9 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

9 Day Self Drive Tour | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula
The map of the itinerary of this 9 Day Self Drive Tour of the Circle of Iceland, including the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
The serenity found in the Blue Lagoon is matched only in other geothermal hotspots in Iceland.
Red skies of night beneath the midnight sun reflect beautifully in the waters of Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
For centuries, Icelanders lived in semi-underground homes with grassy roofs, called turf houses.
A puffin looks out over the black sand beaches of Iceland's South Coast in summer.
Blue, boulder-like icebergs litter the black sands of south-east Iceland, in an area known as the Diamond Beach.
Based on 11 traveller reviews

Embark on a grand adventure encircling Iceland on this amazing self-drive tour. You'll be sure to see all the most popular sites, such as the world-famous Blue Lagoon,  the Golden Circle, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

You will have the opportunity to take your time at each place, choosing when to arrive and when to leave, as there are no tour guides, departure times, or other groups to worry about on this vacation. Your travel will be in full comfort, always lodging with an ensuite bathroom and, naturally, breakfast is included.

Not only will you get to experience these incredible, popular places, but you will receive a custom itinerary after you book that will direct you to the more unique locations. For many travellers to Iceland, being alone in the untouched landscape is a huge part of this country's appeal; and by referencing this guide, you will be able to immerse yourself in the solitary landscape as much as you desire. 

If all this is not enough, you have the option to add a multitude of exciting adventures onto your trip during booking at a discounted price. Ride a snowmobile on Langjökull glacier, hike a glacier on the South Coast, descend into an ice cave, take a boat trip on the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, go whale watching in Húsavík town, or a horseback ride in the North. The opportunities are endless and allow for a perfect balance between sightseeing and activities.

Nine days is a great amount of time in which to explore Iceland, giving you the opportunity to fit in these experiences while still being able to reach your destinations in good time. There is no need to rush - unless, of course, you want to. As has been said, on this tour, it's all up to you. 

Leave no part of Iceland undiscovered on this complete tour package. Check booking availability now, by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: May. - Oct.
  • Duration: 9 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkelling, Caving, Snowmobile, Horse Riding, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Bird watching, Ice Caving, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, East Iceland, North Iceland, West Iceland , Reykjavík, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Húsavík, Dettifoss, Snæfellsjökull, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Dyrhólaey, Þingvellir, Hraunfossar, Deildartunguhver, Strokkur, Skagafjörður, Snæfellsnes, Reykjanes, Hvannadalshnúkur, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Eyjafjörður, Hveragerði, Þingvallavatn, Þríhnúkagígur, Höfn, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Jökulsárgljúfur, Stykkishólmur, Hellnar, Reykholt, Borgarnes, Barnafoss, Langjökull, Öræfajökull, Arnarstapi, Hallgrímskirkja, Grjótagjá, Vík í Mýrdal, Svartifoss, Egilsstaðir, Siglufjörður, Blönduós, Hrísey, Námafjall Geothermal Area, Kerið, Gljufrabui, Hofsós, Keflavik International Airport, Kirkjufell, Búðir, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Reynisdrangar, Öxarárfoss, Haukadalur, Faxi, Mývatn Nature Baths, Námaskarð, Lagarfljót, Lóndrangar, Djúpalónssandur, Hallormsstaðaskógur, Víðgelmir, South Coast, Diamond Beach, Ring Road, Fossatún, Diamond Circle
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible.

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.
  • 8 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included. More detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 9 days (VW Polo or similar. Upgrades available)

  • CDW, SCDW and gravel protection insurance for vehicle

  • GPS system

  • Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

  • Blue Lagoon entrance (can be added during booking process)

  • Fuel

  • Dinner

  • Lunch

What to bring:
  • Warm clothes

  • Driver's License

  • 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.

Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing.

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland & Downtown Reykjavík

Rising above the skyline of Reykjavík, from almost all points in the city, is the mighty Hallgrímskirkja church.

Pick up your car at the airport in Keflavík before driving to your accommodation in downtown Reykjavík.

