Reserve this 7-day, 6-night Northern Lights self-drive tour to see some of the best of West and South Iceland! During the day, you'll travel among the greatest attractions in Iceland, and you’ll spend your nights searching for Northern Lights.
This tour is for anyone who wants to visit as many beautiful locations as possible in a week in Iceland during the northern lights season.
Since you are behind the wheel, you can pick and choose where to go and what to do, and take as long as you like at each location.
On the itinerary are highlights such as the Golden Circle, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Along your route you'll be visiting all three national parks in Iceland, each with its own distinct beauty.
A visit to the Blue Lagoon spa is also included, and you can add other activities to your itinerary during the booking process. These activities are ice caving, snorkeling, glacier hiking and snowmobiling.
Ice caving inside a glacier is a rare and unique experience in Iceland. Each cave is verified by experts for accessibility to ensure your safety. The crystal blue ice caves are only available to view for a few months each year, from November until March, before they melt away with the spring sunshine.
Snorkeling is possible all year round in the clear waters of Silfra, by Þingvellir national park. It's cold, but don't worry - you'll get a drysuit to keep you warm!
Glacier hiking is an incredible experience, where you can feel a strong respect for the nature, and learn a great deal about the dangers that glaciers impose and that are imposed to them.
Or if it's adrenaline you're after, then don't miss out on speeding across a glacier in a snowmobile, whilst taking in some breathtaking views!
Finally, don't forget to look out for the auroras! The Northern Lights are only seen when it is dark, and where there are clear skies. As you'll be driving to different locations within Iceland for a duration of a whole week, you'll have a great chance of seeing these stunning, but elusive lights.
As a bonus, if you want to go somewhere off the beaten path and find yourself completely alone in the countryside, then make sure you check the customised itinerary that we send you, as we've added a few local favourites to it.
Don't miss out on this winter adventure. Check availability by choosing a date.
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa and is the single most popular attraction in Iceland.
The water is rich in silica and sulphur that helps make your skin shine like a baby. The Blue Lagoon also operates a Research and Development facility that helps find cures for skin ailments using the mineral-rich water.
The temperature in the bathing and swimming area is very comfortable, and averages 37–39 °C (98–102 °F). There´s a restaurant there and it´s a truly romantic and beautiful place one should not miss while in Iceland.
The Golden Circle is a 300 km route to the 3 most popular natural attractions in Iceland. The Golden Circle consists of Geysir, Gullfoss and Thingvellir.
See this for Golden circle tours.
Geysir is a geyser that gives its name to hot springs all over the world. But although Geysir itself is not active anymore the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur (spouting a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, regularly about 15-20 meters into the air), Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
The 'Golden Waterfall', is the second part of the Golden Circle, and one of the most beautiful and powerful waterfalls in Iceland, plummeting 32 meters into the river gorge of the popular rafting river Hvita. It is Iocated about 10 km from Geysir.
The largest attraction of the Golden Circle is Thingvellir National Park. The Icelandic parliament was founded there in 930 and remained until the year 1798.
Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important places to visit in Iceland, not just for its historical and cultural values, but for also its magnificent landscape.
Thingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain and volcano range and is the site of a rift valley, where the tectonic plates meet, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic ridge.
Of particular note at Thingvellir are the magnificent Almannagja gorge, and the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland. The popular Gjabakkahellir lava cave is also in the area.
The fissure Silfra is located by Thingvallavatn, Iceland's largest lake, and is famous for its clear waters and popular for diving and snorkeling, as you can literally swim between continents.
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the northernmost capital of a sovereign state in the world.
Despite a small population (120.000 and more than 200.000 in the Greater Reykjavik area), it is a vibrant city that draws an ever increasing number of visitors. It is the financial, cultural and governmental center of Iceland. It also has a reputation of being one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world.
The city of Reykjavik is located in southwest Iceland by the creek of the same name. Throughout the ages, the landscape has been shaped by glaciers, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and the area is geothermal. Much of the current city area area was subglacial during the Ice Age, with the glacier reaching as far as the Alftanes peninsula, while other areas lay under the sea. After the end of the ice age the land rose as the glaciers drifted away, and it began to take on its present form.
The coastline of Reykjavik is set with peninsulas, coves, straights and islands, most notably the island of Videy, and seabirds and whales frequent the shores. The mountain ring as seen from the shore is particularly beautiful. Mount Esja is the highest mountain in the vicinity of Reykjavik and lends its distinct feature to the whole area. This majestic mountain is also highly popular for climbing. Other notable mountains that can be seen from the seaside are Akrafjall and Skardsheidi and on clear days one may even see as far to the legendary Snaefellsjokull glacier, at the end of the Snafellsnes peninsula.
