals as you float weightlessly in the ethereal water.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)

Day 3: The Golden Circle

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Leave the bustle of Reykjavik behind as you travel around the Golden Circle, a ring of some of Iceland’s most magnificent natural wonders. 

• Stop at Thingvellir National Park to see the Althing, an open-air governmental assembly that was established in 930 and continued to meet until 1798

• Sit down for lunch at Fridheimar Farm, where the produce is grown fresh in a greenhouse heated by geothermal energy

• Explore the Great Geysir Geothermal Area, located in the Haukadalur Valley 

• Discover Gullfoss, or the “Golden Waterfall,” a natural wonder and one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe

South Coast Region 1 night Hotel info

Day 4: Sightseeing tour of the South Coast

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Continue on to the South Coast, a lowland region of lush farmland, striking waterfalls, beaches, glaciers and picturesque villages. 

• Make a photo stop by the Eyjafjallajökull volcano to marvel at breathtaking views (weather permitting)

• View coastal mountain scenery as you travel to the Seljalandsfoss waterfall for a short walk behind the falls

• Enter the Skogar Museum to learn more about Iceland’s cultural heritage

• Marvel at the Sólheimajökull glacier and iconic black sands of Reynisfjara beach

Egilsstadir 1 night Hotel info

Day 5: Egilsstaðir via the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel east toward the town of Egilsstaðir, admiring the stunning landscape and stopping for a boat cruise en route. 

• Pass the Eldhraun lava field and Skaftafell National Park

• Cruise through the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, keeping your eyes open for seals (seasonal, mid-May–September)

• Pass through the East Fjords region as you continue on to Egilsstadir, stopping for photos and short walks along the way

Akureyri 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Akureyri via Dettifoss, Lake Mývatn & Goðafoss

  Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way north toward the small city of Akureyri, stopping to admire breathtaking waterfalls and volcanic landscapes as you go. 

• Travel through Mödrudalsöræfi desert plateau on your way to Dettifoss for a short walk around the rim of the waterfall (Please note: The road to Dettifoss is closed in bad weather.)

• Stop at Lake Mývatn to learn about the boiling mud pools and geothermal activity of the Námaskard sulfur field 

• Marvel at the beauty of Goðafoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s most famous cataracts, before ending the day in Akureyri

Day 7: Siglufjörður

  Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Traditional food tasting, Schnapps tasting

Get to know more about Icelandic culture during a visit to town of Siglufjörður. 

• Learn about the country’s maritime history as you follow a local guide through the Herring Era Museum 

• Enjoy a tasting of herring, one of Iceland’s most important culinary staples, washed down with Brennivín schnapps 

Spend a free afternoon in Akureyri or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Akureyri Fjord Whale Watching $99pp* Details

Akureyri Fjord

Take in the beauty of northern Iceland’s varied landscape and keep your eyes open for wildlife as you enjoy a three-hour cruise on the Akureyri Fjord. As you cruise on the idyllic waterway, a local guide will tell you more about the fjord’s ecosystem and history, and you may spot minke whales, orcas, humpback whales, dolphins and porpoises. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from June through September.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Snæfellsnes Peninsula 1 night Hotel info

Day 8: Transfer to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Traditional food tasting

Drive through the landscapes of West Iceland to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Stop along the way to enter the Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum, where you’ll have the opportunity to taste cured shark and dried fish.

Reykjavik 1 night Hotel info

Day 9: Reykjavik via Snæfellsjökull National Park

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Continue exploring the sites of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula with your Tour Director before returning to Reykjavik. 

• Pay a visit to rural Arnarstapi, a breathtaking fishing village that was once an important trading post

•  Set off to explore Snæfellsjökull National Park, which has a natural landscape dominated by the massive Snæfellsjökull Glacier  

Tonight, say goodbye to your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.

Day 10: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Add Norwegian Fjords Starting from $1,199 pp

If breathtaking Scandinavian landscapes are what you seek, Bergen is the place to visit. Often referred to as "the gateway to the fjords," this picturesque Norwegian city boasts an ideal waterfront location and a UNESCO-listed wharf, which serve as reminders of its extensive history as a major trading port. Visit to experience the midnight sun during long summer days, stroll past colorful homes, admire stunning mountain views and get an up-close look at Norway's world-renowned fjords.

Bergen 3 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Flight to Bergen

  Included meals: Breakfast

Fly from Iceland to Bergen, Norway, called “the gateway to the fjords,” where you’ll enjoy a free evening to explore.

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Bergen

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know Bergen with a local guide, uncovering the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bryggen harbor district and city center. 

• Discover the Bergenhus Fortress

•  Pass through the bustling fish and flower market

•  Head to the Custom House pier to view the city center and harbor

•  Drive to the medieval-style Fantoft Stave Church in Fana

•  Explore the Edvard Grieg Museum to learn about the famed composer

Day 12: The Norwegian Fjords

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day journeying through Norway’s fjord country, a region of otherworldly natural beauty. 

• Take a scenic train ride from Bergen to Voss, where you’ll continue on to the village of Gudvangen

• Embark on a cruise through the country’s steep cliffs and narrow waterways 

• Disembark in the village of Flåm, overlooking Aurlandsfjord

• Take a scenic train ride along one of the steepest rails in the world

Day 13: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Akureyri, Iceland
  • Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

  • In order to enter Iceland (and Norway on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. 
  • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. 
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.   

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including wet, slippery gravel and paved paths with some uphill climbs. 
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own luggage at times, as well as getting in and out of boats, ferries and trains.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in and depart from Reykjavik (or Bergen on the tour extension). A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. 
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • A glacier lagoon boat cruise is also included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension to Norway also includes a flight from Reykjavik to Bergen, train rides from Bergen to Voss and Myrdal to Bergen, a fjord cruise from Gudvangen to Flåm and a railway ride from Flåm to Myrdal.)
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. 

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 
  • Contact your airline for detailed information regarding baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 
  • One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag. 

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a warm jacket or rainwear.  
  • Please keep in mind that even summer temperatures in Iceland and Norway (on the tour extension) can get very cold, and warmer layers may be needed. 
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.

Health

  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Iceland. 
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to My Account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.

Cuisine

  • Icelandic cuisine relies on traditional, locally sourced ingredients from the Atlantic ocean and the surrounding mountains. Both fresh and dried fish, including herring, cod and shark, are important culinary staples. Other must-tries include Icelandic lamb, which is considered to be some of the best in the world, as well as pylsa (hot dogs) and skyr cheese.
  • Norwegian cuisine is varied, offering something for every traveler. Lamb is the most traditional meat, but you’ll also find everything from goose to deer being served. Seafood lovers will enjoy the country’s array of smoked salmon, shellfish, pickled herring and scrod. Typical meals often incorporate grains, locally-produced cheeses, fresh produce and wild berries. 

Electricity & air conditioning

  • Iceland (and Norway on the tour extension) operates on 230 volts and use Types C or F plugs with two small, round pins. 
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter.  
  • The strength of the air conditioning in some European hotels may not be as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel. 
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches 
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges. 

Time zones

  • Iceland is one hour behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and four hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). 
  • Norway (on the tour extension) is one hour ahead of GMT and six hours ahead of EST. 
  • When it’s noon in New York City, it’s 4pm in Iceland and 6pm in Norway.

Currency

  • You will use the Icelandic krona in Iceland (plus the Norwegian krone in Norway on the tour extension). 
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. 
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks, as needed. 
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. 
  • Tips can only be paid in cash. 

Purchasing excursions on tour

  • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
  • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for excursions. 
  • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 
  • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

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