11-Day Adventure Road Trip Along The Ring Road of Iceland

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Starts from
Keflavík International Airport (KEF), Reykjanesbær, Iceland
Ends in
Keflavík International Airport (KEF), Reykjanesbær, Iceland
11 days & 10 nights
All year
10 nights included
Car rental
11 days included


Drive to every magical region Iceland offers, including its spectacular Highlands, with this eleven-day holiday around the island. Those who want to see the most famous features of the land of fire and ice and its many hidden gems far off the usual tourist trails should not hesitate to book this road trip.

Without worrying about other travelers or the strict schedule of a tour guide, you'll make your way around the Ring Road of Iceland at your own pace, visiting whatever sites you want for as long as you like.

With an expansive itinerary of options sent to you after booking, you can shape your own agenda around incredible attractions such as the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, the East Fjords, and Lake Myvatn Area.

As you travel, you'll also have plenty of opportunities to engage in the diverse range of thrilling adventures Iceland offers. Snorkeling, lava caving, and ice caving are all fantastic options for seeking out unique landscapes.

Adrenaline junkies, meanwhile, can partake in activities such as snowmobiling, a helicopter tour, and glacier hiking. Even those seeking relaxation will find no shortage of options. Hot spring bathing, whale watching, and horseback riding are all unforgettable yet serene experiences.

This self-drive holiday also provides the chance to explore the enormous magma chamber of a dormant volcano, an adventure only possible in Iceland. Furthermore, it offers one of three tour options to visit a site well off the beaten track for most travelers. Choose from the geothermal highland of Landmannalaugar, the forested, glacial valley of Thorsmork, or the volcanic Westman Islands, at the height of puffin season.

As this is a summer tour, you will not need to worry about icy roads as you travel. Furthermore, your sightseeing won't be constricted by the hours of light in a day. Due to the phenomenon of the midnight sun, all of Iceland's majestic landscapes and features will be basked in a golden hue throughout the night.

Don't spend weeks planning and organizing your trip. Let someone else take care of all the significant aspects, including your rental car, accommodation, and itinerary. Your travel agent will ensure you don't miss out on any of the major attractions, yet you'll have the freedom and flexibility to add your own flavor to the trip.

You can contact us with questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Best of all, this self-drive Ring Road tour is risk-free because you can cancel for free up to 24 hours before departure.

Explore the land of fire and ice, embark on various adventures, and seek out the country's most untouched and beautiful wilderness with this 11-day self-drive holiday to Iceland. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Ten nights of accommodation.
Continental breakfast on all days
New rental car for 11 days
CDW car rental insurance
Gravel protection car insurance
Unlimited Mileage
Unlimited in-car Wi-Fi
Detailed itinerary & travel plan
Personal travel agent
24/7 helpline
VAT & all taxes


Reykjavik is the northernmost capital city in the world.Reykjavík / 1 night


Glacier Hiking
Super Jeep
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Boat Trip
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Ice Caving
Self drive

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Day 1

Day 1 – Welcome to Iceland

Welcome to Iceland

Welcome to your summer self-drive tour in Iceland!

You will land at the Keflavik International Airport, where your car will be waiting, and you'll start your adventure by heading to Reykjavik, traveling across the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula.

You could stop at the Blue Lagoon on your way to Iceland's capital. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It's in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere.

If you add the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged according to your flights. If there's no time to visit the lagoon today, it can be added to another day. Your travel consultant will be able to arrange this for you.

If you have extra free time, there's still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes Peninsula. The capital boasts a range of cultural attractions suited to all interests, whereas the peninsula has spectacular landscapes, lava fields, and several geothermal areas.

Reykjavik's skyline is marked by the unique architectural marvel, Hallgrimskirkja, a towering church offering panoramic views of the city from its observation deck. With its captivating geometric design and beautiful light displays, the Harpa Concert Hall serves as a hub for cultural events. Reykjavik's old harbor area is a thriving zone of boutique shops, museums like the Maritime Museum, and delectable seafood restaurants.

