11 Day Self Drive Tour on a Budget | East Fjords & Myvatn

11 Day Self Drive Tour on a Budget | East Fjords & Myvatn
The arctic lupin has spread its roots all over Iceland and has become the country's most iconic flower.
Hengifoss Waterfall in East Iceland during summer.
A view of Lake Lögurinn in East Iceland
A double rainbow by Skógafoss waterfall.
Stórurð by Borgarfjörður eystri is one of Iceland's most beautiful hiking trails.
The Dyrhólaey stone arch is one of South Iceland's most stunning natural features.

Trail all around the island of ice and fire on this eleven-day budget self-drive tour. This wallet-friendly tour is the ideal adventure for all of those who wish to experience the versatile wonders of the ring road on their own.

Book this fantastic self-drive today and get a 20% discount off the base price. Early Birds who want to take advantage of this special offer will be able to enjoy the many attractions of the land of ice and fire in the summer of 2019 as well as save a buck.

Forget bus schedules and take control of the wheel, as you are in charge of your adventures and the time spent at each site. A personal itinerary will guide you to all the top attractions, such as volcanoes, glaciers and waterfalls.

During the booking process, you can add an array of extra activities, all at a discounted price. These include snorkelling between two continents in the crystal clear waters of Silfra, whizzing across the ice cap of a glacier on a snowmobile, venturing into a volcanic magma chamber, and riding the friendly Icelandic horse through the countryside. 

The personal itinerary you'll receive includes the perfect balance of highlights and hidden gems, allowing you to enjoy a diverse holiday that will last you a lifetime.

So don't wait any longer. Book your self-drive tour now for eleven action-packed days of fun that won't break the bank. Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: May. - Oct.
  • Duration: 11 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkelling, Caving, Snowmobile, Horse Riding, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Bird watching, Ice Caving, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, East Iceland, West Iceland , Reykjavík, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Hvítá River, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Húsavík, Ásbyrgi, Dettifoss, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Glymur, Þingvellir, Hraunfossar, Strokkur, Reykjanes, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Þríhnúkagígur, Höfn, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Borgarnes, Barnafoss, Langjökull, Grjótagjá, Vík í Mýrdal, Svartifoss, Seyðisfjörður, Egilsstaðir, Borgarfjörður eystri, Siglufjörður, Hrísey, Hofsós, Keflavik International Airport, Haukadalur, Mývatn Nature Baths, Lagarfljót, Tröllaskagi, Víðgelmir, South Coast, Diamond Beach, Ring Road
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible.

Your car will await you at Keflavík International Airport when you arrive. You will drop it off at Keflavík airport, too, when you depart from Iceland.
Included:
  • 10 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast not included, shared bathrooms; more detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 11 days (Toyota Aygo or similar, upgrades available)

  • CDW insurance for vehicle

  • GPS system

  • Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland

  • Taxes

  • Fuel

  • Blue Lagoon entry ticket (can be added during booking process)

  • Meals


What to bring:
  • Warm and waterproof clothes

  • Driver's license

  • Swimsuit and towel

  • Camera


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.

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

Please note that all optional excursions are not included in the Early Bird offer, but you will enjoy a special discount on all optional activities if you book a self-drive tour with us. Don't miss the chance to spice up your trip with those bargain options.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arriving in Iceland


Soak the travel strain away in the mineral rich waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.


Pick up your car at Keflavík International Airport and make your way to the capital city where you will spend your first night in Iceland. On your way, you'll drive past the dark lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula. 

You can choose to start your Icelandic adventure with a visit to the mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, the ultimate cure for any jet lag. Just remember to book your tickets in advance since this marvel is extremely popular.

This day is fully yours, so feel free to explore the friendly city of Reykjavík. It is bustling with restaurants, quirky cafés, museums, galleries, shops and sights.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

Reykjavík Budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 2 - Golden Circle & the South Coast


See the mighty Strokkur erupt in the Geysir geothermal area.


On your second day, your ring road adventure begins with Iceland's most popular sights, the Golden Circle. First up is Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site nesting on the boundary of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where two continents meet.

