Extraordinary 12-Day Self-Drive Tour of the Complete Ring Road of Iceland with National Parks

Grjótagjá fissure by Lake Mývatn is filled with warm water year round.
Likely to sell out soon
Free cancellation
24/7 customer support
Perfect travel plan

Description

Summary

Tour starts
Keflavík Airport
Starting time
Flexible
Duration
12 days
Ending place
Keflavík Airport
Difficulty
Easy
Available
May - Oct.
Ending time
Flexible
Minimum age
None

Description

Embark on a magical 12-day tour of Iceland. See all the famous attractions and discover some hidden treasures on this self-drive trip of a lifetime. Travelers of all backgrounds will love this adventurous, breathtaking journey.

In just under two weeks, you'll see the famous Golden Circle, the incredible Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, all three of Iceland's national parks, the Eastfjords, West Iceland, and so much more.

The beauty of this self-drive is that you're behind the wheel, so there are no tour guides, meeting points, or other groups to worry about. You go wherever you want, decide when you arrive and leave. All the accommodation is set for complete comfort. You will have ensuite bathrooms, and breakfast is always included.

By booking this tour, you'll avoid spending weeks planning that perfect Iceland itinerary. We've already covered the planning part to save you from all the hassle. Additionally, we made this tour available for a great price.

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

Many people visit Iceland to experience nature at its best. That's why you'll receive a detailed, custom-made itinerary listing places unknown to many others, allowing you to immerse yourself in Iceland's untouched landscapes.

After you book, you'll receive this plan, sculpted by local experts. To add more adventures to your trip, you can book additional activities with this self-drive at a discounted price.

These include snorkeling in the Silfra gorge, boating across Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, hiking on or snowmobiling across a glacier, caving, whale watching, and horse-riding—and you can even take a walk inside a glacier or descend into the magma chamber of a dormant volcano.

These extra stops add to why people love this 12-day self-drive tour that has earned high ratings and positive reviews. It's also one of the easiest tours, perfect for guests of all ages.

Aside from having control and flexibility during the tour, you'll also get the necessary support you may need. Our packages come with a personal travel agent you can contact any time of the day, seven days a week.

Should you wish to cancel your trip for any reason, you may do so for free and get a full refund 24 hours before departure. Grab this opportunity to venture on the holiday you have always dreamt of. 

Enjoy the beautiful summer doing what you love, and explore every region of Iceland with this complete trip. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Included

11 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included. More detailed info below)
Vehicle for 12 days (Toyota Aygo or similar. Upgrades available)
CDW insurance for super budget level vehicle; other levels include gravel protection insurance
Free Wi-Fi in vehicle
Detailed itinerary
Personal travel agent
Taxes

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Snorkelling
Snowmobile
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Boat Trip
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Bird watching
Self drive

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Be sure to visit the beautiful Harpa Concert Hall when you sightsee around Reykjavík.

Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland and Exploring Reykjavik

Welcome to Iceland! Your car will be waiting for you at the airport, ready to go. 

If you're on an early flight, you'll have time to drive around the Reykjanes Peninsula, which is full of geological wonders, and visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. 

You could stop at the Blue Lagoon on your way to Iceland's capital, Reykjavik. 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.

The lagoon's temperature averages 98 to 102 F (37 to 39 C), offering a comfortable and relaxing feeling in both the swimming and bathing areas.

If you add the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged according to your flights. If there is 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. Once in Reykjavik, settle into your accommodation, and explore the city on foot. Check out the many boutiques, galleries, museums, restaurants, and bars.

We recommend starting with the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center. As Reykjavik's premiere cultural center, Harpa hosts exhibitions, concerts, and festivals all year round. It also boasts a facade that features 714 glass panels with LED lighting, making the building a sight to behold at night.

Next, head to the Perlan Museum, about 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) from Harpa. Perlan is an interactive museum featuring exhibits and displays about Icelandic nature. It's also a hemispherical rotating glass dome that serves as a viewing deck, giving visitors a great look at the cityscape.