Don't miss the Reykjavik Art Museum and the National Museum of Iceland for a deep dive into Icelandic art and history. The city offers several green spaces for those seeking solace in nature, including the peaceful Tjornin lake in the city center and the family-friendly Laugardalur park with its zoo and geothermal pool.

Once you've been introduced to this beautiful country, you'll retire for the night in one of the comfortable accommodations of the city.

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Day 2

Day 2 – The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle

After recharging from your travels, your adventure around Iceland will begin. You'll find your first attractions along a popular sightseeing route close to the capital, the Golden Circle.

The first on your agenda is Thingvellir, a national park between two tectonic plates. Walking in this no-man's-land that belongs to no continent is a beautiful experience due to its abundant forests and waterways. Furthermore, Thingvellir has a fascinating history. The Althingi Parliament is the world's oldest surviving parliament and was founded here in 930 AD.

While in Thingvellir, you can join one of three tours. In one of the ravines torn open by the movement of the tectonic plates is a beautiful freshwater spring you can snorkel in. Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

Protected by a drysuit, you'll be privy to vividly blue underwater views, with visibility exceeding 328 feet (100 meters). The water is so clean you can drink it as you swim.

After Thingvellir, you'll continue to the Geysir geothermal area. Home to the geyser of Strokkur, this steaming valley is a fantastic place to observe the strange phenomena created by Iceland's volcanism. Strokkur erupts steam and water into the sky with breathtaking beauty and power every five to ten minutes.

Just six miles (10 kilometers) from Geysir, you'll find the spectacular waterfall of Gullfoss. Formed by a glacial river flowing from the ice cap of Langjokull, it thunders into a valley that opens unexpectedly through a landscape of rural bliss.

From the car park at Gullfoss, you can opt for a second tour, snowmobiling. After taking a super jeep up the slopes of Langjokull, you'll set off on a thrilling adventure across its icy surface. Snowmobiling is great for anyone who wants to get their adrenaline pumping and wishes to be privy to magnificent views.

Your third option for today's tour is a horseback ride. Icelandic horses are lovely creatures. Their small stature and gentleness help ease newcomers into the activity, whereas their unique gait and stamina make this excursion just as inviting for experienced riders.

After enjoying the attractions that define the Golden Circle, you can address your itinerary to locate many other nearby attractions. Kerid is a particularly notable example. It's a beautiful lake of azure waters nestled in an enormous crater of red rocks.

Once you've finished your travels, you'll retire in one of the towns of Southwest Iceland.

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Day 3

Day 3 – A Taste of the Highlands

A Taste of the Highlands

On the third day of your summer holiday in Iceland, you'll go on one of three thrilling adventures that few other guests experience. You can travel to the highland areas of Thorsmork or Landmannalaugar or the stunning Westman Islands.

If you elect to head to a highland area, you'll have the option of either driving yourself or taking a day tour in a super jeep. The former option grants you more freedom regarding what you do and how long you stay. However, the latter removes the concerns associated with driving on highland roads and finding the best spots in these vast areas.

Thorsmork is a valley sheltered by three enormous glacier tongues. The valley is filled with beautiful forests. Many hiking trails will take you from this area's scenic sites and introduce you to magnificent panoramic views.

Landmannalaugar is much more barren but just as beautiful. This highland reserve boasts colorful rhyolite mountains dyed in unusual colors by the area's geothermal activity. This activity has also produced many hot springs surrounded by striking landscapes that you can bathe in. Those who enjoy hiking will also find numerous routes deeper into the Highlands.

Meanwhile, the Westman Islands are an archipelago that boasts beautiful nature, abundant wildlife, and fascinating history.

The central island of Heimaey hosts a massive volcanic crater you can trek around. Furthermore, you can learn about its catastrophic eruption in 1973 at the Eldheimar museum. Heimaey's craggy coastline also makes for some beautiful walks, particularly in summer, because this is the world's most populous nesting ground for Atlantic Puffins.