If your flight arrives earlier in the day, you may want to go for a long soak in the luxurious blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, the perfect way to relax after travelling. If you are looking forward to getting to the city instead, continue on your journey through the lunar-like landscapes of Reykjanes peninsula.

After making yourself comfortable at your accommodation, use the rest of the day to explore the vibrant city centre. There is an abundance of museums, galleries, restaurants and bars to catch your interest.

Spend the night in quirky Reykjavík.

Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Comfort

The Fosshótel chain has four 3-4 star Hotels located in and around the city center of Reykjavík. There is a short walk from all of the hotels to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 2 - The Golden Circle & Wondrous Waterfalls

The iconic Gullfoss waterfall is on the Golden Circle route.

Day two sees you travel to some of the best-known natural phenomena in Iceland on the Golden Circle route. The first stop is Þingvellir National Park. Here, you can walk between the rift valley of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, snorkel in the Silfra fissure, and explore an area which played a huge role in Iceland's heritage; it was, after all, the original site of the world's longest running representative parliament. You can opt for a snorkelling tour here.

Next is the geothermal valley of Haukadalur, where you can see the geysers Strokkur and Geysir. Geysir is largely inactive now, but Strokkur erupts every ten minutes or so to heights of 20 m (66 ft). Finally, a few kilometres away is Iceland's most popular attraction, the mighty waterfall of Gullfoss. A pathway takes you right to the water's edge, where you can get a real sense of the enormous, natural power of the falls. 

After seeing Gullfoss, you could take a snowmobiling tour on the amazing Langjökull glacier. If this isn't for you, you can opt for a horse-riding tour instead.

A sight often missed in this area is the crater of Kerið, which has a beautiful azure pool at its bottom. After taking some photos here, head to the south coast, visiting the majestic Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and the equally breathtaking Skógafoss waterfall.

Along the coast near Vík, take a slight detour to stop and admire the black volcanic beach and the dramatic Dyrhólaey and Reynisdrangar rock formations. Another sight along the way is the magnificent Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Spend the night in the village of Vík.

Preferred accommodation by Vík

Vík Comfort

Hotel Katla is a 3 star country hotel that's situated 5km to the east of Vík. Comfortable private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a hot tub and a sauna. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Vík Quality

Icelandair Hotel Vík is a 3 star hotel centrally located in Vík. Stylish private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Ocean or cliff views from each room. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 3 - Hiking Day in Skaftafell Nature Reserve

Vatnajökull glacier has many outlets; the most popular for hiking throughout the year is Svínafellsjökull.

Spend the third day taking in the many sights and optional activities available in the beautiful Skaftafell area of the Vatnajökull National Park. You'll find many trails there tailored for all abilities, including one that leads to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall. Before you head on out to Skaftafell, you can opt for an exciting ice cave tour that departs from Vík, where you'll visit a unique cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. 

Doing a glacier hike in Skaftafell area is highly recommended, where you could pace the glacier tongue in the hillsides of the Iceland's tallest mountain: Hvannadalshnjúkur in Öræfajökull glacier.

Once you've hit the road, you will get the chance to see the quint village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. You will then head over to one of Iceland's top attractions, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where icebergs break from a glacier and sail serenely towards the ocean. You can enjoy a cruise right alongside the massive icebergs if you would like, on a zodiac or amphibious boat.

After absorbing the sights here, meander to the nearby Diamond Beach, where pieces of ice wash ashore and lie glittering on black sands. Spend the night in Höfn.

Preferred accommodation by Jökulsárlón and Höfn

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Comfort

Hotel Höfn is a 3-star hotel centrally located in the town Höfn. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Quality

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is a 4-star hotel located right between Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Ocean or mountain views. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 4 - Into the East

A horse silhouetted against the morning mist in summer in Iceland.

Leave the smooth, black sands of the south and head into the mountains and fjords of the east coast. Trailing the roads up and down, you can enjoy idyllic fishing villages and scattered farms, providing you with an authentic taste of old Iceland.

