Spectacular 6-Day Self-Drive Camping Trip in the Highlands of Iceland

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Description

Summary

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

Description

Enjoy this camping adventure of a lifetime, exploring some of Iceland's most amazing Highland locations. Those eager to see some of this incredible country's rawest, most untouched parts should book this self-drive tour now.

From the geothermal baths and hot springs of Landmannalaugar to the sheltered woodland paradise of the Thorsmork Valley, this tour has many beautiful sights.

It is not only the Highlands that will captivate you on this adventure. The tour also includes the South Coast. This tour is highly rated and loved by many. 

You'll have plenty of time to visit the plane wreckage of a 1973 crash, see puffins nesting in the seaside cliffs, and take photos of the magnificent waterfalls Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. 

When you are the driver, where you go and how long you spend in each place is entirely up to you. 

Within the booking process for this trip, you can also add some extra excursions to create the vacation you've always wanted. You don't have to spend weeks planning the perfect itinerary in Iceland, as all the hard work has been done for you.

Along the Golden Circle, you can snorkel in the Silfra fissure, ride across the ice cap of Langjokull glacier on a snowmobile, or ride on one of Iceland's beautiful horses. 

You can either hike across the surface of a magnificent glacier at Solheimajokull or descend into a unique and stunning ice cave in Myrdalsjokull glacier. The choice is yours.

You've got a lot of ground to cover for your stay in Iceland, and this tour takes you to many of the most popular sites. You will also receive a personal itinerary after you book, which will show you to more secluded locations. 

Here, you can avoid the crowds, stand in the desolate, beautiful landscapes, and reconnect with nature. 

This tour is available at a great price, and your tailor-made itinerary will ensure that you don't miss out on any sights, which is always a risk when you plan your trip yourself.

When you book, you will also get a personal travel agent who you can reach at any time of the day, seven days a week. If your plans change, you can cancel your tour and receive a full refund up to 24 hours before departure.

During your trip, you'll stay overnight in a tent on some of Iceland's fantastic campsites. Camping in Iceland will bring you closer to nature.

Take advantage of this incredible self-drive tour exploring the beauty of Iceland's Highlands and the South Coast. 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

Glacier Hiking
Snorkelling
Hiking
Snowmobile
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Hot Spring Bathing
Ice Caving
Self drive

Daily itinerary

Day 1
The moss-covered terrain of the Reykjanes peninsula, near to Reykjavik.

Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland and the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa

On the first day of your self-drive tour in the Highlands, you'll arrive in Iceland ready for your adventure.

After landing at the Keflavik International Airport, pick up your rental car and head to Reykjavik. Your primary destination for today is Reykjavik, the charming capital city of Iceland.

Before reaching Reykjavik, through an hour's drive, you will traverse the unique landscapes of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Black and moss-covered lava fields, rugged coasts, and geothermal fields await you in this area.

Alternatively, you could also stop at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, the peninsula's most famous feature. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It is in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere. 

Adding the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa trip to your itinerary 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 on the first day of your tour.

On your arrival in the city, go to the City Hall in downtown Reykjavik. There, you will receive your camping card so you can start your exploration of Iceland. 

You can begin by exploring the vibrant capital with its cultural sights, restaurants, bars, and boutiques. 

Remember that this vacation is about doing what you want, so relax and enjoy your first day. The team at City Hall will be more than happy to recommend some top spots and activities to help you fully experience Iceland.

At the end of the day, make your way to the village of Thorlakshofn, just south of Reykjavík. You'll find the first campsite of your journey there, where you'll stay overnight. If not, it will be at a nearby camp in the same area of South Iceland.

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Day 2
Gullfoss waterfall, one of the natural sights on the Golden Circle sightseeing route.

Day 2 - The Golden Circle: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss Waterfall

On the second day of your self-drive camping trip in the Highlands of Iceland, you'll visit the sights of the famous Golden Circle sightseeing route.

