4 Day Self Drive Tour | The Golden Circle & Vik

Based on 1 traveller reviews

Go for a whirlwind self-drive tour of Iceland's most fabulous attractions with this short holiday plan in Iceland. This itinerary is for anyone who doesn't have a lot of time to spare in their busy schedule but still longs to relax and see the most famous sights in Iceland at their own speed. 

After you arrive, you can have a rejuvenating soak in the world-famous Blue Lagoon spa on your way to the coolest capital in Europe, Reykjavik. Admission to the spa is included in the price.

This self-drive tour takes you through sites like the Golden Circle and the Kerið eruption crater, celebrating Iceland's most important historical and geological wonders. The Ring Road will take you past two stunning waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, before you reach the impressive black sands of Reynisfjara beach and the small town of Vík.

You can also add extra activities during the booking process to make sure you get to do everything you want. Go snorkeling in Silfra gorge, and see the tectonic plates that separate the continents, or scale an ice cap on a glacier hike. Zoom across Langjökull glacier on a snowmobile or ride one of the charming Icelandic horses.  The choices are yours.

To experience the best of the natural world in Iceland, and to leave feeling alive and moved by the beauty of the nation, this package includes a special hand-selected location or two in the custom itinerary created for all Guide to Iceland tours. We want you to see everything from the most popular spots to the hidden retreats only the elves know! 

Treat yourself to a fun but relaxing holiday in Iceland! Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: All year
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkeling, Caving, Hiking, ATV, Snowmobile, Sightseeing, Hot Spring Bathing, Bird watching, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, Reykjavík, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Þingvellir, Þríhnjúkagígur, Black Sand Beach - Reynisfjara, Langjökull, Vík i Mýrdal, Gljúfrabúi, Reynisdrangar, Strokkur Geyser at Geysir, Seljavallalaug pool, Sólheimajökulll, Skogar Museum - Skógarsafn, South Coast
Pickup information:
  • Starting time : Flexible

Included:
  • 3 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 4 days (VW Polo or similar. Upgrades available)

  • CDW and SCDW insurance along gravel protection for car rental

  • GPS System

  • Blue Lagoon standard entrance (upgrades available)

  • Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

  • Fuel

  • Dinner

  • Lunch


What to bring:
  • Warm clothes

  • 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.

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed. They are only visible during the winter. 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.

Please note that this tour is available all year. If you are arriving in winter, we recommend that you opt for an upgrade to a 4x4 vehicle.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Reykjavík & Blue Lagoon




Collect your car at the airport in Keflavík and head towards the capital city.

If you arrive early, consider paying a visit to the world-famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, where you can recharge your batteries after your flight.

Relax in Reykjavík in the evening and spend your first night in the city centre.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

Reykjavík Comfort

The Fosshótel chain has four 3-4 star Hotels located in and around the city center of Reykjavík. There is a short walk from all of the hotels to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 2 - The Golden Circle




After spending a little time in Reykjavik, drive past the Nesjavellir Geothermal Plant. This scenic road is surrounded by mountains, which fall away as you drive alongside Iceland's biggest lake, Þingvallavatn, and enter the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, the birthplace of the Icelandic parliament, nestled between two tectonic plates.

You can go on a snorkelling tour in Silfra, when you have reached Þingvellir National Park. If you think you'd enjoy exploring the crystal-clear waters of the fissure between the continents in one of the world's best dive sites, then this tour is not to be missed.

The Great Geysir hot spring is not far away, along with its bursting sidekick, Strokkur. Although Geysir no longer vents as it once did, Strokkur still erupts approximately every 20 minutes, shooting boiling water 40 m (130 ft) high into the sky.

Right next door is the most popular waterfall in Iceland, Gullfoss. Here you can stroll down to the fall's edge and get a sense of the power of the river as it plummets down. If you are eager for more excitement, take an optional snowmobile ride on Langjökull glacier and be picked up from Gullfoss waterfall. You an also choose to take a horse-ride on this day.

Next, you can head back to the main road and along the south coast, with a stop at the Kerið volcanic crater, where a rainbow of colours dazzles the eye; the rusty red hues of the volcanic rock contrast with clear blue-green water of the placid lake sheltered within. Spend the night in the restful Hvolsvöllur area.


