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

Based on 2 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 whale watching, horse riding, glacier hiking, snowmobiling, caving and even on a trip inside the ice caves.

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.

Should you wish to explore Iceland in a more economical way, you can book the budget-friendly self-drive package with the same itinerary by clicking here: 5 Day Self Drive South Coast Tour on a Budget | The Golden Circle & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

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: All year
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkelling, Caving, Snowmobile, Horse Riding, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Northern lights hunting, Hot Spring Bathing, Bird watching, Ice Caving, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, Reykjavík, Jökulsárlón, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Black Sand Beach - Reynisfjara, Vík i Mýrdal, Thingvellir, South Coast
Pickup information:
  • Starting 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

  • Blue Lagoon standard entrance (upgrades available)

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

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

  • Dinner

  • Lunch

  • Gas


What to bring:
  • Warm Clothes

  • Swimsuit & 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.

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximise your chances to see them if weather allows. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.

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.

Please note that this tour is available all year. If you are arriving in winter, we recommend that you opt for an upgrade to a 4x4 vehicle.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival Day - Welcome to Iceland


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


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 know 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.

If you're in Iceland during wintertime, don't forget to search the skies for any Northern Light activity, or if you're here during summertime, make the most of the midnight sun.


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 and South Coast Waterfalls


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


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.

During summertime only, it's possible to go inside a volcano before your drive of the Golden Circle.

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 BCE. 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 snorkeling 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. 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 - Black Sands and White Glaciers


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


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 but dangerous 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 within 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


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


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. In winter, between November and March, it's possible to add an ice cave visit. Glacier hiking back in Skaftafell is also a possibility, both in winter and summer. 

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.

You can stand on the beach below and admire its cutest residents - chubby puffins with their colourful beaks. (Hiking on Dyrhólaey in summer is closed, due to the many puffins who colonise there!)

The small lighthouse at the top 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


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


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 it can easily be scheduled for this day instead.

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. Single person bookings will be arranged in a single room, while bookings of 2 or more people will share twin/double room(s) or triple room(s). Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available hotels and guesthouses 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. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. The sooner you reserve the higher quality accommodation we can provide. Press choose a date at the top 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, free of charge.

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.


Map


Reviews

Most excellent; aside from two weather related cancellations ( One of which was easily rebooked )

We LOVED our trip.. everything went smoothly with the car rental and hotels. I would not hesitate to do another trip with Guide to Iceland, hopefully next year with some friends.

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