Epic 13-Day Self-Drive Tour of Iceland's Complete Ring Road with Snaefellsnes Peninsula & Westfjords

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

Summary

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. Travelers who want to witness every part of this magical country should not hesitate to book this action-packed, family-friendly adventure.

You'll see everything from the most popular destinations to the country's most remote areas. Best of all, you'll have no worries about bus schedules or departure times on this tour. You can decide where to go, when you'll leave, and how long you'll spend at each location.

To make your journey smoother, you'll get comfortable accommodation with ensuite bathrooms and continental breakfast to keep you relaxed and energized 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 you've heard so much about, such as the Golden Circle, the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Sometimes, travelers waste many hours planning their trip and risk missing out on some of the best attractions. To prevent this, you'll receive a custom itinerary shaped by local experts to ensure you get all the spectacular sights few have even heard about. 

Far from the crowds, these places are where you can truly immerse yourself in the untouched nature. After this complete tour, no part of the island will be unknown to you, and you'll return feeling refreshed and recharged.

On top of this, you can add a variety of activities to the trip. You can visit the Blue Lagoon, snorkel in Silfra gorge, or snowmobile across Langjokull glacier. You can also check the whale-watching capital of Europe or the cave inside the Vidgelmir lava tube.

In addition, you can explore an ice cave in Myrdalsjokull, hike on Solheimajokull glacier, horse-ride in the North, and much more!

The extra stops are only some of the many reasons people love this exciting road trip, earning high ratings and positive reviews for the tour. It's also a relatively easy tour, perfect for guests of all ages.

Aside from having control over your flexibility and freedom during the tour, we'll also provide 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.

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

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.

Don't miss this amazing 13-day tour of Iceland, including stops at the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Westfjords region. Check availability now 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); all cars are new
CDW insurance for super budget level vehicle; other levels include gravel protection insurance
Free Wi-Fi in vehicle
Transfer with the ferry Baldur, including 1 car
Detailed itinerary
Personal travel agent
Taxes

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 Keflavik before driving to your accommodation in downtown Reykjavik.

If you choose to do so when booking, you can visit the Blue Lagoon on the way. This world-renowned geothermal spa sits amongst a beautiful lava field covered in moss and is one of Iceland's most popular and famous attractions.

There are many reasons for this. The water is a vivid blue, and the algae and minerals are said to have healing properties. Volcanic energy keeps the temperature comfortably warm, and you'll find features such as a sauna, steam room, and sound cave.

Your travel agent can book the Blue Lagoon another day if you cannot make it on your first. Furthermore, they will ensure they will arrange your trip around your flights.

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 museums, galleries, restaurants, and bars available.

We recommend visiting cultural landmarks like the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center, the Perlan Museum and Observation Deck, and the Hallgrimskirkja church.

Harpa is the city's premiere cultural center, hosting various concerts, exhibitions, festivals, and cultural events. It's also the home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. 

Aside from being Reykjavik's cultural hub, Harpa is known for its unique design and architecture. The building's facade features 714 glass panels with LED lighting, allowing people to see its beauty even at night.

Not to be outdone is the Perlan, which also features a distinct architectural design. It features a hemispherical rotating glass dome serving as a viewing deck. Locals and tourists troop to the Perlan to witness the cityscape and forest surrounding the city.

Aside from the breathtaking views, the Perlan also houses a restaurant, a cafe, and various displays and exhibitions.

As for the Hallgrimskirkja church, it's Iceland's tallest church, standing 245 feet (74.5 meters) tall. The church was designed by Gudjon Samuelsson, one of the country's most respected architects.

When visiting the Hallgrimskirkja church, you can walk up the tower to enjoy majestic city views. Moreover, appreciate the church's design that resembles Thor's hammer, with the handle facing up.

After exploring the city, you'll spend the night in Reykjavik in your comfortable accommodation.

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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 to Iceland's famous Golden Circle.

