Best 1-week Summer Self-Drive Tour of the Ring Road of Iceland & Golden Circle

Likely to sell out soon
Likely to sell out soon
Free cancellation
24/7 customer support
Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable

Description

Summary

Starts from
Keflavík Airport
Ends in
Keflavík Airport
Duration
8 days & 7 nights
Difficulty
Easy
Available
May - Aug.
Accommodation
7 nights included
Car rental
8 days included

Description

Book now and secure yourself an eight-day adventure to Iceland. Explore the stunning attractions of Iceland's South Coast, Eastfjords, North, and West as you travel the whole Ring Road. This road trip is for anyone who likes discovering new places at their own pace rather than having tour guides in control. 

Using the Ring Road as your guide, you'll see some of the country's most spectacular natural wonders in eight days. It will include the capital city of Reykjavik, the world-famous Golden Circle sightseeing route, and Akureyri, "the Capital of the North." 

You'll also visit Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, the beautiful Lake Myvatn, the most stunning waterfalls, volcanoes, quaint rural towns, and countless other attractions. 

Booking this tour will help you avoid spending weeks planning that perfect Iceland itinerary. To save you from all the hassle, we've already got the planning part covered. We'll also offer this thrilling tour for a great price. 

You can also add more exciting activities to your trip during the booking process. For instance, you can go snowmobiling on Langjokull glacier, hike on a glacier, or snorkel between two continents in Thingvellir National Park.

If you're a nature enthusiast, consider adding unique adventures to your trip. You can join the famous Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon boat tour, go whale watching from Husavik town, ride an Icelandic horse through the rugged countryside, go lava caving, or venture inside the glistening white halls of a glacier. Each addition will leave you with incredible lifelong experiences from the land of fire and ice.

There is even the chance to descend into the vividly colored magma chamber of a sleeping volcano. And if you want to relax, you can book a trip to the world-famous Blue Lagoon and bask in its soothing azure waters amid a dramatic volcanic landscape.

These extra stops are only some of the many reasons people love this Ring Road and Golden Circle self-drive experience. 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.

There, you'll find many spots where you can be virtually alone, at incredible locations most visitors have never heard of. You'll also find your full comfort accommodation selections in the itinerary, including an ensuite bathroom and breakfast.

Aside from the 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. We'll also give you a personalized and detailed itinerary, which you'll receive upon booking.

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

So don't hesitate to grab the wheel and secure this unique opportunity for the perfect stay in Iceland. Explore the Ring Road's top attractions and many hidden gems at your own pace. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Included

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

Destinations

Reykjavik is the northernmost capital city in the world.Reykjavík / 2 nights
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
Hvitserkur rock stands tall just off the coast of Northwest Iceland.Northwest Iceland / 1 night
Deildartunguhver geothermal hot spring in West IcelandDeildartunguhver
Reykholt was home to Snorri Sturluson, a medieval writer.Reykholt

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
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
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
Hallormstadaskogar surrounds lake Lagarfjlot.Hallormsstaðaskógur
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
Puffins are residents of Eyjafjordur from May to September.Eyjafjörður
Trollaskagi is well known for its high population of Icelandic horses.Tröllaskagi
Holar is a village in Iceland with a notably pretty church.Hólar in Hjaltadalur
Hvítserkur, aka; “The Troll of North-West Iceland”, is a 15-metre (49ft) high basalt rock stack protruding from Húnaflói Bay.Hvítserkur
Hraunfossar is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in West Iceland.Hraunfossar
Borg á Mýrum is a church estate in Iceland.Borg á Mýrum
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
Snowmobile
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Boat Trip
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Bird watching
Ice Caving
Self drive

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

Pick up your car at the international airport in Keflavik before driving through the lunar landscape of the Reykjanes Peninsula to your accommodation in downtown Reykjavik. On your way to Iceland’s capital city, 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 in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere.

The most attractive feature of the Blue Lagoon is the regenerative qualities of its water. It features silica and sulfur that benefit people with various skin ailments. With a temperature averaging 98 to 102 F (37 to 39 C), the Blue Lagoon offers a comfortable and relaxing feeling in both the swimming and bathing areas.

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.

The Blue Lagoon is not the only attraction on the Reykjanes Peninsula, the stretch that separates the airport and Reykjavik. You could also stop at Fagradalsfjall volcano, the Seltun geothermal area, the Bridge Between the Continents, and Lake Kleifarvatn.

This region is also home to cultural attractions, such as fishing villages, historic ruins, and museums.

After settling in at your hotel in Reykjavik, make the most of your proximity to the vibrant city center, and discover the multitude of museums, galleries, restaurants, and bars.

