Unforgettable 7-Day Self-Drive Tour of North Iceland's Arctic Coast Way

Likely to sell out soon
Likely to sell out soon
Free cancellation
24/7 customer support
Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable

Description

Summary

Starts from
Keflavík Airport
Ends in
Keflavík Airport
Duration
7 days & 6 nights
Difficulty
Easy
Available
May - Sept.
Accommodation
6 nights included
Car rental
7 days included

Description

Explore the incredible beauty of North Iceland on this seven-day self-drive tour. Those eager to see the most breathtaking sights of the Diamond Circle sightseeing route and the Arctic Coast Way should now book this self-drive summer vacation package today.

This North Iceland itinerary is packed full of action. You will spend your first night in Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik, before going to Akureyri, the 'Capital of the North.' 

After that, it's off to visit the stunning geothermal landscapes and mystical wonders of the region, including the famous Lake Myvatn, the lush Asbyrgi canyon, the mighty Dettifoss waterfall, and more.

This self-drive tour focuses on the lesser-known road trip route, the Arctic Coast Way. This stunning coastal route takes you along the rugged fjords in North Iceland, allowing you to explore Iceland's off-the-beaten-path locations.  

On this adventure, you'll discover some of the most remote attractions on the edge of the Arctic Circle. The route is split into three sections: the coast of sagas and mythology, the coast of fishing towns and heritage, and the coast of elemental nature. 

This route is specifically designed to allow travelers to explore Iceland's more unspoiled and remote areas.

You don't have to spend weeks planning the perfect itinerary for your Iceland vacation, as this has all been done for you and is available at a great price.

To help you find these places, you will receive a custom, detailed itinerary shaped by local experts so that you don't miss anything, which is always a risk when you plan for yourself. You can arrange the perfect blend of popular sites and hidden gems.

Also, while booking this self-drive, you can add extra activities to your vacation package. 

You can whale watch in Husavik, ride horseback in Akureyri, explore a lava cave, bathe in a Beer Spa, or take a helicopter over Iceland's magnificent geothermal landscapes. 

There is even the opportunity to discover the vivid colors inside the vast magma chamber of a dormant volcano. This tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that not many people get to do.

You'll also get a personal travel agent when you book, who you can reach at any time, seven days a week. If your plans change, you can cancel for free up to 24 hours before departure.

If you want to experience this country at your own pace, without worrying about guides, departure times, or other group members, this is the perfect choice.

Don't miss this immersive seven-day experience seeing some of Iceland's most incredible natural sights and taking thrilling tours. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Included

6 nights of accommodation
Continental breakfast on all days
New rental car for 7 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
North Iceland is home to many incredible attractions, such as the Hvitserkur rock formation.North Iceland / 1 night
Deildartunguhver geothermal hot spring in West IcelandDeildartunguhver
Reykholt was home to Snorri Sturluson, a medieval writer.Reykholt
Lake Myvatn is Northeast Iceland's most famous attraction.Northeast Iceland / 2 nights
Hvitserkur rock stands tall just off the coast of Northwest Iceland.Northwest Iceland / 1 night

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
Beautiful flowers can be found in the Kjarnaskogur forest in Iceland.Kjarnaskogur
Godafoss is a beautiful waterfall with ties to Iceland's religious history.Godafoss Waterfall
Lake Myvatn is surrounded by stunning natural beautyMývatn
Puffins are residents of Eyjafjordur from May to September.Eyjafjörður
Trollaskagi is well known for its high population of Icelandic horses.Tröllaskagi
Hvítserkur, aka; “The Troll of North-West Iceland”, is a 15-metre (49ft) high basalt rock stack protruding from Húnaflói Bay.Hvítserkur
Kleifarvatn is the third largest lake in Iceland.Kleifarvatn
KrýsuvíkKrýsuvík
Gunnuhver is one of the geothermal areas on the Reykjanes Peninsula.Gunnuhver

Activities

Caving
Snowmobile
Horse Riding
Sightseeing
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Bird watching
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

On the first day of your self-drive trip around North Iceland's Arctic Coast Way, you'll arrive at the Keflavik International Airport. Here, you'll collect your luggage, pick up your rental car, and you're ready to begin your adventure.