Spend the first part of your Golden Circle exploration strolling through the gorge. Located at the Thingvellir National Park, this narrow valley marks the separation between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.

This site is also rich in history. Here, Icelanders founded their parliament in 930 AD, converted to Christianity in 1000 AD, and declared independence from Denmark in 1944. 

You can also opt for a snorkel tour in the nearby Silfra ravine, a fissure full of crystal-clear waters. Snorkeling in the area combines a thrilling and calming experience, making Silfra one of the world's favorite dive sites. Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

After that, head to the geothermal valley of Haukadalur, an area with hot springs, steam vents, mud pools, and geysers. Geysir is the most famous geyser, which lends all the others their name. Interestingly, Geysir is mainly inactive, though earthquakes or other factors can change this.

Another attraction to watch is its neighbor, Strokkur. Unlike the inactive Geysir, Strokkur can erupt every five to 10 minutes and shoot up to over 66 feet (20 meters) tall. As a result, it has become Iceland's most-visited active geyser.

After taking your time in this area, head to the mighty waterfall Gullfoss. You can walk to a platform on its edge to truly appreciate its tremendous power.

The Gullfoss waterfall boasts two incredible cascades. The first is a shorter drop measuring 36 feet (11 meters) tall, while the second cascade is about 69 feet (21 meters) tall.

Aside from the two cascades, the Gullfoss waterfall showcases raw power. If you visit the waterfall during summer, you'll feel 4944 cubic feet (140 cubic meters) of water surging down per second.

Near the Gullfoss waterfall is the Langjokull glacier, where you can add an optional snowmobile tour. You'll be equipped with all the essential equipment like gloves, a helmet, a balaclava, and a snowmobiling suit.

You'll also be guided by an experienced instructor who will teach you how to operate a snowmobile. As you ride the snowmobile, you'll drive toward the ice cap that rises around 4,757 feet (1,450 meters) above sea level.

If you want something less extreme, you can meet and ride a beautiful Icelandic horse. You'll visit one of Golden Circle's horse farms and mount up a friendly horse for two hours.

After a tiring and eventful day, you'll spend the night in Southwest Iceland.

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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

On day three, you begin your journey along Iceland's South Coast. 

Visit the majestic Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which offers incredible views from behind the water. The Seljalandsfoss waterfall boasts a drop of 200 feet (60 meters). 

Being part of the river Seljalandsa, Seljalandsfoss traces its beginnings beneath the glacier Eyjafjallajokull. It's a volcano that became infamous in 2010 when it erupted and caused disruption across different airports in Europe.

As you marvel at Seljalandsfoss, you'll notice its cascade to be relatively narrow. You'll also see a pathway that stretches around the waterfall. This distinguishing feature makes it one of the few waterfalls in the world that can be fully encircled.

After relishing the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, you can stop at the equally impressive Skogafoss waterfall. It features a fantastic width of 82 feet (25 meters), complemented by a drop of 197 feet (60 meters).

The great thing about the Skogafoss waterfall is it has flat land underneath. This feature lets you walk right up to its water wall, though there's a risk of getting wet. Alternatively, you can view the waterfall through a staircase that leads to an observational platform.

A little further down the road, you'll reach Solheimajokull, where you can take an optional glacier hike or snowmobiling tour. Solheimajokull is an outlet glacier of the Myrdalsjokull icecap, measuring five miles (eight kilometers) long and over a mile (two kilometers) wide.

Whether you explore the glacier through hiking or snowmobiling, both offer exhilarating experiences.

Further along the ring road, near Vik, admire the black volcanic beach Reynisfjara and the dramatic Dyrholaey rock formations. Reynisfjara is arguably the most beautiful among Iceland's black sand beaches. It features roaring waves and huge basalt rocks accented by stunning panoramic views.

Once you reach Vik, stop for a hot cup of coffee, or stretch your legs in this charming village while refueling.

