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Epic 13 Day Self Drive Tour of the Complete Ring Road of Iceland with Snaefellsnes & the Westfjords

Dynjandi waterfall is one of the most impressive natural features in the Westfjords of Iceland.
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Description

Details

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

Description

Jump behind the wheel for this 13-day self-drive tour around Iceland! You will get to see everything, from the most popular destinations to the country's most remote reaches. Best of all, there are no worries about bus schedules or departure times on this tour. You get to decide where you go, when you leave, and how long you spend at each location.

To make your journey even smoother, accommodation will be in full comfort, with ensuite bathrooms and continental breakfast included to keep you comfortable between days of adventure. This tour will take you to all parts of the country, including the remote Westfjords. You'll see all the places that you've heard so much about, such as the Golden Circle, Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, and the Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Not only this, however, but you will receive a custom itinerary shaped by local experts that will ensure you don't miss some spectacular sights that few have even heard about. These places, far from the crowds, are where you can truly immerse yourself in the untouched nature. No part of the island will be unknown to you after this complete tour, and you will return feeling completely refreshed and recharged.

On top of this, there are a variety of activities you can add to the trip. You can visit the Blue Lagoon, snorkel in Silfra gorge, snowmobile across Langjökull glacier, whale watch in the whale-watching capital of Europe, cave inside Viðgelmir lava tube, explore an ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull, hike on Sólheimajökull glacier, horse-ride in the North, and much more!

You'll have plenty of time on this trip to see and do all you have dreamt of; its ample length means that you can build the holiday of your dreams.

Don't miss this amazing 13-day tour of Iceland! Check the availability by choosing a date.

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Included

12 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included. More detailed info below)
Vehicle for 13 days (Toyota Aygo or similar. Upgrades available)
CDW insurance for super budget level vehicle; other levels also include SCDW and gravel protection insurances
GPS system
Transfer with the ferry Baldur, including 1 car
Detailed itinerary
Personal travel agent
Taxes
Travelers who book with Guide to Iceland may have a PCR or rapid antigen COVID-19 test prearranged prior to their departure from Iceland, if needed.

Activities

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

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to Reykjavík, one of Europe's most diverse cities.

Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland & Blue Lagoon

Pick up your car at the international airport in Keflavík before driving to your accommodation in downtown Reykjavík.

On your way to Iceland's capital city, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It is located in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere. If you add the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged according to your flights. If there 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. There is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes Peninsula if you have extra free time.

After settling in, the rest of the day is free for you to explore one of Europe's most diverse cities, so be sure to enjoy the multitude of museums, galleries, restaurants, and bars available.

Spend the night in Reykjavík.

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Day 2
In the Geysir geothermal area you will see Strokkur erupting in magnificent waterworks displays every five to ten minutes.

Day 2 - The Golden Circle & Snowmobiling Fun

Day two begins with a short drive inland to Iceland's famous Golden Circle.

Spend the first part of your Golden Circle exploration strolling through the gorge, which marks the separation between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, at the Þingvellir National Park. This site is also steeped in history. Here, Icelanders founded their parliament in 930 AD, converted to Christianity in 1000 AD, and declared their independence from Denmark in 1944. You can also opt for a snorkel tour here.

After that, head to the geothermal valley of Haukadalur, an area with hot springs, steam vents, mud pools, and geysers. The most famous geyser, which lends all the others their name, Geysir itself, is largely inactive. You can watch its neighbor Strokkur erupt every ten minutes to heights of over 66 ft (20 m).

After taking your time in this area, head just down the road to the mighty waterfall Gullfoss. You can walk to a platform right on its edge to truly appreciate its awesome power. You can also add an optional snowmobile tour on Langjökull glacier here.

On this day, you can also take the opportunity to meet and ride a beautiful Icelandic horse.

You'll spend the night within the Golden Circle.

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Day 3
Seljalandsfoss waterfall on the South Coast of Icelands provides stunning views from behind the cascade.

Day 3 - Waterfalls & Black-Sand Beach

Day three sees you begin your journey along Iceland's south coast. Visit the majestic Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which offers incredible views from behind the water, and stop at the equally impressive Skógafoss waterfall. 

