9-Day Northern Lights Winter Self-Drive Tour of Iceland’s Snaefellsnes Peninsula & South Coast

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



Starts from
Keflavík Airport
Ends in
Keflavík Airport
9 days & 8 nights
Sept. - Apr.
8 nights included
Car rental
9 days included


Book this incredible self-drive tour to make the most of nine days in Iceland. This winter tour is perfect for those who wish to see Iceland's best-known sites, hidden gems, and the aurora borealis with the freedom to explore at their own pace.

Whether coming from Reykjavik or the Keflavik International Airport, you'll begin your winter tour in Iceland by picking up your car rental. This new car has free Wi-Fi and a 4-wheel drive system fit for Iceland's winter terrain, allowing you a safe journey in the land of fire and ice.

The beauty of a self-drive is that you choose when to leave and where to go. Upon booking, you'll receive a personal itinerary informing you of all the potential sites you can visit in a day so that your planned journey fits your desires and needs. A team of travel experts knowledgeable about daylight hours and winter conditions in Iceland crafted this comprehensive itinerary for you.

On this drive, you'll see the world-famous Golden Circle, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula's diverse landscapes, and the South Coast's natural wonders. These locations are the most popular routes in the country due to their remarkable attractions and proximity to the Icelandic capital.

On the Golden Circle, you'll see three magnificent features, including the Thingvellir National Park, Iceland's first UNESCO World Heritage site. As you continue to the South Coast, waterfalls, glaciers, black sand beaches, and a glacier lagoon will welcome you.

Meanwhile, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula boasts the most diverse landscapes in the country, from lava fields and rugged cliffs to charming villages, towing peaks, and a glacier. The most prominent sights in this area are the Snaefellsjokull glacier volcano and Kirkjufell mountain. 

You'll have opportunities to do more than just sightseeing. You can add unique experiences to each day, such as snorkeling, ice caving, snowmobiling, glacier hiking, and Blue Lagoon geothermal bathing. Experienced guides lead these optional tours with safety gear included in the packages.

Iceland experiences many hours of darkness this time of year, so there's always the possibility of seeing the northern lights. You'll spend nights in the countryside, away from the bright city lights, enhancing your chances of seeing the beautiful auroras.

Besides car rental, itinerary, and optional guided tours, this popular winter holiday package includes eight nights of accommodation. On top of that, you'll have a helpline or personal travel agent at your fingertips throughout your road trip, ready to assist 24/7.

After nine days of a thrilling winter ride, this self-drive tour ends as you return your car rental to Reykjavik or the airport.

Should any unforeseen changes arise in your travel plans, there's no need to worry. You can cancel this booking and get a full refund provided you do so 24 hours before the scheduled departure.

Take advantage of this incredible self-drive winter tour to explore Iceland, from its most unique corners to its most famous sites. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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8 nights of accommodation
Continental breakfast on all days
New rental car for 9 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


Reykjavik is the northernmost capital city in the world.Reykjavík / 3 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 / 1 night
Dyrhólaey peninsula from east to westSouth Coast / 1 night
The Vatnajokull glacier in Southeast Iceland.Southeast Iceland / 2 nights
Image of the town on Heimaey, Westman Island.Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands)



Hraunfossar is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in West Iceland.Hraunfossar
Seals hauling out at Ytri Tunga.Ytri Tunga Beach
Búðakirkja Church bathed by the Northern LightsBudir
Lóndrangar under the midnight sun.Lóndrangar
Djupalonssandur has beautiful natural featuresDjupalonssandur
Snæfellsjökull glacier above the black church at Búðir village.Snæfellsjökull
Mount Kirkjufell on Snaefellsnes peninsula is one of the most iconic mountains in IcelandKirkjufell
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
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
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 on the Stokknes PeninsulaStokksnes
Vestrahorn is a spectacular mountain, especially under the Northern Lights.Vestrahorn
Fjaðrárgljúfur is a canyon in south Iceland.Fjaðrárgljúfur
Kleifarvatn is the third largest lake in Iceland.Kleifarvatn
Gunnuhver is one of the geothermal areas on the Reykjanes Peninsula.Gunnuhver


Glacier Hiking
Boat Trip
Hot Spring Bathing
Ice Caving
Self drive

Travel details

Travel dates




Small car

Small car

small car
Large bags
Medium car

Medium car

Large bags
Premium car

Premium car

premium car
Large bags
large car

large car

Large bags


Large bags

Personalize your itinerary

Day 1

Day 1 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík - Arrival day
  • More

Your nine-day adventure in Iceland begins as you arrive at the Keflavik International Airport. You'll pick up your car rental outside the airport and drive to your accommodation in Reykjavik, Iceland's capital city.

