3 Day Summer Self Drive Tour of Iceland's Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle & the South Coast
See Iceland's finest sights and most popular attractions in only 3 days on this summer self-drive tour! This tour is perfect for those that don't have much time but want to see as much as possible, including the most popular sites in Iceland, the Golden Circle, the Blue Lagoon, and more!
From the international airport, a short drive takes you directly to Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon, where you can beat the jet lag with a soothing dip in geothermally heated waters. Your next day will see you undertake the fantastic Golden Circle sightseeing tour, made up of Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall.
You are free, however, to customize this as you please. For instance, the Golden Circle can be undertaken on the first day of your trip, leaving the second to explore the glorious South Coast of Iceland, complete with its mighty glaciers, tumbling waterfalls, and jet-black beaches.
The days are yours to enjoy however you like. You are the driver, so you can spend longer at the attractions you like and leave other ones behind. During the long and bright summer nights, you can listen to the birds chirping in the calm nature while basking in the glow of the Midnight Sun.
We know what brings you to Iceland: a chance to revitalize your spirit after too long spent at the daily grind. A quiet space to reflect is even more important on a short holiday!
Make the most of a fleeting visit to Iceland! Check availability by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Arrival and the Blue Lagoon Spa
Welcome to Iceland, a volcanic island of staggering beauty and unlimited possibilities.
You will first pick up your car from Keflavik International Airport and then head towards Reykjavik. On your way to Iceland's capital city, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It is located 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 is no time to visit the lagoon today, it can be added to another day. Your travel consultant will be able to arrange this for you. There is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes Peninsula if you have extra free time.
Once you arrive in Reykjavik, you will check in to your accommodation before heading out to discover the local culture. Why not visit some of the city's best-known landmarks, including Hallgrimskirkja Lutheran Church, Harpa Concert Hall, or Perlan Observation Deck?
Aside from these, you are recommended to sample the local nightlife and culinary scene or head to one of the capital's many museums or art galleries. If, however, you arrived early in the morning, it is possible to add a Golden Circle tour to your day to make the most of the long hours of summer sunlight. More details can be seen on your day 2 itinerary.
You will be spending your first night in Reykjavik accommodation.
Day 2 - The Golden Circle and/or South Coast
Your second day will see you partake in Iceland's most famous sightseeing route, the Golden Circle. This comprises three major attractions: Thingvellir National Park, Haukadalur geothermal valley, and Gullfoss waterfall.
You will begin at Thingvellir, famed for its important role in Iceland's history as the founding place of the world's first elected parliament. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, in large part because it is one of the few places on earth where it is possible to see both the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates sticking out from the earth.
The second site is Haukadalur geothermal valley, famously the home of the hot springs, Strokkur and Geysir. While Geysir is no longer active, it is famous for having lent its name to geysers worldwide. Strokkur, on the other hand, will erupt every five to ten minutes, shooting a jet of boiling water up to 66 ft (20 m) into the air. Aside from these two superstars, the area is rich with bubbling mud pools and smaller hot springs.
Your final stop of the day, if you so choose, is the mighty waterfall Gullfoss, undoubtedly one of the most beloved attractions in the country. Dropping 105 ft (32 m) over two cragged steps, this waterfall creates a billowing cloud of mist as its glacial water cascades into the valley below.
If, however, you happened to have undertaken the Golden Circle on your first day, you are encouraged to spend the day sightseeing along the picturesque South Coast.
You will be passing waterfalls such as Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, and black sand beaches like Reynisfjara, all the way to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Colloquially known as the "Crown Jewel of Iceland," this peaceful, iceberg-filled lake is one attraction you will not want to miss.
Afterward, you will begin the journey back to Reykjavik, where you will spend the night.
Day 3 - Reykjanes & Departure
It is your final day in the land of ice and fire, but depending on your flight time, there may still be time to fit in some added sightseeing.
For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you will finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. If your flight is later, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik. If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey.
What to bring
Good to know
Make sure you arrive in Iceland before noon to do this trip. 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 (4WD manual, has highland capabilities and better suited for winter driving), 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.