Summer Self Drive Tours

Summer Self Drive Tours

Summer Self Drive tours allow visitors to travel at their own pace, enjoying the long daylight hours under the dazzling Midnight Sun. With vehicle rentals, activities and accommodation booked in advance, self drives are perfect for travellers looking to discover Iceland during the summer months.

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Karen Devaney

Karen Devaney

12/10/2018, 12:06
Review of Slow-Paced 10 Day Summer Self Drive Tour of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Golden Circle & South Coast

What a wonderful trip! Guide to Iceland is far and away the best travel company we have ever used. The pre-trip information we received was second to none and the many questions I asked before we left were answered promptly and informatively. The itinerary was extremely detailed, with lots of accurate information about each place we could choose to visit en route to each hotel. On our first evening in Reykjavik we popped into City Hall, as suggested, and met Francisco. We couldn’t have wished for a more helpful representative. Prior to leaving the UK we received an email informing us that our whale watching tour on day 2 on the Snæfellsnes peninsula was cancelled due to high winds. Francisco re-booked us on an early-morning whale-watching tour in Reykjavik so that we didn’t miss out and could continue with the rest of our itinerary, as planned. (This was actually an upgrade, but he did it at no extra cost – what great service!) Our hire car (Toyota Auris) from My Car was almost brand new. Unfortunately, insufficient time was allowed by them for us to land, clear passport control and get to the information desk for our pick up, so we had to wait an hour for the next one. Driving was very straightforward (although the gravel roads took a bit of getting used to!) and we were so glad we had chosen this slow-paced tour, allowing us plenty of time to enjoy the well-selected sights on our itinerary. We also found a few other unexpected gems along our route. The comfort hotels were all good and easy to find. Although this tour doesn’t cover the whole of Iceland, it gives you a very comprehensive experience of what Iceland has to offer. We saw so many natural wonders – volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, hot springs and bubbling mud pools, lava fields, black beaches, waterfalls … We agreed that it was impossible to choose just one highlight, but my husband was particularly struck by his first sight of a lava field and the amazing alien yet beautiful volcanic landscape. For me, the wet black sand covered in glistening “diamonds” and the sound of the crashing waves was truly magical and made a lasting impression. We descended 120m into a dormant volcano and had the unexpected and very moving experience of our guide, Hilmir, singing a beautiful Icelandic lament; we explored the longest lava tube in Iceland and chatted with the most passionate geologist who was happy to share his specialist knowledge and time with us; we experienced four seasons in one day; we bathed in a beautiful hot spring in the middle of nowhere – it was raining with a biting wind when we arrived, but sunny and sheltered when we got in; we walked along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and clearly saw the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates; we marvelled at the geyser gushing 30m into the air every 5-10 minutes and walked/climbed behind a mighty waterfall; we got close to giant icebergs from the great glacier on a thrilling rib ride; we saw seals and their pups basking on the rocks, and minke whales and dolphins in the sea, and it was amazing to see the gannets folding back their wings to plummet into the water like torpedoes … Thank you, Guide to Iceland, for organising our trip for us – we will always remember my husband’s 50th birthday celebration – it was very special.

James Howell

James Howell

01/10/2018, 11:09
Review of Best 1 Week Summer Self Drive Tour of the Ring Road of Iceland & Golden Circle