The area is known for both puffins by the seaside and reindeer in the mountains, so regardless of if you're on a mountaintop or in a fjord, there is always something to look for. You'll pass through Iceland's largest forest, Hallormsstaðaskógur, and Lagarfljót lake, where legends say a monster hides, to reach Egilstaðir town. You'll stay there, or in one of the nearby villages, for the night.

Preferred accommodation by Egilsstaðir

Egilsstaðir Comfort

Lake Hotel Egilsstaðir is a 3-star hotel located within a short walking distance from the centre of Egilsstaðir town, by the lake Lagarfljót. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Spa on site for additional price. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Egilsstaðir Quality

Icelandair Hotel Hérað is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Egilsstaðir town. Bright, private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included, with focus on local ingredients.

Day 5 - Lake Mývatn and Akureyri

At Dettifoss waterfall, you will see a mixture of pure power and sheer beauty.

Day five brings you north to the Lake Mývatn area, known for its geothermal landscapes, including the Námaskarð Pass, the Skútustaðagígar pseudo-craters, and Mt. Krafla, one of Iceland’s most visited volcanoes.

The hot spring lava cave of Grjótagjá is one of the remarkable beauties of this area. It is also highly recommended that you visit the dramatic lava formations at Dimmuborgir, otherwise known as 'the Dark Fortress'.

You might want to take a dip in the silica waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths, the perfect modern way to relax after a full day of sightseeing, before heading to Akureyri. As you head onto there, it's highly recommended to take a drive through the Jökulsárgljúfur part of Vatnajökull National Park, visiting Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe.

If you wish to opt into a whale watch, detour to Husavík, the whale watching capital of Europe, to enjoy this incredible treat. You can also add a puffin-watching segment to this.

You'll spend the night in Akureyri, the capital of the north.

Preferred accommodation by Akureyri

Akureyri Comfort

Hotel Norðurland is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Akureyri town. Spacious and bright private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Akureyri Quality

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri (Deluxe room) is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Akureyri town, right next to the swimming pool. Private bedroom with a living room area and a private bathroom. Great views from the 5th floor. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 6 - Explore the Arctic Coast of Iceland

Pictured here beneath the midnight sun, all visitors should stop at Goðafoss waterfall as they follow the ring road through north Iceland.

After enjoying the pleasant town of Akureyri, taking an optional whale watch if you wish, you'll head out to the Tröllaskagi peninsula, noted for its deep valleys and high mountains. Continue your drive towards Skagafjörður, a valley known for its abundance of Icelandic horses. You can opt for an hour long horse ride on this day in the Eyjafjörður area, and ride along the seaside overlooking the fjord and Hrísey island. 

As you travel on, you will pass through the old herring-fishing village of Siglufjörður and Hofsós, where you can enjoy the fantastic scenery while soaking in the town’s thermal pool. You'll then spend the night in the Northwest area, near the village of Blönduós.

Preferred accommodation by Blönduós

Blönduós Comfort

Hótel Mikligarður is a 3-star hotel located in the town of Sauðárkrókur in northern Iceland. The hotel has private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included and served at Hótel Tindastóll.

Blönduós Quality

Hótel Tindastóll is a 3-star hotel located in Sauðárkrókur town; just a short walk from the beach. It has an on-site bar and outdoor geothermal hot tub. Private bedroom with private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 7 - Sightseeing in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula

A road on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula leads to Buðir Church, and, further afield, Snæfellsjökull glacier.

At the start of Day 7, set out for the village of Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. 

From there, you can explore the area’s unique sights, including the Snæfellsjökull glacier within Snæfellsjökull National Park, the Dritvík cove and the small, charming hamlets of Arnarstapi, Hellnar, and Búðir. There is a wealth of beautiful locations to see, whether you are fascinated by geology, history, or bird-watching, so set out early to make the most of them.

Spend the night in the Snæfellsnes area.

