8-Day Summer Self-Drive Tour of the Complete Ring Road with the South Coast In-Depth

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Fully customizable



Starts from
Keflavík International Airport (KEF), Reykjanesbær, Iceland
Ends in
Keflavík International Airport (KEF), Reykjanesbær, Iceland
8 days & 7 nights
All year
7 nights included
Car rental
8 days included


Take in the top spots of Iceland and more on this eight-day self-drive tour focusing on the South Coast, where the most famous attractions of Iceland abound. Discover the country's natural beauty as you travel around the Ring Road in a complete circle from Iceland's capital, Reykjavik. Take advantage of the longer days under the midnight sun.

Booking this tour gives you a detailed itinerary, perfect for those who would love to see the full variety of landscapes and attractions Iceland has to offer while being able to go at your own pace.

Moreover, you can avoid spending weeks planning that perfect Iceland itinerary. We've already covered the planning part to save you from all the hassle. We'll also offer that ideal tour for a great price.

Your tour will begin as soon as you land in Iceland. You won't have to worry about transfers because you'll pick up your car straight from the airport. Then, for the next eight days, you'll explore this nation to the fullest. You will visit the must-see attractions around Ring Road with an in-depth focus on the South Coast.

You'll begin with the famous Golden Circle, then head south, stopping at the incredible waterfalls, pristine coast, staggering cliffs, and black sand beaches.

You'll visit the otherworldly Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, with its floating icebergs, before heading to the untouched Eastfjords. You will then make your way through the geothermal northeast of Iceland. Then, after stopping in the capital of the north, Akureyri, you'll complete your circle, arriving back in Reykjavík.

To make this trip more memorable, you can add extra activities when you book. You could visit the adored Blue Lagoon Spa, take a whale-watching tour from Husavik, go horse riding, hike a glacier, visit an ice cave, or delve deep into a volcano.

These extra stops are only some of the many reasons people love this South Coast drive. As a result, the tour has received high ratings and positive reviews. It's also one of the easiest tours for families and guests of all ages.

A massive benefit of this vacation is that your itinerary and accommodation are taken care of, so while traveling around the country, you can focus on the sites that spark joy and not worry about the finer details. Though organizing your trip may sound exciting, you're running the risk of missing out on some of the best attractions during the trip.

By letting us handle the planning, we'll ensure that all the important stops you need to see and experience in your self-drive tour are included.

Aside from enjoying flexibility and freedom during the tour, we'll also provide 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.

This road trip is a great way to get the most out of your stay in Iceland while still having the freedom to take things at your own pace. Revel in the natural wonders of Iceland, bathed in the hues of the midnight sun, making for a truly unforgettable vacation.

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

Don't miss the chance to make a dream summer vacation in Iceland a reality. Check availability now by choosing a date. 

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7 nights of accommodation
Continental breakfast on all days
New rental car for 8 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


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 / 1 night
The Vatnajokull glacier in Southeast Iceland.Southeast Iceland / 1 night
East Iceland is a spectacular region.Eastfjords / 1 night
North Iceland is home to many incredible attractions, such as the Hvitserkur rock formation.North Iceland / 1 night



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
Geysir is a dormant hot spring in the geothermal area, Haukadalur Valley, found in South Iceland.Geysir
Long-exposure photo of Gullfoss waterfall on a cloudy dayGullfoss
Þingvellir National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on Iceland’s mainland, is birthplace of the country’s parliament.Kerið
Seljalandsfoss on the South Coast of Iceland bathed in the otherworldly light of the midnight sun.Seljalandsfoss
The mighty Skógafoss waterfallSkógafoss
Sólheimajökull is the most popular glacier to hike on for those based in Reykjavík.Sólheimajökull
Dyrhólaey Peninsula is a 120 metre promenade famed for its staggering views of Iceland’s South Coast, as well as its historic lighthouse and wealth of birdlife.Dyrhólaey
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
Vestrahorn is a spectacular mountain, especially under the Northern Lights.Vestrahorn
Lagarfljot, in east Iceland, has a terrible monster in its depths, according to legend.Lagarfljót
Dettifoss waterfall in IcelandDettifoss
Lake Myvatn is surrounded by stunning natural beautyMývatn
Godafoss is a beautiful waterfall with ties to Iceland's religious history.Godafoss Waterfall
Beautiful flowers can be found in the Kjarnaskogur forest in Iceland.Kjarnaskogur
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
Gunnuhver is one of the geothermal areas on the Reykjanes Peninsula.Gunnuhver