If you're up for getting wet, you can opt to swim between two worlds in the crystal clear waters of Silfra Fissure, one of the top diving sites in the world.

Next up is Haukadalur, a valley stock-full of hot springs, steam vents, mud pools, and last but not least, active geysers. Watch as Strokkur hot spring erupts, spouting boiling water 20 metres into the air every 5-10 minutes.

You'll finally reach the world-renowned Gullfoss Falls where you can marvel at the unharnessed power of this cascade. A river, originating in Langjökull glacier rushes southwards before plummeting down into a 32-metre gorge, creating this beautiful waterfall.

At Gullfoss, you can add a snowmobile excursion on top of that very Glacier where you will race across the pearly-white ice cap. You can also get to know the amazing Icelandic horse on a horse riding tour through the countryside.

As you continue along the south coast, make sure to stop and visit the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, both located just off the ring road. Your final destination of the day is the coastal village Vík, home to the black beach Reynisfjara and its eerie sea stacks Reynisdrangar.

You'll spend the night at an accommodation in Vík.


Preferred accommodation by Vík

Vík Super Budget

Puffin Hostel is centrally located in Vík. Dorm accommodation with shared bathrooms and a common lounge area. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Vík Budget

Puffin Hostel is centrally located in Vík. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms and a common lounge area. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.


Day 3 - Glaciers & Icebergs


The Diamond Beach by Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is one of Iceland's most beautiful beaches.


On your third day, allow the fresh icy air to fill your lungs. You will have the option of adding an adventure in Mýrdalsjökull glacier where you descend into a natural ice cave.

Then, you'll continue down the south coast to explore the many sights of Vatnajökull National Park. Hiking enthusiasts will find an array of trails and tracks at Skaftafell Nature Reserve. One such trail leads to the natural gem Svartifoss Waterfall and its hexagonal black basalt columns. You can opt for a glacier hike at Skaftafell where you'll trek across the ice cap of a glacier.

Once you are back on the road, make sure to stop at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to marvel at the icebergs that have broken off one of Vatnajökull's outlet glaciers. There, the bergs float and glisten on the lagoon in an ever-changing scenery of serene and natural beauty.

If you want to venture a bit closer, you can add on a boat tour of the lagoon. Remember also to check out the nearby Diamond Beach, where chunks of ice wash up on shore and sparkle like gemstones on a blanket of black sand.

Your final destination will be the fishing village Höfn, where you will spend the night.


Preferred accommodation by Jökulsárlón and Höfn

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Super Budget

HI Hostel Höfn is located in Höfn township. Dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Budget

Guesthouse Hvammur is located in the centre of Höfn town and a short drive from Vatnjökull National Park. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 4 - The Eastern Fjords


Southeast Iceland's Vestrahorn is one of the country's most photographed mountains.


Your fourth day will see you traversing the breathtaking route of the East Fjords; a rural and unspoilt part of Iceland dotted with rugged mountains, coastal landscapes, roaming reindeer and sleeping fishing villages.

The road at hand is spectacular all the way through, and you can decide where to stop along the way. The village Fáskrúðsfjörður has a fascinating history of relating to France, while the town of Reyðarfjörður boasts of a World War II museum. 

A seafaring museum can be found in an old 1816 trade house in Eskifjörður town, and two summer-music festivals are held annually in the village of Neskaupstaður.

Your final destination will be Egilsstaðir, the largest settlement of the Eastern region with just over 2,000 inhabitants. You'll spend the night at a local accommodation in the area.


Preferred accommodation by Egilsstaðir

Egilsstaðir Super Budget

Guesthouse Olga is a family run guesthouse centrally located in Egilsstaðir town. Access to terrace and garden. Private rooms with shared facilities. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Egilsstaðir Budget

Guesthouse Birta is family run guesthouse centrally located in the town of Egilsstaðir. Access to terrace and garden. Private rooms with shared facilities. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.


Day 5 - Deep into the East Fjords


According to legend, East Iceland's Lake Lagarfljót is home to a giant serpent.


Today you'll get to explore the Eastern Fjords further. A visit to Lake Lagarfljót is recommended where, according to legend, a giant worm-like creature is said to live. 