Preferred accommodation by Snæfellsnes

Snæfellsnes Comfort

Fosshotel Stykkishólmur is a 3 star hotel centrally located within the town Stykkishólmur. Spacious hotel with a view towards the bay. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Snæfellsnes Quality

Hotel Búðir is a 4 star hotel on the southern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula, with a view towards Snæfellsjökull glacier and to the sea. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 8 - Waterfalls and History

Hraunfossar is a waterfall in west Iceland, located near historic sites such as Reykholt and Borgarnes.

Explore West Iceland with its diverse attractions, including the Icelandic Settlement Centre in Borgarnes, and Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe. Further along, be sure to visit the captivating Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls. 

History buffs may also enjoy a visit to Snorrastofa Cultural and Medieval Centre, the medieval research institute in Reykholt, where the early settler Snorri Sturluson wrote the beloved saga Heimskringla in the 13th century.

On this day, you can take a lava tubing tour in Viðgelmir cave, or else travel down the man-made channels inside the magnificent Langjökull glacier. If neither of these appeal, you can instead take a tour in which you descend into the vast, beautiful magma chamber of a dormant volcano. All three excursions are fascinating and exhilarating.

On the way back to Reykjavík, take a short break at Fossatún, a waterfall said to be guarded by a troll woman named Drífa, before spending the night in the capital.

Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Comfort

The Fosshótel chain has four 3-4 star Hotels located in and around the city center of Reykjavík. There is a short walk from all of the hotels to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 9 - Blue Lagoon and Airport

Before a long flight and after a long holiday, the Blue Lagoon is an ideal place to relieve away any stress.

Drop off your car at Keflavík airport in time for your departure flight. If you are taking an afternoon or evening flight, consider fitting in one last authentic Icelandic experience:

A revitalising visit to the world-famous Blue Lagoon spa is a great way to end your Icelandic adventure. The water is rich in silica, and blue-green algae, which gives the lagoon its turquoise tint and reputed healing powers.

You can also use the time to explore the Reykjanes peninsula, or spend some more time in Reykjavík! 

Come back soon!


See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Comfort 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). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. 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 a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.


Rooms with a private bathroom in a four star hotel or superior rooms in a quality three star hotel at the best locations in Iceland. 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, maximum two years of age, and come equipped with a GPS, CDW, GP, and SCDW insurances. You can also upgrade to an automatic model.


A small 2WD vehicle fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions, such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.

Comfort 4X4

A medium sized jeep or SUV with 4WD (4x4) fit for most travel, and good for snow and off-asphalt travel, such as Toyota Rav4 or similar. This vehicle has basic highland capabilities.

Luxury 4x4

A large sized jeep with 4WD (4x4) such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all traveling. This vehicle has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads.

