4-Day Winter Self Drive Tour | Golden Circle, Glaciers and Black Sand Beaches

4-Day Winter Self Drive Tour | Golden Circle, Glaciers and Black Sand Beaches
Spend some time in Reykjavík on your winter self-drive tour, and get to know this vibrant city.
See the frozen surroundings of Gullfoss waterfall on your winter self-drive tour.
You can add a glacier hike on Sólaheimajökull to your self-drive tour.
On a self-drive tour, you can visit Þingvellir National Park in the evening to try and catch a glimpse of the dancing Northern Lights.
With a winter self-drive tour, you can see the frozen landscapes near Reynisfjara black sand beach.
Travel the Golden Circle on your own pace with a self-drive tour and visit Þingvellir National Park in the evening to spot the Northern Lights.

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

This self-drive tour allows you to visit some of the country’s most beautiful attractions at your own pace, providing you with the chance to see frozen waterfalls, snow-topped mountains, black sand beaches and the Northern Lights without worrying about bus schedules or impatient tour guides.

Prior to your journey, all accommodations will be sorted out for you and you will receive a personal itinerary guiding you there each night. This itinerary will also tell you about some of the region’s most popular destinations, as well as gems hidden in lava fields or under glaciers.

If you wish, you can make a visit to the world-famous Blue Lagoon where you can unwind in the spa’s geothermal waters with a silica mask and a complimentary drink. If you’d like to add more activities to this tour, you can customise your itinerary to include a glacier hike, a snowmobile ride, a snorkelling or a horse-riding tour, and even a trip to an authentic ice cave.

So don’t hesitate. Fill your stopover holiday in Iceland with sightseeing, adventures, and fun and book this 4-day winter self-drive tour now! Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Oct. - Apr.
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkelling, Hiking, Snowmobile, Horse Riding, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Ice Caving, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 2 years.
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, South Iceland, West Iceland , Reykjavík, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Þingvellir, Reykjanes, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Silfra, Þingvallavatn, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Vík í Mýrdal, Hvolsvöllur, Reynisdrangar, Öxarárfoss, Haukadalur, Capital Region, South Coast
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible

Please consult your itinerary for further information.
Included:
  • 3 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 4 days (Toyota Aygo or similar. Upgrades available)

  • CDW insurance for super budget level vehicle; other levels also include SCDW and gravel protection insurances

  • GPS system

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

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

  • Blue Lagoon Entrance (can be added during booking process)

  • Optional Excursions

  • Lunch and dinner

  • Fuel

  • Flights


What to bring:
  • Warm and waterproof clothes

  • Good shoes

  • Swimsuit and towel

  • 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.

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.

This self-drive is set to take place at wintertime. Conditions in Iceland can vary greatly 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.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Iceland


Start your adventure in Iceland by visiting the Blue Lagoon, nestled in a jet-black lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula.


Your car will await you at Keflavík International Airport when you arrive in the country. Once you’ve got the keys, it is time to make your way to Reykjavík City where you will find your accommodations for the night.

En route, you will drive through the dark lava field of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Nestled in the ink-black lava is the world-famous Blue Lagoon Spa. If you are not in a hurry to explore the city, you can stop at there to unwind in the warm, azure waters, surrounded by the rugged, moon-like landscapes of the peninsula.

Once in Reykjavík, you can settle into your accommodations and start exploring the city. Dotted around are numerous restaurants, cafés and bars. You can get a taste of the country through the food and try some traditional treats like ‘harðfiskur’ stockfish, ‘hangikjöt’ smoked lamb, or the dairy product ‘skyr’.


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.

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 - Winter Wonders on the Golden Circle


Power and beauty are rolled into one at Gullfoss waterfall, located on the Golden Circle route.


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. These creatures are both gentle and intelligent, so this tour is suitable for both beginner and expert riders alike.

Begin your sightseeing journey by visiting the Golden Circle. First stop is Þingvellir National Park, the birthplace of Iceland’s parliament. Viking settlers would gather here to settle disputes and create the laws of the land which, in 930 AD, lead to the creation of the world’s longest ongoing parliament, Iceland’s Alþingi.

Not only is Þingvellir a historical treasure, but it is a geological wonder as it is not located on the North American nor the Eurasian tectonic plates, but in a valley between. As the plates move, they tear open the earth, creating huge fissures in the surrounding landscape.

One of those fissures is called Peningagjá or ‘coin fissure’ as people throw coins in it for luck, but the most famous one is Silfra. The crystal-clear waters of Silfra have made it a popular spot for snorkelers and today; you’ll have the option of taking a snorkelling tour where you swim in the glacial water that fills the fissure.