On your way to Reykjavik, you'll traverse the barren landscapes of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Lava fields, geothermal fields, and volcanic hills dot this vast land. This view becomes extra beautiful in winter when snow covers their slopes.

If you want quick detours, consider exploring the Krysuvik geothermal field and Kleifarvatn lake. These locations provide an excellent introduction to the country's volcanism and unique geology.

Iceland's most visited tourist spot, the Blue Lagoon, is near these sites and the airport. The Blue Lagoon is a world-famous geothermal spa known for its milky blue waters and luxurious massage treatments.

Geothermal bathing at the Blue Lagoon is the perfect activity to shield yourself from the cold weather of the Icelandic winter. While enjoying a warm soak in the mineral-rich lagoon, you can enjoy its surroundings swarmed by moss-covered lava fields.

If you add the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged according to your flights. If there's no time to visit the lagoon today, you can see it another day. Your travel consultant will be able to arrange this for you. 

You can choose from a comfort or premium entrance package, which includes access to the lagoon facilities, silica mud masks, a towel or bathrobe, and a first drink of your choice.

Once you reach Reykjavik, you can drop your luggage and belongings in your accommodation. If you still need to get ready to sleep, feel free to immerse yourself in the local culture through its boutiques, galleries, museums, bars, and landmarks. Just don't forget to bundle up with warm layers, as it can be extra cold and windy in Iceland, especially on a wintry night.

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Day 2

Day 2 – Snæfellsnes

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

On your second day, you'll leave the comforts of Reykjavik and drive northwest to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. The peninsula, 85 miles (136 kilometers) away, is a favorite amongst locals and travelers due to its wealth of natural features and breathtaking panoramic views.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula is often called 'Iceland in Miniature' due to the incredible diversity of scenery along the 56-mile (90-kilometer) stretch. You'll spend your entire day heading from one fantastic site to another and immersing yourself in the local culture.

On the way to Snaefellsnes, you'll drive past many of West Iceland's most notable sites. Feel free to detour to destinations such as Barnafoss and Hraunfossar waterfalls, Reykholt town, and Europe's highest-flowing hot spring, Deildartunguhver.

Another stop you could make is the historic town of Borgarnes, nestled on the banks of the Borgarfjordur fjord. 

Upon reaching Snaefellsnes, you'll have multiple stops to see its most spectacular attractions. You can begin by visiting Budir black church and Arnarstapi. Budir is one of the most photographed churches in Iceland because of the panoramic lava fields, mountains, and coasts surrounding its black walls.

Arnarstapi, on the other hand, is a coastal village renowned for its dramatic cliffs, rugged coastline, and picturesque surroundings. Behind Arnarstapi is Mount Stapafell, providing a stunning backdrop of mountains against the Atlantic Ocean that will captivate you.

Meanwhile, two of the most exciting stops on the peninsula are the Snaefellsjokull glacier volcano and Kirkjufell mountain. As you move from one site to another, you'll notice Snaefellsjokull towering in the distance with its peak of 4744 feet (1446 meters).

Other notable attractions in the area include Hellnar village, the black-pebble beach Djupalonssandur, and the coastal town of Stykkisholmur.

You'll spend the night in one of the cozy accommodations on Snaefellsnes Peninsula. If the sky is clear, look up for a chance to witness the northern lights dancing above.

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Day 3

Day 3 – Southwest Iceland

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

On day three, you'll leave Snaefellsnes for Iceland's most popular tourist trail, the Golden Circle. There are three main sites of the Golden Circle, although, with your custom itinerary, you can find many unique and lesser-known places in the surrounding area.

