4-Day Northern Lights Winter Self-Drive Tour of the Golden Circle, Glaciers & Black Sand Beaches

Free cancellation
24/7 customer support
Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable

Description

Summary

Starts from
Keflavík Airport
Ends in
Keflavík Airport (KEF), Reykjanesbær, Iceland
Duration
4 days & 3 nights
Difficulty
Easy
Available
Oct. - Apr.
Accommodation
3 nights included
Car rental
4 days included

Description

Immerse yourself in Iceland's quiet and frozen nature as the northern lights dance above the skies with this winter self-drive tour. Those wanting to witness the beautiful natural sights on the Golden Circle and the diversity of the South Coast landscapes in just four days should grab this chance now.

Your winter holiday in Iceland starts as you arrive at the Keflavik International Airport, where you can pick up your car rental. Alternatively, you can begin your journey in Reykjavik if you're already in the city. Regardless of the starting point, you can enjoy the comforts of a new car with free Wi-Fi fit for the Icelandic terrain.

This highly-rated self-drive tour allows you to visit some of the country's most beautiful attractions at your own pace. Local travel experts planned and crafted this itinerary, considering daylight hours and winter conditions to ensure your safety and convenience.

The itinerary package includes comprehensive information, directions, and maps of the locations you'll visit, including a dedicated helpline for queries and assistance. In addition, all accommodations for three nights will be sorted out for you before your journey, with room for upgrades depending on your budget.

The highlights of your adventure are drives around the Golden Circle and the South Coast on days two and three. These scenic routes are the most visited places in Iceland, boasting diverse natural features like waterfalls, glaciers, black sand beaches, and excellent viewing points for the aurora borealis.

Some of the most exciting stops to make here are the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and Reynisfjara black sand beach.

On your last day, you'll have the best time exploring Reykjavik's vibrant culture and outstanding amenities. Depending on your flight schedule, you can visit as many shops, restaurants, and places of interest as you want on this day. You can begin by strolling through the downtown area for the Laugavegur shopping street and the Hallgrimskirkja church.

On top of sightseeing, you can customize this itinerary and add more activities. For example, you can visit the world-famous Blue Lagoon, where you can unwind in the spa's geothermal waters with a silica mask and a complimentary drink. Other options include a glacier hike, a snowmobile ride, a snorkeling tour, a horse-riding tour, and even a trip to an authentic ice cave.

After a fascinating drive through Iceland's most popular sites, you'll return your car rental to Reykjavik or the airport before boarding your flight home.

Please note that if there are any unexpected changes to your travel plans, you can cancel your booking up to 24 hours before departure and receive a full refund, so there's no need to worry. You'll also have a personal travel agent you can contact anytime before or during your trip.

Fill your stopover holiday in Iceland with sightseeing and exciting adventures by booking this four-day winter self-drive tour today. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Included

3 nights of accommodation
New rental car for 4 days
CDW car rental insurance
Gravel protection car insurance
Unlimited mileage
Unlimited in-car Wi-Fi
Detailed itinerary & travel plan
Personal travel agent
24/7 helpline
VAT & all taxes

Destinations

Reykjavik is the northernmost capital city in the world.Reykjavík / 2 nights
An abandoned house on the Reykjanes Peninsula presents a striking contrast against a lush green landscape.Southwest Iceland / 1 night

Map

Attractions

Þingvellir National Park is Iceland's only UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the major stops along the world famous Golden Circle sightseeing route.Thingvellir
Geysir is a dormant hot spring in the geothermal area, Haukadalur Valley, found in South Iceland.Geysir
Long-exposure photo of Gullfoss waterfall on a cloudy dayGullfoss
Þingvellir National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on Iceland’s mainland, is birthplace of the country’s parliament.Kerið
Seljalandsfoss on the South Coast of Iceland bathed in the otherworldly light of the midnight sun.Seljalandsfoss
The mighty Skógafoss waterfallSkógafoss
Reynisfjara beach and Reynisdrangar cliffs in winterReynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Arial view of Reynisdrangar and Mt. ReynisfjallReynisdrangar
Kleifarvatn is the third largest lake in Iceland.Kleifarvatn
KrýsuvíkKrýsuvík
Gunnuhver is one of the geothermal areas on the Reykjanes Peninsula.Gunnuhver

