13 Day Self Drive Tour on Budget | Circle Of Iceland & Westfjords

13 Day Self Drive Tour on Budget | Circle Of Iceland & Westfjords
Visit Geysir geothermal area and see the mighty Strokkur geyser erupting in all its glory.
Mt. Kirkjufell in the soft light of an Icelandic midsummer night.
Dynjandi in Iceland's Westfjords is amongst Iceland's most impressive waterfalls.
Be sure to visit the Diamond Beach, a stretch of black sand on Iceland's South Coast where melting icebergs was ashore.
This beautiful boiling mud pot is found in Námaskarð geothermal area by Lake Mývatn.
Mt. Vestrahorn is one of Iceland's most beautiful mountains and is sure to impress you on your journey around the island.

Be the master of your time and your wallet on this 13-Day Budget Self-Drive Tour around the Ring Road of Iceland. Don't worry about tour bus schedules or travelling with strangers; this adventure will be at your pace, and you get to decide when to move between all the wondrous locations you'll visit.

You'll get to see all the treasures of the famous Golden Circle sightseeing route, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, just to give you an idea of the natural variety you'll experience. You'll even get to explore the remote and unexampled West Fjords; a treat most visitors tend to miss.

This carefully crafted package provides you with an exclusive vehicle and a detailed personal itinerary so that you can circumference the island of ice and fire on your own accord, trailing between all the primary sights as well as the hidden gems off the beaten path.

It is fair to assume no part of Iceland will be unknown to you after this extensive and locally crafted excursion.

Additionally, there are several exciting adventures you can add to your trip; such as horseback riding and whale-watching in the North, snorkelling in the continental Silfra Fissure, snowmobiling on top of Langjökull glacier, ice caving in Mýrdalsjökull and lava caving in Víðgelmir lava cave, just to name a few!

The best part is, this budget option provides you with all the best deals on accommodation, and you get complete control of your journey's pace and what adventures you want to partake in.

Don't hesitate in booking the road trip of your dreams. Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
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 not included, shared bathrooms; more detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 13 days (Toyota Aygo or similar, upgrades available)

  • CDW 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

  • Taxes

  • Fuel

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

  • Meals


What to bring:
  • Warm and waterproof clothes

  • Camera

  • Driver's license

  • Swimsuit and 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.

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

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



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland


Welcome to Reykjavík, the world's northernmost capital.


On the first day, pick up your car at the Keflavík International Airport and make your way to Reykjavík City.

En route rests the one and only Blue Lagoon, meaning you can cure your jetlag right away with a visit to the healing mineral-rich waters of the world-renowned geothermal spa. Just remember to book the tickets in advance if that sounds up your alley.

After settling into your accommodation in the capital, feel free to explore the bustling city centre and its myriad of cafés, galleries, bars, museums and restaurants.

You'll spend your first night in Reykjavík.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

Reykjavík Budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 2 - Sights of the Golden Circle


Visit the iconic Gullfoss waterfall.


Your second day sees you leaving the city behind you and kicking off your Iceland adventure with the Golden Circle.

First up is Þingvellir National Park, a World Heritage site located in a breathtaking and clearly visible gorge between two worlds; the meeting of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. Here you can add a snorkelling tour in Silfra fissure to your day for a chance to enjoy one of the top diving sites in the world.

The next sight en route is geothermal Haukadalur Valley; home to bubbling mud pools, steam vents, hot springs and active geysers. Watch Strokkur erupt naturally every few minutes as high as 20 metres in the air with a bravura to last you a lifetime.

The last major highlight of the Golden Circle is Gullfoss Waterfall, or the Golden Falls, which the route is named after. A platform will take you to the edge of the falls, where you can see their beauty and feel their thundering power beneath your feet.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can head out from Gullfoss to go snowmobiling on top of Langjökull glacier or opt for a horseriding tour with the gentle and friendly Icelandic horses.

After an exciting day stock full of sights, you'll spend your night in the area of Hvolsvöllur.


Preferred accommodation by Hvolsvöllur

Hvolsvöllur Super Budget

Árnes HI Hostel is located close to the village of Hella. Dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Hvolsvöllur Budget

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 not included.


