14-Day Northern Lights Winter Self-Drive Tour of the Complete Ring Road with Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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Description

Summary

Starts from
Keflavík Airport
Ends in
Keflavík Airport (KEF), Reykjanesbær, Iceland
Duration
14 days & 13 nights
Difficulty
Easy
Available
Sept. - Apr.
Accommodation
13 nights included
Car rental
14 days included

Description

Enjoy a fortnight traveling around Iceland in winter with this fantastic self-drive tour. This relaxed journey, set clockwise around the Ring Road, will allow you to fully enjoy this country's incredible sites with the flexibility and comfort of a complete itinerary from arrival to departure.

For your convenience, this multi-day self-drive tour in Iceland begins as soon as you land at the Keflavik International Airport. You'll pick up your car rental in this area and start your 14-day winter journey around the land of fire and ice.

By booking a self-drive package, you can enjoy Iceland as you want, spending as much or as little time at each location as you wish. The itinerary highlights visits to famous sites such as the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Lake Myvatn, the Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and the South Coast.

You don't have to worry about missing out on hidden attractions on this winter tour. This package, crafted by a team of local travel experts, includes visits to less-known yet breathtaking attractions that some travel blogs and sites may have missed.

For example, less-traveled regions, such as the Eastfjords and the peninsulas of North Iceland, are part of this self-drive trip around the Ring Road. In addition, as you're traveling throughout the winter season, from September to April, you'll have endless opportunities over two weeks to hunt the elusive and ethereal northern lights.

You can also tailor the itinerary to your interests by controlling the sites visited and adding optional adventures, including caving, snorkeling, and glacier hiking, without sacrificing essential sightseeing experiences. You can add these activities as you book to make your Icelandic holiday more thrilling.

The relaxed and flexible pace of this top-rated itinerary, which lets you stay more than a single night in many key locations, makes it easy to explore the area and have an adventure without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

To improve the experience, you'll have a choice of different comfort levels of accommodations, so you can tailor them to suit your budget. Meanwhile, all the vehicles will be 4x4 SUVs, fully- equipped for winter driving, offering comfort and safety as you explore Iceland in the magical winter season.

Besides the complete itinerary, accommodations for 13 nights, and the car rental, you'll have access to a 24/7 helpline or personal travel agent throughout your 11-day adventure. Contact them for inquiries, booking clarifications, or emergency assistance.

Should any unforeseen modifications arise in your travel arrangements, there's no need to panic, as you'll be entitled to a full refund upon canceling your booking up to 24 hours before your scheduled departure.

Don't spend weeks planning your vacation. When you book this self-drive tour, all the organizing is sorted, yet you still have the flexibility to make it your own. Other travelers love this tour and rate it highly, so don't miss your chance to enjoy it!

Book this once-in-a-lifetime self-drive holiday to enjoy the winter wonderland that is Iceland and all it has to offer. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Included

13 nights of accommodation
Continental breakfast on all days
New rental car for 14 days
CDW car rental insurance
Gravel protection car insurance
Unlimited mileage
Unlimited in-car Wi-Fi
Detailed itinerary & travel plan
Personal travel agent
24/7 helpline
VAT & all taxes

Destinations

Reykjavik is the northernmost capital city in the world.Reykjavík / 3 nights
Beautiful coastal geology helps to define the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.Snæfellsnes / 1 night
North Iceland is home to many incredible attractions, such as the Hvitserkur rock formation.North Iceland / 2 nights
Lake Myvatn is Northeast Iceland's most famous attraction.Northeast Iceland / 2 nights
East Iceland is a spectacular region.Eastfjords / 1 night
The Vatnajokull glacier in Southeast Iceland.Southeast Iceland / 2 nights
Dyrhólaey peninsula from east to westSouth Coast / 1 night
An abandoned house on the Reykjanes Peninsula presents a striking contrast against a lush green landscape.Southwest Iceland / 1 night

