6 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | Snaefellsnes & The Golden Circle

6 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | Snaefellsnes & The Golden Circle
Buðir on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is renowned for being Iceland's most romantic location; under the auroras in winter, this is magnified.
North Iceland has more Icelandic horses than any other region; a pair are pictured here in their winter coats.
On this winter self-drive tour, you will have five nights with plenty of opportunities to drive out in hunt of the aurora borealis.
The Blue Lagoon Spa is open to visitors throughout the year, but you will want to book a ticket in advance.
Simply by driving through the dark winter landscapes of Iceland at night, you provide yourself with a good chance of seeing the auroras.
The parks of Reykjavík become frosted and magical as winter wraps the country in ice and snow.

Choose this self-drive tour of the beautiful Snæfellsnes peninsula in winter, when all is clean and bright, the dramatic coastline and mighty volcanoes topped with a blanket of snow.

As soon as you collect your rental car, you'll be off to see beautiful fjords, a lava tube cave, a volcanic crater and several waterfalls. You’ll also visit two of the three national parks in Iceland. The country's most famous attraction, the Blue Lagoon spa, and the Golden Circle sightseeing route are included in the price.

Iceland is at your feet, and your time is your own. There are no buses to meet nor tour guides to obey on a self-drive tour. 

As your days are filled with the wonder and beauty of Iceland’s history, culture, and scenery, so are your nights. The darkness, so pervasive in the long nights, lets you easily search the skies for the gleam of the Northern Lights.

During the booking process, choose from exciting extras to add to this tour. If you like, explore the lava cave at Vatnshellir, schedule a 1-hour horseback ride in the country, zoom across Langjökull glacier on a snowmobile or go snorkeling in Silfra fissure at Þingvellir National Park.

You’re on vacation, so get away from crowds and busy city streets to fully appreciate the unspoiled environment on the coasts, highlands, and forests. We’ve chosen a few select locales you won’t find on a Top 10 list of Most Popular Places in Iceland so that you can revive your flagging spirit in peace. It's all part of the custom itinerary that's yours when you choose this tour.

Don't miss this specially created tour! Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Sep. - Apr.
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Activities: Snorkelling, Caving, Hiking, Snowmobile, Super Jeep, Horse Riding, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Hot Spring Bathing, Ice Caving, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, West Iceland , Reykjavík, Snæfellsjökull, Geysir, Gullfoss, Þingvellir, Hraunfossar, Deildartunguhver, Strokkur, Snæfellsnes, Reykjanes, Stykkishólmur, Hellnar, Borgarnes, Langjökull, Arnarstapi, Kirkjufell, Haukadalur, Grundarfjörður, Vatnshellir Cave, Lóndrangar, Capital Region, Djúpalónssandur, Ytri Tunga Beach, Víðgelmir
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible

Your car will await you at Keflavík International Airport when you arrive. You will drop it off at Keflavík airport, too, when you depart from Iceland.
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 comfort entrance (upgrade to premium level 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

  • Winter hiking shoes


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.

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximise your chances to see them if weather allows. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.

It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is cancelled. If your chosen activity is cancelled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you.

Note that Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the wintertime. We recommend you bring shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers. The covers can be purchased in most supermarkets and gas stations around the country.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland & Reykjanes Peninsula


The oldest lighthouse in Iceland is on the Reykjanes Peninsula, and named Reykjanesvíti.


Pick up your car at Keflavík International Airport before driving to your accommodation in downtown Reykjavík. On the way, you'll have time to explore the Reykjanes Peninsula with its striking coastline and bubbling geothermal areas.

You can also choose to visit the Blue Lagoon on your arrival day or leave it until your last day, if your arrival time does not allow for a visit on this day.

After settling in at your centrally-located hotel in Reykjavík, the rest of the day is free for you to explore one of Europe's most exciting cities. Take advantage of the abundance of museums, galleries, restaurants and cafés right on your doorstep, before spending your first night in the capital of Iceland.


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 - Volcano Crater & Waterfalls


There are plenty of dark spaces and hidden gems from which to marvel at the northern lights in west Iceland.


Your second day begins with a drive north through the Hvalfjarðargöng undersea tunnel, which will take you to your first stop in the town of Borgarnes, home to one of the most influential Vikings in the Icelandic sagas, Skallagrimur of Egils saga.

Be sure to visit the Icelandic Settlement Centre before you continue your journey north to learn more about the fascinating history of the area.

Then you'll view the cascades of Hraunfossar, which appear in the landscape seemingly out of nowhere. If you want to see some hot springs, the remarkable Deildartunguhver hot spring is en route.

