Summer 6 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland

Based on 1 traveller reviews

Drive the whole circle around Iceland in only six days! If you don't have much time but still want to see as much of Iceland as possible, then this trip around the country is your best bet. It involves a lot of driving, but you are behind the wheel, and can forget about the pressures of tour guides and other group members. 

To make your holiday relaxing as well as adventurous, you will lodge in full comfort with an ensuite bathroom and breakfast included around Iceland, so you can be certain that you will rest well between days of adventure.

On this trip, you will get to enjoy Iceland's most famous highlights, such as the Golden Circle, the Blue Lagoon, Reykjavík, and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. If you wish to avoid the crowds as well, however, to enjoy Iceland's peaceful, secluded places, you are in luck; you will receive a custom itinerary after you book, which will show you locations off the beaten path where you can truly get back in touch with nature.

You'll see many impressive waterfalls, geothermal areas, volcanoes, lakes, glaciers and charismatic Icelandic towns as you travel. The south, east, north, and west are all dramatically different from each other, so instead of focusing on one area, you'll get to know it all, one region after another.

Make the most of the long summer days and start early in the mornings and finish late at night. You should feel more energetic in the constant sunshine, and even if you do not, the spectacular scenery and beautiful fresh air will jolt your senses awake.  

During the booking process, you can also add more exciting activities to fill the sunny days, such as cruising the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, buzzing along an ice cap on a snowmobile, descend into a stunning ice cave, or hiking the glacier at Skaftafell. You can even take a tandem paragliding flight over the incredible south coast! 

Jump on this opportunity to see all parts of Iceland in record time! Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: May. - Sep.
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Hiking, Snowmobile, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Bird watching, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajokull, Goðafoss, Dettifoss, Skógafoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Þingvellir, Hraunfossar, Deildartunguhver, Skaftafell, Höfn, Black Sand Beach - Reynisfjara, Vík i Mýrdal, Egilsstaðir, Fjaðrárgljúfur, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Reynisdrangar, Hvítserkur, Lake Myvatn, Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, South Coast, Ring Road
Pickup information:
  • Starting time : Flexible

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

  • Vehicle for 6 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

  • Fuel

  • Dinner

  • Lunch


What to bring:
  • Driver's license

  • Camera

  • Swimsuit

  • Warm clothes


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.

Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Reykjavík


Summer 6 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland


After arriving at Keflavík, pick up your car and head towards Iceland's capital, Reykjavík. It's only a 45-minute drive from the airport, and on the way, you'll pass by the famous Blue Lagoon.

You can choose to bathe in healing, azure waters of the Lagoon on your arrival day, or leave it until your last day if you just wish to get into the city. 

Explore the museums, restaurants, and nightlife of Reykjavík city, and get a good sleep at a cozy hotel in the centre of town before hitting the road early next morning.


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 - Reykjavík to Lake Mývatn


Summer 6 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland


Start your road trip by heading north, towards Akureyri, the capital of the North.

Although you will be driving for longer today than on any other day, there are many little side tours you can take en route. For example, it is only a short detour to the impressive Hvítserkur rock, which rises 15 m (50 ft) tall from the ocean in the shape of an elephant (if you're looking at the right angle). 

The charming town of Akureyri has plenty of things to check out, such as an impressive church, a vibrant main street, a botanical garden featuring over 700 species, and a great swimming pool. After spending some time exploring, continue towards Lake Mývatn. On your way, you'll see the mighty Goðafoss waterfall and some impressive geothermal areas.

You'll want plenty of time at Lake Mývatn, as it is known for its impressive beauty. If you have time, it is highly recommended you look at Dimmuborgir lava fields, also known as the Dark Fortress, and the hot spring cave of Grjótagjá. You can also soak in the Mývatn Nature Baths if you feel like doing something relaxing in the late evening.

The time is no problem; they stay open until midnight in the summertime. Spend your night in Lake Mývatn or the town of Akureyri.

PLEASE NOTE: Today consists of approximately 6 hours of driving!


Preferred accommodation by Mývatn

Mývatn Comfort

Hotel Gigur is a 2 star hotel on the southern side of Lake Mývatn, right next to Skútustaðagígar pseudo craters. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Mývatn Quality

Hotel Laxá is a 3 star hotel on the southern side of Lake Mývatn, with great views over the lake. Modern private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 3 - Lake Mývatn to Southeast Iceland


Summer 6 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland


Spend the first part of your day exploring the gorgeous area around Lake Mývatn, the Námaskarð geothermal area, and the magnificent Dettifoss waterfall before continuing towards Egilsstaðir, the capital of the East. This drive will take you through the magnificent East Fjords, which have many spectacular vistas and a wealth of wildlife, including puffins, reindeer, and seals.

