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Short City Break in Reykjavik | Four-Day Summer Road Trip around the Capital of Iceland

Icelandic horses graze beneath a misty mountain in Iceland.
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Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable
Car & accommodation
Starting time
4 days
Apr. - Aug.
Minimum age

Make the most of a four-day getaway to the magnificent Land of Ice and Fire with this fun-filled self-drive holiday. Travellers who wish to see the most iconic sites of Iceland on their own terms and embark on some thrilling excursions should not hesitate to book this tour.

Iceland is famous across the world for its glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs and breathtaking landscapes; despite visiting for just four days, you’ll be able to marvel over all of these by booking this adventure. The Blue Lagoon spa, iconic sites of the Golden Circle and spectacular diversity of the South Coast are all on your agenda.

As this is a self-drive holiday, you are free to spend as much or little time at each site as possible; you don’t need to worry about appeasing any other guests or following the strict timetable of a guide. If you find the geysers of Haukadalur valley particularly mesmerising, or the volcanic landscapes of the Reykjanes Peninsula beckoning you, you have the freedom to dedicate hours to each. 

Furthermore, a self-drive adventure will allow you to get off the beaten track to find attractions most guests overlook entirely. After booking, you’ll be sent an itinerary detailing all of the fantastic locations you can visit each day, allowing you to tailor the perfect vacation for you and your group. 

By having the freedom to reach these hidden gems, you’ll avoid the crowds that tend to gather around the most popular sites, and have the opportunity to connect with the silent, untouched wilderness that draws so many to Iceland.

The only limit on your independence is making sure you get to the meeting place of any excursions you booked on time. On your second day, you can choose between a serene horseback ride, a thrilling snowmobile and a breathtaking snorkelling tour. On your third, you’ll have the choice between glacier hiking, ice caving, or taking a super jeep to the magnificent Highlands.

You will also have the opportunity to visit Iceland’s most famous attraction, the Blue Lagoon, either just after your arrival or just before your departure.

All of these excursions and admissions will be sorted for you immediately after you book your trip, taking all the stress out of planning your holiday. Furthermore, you’ll be based in a Reykjavík hotel throughout your stay, adding to your convenience and providing you with an opportunity to get to know one of the world’s most unique, beautiful and cultural capitals.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Iceland and enjoy some thrilling adventures over just four days with this fantastic summer getaway. Check availability by choosing a date.


3 nights of Reykjavík accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included for comfort and quality levels. More detailed info below)
Vehicle for 4 days (Toyota Aygo or similar. Upgrades available)
CDW insurance for super budget level vehicle; other levels also include SCDW and gravel protection insurances
GPS system
Detailed itinerary
Personal travel agent


Glacier Hiking
Super Jeep
Ice Climbing
Horse Riding
Boat Trip
Cultural Activity
Bird watching
Ice Caving
Self drive

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Blue Lagoon is a must visit when traveling to Iceland.


Welcome to Iceland! You will land at Keflavík International Airport, the main port of arrival for most travellers, and after making your way through customs, will find your rental car waiting.

On your way to Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colours 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.

The Reykjanes Peninsula, in particular, will appeal to those who want to make the most of every moment they have in Iceland’s nature. The region boasts cone-shaped volcanoes, barren expanses of moss-coated lava, dramatic coastal geology and several steaming geothermal areas.

Those who want to get a taste of Icelandic culture, meanwhile, will be able to do so in the capital. Boasting museums and galleries; parks and nature reserves; feats of architecture and public art; as well as an array of boutiques, restaurants and bars, the city truly has something for everyone.

After experiencing the freedom of a self-drive tour and making the very most of your day, you’ll retire for the night in Reykjavík.

Day 2
Strokkur is a geyser on the famous Golden Circle sightseeing route. It erupts every 5 to 8 minutes.

Golden Circle Sightseeing

On the second day of your journey, you will get to experience the magnificent, diverse sites of the Golden Circle, Iceland’s premier sightseeing route. Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss waterfall are the main attractions on your itinerary. However, you can add to your day by including a thrilling excursion and seeking out some hidden gems.

Þingvellir National Park is a geological marvel. It is framed by two sheer cliff faces marking the edges of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, meaning the entire location is nestled between the continents. Filled with birch woodland and lava fields, surrounded by volcanoes and a great lake, and littered with ravines and springs, it is a breathtaking place to explore.

The appeal of the Geysir Geothermal Area, meanwhile, should be instantly apparent; not only is it home to geysers, but it is home to geysers so dramatic that all similar phenomena around the world appropriated their Icelandic name. The most impressive of these exploding hot springs is Strokkur, which erupts at least every ten minutes, often reaching heights of over twenty metres.

Gullfoss, meanwhile, is a classic Icelandic waterfall: powerful, mesmerising and unforgettable. Formed by a glacier river pouring from the nearby ice cap of Langjökull, it surges down two steps into a dramatic, beautiful valley, throwing blooms of spray into the air as it does. In the sun, this spray is renowned for the waterfalls that arch from it.

As you travel between these sites, you have the choice of three tours to break up your sightseeing with. At Þingvellir, you can embark on a snorkelling excursion into the ravine of Silfra. The visibility in this magnificent place often exceeds a hundred metres, and the vividness of the underwater blues are astounding, making this consistently ranked as one of the best snorkelling sites in the world.

From Gullfoss, you could alternatively board a super jeep to be whisked up Langjökull glacier for a snowmobiling tour. There are few activities more thrilling than rushing across gleaming plains of pristine snow, and few ways to attain such rewarding views of the south, west and Highlands.

