Customizable 12-Day Self-Drive Ring Road Tour

Likely to sell out soon
Likely to sell out soon
Free cancellation
24/7 customer support
Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable

Description

Summary

Starts from
Keflavík International Airport (KEF), Reykjanesbær, Iceland
Ends in
Keflavík International Airport (KEF), Reykjanesbær, Iceland
Duration
12 days & 11 nights
Difficulty
Easy
Available
All year
Accommodation
11 nights included
Car rental
12 days included

Description

Explore Iceland's Ring Road in summer, enjoying some of the country's best locations under the midnight sun when you book this incredible 12-day self-drive tour. Those looking to spend the summer exploring Iceland's wondrous nature should book this exciting itinerary now.

On this trip, you'll explore the whole island, taking the route clockwise around the Ring Road, Iceland's main road, which circles the entire country.

You don't have to spend weeks planning the perfect itinerary in Iceland. The planning has all been done for you with this tour, and it is available at a great price. Moreover, this self-drive package is a much-loved tour that's highly rated.

Organizing your trip may sound exciting, but you risk missing out on some of the best attractions. Letting us handle the planning ensures that all the essential stops you need to see and experience during your self-drive tour are included.

You'll journey through West Iceland, the richly diverse Snaefellsnes peninsula, and the rugged volcanic northern reaches. You'll also discover the untouched wild nature of East Iceland, the picturesque South Iceland, and the famous Golden Circle sightseeing route.

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs during the summer months in Iceland. It refers to when the sun remains visible above the horizon, even at midnight, casting a soft golden glow over the landscape.

In turn, this extended daylight offers a unique advantage for sightseeing in Iceland, as you can explore and admire the country's stunning landscapes around the clock. With almost 24 hours of daylight, there is ample time to visit iconic attractions, such as waterfalls, geysers, glaciers, and volcanic landscapes, without the constraints of darkness.

The midnight sun enhances visibility, allowing for breathtaking views and the opportunity to experience Iceland's natural wonders in a new light.

The best part about a self-drive tour is that you're in control. There's no need to worry about tour groups or guides. Take the wheel and enjoy each attraction at your own pace.

You'll be given a fully customized, detailed itinerary to help guide you to the best places you should check out on your travels. This itinerary will also assist you as you go through the beaten track and explore some of the least heard-of natural attractions, keeping you well away from large tourist crowds.

You don't have to worry about missing out on anything, as everything will be included. 

Along your trip, you can add some activities to create once-in-a-lifetime memories. These include snorkeling between two tectonic plates, snowmobiling on top of a glacier, exploring the magma chamber of a dormant volcano, and horse riding through Iceland's incredible nature.

All your accommodations, tours, and car rental are arranged for you. You just need to arrive in Iceland and collect your vehicle from the airport.

You'll also have a travel agent available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, should you need them. If your plans change and you need to cancel your tour, you can do so free of charge up to 24 hours before departure.

Take advantage of this incredible 12-day summer self-drive tour exploring Iceland's wonders under the midnight sun. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Included

11 nights of accommodation.
Continental breakfast on all days
New rental car for 12 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

Destinations

Reykjavik is the northernmost capital city in the world.Reykjavík / 3 nights
West Iceland home to many magical features, such as Hraunfossar waterfalls.West Iceland / 1 night
Reykholt was home to Snorri Sturluson, a medieval writer.Reykholt
Deildartunguhver geothermal hot spring in West IcelandDeildartunguhver
Beautiful coastal geology helps to define the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.Snæfellsnes / 1 night
North Iceland is home to many incredible attractions, such as the Hvitserkur rock formation.North Iceland / 1 night
Lake Myvatn is Northeast Iceland's most famous attraction.Northeast Iceland / 1 night
East Iceland is a spectacular region.Eastfjords / 1 night
The Vatnajokull glacier in Southeast Iceland.Southeast Iceland / 1 night
Dyrhólaey peninsula from east to westSouth Coast / 1 night
An abandoned house on the Reykjanes Peninsula presents a striking contrast against a lush green landscape.Southwest Iceland / 1 night

