Express 7 Day Summer Self Drive Tour of Iceland’s Best Attractions with Waterfalls and Glacier Hike

The Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon in the South East of Iceland.
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Tour starts
Keflavík Airport
Starting time
7 days
Ending place
Keflavík Airport
May. - Oct.
Ending time
Minimum age


Encircle Iceland and witness all of its most spectacular attractions with this 7-day summer self-drive. This itinerary should not be missed by those who want to immerse themselves in the breathtaking landscapes this country has to offer at their own pace and on their own terms.

Traveling clockwise around the island, against the flow of the regular tourist crowds, you'll have endless opportunities to marvel over the diverse beauty of Iceland - hot springs, volcanoes, glaciers, glacier lagoons, and fascinating geological features are all on your agenda. 

You'll have plenty of time to explore the most famous sites, such as those across the East Fjords, the Golden Circle, and the magnificent North. You will receive a detailed itinerary after booking, and you can choose to visit spectacular hidden gems far from any other guests.

As this is a self-drive tour, you get to spend every day exactly as you like, tailoring your experience to the desires of your group. Those fascinated by culture and folklore will find plenty of mystical sites and villages around the Ring Road. Those with a passion for wildlife will be able to look out for puffins, seals, and even reindeer. And those seeking relaxation will find hot springs throughout their journey.

The only obligations you have to meet are reaching your countryside hotels each evening and meeting your guides for any tours you add on while booking. There are plenty of unique and exciting adventures to be had as you travel, such as lava caving, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and snorkeling.

As this is a summer tour, you will be able to start your sightseeing early and finish late due to the fact that the sun never sets in Iceland during this season. Considering the freedom of this package, you can thus spend much of your time exploring after most have retired beneath the light of the Midnight Sun.

After booking your tour, all the details will be organized for you, allowing you to enjoy the build-up to your epic road trip around Iceland without stress.

Don't miss this incredible 7-day summer self-drive to see the best attractions in Iceland. Check availability by choosing a date and book your Iceland adventure.

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6 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included. More details below)
Vehicle for 7 days (Toyota Aygo or similar. Upgrades available)
CDW insurance for super budget level vehicle; other levels include gravel protection insurance
Free Wi-Fi in vehicle
Detailed Itinerary
Personal travel agent


Glacier Hiking
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Boat Trip
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Bird watching
Self drive

Daily itinerary

Day 1
The Grotta Lighthouse in Reykjavik looking out to a sunset.

Day 1 - Your Adventure Begins

You will start your holiday once you land at Keflavik International Airport. After passing through customs, you'll find your rental car waiting.

To get to your hotel in Reykjavík, you will drive for 40 minutes or so along the spectacular Reykjanes Peninsula. With its conic volcanoes, lunar landscapes, and geothermal springs, however, you may want to make several detours for a wonderful introduction to Iceland's stark nature.

If you elect to do so while booking, you can also head to the most famous site on the peninsula, the luxurious Blue Lagoon spa. Its deep blue waters are said to have many healing qualities, and there are few better ways to unwind after a flight than with a relaxing silica mask or sweating it out in a steam room or sauna.

You may, however, wish to focus on exploring Reykjavik. Iceland's capital has a thriving culture and picturesque beauty, with a wealth of attractions that boast appeal to all kinds of travelers.

Of course, as this is a self-drive tour, your freedom is unlimited. You are also welcome to explore some of the beautiful nature that surrounds the city.

You'll retire for your first night at a hotel in the capital.

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Day 2
A lava field in the West of Iceland.

Day 2 - From the West to the North

On day two of your week-long Icelandic holiday, you will depart Reykjavik and set out to explore west Iceland on your way to the north. You are welcome to take your time and detour to a wealth of cultural and natural attractions or beeline straight to your main destination, Akureyri, to explore the wonder better there.

Cultural sites in west Iceland include the villages of Borgarnes and Reykholt. The former is home to the Settlement Centre, where you can learn all about Iceland in its former days, as well as the country's best ice cream parlor.

The latter, meanwhile, was once home to Snorri Sturluson, a legendary writer, historian, and chieftain, whose medieval works and dramatic life you can learn about at a local museum.

In terms of natural attractions, your options are nearly endless. For example, the stunning fjord of Hvalfjordur holds one of the tallest waterfalls in the country, Glymur. Inland, you can find Europe's highest flowing hot spring Deildartunghver. The twin waterfalls of Barnafoss and Hraunfossar are also well worth a visit due to their dramatic contrasts and individual beauty.

Once you reach North Iceland, it is recommended to detour to the Vatnsnes Peninsula. This is Iceland's premier location for seal watching and is even home to the Icelandic Seal Centre in the charming village of Hvammstangi. You can also find the elephant-shaped monolith of Hvitserkur off the peninsula's coast.

