7 Day Budget Self Drive Tour of Iceland’s Snaefellsnes Peninsula & the South Coast
Experience the wonders of Iceland effortlessly with our seven-day self-drive tour. By taking this tour, you will get to see the highlights Iceland has to offer without the hassle or costs associated with larger tour groups.
Over seven days, you'll have the opportunity to explore the remarkable attractions that have made Iceland famous worldwide. The diverse Snaefellsnes Peninsula has diverse attractions centered around the glacier and volcano in Snaefellsjokull National Park.
The Golden Circle showcases Thingvellir National Park's historical significance, the Geysir Geothermal Area's erupting Strokkur geyser, and the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall.
Along the South Coast, marvel at breathtaking waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, explore Solheimajokull glacier, and witness the dramatic Reynisfjara black sand beach.
Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and Skaftafell Nature Reserve present unforgettable experiences amidst icebergs and pristine landscapes. On your return to Reykjavik, savor the vibrant city's atmosphere and reflect on the cherished memories of Iceland's wonders.
In addition to these iconic locations, our carefully curated itinerary will lead you off the beaten path. Discover hidden gems and remote corners of Iceland where you can truly immerse yourself in nature, far from the crowds.
Say goodbye to weeks of planning and missing out on the best attractions. We've taken care of everything for you, offering a meticulously crafted itinerary at an unbeatable price. Don't risk organizing a trip yourself and potentially overlooking the most captivating sights Iceland has to offer.
But this tour offers more than just sightseeing. Engage in a variety of activities that cater to your interests.
Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of Silfra at Thingvellir National Park, explore an ice tunnel, or go snowmobiling at Langjokull glacier. Take part in invigorating hikes on Iceland's magnificent glaciers, or embark on boat tours at the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.
When you book this tour, you gain access to a personal travel agent available around the clock, seven days a week. We are here to assist you anytime, ensuring your journey is smooth and worry-free.
Countless satisfied customers have rated our tour highly, testifying to its exceptional quality and customer satisfaction.
Take a budget-friendly adventure, granting you the flexibility and freedom to tailor each day according to your preferences. Bid farewell to tour guides hurrying you along and the constraints of group travel.
With self-drive tours, you determine the pace, allowing you to soak in Iceland's mesmerizing landscapes at your own leisure. Simply ensure you reach your nightly accommodations.
We understand that plans may change, so we offer the flexibility of free cancellation and a full refund up to 24 hours before departure.
Don't miss out on the chance to immerse yourself in the captivating Icelandic landscape while staying within your budget. Check availability now by selecting your preferred date.
Day 1 - Arrival
Welcome to your Icelandic adventure!
Upon arriving at Keflavik International Airport, you'll pick up your car and embark on a journey across the Reykjanes Peninsula to the vibrant city of Reykjavik.
As you make your way to the capital, consider taking a detour to the world-famous Blue Lagoon. This extraordinary spa is renowned for its healing geothermal waters, striking azure hues, and luxurious treatments. Situated amidst a moss-covered lava field, the Blue Lagoon offers a truly otherworldly experience.
Depending on your flight schedule, we can arrange a visit to the lagoon. If time doesn't permit on the first day, we can accommodate it on another day of your choice. Our dedicated travel consultant will be delighted to arrange this for you.
Rest assured, if you opt-out, there are still countless attractions to explore in Reykjavik and the enchanting Reykjanes Peninsula during your free time.
The Reykjanes Peninsula has incredible volcanic landscapes, a beautiful coastline, and many fishing villages. You could easily spend many hours admiring the sites of recent eruptions and exploring the region's history and culture.
Once you reach Reykjavik, you can check into your hotel. Though tailored for a budget holiday in Iceland, you are guaranteed comfort, cleanliness, and convenience. After settling into your accommodation, you are free to explore the city. You could check out a museum, shop, or visit one of Reykjavik's many restaurants and bars.
Reykjavik is particularly famous for its architecture and public art. You can visit the spectacular Hallgrimskirkja church towering over the town, the Harpa concert hall in the Old Harbor district, and sculptures such as the Sun Voyager.
Tomorrow, your journey continues as you set off to witness the breathtaking wonders that await you in Iceland's magnificent landscapes. But for now, revel in the vibrant energy of Reykjavik, and let the city's offerings captivate you.
Day 2 - Snaefellsjokull National Park
Welcome to day two of your Icelandic adventure! Today, you will travel to the fascinating Snaefellsnes Peninsula, often called 'Iceland in Miniature.' Brace yourself for a day filled with awe-inspiring sights and remarkable natural wonders.
The highlight of the peninsula is the magnificent Snaefellsjokull, a subglacial volcano that proudly dominates the landscape. Its majestic presence has inspired countless tales, including Jules Verne's famous novel "Journey to the Center of the Earth." You'll encounter many other captivating attractions as you explore this 56-mile (90 km) stretch.
