One Week Road Trip of the Popular South Coast and Mythical Highlands of Iceland

Free cancellation
24/7 customer support
Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable

Description

Summary

Starts from
Iceland
Ends in
Iceland,
Duration
7 days & 6 nights
Difficulty
Easy
Available
June - Oct.
Accommodation
6 nights included
Car rental
7 days included

Description

Spend a week in Iceland, immersing yourself in the South Coast's incredible landscapes and untouched Highlands with this seven-day summer self-drive. This road trip is designed for those who want to spend every moment of their journey exploring the country's most beautiful settings on their own terms.

The South of Iceland is home to an endless array of spectacular natural features. The sightseeing trail of the Golden Circle, the magnificent glacier lagoon of Jokulsarlon, and the nature reserve of Skaftafell are all found here. Due to the slow-paced nature of this tour, you'll be able to explore every site at length without having to rush or skip over destinations.

By booking this tour, you'll avoid spending weeks planning that perfect Iceland itinerary. We've already covered the planning part to save you from all the hassle. We also made this tour available for a great price.

Your time in the Highlands, however, is what makes this week in Iceland genuinely unique. Very few guests make an effort to reach the country's untouched interior. Only a few see its fascinating landscapes and breathtaking features that can be marveled far from the tourist crowds.

The hikes here are spectacular, and at the oasis of Landmannalaugar, you'll even be able to bask in naturally occurring hot springs.

This holiday will not just be packed with sightseeing but can be tailored to your desires by adding various activities. You'll be able to book excursions that take you horseback riding, snorkeling, snowmobiling, ice caving, and even into a volcano magma chamber.

These extra stops add to why people love this two-week self-drive trip that has earned high ratings and positive reviews. It's also one of the easiest tours, perfect for guests of all ages.

After choosing what kind of adventure you'll have during the booking process, you can relax. Your trip details, including hotels and tours, will be arranged for you. This takes all the stress out of organizing your holiday, allowing you to focus on enjoying the buildup of your time here.

A detailed itinerary will be provided after you confirm your booking, showing you the countless options of what to do each day. Another great bonus of self-drive tours is that you can pick and choose where you will go and how long you will spend at each site based on the desires of your group.

Animal lovers can dedicate hours admiring the puffins at Dyrholaey and the seals of Jokulsarlon, whereas hikers can spend as long as they like on highland trails. Because the summer nights are lit by the magnificent midnight sun, the only limits on your freedom are reaching your hotels and tours in time.

Aside from having control and flexibility during the tour, you'll also get the necessary support you may need. Our packages come with a personal travel agent you can contact any time of the day, seven days a week.

Should you cancel your trip for any reason, you may do so for free and get a full refund 24 hours before departure.

Take advantage of this immersive, slow-paced, week-long immersion into South Iceland and the Highlands by booking this summer road trip. Check availability now by choosing a date.

Read more

Included

Six nights of accommodation.
Continental breakfast on all days
New rental car for seven 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
An abandoned house on the Reykjanes Peninsula presents a striking contrast against a lush green landscape.Southwest Iceland / 1 night
Dyrhólaey peninsula from east to westSouth Coast / 2 nights
The Vatnajokull glacier in Southeast Iceland.Southeast Iceland / 1 night

Map

Attractions

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
Long-exposure photo of Gullfoss waterfall on a cloudy dayGullfoss
Geysir is a dormant hot spring in the geothermal area, Haukadalur Valley, found in South Iceland.Geysir
Seljalandsfoss on the South Coast of Iceland bathed in the otherworldly light of the midnight sun.Seljalandsfoss
The mighty Skógafoss waterfallSkógafoss
Reynisfjara beach and Reynisdrangar cliffs in winterReynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Arial view of Reynisdrangar and Mt. ReynisfjallReynisdrangar
Skaftafell Nature Preserve can be found in Öræfasveit, the western region of Austur-Skaftafellssýsla in Iceland.Skaftafell
Svartifoss in Skaftafell Nature Reserve in summer.Svartifoss
Jökulsárlón is one of Iceland's most popular and unique attractionsJökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
The icy diamonds of Diamond BeachDiamond Beach
Image of the town on Heimaey, Westman Island.Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands)
Kleifarvatn is the third largest lake in Iceland.Kleifarvatn
KrýsuvíkKrýsuvík
Gunnuhver is one of the geothermal areas on the Reykjanes Peninsula.Gunnuhver

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Snorkelling
Caving
Hiking
Snowmobile
Super Jeep
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Boat Trip
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Helicopter
Ice Caving
Self drive
Paragliding

Travel details

Travel dates

Travelers

Car

Car

Small car

Small car

Category
small car
Transmission
People
Large bags
Medium car

Medium car

Category
Medium
Transmission
People
Large bags
Premium car

Premium car

Category
premium car
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 day one of your week in Iceland, you'll land at the Keflavik International Airport and pick up your rental car as soon as you clear customs. If you arrive late in the evening, you can take the scenic drive to Iceland's capital across the Reykjanes Peninsula. However, if you arrive early, you could start their immersion into Iceland's nature.