The largest river to run through the city is Ellidaa in Ellidaardalur valley, which is also one of Iceland‘s best rivers for salmon fishing.
There are no trains or trams in Iceland, but most people travel by car. The city also operates a bus system. There are two major harbours in town, the old harbour in the center and Sundahofn in the east. The domestic Reykjavik Airport is located at Vatnsmyrin, not far from the city center and close to Oskjuhlid and Perlan. The international Keflavik Airport at Midnesheidi heath then lies around 50 km from the city. Cars, jeeps and bicycles can be readily rented in the city and many organized tours are also being offered.
The local arts scene is strong in Iceland, with both annual events and single ones, many of whom have hit the international stage. For the annual ones please check our articles Best Annual Events in Iceland and the Top Ten Festivals in Iceland. Major events taking place in Reykjavik include the Iceland Airwaves, Gay Pride, RIFF (The Reykjavik International Film Festival), The Reykjavik Literature Festival, Cultural Night, the Reykjavik Arts Festival, Food & Fun, the Reykjavik Fashion Festival and the Sónar music festival.
Among famous people from Reykjavik are artists Bjork Gudmundsdottir, Sigur Ros, writers Halldor Laxness (born in Laugarvegur) and Arnaldur Indridason and mayor Jon Gnarr. For more well-known and fairly-well known Icelanders, check our article on the subject.
You might also want to check our article on some of the many things to see and do in Reykjavik, such as visiting the city‘s many museums, exhibitions and galleries, checking out live music, visiting the Harpa music hall or the theaters, visiting the lighthouse at Grotta, the main shopping street of Laugavegur, visiting the old harbour and the flea market, going on a bird- and whalewatching tour or visiting Videy island. We also have a top ten list of things to do.
Make sure to visit the publis square of Austurvollur, one of the city‘s most popular gathering places, where you‘ll also find the national parliament, Althingi, the state church a statue of independence hero Jon Sigurdson, as well as cafés, bars and restaurants. Austurvollur was central in the 2008 protests, along with Laekjargata, home to the House of Government. You are also not likely to miss the great church of Hallgrimskirkja that towers over the city from the hill of Skolavorduholt, wherefrom you‘ll get a great view of the city.
Try a walk by the city pond, greet the many birds that frequent the area and visit the city hall, stationed by its banks. The Hljomaskalagardur is a beautiful park that lies by the pond, it ideal for a nice walk and sometimes concerts get held there. Further off is the campus of the university of Iceland, the Nordic house and the Vatnsmyri wetland, a particularly pleasant place, but be mindful of not disturbing the wildlife there and keep to the pathways.
For a nice swim on a warm day, we particularly recommend Nautholsvik beach.
Visit the Laugardalur valley, home to one of the city‘s best swimming pools, as well as the Asmundarsafn gallery, a beautiful botanical garden and a domestic zoo. A walk by the Aegissida beach, with it‘s old fishing sheds, in the west part of Reykjavik also holds a particular charm. The aforementioned Elllidaardalur valley is also a popular resort.
Another place that offers one of the city‘s best (and free) views is Perlan, up in Oskjuhlid hill. The hill itself is a popular resort, with over 176.000 trees and great opportunities for walking and cycling.
Travel to Alftanes to see the president‘s house at Bessastadir, which is also a historical site in it‘s own right, having been the educational center of Iceland for centuries. Nearby is a beautiful lava field, Galgahraun, well worth a visit, though there is currently an environmental struggle going on as to it‘s future state.
The city is furthermore a short drive from many of Iceland‘s major attractions, most famously the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon. In close vicinity you‘ll also find the Heidmork preservation area, a favorite pastime resort of the people of Reykjavik, as well as the Blue Mountains, one of Iceland‘s most beloved skiing venues.
Check our Best of Reykjavik guide further for tips on the best cheap things to do in Reykjavik, some of the best restaurants in the city, happy hours, the top ten value places to eat and our two articles on the famous Reykjavik nightlife; Nightlife in Reykjavik and Nightlife and mating.
Finally, we‘d like to stress that these are only some suggestions of the many things you might check out in Reykjavik. Whatever you choose to do, we hope you‘ll be able to make the most of your visit and we wish you a pleasant stay in our capital.
Jokulsarlon is a glacier lagoon in the south of Vatnajokull national park that is easily reached by the Ring Road.
Covered in thick glacial ice until the 1930’s when the glacier started retreating, the lagoon today measures 7 square miles (20 km2). More than 300 feet of ice still breaks away each year, reshaping the lagoon and filling it with icebergs - causing an alarmingly beautiful sight.
The water is freezing cold and contains a mixture of salt and freshwater giving it a blue-green color. There is plenty of fish and birdlife by the lagoon and the vast sand area of Breiðamerkursandur, and hundreds of seals stay there in winter.