Map

Attractions

Hraunfossar is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in West Iceland.Hraunfossar
Borg á Mýrum is a church estate in Iceland.Borg á Mýrum
Seals hauling out at Ytri Tunga.Ytri Tunga Beach
Búðakirkja Church bathed by the Northern LightsBudir
Snæfellsjökull glacier above the black church at Búðir village.Snæfellsjökull
Lóndrangar under the midnight sun.Lóndrangar
Djupalonssandur has beautiful natural featuresDjupalonssandur
Mount Kirkjufell on Snaefellsnes peninsula is one of the most iconic mountains in IcelandKirkjufell
Borgarvirki (Citadel) is both natural and man-made.Borgarvirki
Hvítserkur, aka; “The Troll of North-West Iceland”, is a 15-metre (49ft) high basalt rock stack protruding from Húnaflói Bay.Hvítserkur
Beautiful flowers can be found in the Kjarnaskogur forest in Iceland.Kjarnaskogur
Godafoss is a beautiful waterfall with ties to Iceland's religious history.Godafoss Waterfall
Lake Myvatn is surrounded by stunning natural beautyMývatn
Dettifoss waterfall in IcelandDettifoss
Asbyrgi Canyon in north Iceland is a centre of folklore and beauty.Ásbyrgi
Lagarfljot, in east Iceland, has a terrible monster in its depths, according to legend.Lagarfljót
Hallormstadaskogar surrounds lake Lagarfjlot.Hallormsstaðaskógur
Vestrahorn is a spectacular mountain, especially under the Northern Lights.Vestrahorn
Jökulsárlón is one of Iceland's most popular and unique attractionsJökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
The icy diamonds of Diamond BeachDiamond Beach
Skaftafell Nature Preserve can be found in Öræfasveit, the western region of Austur-Skaftafellssýsla in Iceland.Skaftafell
Svartifoss in Skaftafell Nature Reserve in summer.Svartifoss
Reynisfjara beach and Reynisdrangar cliffs in winterReynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Arial view of Reynisdrangar and Mt. ReynisfjallReynisdrangar
Dyrhólaey Peninsula is a 120 metre promenade famed for its staggering views of Iceland’s South Coast, as well as its historic lighthouse and wealth of birdlife.Dyrhólaey
Sólheimajökull is the most popular glacier to hike on for those based in Reykjavík.Sólheimajökull
The mighty Skógafoss waterfallSkógafoss
Seljalandsfoss on the South Coast of Iceland bathed in the otherworldly light of the midnight sun.Seljalandsfoss
Þingvellir National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on Iceland’s mainland, is birthplace of the country’s parliament.Kerið
Long-exposure photo of Gullfoss waterfall on a cloudy dayGullfoss
Geysir is a dormant hot spring in the geothermal area, Haukadalur Valley, found in South Iceland.Geysir
Þingvellir National Park is Iceland's only UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the major stops along the world famous Golden Circle sightseeing route.Thingvellir
Kleifarvatn is the third largest lake in Iceland.Kleifarvatn
KrýsuvíkKrýsuvík
Gunnuhver is one of the geothermal areas on the Reykjanes Peninsula.Gunnuhver

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Snorkelling
Caving
Kayaking
Hiking
Snowmobile
Horse Riding
Sightseeing
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Ice Caving
Self drive

Travel details

Travel dates

Travelers

Car

Car

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small car
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People
Large bags
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Medium
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Premium car

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premium car
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large car

large car

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SUV

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JEEPSUV
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Personalize your itinerary

Day 1

Day 1 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík - Arrival day
  • More

On day one of your 12-day road trip, you'll arrive in Iceland and start exploring the incredible landscapes and nature of the land of fire and ice.

You'll pick up your rental car and collect your baggage as soon as you land. Your rental car will be new, and Wi-Fi is available in the car so you can catch up with anything you've missed while traveling. Once you've got into your car, head straight for the vibrant and quirky capital of Reykjavik.

