Book this 5-day self drive tour to visit Iceland's most famous attractions. On your trip, you'll visit some incredible places, including the Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, Reynisfjara black sand beach, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and many of Iceland's most famous waterfalls. Self drive tours are perfect for those wanting to take the wheel and have full control over your journey, without having to worry about tour groups and guides.
You'll travel in full comfort throughout your trip. All lodgings will have an ensuite bathroom, and breakfast will always be included, so you will be able to rest comfortably between your days of adventure.
On the first day, collect your car and head to the capital city, Reykjavik. You'll have the evening to decompress from your flight and settle in. If you like, you can relax at the world-famous Blue Lagoon before you go ahead to the city. Bathing in the tranquil azure waters amid a volcanic landscape can be the perfect start to your trip, and a great introduction to Iceland.
You'll begin the proper adventure on the second day, by driving around the world-famous Golden Circle. You're in the driver's seat, so spend the day doing what you'd like. Visit the foundation of Icelandic history, Þingvellir, see the geysers and enjoy the famous Golden Waterfall, Gullfoss. Take your time at each destination to experience the true wonders of the Golden Circle in the best way.
Further along on your trip, you will travel alongside the infamous glacier and volcano Eyjafjallajökull, and past the stunning Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. The highlight of the South Coast is the otherworldly Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where you can sail among enormous icebergs, and walk along the rugged black sand shores of the Diamond Beach. Often referred to as the crown jewel of Iceland, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon will leave you amazed by the genuinely awe-inspiring moving icebergs. If you're lucky, you may also spot some seals resting in the lagoon.
A boat trip around the glacier lagoon is just one option you can add to your stay. You can also go horse riding, glacier hiking, snowmobiling, and even take a trip inside the ice caves. All these adventures are at your fingertips and promise lasting memories of your arctic holiday.
We understand that you are visiting Iceland to experience nature at its best, and to escape the city and its crowds. That is why we have included hidden gems and spectacular attractions not known to many others on this tour. The itinerary we'll provide you with will ensure you don't miss a thing. This will help you uncover some of the more secret natural wonders of Iceland.
So don't hesitate to jump on this opportunity to see some of Iceland's best attractions in 5 days!
Check availability by choosing a date and book your Iceland adventure.
Pick up your car from the friendly staff at Keflavik International Airport after landing, and begin your excitement-packed vacation in Iceland. To reach Reykjavík, you will drive through the charred and blackened lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula and will be left in no doubt as to why it was used to train American astronauts before the moon landing. Iceland is not only foreign, it is otherworldly.
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 colours 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.
When you are ready, head for your accommodation in the city. Even though it is small, Reykjavík is a vibrant and busy place. You can visit the unique boutiques, dine at one of the fresh seafood restaurants, enjoy a hot drink at a gourmet coffee shop or a craft beer at a local bar. Since you're in Iceland during summertime, make the most of the midnight sun and stroll around the streets of Reykjavík late into the night.
To get the most out of today, have an early start and head out of the city to see some of the most famous sites in the country.
Starting with the ever-popular Golden Circle route, your first stop is the Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO heritage site where the parliament of Iceland was founded in 930 AD. The area stands atop of the tectonic rift, where the great continental plates of Europe and America clash together.
They push and pull at each other constantly, forming a landscape of torn clefts and fissures, surrounded by lava fields. They also gave birth to Þingvallavatn - the largest lake in Iceland. There you can visit the Silfra fissure and go for an optional snorkelling tour if you like, or simply walk along the Almannagjá gorge and stand at the same place as the lawmakers of old.
Your next stop is the valley Haukadalur. Home of the Haukdælir clan in the historical era of the Sagas, this valley is now best known for its massive hot springs. The largest one, Geysir, lends its name to all geysers in the English language.
The powerful nearby geyser, Strokkur, erupts every few minutes and can explode up to 60 m (197 ft) high. All around, geysers of all sizes spew mineral-rich water over the clay, turning the terrain different shades of brown and red.
Your last stop of the Golden Circle is the magnificent waterfall, Gullfoss. This beautiful feature lies in the glacial river Hvítá and has a drop of more than 30 m (98 ft). Gullfoss, "The Golden Waterfall", is much loved by the locals as one of Iceland's most impressive waterfalls. From here, you can choose to opt into a snowmobiling tour.