A little further down the road, you will reach Sólheimajökull, where you can take an optional glacier hike or snowmobiling tour. Both are exhilarating experiences.

Further along the ring road, near Vík, be sure to admire the black volcanic beach Reynisfjara, along with the dramatic Dyrhólaey rock formations. Vík itself is a charming village and a good place to refuel, stop for a hot cup of coffee , or stretch your legs. You can opt for a tour, departing from Vík, where you visit a stunning ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. After enjoying the sights and the beach, you can continue on.

Other notable places as you make your way east include the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, as well as the quaint, historical village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Spend the night in the Vík or the Skaftafell area.

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Day 4
Icebergs was ashore on the Diamond Beach on the South Coast of Iceland.

Day 4 - Vatnajökull National Park

Day four should be spent enjoying the many sights and optional activities found within the beautiful Skaftafell area of Vatnajökull National Park. Hiking enthusiasts will be thrilled with the number of tracks and trails, including one that leads to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall. You can opt for another glacier hike here.

Next on the road is the incredible Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where you can watch icebergs break from a glacial tongue and float serenely towards the ocean. It's a place that has attracted keen photographers for years, and you'll get an even better view if you decide to book an optional amphibious boat or zodiac cruise to get as close to the ice as possible. Look for seals playing in the water or sunning themselves on the rocks. 

After enjoying the lagoon, head to the Diamond Beach. Icebergs wash up on the black sands, offering even more great photo opportunities.

Spend the night in Höfn.

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Day 5
The East Fjords of Iceland are home to the puffin, Iceland's unofficial national bird.

Day 5 - The East in All Its Glory

On day five, you will travel through the incredible East Fjords. As you drive, you will see many idyllic villages hidden at the bottom of deep fjords, nestled between mountain passes and high hills. This area has some of the most remote sites in Iceland, offering lovely opportunities for solitude in glorious nature. It also has a wealth of wildlife. You can see puffins, reindeer, and seals, all as you drive.

You'll zig-zag your way up and down the mountains and reach Egilstaðir township, or one of the neighboring villages, by evening and spend the night there.

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Day 6
Join a whale watching tour from Húsavík, Iceland's best whale watching port.

Day 6 - Lake Mývatn

On your sixth day, you'll head over the Möðrudalur heights to one of the gems of the Icelandic nature: Lake Mývatn. Highly recommended is a drive through the Jökulsárgljúfur part of Vatnajökull National Park, where you can visit natural attractions such as Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. At Mývatn, you can visit amazing geothermal sites, mystical lava fields, and geothermal baths surrounded by pseudo-craters and tuff volcanos.

After exploring this incredible region, you can take an optional whale watching tour in the nearby village of Húsavík, renowned as the whale watching capital of Europe, and even upgrade it to include a puffin watching segment in a little RIB. In the evening, you'll head to the town of Akureyri, the northern capital, where you will spend the night.

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Day 7
When travelling in northeast Iceland, be sure to stop at Goðafoss, the Waterfall of the Gods.

Day 7 - Goðafoss Falls and Akureyri

On day seven, you'll start in the town of Akureyri. Nestled under the Súlur peak, this is a great place to take a little break, visit the swimming pool or admire thousands of plant specimens at the northernmost botanical garden in the world. If you'd like to spice things up, you could take a horseback ride out along the fjord before continuing your journey, or else jump on a whale watch from here if you missed it yesterday.

You will then continue out onto the Troll Peninsula and follow the coast to fishing villages such as Siglufjörður, Dalvík, and Hofsós

You can visit the tiny town of Hofsós and the old Hólar cathedral, before finally reaching your stop for the night near the village of Sauðárkrókur.

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Day 8
In summer and in winter, the Westfjords are home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in Iceland.

Day 8 - The Westfjords

Today’s journey is characterized by the seemingly endless fjords and towering mountainsides that flank the road to Ísafjörður. There are few more beautiful sights in the world. 

Along the way, you could stop at the rolling hills of Vatnsdalshólar, the Borgarvirki natural fortress, and the Glaumbær Folk Museum. The Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum, located in Hólmavík, and the Sorcerer’s Cottage, a short drive away, are a nice way to spend some time. The hot pools in Drangsnes are also well worth a visit.