No matter how you spend your day, it will be magical and beautiful because you'll head off the beaten track and away from the main tourist crowds. You'll return to one of Southwest Iceland's towns for a second night at the end of the day.

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Day 4

Day 4 – The South Coast

The South Coast

On the fourth day of your holiday to Iceland, you'll travel along the South Coast as you officially begin your Ring Road adventure. If you went to the Highlands the day before, you'd have seen a few of these sites on your drive, but now you can explore them with the justice they deserve.

The first three attractions are all magical waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss falls before a gaping cavern, allowing you to witness its gentle stream from unusual angles. Skogafoss is the most powerful of the three. It stands 197 feet (60 meters) tall and smashes into a river below with incredible force.

Glufrabui, meanwhile, is hidden in a narrow canyon off the beaten track, away from the eyes of most travelers.

If you take a glacier hiking tour, you'll head to the outlet of Solheimajokull after viewing these features. A tongue of the greater Myrdalsjokull, climbing Solheimajokull is an excellent way to witness the gleaming landscapes of the ice cap, its unusual and dramatic features, and great views over the south. Furthermore, it sits beside Eyjafjallajokull, the subglacial volcano that erupted in 2010.

Wildlife enthusiasts will want to detour to the Dyrholaey rock arch and cliffs a little further along the South Coast. This is a monumental site and an excellent puffin-watching destination, with thousands of nesting pairs overlooking beautiful ocean views.

Right by here is another picturesque coastal attraction, Reynisfjara beach. This black sand shore boasts the dramatic geological feature of Reynisdrangar, an enormous pair of basalt towers that are said, in Icelandic folklore, to be two trolls frozen by the morning sun's light.

By the beach is the charming village of Vik, where you can stop for refreshments and, if you select so when booking, head out on an ice-caving tour on Myrdalsjokull. A super jeep will take you to the summit of the spectacular ice cap, where you'll enter its beautiful and fascinating depths.

Once ready, you'll continue along the South Coast through some stunning lava fields. You'll then come to the magnificent Fjadrargljufur canyon. It's 328 feet (100 meters) wide and 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) long, with lovely hiking trails and a scenic, low river flowing through it.

Finally, you will reach the historic settlement of Kirkjubaejarklauster, where you can explore around. Your accommodation for the night is in this village or the nearby areas of Southeast Iceland.

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Day 5

Day 5 – Vatnajokull National Park

Vatnajokull National Park

On day five of your 11-day holiday to Iceland, you'll enjoy the wonders of the Vatnajokull National Park in the southeast. This area is defined by the glacier of Vatnajokull, the largest ice cap in Europe, and has some breathtaking scenery.

The hiking trails at the Skaftafell Nature Reserve are remarkable, taking you through diverse landscapes of lava fields, forests, and some spectacular attractions. Most notable is the Svartifoss waterfall, which cascades down a cliff of black hexagonal columns, and the Svinafellsjokull glacier tongue.

It is possible to organize another glacier hiking tour on this magnificent outlet glacier renowned for its incredible formations and vivid colors. This would be a great option if you went ice-caving yesterday, though still enticing for those who hiked Solheimajokull due to their dramatic differences.

Once you've enjoyed the magnificent Skaftafell Nature Reserve, you'll head to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. One of the country's most famed and beloved sites, this lake separates one of the tongues of Vatnajokull from the ocean. As the outlet breaks apart, the lagoon fills with countless, colossal icebergs that, over months, cruise their way to the sea.

When they finally reach the ocean, they wash up on the adjacent Diamond Beach. Though overlooked by many guests, this is a spectacular place because the icebergs glisten as they melt and contrast with the dark sands.

Both sites are magical to walk along and admire from land, but those who want to get so close to the icebergs that they can touch them can organize one of two boat tours into Jokulsarlon. An amphibian boat tour will keep you primarily out of the splash zone, though a zodiac tour will provide a more personal and up-close experience.