If neither snowmobiling nor snorkelling appeal to you, you may instead opt into a horse-riding tour, to meet the charming Icelandic horse.
Your accommodation for the night will be near the village Hvolsvöllur.
The journey continues eastwards. You will pass over the black sands of Sólheimajökull glacier where you'll have the option to go either snowmobiling or glacier hiking, before reaching the small but famous fishing village of Vík. There you can opt for an exciting tour to Mýrdalsjökull glacier where you visit a stunning ice cave, the only one of its kind accessible during the summers.
Near Vík is the awe-inspiring black sand beach Reynisfjara, where the tall rock stacks keep guard over the North Atlantic ocean. The beach also sports a cliff face of distinctive hexagonal basalt columns. The waves here can sneak up on you and drag you out to sea if you come to close, so it's good to always keep at least a 20-metre distance from the sea.
The next highlight is the Skaftafell nature reserve, nestled under the largest glacier in Iceland, Vatnajökull. Skaftafell, part of Vatnajökull National Park, has a wide array of walking paths and hikes of various mobility and difficulty levels. Among them we highly recommend the 5 km walk to Svartifoss waterfall, hidden in a canyon above the Visitors Centre.
Driving away from the impressive glacier tongues of Skaftafell, you will reach the crown jewel of Iceland's natural wonders - Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. This lagoon is well known for the massive icebergs which have broken away from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier above and now float in it. Home to seals and fish, the lagoon is also teeming with life.
The black sand beach across the bridge has earned the nickname The Diamond Beach due to the broken chunks of ice that rest on the dark sand, like precious stones sparkling on black satin.
You will spend the night in the breathtaking Vatnajökull National Park area.
Start the day by exploring Jökulsárlón further. The lagoon and nearby Diamond Beach constantly change their display of natural beauty. Every day is different, and there are always new scenes to see and new opportunities for a flawless photograph.
A highly recommended option in summertime is to take a boat ride on the lagoon before heading back to the capital; you can choose between a little zodiac or a larger amphibious vessel. Glacier hiking back in Skaftafell is also a possibility.
On your way back to Reykjavík, you can stop anywhere that you perhaps missed on the previous day.
One recommended stop is the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon near the village of Klaustur, which offers a short hike to a green oasis straight from a fairytale. Near the black sand beach Reynisfjara, head for the "door-hole" mountain, Dyrhólaey where you might spot an adorable puffin or two.
The small lighthouse at the top of Dyrhólaey is no less charming from a distance. Another worthy stop is the Seljavallalaug pool, hidden in a mountain crevasse, and one of the oldest swimming pools in the country.
When you are back in the city, you will have the chance to spend your last evening basking in Nordic culture. You may want to visit the Harpa Concert Hall and enjoy the view, check out the 3D large map of Iceland inside City Hall or some of the late-open museums, or relax at one of the local jazz hotspots or in a local hot tub.
It's already your last day! But don't worry, you can always come back. And if you feel like staying longer and extending the trip, just let us know, and we will arrange it for you.
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.
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 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.
Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing.
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. 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. 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.
Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A medium sized 4WD (4x4) jeep or SUV such as a Toyota Rav4, or similar. Comfortably fit up to 4 travellers 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.
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.
A large 9-seater van such as a Renault Trafic (2WD manual), Mercedes Benz Vito (4WD automatic, has highland capabilities and better suited for winter driving), or similar. Comfortable for 5 to 7 travellers. If seated full, luggage space is limited. The driver must be of 23 years of age or above.
You can now add meals to your booking. Select to include dinner on every night as an optional extra, and we will provide you with vouchers as part of your booking confirmation. We will choose from top-rated restaurants that fit with your vacation itinerary and make your reservations for you. At the restaurant, you will be offered a set menu, from which you can choose from meat, fish or vegetarian options. If you would prefer something else, the voucher will act as a credit that you can redeem at the restaurant against menu items that are not part of the set menu. Please notify the restaurant on arrival about any dietary requirements. Vouchers are non-refundable.
This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person. The cancellation must be made more than 48 hours before the listed starting time on your voucher. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org and declare full cancellation. Please note that this insurance covers the cancellation of the whole tour or package. Individual services cannot be cancelled and refunded separately, but are all covered and refunded in case of a full cancellation.