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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We did the 9 days self drive tour of all iceland which included the sneafellsnes pinnisula and it was the most memorable amazing road trip ice ever done. I love the suggested itinerary that was provided by " guide to iceland". The wealth of information given to us was very well summarized and highly recommended. My 2 children aged 9 and 10 had an incredible time and already miss the activities that they did along the ring road. If there was one suggestion I wish I had to change is the place in sauderkur ..I did not like that city .I preferred if they had us stay the night in bolondous instead. I loved the free cow farm tour that was given to us at kaffi ku. My kids enjoyed it so much and learnt alot. I have already told so many people about guide to iceland and in a heartbeat would do their other sister companies guide to New Zealand and co.
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The help from our booking agent was fantastic. We changed to stay two nights in the Snæfellsbær region and highly recommend it. Iceland is amazing - everything was professional and straightforward with a detailed itinerary including gps coordinates for Easy navigation. Spend a little Time figuring out timelines and linking together stops of what you want to See. I wish I could have spent double the time and I still would only be able To experience a fraction of what Iceland has to offer.
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We have seen perfection & Iceland is it!!! We absolutely loved our experience in Iceland. Guide to Iceland made this experience better than we could have ever imagined. The fact everything, from the rental car to our rooms were booked for us, took all the worries off of our shoulders. The Blue Lagoon was spectacular, what a great introduction to the country. Prior to our trip our service agent was Melkorka & she was prompt upon answering all our questions, which made us feel at ease going into this trip. The people of Iceland, are so welcoming & accommodating, they were more than excited to answer any & every question we had. Our only recommendation is to spend the extra money & rent a 4x4 vehicle. There are some roads that are not paved and would be better traveled with a terrain vehicle. All the recommendations on the itinerary are spectacular. We suggest you stopping at some of the attractions that are not on your itinerary because it will add to your experience. A big thank you for the Guide to Iceland team for making this the best trip we have ever had. They were a great introduction to this beautiful country!
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Our experience was fantastic! The country is beautiful and the Icelandic people are so friendly. I read the review posted by Daniel and agree with all of his comments. The gps issue was frustrating, we were fortunate that google maps worked. The glacier lake tour was amazing. We chose not to go to Sauoarkrokur based on comments from Rick Steves book. Nathan J., our tour guide was very helpful in getting us booked to a new hotel in Akureyri. This is a nice city and we were able to book whale watching tours from here. Overall, very pleased with Guide to Iceland and recommend; the trip would have been difficult to map out on our own unless you have a lot of time.
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Great experience! Everything went like expected.
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We worked with Jonathan. I thought we'd be low maintenance travelers, but we needed to make several changes to our itinerary to suit our individual needs. Jonathan was quick to make needed changes. Communications were timely and comprehensive. As a first time visitor to Iceland, I didn't know what to expect and booking accommodations only two months ahead of our trip during the high season seemed to daunting for DIY planning. I didn't even think Guide to Iceland could pull it off. I was wrong. Within a week, Jonathan and his team brought my overall vision to reality, booking the perfect accommodations in the ideal locations for our needs (ring road exploration, photography, and day hikes). We skipped the Golden Circle to avoid the heaviest of the tour bus crowds and have no regrets. Our add-ons included a glacial lagoon tour (canceled and refunded due to high winds) and a whale watch tour out of Akureyri (saw six humpbacks). Customer service was outstanding at all booked accommodations and activities. Check-in at all locations was seamless (just hand over your printed voucher e-mailed by Guide to Iceland...we printed back up copies kept in a separate location just in case). If you are a first time visitor to Iceland and want to cut days off of your planning time, I highly recommend Guide to Iceland.
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Awesome!!! Everything was perfect.
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The good: The trip was amazing. So many waterfalls, geysers, springs, lava fields, etc. that we were becoming desensitized to the beauty of the country. Even during the highest tourist season, we were able to find solitude at several attractions off the beaten path. Working through the Guide to Iceland removed much of the planning concerns dealing with an unfamiliar country. They booked the car and all of the hotels for us. As a novice trip planner, I really appreciated that service. The bad: Iceland was very expensive. We passed on all the additional paid tours, but there was still plenty to do. We discovered that we relied on the Guide to Iceland itinerary too much and did not do our own adequate planning - we wanted to be surprised by seeing some of the attractions in the moment as opposed to looking up pictures in advance. We learned we needed to pre-select the attractions we wanted to see and look up appropriate GPS Way Points. The coordinates in the itinerary were often for city centers and not the specific attractions. Also, we discovered that because we requested comfort rooms, the itinerary had us backtracking a couple of hours for our hotel - making it that much more difficult to stay on schedule. Unfortunately, those nights also corresponded with the days with the most stops. I would have liked to be presented with the choice in those instances to forego the comfort room to avoid backtracking. Once we were in the mode of plotting out our travel each night, we were able to catch that the itinerary had us going out of our way for the same town twice - both during the day and then for the hotel. We were able to eliminate the first instance and save some driving time. And of course, there was just not enough time to see everything. Some of what the Guide would recommend would require a half a day or more to hike to and back. We had to pass on those attractions.
