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

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

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Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable
Car & accommodation
Tour starts
Keflavík Airport, Flexible
Duration
14 days
Available
May. - Oct.
Minimum age:
None

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.

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.

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

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Snorkelling
Caving
Snowmobile
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Boat Trip
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Bird watching
Ice Caving
Self drive

Attractions

Blue Lagoon
Golden Circle
Westfjords
West Iceland
Reykjavík
Akureyri
Jökulsárlón
Vatnajökull
Mývatn
Dimmuborgir
Húsavík
Dettifoss
Látrabjarg
Dynjandi
Snæfellsjökull
Skógafoss
Seljalandsfoss
Geysir
Gullfoss
Eyjafjallajökull
Dyrhólaey
Þingvellir
Hraunfossar
Snæfellsnes
Reykjanes
Ísafjörður
Sólheimajökull
Mýrdalsjökull
Skaftafell
Þríhnúkagígur
Höfn
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Jökulsárgljúfur
Barnafoss
Bolungarvík
Langjökull
Grjótagjá
Vík í Mýrdal
Egilsstaðir
Hólmavík
Hvolsvöllur
Siglufjörður
Kerið
Kirkjufell
Búðir
Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Snæfellsjökull National Park
Reynisdrangar
Hvítserkur
Haukadalur
Myvatn Nature Baths
Lagarfljót
Patreksfjörður
Ytri Tunga Beach
Víðgelmir
South Coast
Diamond Beach
Ring Road
East Fjords

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Book a self drive tour in Iceland and be the master of your own time and pace.

Arrival in Iceland

On day one, you will arrive at Keflavík International Airport and pick up your rental car.

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

Day 2
Visit Gullfoss waterfall, one of Iceland's most sought out natural attractions.

The Golden Circle

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.

Day 3
Skógafoss is a large and powerful waterfall that can be seen from the Ring Road on the South Coast of Iceland.

The South Coast

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.

Day 4
Iceland is home to Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier.

Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

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.

Day 5
Vestrahorn is a dramatic and beautiful mountain in southeast Iceland.

The East Coast

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.

Day 6
A piping fumarole in Námaskarð pass in North Iceland.

Lake Myvatn

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.

Day 7
Icelandic horses are extremely friendly and when travelling in Iceland you'll have plenty of opportunities of going on a horse riding tour.

The Troll Peninsula

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.

Day 8
Hvítserkur is a stunning rock formation off the coast of northwest Iceland.

Westfjords Introduction

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.

Day 9
Visit the spectacular Westfjords of Iceland and take in the mesmerising sceneries.

Deep into the Westfjords

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.

Day 10
Dynjandi waterfall in the Westfjords of Iceland is simply breathtaking.

Dynjandi and Latrabjarg

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.

Day 11
This is the reason why Kirkjufell is Iceland's most photographed mountain.

Westfjords to Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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.

Day 12
Snæfellsnes peninsula's coast is lined with dramatic rocks and cliffs.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula

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

West Iceland

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.

Day 14
The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is the perfect place to gather strength after a long and eventful adventure.

Departure

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. 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.

Map

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.

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, 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.

Super Budget 2WD

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.

Budget 2WD

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.

Budget 4x4

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.

Comfort 4x4

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.

Luxury 4x4

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.

Van

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.

Meals

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.

Cancellation Insurance

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 info@guidetoiceland.is and declare full cancellation. COVID-19 Related Cancellations If you need to cancel your booking due to COVID-19 related reasons, the cancellation insurance provides further protection for your booking. If you purchase a self-drive tour or guided tour package along with the cancellation insurance, you will also get a full refund. If you test positive on arrival, to get the full refund after arrival, please email us at info@guidetoiceland.is with your booking details and your test result within 4 hours after you receive the test result. If your flight gets cancelled due to COVID, to get the full refund, please email us at info@guidetoiceland.is with your booking details and your flight cancellation confirmation prior to your scheduled flight departure time. 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.

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