On your way to Reykjavik, you can stop at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. 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 a unique atmosphere.

Adding a trip to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa to your itinerary will be arranged according to your flights. If there's no time to visit the lagoon today, you can go there another day, and your travel consultant will arrange this for you.

If you have some free time, there's still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes Peninsula.

Reykjavik is a fantastic city, whether you love nature, history, fine dining, nightlife, shopping, or art culture. It is also safe and clean and has beautiful architecture, making it a pleasure to stroll through. Ensure you see the beautiful Hallgrimskirkja Church and the spectacular Harpa Concert Hall.

Meanwhile, the Reykjanes Peninsula is a volcanic wonderland with plenty of hot springs and geological marvels. You can visit the Fagradalsfjall volcano, which erupted in 2021, 2022, and 2023, or walk from Europe to North America at the Bridge Between the Continents.

At the end of your first day, head to your accommodation in Reykjavik, where you'll rest for the night after a long day of traveling.

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Accommodation

Day 2

Day 2 – West Iceland

  • West Iceland
  • More
  • Reykholt historical site
  • Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls
  • Deildartunguhver hot spring
  • Borg a Myrum church and farm
  • More

On your first full day in Iceland, you'll hit the road and head towards the spectacular region of West Iceland.

After an hour of driving north from the capital, you'll pass through the charming small town of Borgarnes. It sits at the edge of a bay, offering incredible views of the adjacent mountain across the waters.

For history buffs, Borgarnes also hosts a great Viking Settlement museum, which is the perfect place to learn more about the original settlers of Iceland.

Your first stop of the day will take you off the Ring Road towards the waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. The former is a wide, gentle waterfall rich in color. Interestingly, an ancient lava flow created beautiful rivulets where the glacier meltwater trickles through, creating a colorful effect. 

Meanwhile, the latter is a much more powerful waterfall, pouring quickly over a series of narrow craggy rocks into the deep caverns below. Getting from Hraunfossar to Barnafoss is easy, as they're only near each other.

After leaving these waterfalls behind, you'll continue exploring West Iceland. If you love history, consider stopping at the village of Reykholt. This village was the home of the medieval writer and chieftain Snorri Sturluson, without whom we would know very little about Old Norse or the Icelandic civil war.

You can also choose some additional activities today. The first option is to visit the famous Krauma spa. Fed by natural hot springs and geothermal waters, Krauma is the perfect place to unwind and bathe in one of Iceland's most beautiful geothermal pools amid beautiful rural nature.

Otherwise, you can take a super jeep tour from Husafell to the top of the nearby Langjokull glacier. From here, you'll be taken to visit an incredible artificial glacier tunnel. Your guide will take you through it and give you time to explore the many caverns that make this a fantastic experience.

Your third option is to explore the Vidgelmir lava cave on a guided tour. You'll descend through a narrow tunnel into the vast cavern below, filled with countless icicles. You'll also see unique colors from ancient eruptions and some of Iceland's most spectacular rock formations.

At the end of your first full day in Iceland, you'll rest for the night in your accommodation in West Iceland.

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Day 3

Day 3 – Snæfellsnes

  • Snæfellsnes
  • More
  • Ytri Tunga Beach
  • Budir hamlet
  • Snaefellsjokull Glacier
  • Londrangar Basalt Cliffs
  • Djupalonssandur black pebble beach
  • Kirkjufell Mountain
  • More

On the third day of your self-drive tour, you'll explore the richly diverse Snaefellsnes Peninsula and discover how it earned the nickname "Iceland in miniature."

The day's first stop will take you to the much-photographed black church of Budir. Framed by the shouldering adjacent mountains, the church is one stunning attraction worth taking plenty of pictures of.

Next, you'll head 13.6 miles (22 kilometers) toward the hamlet of Hellnar and the village of Arnarstapi. Once there, you'll explore the beautiful basalt rock formations that decorate this incredible coastline. Get a feel of the battering ocean's raw power below, creating caverns of volcanic rock all along the cliff edges.

