6 Day Self Drive Tour | The Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Based on 3 traveller reviews

Explore the best of Iceland on this affordable 6-day self-drive package. This tour takes you from the world-famous Blue Lagoon, through the vibrant capital city of Reykjavik, up the beautiful south coast, around the Golden Circle, and all the way to incredible Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. 

You are in the driver’s seat, so your pace and the number of attractions you wish to see each day is up to you. You can jam every minute with beautiful scenery, local hot spots, and historical landmarks, or you can choose a few must-see locations and go slowly, taking time to meet the locals and to set up gorgeous photos.

On this tour, you will see incredible sights, including the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, the fascinating rift valley of Þingvellir, and landmarks like Gullfoss waterfall and Reynisfjara beach. The tour is crowned, however, by an afternoon at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where you can watch seals rest on and frolic around beautiful icebergs, as they break from a glacier and float serenely to the ocean. 

It is important for most travellers 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 who book, which will draw your attention to a few 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; snorkelling; horse-riding; and even take a snowmobiling tour. There are many options for those with a taste for adventure.

From spectacular mountain hikes to black sand beaches, waterfalls to the glacier lagoon, this trip has it all. Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Apr. - Aug.
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkeling, Hiking, ATV, Snowmobile, Horse Riding, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Biking, Boat Trip, Bird watching, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Reykjavík, Jökulsárlón, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Dyrhólaey, Þingvellir, Vík i Mýrdal, Kerið, Selfoss, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, South Coast
Pickup information:
  • Starting time : Flexible

Included:
  • 5 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; 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:
  • Warm Clothes

  • Good hiking boots

  • Driver's license


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 Iceland - Optional Horseback Riding or Whale Watching




Collect your car from the airport upon arrival in Keflavík, before driving to your accommodation in the downtown area of the capital.

After getting settled at your hotel, the rest of the day is yours to explore the vibrant city centre 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.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

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 - The Golden Circle: Thingvellir National Park - Geysers - Gullfoss Falls




On day two, you'll go on a trip around the famous Golden Circle of Iceland, starting with Þingvellir National Park. Here, you can see the incredible Almannagja 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, and 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 reaches a height of around 20 m (66 ft), but it has been known to blast water at heights of almost double that.

Last but not least on the traditional golden circle 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 into 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 colours of fiery orange and rust red, while the lake within is a cool azure oasis. The contrast is a breathtaking sight.

You'll spend the night in the Bláskógabyggð area.


Preferred accommodation by the Golden Circle

Golden Circle Budget

Héraðsskólinn Boutique Hostel is centrally located within Laugarvatn village. Private rooms with private or shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Golden Circle Comfort

Hotel Litli Geysir is a 3 star hotel located right across from Geysir geothermal area. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Golden Circle Quality

Hotel Grímsborgir is a 4 star hotel in the countryside, south of Þingvellir National Park. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms and a terrace. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 3 - The South Coast: Waterfalls, Glaciers and Black-Sand Beaches




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 Solheimajokull glacier, where you can go on an optional glacier hike or snowmobiling tour, both of which promise excitement and incredibly beauty. After that, take a moment to walk Reynisfjara beach, with a short stop at the village of Vik. 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.


Preferred accommodation by Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Budget

Klausturhof Guesthouse is centrally located within Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Private bedrooms with shared bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Comfort

Hotel Geirland is a 3 star hotel located in the countryside 2 kilometres away from Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Quality

Icelandair Hotel Klaustur is a 3 star hotel centrally located within Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Modern private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 4 - Skaftafell - Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach




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, however, keep your eyes peeled in this area for the resident seals. 

From Jökulsárlon, walk down to the Diamond Beach, upon which many ice flows 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.


Preferred accommodation by Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Budget

Klausturhof Guesthouse is centrally located within Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Private bedrooms with shared bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Comfort

Hotel Geirland is a 3 star hotel located in the countryside 2 kilometres away from Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Quality

Icelandair Hotel Klaustur is a 3 star hotel centrally located within Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Modern private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 5 - Blue Lagoon Spa




At the start of your fifth day, head back towards Reykjavík. In the afternoon, you can check into your hotel and explore the city a little more, before visiting the mystical Blue Lagoon for a relaxing hot spring spa. 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. 


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

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 - Explore Reykjavik - Car Drop Off at the Airport




On your departure day, you can drop off your car at the airport. If your flight is in the late afternoon or evening, 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 to. 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, take a look at some of 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.


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.

Budget

Rooms with shared bathrooms in farmhouses, guesthouses or hostels, with good locations near the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.

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

Guide to Iceland has a wide selection of vehicles and seeks to provide you with the best available car from our preferred rental operators, who offer the highest quality vehicles and service to our guests. Our self-drive packages include a newer model, usually a maximum of 2 years old and equipped with a GPS and basic CDW insurance. See the categories of available vehicles below. We recommend a comfortable 4X4 as a minimal standard for winter traveling due to icy and challenging road conditions. In the booking process, you can also upgrade to an automatic model for free.

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

Guide to Iceland was a great way to book a tour and see all the sites of interest! They did everything for us from booking our car, accommodations and excursion tours. The itinerary they provide for you gives ideas on what to do with each day and what sites to see. Francisco was very helpful in booking our tour and guaranteeing us for a great time!

This tour was very well organized/designed, with points of interests clearly laid out. There are many options laid out and gave us the flexibility to plan our own days.

This was the best way to experience Iceland. We went on this tour last year and I promise you will not regret it. Go right now!

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