Make the most of your time in Iceland with this extensive 10-day, self-drive tour. Over the course of your adventure, you will discover all the popular natural wonders Iceland has to offer, and many sights you may not even know exist.
This self-drive package helps you save money without sacrificing anything! It circles the Ring Road, taking you around the whole country, including the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and the famous Golden Circle. Better yet, it offers full comfort, - your accommodation will always have an ensuite bathroom and breakfast is included.
Best of all, you choose where to drive, and when to leave. There are no bus schedules or impatient tour guides to worry about. You're free to spend as much time in each spot as you'd like.
At Guide to Iceland, we want you to experience the best of the natural beauty this country has to offer. We hope you’ll leave feeling revitalised and exhilarated by the beauty of the Icelandic landscape. To help with this, we've handpicked hidden locations across the land where you can be almost entirely alone, far from noisy people or busy streets. These are included in our travel plan, which you'll receive after you book.
Customise your vacation during booking so that it's exactly what you've been dreaming of. On your way around the Golden Circle, snorkel in the space between two continental plates, go snowmobiling on Langjökull glacier or explore the inside of a volcanic magma chamber (if you're here between May and November). You can also take a tour to an ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier, and visit the world-famous Blue Lagoon Spa.
Furthermore, you can hike a glacier, or board a ship to see the giants of the deep in the whale-watching capital of Europe. You can also get the lay of the land with a horse riding trek, journey into dark lava caves, or even walk inside man-made channels within Langjökull glacier. You can get all of these excursions at a reduced price if you book them alongside this tour.
Check out how many stunning sights and activities you can see and do in Iceland on this amazing trip! Check availability by choosing a date.
Collect your car at the international airport in Keflavík before driving to your accommodation in downtown Reykjavík. The world-famous Blue Lagoon spa is in between the two, so you may want to check it out if you aren't too excited to get to the capital city.
After settling in your hotel in Reykjavík, make the most of your proximity to one of Europe's most vibrant city centres. Explore the abundance of museums, galleries, restaurants and bars to your heart´s content.
Spend the night in the beautiful city of Reykjavík.
Day two sends you off to some of the best-known natural phenomena in Iceland on the Golden Circle route. The first stop on the Golden Circle tour is Þingvellir National Park. Here, you can walk between the rift valley of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and explore an area which played a huge role in Iceland's heritage; its history as the site of the world's first representative parliament has warranted its place on the UNESCO world heritage list. You can even opt into a snorkel in the crystal clear fissure Silfra, which runs right between the tectonic plates.
Next up is the geothermal valley of Haukadalur, where you can see the geysers Strokkur and Geysir amongst many beautiful hot springs. Only a few kilometres away is Iceland's most popular attraction, the powerful waterfall named Gullfoss. A pathway takes you right to the water's edge, where you can get a real sense of the enormous, natural power of the falls.
You also have the chance to go on an optional snowmobile tour on Langjökull glacier; you'll be picked up at Gullfoss waterfall. This is an excellent way to add some adrenaline to your trip - and to see some sweeping glacial vistas. You can also book a horse ride on this day, if neither of these appeal to you.
Spend the night in or near the quiet town of Hvolsvöllur.
On day three, you will take in the sight of two majestic waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Further down the coast near the town of Vík, take a slight detour to admire the black volcanic beach, Reynisfjara, and the dramatic Dyrhólaey and Reynisdrangar rock formations. This is also a great place for puffin watching.
Today, you have the opportunity to have a glacier adventure! You can race across Sólheimajökull glacier tongue on a thrilling snowmobile tour or, if you'd like, you can visit a natural ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Only accessible via super jeep, this is the only cave that is open to visits all year long.
You’ll also have the choice of two glacier hikes today. You can either start early and breathe in the fresh mountain air on top of Sólheimajökull glacier; nothing will wake you up and get your adrenaline pumping like a morning visit to a glacier. Or you can end your day with a late afternoon hike at Skaftafell Nature Reserve where you can walk through the white expanse of an outlet glacier in the beautiful Vatnajökull National Park.
Skaftafell Nature Reserve is great for any outdoor enthusiast, particularly if you enjoy hiking. There are many excellent tracks and trails, including one that leads to the stunning Svartifoss waterfall, which plunges over a wide cliff of hexagonal basalt columns.
On your way to your accommodations in the Vatnajökull area, you’ll pass the beautiful Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon where enormous icebergs that have broken off a nearby glacier float peacefully on the serene lagoon. Don’t worry; you will have plenty of time tomorrow to explore this area further if you are too knackered after today’s adventures.