Next, you'll go to Djupalonssandur black sand beach, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Arnarstapi. Aside from holding the title as one of Iceland's best lesser-known black sand beaches, the site is also famous for the four lifting stones fishermen use on the beach to test their strength.

A short drive away, you'll find the Londrangar rock pinnacles, about 4.7 miles (7.5 kilometers) from the beach. These beautifully unique basalt columns appear on the cliff edges of this stunning natural peak.

The area is another beautiful stop for people who wish to hone their photography skills.

About 35 miles (56 kilometers) is your next stop, the most-photographed mountain in Iceland: Kirkjufell. Standing at 1,519 feet (463 meters) tall, Kirkjufell mountain stands as a lone spectacle against the beautiful ocean waters. Take your time to gaze at this landmark and the adjacent Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.

After walking across the bridge along the top of these falls, you'll arrive at the best position to capture a photo of Kirkjufell framed with the waterfall.

Before leaving, take a kayaking tour around the base of Kirkjufell mountain. The calm waters will give you a great perspective of this charismatic mountain, where you can appreciate its sheer scale and unique positioning. These waters are also known to occasionally host some of Iceland's indigenous orcas, giving you another reason to paddle out.

A final stop for the day is the charming fishing village of Stykkisholmurl. Surrounded by a selection of craggy points and a quaint harbor, this sleepy town is a great place to spend a few hours exploring on foot.

You can even drive around the other side of the harbor, park up, and climb to the top of the craggy outstretched point. Here, you'll get amazing views of the southern shores of Iceland's Westfjords.

You'll then retire for the night in your accommodation in West Iceland.

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Day 4

Day 4 – North Iceland

  • North Iceland
  • More
  • Borgarvirki basalt strata and ruins
  • Hvitserkur Rock Stack
  • Kjarnaskogur
  • More

On the fourth day of your Ring Road tour of Iceland, you'll explore some of the best spots in North Iceland by traversing the Trollaskagi Peninsula.

First, however, you'll detour northward onto the often-overlooked Vatnsnes Peninsula. Here, you'll visit the bizarre basalt rock formation of Hvitserkur. This rock formation is the last remaining feature of an old volcano, resembling a drinking elephant or a dragon.

Next, you'll drive 89 miles (144 kilometers) to your first stop on the Trollaskagi Peninsula, Hofsos. The most notable attraction in this town is the incredible infinity pool, which sits on the edge of a cliff, offering the most stunning views for bathers. Take a dip and check it out for yourself.

Afterward, you'll continue north along this peninsula for around 37 miles (60 kilometers) until you reach the town of Siglufjordur, which sits at the base of a fjord. Aside from being one of the most picturesque towns in Iceland, it's also known for its fishing. 

A notable stop here is the Herring Era Museum, Iceland's largest maritime museum. It's an excellent place to learn about the importance of the fishing industry for Icelanders.

Traveling about 29 miles (46.6 kilometers) south past the smaller town of Dalvik, you can stop for an exciting bathing experience at the Beer Spa. Located in the village of Arskogssandur, this place offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience of bathing in the fermenting yeast and hops while enjoying a cold pint of beer.

Afterward, you'll drive toward the "Capital of the North," Akureyri. If you have enough time, check out the galleries and boutique shops. You can also visit the Akureyri Botanical Gardens, home to over 7,000 plant species.

If you're already exhausted, make sure to visit the best ice cream shop in Iceland for a well-earned treat.

You'll then retire for the night in your accommodation in North Iceland.

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Day 5

Day 5 – Northeast Iceland

  • Northeast Iceland
  • More
  • Kjarnaskogur
  • Godafoss Waterfall
  • Lake Myvatn Area
  • More

On the fifth day of your self-drive tour in Iceland, you'll get to explore the scenic Diamond Circle sightseeing route.

After leaving Akureyri and driving up the northern side of the adjacent fjord, you'll head toward your first stop at the fishing town of Husavik. Husavik was the primary filming location of the Will Farrell movie "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga."

