12 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | The Ring Road of Iceland with the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Free pickup
No credit card fees
No booking fees
Duration
12 days
Difficulty
Hard
Free pickup
Reykjavík
Available
Sep. - Apr.

Immerse yourself in the incredible beauty of Iceland in winter, on this 12-day self-drive tour around the country's ring-road. This tour is perfect for those who wish to see as...

Immerse yourself in the incredible beauty of Iceland in winter, on this 12-day self-drive tour around the country's ring-road. This tour is perfect for those who wish to see as very much of Iceland possible, and do not fear the winter roads.

As you are in the driver’s seat for the entire journey, you'll get to set the pace of your adventure. You will be provided with a schedule after booking, which will instruct you on how to reach your accommodation each night, but the route you will take to get there is entirely up to you.

To help ensure that you have the holiday that you have always dreamed of, you will receive a personal itinerary when you book, which will inform you of all the potential places that you could see. It provides you with a perfect blend of classic, famous sights suc...

Included

11 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)
Vehicle for 12 days (Dacia Duster 4x4 SUV/Jeep or similar. Upgrades available)
CDW, SCDW and GP insurance for car rental
GPS System
Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland
Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary
Taxes

Activities

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

Attractions

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

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Reykjavík truly becomes a wonderland of snow and ice during winter.

Arrival

After landing at Keflavík International Airport, you will pick up your vehicle, and the rest of the day is yours. You could use the opportunity to visit the world-renowned Blue Lagoon Spa or explore the geothermal areas, lava fields, and volcanoes of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Or, you could head straight to Iceland’s charming capital, Reykjavík, to explore its galleries, boutiques, and bars.

Spend the night in Reykjavík.

Day 2
Gullfoss waterfall is beautiful when dressed in winter's costume.

The Golden Circle

On day two, you will head out onto the most popular tourist trail in Iceland: the Golden Circle. The three sites along this route are world-renowned, and for good reason.

Þingvellir National Park is the first of the three National Parks you will drive to, and the only one that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The reason for this is its history, being the...

Day 3
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is as stunning in winter as it is in summer.

South Coast to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

On day three, you will travel across the length of the South Coast. There are many places to see today, so make sure you rise early.

The first features of note are waterfalls. The two most iconic of these are Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. The former has a very classic shape and structure but is notable for its width and power. It is possible to approach it ri...

Day 4
Ice caving tours in Vatnajökull glacier take you to a world hidden inside Europe's largest ice cap.

Hofn to Egilsstadir

On day four, prepare to head south-east to the little-visited but wondrous Eastfjords, where you will have an awe-inspiring ride between the mountains and ocean. One of Iceland’s most remote regions, there is a wealth of untouched beauty here that is simply breathtaking.

Before taking off, however, if you are travelling between November and March, you can opt...

Day 5
Join a 12 Day Winter Self Drive Tour and travel under the northern lights in Iceland.

Egilsstadir to Myvatn

On your fifth day, prepare to head to the North. You don’t have to leave the Eastfjords right away though, while still around Egilsstaðir you could also visit the Lake Lagarfljót. In spite of its serene appearance, it is said to hold a monstrous wyrm, legends of which far out-date references to its cousin in the Loch Ness. Beside the lake is Iceland’s larges...

Day 6
In north Iceland, there is a geothermal area near Mývatn which is accessible in winter.

Day at Myvatn

Today, you will explore the diverse sites of the Mývatn area. The lake itself is beautiful, particularly due to the odd geological formations that rise from its waters, however, it is but one of many local attractions.

You can also visit the lava formations at Dimmuborgir, otherwise known as the ‘Dark Fortress’, which are both fascinating and haunting. You ca...

Day 7
Goðafoss is one of North Iceland's most beautiful waterfalls.

Myvatn to Akureyri

You will continue along the North today, through some spectacular scenery. Your next destination is Akureyri, known to the locals as the capital of the North.

The drive over here can take less than two hours, but there are plenty of detours to be made en route. You could head to the town of Húsavík and on the way back, stop at the Ystafell Transportation Muse...