Make the most of the light nights and stroll around the city to see sites such as Hallgrimskirkja Church and the Harpa Concert Hall. Catch a show or live music, but don't overdo it, as you have a busy and exciting week ahead!

Spend your first night in this beautiful, quirky city.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 2

Day 2 – South Coast

  • South Coast
  • More
  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Geysir geothermal area
  • Gullfoss waterfall
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Skogafoss waterfall
  • Solheimajokull Glacier
  • Dyrholaey
  • Reynisfjara black sand beach
  • Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks
  • More

Day two sends you to some of the best-known natural phenomena in Iceland via the sightseeing route known as the Golden Circle.

The first stop is the Thingvellir National Park. Here, you can walk along the rift valley of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, among an area that also plays a huge role in Iceland's heritage.

Iceland's parliament was founded here in 930 AD, and it is also where Iceland converted to Christianity and declared its independence from Denmark. In this beautiful park, you can opt for a snorkeling tour into the Silfra fissure, a crystal-clear ravine of incredible underwater vistas between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

The geothermal valley of Haukadalur is the next stop, where you can see the geysers Strokkur and Geysir, amongst many bubbling hot springs. Strokkur puts on an impressive display every 10 minutes or so, erupting to heights that exceed 66 feet (20 meters).

Just a few kilometers away is Iceland's most popular attraction, the mighty waterfall of Gullfoss. A pathway takes you to the water's edge, where you can get a real sense of the incredible power of these enormous falls. From Gullfoss, those with a good sense of adventure can jump on an optional snowmobiling tour on Langjokull glacier.

If neither snorkeling nor snowmobiling tours appeal to you, you may opt for a horse ride in the surrounding South Iceland nature. Another popular sight of the area is the volcanic crater Kerid, which is well worth a visit before continuing to the South Coast.

The rocks of this crater are colored rusty red and fiery orange, and the water that permanently sits within its basin is an incredible, vivid blue. The color contrast, especially when you add green-growing moss, is simply stunning. As you move onto the Ring Road in the South, you will see Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which you can walk all the way around for some great photos behind its water curtain.

A little further down the road is the mesmerizing and mighty Skogafoss waterfall, a roaring beast with a drop of 197 feet (60 meters) and a width nearly half its height. Along the coast near the village Vik, take a slight detour to stop and admire the black volcanic beach Reynisfjara, the dramatic Dyrholaey rock arch, and the eerie Reynisdrangar sea stacks.

However, be very careful of the ocean as the waves along this stretch of coast are notoriously unpredictable and dangerous―all part of the allure of traveling in Iceland.

At the end of your first-rate second day, you'll spend the night on the South Coast.

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Accommodation

Day 3

Day 3 – Southeast Iceland

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

On day three, head to the beautiful Skaftafell Nature Reserve within the greater Vatnajokull National Park.

You can choose to start your day with a visit to the natural Katla ice cave within Myrdalsjokull glacier. These are the only natural ice caves accessible outside the winter season, so don't miss the opportunity to visit. 

In Skaftafell, you can spend your time taking in the many stunning sights and exciting activities that are available. 

If you enjoy hiking, you'll find countless scenic trails and tracks suitable for all levels of mobility and experience. One notable trail leads to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall. Though this waterfall is only 66 feet (20 meters) tall and isn't known to have raw power like other waterfalls, the breathtaking formation and surroundings make up for that.

Check out the dark, hexagonal basalt columns that made Svartifoss waterfall an appealing destination. Alternatively, you can snap on some crampons and take a glacier hike.

Continuing your road trip, you'll find yourself by one of Iceland's most famous and dazzling attractions, the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Onboard an amphibious boat or a zippy zodiac, you can embark on an optional cruise on the water. You'll see the lagoon's serene floating icebergs of all shapes and sizes.

However, the lagoon is stunning even from the shore, and you have an excellent chance to see seals playing around the ice. After enjoying the lagoon, take a short walk to the nearby Diamond Beach, where many ice flows wash up on the shore and sparkle like gemstones in the sun.

The Diamond Beach is an impressive black sand strip that connects to the greater Breidamerkursandur glacier plain. This shoreline is a particularly great spot for photographers because of its contrasts and surroundings.

After exploring the area, drive a little further ahead and spend the night in Southeast Iceland.

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Day 4

Day 4 – Eastfjords

  • Eastfjords
  • More
  • Vestrahorn
  • Lake Lagarfljot
  • Hallormsstadaskogur Forest
  • More

The driving on day four will take you on a rollercoaster ride around the rolling hills and seemingly countless fjords of Iceland's eastern coastline. Each fjord seems to have its own soul and spirit, as each promises to take your breath away.