Map

Attractions

Seals hauling out at Ytri Tunga.Ytri Tunga Beach
Búðakirkja Church bathed by the Northern LightsBudir
Lóndrangar under the midnight sun.Lóndrangar
Djúpalónssandur Black Lava Pearl Beach is a beautiful place on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.Djúpalónssandur
Snæfellsjökull glacier above the black church at Búðir village.Snæfellsjökull
Mount Kirkjufell on Snaefellsnes peninsula is one of the most iconic mountains in IcelandKirkjufell
Borgarvirki (Citadel) is both natural and man-made.Borgarvirki
Hvítserkur, aka; “The Troll of North-West Iceland”, is a 15-metre (49ft) high basalt rock stack protruding from Húnaflói Bay.Hvítserkur
HraundrangiHraundrangi
Trollaskagi is well known for its high population of Icelandic horses.Tröllaskagi
Lake Myvatn is surrounded by stunning natural beautyMývatn
Godafoss is a beautiful waterfall with ties to Iceland's religious history.Godafoss Waterfall
Dettifoss waterfall in IcelandDettifoss
Hallormstadaskogar surrounds lake Lagarfjlot.Hallormsstaðaskógur
Lagarfljot, in east Iceland, has a terrible monster in its depths, according to legend.Lagarfljót
Vestrahorn is a spectacular mountain, especially under the Northern Lights.Vestrahorn
Vestrahorn is on the Stokknes PeninsulaStokksnes
Jökulsárlón is one of Iceland's most popular and unique attractionsJökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
The icy diamonds of Diamond BeachDiamond Beach
Skaftafell Nature Preserve can be found in Öræfasveit, the western region of Austur-Skaftafellssýsla in Iceland.Skaftafell
Svartifoss in Skaftafell Nature Reserve in summer.Svartifoss
Reynisfjara beach and Reynisdrangar cliffs in winterReynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Arial view of Reynisdrangar and Mt. ReynisfjallReynisdrangar
Dyrhólaey Peninsula is a 120 metre promenade famed for its staggering views of Iceland’s South Coast, as well as its historic lighthouse and wealth of birdlife.Dyrhólaey
The mighty Skógafoss waterfallSkógafoss
Seljalandsfoss on the South Coast of Iceland bathed in the otherworldly light of the midnight sun.Seljalandsfoss
Þingvellir National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on Iceland’s mainland, is birthplace of the country’s parliament.Kerið
Long-exposure photo of Gullfoss waterfall on a cloudy dayGullfoss
Geysir is a dormant hot spring in the geothermal area, Haukadalur Valley, found in South Iceland.Geysir
Þingvellir National Park is Iceland's only UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the major stops along the world famous Golden Circle sightseeing route.Thingvellir
Kleifarvatn is the third largest lake in Iceland.Kleifarvatn
KrýsuvíkKrýsuvík
Gunnuhver is one of the geothermal areas on the Reykjanes Peninsula.Gunnuhver

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Snorkelling
Caving
Snowmobile
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Boat Trip
Northern lights hunting
Dog sledding
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Bird watching
Helicopter
Ice Caving
Self drive

Travel details

Travel dates

Travelers

Car

Car

Small car

Small car

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small car
Transmission
People
Large bags
Medium car

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Premium car

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premium car
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Large car

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SUV

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JEEPSUV
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Personalize your itinerary

Day 1 – Reykjavík

Day 1

Day 1 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík - Arrival day
  • More

Welcome to Iceland!

You'll land at Keflavik International Airport on day one, where your car will await you. After picking it up, you'll set off along the Reykjanes Peninsula before reaching your destination for the day, Reykjavik.

The Reykjanes Peninsula is a mesmerizing region south of the Icelandic capital, known for its captivating landscapes and otherworldly geological features. The peninsula offers a striking blend of rugged volcanic terrain, expansive lava fields, and breathtaking coastal cliffs. During winter, certain parts of this landscape transform into a snow wonderland.