My wife and I did the self drive tour with the basic FWD car and the "comfort" hotel option. Our trip was in late September, which in retrospect is probably the ideal time to visit the island. Any later in the year and snowstorms will become more and more of a problem. We hit one snowstorm on our journey and it almost stopped us in our tracks for the day. We had a couple of good hotels on our journey, but most are what I would describe as "basic accommodation". A couple hotels more closely resembled college dorm rooms than actual hotels. Likewise, the food on a whole in Iceland is subpar and extremely expensive (which is not a fault to Guide to Iceland). Breakfast was included every morning for us, but we had to pay for lunch and dinner. We averaged about $115 USD per day for food for two people eating two modest meals. Food is literally two times as expensive in Iceland as it is in the US. Plan on this. None of that mattered though. We didn't go for the hotels or fancy food. The island itself is GORGEOUS and the trip was extremely well planned. We didn't have any trouble with any of our reservations and the daily itineraries were accurate and well laid out. This part is critical and could have ruined our trip if something wasn’t right. Everything was planned perfectly and Guide to Iceland did an amazing job here. As far as travel accommodations go, I would demand that your vehicle have mud/snow tires on them. Consider it a necessity. Our FWD vehicle did not have snow tires and we found ourselves in moderately dangerous situations at several points on the trip. Everything wound up fine, but having proper tires on the car would have helped a great deal. Overall we loved our trip. It wasn’t as much as relaxing vacation (we went to bed exhausted every night), but more so an “adventure trip”. You will absolutely stay busy and if you like outdoors adventure with beautiful landscapes; you’ll have the time of your life here.



01/10/2018, 09:38
Review of Best 1 Week Summer Self Drive Tour of the Ring Road of Iceland & Golden Circle

We did the self-drive tour with luxury 4WD and quality hotels in September. the weather was excellent, there was some rain but it didn't stop us from most of the attractions. the hotels were absolutely wonderful. in every question or problem, we contacted guide to Iceland and we received help. When we arrived at the airport the agent of "go car rental" was waiting for us, all the stuff that we ordered like the baby chair was in the car. The first day was awesome, with the blue lagoon comfort entrance, just a good time to relax before starting the tour. On the second day "the golden circle" it is just wonderful, the day is full of sights to see so I think there is no place for another attraction to add. in day 3 we had the zodiac tour in the glacier lagoon, I think this attraction is a must!! just amazing to get close to the glacier and hear an expert explanation, also the diamond beach is outstanding!! the only problem in this day is that we traveled to "hofn" (last destination) approximately 1 and a half hour drive and then came back to the glacier lagoon to sleep there (so there were about 3 hours of driving just to see hofn and back), but that is due to the fact that we asked for luxury hotels and there was none around hofn- and we must say the hotel was worth the drive back to the glacier lagoon. another unforgettable attraction was the lava cave tour. overall our experience was epic! and our registered guide in the guide to Iceland (Berenika) was always available in case we needed assistance and planned a wonderful plan to circle the country and have the best of Iceland.

Summer Driving in Iceland

The roads in Iceland are unique and full of contrasts; you can move through rich lowlands one moment and before you know it, be in winding mountains above the clouds.

The country’s vast and varied landscapes can often be driven through without encountering another soul, and most routes are well maintained and fun to drive.

The summer is a perfect time for this. Since the sun hardly sets, you can look forward to a considerable amount of flexibility from the extra hours of daylight, taking things at your own pace and not having to worry about the evening darkness preventing you from seeing Iceland’s wonders.

Booking your accommodation between tourist attractions also ensures that you have the option of visiting favourite sites outside of peak hours and beating the crowds.

Another perk of summer driving is that many remote parts of the country become accessible. The stunning beauty of the Westfjords and the majestic Highlands is a rare sight to behold, and the vibrant colours and contours of the Icelandic countryside make driving between destinations a sightseeing activity in itself. Mountains and waterfalls materialise on the horizon and disappear in the rearview mirror.

When composing Summer Self Drive Tours, we make the best of local knowledge so that, as you drive around Iceland, you can genuinely get a feeling for all the natural wonders and rich history the country has to offer. We know which cars are suitable for every journey and tailor each trip in a way that ensures that any extra excursions you would like to book can be quickly scheduled.

Take in all of the sights in the warm summer glow and drive yourself around Iceland without organisational worries and solely look forward to the open road.

Frequently asked questions

What is the weather like in Iceland during the summer?