Day 3 - South Coast Waterfalls & Black Sand Beach


See an unmatched view of South Iceland's lowlands from behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall.


Day three sees you trail along Iceland's south coast. Your first recommended stop will be at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, which offers up the rarity of an accessible cave to enjoy the view from behind the cascading water. Close by is Skógafoss Waterfall, one of the biggest in Iceland with a drop of 60 metres.

Continue down the road to reach the magnificent glacier Sólheimajökull, where you can opt for both a glacier hike and a snowmobile excursion. If you wish to see the inside of a glacier as opposed to venturing across its surface, there's the option of exploring an authentic ice cave in the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap.

When you reach the idyllic coastal village of Vík, make sure to check out the black sand beach Reynisfjara, where the eerie black sea stacks Reynisdrangar lie visible just offshore. Vík is also an excellent stop for enjoying refreshments and stretching your legs before continuing east, where many more sights wait for you en route.

Finally, you'll spend the night either in the area of Kirkjubæjarklaustur or Skaftafell.


Preferred accommodation by Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Super Budget

Vagnstaðir Hostel is located within walking distance from the beach and has a great view of the sea and surrounding mountains. Dorm accommodation with shared bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Budget

Klausturhof Guesthouse is centrally located in Kirkjubæjarklaustur town. Private bedrooms with shared bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.


Day 4 - Skaftafell National Park & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon


This 13 Day Self Drive Tour on Budget takes you to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Iceland's crown jewel.


On day four, you'll take in the breathtaking sights of Skaftafell belonging to the great Vatnajökull National Park. Hiking enthusiasts are in for a treat around these parts since a myriad of tracks and trails dot the area.

One recommended route is the path leading up to the waterfall Svartifoss; where it stumbles down a wall of black hexagonal basalt columns that were the very inspiration for the architecture of Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavík. Here is also another option for a glacier hike if you missed it so far.

Down the road, you'll reach what has been called the crown jewel of Iceland's natural wonders; the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. This is where large icebergs have broken off one of Vatnajökull's outlet glaciers and gathered to float serenely to the sea. For a closer look, you can opt for two different boat rides on the lagoon itself, one on an amphibious boat and another on a zodiac.

Just a stone's throw away from the lagoon you'll find the Diamond Beach, a stretch of black sand where chunks of ice have gathered from the lake to sparkle like gemstones on a black satin bed.

Your final destination for the day will be at the village of Höfn, where you'll spend the night.


Preferred accommodation by Jökulsárlón and Höfn

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Super Budget

HI Hostel Höfn is located in Höfn township. Dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Budget

Guesthouse Hvammur is located in the centre of Höfn town and a short drive from Vatnjökull National Park. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 5 - The East Fjords


If seeing the puffin isn't enough, you can also eat it in many Icelandic restaurants.


Day five will see you zig zag through the stunning and desolate East Fjords, where great mountain passes and steep hills meet with hidden villages and sandy plains for a landscape straight out of a fairytale science fiction novel.

Today includes a lot of driving but also a lot of opportunities for solitude and reconnecting with nature. These parts are as well home to roaming herds of wild reindeer and incredible bird life which includes puffins during their nesting season.

You decide where to stop en route until you reach the township of Egilstaðir, where you'll spend the night at a nearby accommodation.


Preferred accommodation by Egilsstaðir

Egilsstaðir Super Budget

Guesthouse Olga is a family run guesthouse centrally located in Egilsstaðir town. Access to terrace and garden. Private rooms with shared facilities. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Egilsstaðir Budget

Guesthouse Birta is family run guesthouse centrally located in the town of Egilsstaðir. Access to terrace and garden. Private rooms with shared facilities. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.


Day 6 - Lake Myvatn & The North


Europe's most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss, in North Iceland.


On day six, you'll drive through the breathtaking Möðrudalur Heights to your next destination of Lake Mývatn. There will be plenty to see on your way, including Jökulsárgljúfur Gorge and the most powerful waterfall in Europe; the thundering Dettifoss.

When you reach Mývatn, you'll find its landscape uniquely formed by geothermal activity; boasting of visionary lava fields, pseudo-craters, tuff volcanoes and hot springs. The rocky citadel of Dimmuborgir is also not to be missed.