On your way to Reykjavik, you can also stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It's 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's no time to visit the lagoon today, it can be added to another day. Your travel consultant can arrange this for you, whether you want the standard comfort entrance or the premium package.

Entrance packages to the Blue Lagoon include silica mud masks, towel or bathrobe use, a drink of your choice, and access to the lagoon facilities. Some of the top-rated facilities of the geothermal spa are relaxation areas, in-water bars, steam rooms, saunas, and changing areas.

Once you reach the capital, you can feel free to unwind and rest before your 14 days on the road or explore Reykjavik's many cultural hot spots. There's plenty to see and do in the city if you have extra free time, such as sightseeing and visiting local cafes.

You can also opt for an evening drive and start your adventure with a northern lights hunt before a cozy sleep in your city accommodation.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 2 – Snæfellsnes

Day 2

Day 2 – Snæfellsnes

  • Snæfellsnes
  • More
  • Ytri Tunga Beach
  • Budir hamlet
  • Londrangar Basalt Cliffs
  • Djupalonssandur black pebble beach
  • Snaefellsjokull
  • Kirkjufell Mountain
  • More

You'll start your clockwise road trip with a bang on day two by visiting a region often called 'Iceland in Miniature' due to its geological diversity, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a captivating jewel on Iceland's West Coast, encapsulates the breathtaking diversity of the island's natural wonders. Snow-capped peaks, majestic glaciers, black sand beaches, and rugged cliffs are familiar sights to witness as you drive along this land.

You'll travel along the peninsula's south side toward the Snaefellsjokull National Park, the area's most notable feature. The National Park is named after the Snaefellsjokull glacier and volcano, which forms an incredible backdrop to many sites along the peninsula. This twin-peaked feature is well-known for various reasons, including being featured in many renowned pieces of literature.

The sites along the way are diverse and beautiful, including the villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar with stunning rock formations, the great basalt stacks at Londrangar, and the black beach of Djupalonssandur.

A cultural heritage nearby is Budir black church, one of the most photographed churches in Iceland. The black exterior of the church contrasts the lush valley or snowy plains of Snaefellsnes during winter, making it an excellent subject for photography and sightseeing.

On the northern side, you can stop at one of the most beautiful and photographed mountains in Iceland, the arrow-shaped Kirkjufell. This feature has a cute adjacent waterfall, Kirkjufellsfoss, which often sports a cape of ice in winter.

If you wish to add an adventure to the day, exploring a lava cave called Vatnshellir is a great way to explore further, this time below the earth's surface. During this optional tour, an expert guide will be with you to ensure your safe and fun lava-caving experience.

You'll reside for the night on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

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Day 3 – North Iceland

Day 3

Day 3 – North Iceland

  • North Iceland
  • More
  • Borgarvirki basalt strata and ruins
  • Hvítserkur Rock Stack
  • Hraundrangar (By Hraun in Oxnadalur)
  • More

On day three of your winter tour along the Ring Road, you'll leave the comforts of West Iceland and drive through the mountains and coastal towns of North Iceland. Your primary destination for the day is Akureyri, often called the "Capital of the North."

During your drive, you could visit the rock stack Hvitserkur. Despite its original legend as a dragon or a troll, most visitors think it resembles an elephant with its trunk in the water. Other interesting places to visit today are the Borgarvirki natural fortress and the strange little church at Thingeyrar.

Another notable stop is Blonduous, a small town in northwest Iceland with a population not exceeding 1,000. The settlement serves as a gateway to the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Skagafjordur region, with rolling hills, fertile farmland, and a backdrop of majestic mountains.

During winter, the town transforms into a winter wonderland, with its farmlands and mountains partially blanketed by snow. It's a sight that you shouldn't miss.

This is a very scenic route, offering everything from broad valleys to steep and jagged mountain tops. Take your time admiring and photographing your surroundings, as there are fewer travelers to bump into during the winter season.

Soon after, you'll come up to Akureyri, where you can enjoy a meal or drink at one of the town's fine restaurants or bars. Being so far north makes the town ideal for a stroll in the nearby Kjarnarskogur woodlands. This woodland of around 800 hectares and over a million trees is the town's most popular recreational area.

