Exciting 6-Day Northern Lights Winter Self-Drive Tour of Iceland's Golden Circle & Snaefellsnes

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Likely to sell out soon
Free cancellation
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Fully customizable

Description

Summary

Starts from
Keflavík Airport (KEF), Iceland
Ends in
Keflavík Airport (KEF), Iceland
Duration
6 days & 5 nights
Difficulty
Easy
Available
Sept. - Apr.
Accommodation
5 nights included
Car rental
6 days included

Description

Explore the highlights of the Golden Circle and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland on this fantastic six-day self-drive tour. Travelers visiting Iceland in the winter who want to see dramatic coastlines, mighty volcanoes,  spectacular waterfalls, and the northern lights will love this self-guided tour. 

Organizing your own trip to Iceland can be tricky. There are so many attractions to see, and you won't want to forget anything. Choosing a self-drive tour means we'll do the hard work for you, planning a perfect itinerary and booking accommodation at a great price. 

Book this top-rated self-drive tour to receive a detailed itinerary and a personal travel agent to help you with any aspect of your trip. They'll be available by phone 24 hours a day, giving you peace of mind if you have any questions or problems. You can also cancel the trip for free up to 24 hours before departure and receive a full refund if your plans change. 

Your adventure will begin as soon as you land at Keflavik International Airport. You'll collect your rental car when you land and can start exploring at your leisure.

Journey through the most famous sights in the country with a self-guided tour of the Golden Circle. Relax in the healing waters of the world-famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa and discover beautiful fjords, lava caves, volcanic craters, and waterfalls. Explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland and visit two of Iceland's three national parks. 

A self-drive tour is an ideal choice if you want freedom and flexibility. You can travel at your own pace without rushing off to meet tour groups or wait for other travelers. 

You'll spend your days enjoying Iceland's beauty and learning about its history and culture. Since this is a winter tour, you can spend your evenings hunting for the northern lights. Witness the magic of the aurora borealis in the remote Icelandic countryside. It's an experience you'll never forget. 

In addition to the most popular attractions in Iceland, you'll have the chance to get off the beaten path and visit lesser-known locations you won't find on a typical guided tour. Explore the unspoiled environment of Iceland's coasts and forests.

When you book, you can also add exciting extras to your tour. Zoom across the Langjokull glacier on a snowmobile, snorkel between tectonic plates at the Silfra fissure in Thingvellir National Park, or go lava caving at Vatnshellir. 

After six fantastic sightseeing days, you'll drop your rental car back at the airport in time for your flight home.

Enjoy the best bits of Iceland in winter with this six-day self-drive tour, visiting the Golden Circle and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. 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

Destinations

Reykjavik is the northernmost capital city in the world.Reykjavík / 2 nights
Beautiful coastal geology helps to define the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.Snæfellsnes / 3 nights
Deildartunguhver geothermal hot spring in West IcelandDeildartunguhver
Reykholt was home to Snorri Sturluson, a medieval writer.Reykholt

Map

Attractions

Borg á Mýrum is a church estate in Iceland.Borg á Mýrum
Hraunfossar is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in West Iceland.Hraunfossar
Mount Kirkjufell on Snaefellsnes peninsula is one of the most iconic mountains in IcelandKirkjufell
Snæfellsjökull glacier above the black church at Búðir village.Snæfellsjökull
Djupalonssandur has beautiful natural featuresDjupalonssandur
Lóndrangar under the midnight sun.Lóndrangar
Búðakirkja Church bathed by the Northern LightsBudir
Seals hauling out at Ytri Tunga.Ytri Tunga Beach
Þingvellir National Park is Iceland's only UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the major stops along the world famous Golden Circle sightseeing route.Thingvellir
Geysir is a dormant hot spring in the geothermal area, Haukadalur Valley, found in South Iceland.Geysir
Long-exposure photo of Gullfoss waterfall on a cloudy dayGullfoss
Þingvellir National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on Iceland’s mainland, is birthplace of the country’s parliament.Kerið
Kleifarvatn is the third largest lake in Iceland.Kleifarvatn
KrýsuvíkKrýsuvík
Gunnuhver is one of the geothermal areas on the Reykjanes Peninsula.Gunnuhver

Activities

Snorkelling
Caving
Snowmobile
Super Jeep
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Northern lights hunting
Hot Spring Bathing
Ice Caving
Self drive

Travel details

Travel dates

Travelers

Car

Car

Small car

Small car

Category
Small
Transmission
People
Large bags
Medium car

Medium car

Category
Medium
Transmission
People
Large bags
Premium car

Premium car

Category
Premium
Transmission
People
Large bags
large car

large car

Category
Large
Transmission
People
Large bags
SUV

SUV

Category
JEEPSUV
Transmission
People
Large bags

Personalize your itinerary

Day 1

Day 1 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík - Arrival day
  • More

Let the adventure begin! On the first day of your self-drive tour, you can explore the Reykjanes Peninsula, soak in the Blue Lagoon, and enjoy your first evening in Reykjavik.

