Self drive tours are the most popular form of travel in Iceland

For the best and most complete vacation in Iceland drive the whole island yourself. Be sure to drive to see these attractions on (and off) Route 1 on your own voyage of discovery. 

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Understanding Iceland

Friendly Icelandic horses looking fierce

By the coast of Iceland lies Route 1 that goes all the way around the island, except the Westfjords and the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The ring road of Iceland can be driven with stops at many amazing attractions in just 7-9 days. Add 2-3 more days and you can also see the magnificent Westfjords.

Here you can find self drive tours and get help with planning your self drive trip in Iceland. Self drive tours include accommodation, car and a travel plan with a GPS system. You can also find attractions and everything around it with our travel guide.

Below are some self drive tips with amazing places you should try not to miss while here in Iceland.

The main attractions along the ring road can be split up by listing the top destinations in South, East, Northwest and Northeast Iceland. 

Self Drive | South Iceland

Skaftafell is on the ring road in South Iceland and is great place to hike

Don't miss the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss (which you can walk behind), and Skogafoss (that you can hike to the top of).

Vík is a cute town with some amazing black sand beaches and rock islets standing out in the ocean. Check out Jokulsarslon, a glacial lagoon by Vatnajokull National Park, and Skaftafell for some great hiking.

As you drive, take notice of all the glaciers and volcanoes you pass, including Hekla, Eyjafjallajokull, Myrdalsjokull and Vatnajokull

Self Drive | East Iceland

The Eastern fjords are always overshadowed by the more famous Westfjords, but are equally breathtaking.

Spend some time around Egilsstaðir, visiting Fljotsdalur valley and the river that divides it, where an Icelandic lochness monster is believed to live.

There you can also find Hallormstaðaskogur, Iceland's biggest forest.

a reindeer in the east

If you're lucky, you may see some wild reindeer herds roaming near the road if your driving east in the summer.

And don’t miss my favourite event Bræðslan, a music festival held every year around late July in Borgarfjörður Eystri, a quaint little fjord town.

Self Drive | North East Iceland

The biggest highlight in Northeastern Iceland is definitely Lake Myvatn. It's close to Krafla Volcano, and is situated within a picturesque wetland area, surrounded by beautiful lava rock landscapes.

Myvatn has a unique flora and fauna, and the volcanic activity of the area creates some perfect natural bathing spots.


Check out Vogagjá, a natural hottub you have to crawl through the cracks of the earth to get into the caved hot spring. Or, if you cant find it, visit the Myvatn Nature Baths, the Blue Lagoon of the North.

Self Drive | North West Iceland

Akureyri is called the capital of the north by Iceland. It's a small picturesque town with 17 000 inhabitants that is surrounded by mountains. The drive from Akureyri to Reykjavik is probably the most driven part of the ring road, and there are lots of things to do and see in Akureyri.

In the winter, you can go skiing, in the summer you can take ferries to Hrisey or Grimsey island, and don’t forget to check out some seal colonies near Hvammstangi in Miðfjörður.

Self drive Iceland to see the best attractions in Iceland

Nearby in Vatnsnes you can also see this cool rick islet called Hvítserkur, which kind of looks like a petrified troll and derives part of its name 'Hvít' from all the white bird poop on it from nesting bird colonies. 

See also the best attractions by the Ring road.