Alternatively, you can spend the night hunting for the aurora borealis in Akureyri's outskirts. Being closer to the Arctic Circle gives you a better shot at seeing the elusive northern lights.

After a fantastic day, you'll retire to your North Iceland accommodation.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 4 – North Iceland

Day 4

Day 4 – North Iceland

  • North Iceland
  • More
  • Troll Peninsula
  • More

Your fourth day in Iceland allows you to explore the beautiful town of Akureyri, the central hub for commerce and tourism in North Iceland.

Akureyri is a gateway to adventure in the northern region, surrounded by awe-inspiring natural beauty. The town's charming streets are lined with colorful houses, boutique shops, and cozy cafes, inviting visitors to explore and immerse themselves in its welcoming atmosphere.

While in town, stroll around the remarkable landmarks Akureyri offers. Akureyri church, in particular, is a sight to behold, gracing the town's skyline and offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Akureyri warrants a day's exploration with its wealth of architectural and cultural sites. After all, it's the largest settlement outside the greater Reykjavik area. Those interested in Icelandic history will find museums, those who love art will discover galleries and public artworks, and those who love shopping will find many boutiques.

Even if you love nature, you'll find many things to do in the town. If you're into flowers and botany, you can discover the world's northernmost botanical gardens, with its array of arctic plants, which are lovely in winter and summer. The dim-lit paths offer a dark spot in the town, making it an ideal evening location for northern lights spotting.

Animal lovers are encouraged to opt for a whale-watching tour from the harbor to see humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbor porpoises. The lucky ones may also see blue whales, fin whales, and orcas. Akureyri's location by the coast of Eyjafjordur fjord, the longest fjord in Iceland, makes it an excellent base for spotting the sea's gentle giants.

Of course, as you have your car, you can use your day to explore the nature around the town. You'll stay in cozy North Iceland accommodation tonight.

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Day 5 – Northeast Iceland

Day 5

Day 5 – Northeast Iceland

  • Northeast Iceland
  • More
  • Lake Myvatn Area
  • Godafoss Waterfall
  • More

On day five of your winter tour in Iceland, you'll head east along the Ring Road, continuing in your clockwise direction. Your destination is Lake Myvatn, one of the largest lakes in the land of fire and ice.

After a morning stroll and breakfast in Akureyri, you're ready to hit the road again for a day full of sightseeing adventures. 

The first site you'll come to is a beautiful waterfall called Godafoss, often garbed in ice and snow over the high winter. Besides a breathtaking cascade with a width of 98 feet (30 meters), Godafoss boasts a deep history. According to local stories, a chieftain discarded the Norse gods' statues into the falls upon converting to Christianity, hence its name, "Waterfall of the Gods."

After enjoying the site, you'll move into the Lake Myvatn area. Lake Myvatn is a lake and swamplands known for its unique and beautiful geological features and otherworldly surroundings.

Unlike most lakes in Iceland, Myvatn is unusually shallow, with an average depth of only eight feet (2.5 meters). However, it is vast and covers an area of 14 square miles (37 square kilometers).

The area around Myvatn lake is packed with exciting destinations. These include the Viti crater, the Dimmuborgir lava fortress, and the Grjotagja hot spring cave. The HBO show Game of Thrones used the last two features as a setting in some of their episodes.

As you're a few days into your travels, you'll undoubtedly want to relax in some of Iceland's beautiful geothermally heated waters. You can do this by adding a visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths, which are in a serene location by the lakes, as you reserve your holiday.

You'll retire for the night in your North Iceland accommodation. Like each night of your trip, you'll have another shot at seeing the northern lights.

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Day 6 – Northeast Iceland

Day 6

Day 6 – Northeast Iceland

  • Northeast Iceland
  • More
  • Lake Myvatn Area
  • Dettifoss waterfall
  • More

On your sixth day, you'll enjoy more of the sites of the north, focusing on the waterfalls within the Jokulsargljufur canyon in the northern part of the Vatnajokull National Park.