The first destination is the Thingvellir National Park, the first UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Icelandic mainland. It was here where the Icelandic parliament was founded back in 930 AD.

Besides its significant history, the national park boasts a rich geology that every visitor will enjoy. It sits directly between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, creating many unique landscapes such as the Silfra fissure, Oxararfoss waterfall, and Almannagja gorge.

The second point on the circle is the Geysir geothermal area. This valley is home to several geysers, including the one that gave all others their name, Geysir. Although Geysir is inactive these days, its neighbor Strokkur goes off every 5-10 minutes, reaching heights of around 66 feet (20 meters). 

The final site to reach is Gullfoss, Iceland's most famous waterfall. Gullfoss is a sight to behold, falling two steps into an ancient canyon from over 105 feet (32 meters). In winter, certain parts of the waterfall become frozen, adding more allure to this already beautiful cascade.

Today, you'll have the option to partake in one of two tours. While in Thingvellir, you could take a snorkeling tour in the crystal clear waters of Silfra ravine to discover the aqua-blue underworld between two continents. Participants need to be comfortable in the water and be able to swim.

You could also join a caving tour in a lava tube called Vidgelmir, where you walk the path of the smoldering hot lava created over a thousand years ago. Both guided tours are fascinating, unique experiences that you can only experience in Iceland.

Spend the night at your accommodation on the Golden Circle.

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Day 4

Day 4 – South Coast

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

On day four, you'll head to the South Coast and witness the many wonders along Iceland's Ring Road. This region is one of the most visited areas in the country not only for its sightseeing highlights but also for its proximity to Reykjavik.

The first sites you may wish to stop at are two of Iceland's most iconic waterfalls. 

Seljalandsfoss is a stunning waterfall that tumbles in a thin stream from a concave cliff. Skogafoss waterfall, a bit further east, is a similar height, at around 200 feet (60 meters), but with a much heavier flow. Both cascades become even better during winter when snow and ice swarm their cliffs and surrounding valleys.

You'll keep driving on, but keep your eyes peeled as you do. In clear weather, you can see the notorious glacier volcano Eyjafjallajokull. In the other direction, across the ocean, you can spot the Westman Islands.

More ice caps will soon appear, and if you wish, you may join a guided tour atop one of them. 

You can choose from a hike on the glacial tongue of Solheimajokull or a snowmobiling excursion on the mighty Myrdalsjokull glacier. Both these experiences will take you to an incredible, otherworldly landscape dotted with snowy plains, ridges, and crevasses.

After enjoying one of these adventures, you'll continue east. Before reaching the village of Vik i Myrdal, you can stop at the Reynisfjara beach to admire its long stretch of black sands, basalt cliffs, and sea stacks. Just remember to stay away from the waves, as they're massive and dangerous.

After a day of driving along the South Coast's most beautiful sites, you'll enjoy a night's sleep in your cozy South Iceland accommodation. If the conditions are right, you can see the northern lights shine above you.

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Day 5

Day 5 – Southeast Iceland

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

On day five, you'll drive the rest of the South Coast into the Vatnajokull National Park, the biggest glacier in Europe. This ice cap is so massive that it covers at least 10 percent of Iceland's landmass. If you look at printed or online maps of Iceland, you'll see Vatnajokull covering most of the southeast region.

This mighty ice cap in Southeast Iceland is renowned for its size and stunning features, particularly the Skaftafell nature reserve and the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.

Skaftafell was once a national park in its own right because of its incredible beauty before the enormous Vatnajokull National Park enveloped it. It's a popular destination for adventurers and nature lovers thanks to its wealth of scenery, from forests to lava fields, with many hiking trails intersecting its valleys. 

One of the most highly recommended trails will take you to Svartifoss waterfall, the unusual surroundings of which inspired the architecture of Reykjavik's Hallgrimskirkja church.

If you missed the glacier hike the day before, opting for one here is possible.

Following your time in Skaftafell, you'll continue your drive to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, which many consider the crown jewel of Iceland's nature. You can watch enormous icebergs fill a serene lagoon as they break away from a glacier before moving slowly toward the ocean. 