Prepare to be amazed by the dramatic Londrangar basalt plugs towering proudly against the horizon. Its rugged beauty and unique geological formation make it a photographer's paradise.
Don't miss the chance to capture stunning shots of Kirkjufell Mountain, a picturesque peak often regarded as one of Iceland's most photographed landmarks.
The coastal villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar offer a tranquil escape with their breathtaking coastal scenery. Stroll along rugged cliffs, witness crashing waves, and embrace the serenity of these idyllic settlements.
You can later marvel at the quaint Budir church, an enchanting black wooden structure nestled amidst a windswept landscape. A short drive away, you can admire the seal colony at Ytri-Tunga.
For a truly extraordinary experience, consider adding an extra dose of adventure to your day. Book a tour to explore the now-empty magma chamber of the Thrihnukagigar volcano.
This remarkable opportunity is exclusive to Iceland and offers an unparalleled glimpse into the earth's fiery depths. Such an incredible excursion can't be missed by those who love exploring the world's most incredible places, and the trip will fit comfortably around your Snaefellsnes sightseeing.
After a day filled with exploration and wonder, you'll spend the night on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
Allow yourself to immerse in the peaceful ambiance of this remote location, surrounded by the raw beauty of nature.
Day 3 - The Golden Circle
Get ready for an unforgettable day three as you embark on Iceland's most popular tourist trail, the Golden Circle. This iconic route will take you to three world-renowned sites: Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall.
Before you reach the Golden Circle, consider adding an extra dose of adventure to your journey. Explore the vibrant underworld of Vidgelmir lava cave or venture into the icy tunnels of Langjokull glacier. These optional excursions will allow you to witness Iceland's diverse natural wonders up close.
Your first stop on the Golden Circle route is Thingvellir, meaning 'fields of Parliament.' In 930 AD, early Icelanders established their first National Assembly here, making it the oldest ongoing parliament in the world. Immerse yourself in the historical significance of this site as you explore its remarkable landscapes.
Thingvellir is also located directly between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The geological movement of these plates has created a unique and captivating setting characterized by lava fields and ravines brimming with crystal-clear spring water.
For an extraordinary experience, consider taking a snorkeling tour in Silfra Fissure, one of these remarkable ravines.
Next, you'll venture to Haukadalur Valley, home to two famous geysers: Geysir and Strokkur.
While Geysir is no longer active, Strokkur erupts every five to ten minutes, propelling a magnificent water column over 66 feet (20 meters) into the air. Surrounding the geysers, you'll find bubbling hot springs and captivating boiling mud pots, showcasing the dynamic and volcanic nature of Iceland.
The final stop on the Golden Circle is the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall.
Prepare to be enthralled by the sheer power and beauty of this natural wonder. Multiple viewing platforms allow you to witness the cascading water from various angles, with one platform situated right beside the edge of the falls.
For an extra thrill, you can even opt for a snowmobiling tour on the same glacier that feeds the river of Gullfoss.
As the day draws to a close, you'll find yourself near Laugarvatn, where you can indulge in the soothing waters of a geothermal spa. Relax and rejuvenate amidst the tranquility of the surrounding nature. Alternatively, consider visiting the Secret Lagoon in Fludir, a hidden gem where you can immerse yourself in warm and natural geothermal waters.
After a day filled with extraordinary sights and incredible adventures, unwind and recharge for the next leg of your Icelandic journey.
Day 4 - The South Coast
Prepare for an exciting day as you embark on a journey along Iceland's captivating South Coast. However, if you're craving an icy adventure to kickstart your day, why not enjoy a thrilling snowmobile ride on a majestic glacier?
As you continue your expedition, your first three stops will showcase the beauty of waterfalls.
First up is Seljalandsfoss, a breathtaking cascade that plunges off a concave cliff, allowing you to walk around it and witness its magnificence from all angles.
Just a stone's throw away, you'll find Gljufrabui, a hidden gem tucked within a mystical grotto. Venture inside and marvel at the waterfall's enchanting appearance.
Next on the list is the Skogafoss waterfall, which roars as it descends from a towering height of over 197 feet (60 meters).
Continuing along the coast, you'll encounter Solheimajokull glacier, a majestic tongue of the vast Myrsdaljsokull ice cap. Consider joining an informative glacier hike to explore the otherworldly surface of this glacier. Immerse yourself in the surreal landscapes and learn about the incredible forces that shape Iceland's icy wonders.
A short distance from the glacier, you'll find yourself at Reynisfjara black sand beach, a place of captivating beauty. Marvel at the towering Reynisdrangar sea stacks that stand proudly in the vast ocean. As you stroll along the unique volcanic shoreline, enjoy the dramatic scenery and listen to the crashing waves.
After an eventful day exploring the South Coast's natural wonders, you'll find tranquility and comfort in the adjacent village of Vik. Rest and rejuvenate, ready to embark on new adventures tomorrow. Enjoy the serene atmosphere and take a moment to appreciate the picturesque surroundings of this charming coastal village.