Your hotel for the evening is in 'the Capital of the North', Akureyri. This charming town boasts many boutiques, restaurants, and bars, as well as some stunning architecture and a range of museums. It is also perfectly connected to a range of other attractions in North Iceland, such as the tiny fishing hamlets on the peninsulas to the north.

If you want to add some adventure to your sightseeing journey, four equally appealing tours are offered. When in west Iceland, for example, you are welcome to head to the winding lava cave of Vidgelmir, to explore its daunting yet beautiful depths. Alternatively, you could arrange for a monstrous super jeep to guide you up the slopes of Langjokull glacier to enter its ice tunnel.

This man-made cave into the ice cap is the only one of its kind in the world, making this a particularly unique opportunity.

In North Iceland, you could otherwise elect to take a horseback ride through the spectacular countryside outside of Akureyri. Icelandic horses are an intelligent and friendly breed, making this a great option for all travelers. Finally, you could head to the village of Dalvik to experience the unusual Beer Spa, where you can enjoy a pint as you bask in warm, young ale.

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Day 3
An image of the Geothermal North of Iceland.

Day 3 - The Geothermal North

On the third day of your week-long summer vacation to Iceland, you will explore the many wonders of the incredible north. Though, of course, you can seek out whatever attractions appeal to you, independently embarking on the ‘Diamond Circle’ sightseeing route is highly recommended due to the diversity and beauty of its sites.

This route focuses on the magnificent Lake Myvatn, a region of serene bodies of water, abundant flora and fauna, and spectacular geology. Rows of craters and incredible lava fortresses, such as Dimmuborgir, stand in stark contrast to the blooming colors of life that this area boasts.

Despite being such a verdant oasis, Myvatn is surrounded by dramatic, barren landscapes and features. Namaskard Pass is a perfect example, being a lifeless plateau littered with furious steam vents, belching out columns of volcanic poison.

En route to Myvatn, it is recommended to stop at another feature of the Diamond Circle, the beautiful and historic waterfall of Godafoss. Meanwhile, detouring north before Myvatn will take you to the serene village of Husavik, renowned for being one of the world’s best whale-watching locations.

The last sites of the Diamond Circle are a little further east. Dettifoss is a stark waterfall that pours into an ancient valley with more force than any other waterfalls in Europe. Asbyrgi, meanwhile, is a forested canyon formed into a perfect horseshoe shape and a paradise for hikers.

After you have explored the sites on your agenda for north Iceland, you will follow the Ring Road through the spectacular scenery of Vatnajokull National Park before reaching the largest town in East Iceland, Egilsstadir.

To break up your sightseeing, there are two incredible geothermal spas you have the choice of visiting today. The Myvatn Nature Baths have a wealth of facilities, and its waters boast a reputation for healing qualities akin to the Blue Lagoon. Meanwhile, the Vok Baths are immersed in a beautiful lake in East Iceland and provide the perfect place to end your day.

Your hotel for the night will be in Egilsstadir.

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Day 4
Eystrahorn Mountain in Iceland's East, photographed in winter.

Day 4 - The East Fjords

Day four of your week in Iceland will be spent traversing a region of Iceland very few guests to the country manage to reach: the remote and breathtaking East Fjords.

Though the Ring Road will take you winding around the magnificent bays, you are welcome to detour from Egilsstadir to witness some that are even further off-the-beaten-track, such as at the beautiful Borgarfjordur Eystri.

There are also some incredible attractions around the town you may want to check out before heading to the coast, such as Iceland's largest forest, Hallormstadasskogar, and the mysterious Lake Lagarfljot.

As you drive over mountain passes and on narrow coastal roads, you will no doubt be overwhelmed by the sheer majesty of this region. The sparkling bays, dramatic peaks, minuscule villages, and sparsity of other guests all add to its appeal. Furthermore, you will likely see an abundance of wildlife as you travel, with many seabirds nesting in the cliffs and seals on the beaches.

This is also the only part of Iceland where herds of wild reindeer roam free.

As you come to the end of the East Fjords, be sure to admire the striking mountains of Eystrahorn and Vestrahorn. You will retire after a breathtaking day of sightseeing at a hotel in the country's southeast.

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Day 5
Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon  located in the South of Iceland

Day 5 - The Magnificent South Coast of Iceland

On day five, you will travel across the magnificent South Coast, a region lined with countless sites of natural wonder. There could be no better introduction to this area than the first attraction, the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.

Located between one of the many tongues of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull, and the ocean, this lake is filled with breathtakingly beautiful icebergs. Colored vivid blues, gleaming whites, and streaked with black ash from past eruptions, many are as large as multistorey buildings.

To get a more intimate experience at this unbelievable place, you can take a boat tour into the lagoon, either on an amphibious vessel or a zodiac.

When the icebergs break up small enough to pass through a narrow channel to the sea, they wash onto the adjacent black sand shoreline. Nicknamed the Diamond Beach for the mesmerizing way they glitter, you are highly recommended to take a walk here before continuing along the South Coast.