After resting, you can depart from Vik and join another tour. You can visit a stunning ice cave in Myrdalsjokull glacier. 

After enjoying the sights and the beach, you can make your way east and explore more of the Myrdalsjokull glacier. You can also visit Kirkjubaejarklaustur, a quaint, historical village with about 120 inhabitants.

In the evening, you can spend the night in one of the villages of South Iceland.

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

Day 4 - Vatnajokull National Park

Day four should be spent enjoying the many sights and optional activities within the beautiful Skaftafell area of the Vatnajokull National Park. Skaftafell is a nature reserve area known for its majestic features and diverse landscapes. It also boasts a rich flora amid glaciers and sands.

Hiking enthusiasts will be thrilled with the number of tracks and trails, including one that leads to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall. This waterfall only measures 66 feet (20 meters) tall and is not as powerful as other waterfalls in the country. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland because of its beautiful surroundings and natural formations.

Its incredible basalt columns are the main feature that attracts local and foreign visitors. The columns sport a hexagonal shape, surrounding the waterfall.

Alternatively, you can opt for a glacier hike, still in Skaftafell. The walk will take you to the top of the Vatnajokull outlet glacier. During the hike, you'll be mesmerized by a contrasting scenery, where jet-black sands serve as a backdrop for white glaciers.

Next, you'll head toward the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, where you can watch icebergs break from a glacial tongue and float serenely towards the ocean. The lagoon has a maximum depth of 814 feet (248 meters), making it Iceland's deepest lake.

It also has a surface area of 11.2 square miles (18 square kilometers), with icebergs that are over 1,000 years old.

It's a place that has attracted keen photographers for years. 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 on the rocks. 

After enjoying the lagoon, head to Diamond Beach. Also known as Breidamerkursandur, Diamond Beach is almost 3,000 feet (900 meters) from the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. It features icebergs that wash up on the black sands, creating a sparkling effect that resembles a diamond. 

This unique visual spectacle offers excellent photo opportunities you shouldn't miss. After seeing the beauty of the Vatnajokull National Park, you can drive to the nearby Hofn town to explore its beautiful harbor and streets.

You will spend the night in Southeast Iceland.

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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'll travel through the incredible Eastfjords. It's a 75-mile (120-kilometer) coastline stretch, starting from Berufjordur in the south to the fishing village of Borgarfjordur Eystri in the north.

During the drive, you'll see many idyllic villages hidden at the bottom of deep fjords, nestled between mountain passes and hills. Moreover, you'll likely see many fishing villages on the narrow fjords.

Interestingly, this area has some of the most remote sites in Iceland, offering attractive opportunities to enjoy solitude in nature. The Eastfjords has many dense forests and sparkling lakes, adding color and music to the amazing scenery.

It also has a wealth of wildlife, including reindeer, seals, and different species of migratory birds, like the elusive puffins. Though known for spending most of their lives at sea, these puffins fly toward the cliffs during spring and summer for breeding.

The puffins you'll see in Iceland are the Atlantic puffins. Compared to other puffin species, the Atlantic puffins sport colorful beaks, while the colors of their bodies resemble those of penguins.

Next, you'll zig-zag up and down the mountains and reach Egilsstadir township. Egilsstadir is East Iceland's largest town and is close to two natural gems you shouldn't miss. First is Hallormsstadaskogur, the country's largest national forest, covering about 740 hectares of land.

If you're visiting Hallormsstadaskogur in June, join the Forest Day festivities. It's a weekend of music, art exhibitions, and logging competitions.

You can also visit Hallormsstadaskogur's two camping areas: Atlavik and Hofdavik. Atlavik is inside the inner part of the forest, specifically in the area's tree cover. On the other hand, Hofdavik is in an area offering a more luxurious kind of service.

The second gem near Egilsstadir is Lake Lagarfjlot, known for its natural beauty and fishing opportunities. Lake Lagarfjlot is also famous for its folklore, as it is believed to be home to a beast called the Lagarfljot Wyrm.