Day 5 - Jokulsarlon & Skaftafell Nature Reserve
Prepare for an extraordinary adventure on the fifth day as you journey across the South Coast, heading towards the crown jewel of Iceland's natural wonders—the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. But don't rush, as there are remarkable places to explore along the way that will leave you in awe.
To start your day, consider embarking on another exhilarating tour, this time taking you into an enchanting ice cave within the Myrdalsjokull glacier. This unique experience allows you to marvel at the captivating ice formations all year round.
Alternatively, you can continue your journey and stop at the historic village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur or visit the lush and vibrant Fjardrargljufur canyon. These destinations, located just before the Skaftafell Nature Reserve in the Vatnajokull National Park, offer a glimpse into Iceland's rich history and natural splendor.
As you enter the Skaftafell Nature Reserve, you'll find yourself in a hiker's paradise. Consider opting for a thrilling glacier trekking tour that offers an incredible vantage point to admire the breathtaking views of the national park. The rugged beauty and pristine landscapes will leave an indelible mark on your memory.
However, the highlight of the day awaits you at the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, a sight that will surely take your breath away. This vast lagoon remains filled with icebergs throughout the year, their colors and sizes defying belief.
Watch in awe as these magnificent ice sculptures drift towards the ocean from the shore.
For an even more immersive experience, choose between two boat tours that will take you up close and personal with the icebergs. Hop aboard an amphibious vessel or a zodiac boat and navigate through this frozen wonderland.
Before reaching your accommodation near Jokulsarlon, make sure to make a stop at the nearby Diamond Beach. This mesmerizing shoreline is where the icebergs wash up on the black sand, creating a breathtaking spectacle as they glisten under the sun's rays.
After a day filled with unforgettable sights and experiences, you'll find comfort and rest at your accommodation near the magnificent Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Reflect on the day's adventures and revel in the natural wonders surrounding you.
Day 6 - Drive Back to Reykjavik
Get ready for your return journey to Reykjavik on day six.
But don't rush just yet. Before bidding farewell to the extraordinary landscapes of the South Coast, consider seizing the opportunity for another thrilling adventure. If you missed out on a glacier hike or a boat ride the day before, now is the time to experience the exhilaration and marvel at Iceland's icy wonders.
As you make your way back, consult your detailed itinerary to discover the unique places you might have missed along the South Coast. There is no shortage of hidden gems and captivating sights to leave you in awe.
You could head to the Dyrholaey rock arch, which provides incredible views and is home to thousands of puffins in summer. You could also stop in Reykjadalur to enjoy a hot spring hike that reaches a naturally geothermal river you can bathe in.
You could even stop at some of the sites you've already visited, such as Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, to catch them under different conditions or to photograph them in a better light.
Upon your arrival in Reykjavik, take a moment to relax and unwind at your comfortable accommodation, allowing yourself to recharge after a day of exploration and travel.
If you still have some energy to spare, venture into the vibrant city and indulge in the culinary treats of Reykjavik's numerous restaurants, cozy cafés, and lively bars. Immerse yourself in the city's lively atmosphere and take in the charm of its bustling streets.
If you are more interested in catching a show, there are plenty of theatres, and live music can be found in venues across the city no matter the day.
Reflect on the incredible journey you've had thus far, filled with breathtaking natural wonders, thrilling activities, and unforgettable experiences. Tomorrow, as you prepare for your departure, you'll carry with you cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for the wonders of Iceland.
Day 7 - Departure
As your unforgettable journey ends, we bid you farewell on your final day.
If you have a later flight and haven't yet visited the world-renowned Blue Lagoon, today presents the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in its tranquil waters. Let the warm, mineral-rich embrace of the lagoon wash away any remnants of fatigue while you reflect on the incredible adventure you've just experienced in the enchanting land of fire and ice.
For those with a little extra time before heading to the airport, Reykjavik offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions to explore. Take a leisurely stroll through the city's vibrant streets, visit its fascinating museums, indulge in local cuisine, or simply enjoy the charming atmosphere of this Nordic gem.
If your departure is scheduled for the early hours of the day, we extend our warm wishes for a pleasant journey back home. As you board your flight, carry the memories of Iceland's majestic landscapes, the thrill of self-discovery, and the awe-inspiring wonders that have left an indelible mark on your heart.
We hope your adventure in Iceland has been nothing short of extraordinary and that you depart with cherished memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.
What to bring
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.
Wearing cotton or jeans as the outer layer during your trip to the Þríhnjúkagígur volcano tour is not allowed. Please wear suitable waterproof clothes and sturdy hiking shoes for this trip. It's always the same temperature inside the crater – about 5–6°C (42–43°F). The Þríhnjúkagígur volcano tour involves a hike of approximately 3 km (2 miles) each way. The walk usually takes around 45–50 minutes (depending on the condition of people in the group). A guide will be with you at all times during the walk.
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. Budget level 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. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.
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.
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.
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 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.