13 Day Self Drive Tour | Ring Road with Snaefellsnes & Westfjords

13 Day Self Drive Tour | Ring Road with Snaefellsnes & Westfjords
Puffins mate for life and flock to Iceland by the millions to nest in the summer time.
Icelandic turf houses are a window into the past.
Kirkjufell mountain is dangerous to ascend and is best viewed from below.
The Diamond Beach is a mesmerising stretch of black sand south of Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
This 13 Day Self Drive Tour takes you to Strokkur, the most active geysir of the Geyser geothermal area.
Icelandic horses lazing in the soft light of the midnight sun while Hekla volcano sleeps in the background.
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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 get to see all the places that you've heard so much about, such as the Golden Circle, the 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 and an ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull; glacier hike on Sólheimajökull; 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 it is possible for you to build the holiday of your dreams.

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


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: May. - Oct.
  • Duration: 13 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkelling, Hiking, Snowmobile, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Bird watching, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, East Iceland, Westfjords, West Iceland , Reykjavík, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Goðafoss, Dettifoss, Látrabjarg, Breiðafjörður, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Dyrhólaey, Þingvellir, Deildartunguhver, Strokkur, Snæfellsnes, Reykjanes, Ísafjörður, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Silfra, Höfn, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Hellnar, Borgarnes, Langjökull, Arnarstapi, Vík í Mýrdal, Egilsstaðir, Hólmavík, Hvolsvöllur, Siglufjörður, Blönduós, Kerið, Hofsós, Dalvík, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Snæfellsjökull National Park, Reynisdrangar, Haukadalur, Grundarfjörður, Mývatn Nature Baths, Flatey, Patreksfjörður, Djúpalónssandur, Hrafnseyri, South Coast, Diamond Beach, Ring Road
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible

Your car will await you at Keflavík International Airport when you arrive. You will drop it off at Keflavík airport, too, when you depart from Iceland.
Included:
  • 12 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included. More detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 13 days (VW Polo or similar. Upgrades available)

  • CDW, SCDW and gravel protection insurance for vehicle

  • GPS system

  • Transfer with the ferry Baldur, including 1 car

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

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

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

  • Fuel

  • Dinner

  • Lunch


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. This tour can be started either from Keflavik International Airport or the city of Reykjavík.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland & Blue Lagoon


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


Pick up your car at the international airport in Keflavík, before driving to your accommodation in downtown Reykjavík. En route, you can stop at the Blue Lagoon if you chose to add the spa to your tour during the booking process. The healing, azure waters will revitalise you after your flight. 

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.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Comfort

The Fosshótel chain has four 3-4 star Hotels located in and around the city center of Reykjavík. There is a short walk from all of the hotels to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 2 - The Golden Circle & Snowmobiling Fun


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


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

Spend the first part of your day 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; it is where 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 neighbour Strokkur erupt every ten minutes, however, to heights of over 20 m (66 ft).

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 one a beautiful Icelandic horse.

You'll spend the night in the Hvolsvöllur area.


Preferred accommodation by Hvolsvöllur

Hvolsvöllur Comfort

Hotel Hvolsvöllur is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Hvolsvöllur village. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Hvolsvöllur Quality

Hotel Rangá is a 4-star hotel situated between the towns Hella and Hvolsvöllur. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Views towards Rangá river or Hekla volcano. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 3 - Waterfalls & Black-Sand Beach


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


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, as well as stopping at the equally impressive Skógafoss waterfall. 

A little further down the road and 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 Kirkjubæjarklaustur or the Skaftafell area.


Preferred accommodation by Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Comfort

Fosshótel Núpar is a 3-star hotel with panoramic views of lava fields, mountains, and the glacier tongues of Vatnajökull glacier. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Quality

Icelandair Hotel Klaustur is a 3-star hotel centrally located in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur town. Modern private rooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 4 - Vatnajökull National Park


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


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 black sands of the Diamond Beach, where these bergs wash up, for even more great photo opportunities.

Spend the night in Höfn.


Preferred accommodation by Jökulsárlón and Höfn

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Comfort

Hotel Höfn is a 3-star hotel centrally located in the town Höfn. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Quality

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is a 4-star hotel located right between Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Ocean or mountain views. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 5 - The East in All Its Glory


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


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 is 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 neighbouring villages, by evening, and spend the night there.