Your main destination for today's itinerary is Reykjavik, the northernmost capital city in the world. Before reaching this beautiful location, you'll drive through the otherworldly landscapes of Reykjanes Peninsula.

Reykjanes is characterized by volcanic terrain and unique landscapes. It features volcanoes, barren hills, black and moss-covered lava fields, and rugged coasts framed by the Atlantic Ocean. 

While in Reykjanes, you could stop at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa on your way to Iceland's capital city. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. 

It is in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere. If you add the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa to your itinerary, your trip will be arranged according to your flights. 

If there is no time to visit the lagoon today, it can be added to another day. Your travel consultant will be able to arrange this for you. If you have extra free time, there is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes Peninsula.

When you are ready, drive to Reykjavik, settle in, and the rest of the day is yours to explore one of Europe's most vibrant cities. With its abundance of museums, galleries, restaurants, and bars, you will find something that suits your taste.

If you want to immerse yourself in a culinary journey, head out to downtown Reykjavik or Laugavegur street. These areas host the best restaurants and most charming cafes in the city. Whether you're looking for light snacks or signature dishes like lamb stew and chops, you can find them here.

You'll spend your first night in comfortable accommodation in Reykjavik.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 2

Day 2 – North Iceland

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

On the second day of your self-drive tour of North Iceland's Arctic Coast Way, you'll begin your journey north as you take the Ring Road and head towards the town of Akureyri.

On your way, there are plenty of beautiful spots to visit in West Iceland. These can include Deildartunguhver, home of the largest hot spring in Europe, and the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls.

History buffs may also enjoy visiting Snorrastofa, the medieval research institute in Reykholt, where the early settler, poet, and historian Snorri Sturluson wrote the Saga Heimskringla in the 13th century.

It is also recommended that you take a short break at Fossatun, a waterfall said to be guarded by a troll woman named Drifa. 

You may also want to check out the Icelandic Settlement Center in Borgarnes. There are two entertaining and educational exhibitions at the Settlement Center. One tells the story of the first settlers, while the other reveals the story of one of Iceland's most beloved heroes, Egill.

While in the area, you can join optional visits to the Vidgelmir Cave or relax in Krauma Geothermal Baths. Vidgelmir is the largest lava tube in Iceland, measuring 5,200 feet (1,585 meters).

When you get to Akureyri, there is plenty to do. Visit the iconic church in the city center, check out the shops, swim, explore the botanical gardens, or buy some of Iceland's best ice cream in the ice cream shop, Brynja. 

There is a forest just to the town's south, and you can explore many beautiful mountains.

A great way to take in the surrounding area's nature is on a horse riding tour. Learn more about the Icelandic horse and its unique gait as you venture off the beaten path into the remote landscapes of Iceland.

You will spend the night in comfortable accommodation in North Iceland.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 3

Day 3 – Northeast Iceland

  • Northeast Iceland
  • More
  • Kjarnaskogur
  • Godafoss Waterfall
  • Lake Myvatn Area
  • More

On day three of your summer self-drive tour in Iceland, you have a couple of choices. You can see more of the Arctic Coast Way or see the Diamond Circle sightseeing route. 

Depending on how far you'd like to travel, today is a great day to travel some more of the Arctic Coast Way. Set off early and enjoy exploring the remote landscapes in North Iceland.

Visit Svalbardseyri, a quiet fishing village with a black sand beach and an iconic orange lighthouse. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and fjords, Svalbardseyri offers stunning views of the Icelandic wilderness. 

The village is known for its thriving fishing industry and traditional Icelandic culture. Visitors can explore the rugged beauty of the area through hiking trails or embark on boat tours to witness the majestic glaciers and abundant wildlife. 

