Amazing 6-Day Northern Lights Winter Self-Drive Tour on Iceland's South Coast with Ice Caving

The northern lights fill the sky and dye the surroundings their colors, particularly over the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.
Likely to sell out soon
Free cancellation
24/7 customer support
Perfect travel plan



Tour starts
Keflavík Airport (KEF), Iceland
Starting time
6 days
Ending place
Keflavík Airport (KEF), Iceland
Sept. - Apr.
Ending time
Minimum age


Join this six-day winter self-drive tour around some of the best spots in Iceland, including the spectacular South Coast and the incredible sights of the Golden Circle. This tour is perfect for those who want to experience Iceland's magical South Coast during winter with a great-value rental car and accommodation included.

This self-drive adventure is ideal for those visiting Iceland in winter who want the freedom and flexibility to travel at their own pace. You'll receive a detailed itinerary with this top-rated package and have access to a personal travel agent who you can talk to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Instead of planning your own Icelandic travel itinerary, we'll do the work for you. We'll ensure you visit the most popular places in South Iceland and don't miss out on the top winter attractions. You'll also get great tips to help maximize your chances of seeing the northern lights during your visit.

You'll start your adventure by exploring the stunning Golden Circle sightseeing route. You'll visit the Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir geothermal area, and the mighty waterfall of Gullfoss.

Next, you'll continue along Iceland's diverse South Coast toward the crown jewel of Iceland, the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Watch the magnificent blue icebergs float out to sea from the lagoon, and check out Diamond Beach, where icebergs have washed up on the shore to create an otherworldly display.

Make your trip extra special by booking an optional tour of a mesmerizing blue ice cave in Southeast Iceland. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is a must-see for people visiting Iceland between October and March. Expert guides will take you into magical ice caves to let you witness walls of sapphire ice — it's unforgettable.

You can add other activities to this self-drive package to customize it per your preferences. Examples include hot spring bathing, snorkeling, snowmobiling, horse riding, glacier hiking, a tour inside a dormant volcano, or a helicopter tour over the Vatnajokull glacier.

Don't forget to visit the jet-black sands of the Reynisfjara beach. This black-sand beach has appeared in TV shows and movies like Game of Thrones and Star Wars. The striking black basalt columns and towering offshore sea stacks provide a majestic backdrop to the Atlantic Ocean.

During your trip, you'll also visit some of Iceland's most impressive waterfalls. Travel to Skogafoss to discover the raw power of cascading water, or visit Seljalandsfoss and bask in its fairytale-like winter setting.

Travelers visiting Iceland in winter can spend their evenings hunting the northern lights. This unpredictable natural display lights up the skies of Iceland from September to April, casting ribbons of green, yellow, pink, white, and even red into the atmosphere.

This self-drive tour lets you visit the most popular attractions of Iceland and off-the-beaten-track spots at your own pace. You'll discover the highlights of Iceland in winter without the crowds associated with a group tour. What's more, if your plans change, you can cancel for free and receive a full refund up to 24 hours before your departure.

Take advantage of this six-day winter self-drive tour of the most popular locations on Iceland's South Coast! Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Five nights of accommodation (different levels available, with breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels — more detailed information below)
Car rental for six days, in a comfortable new vehicle
CDW insurance included for all vehicles
Free Wi-Fi in vehicle
Detailed travel itinerary
Personal travel agent available 24/7


Glacier Hiking
Ice Climbing
Horse Riding
Boat Trip
Northern lights hunting
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Ice Caving
Self drive

Daily itinerary

Day 1
The Sun Voyager sculpture in Reykjavik at sunset.

Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland and Reykjavik

Your adventure begins with your arrival in Iceland and a fun-filled day in Reykjavik, on the Reykjanes Peninsula, or at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.

After arriving at Keflavik International Airport, you’ll pick up your rental car and drive into Reykjavik city. On your way to the Icelandic capital, you can stop at the world-renowned Blue Lagoon geothermal spa or visit some attractions on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

The Blue Lagoon is known for its healing blue waters and luxurious spa treatments. It’s in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, which gives it an otherworldly atmosphere. It’s one of the most popular attractions in the country, so you must book your ticket in advance. 

If you add a Blue Lagoon ticket to your self-drive tour, we’ll arrange it to suit your flight time. Alternatively, you can talk to your travel consultant to book your entry ticket for another day of your Icelandic adventure.

Whenever you book your ticket, you can spend a few hours relaxing in the soothing hot waters and enjoy a silica face mask to soothe your skin.

From here, you can drive around the Reykjanes Peninsula to explore other sights in the area. The Reykjanes Peninsula is an area of Southwest Iceland with high levels of geothermal activity, making this an excellent introduction to the country’s stark beauty. 

You can explore lava fields and volcanoes, including the Fagradalsfjall volcano, which erupted in 2021 and 2022.

