3-Day Summer Self-Drive Tour | Golden Circle & South Coast to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

3-Day Summer Self-Drive Tour | Golden Circle & South Coast to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Drive the most popular tourist routes in Iceland on this three day summer self-drive.
You can walk around the stunning Seljalandsfoss waterfall, but nearby you can discover Gljúfrabúi waterfall inside a cave!
Brúarfoss waterfall is a short detour from the famous Golden Circle.
Iceland is covered in purple lupine fields in June each year.
Puffins can be seen in Iceland between mid April and until mid August.
Much of Iceland's nature is covered with thick, but fragile, moss.
Based on 2 traveller reviews

Explore Iceland's top destinations in your own time by driving along the gorgeous South Coast and the famous Golden Circle. This 3-day self-drive is the perfect stopover for those who want to steer clear of group tours and be in charge of their holiday while appreciating all the best that Iceland's nature has got to offer.

As you can choose whether you start from Keflavík airport or the capital Reykjavík, you can make this a short stopover in its own right, or a part of a longer holiday in Iceland.

The Golden Circle and the South Coast are jam-packed with beautiful attractions, both well-known ones as well as hidden secrets. How long you want to spend exploring each location is entirely up to you, and with the long summer days, you can keep going far into the evening.

Upon booking, you'll receive a personal itinerary with a suggested route made by a local travel planner which includes both the famous sites as well as some lesser-known gems, tucked away from the more popular attractions. 

You also have multiple options on how to tailor-make this trip for you and your party. So besides admiring the stunning waterfalls Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, the geothermal area of Geysir and the breathtaking Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, you can choose to snorkel in crystal clear waters, jet across a glacier in a snowmobile, go glacier hiking, explore an ice cave or get acquainted with Iceland's famous horses.

To make the deal even sweeter, we have added a flat discount to all activities added upon the time of booking. This means that all the activities we offer with this self-drive, you can experience at a discounted price if you book them at the same time you book your self-drive and make your holiday in Iceland that much more adventurous and magical.

Other attractions you can expect to see are the pitch black sands of Reynisfjara beach, which is in contrast with the sharp white ice of Iceland's glaciers; the gleaming icebergs of the Diamond Beach as well as some of Iceland's adorable inhabitants, such as the puffins and seals.

Set your own pace and add on exciting activities of your own choice with this 3-day summer self-drive tour.  Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Apr. - Oct.
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkelling, Snowmobile, Horse Riding, Sightseeing, Hot Spring Bathing, Bird watching, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Golden Circle, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Dyrhólaey, Þingvellir, Strokkur, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Silfra, Höfn, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Vík í Mýrdal, Svartifoss, Hvolsvöllur, Fjaðrárgljúfur, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Reynisdrangar, Haukadalur, Seljavallalaug, South Coast, Diamond Beach
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible.

Please consult your itinerary for further information

  • Accommodation for 2 nights (different levels available; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 3 days (Hyundai i10 or similar. Upgrades available)

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

  • GPS system

  • Car collected at airport / Hotel pick up

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

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

  • Optional excursions

  • Meals

  • Fuel

  • Accommodations in Reykjavík

  • Flights

What to bring:
  • Warm clothing and outerwear suited to rainy or chilly weather

  • Good shoes

  • Swimsuit and towel

  • Camera

  • Driver's license

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.

Some optional activities might need either a valid driver's license, or you might need to send additional information to your travel planner. Please note that you might need to present medical documents should you choose to go snorkelling or diving.

Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing.

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - The Golden Circle

Geysir geothermal area on the Golden Circle.

On arrival at Keflavík international airport, you will pick up your rental car or, if you are already staying in Reykjavík, you can choose to pick your car up there.

Today you will be driving Iceland's famous Golden Circle, where you will stop at Þingvellir National Park for a stroll, admire the spouting geyser Strokkur at Geysir geothermal area, and stand in awe in front of the plummeting Gullfoss waterfall. 

There are several other attractions in the area worth visiting before reaching your accommodation for the evening in Hvolsvöllur. You can check out the small towns of Skálholt and Flúðir, and you also have several options for additional activities this day, including a snowmobile ride at Langjökull glacier, snorkelling at Silfra ravine at Þingvellir National Park, or going on a 2-hour horseback riding tour in the charming Icelandic countryside.

You're in charge, so it's your choice how to spend the day!

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.

Hvolsvöllur Comfort

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 is included.

Hvolsvöllur Quality

Hotel Rangá is a 4-star hotel situated between the towns Hella and Hvolsvöllur. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Views towards Rangá river or Hekla volcano. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 2 - South Coast Attractions to Jokulsarlon

Icebergs are found on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon all year round.