You can also visit the Hallgrimskirkja church, Iceland's tallest church. Standing 245 feet (74.5 meters) tall, the church has become one of Reykjavik's most famous landmarks. You can walk up the church's tower for some magnificent city views.

After a day of exploring the city, you'll spend the night in Reykjavik.

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Day 2
Gullfoss waterfall is a must-see attraction that bejewels the Golden Circle sightseeing route, close to the geyser Strokkur.

Day 2 - The Golden Circle Attractions

Day two brings you to some of the best-known natural phenomena in Iceland on the Golden Circle route.

The first main stop is at the Thingvellir National Park. This incredible location is in the rift valley between two continental plates that let you walk and cross between Europe and North America. 

The area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its history. In 930 AD, early settlers founded what would become the world's longest-running, ongoing representative parliament here. You may opt for a snorkeling tour in the park, within the crystal-clear Silfra ravine. Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

The water of the ravine originates through the porous lava fields from the Langjokull glacier, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) north. Interestingly, the water can take a century before reaching the ravine, creating a natural filtration process that leads to the crystal-clear and drinkable water of the Silfra fissure.

The next stop is the Geysir geothermal area, about 34 miles (55 kilometers) from Thingvellir National Park. The famous Geysir is not too active, but amongst the many hot pools and steaming vents, you'll see Strokkur blast water 66 to 131 feet (20 to 40 meters) high every few minutes.

About six miles (9.7 kilometers) away is the mighty waterfall Gullfoss, Iceland's most famous attraction and the final stop on the Golden Circle. Translated "Golden Falls" in English, the Gullfoss waterfall has a height of 105 feet (32 meters) and sits below the Hvita river canyon.

A pathway takes you right to the water's edge, where you can get a real sense of the enormous power of the falls. As you marvel at this impressive waterfall, check out the water cascading down two levels, creating a mighty spray below.

You can add an adrenaline-filled snowmobile trip to Langjokull glacier from the Gullfoss waterfall. Alternatively, you can book a two-hour-long horse ride.

At the end of another thrilling day, you can head south for the night to your accommodation in Southwest Iceland.

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Day 3
Dyrhólaey peninsula is home to a large puffin colony in summer time.

Day 3 - South Coast Waterfalls and Black Sands

Day three starts your Ring Road drive as you head to the South Coast. 

Your first stops are two magnificent waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. The Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a top-rated stop among visitors because of its proximity to the Ring Road. It also boasts a remarkable structure, with its water falling from 197 feet (60 meters) fronting a rocky enclave. If you visit during summer, you can walk behind the Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

Meanwhile, around 18 miles (29.3 kilometers) away is the Skogafoss waterfall. It’s one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland, cascading from 197 feet (60 meters) and 82 feet (25 meters) wide. 

As the water hits the flat ground, it creates a beautiful mist that’s a sight to behold. Some days, the sunlight reflects through the waterfall, creating a magical double rainbow.

Next along the way is the glacier Solheimajokull, around seven miles (11 kilometers) from Skogafoss. It’s an outlet glacier of the Myrdalsjokull ice cap and measures about eight miles (13 kilometers) long and about 1.2 miles (two kilometers) wide.

Here, you can stop to take a fascinating glacier hike or exhilarating snowmobiling tour, and whichever you choose, you won’t be disappointed. If you decide to go on a glacier hike, a guide will provide a safety briefing and all the essential hiking gear you need. Once you reach the top of the glacier, you’ll be treated to uninterrupted views of the majestic landscape.

If you don’t feel like hiking, you can head straight to the village of Vik for an optional ice cave tour of Myrdalsjokull glacier.

Take a slight detour to stop and admire the black volcanic beach Reynisfjara along the coast near Vik. Be careful, however, as the waves here are unpredictable and dangerous. You can see the dramatic promontory of Dyrholaey and Reynisdrangar rock formations from the shore. 

At the peak of summer, watch out for puffins and other seabirds, which nest in the area. After enjoying these sights, you’ll spend the night in South Iceland.