Explore the stunning Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon today, one of Iceland’s most beautiful spots. If you so desire, you can hop on an optional boat tour, which takes you on a meandering path through the lagoon, amongst stunning icebergs of all shapes and sizes. You can choose between an amphibious boat and a smaller zodiac.
Make sure you stroll down to the black sandy beach nearby, affectionately named Diamond Beach due to the number of sparkling icebergs that are scattered along it.
Finally, you'll start on a zigzagging journey along the Eastfjords, passing tranquil fishing villages and sweeping coastal landscapes along the way.
Spend the night in the secluded Egilsstaðir area.
The driving on day five brings you north to Lake Mývatn, which is known for its geothermal landscapes, including the Námaskarð hot springs, the Skútustaðagígar pseudo-craters, the Dimmuborgir lava formations and Volcano Krafla, one of Iceland’s most visited volcanoes.
After exploring these many wonders, relax by taking a dip in the soothing geothermal waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths. You will spend the night in the Myvatn region.
Use the sixth day to explore a little more of Lake Mývatn and its unique surroundings. A drive through the Jökulsárgljúfur part of Vatnajökull National Park, with a visit to the Ásbyrgi canyon. This is a fascinating horseshoe-shaped indentation in the landscape. Local legends say that this was caused by the Norse god Odin’s eight-legged horse ‘Sleipnir’ planting a giant hoof on the ground.
You could also visit the mighty Dettifoss waterfall. Detiffoss is believed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe. It’s giant towering size, and mighty rumble makes it an impressive stop. Dettifoss was also featured at the beginning of the 2012 Ridley Scott sci-fi film Prometheus.
You could then head to the Northern town of Húsavik. This seaside village is unofficially referred to as the whale watching capital of Europe. From Húsavík you can take a trip out into the waters of the north to spot some of these gentle giants of the sea. If you would like to go whale watching there are two options; you could take a traditional whale watching tour, or you could opt for a smaller Rib Boat tour, which will allow you to get even closer to these spectacular sea mammals.
If you would love a bit of relaxation in Húsavík, you could choose to visit the Húsavík GeoSea Baths. This spa experience is a little different from other geothermal spas in Iceland. The waters of GeoSea are from the ocean. The warm salty waters have been said to contain reparative qualities, and you will enjoy them with some impressive views of the surrounding landscape.
You will then spend the night in Akureyri.
On day seven, you’ll have more time to explore the area around Akureyri.
Before you move on from the area, you could choose to add some activities to your day. If you haven’t had the chance yet to go whale watching, you can take a whale watching tour from Akureyri. You could also choose to see some of the natural sites of the area while riding an Icelandic horse in a horseriding tour.
You will then pass through the beautiful, mountainous area of Tröllaskagi, to the old herring-fishing village of Siglufjörður, and then to Hofsós, where you can enjoy the incredible scenery while relaxing in the town’s thermal pool.
If you like local Icelandic handicrafts or if you are travelling with children, then we recommend a stop at Stórhóll farm where the gallery Rúnalist is located. Children can play with and pet some sheep, goats, horses, ducks, chicken, rabbit, dogs and cats while you browse the crafts showroom, filled with handmade items of natural wool, salmon leather or cod skin.
Spend the night in nearby Blönduós.
Head to Snæfellsnes peninsula today. On the way, you will pass the rolling hills of Vatnsdalshólar and the beautiful Þingeyarkirkja church.
You might also want to stop at a longhouse at Eiríksstaðir, home of the infamous Viking Erik the Red, father to Leif the Lucky who was the first European to sail to North America. You can also pay a visit to Stykkishólmur, a picture-perfect fishing village overlooking Breiðafjörður Bay.
Here, you can travel out to a small island, accessible from the harbour. This is Súgandisey, and you'll see a wonderful panorama of the town, the sea, and the surrounding mountains from here.
The crown jewel of Snæfellsnes peninsula is the Snæfellsjökull glacier and volcano, nestled in the heart of a national park. If you would like to add some more adventure, you can choose to add a snowcat tour of this glacier as an extra activity. You will be taken to the foot of the mountain before you ascend the snowy slopes and eventually reach the top, ready to take some incredible snapshots.
Nearby are many beautiful attractions, such as Djúpalónssandur beach and the picturesque towns of Hellnar and Arnarstapi.
