One Week Summer Self-Drive Tour of Iceland’s West & South Coasts with Waterfalls & Glaciers

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Likely to sell out soon
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Description

Summary

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

Description

Take your time getting to know what Iceland's south and west coasts offer on this slow-paced self-drive tour. It is the perfect hassle-free vacation for those who want to explore Iceland's attractions in depth during summer.

On this eight-day tour, you'll have enough time to explore the Golden Circle and the attractions of Iceland's South Coast, including the glacier lagoon Jokulsarlon, various waterfalls, black sand beaches, and picturesque little towns. 

This itinerary also includes some downtime in Reykjavik and time to enjoy the best of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, often named "Iceland in miniature" due to its diverse natural attractions.

On your route, you'll visit all three national parks of Iceland, and you'll want to have plenty of time to enjoy each one, so on this holiday, you'll never feel rushed, especially as it never gets fully dark. You can use the lingering days to explore long into the nighttime.

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've also made this tour available for a great price.

Organizing your trip may sound exciting, but you risk missing out on some of the best attractions. By letting us handle the planning, we'll ensure that all the essential stops you need to see and experience during your self-drive tour are included. You control how long you stay at each attraction as you are behind the wheel. 

However, you can fully explore the surrounding area by spending two nights in the same accommodation. Instead of rushing through each part of Iceland and only skimming the surface of available attractions, you'll have two nights on the Golden Circle and two nights on the South Coast.

To help you make the most of each location, you can book add-on tours in each area, such as glacier hiking, exploring ice caves, and relaxing in modern spa retreats. Other options include exploring the depths of Iceland's volcanic lava caves, whale and bird watching, and snorkeling between continents. 

You can also pump up your adrenaline on a snowmobile drive across a glacier! These extra stops add to why people love this eight-day summer 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. Best of all, these come at a discounted price if you book them now.

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

Book this eight-day in-depth tour of West and South Iceland now! Check availability by choosing a date.

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Included

7 nights of accommodation
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
Beautiful coastal geology helps to define the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.Snæfellsnes / 1 night
An abandoned house on the Reykjanes Peninsula presents a striking contrast against a lush green landscape.Southwest Iceland / 2 nights
Deildartunguhver geothermal hot spring in West IcelandDeildartunguhver
Reykholt was home to Snorri Sturluson, a medieval writer.Reykholt
Dyrhólaey peninsula from east to westSouth Coast / 1 night
The Vatnajokull glacier in Southeast Iceland.Southeast Iceland / 1 night

Map

Attractions

Seals hauling out at Ytri Tunga.Ytri Tunga Beach
Búðakirkja Church bathed by the Northern LightsBudir
Snæfellsjökull glacier above the black church at Búðir village.Snæfellsjökull
Lóndrangar under the midnight sun.Lóndrangar
Djupalonssandur has beautiful natural featuresDjupalonssandur
Mount Kirkjufell on Snaefellsnes peninsula is one of the most iconic mountains in IcelandKirkjufell
Borg á Mýrum is a church estate in Iceland.Borg á Mýrum
Hraunfossar is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in West Iceland.Hraunfossar
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
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
Fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon in south Iceland.Fjaðrárgljúfur
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
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
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

After arrival at the Keflavik International Airport, you can pick up your rental car and drive through the moon-like, moss-covered lava landscape of the Reykjanes Peninsula.

As you drive through Reykjanes, you'll get an excellent introduction to the volcanic terrain that Iceland is known for. While enjoying expanses of lava fields, you'll enjoy the rugged coasts framed by the Atlantic Ocean on the other side.

You can stop at the Blue Lagoon on your way to Iceland's capital city. It's a world-renowned spa famous for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It's in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere.

Its regenerative water features silica and sulfur, benefiting 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's 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, and there's plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes peninsula if you have extra free time. 

You'll then continue to Reykjavik, the northernmost capital of the world. Here, you can relax at your accommodations or dine in one of the modern restaurants in the city. Downtown Reykjavik is dotted with many charming cafes and top-rated restaurants serving traditional Icelandic dishes and international cuisines.