Thankfully, you do not need to choose between taking the glacier hike or boat tours today. You'll have time to do both.

Today, guests seeking hidden gems will find plenty in the area, but none more spectacular than the Fjallsarlon glacier lagoon. Though slightly smaller than Jokulsarlon, far fewer visitors try to reach it, allowing you to enjoy the views over the icebergs and take photographs without crowds blocking you.

After a glorious day of sightseeing, you'll continue along the South Coast to the beautiful coastal town of Hofn. Then, you'll rest for the night in a charming accommodation in Southeast Iceland.

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Day 6

Day 6 – The East Fjords

The East Fjords

On day six of your Icelandic vacation, you'll discover the magic of the remote Eastfjords.

Before reaching this region, you'll take a beautiful coastal road, introducing you to two unique mountains, Eystrahorn and Vestrahorn. Both are nicknamed 'the Batman Mountains' due to their dark coloration and twin, jagged peaks. You'll then come to Djupivogur village, where you can admire the public art.

Once you begin to navigate the East Fjords, you'll be blown away by its beauty. The fjords are deep and spectacular, framed with dramatic mountains, and home to countless little fishing villages. Each has a distinct character, though all are authentic places to witness the local history and culture. 

Animal lovers will rejoice at the abundant wildlife in the east. The cliffs are home to countless seabirds, and you'll find several puffin-watching hot spots in the region. Wild reindeer, meanwhile, roam inland in great herds. When looking out to the seas, you may even spot seals, dolphins, and whales feeding in the fertile waters.

You'll find plenty of fascinating detours on your itinerary, particularly as you get close to your final destination of the day, Egilsstadir town. Hallormsstadaskogur, for example, is the largest forest in Iceland, with plenty of trails that appeal to hikers, birdwatchers, and those just looking for a lovely spot for a picnic.

Lake Lagarfjlot sits adjacent to it, a peaceful body of water rumored to hold the Lagarfljot Wyrm, a creature similar to the Loch Ness monster.

Once you reach Egilsstadir, you are welcome to enjoy the region's largest town before retiring. If you elect to do so when booking, you can also take a detour a little north to the Vok Baths, a geothermal spa in a stunning lake surrounded by beautiful scenery. There are few places that are luxurious and revitalizing to unwind in.

After another unbeatable day, you'll enjoy a good night's sleep at your accommodation in the Eastfjords.

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Day 7

Day 7 – The Geothermal North

The Geothermal North

On the seventh day of your 11-day Icelandic holiday, you'll travel out of the east and enjoy the beautiful sites of the north. Before departing the region, however, you may want to check your itinerary for some final attractions around Egilsstadir. For example, you could travel to the magical fjord of Borgarfjordur Eystri, renowned for its spectacular wilderness, folklore, and wildlife.

However, your first main destination in the north is the waterfall of Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall. Not only is its force and scale breathtaking, but the dramatic black valley it surges into has an ominous beauty. Just up and downriver are two more waterfalls, Hafragilsfoss and Selfoss, which are just as striking.

You'll then head to the Myvatn area, the most popular part of the region for its diversity and geothermal wonders. The stunning lakes here are thriving with unique flora and fauna, and it's an excellent spot for birdwatching.

Those fascinated by geology will also find many sites to admire. There are pillars of basalt rising from the lakes, rows of pseudocraters around the shores, and the nearby Dimmuborgir lava fortress.

Not only was this one of the Icelandic locations used in Game of Thrones for its dramatic appearance, but it's also central to the national folklore, being home to the notorious Christmas trolls.

There are two nearby locations where you can marvel over the geothermal forces of the north. The first is Namaskard Pass, a barren mountain plateau with many fumaroles belching volcanic gasses into the sky. The smell of sulfur, lack of life, and lingering steam give this place an otherworldly air.

The second is the Myvatn Nature Baths. Located on the edge of the lakes, this is another wonderful geothermal spa where you can soak in naturally heated, mineral-rich waters. If you want the chance to unwind here, be sure to select admission when booking.

