Fantastic 2-Day Self-Drive Tour to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon with Ice Caving
Delve into the mysteries of Iceland on this two-day self-drive adventure along the gorgeous South Coast, journeying from Reykjavik to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Travelers without much time who want to see the beauty of Iceland in winter should book this self-guided tour today.
Organizing travel in Iceland can be stressful. There's so much to see and do, and you want to ensure you don't miss any major attractions. With a self-drive tour, we'll do the hard work for you, providing a detailed itinerary of the best sights on your route and organizing car hire and accommodation.
A top-rated self-drive tour like this gives you the freedom and flexibility to visit attractions at your own pace. You'll have a personal travel consultant available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, who can help you with any questions or changes to your trip.
Rest assured that if your plans change, you can cancel the tour up to 24 hours before your departure time and receive a full refund.
The adventure begins in Reykjavik, the world's northernmost capital city, where you'll collect a four-wheel drive rental car that can handle the wintery conditions of Iceland's roads. The Ring Road, Iceland's main highway, is usually clear of snow and ice, but a four-wheel drive will give you extra peace of mind if snow starts to fall.
You'll drive from Reykjavik along Iceland's beautiful South Coast to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. On the way, you can stop at the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls and enjoy the ocean view from the Reynisfjara black-sand beach.
On arrival at the glacier lagoon, you can marvel at the icebergs floating in the glacial lake as they drift out to sea. Don't forget to stop at Diamond Beach to see the icebergs washed up on the shore.
After an exciting first day, you'll have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore an ice cave around the Vatnajokull glacier. These caves reform yearly as the glacier ice melts and refreezes, meaning a visit to an ice cave will differ each year.
An expert local guide will take you into an ice cave to admire the crystal-blue ice in the glacier's depths. It's a unique experience, and you'll get some gorgeous photos to show your friends and family.
Traveling to Iceland in winter means you'll also have an opportunity to search the night sky for the northern lights. If you're lucky, you'll see them dancing over the glacier lagoon, reflected on the water and ice.
Take advantage of this exclusive chance to see some of the most beautiful landscapes in Iceland on a self-drive winter tour. Check availability now by choosing a date.
Day 1 - South Coast to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Let the adventure begin with a road trip along Iceland's South Coast and a trip to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.
You'll start your day by collecting your rental car in Reykjavik. You'll hire a four-wheel drive vehicle equipped to handle the icy conditions of Iceland's roads in winter.
Drive out of Reykjavik and follow the Ring Road along the South Coast, passing picturesque towns and lowland fields. Stop for your first break at the beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
This striking waterfall is one of the most loved in Iceland, thanks to the cave behind the cascade. The path behind the waterfall is closed during the height of winter, but if you're visiting during the coldest months, you'll love the waterfall's fairytale-like setting when surrounded by snow and ice.
Continue along the coast until you reach another stunning waterfall, Skogafoss. This waterfall is about the same height as Seljalandsfoss at approximately 200 feet (about 60 meters) but much broader and more powerful. Enjoy the view and take some photos before returning to the car.
Further along the South Coast, you'll arrive at the Dyrholaey Peninsula, where you can take in breathtaking views of a glacier, the Reynisfjara black-sand beach, and the Atlantic Ocean. You can also walk along the beach, but ensure you stand well back from the shore, as the sneaker waves can be hazardous.
You'll arrive at the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon at the end of the day. It's one of the most beautiful sights in Iceland and one of the best places to see the northern lights if the aurora forecast is good. Gaze up at the bright green, yellow, pink, and blue lights above you.
If the northern lights are strong enough, you can see them reflected in the water of the glacial lake. Wrap up warm and enjoy the view while waiting for this incomparable natural phenomenon to appear.
You'll spend the night in accommodation in Southeast Iceland.
Day 2 - The Blue Ice Cave
Enjoy the unforgettable experience of ice caving in Iceland on the second day of this self-drive winter tour.
After a delicious breakfast at your accommodation, you'll go to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. You can enjoy the view here while you wait for your ice-caving guide.
You'll meet your guide at the glacier lagoon parking lot and travel toward the ice cave in a specially modified car onto the Vatnajokull glacier. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will take you deep into the glacial ice to see gorgeous colors and caverns.
The ice caves disappear and reappear each year as the glacial ice melts and refreezes, so every trip to ice caves is different. The guides are experienced in choosing caves that are safe to visit and incredible to behold. They'll provide the necessary gear and give you instructions to keep you safe during the excursion.
The ice caves give visitors a glimpse into an otherworldly wonderland made of blue and white ice and snow over 1,000 years old. You'll see magnificent structures formed by the melting and refreezing ice and have plenty of time to take photos of the caves.
The ice-caving tour is dependent on weather conditions. If the guide decides it isn't safe to enter the caves, you won't be able to participate. You'll receive a refund for the ice-caving section of your self-drive tour, and you can spend the day enjoying the views at the glacier lagoon instead.
At the end of the ice cave tour, you can return to Jokulsarlon to see the glacier lagoon in daylight. Take more photos of the icebergs floating on the glacial waters and see if you can spot seals swimming in the lake.
When you're ready to leave, you'll start the return journey to Reykjavik. It's a long drive, but you can stop at your favorite sights from yesterday or catch up on any missed attractions.
If you leave around 14:00, you should be back in Reykjavik by 20:00, depending on how many stops you make. After returning your rental car, you can spend an evening in Reykjavik.
What to bring
Good to know
Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavik City or at Keflavik International Airport. A valid driver's license is required, along with at least one year of on-road experience. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to better suit your arrival date and time.
The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and, therefore, cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximize your chances of seeing them if weather conditions allow. In cases of extreme weather, certain activities can be canceled at short notice. If this happens, we'll assist you with rearranging or replacing the activity. Any potential price difference will be refunded to you.
Please note that this tour is available to book from September to May, but the ice caves are only accessible between November and March. Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the winter. We recommend bringing shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers, which you can purchase in many supermarkets and gas stations around Iceland.
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.
Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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