Self Drive Tours in Iceland

When each turn of the road reveals a new miracle, you want to be in the driver's seat

icon_prices
Low Prices in Iceland
Best price guarantee
You will always find the best deals and prices on Guide to Iceland. We are certain that our marketplace will always provide you with the best possible prices at any given time. If you find a better price elsewhere, we will refund you the difference.
icon-tours
Largest Selection of Travel Services
Over 5,000 things to see and do
Guide to Iceland is the world's largest marketplace for Icelandic travel services. We offer more than 1,000 tours and packages that have been tried and tested for quality. Book with us to secure an authentic local experience and find the popular and unique attractions in Iceland.
icon_booking
Easy Booking & Cancellation
Personalised & flexible customer care
We follow the easiest booking and cancellation policies in Iceland. Add multiple services to your cart or book a package in a single checkout. You can book and cancel day tours and rental cars up to 24 hours before departure, or change your booking as often as you require.
icon_info
Most Popular Website about Iceland
An unrivalled source of information
Guide to Iceland is the world's most popular source of Iceland travel information. We provide you with more material about Iceland than any other website. Discover a wealth of unique articles and travel blogs; study up on local hints, tips and find insider knowledge. You can even read blogs by other travelers.

Iceland's best road trips

View our exclusive selection of the most popular itineraries in Iceland and take the first step towards the journey of a lifetime

Customer reviews

Read some first hand experiences of our tours

of

Self drive tours by season

Travel under the midnight sun in summer, or the northern lights in winter,
the choice is yours

Summer Self Drive Tours

33 tours available

Find summer tours
seasons

Winter Self Drive Tours

25 tours available

Find winter tours

Where would you like to go?

Be in control of your own time, and enjoy the freedom to choose the regions, attractions and activities you experience in Iceland

highlight_banner_image

The Ring Road

Travel the 1,332 km (828 mi) route that circles Iceland, and ensure that you don’t miss out on the very best natural features and activities this land has to offer. With stops at all major visitor attractions, lesser known sites and hidden gems, ring road self drive tours provide the perfect means to explore each of Iceland’s fantastic regions.

highlight_banner_image

South Iceland

Traverse South Iceland's entire coastline, where glacier rivers thunder through black sand deserts and fierce volcanoes rest under vast glacier expanses. See the majestic Seljalandsfoss and the mighty Skógafoss waterfalls, walk Reynisfjara black sand beach, visit Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and explore the electric-blue ice caves of Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier.

highlight_banner_image

West Iceland

Explore a region characterised by picturesque fjords, sweeping mountain horizons and sleeping volcanoes. Visit the hauntingly beautiful Westfjords and the mystical Snæfellsnes peninsula, see Snæfellsjökull glacier and Mt. Kirkjufell, the most photographed mountain in Iceland.

highlight_banner_image

North Iceland

Discover a treasure trove of natural marvels and unique travel experiences in North Iceland. Visit Akureyri, the vibrant "Capital of the North", witness the force of Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, and enter the scenic wonderland surrounding Lake Mývatn where the Dimmuborgir lava fortresses and Námaskarð geothermal pass embody nature's unbound and raw volcanic power.

Explore Iceland on a budget

From economical rental cars to hostel accommodation, we are the number one provider of budget travel deals in Iceland

highlight_banner_image

Budget Self Drive Tours

Let us guide you on an affordable journey under the Arctic Circle         

Customise your self drive tour

Tell us which sights and attractions you would like to visit by checking the boxes below, and we will design a personal travel itinerary for you to follow throughout your Iceland journey

Let us know what you would like to see and do while travelling in Iceland

We will create a self drive tour that is tailored to your preferences

When you are satisfied, simply confirm and book your Iceland journey

Guide to Iceland

Gets you there

Frequently asked questions

About self drive tours in Iceland

Self drive tours are a convenient and cost-effective way to explore Iceland. Your accommodation, vehicle and excursions are all organised prior to arrival. You'll follow a personalised itinerary, prepared by local travel experts at Guide to Iceland This itinerary is designed to allow you to navigate Iceland's must-see attractions with ease. You can, of course, add extra tours and activities to your itinerary during the reservation process or at any stage by contacting your dedicated travel agent.