Glacier Hiking
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Hot Spring Bathing
Ice Caving
Self drive

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Day 1

Day 1 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík - Arrival day
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You will arrive in Iceland and make your way through customs. Once you have passed through those automatic doors in the arrivals gate, your journey will begin.

You will pick up your car at the airport and start your journey towards the heart of Iceland's capital, Reykjavik. On your way to Iceland's capital city, you could 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. If you have extra free time, there is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes Peninsula.

Reykjavik has countless attractions. The city boasts impressive architecture, a fantastic art culture, and plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops. It is easy to walk around, or you could use your rental car to drive to more distant attractions.

If you are interested in Iceland's history and culture, you will find fascinating museums and spectacular art galleries. Meanwhile, those who love the outdoors can take a leisurely walk along the coastline and admire the scenery, or drive to a nearby nature reserve. 

The Reykjanes Peninsula has even more natural marvels, such as hot springs, active volcanoes, and geological features. The lava landscapes here provide the perfect introduction to Iceland's dramatic scenery.

At the end of the day, you'll check into your comfortable Reykjavik hotel. Make sure you get a good night's sleep, as the next seven days will be packed with amazing adventures and incredible landscapes.

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Day 2

Day 2 – Southwest Iceland

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

Today is all about getting an introduction to some of the most popular attractions in Iceland. The Golden Circle is a collection of must-see attractions that includes the Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Geysir Geothermal Area. You will start by heading off from your accommodation with the three main attractions in mind.

Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site. This part of the country is beautiful and incredibly important to Icelanders. It was here that the world's first parliament was formed by early settlers around 930 AD.

The Thingvellir area is filled with cliff faces, lava rocks covered in Icelandic moss, and views of distant mountains. It is a great spot to take in some views and learn about the history of this nation. While visiting Thingvellir, you could also choose to go snorkeling in the mesmerizing Silfra fissure. 

This body of water sits in the middle of the point where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates drift apart. The waters of Silfra have been filtered through lava rock for over a century, making them crystal clear. On a snorkeling tour of the fissure, you will see incredible underwater canyons with a visibility of up to 328 feet (100 meters). Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

Another stop is the impressive Gullfoss Waterfall. It is one of the most iconic waterfalls in Iceland. Its name means "Golden Falls," and it sits below the Hvita river canyon. Gullfoss stands at a height of 105 feet (32 meters). Its powerful flow cascades down two levels, creating a mighty spray.

The next attraction on the Golden Circle is the Geysir geothermal area. Geysir perfectly demonstrates the geothermal force that shaped Iceland. This part of the country is filled with hot springs and fumaroles. 

The main attraction that brings people to this area is the explosive geyser Strokkur. Strokkur erupts almost 66 feet (20 meters) into the air every five minutes or so.

If you want to add other attractions to this day on the Golden Circle, check out the Kerid Crater. This volcanic crater is not far from the sites of the Golden Circle. It is a relatively young crater at just 3,000 years old. 

Kerid's colors paint a vivid palette. Its bright red rocks sit beautifully against the deep azure blue waters at the bottom.

Reykjadalur is a steam-filled valley not far from the Golden Circle. This area of Iceland offers rolling hills with eerie steam vents popping out all over and numerous hot pools. 

If you would like some extra thrills on this day, you could add more adventures, considering your freedom to adjust the tour. You could choose to go on a horseback riding tour. The Icelandic horse is a unique species that has been isolated here for over a thousand years. 

They are sturdy, short, and very friendly creatures, making them ideal horses for riders of all abilities. Seeing the Icelandic countryside on horseback is a unique experience.