Spend the night at charming accommodation on Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
On day nine, you can explore West Iceland with its diverse attractions, including the Icelandic settlement exhibition in Borgarnes, and Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe.
Further along, be sure to visit the captivating Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls.
History buffs may also enjoy a visit to Snorrastofa, the medieval research institute in Reykholt, where the politician, poet, and historian Snorri Sturluson wrote the saga of the Norwegian kings, Heimskringla, in the 13th century. He is also famous for writing the bible of old Norse mythology, Edda.
On this day, you can opt into one of two exciting caving tours. You can explore the incredible, man made ice caves at Langjökull, or else take a lava tube adventure into Viðgelmir cave. You can also explore the inside of a magma chamber on the incredible 'Into the Volcano' tour.
On the way back to Reykjavik, take a short break at Fossatún, a waterfall said to be guarded by a troll woman named Drifa, before spending another night in the capital.
Drop off your car at Keflavík airport in time for your departure. If you are taking an afternoon or evening flight, you have time to fit in one last fantastic Icelandic experience. You can visit the Blue Lagoon.
Of course, a revitalising visit to the world-famous Blue Lagoon spa is a great way to end your Icelandic adventure. The water is rich in silica and blue-green algae, which gives the lagoon its reputed healing powers, as well as its captivating turquoise tint. It is sure to set you up for a great flight, and leave you aching to come back for more!
Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavík City or at Keflavik International Airport. A valid driver's license is required, along with a one-year long on-road experience. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to better fit with your arrival date and time.
Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing.
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s). Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur. Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies among locations and availability is highly limited. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level. Please note that not all locations offer quality level accommodation. Comfort level accommodation will be arranged at those particular locations, which is reflected in the quality level upgrade price. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.
Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.
Rooms with a private bathroom in a four star hotel or superior rooms in a quality three star hotel at the best locations in Iceland. Breakfast is included.
Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour. All our vehicles are new or current models, of maximum 2 years of age. Super Budget levels come with standard CDW insurance, while all other levels also include Gravel Protection (GP), and Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) insurances. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars. All levels come equipped with a GPS and free Wi-fi. You can enjoy unlimited data with the Wi-Fi device, which can be connected to up to 10 devices at once. The car rental will provide 24-hour roadside emergency services. Age requirement for each level can be found below. For all levels, the driver must possess a valid driving license for at least one year before the date of the rental. We recommend Budget 4X4 level for summer driving and Comfort 4X4 for winter driving.
A small 2WD vehicle such as Toyota Aygo or similar, fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions. Compact and comfortable for up to 2 travellers with very little luggage. No highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A basic 2WD vehicle, such as a Toyota Yaris or similar, suitable for travelling in everyday conditions. Comfortable for 3 travellers with light luggage. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A basic 4WD (4X4) jeep or SUV such as a Dacia Duster or similar. Comfortably fit up to 3 travellers with 2 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and decent for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A medium sized 4WD (4x4) jeep or SUV such as a Toyota Rav4, or similar. Comfortably fit up to 4 travellers with 3 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and good for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.
A large 4WD jeep such as a Toyota Land Cruiser or similar. Comfortable for up to 4 travellers with 4 large pieces of luggage. Fit for nearly all travelling. Has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.
A large 9-seater van such as a Renault Trafic (2WD manual), Mercedes Benz Vito (4WD automatic, has highland capabilities and better suited for winter driving), or similar. Comfortable for 5 to 7 travellers. If seated full, luggage space is limited. The driver must be of 23 years of age or above.
You can now add meals to your booking. Select to include dinner on every night as an optional extra, and we will provide you with vouchers as part of your booking confirmation. We will choose from top-rated restaurants that fit with your vacation itinerary and make your reservations for you. At the restaurant, you will be offered a set menu, from which you can choose from meat, fish or vegetarian options. If you would prefer something else, the voucher will act as a credit that you can redeem at the restaurant against menu items that are not part of the set menu. Please notify the restaurant on arrival about any dietary requirements. Vouchers are non-refundable.
This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost. The cost of your cancellation insurance depends on the duration of your tour or package. A base cost of 5,000 ISK per person is applied to all tours and packages with a duration of 5 days or less. An additional 1,000 ISK per person will be added to the insurance cost for each day after. The cancellation must be made more than 48 hours before the listed starting time on your voucher. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org and declare full cancellation. Please note that this insurance covers the cancellation of the whole tour or package. Individual services cannot be cancelled and refunded separately, but are all covered and refunded in case of a full cancellation.