Explore the best of Iceland on this affordable 6-day self-drive tour. This tour takes you from the world-famous Blue Lagoon, through the vibrant capital city of Reykjavik, around the wondrous Golden Circle, along the beautiful South Coast, and all the way to the incredible Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. This is the perfect tour to explore some of Iceland's most spectacular attractions.
You are behind the wheel on this self-drive tour, so you can fill every minute with beautiful scenery, local hot spots, and historical landmarks. Alternatively, you can choose a few must-see locations and go slowly, taking time to meet the locals and to capture gorgeous photos. On a self-drive tour, you are in total control to experience the best adventures of Iceland.
To make sure your holiday is both relaxing and full of adventure, you will lodge in full comfort, with an ensuite bathroom and breakfast included each night. We hand-pick all the accommodation options to make sure your experience of Iceland is that extra special.
On this tour, you will see the most incredible sights and experience the true wonders of our shores. The sites will include the spectacular waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, the fascinating rift valley of Þingvellir, and landmarks such as Gullfoss waterfall and Reynisfjara beach. The tour is crowned by an afternoon at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, where you can watch in awe as beautiful icebergs break from Europe's largest glacier and float serenely to the ocean. If you're lucky, you might even spot some lounging seals relaxing in the lagoon.
It is important for most travelers that they experience the real Iceland and feel its history within the stunning nature. To help you with this, you will receive a custom itinerary after you book. This will highlight plenty of unique spots that will allow you to relax without the crowds and take in the true desolate beauty of this country.
Don't forget to take a look at the extra activities during booking. You can go hiking, ice caving, snorkeling, horse-riding, snowmobiling, and even descend into an empty magma chamber of a volcano. There are endless options for adventure lovers to make this a truly once-in-a-lifetime trip. Take your time to read through and add some extra activities from our selection to pick the best options for you.
This trip has it all, from spectacular mountain hikes to black sand beaches, waterfalls, and the glacier lagoon.
Check availability by choosing a date and book your Iceland adventure.
Upon arrival, collect your car from Keflavík International Airport before driving to your accommodation in the capital's downtown area.
On your way to Iceland's capital city, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It is located in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere. If you add the Blue Lagoon, it 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.
After getting settled at your hotel, the rest of the day is yours to explore the vibrant city center with its abundance of cultural attractions, restaurants, and bars.
If you're interested in checking out Icelandic design or experiencing the city's thriving coffee culture, head to the main street, Laugavegur, and enjoy its various shops and cozy cafés. You'll spend your first night in a great location in downtown Reykjavík.
On day two, you'll go on a trip around the famous Golden Circle of Iceland. Before you hit the road, however, you can choose to start your day with a subterranean adventure where you'll descend into the empty magma chamber of a volcano.
Your first stop on the Golden Circle route is Þingvellir National Park. Here, you can see the incredible Almannagjá gorge, where the national assembly, founded in 930 AD, used to gather. A natural wonder of Iceland, the gorge also marks the divide between two tectonic plates. A walk along the easy path is literally a stroll between the continents of Europe and America. You can opt into an exhilarating snorkel tour through the Silfra fissure here too.
Next on the Golden Circle tour is the mighty Geysir in the Haukadalur geothermal valley. There are many steaming hot pools and fumaroles here, as well as the geyser Strokkur, which erupts every 10 minutes or so. Its spray can reach 66 ft (20 m), but it has been known to blast water at heights of almost double that.
Last but not least on the traditional Golden Circle route is the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall, Iceland's most popular tourist attraction. It is possible to walk close to the edge of these falls in decent weather, where you get a beautiful view of the cascading water and can really feel nature's incredible power.
After Gullfoss, you can add an exciting snowmobiling tour on Langjökull glacier. If neither this nor the snorkel appeal to you, you can instead opt for a horse-riding tour. Otherwise, head straight to the main road and make a stop at the volcanic crater lake Kerið. The volcanic rock here is painted in fiery orange and rust red colors, while the lake within is a cool azure oasis. The contrast is a breathtaking sight.
You'll spend the night in the Bláskógabyggð area.
As you continue your journey on day three, you will drive towards Eyjafjallajokull, the volcano under a glacier that made world headlines during 2010 when it brought European air traffic to a standstill.
You will then visit the beautiful waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. After admiring them, a detour to the Skógar folk museum is highly recommended, where you can explore life in the old days of Iceland through the restored turf house, church, and other buildings.
Drive on towards Sólheimajökull glacier, where you can go on an optional glacier hike or snowmobiling tour, both of which promise excitement and incredible beauty. You can also opt for an exciting ice cave tour that departs from the village Vík, where you're picked up by a super jeep and driven up the volcano Katla before you descend into the cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier.
After that, take a moment to walk Reynisfjara beach, with a short stop at the village of Vík. Reynisfjara is one of Iceland's most spectacular beaches because of its amazing black basalt cliffs, Garðar, and the Reynisdrangar sea stacks. It is also a great puffin-watching location.
This beach, however, is one of Iceland's most dangerous places, so be careful not to get too close to the pounding surf; currents hidden in the swirling water can sweep you out to sea in no time.
After this day of witnessing many incredible sights, you can rest for the night in the quiet Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.
On your fourth day, set out for the waterfall Foss a Síðu and the nearby Dverghamrar basalt columns before taking the road over the vast glacial sands of Skeidararsandur.
Next on your route is the Skaftafell Nature Reserve, part of Vatnajokull National Park. Once there, you can hike to yet another impressive waterfall, Svartifoss, whose basalt columns served as an inspiration to architect Guðjón Samúelsson when he designed Hallgrimskirkja church and the roof of the National Theatre in Reykjavík.