When booking, you can include a visit to the Blue Lagoon. A luxurious geothermal spa near the airport, its azure waters, filled with minerals such as silica, are world-renowned for their beauty and healing properties.

Its regenerative water features silica and sulfur, benefiting people with various skin ailments. Moreover, the lagoon's water temperature averages around 98 to 102 F (37 to 39 C), offering a comfortable and relaxing feeling. After a long flight, you'll greatly appreciate its rejuvenating pools, saunas, and steam rooms.

Alternatively, you can explore the Reykjanes Peninsula itself. A volcanic wasteland, the area lets you travel across otherworldly lava fields, see countless cone-shaped peaks, and marvel over its seething geothermal areas.

Once you arrive in Reykjavik, having at least a quick look around the city is a good idea. After all, you'll spend most of the holiday in the country's far-flung nature. It's a beautiful capital with a thriving cultural scene and lively nightlife.

Start with the important landmarks like the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center. It is the city's leading cultural hub and a favorite venue for concerts, exhibitions, and festivals. When visiting at night, check out its beautiful facade, featuring 714 glass panels with LED lights.

Next, about 2.4 miles (3.9 kilometers) from Harpa, is the Perlan museum. It's known for its hemispherical rotating glass dome design that works as a viewing deck for appreciating the cityscape. Also, check out its different interactive displays and exhibits about the country's rich nature. 

Remember to visit the Hallgrimskirkja church, about 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometers) from the Perlan. It is Iceland's tallest church, standing 245 feet (74.5 meters) tall.

After exploring the city, you'll retire to your accommodation in Reykjavik.

Read more

Experiences

Accommodation

Day 2

Day 2 – Southwest Iceland

  • Southwest Iceland
  • More
  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Gullfoss waterfall
  • Geysir geothermal area
  • More

On the second day of your week-long summer holiday in Iceland, you'll set out to visit the attractions of its most popular tourist trail, the Golden Circle. This sightseeing route boasts three incredible attractions. Since this is a self-drive tour conducted under the midnight sun, there are plenty of beautiful hidden gems around it you can seek out.

Thingvellir National Park is the first major attraction on your agenda. It's located directly between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plate edges and boasts beautiful lava fields, ravines, and forests that beg to be explored. The site also has a fascinating history, being the original setting of Iceland's first national assembly.

Next, you'll find the Geysir geothermal area. This valley is a hotbed of hot springs, with many bubbling mud pots, steaming vents, and several geysers. Strokkur is the most impressive, regularly blasting water and steam over 66 feet (20 meters) tall.

Finally, you'll come to Gullfoss, about 6 miles (9.7 kilometers) from Geysir. It's one of the most beloved waterfalls in Iceland. It's a natural wonder cascading into an ancient valley with tremendous power and played a fascinating role during a pivotal moment in Iceland's environmental awakening.

The Gullfoss waterfall boasts two incredible cascades. The first is a shorter drop measuring 36 feet (11 meters) tall, while the second cascade is about 69 feet (21 meters) tall. 

Around these fascinating sites are several lesser-known attractions where you can enjoy the wonder of Iceland away from the tourist crowds. These include the Kerid crater lake, Solheimar eco-village, and the Secret Lagoon.

You can add three tours to your day for a taste of adventure. While at Thingvellir, you can organize a snorkeling excursion into the spectacular Silfra, a crystal-clear spring between the tectonic plates. Snorkeling participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

Meanwhile, from the car park at Gullfoss, you can take a super-jeep to the sparkling glacier of Langjokull and embark on a thrilling snowmobiling ride across its surface.

Finally, you can head to a farm in the beautiful countryside of southwest Iceland to ride an Icelandic horse. These creatures are renowned for their intelligence, friendliness, and diminutive size. Riding one of them offers a lovely perspective of the surrounding nature.

After packing your first day full of amazing attractions and adventure, you'll retire for the night in a countryside hotel in Southwest Iceland.