Considered to be the cousin of the Loch Ness Monster, the beast is said to be the one disrupting the surface of Lake Lagarfjlot.

By evening, you can spend the night in Egilsstadir or one of the neighboring villages in East Iceland.

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

Day 6 - Lake Myvatn

On your sixth day, you'll head over to the Modrudalur heights to see one of the gems of Icelandic nature, Lake Myvatn. It is Iceland's fourth-largest lake, featuring many small islands and a calming environment.

Visiting Lake Myvatn allows you to see active wildlife led by the arctic fox, harlequin ducks, and other bird species. The harlequin duck is one of the most popular types of birds that nest in the area. It's sometimes called the "white-eyed diver" because of the unique white markings.

As for the arctic fox, it is Iceland's only native mammal. It features a thick coat that comes in white, brown, or blue color. Interestingly, the coat's color changes depending on the season.

The Lake Myvatn area is also rich in volcanic activity. At Myvatn, you can visit amazing geothermal sites, mystical lava fields, and geothermal baths surrounded by pseudo-craters and tuff volcanos. You can check out Dimmuborgir, an expanse of lava with a lot of folklore.

Also called the "Black Fortress," Dimmuborgir is one of the most famous attractions in the Lake Myvatn area. Its popularity increased when it was featured as one of the filming locations for the hit HBO series "Game of Thrones."

Another must-see stop is the Skutustadagigar pseudo-craters. Formed about 2,300 years ago, Skutustadagigar resulted from gas explosions that occurred when boiling lava flowed over the wetlands.

After marveling at the sights of Skutustadagigar, drive about 51.6 miles (83 kilometers) through the Jokulsargljufur part of Vatnajokull National Park. Here, you can visit natural attractions like Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe.

Dettifoss boasts an average water flow of 6,186 cubic feet (193 meters cubed) per second. It also measures 330 feet (100 meters) wide and falls 150 feet (45 meters) toward the Jokulsargljufur canyon.

After exploring this incredible region, you can take an optional whale-watching tour in the nearby village of Husavik, renowned as the whale-watching capital of Europe. You can even upgrade the tour to include a puffin-watching segment in a little RIB boat.

In the evening, you'll head to the town of Akureyri, the northern capital, where you can visit many shops and stores.

You will spend your night in one of the accommodations in North Iceland.

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

Day 7 - Godafoss Falls and Akureyri

On day seven, you'll start in the town of Akureyri. 

Nestled under the Sulur peak, this is a great place to take a break and unwind. You can visit the famous Akureyri swimming pool, one of Iceland's finest. It features two 25-meter outdoor pools, an indoor pool, a splash pool, and water slides.

It also has a steam bath and sauna for relaxing your muscles. Interestingly, all of the pools are heated by geothermal water. The temperature can be anywhere from 80.6 to 107.6 F (27 to 42) C.

When visiting during summer, you can check out the family play area adjacent to the pool. It features a spacious playground, a giant chess set, crazy golf, and pedal cars.

Alternatively, you can admire thousands of plant specimens at the Akureyri Botanical Gardens. Considered the northernmost botanical garden in the world, it's about 31 miles (50 kilometers) from the Arctic Circle.

It covers 3.6 hectares of land and has over 7,000 plant species. Moreover, about 400 of these species are native. Aside from the plants, you'll see old wooden buildings that add to the park's character.

If you'd like to spice things up, you can horseback ride along the fjord before continuing your journey or jump on a whale-watching tour from here if you missed it yesterday.

Be sure to save some energy for a trip to the Godafoss waterfall. Located 21 miles (34 kilometers) from Akureyri, Godafoss is one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in Iceland. It has a width of 98 feet (30 meters) and falls from a height of 39 feet (12 meters).