From here, it’s an easy drive to downtown Reykjavik. Iceland’s capital is only 30 miles (about 50 kilometers) from the Blue Lagoon. You can head to your accommodation in the capital city to check in and drop off your luggage.

Spend the rest of the day exploring the vibrant, culture-filled metropolis. Reykjavik has fascinating museums, beautiful art and sculptures, and bustling streets. Whether you’re interested in food, Viking history, art, or nightlife, you’ll find something to suit you here. 

Take yourself out for dinner and a drink, and return to your accommodation for a good night’s sleep before your trip tomorrow.

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Day 2
The northern lights shine green, yellow, and white in the Icelandic sky.

Day 2 - Golden Circle Sightseeing

Visit the most popular attractions in Iceland with a trip to the Golden Circle sightseeing route. 

After a comfortable night’s sleep in your Reykjavik accommodation, you’ll wake refreshed and ready to start your Icelandic adventure. Today, you’ll visit the Golden Circle, the most popular sightseeing route in the country.

Drive out of Reykjavik toward Thingvellir National Park. This is one of only three national parks in Iceland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can see a fault line where two tectonic plates are pulling apart, go snorkeling in the Silfra fissure, or learn about Iceland’s political history. Participants in the optional snorkeling tour need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim. 

Next, many visitors choose to visit the Fontana Spa. If you’ve booked this as an optional extra, you can spend a couple of hours relaxing in the luxurious geothermal waters as you enjoy spectacular lake views. 

The next destination is the Geysir geothermal area. Geysir itself isn’t very active these days, but the nearby Strokkur geyser erupts every few minutes, shooting water as high as 66 feet (about 20 meters) into the air. Witnessing this eruption among the fumaroles and hot springs is a fantastic experience you won’t want to miss.

From here, you’ll continue to the final stop on the Golden Circle, the Gullfoss waterfall. The word “Gullfoss” means “golden waterfall.” It gives its name to the Golden Circle route and is one of the most iconic falls in Iceland. Take a walk down to the edge to get an unforgettable view. 

Optional add-ons for the Golden Circle include a thrilling snowmobiling or monster truck adventure on the mighty Langjokull glacier. Get your adrenaline pumping as you take in the spectacular snowy landscapes around you. 

You could also book a horseback riding tour. Icelandic horses are known for their friendly temperaments and unique gait called the tolt. Discover the majestic beauty of these gentle creatures as you ride through the Icelandic countryside.

Your accommodation for tonight is in Southwest Iceland. Spend your evening having dinner and looking up at the sky to try and spot the northern lights.

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Day 3
Water cascades into a plunge pool at a waterfall in Iceland.

Day 3 - South Iceland Waterfalls and Black Sands

The third day of this self-drive tour takes you to waterfalls, glaciers, and an iconic black-sand beach.

You'll start your morning in Selfoss. From here, you'll drive toward the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which famously erupted in 2010 and brought European air traffic to a standstill with its enormous ash clouds. 

The first stops of the day are the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls. Skogafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland, with a width of 82 feet (about 25 meters) and a drop of almost 200 feet (approximately 60 meters). You can get some fantastic photos here before you continue to the nearby Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

Seljalandsfoss is about the same height as Skogafoss but isn't as wide. One of the best things about this waterfall is that you can fully encircle it. A cave behind the waterfall lets you stand behind the water as it crashes into the plunge pool below. Although the path is closed in winter, you can still enjoy its fairytale-like setting.

While in the area, you might want to visit the Skogar Folk Museum to see recreations of the traditional turf houses that early settlers would have lived in. 

From here, continue your journey to the Solheimajokull glacier, where you can participate in a thrilling glacier hike as an optional add-on. This unique experience combines excitement and adventure with jaw-dropping views over South Iceland.

Other optional tours for today include a snowmobiling trip on the Myrdalsjokull glacier or a visit to an Icelandic horse farm. Alternatively, you can visit the Caves of Hella or the Lava Center Exhibition and Cinema in Hvolsvollur to learn more about Iceland's volcanic past.

A must-see attraction for today is the Reynisfjara black-sand beach, where you can discover basalt cliffs and witness the full force of the North Atlantic Ocean. Here, you can embark on today's final optional adventure, a black-beach buggy tour. 

You'll retire to accommodations in South Iceland. There's hardly any light pollution in the area, so you'll have an excellent chance to see the northern lights if the skies are clear.

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Day 4
The bright-blue interior of an ice cave in Iceland.

Day 4 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Skaftafell Nature Reserve

The fourth day of your self-drive tour takes you to the iconic Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, the crown jewel of Iceland. 

You'll start the day in Vik. You can take the black-beach buggy tour offered yesterday to begin your day with some excitement. 

After this, you'll set off toward the Skaftafell nature reserve. On the way, you'll pass the picturesque Foss a Sidu waterfall, the Dverghamrar basalt columns, and the vast glacier sands of Skedarasandur. 