Skogafoss is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls of the island with an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters.
This is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland for travelers to visit. It is located in South Iceland, not far from Skogar, which itself features a highly interesting regional museum. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall often produces a single or double rainbow on sunny days.
Seljalandsfoss in the river Seljalandsa in South Iceland is one of the most sought waterfalls in the country.
Seljalandsfoss has a narrow cascade but is one of Iceland's highest waterfalls, at 63 meters. The waterfall is highly picturesque and has the rare distinction that one can actually walk behind it.
Geysir is a famous hot spring in Haukadalur valley in South Iceland. Part of the ‘Golden Circle', Geysir gives its name to hot springs all over the world.
Though Geysir itself is hardly active anymore, the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur, which spouts a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, around 15-20 meters into the air, Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
North of Geysir are fumaroles, i.e. unlike the hot springs that emit hot water, only steam and gas emanate from these. You may be able to observe bright yellow stains at the fumaroles, this is native sulphur, which crystallizes from the steam. At the southern part of the geothermal area, called Thykkuhverir, you‘ll find various mud pots. Such mud pots are actually fumaroles that boil up through surface water/groundwater and may become steaming fumaroles during dry spells, rather than the usual boiling mud pots.
About 2 km from Geysir is an old preserved natural pool called Kúalaug. One can bathe in it and it has room for 3-5 people at a time, but care should be taken, as the area around the pool is very delicate. The temperature is 39-43°C, depending on how you are positioned in the pool. The water is slightly muddy, as the pool is built on soil, and the bottom is slippery due to algae, so caution is advised.
In Haukadalur there has also been tree planting in recent times and today the forest Haukadalsskógur is one of the largest in South Iceland. Aspen, various types of pine, and other plants have been tried out there and experiments and research continue. We also recommend visiting the tree museum, built in the memory of forester Gunnar Freysteinsson. There are good paths and roads in the forest and the wood is specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
Haukadalur has been a church site since ancient time. The current wooden church was last rebuilt in 1938 but the variety and appearance of the church dates back to 1842, making it one of the oldest of its kind in Iceland.
Haukadalur is indeed a historical place. It was settled during the age of settlement and scholar Ari “The Wise“ Thorgilsson grew up there. The first pastoral school in Iceland was also built there.
For accommodation, Hotel Gullfoss is about 7 km from the Geysir area, and closer still is the Hotel Geysir.
Gullfoss ('Golden Waterfall') in Hvita river is one of the most beautiful and beloved waterfalls in Iceland and forms a part of the famous Golden Circle along with Thingvellir National Park and the Geysir geothemal area.
This mighty waterfall cascades 32 meters into the river gorge and you'll be able to stand close enough to feel the waterspray on your face. Hvita itself should not be missed by any fan of rafting, as it is one of the most popular rafting rivers in Iceland.
The 120 meter high promontory Dyrholaey is the southernmost part of the mainland, only a short drive south of the Ring Road. It offers a breathtaking view and features spectacular outcrops and rock formations.
A notable attraction is the massive arch that the sea has eroded from the heartland, giving the island its name (‘dyr’=door’). One daredevil pilot even flew through it!
Dyrholaey has an abundance of birdlife, the most common being puffins and eider ducks. You can also enjoy the black beach, where the waves can provide an impressive sight. As these can be very wild, we do however advise uttermost caution.
Thingvellir is one of the most important sites to visit in Iceland for its landscape, history and cultural value.
The Icelandic parliament was founded in Thingvellir in 930 and remained there for centuries.Thingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range and is the site of a rift valley, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic range. Today it is a natural park, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and considered a vital part of the ‘Golden triangle’ (with Geysir and Gullfoss). Of particular note is the magnificent gorge Almannagja, which marks the eastern boundary of the north American plate and into which the beautiful waterfall Oxararfoss falls.
Other notable attractions within the park include the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, the Silfra fissure, one of the world's top dives, and Gjabakkahellir, one of Iceland's most interesting lava tubes.
Snaefellsnes is a large peninsula extending to the west from West Iceland ending with a national park, Snaefellsjokull National Park, where the glacier towers over the scenery, as can sometimes be seen from Reykjavik, lending its beauty to the area.
The peninsula stretches over 100 km to the west as a mountain ridge that includes active volcanoes and is unique in the variety of mountains found.
A few small and beautiful villages are located on the south side and a few fishing villages are on the north side: Rif, Hellissandur, Olafsvik, Grundarfjordur and Stykkisholmur. The last one is highly popular for travelers, featuring a volcano museum and a ferry that takes you across the fascinating Breidafjordur bay to Brjanslaekur on the south border of the Westfjords.