You'll then continue onto the Troll Peninsula and follow the coast to fishing villages such as Siglufjordur, Dalvik, and Hofsos. Apart from its natural beauty, Siglufjordur is known for being a cultural hub. In addition, the village is home to the award-winning Herring Era Museum and the Folk Music Museum.

Meanwhile, Dalvik is where you can relax in the unique Bjorbodin beer spa. Instead of soaking in hot geothermal water, the beer spa lets you relax in a bath of warm young beer while enjoying a cold glass of draft beer.

As for Hofsos, it's one of Iceland's oldest trading posts. It's also the location of a famous outdoor designer Infinity Pool, offering majestic views while you're swimming. 

After exploring Hofsos, you can drive to the old Holar cathedral and make it your last stop before spending the night in one of the villages of Northwest Iceland.

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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 to the Westfjords is characterized by the seemingly endless fjords and towering mountainsides that flank the road to Isafjordur. You’ll discover a few more beautiful sights during the drive and through the different stops in and around the area.

Along the way, you could stop at Vatnsdalsholar, a cluster of rolling hills along the mouth of Vatnsdalur valley. You’ll notice the hills come in different shapes and sizes, resulting from landslides that are common in the valley.

You’ll also drive about 27 miles (43.6 kilometers) toward the Borgarvirki natural fortress. Borgarvirki is a volcanic plug standing 580 feet (177 meters) above sea level. It also towers above its surroundings by about 33 to 49 feet (10 to 15 meters).

Interestingly, Borgarvirki features a columnar shape, prompting the Vikings to turn it into a fortress. They also added other elements, like walls and stairs, to make it habitable and more durable.

Next, you’ll check out the Glaumbaer Folk Museum, a place rich in valuable information and resources about the culture of North Iceland. The museum was built in an old turf farmhouse dating back to 1750.

Here, you’ll learn about the history of rural Iceland and discover the life of Thorfinn Karlsefni, an Icelandic leader who attempted to colonize North America.

If you love magic, check out the Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum in Holmavik. It features two floors telling the history of sorcery in Iceland. 

Also, a short drive away is the Sorcerer’s Cottage, featuring three connected turf houses. It depicts what the living conditions of sorcerers were like. As you enter the cottage, scan for intriguing elements like the woodwork featuring carved magic staves supposedly designed to drive away evil.

Before driving to Isafjordur, you can visit the hot pools in Drangsnes. The place features man-made geothermal hot tubs built along the shoreline between a cliff road and the ocean. Bring your bathing suit if you plan to bathe in the pools.

Once you reach Isafjordur, you’ll see some of the oldest houses in Iceland, dating back to the mid-18th century. As the biggest town in the Westfjords and having a coastal location, Isafjordur was a valuable fishing and trading center during the 16th century.

Today, the residents of Isafjordur are able to preserve the Old Town area where colorful historic buildings are found.

After an eventful day of exploring, you’ll have dinner at Tjoruhusid, a highly recommended restaurant serving the best Icelandic seafood in town. After dining, you’ll spend the night in the Westfjords.

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

Day 9 - Patreksfjordur Village & Latrabjarg Cliffs

Day nine is full of Icelandic history and staggering views. 

Begin by heading to Dyrafjordur, where you’ll find the trail of the Viking saga hero Gisli Sursson. Located between the Arnarfjordur and Onundarfjordur fjords, Dyrafjordur measures about 20 miles (32 kilometers) long and about six miles (10 kilometers) wide. It is rich in natural attractions and has an interesting history dating back centuries.

As the setting of the Gisla Saga, Dyrafjordur is where most of Sursson’s story took place. As you explore this fjord, you’ll see high and majestic mountains surrounding it.

You can also drive to Isafjordur and join a calm water kayaking tour.

Next, you’ll pass by the Skrudur Botanical Garden. Established in 1909, Skrudur is Iceland’s oldest botanical garden. The place has unique elements that’ll greet you before entering the main garden.

