Epic 14 Day Self Drive Tour of the Complete Ring Road of Iceland & the Westfjords
Book this 2-week tour of Iceland's Ring Road and the Westfjords and experience the very best that Iceland has to offer. Aside from the most popular areas in the country, you will explore some of the more remote regions and see many charming, lesser-known locations most visitors do not get the chance to. This tour is perfect for those wanting to explore Iceland's very best and those who have time to see off-the-beaten-track locations.
You'll travel in full comfort, even in the remote and wild Westfjords, always with private facilities and breakfast included at your accommodation. This is the perfect way to rest up and give you plenty of time to recharge your energy before your next day of adventure.
Many visitors come to Iceland to savor 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 fully customized 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 world-famous Golden Circle and a journey through the beautiful South Coast to the crown jewel of Iceland: 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 to add more adventure and experiences to your trip. For instance, as you pass through the Golden Circle, you can stop to snorkel in Silfra fissure in Þingvellir National Park, a rift between 2 continents. Also, 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, vast white icy expanses. Or, however, if you want to relax, you can book a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon Spa to relax and recuperate in its tranquil azure waters.
You can also opt to explore Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon on a boat or go sea-angling or whale watching in the North to get up close and personal to these magnificent creatures of the deep. To take it easy, you could take a trail ride on an Icelandic horse or sail the coast searching for puffins. The opportunities are endless to help make your trip that extra special.
Reserve this trip now for a complete experience of the wonders of Iceland. Check availability by choosing a date and book your Iceland adventure today.
Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland, Car Ready at the Airport
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.
On your way to Iceland’s capital city, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It is located in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere. If you add the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged according to your flights. If there is 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. There is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes Peninsula if you have extra free time.
After settling in at your centrally located hotel in Reykjavík, make the most of your proximity to the vibrant city center 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.
Day 2 - Thingvellir National Park - Geysers - Gullfoss Falls
On day two, travel to some of the best-known natural phenomena in Iceland on the Golden Circle.
The first stop of the Golden Circle 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. 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 to heights of over 66 ft (20 m).
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 150 ft (32 m) 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 colors of the red-and-orange lava rock, the azure waters of the deep lake in its center, and get a few photos before spending the night in the Selfoss region.
Day 3 - Waterfalls and Black-Sand Beach
Head to the south coast on today's road trip and visit the majestic and mesmerizing 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 are the black volcanic coastline and the dramatic Dyrhólaey peninsula and Reynisdrangar rock formations. 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 Vík or the Skaftafell area.
Day 4 - Skaftafell Nature Reserve - Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
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 for an exciting glacier hike on this day on Skaftafellsjökull.
However, do not spend all day here as 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 look at 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.
Day 5 - The East Coast
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 incredible 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 on 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.
Day 6 - Lake Mývatn Mysteries
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 prioritize 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.
Day 7 - The Troll Peninsula
Start the day in Akureyri, a charming town sporting unique shops and museums and one of the world's northernmost botanical gardens that display 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 for a riding tour along the coast of the fjord 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 Sauðárkrókur.
Day 8 - Westfjords Introduction
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 16 miles (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.
Day 9 - Deep into the Westfjords
The journey on day nine is characterized 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.
Day 10 - Westfjords and Dynjandi - Látrabjarg Puffins
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 marveling at this wonder, head to the spectacular 1,457 ft (444 m) 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.
Day 11 - By Ferry from Westfjords to Snæfellsnes Peninsula
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 exploring.
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.
Day 12 - Activities in Snæfellsnes Peninsula
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 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.
Day 13 - Hraunfossar and Barnafoss - Deildartunguhver
Explore West Iceland with its many natural attractions on day thirteen, including Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe, and the captivating Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls.
History buffs may also enjoy visiting 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. On the 'Inside the Volcano' tour, you may also opt to descend into a vast, beautiful magma chamber. 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.
Day 14 - Blue Lagoon & Drop the Car off at the Airport
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.
For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you will finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. If your flight is later, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik. If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey.
What to bring
Good to know
Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavik 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.
Some optional activities might require you to present 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.
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.
Bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s).
Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur.
Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies among locations and availability is highly limited. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level.
Please note that not all locations offer quality level accommodation. Comfort level accommodation will be arranged at those particular locations, which is reflected in the quality level upgrade price.
We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.
Rooms with 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) insurance. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars.
All levels come equipped with free Wi-fi. You can enjoy unlimited data with the Wi-Fi device, which can be connected to up to 10 devices at once. The car rental will provide 24-hour roadside emergency services.
Age requirement for each level can be found below. For all levels, the driver must possess a valid driving license for at least one year before the date of the rental.
We recommend Budget 4X4 level for summer driving and Comfort 4X4 for winter driving.
A small 2WD vehicle such as Toyota Aygo or similar, fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions. Compact and comfortable for up to 2 travellers with very little luggage. No highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A basic 2WD vehicle, such as a Toyota Yaris or similar, suitable for travelling in everyday conditions. Comfortable for 3 travellers with light luggage. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A basic 4WD (4X4) jeep or SUV such as a Dacia Duster or similar. Comfortably fit up to 3 travellers with 2 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and decent for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 20 years of age or above.
A medium-sized 4WD (4x4) jeep or SUV such as a Toyota Rav4 (automatic) and Suzuki Vitara (manual), or similar. Comfortably fit up to 4 travelers with 3 large pieces of luggage. Fit for most travel and good for snow and off-asphalt driving. Has basic highland capabilities. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.
A large 4WD jeep such as a Toyota Land Cruiser or similar. Comfortable for up to 4 travellers with 4 large pieces of luggage. Fit for nearly all travelling. Has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads. The driver must be of 21 years of age or above.
A large 9-seater van such as a Mercedes Benz Vito (4WD manual, has highland capabilities and better suited for winter driving), or similar. Comfortable for 5 to 7 travelers. If seated full, luggage space is limited. The driver must be of 23 years of age or above.