Read more

Experiences

Accommodation

Day 3

Day 3 – South Coast

  • South Coast
  • More

On the third day of your summer vacation in Iceland, you'll set out to explore the country's magnificent Highlands by traveling to Landmannalaugar.

If you're experienced driving on bumpy tails, you can take the highland roads and go there yourself with a four-wheel-drive car. If you prefer not to risk your rental car or are not up to the task, you can take a super jeep tour there for a more exciting journey. You'll be in the company of an experienced, knowledgeable local guide, who will introduce you to the sites.

However you get there, you'll no doubt be blown away by the beauty of Iceland's interior. The rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar are vividly colored by the area's volcanic activity, shaded colors of yellow, green, pink, and red. The hot springs are numerous and inviting, and there are plenty of hiking trails for those wanting to get further into nature.

Many of these will provide you with views over the Highlands that only some travelers are lucky enough to see. You'll be awed by volcanoes, lunar landscapes, glaciers, and even vast crater lakes.

Landmannalaugar also connects to the valley of Thorsmork by the country's most popular multi-day hiking trail, Laugavegur. Despite this, they couldn't be more different. At Landmannalaugar, very little life grows, and the land is exposed to the highland elements.

On the other hand, Thorsmork valley is a sheltered area full of vibrant forests surrounded by three glacier tongues. Many hiking trails connect the marvelous sights you can find here.

Some of these trails are relatively short and easy. However, if you prefer a less tiring adventure, you can unwind, bathe in the luxurious geothermal pools, and marvel over their surroundings.

Once you have made the most of your visit to Iceland's far-flung Highlands, you'll return to your hotel in South Iceland.

Read more

Experiences

Accommodation

Day 4

Day 4 – South Coast

  • South Coast
  • More
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Skogafoss waterfall
  • Reynisfjara black sand beach
  • Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks
  • More

On day four of your week-long Icelandic summer holiday, you'll slowly explore the sites of the South Coast of Iceland. Many packages and tours try to squeeze as many attractions along this route as possible into a single and end up rushing. However, due to this tour's immersive, slow-paced nature, you'll give all of them justice.

The south truly has it all, including waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, beautiful stretches of coastline, charming villages, and terrain that ranges from idyllic country to volcanic wasteland. It's most famous for its waterfalls. Today, you'll marvel over the serene Seljalandsfoss, the powerful Skogafoss, and the magical Gljufrabui, spending as much time at each as you desire.

Seljalandsfoss is a gentle-cascading waterfall with a huge cavern behind it. The cavern lets you fully encircle the cascade and take photographs from a different perspective.

On the other hand, the Skogafoss waterfall is known for its raw power. The waterfall throws off vast blooms of spray as it thunders from a 197-foot (60-meter) tall cliff with impressive force before smashing into the rocks below.

Meanwhile, the Gljufrabui waterfall is hidden in a cliff-side cleft. Measuring 131 feet (40 meters) tall, the waterfall is smaller than the previous two but has its unique appeal. When visiting Gljufrabui, you'll see it falling over a moss-covered boulder inside a magical grotto.

Aside from the waterfalls, the ice caps deserve special mention due to the exciting opportunities for excursions that they present. The first of these is a classic glacier hiking tour on the outlet of Solheimajokull. Under the care of an experienced guide, you'll scale its spectacular surface and enjoy unforgettable views across the south.

The second is the chance to explore an ice cave on Myrdalsjokull, the glacier that conceals the notorious volcano of Katla. Ice caving is usually impossible in summer, making this a unique opportunity for those seeking to witness the world inside an ice cap.

Though you're welcome to set out to find the many hidden gems of the south, it's still highly recommended you visit the famous attractions of the Dyrholaey rock arch and Reynisfjara beach. The former is renowned for its scale and being home to thousands of puffins in summer, while the latter is a beautiful black sand stretch of the coast known for the towering sea stacks of Reynisdrangar.

When you finally retire for the evening, it will be at a hotel in South Iceland.

Read more

Experiences

Accommodation

Day 5

Day 5 – Southeast Iceland

  • Southeast Iceland
  • More
  • Skaftafell Nature Reserve
  • Svartifoss
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
  • Diamond Beach
  • More

The fifth day of your holiday will be spent exploring two of the most incredible locations in South Iceland, both in the majestic Vatnajokull National Park: Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Sitting under the park's namesake, the enormous Vatnajokull glacier, you'll be incredibly grateful for this self-drive's slow-paced nature as it will provide you with hours at each.