If you want a bit more adrenaline, you could opt for a snowmobile tour of Langjokull glacier. In this experience, you'll hop on the back of a snowmobile and take off along the snowy expanse of a natural glacier.

The intense feeling of the glacial breeze rushing past you while on a snowmobile is second to none. You will finish your day, retiring to your accommodation in Southwest Iceland.

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Day 3

Day 3 – South Coast

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

Today, you will continue your Ring Road adventure and start heading south. The South Coast of Iceland is known for its incredible mountains, glaciers, black sand beaches, waterfalls, and abundant birdlife.

A great first stop along the south coast is Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This waterfall is incredibly popular for visitors to Iceland due to its proximity to the Ring Road and fascinating structure. The water of Seljalandsfoss drops a steep 197 feet (60 meters) in front of a rocky enclave. 

Not far from Seljalandsfoss is an equally enchanting waterfall, Skogafoss. Skogafoss is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland. It cascades from a height of 197 feet (60 meters) and is up to 82 feet (25 meters) wide. The waters fall onto the almost flat ground creating a terrific mist. On some days, as the light reflects through the falls, visitors have been known to see a double rainbow.

As you continue along the South Coast, you will pass Solheimajokull, an outlet glacier of Myrdalsjokull. If you want some additional adventure today, you can choose to hike this landmark.

On this glacier hike, you will meet your guide, and they'll give you a safety briefing and some gear to take on this icy wonder. You'll receive a helmet, crampons, and an ice ax.

The next stop is Dyrholey, a small peninsula famous for its staggering cliff formations and abundance of birdlife. It is also the southernmost part of mainland Iceland. Here, you will have a great view of the shoreline and opportunities to spot native birds.

Not far from Dyrholey is the Reynisfjara black sand beach. This part of the Icelandic shore is known for its incredible waves crashing against black volcanic sand. On the beach, you'll also spot a cliff face with unusual hexagonal basalt rock columns.

Just offshore from Reynisfjara are the Reynisdrangar rock formations. These natural ocean monoliths point skyward from the sea. 

Further along is the quaint seaside town of Vik. Vik is a great place to stop and stretch your legs. You might want to head to the hilltop church that looks out to sea.

There are some other great activities you can take part in not far from Vik. You could visit the famous DC-3 plane wreck, an American Navy plane that crash-landed on Solheimasandur in 1973. Today, the wreckage makes for incredible pictures.

You could also choose to visit an ice cave. Ice caves are an incredibly unique attraction in Iceland. They form during the regular melt and freeze cycles of glaciers. Ice caves disappear each year, and new ones are created, meaning no two ice caves are the same. 

Inside an ice cave, you will witness what can sometimes look like a crystal palace. Curves and layers of ice marbled with blues, greys, whites, and black volcanic ash create a time capsule of hundreds if not thousands of years into the past.

After an incredible day of sightseeing and adventure, you will retire to your accommodation in South Iceland.

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Day 4

Day 4 – Southeast Iceland

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

Today is all about exploring more of the South Coast and heading towards the east of Iceland. 

You will begin by traveling through Skaftafell Nature Reserve, which sits in Vatnajokull National Park. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you could choose to start your day with a morning glacier hike of Skaftafell. This rugged landscape is known for its flora and presents many photography opportunities. 

Skaftafell has many incredible hiking trails featuring easy treks, making it a "hiking paradise." You will then head on to the crown jewel of South Iceland, Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. This body of water is the deepest lagoon in Iceland, reaching depths of up to 820 feet (250 meters). 

Jokulsarlon fills with the meltwater from a tongue off Vatnajokull glacier, called Breidamerkurjokull. The icy waters are filled with icebergs that have broken off the glacier (a process called ice calving). These massive ice monuments seem to glow in whites and blues as they travel through the lagoon.

When visiting here, you can choose to take a boat trip into the waters of Jokulsarlon. You can take an amphibious boat tour, which will gently slide into the water, allowing you to better understand how this lagoon is formed. 

You might even be lucky to spot some seals playfully swimming or sunning themselves on icebergs. You could also choose to take a zodiac boat tour of the lagoon. A zodiac boat will allow you to get even closer to the massive icebergs of Jokulsarlon to gain a real appreciation of their size.