Other museums you might want to check out are the Maritime Museum at Hellissandur, the regional museum Pakkhusid at Olafsvik, and, last but not least, the shark museum at Bjarnarhofn, indeed listed as the nr. 1 Snafellsnes attraction by Lonely Planet Travelers. Also, many of the Icelandic sagas take place at Snaefellsnes.
Snaefellsnes has an abundance of interesting sights. At the national park, you can witness the impressive lava formations of Djupalonssandur creek and test your strength on its four stones, see the two massive lava formations that compries Londrangar, explore the Saxholl volcanic crater and enjoy the echo of 'The Singing Cave', Songhellir. You may also hike on the majestic Snaefellsjokull glacier. The glacier has strong ties with folklore and was the setting for Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Other sights we can recommend at Snaefellsnes recommend include Raudfeldsgja canyon, east of the national park and the rugged and colourful Berserkjahraun lava field, near Bjarnarhofn, on the north side of the peninsula.
Last, but not least, Snaefellsnes is one of the main setting for Laxdaela saga. Chieftain Snorri godi, Gudrun Osvifursdottir, Bolli Thorlakssson all lived there as well as his namesake Bolli Bollason, the first West Norse member of the Varangian guard, an elite unit of the Byzantine army. Iceland's most famous mass murderer, Axlar-Bjorn, also lived at Snaefellsnes.
Skaftafell is a nature preserve in Oraefasveit. It used to be a national park of its own but joined the larger Vatnajokull National Park in 2008.
Skaftafell is notable for its rich flora, growing between sands and glaciers, and overall for its amazing and contrasting scenery. You can take short and easy trails to the waterfalls Svartifoss and Hundafoss, as well as Skaftafell glacier, with the mountain Kristinartindar and Morsardalur valley further off.
Skaftafell is also the perfect base camp for those seeking to climb Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnukur.
The world-famous Reynisfjara shore, near the village Vik in Myrdalur on Iceland's South Coast, is widely regarded as the most impressive black-sand beach in Iceland.
To reach Reynisfjara you can either drive there yourself. Here you will find the largest and cheapest car rentals in Iceland. Or you can join this summer tour to the South coast, or this winter tour to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Reynisfjara is a black pebble beach and features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid, which is called Hálsanef. Out in the sea are the spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has a rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.
The waves at Reynisfjara are especially strong and unpredictable, and fatal accidents have occurred at this beach, so people are advised to take extra care when visiting the area.
According to folklore, two trolls attempted to drag a ship to land but were turned to stone as daylight broke, turning them into the Reynisdrangar stacks, clearly visible from the beach.
Hellnar is an old fishing village on the westernmost part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. It used to be one of the largest fishing stations of the peninsula, the oldest record of seafaring there being from 1560.
At the shore are spectacular rock formations. Among them is a protruding cliff called Valasnos. Tunneling into the cliff is a cave renowned for its changing colourful hues, according to the light and sea movement. Large colonies of birds also nest in the area.
At Gvendarbrunnar a.k.a. Mariulind you can taste excellent spring water which is said to have healing powers.
Hellnar hosts the guesthouse for Snaefellsnes National Park and has a very interesting exhibition about the economy of former times and on the geology, flora and fauna of the national park.
Arnarstapi is a village in the southern part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The area has several old and charming houses with interesting stories to them and is furthermore renowned for its beautiful nature.
The beach holds a particular attraction. It has an eroded circular stone arch, called Gatklettur, and three rifts, Hundagja,Midgja and Musagja. The interplay of spectacular waves and the light of the sun creates a fascinating spectacle. Large colonies of the arctic tern also nest in the area.
An old horse trail through the lava field Hellnahraun is highly popular for hiking, due to the impressiveness of the surrounding landscape.
Vik in Myrdalur valley is the southernmost village on the Icelandic mainland, located around 180 km from the capital Reykjavik.
Vik is important as a service center for the inhabitants and visitors of the marvellous Reynisfjara beach.
Reynisfjara is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches on earth (see for example Islands Magazine). This black pebble beach boasts an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns called Gardar, which resembles a rocky step pyramid and out in the sea are the spectaculary shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.
Starting time : Flexible
6 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)
Vehicle for 7 days (Toyota Rav4 4x4 SUV/Jeep or similar. Upgrades available)
CDW and SCDW insurance along gravel protection for car rental
Blue Lagoon standard entrance (upgrades available)
Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland
Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary
Ice caving tour (available between November and March)
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.
The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximise your chances to see them if weather allows. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.
It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is cancelled. If your chosen activity is cancelled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you. Please note that though the tour is available to book from September to May, the ice caves are only accessible from November to March each year.