Preferred accommodation by Egilsstaðir

Egilsstaðir Comfort

Lake Hotel Egilsstaðir is a 3-star hotel located within a short walking distance from the centre of Egilsstaðir town, by the lake Lagarfljót. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Spa on site for additional price. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Egilsstaðir Quality

Icelandair Hotel Hérað is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Egilsstaðir town. Bright, private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included, with focus on local ingredients.


Day 6 - Lake Mývatn


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


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.


Preferred accommodation by Akureyri

Akureyri Comfort

Hotel Norðurland is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Akureyri town. Spacious and bright private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Akureyri Quality

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri (Deluxe room) is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Akureyri town, right next to the swimming pool. Private bedroom with a living room area and a private bathroom. Great views from the 5th floor. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 7 - Goðafoss Falls and Akureyri


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


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, to 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 Blönduós.


Preferred accommodation by Blönduós

Blönduós Comfort

Hótel Mikligarður is a 3-star hotel located in the town of Sauðárkrókur in northern Iceland. The hotel has private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included and served at Hótel Tindastóll.

Blönduós Quality

Hótel Tindastóll is a 3-star hotel located in Sauðárkrókur town; just a short walk from the beach. It has an on-site bar and outdoor geothermal hot tub. Private bedroom with private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 8 - The Westfjords


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


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

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 comes highly recommended.

Spend the night in the Ísafjarðardjúp area.


Preferred accommodation at Isafjordur

Westfjords has limited accommodations available. We will use the following preferred partners for both comfort and quality levels.

Hótel Ísafjörður

Hótel Ísafjörður is in the centre of the town Ísafjörður on Silfurtorg Square. The hotel offers a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and the fjord. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is included.

Hotel Horn

Hotel Horn is located in the town of Ísafjörður. This modern and brightly decorated hotel is within a short walking distance from great cafes, restaurants and a public swimming pool. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is included.


Day 9 - Patreksfjörður Village & Látrabjarg Cliffs


The adorable puffin is always a favourite photography subject.


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. 

Afterwards, stop to take some photos at the impressive cliff of Látrabjarg, rising to 444 m (1456 ft); 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 you will get some amazing photographs.

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


Preferred accommodation in Patreksfjordur

Westfjords has limited accommodations available. We will use the following preferred partners for both comfort and quality levels.

Fosshotel Westfjords

Fosshotel Westfjords is located on the coast of Patreksfjörður fjord. The hotel has a great view of the surrounding mountains and fjords, and has an on-site restaurant and bar. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is included.

Hotel West

Hotel West is located by the coast of Patreksfjörður fjord. It is family-run and has an intimate atmosphere, and is within walking distance from restaurants, shops and the town's swimming pool. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is included.


Day 10 - Ferry to Flatey Island and Snæfellsnes Peninsula


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


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.


Preferred accommodation by Snæfellsnes

Snæfellsnes Comfort

Fosshotel Stykkishólmur is a 3 star hotel centrally located within the town Stykkishólmur. Spacious hotel with a view towards the bay. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Snæfellsnes Quality

Hotel Búðir is a 4 star hotel on the southern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula, with a view towards Snæfellsjökull glacier and to the sea. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 11 - Getting to Know Snæfellsnes Peninsula


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


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.


Day 12 - Cascades of Hraunfossar & Snorrastofa Museum at Reykholt


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


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 a visit to 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 into 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.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Comfort

The Fosshótel chain has four 3-4 star Hotels located in and around the city center of Reykjavík. There is a short walk from all of the hotels to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 13 - Blue Lagoon & Departure from Iceland


The Reykjanes peninsula is a volcanic wonderland of stunning beauty.


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

If you have an afternoon or an evening flight scheduled, then why not indulge in a relaxing visit to the world famous Blue Lagoon, if you didn't do so on your first day. It's a great way to recharge your energy before you leave. 

Alternatively, you can do some last-minute souvenir shopping in the centre of Reykjavík or tour a few unusual places on the Reykjanes peninsula.

We hope you enjoyed your stay and that we'll see you again soon!


Accommodation

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

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 two years of age, and come equipped with a GPS, CDW, GP, and SCDW insurances. You can also upgrade to an automatic model.

Budget

A small 2WD vehicle fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions, such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.

Comfort 4X4

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

Luxury 4x4

A large sized jeep with 4WD (4x4) such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all traveling. This vehicle has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads.


Cancellation Insurance

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


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13 Day Self Drive Tour | Ring Road with Snaefellsnes & Westfjords
 
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