Customizable 8 Day Summer Self Drive Tour of Iceland's Westfjords & Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Drive Iceland's most remote and rural areas on this incredible eight-day tour. You'll see a wealth of the country, gain a true insight into its culture, and have the opportunity to see less explored regions such as the Westfjords and the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
As a self-drive tour, you can choose which attractions you would like to see and how much time you want to spend at each one. There are no tour guides, departure times, or other group members to worry about. The freedom is all yours.
To help you enjoy both the most famous places you've heard about and the lesser-known sights where you can avoid the crowds, Guide to Iceland has created a unique itinerary with suggestions on and off the beaten path, chosen by local experts. You won't miss any famous spots, such as Kirkjufell mountain on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, but you will also be able to immerse yourself, totally alone, in the untouched nature; it's a perfect balance.
This tour, therefore, is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. There are an almost never-ending array of natural wonders and incredible birdlife en route. The tour is also perfect for those wanting to see the wilder part of Iceland. During the booking process, you can add adventure activities to your holiday, which come at a special discounted rate for those attending this nature-oriented self-drive.
To have the holiday you've always dreamt of, you can pick extra activities to partake in while you book. There is time to fit these in without missing out on any of the sightseeing you want to do. This allows you to build your dream holiday and experience all of the excitement that Iceland has to offer.
Don't miss this incredible adventure. Check booking availability now by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Arrival: Scenic Reykjanes Peninsula & Reykjavik
Your car will be waiting for you at the airport in Keflavík so you can start your road trip straight away. You may want to start by checking out some of the scenic areas of the Reykjanes Peninsula. It has beautiful fishing villages, many geothermal features, and an incredible rugged coastline. It's also possible to visit the Blue Lagoon on your first day if you have the time; it's a short drive from the airport on the way to Reykjavík and very refreshing after a flight.
After checking in at your hotel in Reykjavík, make the most of your central location in one of Europe's most exciting cities. Explore its museums, shopping streets, restaurants, and cafés. You can even partake in an activity from the capital, such as horse riding or whale-watching.
Day 2 - Cascades of Hraunfossar - Westfjords Holmavik
On day two, you will make your way to the Westfjords, but there is plenty to see en route. West Iceland is renowned for its diverse attractions, including the Icelandic settlement exhibition in Borgarnes, and the largest hot springs in Europe, Deildartunguhver. Don't miss the captivating Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls either, both stunning in their own right and located right next to each other.
History fans may also enjoy visiting Snorrastofa, the medieval research institute in Reykholt, where the early settler Snorri Sturluson wrote Saga Heimskringla in the 13th century. On the road from the capital, you can also take a short break at Fossatún, a waterfall said to be guarded by a troll woman named Drífa.
On this day, you can opt to go lava tubing in Viðgelmir cave or explore the incredible inside of the glacier Langjökull through man-made channels.
Once you travel into the mystical, primordial landscapes of the Westfjords, you will visit the village of Holmavik. This town is home to the incredible Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery, where you can immerse yourself in the magic of early Icelanders, learning about how they used staves and spells to better their lives - and ruin those of their neighbors.
You'll spend the night in Holmavik.
Day 3 - Heading to Ísafjörður
On day 3, you'll pass staggering, dramatic fjords on the journey today on your route to the town Ísafjörður. There, you will find some of the oldest houses in Iceland, dating back to the mid-18th century. It is worth making a stop at Tjöruhúsið restaurant. It is reported to have the best seafood in Iceland.
Another option is to head to the tiny village of Djúpavik. Locked in the mountains, the village and its herring station have been abandoned many times in history. But you'll find eight houses, a hotel, and an airport there now. If you carry on for another 45 minutes, then you'll hit the end of the road but find a hot pool by the seaside called Krossneslaug, which is recommended for those seeking to relax and unwind.
Spend the night in the Ísafjarðardjúp area.
Day 4 - Ísafjörður - Fishermen History
On your fourth day, you'll continue to stay in the town of Ísafjörður. From here, you'll be able to travel to a number of fascinating Icelandic villages steeped in folklore and surrounded by breathtaking nature.
Bolungarvík, Suðureyri, and Flateyri are particularly recommended. Bolungarvík is home to the Ósvör Maritime Museum, which provides a great way to see what life was like for Iceland's fishermen in years gone by; Suðureyri is home to a great swimming pool and a historic church. Flateyri, meanwhile, has a fascinating history as a whaling and trading post and as the site of several dramatic avalanches.
Those seeking adventure today will find no better choice than a kayaking tour, which will provide them with unmatched views of the magnificent fjords of the region. Those eager to marvel over seabirds, and perhaps even seals, whales, and dolphins should not miss out on this excursion.
If looking for something completely different, you may also be able to arrange travel to Hornstrandir, an incredible nature reserve only accessible from Ísafjörður.
You'll spend another night in the Ísafjarðardjúp area.
