6 Day Midnight Sun Summer Self Drive Tour of Iceland’s Hidden Gems & Black Sand Beaches
Enjoy Iceland with this 6-day summer self-drive tour where you'll find out what's hidden in the lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula, feel the powers of Icelandic nature on the Golden Circle route, visit a wealth of wonders on the South Coast, and encircle a mighty glacier on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
This tour is perfect for those wanting to set their own pace and follow their own path as they see Iceland's best features like the erupting geyser Strokkur, the serene Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, the sparkling Diamond Beach, and the picturesque Kirkjufell mountain.
Upon booking, you will be provided with a personalized itinerary guiding you to the essential sightseeing locations as well as some off-the-beaten-track spots. But nothing is set in stone, so if you are returning to this land of ice and fire and would like to see something new, you can rearrange the itinerary, skipping the attraction you have seen in favor of new and exciting adventures.
You could also spice up these classic sights with a tour where you'll go snorkeling, snowmobiling, or riding an Icelandic horse. You could also go glacier hiking, ice climbing, ice caving, descend into a volcano or a lava tube, take a super jeep tour to the Highlands, or unwind in the Blue Lagoon Spa.
Each night on this six-day tour will be spent at the same accommodation in Reykjavik, allowing you to travel freely around the country, enjoying the comfort and lively culture of the city and eliminating the need to repack every day.
Book now to secure your place on this family-friendly summer self-drive tour. Combine nature, adventure, and city comfort with this 6-day excursion. Check availability by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Arriving in Iceland
You'll arrive at Keflavik International Airport, which is nestled in the middle of the dark lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Pick up your car and drive through this black desert on your way to Iceland's capital, Reykjavik.
Once in the city, settle into your accommodation, your home for the next five nights. By staying in the same location, you'll be given the freedom to travel lightly, as you don't have to repack every day, allowing you to have a smooth and relaxing holiday.
You can start your Icelandic adventure by doing a little exploring the city. Take a light stroll down the streets of Reykjavik to discover its many restaurants, bars, and cafés or unwind in the warm, geothermal waters of a hot tub in one of the city's many swimming pools.
Be careful not to stay out too late! The bright midnight sun can make you forget what time it is, and you have a busy few days ahead of you.
Day 2 - Hidden Treasures on the Reykjanes Peninsula
Day 3 - Adventures on the Golden Circle Route
After waking up in Reykjavik, start the day by heading out of the city to visit Iceland's most popular sightseeing route, the Golden Circle. Aside from Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall, the three famous sites that make up the Golden Circle, you can also visit some secret spots along the way.
You are invited to add on some exciting tours during the booking process to spice up this day. You could start your journey by visiting a horse farm just outside Reykjavik city if you opt to. There, you will meet the friendly Icelandic horse for a riding tour around the countryside. Icelandic horses are very gentle, so this trip is an excellent choice for children and adults alike.
You will head to Thingvellir National Park, the birthplace of Iceland's parliament. The park is located in a valley between two tectonic plates that are drifting apart. As the continents shift, they create canyons and fissures that are visible in the area.
Some of those fissures are filled with underground meltwater from nearby glaciers, and today, you can go snorkeling in these waters. At Silfra fissure, you'll be suited up in a drysuit and then taken to the crystal-clear waters, where you'll discover the electric blue underworld that lies just below the water's surface.
You'll then move on to the bubbling mud pools, the steaming hot springs, and erupting geysers of the Geysir geothermal area. There, the geyser Strokkur erupts every 5-10 minutes, giving you plenty of chances to capture a great selfie with the 66 ft (20 m) water column in the background.
Next up is the 'Golden Waterfall' Gullfoss. From several viewing platforms, you'll be able to see as the river Hvita dramatically plunges 105 ft (32 m) into an ancient canyon, creating a thundering noise that will shake your core and echo in your ear.
During the booking process, you can opt for a tour that departs from Gullfoss waterfall, where you visit Langjokull glacier, the same ice cap that feeds the river Hvita. There, you'll hop aboard a snowmobile and race across the white expanse, filling your veins with adrenaline and your lungs with cool glacial air.
Before you return to Reykjavik, there are a few secret spots you should check out as well, one aptly called 'The Secret Lagoon.' Located in the village of Fludir, the Secret Lagoon is a beautiful geothermal pool where the surrounding hot springs, fumaroles, and small geyser provide a fantastical air of mystery.
You can check out the Fridheimar farm and learn how Icelanders harness geothermal energy to grow tomatoes and vegetables all year round or see a rainbow of colors at Kerid crater lake. The crater's steep walls, made of dark red volcanic rocks covered with bright green moss, surround the sky-blue water and give it an otherworldly appearance.
Day 4 - Journeying the South Coast
As this is a self-drive, you decide when you hit the road. However, the South Coast is filled with beautiful attractions and activities, so you might want to think about getting an early start today. You'll be driving past glaciers that cover volcanoes on your way to see cascading waterfalls and black sand beaches.