You can also spend your time strolling the streets of downtown, checking out the main sights, such as Hallgrimskirkja church, City Hall, the Perlan museum, and Harpa concert hall.

It's also in Reykjavik, where you'll spend your first night in Iceland.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 2

Day 2 – Snæfellsnes

  • Snæfellsnes
  • More
  • Ytri Tunga Beach
  • Budir hamlet
  • Snaefellsjokull
  • Londrangar Basalt Cliffs
  • Djupalonssandur black pebble beach
  • Kirkjufell Mountain
  • More

Today, you'll head towards Snaefellsnes Peninsula, known as "Iceland in miniature" due to its diverse natural attractions.

Expect a scenic drive along the West Coast, taking in views of mountains, waterfalls, lava fields, fjords, and charming villages on your way to the Snaefellsjokull glacier and volcano and its surrounding national park.

Located inside the Snaefellsjokull National Park, the Snaefellsjokull glacier stands 4,744 feet (1,446 meters) tall at the peninsula's tip. It's also where the park is named after. Once you reach the glacier, you'll be treated to majestic views of the capital from across the bay.

Furthermore, the glacier is rich in folklore. The old and superstitious Icelanders believe that Snaefellsjokull was an ancient energy source. Others also claim that the rock formations around the glaciers were trolls petrified by the sun. The hidden people are also said to be living in these rock formations.

After marveling at the glacier, you can join a tour to visit Vatnshellir cave. It has a length of 656 feet (200 meters) and a depth of 114 feet (35 meters). 

Located about 10.8 miles (17.4 kilometers) from Snaefellsjokull, the cave is found in a volcano's lava field. There, you'll descend into the lava cave to learn about the place and the trolls that are said to live there.

The cave is one of Iceland's oldest lava tubes. It was formed around 8,000 years ago after a volcano eruption. As you enter the cave, check out the lava's minerals and enjoy the colorful rocks around you.

If you'd rather spend time exploring the coastline and the wildlife, you can join a whale-watching tour from the town of Olafsvik. The tour lets you see the playful whales and puffins that reside in Breidafjordur Bay.

On the peninsula, you'll find many other attractions, such as the black pebble beach of Djupalonssandur and the white sand beach at Ytri Tunga. There are also the hexagonal cliffs at Gerduberg and the black church at Budir.

You can also go hiking from the rock arch at Arnarstapi to nearby Hellnar village, where you can enjoy the views with a cup of coffee from their cute beachside cafe.

After a thrilling day, you'll spend your night at Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 3

Day 3 – Southwest Iceland

  • Southwest Iceland
  • More
  • Borg a Myrum church and farm
  • Deildartunguhver hot spring
  • Reykholt historical site
  • Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls
  • More

From the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, you'll head south toward the Golden Circle, where you'll find accommodations for the next two nights. You can visit the stunning Hraunfossar waterfalls, the historic Reykholt village, and the bubbling Deildartunguhver hot spring on the way.

Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls flowing from the Hallmundarhraun lava field. When visiting the waterfall, look at how it streams from the rock ledges before ending up in the Hvita river.

Meanwhile, about 50 feet (15 meters) away is the Barnafoss waterfall. It's a rapid waterfall showcasing sheer and impressive power. As you marvel at the waterfall, you'll see and feel the water twist, turn, and foam right before your eyes.

Next, you'll drive 11 miles (18 kilometers) to the village of Reykholt. The place is known for being the home of Snorri Sturluson, a chieftain and poet who wrote the 13th-century saga, Heimskringla.

After exploring Reykholt, you'll head to the Deildartunguhver hot spring, about 4.2 miles (6.8 kilometers) away. Deildartunguhver is Europe's largest hot spring, with a rapid flow rate of 380 pints (180 liters) per second. However, the water is dangerous to get close to, with its constant temperature of 97° Celsius (207° Fahrenheit).

You can also spice up your journey today with a variety of tours. You can join an excursion to the Vídgelmir lava tube, the largest cave in Iceland. You can also explore the man-made ice cave tunnels inside Langjokull, Iceland's second-largest glacier.

If you would rather take it easy and relax, a trip to Krauma Spa is highly recommended. There, hot water from the Deildartunguhver hot spring is mixed with cold water from the glacier Ok to create the perfect bathing temperature.