Your car will await you at Keflavík International Airport with a user-friendly GPS system. From there, you can explore some of the Reykjanes Peninsula and go to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing soak in the geothermal waters. If your arrival flight is late in the evening, you can choose to visit the Blue Lagoon on your final day in Iceland rather than on this day. It is your choice!
When you have rejuvenated yourself, there is a short drive to reach downtown Reykjavik, where you can explore museums, famous landmarks and the numerous downtown cafés and restaurants.
You will spend your first night in Iceland in a hotel in downtown Reykjavik. If you're lucky, you might spot the Northern Lights on your first night from the city!
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.
The Centerhotel chain has six 3-4 star centrally located hotels in Reykjavík, with a short walk to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.
On your second day, you will explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula where you will find the picturesque stratovolcano Snæfellsjökull. This volcano is also a glacier and is famous for being the entryway to the center of the Earth in Jules Verne's famous novel Journey to the Center of the Earth.
It is also the center of the surrounding national park that's full of steep ocean cliffs, beautiful rock formations, narrow canyons, small trickling waterfalls, cute fishing villages and the beautiful Djúpalónssandur pebble beach.
Nearby is also the famous Kirkjufell mountain, a popular spot for photographers to try their hand at their craft. On a clear day, you have a view over Faxaflói bay all the way to Reykjavík from Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Watch out for the auroras tonight as you'll spend the night in an area suitable for aurora hunting.
You'll find your accommodation in a country hotel in the Snæfellsnes area tonight.
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.
Fosshotel Stykkishólmur is a 3 star hotel centrally located within the town Stykkishólmur. Spacious hotel with a view towards the bay. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.
On your third day, you will drive the popular must-see attraction in the nation: The Golden Circle.
The route includes the mighty Gullfoss Falls ("golden waterfall"), the Geysir geothermal area, where the geyser Strokkur erupts 20-40 m (65-131 ft) high every few minutes, and Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Your accommodation will be close to the Lake Laugavatn, where there is no light pollution and where the Aurora is often spotted. We recommend a visit to Laugavatn Fontana Spa, with a luxurious hot spring-heated sauna and baths!
Héraðsskólinn Boutique Hostel is centrally located within Laugarvatn village. Private rooms with private or shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.
Hotel Litli Geysir is a 3 star hotel located right across from Geysir geothermal area. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.
On your fourth day, you will head down to the south shore of Iceland. There, you will have a view of Eyjafjallajökull volcano and can visit two spectacular waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss.
Along the south shore of Iceland, you will also find black sandy beaches and the Reynisdrangar sea stacks. You will reach your accommodation near the village of Vík around dinner time.
At night, you can drive to many good locations close by to view the Northern Lights.
Puffin Hostel is centrally located in Vík. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms and a common lounge area. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.
Hotel Katla is a 3 star country hotel that's situated 5km to the east of Vík. Comfortable private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a hot tub and a sauna. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.
On your fifth day, the journey continues eastward towards the beautiful Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, in Vatnajökull National Park, which is Europe's largest nature reserve, containing Europe's largest glacier!
While journeying towards Vatnajökull, you will drive past the charming village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, the waterfall Foss á Síðu, Skaftafell Nature Reserve and some beautiful glacier tongues that crawl down narrow valleys. Glacier hiking is a possibility today, with a fully qualified guide to fill you in on the history of the glaciers as you make your way across the ice.
At the end of the day, you will spend the night in a countryside hotel near Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, which is popular among landscape photographers for extreme sightings of the northern lights and stunning vistas.
Gerði Guesthouse is located about 13km east of Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi in main building. Breakfast not included.
Hotel Höfn is a 3 star hotel centrally located within the town Höfn. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.
On your sixth day, you can choose to explore an ice cave by Vatnajökull National Park, before heading back to the capital city of Iceland. Ice caving tours begin in November and end in March and are very weather dependent. This activity needs to be booked well in advance but is very much worth your time and effort because the crystal clear blue ice is absolutely stunning!
In the afternoon, you will start your drive back through the south coast to reach Reykjavík before your departure the next day. You can take the time to stop at some of the places you didn't have much time for on your way to Jökulsárlón, such as a visit to Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon.
Spend your last night in the city center of Reykjavík, and remember to look up in the sky as it's your last night to spot the green, dancing auroras.
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.
The Centerhotel chain has six 3-4 star centrally located hotels in Reykjavík, with a short walk to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.
After some last minute shopping in Reykjavík's charming shops, drive to Keflavík International Airport where you will return the car in time for your departure flight. If you didn't go to the Blue Lagoon on your first day, then a visit to the Blue Lagoon can be arranged for today if your flight leaves in the late afternoon/evening.
After this best value trip, you will have seen some of the most amazing attractions in Iceland and hopefully the Northern Lights, as well. We hope you'll have many great memories to take back home.
