8 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle Of Iceland Camping Trip

8 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle Of Iceland Camping Trip
Camp around the island and explore the Ring Road including the Golden Circle and the Diamond Circle on a budget.
Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon in South East Iceland is known to reach 100 meters depth.
Aside from the famed Strokkur and Geysir hot springs, Haukadalur geothermal valley contains over forty different hot pools, fumaroles and steam vents.
The Icelandic Forestry Services began to actively spread Lupins in the 1960s in order to fight soil erosion.
Goðafoss is the final resting place for many of the pagan idols that were thrown away there upon Iceland's adoption of Christianity in 1000 AD.
Reynisfjara is, arguably, Iceand's most famous black sand beach, second only perhaps to Diamond Beach further along the South Coast.
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Book this tour for an incredible camping trip all around Iceland. If you have always dreamed of completing the ring road, love to immerse yourself in nature, and are on a bit of a budget, then this is the perfect tour for you.

You'll circle Iceland and explore the whole country. As the driver, you can go where you like and ignore a set schedule, without worrying about tour guides or other group members.

Quality camping facilities with plenty of amenities are all around, and you'll be surrounded by spectacular nature no matter where you pitch up your tent. Along the way, you can explore popular spots like the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle, Skaftafell Nature Reserve, the Lake Mývatn Area and the waterfalls of the West. 

To guarantee that you have a selection of the most popular locations with some more private areas to enjoy, Guide to Iceland has chosen a few unique attractions to guide you to. These sites are listed in a personal itinerary you will receive after you book, allowing you to revel in the natural landscapes Iceland is famous for without the crowds. The itinerary also sends you to as many geothermal hot springs as possible, to ease the tension built from full days of adventuring.

This tour can be added to with various activities along the way. Snorkelling, snowmobiling, glacier hiking, ice caving, whale-watching and a boat tour on the glacier lagoon are all options you can choose to make this holiday everything you could want it to be.

Reserve this camping trip now for an affordable self-drive tour to see the best attractions in Iceland! Check booking availability now, by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkelling, Caving, Hiking, Snowmobile, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Hot Spring Bathing, Bird watching, Ice Caving, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Golden Circle, Reykjavík, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Dyrhólaey, Þingvellir, Hraunfossar, Deildartunguhver, Strokkur, Reykjanes, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Höfn, Borgarnes, Barnafoss, Langjökull, Skútustaðagígar, Vík í Mýrdal, Egilsstaðir, Siglufjörður, Hofsós, Keflavik International Airport, Capital Region, South Coast, Diamond Beach, Ring Road
Pickup information:
    Your car will await you at Keflavík International airport when you arrive. You will drop it off at Keflavík airport too when you depart from Iceland.
    • 4x4 rental car with roof top tent for 8 days

    • CDW Insurance

    • Travel Plan

    • Camping card for selected campsites

    • Camping equipment

    • Camping chairs and Tables

    • USB Charger

    • Cooling box

    • Taxes

    • Fuel

    • Dinner

    • Lunch

    • Breakfast

    What to bring:
    • Warm Clothes

    Good to know:

    Off-road driving is illegal in Iceland. It is a highly fined offence. Avoid legal problems and make sure to stay on marked highland roads and paths. Believe us, this will already be adventure enough! Also note that highland roads are closed during wintertime, which normally open in mid-June and close in September.

    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.

    Daily itinerary

    Day 1 - Arrival in Reykjavik

    The Sun Voyager, a staple artistic landmark for those visitors to Iceland's charming capital city, Reykjavik.

    After landing at Keflavík International Airport, collect your bag and car and head out to the lunar-like lava field of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Your destination is the City Hall building in downtown Reykjavík.

    En route, you'll find the famous Blue Lagoon Spa. If you opted for it during the booking process, you can stop by for a rejuvenating soak. You can also leave it for your departure day if you are in a hurry to start exploring. 

    Once in Reykjavík, stop by at the City Hall by the small lake Tjörnin, and receive your camping card. The team at City Hall will also be more than happy to point out to you interesting locations to see on your journey and help you plan your adventure.

    If you wish, you can explore  Reykjavík city a little before you set out to the little village of Þorlákshöfn where you'll find your camping site for the night.

    Day 2 - The Golden Circle & Southwest Iceland

    Strokkur is, without doubt, the best example of an erupting fountain geyser that can be found in Iceland, or indeed the world.

    Day two sees you embark on the famous Golden Circle tour before you reach the south coast. Begin with a visit to Þingvellir National Park, where you can walk the valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, and discover the original site of the world's longest running representative parliament. You can also opt for a snorkelling tour here, in the crystal clear ravine Silfra.

    Next up is the Haukadalur geothermal valley, home to the great Geysir—the original “geyser”. Its more active neighbour, Strokkur, erupts every ten minutes or so, sending boiling water up to 20 m (66 ft) high, and the area is dotted with bubbling hot springs and steaming fumaroles.

    End the circle with a visit to the mighty Gullfoss waterfall; you can approach it right to its edge to observe its incredible scale and power. From here, you can also take the option of going on a snowmobiling tour on Langjökull glacier. If that does not appeal, look into booking a horse-riding tour.

    Following this, head to the south coast and visit one of Iceland's most beautiful waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss, which you can walk all the way around. The towering Skógafoss waterfall is also nearby. Further along the coast, stop to admire the black volcanic beach at Reynisfjara, and the dramatic Dyrhólaey rock formations. Other sights along the route include the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which will be on your left-hand side.

    Spend the night at a campsite in Vík village.

    Day 3 - Hiking Day in Skaftafell Nature Reserve

    Glacier hiking is a thrilling, yet inherently dangerous activity. Make sure to always scale the ice cap with a professional and certified guide.