If you want more time around the lake, you can spend the early morning visiting more features of Myvatn. For example, Skutustadagigar is a fascinating area with its large pseudo-craters covered in snow during winter. These geological features are unique because they are rootless landforms.

During summer, many birds nest in these craters and the surrounding lake. Some birds remain even during the snowy season as the lake doesn't freeze completely.

From Myvatn, you'll slowly drive northeast to reach the region's hidden gems. If you want a break from driving or a more thrilling experience, you can take a super jeep tour to these sites, as not all are accessible to standard vehicles during winter. A second optional tour is a dog-sledding ride over the strange and alien landscapes.

The most notable of the area's waterfalls is the most powerful in Europe, Dettifoss, which falls from over 66 feet (20 meters), with a width of over 328 feet (100 meters). This impressive landmark was used as the backdrop in the first scene of the movie Prometheus by Ridley Scott.

As the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss is breathtaking to see up close, especially when its sides are covered in snow and ice during winter. It was also featured in the movie Prometheus by Ridley Scott.

Dettifoss, however, is not the only waterfall in the valley. Just a little upstream is Selfoss, while downstream is Hafragilsfoss. While not quite as awe-inspiring as their giant middle neighbor, both are more than worth visiting if the roads are clear and passable.

You'll stay another night in North Iceland.

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Day 7 – Eastfjords

Day 7

Day 7 – Eastfjords

  • Eastfjords
  • More
  • Hallormsstadaskogur Forest
  • Lake Lagarfljót
  • More

Moving on from the diverse north, you'll begin your exploration of the spectacular Eastfjords on the seventh day of your winter self-drive tour in Iceland.

Due to its distance from Reykjavik, the Eastfjords is one of the least visited and, thus, least crowded parts of Iceland. This, however, says nothing of the unbelievable beauty found here. The remote and sparsely populated area is ideal for spotting the northern lights, as there's little light pollution.

The Eastfjords are best defined by towering mountains, deep fjords, historic and quaint fishing villages, and wildlife. This wildlife includes birds, seals, and, most interestingly, reindeer. These animals were brought over to be farmed, but since the industry never took off, they have roamed free for decades in large herds.

Winter is the best time to spot them because they tend to move into the eastern Highlands in summer.

There are two settlements of great significance in the Eastfjords, the towns of Egilsstadir and Seydisfjordur.

Egilsstadir, the largest town in East Iceland, is a gateway to the area. There are many great shops, grocery stores, gasoline stations, and restaurants in town that you can visit to resupply before hitting the road again the following day.

Situated on the banks of Lake Lagarfljot, the town offers a peaceful setting with panoramic views of mountains and valleys. Visitors can explore the serene wilderness through hiking trails or enjoy the countryside's relaxed ambiance.

Just beside Egilsstadir is Seydisfjordur, a quaint coastal village nestled at the end of a fjord of the same name. Seydisfjordur's charm extends to its picturesque harbor, where you can enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants. The Rainbow Road is a popular place to explore here, which leads to the village's shops and beautiful church.

You'll spend the night at a comfortable accommodation in Egilsstadir.

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Day 8 – Southeast Iceland

Day 8

Day 8 – Southeast Iceland

  • Southeast Iceland
  • More
  • Vestrahorn
  • Stokksnes Peninsula & Vestrahorn Mountain
  • More

On your eighth day, you'll continue traveling along the Eastfjords. You'll stop for plentiful photo opportunities far from the crowds, enjoy the magnificent views, and visit some pleasant towns en route.

Your destination for this day is Hofn, a small town in Southeast Iceland on the eastern side of the Vatnajokull glacier. Hofn makes an excellent base for exploring the glacier and its various features, which you can do the next day.

The highlights of today's winter adventure are the coastal villages of the Eastfjords. Besides sightseeing, visiting these villages can let you learn more about rural Iceland's rich history and culture.