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Day 4
The Diamond Beach is a must see attraction on Iceland's South Coast.

Day 4 - Skaftafell Park - Jokulsarlon and Diamond Beach

Spend the day enjoying the many sights and optional activities in the beautiful Skaftafell area of the Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland's largest national park.

Established in 2008, the park has grown extensively, covering around 5,460 square miles (14,141 square kilometers) of land. Interestingly, that park covers about 14% of Iceland's total land area. It's also Europe's second-largest national park on top of being one of the country's three UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The park is also named after the Vatnajokull glacier, its biggest attraction. The glacier is Europe's largest, boasting a surface area of around 3,127 square miles (8,100 square kilometers).

Furthermore, the Vatnajokull glacier covers Hvannadalshnjukur. Standing 7,218 feet (2,200 meters) tall, Hvannadalshnjukur is Iceland's tallest mountain.

If you enjoy hiking, you'll find many trails at the Vatnajokull National Park. The trails are tailored for all levels of experience and mobility, including one that leads to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall. 

The waterfall is hidden in a canyon about 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) from the park. Once you reach the waterfall, you'll see its waters pouring through volcanic hexagonal basalt columns. 

Alternatively, you can go on a guided glacier hike on the nearby Skaftafellsjokull glacier. It's a glacier tongue in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. You'll hike on a five-mile (eight-kilometer) trail of 1,280 feet (390 meters) until you reach the Svartifoss waterfall.

Soon after the national park, you'll reach one of Iceland's most famous attractions and top photo opportunities, the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. It's also Iceland's deepest lagoon, with a maximum depth of 814 feet (248 meters). It is likewise the country's largest lagoon, with a surface area of 11.2 square miles (18 square kilometers).

Here, you can watch the mesmerizing icebergs break from a glacier and sail to the ocean. You can take a boat tour into the lagoon for a closer look, either on a small zodiac or an amphibious vessel. 

Be sure to check out Diamond Beach after, where these icebergs wash up on the black sands. In the evening, you'll spend the night in Southeast Iceland.

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Day 5
In East Iceland, you'll be exposed to natural marvels and stunning sceneries everywhere you go.

Day 5 - Eastern Fjords of Iceland - Egilsstadir

Spend your fifth day on a zigzagging journey along the Eastfjords, passing by tranquil fishing villages and sweeping coastal landscapes. 

The Eastfjords are incredibly beautiful, so keep your eye out when driving for puffins and seals. The region is also home to herds of wild reindeer and boasts the sunniest weather in Iceland.

One of the first stops to consider is Vestrahorn mountain. Located on the Stokknes peninsula, this mountain stands 1,490 feet (454 meters) tall and sits close to the ocean.

Throughout summer, the mountain casts huge shadows and reflections against its backdrop. As you explore Vestrahorn, you'll notice it is dark and jagged. Its appearance is caused by the iron- and magnesium-rich gabbro rocks that make up the mountain.

Next, you'll drive 61 miles (98 kilometers) to Djupivogur, a coastal fishing town. Djupivogur sits beneath Bulandstindur, a large pyramid-shaped mountain. According to folklore, the mountain grants people's wishes if they visit during the summer solstice.

The East is also home to Snaefell, Iceland's highest free-standing peak. It stands 6,014 feet 
(1,833 meters) tall and is at least a kilometer taller than its neighboring peaks and hills. You may hike in Snaefell through a trail that begins near a hut called Snaefellsskali.

Another fishing village worth visiting is Faskrudsfjordur, about 66 miles (106 kilometers) from Djupivogur. Faskrudsfjordur was a fishing village wherein French seamen built a harbor and a hospital. Though most of its settlers left during World War I, the French's influence can still be seen today.

You'll see street signs written in both French and Icelandic. Moreover, the old hospital was turned into a hotel with a museum showing how the French settlers developed the town.

You'll also find Lake Logurinn or Lake Lagarfljot and its milky waters filled with folklore and mystery. The lake is believed to be the home of the Lagarfjlot Wyrm, a cousin of the legendary Loch Ness monster.

