5 Day Self Drive Tour | Northern Lights Holiday by Lake Myvatn

5 Day Self Drive Tour | Northern Lights Holiday by Lake Myvatn
When the northern lights appear in Iceland's winter sky, it is essential to have a camera at the ready.
Although the northern lights are best viewed away from light-pollution, they can often but on a strong display above human settlements.
Námaskarð pass is a geothermal wonder of boiling sulphuric mud springs and steam vents by Lake Mývatn.
The northern lights mirrored in the frozen surface of Lake Mývatn in North Iceland.
Lake Mývatn is one of the four main stops on the Diamond Circle sightseeing route.
Mt. Hverfjall is a tephra cone tuff ring volcano by Lake Mývatn.
Based on 1 traveller reviews

Take the wheel on this 5-day, 4-night Northern Lights journey of North Iceland in the beautiful Lake Mývatn area. This tour is for anyone who wants to explore geothermal areas and peculiar rock formations, combined with the unforgettable sight of the Northern Lights in the night sky. In wintertime the north of Iceland is less visited than the south, so you'll likely find yourself being one of few visitors of the stunning surroundings.

You’ll be picked up at Keflavík International Airport and taken to Reykjavík for a cross-country flight to Akureyri at the Reykjavík Domestic Airport. Once in Akureyri, collect your rental car and begin your adventure.

Mývatn is a lovely lake in North Iceland set with many small islands, some of which are pseudo-craters formed by steam explosions. In the winter it is awe-inspiring, covered in a sparkling coat of snow, snowflakes filling the craters and making icy patterns at the edge of the water.

There are other attractions nearby, including the dramatic lava area of Dimmuborgir. Dimmuborgir is composed of volcanic caves and rock formations reminiscent of an ancient and collapsed citadel. You can hike to the rim of Hverfjall, a tephra cone volcano, to the east of Lake Mývatn. A little further is the geothermal area of Námaskarð, and the jaw-dropping Dettifoss waterfall isn't far away either.

As for the Northern Lights, dancing and blazing through the sky, they are one of the most spectacular natural phenomena to be found. On a self-drive tour, you can get as far away from the lights and noise of the city as you like!

Clear, dark skies and favourable atmospheric conditions increase your chances of being able to see them, although the Northern Lights cannot be guaranteed.

Take this opportunity to see Lake Mývatn and the glorious Northern Lights! Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Sep. - Mar.
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Activities: Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Hot Spring Bathing, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: North Iceland, West Iceland , Reykjavík, Akureyri, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Húsavík, Ásbyrgi, Goðafoss, Dettifoss, Reykjanes, Jökulsárgljúfur, Hallgrímskirkja, Skútustaðagígar, Grjótagjá, Námafjall Geothermal Area, Reykjavík Airport, Keflavik International Airport, Mývatn Nature Baths, Námaskarð, Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible.

A Private transfer will be waiting for you at the international airport.
  • Airport transfer on arrival from Keflavik International to Reykjavík Domestic Airport

  • Return flights to Akureyri from Reykjavík Domestic Airport

  • 4 nights of accommodation with private facilities and continental breakfast

  • Airport transfer on arrival/departure

  • Vehicle for 4 days (4x4 Jeep/SUV. Kia Sorento or similar)

  • CDW, SCDW and gravel protection insurance for vehicle

  • GPS System

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

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

  • Lunch

  • Dinner

  • Gas

What to bring:
  • Warm Clothes

  • Camera

  • Drivers Licence

  • Winter hiking shoes

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.

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.

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.

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival and Flight to Akureyri

Travel to Iceland during winter and see the Northern Lights spiralling in the sky above you.

A private transfer will be waiting for you at the Keflavík International Airport and will take you to the domestic airport in Reykjavík. After a 30-minute flight, you will arrive at the capital of the north, Akureyri, where you will pick up a car from the airport. From there, you will drive to your accommodation in the town centre.

If the Northern Lights forecast is good, you can head outside of town to hunt for them, or if the skies are cloudy you can sample some of Akureyri's nightlife.