After exploring this stunning area to your heart's content, you can soak in the Mývatn Nature Baths or embark on a whale watching tour in Húsavík; often referred to as the whale watching capital of Europe.

By the end of the day you'll find yourself in the charming and bustling town of Akureyri, where you'll spend the night.


Preferred accommodation by Akureyri

Akureyri Super Budget

Akureyri HI Hostel is a short walk from Akureyri's town centre. Dormitory accommodation with shared bathrooms. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Akureyri Budget

Hrafinn Guesthouse is located in the centre of Akureyri town. Guests have access to a fully equipped kitchen and fully furnished terrace. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.


Day 7 - Akureyri & Godafoss Falls


Goðafoss (the Waterfall of the Gods) in northeast Iceland.


Day seven finds you waking up in the Capital of the North, Akureyri, so feel free to explore the grounds by visiting the cafés, the museums, the swimming pool or the botanical gardens. You can also kickstart your day with a horseback ride before you continue your journey, or a whale watching tour if you missed it the day before.

Once you're ready, you'll continue your journey to the Troll Peninsula, Tröllaskagi, where you'll trail the coastline and pass several charming fishing villages such as Siglufjörður and Hofsós, the latter of which boasts of a nationally famous 'infinity pool' that comes highly recommended.

A great photo stop is at the ancient Hólar cathedral before you reach your destination of the Blönduós area, which is where you'll spend the night.


Preferred accommodation by Blönduós

Blönduós Super Budget

Mikligarður Guesthouse is located in the old center of Sauðárkrókur town. Private Bedroom with shared bathroom and a communal kitchenette. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Blönduós Budget

Mikligarður Guesthouse is located in the old center of Sauðárkrókur town. Free Wi-Fi. Private Bedroom with private bathroom and a communal kitchenette. Breakfast not included.


Day 8 - The Westfjords of Iceland


The Westfjords are composed of landscapes of unbelievable beauty.


On day eight, get ready to venture through the seemingly endless fjords of the West and witness the incredible landscapes en route to your next destination of Ísafjörður; the largest settlement in the Westfjords.

On you way, you can behold the scenic hills of Vatnsdalshólar, the columnar basalt fortress Borgarvirki or the hot pools of Drangsnes. These parts of the island are littered with a history of witchcraft and magic, so if that sounds up your alley, you can pay a visit to the Sorcerer's Cottage or the Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum in Hólmavík.

Once you reach Ísafjörður, you'll fall for the town's unique charm, 18th-century buildings and otherworldly lobster soup at Tjöruhúsið.

You'll spend the night in the area of Ísafjarðardjúp.


Preferred accommodation at Isafjordur

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

Hotel Edda Ísafjörður

Hotel Edda Ísafjörður is located in the larges town of the Westfjords, Ísafjörður. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast not included.

Gamla Gistihúsið

Gamla Gistihúsið is located in the centre of Ísafjörður. All guest have access to a communal kitchen and a guest lounge. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 9 - Latrabjarg Cliffs & Paterksfjordur Village


Every year over 10 million puffins flock to Iceland to nest in the country's seaside cliffs.


Get ready to acquaint yourself with Icelandic history on day nine, where you'll traverse the trail of one of the greatest Saga heroes, the outlaw Gísli Súrsson. On your route to Dýrafjörður you can also visit the botanical garden Skrúður.

A museum dedicated to Jón Sigurðsson, one of Iceland's prime fighters for independence, awaits you in Hrafnseyri before you'll reach the westernmost point of Europe at Látrabjarg Cliffs.

A myriad of birds nest in these cliffs including razorbills and puffins. These adorable creatures aren't easily spooked by humans, so you'll get a chance to venture close and snap some incredible photos.

At the end of the day, you'll find your accommodation in the area of Vesturbyggð, close to the villages Patreksfjörður and Breiðavík.


Preferred accommodation in Patreksfjordur

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

Hótel Flókalundur

Hótel Flókalundur is located a short distance from Patreksfjörður town and only a 5-minute drive from Brjánslækur ferry terminal. The hotel is family-run and has an on-site bar and restaurant. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is not included.