You may also want to visit Iceland's largest national forest, Hallormsstadaskogur, for hiking and bird-watching. The trees in Hallormsstadaskogur cover an area of 286 square miles (740 square kilometers).

After exploring various attractions of East Iceland, you'll spend the night in the area.

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Day 6
Grjótagjá fissure by Lake Mývatn is one of North Iceland's most stunning natural attractions.

Day 6 - Lake Myvatn - Volcanoes, Craters & other Mysteries

Day six takes you north to the Lake Myvatn area, known for its geothermal landscapes and famous hot spring area, the Namaskard hot springs. 

Lake Myvatn is considered the fourth-largest lake in the country. It measures close to six miles (9.5 kilometers) long and four miles (6.5 kilometers) wide. Covering an area of 14 square miles (37 square km), Lake Myvatn is surrounded by many craters, lava formations, hot springs, and volcanic islands.

Interestingly, Lake Myvatn means "Fly Lake," a nod to the tiny flies abundant in the area.

When exploring the area, visit Krafla with its crater lake, Víti, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the lake. Krafla is a caldera part of a large volcanic system, making it one of Iceland's most explosive volcanoes. Note that there's another crater in Iceland named "Viti," so make sure you don't confuse the two.

Meanwhile, about 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) from Krafla is the Namfjall geothermal area. You'll see fumaroles, boiling mud pots, and sulfur crystals. Take a closer look at crystals in green, blue, yellow, and white.

Make sure to visit Dimmuborgir. Named "the Dark Fortress" because of the dramatic formations and the resemblance to a medieval castle the lava takes, Dimmuborgir is a unique visual wonder. Folklore notes that trolls live in the Dimmuborgir rock structure and its surrounding lava caves.

The hot spring lava cave of Grjotagja, about four miles (6.4 kilometers) from Dimmuborgir, is also very much worth a visit. The highest temperatures recorded were in 1984 when the temperature topped 122 F (50 C).

Since then, the temperature has steadily dropped but is still incredibly warm. Interestingly, you can test its waters if you like.

If the idea of a hot soak catches your fancy, look forward to the nearby Myvatn Nature Baths, about 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers) from Grjotagja. The place features more bearable temperatures and silica-rich waters that will calm your muscles.

By nightfall, you'll spend the evening in Northeast Iceland.

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Day 7
Widely regarded as Europe's most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss stands out amongst Iceland's most stunning natural attractions.

Day 7 - Vatnajokull National Park & Dettifoss Falls

Use the seventh day to explore more of the Lake Myvatn area and its unique surroundings. 

A drive through the Jokulsargljufur part of Vatnajokull National Park and a visit to Dettifoss falls, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, are recommended in this area. Dettifoss is 328 feet (100 meters) wide and drops 141 feet (43 meters). Moreover, it boasts an average flow rate of 50985 gallons (193 cubic meters) per second.

Because of its raw power and beauty, the Dettifoss waterfall has caught the attention of filmmakers. Director Ridley Scott filmed the opening scene of the 2012 film “Prometheus” in Dettifoss.

Another great option is to join a whale-watching tour at the nearby village of Husavik, renowned as the whale-watching capital of Europe. You can go on a traditional tour riding a boat into the bay. 

Alternatively, you can enjoy this tour in a RIB, which is smaller than a conventional boat. It lets you get close to the whales and some puffins without disturbing them. With different whale species in the area, most tour companies boast 100% success rates for seeing these gentle creatures during certain months.

Aside from getting close to wildlife, Husavik offers the chance to indulge in Iceland’s geothermal warmth. You’ll find the Husavik Geosea Baths that feature heated seawater. Moreover, the water is rich in minerals and is 100% chemical-free.

If not, you could enjoy a day in the Eyjafjordur fjord, exploring the beautiful valleys. Eyjafjordur is North Iceland’s longest fjord, over 47 miles (70 kilometers) long. It’s surrounded by high mountains, most notably Mount Kerling, at 5,046 feet (1,538 meters) tall.

