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
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Description

Summary

Tour starts
Iceland
Starting time
Flexible
Duration
3 days
Ending place
Iceland
Difficulty
Easy
Available
Apr. - Aug.
Ending time
Flexible
Minimum age
None

Description

Embark on an unforgettable adventure through Iceland's lovely landscapes with this budget-friendly self-drive tour.  Designed for the adventurous and budget-conscious traveler, this is an opportunity you don't want to miss. Say goodbye to overpriced tours and hello to an affordable adventure in one of the world's most remarkable destinations.

Experience the freedom and flexibility of self-drive exploration as you traverse the Golden Circle route and spend time indulging in the rejuvenating geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, or a hot spring river. No need to worry about rushing or being tied to a strict schedule – with your own set of wheels, you have the power to decide where to go and how long to stay.

Rated highly by countless travelers, this three-day self-drive tour showcases Iceland's volcanic environment in all its splendor. Traverse the otherworldly lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula, marvel at erupting geysers and cascading waterfalls along the renowned Golden Circle, and discover hidden gems nestled in canyons, hot spring areas, and lava fields.

At the end of each exhilarating day, unwind in the warm embrace of Iceland's geothermal wonders. Immerse yourself in naturally heated pools, lagoons, or hot springs, allowing the soothing waters to melt away any lingering fatigue.

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. 

No more weeks of endless planning, let us take care of everything for you, ensuring you don't miss out on the best attractions this country has to offer. With a detailed itinerary provided upon booking, you can rest easy knowing that every moment of your journey has been meticulously crafted to perfection.

To make your journey even more seamless, we provide you with a personal travel agent available seven days a week, around the clock. Whether you have a question, need assistance, or simply seek advice, we're here to ensure your trip is nothing short of extraordinary.

We understand that plans can change, which is why we offer a hassle-free cancellation policy. You can cancel for free and receive a full refund up to 24 hours before departure, providing you with peace of mind and flexibility.

Don't miss this incredible opportunity to embark on a self-drive tour that combines affordability, flexibility, and convenience. Book now to secure your spot and embark on the adventure of a lifetime in Iceland.

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Included

2 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast not included, shared bathrooms; more detailed info below)
New or current model 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
Taxes

Activities

Sightseeing
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

Begin your Icelandic adventure as soon as you touch down at Keflavik International Airport. Once you've picked up your car, prepare to be amazed by the otherworldly landscapes that surround you. The airport itself is situated on the Reykjanes Peninsula, renowned for its vast lava fields and impressive geothermal activity.

This unique peninsula sits on the edge of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, where their constant drifting apart creates breathtaking rifts in the landscape. Take a scenic drive along the West Coast of Reykjanes to reach the Bridge Between Continents, a charming footbridge that spans a significant fissure formed by these mighty plates. Witnessing this natural wonder provides not only incredible views but also tangible proof of the Earth's ever-shifting crust.

Continue your journey to the vivid geothermal fields of Gunnuhver, where bubbling mud pools and steaming fumaroles await your exploration. As you listen to the symphony of gurgling water and the release of steam from the depths of the Earth, you'll be reminded of the immense forces that shape our planet.

Before reaching your accommodations in Reykjavik, consider making a stop at the world-famous Blue Lagoon. 

Nestled amidst the black lava fields of the peninsula, this geothermal spa offers a soothing retreat in its warm, mineral-rich waters. Relax and rejuvenate yourself after a day of travel and sightseeing. Remember to secure your tickets in advance to ensure a blissful experience at this popular attraction.

Savor the beauty of Iceland's landscapes, delve into its geological wonders, and experience the unique sensation of being between two continents. Your adventure awaits, so prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey through this land of fire and ice.

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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, prepare to go through the enchanting landscapes of the Golden Circle, a popular tourist trail that offers a glimpse into the country's dynamic and active terrain.

Your first stop is the iconic Thingvellir National Park, where Iceland's historic parliament, Althingi, was established more than a thousand years ago. This historic site holds great cultural significance as it served as a gathering place for Viking settlers who convened to resolve disputes and lay down the foundations of Icelandic law. Marvel at the rugged beauty of the park, adorned with cracks and fissures resulting from past earthquakes caused by the shifting tectonic plates.