Enjoy your flight and come back soon!
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Single person bookings will be arranged in a single room, while bookings of 2 or more people will share twin/double room(s) or triple room(s). Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available hotels and guesthouses 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. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. The sooner you reserve the higher quality accommodation we can provide. Press choose a date at the top to find availability.
Rooms with shared bathrooms in farmhouses, guesthouses or hostels, with good locations near the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.
Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.
Guide to Iceland has a wide selection of vehicles and seeks to provide you with the best available car from our preferred rental operators, who offer the highest quality vehicles and service to our guests. Our self-drive packages include a newer model, usually a maximum of 2 years old and equipped with a GPS and basic CDW insurance. See the categories of available vehicles below. We recommend a comfortable 4X4 as a minimal standard for winter traveling due to icy and challenging road conditions. In the booking process, you can also upgrade to an automatic model for free.
A medium sized jeep or SUV with 4WD (4x4) fit for most travel, and good for snow and off-asphalt travel, such as Toyota Rav4 or similar. This vehicle has basic highland capabilities.
Our trip was wonderful. The GPS and location guides provided were extremely helpful. Having email access to someone who had a great deal of experience was extremely valuable. We were able to see much more than we would have if we had planned this trip ourselves. The hotels varied in comfort, some rooms were small and had limited amenities, but the hotel staff were excellent and friendly. The 4 wheel drive rental was essential for safe driving in the winter.
Overall the itinerary was very good. We enjoyed our trip and would highly recommend this company to others. With that said, a couple small recommendations for improvements: The hotel we stayed at the first two nights (City Center Hotel) in Reykjavik is right next to a lot of loud bars. It's loud enough that the front desk has ear plugs available. I think that location might be great for some younger tourists, but we just wanted to get to sleep. It was hard. Also, the rental car agency made us wait at Keflavik for an hour for them to show up. They were supposed to be there to meet us (they had our flight number). I'm not sure why they weren't there or why they took so long to get there considering they're 5min away. This probably isn't G2I's fault, but just something I wanted to pass on to them anyway. Like I said, though, most of the trip was great. While weather was uncooperative at times, I think the itinerary was good (though I would recommend to anyone that you check it first, as some of the drive times might be long for some...but they will gladly alter). Unlike another reviewer, we didn't have a problem with any of the GPS coordinates except for one (Fosshotel Lind), which routed us a couple blocks away from the hotel to another Fosshotel. Not a big deal. The car worked out great and I feel like we saw a lot of Iceland with the great itinerary.
Iceland was incredible, and this tour is a great way to explore the country and its many wonders. The hotels were also perfect: very comfortable and cozy.
Amazing experience and trip in Iceland. Staff were very helpful and responsive in answering my numerous enquires. We are also thankful for the super comfy accommodations booked beforehand. All the hotels were very clean and quiet, the accompanying breakfast was really yummy too. Some issues we had with the accommodations were that one of the accommodation did not have curtains or blinds in the bathroom which was facing an open space (so anyone outside could see us showering, etc) and the gps coordinates given for another accommodation lead us to drive almost off a cliff as it was not accurate, and we couldn't really see the signage in the fog and darkness. The planned itinerary was very well designed, however it was too rushed for us to visit all the planned destinations, due to the inaccurate GPS coordinates. Keying in the destination address in the GPS usually comes up nought or gave us different directions from where we were to go, there were many a times where we had to make u-turns to get us back to the original location and we had to rely on Google map to direct us there instead. This resulted in us wasting quite a lot of time and the very precious daylight and not to mention petrol in reaching the final destinations. We felt that the self drive itinerary would be more suitable and possible to complete during the summer days. We only managed to see half of the planned itinerary. Furthermore, the weather was really bad during the 7 days we were there, it was always raining, foggy or cloudy. The only time we saw clear skies was on our last day back to the airport. As such, we didn't manage to see the famed northern lights at all, which made us rather disappointed. I guess we probably have to come back again to see it. Other than that, the glacier hike and ice caving were really amazing, we really enjoyed ourselves doing that and taking beautiful photos there. No words can describe how beautiful Iceland is, and we hope to come back again to visit the wonderous scenery and nature of Iceland and of course to hopefully see the Northern lights!!!
We had an amazing experience in Iceland. Hotels were good and all of them included breakfast, allthough we didn't expect them to. Out car was dropped of at the airport en returning the hired car was very easy. They just decided to pick it up at our last hotel. But the best thing of all was the itinerary which was sent to us and the amazingly quick reaction of the employee who helped us. Even on a sunday afternoon he responded within an hour to my first question. I can truly say he made it possible for me to have a carefree holiday. Although the extra 'Ice cave trip' we booked had been canceled we were satisfied about the way this was communicated. We received an e-mail on the day before with a warning it might get canceled and already an option to take a full refund. Thank you beautiful Iceland!