Often considered the whale-watching capital of Europe, Husavik's marine life is particularly abundant in the summer months.

You can join a whale-watching tour here on either a boat or an RIB vessel, where you'll head out into the open waters in search of whales. You'll have the chance to spot humpback whales, sperm whales, fin whales, minke whales, and even orcas if you're fortunate.

If whale watching isn't your thing, you can visit the GeoSea geothermal baths in the town. Fed by geothermal water and seawater, these baths have the most amazing views of the open sea waters to the north. They are also the perfect way to relax and rejuvenate in true Icelandic style after a few days of adventure.

If you struggle to choose between these options, you can do both. If you prefer searching for more remote yet grand nature, you can drive 38.5 miles (62 kilometers) toward Asbyrgi canyon.

The Asbyrgi canyon resembles the shape of a horseshoe. According to folklore, the shape resulted from Odin's eight-legged horse stomping on the ground. This tranquil spot is rich in flora and fauna and offers an incredible off-the-beaten-track stop.

Before heading towards the Myvatn lake region, you'll visit Dettifoss waterfall, around 18 miles (30 kilometers) from the canyon. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, and its ominous presence was captured by cinematographers when it appeared in the opening scene of the sci-fi classic Prometheus.

If you have time to spare, take a 10-minute walk upstream and visit the smaller but no less beautiful Selfoss waterfall.

Before retiring for the night, you can dip in the famous Myvatn Nature Baths. Well-positioned amongst this volcanic region, the natural and traditional baths are the perfect place to unwind after a long day of traveling. You can also look across the Myvatn region under the incredible sight of the lowering midnight sun.

You'll then rest up for the night in your accommodation in North Iceland.

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Day 6

Day 6 – Eastfjords

  • Eastfjords
  • More
  • Dettifoss waterfall
  • Asbyrgi canyon
  • More

On the morning of your sixth day on a self-drive tour of Iceland, you'll take your time to explore the beautiful sites of the Lake Myvatn region.

Amongst the great lakes, you'll notice a wide variety of flora and many nesting birds that live here in the summer months. While traveling through the landscapes, you'll see a mixture of craters and rock formations that make up this large volcanic region.

Your first stop will take you to the Dimmuborgir rock formation. Though never an actual fortress, these rock formations resemble a castle. It features turrets and walls formed by the cooling rock from ancient eruptions.

Interestingly, this location's eerie atmosphere was one reason early Icelanders thought it was one of the gateways to hell.

Your next stop will take you to the geothermal area of Namaskard Pass, about 6.5 miles (10.5 kilometers) away. As numerous plumes of steaming vents surround you, you can get close to these eruptions.

Afterward, you'll make your way 99 miles (160 kilometers) east to the town of Egilsstadir. Before checking into your accommodation, you'll want to visit Lake Lagarfljot and the forest of Hallormsstadaskogur.

The former is easily one of the most beautiful spots in East Iceland. Folklore claims the Lagarfljot Wyrm, a rare worm-like creature, lives in the lake's depths. This beast is also considered the Icelandic version of the Loch Ness Monster.

Meanwhile, the latter is the largest forest in Iceland that borders the enormous Vatnajokull National Park. The area is great for hikers to explore some of the untouched wilderness in Iceland. It's also one of Iceland's best areas to see some indigenous reindeer.

Before retiring for the night, you could visit the spectacular Vok Baths, about 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) from Hallormsstadaskogur. These geothermal pools sit amid a lake, making for an incredibly surreal setting as you relax in their mineral-rich healing waters. After a day of travel, there is no better way to end the day.

Tonight, you'll stay in comfortable accommodation in East Iceland.

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Day 7

Day 7 – Southeast Iceland

  • Southeast Iceland
  • More
  • Lake Lagarfljot
  • Hallormsstadaskogur Forest
  • Vestrahorn
  • More

On the seventh day of your road trip in Iceland, you'll take your time journeying through one of the most overlooked regions in Iceland, the Eastfjords.

