Take a 7-day self-drive tour around Iceland. You'll drive the complete ring road and see all the best spots along the way. This self-drive tour gives you the freedom to explore Iceland at your own pace and discover the most beautiful parts of the country.
This tour is the perfect combination of nature-loving outdoor fun and the comforts of Iceland's most beautiful historic cities: Reykjavík and Akureyri. On a self-drive tour, you have total control of where you go and what you see. There are no tour guides or other guests to worry about on this trip - you're in the driver's seat.
You will travel the Ring Road around the whole of Iceland and visit two national parks, see some of Iceland's prettiest fishing villages, and in between, marvel over countless waterfalls, volcanoes, craters, mountains, and hot springs. At the end of each day, you will rest in full comfort accommodation with an ensuite bathroom. Breakfast is also included for every night of your stay, starting each day of adventure the right way.
The Ring Road will take you to the most famous of all of Iceland's attractions, but most visitors seek to escape the crowds on their travels as well. Many secret locations will allow you to break free of that tourist feeling and get back to nature. You will receive an individual itinerary after you book, full of hidden gems and old favorites so that your holiday will be second to none. This will allow your adventure to cover both Iceland's best-kept secrets as well as the more well-known attractions.
You can also add some extra activities to your tour during the booking process to make your holiday that extra special. There are options such as snowmobiling on top of the mighty glaciers, trekking to the top of Iceland with a glacier hike, visiting the world-famous Blue Lagoon, and a boat tour around the icebergs of Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. In a few clicks, you can add these fantastic extras to your trip to help make it a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The summer days in Iceland are long, so make the most of them by starting early and finishing late. You won't ever need to reach a destination 'before it gets dark' since between May and August is midnight sun season, when it doesn't get dark.
Pack in as much stunning scenery as you can with this 7-day self-drive tour! Check availability by choosing a date and book your Iceland adventure now.
On your way to Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It is located in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere. If you add the Blue Lagoon, it 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. There is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes Peninsula if you have extra free time.
Then you will head on to the world's northernmost capital.
Reykjavík is full of galleries, cafés, museums, designer shops, restaurants, street art, and some interesting architecture, such as Harpa Concert Hall or Perlan, which translates to 'the pearl' because of the shape of its huge dome. You can spend your day strolling down the main street of Laugavegur, visiting Hallgrímskirkja church tower, and popping into the charming shops and buildings of the old harbor.
Spend your first night in Reykjavík in a central and cozy hotel.
On your way, you can take an ice-cream stop in the town of Borgarnes (considered mandatory by many locals) and a short hike (approximately one hour) up Grábrók, the smallest of three craters in a short volcanic fissure. If you feel like stretching your legs, a marked trail will take you from Route 1 to the very edge of the rim. Once you get up there, you'll see beautiful landscapes across the Borgarfjordur area.
You can also take a detour and visit the historical site Reykholt, Europe's highest hot spring Deildartunguhver, and the gorgeous waterfalls Hraunfossar, meaning 'Lava Falls'. Another option would be to drive to the 50 ft (15 m) tall Hvítserkur rock formation near Hvammstangi.
The drive from Reykjavík to Akureyri takes 4.5-5 hours without any stops, so be prepared to drive for a while today! You'll be rewarded with your first view of the charming and lively town of Akureyri, where you can rest after the long trip.
In between Akureyri and Mývatn, you'll see the gorgeous Goðafoss waterfall. Also, make sure you check out Námaskarð geothermal area close to Mývatn, as well as the stunning area of Dimmuborgir (the Dark Fortress) and its imposing lava rock formations.
The Mývatn Nature Baths are open until midnight during the summer, so it's a perfect end to the day to bask and relax here.
Just make sure you still have energy for a 2-hour drive to Egilsstaðir, the capital of the East, where you'll spend your night.
If a long soak in a hot spring is not for you, then consider a detour to Dettifoss waterfall, Iceland's most powerful waterfall, on your way to Egilsstaðir instead!
The main highlight of day four is the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón and the nearby Diamond Beach. Take your time to explore the intense beauty of the lagoon.
You will find yourself captivated by the huge chunks of ice floating down from the glacial tongue. Ensure you keep your eye out for seals. They like to play on the ice and may be curious enough to come closer. They often want to see you just as much as you want to see them.
From the lagoon, it is a short stroll down to the black beach nearby, called Diamond beach, due to the many icebergs scattered along it. With the Atlantic Ocean's waves crashing on them, you can expect an incredible view.
Spend your night near the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
It is recommended that you enjoy the optional glacier hike in Skaftafell today, taking in the magnificent Vatnajökull glacier and giving you a spectacular view.
After enjoying the beauty of this reserve, continue driving along the south coast of Iceland. Interesting stops along the way include the wreckage of a bridge destroyed in a glacier flood. If you take a moment to rest here, you'll have a great view of Vatnajökull glacier. The charming town Kirkjubæjarklaustur is also well worth a visit, as is the stunning Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon.
At Vík, you'll have a view of Reynisdrangar rocks from the town's black beach, and nearby you can explore the gorgeous Dyrhólaey cliff, with a view towards the glacier, the sea, and the nearby black sands of Reynisfjara. Be extra careful if you go down to the beach here, because the waves can be very dangerous and unpredictable.
Finally, explore the gorgeous waterfalls Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. The astonishing power of nature cannot be denied as you watch the water crash down from craggy cliffs above into the waiting waters of the river below. You can even walk all the way around Seljalandsfoss.
Spend the night at either the small town of Hella or the Selfoss region.
On your way to the first stop, Gullfoss, or the Golden Waterfall, you might want to make a stop by the town of Flúðir and soak in the Secret Lagoon. The pool's natural surroundings and steam rising into the air give the place a mystical ambiance. The water stays at a luxurious 38-40° C all year. There, you can also join a snowmobiling tour to the Langjökull glacier and experience the endlessness of the Icelandic highlands.
Gullfoss waterfall is an incredible sight, cascading down two drops over 105 ft (32 m). You can reach a viewing platform right at its edge in good weather to truly appreciate its awesome power. If you wish, you can opt for a snowmobiling tour from here.
After a short drive, you'll get to see Geysir, or 'the Great Geysir', a world-famous hot spring in the Haukadalur valley. Though it does not often erupt these days, its brother, Strokkur, erupts every 10 minutes or so, hurling water up to 30 m (98 ft) into the air.
Finally, finish your Golden Circle experience with a visit to Þingvellir National Park. Þingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the parliament that was founded there in 930 AD. It is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range and is the site of a rift valley, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic range. You can walk through the magnificent gorge Almannagja, which marks the eastern boundary of the North American tectonic plate, and into which the beautiful waterfall Oxararfoss falls. The popular HBO series Game of Thrones has filmed here to take advantage of these beautiful surroundings.
For a more intimate experience at Þingvellir, you could go for a snorkel in the Silfra fissure. The crystal clear water fills an underwater gorge where the two tectonic plates meet, so you will literally be swimming between the continents in one of the most celebrated diving and snorkeling spots on the planet.
From the national park, there's a short 45-minute drive back to Reykjavík. Spend your last night relaxing in Reykjavík.
For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you will finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you look back 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. If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey.
Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing.
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. 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.
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), and Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) insurances. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars. All levels come equipped with a GPS and 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.