The next site on the route is Skaftafell, a nature reserve with an abundance of attractions. Many hiking routes connect the sites, which include several glacier tongues and the famous waterfall of Svartifoss.

If you elect to do so while booking, you can enjoy a hike on one of the glacial outlets. Equipped in all safety gear necessary, you will ascend the beautiful Svinafellsjokull and marvel over its fascinating formations, plunging crevasses, and spectacular views.

The next major attraction you will come to on the South Coast is Reynisfjara. Another black sand beach, Reynisfjara is renowned for its haunting beauty, the power of its waves, and its coastal geology. Most notable are the twin sea stacks of Reynisdrangar, which legend says were created when two trolls, pulling a ship to shore, were caught in the sun.

Next to Reynisfjara is another incredible coastal site, the enormous rock arch of Dyrholaey. Though beautiful throughout the year, it is particularly worth visiting in summer because thousands of puffins nest in its rocks.

The final three major attractions of the South Coast are equally spectacular waterfalls. Skogafoss is the most powerful, falling from a 197 ft (60m) cliff in a spectacular cascade. Seljalandsfoss is just as tall but much more serene and has a path that fully encircles it.

Gljufrabui is unique because it is not visible from the Ring Road and is thus often overlooked. Pouring over a great boulder into a fairytale-like grotto, it requires a short walk through a narrow gorge to reach.

Your accommodation for the evening will be in the Selfoss region.

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Day 6
Gullfoss waterfall on the Golden Circle Tourist Route photographed in winter.

Day 6 - The Classic Golden Circle

The sixth day of your week in Iceland will be spent visiting the three spectacular sites that make the Golden Circle the country's most famous sightseeing route.

The first of these is Gullfoss, a two-tiered waterfall that boasts both awesome power and majestic beauty. It is also a monument to Iceland's environmental history, having been saved by the daughter of a local farmer from being turned into a power plant. In summer, walkways lead up to its lip, allowing you to feel the spray against your face.

Secondly is the Geysir Geothermal Area, home to the explosive Strokkur geyser. While waiting for the 5-10 minutes it takes for Strokkur to erupt, there are many hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pots to marvel over.

Finally, you will come to Thingvellir, one of Iceland's three National Parks. Framed between the edges of 2 clearly visible tectonic plates, this spectacular place has many trails leading to ravines, springs, forests, a small waterfall, and some of the country's most important historical sites.

As you travel around the Golden Circle, you can embark on one of two classic Icelandic adventures. The first of these is a snorkeling tour, which you can take within the crystal clear spring water of the Silfra ravine in Thingvellir National Park. Equipped with a drysuit, you will explore between the continents in an underwater world of vivid blue.

The second is a snowmobiling excursion; from the car park at Gullfoss, you will board a super jeep that will take you up the slopes of Langjokull glacier. Once on its gleaming surface, you will set off on an adrenaline-pumping adventure that will expose you to some spectacular views.

After following the Golden Circle trail and embarking on a thrilling tour, you can head straight to Reykjavik to explore Iceland's cultural capital. If you'd rather immerse yourself further in nature, there are a wealth of attractions around the sightseeing route that many guests overlook, such as Kerid crater lake and the Secret Lagoon.

You'll spend the final night of your week-long vacation in Iceland in Reykjavík.

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Day 7
The city reflected in the waters of Tjörnin Pond in downtown Reykjavik.

Day 7 - Departure Day

On the final day of your summer holiday in Iceland, you’ll need to return your car to Keflavik International Airport in good time to catch your flight. However, if you have a late departure, you can make the most of Reykjavik and enjoy its art, architecture, and wealth of attractions.

Otherwise, you can use the last hours with your vehicle to visit some of the beautiful natural attractions around the city. The Reykjanes Peninsula, Mount Esjan, and the Reykjadalur hot spring valley are all wonderful places that can all be explored in half a day.

If you could not visit the Blue Lagoon on the day you arrived, you can schedule it just before your departure. Considering how much action you packed into the last week, you’ll be grateful for the rejuvenating qualities of the healing waters and spa facilities.

We hope you enjoy your flight home and visit again soon!

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What to bring

Driver's License
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. 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.


See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary.

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.

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.


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, of maximum 2 years of age. Super Budget levels come with standard CDW insurance, while all other levels also include Gravel Protection (GP) insurance. Please note that off-road driving is illegal for all types of cars.

All levels come equipped with 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 (automatic) and Suzuki Vitara (manual), or similar. Comfortably fit up to 4 travelers 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.


A large 9-seater van such as a Mercedes Benz Vito (4WD manual, has highland capabilities and better suited for winter driving), or similar. Comfortable for 5 to 7 travelers. If seated full, luggage space is limited. The driver must be of 23 years of age or above.


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