Once you reach Ísafjörður, you can find some of the oldest houses in Iceland, dating back to the mid-18th century. A dinner at Tjöruhúsið is highly recommended.

Spend the night in the Ísafjarðardjúp area.

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Day 9
The adorable puffin is always a favourite photography subject.

Day 9 - Patreksfjörður Village & Látrabjarg Cliffs

Day nine is full of Icelandic history and staggering views. Begin by heading to Dýrafjörður, where you will find the trail of the Viking saga hero Gisli Súrsson, as well as the Skrúður botanical garden.

Continue to Hrafnseyri, and visit the museum dedicated to another hero, Jón Sigurðsson, who was influential in Iceland’s battle for independence from Denmark. 

Afterward, stop to take some photos at the impressive cliff of Látrabjarg, rising to 1456 ft (444 m); this is arguably the westernmost point of Europe. While there, you can take a closer look at Iceland’s many species of nesting seabirds, including puffins and razorbills; they are not afraid of you at all, so that you will get some amazing photographs.

Spend the night in the Vesturbyggð areas, near Patreksfjörður or Breiðavík.

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Day 10
This 13 Day Self Drive Tour takes you to Snæfellsnes peninsula, an area of great natural diversity.

Day 10 - Ferry to Flatey Island and Snæfellsnes Peninsula

On day ten, take the Baldur ferry from Brjánslækur across Breiðafjörður Bay, all the way to the village of Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The price of the ferry is included in your tour, and you can even take your car across at no additional fee. 

You can choose to stop on the island of Flatey and spend a few hours enjoying the peace and tranquillity. It is incredibly remote; only two families stay here year-round.

From Stykkishólmur, you can start to explore some of the many wonders of Snæfellsnes. It is sometimes called 'Iceland in miniature' because so many of the nation's distinctive features can be found here, from dramatic beaches to hot springs to imposing cliffs. The region is watched over by Snæfellsjökull glacier, at the heart of the national park. 

Spend the night in the Snæfellsnes area.

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Day 11
Snæfellsnes peninsula is such a diverse treasure trove of natural marvels that it is sometimes called 'Iceland in Miniature.'

Day 11 - Getting to Know Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Snæfellsnes peninsula has so many beautiful spots and fun activities that it's impossible to appreciate the area with just a quick drive through. 

There are many unique sights around, including the Snæfellsjökull glacier, the photogenic Kirkjufell mountain, Dritvík cove, Djúpalónssandur beach, and the small villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar. Keep your camera in hand, and spend the day hiking and exploring.

Spend another night in the Snæfellsnes area.

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Day 12
Hraunfossar is a series of beautiful waterfalls in West Iceland that deserve a visit.

Day 12 - Cascades of Hraunfossar & Snorrastofa Museum at Reykholt

Day twelve is spent exploring West Iceland, with its diverse range of sights and attractions, including the Icelandic settlement exhibition in Borgarnes, and Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe.

Further along, be sure to stop at the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls. History buffs may also enjoy visiting Snorrastofa, the medieval research institute at Reykholt, where the famous chieftain and poet, Snorri Sturluson, wrote the saga Heimskringla in the 13th century. 

On the way back to Reykjavik, take a short break at Fossatún, a waterfall said to be guarded by a troll woman named Drífa.

Also on this day, you can opt for one of two caving tours. The first is a traditional excursion, where you explore the dark, underground world in Viðgelmir lava tube. The second is anything but traditional. You will walk through man-made channels right into Langjökull glacier. Both are beautiful and thrilling activities.

A third choice is to descend into Þríhnúkagígur volcano, for an unbelievable opportunity to see the inside of a magma chamber.

Spend your final night in the capital, Reykjavík.

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Day 13
The Reykjanes peninsula is a volcanic wonderland of stunning beauty.

Day 13 - Blue Lagoon & Departure from Iceland

On your final day, be sure to leave enough time to drop your car off before your departure.

For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you will finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. If your flight is later, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik. If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey.

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What to bring

Warm Clothes
Camera
Driver's license
Swimsuit

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 the Westfjords area does not offer quality-level accommodation. Visitors will thus be placed in the best comfort level accommodation possible in the area during their stay in the Westfjords.

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), 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.

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 (4WD manual, has highland capabilities and better suited for winter driving), 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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