Here's a map of what's commonly called the "Oahu Circle Island Tour" or "Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour."
As far as our own "Custom" Oahu Circle Island Tour goes, we use this as a rough template, and then adjust it each day to maximize the fun for that day's group.
Here are some common questions:
Q: How long is the Circle island tour?
A: Time-wise, a normal Circle Island Tour is between 6-8 hours.
If you were to just drive straight through, which you wouldn't really do, you could do this route in about 3 hours.
Q: Can you circle Oahu?
A: You can half-circle the island of Oahu (see the yellow route above.)
Because the road stops at the northwest corner of Oahu, you cannot actually drive around the entire island.
Whenever you hear a tour company refer to a "circle island tour," they're always following Oahu's eastern coast (whether clockwise or counter-clockwise) and cutting through the middle of the island.
Q: What is Oahu Grand Circle?
A: An Oahu "Grand" Circle is simply an Oahu circle island tour with the word "grand" in front of it, and is the same as any "circle island tour."
More often than not, it's used to refer to Oahu island tours in the larger 54 passenger motor coaches.
Q: How many miles is the circle of Oahu?
A: About 110-120 miles, starting from Waikiki.
Oahu Circle Island Tour Itinerary
Here's a general itinerary for the Oahu Circle Island Tour. Keep in mind that each company may add or skip stops, and also spend different amounts of time at each stop, but in general, this is what 90% of the tour companies use as their "Oahu Circle Island Tour Itinerary"...
1. Diamond Head Lookout: 10 min
2. Drive through Kahala: 5-10 min
3. Drive between Hanauma Bay & Koko Head Crater
4. Halona Blowhole 15 min
5. Drive by (or stop at) Sandy Beach
6. Makapu'u Lookout: 10 min
7. Waimanalo Gift Shop Restroom Break: 15 min
8. Pali Lookout (sometimes): 20 min
9. Byoda-In Temple (sometimes): 45+ min
10. Tropical Farms Macadamia Farm: 25 min
11. Chinaman's Hat: 5-10 min
12. Plate Lunch at a Food Truck or Fumis: 30-45 min
13. Turtle Beach (Turtle Spotting or Snorkel): 30-1 hr
14. Dole Pineapple Plantation: 30-45 min
15. Green World Coffee Farm (sometimes) 15 min
16. Drive back to Waikiki: 50 min
We use this list as the foundation for our Oahu Circle Island Tour, and then we adapt it tour our group that day by adjusting stops and times.
You can learn more about our Oahu Circle Island Tour.