For example, excellent pitstops in the area are Eskifjordur, Faskrudsfjordur, and Djupivogur villages. With their captivating landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm community spirit, these settlements provide an immersive experience against the cold breeze of the Icelandic winter.

For example, with your stop in Djupivogur, you can see the famous local artwork called the Eggs of Merry Bay. This work of art consists of 34 large-scale sculptures, each representing the eggs of different bird species in the region. The sculptures are positioned on a rocky shoreline overlooking the bay, creating a magnificent view against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains and the vast Atlantic Ocean.

By evening, you'll reach Southeast Iceland and can spend a few hours admiring sites such as Mount Vestrahorn or visiting the charming town of Hofn. Worry not if you do not have time for this today, as you'll have all day to explore this area tomorrow.

You'll spend the evening in Hofn, locally known for its langoustine fishing and being the best place in the country for some lobster feasting. It's highly recommended to enjoy this local specialty.

You'll retire to accommodation in Southeast Iceland tonight.

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Day 9 – Southeast Iceland

Day 9

Day 9 – Southeast Iceland

  • Southeast Iceland
  • More
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
  • Diamond Beach
  • More

On your ninth day driving along the Ring Road of Iceland, you'll finally see one of the country's crown jewels, the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.

Southeast Iceland is home to two incredible sites. The first is the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, accessible throughout the year, and the second is the blue ice cave, accessible with a tour guide from November to March.

The glacier lagoon is Iceland's deepest lake, with a vast surface area that is ever-growing. It will slowly become a fjord over the next few decades.

Hundreds of giant icebergs, snapping from one of the glacial tongues of the great Vatnajokull ice cap, fill the waters of Jokulsarlon. You can admire these chunks of ice for hours as they twist, turn, and break apart. The area also attracts many seals, which rest on the ice and swim between the bergs.

When they eventually make it to sea, the icebergs are pushed onto the nearby coastline, and due to the way the white ice glistens on the black sands, this stretch has earned itself the name 'the Diamond Beach.'

If you're traveling between November and March, a trip into one of the ice caves is highly recommended, which you can add during booking. These are incredibly rare features worldwide and will provide lifetime memories. In addition, no two Vatnajokull ice caves are the same as they melt and freeze with the changing seasons.

If you have the time, you can remain at Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon until after dark and hope to see the northern lights dance above the icebergs, a truly phenomenal sight. With luck, you won't have to wait long to see this beautiful winter display.

You'll stay in the southeast this evening, as these sites warrant a full day's admiration.

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Day 10 – South Coast

Day 10

Day 10 – South Coast

  • South Coast
  • More
  • Skaftafell Nature Reserve
  • Svartifoss
  • More

Day 10 is your final hurrah to explore more attractions in the Vatnajokull National Park. You'll begin to make your way back to the west on the penultimate leg of your clockwise journey. This route goes along the South Coast, although the main attraction for this drive is a little inland.

As the largest glacier in Europe, covering at least 10 percent of Iceland's landmass, Vatnajokull features remarkable landscapes you can explore even in winter. One of these is Skaftafell, a beautiful natural reserve in Southeast Iceland.

Skaftafell was, in fact, a national park itself before it was incorporated into a much larger protected area. This is because of its diverse natural features, ranging from glacier tongues to lava fields, lagoons, and woodland. It's a favorite destination amongst photographers and hikers alike.

The best hiking trail, accessible for those with decent mobility, is generally considered the route to Svartifoss waterfall. Surrounded by black hexagonal basalt columns, its unique beauty has inspired artists and architects for generations. This waterfall was part of the inspiration behind Reykjavik's two most notable buildings, Hallgrimskirkja church and the Harpa Concert Hall.

To make the most of Skaftafell, you could join a guided glacier hike and head up into the white ice cap. Seeing the cracks and crevasses that seem to breathe on their own, filling the ancient glacier with life, is an experience you'll enjoy.