Next, venture towards the Geysir geothermal fields, a mesmerizing area brimming with bubbling mud pools, hot springs, and fumaroles.

Unlike Gunnuhver, here you will witness the incredible spectacle of erupting geysers. Keep your camera ready as the most active geyser in the area, Strokkur, erupts in a magnificent water column that can soar up to 66 feet (20 meters) into the sky. With eruptions occurring every 5-10 minutes, you'll have numerous opportunities to capture that perfect selfie or stunning photo.

Continuing your journey, prepare to be awe-struck by Gullfoss, one of Iceland's most majestic waterfalls. Fed by the mighty Langjokull, the country's second-largest glacier, this two-tiered cascade plummets an impressive 105 feet (32 meters) into an ancient canyon. 

Positioned on two viewing platforms, you'll have a front-row seat to witness the power of glacial waters crashing down the gorge, providing countless opportunities to capture wonderful photographs.

Before returning to your accommodations in Reykjavik, take a delightful detour to the charming town of Fludir. 

Here, you'll discover the Secret Lagoon, Iceland's oldest swimming pool, tucked away in a mesmerizing landscape of moss-covered lava fields, hot springs, and steaming fumaroles. Unwind in the soothing waters of this hidden gem as you immerse yourself in the mystical ambiance created by a small, erupting geyser that adds an air of enchantment to the surroundings.

As you explore the wonders of the Golden Circle, each stop will unveil a new facet of Iceland's natural beauty, leaving you with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for this extraordinary country. Soak in the captivating landscapes, capture remarkable moments, and embrace the magic that awaits at every turn.

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

Day 3 - Waterfalls or Warm Rivers

On your final day of the tour, you have the delightful choice between two remarkable experiences: driving along the captivating South Coast to witness majestic waterfalls or embarking on a scenic hike through the geothermal valley of Reykjadalur, where warm rivers await your arrival. 

Just be sure to allow sufficient time to reach Keflavik International Airport for your departure flight, as this marks the end of your unforgettable Icelandic holiday.

As you depart from Reykjavik, your journey takes you to the town of Hveragerdi, where you'll be greeted by towering columns of steam. This charming town is nestled within a highly geothermal area, boasting natural wonders aplenty. If you opt for the hiking adventure, this is where you'll park your vehicle and lace up your hiking boots.

Venture into the impressive geothermal valley, traversing a landscape adorned with vibrant colors, bubbling mud pools, and steaming hot springs. Don't forget to pack your bathing suit, as you'll encounter a tranquil river along the way, where fresh spring water mingles with geothermal currents, creating an idyllic bathing temperature.

Should you choose to embark on a waterfall-chasing expedition, continue your journey beyond Hveragerdi and make your way to the first highlight of the day: Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This distinctive cascade gracefully descends over a concave cliff, offering the unique opportunity to stroll behind the curtain of falling water, providing a breathtaking perspective of the surrounding scenery. A short distance from Seljalandsfoss lies a hidden gem, Gljufrabui waterfall, partially concealed by immense rocks, waiting to be discovered.

Next, your adventure takes you to the grandeur of Skogafoss waterfall. With a height of 197 feet (60 meters) and a width of 82 feet (25 meters), this majestic cascade plunges from a towering cliff, creating an awe-inspiring spectacle. The terrain beneath Skogafoss is surprisingly flat, allowing you to approach the wall of water and feel the refreshing mist gently caressing your face.

If time permits before your flight, make a visit to Seljavallalaug swimming pool, located a short drive from Skogafoss waterfall. Nestled amidst picturesque surroundings, this geothermal pool offers one last opportunity to immerse yourself in Iceland's soothing warm waters, leaving you with a final memory of relaxation and tranquility.

As you bid farewell to Iceland, carry with you the cherished memories of this extraordinary self-drive tour. From stunning waterfalls to captivating geothermal valleys, your adventure through Iceland's diverse landscapes has been nothing short of remarkable. Depart with a heart full of wonder and a longing to return to this magical land of fire and ice.

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What to bring

Warm and waterproof clothes
Good shoes
Swimsuit and towel
Camera
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.

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Accommodation

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.

Budget

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

Car

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.

Van

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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