Optional tours today are a visit to Víðgelmir cave, or to go to the man-made ice cave tunnels inside Langjökull glacier.

Stay overnight in the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Keep your eyes open for the Northern Lights!


Preferred accommodation by Snæfellsnes

Snæfellsnes Budget

Hof Guesthouse is situated on the southern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula, just a few hundred metres from the beach. Private bedrooms with shared bathroom, living room and kitchen. Free access to a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi in public areas. Breakfast not included.

Snæfellsnes Comfort

Fosshotel Stykkishólmur is a 3 star hotel centrally located within the town Stykkishólmur. Spacious hotel with a view towards the bay. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Snæfellsnes Quality

Hotel Búðir is a 4 star hotel on the southern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula, with a view towards Snæfellsjökull glacier and to the sea. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 3 - National Park of Snæfellsjökull


There are few sites as impressive and daunting in Iceland in winter as Mount Kirkjufell.


Today, you will explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and discover picturesque mountains, hiking trails and small villages. From the small village of Stykkishólmur, you can go on an optional Viking Sushi boat ride and taste some fresh seafood as you sail between the many islands of the wide fjord Breiðafjörður, enjoying the sights and sounds of the sea.

Mount Kirkjufell is another scenic spot near the village of Grundarfjörður, and it has become one of Iceland's most iconic locations.

Spend the day exploring the area and meeting the locals, before heading to the National Park at Snæfellsjökull. It's dominated by a fantastic stratovolcano that gives its name to the park. This is the volcano in Jules Verne's 1864 novel Journey to the Center of the Earth which marks the entrance to the earth's shadowy underworld.

Overnight again in the Snæfellsnes peninsula.


Day 4 - Mesmerizing Coastline - Lava Cave Vatnshellir


Lava Caving is one of the activities that can be done in Iceland throughout the year.


You'll have the day in Snæfellsnes to explore and experience the area. You can take a hiking trip on the black sands at Djúpalón and enjoy the sight of the Lóndrangar rock formation. Who knows, you might see Greenland in the distance, far across the ocean. If you want so do some underground exploring, you can visit the mysterious Vatnshellir Lava Tube Cave with a guided tour.

Enjoy a hike between Hellnar and the fishing village of Arnarstapi, with its rugged coastline and dramatic basalt rock formations. If you'd like to go on a longer hike, you can even choose to hike to the top of Snæfellsjökull glacier!

Spend another night in the quiet winter realm of the Snæfellsnes peninsula.


Day 5 - The Golden Circle


The geyser Strokkur erupts very regularly, so visitors don't need to wait long to see this great marvel at work.


Some of Iceland's most remarkable attractions are located on the classic route called the Golden Circle. Departing from Reykjavik, you reach the National Park of Thingvellir, where Christianity was established in Iceland more than 1000 years ago. The geological and historical importance of Thingvellir is immense for Icelanders. This area also holds the best dive site in Iceland, Silfra, where you can choose to snorkeling between continents, with visibility of more than 100 metres in the crystal clear waters.

The geyser area is your next stop, and you'll get a few chances to see the geyser Strokkur erupting to the delight of travelers. The last of the 3 attractions of the Golden Circle is Gullfoss Falls, probably Iceland's best known.

You can join a snowmobiling tour at Langjökull glacier from here, if you're interested.

Head back to Reykjavík for the last night of your trip.


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 - Departure


Before a flight home or to a new destination, unwinding in the Blue Lagoon eases away any tension.


Make the most of your final day in Iceland. If your flight from Keflavik is in the afternoon, you may have time for a relaxing visit to the world-renowned Blue Lagoon, or even a short drive around the volcanic Reykjanes peninsula if you didn't do so on your first day. Be careful not to lose track of time and miss your flight, though!

If you visited the Blue Lagoon on your arrival day, then simply soak in the atmosphere in Reykjavík, or perhaps have one last soak in one of Reykjavík's geothermally heated pools before heading to the airport.

Have a comfortable flight and come back soon! 


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.


Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel the booking of this package and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person. The cancellation must be made within a minimum of 48-hours before the listed starting time. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact our service desk by writing to info@guidetoiceland.is no later than 48-hours before departure and declare the cancellation. Please note that this insurance only covers the full cancellation of this entire package. It does not cover cancellations of individual activities and services within the package. The cost of the Cancellation Insurance is neither refundable nor transferable.


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6 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | Snaefellsnes & The Golden Circle
 
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