14 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | Iceland's Ring Road & the Westfjords

14 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | Iceland's Ring Road & the Westfjords
Explore Geysir geothermal area and see the many hot springs, geysers and mud pots that dot the landscape.
This 14 Day Budget Self Drive Tour takes you to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, 'the Crown Jewel of Iceland'.
Hofskirkja church makes for a peaceful stopping place along the Ring Road in South Iceland.
Explore South Iceland and visit some the area's many stunning waterfalls.
Embark on a Glacier hike with your family and friends and immerse yourself in an experience that is sure to leave lasting memories.
Visit Goðafoss, 'the Waterfall of the Gods', in North Iceland.

See the whole of Iceland and visit the Westfjords with this affordable two-week package. You’ll have the chance to see all the famous sites as well as countless hidden gems while staying on budget.

If you book this self-drive now, you can save even more money as you can make use of the Early Bird Special now on offer where you'll receive a 20% discount off the base price.

After booking this self-drive, you will receive a personal itinerary, telling you about all the places you'll be able to reach on each day. That way, you will not miss out on the great places you have heard so much about, such as the Golden Circle, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Nor will you miss the places that few know of; treasures off the beaten track and places where you will be able to immerse yourself fully in nature without the crowds.

During the booking process, you can add a myriad of extra activities at a discounted price, so you can make the most of the many adventure opportunities this country has to offer. These include snorkelling in some of the world’s clearest waters, hiking across a magnificent glacier, spotting whales in Iceland's whale-watching capital and riding an Icelandic horse.

Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in Iceland with this affordable yet comprehensive package. Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
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.
Included:
  • 13 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast not included, shared bathrooms; more detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 14 days (Toyota Aygo or similar, upgrades available)

  • Transfer with the ferry Baldur, including 1 car

  • CDW insurance for super budget level vehicle; other levels also include SCDW and gravel protection insurances

  • GPS system

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

  • Taxes

  • Fuel

  • Meals

  • Blue Lagoon entry ticket (can be added during the booking process)


What to bring:
  • Warm and waterproof clothes

  • Hiking shoes

  • Driver's license

  • Swimsuit and towel


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.

Wearing cotton or jeans as the outer layer during your trip to the Þríhnjúkagígur volcano tour is not allowed. Please wear suitable waterproof clothes and sturdy hiking shoes for this trip. It’s always the same temperature inside the crater – about 5–6°C (42–43°F). The Þríhnjúkagígur volcano tour involves a hike of approximately 3 km (2 miles) each way. The walk usually takes around 45–50 minutes (depending on the condition of people in the group). A guide will be with you at all times during the walk.

Due to limited availability in the remote Westfjords region, accommodation for Super Budget and Budget levels will be arranged with the same preferred partners.

Please note that all optional excursions are not included in the Early Bird offer, but you will enjoy a special discount on all optional activities if you book a self-drive tour with us. Don't miss the chance to spice up your trip with those bargain options.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland


Book a self drive tour in Iceland and be the master of your own time and pace.


On day one, you will arrive at Keflavík International Airport and pick up your rental car. You can either drive straight to your accommodation in downtown Reykjavík to unwind and get to know the city or head to the Blue Lagoon, which is en route and perfect for recharging after a long flight. Because of the popularity of the Lagoon, it is recommended that you reserve your tickets well in advance.

After enjoying your first night in the capital, you will retire to your downtown accommodation.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

Reykjavík Budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 2 - The Golden Circle


Visit Gullfoss waterfall, one of Iceland's most sought out natural attractions.


On day two, you will travel around three of Iceland’s most popular sites as you take the Golden Circle trail. The first location on this journey is Þingvellir National Park. This Park has historical and geographical standing so unique that it is of the country’s most loved destinations.

Firstly, it is the original site of what is now the world's longest-running, ongoing parliament; early Icelanders convened their first national assembly here over a millennium ago, in 930 AD. Secondly, it is located right between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, creating a torn and impressive landscape in the lava fields, and deep crevasses filled with crystal clear spring water.

