Book this two-week tour of Iceland’s Ring Road and the Westfjords and experience the very the best that Iceland has to offer. Aside from the most popular areas in the country, you will zigzag through the remote regions, and see many charming, lesser-known locations most visitors do not get the chance to.
You'll travel in full comfort, even in the remote and wild Westfjords, always with private facilities and breakfast included at your accommodation.
Many visitors come to Iceland to savour time in the fresh air and take in the magnificence of this country's landscapes without the crowds. Guide to Iceland will, therefore, provide you with a custom itinerary after you book, allowing you to escape back to nature and discover places most have never heard of. With accommodation in the best locations, you can enjoy Iceland to the fullest.
Not only this, but you will also see all the famous sights. This tour includes a trip around the Golden Circle, and a journey of the beautiful South Coast, to the Jökulsárlon glacier lagoon. This way, you get to experience a perfect blend of Iceland's most popular destinations, and its least known secrets.
You can add extra activities during booking so that you won't miss any fun during your stay. As you pass through the Golden Circle, you can stop to snorkel in Silfra fissure in Þingvellir national park. If you're captivated by the glaciers, you can take a hike up one, descend into an ice cave on another or snowmobile across their ancient ice. Or if you want to relax, you can book a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon spa.
You can spin around Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon on a boat, or go sea angling or whale watching in the North. To take it easy, you can trail ride on an Icelandic horse or sail the coast in search of puffins. The opportunities are endless and if you book in combination with this tour, you can look forward to reduced costs than if you booked on the day.
Reserve this trip now for a complete experience of the wonders of Iceland. Check availability by choosing a date.
Your adventure starts straight away when you arrive at the airport in Keflavík. Pick up your car at the airport before driving through an otherworldly lava landscape to your accommodation in downtown Reykjavík. You can even decide to start your journey to Iceland by visiting the Blue Lagoon; it's located very close to the airport and is the perfect way to unwind after a long flight.
After settling in at your centrally located hotel in Reykjavík, make the most of your proximity to the vibrant city centre by exploring the abundance of museums, galleries, restaurants and bars.
When you are tuckered out, spend the night in the beautiful and quirky capital city.
On day two, travel to some of the best-known natural phenomena in Iceland on the Golden Circle. The first stop is Þingvellir National Park, which is located right between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates; you can literally walk between them.
Þingvellir also played a huge role in Iceland's heritage, being the original site of the world's longest running, ongoing representative parliament, the place where it converted to Christianity in 1000 AD, and where it declared independence from Denmark in 1944. There is plenty to see as you walk around this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the adventurous can also opt into an exhilarating snorkel here.
The beautiful geothermal valley of Haukadalur is next, where you can see the geysers Strokkur and Geysir, amongst many steaming hot springs. While the more famous Geysir is largely inactive now, Strokkur erupts every ten minutes or so, to heights of over 20 m (66 ft).
The final stop on the Golden Circle tour is one of the most popular attractions in Iceland, the mighty Gullfoss waterfall. A pathway takes you right to the water's edge, where you can get a real sense of the enormous natural power of these 32 m (150 ft) tall falls.
From Gullfoss, you can choose to go on an optional snowmobile tour on the nearby Langjökull glacier. You can also take the opportunity to ride an Icelandic horse, an essential Icelandic experience.
The crater lake of Kerið is also well worth a visit as you traverse the area. Take in the dazzling colours of the red-and-orange lava rock, the azure waters of the deep lake in its centre, and get a few photos before spending the night in the Hvolsvöllur area.
Head to the south coast on today's road trip and visit the majestic and mesmerising Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. After these, you will see Sólheimajökull glacier, where you have the option to go glacier hiking and ice climbing or take an exhilarating snowmobile tour. From the village Vík, you can opt for an exciting ice cave tour to Mýrdalsjökull glacier.
Along the coast near Vík, is the black volcanic coastline and the dramatic Dyrhólaey peninsula and Reynisdrangar rock formations. Just be sure to be very careful near this beach, as the waves and currents are powerful and unpredictable. This area has a large puffin colony during the summers, so try and spot some.
More sights as you drive ahead include the magnificent Mýrdalsjökull glacier and the quaint, historic village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. You will spend the night in either Kirkjubæjarklaustur or the Skaftafell area.
Spend day four taking in the many beautiful vistas of the incredible Skaftafell Nature Reserve, within Vatnajökull National Park.