Hótel Látrabjarg

Hótel Látrabjarg is situated on the Westfjords, close to the bird cliffs Látrabjarg, the western-most point of Europe. The Hotel has an on-site restaurant with a bar. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 10 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula & Flatey Island Ferry


See Kirkjufell, one of Iceland's most beautiful mountains on this 13 Day Self Drive Tour on Budget.


A real treat awaits you on day ten, where a ferry ride from Brjánslækur across Breiðafjörður Bay is included in your package. The Baldur ferry will take you all the way to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula where it makes port in Stykkishólmur, but we suggest you stop at Flatey island to enjoy the serenity and quietude.

Once you reach Stykkishólmur, you can pack your day with exploring the incredible scenery of Snæfellsnes, often called 'Iceland in miniature' since it boasts of such bounteous and diverse landscapes.

These include Mount Kirkjufell, Snæfellsjökull Glacier, ancient fishing villages, hot springs, lava caves, steep cliffs and dramatic coastlines. You'll have plenty of time to explore the area further the following day, so take your time at each location.

You'll spend the night in the Snæfellsnes area.


Preferred accommodation by Snæfellsnes

Snæfellsnes Super Budget

Grundafjörður Hostel is located in Grundarfjörður village. Dormitory accommodation with shared bathrooms. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Snæfellsnes Budget

Hof Guesthouse is situated on the southern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula, just a few hundred metres from the beach. Private bedrooms with shared bathroom, living room and kitchen. Free access to a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi in public areas. Breakfast not included.


Day 11 - Another Day at Snaefellsnes


The Snæfellsnes peninsula is watched over by the mighty Snæfellsjökull glacier.


On day eleven, you can get better acquainted with this beautiful peninsula and sightsee your heart out.

Visit the villages Arnarstapi and Hellnar, awe at the castle-like structure of basalt columns Lóndrangar, explore the Dritvík Cove or walk along the black pebbles of Djúpalónssandur Beach; the possibilities are endless, just remember to pack your camera.

You'll spend another night at Snæfellsnes.


Day 12 - Hraunfossar Falls & Reykholt Settlement History


Hraunfossar is a series of beautiful waterfalls in West Iceland.


On day twelve you've almost come full circle, so spend it exploring the west coast and its numerous attractions, such as the settlement exhibition in Borgarnes.

Other notable stops are at Deildartunghver, the hot spring with the largest flow in all of Europe, and the neighbouring waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss.

At Reykholt, you can locate the medieval research institute Snorrastofa; former home to the one and only Snorri Sturluson, a local poet, chieftain, saga writer and arguably the most influential scholar of the Middle Ages.

Before reaching Reykjavík, you are advised to make one last stop at the waterfall Fossatún, guarded by a troll woman named Drífa according to legend. You can as well opt for three different caving tours; into the lava tubes of Víðgelmir, inside a human-made ice tunnel of Langjökull Glacier, or through the magma chamber of Þríhnjúkagígur Volcano.

You'll spend your final night in Reykjavík City.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

Reykjavík Budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 13 - Bon Voyage


The Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland is a treasure trove of volcanic wonders.


Your journey comes to an end. Be sure to drop off your car at Keflavík Airport in due time before your departing flight.

If you have the time, you can fit in some last-minute Reykjavík shopping or sightseeing, explore the lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula, or crown your adventure with a rejuvenating visit to the Blue Lagoon. Just remember to book the voucher in advance.

At the end of the day, you will then leave Iceland after a pleasant journey, with enough memories to relish for a lifetime.


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

Super Budget

Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels. Located in the region of the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.

Budget

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


Car

Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour. All our vehicles are new or current models. Super budget 2WD vehicles are maximum 5 years of age, and come equipped with a GPS and standard CDW insurance. Budget 2WD and Comfort 4x4 level vehicles are maximum two years of age, and come equipped with a GPS, CDW, GP and SCDW insurances. You can also upgrade to an automatic model.

Super Budget

A small 2WD vehicle such as Toyota Aygo, Hyundai i10 or similar, fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions. Compact and comfortable for up to 2 travellers with very little luggage. No highland capabilities.

Budget

A basic 2WD vehicle such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar, suitable for travelling in everyday conditions. Comfortable for 3 travellers with light luggage. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.

Comfort 4X4

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


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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