Pick up your rental car at Keflavik International Airport and load your luggage. You'll now be ready to set off on your self-drive winter tour. Depending on your flight's arrival time, you might want to drive straight to your accommodation in Reykjavik or spend some time exploring.

If you have time today, visit the Reykjanes Peninsula to admire its striking coastline and bubbling geothermal areas. The peninsula is home to the Fagradalsfjall volcano, which erupted in 2021 and 2022 and dramatically changed the area's geological structure. It's worth exploring the eruption site if you're interested in Iceland's volcanic activity.

You can also choose to stop at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa today. This world-famous hot spring is in the middle of a moss-covered lava field and is known for its milky blue waters and stunning surroundings. Relaxing in the geothermal water is a great way to unwind after a long flight, but don't worry if you don't have time to visit today, as you'll have time another day.

When ready, you can drive into Reykjavik, the world's northernmost capital city. Reykjavik is a bustling metropolis with plenty to see and do, including museums, galleries, beautiful architecture, and the picturesque Old Harbor. 

It also has excellent nightlife, with world-class restaurants and plenty of bars. Check into your accommodation and spend the rest of the day exploring the city at your own pace. 

If you prefer, you can drive into the countryside to see if you can spot the northern lights. They appear in Iceland's skies between September and April.

When you're ready for bed, your comfortable accommodation in the city center awaits you.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 2

Day 2 – Snæfellsnes

  • Snæfellsnes
  • More
  • Borg a Myrum church and farm
  • Deildartunguhver hot spring
  • Reykholt historical site
  • Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls
  • More

On day two of your self-drive winter tour, you'll visit the Hraunfossar waterfall and the town of Borgarnes before arriving on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

After breakfast in Reykjavik, you can start your drive out of the city. You'll join the Ring Road and head northward until you reach the town of Borgarnes via the Hvalfjardargong undersea tunnel. 

Borgarnes is a picturesque coastal town at the edge of the Borgarfjordur fjord and the mouth of a river. It's also home to the Icelandic Settlement Center, a fascinating museum that can teach you about Iceland's early settlers and the Egils saga. 

Next, you'll drive east toward the beautiful Hraunfossar waterfall and the Deildartunguhver hot spring. You can explore these and admire the stunning views at your own pace. 

One of the optional tours for today is a visit to the Vidgelmir lava cave, one of the most sizable caves in Iceland. An expert guide will take you deep into the lava tunnel to see the unusual shapes and structures. You'll get fantastic photos and a better understanding of the power of Iceland's volcanoes.

Alternatively, go inside a glacier with a tour of a manufactured ice tunnel in the Langjokull glacier. This exciting tour starts with a ride in a specially adapted vehicle over the glacier, letting you enjoy the gorgeous views of the wintery landscape.

Your experienced guide will then lead you into the tunnel to see the blue ice and feel the power of Iceland's glaciers. Langjokull is the second-largest glacier in Iceland, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see it up close. 

After an exciting day of exploring, you can continue to your accommodation in or near the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. 

Since you'll be away from Reykjavik's light pollution, this is an excellent opportunity to hunt for the northern lights. Stay up late, watching the green, yellow, pink, and red lights dancing in the sky above you, then get a good night's sleep in your comfortable accommodation.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 3

Day 3 – Snæfellsnes

  • Snæfellsnes
  • More
  • Kirkjufell Mountain
  • Snaefellsjokull
  • Djupalonssandur black pebble beach
  • More

Explore the highlights of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its picturesque mountains, hiking trails, and pretty villages. 

Begin your day with breakfast at your accommodation, then prepare for your adventure on the peninsula. You'll return to the same room tonight, so you don't need to pack your things or check out. 

Start by exploring the coastal village of Stykkisholmur, the most significant settlement on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It's one of the prettiest villages in Iceland, so take your time walking through the streets and enjoying the views of the Breidafjordur fjord. You can also visit a volcano museum or the Library of Water, an unusual art installation dedicated to Iceland's crystal-clear spring water.

Next, drive to the iconic Kirkjufell mountain, one of Iceland's most photographed sites. The peak, near the village of Grundafjordur, has an unusual conical shape that makes it very distinctive. The nearby Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall is one of the best places to see it, so bring your camera!

Spend the rest of the day exploring the peninsula at your leisure. Keep driving west, stopping at photo points, until you reach the Snaefellsjokull National Park. The park is dominated by the stratovolcano that gives the park and the peninsula their names. 

The volcano features in Jules Verne's 1864 novel Journey to the Center of the Earth, marking the entrance to the underworld. It's an enormous volcano with a height of almost 4,750 feet (about 1,440 meters). On a clear day, the ice-capped volcano is visible from Reykjavik.

There are several other attractions on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, but you'll have time tomorrow to see anything you miss today. Take your time and enjoy the experience.

Return eastward through the peninsula to your accommodation whenever you're ready. You can stop off in beautiful locations to wait for the aurora borealis. Witnessing the lights in the sky above the Kirkjufell mountain or the Breidafjordur fjord is utterly spectacular.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 4

Day 4 – Snæfellsnes

  • Snæfellsnes
  • More
  • Londrangar Basalt Cliffs
  • Budir hamlet
  • Ytri Tunga Beach
  • More

Continue exploring the Snaefellsnes Peninsula on day four of your six-day self-drive winter adventure in Iceland.