After a good night's sleep, you'll carry on exploring the wonders of what Iceland's South Coast has to offer. Numerous waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, volcanoes and gorgeous views in all directions are what this day has in store for you, ending with the glittering and glistening icebergs floating on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the nearby Diamond Beach.

Perhaps you want to explore Seljalandsfoss waterfall from behind or hike up to the top of Skógafoss waterfall. You could also take a dip in Seljavallalaug pool, or admire the impressive, but dangerous, waves of the Atlantic crashing on shore at Reynisfjara black sand beach. Or maybe you want to walk to the remains of an airplane that crashed in the desolate black sands on the south shore - you surely won't be lacking options today!

There are even some optional icy add-on tours for today, including glacier hiking at Sólheimajökull glacier, snowmobiling across Mýrdalsjökull glacier or exploring the dark ice caves of Katla volcano.

You'll spend the night at the small town of Höfn, famous for its lobster restaurants.

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.

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Comfort

Hotel Höfn is a 3-star hotel centrally located in the town Höfn. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Quality

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is a 4-star hotel located right between Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Ocean or mountain views. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 3 - Heading Back

Dyrhólaey is the perfect location for bird watchers, and the puffin arrives in April.

It's come to the last day of your trip, and it's time to return to Reykjavík, or to Keflavík airport if you're flying back this evening.

Along the way, you can explore some of the same sights again, this time in different light and probably in different weather conditions than the previous day, but there are also a lot of attractions that you may have left out the previous day, such as the stunning Nature Reserve of Skaftafell.

If you so wish, you can choose to add on an exciting glacier hike on Iceland's largest glacier, Vatnajökull, that departs from this location. Alternatively, you can go on hikes in the lush area, for example to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall.

Other destinations you might want to make a stop at on the way back include Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon and Dyrhólaey promontory. Just make sure to give yourself plenty of time to drive back to Keflavík, if you are catching an evening flight, to return your car and check in. If you are staying in the city, you can return your vehicle at your hotel in Reykjavík or even at the airport the following day.


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. For budget and comfort levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room.

Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur.

Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies among locations and availability is highly limited. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level.

Please note that not all locations offer quality level accommodation. Comfort level accommodation will be arranged at those particular locations, which is reflected in the quality level upgrade price.

We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.

Super Budget

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


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.


Rooms with a private bathroom in a four star hotel or superior rooms in a quality three star hotel at the best locations in Iceland. Breakfast is included.


Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour. All our vehicles are new or current models. Super budget 2WD vehicles are maximum 5 years of age, and come equipped with a GPS and standard CDW insurance. Budget 2WD, Comfort 4x4 and Luxury 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 2WD

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 2WD

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.

Luxury 4x4

A large sized 4WD (4x4) jeep such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all travelling. This vehicle has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads. Note that off-road driving is illegal.

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.


Verified reviews

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We absolutely loved our trip to Iceland (3 nights, 4 days). When I first started looking at traveling to Iceland, I found it pretty overwhelming to figure out what to do in such a short amount of time. That’s when we decided to book with Guide to Iceland. They made everything so easy to follow. We loved the self-guided pace and being able to spend as much time as we wanted at each location. The country is naturally stunning. Each corner we took there was something beautiful to see. As an excursion, we booked the Black Ice Caves near Vik. Our tour guide was amazing! We had so much fun. I am pretty sure I said, “This is so cool” over 100 times. We highly recommend. The only hiccup we experienced was when we arrived at our hostel in Hofn. There was some miscommunication with our booking and only one bed was reserved. The owner set-up a cot in the linen closet for my sister which sucked but at least we had somewhere to sleep. Guide to Iceland, refunded us our nights stay and informed us as to their follow-up conversations with the Hostel. Overall, we fell in love with Iceland and would love to now see what the whole island has to offer.
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We did a self-drive tour. Overall it was well prepared. The itinerary should include information about travel time between sites or suggest that the customer calculate the travel time on their own (which I did). It should also make clear that the customer will likely need to further customize the itinerary along the way based on time spent at any particular site. The rental car was high quality and the car company had good service. The hotel near Höfn, Fosshotel Vatnajokull, was a very good 3-star, property. The hotel the second night, Hotel Keilir, was not good. Even though we should have stayed in a 3-star hotel, the Hotel Keilir in Reykjanesbær, barely qualifies as a 2-star. It did not provide the range of toiletries (soap, shampoo, etc.) of a 3-star. The windows were terribly dirty and in disrepair. The breakfast was meager.
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