Near Egilsstaðir is Iceland's largest forest, Hallormsstaðaskógur, and the lush and popular camping spot, Atlavík, both of which are must-stop locations for avid birdwatchers. There is also a serene lake that contains Iceland's most famous monster, the Wyrm of Lagarfljót, a much older cousin to Nessie in Scotland's Loch Ness.

After enjoying these areas, drive to a quaint village in southeast Iceland such as Höfn, where you will spend the night.

PLEASE NOTE: Today consists of approximately 5 hours of driving!


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 - Southeast Iceland to Vík


Summer 6 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland


Begin your day by heading south to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon from your accommodation. If you are staying at, or driving through, Höfn, be sure to enjoy the views here of the stark Mt. Vestrahorn and the glistening Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier in Europe.

When you reach the glacier lagoon, nestled into the south side of Vatnajökull, you will see why it is such a popular attraction; the icebergs, breaking from the glacier and sailing across the water, are incredibly beautiful. Take your time exploring the lagoon and the nearby Diamond Beach, where huge pieces of crystal clear ice strand on the black, volcanic sand, sparkling in the sunlight like jewels. If you like, you can go on an optional boat tour of the lagoon before continuing your journey along the south coast of Iceland. You can jump on a zodiac, or an amphibious vessel. 

Make sure you stop at Skaftafell Nature Reserve after you move along, and try out their numerous hiking trails. If you feel energised, take the longer trail to the impressive waterfall Svartifoss, which rushes down unique, hexagonal basalt columns. If you are feeling adventurous, you can opt into a glacier hike here.

Continue to drive to the stunning canyon Fjaðrárgljúfur, perhaps with a stop for dinner at the charming town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. From there, you will keep driving through an impressive diversity of landscape towards Vík, where you'll have a view of the sea stacks Reynisdrangar, and where you will spend the night.

PLEASE NOTE: Today consists of approximately 4.5 hours of driving!


Preferred accommodation by Vík

Vík Comfort

Hotel Katla is a 3 star country hotel that's situated 5km to the east of Vík. Comfortable private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a hot tub and a sauna. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Vík Quality

Icelandair Hotel Vík is a 3 star hotel centrally located in Vík. Stylish private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Ocean or cliff views from each room. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 5 - Vík to Reykjavík


Summer 6 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland


A little further on from Vík you'll reach Dyrhólaey and Reynisfjara beach, where you'll have an impressive view of long stretches of a black sand, all the way down the coast towards the nearby glacier Mýrdalsjökull. You can opt for an ice cave tour to Mýrdalsjökull glacier that departs from Vík.

There are many interesting geological features along Reynisfjara beach, and it is a popular place for watching puffins; just be cautious of the waves here, as they are notoriously unpredictable and dangerous.

After you have enjoyed the beach, keep going west along the south coast. Admire the beauty of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, before driving to Iceland's most popular tourist attractions, Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area, and Þingvellir National Park, otherwise known as the Golden Circle. Each of these sites is world famous for a reason, and none of them should be missed.

If you want to soak in a warm pool as well, you will want to stop by the Secret Lagoon, in the town of Flúðir; alternatively, you could bask in the warm waters of the Fontana Spa at Laugarvatn. 

There are three different tours you an opt into on this day; another glacier hike or a snowmobiling tour on Sólheimajökull, and even a tandem flight.

After an eventful day, head back to Reykjavík where you'll spend your last night.

PLEASE NOTE: Today consists of approximately 4 hours of driving!


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 6 - Departure Day


Summer 6 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland


Unwind in Reykjavík after a long, but incredibly satisfying, road trip. You may choose to go on an optional whale watching tour if you'd like one last glimpse of Iceland's incredible environment, or you can pamper yourself in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon if you have not been already.

Return your car at Keflavík and have a great flight back home, full of memories of Iceland.


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

The diversity of the landscape was totally amazing. Lush green meadows, gorgeous mountains, waterfalls and then this other worldly barren lands and lava fields. It was a fantastic trip with gorgeous views and landscapes that the camera couldn't even begin to capture! A fantastic experience with a great itinerary highlighting many of the wonderful sites along the route.

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