Thirdly, you could embark on a horse-riding tour through the beautiful countryside that surrounds the sites of the Golden Circle. Icelandic horses are famously friendly, and witnessing the landscapes from their backs is a great way to experience the country like an early settler. Whether you have experience riding or not, this tour will be tailored to you.

Two of the other options for excursions today are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to visit the same spectacular site: the ongoing volcanic eruption at Fagradalsfjall. Firstly, you can explore it on a 5-hour evening tour, in which you will trek with an experienced guide through the haunting landscapes of the Reykjanes Peninsula to its fountains of fire and network of lava rivers. Secondly, you can marvel over it from the sky with a 1-hour helicopter journey departing from Reykjavik Domestic Airport; this excursion even includes a short landing!

Though you are welcome to simply see the major attractions and add on an adventure, you can also make the most of having a vehicle and detour to one of dozens of hidden gems within easy driving distance. The crater lake of Kerið and serene Secret Lagoon are but two enticing examples of what’s on offer.

At the end of your day, you will return to your hotel in the capital.

Day 3
The south coast of Iceland is lined with numerous beautiful waterfalls.

South Coast Marvels | Waterfalls and Black Sand Beaches

On the third day of your four-day summer holiday to Iceland, you will set out to explore the magnificent sites of the South Coast. Today will truly show you how much freedom you have on a self-drive holiday such as this one, as you can tailor what you see and do entirely to your group’s desires.

Setting out from Reykjavík, however, all guests will likely want to spend some time at the first three attractions of the region, all of which are waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss is one of the country’s most iconic, clearly visible from the Ring Road and famous for the enormous cavern that opens behind it, allowing it to be fully encircled.

It’s neighbour Gljúfrabúi is lesser-known; even though it is within easy walking distance, it is hidden in a magical grotto that requires a little wading through a stream to reach.

Skógafoss, meanwhile, is as unmissable as Seljalandsfoss. Sixty metres tall, at least ten metres wide and mesmerisingly powerful, this waterfall is a fantastic example of the power of Iceland’s nature.

After making the most of these sites, you can leave the Ring Road to get a closeup view of two of the South Coast’s most incredible glaciers. Mýrdalsjökull is the third-largest in the country, and conceals the notorious volcano of Katla; Eyjafjallajökull is smaller but much more famous after its 2010 eruption.

If you elected to do so when booking, you can take one of the three tours offered today onto a tongue of Mýrdalsjökull, Sólheimajökull. Glacier hiking is a fantastic way to marvel over beautiful ice formations and to experience breathtaking views of the south.

The two other tours on offer today leave from the village of Vík, your next destination. The first of these is an ice caving tour that occurs closer to the summit of Mýrdalsjökull. Rather than hike across the glacier’s surface, you will descend into its hidden crevasses to explore it from within.

The second is entirely different: a super jeep tour to Landmannalaugar. Landmannalaugar is a spectacular Highland reserve, best known for its abundant natural hot springs you can bathe in. This area also has dramatic rhyolite mountains in unexpectedly vibrant shades of yellow, green and pink, and plentiful hiking trails. Many of these lead to magnificent crater lakes, and all provide stunning panoramas of Iceland’s interior.

Regardless of which tour you take, you will want to spend some time at the beach beside Vík. Named Reynisfjara, it is defined by its endless stretches of haunting black sands and the giant offshore rock monuments of Reynisdrangar, said to have once been a pair of trolls who were petrified to stone by sunlight.

Very close to this beach is the incredible rock arch of Dyrhólaey that all animal lovers should make an effort to reach, as this is one of the best places to marvel over nesting Atlantic Puffins in summer.

After immersing yourself in the stunning South Coast of Iceland, you’ll head back to the capital for the evening.

Day 4
Grotta lighthouse is situated in a scenic region just outside of Reykjavik.


On the final day of your four-day immersive summer getaway to Iceland, you’ll need to take your car back to the airport in good time for your departure. If you are not in a great rush, you may want to take your time on this journey and check out the incredible volcanic and geothermal sites of the Reykjanes Peninsula.

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. We hope you come back to visit soon!

What to bring

Warm and waterproof clothing
Good waterproof 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. For other levels, 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.

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.


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), and Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) insurances. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars. All levels come equipped with a GPS and 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, or similar. Comfortably fit up to 4 travellers 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 Renault Trafic (2WD manual), Mercedes Benz Vito (4WD automatic, has highland capabilities and better suited for winter driving), or similar. Comfortable for 5 to 7 travellers. If seated full, luggage space is limited. The driver must be of 23 years of age or above.


Are you looking to try some of the best dishes Iceland’s top restaurants have to offer? You can now add delicious meals to your booking without having to research where to find them. Select this option to include dinner every night as an extra, and we’ll provide you with vouchers as part of your booking confirmation. We’ll choose the top-rated restaurants that fit with your vacation itinerary and make your reservations for you. Your server will offer you a set menu of two to three courses at the restaurant, from which you can choose meat, fish, or vegetarian options. If you prefer to try a different dish, the meal voucher will act as a credit that you can redeem at the restaurant against menu items that are not part of the set menu. Save time and effort during your vacation, and let us take care of your meals for you. Choose the meal option today so you’ll be guaranteed to eat well on your forthcoming trip. Please notify the restaurant on arrival about any dietary requirements. Vouchers are non-refundable.

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