Head east, making your way through the geothermal town of Hveragerdi and the small village of Hvolsvollur. The first stop of the day is the stunning waterfall Seljalandsfoss. Make sure to pack waterproof clothes as you will be able to follow a footpath that leads you behind the cascading water. From Seljalandsfoss, you can take a short walk to a hidden gem, Gljufrabui waterfall, partly covered by large cliffs.
It is just a short drive to your next destination, Skogafoss, a massive cascade that will show you both Mother Nature's strength and beauty at the same time. The waterfall lies beneath the glaciers Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull, and today on your journey, you can opt for some exciting glacier adventures.
You can stop at Solheimajokull, an outlet glacier of Myrdalsjokull, to take part in a glacier hike or an ice climbing tour. You can also head further east to the village of Vik, where you'll board a super jeep, a large, custom vehicle that will drive you up Myrdalsjokull glacier to an authentic ice cave. The only one of its kind accessible all year round.
The village of Vík is a great place to stop for lunch or snacks before returning to Reykjavík as it sits on the banks of the black sand beach of Reynisfjara. Take in the view of the crashing Atlantic Ocean waves, hitting both the beach and the massive Reynisdrangar sea stacks, which rise out of the ocean like petrified trolls, before making your way back to the city.
However, if you are an enthusiastic sightseer, you can skip the optional tours, delay your returning journey, and continue further east to see the stunning Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. At the lagoon, massive icebergs that have broken off a nearby glacier float peacefully in the water before drifting off to sea.
Those looking to go on a different route today and want to see some hidden treasures can drive to the black sands of Solheimasandur, where they'll find the skeleton of a crashed DC airplane, then visit Seljavallalaug pool which is hidden inside a mountain pass. You could also ditch your car for a few hours, hop aboard a super jeep and drive into the Highlands to see the rhyolitic mountains at Landmannalaugar geothermal area.
Whatever you decide to do today, you'll be filled with great memories of a fantastic day on the South Coast as you return to your accommodation in Reykjavik city.
Day 5 - The Magical Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Today you'll explore a 56-mile (90 km) stretch of land that is filled with lava fields, beaches, charming fishing villages, a stunning coastline, and an inspiring glacier volcano. This little piece of land is sometimes nicknamed 'Iceland in Miniature' due to its many diverse attractions, but it is mostly called the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
Start the day by driving past Reykjavik's mighty mountain Esja and into the green fields of western Iceland until you reach your first stop, the cliffs of Gerduberg. The site comprises a long belt of hexagonal basalt columns that resemble a man-made castle wall, but these form naturally in Iceland's volcanic environment.
Icelandic beaches are usually jet-black, but your next stop is at one of few white beaches in the country. Ytri-Tunga is not only a beautiful location, filled with white dunes and small islets just off the coast, but it is a great place to spot seals as they can often be seen swimming in the ocean or lazing on the shore.
You'll be sure to capture some amazing photos in the peninsula's many villages, like the black church in Budir, the rock arch in Arnarstapi, the beautiful rock formations down by the sea at Hellnar, and the charming houses at Stykkisholmur.
Don't forget to stop by the coastline to see the massive Londrangar volcanic plugs that jut out of the ocean and to walk to the black pebble beach of Djupalonssandur, where remains of a ship that wrecked there in 1948 lie scattered around.
Watching over you on your journey is the mighty glacier volcano Snaefellsjokull. The glacier served as an entryway to the subterranean adventure in Jules Verne's 1864's novel 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth.' Today, you can have your own adventure underground with a visit to Vatnshellir lava cave, where you follow a path that was created by flowing lava thousands of years ago.
Before you head back to Reykjavik, be sure to stop near the town of Grundarfjordur to snap a few photos of the pyramid-shaped mountain Kirkjufell and its nearby waterfall. Fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones might recognize this striking feature.
Day 6 - Leaving Iceland
On your last day in Iceland, you will head, once again, out to the moss-covered lava field of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Make sure you'll be at Keflavik International Airport in good time to return your vehicle and catch your departing flight.
If your flight leaves late, you can use your remaining time to explore the city further. A short drive away from downtown Reykjavik is the recreational area of Laugardalur. If the weather is nice, this is a great place for a short walk or a picnic.
You could visit Laugardalslaug, Reykjavik's largest swimming pool, which comes equipped with lap lanes, geothermal hot tubs, steam rooms, and a water slide. You could also check out the nearby Family Park and Zoo to see Icelandic wildlife animals and meet a few Icelandic horses and sheep before hopping back in your car and driving to the Airport.
Have a nice flight and come back soon.
What to bring
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.
Some optional activities might require you to have a valid driver's license, or you might need to send additional information to your travel planner. Please note that you might need to present medical documents should you choose to go snorkeling.
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.
Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For other levels, 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.
Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels. Located in the region of the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.
Rooms with shared bathrooms in farmhouses, guesthouses or hostels, with good locations near the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.
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) insurance. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars.
All levels come equipped with 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.