You could also pack a picnic basket and head to Atlavík Cove, home to lush greenery and a beautiful country river. The Cove is located in Hallormsstaðaskógur, Iceland's first national forest.

In the woods, you'll find numerous hiking trails. Two of them lead up to the stunning waterfalls Litlanesfoss and Hengifoss.

If you've upgraded your vehicle to a 4x4, you could drive further inland all the way to Mount Snæfell or the great dam at Kárahnjúkar. Nearby are the two spectacular canyons Dimmugljúfur and Hafrahvammagljúfur, the latter of which is 10 kilometres in length.

You could also drive to the town of Seyðisfjörður, see its charming old wooden houses and visit the Technical Museum of East Iceland and Seyðisfjörður local history heritage museum.

You'll spend another night in your Eastfjords-accommodation.


Day 6 - Borgarfjörður Eystri


Stórurð is a popular hiking trail in the mountains by Borgarfjörður eystri.


On your sixth day, you'll make your way to the village of Borgarfjörður Eystri and spend the day exploring its mountainous surroundings.

Here you'll have a myriad of hiking trails to choose from, each varying in length and will lead you to different attractions. One trail will take you along the coastline near Húsey farm, where seals are often spotted as they search for food in the waters.

Another trail takes you to the giant boulders Stórurð. There, the stark contrast of the azure waters, the dark green moss and the rocky terrain will surely amaze you. 

Depending on the season, you can also go bird-watching at the village's bird watching site. You could spot the adorable Atlantic puffin as they make the site their home in June and July.

After a full day of connecting with nature, you'll spend another night in Egilsstaðir or its surrounding areas.


Day 7 - Lake Mývatn


See the otherworldly shades and colours of Námaskarð Pass by Lake Mývatn.


On day seven, it is time to say farewell to the wonders of the East and head up North to your next destination; Lake Mývatn. 

The whole area surrounding the lake was formed by a volcanic eruption some 2,500 years ago. Evidence of this explosion can be seen in the free standing lava pillars which dominate the lake’s landscape.

The highlights of the Mývatn area include the geothermal area of Námaskarð Pass, the active volcano Krafla, and the haunting lava formations of Dimmuborgir field.

Visitors should also pay a visit to Grjótagjá, a lava tube cave with a hidden treasure inside: a volcanic hot spring.

Another highlight of the area is the Mývatn Nature Baths. There you can let the silica minerals in the water work their magic on your body and soul after a long day of sightseeing.

Afterwards, make your way to the town of Akureyri and get settled into your accommodation.


Preferred accommodation by Akureyri

Akureyri Super Budget

Akureyri HI Hostel is a short walk from Akureyri's town centre. Dormitory accommodation with shared bathrooms. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Akureyri Budget

Hrafinn Guesthouse is located in the centre of Akureyri town. Guests have access to a fully equipped kitchen and fully furnished terrace. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.


Day 8 - North Iceland


Dettifoss is Europe's most powerful waterfall.


After waking up in Akureyri, you can start the day by exploring this charming town further. Visit its many cafés, restaurants and shops, and don't forget to take a trip to Brynjuís, the most famous ice-cream shop in Iceland.

Then get ready to explore the North further. You could head back out to Lake Mývatn for a better look at the area's many sights, or you could drive through Jökulsárgljúfur Gorge and visit the forest-clad canyon Ásbyrgi and the powerful waterfall Dettifoss.

Today you also have the option of embarking on a whale watching tour from Húsavík by Skjálfandi bay. The town is known as the 'Whale Watching Capital of Iceland' as there are around 24 species of whales in the bay. If you opt for a RIB boat, you'll add puffin segment to that authentic wildlife experience.

If you feel like heading further, another option is to visit the picturesque island Hrísey located in Eyjafjörður Fjord.

You'll spend another night in Akureyri.


Day 9 - Trollaskagi Peninsula


Icelandic horses lazing under the midsummer night sky.


On day nine, you could start your day by going horseback riding in the incredible landscapes of the North. You can also go whale-watching if you missed it yesterday.

