4 Day Summer Self Drive Tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle & South Coast with Reykjavik Accommodation
Enjoy a relaxed summer holiday in Iceland with this 4-day self-driving tour centered in the city of Reykjavik. With a rental car in your possession, you'll visit both the major sites and hidden gems of the South Coast's rural countryside while spending your nights in the capital's urban comforts. This immersive tour is the perfect bet for both families and traveling friends.
Your journey begins as you arrive at Keflavik International Airport, where you will find your rental car waiting for you. What you do during your first day is entirely up to you and depends on your flight schedule, but you can choose to kickstart your Iceland experience by visiting the mineral-rich waters of the world-famous Blue Lagoon Spa.
During the next three days, your personal itinerary will guide you to the world-famed natural attractions of the Golden Circle and South Coast, enabling you to witness first-hand the magic of geysers, glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs, and black sand beaches.
This tour also includes a hands-on travel agent who can alter your itinerary and redirect you to such wondrous locations as the Snaefellsnes peninsula or Hvalfjordur fjord, in case this is your second time in Iceland, and you've already seen the sites listed above.
You can also add exciting extras to your trip during the booking process. These include snowmobiling, hiking on a glacier, horseback riding, snorkeling between continents, hot spring bathing, ice climbing, and ice cave exploring. The summer is the midnight sun season, so you don't have to worry about reaching your destinations in time as the days are long and the nights stay bright. Adventures will be at your fingertips during this holiday.
You'll be pleasantly surprised when you realize just how much of Iceland you can see while based in Reykjavik. Staying overnight in the capital for the duration of your trip is arguably the most relaxed way to travel, and your nights will never be dull due to the city's buzz and charm.
So don't wait! Book this four-day self-drive now, and witness the beautiful nature of Iceland while staying in the comfort of the city. Check availability by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Arrival
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 in Reykjavik, you will have reached home base for your trip. Explore the buzzing downtown, visit the museums and galleries, take a dip in one of the city's many pools, or go for a stroll along the pier―it's entirely up to you.
You'll spend your first night at your accommodation in Reykjavik.
Day 2 - Golden Circle Sightseeing
First up is Thingvellir National Park, a continental rift valley and the sole UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Icelandic mainland.
Here, the park's many canyons, lakes, and gorges showcase how the earth is continuously pulling apart, and today, you can opt to go snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the Silfra, a fissure created by this movement of the earth.
Then, you'll visit the Geysir geothermal area to witness the hot spring Strokkur spew boiling water high up in the air every few minutes before moving on to the last sight of the Golden Circle, the beautiful Gullfoss waterfall. You'll be sure to be in awe as you watch this dramatic cascade hurl down, in two tiers, into an ancient canyon below.
You can top your day off by opting to go snowmobiling on Langjokull glacier or horseback riding in the beautiful South Iceland countryside. If you'd rather do something more relaxing, you can visit the magical Secret Lagoon to soak away in geothermal waters amidst natural surroundings. All of these activities are great for kids as well, although the age limits vary slightly.
Once you're ready to head back to the capital, know that you can take a different route than before, ensuring you new sights along the way. Spend another night exploring Reykjavik before settling in at your accommodation.
Day 3 - South Coast Marvels | Waterfalls and Black Sand Beaches
Stop at the famous waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, or strap on your hiking boots and visit the hidden waterfall Gljufrabui. A bit further along the coast, you'll find the village of Vik and its resident black beach Reynisfjara, where the eerie but picturesque Reynisdrangar sea stacks stand steadfast out in the roaring Atlantic Ocean.
If you're an ambitious driver, start the day early to drive all the way to visit the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, one of the most beautiful and celebrated natural sites of the country. The experience is complete with a stop at the Diamond Beach, where the lagoon's icebergs have washed up to glisten in the sunlight on a blanket of black sand.
If you want less driving and more action, you can instead opt for tours on Solheimajokull glacier, where you'll go glacier hiking or ice climbing. You can also visit an authentic ice cave in Myrdalsjokull glacier, the only one of its kind accessible all year round.
If you feel like heading out even further, you can drop off your car at a meeting point and board a modified Super Jeep that will take you on an adventure in the otherworldly Highlands.
Other options include visiting the DC-3 plane wreck, swimming in the old pool Seljavallalaug, visiting puffin colonies, or scouting off-map locations to your heart's content. The midnight sun in summer Iceland ensures that you have enough daylight to complete a fulfilling day trip.
After a full day of sightseeing and adventure, you'll make your way back to the city to spend your final night.
Day 4 - Departure
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
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.
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.
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.