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Snorkelling
Snowmobile
Horse Riding
Sightseeing
Northern lights hunting
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Ice Caving
Self drive

Travel details

Travel dates

Travelers

Car

Car

Small car

Small car

Category
small car
Transmission
People
Large bags
Medium car

Medium car

Category
Medium
Transmission
People
Large bags
Premium car

Premium car

Category
premium car
Transmission
People
Large bags
large car

large car

Category
Large
Transmission
People
Large bags
SUV

SUV

Category
JEEPSUV
Transmission
People
Large bags

Personalize your itinerary

Day 1

Day 1 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík - Arrival day
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Day one of your winter self-drive tour in Iceland begins as you land at the Keflavik International Airport.

Your car is ready for pick-up outside the airport, with its spacious seats and free Wi-Fi. Once you've got the keys, it's time to make your way to Reykjavik, where you'll find your accommodation for the night.

On your way to Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik, you'll drive through the breathtaking landscapes of the Reykjanes Peninsula. This Icelandic peninsula is home to endless lava fields, mountains, and volcanoes by the coast that snow may cover during winter.

Some attractions to visit here are the Kleifarvatn lake, the Gunnuhver geothermal area, and the Bridge Between Continents. These geological landscapes become more magnificent in winter when ice and snow cover their surroundings.

However, the most popular destination in this region is the Blue Lagoon, a world-renowned geothermal spa known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It's 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's 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.

You can choose from the standard comfort package or the premium package, which will give you access to the lagoon, facilities, silica mud masks, and a drink you choose.

After a relaxing soak in the Blue Lagoon, you'll continue driving until you reach Reykjavik. Once in the city, you can settle into your accommodation and explore the city.

Dotted around are numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars. You can taste the country through the food and try traditional treats like 'hardfiskur' stockfish, 'hangikjot' smoked lamb, or the dairy product 'skyr.'

Relax in your city center accommodation when you're ready to retire for the evening.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 2

Day 2 – Southwest Iceland

  • Southwest Iceland
  • More
  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Geysir geothermal area
  • Gullfoss waterfall
  • Kerid Crater
  • More

Day two of your winter adventure in Iceland brings you to the Golden Circle, the most visited sightseeing route in the land of fire and ice.

Leave the city behind today and start your adventure on the road. If you'd like to begin the day by creating unforgettable memories, you can take a short drive out of the city to a horse farm where you can meet and ride the friendly Icelandic horse. 

Begin your sightseeing journey by visiting the Golden Circle. The first stop is the Thingvellir National Park, the birthplace of Iceland's parliament. Viking settlers would gather here to settle disputes and create land laws, which, in 930 AD, led to the creation of the world's longest ongoing parliament, Iceland's Althingi.

Not only is Thingvellir a historical treasure, but it's a geological wonder as it sits on a valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. As the plates move, they tear open the earth, creating huge fissures in the surrounding landscape. You can add an exciting snorkeling tour at Thingvellir during the booking process. Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

Continuing onwards, you'll move to the Geysir geothermal area. This place is the home of bubbling mud pools of unusual colors, hissing steam vents, hot springs, and erupting geysers. The most active geyser is Strokkur, which erupts every 5-10 minutes, reaching around 66 feet (20 meters).

The last part of the Golden Circle is the thunderous waterfall Gullfoss. Power and beauty are rolled into one as this double-drop waterfall tumbles 105 feet (32 meters) into a canyon. Visiting in the winter, you'll see the surroundings covered in ice, appearing frozen as if in awe of the violent water.

If you're looking for excitement today, you can detour from the Gullfoss waterfall to Langjokull glacier, where you'll race across the white expanse of snowy plains and hills on a snowmobile.