Upon reaching the entrance, you’ll see a pair of arched whale jaw bones with Iceland’s flag at the top. To enter the garden, you must pass through this arch and walk through the gravel paths.

Inside, you’ll see various fruit trees and a flower garden with blue, red, and purple flowers. It also has a small greenhouse made of glass.

After exploring the botanical garden, continue to Hrafnseyri, about 25 miles (41 kilometers). Here, you’ll find a museum dedicated to another hero, Jon Sigurdsson, who was influential in Iceland’s battle for independence from Denmark.

The museum is an Icelandic turf building that used to be Sigurdsson’s home. It was carefully preserved and houses different exhibitions, photographs, historical documents, and artifacts connected to Sigurdsson’s life and times.

In addition, the museum has a cozy cafe where you can relax while enjoying a slice of cake with a cup of coffee.

Afterward, stop to take some photos at the impressive cliff of Latrabjarg. The cliff rises to 1456 feet (444 meters), making it arguably the westernmost point of Iceland. 

Here, you can take a closer look at Iceland’s many species of nesting seabirds, including puffins and razorbills. These birds aren’t afraid to go near people, so you can easily capture some fantastic photographs.

For the evening, spend the night in the Vesturbyggd areas, near Patreksfjordur or Breidavik. Staying in Patreksfjordur gives you access to various accommodations, restaurants, and cafes. Your accommodation will be in town or nearby settlements in the Westfjords region.

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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 Snaefellsnes Peninsula

On day ten, take the Baldur ferry from Brjanslaekur across Breidafjordur bay to the village of Stykkisholmur on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. The price of the ferry is included in your tour, and you can even take your car across at no additional fee.

Alternatively, you can choose to stop on the island of Flatey. You can spend a few hours enjoying the peace and tranquility before exploring the peninsula. It is incredibly remote, with only two families staying all year round. 

Flatey measures around 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) long and 0.6 miles (one kilometer) wide. Interestingly, Flatey has no hills, though it's home to some key attractions like Iceland's smallest and oldest library.

Meanwhile, Stykkisholmur is a small town with an attractive natural harbor. Its location offers residents access to Breidafjordur's fertile fishing grounds. Despite its relatively small size, Stykkisholmur has evolved into a cultural hub.

When exploring the town, check out the Norwegian House museum, Iceland's oldest two-story building. You can also visit the Volcano Museum or see Iceland's oldest weather station, which dates back to 1845.

Discover its scenic bay by joining a boat tour of the Breidafjordur bay, home to around 3,000 small islands. The boat tour will take you to these islands and appreciate them up close.

Alternatively, you can walk around the town and see its colorful houses. After that, visit the Library of Water, a unique art installation featuring a series of glass columns filled with water from Icelandic glaciers. 

From Stykkisholmur, you can explore some of the many wonders of Snaefellsnes. It is sometimes called "Iceland in miniature" because so many of the nation's distinctive features can be found here. From picturesque beaches to hot springs to imposing cliffs, Snaefellsnes has it.

The region is watched over by Snaefellsjokull glacier, at the heart of the national park. The glacier is a volcano standing 4,744 feet (1,446 meters) tall. When the skies are clear, you'll see Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, from across the bay.

After exploring these different attractions, you'll spend the night in the Snaefellsnes 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 Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Day 11 is all about discovering more of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It has many beautiful spots and fun activities that it's impossible to appreciate the area with just a quick drive-through. 

With unique sights around the peninsula, keep your camera handy as you spend the day hiking and exploring.

Today, you'll visit the Snaefellsjokull glacier. Aside from being one of Iceland's most incredible glaciers, Snaefellsjokull is rich in folklore. For centuries, the superstitious Icelanders considered the glacier an ancient energy source, mystery, and mysticism.

They believed many of the Snaefellsjokull glacier's rock formations were trolls. These mystical creatures were said to have been petrified by sunlight, turning them into rocks. Others also claim that the rock formations were homes of the hidden people.

