Incredible 6-Day 4x4 Self-Drive Camping Trip along Iceland's Kjolur Highland Road

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Description

Summary

Tour starts
Keflavík Airport
Combination details
3 day tour
Available
July - Sept.
Minimum age
None

Description

Book this trip to immerse yourself in Iceland's incredible and diverse nature. In six days, this camping adventure takes you through the Icelandic wilderness around the Golden Circle, along the Kjolur highland road, and up to the glacier Langjokull.

Not only will you save money by camping, but you'll also be waking up in some of this country's most beautiful spots. These locations provide a wealth of incredible hiking and photo opportunities you cannot get on any other tour. 

You'll be driving a 4x4 vehicle with a rooftop tent. Best of all, you control where you'll go and how fast you'll get there by doing the driving. There's no need to worry about tour guides, departure times, or other group members on a self-drive camping holiday.

By booking this tour, you'll avoid spending weeks planning that perfect Iceland itinerary. We've already covered the planning part to save you from all the hassle.

Organizing your trip may sound exciting, but you risk missing out on some of the best attractions. By letting us handle the planning, we'll ensure that all the essential stops you need to see and experience during your self-drive tour are included.

You'll receive a detailed personal itinerary after you book to help you maximize your camping freedom. It will guide you to locations known only to a few and allow you to see Iceland at its best: ancient, wild, and awe-inspiring. 

Of course, you'll get to see the popular destinations too, but the itinerary will help you find peace away from the crowds. Moreover, our packages come with a personal travel agent you can contact any time of the day, seven days a week.

This tour, in particular, will help you find the solitude most travelers to this country desire. The Kjolur highland road is only accessible in summer, so take advantage of the peaceful time you'll get from the rugged highlands while the midnight sun shines above. Iceland's eerie lunar landscape will lend you tranquility and beauty you cannot find anywhere else.

Add activities to your tour during the booking process to create the custom vacation you have always dreamt of. These options include horse-riding, snorkeling, snowmobiling, caving, and even entering man-made tunnels carved into the side of Langjokull glacier.

These extra stops add to why people love this self-drive camping trip that has earned high ratings and positive reviews. It's also one of the easiest tours, perfect for guests of all ages.

Should you wish to cancel your trip for any reason, you may do so for free and get a full refund 24 hours before departure.

Take advantage of this Icelandic camping opportunity of a lifetime. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Included

5 nights of accommodation
Continental breakfast on all days
New rental car for 6 days
CDW car rental insurance
Gravel protection car insurance
Unlimited mileage
Unlimited in-car Wi-Fi
Detailed itinerary & travel plan
Personal travel agent
24/7 helpline
VAT & all taxes

Activities

Snorkelling
Caving
Hiking
Snowmobile
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Self drive

Daily itinerary

Day 1
The Sun Voyager sculpture is a great example of Reykjavík's fine art, overlooking the bay of Faxaflói from the capital's coast.

Day 1 - Arrival in Reykjavik

Welcome to Iceland!

Begin your exciting Icelandic adventure by picking up your bags and car at the Keflavik International Airport and heading out to the dark lava field of the Reykjanes Peninsula. You'll drive through these lunar-like landscapes on your way to Iceland's capital, Reykjavik.

You can stop at the Blue Lagoon on your way to Iceland's capital city. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It's in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it a unique atmosphere.

The lagoon's water temperature averages around 98 to 102 F (37 to 39 C), offering a comfortable and relaxing feeling in both the swimming and bathing areas.

If you add the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged according to your flights. If there's 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. 

If you have extra free time, there's still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes Peninsula. Once you arrive in Reykjavik, the day is yours. You can check out Reykjavik's fabulous range of museums, galleries, and restaurants.

We recommend visiting the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center, Reykjavik's premier cultural hub. Apart from hosting concerts, exhibitions, and art festivals, the building features a beautiful facade illuminated by 714 glass panels with LED lighting.

Meanwhile, about 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) away is the Perlan museum, an interactive museum focusing on Icelandic nature. It features a hemispherical rotating glass with a viewing deck for viewing the impressive cityscape.

Another must-see attraction is Hallgrimskirkja, Iceland's tallest church. It stands 245 feet (74.5 meters) tall, making it one of Reykjavik's most recognizable landmarks. Make sure to go up the church's tower to enjoy some excellent city views.

If you want to unwind, you can do as the locals do and visit a geothermal swimming pool to soak in the warm waters of a hot tub.

As you end your first day in Iceland, you'll drive toward Thorlakshofn, just south of the city, where you'll find your campsite for the night.

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Day 2
Ready for an eruption, Strokkur - the main attraction in the Geysir Geothermal Area - bubbles and seethes.