Eyjafjordur is also known for its abundance of wildlife. It’s an excellent place for viewing whales and puffins. You can also find old churches, heritage museums, and saga trails showcasing Viking history.

Also, consider hiking to Sulur peak for some fantastic views. Sulur is a rhyolite mountain made up of materials from volcanic eruptions about nine million years ago.

After another eventful day, you’ll spend the night in North Iceland.

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Day 8
North Iceland has a plethora of natural and cultural sites.

Day 8 - The Troll Peninsula

Continue towards Skagafjordur, a valley known for its wealth of Icelandic horses and capable riders. The Skagafjordur is a fjord and an agricultural hub steeped in history. It also has three islands:  Drangey, Malmey, and Lundey.

Drangey island is the most impressive among the three, with its rich birdlife and fort-like shape. Moreover, the island became the refuge of Grettir Asmundarsson, the outlaw from the Grettis Saga.

Since horses are common in Skagafjordur, you can also jump on a horse-riding activity here. However, if you missed the whale watching yesterday, you could stay a little longer in Akureyri to catch one.

You’ll also pass through the beautiful mountainous area of Trollaskagi (Troll Peninsula), around 61 miles (99 kilometers) from Skagafjordur. Trollaskagi is where you’ll find the country’s tallest mountains outside the Central Highlands. The highest of these mountains is Kerling, standing 5,064 feet (1,538 meters) tall.

Mount Kerling’s structure is made of basaltic rock, though its uppermost part features rhyolite. This specific mountain part extends to nearby Mount Sulur and Mount Vindheimajokull.

Much like Skagafjordur, Trollaskagi has a dense population of Icelandic horses. It is home to several horse farms where you can enjoy horseback riding. 

If you look closer at these Icelandic horses, you’ll notice they’re smaller than conventional horses. Moreover, they have a unique tolt and gait and are more curious and intelligent than horses outside Iceland.

Next, you’ll drive 24 miles (38 kilometers) to the old herring-fishing village of Siglufjordur. Having some of Iceland’s finest fishing harbors, Siglufjordur is considered the North Atlantic’s fishing hub. The town continues to be one of the country’s dependable economic contributors.

When in Siglufjordur, check out the Herring Era Museum, showcasing Iceland’s history in the seafaring industry. You can also visit the old Grana factory, showing the process of transforming herring into oil and meals.

It’s also home to the Folk Music Center, where folk songs, quint songs, and Icelandic nursery rhymes are played and brought to life.

Your next stop is Hofsos, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) from Siglufjordur. It’s where you can enjoy the wonderful scenery from the town’s thermal pool. Nearby, you can also find interesting local Icelandic handicrafts in Althydulist or Runalist galleries.

After an adventurous day, you’ll spend the night around Northwest Iceland.

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Day 9
Mt. Kirkjufell is a natural oddity in West Iceland that deserves a visit.

Day 9 - Kirkjufell - Snaefellsnes Peninsula

On your ninth day, aim to reach the charming village of Stykkisholmur on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. 

On the way, you can detour and visit the sea stack Hvitserkur, near the town of Blonduos. Also called the "Troll of Northwest Iceland," the Hvitserkur monolith is a basalt rock stack resembling a troll's shape.

It measures 49 feet (15 meters) tall, and you'll see it protruding from Hunafloi Bay. Interestingly, the Hvitserkur rock stack is a favorite nesting ground for seagulls, fulmars, and shags.

Next, you'll head 134 miles (216 kilometers) toward the iconic mountain of Kirkjufell, near the village of Grundarfjordur. The mountain offers truly impressive photo ops you should take advantage of, as it's situated by a stunning lake and picturesque waterfall.

Also called "Church Mountain," Kirkjufell measures 1,519 feet (463 meters) tall and is one of the most popular visual landmarks in the area. At the base of the mountain is a lake that reflects Kirkjufell's mirror image during clear days.