Rich in wildlife, mountains, waterfalls, and quaint fishing towns, visiting the Eastfjords is like discovering some of the best-kept secrets in Iceland.

On your way south, you can take a detour to explore the remote fjord of Borgarfjordur Eystri. It's one of the most beautiful spots in Iceland, steeped in folklore, and offers some fantastic hiking options.

A town you'll also want to visit is Seydisfjordur, which sits at the base of a beautiful fjord, just 16.6 miles (26.7 kilometers) from Egilsstadir. The town is surrounded by mountains and the most incredible array of waterfalls. Its most famous attraction is a blue church with a rainbow pathway leading to it, making it an Instagram favorite.

As you travel further south, you'll pass through numerous fishing towns at the base of each fjord you drive through. Most notable of these are Djupivogur and Faskrudsfjordur. The former is surrounded by an incredible coastline of three fjords, creating dramatic scenery and photo opportunities.

The latter is the easternmost settlement in Iceland, right in the center of the Eastfjords. Historically, this town became a trading post in 1880 with a strong relationship with France's fishers who would frequently visit. Known as a town of rich French heritage, Faskrudsfjordur features many French street signs.

Towards the end of your time in the East Fjords, you'll pass by the charismatic peaks of Eystrahorn and Vestrahorn, which are great settings for watching sunsets, the northern lights, and the midnight sun.

Interestingly, Eystrahorn and Vestrahorn are made of gabbro, a dark and jagged lava rock rich in magnesium and iron. Climbing Eystrahorn can be difficult because of its steep gravel slopes, so it's best to just marvel at its majestic beauty.

Meanwhile, you can appreciate Vestrahorn easily, as it stands separately from nearby mountains around the Vatnajokull National Park.

After another fruitful day of exploring, you'll spend the evening in your accommodation in Southeast Iceland.

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Day 8

Day 8 – South Coast

  • South Coast
  • More
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
  • Diamond Beach
  • Skaftafell Nature Reserve
  • Svartifoss
  • More

On the eighth day of your self-drive tour of Iceland, you'll explore the beautiful Vatnajokull National Park.

Your first stop of the day will take you to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, often referred to as the crown jewel of Iceland. Here, you'll witness the most incredible array of floating icebergs making their way to the shore.

Crossing to the adjacent shore about 0.87 miles (1.4 kilometers) across the road, you can enjoy the famous Diamond Beach. The washed-up icebergs melting and glistening in the long hours of sunlight earned the beach this nickname. Enjoy a walk through this majestic paradise and get up close and personal with these significant chunks of the glacier.

You can also join a boat tour of the lagoon during the summer. You'll have two options, an amphibian or a zodiac boat tour.

Joining an amphibian boat tour lets you glide amongst the enormous icebergs of the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. You'll be part of a larger group and experience this beautiful lagoon up close.

On the other hand, a zodiac boat tour lets you move from iceberg to iceberg with a small group. While in this exhilarating experience, keep your eyes open for seals that grace the ice.

You'll then drive up the road about 7.2 miles (11.6 kilometers) to stop at a much lesser-known glacier lagoon, Fjallsarlon. Here, you'll experience the raw beauty of a glacier lagoon away from most tourists.

Your last stop of the day is the  Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Known for its abundance of hiking paths through lava fields, mountains, and glacier tongues, this is the perfect place to put on your walking boots and check out a trail.

Most notable is the trail that leads to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall. This waterfall is surrounded by a series of volcanic hexagonal basalt columns, making it a unique spectacle. It's also a relatively easy hike to get there.

If you want to add more adventures to your day, you can include a three-hour glacier hike on the outlet glacier of Skaftafell glacier. Your guide will give you a helmet, crampons, an ice axe, and a quick safety briefing before leading you out onto the ice.

You'll get the chance to climb on top of this glacier, pass deep crevasses, and experience an incredible rush of excitement as you witness one of the most amazing views in the entire region.

If you join this glacier hike, bring your water bottle to sample some of the purest water you'll ever taste.

In the evening, you'll rest in your South Iceland accommodation.