All essential glacier hiking and safety equipment are included when you add this optional experience during the booking process. An expert guide will lead you through this adventure, so first-timers are welcome to join.

After enjoying Skaftafell and admiring the changing landscapes of glacier tongues, black sand deserts, river systems, countryside, and coastal views, you'll drive further south to the village of Vik. You'll spend the night in South Iceland.

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Day 11 – Southwest Iceland

Day 11

Day 11 – Southwest Iceland

  • Southwest Iceland
  • More
  • Reynisfjara black sand beach
  • Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks
  • Dyrholaey
  • Skogafoss waterfall
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • More

The South Coast of Iceland between Vik and Hella, where you'll spend your eleventh day, has incredible sites, so you'll want to rise early to make the most of them.

Adjacent to the village is a beach, once voted one of the most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world, Reynisfjara. Here, haunting black sands stretch as far as the eye can see, with great Atlantic rollers crashing into them. As the many warning signs will tell you, do not be foolish with these waves, as many have been whisked out to sea by them before.

Jutting from the ocean, you'll see two rock pillars called Reynisdrangar. According to legend, these are the remains of two trolls frozen into rock while trying to pull a ship to shore. Near here is the Dyrholaey rock arch, which curves magnificently into the sea.

Next along the road, you see the spectacularly powerful Skogafoss waterfall. This waterfall throws off so much spray that rainbows often spring above it when the sun shines, allowing for great photo opportunities. Even in inclement weather, it's a beautiful site.

Your day will also take you past the massive Myrdalsjokull glacier cap. If you wish, you can embark on one of two tours here. You can take a thrilling snowmobile ride across its surface or a hike on one of its tongues, Solheimajokull, by adding these experiences during the booking process.

Meltwater from these glaciers feeds the next attraction, Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This well-photographed cascade will likely be familiar to those with a vague knowledge of Iceland's features, as it can be fully encircled, and many pictures have been taken from behind it.

This is your last evening in the countryside, so take an evening drive, enjoy the crisp winter silence, and watch the sky for the aurora borealis.

You'll stay in comfortable accommodation in Southwest Iceland tonight.

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Day 12 – Reykjavík

Day 12

Day 12 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
  • More
  • Kerid Crater
  • Gullfoss waterfall
  • Geysir geothermal area
  • Thingvellir National Park
  • More

By your 12th day, you'll have completed your tour around the Ring Road of Iceland. There is, however, a glaring omission from your journey so far, a trip around the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is the country's most famous route, going to three classic Icelandic destinations, Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area, and Thingvellir National Park.

Gullfoss is the country's most renowned waterfall and perhaps its most notable feature. Falling in two tiers, it has incredible power, a strange milky color because it is composed of glacial meltwater, and throws off many rainbows in the sun.

From there, you can opt for a high-speed tour and fly across the nearby Langjokull glacier on snowmobiles.

Next, you will see Geysir. This geyser is the one that lent all others their names, although it is currently experiencing a period of inactivity. Worry not, however, as beside it is the very active Strokkur, which goes off every 5-10 minutes.

A similarly active geyser can be found at the Secret Lagoon, a beautiful spa you can visit. However, the geyser here is much smaller, with the most defining aspects of the lagoon being its serenity and comfort.

The final site of the Golden Circle is Thingvellir National Park. Due to its history, the area is a national park, the original location of the Icelandic parliament. However, its beauty captures most guests, as it's nestled in a valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, both of which are visible.

As these plates pull apart, they tear ravines open throughout the park, which fill with spring water. You can snorkel in one of these ravines, Silfra. Though cold, you'll be provided with all the necessary gear to protect you, and the views through the crystal-clear water are unmatched. 

If you want to join the optional Silfra snorkeling tour, you need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

After enjoying the Golden Circle, you'll return to Reykjavik for the night, completing the Ring Road.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 13 – Reykjavík

Day 13

Day 13 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
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On your penultimate winter tour day in Iceland, you can explore Iceland's capital to get a closer experience of its vibrant culture and charming streets.