There are plenty more options for hiking in the Skaftafell. One popular choice is a guided glacier walk along the edge of the Skaftafellsjökull glacier, a breathtaking trip that offers fantastic views over the surrounding area. You just need to make sure to opt into this while booking.
Once you are finished with Skaftafell, drive about 40 minutes further east to reach the magnificent Jökulsárlon glacier lagoon, the highlight of this trip. The lagoon is famous for its glistening icebergs; you have the option of taking a boat out for a closer look at them, either in a zodiac or amphibious vessel. Whether from a boat or from the shore, keep your eyes peeled in this area for the resident seals.
From Jökulsárlon, walk down to the Diamond Beach, upon which many icebergs strand upon the shore like glittering jewels. Jökulsárlón and Diamond Beach are considered by many to be the most beautiful locations in Iceland.
After you have made the most of these incredible sights, spend another night in the peaceful Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.
At the start of your fifth day, head back towards Reykjavík. In the afternoon, you can check into your hotel and explore the city. Dotted around the downtown area are numerous cafés, bars, and restaurants.
You can also find a slew of interesting museums. Learn about the Viking settlers at the Settlement Exhibition or about the history of Iceland at the National Museum. You can also explore some alternative culture at the Icelandic Punk Museum and Freddi Arcade & Toy Museum.
If you are in the mood for relaxation after your days on the road, you can take a trip to the mystical Blue Lagoon Spa for a soak in its mineral-rich waters. After the long drive along the South Coast, it is well worth it to soothe those tense muscles and do nothing but bask in peace.
On your departure day, you can drop off your car at the airport.
For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you will finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. If your flight is later, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik.
You could consider exploring some more of the city attractions in nearby downtown Reykjavík. Have you stopped by Perlan, a wonderful landmark with special shops and a viewing deck that allows you to see for miles around? Or climbed the church tower at Hallskrímskirkja for a panorama across the city? Both are definitely worth the trip.
A stop by Elliðarárdalur might be nice too. This is a lovely green park in the middle of the Reykjavik area, with plenty of walking paths for a sedate stroll and biking trails beside charming waterways.
You could also seek out the Grótta lighthouse in nearby Seltjanarnes. The lighthouse is usually not open to visitors, but even so, it provides fine views on a clear day across Faxafloi bay, by which Reykjavík sits.
If you like, visit some attractions on the Reykjanes Peninsula on your way to the airport, or go on a whale watching or horseback riding tour to put the cherry on top of your stay with us.
If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey.
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.
Wearing cotton or jeans as the outer layer during your trip to the Þríhnjúkagígur volcano tour is not allowed. Please wear suitable waterproof clothes and sturdy hiking shoes for this trip. It's always the same temperature inside the crater – about 5–6°C (42–43°F). The Þríhnjúkagígur volcano tour involves a hike of approximately 3 km (2 miles) each way. The walk usually takes around 45–50 minutes (depending on the condition of people in the group). A guide will be with you at all times during the walk.
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. 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). 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.
Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.
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.
Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour. All our vehicles are new or current models, of maximum 2 years of age. Super Budget levels come with standard CDW insurance, while all other levels also include Gravel Protection (GP), and Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) insurances. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars. All levels come equipped with a GPS and free Wi-fi. You can enjoy unlimited data with the Wi-Fi device, which can be connected to up to 10 devices at once. The car rental will provide 24-hour roadside emergency services. Age requirement for each level can be found below. For all levels, the driver must possess a valid driving license for at least one year before the date of the rental. We recommend Budget 4X4 level for summer driving and Comfort 4X4 for winter driving.
A small 2WD vehicle such as Toyota Aygo or similar, fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions. Compact and comfortable for up to 2 travellers with very little luggage. No highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A basic 2WD vehicle, such as a Toyota Yaris or similar, suitable for travelling in everyday conditions. Comfortable for 3 travellers with light luggage. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A basic 4WD (4X4) jeep or SUV such as a Dacia Duster or similar. Comfortably fit up to 3 travellers with 2 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and decent for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A medium-sized 4WD (4x4) jeep or SUV such as a Toyota Rav4 (automatic) and Suzuki Vitara (manual), or similar. Comfortably fit up to 4 travelers with 3 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and good for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.
A large 4WD jeep such as a Toyota Land Cruiser or similar. Comfortable for up to 4 travellers with 4 large pieces of luggage. Fit for nearly all travelling. Has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.
A large 9-seater van such as a Mercedes Benz Vito (4WD manual, has highland capabilities and better suited for winter driving), or similar. Comfortable for 5 to 7 travelers. If seated full, luggage space is limited. The driver must be of 23 years of age or above.
Are you looking to try some of the best dishes Iceland’s top restaurants have to offer? You can now add delicious meals to your booking without having to research where to find them. Select this option to include dinner every night as an extra, and we’ll provide you with vouchers as part of your booking confirmation. We’ll choose the top-rated restaurants that fit with your vacation itinerary and make your reservations for you. Your server will offer you a set menu of two to three courses at the restaurant, from which you can choose meat, fish, or vegetarian options. If you prefer to try a different dish, the meal voucher will act as a credit that you can redeem at the restaurant against menu items that are not part of the set menu. Save time and effort during your vacation, and let us take care of your meals for you. Choose the meal option today so you’ll be guaranteed to eat well on your forthcoming trip. Please notify the restaurant on arrival about any dietary requirements. Vouchers are non-refundable.