What an absolutely amazing place!!! Even with the limited amount of daylight hours, I was still able to manage seeing everything I had on my list each day! There is so much to see... Highly recommend exploring Iceland!!!
Great experience working with Guide to Iceland. I was impressed with all the hotels they booked us which were always in a prime location. Even though we went with the "budget" package all the hotels included breakfast which was very nice. A couple weeks before our trip we were sent a very detailed itinerary which was easy to follow. Booking through Guide to Iceland saved us a lot of headache since they did all the research and bookings ourselves.
It was overall a fascinating and overwhelming experience. Iceland is indeed gorgeously beautiful and a photographer's paradise. The itinerary is very helpful and easy to follow. It also saves us a lot of headache in researching the hotels, car rental, route planning, excursions and day tours. And all the hotels were great with strategic locations, charming rooms, friendly service and good breakfast and dinner options. All in all, it's a fuss free road trip without much planning. Many thanks to Sverrir for your prompt email response. Pity we didn't get to meet you in Iceland.
This was a great trip! It was a really well done itinerary giving us enough time to do everything we wanted without feeling rushed. We felt that we really got to see all of country. The accommodations were very nice and easy to get to. A couple of heads up, when at a park, travel the paths as far as you can. We found the most spectacular sights off the beaten path. Most of the hotels had really good restaurants but if there is a large tour group staying at the hotel check the menu for the evening, they may only offer a buffet with more limited choices. On occasion, our GPS had trouble finding our destination. My maps on my iPhone was really helpful in those instances. Lastly, be prepared to do lots of hiking! It is an exhilarating and breathtakingly beautiful country!
Overall, it had been a wonderful experience! The itinerary provided came handy and we were able to witness some of the most amazing sights in the world! Everything else went smoothly as well, and we were able to catch the northern lights for a couple of nights. Special thanks to Omar who was really helpful in assisting our requirements. We will definitely be back!
We had a great trip! Our questions were answered promptly and a lot of detail was given. The suggested itinerary filled the days nicely but still gave us room to add a few extra stops of our own in. The car rental company met us right at the airport. One thing we were disappointed/frustrated with was the lack of addresses on some of the locations/hotels. We were able to find them after stopping and calling to ask for more information though. It was a nice surprise that breakfast was included at most of the places we stayed, but it would have been nice to know that ahead of time, so that we didn't buy our own food. The country is beautiful and it was nice to have someone else take care of a lot of the details so that I didn't have to worry about it! I would definitely recommend booking through this company!
It was pretty well-planned itinerary. A destination after a destination was not too tight that we could actually explore some random places or take some time to rest. In addition, the hotel and car booking was quite conveniently done. Unfortunately we could not see the northern lights due to weather condition so I guess I will have to come back for that.
Overall, we had a really great trip. We decided to go a week and a half before, so I didn't have much time to plan and was thankful that all of the accommodations were made and key sights were somewhat plotted out for us. Our rental car reservation was messed up - I had asked for us to get the car at 00:30 on the day we arrived, but the reservation was made for 00:00 and the rental company had it marked down for the following day. We waited for an hour at the airport for our ride and ended up having to take a cab to our hotel and get the car 10 hours later. It made for a long, exhausting, and frustrating day of travel and we lost some time while we had to get the car, but the rental company was apologetic and reimbursed the cab so we were able to get on our way. I wish we had had time to more closely examine our itinerary before the trip (we didn't get the information until the day we were leaving, so I just had to print it quickly and go) but, again, I only book this shortly before the trip. I would have liked to look at all of the suggestions and incorporate more of the things that I found of interest on my own. Also, I would have liked to have been able to find better detail on some of the locations as the GPS coordinates did not always match up very well and we were sometimes left trying to cross-reference things between the itinerary, the travel guide book I had bought, and google while driving, so that was difficult. Even with all of those frustrations, Iceland is amazing and Guide to Iceland is a great company to work with to see it!
Overall everything was really nicely planned except for one day where the owner of the guesthouse did not fulfill the booking we made. The tour company has done their job well but the guesthouse (Nature Spa Guesthouse) did not do a good job at all we had to scramble to hunt for another place to stay in the middle of the night for 9ppl. Otherwise the itinerary was planned really well and accomadation planned for us was really strategic to catch the northern lights. The staff (Omar) was really helpful and prompt in handling our situation. Thank you for a wonderful trip :)
What a gorgeous country and a terrific experience! Everything went smoothly, from our car rental to hotels. The itinerary provided was helpful as a general guideline, but it is helpful to do some planning and research beforehand, since there are so many things to see! Fall weather was rainy and cold...we are already planning a return trip for midsummer to see areas not covered by this tour.