The great Vatnajokull glacier lies to the west, visible when you cross over the high mountain ridges as you make your way north. The many idyllic fishing villages en route make for perfect little rest stops.

They also present many opportunities to get to know the locals and learn more about Icelandic history and culture.

Upon reaching the East Fjords, you'll see an area full of natural beauty and breathtaking sights often overlooked by visitors. It's a coastline stretching 75 miles (120 kilometers) from Berufjordur, in the south, to the Borgarfjordur Eystri fishing village in the north.

As you explore the East Fjords, you'll see dense forests, sparkling lakes, traditional farms, remote fishing villages, and incredible scenery.

One of the key stops in the area is the town of Egilsstadir. Considered the capital of East Iceland, Egilsstadir is one of the few spots in the region where you'll find vital services.

You'll find museums, shops, restaurants, and petrol stations here. It also has an airport, which allows visitors without a driver's license to explore the East Fjords.

The town offers many activities, such as hiking and exploring cultural landmarks. After hiking, visit the Vok Baths, the largest geothermal spa in East Iceland. It has two pools, overlooking hot pools, and an on-site sauna.

Next, you'll drive to Hallormsstadarskogur, Iceland's largest national forest. Here, you'll find wild animals, hiking trails, and a collection of tree species. These trees cover about 286 square miles (740 square kilometers) of land.

If you're visiting in June, join the "Forest Day" celebration, featuring various activities, accordion music, and birch tree competitions.

The East Fjords are also home to some of the country's most remarkable diversity of wildlife. They have many incredible bird-watching sites and seal colonies. You may go bird-watching in the natural harbor of Borgarfjordur Eystri, a nesting haven for puffins.

Moreover, the east is the only place in the country where you can spot herds of wild reindeer. You can check out Seydisfjordur, the best town to see wild reindeer.

After the drive, you'll stay overnight in East Iceland.

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Day 5

Day 5 – North Iceland

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

On day five, you will head north to the renowned Lake Myvatn. It is highly recommended to drive through the Jokulsargljufur part of Vatnajokull National Park on the way, visiting Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe.

The Lake Myvatn area is simply stunning. It is known for its geothermal landscapes, including the Namaskard Pass, the Skutustadagigar pseudo-craters, the Dimmuborgir lava formations, and Mt. Krafla, one of Iceland's most iconic volcanoes.

The Namaskard Pass is a geothermal area about 8.6 miles (14 kilometers) from Lake Myvatn. It features slopes that don't have vegetation because of the soil's heat and acidity. However, colorful streaks can be seen on the ground and around the springs.

You'll see vivid colors like yellow, green, red, and orange, giving life and character to the area. Additionally, you'll notice the smell of sulfur in the air, which shouldn't cause any health problems since you'll only be staying for a few hours.

Meanwhile, Skutustadagigar is a row of pseudo-craters about 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) from Lake Myvatn. The area's volcanic nature and the lake's presence created these unusual formations.

When the volcanoes Ludentaborgir and Threngslaborgir erupted around 2,300 years ago, the lava flowed through Skutustadagigar. During that time, the Skutustadagigar area was still a swampy wetland. The lava's heat caused steam eruptions that led to the formation of the craters.

Perhaps the most imposing sight in the area is Mount Krafla, one of the country's most iconic volcanoes. It is a caldera that's part of the Krafla volcanic system, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Lake Myvatn.

The caldera measures around seven miles (10 kilometers) wide, while its fissure zone extends for about 56 miles (90 kilometers). Interestingly, the fissure zone is where you'll find the Viti crater and its famous green lake.

As for other activities to consider, you can join a whale-watching tour at the nearby village of Husavik. The area is considered the whale-watching capital of Europe, with 100% sighting rates throughout most of the summer.

Husavik is where you'll find Skjalfandi Bay, a very reliable place to observe the magnificent humpback whales feeding in the shallows. You can also upgrade the activity to a rib boat tour to fit in some puffin watching.

Later on, dip in the soothing geothermal waters of the Myvatn Nature Baths, the perfect way to relax after a full day of sightseeing. The baths are centered around a large lagoon, with temperatures ranging from 97 to 104 F (36 to 40 C).

Afterward, continue to the charming "Capital of the North," Akureyri. You'll spend the town around this area in North Iceland.

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Day 6

Day 6 – Northwest Iceland

  • Northwest Iceland
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  • Eyjafjordur fjord
  • Troll Peninsula
  • Holar i Hjaltadal
  • More

On day six, spend the morning enjoying Akureyri, a charismatic town hosting many unique shops and museums. 

