Scenic 3 Day Budget Self Drive Tour of Iceland with Hot Springs & the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle's Þingvellir National Parked cloaked in beautiful red, yellow and green colours
Likely to sell out soon
24/7 customer support
Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable
Car & accommodation



Tour starts
Starting time
3 days
Ending place
Apr. - Aug.
Ending time
Minimum age


Spend three days in Iceland exploring the country's volcanic environment with this affordable self-drive tour. Visit the Golden Circle and spend time relaxing in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, or a hot spring river. Any free-spirited traveler who wants to save a buck should grab this opportunity now.

You don't have to worry about being rushed on this tour, as you are behind the wheel, so you get to decide where you go and how long you stay. Upon booking, you'll receive a personal itinerary guiding you to some of the country's most popular attractions as well as gems hidden in canyons, hot spring areas, and lava fields.

Over three days, you'll journey around the moon-like lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula to discover the region's active environment and see erupting geysers and cascading waterfalls on the Golden Circle route. At the end of each day, you'll get to unwind in the naturally warm waters at some of Iceland's many geothermal pools, lagoons, or hot springs.

You will also have the choice of hiking through a geothermal valley, where steam rises from the ground as you trek past trickling streams and colorful mountains, or driving along the South Coast to visit some of the country's most beautiful waterfalls passing mighty glaciers on the way. 

Make the most of your days in Iceland with this immersive self-drive tour that won't break the bank. Check availability by choosing a date.

Read more


2 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast not included, shared bathrooms; more detailed info below)
Vehicle for 3 days (Toyota Aygo or similar, upgrades available)
CDW insurance for super budget level vehicle; other levels include gravel protection insurance
Free Wi-Fi in vehicle
Detailed itinerary


Hot Spring Bathing
Self drive

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Unwind in the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon after a long flight to Iceland

Day 1 - The Reykjanes Peninsula

After you land at Keflavik International Airport, you can start your Icelandic adventure right away by picking up your car and exploring the otherworldly landscapes of your surroundings. The airport is located on Reykjanes Peninsula, characterized by immense lava fields and great geothermal activity.

The peninsula lies on the boundaries of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. As the plates drift apart, they create gaping rifts in the surrounding environment. Make your way along Reykjanes' west coast to the Bridge Between Continents, a small footbridge that crosses a major fissure created by these plates. You'll be rewarded with spectacular views and clear evidence of the tectonic shift.

From there, you can head to the colorful geothermal fields of Gunnuhver, where you'll find bubbling mud pools and steaming fumaroles. As you hear the noises of bubbling water and steam bursting out of the ground, you'll be reminded of the great powers that move underneath the Earth's crust.

Before you get to your accommodations in Reykjavik, you could stop at the Blue Lagoon for a soak in the warm, geothermal waters of the spa, encircled by the black lava fields of the peninsula. It is a great way to relax after a day of traveling and sightseeing. Just remember to book tickets to the lagoon in advance.

Read more
Day 2
The iconic geyser Strokkur on the Golden Circle route, erupting in the twilight

Day 2 - The Golden Circle and the Secret Lagoon

On your second day in Iceland, you'll explore the popular tourist trail of the Golden Circle, which will give you a better insight into Iceland's active landscape.

Your first stop is the National Park of Thingvellir, where Iceland's parliament, Althingi, was founded over a thousand years ago. This is where the Viking settlers of the country came to settle disputes and create the laws of the land.

Like the Reykjanes Peninsula, Thingvellir also lies on the boundaries of the two tectonic plates, and scattered around the park are cracks and fissures formed in past earthquakes created by the movement of these plates.

From there, you'll move on to the Geysir geothermal fields. Like Gunnuhver, the area is filled with bubbling mud pools, hot springs, and fumaroles; but unlike Gunnuhver, the Geysir area has erupting geysers! The most active one is Strokkur, which erupts in a large water column that can reach 66 ft (20 m). This is a great place to snap a selfie, as Strokkur erupts every 5-10 minutes, giving you plenty of opportunities to capture an amazing photo.

From erupting geysers, you'll move on to one of the country's most beautiful cascades, Gullfoss. Fed by Iceland's second-largest glacier, Langjokull, this two-tiered waterfall tumbles down 105 ft (32 m) into an ancient canyon. From two viewing platforms, you can watch as the freezing glacial water plunges dramatically down the gorge, providing you with even more opportunities for spectacular photographs.

Make a detour before returning to your accommodations in Reykjavik and visit the town of Fludir, where you'll find the Secret Lagoon, Iceland's oldest swimming pool, and wash away any tension in this beautiful setting. The landscape around the pool consists of mossy lava fields, hot springs, steaming fumaroles, and a small, erupting geyser that gives the place a magical air of mystery.

Read more
Day 3
The beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall tumbles over a concaved cliff face

Day 3 - Waterfalls or Warm Rivers

Today you'll have the choice between driving the South Coast to visit majestic waterfalls or hiking through the geothermal valley of Reykjadalur to bathe in its warm rivers. Just make sure you arrive at Keflavik International Airport in good time for your flight as this is the last day of your holiday.

Start the day by heading out of Reykjavik and drive towards the town of Hveragerdi. You'll be greeted by large columns of steam when you reach the town as it is located in a highly geothermal area. If you choose to spend the day hiking, this is where you'll park your vehicle and put on your hiking boots.

You'll hike through a colorful geothermal area, past bubbling mud pools and steaming hot springs. Make sure to bring your bathing suit because as you make your way through this picturesque valley, you'll come across a trickling river where fresh spring water meets steaming geothermal water, creating the perfect temperature for bathing.

If you choose to spend the day chasing waterfalls, you'll continue through the town of Hveragerdi and make your way towards the first attraction of the day, Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

This unique cascade tumbles over a concaved cliff face, making it possible to walk behind the stream of falling water for a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape. A short walking distance from Seljalandsfoss is a small hidden gem, Gljufrabui waterfall, partially concealed by huge rocks.

You'll then travel to the large and majestic Skogafoss waterfall, which cascades down a 197 ft (60 m) cliff with a width of 82 ft (25 m). The land underneath Skogafoss is very flat, making it possible to walk right up to the wall of water and feel the mist of the waterfall's spray on your face.

If you still have time before your flight, you can visit Seljavallalaug swimming pool, located a short drive from Skogafoss waterfall, to soak in the warm, geothermal waters of Iceland once more before you leave.

Read more

What to bring

Warm and waterproof clothes
Good shoes
Swimsuit and towel
Driver's license

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.


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.


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

Super Budget 2WD

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.

Budget 2WD

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.

Budget 4x4

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.

Comfort 4x4

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.

Luxury 4x4

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.

Similar tours