After enjoying the history and beautiful landscapes of Þingvellir, you will head over to the Geysir Geothermal Area. As the name suggests, this is home to multiple geysers. The most known of them, Geysir itself, is largely inactive, but the very active Strokkur, which sits just metres away, goes off every ten minutes or so, to heights of over twenty metres.

The third and final stop of the circle is possibly Iceland’s most iconic features, the mighty Gullfoss waterfall. At thirty-two metres tall, falling down two steps into a beautifully carved valley, it is magnificent to behold. Thankfully, there are many different viewing platforms around that you can admire and photograph it from.

There are three tours you can opt into on this day. If you are seeking exhilaration, you can book a snowmobiling excursion from Gullfoss, which will take you up Langjökull glacier. If you are looking for something more relaxed, you can take a horse-ride instead, or a snorkelling tour in Þingvellir National Park.

Around the Golden Circle are many lesser known gems worth a visit, which you can reference your itinerary for. One such example is Kerið Crater Lake, a vast feature with vividly coloured red rocks, which contrast beautifully with the azure water within.

You will spend the night in the Hvolsvöllur area.


Preferred accommodation by Hvolsvöllur

Hvolsvöllur Super Budget

Árnes HI Hostel is located close to the village of Hella. Dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Hvolsvöllur Budget

Hotel Hvolsvöllur is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Hvolsvöllur village. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.


Day 3 - The South Coast


Skógafoss is a large and powerful waterfall that can be seen from the Ring Road on the South Coast of Iceland.


You will head along the beautiful South Coast of Iceland on your third day. This stretch of road is lined with features that you will no doubt want to stop at. The magnificent, well-known waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, for example, can be found along this stretch. While both of these warrant many photographs, you should also seek out Gljúfrabúi, a waterfall hidden in a ravine that is mesmerising to behold.

Next along the road is the glacier tongue Sólheimajökull, where you can opt into two tours. You could take a glacier hike with an ice climb, for an experience as exciting as it is informative, or else another snowmobiling tour. 

Another amazing option on this day is to visit the ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. This is the only ice cave which is accessible all year round due to its location and is a unique opportunity for summer visitors to see this natural wonder usually only accessible in winter. 

After this, you will come to the charming village of Vík, renowned for its stunning coastline. You can walk along the black sand beach Reynisfjara here (being careful of the ocean, as the sneaker waves here are notorious), and can look over incredible geological features such as the Reynisdrangar sea stacks and the Dyrhólaey rock arch, one of Iceland's largest puffin colonies. 

Your destination and accommodation can be found a little further down the road, either at the historic village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur (also known as simply Klaustur) or near Skaftafell.


Preferred accommodation by Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Super Budget

Vagnstaðir Hostel is located within walking distance from the beach and has a great view of the sea and surrounding mountains. Dorm accommodation with shared bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Kirkjubæjarklaustur Budget

Klausturhof Guesthouse is centrally located in Kirkjubæjarklaustur town. Private bedrooms with shared bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.


Day 4 - Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon


Iceland is home to Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier.


On day four, you have two spectacular destinations to enjoy. The first of these is Skaftafell Nature Reserve, a place so beautiful it was once a National Park in its own right, before the greater Vatnajökull National Park was established, which enveloped it. Skaftafell is sheltered by mighty glaciers and mountains and filled with lava fields, forests and rivers. Be sure to visit Svartifoss waterfall, as the geology surrounding it is fascinating.

If you missed the glacier hike the day before (or are eager for another), you can elect to do one today, up Skaftafellsjökull.

As tempting as it may be to stay all day, you will want to reserve your afternoon and evening to enjoy the unbelievable glacier lagoon, Jökulsárlón. Here, massive icebergs fill an enormous lake and cruise slowly over to the ocean. Watching from the shore is breathtaking, but even better is to take a boat tour to immerse yourselves amongst them. There are two options for this: a more affordable amphibious vessel, or a more personal zodiac.