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We went for the Quality Hotels and Comfort Car and were very happy that we did. They cost a lot more but added tremendously to our overall experience. We worked with Embla in planning the trip. Embla listened carefully to our requirements and requests and put together a great string of hotels and a wonderful itinerary. Everything went well with only a few exceptions that I will outline below so that Guide to Iceland can improve on an otherwise wonderful experience. First: The GPS coordinates in the itinerary are not compatible with the Garmin GPS that is given along with the rental car. The coordinates, while accurate, do not have the same number of decimal places as the Garmin GPS so that the coordinates do not deliver you to the exact destination. Luckily for us, I took the time to look at the Kia car's navigation user manual and I found a way to use the car's built in navigation system, using an advanced feature to put in the coordinates and that system accepted the exact coordinates as in the itinerary. I figured it out after only one day of frustration trying to use the Garmin GPS so the rest of the trip went beautifully. Second: We were very impressed with EuropCar rental company and were happy Guide to Iceland booked with them. They were very efficient at both ends of the rental (when we arrived the lines at Avis and Hertz were huge but I just stepped up to the EuropCar counter and was taken right away) and the KIA midsized SUV was very nicely equipped and ran very well. The only short coming is that they did not know how to advise me on the GPS issue above and sent me off with the add on Garmin GPS without letting me know that I could have just used an advanced feature in the KIA's built in navigation system. Third: The itinerary provided by Guide to Iceland was great and very detailed, with all coordinates being accurate and lots of sites to see. However, it needs to be revised for off-season visits starting in October as virtually all the museums and several recommended restaurants that we went out of our way to see were closed for the season. That was a shame and could have been avoided if the itinerary were notated for travel after September 30th (which seemed to be the common date for seasonal closings). Fourth: We loved the choice of Quality Hotels and they were uniformly excellent and the best in each town, with one big exception. Hotel Tindastoll was terrible. The town of Sauoarkrokur was awful, very industrial and looked like a ghost town with almost all its establishments except one restaurant shut down. It is not a town for tourists. On top of that the Hotel itself is not in a nice setting and it is hardly "Old Romantic Style". It smelled of mold or mildew and was understaffed and unaccommodating. The stairs up to our room were so steep and narrow that carrying our luggage up was dangerous. We could not wait to leave the following morning and did so before breakfast, which they were serving too late for us to wait around for. Also, it made no sense having us stay there because there were few Day 6 sites to see (given that anything that could have been visited was closed for the season) and we went through Sauoarkrokur by early afternoon and went on to see Blondius and then had to go all the way back to the hotel for the night. It was a waste of driving and a terrible hotel and place to spend the night. Fifth: It would have also been helpful if the itinerary had given the approximate travel time between sites so that we could have had a better sense of how to time our stops during the day. Also, certain mentioned sites at specific stops were noted in the itinerary but no coordinates or directions were given on how to find these places. We spent time within certain towns going around in circles trying to find certain of those places that were mentioned in the itinerary. I would like to repeat that these comments are offered not as a complaint but rather as constructive criticism so that Guide to Iceland can improve the experience for future travelers and travelers contemplating this trip can be aware of some short-comings. We thoroughly enjoyed our vacation in Iceland. It is a wonderful country and, overall, Guide to Iceland was great to deal with and were responsive. I would recommend using their services and this itinerary in particular. As noted by others, everything is super expensive in Iceland (food and fuel in particular) so be prepared and you will have a wonderful time.
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Wonderful vacation, Iceland's beauty becomes at times almost overwhelming. However, we had no detailed from itinerary from Guide to Iceland. I don't know if I missed an email, or what happened, but we winged it on or own. They did have a rental car ready for us (when we got in close to midnight) and the hotel selection throughout the week was very good. I suppose we could have called and gotten an itinerary, but we're the types who tend to keep to ourselves so we didn't do that. In the morning I'd punch in that evening's hotel coordinates into the GPS and we'd haul out our Lonely Planet book and have at it, which is something we're not unaccustomed to doing anyway. So aside from the lack of an itinerary, the experience was fabulous. Visiting Iceland is an unforgettable experience, as long as you're prepared for the fact that most things in the country are very expensive (tank of fuel, $100+, dinner $100+, light lunch $50, etc. ).
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