Skaftafell is a spectacular area sheltered by glacier tongues and defined by lagoons, rivers, and lava landscapes. It is often described as a hiker's and photographer's paradise. The most popular trail in the reserve leads to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall, which tumbles amongst bizarre columns of hexagonal basalt.

To further immerse yourself in Skaftafell, you can take a glacier hiking tour on the magnificent tongue of Svinafellsjokull. It's an excellent choice if you missed the trip to Solheimajokull yesterday. Though Solheimajokull's consistent weather often leads to better views, Svinafellsjokull usually has more dramatic crevasses, ridges, and ice formations.

Meanwhile, Jokulsarlon is a glacier lagoon of epic proportions. One of the largest and ever-growing natural lakes in Iceland, it's filled with enormous icebergs that break from an adjacent glacier tongue. Their scale, vivid coloration, and gentle movements make them magnificent to watch, and many spend hours silently marveling over them from the shore.

If you want a more intimate experience, you can book an alternative tour here and take a boat into the lagoon. Amphibious vessels are an affordable option to immerse yourself amongst the bergs while staying out of the splash zone. At the same time, zodiacs can offer you an even closer perspective.

When the icebergs finally escape Jokulsarlon, they wash up on the shore of the adjacent black-sand coast called Diamond Beach. It's another area of spectacular beauty you should explore. Both the lagoon and coastline are also great seal-watching locations.

After enjoying the wonders of Southeast Iceland, you'll head to a local hotel for the night.

Read more

Experiences

Accommodation

Day 6

Day 6 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
  • More
  • Vestmannaeyjar / Heimaey
  • More

On the penultimate day of your Icelandic summer holiday, you'll drive from Kirkjubaejarklaustur back to Reykjavik along the South Coast. This journey will allow you to seek out any hidden gems you weren't able to reach over the past few days and to return to some of your favorite sites.

If you're inclined, you can return to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon or Skaftafell Nature Reserve for a few hours to further marvel over their unique beauty unless you have booked a tour.

You can embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey inside the magma chamber of a dormant volcano about 22 miles (35 kilometers) from Reykjavik. Available only in Iceland, the tour will take you to a mining lift in southwest Iceland, lowering you into a cavern that defies the imagination. Vividly colored and unbelievably vast, the Thrihnukagigur magma chamber is a natural wonder unlike anything else on Earth.

When volcanoes stop erupting, their magma chambers drain as they become dormant and usually collapse in on themselves. However,  the Thrihnukagigur volcano did not experience a collapse. Instead, a vast space was left behind, enough to fit the Hallgrimskirkja church and the Statue of Liberty. 

Additionally, residue from the minerals in the lava stains the walls reds, yellows, and greens, adding to the spectacular appearance.

Considering that tomorrow is your departure day, you may prefer to get to Reykjavik earlier. After immersing yourself so deeply in the country's nature, you can spend time getting to know its culture. 

The capital has something for everyone: galleries, museums, pools, restaurants, and a great live music scene. Use this time to explore Laugavegur, the city's main street. It features many stores and boutiques offering great local finds.

You'll retire for the night in a comfortable hotel in the city.

Read more

Experiences

Accommodation

Day 7

Day 7 – Reykjavík

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

Day seven marks the end of your week in Iceland. 

If you have an early departure, you must drop your car off at the airport before catching your flight home. However, if you’re leaving much later, you can create a few last memories of Iceland.

Sightseeing around the capital or Reykjanes peninsula is excellent if you wish to soak up more culture or nature. Considering you’ll still have your rental car, you can visit other attractions around Reykjavik, such as Mount Esjan, the Blue Mountains, or the Reykjadalur hot spring valley.

Alternatively, you can organize your Blue Lagoon visit on this day. Taking a dip in its healing azure waters is a perfect way to rejuvenate and end a week of adventure. It’s also the ideal place to relax in the warm, mineral-rich waters while reflecting on your incredible experiences in Iceland. 

We hope you enjoy your flight home and come back to Iceland soon.

Read more

Experiences

What to bring

Warm and waterproof clothes
Good waterproof shoes
Swimsuit and Towel
Camera
Driving lisence

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.

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 should you choose to go snorkeling. Snorkeling participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

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.

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

Read more

Verified reviews

Similar travel packages

Link to appstore phone
Install Iceland’s biggest travel app

Download Iceland’s biggest travel marketplace to your phone to manage your entire trip in one place

Scan this QR code with your phone camera and press the link that appears to add Iceland’s biggest travel marketplace into your pocket. Enter your phone number or email address to receive an SMS or email with the download link.