5 Day Self Drive Tour | Reykjavik, Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

5 Day Self Drive Tour | Reykjavik, Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Skógafoss waterfall surrounded by lush flora on Iceland's South Coast.
As you travel the Golden Circle trail on your self-drive tour, you'll see the erupting geyser Strokkur at Geysir geothermal area.
The midnight sun painting the sky above Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon orange and yellow.
Spend some time in the city of Reykjavík on your self-drive tour.
The birth of Iceland's parliament, Alþingi, is at Þingvellir National Park which is located on the Golden Circle route.
At Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Vatnajökull National Park, you can hike up to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall.
4.8
Based on 24 traveller reviews

Book this self-drive tour and visit Iceland's most famous attractions, including the Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, Reynisfjara black sand beach, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and many of Iceland's most famous waterfalls. Having your own car gives you the freedom to explore the most popular destinations of Iceland the way you would like, without having to worry about a tour guide or others in your group.

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. 

You'll begin the proper adventure on the second day, by driving around the 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.

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 great icebergs, and walk along where they have stranded at the nearby Diamond Beach.

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 on a trip inside the ice caves. All these adventures are at your fingertips, and if reserved with the tour booking, they come at a special, discounted price, to help you add more excitement to 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.

So don't hesitate; jump on this opportunity to see some of Iceland's best attractions in just five days! Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Apr. - Aug.
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkelling, Snowmobile, Horse Riding, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Hot Spring Bathing, Bird watching, Ice Caving, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, Reykjavík, Jökulsárlón, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Dyrhólaey, Þingvellir, Krýsuvík, Strokkur, Reykjanes, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Silfra, Reykjadalur, Hveragerði, Þingvallavatn, Höfn, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Langjökull, Kleifarvatn, Gunnuhver, Vík í Mýrdal, Svartifoss, Hvolsvöllur, Kerið, Gljufrabui, Keflavik International Airport, Fjaðrárgljúfur, Reynisdrangar, Öxarárfoss, Haukadalur, Faxi, Capital Region, Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Seljavallalaug, Breiðamerkurjökull, South Coast, Diamond Beach
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible.

Included:
  • 4 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included. More detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 5 days (VW Polo or similar. Upgrades available)

  • CDW, SCDW and gravel protection insurance for vehicle

  • 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 entry ticket (can be added during booking process)

  • Dinner

  • Lunch

  • Gas


What to bring:
  • Warm Clothes

  • Hiking Shoes

  • Swimsuit and towel


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 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.

If you book the extra activities alongside this tour, you will get them at a lower price.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival Day - Welcome to Iceland


Make the most of the midnight sun and visit some of Reykjavíks many restaurants, cafés and bars in the evening.


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.

If you aren't desperate to get to Reykjavík, you can head to the Blue Lagoon, which is en route. The warm azure water is renowned for its healing properties, as is the natural silica mud you can use as a revitalising face mask. The Blue Lagoon invigorates both your body and mind, preparing you for your road trip adventure.

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.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

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 - Golden Circle Trails


The midnight sun lights up the nights in Iceland so you can visit the Golden Circle in the evening on your self-drive tour.


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.


Preferred accommodation by Hvolsvöllur

Hvolsvöllur Comfort

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 is included.

Hvolsvöllur Quality

Hotel Rangá is a 4-star hotel situated between the towns 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 - Black Sands and White Glaciers


Travel the South Coast of Iceland with a summer self-drive tour, and see black sands, white glaciers and green flora.


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.


Preferred accommodation by Jökulsárlón and Höfn

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Comfort

Hotel Höfn is a 3-star hotel centrally located in the town Höfn. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Quality

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is a 4-star hotel located right between Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Ocean or mountain views. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 4 - Ice Wonderland


Visit the beautiful Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon on a summer self-drive tour, and witness icebergs floating peacefully on the freezing water.


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.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

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 5 - Departure Day


Unwind in the warm, azure waters of the Blue Lagoon before your flight home.


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. Also, if you didn't make it to the Blue Lagoon on your first day, then now is your chance to visit.

Take your car to the airport for drop-off and make sure you're there at least two hours before departure. If you have some extra time, you could make a short visit to the Krýsuvík geothermal area by the Kleifarvatn lake, or stop by the Gunnuhver hot spring on your way to the airport.

Until next time, safe flight!


Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. 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.

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, maximum two years of age, and come equipped with a GPS, CDW, GP, and SCDW insurances. You can also upgrade to an automatic model.

Budget

A small 2WD vehicle fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions, such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.

Comfort 4X4

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

Luxury 4x4

A large sized jeep with 4WD (4x4) such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all traveling. This vehicle has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads.


Cancellation Insurance

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 info@guidetoiceland.is 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.