Next to Jokulsarlon is the famous Diamond Beach. It is a short stretch of shoreline where the lagoon's waters meet the sea. As icebergs are pushed around and melted by the saltwater, some of them rest on the black sands of the beach, giving it a jeweled appearance, hence the name Diamond Beach.

Your next stop is the eastern town of Hofn. This quaint, picturesque fishing town is famous for its lobster. It could be the perfect place to stop for dinner. Many of the restaurants in town offer plenty of menu items that include the town's most precious commodity.

You will then spend the night in Southeast Iceland.

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Day 5

Day 5 – Eastfjords

  • Eastfjords
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  • Vestrahorn
  • Lake Lagarfljot
  • More

Today, you will head into the remote Eastfjords. This part of Iceland is known for its remarkable beauty and abundance of untouched nature. You could visit many places today, as the Eastfjords are filled with numerous mountains, cliffs, coastal views, and quaint towns.

Vestrahorn mountain is an impressive and photogenic formation that sits close to the ocean. It casts incredible shadows and reflections against its backdrop throughout the summer.

Djupivogur is a coastal fishing town beneath the large pyramid-shaped Bulandstindur mountain. If you are lucky enough to visit Djupivogur during the longest day of the year (summer solstice), Bulandstindur is said to grant wishes.

Faskrudsfjordur used to be a French fishing village, and the French influence of the town can still be seen today. In the early settlement, French seamen set up a hospital and harbor. Eventually, most of these settlers were called away during the First World War, and the town eventually became mostly Icelandic. 

Many street signs in Faskrudsfjordur are in both French and Icelandic, and the original French hospital has been converted into a hotel, with an attached museum dedicated to the French connection of this village.

Next to explore is Egilsstadir, the largest town in the Eastfjords. It's a great place to stop, refuel, and possibly grab a bite. The larger population of Egilsstadir means abundant options for dining, groceries, and tourist information. It is also a great midway point between some of the other attractions of the Eastfjords.

From here, you could choose to visit the Vok Baths. This geothermal spa is only three miles (five kilometers) northwest of Egilsstadir and boasts incredible relaxation in warm pools among enchanting scenery.

To the east of Egilsstadir is the magical town of Seydisfjordur. This harbor town looks like it came out of a fantasy film, surrounded by mountains and waterfalls. The old Norwegian architecture that established the town still stands today. 

The town is known for its art and culture. Seydisfjordur hosts a youth art festival called LungA every year in the summer. It also has a permanent rainbow street that leads to a quaint blue church.

To the west of Egilsstadir are three other attractions. There's Lake Lagarfljot, which is said to be the home of a mythical worm monster. Further along is Hallormsstadarskogur, the largest forest in Iceland. Finally, there is Hengifoss, an intriguingly beautiful waterfall that falls before a dramatically colored basalt rock cliff.

After exploring the east, you will spend the night at your accommodation in East Iceland.

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Day 6

Day 6 – North Iceland

  • North Iceland
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  • Dettifoss waterfall
  • Lake Myvatn Area
  • Godafoss Waterfall
  • Kjarnaskogur
  • More

On day six, you will head through the northeastern part of Iceland. This area of the country is well known for impressive waterfalls, sweeping planes, and incredible hot spots of geothermal activity. There are so many places you could visit here, so you will need to pick your favorites.

You might want to make your first stop at Dettifoss waterfall on your way north. Dettifoss is 328 feet (100 meters) wide and drops 141 feet (43 meters). When you stand next to Dettifoss, you can feel its powerful roar. This waterfall is so impressive that director Ridley Scott used it in the opening scene of his 2012 film "Prometheus."

The Lake Myvatn Area is active with a lot of geothermal activity. This region is home to the fourth-largest lake in Iceland, Lake Myvatn. Its name means "Fly Lake" which is a nod to the small flies that are very common here.

If you visit Myvatn, you might want to take a break at the Myvatn Nature Baths. This luxurious facility is often called "The Blue Lagoon of the North."