Day 2 - The Golden Circle

Start your second day early and visit Iceland's famous Golden Circle sightseeing route for some spectacular natural attractions. 

First up is the Thingvellir National Park, a place of enormous historical and geographical importance. It's where Iceland formed its democracy, converted to Christianity, declared its independence, and elected its first president.

Aside from its great historical importance, the place is also a geographical wonder. It's neither located on the Eurasian nor the North American plates but in a rift valley separating the two continents. 

This unique location offers spectacular landscapes, such as lava fields and canyons. While here, you can opt for a snorkel within the crystal-clear waters of the Silfra ravine. Its water boasts visibility of up to 328 feet (100 meters), allowing you to see the underwater canyons.

From there, visit the Geysir geothermal area, the home of the erupting geyser Strokkur. Interestingly, this geyser erupts every five to 10 minutes to heights of around 66 feet (20 meters). 

After marveling over the geyser, you'll drive six miles (9.7 kilometers) to the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall. Here, you can walk down to the water's edge and get up close to the roar of the falls to feel the power of Iceland's nature.

The water surges 4944 cubic feet (140 cubic meters) per second and has two fascinating cascades. The shorter one drops from 36 feet (11 meters), while the longer one falls from about 69 feet (21 meters).

After Gullfoss, you can take a snowmobiling trip up on Langjokull glacier for some incredible vistas and an exhilarating ride. Alternatively, you could book a riding tour and meet the charming Icelandic horse. 

You'll be spending the night at a campsite near the Geysir area in Southwest Iceland. However, if you still want to explore some more, you can check out the Kerid crater lake, the Faxi waterfall, and the Skalholt church before retiring for the night.

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Day 3
The Kjölur Highland Road connects south and north Iceland, and is interrupted in its centre by the Hveravellir geothermal area.

Day 3 - Highlands

Today, you'll head into the barren but beautiful Highlands of Iceland. 

Just off the main road is a road called Kjolur, the main Highland route which leads to the North Coast. You'll follow this route today, stopping at some amazing sites along the way.

Start by driving through the Icelandic wilderness towards the picturesque Hvitarvatn glacier lagoon. Located around 28 miles (45 kilometers) from the Gullfoss waterfall, the lagoon feeds the glacier river Hvita. Moreover, the lake is close to Langjokull, Iceland's second-largest glacier.

Exploring the lagoon, you'll see small icebergs on the lake's surface. To fully appreciate the beautiful surroundings, you can sail on Lake Hvitarvatn. A vast wetland, grassy tracts, geese, and moorland birds are sights you'll see in the lake's vicinity.

Meanwhile, north of Lake Hvitarvatn is the Hvitarnes mountain hut. Built in 1930 by the Icelandic Touring Association, the hut is a popular spot for people seeking peace and solitude in the southern highlands.

It has two sleeping rooms on the ground floor and a small room with a mattress in the attic. The hut stands 1,394 feet (425 meters) above mean sea level. The hut stands alone on a field with nothing but nature's beauty surrounding it from a distance in every direction.

Folklore says a young woman who died in a snowstorm haunts the area.

Next, you'll continue north to the geothermal area of the Kerlingarfjoll mountain range. Here, you can enjoy the vivid views and hike toward the roots of a glacier. The area was formed by volcanic activity around 10,000 years ago.

You'll see colored rhyolite peaks around the massive geothermal area. Interestingly, the mountain's colors change depending on the time of day. You'll also notice several steam vents, geysers, and bubbling clay pits.

Like the Hvitarvatn hut, Kerlingarfjoll is also rich in folklore. It is believed that trolls live in the area and travel at night to avoid being turned into stone by the sunlight.

After that, head north through the lunar landscape of the highlands, stopping at Hveravellir. There are plenty of opportunities for scenic walks and natural baths to relax in.

After a good soak, continue to the North, where you'll find your accommodation. 

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Day 4
Other than its seal colonies, and the Icelandic Seal Centre in the town of Hvammstangi, the Vatnsnes Peninsula of northern Iceland is best known for the rock formation Hvítserkur.

Day 4 -  Hvitserkur Sea Stack

Take the Ring Road northwest towards the village of Hvammstangi, known as the home of Icelandic seals. It's also the home of the Icelandic Seal Center. Here, you'll learn about the biology and conservation of seals and their contributions to Iceland's history and folklore.

Here, you can take an optional boat trip and get out onto the water to watch them up close. Near the seal center is Sjavarborg, a restaurant offering fresh seafood from local produce.

Aside from its abundance of seals, Hvammstangi is a recognized regional provider of tourism, education, and administration.