About 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Kirkjufell is Stykkisholmur, your final stop for the day. It's a charming fishing town that portrayed Greenland in the film "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." 

The place also boasts a beautiful natural harbor. Moreover, its proximity to the fertile fishing grounds of Breidafjordur is significantly helping the locals. Despite being smaller than other towns in the area, Stykkisholmur still developed into a notable cultural hub.

It is home to the Norwegian House, Snaefellsnes's regional museum, and Iceland's oldest two-story building. Interestingly, the museum carries the name "Norwegian" because it features a special kind of wood that the builders had to import from Norway.

The first floor contains rotating exhibitions and a shop selling handicrafts, sweets, and other local products. The second floor works as the museum's open storage.

You can also visit Iceland's oldest weather station, built in 1845. Incidentally, Arni Thorlacius, the first person to operate the weather station, also built the Norwegian House.

Together, Hvitserkur, Kirkjufell, and Stykkisholmur make a portrait of Iceland that can't be beaten.

After ending the first part of your adventure in the peninsula, you'll spend the night in the Snaefellsnes area.

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Day 10
Gatklettur is a uniquely shaped rock formation off the coast of Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Day 10 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula in Depth

Snaefellsnes Peninsula has a plethora of beautiful spots and exciting activities to discover.

The stratovolcano Snaefellsjokull in Snaefellsjokull National Park is at the peninsula’s tip. It stands 4,744 feet (1,446 meters) tall and offers majestic views of Reykjavik from across the bay.

Aside from being one of Iceland’s most beautiful glaciers, Snaefellsjokull has a rich folklore. Superstitious Icelanders used to believe that the Snaefellsjokull glacier was an ancient energy source. 

They also said the glacier’s rock formations were trolls petrified by sunlight. Others believe that the hidden people lived in these rock formations.

Around the area, you can also visit some beautiful stretches of the coast, such as Dritvik cove and the beach of Djupalonssandur. Dritvik cove was once a valuable fishing center from 1650 to 1950. It’s also considered part of Djupalonssandur beach.

Like the Snaefellsjokull glacier, the cove is rich in folklore. According to the Icelandic saga “Bardarsaga Snaefellsas,” Bardar Snaefellsas, Dritvik’s first settler, was half-human and half-troll.

As you explore Djupalonssandur, you’ll notice its black sand and dark cliffs. These features earned the beach its nickname, “Black Lava Pearl Beach.” Moreover, check out the four ancient lifting stones used centuries ago by prospective sailors to determine if they’re fit for the seas.

Next, you can take your time in the small, charming hamlets of Arnarstapi, Hellnar, and Budir, around 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Djupalonssandur beach, and hike along the cliffs. You should also visit the 8000-year-old lava tube cave, Vatnshellir, as an added activity for the day.

If you are here in the summer season, you can join a tour of the Snaefellsjokull glacier. In this added activity, you’ll board a vehicle built to handle the rough glacial landscapes of Iceland from the quaint town of Grundarfjordur. You’ll travel to the foot of Snaefellsjokull and then take the journey to the top in a snowcat. 

The experience of standing on the top of a glacier that covers a volcano is second to none. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will provide you with lasting memories and exceptional photos.

After a thrilling day, you’ll spend another night in West Iceland.

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Day 11
Icelandic horses lazing while Hekla, one of the world's deadliest volcanoes, rests in the background.

Day 11 - History and Cascades of Hraunfossar

On day eleven, explore West Iceland with its diverse attractions. These include the Icelandic Settlement Center in Borgarnes, which explores the history of the beginning of this nation, and Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe.

The settlement center is a museum featuring two essential exhibitions. The first is about the Age of Settlement, while the other one is all about the life of Egil Skallagrimsson, the Viking and poet from the Egils Saga.

Visiting the museum will teach you about Iceland's discovery. You'll see how the first settlers arrived and lived through interactive displays.

