4 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | The Golden Circle & Glaciers

4 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | The Golden Circle & Glaciers
Take four days to drive the Golden Circle route and visit the glaciers of Iceland's South Coast.
Þingvellir National Park is one of Iceland's most treasured areas.
Silfra fissure in Þingvellir National Park is one of the world's most sought out diving and snorkelling locations.
Take a walk through central Reykjavík and immerse yourself in the beautiful cityscape.
Iceland is dotted with beautiful waterfalls, large and small.
Join a Glacier Hiking Tour in Iceland and make memories to last a lifetime.
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See some of Iceland's most marvellous attractions on this wallet-friendly self-drive tour, perfect for those who only have a limited amount of time to explore the island of ice and fire. The personal itinerary you'll receive when booking this budget tour will lead you to black beaches, beautiful waterfalls and spouting geysers.

During the scope of only four action-packed days, you'll experience the sites of the Golden Circle, gaze down the 3.000 years-old crater lake Kerið, and visit the cascading waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss before reaching the black shores of the coastal beach Reynisfjara.

The possibilities for adventures are plentiful, and you can add an array of activities to your journey during the booking process, all at a discounted price. These include going snorkelling between continents at Silfra fissure, zooming across Langjökull Glacier on a snowmobile, hiking a massive ice cap, or getting to know the Icelandic horse on a riding tour of the Icelandic countryside.

Take control of the wheel, set your own pace and be the master of your excursion, but allow us to help you locate everything from the most popular highlights to the most enigmatic of hidden treasures along the way.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to explore the wonders of this volcanic island on this budget tour designed for your benefit. Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Apr. - Sep.
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkelling, Snowmobile, Sightseeing, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Bird watching, Ice Caving, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, Reykjavík, Hvítá River, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Þingvellir, Strokkur, Reykjanes, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Silfra, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Langjökull, Vík í Mýrdal, Hvolsvöllur, Kerið, Gljufrabui, Keflavik International Airport, Reynisdrangar, Öxarárfoss, Haukadalur, Skogar Museum - Skógarsafn, South Coast
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible.

Your car will await you at Keflavík International Airport when you arrive. You will drop it off at Keflavík airport, too, when you depart from Iceland.
  • 3 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast not included, shared bathrooms; more detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 4 days (Toyota Aygo or similar, upgrades available)

  • CDW insurance for vehicle

  • GPS System

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

  • Taxes

  • Fuel

  • Blue Lagoon entry ticket (can be added during the booking process)

  • Meals

What to bring:
  • Warm and waterproof clothes

  • Driver's license

  • Swimsuit and towel

  • Hiking shoes

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 have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.

Some optional activities might need either a valid driver's license, or you might need to send additional information to your travel planner. Please note that you might need to present medical documents should you choose to go snorkelling.

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.

Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing.

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Reykjavik

Welcome to Reykjavík, the world's northernmost capital.

After landing in Iceland, collect your car at Keflavík International Airport and head on out to Reykjavík city. 

Depending on the time of your arrival, you will have the possibility of beginning your journey with a soak in the world-famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. Just remember to book the ticket in advance since the lagoon is in high demand.

Make your way across the lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula to the capital city, and get settled into your accommodation. Then the day is yours. Use the time and go exploring the bustling downtown and its myriad of cafés, restaurants, museums, galleries, boutiques and bars.

Your first night in Iceland will be spent in the city of Reykjavík. 

Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

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.

Day 2 - The Golden Circle

Gullfoss waterfall is a stunning display of unbound natural power.

On the second day, head out of the city and make your way to the many sights of the one and only Golden Circle. The first stop is Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of great historical and geographical value.

The park lies in a continental rift and boasts of incredible landscapes. It is also where the first Icelandic Parliament, Alþingi, was founded. If you're up for getting a little wet, you can add a snorkelling tour in the crystal clear waters of the Silfra Fissure; frequently voted as one of the top diving sites in the world.

Next up are the geysers at the geothermal valley Haukadalur. It is the home of Geysir and Strokkur, the latter of which frequently spouts boiling water from the ground as high as 20 metres in the air. Close by you'll find Gullfoss waterfall, an amazing display of unharnessed power cascading from an ice-cold glacial river.

You'll see just why all these sites are so renowned upon visiting them, and if you're up for more action, you can opt to go snowmobiling on Langjökull Glacier or horseback riding through the Icelandic countryside.

Pay a visit to the colourful marvel that is the volcanic crater lake Kerið, before reaching your accommodation in Hvolsvöllur, the peaceful area in which you will be spending the night.

Preferred accommodation by Hvolsvöllur

Hvolsvöllur Super Budget

Árnes HI Hostel is located close to the village of Hella. Dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Hvolsvöllur Budget

Hotel Hvolsvöllur is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Hvolsvöllur village. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Day 3 - The South Coast with Waterfalls, Glaciers & Black Beach

You can walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall and enjoy the view of South Iceland from behind the cascading wall of pristine water.

Your third day will begin with a visit to three great waterfalls of the south coast, starting with Seljalandsfoss. You can walk behind this unique cascade to enjoy the view from behind a 60-metre drop of falling spring water. Close by lies Seljalandsfoss' lesser known, but equally beautiful neighbour; Gljúfrabúi waterfall. 

From there, you'll make your way to Skógafoss and see how it tumbles down the steep cliffs of a former coastline. The Skógar Folk Museum also belongs to the area. There you can quench your thirst for culture by enjoying a heritage exhibition of ancient artefacts and reconstructed turf houses.

This day includes the options of going glacier hiking or snowmobiling on top of Sólheimajökull Glacier—or venturing inside a natural ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, the only one of its kind available all year round.

Your last stop of the day will be Reynisfjara; the otherworldly black beach at Vík Village. There, the majestic basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar rest visible just offshore. The currents here are very strong, so make sure to heed all warning signs to avoid accidents.

In the summer, Atlantic puffins make the cliffs of Reynisfjall mountain their home, and you might spot one or two nosediving down into the ocean in search of food. 

After exploring the South Coast, it is time to head back to Reykjavík city, where you can stroll through the city centre once more before retreating to your accommodation.

Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

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.

Day 4 - Departure

A dip in the Blue Lagoon spa makes for the perfect end to your adventure in Iceland.

If you have the time, you can spend the day doing some last-minute shopping or sightseeing in Reykjavík, before dropping your car off at the airport in time for your journey home.

You could also fit in one last adventure by exploring the Reykjanes peninsula or take a dip in the Blue Lagoon. Just remember to book the spa in advance and make sure to give yourself plenty of time to catch your departing flight. 


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.


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


Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour. All our vehicles are new or current models. Super budget 2WD vehicles are maximum 5 years of age, and come equipped with a GPS and standard CDW insurance. Budget 2WD and Comfort 4x4 level vehicles are maximum two years of age, and come equipped with a GPS, CDW, GP and SCDW insurances. You can also upgrade to an automatic model.

Super Budget

A small 2WD vehicle such as Toyota Aygo, Hyundai i10 or similar, fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions. Compact and comfortable for up to 2 travellers with very little luggage. No highland capabilities.


A basic 2WD vehicle such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar, suitable for travelling in everyday conditions. Comfortable for 3 travellers with light luggage. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.

Comfort 4X4

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

Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel the booking of this package and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person.
The cancellation must be made within a minimum of 48-hours before the listed starting time. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact our service desk by writing to info@guidetoiceland.is no later than 48-hours before departure and declare the cancellation.
Please note that this insurance only covers the full cancellation of this entire package. It does not cover cancellations of individual activities and services within the package. The cost of the Cancellation Insurance is neither refundable nor transferable.


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