Once you have enjoyed these sites of the north, you'll retire in an accommodation in Northeast Iceland, ready for more northern adventures tomorrow.

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Day 8

Day 8 – The Whale Watching Capital of Europe

The Whale Watching Capital of Europe

On the eighth day of your holiday, you'll continue exploring North Iceland's wonders. The three most magnificent sites today are Husavik, Asbyrgi, and Godafoss waterfall.

Husavik is one of Iceland's oldest towns, sitting on the shores of the magnificent Skjalfandi Bay. It is also considered the whale-watching capital of Europe due to the abundance of life in its waters, and you can take a boat tour here to see for yourself.

Humpback whales, renowned for their acrobatic surface behavior, are the most commonly seen species, alongside dolphins and porpoises, although rarer creatures are also seen regularly. Furthermore, there are many seabirds to be found, including puffins.

The boat is large and spacious, with a comfortable deck for viewing the animals and a warm indoor area to relax between sightings.

Husavik is also known for being home to saltwater geothermal pools called the GeoSea Baths. Just as rejuvenating but more unique than other spas in the country, it's possible to book admission alongside or separately from the whale-watching tour.

Do note, however, that if you choose to enjoy both, you may not have the time to reach Asbyrgi canyon unless you do not mind a particularly long day.

Asbyrgi is renowned for its natural beauty and role in Icelandic folklore. A canyon shaped like an enormous horseshoe, it was once believed to be the hoof mark of Odin's eight-legged horse, Sleipnir. The hiking trails here lead to some magnificent landscapes and views. You can travel atop the cliffs or in the verdant woodland within the canyon.

Your final natural destination for the day is the stunning Godafoss waterfall. This site is also entwined with the Old Norse Gods. It was the place where the country symbolically abandoned them for Christianity when the law speaker threw their idols into the rapid waters.

Once you've made the most of these sites, you'll reach the Capital of the North, Akureyri. This pleasant town has stunning views of the fjord of Eyjafjordur, great architecture, museums, galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and bars, all of which are worth exploring.

You will retire for the night in your accommodation in North Iceland.

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Day 9

Day 9 – The Northern Coastline

The Northern Coastline

The ninth day of your 11-day holiday to Iceland will be the last you spend touring the Ring Road country. You'll visit more sites in the dynamic north before traveling through the beautiful nature of the west.

In the morning, you're welcome to check out the villages along the shore of Eyjafjordur. One of these, Arskogssandur, offers a strange tour for guests. The Beer Baths provide a unique spa experience where you can bathe in young beer to rejuvenate, freshen the skin, and relax. Adults can even have a drink as they enjoy the healing effects seeping into their skin.

Another detour you can make before leaving North Iceland is the beautiful village of Siglufjordur. Nestled in a narrow fjord of the same name, it boasts a serene church, a wonderful atmosphere, and breathtaking views.

As you travel to West Iceland, the final major site of the north is the Vatnsnes Peninsula. This area is most famous for the Hvitserkur monolith off its coast. Said to be a troll in folklore, it resembles an elephant with its trunk submerged. This site is also close to a natural lava formation called Borgarvirki, which local clans used as a fortress in the medieval era.

The Vatnsnes Peninsula is also home to the Icelandic Seal Center, as it is one of the best places in the country to find seal colonies.

Once you reach the rural landscapes of West Iceland, you can partake in one of two tours. The first of these is the Ice Tunnel on Langjokull glacier. Nowhere else on earth has a series of corridors and chambers been carved into an ice cap for visitors to explore. The colors here are spectacular, and the experience is fascinating.

Alternatively, you could head to the lava cave of Vidgelmir. Created in a dramatic eruption, this underground world bursts with unexpected color and bizarre ice and rock formations. Though an ominous concept for those with claustrophobia, Vidgelmir is surprisingly spacious and well-lit. Thus, this tour is more than comfortable for most guests.