Keep an eye out for seals in the lagoon and at the nearby Diamond Beach. This stretch of coast got its name from the fact that the icebergs wash on shore here, and glisten beautifully in the sun, something amplified by the black sands beneath them.

You will spend the night a little further north-east, in Höfn.


Preferred accommodation by Jökulsárlón and Höfn

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Super Budget

HI Hostel Höfn is located in Höfn township. Dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Budget

Guesthouse Hvammur is located in the centre of Höfn town and a short drive from Vatnjökull National Park. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 5 - The East Coast


Vestrahorn is a dramatic and beautiful mountain in southeast Iceland.


On day five, you will enjoy the rural beauty and remote villages of the East. Renowned for its beautiful, little-visited fjords, you will get spectacular views of the coast and mountains as you wind your way north.

This part of Iceland has more wildlife than anywhere else in the country. In the seaside cliffs, you can hope to see puffins; along the shores are many seal colonies; and in the countryside, you may spot Arctic Foxes or reindeer. 

After a beautiful drive, you will pass Lagarfljót lake, which is said to hold a terrifying monster. Nearby is the charming town in Egilsstaðir, where you will be spending the night.


Preferred accommodation by Egilsstaðir

Egilsstaðir Super Budget

Guesthouse Olga is a family run guesthouse centrally located in Egilsstaðir town. Access to terrace and garden. Private rooms with shared facilities. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Egilsstaðir Budget

Guesthouse Birta is family run guesthouse centrally located in the town of Egilsstaðir. Access to terrace and garden. Private rooms with shared facilities. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.


Day 6 - Lake Myvatn


A piping fumarole in Námaskarð pass in North Iceland.


You will head to Lake Mývatn on day six, driving past the Jökulsárgljúfur part of the Vatnajökull National Park. En route, you can stop at Dettifoss waterfall, a mightily impressive feature which has a greater water flow than any other falls in Europe.

Once you reach the Mývatn area, there are a wealth of things to see and do. The lake itself is beautiful, and a bird-watching hotspot; the Dimmuborgir lava fields are known as ‘the Dark Fortress’ due to how dramatic they are; the Krafla mud pits display the geological forces of this area, and the hot-spring cave Grjótagjá is a must for fans of Game of Thrones. The Mývatn Nature Baths are also well worth a visit. 

If you wish, you can also head to Húsavík for a whale-watching tour in what is considered the whale-watching capital of Europe, and add a puffin-watching segment for a longer experience. Otherwise, you can enjoy Mývatn until you are ready to retire, then head to your accommodation in Akureyri.


Preferred accommodation by Akureyri

Akureyri Super Budget

Akureyri HI Hostel is a short walk from Akureyri's town centre. Dormitory accommodation with shared bathrooms. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Akureyri Budget

Hrafinn Guesthouse is located in the centre of Akureyri town. Guests have access to a fully equipped kitchen and fully furnished terrace. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.


Day 7 - The Troll Peninsula


Icelandic horses are extremely friendly and when travelling in Iceland you'll have plenty of opportunities of going on a horse riding tour.


On day seven, you can start by enjoying the ‘Capital of the North’, Akureyri, with its many boutiques, museums, and the world’s northernmost botanical gardens; you can also take a whale watch this morning. Once you are ready, you will head across the beautiful fjord of Skagafjörður, admiring the many Icelandic horses as you travel, and through the mountains of the Tröllskagi peninsula.

You can opt to see the old fishing village of Siglufjörður, with its award-winning Herring Era Museum. Otherwise, you can go to the beautiful, sparsely populated village of Hofsós, where you can bathe in a beautiful geothermal pool with magnificent views over the coastal scenery.

You will spend the night in the town of Blönduós.


Preferred accommodation by Blönduós

Blönduós Super Budget

Mikligarður Guesthouse is located in the old center of Sauðárkrókur town. Private Bedroom with shared bathroom and a communal kitchenette. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Blönduós Budget

Mikligarður Guesthouse is located in the old center of Sauðárkrókur town. Free Wi-Fi. Private Bedroom with private bathroom and a communal kitchenette. Breakfast not included.