Other attractions in or near the Lake Myvatn Area include Krafla, a caldera just north of the Lake Myvatn area. It is part of a large volcanic system and one of the country's most explosive volcanoes.

In the Namfjall Geothermal Area, you will see boiling mud pots, fumaroles pouring steam into the air, and sulfur crystals in blues, greens, yellows, and whites.

Another attraction in the Myvatn area is Dimmuborgir. This rock structure is sometimes called "The Black Fortress" because it resembles a medieval castle. In Icelandic folklore, these rocks and the surrounding lava caves are the home to trolls, particularly "Gryla," the mother of the 13 Icelandic Santas.

If you are more inclined to get to the coast, you could head further north towards Husavik. This seaside village is often called the "whale-watching capital of Europe."

If you want to get out into the waters of the north and try to spot some whales, you can choose to go on a whale-watching tour from Husavik. There are two kinds of whale-watching tours you can take part in. 

You could opt for a traditional tour, where you take a standard boat ride out into the bay in search of whales, or you could choose a rib boat tour. You are in a smaller vessel on a rib boat tour, meaning you can get closer to these ocean mammals without disturbing them.

Husavik also presents the opportunity to indulge in the geothermal warmth of Iceland. The Husavik Geosea Baths are completely different from most hot pools in Iceland. They are filled with heated seawater. 

As you go to your final stop for the day, you can see Godafoss, another waterfall that holds a special place in the history of Iceland. In around 1000 AD, the Viking Chieftain threw his pagan idols away into this waterfall to symbolically show that Iceland was adopting Christianity.

By the end of the day, you will arrive in the Capital of the North, Akureyri. Your accommodation is around this area in North Iceland.

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Day 7

Day 7 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
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  • Hvitserkur Rock Stack
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This is your last official travel day. If you want one more day in the capital, you could head straight to Reykjavik and explore more. 

If, however, you want to soak up a few more sites along the way, there are some places you could stop at. About 48 miles (78 kilometers) northwest of Akureyri is the town of Siglufjordur. It is the northernmost town on mainland Iceland. 

Surrounded by incredible mountains, Siglufjordur is a beautiful representation of idyllic country life in Iceland. It is a great place to stop, stretch your legs, and get a few more incredible shots of fjord life.

Siglufjordur is also home to the Herring Era Museum, the largest maritime museum in Iceland. Here, you’ll learn about the country's history of herring fishery and processing.

Meanwhile, around 124 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Siglufjordur is the Hvitserkur rock formation. This mysterious natural monolith is an unusually shaped rock that sticks out from the sea. 

As you head towards Reykjavik, two more attractions would be worth checking out. Around 81 miles (130 kilometers) north of Iceland's capital are two waterfalls close to each other: Hraunfossar and Barnafoss.

Hraunfossar's name translates to “Lava Falls” and bears a striking beauty reminiscent of fantasy films. Interestingly, Hraunfossar trickles through a lava field that resulted from an eruption of a volcano underneath the Langjokull glacier. Lava fields are also known for having hidden cave formations.

After enjoying the beauty of the Hraunfossar waterfall, you can walk toward Barnafoss waterfall, about 50 feet (15 meters) away. It is a rapid waterfall rich in history and folklore. Unlike Hraunfossar, which trickles from a lava field, Barnafoss, or “the children's falls,” rushes through a rocky canyon, creating powerful rapids.

After your day of traveling, it will be time again to rest at your accommodation in Reykjavik. You might even want to head out and enjoy Icelandic nightlife before heading home tomorrow.

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Day 8

Day 8 – Reykjavík

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

It's your last day in Iceland. If you have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you'll finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport.

It's the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters and look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice.

Alternatively, there are other things you can do in Reykjavik. You can do some last-minute shopping. You can also visit some cultural landmarks like the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center, the Perlan Museum and Observation Deck, and the Hallgrimskirkja church.

If you have an early flight back home, we hope you enjoyed your Icelandic trip and wish you a pleasant journey.

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What to bring

Warm Clothes
Driver's license

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

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, and 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.

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