If you enjoy hiking, you will find many trails here, tailored for all abilities, including one that leads to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall, which cascades down unique, hexagonal basalt columns. You may also opt into an exciting glacier hike on this day on Skaftafellsjökull.
Do not spend all day here, however, as the the stunning Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon is the next stop. Here, you can see icebergs break from a glacier tongue and float serenely towards the ocean; it is a magnificent sight. If you wish to get closer, you can enjoy an optional boat ride that will take you right amongst them, with a choice between an amphibious vessel or a little zodiac. If you see any seals, give a whistle, and they may come closer to investigate the noise. They are often as curious about you as you are them.
Don't forget to have a look at the Diamond Beach, just by the ocean next to the lagoon. Chunks of ice in all shapes and sizes decorate the shoreline like a string of beautiful jewels, making for excellent photo opportunities.
Spend the night in Höfn.
Today you will experience rural Iceland in all its glory, visiting the idyllic villages, breathtaking fjords, and verdant fields of the east coast. Home to some of the most amazing wildlife in Iceland, including puffins, reindeer, foxes, and seals, the fjords invite you to take an up-and-down ride over the mountains as you explore one after the other. Each is incredibly beautiful, and has its own unique charm.
Waterfalls in hillsides and fantastic panoramic views will make your journey unforgettable. In the evening, you'll come to the town of Egilsstaðir, near Lagarflöt lake, which legends say hides a monster beneath its placid surface. Spend the night in Egilsstaðir or a smaller village nearby.
On day six, you'll visit Lake Mývatn. The lake itself is serene and beautiful, and its surroundings dramatic and unique. There is a lot to see, but it is recommended that you prioritise the hot spring cave of Grjótagjá, the Dimmuborgir lava fields (known as 'the Dark Fortress'), and the nature baths.
A drive through the Jökulsárgljúfur part of Vatnajökull National Park to visit the impressive Dettifoss waterfall is also highly recommended, and the mud pits at Krafla are a sight to behold.
Another great option is to join a whale watching tour at the nearby village of Húsavík, renowned as the whale-watching capital of Europe. You can upgrade this to include a puffin watching segment as well. After you have finished your activities for the day, you'll cross over to Eyjafjörður fjord to the town of Akureyri, where you will stay the night.
Start the day in Akureyri, a charming town sporting unique shops and museums, as well as one of the world's northernmost botanical gardens which displays more than 7,000 native and non-native plant species. If you'd like a closer look at the local flora in nature, you could opt into a riding tour along the coast of the fjord on this morning. Otherwise, if you missed the whale watch the day before, you can take one from here.
Continuing towards Skagafjörður, a valley known for its abundance of Icelandic horses, you will also pass through the beautiful, mountainous area of Tröllaskagi. From there, you will see the old herring-fishing village of Siglufjörður, and Hofsós, where you can enjoy the magnificent scenery from the town’s thermal pool.
Spend the night in Blönduós.
Day eight is the beginning of your drive to the breathtaking and remote Westfjords of Iceland. Sights along the way include the many hills of Vatnsdalshólar, the Borgarvirki natural fortress, and the Hvítserkur monolith.
The Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum in Hólmavík and the Sorcerer’s Cottage, in Bjarnarfjörður, only 25 km away from Hólmavík, are well worth a visit, especially for those who love folklore and history. Also, consider taking an extra soak in the natural hot springs at Drangsnes.
Spend the night in the Strandir area.
The journey on day nine is characterised by the dramatic fjords you will pass through, as well as the towering mountains that run alongside you on your route to Ísafjörður. Here you will find some of the oldest mountains in Iceland, dating back to 18 million years ago. Be sure to look in the waters as you drive, as this is one of the best places in Iceland to see whales feeding from the shore.
You may also wish to drive to nearby Bolungarvík and visit the Ósvör Maritime Museum - a great way to see what life was like for Iceland’s fishermen in years gone by. When you reach Ísafjörður, enjoy the town's quiet, isolated charm.
Spend the night in the Ísafjarðardjúp area.
At the start of day ten, head to Dýrafjörður fjord, where you can find the trail of the Viking saga hero Gisli Súrsson, as well as the Skrúður botanical garden.
Continuing to Hrafnseyri, you can visit a museum dedicated to another national hero, Jón Sigurðsson, former president of the Althing and leader of the Icelandic independence movement of the 19th century.
Next, stop at the magnificent Dynjandi, a stunning series of fast-moving waterfalls that cascade down the face of a massive cliff. After marvelling at this wonder, head to the spectacular 444 m (1,457 ft) high cliff of Látrabjarg, arguably the westernmost point of Europe. Here, you can get an incredibly close look at some of Iceland’s many species of nesting seabirds, such as puffins and razorbills.