Day 8 - Westfjords Introduction


Hvítserkur is a stunning rock formation off the coast of northwest Iceland.


On day eight, you will head towards the incredible Westfjords, a place of breathtaking beauty that few visitors have enough time to visit. En route, you will find many locations worth stopping at. The Borgarvirki fortress is a natural, geological marvel, that was used as somewhat of a castle in the early years of Iceland’s history, and was never sieged. You will also see the Hvítserkur monolith, which stands from the surface of the ocean, and looks somewhat like an elephant.

In Hólmavík, you can visit the Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum and Sorcerer’s College, to learn about magic in Iceland throughout history. In Dragsnes, you can bathe in some revitalising hot springs. You will retire in the Strandir area.


Preferred accommodation in Holmavik

Westfjords has limited accommodations available. We will use the following preferred partners for both super budget and budget levels.

Malarhorn Guesthouse

Malarhorn Guesthouse is located a short drive outside Hólmavík town. The hotel has an on-site restaurant, fully furnished outdoor terrace and a public swimming pool. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is not included.

Finna Hotel

Finna Hotel is located in Hólmavík town with a great view of the fjord. It has simply decorated rooms and an on-site bar and café. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 9 - Deep into the Westfjords


Visit the spectacular Westfjords of Iceland and take in the mesmerising sceneries.


You will spend today winding through the remote, spectacular Westfjords. The mountains that tower beside you are incredible, and the coastal scenery dramatic. Keep your eyes on the water, as it is possible that you will see both seals and whales.

When you have reached the town of Ísafjörður, you may wish to do a small detour and visit the charming village of Bolungarvík, where you will find the Ósvör Maritime Museum, which encapsulates the history of this area. 

You will spend the night in the Ísafjarðardjúp area.


Preferred accommodation at Isafjordur

Westfjords has limited accommodations available. We will use the following preferred partners for both super budget and budget levels.

Hotel Edda Ísafjörður

Hotel Edda Ísafjörður is located in the larges town of the Westfjords, Ísafjörður. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast not included.

Gamla Gistihúsið

Gamla Gistihúsið is located in the centre of Ísafjörður. All guest have access to a communal kitchen and a guest lounge. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 10 - Dynjandi and Latrabjarg


Dynjandi waterfall in the Westfjords of Iceland is simply breathtaking.


Today you will head to two of the Westfjords greatest wonders: Dynjandi waterfall and the Látrabjarg bird cliffs. En route, the Dýrafjörður fjord and Skrúður botanical gardens are worth visiting.

Dynjandi is an incredible, inspiring location; the water surges down a magnificent cliff face, and the path up to it is dotted with other beautiful falls. Látrabjarg, meanwhile, is one of the best birdwatching locations in the world. Throughout summer, hundreds of thousands of seabirds nest along the fourteen kilometres of cliffs, including many puffins. They have little fear of people, meaning you will be able to get incredibly close to them.

After enjoying these sites, head to Patreksfjörður where you will spend the night.


Preferred accommodation in Patreksfjordur

Westfjords has limited accommodations available. We will use the following preferred partners for both super budget and budget levels.

Hótel Flókalundur

Hótel Flókalundur is located a short distance from Patreksfjörður town and only a 5-minute drive from Brjánslækur ferry terminal. The hotel is family-run and has an on-site bar and restaurant. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is not included.

Hótel Látrabjarg

Hótel Látrabjarg is situated on the Westfjords, close to the bird cliffs Látrabjarg, the western-most point of Europe. The Hotel has an on-site restaurant with a bar. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free WiFi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 11 - Westfjords to Snaefellsnes Peninsula


This is the reason why Kirkjufell is Iceland's most photographed mountain.


Today you will leave the Westfjords for the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, taking the Baldur ferry over to the historic village of Stykkishólmur. The ferry price is included in the tour price, and taking the car is no additional cost. 