After spending time in Snaefellsjokull, you may drive 10.8 miles (17.4 kilometers) to Vatnshellir and join a cave tour. The Vatnshellir cave is one of the country's oldest lava tubes, formed after an eruption about 8,000 years ago. It measures 656 long (200 meters) with a depth of 114 feet (35 meters).

Upon entering the cave, look closer at the lava's minerals that are still visible today. Also, take note of the rocks and their vivid colors of green, red, and yellow, which came from deposits of copper, iron, and sulfur, respectively.

Next, you'll head to the photogenic Kirkjufell mountain on the peninsula's north shore. Also called "Church Mountain," Kirkjufell is arguably Iceland's most photographed mountain because of its coastal location and impressive formation.

Measuring 1,519 feet (463 meters) tall, the Kirkjufell mountain is one of the travelers' and seafarers' most popular visual landmarks. At the base of the mountain, you'll see a lake that reflects a mirror image of the mountain on clear days.

You can also visit Djupalonssandur beach and Dritvik cove before checking out the small villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar. Djupalonssandur is called the "Black Lava Pearl Beach" because of its black sand and dark cliffs.

It is also known for four ancient lifting stones, with weights ranging from 50 pounds (23 kilograms) to 342 pounds (155 kilograms).

Meanwhile, Dritvik cove is still part of Djupalonssandur beach. It served as a valuable fishing center from 1650 to 1950 and is rich in folklore. The Icelandic saga "Bardarsaga Snaefellsas" noted that Dritvik's first settler was Bardar Snaefellsas, a half-human and half-troll.

After an exciting day of exploring, hiking, and taking pictures, you'll spend another night in the Snaefellsnes 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

For day 12, you’ll explore West Iceland, with its diverse sights and attractions. Your first stop is the Icelandic settlement exhibition in Borgarnes. This museum features two main exhibits: the Age of Settlement and the life of the Viking and poet Egil Skallagrimsson.

Next, you’ll drive 23 miles (37 kilometers) to Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe. Deildartunguhver boasts a rapid flow rate of 380 pints (180 liters) per second. However, the water at the Deildartunguhver hot springs heats at a constant 207 F (97 C), making it dangerous to get close to.

Nevertheless, you can visit Krauma Geothermal Bath & Spa and relax your muscles. Krauma lets you experience the water of Deildartunguhver mixed with the glacial water of Ok, Iceland’s smallest ice cap.

After enjoying the spa, stop at the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls. Located 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Deildartunguhver, Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls streaming from the Hallmundarhraun lava field. As you marvel at the waterfall, you’ll notice the water flowing from the ledges of the rocks in the lava.

Meanwhile, the rapid Barnafoss waterfall is only a few feet from Hraunfossar. Because of its sheer power, you’ll experience the water twisting, turning, and foaming right before your eyes.

If you’re a history buff, visit Snorrastofa, the medieval research institute at Reykholt. It is 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 Fossatun. It’s a waterfall said to be guarded by a troll woman named Drifa. 

Also, you can opt for one of two caving tours. The first is a traditional excursion, exploring the dark, underground world in the Vidgelmir lava caves. 

The second is anything but traditional. You will walk through man-made channels right into Langjokull glacier. Regardless of your choice, both are beautiful and thrilling activities.

There’s also a third choice if you still have energy. You can descend into the Thrihnukagigur volcano for an unbelievable opportunity to see the inside of a magma chamber.

To end your thrilling self-drive tour, you’ll spend your final night in the capital, Reykjavik.

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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, drop off your car at the Keflavik International Airport before your departure.

If you have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you can unwind at the pool before heading to the airport. It's the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters and look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. 

Alternatively, there are other things you can do in Reykjavik. You can do some last-minute shopping or drop by some landmarks you missed on your first day in town.

If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey and hope you enjoyed your epic Icelandic trip.

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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.

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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