Continuing onwards, you’ll move to Geysir geothermal area. Aside from being steeped in history, this place is the home of bubbling mud pools of unusual colours, hissing steam vents, hot springs and erupting geysers! The most active geyser is Strokkur which erupts every 5-10 minutes, reaching a height of around 20 metres.

The last part of the Golden Circle is the thunderous waterfall Gullfoss. Here you’ll find power and beauty rolled into one as this double-drop waterfall tumbles down 32 metres into an ancient canyon. Visiting in the winter, you’ll see the surroundings covered in ice, appearing frozen as in awe of the violent water.

If you are looking for excitement today, you can take a tour from Gullfoss waterfall to Langjökull glacier where you race across the white expanse on a snowmobile, zipping past snowy hills with the mountain air in your lungs and adrenaline surging in your veins.

At the end of the day, make your way to the town of Hvolsvöllur where you’ll find your accommodations for the night. If the sky is clear of clouds, you can go searching for the beautiful Northern Lights before going to bed.


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

Hellishólar Guesthouse is a 2-star hotel located a few kilometres east of Hvolsvöllur, in the direction of 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 - Glacier Adventures on the South Coast


Mýrdalsgjökull's glacier peaks are covered in black ash from past volcanic eruptions.


Today, 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 the wintertime, and if you set out early, the sun might not be up. But don’t worry, Seljalandsfoss is lit up in the winter with strong lights that create a sense of drama and mystery around it.

From there, you’ll move on to another, equally impressive falls, Skógafoss. This one is much wider than Seljalandsfoss and has a more classic shape, tumbling down cliffs of around 60 metres with a width of 25 metres. If the sun is up by now, you might see a rainbow or two forming in the cascade’s mist.

As you travel between these two falls, the glacier volcano Eyjafjallajökull will be visible in the north. Then, further along, the mighty Mýrdalsjökull glacier will start to appear. You can stop at Mýrdalsjökull’s outlet glacier, Sólheimajökull, where you can view the unique landscapes created by glacial erosion and volcanic eruptions.

At Sólheimajökull, you can opt for one of two tours so you can get a better view of the glacier. You can explore the massive ice cap on a glacier hike 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 Vík. This is a great place to stop and relax before your journey back to Reykjavík. Vík sits on the banks of the black sand beach of Reynisfjara, known for its hauntingly beautiful scenery and treacherous waves. Surrounding the beach are cliffs made of columns that form strange geometric patterns in the rock walls, and out in the ocean rise the massive sea stacks of Reynisdrangar.

As this is a self-drive tour, you are in charge of the itinerary, so you decide which of these amazing sites you’ll visit first. If you are looking for an exciting way to start the day, you can head straight to the village of Vík in the morning to take a tour of an authentic ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Afterwards, you can drive back to Reykjavík, stopping at these mesmerising sights mentioned above.


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.

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 - Reykjavik City and Departure


Spend the day getting to know the city of Reykjavík on your self-drive tour.


Spend the day getting to know Reykjavík city before you head to the airport to catch your departing flight. Just make sure that you arrive in good time in Keflavík to return your vehicle and check in.

If you are in a sightseeing mood, you can visit the architectural wonders of Hallgrímskirkja church and Harpa Concert Hall, see the historic Parliament building, and visit City Hall to look at a 3D map of Iceland where you can try and spot all the places you just visited in the past days.

You can also visit some of the city’s many museums. Check out the National Museum to learn about the heritage and history of Iceland, from the settlement age to present day, or Árbær Open Air Museum, which is a display of ancient Icelandic houses, providing insight into the daily lives of Icelanders before industrialisation.

Scattered around the city and neighbouring towns are also many speciality museums centred around whales, natural history, glaciers, and even punk music.

When it is time to leave, you’ll drive again through the moon-like lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula to Keflavík International Airport. Have a nice flight, and we hope to see you soon.


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. For budget and comfort 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). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. 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.

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.

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

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, Comfort 4x4 and Luxury 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. In wintertime, all cars have winter tyres. For winter driving, we highly recommend a Comfort level 4x4 vehicle or Luxury 4x4 to combat possible heavy winter conditions.

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.

Budget

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.

Luxury 4x4

A large sized 4WD (4x4) jeep such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all travelling. This vehicle has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads. Note that off-road driving is illegal.


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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4-Day Winter Self Drive Tour | Golden Circle, Glaciers and Black Sand Beaches
 
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