    Day three should be spent travelling to, and marvelling over, the many sights of the beautiful Skaftafell area of Vatnajökull National Park. Before you depart, however, you can opt for an ice cave tour, where you'll explore a dazzling cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. 

    At Skaftafell, hiking enthusiasts will truly be in their element. There are plenty of challenging tracks and trails to be found, including one that leads to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall. This fall tumbles down unique basalt columns, which inspired the design of Reykjavík's Hallgrímskirkja church.

    This is also an ideal place to go glacier hiking, allowing you to behold some incredible views. It's an unforgettable experience, which comes highly recommended.

    Backtrack a little to a campsite near the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur on the South Coast where you will spend the night.

    Day 4 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

    Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, 'The Crown Jewel of Iceland', is widely regarded to be the ultimate finale for those touring along the South Coast.

    On your fourth day, continue your drive eastward to what is one of Iceland’s most famous attractions and primary photo spots, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Here you can enjoy a boat cruise amongst the serenity of the icebergs, the shapes and colours of which will take your breath away. There are zodiac and amphibious boats to choose from. Even if you choose not to take either, however, you'll have incredible views from the shore.

    Don't miss a walk down to the Diamond Beach, where these icebergs wash up on the black shore like glistening jewels. Also, keep a keen eye out for the seals that call the lagoon and beach home.

    After exploring this beautiful area, continue your journey to the Eastfjords. This is an incredibly beautiful area of jagged mountains, tranquil villages and stunning coastline. Spend the night at a campsite in one of those charming towns of the Eastfjords.

    Day 5 - Lake Myvatn

    Námaskarð Pass is an area of vibrant and violent underground geothermal activity, making for some interesting features at surface level.

    Start the day early and drive to the Lake Mývatn area, a hotbed of volcanic landscapes, which includes the Námaskarð Pass, the Skútustaðagígar pseudo-craters, and Mt. Krafla. Take a stop at Dimmuborgir, the 'Dark Fortress', named as such because the lava in the area twists into strange and unreal shapes which resemble a crumbling castle, complete with towers and turrets.

    After a long day on the road, take a dip in the soothing geothermal waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths, before spending the night at a campsite just outside of Akureyri town.

    Day 6 - North Iceland

    It's easy to fall when standing next to the sheer force of nature that is Dettifoss waterfall.

    Use day six to further explore Lake Mývatn and its unique surroundings. Highly recommended is a drive through the Jökulsárgljúfur region of the Vatnajökull National Park, stopping at sights such as the Ásbyrgi canyon and Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Another great way to spend some time is a visit to Húsavík, renowned as the whale watching capital of Europe. You can opt for an incredible whale watch here, and even upgrade it to include puffins.

    After making the most of these sights, head towards Akureyri. Just be sure to stop and appreciate the mighty Goðafoss waterfall on the way.

    Known as 'the capital of the North,' Akureyri is a charming town with a plenty of shops and museums, as well as one of the world's northernmost botanical gardens. Enjoy the area, before either returning to your campsite just outside of town, or heading to a new one in one of the pleasant villages on the Tröllaskagi Peninsula.

    Day 7 - West Iceland

    The Hraunfossar series of waterfalls can be found nearby to both Reykholt and the sprawling church estate of Húsafell.

    Your seventh day should be spent exploring the best that West Iceland has to offer. It is a fairly long drive from the north-west to the capital, but there is a lot to see along the way. Be sure to visit the Icelandic stone citadel at Borgarviki, as well as Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe. Along the coast, stop to admire the mesmerising Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, or visit the Settlement Centre in Borganes.

    There are two very different caving tours you can opt for on this day. You can enter the man-made tunnels carved into the side of Langjökull glacier, or else the natural lava tubes of Víðgelmir.

    At the end of the day, make your way to the town of Akranes where you'll find your last campsite on this journey.

    Day 8 - Blue Lagoon & Departure from Iceland

    For a truly luxurious experience, visit the Blue Lagoon Spa. For something a little more natural, seek out one of the country's many hidden hot pools.

    Be sure to drop your car back at the airport in time for your flight home. If you are lucky enough to have an afternoon or evening flight, and therefore a few more hours to kill, consider indulging in a luxurious spa session at the world-famous Blue Lagoon, or admire the sights of Reykjanes Peninsula.

    After this trip, you will have seen all of the best attractions along the Ring Road of Iceland and can leave the island satisfied. Until next time!


    The vehicles offered for our self drive camping tours are highland capable and equipped with a roof top tent and necessary camping equipment suitable for two people. They come with a GPS and CDW insurance.

    Cancellation Insurance

    This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person.

    The cancellation must be made more than 48 hours before the listed starting time on your voucher. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact info@guidetoiceland.is and declare full cancellation.

    Please note that this insurance covers the cancellation of the whole tour or package. Individual services cannot be cancelled and refunded separately, but are all covered and refunded in case of a full cancellation.


    Verified reviews

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    This was a great experience, and I'm very glad we rented a car with the roof tent. It rained several days while we were doing our loop, and I was happy to not have to pack up a wet tent every morning. The roof tent can be tricky to put up and take down, but my taller boyfriend made himself useful and took care of that. It would probably be challenging to put away the roof tent if you are 5' 2" but would be a lot easier if one of the traveling partners is tall. The car we got was new and in good condition as were all the equipment and items that came with this tour. The camping card was useful to help us get an idea of the amenities and location of each campground although we ended up paying for different campgrounds for two nights because the location was more convenient. The itinerary was also very helpful and helped a lot. One recommendation would be to include a map with each itinerary item labeled so you can have a better idea of where each site is relative to each other (some places are off the Ring Road and can take longer than you think).
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