Then it is time to head for Skagafjörður, the valley of the roaming horses. After passing through the majestic mountains of Tröllaskagi, you'll reach the herring-fishing village Siglufjörður. We recommend a stop at the award-winning Herring Era Museum to quench your thirst for history and ancient Icelandic culture.

Then you'll continue on to the tiny village Hofsós. It is the home of a unique geothermal 'infinity pool' where visitors are treated to an incredible ocean view that seems to join the waters of the pool seamlessly.

Close by lies the village Blönduós, where you will spend the night.


Preferred accommodation by Blönduós

Blönduós Super Budget

Mikligarður Guesthouse is located in the old center of Sauðárkrókur town. Private Bedroom with shared bathroom and a communal kitchenette. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Blönduós Budget

Mikligarður Guesthouse is located in the old center of Sauðárkrókur town. Free Wi-Fi. Private Bedroom with private bathroom and a communal kitchenette. Breakfast not included.


Day 10 - West-Iceland


The arctic lupin bestows a beautiful shade of purple upon Iceland's landscapes.


Day ten belongs to the West, an area especially rich in Icelandic settlement history. If that sparks your interest, be sure to visit the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes or the medieval research institute Snorrastofa in Reykholt.

Snorrastofa is where some of the greatest Icelandic Sagas were born. Many of them were written by the institute's former resident Snorri Sturluson, probably the most important scholar of medieval Europe.

Close to Reykholt, you'll find the waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, both captivating in their own unique way. You can also visit the waterfall Fossatún, which is said to be guarded by the troll woman Drífa.

While travelling the West, you can opt for two exciting tours. The first one takes you to the colourful underworld of the lava cave Víðgelmir, and the second one leads you through the hallways of a man-made tunnel inside Langjökull glacier.

Then it is time to make your way back to Reykjavík City, but feel free to take a detour of Hvalfjörður and hike to Iceland's second tallest waterfall, Glymur. You can also opt for the fjord tunnel to cut down on your driving time if you are in a hurry to get back to the city.

Once back in Reykjavík you can spend the rest of the day exploring the city. However, if you are up for one last adventure, you can take a tour where you descent into the magma chamber of a dormant volcano.

You'll spend your last night in Reykjavík.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

Reykjavík Budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 11 - Departure


The Sun Voyager sculpture is a popular photo stop by central Reykjavík's shoreline.


All adventures must end, so be sure to drop off your car at Keflavík International Airport in due time before your flight home.

Depending on your flight schedule, you can fit in a visit to the Blue Lagoon, some last-minute city shopping or sightseeing.

Rest assured that you have just collected enough memories to last you a lifetime. Have a pleasant journey home.


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. Budget level 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. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.

Super Budget

Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels. Located in the region of the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.

Budget

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


Car

Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour. All our vehicles are new or current models. Super budget 2WD vehicles are maximum 5 years of age, and come equipped with a GPS and standard CDW insurance. Budget 2WD and Comfort 4x4 level vehicles are maximum two years of age, and come equipped with a GPS, CDW, GP and SCDW insurances. You can also upgrade to an automatic model.

Super Budget

A small 2WD vehicle such as Toyota Aygo, Hyundai i10 or similar, fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions. Compact and comfortable for up to 2 travellers with very little luggage. No highland capabilities.

Budget

A basic 2WD vehicle such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar, suitable for travelling in everyday conditions. Comfortable for 3 travellers with light luggage. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.

Comfort 4X4

A medium sized 4WD (4x4) jeep or SUV such as Toyota Rav4 or similar. Fit for most travel, and good for snow and off-asphalt driving. This vehicle has basic highland capabilities. Recommended.


Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel the booking of this package and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person. The cancellation must be made within a minimum of 48-hours before the listed starting time. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact our service desk by writing to info@guidetoiceland.is no later than 48-hours before departure and declare the cancellation. Please note that this insurance only covers the full cancellation of this entire package. It does not cover cancellations of individual activities and services within the package. The cost of the Cancellation Insurance is neither refundable nor transferable.


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11 Day Self Drive Tour on a Budget | East Fjords & Myvatn
 
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