Iceland's temperatures in summer can be as low as 41 F (5 C) but as warm as 77 F (25 C). On average, Iceland's weather in summer is between 50-59 F (10 to 15 C). Summers are not as wet as spring, but it does rain occasionally.

What are the daylight hours during the summer in Iceland?

At the height of summer in Iceland, there are 21 hours of daylight. The sun doesn't start setting until around 3-4 AM and rises around 6-7 AM. However, even during the period of time when the sun is not visible, the level of darkness only reaches a level similar to that of dusk. There is no true night darkness in Iceland between the months of June to August.

Do I need a 4x4 to drive the ring road during my summer self-drive tour in Iceland?

During the summers it is not necessary to have a four-wheeled drive vehicle to travel the Ring Road or other paved roads around the country. However, some roads in the countryside of Iceland are narrow gravel roads, marked as F-roads on maps, and for those, a four-wheeled drive vehicle is required.

Can I extend my stay in Reykjavik by one night at the end of my summer self-drive tour in Iceland?

Yes, once you have booked your trip, you will be allocated a dedicated travel agent who will help you to customize your trip in Iceland.

If I wish to extend my stay, when do I have to return the car to the airport?

For a small fee, your booking agent can extend your car rental agreement so you will return your car to the international airport on your departure day. It is also possible to arrange to drop-off your car rental in the city of Reykjavik, instead of at the airport.

Will I see the northern lights during my summer self-drive tour in Iceland?

The northern lights are not visible during the height of summer in Iceland. The earliest they can be seen is in mid-August, and the latest is at the end of April. However, the peak season is September to April. However, some summer self-drive tours are operational throughout September when the likelihood of seeing the aurora is greater.

I noticed that the car insurance is standard. Can I get a full coverage for my road trip in Iceland instead?

The car insurance package includes Collision Damage Waiver, Super Collision Damage Waiver and Gravel Protection as standard. This is the best coverage and the most limited liability payment option available. It is also possible to add Sand and Ash Protection, which is recommended if you intend to travel along the windy and sandy South Coast. Please contact your booking agent for further advice.

Can I change the activities on my road trip in Iceland after I’ve made the initial payment?

Yes, you can add or alter the activities after booking by contacting your travel agent. Because of high demand, however, it is highly recommended that you book your extras as far in advance as possible.

Is it safe to drive in Iceland during the summer?

Yes, as long as you follow traffic laws, Iceland is a very safe country to drive. The main roads, including the Ring Road, are paved and well maintained throughout the year. To be on the safe side, you can always check the road conditions before heading out on your journey.

Is it possible to book a 4, 5, or 6-day self-drive tour in Iceland instead?

The duration of our summer self-drive tours ranges from 3 to 14 days, while the duration of winter self-drive tours ranges from 2 to 12 days. Your assigned travel agent will fit your self-drive tour to your flights and time frame as well as possible. If you are planning to drive the Ring Road, we recommend at least 7 days to give yourself ample time to take in all the sights.

We are a group of 6 to 10 people. How many people can one vehicle accommodate for our summer self-drive tour in Iceland?

A seven-seater vehicle can be arranged, but you can also book two or more cars. If you wish to add more cars to your booking, simply contact your travel agent.

How long is the Ring Road and how are the road conditions during the summer in Iceland?

The Ring Road is around 1,300 km (800 mi) long, but the total distance you drive will depend on the specifics of your journey. The entire ring road is paved and easy to navigate. Road conditions in Iceland are generally good in the summer months, however, it is advisable to check the road conditions before setting out on your journey.

Is it possible to change my accommodations from hotels to Airbnb?

No, unfortunately, we do not offer Airbnb accommodation.

Are there any restrictions due to COVID-19 in Iceland?

Currently, there are no restrictions due to COVID-19 in Iceland. Businesses and attractions are open as normal so you can enjoy your self-drive tour in Iceland as you like. Of course, you are free to take any precautions you consider necessary such as wearing a mask or staying away from crowds.