The sight is mesmerizing. This area is also home to many seals, so as you marvel over the bergs, keep an eye out for these playful creatures.

The coast beside Jokulsarlon is dotted with the ice that washed out to sea, giving it its name, the Diamond beach. It's worth walking along and taking photos in this area before continuing to your accommodation in Southeast Iceland.

Before enjoying a good night's sleep, don't forget to head outside for a chance to spot the aurora borealis.

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Day 6

Day 6 – Southeast Iceland

  • Southeast Iceland
  • More
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
  • Stokksnes Peninsula & Vestrahorn Mountain
  • Vestrahorn
  • More

On day six of your winter drive in Iceland, you'll have more time to explore the natural wonders of the Vatnajokull glacier. If you add a guided activity on this day, you'll visit an authentic ice cave deep in the frozen landscape.

First, you can make a slight detour to the Stokksnes Peninsula. This beautiful headland edged by the Atlantic Ocean is known for its distinctive Vestrahorn peak, towering overhead at 1490 feet (454 meters).

If you push a little further, you can even visit some of the fishing villages of the Eastfjords. However, if you booked the ice-caving tour, you can drive back to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon or see one of Vatnajokull's outlet glaciers.

Ice caves are rare and unique phenomena that only appear in winter. Thus, opportunities to explore them are minimal. Inside the caves, you can see ice walls and formations with different colorations, with some ice chunks dating back thousands of years. 

Make sure you bring a camera to commemorate this unforgettable experience. No two ice caves are the same because these winter highlights melt and freeze with the seasons.

Besides expert guides leading you inside the cave, your package includes glacier gear like a helmet and crampons. These pieces of equipment will ensure your safety while exploring this wondrous natural attraction.

You could otherwise return to the glacier lagoon to better appreciate it and perhaps take a boat trip for close-up views of the icebergs. If you choose the boat trip, you'll be granted the unparalleled experience of navigating through the floating icebergs, offering a surreal perspective of these majestic ice giants. This experience leaves many visitors feeling both humbled and awe-inspired.

Alternatively, visit Skaftafell and try another hiking trail. A short track leads to Skaftafellsjokull glacier, which changes from a pearly white color to an unbelievable shade of blue in the winter.

Stay another night in Southeast Iceland, with a chance to hunt for the northern lights.

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Day 7

Day 7 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
  • More
  • Fjadrargljufur
  • Vestmannaeyjar / Heimaey
  • More

Day seven of this self-drive tour in Iceland is your last chance to explore the countryside. Towards the end of this day, you'll drive back to Reykjavik. 

You can reference your itinerary and visit places you couldn't fit into your earlier journey. There are many unique sites just a little off the road, with several rewarding stops on the South Coast of Iceland.

A recommended stop is Kirkjubaejarklaustur, a village between Hofn and Vik. Also known as Klaustur, this settlement is a great pitstop if you want a quick bite. There are grocery stores, gas stations, and a few cafes serving local dishes here.

Just off the main road from Klaustur village is Fjadrargljufur, a majestic 328 feet (100 meters) deep and 1.2-mile (2-kilometer) long canyon. This stunning gorge is the perfect place to stop and snap some fantastic photos. In 2015, pop singer Justin Bieber featured the canyon in his music video, I'll Show You.

You could also take another look at the black sand beach Reynisfjara or stop at the village of Vik for some local handmade souvenirs. As the Icelandic weather is fickle, you might want to view the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls in different conditions today. If the sun is out, you'll have a great chance to see rainbows above Skofagoss.

If you want other places to explore, a trip to the historic towns of Southwest Iceland is an excellent option. For example, you can head over to Selfoss and Hveragerdi to visit their local restaurants. Selfoss boasts a large food hall with eight restaurants serving local dishes, pastries, and skyr.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a more laid-back experience, perhaps going to Seljavallalaug, the oldest swimming pool in Iceland, is the most ideal. 

Once you return to Reykjavik, find your accommodation and enjoy the night in the city.