Day 8
In winter, north Iceland is the darkest part of the country for aurora hunting.

Capital of the North

On day eight, you remain based in the capital of the North, Akureyri. Feel free to explore this beautiful town of approximately seventeen thousand people, with its impressive church, a botanical garden, several museums, shopping streets and many bars and restaurants. If you want to immerse yourself in nature, however, you could opt to go to the town's ski sl...

Day 9
During winter time, the Icelandic horse grows a thick coat to protect itself from the cold.

Akureyri to Blonduos

On your last day of travelling the North, you will aim for your destination of the town Blönduós. You will pass through impressive valleys and see the mountains of the North in all their power.

You'll continue through the vast fjord of Skagafjörður as well, and can even visit the tiny settlement of Hofsós, where you can overlook the magnificent cliffs and ser...

Day 10
Hvítserkur is an enormous basalt stack off the eastern shore of the Vatnsnes peninsula, in northwest Iceland.

Blonduos to Snaefellsnes

On day ten, get ready to head to the one and only Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The area is only a few hours away, but your personal itinerary will direct you to many fascinating places en route. For example, you could visit the Seal Centre at Hvammstangi.

The greater Snæfellsnes area has boundless marvels to behold so that you can save some of its explorings for th...

Day 11
In winter and in summer, Kirkjufell is Iceland's most photographed mountain.

Snaefellsnes to Reykjavik

Once at the peninsula, you will find an even greater wealth of things to see; it is often called ‘Iceland in Miniature’ due to the incredible diversity that can be found here. Notable sites include Kirkjufell, Iceland’s most photographed mountain; the seal colony on the beach near the farm of Ytri Tunga; the haunted lava fields of Berserkjahraun lava field;...

Day 12
Reykjavík's parks and public spaces become havens of peace and tranquillity when cloaked in winter's dress.

Departure

For your departure day, you will need to deliver your car back to Keflavík airport in time for your flight. If you leave Iceland late, feel free to use the day exploring Reykjavík, or easing away tensions built from your long and action-packed trip in the Blue Lagoon.

Map

What to bring

Winter hiking shoes
Warm Clothes
Camera
Driver's License
Swimsuit & Towel

Good to know

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

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

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

Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For budget and comfort levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur. Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies among locations and availability is highly limited. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level. Please note that not all locations offer quality level accommodation. Comfort level accommodation will be arranged at those particular locations, which is reflected in the quality level upgrade price. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.

Budget

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

Comfort

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

Quality

Rooms with a private bathroom in a four star hotel or superior rooms in a quality three star hotel at the best locations in Iceland. Breakfast is included.

Car

Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour. All our vehicles are new or current models, maximum 2 years of age, and include standard Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Gravel Protection (GP), and Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) insurances. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars. All levels come equipped with a GPS and 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. In wintertime, all cars have winter tyres.

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, or similar. Comfortably fit up to 4 travellers 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 2WD

A large 9-seater van such as a Renault Trafic or similar. Comfortable for groups of 5 to 7 travellers. If seated full, luggage space is limited. Fit for everyday conditions. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities. The driver must be of 23 years of age or above.

Meals

You can now add meals to your booking. Select to include dinner on every night as an optional extra, and we will provide you with vouchers as part of your booking confirmation. We will choose from top-rated restaurants that fit with your vacation itinerary and make your reservations for you. At the restaurant, you will be offered a set menu, from which you can choose from meat, fish or vegetarian options. If you would prefer something else, the voucher will act as a credit that you can redeem at the restaurant against menu items that are not part of the set menu. Please notify the restaurant on arrival about any dietary requirements. Vouchers are non-refundable.

Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person. The cancellation must be made more than 48 hours before the listed starting time on your voucher. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact info@guidetoiceland.is and declare full cancellation. Please note that this insurance covers the cancellation of the whole tour or package. Individual services cannot be cancelled and refunded separately, but are all covered and refunded in case of a full cancellation.

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