Check out Bardusa, a merchant museum selling various locally-made handcrafted items. The museum also hosts the "S. Davídsson Merchant's Shop," an old general store serving the area since the early 20th century.

After exploring the village, you'll head around 104 miles (168 kilometers) toward the Vatnsnes peninsula and stop at the fascinating geological formation of the Hvitserkur basalt rock stack. Known as the "Troll of Northwest Iceland," Hvitserkur stands 49 feet (15 meters) tall, protruding from the Hunafloi Bay.

Folklore says that the rock stack used to be a troll from the peninsula. It was enraged at Christianity that it tried to rip down the bells of a convent. Because of its anger, the troll didn't notice the rising sun, causing the latter to petrify the beast with its rays.

Interestingly, this basalt rock stack also serves as a nesting ground for various birdlife. Shags, seagulls, and fulmars are some of the most common bird species around the area.

Additionally, the name Hvitserkur means "white shirt" in English. The name was a nod to the color of the bird droppings that usually cover the rock stack. Take many pictures and appreciate how the sun reflects on the flat water.

Moreover, stop for more photographs before heading back onto the main road. 

Next, continue 94 miles (154 kilometers) to the west coast towards Deildartunguhver in Borgarfjordur, the largest hot spring in Europe. It features 380 pints (180 liters) of water running through it every second. With a constant temperature of 97° Celsius (207° Fahrenheit), getting too close to the water is dangerous.

After a long day of driving and exploring, you'll spend the night in West Iceland.

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Day 5
Throughout summer, Iceland's enormous sheep population is let loose to graze the verdant fields of the highlands.

Day 5 - Highland Experience

On your last full day in Iceland, you'll head towards the western side of the Langjokull glacier and drive through the barren sand desert of Kaldidalur. You'll be treated to a scenery that keeps getting better the further you go.

Consider taking a little detour to the foot of the glacier, where you can walk up to the ice in the middle of summer. Langjokull measures 31 miles (50 kilometers) long and up to 12 miles (20 kilometers) wide, making it one of Iceland's largest glaciers. Meanwhile, its ice reaches 1,903 feet (580 meters) deep at its thickest point.

While in the area, you can join a tour inside Langjokull, down man-made tunnels through the ancient glacial ice. Entering the tunnels is like a magical experience. 

You'll walk beneath the glacier's thick ice sheet and see the tunnels' vivid blue color surrounding you. While inside, you'll see what a glacier looks like and learn how it's formed.

Alternatively, you can go lava tubing in Vidgelmir cave. Vidgelmir is the country's largest lava tube, measuring 5,200 feet (1,585 meters) long. It was formed beneath the Hallmundarhraun lava field during a lava flow around 900 AD.

The activity lets you ascend through a narrow tunnel into the vast cavern below. You'll find icicles and unique colors from ancient eruptions inside the cavern. You'll also witness some of the most fascinating rock formations.

Regardless of your choice between the activities, both promise to entertain, inform, and delight.

Once you're finished exploring glaciers and caves, drive south towards Lundareykjadalur, where Krossalaug, the last hot spring on your journey, awaits. The site features two pools with stunning ocean views.

The first is a concrete swimming pool, while the second is a natural geothermal one. The water in both pools has a temperature of around 100 F (37 C). Compared to other Icelandic hot springs, the pools here are cooler but still comfortable.

After a refreshing time in the warm waters, head to your camping location in West Iceland.

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Day 6
Those with a late flight on their departure day from Iceland should use it to better explore the incredible sites of Reykjavík city or the Reykjanes Peninsula.

Day 6 - Departure Day

Today is your flight back home. You’ll drive back to the Keflavik International Airport and drop off your car before departure.

If you have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa today, you’ll cap your trip unwinding before heading to the airport.

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is perfect for relaxing as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters. It’s also an excellent spot to reflect on the incredible adventure you’ve experienced in the land of fire and ice.

Alternatively, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik. You can revisit the city streets for some last-minute shopping. You can also stop at cultural landmarks you may have missed on your first day.

If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey and hope to see you again.

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What to bring

Warm Clothes
Swimwear

Good to know

Off-road driving is illegal in Iceland. It is a highly fined offence. Avoid legal problems and make sure to stay on marked highland roads and paths. Believe us, this will already be adventure enough! Also note that highland roads are closed during wintertime, which normally open in mid-June and close in September.

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.

Gravel protection is not included if you choose a Toyota Aygo or similar.

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Car

The vehicles offered for our self drive camping tours are highland capable and equipped with a roof top tent and necessary camping equipment suitable for two people. They come with Wi-Fi and CDW insurance.

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