Before reaching Reykjavik, you are welcome to detour to some other sites in the west, such as the waterfalls of Barnafoss and Hraunfossar or the hot spring of Deildartunghver. Otherwise, you can reach the capital in good time to enjoy its many attractions before you retire to your city-center accommodation.

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Day 10

Day 10 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
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On the penultimate day of your holiday to Iceland, you'll be based in Reykjavik and welcome to enjoy it however you wish. The pools, shopping malls, boutiques, parks, nature reserves, restaurants, bars, museums, and galleries mean that Reykjavik is truly a city for everyone.

Of course, as you still have your car, you can use it to find some natural sites around the city. For example, Mount Esjan and the Reykjadalur hot spring valley are short drives away, providing beautiful hikes. Esjan will give you incredible views over the capital, whereas Reykjadalur will allow you to bathe in a geothermal river.

There are, however, three tours on offer today, one of which you'll be able to partake in.

Firstly, you could head to the domestic airport and take a helicopter ride over the city. The aerial views of Reykjavik are unmatched. Its colorful tin roofs, architectural marvels, and coastal beauty are all even more spectacular from above. Furthermore, you'll fly over the incredible surrounding nature and make a short landing on a tabletop mountain.

Secondly, you could enjoy the FlyOver Iceland experience. This interactive 'ride' will have you strapped into a seat, dangled over an enormous screen, and blessed with an incredible video of Iceland's most stunning sites unfolding beneath you. This is an incredibly authentic and breathtaking journey with wind and scent effects.

The third option is the Into the Volcano tour, which cannot be enjoyed elsewhere. You'll use a mining lift to descend into the empty chamber of Thrihnukagigur volcano, a space large enough to hold Reykjavik's Hallgrimskirkja church. The scale, the colors, and the uniqueness of the activity make this one of the most sensational, unforgettable experiences the country offers.

You'll spend your final night in the capital of Iceland, where you can also check out the lively nightlife.

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Day 11

Day 11 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík - Departure day
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On your final day in Iceland, you'll drive back to the airport to drop off your car and get through customs before departure. Hopefully, you'll have enough time for some final moments in the city. Why not head to Laugavegur for some last-minute souvenirs or the harbor area for brunch?

For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you'll finish your stay unwinding before heading to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters and look back on the incredible adventure you've just taken in the land of fire and ice. If your flight is later, there are, of course, plenty of things to do in Reykjavik.

Those who want a last glance at nature will find beautiful views by simply walking along the seafront or using their final hours with their car to visit places such as the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula.

As it's on the way to the airport, you could also use the opportunity to sightsee the volcanic and geothermal sites of the Reykjanes Peninsula.

The Reykjanes Peninsula is a treasure trove of natural and historical attractions. It's home to the otherworldly Reykjanes Geopark, a UNESCO Global Geopark filled with geological wonders, including lava fields, hot springs, and mud pools.

Nature enthusiasts should not miss the charming Gardur lighthouse, a perfect spot for bird watching and breathtaking coastal views. Additionally, Gunnuhver, a powerful and impressive hot spring, and Krysuvik, a geothermal area with colorful sulfur deposits, boiling mud pots, and steaming vents, provide unforgettable encounters with the raw power of Iceland's geothermal activity.

Visitors can also explore the Viking World Museum in Njardvik, offering a fascinating insight into Iceland's Viking heritage with its centerpiece, a full-size Viking ship replica.

You'll head to the airport with plenty of time to drop off your car before your flight. We wish you a pleasant journey and hope to see you again.

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What to bring

Warm Clothes
Driver's license
Good walking shoes

Good to know

Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavík City or at Keflavik International Airport. A valid driver's license and a one-year-long on-road experience are required. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.

Some optional activities might require you to have a valid driver's license, or you might need to send additional information to your travel planner.

Those who opt to go snorkeling must be comfortable in the water and able to swim, and must present medical documents before snorkeling or diving.

Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing.

Gravel protection is not included if you choose a Toyota Aygo or similar.

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