1. Can I change the dates of my self drive tour after I have booked?

Yes, it is possible to change your dates. Please be aware that any changes depend on availability and any changes may incur an additional charge. In particular, a 15% service fee may be added to the price of the entire booking if the process of putting your package together is already underway. We, therefore, highly recommend sticking to your scheduled dates if possible.

2. Can I book the activities and tours later?

We highly recommend that you book activities and tours at the same time as you book your self drive tour to avoid disappointment with activities being fully booked. However, it is possible to add extra activities later.

3. What happens if roads are closed due to weather or a natural disaster, and I can't reach my destination?

The good news is that the ring road in Iceland (the major road that circles the whole island) very rarely closes. If, however, other roads which are essential to your itinerary are closed, we will assist you with all the necessary arrangements and help you in any way possible. This is one of the major benefits of booking a self drive tour with Guide to Iceland.
If you are encountering any issues, please do reach out to our team via email on info@guidetoiceland.is.
Please note you can check road conditions at any time. Indeed, it is advised that you monitor your route before setting out. 

4. How and where do I pick up my car?

All the necessary information will be on your voucher. However, there are two possible scenarios: either a car rental representative will await you in the airport's arrivals hall, or you will board a free shuttle bus that will take you to the car rental office which is situated a very short distance from the airport. Be sure to check your voucher for further information.

5. I arrive late at night, will I be able to pick up my car?

Yes, you will be able to pick up and drop off your car at Keflavík International Airport at any time.

6. Do I need to be in possession of an international driver's licence?

Although an international driver's licence is preferred, it is not necessary. Instead, the information on the driver's licence must be written in the Latin/Roman alphabet. It is also essential that you carry the actual driver's license with you at all times. A driving license copy is not accepted.

7. Is there a maximum age for car rentals?

No, there are no maximum age requirements, but drivers must be at least 20 years old. All drivers must, of course, be in possession of a valid driver's license.

8. What are the minimum requirements to rent a car?

The minimum age limit in Iceland, however, is always set between 20 and 23 years old. Additionally, the driver must have held the driver's licence for at least one year. A credit card in the name of the driver must be provided at the time of car pick up (debit cards are not accepted). Be sure to contact your travel agent should you have any questions or concerns regarding this.

9. Is there unlimited mileage?

All self-drive tours include unlimited mileage. This allows you to really make the most of enjoying your road trip in Iceland.

10. I'm travelling with a small child, will I be provided with a baby car seat? Are there baby cribs in the hotels?

Yes, we happily provide travel services to families of all sizes. Please inform your travel agent about the age of the children, and all the necessary arrangements will be made prior to your arrival.

11. Can I add insurances to the rental car?

Yes, you can add any of the wide variety of insurance types that the car rental company offers. Contact your dedicated travel agent to inquire about your options and extra costs.

12. How long is the drive each day?

In general, the self drive tours are set so the actual time driving is approximately four hours per day. Occasionally it might go up to five hours, such as when driving in the Westfjords, where the roads can be narrow. Please note that these driving times are an estimate and may vary depending on weather and road conditions. This also does not take into account any stops made along the trip, and refers only to the actual time spent driving. 

13. Where do I go to see the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) are one of the most incredible natural phenomena in the world. You can see green, pink, blue or white colours dancing in the sky from anywhere in the country. 

In order to see the Northern Lights, you need a dark night, a clear sky, with no cloud cover or light pollution, and some Northern Lights activity. Activity levels are dictated by atmospheric conditions and solar wind. Peak Northern Lights season is between September and April, when the nights in Iceland are very dark and long. In summer, they cannot be seen due to the Midnight Sun and bright nights.