After spending time in the museum, visit the captivating Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, about 35 miles (57 kilometers) from Borgarnes. Hraunfossar features a series of waterfalls that flow from the Hallmundarhraun lava field. Check out how the waters stream from the rock ledges in the lava field, eventually pouring into the Hvita river.

Next, you'll walk 50 feet (15 meters) toward the Barnafoss waterfall. Seeing and feeling this rapid waterfall is quite an experience.

If you're a history buff, consider visiting Snorrastofa, 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Barnafoss. Snorrastofa is a medieval research institute in Reykholt, where the early settler Snorri Sturluson wrote Saga Heimskringla in the 13th century. He also wrote the bible of old Norse mythology, Edda.

Next, you'll head to Deildartunguhver, about four miles (6.4 kilometers) from Snorrastofa. Boasting a rapid flow rate of 380 pints (180 liters) per second, Deildartunguhver is Europe's largest hot spring.

You can also take one of two radically different cave tours on this day. You can go down the more traditional route and explore the lava tube Vidgelmir; otherwise, you can travel to Langjokull and explore the glacier from the inside, down some incredible man-made channels.

The third option on this day is to take an Into the Volcano tour. You descend into a sleeping volcano's spectacular magma chamber on this trip.

On the way back to Reykjavik, you can drive along the scenic Hvalfjordur fjord instead of taking the toll tunnel. At the bottom of the fjord, you can stretch your legs on a two-hour hike to Iceland's tallest waterfall, Glymur.

After enjoying your last full day in Iceland, you'll spend the night in the capital.

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Day 12
End your Iceland adventure perfectly with a dip in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.

Day 12 - Departure and Farewell to Iceland

Drop off your car at the Keflavik International Airport in time for your departure flight. 

If you have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you’ll cap your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. It is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters while looking back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. 

While waiting for your flight, you can do many things in Reykjavik. You can do some last-minute shopping or eat at a restaurant you didn’t get to dine in on your first day. 

If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey and hope you’ll visit Iceland again.

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What to bring

Warm Clothes
Camera
Swimsuit
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.

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

For the snorkeling tour, participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

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Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary.

Bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s).

Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur.

Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies among locations and availability is highly limited. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level.

Please note that not all locations offer quality level accommodation. Comfort level accommodation will be arranged at those particular locations, which is reflected in the quality level upgrade price.

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

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

Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour.

All our vehicles are new or current models, of maximum 2 years of age. Super Budget levels come with standard CDW insurance, while all other levels also include Gravel Protection (GP) insurance. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars.

All levels come equipped with free Wi-fi. You can enjoy unlimited data with the Wi-Fi device, which can be connected to up to 10 devices at once. The car rental will provide 24-hour roadside emergency services.

Age requirement for each level can be found below. For all levels, the driver must possess a valid driving license for at least one year before the date of the rental.

We recommend Budget 4X4 level for summer driving and Comfort 4X4 for winter driving.

Super Budget 2WD

A small 2WD vehicle such as Toyota Aygo or similar, fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions. Compact and comfortable for up to 2 travellers with very little luggage. No highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.

Budget 2WD

A basic 2WD vehicle, such as a Toyota Yaris or similar, suitable for travelling in everyday conditions. Comfortable for 3 travellers with light luggage. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.

Budget 4x4

A basic 4WD (4X4) jeep or SUV such as a Dacia Duster or similar. Comfortably fit up to 3 travellers with 2 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and decent for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.

Comfort 4x4

A medium-sized 4WD (4x4) jeep or SUV such as a Toyota Rav4 (automatic) and Suzuki Vitara (manual), or similar. Comfortably fit up to 4 travelers with 3 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and good for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.

Luxury 4x4

A large 4WD jeep such as a Toyota Land Cruiser or similar. Comfortable for up to 4 travellers with 4 large pieces of luggage. Fit for nearly all travelling. Has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.

Van

A large 9-seater van such as a Mercedes Benz Vito or similar. Comfortable for 5 to 7 travelers. If seated full, luggage space is limited. The driver must be of 23 years of age or above.

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