The magical Golden Circle features some of Iceland's most popular natural sights. Begin with a visit to the cultural and geological hotspot, Thingvellir National Park. 

This UNESCO World Heritage site is important in Iceland as it is both naturally and culturally significant. Iceland's first parliament was formed here in 930 AD, and it is also the site where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates drift apart. 

You can also opt into a snorkel tour within the world-famous Silfra fissure, which is regularly voted as one of the world's top five dive sites.

Next on your route is the geothermal valley, where you can see Geysir, the original geyser, after which all others in the world are named. Although Geysir is no longer active, its neighbor, Strokkur, is. This geyser spouts boiling water up to 66 feet (20 meters) high every five to ten minutes.

End the circle with a visit to the dramatic and powerful Gullfoss waterfall. You can walk up to the water's edge and experience the power of Iceland's nature.

From the Gullfoss waterfall, it is possible to take a snowmobiling tour up on the glacier Langjokull, an activity not to be missed by thrill-seekers. You can also use this free time to take a two-hour long horse-riding tour nearby.

A site often missed by those on the Golden Circle is the volcanic crater lake of Kerid. It is a stunning location. The crater is colored with red and orange rocks, contrasting against the azure blue of the permanent lake within it.

After a long day of exploring, you'll go to a campsite in Southwest Iceland, where you will spend the next three nights. 

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Day 3
Emerald moss crawls across the lava fields of the Landmannalaugar Highland Reserve, contrasting dramatically with the rhyolite mountains and black-sand expanses.

Day 3 - Landmannalaugar

On the third day of your self-drive camping tour in the Highlands of Iceland, you'll head to Landmannalaugar to explore this natural wonderland.

Located in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, this area is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, geothermal wonders, and vibrant hiking trails, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventurers.

This incredible region offers many fine hiking options, and you will spend all day finding new paths. There are natural hot springs here, perfect for taking a long, relaxing bath while reveling in the rustic, untouched beauty surrounding you.

Remember to bring warm, waterproof clothing and good hiking shoes. You'll also need your swimsuit and a towel to bathe in the hot springs.

Landmannalaugar is one of the most popular areas to hike in Iceland, offering an array of trails suitable for all experience levels. 

The most renowned route is the Laugavegur Trek, a 34-mile (55-kilometer) trail that takes you through some of Iceland's most awe-inspiring landscapes. 

Along the way, hikers will encounter moss-covered lava fields, glacial valleys, expansive deserts of black sand, and majestic glaciers.

One of the most striking features of Landmannalaugar is its colorful rhyolite mountains. These mountains boast a kaleidoscope of hues, ranging from deep reds and oranges to vibrant greens and yellows. 

The contrasting colors create a mesmerizing panorama that is unlike anything found elsewhere on Earth.

Landmannalaugar is also home to steaming hot springs and natural geothermal pools. The most famous is the soothing and relaxing hot spring river called "Laugavegur." 

Here, visitors can soak in the warm, mineral-rich waters while marveling at the rugged beauty of the surrounding landscape.

After walking amongst steaming rivers and rhyolitic mountains, you'll return to the campsite in Southwest Iceland. Camping during summer in Iceland means you can make the most of the midnight sun and the long days.

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Day 4
Seljalandsfoss waterfall with a rainbow being created by the sun's reflection on its waters.

Day 4 - Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and the Thorsmork Valley

On the fourth day of your self-drive camping trip in the Highlands, you will explore the South Coast of Iceland.

Day four will start with a drive along part of the South Coast. On the way, you can stop at the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which you can walk all the way around. 

Remember to stop at its lesser-known neighbor too. Gljufrabui waterfall falls from 130 feet (40 meters) and is partially hidden behind a large cliff. It is a breathtaking and otherworldly sight. 

Keep an eye out as you drive on, as you may be able to see the infamous volcano beneath a glacier, Eyjafjallajokull. Eyjafjallajokull is best known for its volcanic eruption in 2010, which gained global attention due to its significant impact on air travel in Europe.