Before heading out northern lights hunting, it is a good idea to check the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s Aurora forecast and avoid areas with cloud cover.

For more information about the Aurora Borealis check out our article What Are the Northern Lights?

14. How can I rearrange my tour to new dates or make changes to my Self-Drive?

To make changes to your self drive tour, please contact your dedicated travel agent directly, or write to us at info@guidetoiceland.is. Please note it is not possible to make any changes within seven days of arrival. Furthermore, any rearrangements may result in significant changes to your itinerary (including accommodation and tours). Significant changes made to the original package may also be subject to a 15% fee on the total package price as a service charge. This is because the product may then be considered a tailored tour package. This charge does not apply if extra nights are added at the end or beginning of the self-drive package.

15. My tour was cancelled because of the weather. What should I do?

If there are weather cancellations, you're eligible for a full refund. Usually, this refund is automatically processed, and you will receive an email confirmation. You also have the option to reschedule the tour if you have availability to do so. If an email regarding this has not reached you within a day, please write to us at info@guidetoiceland.is, stating your booking number and the tour which was cancelled, and we will process your refund for you.

16. I missed my meet up with the guides. What can I do?

It is the responsibility of the traveller to be on time. No refunds are given for tours missed. If you expect to be late, please contact the tour operator and let your guides know. Their contact information is located on your voucher, and we would advise phoning them to ensure your message reaches the necessary guide. Depending on the tour, you might be able to meet up with the tour group at a stop along the way, however, this decision is taken at the discretion of the tour operator.

Why choose a self drive tour?

Visitors to Iceland will often undertake their holiday in one of two ways. The first method is to opt for a guided tour, allowing the guest to sit back and relax as the logistics of their holiday are worked out for them.

Self drive tours, however, provide far greater levels of flexibility, allowing guests to customise everything from the quality level of their room and board to their day-to-day itinerary.

Self drive tours, therefore, perfectly suit those who relish the opportunity for independent travel, longing for the freedom that only comes with taking to the road under one’s own initiative.

Awe-inspiring landscapes—from cascading waterfalls to glittering glacier lagoons, quintessential fishing villages and misty mountainscapes, volcanic black-sand beaches and steaming geothermal valleys—lie in the wait for in the self-governing traveller.

Driving in Iceland requires a basic understanding of the country’s road rules, as well as a keen awareness toward some of the more common hazards.

To begin, driving off-road in Iceland is strictly illegal and comes with large fines for those that are caught. Note that this is due to the fragility of Iceland’s natural environment, a fact tempered by the long periods of recovering time needed for the ecosystem to repair.

Also be aware that despite this country’s staggering beauty, it is important to stop your vehicle for sightseeing and photos at the safest possible opportunity rather than merely by the roadside. The most popular attractions in the country will usually have a designated car park.

It is the law that headlights must be turned on at all times while driving, and naturally, drink-driving and texting behind the wheel are both strictly prohibited.

In Iceland, vehicles navigate on the right side of the road, with the most popular route being Road Nr. 1, which circles the country. The vast majority of self drive tours will take you along this route, with diversions being made throughout in order to visit other attractions.

It is important to check weather conditions before taking to the road. This is for your own safety and also allows you plenty of time to pack any spare items you might otherwise have forgotten. For instance, despite the summer’s glorious climate, it is crucial to bring along sunglasses in order to protect your eyes from its glaring rays during summer self drive tours. Undertaking a winter self drive tour, on the other hand, demands a more thorough cache, with items such as scarves, hot coffee flasks and extra socks all taking an essential place in the boot of your car.

Also, be keenly aware that the weather in Iceland is notoriously temperamental, often switching from one extreme to the other within a matter of minutes. This can make planning rather difficult, especially whilst taking a multi-day trip across the country, and thus it is so important to stay alert, whenever you’re driving in Iceland. This also goes for the wildlife, particularly sheep, who enjoy licking salt from the roadside, hence constituting a driving hazard.