3 Day Winter Self Drive Tour | Jokulsarlon & Vatnajokull Glacier Ice Cave

Free pickup
No credit card fees
No booking fees
Duration
3 days
Difficulty
Easy
Free pickup
Keflavík International
8
Minimum age
8 years
Available
Oct. - Mar.

Jump in your car and make your way down the south coast, where you’ll meet your guide to enter a rare, wondrous ice cave in Vatnajökull National Park. This tour is for those want to explore an ice cave and the wonders of the south coast at their own pace.

Enjoy the splendid waterfalls and black sand beach along the south coast, all the way to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Diamond Beach.

You'll meet up with the glacier guide for the ice caving on your second day, hop in a heavy-duty Superjeep, and plow across the countryside to the ice cave. The ice here is around 1,000 years old. 

At night, go hunting for the Northern Lights. The area of the National Park is optimal due to its isolation and wide open spaces. You should be able to see the auroras, provided that the skies are clear and geomagnetic activity is high enough to cause this fascinating reaction that results in brilliant, dancing lights.

On your third day, you can explore the glacier lagoon, Jökulsárlón, before heading back to Reykjavík. It is one of the most popular spots in Iceland, so give yourself enough time to enjoy the serene beauty of the lagoon.

Iceland's pristine natural environment is its greatest treasure. These places are beautiful beyond measure, and it can be hard to appreciate among chattering sightseers and long lines. 

That's why we've included some lesser-known sites alongside the popular places in the tailor-made itinerary for this tour. You will be virtually alone in these locations so that you can enjoy the surroundings properly.

Don’t miss your chance for great value and extraordinary sights on this tour of Iceland. Check availability by choosing a date.

Included

Accommodation for 2 nights (breakfast included; upgrade available; more detailed info below)
Vehicle for 3 days (Dacia Duster or similar. Upgrades available)
CDW insurance for super budget level vehicle; other levels also include SCDW and gravel protection insurances
GPS system
Ice cave tour
Crampons and glacier gear for ice cave tour
Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland
Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary
Taxes

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Super Jeep
Sightseeing
Northern lights hunting
Ice Caving
Self drive

Attractions

Reykjavík
Jökulsárlón
Hvítá River
Vatnajökull
Skógafoss
Seljalandsfoss
Eyjafjallajökull
Dyrhólaey
Strokkur
Mýrdalsjökull
Skaftafell
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
Vík í Mýrdal
Svartifoss
Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Reynisdrangar
South Coast
Diamond Beach

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Drive the South Coast to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon on your winter self-drive tour, where you can see the Northern Lights dance in the evening sky.

The South Coast of Iceland

You can start either from your hotel in Reykjavik or Keflavik International Airport.

On your first day, you will drive down the south coast of Iceland to see all the famous waterfalls there and the black sand beach of Reynisfjara and the cliffs of Dyrhólaey. On your way you will pass magnificent waterfalls, the top two being Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. You will also have the chance to see the more elusive Gljúfrarbúi and Kvernufoss falls.

You will also pass the black sands of Sólheimar, in the dark shadow of the great Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano, and its big brother, Mýrdalsjökull glacier.

The drive to the glacier lagoon is in total about 6-10 hours, depending on how long you decide to stop at each of the attractions, which is the great thing about this self-drive tour. You choose how best to spend your time!

Keep your eyes open for auroras during the night - you'll be in a great location in the town of Höfn.

Day 2
On a winter self-drive tour, you can travel the South Coast to Vantajökull National Park where you can take a tour to an authentic ice cave.

Ice Cave Tour with Super Jeep Ride

You can choose between a few departure times for the ice cave tour, but we advise you to show up for the ice cave tour at least 15 minutes before your departure. You will reach the ice cave tour on a modified Superjeep, and while you're there, you will be able to enjoy the ice cave and surrounding area for more than an hour. Don't forget your hiking shoes!

The Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Diamond Beach are fantastic locations where to spend the rest of the day. You can admire the sunshine gleaming on the ancient ice that breaks off the glacier and makes its way to the lagoon, take pictures of the seals and gulls that play in the area or just take a stroll.

Leave some free time in the late evening for Northern Lights hunting; if there's a clear sky you may see a good display!

You will spend another night in Höfn.

Day 3
Discover the many hiking trails and tracks at Skaftafell Nature Reserve on your winter self-drive tour.

Skaftafell Nature Reserve - South Coast Attractions

Today, you have an optional extra activity in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve, where you can go on a glacier hike on an outlet glacier of the Vatnajökull ice cap. The hike is not very demanding but rewards you with spectacular views, and incredible chance to experience the ice up close in the company of seasoned glacier guides.

Driving back along the south coast of Iceland, you're sure to discover plenty of great attractions that you didn't see on your way to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. You can choose to take a small detour and visit the geothermal areas to the north, or one of the little fishing villages down by the coast, where small seafood restaurants offer the catch of the day. 

At night, when you're back in Reykjavík you can drop your car off at your hotel, or even at the airport in the morning.

Map

What to bring

Warm clothing and outerwear suited to rainy or chilly weather
Winter hiking shoes

Good to know

This self-drive is set to take place at wintertime. Conditions in Iceland can vary greatly during that season; snow and ice are commonplace, and Iceland has limited daylight hours. We strongly recommend that if you book this tour, you'll opt for a 4WD (4x4) vehicle if you do not have much experience driving in these conditions. If you feel insecure about driving in winter conditions, we recommend a package tour instead.

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. 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.

Note that Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the wintertime. We recommend you bring shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers. The covers can be purchased in most supermarkets and gas stations around the country.

If you book the extra activities alongside this tour, you will get them at a lower price.

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. 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.

Comfort

Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.

Quality

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.

Car

Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour. All our vehicles are new or current models, maximum 2 years of age, and include standard Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), 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. In wintertime, all cars have winter tyres.

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. 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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