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Day 9

Day 9 – Southwest Iceland

  • Southwest Iceland
  • More
  • Reynisfjara black sand beach
  • Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks
  • Dyrholaey
  • Solheimajokull Glacier
  • Skogafoss waterfall
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • More

On the ninth day of your self-drive tour of Iceland, you'll explore the best sites of the wondrous South Coast.

Your first stop is a visit to the incredible Fjadrargljufur canyon. Just a short drive from your previous night's accommodation, these towering cliffs and the winding rapids that flow between them are worth a stop. Game of Thrones fans may recognize this spot from a flying dragon scene in the final series with Jon Snow and Khaleesi.

After leaving Fjadrargljufur canyon, you'll continue toward the lava fields created by the epic eruption of the Laki volcano in 1783. This eruption lasted nearly seven months, killing many of Iceland's population and livestock. 

Moreover, the effects of its ash were so strong that it massively impacted the harvests in Western Europe and was linked to the eventual French Revolution.

You can join an ice cave tour if you want to add some extra adventure to your day. Your guide will pick you up from Vik, give you a helmet and some crampons, and give you a safety briefing before taking you to the top of Myrdalsjokull glacier. 

Once on top, you'll be guided through the caverns of this beautiful natural ice cave above Iceland's largest volcano, Katla. It changes with the glacier's movements, so no two trips are the same.

Next, you'll check out the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach, about 16 miles (26 kilometers) from the Myrdalsjokull glacier. This volcanic beach is decorated with a shoreline of cliffs, basalt caves, and the well-known sea stacks of Reynisdrangar. In Icelandic folklore, these stacks are the remains of two petrified trolls caught in the sunlight who failed to find refuge in time.

Afterward, you'll visit the nearby rock arch of Dyrholaey, around 11 miles (18 kilometers) from the beach. Aside from being a stunning area to explore, Dyrholaey is also one of the best places in the country to spot puffins during summer. Puffins have little fear of humans, so you may be able to get quite close to them.

Your final two stops of the day will take you past the stunning waterfalls of Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. Both waterfalls are around 197 feet (60 meters) tall, but Skogafoss is much more powerful.

It has a massive rising of mist that regularly reacts with the light to create the most beautiful rainbows. Folklore of Skogafoss even suggests a treasure chest has long been hidden behind its falls.

Meanwhile, Seljalandsfoss is a gentler waterfall. It's the most apparent feature along a ridge hosting other waterfalls, notably the hidden Gljufrabui. During summer, you can walk behind Seljalandsfoss through a perfectly sculpted cavern behind it.

After another fantastic day of sightseeing and adventure, you'll retire for the night in your accommodation around Southwest Iceland.

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Day 10

Day 10 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
  • More
  • Kerid Crater
  • Gullfoss waterfall
  • Geysir geothermal area
  • Thingvellir National Park
  • More

On the 10th day of your self-drive tour of Iceland, you'll visit the Golden Circle, the most popular sightseeing route in the country.

Famed for its incredible natural attractions and closeness to Reykjavik, the Golden Circle will showcase why they call Iceland the land of fire and ice.

Your first stop of the day will take you to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Thingvellir National Park. This location is abundant in forestry, waterfalls, canyons, ravines, and springs. Aside from its beautiful natural attractions, this is a famous historical spot where the world's first parliament was founded in 930 AD.

If you're fascinated by the geology of Iceland, join a snorkeling tour at the nearby Silfra fissure. Silfra fissure is one of the few places to see the physical divide of two tectonic plates right before you. Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

Snorkeling in these crystal clear glacier-fed waters lets you see the incredible rock formations with a viewing distance of up to 328 feet (100 meters).

Next, you'll visit the incredible volcanic paradise of the Geysir geothermal area, around 36 miles (59 kilometers) from the Silfra fissure. This place is bubbling and oozing with mud pots and steam vents, demonstrating the volcanic ground beneath your feet.