My husband and I booked this tour in december 2015. It was our 10 year wedding anniversary so we were very excited and wanted everything to be perfect. We notified them about that and they went the extra mile to make everything great for us. They even included a lobster dinner for one night without charging us anything extra. We thought that was very sweet of them. Our service agent Unur was really nice and responsive and answered all our questions patiently. We really appreciate your help in making this such a nice and trip. We hope we can repay you when you visit us in the USA.
Absolutely awesome adventure. The weather was stormy to begin with which made it even more exciting. The car has good winter tyres with nails so driving is not hard as you can imagine. The last night it cleared up so we also got to see the northern lights. This tour is definitely one of the best adventures I have experienced in my life. If you have the time and budget you should do it too.
Incredible trip with stops at beautiful attractions. The travel plan I got from Guide to Iceland was well set up and easy to understand. The accommodations were great and so was the car, which had sturdy winter tyres. Can highly recommend this tour.
If you are comfortable at driving in snow and ice then this is a pretty exciting winter tour. We were hit with a snow blizzard in one of the days and had to drive at the speed of 20km per hour. Before we knew it the lights were out and it was pitch dark (the sun really does not like to stay up long in Iceland during winter). Fortunately, we also saw the northern lights and one of the nights it was so strong that it was incredible (just remembering it gives me the goosebumps). The ice cave tour was also a lot of fun. The cave was pretty and the ride on the monster truck to the get there was fun. Hotels were fine compared to what I had read about hotels in Iceland. Overall this is a very good memory and worth the penny.
We had a wonderful trip to Iceland! The itinerary that Guide to Iceland setup for us was wonderful, and we had no issues or snags with our car or hotels. We were unable to do the Ice Caving excursion due to the caves not yet being formed, but we dropped by the Guide to Iceland office in Reykjavik and were setup with a Glacier Hike and Ice Climbing excursion, which was a highlight of the trip!!! With this tour, we got to see so much of South Iceland, which was wonderful. We had an especially beautiful drive through Snæfellsjökull National Park on a blue sky day. It was breathtaking! The Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon was a highlight as well, and we enjoyed encountering both country and city alike on this tour. We felt that we got a real taste of Iceland, not just Reykjavik (which was wonderful, too!). We got to see the lights a little for a few nights, so I feel that I only got a taste and will come back during a time when the lights are more active. (We went in mid-October.)
This tour was all around awesome! We managed to see the northern lights for 5 nights of our stay in Iceland. We were told this was unusual so we I guess we were lucky. We also chose to add the ice cave tour.... which was amazing! I highly recommend you add that too, it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and was worth every krona. The car and accommodation was perfect, so I can highly recommend this trip. It can be a bit tough though to find good restaurants outside of Reykjavik but the staff at Guide to Iceland were very quick to answer our questions and give us good recommendations. Next time when we return to Iceland we´ll surely book with them again. Thank you Ingolfur, Olafur and everyone else!
The tour was great! The sites on the itinerary were better than we hoped for, and the hotels were all so unique and we had no issues with them. Dealing with the Guide to Iceland team was a real pleasure and they were extremely helpful and pleasant in suggesting additional activities, outside of the tour. We only managed to see the Northern Lights for a few minutes 1 night, but that was fine with us, as the rest of the country is spectacular! I look forward to dealing with them again when I book my next trip next summer. Thanks Ingolfur and team!
Very good tour.The car is good,and accommodation are very comfortable.Icecave is worth going.We are lucky enough to see the north light,we will back to Iceland!
Had a great time in Iceland! Very beautiful location and itinerary had various great attractions. Slight problems with the GPS being able to locate our lodgings and address input -- hope this will be fixed for future travelers. Unfortunately I didn't end up seeing the Aurora because of weather conditions (cloudiness + rain/hail/snow on certain days), but overall a fun time.
With only a couple of weeks notice Guide to Iceland was a big help in getting this itinerary planned and we ended up having a great trip. Their staff was overall very helpful although it was a little stressful when they dragged their feet confirming our itinerary. We had a minor hiccup on our first day when our rental car company didn’t show up to pick us up which cost us a few hours and some amount of stress, but Guide to Iceland did ultimately come through with a solution. In general the itinerary was pretty good as we got to see a lot of different parts of this beautiful country. Given the unpredictable weather though I feel like this itinerary has too many different stops on it, especially when you also consider that due to the short daylight hours in winter you are basically not actually seeing any of the towns you visit outside of Reykjavik because it is dark before you arrive and doesn’t get light before you have to leave on the next day’s itinerary. With this itinerary you are effectively paying a significant premium to have Guide to Iceland book hotels for you, so if you have the time I would recommend trying to book this on your own and you can save a lot of money.