4 Day Budget Self Drive Tour of Iceland with the Golden Circle & Glaciers

Reynisfjara black sand beach is home to multiple dramatic rock formations.
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Description

Details

Tour starts
Keflavík Airport
Starting time
Flexible
Duration
4 days
Ending place
Keflavík Airport
Difficulty
Easy
Available
Apr. - Aug.
Ending time
Flexible
Minimum age
None

Description

See some of Iceland's most marvelous 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. When booking this budget tour, the personal itinerary you'll receive 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 Kerid, and visit the cascading waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss 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 snorkeling between continents at Silfra fissure, zooming across Langjokull 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.

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Included

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
Taxes
Travelers who book with Guide to Iceland may have a PCR or rapid antigen COVID-19 test prearranged prior to their departure from Iceland, if needed.

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Snorkelling
Snowmobile
Sightseeing
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Bird watching
Ice Caving
Self drive

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to Reykjavík, the world's northernmost capital.

Day 1 - Arrival in Reykjavik

After landing in Iceland, collect your car at Keflavik International Airport and head to Reykjavik city. 

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. Then the day is yours. Use the time and explore the bustling downtown and its myriad of cafés, restaurants, museums, galleries, boutiques, and bars.

You will spend the first night in Iceland in the city of Reykjavik.

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Day 2
Gullfoss waterfall is a stunning display of unbound natural power.

Day 2 - The Golden Circle

On day one, you'll head out of the city and make your way to the many sights of the one and only Golden Circle. The first stop is Thingvellir 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, Althingi, was founded. If you're up for getting a little wet, you can add a snorkeling 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 66 ft (20 m) in the air. Close to here, you'll find Gullfoss waterfall, a fantastic 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. If you're up for more action, you can opt to go snowmobiling on Langjokull Glacier or horseback riding through the Icelandic countryside.

Pay a visit to the colorful marvel of the volcanic crater lake Kerid before reaching your accommodation in the Selfoss region, the peaceful area in which you will be spending the night.

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Day 3
You can walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall and enjoy the view of South Iceland from behind the cascading wall of pristine water.

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

Your third day will begin with a visit to three incredible waterfalls of the south coast, starting with Seljalandsfoss. You can walk behind this unique cascade to enjoy the view from behind a 197 ft (60 m) drop of falling spring water. Close by lies Seljalandsfoss' lesser-known but equally beautiful neighbor, Gljufrabui waterfall. 

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

This day includes the options of going glacier hiking or snowmobiling on top of Solheimajokull Glacier—or venturing inside a natural ice cave in Myrdalsjokull 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 Vik Village. There, the majestic basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar rest visible just offshore. The currents here are powerful, 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 Reykjavik city, where you can stroll through the city center once more before retreating to your accommodation.

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Day 4
A dip in the Blue Lagoon spa makes for the perfect end to your adventure in Iceland.

Day 4 - Departure

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

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.

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

Some optional activities might require you to have 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 snorkeling.

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

Accommodation

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.

Budget

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

Car

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 (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.

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.

Van

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.

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