Spend the night in the Vesturbyggð areas, near Patreksfjörður.
On day eleven, you will take the Baldur ferry from Brjánslækur across Breiðafjörður Bay to get some rest from driving, over to the village of Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The price of the ferry is included in your tour, and you can bring your car at no additional cost!
Stykkishólmur is a charming fishing town, famous for portraying Greenland in the movie 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'. It is steeped in folklore and history, and worth a little explore.
From there, you can explore the peninsula’s many unique sights, including the Snæfellsjökull glacier in the beautiful Snæfellsjökull National Park, Dritvík cove, Djúpalónssandur beach, and the small, charming hamlets of Arnarstapi, Hellnar, and Búðir. The area is rich in lava fields and formations, impressive cliffs, dramatic beaches and flourishing birdlife.
Spend the night in the Snæfellsnes area.
Snæfellsnes Peninsula has a lot of beautiful and exciting locations to explore. Spend another day properly touring the area in depth, seeing anything you missed yesterday. You can opt for hikes in the beautiful nature or explore the rock formations and vast sands near the Djúpalónssandur black beach. There are many hikes to be had in this region, and more than enough activities to fill a day with.
If you are here during the summer season, you could also choose to ascend the mighty Snæfellsjökull glacier. In this extra activity, you will board a vehicle that has been specially built to handle the rough glacial landscapes of Iceland, from the quaint town of Grundarfjörður. You will travel to the foot of Snæafellsjökull and then take the journey to the top in a snowcat. The experience of standing on the top of a glacier that covers a volcano is second to none. This experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will provide you with lasting memories and exceptional photos.
Spend another night in the Snæfellsnes area.
On day thirteen, explore West Iceland with its many natural attractions, including Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe, and the captivating Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls.
History buffs may also enjoy a visit to Snorrastofa, the medieval research institute in Reykholt, where the early settler Snorri Sturluson wrote the saga Heimskringla in the 13th century. Snorri is also famed for writing the bible of old Norse mythology, Edda.
On the way back to Reykjavik, you can opt for an incredible tour inside Langjökull glacier, the only place in the world where such a trip is possible, or else take an adventurous caving tour in Viðgelmir lava tubes. You may also opt to descend into a vast beautiful magma chamber on the 'Inside the Volcano' tour. From there, it is recommended that you take a short break at Fossatún, a waterfall said to be guarded by a troll woman named Drífa, before heading back to Reykjavík, either for a well-deserved rest or to hit the restaurants and bars.
Drop off your car at Keflavík airport in time for your departure. If you are lucky enough to be taking an afternoon or evening flight, consider fitting in one last fantastic Icelandic experience.
If you didn't visit the Blue Lagoon on your first day, then a revitalising visit to the world famous spa is a great way to end your Icelandic adventure.
We hope you finish with the feeling of having a wonderful 2-week holiday in Iceland, looking forward to coming back someday soon.
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.
Please note that the Westfjords area does not offer quality level accommodation. Visitors will thus be placed in the best comfort level accommodation possible in the area during their stay in the Westfjords.
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, of maximum 2 years of age. Super Budget levels come with standard CDW insurance, while all other levels also include Gravel Protection (GP), and Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) insurances. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars. All levels come equipped with a GPS and 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, or similar. Comfortably fit up to 4 travellers 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 Renault Trafic (2WD manual), Mercedes Benz Vito (4WD automatic, has highland capabilities and better suited for winter driving), or similar. Comfortable for 5 to 7 travellers. If seated full, luggage space is limited. The driver must be of 23 years of age or above.
You can now add meals to your booking. Select to include dinner on every night as an optional extra, and we will provide you with vouchers as part of your booking confirmation. We will choose from top-rated restaurants that fit with your vacation itinerary and make your reservations for you. At the restaurant, you will be offered a set menu, from which you can choose from meat, fish or vegetarian options. If you would prefer something else, the voucher will act as a credit that you can redeem at the restaurant against menu items that are not part of the set menu. Please notify the restaurant on arrival about any dietary requirements. Vouchers are non-refundable.
This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost. The cost of your cancellation insurance depends on the duration of your tour or package. A base cost of 5,000 ISK per person is applied to all tours and packages with a duration of 5 days or less. An additional 1,000 ISK per person will be added to the insurance cost for each day after. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.