After breakfast in your accommodation, you can spend today exploring more of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula at your leisure. One of the best things about a self-drive tour is that you can travel at your own pace. You don't need to rush to keep up with tour groups, so take your time and soak in the experience. 

Since you spent yesterday on the peninsula's northern coastline, you can spend today exploring the south. Drive to the Djupalonssandur black-sand beach to see Iceland's famous volcanic sands up close. Also known as the Black Lava Pearl Beach, Djupalonssandur boasts striking lava formations and incredible coastal views. 

Walk along the sands and enjoy the views of the Londrangar cliffs, but ensure you don't get too close to the water's edge. The Atlantic Ocean here is mighty, and it can be dangerous.

If you have time today, you can enjoy an optional tour of an 8,000-year-old lava tube. A volcanic eruption created the tunnel, and you can see vividly colored rocks revealing the mineral deposits the molten rock left. The tunnel is over 650 feet (about 200 meters) long and has a depth of 115 feet (around 35 meters) at its deepest point.

Next, you can start the return journey to your accommodation by driving back along the peninsula's southern coast. Stop at the fishing villages of Hellnar and Arnarstapi. You can hike from one to the other if you like. 

Don't forget to stop at the Budir church, too. If it's dark by now, this is a fantastic place to wait for the northern lights if the aurora forecast is good.

Return to your accommodation and spend another peaceful night in the quiet wintery realm of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 5

Day 5 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
  • More
  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Geysir geothermal area
  • Gullfoss waterfall
  • Kerid Crater
  • More

Explore Iceland's most remarkable attractions with an exciting day on the Golden Circle, the country's most popular sightseeing route. 

After breakfast at your accommodation, it'll be time to say goodbye to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. You'll drive back to the village of Borgarnes and start your day with a stop at Thingvellir National Park. 

This national park, one of three in Iceland, is a site of enormous historical and geological importance. It's where Iceland's parliament, the Althingi, was first formed in 930 A.D. You can also see two tectonic plates drifting apart, an incredible opportunity.

While here, you can take an optional snorkeling tour in the Silfra fissure between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and get an unforgettable view of the underwater canyon walls. Visibility extends as far as 328 feet (about 100 meters). Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim. 

Next, continue to the Geysir geothermal area within the Haukadalur valley. Geysir is the boiling hot spring that gave its name to all others. It's not very active these days, but the neighboring Strokkur geyser erupts every five or ten minutes, so you won't have to wait long to see it.

The final Golden Circle attraction is the Gullfoss waterfall. Its name translates to "Golden Falls," and this is where the Golden Circle gets its name. The waterfall has two tiers, sending almost 360 cubic feet (about 110 cubic meters) of water cascading over its crest every second in the winter. 

You'll have time to explore the area and take incredible photos of the spectacular waterfall. You can also join an optional snowmobiling tour that takes you zooming across the Langjokull glacier. It's a fantastic way to end your day before you go to Reykjavik for your final evening in Iceland. 

You'll check into your accommodation in the city center and can spend the evening enjoying the nightlife before bed.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 6

Day 6 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík - Departure day
  • More
  • Kleifarvatn
  • Krýsuvík
  • Gunnuhver
  • More

Make the most of your final day in Iceland by exploring Reykjavik or visiting the Blue Lagoon before your flight. 

Depending on your flight's departure time, you can spend the day making the most of the city's top attractions before you go to the airport. 

There's more to see and explore in Reykjavik beyond the most well-known attractions. Delve into the vibrant Icelandic culture at the Arbaer Open Air Museum, where you can witness the preservation of traditional Icelandic houses and experience the local way of life during the earlier centuries.

For a tranquil yet vibrant experience, visit the Grasagardur Botanical Garden, which hosts a wide variety of both native and foreign flora, offering a peaceful escape in the heart of the city.

For art enthusiasts, visiting the Museum of Design and Applied Art provides an insight into Icelandic creativity with a rich collection of works from the 20th century to the present.

Additionally, take a peaceful stroll along the Sculpture and Shore Walk, a picturesque seaside pathway adorned with striking sculptures, and enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and sea. Don't miss the Sun Voyager, an iconic sculpture by Jon Gunnar Arnason, promising a visual treat, especially during the sunset.

If you didn't visit the Blue Lagoon on your first day, you could end your vacation by relaxing in the healing geothermal waters of this incredible spa. Reflect on the adventure you've enjoyed as you soak and relax with a silica-rich face mask.

When it's time for your flight, drop your rental car at the airport and go to the departure lounge. We wish you a pleasant journey home and look forward to seeing you in Iceland again one day!

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Experiences

What to bring

Warm, waterproof clothing
Sturdy hiking shoes
Hat, gloves, and scarf
Driver's license
Luggage
Passport
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.

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.

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. 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.

Gravel protection is not included if you choose a Toyota Aygo or similar.

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