10 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | The Circle of Iceland

Free pickup
No credit card fees
No booking fees
Duration
10 days
Difficulty
Hard
Free pickup
Reykjavík

Drive the entire ring-road of Iceland in ten days, on this immersive winter tour. Carefully designed by local travel experts who know the land and the Icelandic winter, this itiner...

Drive the entire ring-road of Iceland in ten days, on this immersive winter tour. Carefully designed by local travel experts who know the land and the Icelandic winter, this itinerary takes road conditions and daylight hours into consideration to create a journey suitable for winter travel in Iceland.

This trip should appeal to anyone who seeks to make the most of this country as possible, who has a great sense of adventure, and who wants the freedom to decide where to go and when. 

On this self-drive, you will get to see some of Iceland’s most iconic sights, seeing the floating icebergs at Jökulsárlón, the serene lava fields of Lake Mývatn and the world renowned Golden Circle while enjoying the evening glow of the Northern Lights above. You'll also receive a personal itinerary guiding y...

Included

9 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)
Vehicle for 10 days (Toyota Rav4 4x4 or similar. Upgrades available)
CDW, SCDW and GP insurance for car rental
GPS System
Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland
Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary
Taxes

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Snorkelling
Caving
Snowmobile
Sightseeing
Northern lights hunting
Hot Spring Bathing
Ice Caving
Self drive

Attractions

Blue Lagoon
Golden Circle
Reykjavík
Akureyri
Jökulsárlón
Hvítá River
Vatnajökull
Mývatn
Dimmuborgir
Húsavík

Daily itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Reykjavik

You will arrive in Iceland via Keflavík International Airport, find your vehicle and head on out to the dark lava field of the Reykjanes Peninsula in the direction of Iceland's capital, Reykjavík.

How you chose to spend this day is up to you; you could explore the raw volcanic landscapes of Reykjanes, visiting such places like Kleifarvatn Lake or the Rock and...

Day 2

The Golden Circle

Your second day will be largely spent marvelling over the three wonders of the Golden Circle. The first of these is Þingvellir National Park, a site located between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The two continents are drifting apart, creating cracks and fissures in the terrain as they tear up the landscape around. 

One of those fissures, Si...

Day 3

Hvolsvollur to Vik

On day three, you will immerse yourself in the waterfalls, glaciers and coastal wonders of the South Coast. As you start your drive, you may be able to see a notable feature immediately to your left; you will, after all, be passing the notorious Eyjafjallajökull which erupted in 2010 and caused a disastrous effect on air travel.

The first site you will reach...

Day 4

Vik to Hofn

You will head from Vík to Höfn on your fourth day, via two incredibly spectacular areas. The first of these is Skaftafell Nature Reserve, often referred to as a hiker’s paradise. Dozens of trails, catering to most abilities, wind through the lava fields and forests to glacial tongues and unique waterfalls. If you missed the glacier hike the day before in pla...

Day 5

Hofn to Egilsstadir

On day five, you will drive through the little-travelled Eastfjords. If you wish, however, you can organise a tour to the incredible ice caves of Vatnajökull to take before you go; this is only possible from November to March but promises to be an awe-inspiring opportunity if you are in the area at the time.

The Eastfjords are a remote and beautiful area, wit...

Day 6

Egilsstadir to Myvatn

For your sixth day, you will travel through the rest of the Eastfjords, to the Lake Mývatn region. The scenery promises to be as spectacular as the day before, as you wind between great peaks and a beautiful stretch of coast. 

You will reach Lake Mývatn, and can start to explore the many sites in the area. Because your arrival is likely to be quite late and y...

Day 7

Myvatn day

Visiting the sites around Mývatn will take up your seventh day. The lakes themselves, with the strange basalt formations that rise from their shallow waters, are fascinating enough, but barely scratch the surface of what there is to see.

You can visit the Dimmuborgir lava fields, called the ‘Dark Fortress’ due to the scale and colouration of the rocks in the...

Day 8

Myvatn to Akureyri

On your eighth day, you will drive over to the capital of the North, Akureyri. Before reaching it, you could detour to the coastal town of Húsavík, the surrounding seas of which are renowned for their abundance of marine life. You could also visit the magnificent waterfall Goðafoss.

In Akureyri, there is plenty to do. The town has the world’s most northerly botanical gardens, a festive Christmas House, excellent ski slopes, and a geothermally heated pool.

Retire for the night in the capital of the North.

Day 9

Akureyri to Reykjavik

On day nine, you will journey south from Akureyri to Reykjavík. This drive is long, but it won't feel that way, as the entire route dotted with dozens of sights worth seeing.

You could make a stop at the rock formation Hvítserkur, which rises from the waters of the coast in the shape of a drinking elephant. A little further South, you could head to the histor...

Day 10

Departure

On your tenth day, you will have to return your vehicle to Keflavík airport and take your flight home. If you have a late flight, you can use the hours to get to know Reykjavík better, see Hallgrímskirkja church or do some last minute shopping.

If you missed it after you landed, you could head on out to the Blue Lagoon to recharge in the silica filled waters before your journey home. 

Map

What to bring

Warm Clothes
Winter hiking shoes
Camera
Swimsuit and towel
Valid driver's license

Good to know

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.

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximise your chances to see them if weather allows.

It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activ...

Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For budget and comfort levels, 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). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. 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.

Budget

Rooms with shared bathrooms in farmhouses, guesthouses or hostels, with good locations near the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.

Comfort

Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.

Quality

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.

Car

The vehicles offered for our winter self drive tours are 4WD jeeps or SUVs to counter Icelandic winter conditions. They are new or current models, maximum two years of age, and come equipped with a GPS, CDW, SCDW, and GP insurances. You can upgrade to an automatic model. All cars have winter tyres.

Comfort 4X4

A medium sized jeep or SUV with 4WD (4x4) fit for most travel, and good for snow and off-asphalt travel, such as Toyota Rav4 or similar.

Luxury 4x4

A large sized jeep with 4WD (4x4) such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all traveling.

Meals

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.

Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person. 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 info@guidetoiceland.is 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.

Video