The Skaftafell nature reserve is within the Vatnajokull National Park and is a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts. You can take a short hike to the Svartifoss waterfall or participate in a guided glacier hike with an expert guide. This is ideal if you did a different tour on day three of your trip.

You'll continue driving east from here until you reach the magnificent Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach. Jokulsarlon is known as the "jewel of Iceland" and is a trip highlight for many. You'll want to spend as much time here to soak up the breathtaking views.

If you've booked a boat tour in advance, you can head out onto the water to get a closer look at the icebergs floating in the lagoon. There are often seals here, so you might be able to spot some of them playing or swimming in the waters.

Another optional add-on for today is a visit to a nearby ice cave. Ice caves appear in the glacial landscapes of Iceland between November and March. An expert guide will take you into a cave to see the bright blue ice and incredible shapes. This activity is very popular, so you must book it well in advance. 

After your tours, check out the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur. It's a small settlement with a remote location, making it another excellent night for northern lights hunting. 

You'll retire to your accommodation in Southeast Iceland this evening.

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Day 5
A statue of a man on a bench in a park in Iceland in winter.

Day 5 - Return to Reykjavik

The penultimate day of your self-drive tour takes you back to Reykjavik for an afternoon of sightseeing and museum hopping.

After a good night’s sleep, you’ll start your return journey to Reykjavik. It’s about 161 miles (260 kilometers), and you can drive at your own pace, but we recommend leaving early so you have enough time to spend the afternoon in Reykjavik. 

You’ll take a scenic route along the Ring Road, past the black-sand beaches, waterfalls, and glaciers you’ve seen already. Feel free to stop at any attractions you skipped or want to visit again. This is a self-drive tour, meaning you can travel at your own pace.

During your drive, you can also take an optional flight-seeing tour over the Vatnajokull glacier in a helicopter or airplane. Your other activity option for the day is a tour of the magma chamber of a dormant volcano. 

When you return to Reykjavik, you can check into your hotel for the night before making the most of your time in Iceland’s vibrant capital with more sightseeing. Walk the city’s colorful streets, see the Hallgrimskirkja church, or spend a few hours in a museum to learn more about Iceland’s history and culture.

Another attraction in Reykjavik is the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center, a striking glass building on the Old Harbor. You can also visit the Perlan Museum for panoramic city views. 

Alternatively, you can return to the Reykjanes Peninsula to stop at the Blue Lagoon or other natural attractions. The peninsula has bird-watching cliffs, fascinating geological formations, and a symbolic “bridge between continents” that lets you walk between two tectonic plates. 

You’ll spend your final night in Iceland in downtown Reykjavik. You can make the most of the city’s excellent restaurants and bars before sleeping well in your comfortable accommodation. 

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Day 6
The aurora borealis shining in the sky in Iceland.

Day 6 - Reykjavik and Departure, with Optional Blue Lagoon

Say goodbye to Iceland on the final day of your self-drive tour. 

You’ll wake in Reykjavik and can enjoy a traditional Icelandic breakfast before you make your way to the airport to drop off your hire car. 

If you have a later flight, you may have time for some final sightseeing or cultural activities in Reykjavik or the Reykjanes Peninsula before you go. 

Ending your vacation with a trip to the Blue Lagoon can be a fantastic way to unwind after a busy few days of sightseeing. Bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you reflect on your incredible adventure in the land of ice and fire. 

If you’ve already been to the Blue Lagoon, you can enjoy more sightseeing in Reykjavik. The Grotta lighthouse is worth visiting for a final view of the North Atlantic Ocean, or you can walk through the city’s picturesque parks for some fresh air. 

Make your way to Keflavik International Airport with plenty of time to drop off your hire car and check in for your flight. We wish you a pleasant journey and hope you’ll come back soon! 

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What to bring

Warm, waterproof clothing
Sturdy hiking shoes
Hat, gloves, and scarf
Driver's license
Refillable water bottle
Camera and charger
Swimsuit and towel

Good to know

Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavik City or at Keflavik International Airport. A valid driver's license is required, along with at least one year of on-road experience. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to better suit your arrival date and time.

The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and, therefore, cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximize your chances of seeing them if weather conditions allow.

In cases of extreme weather, certain activities can be canceled at short notice. If this happens, we'll assist you with rearranging or replacing the activity. Any potential price difference will be refunded to you.

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 for snorkeling or diving, and participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

Please note that this tour is available to book from September to May, but the ice caves are only accessible between November and March. Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the winter. We recommend bringing shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers, which you can purchase in many supermarkets and gas stations around Iceland.

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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.

Super Budget

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.

Super Budget 2WD

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.

Budget 2WD

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.

Budget 4x4

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.

Comfort 4x4

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.

Luxury 4x4

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 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.


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