The eruption began on April 14, 2010, and lasted several weeks. The volcanic ash plume rose to great heights, reaching over 30,000 feet (9,100 meters).

You can take the walking track leading to the Thorsmork valley's central area. Thorsmork means 'Thor's land,' and its incredible beauty will leave you no doubt why it took the name of the most powerful of the old Norse gods. 

This incredible forested valley is sheltered by three mighty glaciers, meaning it is usually very temperate, perfect for hiking.

The Thorsmork valley offers a range of hiking trails suitable for all levels of expertise. Whether trekking through rugged terrain, crossing glacial rivers, or exploring moss-covered canyons, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of pristine wilderness. 

The valley also has diverse flora and fauna, including birch forests and arctic foxes. Hiking in the Thorsmork Valley is an opportunity to disconnect from the modern world and embrace Iceland's raw and untouched wilderness.

When you've finished your hike, head back to the campsite in Southwest Iceland for a well-deserved night's sleep.

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Day 5
People looking at the wreck of the DC plane which crashed in South Iceland in 1973.

Day 5 - Exploring the South Coast

On the fifth day of your self-drive camping tour of the Icelandic Highlands, you will explore the South Coast further.

First, along the way, you will find Reynisfjara, the black sand beach in South Iceland, considered the country's most beautiful stretch of coastline by many. Here, you can see a wall of basalt rocks and the sea stacks of Reynisdrangar in the distance. 

According to Icelandic folklore, these impressive features are the remains of a pair of trolls who waded out into the water to catch a passing ship and turned to stone when caught by the rising sun's light.

This area is also an excellent location to see puffins, especially around the promontory Dyrholaey cliff area, easily accessible from the small, charming fishing village of Vik.

Further west is the plane wreck of Solheimasandur, which has become a popular attraction. It has been there since the winter of 1973, exposed to the elements, and yet, like so many things in Iceland, it has endured them steadfastly. 

A quick stop here allows for an excellent photo opportunity.

One of the most popular features on this stretch of the South Coast is the magnificent Skogafoss waterfall. It is around 197 feet (60 meters) in height. After heavy rain, it can be a third of that in width. 

It releases so much spray that the foot of the falls throws off many rainbows on a sunny day.

While traveling the South Coast, you can opt for several icy tours, such as a snowmobile tour or a glacier hike on Solheimjokull glacier. You can also go for an ice cave tour near Katla volcano on the glacier Myrdalsjokull. 

Whatever you choose, you'll be sure to leave these glacier adventures with memories that will last forever. 

You'll spend your last night in Iceland at a campsite in Thorlakshofn or a nearby area in South Iceland.

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Day 6
A section of Reykjavik as seen from across Tjornin Pond.

Day 6 - Departure Day

On the sixth and final day of your self-drive Highlands tour, it is time to leave Iceland and head home.

You can depart from Iceland feeling truly satisfied, having seen some of this island's primary and most beautiful attractions up close and personal.

If you have a later flight home, visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa today. You can spend some time unwinding before you head to the airport. 

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters and reflect on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. 

The waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa are thought to have healing properties thanks to their high sulfur content.

If you have more free time on your last day, you can spend it enjoying everything that Reykjavik has to offer.

Although Reykjavik is one of the smallest capital cities in the world, there is plenty to explore here. Head to the famous Hallgrimskirkja church, one of the most recognizable sights in the city. 

It stands around 245 feet (74.5 meters) tall and is the largest church in Iceland. You can head to the top of it to enjoy spectacular panoramic views over the city. 

The church was designed by Gudjon Samuelsson, who was inspired by elements of Icelandic nature, including glaciers, mountains, and lava formations.

Other things to do in the city include Harpa Concert Hall, Laugavegur shopping street, and the National Museum.

If you have an early flight back home, head straight to the airport to drop off your rental vehicle. Leave enough time to check in and drop off your bags.

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What to bring

Warm, waterproof clothing
Good hiking shoes
Snacks
Reusable water bottle
Camera

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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