One of the best places to explore in the city is the downtown area, where you can see the best shops, restaurants, and other places of interest.

Around this area is Laugavegur, the main shopping street in Reykjavik, boasting the best boutiques and souvenir stores. If you want to dine in Michelin Star restaurants or drink in one of the many lively bars, Laugavegur and its adjacent streets are your best options.

The city also has many museums on everything from Iceland's history, its whales, and its punk subculture. These exhibitions are open year-round and are accessible by driving or walking near the downtown area. 

You can visit the Icelandic Phallological Museum if you're seeking a unique exhibit. It's a museum dedicated to studying and exhibiting penises from various animal species, including mammals, birds, and marine creatures. While the museum might initially appear as an eccentric curiosity, it's also a platform for education and research. 

Suppose your spirit for adventure has not been exhausted over the past two weeks. In that case, take a helicopter tour of the geothermal areas around Reykjavik for some spectacular urban and natural views. A helicopter tour lets you see Iceland from a unique and satisfying perspective.

Otherwise, you can take a charming ride on an Icelandic horse through beautiful countryside farmlands and valleys.

The possibilities are endless on this day. You can always contact your travel planner if you have a specific activity in mind, and they will do all they can to assist. Whether taking the day off to relax in the city or heading out on an adventure, your last day in Iceland will surely be a blast.

Your day finishes when you retire to your accommodation in the city.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 14 – Reykjavík

Day 14

Day 14 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík - Departure day
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  • Kleifarvatn
  • Krýsuvík
  • Gunnuhver
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Unfortunately, today is the day you'll leave Iceland, but no doubt, your journey home will be spent reminiscing over the fantastic things you saw over the last fortnight. You'll drop your car off at the Keflavik International Airport in good time before enjoying your flight away.

If you still have many hours before departure, today is your last chance for some last-minute shopping and sightseeing in Reykjavik.

Downtown Reykjavik is the busiest area in the northernmost capital city in the world, where you can find various shops and cultural landmarks. The best souvenir shops, boutiques, and restaurants await you on Laugavegur street. Here, you can find cheap and more expensive items depending on your budget.

For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon spa today, you'll finish your stay unwinding before heading to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters while looking back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in Iceland.

Should you have already experienced the Blue Lagoon, consider embarking on a captivating journey through the extraordinary wonders of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Situated in the southwest of Iceland, this remarkable region is renowned for its untamed vistas, where geothermal fields, mountains, volcanoes, and lava fields await your exploration.

In particular, don't miss the opportunity to make brief visits to the mesmerizing Kleifarvatn lake, the enchanting Krysuvik hot springs, and the fascinating Gunnuhver geothermal field, where the forces of nature manifest in their most awe-inspiring forms.

You'll head to the airport in plenty of time for your flight home. We wish you a pleasant journey and hope to see you again. Consider revisiting Iceland in a different season, like summer, to see the landscapes in a different light.

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What to bring

Warm and waterproof clothes
Winter hiking boots
Camera
Swimsuit & towel
Driver's license

Good to know

Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavik city or at Keflavik International Airport. A valid driver's license and a one-year-long on-road experience are required. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better. Gravel protection is not included if you choose a Toyota Aygo or similar.

Some optional activities might require you to have a valid driver's license, or you might need to send additional information to your travel planner. Please note that you might need to present medical documents for snorkeling or diving. Participants also need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and, therefore, cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximize your chances to see them if the weather allows.

It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is canceled. If your chosen activity is canceled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you. Please note that the ice caves are only accessible from October to March yearly.

This self-drive is set to take place in wintertime. Conditions in Iceland can vary significantly during that season. Snow and ice are commonplace, and Iceland has limited daylight hours. Please consider your ability to drive in winter conditions before booking this tour. If you feel insecure about driving in these conditions, we recommend a package tour instead.

Note that Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the wintertime. We recommend you bring shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers. The covers can be purchased in most supermarkets and gas stations nationwide.

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