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Day 8

Day 8 – Reykjavík

  • Reykjavík
  • More

Your penultimate day on this winter tour in Iceland provides an excellent chance to experience Reykjavik's vibrant culture. There's a wealth of things to do in the northernmost capital city in the world, with walking tours, museums, galleries, restaurants, and many shops to explore.

Stroll through vibrant neighborhoods like downtown, Laugavegur, and Skolavordustigur to experience colorful street life. Browse local boutiques, art galleries, and shops to find souvenirs or trinkets you can take home. You're sure to find items here that will match your budget.

After shopping, don't forget to see some of the most famous landmarks near these streets. A visit to the Icelandic capital wouldn't be complete without exploring the Hallgrimskirkja church and Harpa Concert Hall. Both of these architectural gems took inspiration from the diverse natural landscapes of Iceland.

In addition, try some delicious Icelandic cuisine at one of Reykjavik's many restaurants and cafes. Freshly caught fish and free-roaming lamb are served daily at most places, and there's usually also a vegan or vegetarian option.

Visiting a swimming pool in Iceland is an activity not exclusive to summer. Do as the locals and check out the warm waters of a geothermal pool, even if it's snowing. Some say the best time to visit these pools is when it's freezing outside.

Another activity not exclusive to summer is eating ice cream. Numerous ice cream parlors dot the city, offering the usual vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors and more exotic ones such as licorice, mango, and baked apples.

Lastly, you can drive out of the city to hunt for the northern lights. The surrounding areas near Reykjavik, including Faxafloi bay, make excellent viewing points for the aurora borealis. Underneath the starlit sky, you might witness the celestial dance of the northern lights as they swirl and flicker in mesmerizing patterns.

Spend your last night in cozy accommodation in Reykjavik.

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Day 9

Day 9 – Reykjavík

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

On the last day of this winter road trip in Iceland, you'll head back to the Keflavik International Airport to drop off your car rental and catch your flight home. Ensure you give yourself plenty of time to return your car and make your departing flight to avoid any inconveniences. 

For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you'll finish your stay unwinding before heading to the airport. This geothermal spa is perfect for relaxing as you bathe in its warm, mineral-rich waters. You can look back on the incredible adventure you've just taken in the land of fire and ice while dipping in the lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon offers top-rated facilities and amenities for optimum comfort, including an in-water bar, steam rooms, saunas, changing areas, indoor relaxation areas, and more. If you want to maximize your visit and have a higher budget, you can also try the luxurious massage treatments and dining at the on-site restaurants.

If your flight is much later, there are plenty of things to do in the Reykjanes Peninsula besides geothermal bathing in the Blue Lagoon.

It's highly recommended to embark on a captivating journey through the extraordinary wonders of the peninsula. Located in Southwest Iceland, this remarkable region is famous for its untamed landscapes, including geothermal fields, mountains, volcanoes, and lava fields, all awaiting your exploration. 

Be sure to visit the mesmerizing Kleifarvatn lake, the enchanting Krysuvik hot springs, and the fascinating Gunnuhver geothermal field. These locations showcase the awe-inspiring manifestations of nature at its finest.

You'll drive from Reykjavik to the airport with plenty of time to return your car and board your flight. See you on your next vacation in Iceland.

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What to bring

Warm and waterproof clothes
Winter hiking shoes
Valid driver's license
Swimsuit and towel

Good to know

Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavik city or at Keflavik International Airport. A valid driver's license and a one-year-long on-road experience are required. Gravel protection is not included if you choose a Toyota Aygo or similar. Please know that your itinerary may be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.

Some optional activities require you to have a valid driver's license, or you may 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.

The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and, therefore, cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximize your chances to see them if the weather allows.

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. Please note that the ice caves are only accessible from October to March yearly.

This self-drive is set to take place in wintertime. Conditions in Iceland can vary significantly during that season. Snow and ice are commonplace, and Iceland has limited daylight hours. Please consider your ability to drive in winter conditions before booking this tour. If you feel insecure about driving in these conditions, we recommend a package tour instead.

Note that Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the wintertime. We recommend you bring shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers. The covers can be purchased in most supermarkets and gas stations nationwide.

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