Relaxed 4 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour of Iceland with Day Trips from Reykjavik
This slow-paced self-drive trip in Iceland is ideal for travelers who want to discover the best of Iceland at a relaxed pace. Spend four days visiting the attractions of the Golden Circle and South Coast of Iceland, or mix up your itinerary by visiting Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
With the freedom of a car, you can choose what attractions you visit and how long you spend at each place. Having your own car also gives you plenty of time to go Northern Lights hunting in the evenings, without having to spend extra money joining a tour.
Witnessing the Northern Lights is a highlight for many travelers to Iceland. This stunning natural light display lights up the night sky as it dances before your eyes.
Your accommodation will be based in Reykjavik, meaning you can relax without the upheaval of moving every night.
This relaxed arrangement is ideal for families and couples who want to explore Iceland at their own pace. Discover the wonders of the South Coast, including waterfalls, glaciers, ice caves, and black sand beaches. Explore the most famous attractions in Iceland on the Golden Circle route.
If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, opt to add some exhilarating experiences to your trip. Snorkel between two tectonic plates at Silfra, snowmobile or hike atop a glacier, or climb into the magma chambers of a dormant volcano.
With plenty of natural hot springs in Iceland, you can unwind after days of adventure and let your body soak in the nutrients in the vitamin-rich water.
In the Land of Fire and Ice, there is always something exciting to see and discover. By booking with Guide to Iceland, you will have a dedicated travel agent who will help you tailor your itinerary to suit you and the rest of your travel party.
Check availability by choosing a date. Book your road trip today!
Day 1 - Welcome to Iceland
Welcome to Iceland! Adventure awaits!
Your car will be ready to collect as soon as you arrive at Keflavik International Airport. From there, you can explore some of the Reykjanes Peninsula on your way towards Reykjavik. 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 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.
Head on to Reykjavik city center and get settled into your accommodation. From here you can explore the city's many restaurants, museums, cafes, and shops. Once it gets dark, head out of the city in search of the Northern Lights. Grotta Lighthouse is a great location close to Reykjavik, which is dark enough and far enough from the city's light pollution to catch a sight of the aurora.
Day 2 - Golden Circle
Today you will explore Iceland's famous Golden Circle.
There are three main attractions to explore: Gullfoss waterfall, Geyser geothermal area, and Thingvellir National Park.
Thingvellir National Park is the site of Iceland's first parliament, Gullfoss waterfall cascades from a height of 105 feet (32m), and the geyser called Strokkur shoots steam into the air every 5-7 minutes.
Other attractions are off-the-beaten-path, such as Kerið crater, Friðheimar tomato farm, and the Secret Lagoon (the lesser-known brother of the Blue Lagoon Spa).
Are you seeking adventure on your trip to Iceland? You can opt to snorkel between two tectonic plates at Silfra fissure, snowmobile on Langjokull glacier, or meet and ride the Icelandic horses.
As you spend the day in the Golden Circle area, you may wish to have dinner nearby and stay out at night to hunt the Northern Lights. Thingvellir, in particular, is an excellent location for Northern Lights spotting. Witnessing this stunning natural light display is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip.
Return to your accommodation in Reykjavik, where you will spend the night.
Day 3 - South Coast of Iceland
Explore the famous sites on the South Coast of Iceland today. There is plenty to see and do on this route, and we recommend going only as far as Vik.
You’ll want to make sure you don’t miss out on witnessing: Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Reynisfjara black sand beach, Solheimajokull glacier, and the DC plane wreck.
Along the way, there are plenty of exhilarating experiences for you to choose from.
Hiking atop Solheimajokull glacier is an incredible experience. Take in the breathtaking views and learn more about these monumental ice structures.
From Vik, which is a great place to stop for a bite to eat, you can visit Katla Ice Cave. Ice caves are a breathtaking natural phenomenon.
Vik is also a great place to have dinner. Keep out for Northern Lights on your way back to the city. Travelers have been known to capture pictures of the aurora with Skogafoss in the foreground. Stay away from city lights and cloud coverage, and you have a good chance of seeing the aurora wherever you are.
After a day full of adventure, return to your accommodation in Reykjavik.
Day 4 - Final Day in Reykjavik
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.
You may want to spend the day sightseeing in Reykjavik and picking up souvenirs for your loved ones back home. A visit to FlyOver Iceland (a 4D cinematic simulation ride) is sure to give you a thrill as you fly over some of the most beautiful sights in Iceland.
For a real flight experience, take a helicopter tour to a geothermal area. This incredible tour is sure to finish your trip on a high.
It’s also possible to venture outside of the city if your flight time allows.
Before October, you can visit the inside magma chambers of a dormant volcano. This is a fantastic way to learn about the hidden volcanic power within Iceland.
However you choose to spend your final day in Iceland, enjoy every minute of it, and have a safe flight home!
What to bring
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. The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximise your chances to see them if weather allows. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better. It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is cancelled. If your chosen activity is cancelled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you. Note that Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the wintertime. We recommend you bring shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers. The covers can be purchased in most supermarkets and gas stations around the country.
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) 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.
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.