Preferred accommodation by Hvolsvöllur

Hvolsvöllur Budget

Hellishólar Guesthouse is a 2 star hotel located a few kilometres east of Hvolsvöllur, heading towards Þórsmörk. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Hvolsvöllur Comfort

Hotel Hvolsvöllur is a 3 star hotel centrally located in Hvolsvöllur. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Hvolsvöllur Quality

Hotel Rangá is a 4 star hotel situated between the towns of Hella and Hvolsvöllur. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Views towards Rangá river or Hekla volcano. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 3 - The South Coast and Reykjavik




Start the day by driving to the waterfall of Seljalandsfoss and its lesser known neighbour, Gljúfrabúi. With water cascading down from a height of 60 m (197 ft), Seljalandsfoss is a sight to behold, especially bearing in mind the alternate view available from behind the water.

A few minutes down the road is the powerful waterfall of Skógafoss, as well as the Skógar Folk Museum, where you can find a great exhibition about the history of the countryside.

Today, you can also try a glacier hike tour or go snowmobiling on the glacier Sólheimajökull. These activities are both great fun and informative. 

Your last stop will be the breathtaking black beach of Reynisfjara and the tranquil village of Vík. Explore the beach and the eerie cliff of basalt columns, but beware the dangerous waves that can easily sweep you from the shore and carry you out to sea.

You'll get a great view of Reynisdrangar cliffs from the village of Vík, before returning to Reykjavík.

You can explore Reykjavik in the late evening and wander through Iceland's quirky capital with its culture, food, and nightlife on offer. Your last night will be spent in downtown Reykjavík.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

Reykjavík Comfort

The Fosshótel chain has four 3-4 star Hotels located in and around the city center of Reykjavík. There is a short walk from all of the hotels to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 4 - Departure




Spend the day getting to know Reykjavík and do some last-minute shopping before heading back to the airport for your flight home. If you have time in the morning or early afternoon, you can even add on an optional horseback riding tour or explore Reykjanes peninsula.

When you have reserved this trip, we will contact you to finalize your itinerary and make all the changes you want, so let us know of any specific changes you would like, such as moving the Blue Lagoon visit to your last day instead of Day 1.

Reserve this tour to make the most of a short amount of time in beautiful Iceland!


Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Single person bookings will be arranged in a single room, while bookings of 2 or more people will share twin/double room(s) or triple room(s). Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available hotels and guesthouses 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. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. The sooner you reserve the higher quality accommodation we can provide. Press choose a date at the top to find availability.

Budget

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

Comfort

Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.

Quality

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.


Car

Guide to Iceland has a wide selection of vehicles and seeks to provide you with the best available car from our preferred rental operators, who offer the highest quality vehicles and service to our guests. Our self-drive packages include a newer model, usually a maximum of 2 years old and equipped with a GPS and basic CDW insurance. See the categories of available vehicles below. We recommend a comfortable 4X4 as a minimal standard for winter traveling due to icy and challenging road conditions. In the booking process, you can also upgrade to an automatic model for free.

Budget

A small 2WD vehicle fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions, such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.

Comfort 4X4

A medium sized jeep or SUV with 4WD (4x4) fit for most travel, and good for snow and off-asphalt travel, such as Toyota Rav4 or similar. This vehicle has basic highland capabilities.

Luxury 4x4

A large sized jeep with 4WD (4x4) such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all traveling. This vehicle has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads.


Map


Reviews

Spectacular scenery at Haifoss waterfall, Landmannalaugar, Fjallsarlon, Jökulsárlón, and Dyrholaey. Unfortunately, we were unable to drive on road F208 from Landmannalaugar to Kirkjubæjarklaustur due to required stream crossings. The rental car provided should have had 18 inch wheels rather than 16 inch wheels to provide higher clearance. The end result was having to double back to Selfoss and drive the Ring Road to Kirkjubæjarklaustur. This detour added about 200 km and about 4 hours driving time to travel from Landmannalaugar to Kirkjubæjarklaustur. We were also surprised to find that the Klaustur-Hof Guesthouse in Kirkjubæjarklaustur did not match the quality of the other hotels provided with the tour. Our room in the Klaustur-Hof was "one-star" at the best. The Iceland Air hotel 200 meters away should have been provided.

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