You'll find most visitors standing around the hot spring named Strokkur, which erupts boiling water up to heights of 66 feet (20 meters) every five to 10 minutes. You'll have plenty of time to witness this spectacle several times while you're there.

Your final stop of the day takes you to the mighty waterfall of Gullfoss. Fed by the meltwater of the nearby Langjokull glacier along the Hvita river, this thunderous waterfall plummets 105 feet (32 meters). It then cascades over two steps into an incredibly carved cavern below.

You can join a snowmobiling tour if you want to add some adrenaline-pumping adventure. You'll meet your guide just outside the Gullfoss visitor center. You'll receive a safety briefing and go up on a monster all-terrain vehicle to the top of the nearby Langjokull glacier.

Once on top, you'll have a blast zooming across this snowy white tundra with the most incredible mountain peak and valley views.

In the evening, you'll rest up in your accommodation in Reykjavik.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 11

Day 11 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
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The 11th day of your self-drive tour of Iceland is your last full day in the country. You'll have several options depending on how you want to spend your day.

Take a slower-paced end to your holiday by exploring the bustling city streets of Reykjavik. Check out some of its famous landmarks and attractions, including art galleries, studios, and museums, or enjoy the downtown ambiance at the cozy local cafes.

You can also explore some of Reykjavik's quaint boutique shops or gather some last-minute souvenirs before your flight home the next day.

Your second option is to tour inside the dormant magma chamber of the Thrihnukagigur volcano. Unlike most other volcanoes, Thrihnukagigur's magma chamber didn't implode on itself when it turned dormant. Instead, the magma drained away. 

As a result, it's the only location on Earth where you can go inside a volcano's magma chamber.

You'll descend on an old mining shaft deep within this vast cavern. As you get closer to the base, you'll feel the warmth rise onto your face.

Once you reach the bottom, you'll have plenty of time to explore the many caverns and rock formations. You'll also be treated to incredible colors that make this tour one of the best experiences in Iceland.

Instead of spending an entire day in Reykjavik, you could spend half of the day on a two-hour horse-riding tour. You'll head just outside the city to one of the local stables, where you'll ride one of the famously charismatic Icelandic horses across the local wild terrains. A horse riding tour is a great way to enjoy a final taste of Iceland's nature and culture.

Another option is to try the famous FlyOver ride. You'll be suspended with your feet dangling before a 66-foot (20-meter) spherical screen and be taken on a 30-minute 4D thrill experience of the most incredible spectacles in Iceland.

From the mountain peaks to the base of fjords, this experience will leave you in awe of the natural beauty of Iceland. As you journey through all the terrains and landmarks, keep your eyes peeled for some fantastic spots you'll have passed and explored on your holiday.

In the evening, you'll retire for your final night in Iceland in your accommodation in Reykjavik.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 12

Day 12 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík - Departure day
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  • Kleifarvatn
  • Krysuvik
  • Gunnuhver
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The 12th day of your self-drive tour of Iceland is your final day in the country. It's time to head home.

If you have an early flight, you'll set off for the airport after breakfast. You'll drive down the Reykjanes peninsula to the Keflavik International Airport, return your car rental, and head towards the terminal.

Be sure to leave plenty of time to drop off your bags and check in for your flight home.
If you have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa today, you'll end your stay unwinding before heading to the airport.

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is perfect for relaxing as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters. It's also an excellent spot to reflect on the incredible adventure you've just taken in the land of fire and ice.

There are plenty of other things to do in the vibrant city of Reykjavik. Start by exploring the historic center and visit Hallgrimskirkja, a striking church offering panoramic views from the top.

Stroll along Laugavegur, the main shopping street, and indulge in local cuisine at one of the many charming restaurants.

You can also dive into Icelandic culture at the National Museum of Iceland or explore the city's art scene at the Reykjavik Art Museum.

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Experiences

What to bring

Warm, waterproof clothing
Camera
Swimsuit
Driver's license
Sunglasses
Good hiking shoes
Reusable water bottle
Snacks

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.

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. Please note that you might need to present medical documents should you choose to go snorkeling, and participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

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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