Considered the "Capital of the North," Akureyri boasts the second-largest population in Iceland. The town is about 62 miles (100 kilometers) from the Arctic Circle and is surrounded by mountains and rich agriculture.

It also has one of the world's northernmost botanical gardens, which is well worth a stroll through. The Akureyri Botanical Gardens cover 3,000 hectares and over 7,000 plant species. Since the gardens opened in 1957, it has become one of the most popular attractions in Akureyri during summer.

Like Husavik, Akureyri is also a great place to watch whales. You may join a whale-watching tour in downtown Akureyri and see the humpback whales dance, feed, breach, and fluke dive.

Alternatively, you can drive to Bjorbodin Beer Spa in Arskogssandur, about 22 miles (35 kilometers) from Akureyri. Instead of dipping into a traditional hot spring, you'll soak in warm, young beer and live beer yeast while enjoying a mug of beer (for those of age).

Once you have made the most of the town, set out to explore the Trollaskagi Peninsula, home to Iceland's tallest mountains outside the Central Highlands. Among the Trollaskagi peninsula's many mountains, Mount Kerling is the highest. 

It stands at 5,064 feet (1,538 meters) and features a structure made of basaltic rock. However, Mount Kerling's uppermost part is made of rhyolite that extends to nearby Mount Sulur and Mount Vindheimajokull.

Aside from majestic landscapes, the Trollaskagi Peninsula is also famous for its Icelandic horses. The place is home to several horse farms, offering horseback riding to visitors. Interestingly, Icelandic horses are a bit different from conventional horses.

They're smaller and carry a unique gait and tolt. In addition, they're said to be more sturdy, curious, and intelligent, making them an easy favorite among equestrians.

Continuing towards Skagafjordur, a valley known for its abundance of Icelandic horses (where you can take another horse ride), you'll pass through the beautiful mountainous area of Trollaskagi, the old herring-fishing village of Siglufjordur, and Hofsos, where you can enjoy the gorgeous scenery while relaxing in the town's geothermal infinity pool.

Siglufjordur is the mainland's northernmost town and was the herring-fishing center of the North Atlantic. On the other hand, Hofsos is an old trading post dating back to the 1500s and is now famous for its swimming pool.

By the end of the tiring but exciting day, you'll spend the night in Northwest Iceland.

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Day 7

Day 7 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
  • More
  • Hvitserkur Rock Stack
  • Deildartunguhver hot spring
  • Reykholt historical site
  • Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls
  • Borg a Myrum church and farm
  • More

On day seven, explore West Iceland with its diverse attractions, including the Icelandic Settlement Center in Borgarnes, which details the history of the settlement of our land, and Deildartunguhver, the hot spring with the highest flow in Europe.

The Icelandic Settlement Center in Borgarnes is a museum that houses two important exhibitions: the Age of Settlement and Egil Skallagrimsson, a Viking poet who was the anti-hero of Egil's Saga.

Further along, be sure to visit the captivating Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls. The Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls that stream from the Hallmundarhraun lava field. Moreover, the waterfalls flow from ledges of rocks in the lava and pour into the Hvita river.

After checking Hraunfossar, walk toward the Barnafoss waterfall. Barnafoss is a rapid waterfall with a rich history and intriguing folklore.

If you're a history buff, you may enjoy a detour to Snorrastofa, the medieval research institute in Reykholt. It is where Snorri Sturluson, Iceland's most famous Viking poet, politician, and historian, wrote the saga Heimskringla in the 13th century. He is also the author of the bible of old Norse mythology, the Edda.

If you have the time, you can opt for an exciting caving tour at the Vidgelmir lava tubes or adventure into the incredible, man-made Langjokull ice tunnels. You'll find these tunnels in the most stable part of Langjokull, Iceland's second-largest glacier.

Going through the tunnels is like entering a magical place. The glacier's seemingly endless surface will leave you in awe. Once you reach the top of the expanse, you'll see the majestic mountains that are a sight to behold.

You can even take an "into the volcano" tour, where you descend into the colorful magma chamber of the Thrihnukagigur volcano. Thrihnukagigur is a dormant volcano with a huge magma chamber with a depth of 699 feet (213 meters). Interestingly, it's the only magma chamber in the world that people can enter.

On your way back to Reykjavik, take a short break at Fossatun before spending your last night in the capital. Fossatun is a waterfall said to be guarded by a troll woman named Drifa.

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Day 8

Day 8 – Reykjavík

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

It's your last day in Iceland. Drop off your car at the Keflavik International Airport in time for your departure. 

If you have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you can finish your stay unwinding before heading 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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Experiences

What to bring

Driver's licence
Warm Clothes
Swimsuit
Camera

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 for snorkeling or diving, 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.

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

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