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I truly can not give this company a high enough review. After a few travel books/sites and talking to some friends, we were a little overwhelmed with trying to figure out a plan for travel. Guide to Iceland and our coordinator, Anna, were simply perfect! Every detail was taken care of and everything was exactly as described! We will use this company again!!
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We had such an amazing time on our Self Drive Tour of Iceland. We did the Ring Road along the southern coast, from Reykjavik to Hofn, in 5 days. Guide to Iceland takes care of everything for you - including the insurance you need for the rental car, which was my biggest concern! All hotels were easy to check into, and breakfast was included with our package which is huge on an island where food prices are at a premium. The itinerary was easy to follow and GPS coordinates were accurate. Our agent was very responsive when I had questions during planning. And the best part is, we got to do Iceland on our time. We spent as much or as little time at the sites as we wanted, without having to be rushed to get back to a tour bus, and it was our honeymoon so we didn't necessarily want to be on a tour with a bunch of people we didn't know. We could pick the excursions we wanted (the glacier lagoon boat tour was phenomenal!). We had the freedom and flexibility to make the trip our own. I can't wait to come back to Iceland do another Self Drive Tour of other areas of the country and I would recommend using Guide to Iceland to anyone planning a trip to this beautiful country! Do NOT miss Gullfoss, it is breathtaking. Thank you again to our travel agent Anna for her help!
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Love the ice cave tour guide Bessie, he is by far our best tour guide ever. He made the entire tour unforgettable and fun! All other tour we join after becomes dull after. please do let him know we enjoyed all his jokes and activities! Cheers,
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We can highly recommend this trip, which we absolutely enjoyed. We bought the "cheaper" package with lower budget hotels, and low budget car - and it was absolutely fine. All the hotels were clean, easy to find and had great breakfast and facilities. They were also very well located according to the trip, we had planned. We also found that is was easy getting around with GPS-coordinates. We choose to do two activities (snorkling in Silfra and a Gletscher Hike), and for us that was a nice balance between having two days with planned activities and one day that was free (you have travel days as well). We can highly recommend snorkling in Silfra as well - absolutely amazing experience - The Gletscher Hike was a bit too easy for us. Not much of a hike, but fun to do if you are a family. Lots of breaks and picture time during the hike: ) Overall five stars from us - We had the best time!
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We really enjoyed our tour. The onltcriticism would be that some backing was required on day three but that was not a big issue. Otherwise the trip worked very week.
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Would highly recommend Guide to Iceland! We did the 5 day driving tour and absolutely loved it! The GPS coordinates were great and made it easy to find places along the route. The hotel in Hofn was a bit out of the way from the other points of interests, but it allowed us to see another part of the island so we didn't mind the extra driving. We would definitely recommend Guide to Iceland!
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My wife and children traveled using the self driving tour package. There is no way that we would have seen as much as we did have we chosen to do things in our own. This tour was absolutely worth it and we highly recommend it to anyone wanting to experience great sights in Iceland. It gave us the freedom to move at our own pace with the option to see as much as possible. Accommodations were comfortable and easy to locate using the GPS and the provided coordinates. The car rental was hassle free and they were very easy to work with (we recommend to rent a hot-spot for personal wi-fi use as it came on handy on some of the most remote parts of the island). Overall, it was a great experience.
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My son and I made a last minute decision to book a trip to Iceland and contacted a few companies trying to pull something together. Came across Guide to Iceland during a Google search and contacted them 9 days before our departure date. They were awesome and did an incredible job of pulling together our itinerary and all our hotels and activities for this 5 day trip. We packed in a lot for such a short trip and when we decided to try to throw in a Puffin Boat trip on the last day we contacted the Guide to Iceland office in Reykjavic they emailed us options within 5 minutes. Loved the detailed itinerary and the GPS coordinates for every location. Everything worked out exactly as they described. Great trip if you only have a short amount of time in Iceland and want to hit the highlights. Highly recommended and will definitely refer friends to this company.
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We did a tour from Thursday PM to Sunday AM, which wasn’t long enough to do all the suggested sights. But what we saw and did was great. The only change I would have made was the final hotel location down in the south east which was too far to go in such a short time. On the Saturday we did the ice cave tour and then the rest of the day was driving to Reykjavík so I think we shouldn’t have gone further than Vik on this trip. It also meant we didn’t spend any daylight hours in Reykjavik. Aside from that we certain.ly saw a lot and the landscape even during the drive was worth seeing.
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We did the 5 day tour and what a tour it was! We did not get to see everything that we originally intended due to limited daylight and an excursion which took up the time we would have spent exploring the Golden Circle. All that aside we really enjoyed it. On our first day on the road we encountered the majestic fury of an Icelandic wind storm. It gave us a deep respect for this country's elements. We were scheduled to sleep in Vik but the road was closed due to "Violent winds". We called the Guide to Iceland 24 hour service and they guided us to a hotel that was close and refunded us the money we originally spent for the Vik hotel. We were flexible in our travel outlook and were pleasantly suprised to find that our new hotel had a perfect view of the volcano at Eyjafjallajökull that erupted in 2010. Our main hope was to see the Northern lights but that didnt happen either. All in all in was an awesome experience. My advice: Have a plan, but be flexible and willing to ditch the plan if need be. This magical land has a way all of it's own of turning your expectations on it's head. But I gaurantee your experience of Iceland will be one of memories that last a lifetime.
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