Continue towards Thingvellir National Park, your first stop on the Golden Circle and the birthplace of Iceland's parliament, Althingi. The park is between two tectonic plates drifting apart, creating a stunning landscape of canyons and fissures.

Stroll around the park to see the outcome of this tectonic shift before retiring to your accommodations in Southwest Iceland.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 4

Day 4 – Southwest Iceland

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

Today, you'll explore the rest of the Golden Circle and visit some off-the-beaten-path locations.

Start with visiting the Geysir geothermal area to watch the geyser Strokkur erupt high in the air. Strokkur can release a blast of steam every 10 minutes and up to over 66 feet (20 meters) tall. The area is also filled with numerous colorful mud pools and steaming fumaroles, making Geysir one of the most-visited places in the region.

Meanwhile, a short drive away is the mighty Gullfoss waterfall, fed by the glacier Langjokull. It boasts two fascinating cascades, with the first measuring 36 feet (11 meters) tall while the other at about 69 feet (21 meters) tall.

After spending some time at the waterfall, you can board a modified super jeep at Gullfoss, head into the highlands, and up to the Langjokull glacier. You can add this tour while booking and drive a snowmobile across the white glacier plains in a snowmobiling suit and other essential equipment.

An experienced instructor will also guide you in operating the snowmobile. You'll then zoom toward the ice cap, rising around 4,757 feet (1,450 meters) above sea level.

You can also snorkel in Silfra, a crystal clear dive site in Thingvallavatn lake. The water here has been filtered through the lava from Langjokull and has visibility for more than 328 feet (100 meters). It's also very cold, but you're provided a dry suit to keep you warm. Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

If you prefer spending the day relaxing, you can visit the small town of Fludir, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) from Thingvellir National Park. Here, you can soak in the geothermal waters of the Secret Lagoon. 

You can also learn about Iceland's history at the Skalholt cathedral before grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many greenhouse farms in the area.

After another busy day, you'll return to your accommodation from the previous night for another good night's sleep.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 5

Day 5 – South Coast

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

There is so much to see on the South Coast of Iceland, so it's a good thing you've got two days here. 

Start day five of your summer adventure by driving towards the glaciers Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull. If you wish to get better acquainted with these ice caps, you can go glacier hiking or explore a black, natural ice cave, the only one accessible all year round.

Eyjafjallajokull is the smaller of the two glaciers. However, it's more popular than Myrdalsjokull because of its 2010 eruption that disrupted European air travel. On the other hand, Myrdalsjokull is Iceland's fourth-largest glacier and covers the Katla volcano.

Moreover, some of the country's most spectacular waterfalls are underneath these ice caps. Seljalandsfoss is a unique cascade that falls over a concave cliff. It allows visitors to encircle the falling springwater. 

Another is the Gljufrabui waterfall, a little-known gem hidden behind large rocks. Remember to stop at the mighty cascade Skogafoss plunges from 197 feet (60 meters).

Further east lies the cliffs of Dyrholaey, 16 miles (26 kilometers) from Skogafoss. The cliffs form an impressive rock arch serving as a puffin colony during summer. You'll likely spot a puffin or two, which you can get close to, as they're comfortable interacting with people.

You can also visit the abandoned place wreck on Solheimasandur sands, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Dyrholaey. 

You can also check the black sand beach Reynisfjara, where you can admire the massive Reynisdrangar rock stacks that rise out of the ocean. Like Dyrholaey, the beach is also known for its large puffin colony.

After going through these attractions, you'll head to your accommodation in South Iceland.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 6

Day 6 – Southeast Iceland

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

From Vik, head east for today's exploration. You'll go toward your third National Park, which surrounds Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajokull. 

Make a stop in Skaftafell Nature Reserve, located at the roots of Vatnajokull, and see the beautiful but contrasting scenery of black sand, lush flora, and white glacier. The area is renowned for its many hiking trails and tracks.

It also leads to stunning locations like the 'black waterfall' Svartifoss. Interestingly, this waterfall cascades down unique hexagonal basalt columns. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even take a glacier hiking tour from here. The hiking trail goes up 1,280 feet (390 meters) and is about five miles (eight kilometers) long.