Snæfellsnes is a 90 kilometre stretch of peninsula often called ‘Iceland in Miniature’. There are a wealth of sites to see here, so you will spend two days exploring them. Notable points include the Snæfellsjökull National Park, Kirkjufell Mountain, the coastal towns of Arnarstapi and Hellnar, and the black sand beach Djúpalónssandur.

You will spend the night in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.


Preferred accommodation by Snæfellsnes

Snæfellsnes Super Budget

Grundafjörður Hostel is located in Grundarfjörður village. Dormitory accommodation with shared bathrooms. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Snæfellsnes Budget

Hof Guesthouse is situated on the southern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula, just a few hundred metres from the beach. Private bedrooms with shared bathroom, living room and kitchen. Free access to a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi in public areas. Breakfast not included.


Day 12 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula


Snæfellsnes peninsula's coast is lined with dramatic rocks and cliffs.


You will spend day twelve seeing the sites you missed the day before. You could seek out the seals on Ytri Tunga beach, the lava tube of Vatnshellir, the windswept church of Búðir, and the dramatic basalt plug Lóndrangar. Other beautiful sites are the Bárðarlaug lake near Hellnar, where legends say that the Jotunn protector of the area used to bathe.

Spend a second night on the Snæfellsnes.


Day 13 - West Iceland


Visit Hraunfossar, a series of whispering waterfalls that are amongst Iceland's most beautiful natural attractions.


On your penultimate day, you will head back towards Reykjavík, enjoying the many sites of West Iceland as you do. 

The waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, which sit right beside each other, are both incredibly beautiful, though dramatically different; Hraunfossar trickles out of a wide stretch of lava fields, while Barnafoss thunders through a canyon. Not far from here is the highest-flowing hot spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver.

Fans of history will enjoy the village of Reykholt, which has the Snorrastofa museum, dedicated to Snorri Sturluson, Europe’s most important medieval writer, and Borganes, with its Settlement Era Museum.

Before reaching Reykjavík, you have the option of three, final adventures. You could go for a lava tubing tour, and explore the hidden world Viðgelmir, or take a walk through Langjökull glacier’s tunnels, which cannot be done anywhere else in the world.

When you reach the city, you'll have the option to descend into and explore the vast, vibrantly coloured magma chamber of a volcano, for an unbelievably spectacular experience.

You will spend your last night in Reykjavík.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

Reykjavík Budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.


Day 14 - Departure


The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is the perfect place to gather strength after a long and eventful adventure.


Sadly, day fourteen is your last. You will head back to Keflavík airport in time to drop off your car and to take your flight. If you wish, you could stop at the Blue Lagoon on your way, the perfect way to recharge after your fortnight of adventure.


Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. Budget level 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. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.

Super Budget

Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels. Located in the region of the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.

Budget

Rooms with shared bathrooms in farmhouses, guesthouses or hostels, with good locations near the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.


Car

Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour. All our vehicles are new or current models. Super budget 2WD vehicles are maximum 5 years of age, and come equipped with a GPS and standard CDW insurance. Budget 2WD and Comfort 4x4 level vehicles are maximum two years of age, and come equipped with a GPS, CDW, GP and SCDW insurances. You can also upgrade to an automatic model.

Super Budget

A small 2WD vehicle such as Toyota Aygo, Hyundai i10 or similar, fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions. Compact and comfortable for up to 2 travellers with very little luggage. No highland capabilities.

Budget

A basic 2WD vehicle such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar, suitable for travelling in everyday conditions. Comfortable for 3 travellers with light luggage. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.

Comfort 4X4

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


Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel the booking of this package and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person. The cancellation must be made within a minimum of 48-hours before the listed starting time. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact our service desk by writing to info@guidetoiceland.is no later than 48-hours before departure and declare the cancellation. Please note that this insurance only covers the full cancellation of this entire package. It does not cover cancellations of individual activities and services within the package. The cost of the Cancellation Insurance is neither refundable nor transferable.


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14 Day Budget Self Drive Tour | Iceland's Ring Road & the Westfjords
 
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