Head on to Grenivik, where you can truly experience a different way of life. This small town and the accompanying pier offer beautiful views of Eyjafjordur.

These sites are lesser-known and less often visited by travelers, giving you more of an authentic experience of life in remote Iceland.

Alternatively, the Diamond Circle route is popular among travelers. Head to the northern village of Husavik, known as the whale-watching capital of Europe, where you can opt to join a traditional whale-watching tour. 

Enjoy the brisk sea air as you cruise out over the water in search of tail fins breaking the waves.

Here, you can also bathe in the Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths and enjoy the feel of the naturally warm seawater on your skin.

Visit some of Iceland's most beautiful locations, such as the Asbyrgi canyon, a woodland oasis amidst a deep ravine filled with birch and willow trees. Another gorgeous site is the Dettifoss waterfall, the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe, featuring a massive width of 330 feet (100 meters).

You will spend the night in the Lake Myvatn area.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 4

Day 4 – Northeast Iceland

  • Northeast Iceland
  • More
  • Lake Myvatn Area
  • More

On the fourth day of your summer road trip in North Iceland, you will enjoy exploring the Lake Myvatn area. 

The Lake Myvatn area is a captivating region of unparalleled natural beauty. Nestled in the country's north, it is renowned for its stunning volcanic landscapes and diverse ecosystems. 

The area takes its name from the picturesque Lake Myvatn, which is surrounded by geologically fascinating formations, including pseudocraters, lava fields, and hot springs. 

The region is a haven for birdwatchers, with numerous species flocking to its wetlands. Adventure enthusiasts can indulge in hiking or bathing in the soothing geothermal waters. 

There are many beautiful views to be enjoyed here, across the lake and the geothermal areas. 

One of the most impressive sites is the lava field of Dimmuborgir, which translates to 'the dark fortress.' The lava forms incredible shapes, which some say resemble castles, turrets, towers, and walls.

Otherwise, you can take a day tour to Askja to discover the lunar landscapes of Iceland. Askja is a captivating volcanic caldera located in the remote highlands of Iceland. 

Situated in the vast expanse of the Dyngjufjoll mountains, Askja showcases a mesmerizing and otherworldly landscape. Its caldera is home to a deep, pristine lake called Oskjuvatn, surrounded by rugged volcanic formations and ash fields. 

The area gained fame in the early 20th century when astronauts trained there due to its lunar-like appearance. Visitors can embark on an adventurous journey to reach Askja, crossing vast lava fields and traversing rough terrain. 

Once there, they can marvel at the caldera's sheer grandeur and even dip in the warm, milky-blue waters of the Víti crater, a geothermal lake nestled within Askja's rugged beauty. 

At the end of an action-packed day, wind down with a soothing soak in the geothermal waters of the nearby Myvatn Nature Baths.

You will spend the night in one of the accommodations in Northeast Iceland.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 5

Day 5 – Northwest Iceland

  • Northwest Iceland
  • More
  • Eyjafjordur fjord
  • Troll Peninsula
  • More

On the fifth day of your self-drive tour of Iceland's Arctic Coast Way, you'll visit the Trollaskagi Peninsula and the stunning sites here.

A great way to start the day is with a visit to the Beer Spa. The Beer Spa is a unique and indulgent experience. Situated amidst the stunning landscapes of the North Atlantic coast, this spa combines relaxation and beer therapy.

Visitors can soak in wooden tubs filled with warm water, hops, yeast, and essential oils, creating a beer-infused bath. 

The therapeutic properties of the ingredients are said to nourish the skin, relax the body, and enhance overall well-being. Guests can sip craft beer while enjoying the soothing ambiance and panoramic views of the mountains and fjords. 

The Beer Spa on the Trollaskagi peninsula offers a perfect blend of rejuvenation, relaxation, and beer indulgence, making it a truly memorable experience for beer enthusiasts and wellness seekers.