Day 5 - The Látrabjarg Puffins
After a hearty breakfast at the start of day five, it is time to head to the southern part of the Westfjords. Take the road to Dýrafjörður, where you will find the trail of the Viking Saga hero Gisli Súrsson, as well as the beautiful Skrúður Botanical Garden.
Continue to Hrafnseyri, where you can visit a museum dedicated to another hero, Jón Sigurðsson, who was instrumental in Iceland’s battle for independence from Denmark in the 1940s.
From there, head to Dynjandi waterfall. The thunderous Dynjandi is actually a series of waterfalls that are over 328 ft (100 m) tall. After taking in the beauty and magnitude of this cascade, make your way to the towering 1,456 ft (444 m) high cliff of Látrabjarg, the westernmost point of Europe. Here, you can get a close look at some of Iceland’s many species of nesting seabirds, including puffins and razorbills.
Spend the night in the Vesturbyggð area.
Day 6 - Ferry from the Westfjords - Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Start the day with a visit to the golden-red sands of Rauðisandur, or a relaxing dip in the natural hot pool in the Vatnsfjörður nature reserve.
You can then take the ferry Baldur from Brjánslækur in the Westfjords across Breiðafjörður Bay to the village of Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The price of the ferry is included in this tour!
From there, you can explore the area's unique sights, including the Snæfellsjökull glacier in Snæfellsjökull National Park, Djúpalónssandur black beach, the Dritvík cove and the small, charming hamlets of Arnarstapi, Hellnar, and Búðir.
As an added extra, you can even choose to take a snowcat to the top of Snæfellsjökull. This additional activity starts in the town of Grundarfjörður, where a guide will take you to the foot of the mountain, a vehicle that has been specially built to handle the rough glacial landscapes of Iceland. Once you are there, you will switch to a snowcat and ascend to the glacier. This magnificent ice cap sits on top of a 7000-year-old volcano, featured in the Jules Verne novel 'Journey to the center of the earth.'
Spend the night in the Snæfellsnes area.
Day 7 - Snæfellsnes in Depth
Today, you can spend extra time exploring the sights of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. You could go on a Viking sushi boat trip, where you get to sample seafood caught right before your eyes. Or explore the lava tube cave Vatnshellir, go hiking between Hellnar and the fishing village of Arnarstapi, or simply indulge in some photography along the cliffs.
The cliffs of Malarrif are the heritage of volcanic eruptions from the famous volcano Snæfellsjökull, and there you can also find the impressive sea stacks, Lóndrangar.
Once you have fully enjoyed the peninsula, head back south toward Reykjavik and spend a little more time exploring Iceland's capital.
Spend the night in Reykjavík or on the Reykjanes peninsula.
Day 8 - Departure Day & Farewell to Iceland
Depart from Keflavík on your final day, having experienced a huge amount that Iceland has to offer. If your flight schedule allows, you may have time for a dip in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon spa. If you've already been, simply explore Reykjavík and do some last-minute shopping, or have a better look along the Reykjanes Peninsula.
We hope you enjoyed your stay and will come back soon!
What to bring
Good to know
Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavík City or at Keflavik International Airport. A valid driver's license is required, along with a one-year-long on-road experience. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to better fit with your arrival date and time.
Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing.
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary.
Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For other levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s).
Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur.
Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies among locations and availability is highly limited. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level.
Please note that not all locations offer quality level accommodation. Comfort level accommodation will be arranged at those particular locations, which is reflected in the quality level upgrade price.
We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.
Rooms with shared bathrooms in farmhouses, guesthouses or hostels, with good locations near the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.
Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.
Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour.
All our vehicles are new or current models, of maximum 2 years of age. Super Budget levels come with standard CDW insurance, while all other levels also include Gravel Protection (GP) insurance. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars.
All levels come equipped with free Wi-fi. You can enjoy unlimited data with the Wi-Fi device, which can be connected to up to 10 devices at once. The car rental will provide 24-hour roadside emergency services.
Age requirement for each level can be found below. For all levels, the driver must possess a valid driving license for at least one year before the date of the rental.
We recommend Budget 4X4 level for summer driving and Comfort 4X4 for winter driving.
A small 2WD vehicle such as Toyota Aygo or similar, fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions. Compact and comfortable for up to 2 travellers with very little luggage. No highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A basic 2WD vehicle, such as a Toyota Yaris or similar, suitable for travelling in everyday conditions. Comfortable for 3 travellers with light luggage. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A basic 4WD (4X4) jeep or SUV such as a Dacia Duster or similar. Comfortably fit up to 3 travellers with 2 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and decent for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A medium-sized 4WD (4x4) jeep or SUV such as a Toyota Rav4 (automatic) and Suzuki Vitara (manual), or similar. Comfortably fit up to 4 travelers with 3 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and good for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.
A large 4WD jeep such as a Toyota Land Cruiser or similar. Comfortable for up to 4 travellers with 4 large pieces of luggage. Fit for nearly all travelling. Has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.
A large 9-seater van such as a Mercedes Benz Vito or similar. Comfortable for 5 to 7 travelers. If seated full, luggage space is limited. The driver must be of 23 years of age or above.