Day 2 - Lake Myvatn and the Dark Cities

Námaskarð pass is a geothermal area of stunning beauty by Lake Mývatn in North Iceland.

Today, you'll drive to the Lake Mývatn area. On the way make sure to stop at Goðafoss waterfall, the waterfall of the Gods.

The area around Lake Mývatn is known for its geothermal landscapes, including the Námaskarð Pass, the Skútustaðagígar pseudo-craters, the Dimmuborgir lava formations and Mt. Krafla, one of Iceland’s most visited volcanoes that last erupted in 1984.

You can also visit Grjótagjá, a hot spring hidden inside a lava cave, one of many caves to be found within the lava field besides the lake.

Later on, you can choose to take a dip in the soothing geothermal waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths: the perfect way to relax after a full day of sightseeing.

Spend the night in the Lake Mývatn area and don't forget to search the skies for some aurora activity.

Day 3 - Another Day in Lake Mývatn

The magnificent Dettifoss waterfall in North Iceland.

Use your third day in Iceland to explore a little more of Lake Mývatn and its unique surroundings. It is highly recommended to take a drive to the Jökulsárgljúfur part of Vatnajökull National Park for a visit to Ásbyrgi canyon and Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Dettifoss was used in the opening scene in the sci-fi film Prometheus, and it's not hard to imagine that this powerful waterfall in the midst of the stark landscape belongs to an alien planet!

Another great option is to join a whale watching tour at the nearby village of Húsavík, renowned as the whale watching capital of Europe. Hunting for the Northern Lights is an option every evening, depending on weather and activity.

Tonight, you'll spend another night in the Lake Mývatn area.

Day 4 - Returning to Reykjavík

Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, is one of the world's top winter destinations.

Today, you'll return to the capital city, Reykjavík. Begin by driving back to Akureyri, where you will have a short wait before flying back to Reykjavík in the afternoon. Use the time to shop, stroll the town square, visit the town's swimming pool, admire art in the local art galleries, check out the impressive botanical garden or enjoy breakfast in one of Akureyri's cute cafés.

At the airport, you will get a private transfer to your accommodation in the city centre of Reykjavík, where you will have time to walk around the city and visit any of the many restaurants, galleries or museums which interest you.

Spend your final night in Reykjavík.

Day 5 - Farewell to Iceland & Departure

See Reykjavík city in the splendorous colours of winter time.

Your last day in Iceland! A private transfer will take you from the hotel to the international airport for your flight. We want to help you get to the airport on time with as little stress as possible!

If you have some time before your flight you can get to know the northernmost capital of the world: Visit Hallgrímskirkja church, stroll the colourful shopping streets, admire the architecture of Harpa Concert Hall, check out the flourishing street art, grab a cuppa at one of the cute cafés or try the fish of the day in one of the multiple restaurants.

After this great value tour of the north, you will hopefully have seen the Northern Lights dance in the skies above you - if you are lucky, more than once!

We hope your time in Iceland was as magical as the winter season can be! Have a great flight and come back soon.

Accommodation in Reykjavik

See our accommodation levels below. 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). If you are traveling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. For multi-day guided tours, accommodation cannot be upgraded and the levels below do not apply. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs.


Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels such as Fosshótel Barón, or quality guesthouses. Located in the city center or in close vicinity. Breakfast is included.

Car Model

Guide to Iceland has a great selection of vehicles and seek to provide you with the best available car from our preferred rental operators of great service quality. Due to increased demand for travel services in Iceland and low availability, travel companies in Iceland can not guarantee a specific brand of vehicles for self drive tours. The earlier you reserve the better flexibility we can provide. We offer a choice of manual or automatic transmission, and all our rental cars come equipped with a GPS system and basic CDW insurance. Below you can see the categories of vehicles we have on offer. We recommend a comfort 4X4 as a minimal standard for winter traveling due to icy and challenging road conditions. You are welcome to contact our travel adviser to add on more insurances and choose a specific car model for a customized upgrade.

Comfort 4X4

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.

Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person.

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.


Verified reviews

Average51 reviews
All ratings
Edit review
Loading best prices
Free pickup
No credit card fees
No booking fees