Nearby sits Hauganes, where you can take a whale-watching tour out into Eyjafjordur fjord. The fjord is known for its rich biodiversity, offering the opportunity to spot several whale species, including humpback whales, minke whales, and even the occasional blue whale. 

Additionally, you might encounter playful dolphins and porpoises swimming alongside the boat. The area is also home to diverse seabirds, such as puffins, guillemots, and arctic terns, which add to the picturesque scenery. 

With luck and the guidance of experienced crew members, you'll have a remarkable chance to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

On the tip of the Trollaskagi Peninsula, you'll find the charming village of Siglufjordur, Iceland's former herring fishing capital. 

A visit to the Herring Era Museum is highly recommended to understand the importance of the fishing industry to Iceland's culture and economy. The Herring Era Museum is the only Icelandic museum that has won the European Museum Award.

As you travel around the peninsula, enjoy stunning views of unspoiled nature.

Further south, you'll find another charming village, Hofsos, where you can enjoy the surrounding landscape while relaxing in the town's thermal Infinity Pool.

Spend the night in Northwest Iceland.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 6

Day 6 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
  • More
  • Hvitserkur Rock Stack
  • Deildartunguhver hot spring
  • Reykholt historical site
  • Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls
  • Borg a Myrum church and farm
  • More

On the sixth day of your self-drive adventure in North Iceland, you'll return to Reykjavik. Before driving back to the capital, you can visit more attractions along the Arctic Coast Way and West Iceland.

Take a detour and drive to a rock on the northern coast near the Vatnsnes peninsula called Hvitserkur. Rising from the sea like a petrified creature, Hvitserkur resembles a gigantic troll, elephant, or dinosaur drinking from the water. 

This basalt sea stack stands tall against the crashing waves and dramatic coastal backdrop, creating a truly captivating sight. Wind and sea weathering effects have carved unique shapes into the rock, adding to its allure. 

Hvitserkur is a visual spectacle and a nesting site for seabirds, including fulmars and kittiwakes. Walk along the beach here, and you may see some seals swimming in the water or resting on the rocks.

After returning to Reykjavik, make the most of the long daylight hours and take a helicopter tour over Iceland's beautiful geothermal areas. 

Taking a helicopter tour from Reykjavik is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience that offers a unique perspective of Iceland's natural wonders. As you soar above the city, you'll witness the stunning landscapes unfold beneath you. 

The helicopter provides panoramic views of majestic volcanoes, cascading waterfalls, expansive glaciers, and rugged coastlines. The thrill of flying in a helicopter, coupled with the awe-inspiring beauty of Iceland, creates a sense of wonder and excitement. 

It's a remarkable opportunity to create lifelong memories and appreciate the breathtaking beauty of this country from a whole new vantage point.

Expert pilots guide you through this aerial adventure, sharing fascinating insights about the landmarks and geological formations you encounter. 

Alternatively, take a tour inside the magma chambers of a dormant volcano.

After a day of adventure, spend your final night back in Reykjavik.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 7

Day 7 – Reykjavík

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

The seventh day of your self-drive tour around North Iceland and the Arctic Coast Way is your last day in the country, and it’s time to head home.

If you have an early flight, enjoy breakfast at your accommodation before leaving for the airport. Leave plenty of time to return your rental vehicle and drop your baggage before checking in for your flight.

At the Keflavik International Airport, you can enjoy shopping or a meal at one of the bars or restaurants. Once you’re ready, head to the gate to board. 

For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa today, you will finish your stay unwinding before heading to the airport. 

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters and reflect on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. 

If your flight is later, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik. Visit one of the museums or art galleries to soak up some Icelandic culture.

On your way home, you can remember your great experience and start planning your next trip to Iceland.

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Experiences

What to bring

Warm, waterproof clothing
Driver's license
Good hiking shoes
Snacks
Camera
Reusable water bottle

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.

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

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