At the end of the day, make your way to your accommodation in Southwest Iceland. If the sky is clear of clouds, you can search for the beautiful northern lights before sleeping.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 3

Day 3 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
  • More
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Skogafoss waterfall
  • Reynisfjara black sand beach
  • Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks
  • More

On day three, you'll explore the wonders that line the South Coast of Iceland. The day will be filled with glaciers, waterfalls, black sand, spectacular ocean views, and adventures.

Head east to your first attraction, the magnificent Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The days are dark in Iceland during winter, and if you set out early, the sun might not be up. But don't worry, Seljalandsfoss is lit in the winter with strong lights that create a sense of drama and mystery.

You'll move on to another equally impressive waterfall, Skogafoss. This one is much wider than Seljalandsfoss and has a more classic shape, tumbling down cliffs of around 197 feet (60 meters) with a width of 82 feet (25 meters). If the sun is up by now, you might see a rainbow forming in the cascade's mist.

As you travel between these two falls, the glacier volcano Eyjafjallajokull will be visible in the north. Then, the mighty Myrdalsjokull and its outlet glacier, Solheimajokull, will start to appear further along.

At Solheimajokull, you can opt for one of two tours to better view the glacier. On a glacier hike, you can explore the massive ice cap, where a knowledgeable guide will lead you past deep crevasses and ash-covered peaks. Or, if you missed it the day before, you can go on a snowmobile tour.

Nearby is the village of Vik. This is a great place to stop and relax before returning to Reykjavik. Vik sits on the banks of the black sand beach of Reynisfjara, known for its hauntingly beautiful scenery and treacherous waves. 

As this is a self-drive tour, you're in charge of the itinerary, so you decide which amazing sites you'll visit first. 

If you're looking for an exciting way to start the day, you can head straight to the village of Vik in the morning to tour an authentic ice cave in Myrdalsjokulll glacier. Afterward, you can drive back to Reykjavik, stopping at these mesmerizing sights mentioned above.

You'll spend the night in comfortable Reykjavik accommodation.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 4

Day 4 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík - Departure day
  • More
  • Kleifarvatn
  • Krýsuvík
  • Gunnuhver
  • More

On the last day of your winter tour in Iceland, spend the day getting to know Reykjavik before you head to the airport to catch your departing flight. Ensure you arrive at a good time in Keflavik to return your vehicle and check in.

If your flight is later, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik. If you're in a sightseeing mood, you can visit the architectural wonders of Hallgrimskirkja church and Harpa Concert Hall, see the historic Parliament building, and visit the City Hall to look at a 3D map of Iceland, where you can spot all the places you explored in the past days.

While in these locations, don't forget to take as many photos as you can to commemorate the unforgettable experience.

You can also visit Laugavegur street for some last-minute shopping. This area has many boutiques and shops selling souvenirs, trinkets, and memorabilia. If not, continue strolling to the Old Harbor to see the picturesque coast.

You could also organize admission to the country's most popular exhibits, the Whales of Iceland Museum and FlyOver Iceland Experience. These immersive exhibitions offer an excellent look at Iceland's diverse landscapes and wildlife. 

If you have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you'll finish your stay unwinding before heading to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters while looking back on the incredible adventure you've just taken in the land of fire and ice.

When it's time to leave, you'll drive again through the moon-like lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula to Keflavik International Airport. We wish you a pleasant journey home and hope to see you again soon.

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Experiences

What to bring

Warm and waterproof clothes
Good shoes
Swimsuit and towel
Driver's license

Good to know

Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavik city or at Keflavik International Airport. A valid driver's license and a one-year-long on-road experience are required. Gravel protection is not included if you choose a Toyota Aygo or similar. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to better fit 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 for snorkeling or diving, and participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and, therefore, cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximize your chances to see them if the weather allows.

It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is canceled. If your chosen activity is canceled, 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 the ice caves are only accessible from October to March yearly.

This self-drive is set to take place in wintertime. Conditions in Iceland can vary significantly during that season. Snow and ice are commonplace, and Iceland has limited daylight hours. Please consider your ability to drive in winter conditions before booking this tour. If you feel insecure about driving in these conditions, we recommend a package tour instead.

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 nationwide.

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