After enjoying the outdoors at Skaftafell, head 35 miles (57 kilometers) further east towards Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Considered by many as the crown jewel of Iceland's nature, the lagoon features towering icebergs that break off the glacier. 

These magnificent icebergs then float in the water before drifting off to sea. Stay alert, as you can sometimes spot seals lazing about on the ice. 

You can also take a highly recommended boat ride on the lagoon to appreciate its beauty better. You can choose between going on a slower amphibian boat ride or a zodiac speedboat.

Ensure you take advantage of Diamond Beach, located a stone's throw away. Smaller icebergs wash up on shore and glisten in the sunlight, resembling diamonds on satin fabric.

If you have spare time, you can drive about 49 miles (79 kilometers) further east to the town of Hofn. Here, you can have some of the best lobsters in Iceland for your dinner. You can also admire the stunning mountains of the Eastfjords, such as Vestrahorn Mountain. 

On your way back, you can have the chance to see the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon again, this time under the midnight sun.

You'll spend the night in Southeast Iceland.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 7

Day 7 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
  • More
  • Fjaðrárgljúfur
  • More

It's time to head back to Reykjavik, so you'll travel through the South Coast again. You'll be able to stop at all the places you didn't manage to visit or feel like visiting again.

Maybe you left out some waterfalls or the cliffs at Dyrholaey, or you didn't have the time to visit the Fjadrargljufur canyon right by Kirkjubaejarklaustur. If so, now is the best time to visit these spots.

The spectacular Fjadrargljufur is a deep canyon offering fantastic photo opportunities. It has a beautiful hike along its cliffs and gained notable popularity after being used as a filming location in the HBO hit series, "Game of Thrones."

Alternatively, you can take a dip in the Seljavallalaug pool. Nestled between a mountainside and the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, the outdoor pool offers relaxing effects from its warm geothermal waters. Seljavallalaug was built in 1923, making it one of Iceland's oldest swimming pools.

It measures 30 feet (10 meters) wide and 82 feet (25 meters) long. Until 1936, Seljavallalaug was the largest swimming pool in the country.

Or maybe you want to return to Reykjavik early to do some city sightseeing. Begin with the cultural landmarks you may have missed during your first day in the city. Visit the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center, the city's premier cultural hub.

Discover the beauty of Hallgrimskirkja, Iceland's tallest church. Standing 245 feet (74.5 meters) tall, the church is a majestic sight. You can also walk up the church's tower for a breathtaking cityscape view.

You can also go for some last-minute shopping at the Laugavegur main street. Aside from having many shops and boutiques, the street is also home to different restaurants and cafes, if ever you get hungry.

Even if you're in the city, your adventures in nature don't have to end, as you can take another optional excursion. You can board a bus from Reykjavik that takes you out to a vast lava field. There, you'll descend into an empty magma chamber of the Thrihnjukagigur volcano. 

Don't worry, there's no hot lava to be found there, only a spectacular and colorful cave. You'll then spend your last night in Iceland in Reykjavik city.

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Experiences

Accommodation

Day 8

Day 8 – Reykjavík

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

Today is the last day of your trip. Before heading to the airport, maximize your stay in Reykjavik. 

If you have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you'll cap off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. The lagoon is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters while looking back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. 

Alternatively, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik. If you have a whole day, be sure to grab lunch at one of the many fish restaurants in the city. 

After dining, walk the streets of central Reykjavik to admire the street art and colorful houses. Also, check out the old harbor and the up-and-coming area of Grandi.

You can also have a final dip in some warm waters by going to one of Reykjavik's many swimming pools. The most central ones are Sundholl Reykjavikur, Vesturbaejarlaug, and Laugardalslaug. Just make sure you get to the airport in time to return the vehicle and check-in.

We wish you a pleasant journey if you have an early flight back home. Have a nice flight, and we hope to see you soon.

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Experiences

What to bring

Warm and waterproof clothes
Good waterproof shoes
Camera
Swimsuit and towel
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. Gravel protection is not included if you choose a Toyota Aygo or similar. 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, and participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is canceled. If your chosen activity is canceled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you.

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