3 Day Self Drive Tour | The Golden Circle & Hraunfossar Falls

See Iceland's finest sights and most popular attractions in only 3 days on this 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 Golden Circle. The Golden Circle includes Geysir geothermal area and the mighty waterfall Gullfoss. Finally, take your time at Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The next day, you’ll have a choice: You can explore stunning lava waterfalls, Europe's highest flowing hot spring, and the mountainous fjords of the west coast. Or, if you like, drive along Snæfellsnes peninsula instead, to admire one of Iceland's most picturesque glaciers, Snæfellsjökull. Finally, dig into Reykjavík and have a dip in the milky waters of the Blue Lagoon.

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 summernights you can listen to the birds chirping in the calm nature, or if you're here in wintertime you may be able to admire the Northern Lights dancing across the starry sky. It's ok to fall in love with this country! 

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! It's hard to take in the beauty of the ocean cliffs while blinded by camera flashes. 

That's why we've included a special selection of little-known locations within the custom itinerary you'll receive as part of your vacation package. We promise you’ll be one of the few at some of these spots so that you can take joy in the moment.

Make the most of a fleeting visit to Iceland! Check the booking availability by pressing “Choose a date” above.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: All year
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Activities: Snorkeling, Caving, Hiking, Snowmobile, Super Jeep, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Hot Spring Bathing, Bird watching, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Reykjavík, Geysir, Gullfoss, Þingvellir, Hraunfossar, Deildartunguhver, Kerið, Akranes
Pickup information:
  • Starting time : Flexible
Included:
  • All Accommodation (Two nights)
  • Buffet Breakfast (if you select Budget level accommodation, breakfast is not included)
  • All Transportation / VW Polo or similar (upgrades available)
  • CDW and SCDW insurance along gravel protection for car rental
  • GPS System
  • Travel Plan
  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary
  • Fuel
  • Dinner
  • Lunch

What to bring:
  • Warm clothes
  • Driver's license

Good to know:

Make sure you arrive in Iceland before noon to do this trip. A driver's license is required for this trip.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - The Golden Circle




After landing, collect your car at the airport in Keflavik and begin a drive through the lunar landscape towards Reykjavík. Pass through the capital and go on towards the Nesjavellir Geothermal Plant. From there, you can see the hot steam rise from the ground while picturesque mountain scenery surrounds you.

The road inland passes by the spectacular crater Kerið, which holds a beautiful lake inside. There, you can stop for a short stroll before heading towards Geysir.

The next stop is the geothermal valley of Haukadalur, where you can see the geysers Strokkur and Geysir. Geysir no longer erupts, but Strokkur keeps busy, spouting hot water 20-40 meters (up to 130 feet) into the air every few minutes.

A short distance away is Iceland's most popular attraction, the mighty waterfall of Gullfoss. A pathway takes you right to the water's edge, where you can get a real sense of the enormous, natural power of the falls.

The final stop on the Golden Circle tour is the Þingvellir National Park. Here, you can walk between the rift valley of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and explore an area which plays a huge role in Iceland's history. From there, you'll head back to the west coast, spending the night either at Akranes or the town of Borgarnes.


Preferred accommodation in Borgarfjörður

Borgarfjörður Budget

Hotel Eldborg is located between Borgarnes and Stykkishólmur with great for sightseeing in West Iceland. Private bedrooms have shared facilities.

Borgarfjörður Comfort

Hotel Húsafell is a 3 star hotel located in Husafell. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Borgarfjörður Quality

Icelandair Hotel Hamar is located in Borgarnes. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 2 - The West Coast




You have two options on the second day to explore the stunning sights of West Iceland.

Option 1 -

Begin with a drive towards the lava waterfalls of Barnafoss and Hraunfoss, and on to the geothermal area of Deildartunguhver. From there, you can drive back to the main road and head for the Hvalfjörður fjord. This mountainous fjord was used by the British and American armies during WWII and arguably has some of the most striking landscapes on the west coast.

At the bottom of the fjord, you can choose to go on a scenic and undemanding 2-hour hike towards Iceland's highest waterfall, Glymur. The waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery, but don't worry - the path is marked and easily found!

Option 2 -

Begin with a drive along the Snæfellsnes peninsula, towards Snæfellsjökull glacier/volcano. You'll be driving along the seaside past beautiful mountains, and lava fields with a few trickling waterfalls as well, until you reach Snæfellsjökull National Park. Go for a short hike along the bird cliffs and admire the nearby and towering glacier!

Make a stop at the picturesque villages Arnarstapi or Hellnar before circling the peninsula and stop at Djúpalónssandur black, pebbly beach. Stop for some nice seafood soup at Café Rif before heading back to Reykjavík.

The choice is yours!

Explore and appreciate one of the areas, before driving on to the capital where you will spend the night. If you so choose, you can also end your day with a dip in Blue Lagoon for a truly indulgent spa vacation.

You can also visit our popular restaurants and bistros, take in a show, or have fun at a pub quiz show with the locals. It is up to you!


Accommodation in Reykjavík

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.

Reykjavík Comfort

The Centerhotel chain has six 3-4 star centrally located hotels in Reykjavík, with a short walk to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 3 - Reykjavik Sightseeing and the Blue Lagoon




Make the most of any time you have in Reykjavík before getting to the airport in time for your flight. Reykjavík is full of quirky cafés, designer shops, restaurants serving delicious delicacies, museums, galleries and a charming old harbour and town centre.

You can also pay a visit to the world-famous Blue Lagoon, whether it is for the first time or for one last indulgence, to recharge your batteries before you return home. The lagoon is warm all year round and its silica mud does wonders for your skin, making you feel relaxed but rejuvenated at the same time.

Just make sure you get to the airport in time for your return flight!


Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below. Single person bookings will be arranged in a single room, while bookings of 2 or more people will share twin/double room(s) or triple room(s). Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available hotels and guesthouses at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. You can see our preferred partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies among locations and availability is highly limited. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. The sooner you reserve the higher quality accommodation we can provide.

Budget

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

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

Guide to Iceland has a wide selection of vehicles and seeks to provide you with the best available car from our preferred rental operators, who offer the highest quality vehicles and service to our guests. Our self-drive packages include a newer model, usually a maximum of 2 years old and equipped with a GPS and basic CDW insurance. See the categories of available vehicles below. We recommend a comfortable 4X4 as a minimal standard for winter traveling due to icy and challenging road conditions. In the booking process, you can also upgrade to an automatic model for free.

Budget

A small 2WD vehicle fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions, such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.

Comfort 4X4

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

Luxury 4x4

A large sized jeep with 4WD (4x4) such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all traveling. This vehicle has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads.


Map


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