Iceland Complete Circle and the West Fjords 14 days
This is one of our best selling self drive tour visiting all the main sights along the highway as well as visiting the magical SnŠfellsnes Peninsula and the staggering West Fjords. This road trip covers pretty much every aspect of Iceland except the mystical interior highlands.
Following your arrival at the airport, you will take a comfortable bus ride, with Wi-Fi Internet connection on board, to your accommodation in Reykjavik or to a nearby drop off point.
You have the option of upgrading to a private door-to-door airport transfer. You can also receive and return the rental car at the airport if you prefer that.
Enjoy the rest of the day in Reykjavik, which offers a great variety of things to do. See iconic buildings including the Perlan (the Pearl), the Al■ingish˙si (where the Icelandic Parliament is housed), and HallgrÝmskirkja Church. If you don't have time to shop on Laugarvegur Street, don't worry; you can do that when you return from your Icelandic Circle adventure.
Pick up your car in the morning and start your road trip adventure. Leave ReykjavÝk and head to Borgarnes town where you will find the Icelandic Settlement Centre, whose main objective is to present the fascinating sagas from the settlement times as well as a special exhibition of the famous Viking poet, Egill SkallagrÝmsson.
Continue to SnŠfellsnes Peninsula where you will come upon numerous natural wonders. Cross the plains of Mřrar and head to the South Coast of the peninsula. In the northern part of Mřrar, you will pass a number of spectacular craters. Continue to the charming hamlets of Arnarstapi and Hellnar where you will find easy access to bird cliffs and beautiful lava fields.
Continue around the tip of the peninsula at the foot SnŠfellsj÷kull, a graceful glaciated volcanol that is a popular destination for glacier hikers, snowmobilers, and skiers. For those not familiar with the glacier, a guide is recommended. Daily tours to the top of the glacier are available by either snowmobile or snow cat when conditions allow. Continue to the charming town of Stykkishˇlmur situated by Breiafj÷rur Bay.
Day 3. Countless islands of Breiafj÷rur Bay and Lßtrabjarg Cliff
Take a ferry across Breiafj÷rur Bay to port of BrjßnslŠkur on the South Coast of the West Fjords.
From BrjßnslŠkur continue to Lßtrabjarg, one of the most spectacular sea cliffs in the world. The cliff is 450 meters high and about 14 kilometres long, providing millions of species of seabirds with a safe home and an abundance of seafood from the ocean. Lßtragjarg is a magnificent attraction, but we encourage travellers to be careful; the cliff edges can be weak. Lßtrabjarg is a place where many Icelandic ships and their crews have perished due to the unforgiving force of the sea. On your way to Lßtrabjarg, try to find time to stop at the interesting folk museum at Hnjˇtur.
Today you will head to the largest town in the West Fjords, ═safj÷rur. The route to ═safj÷rur is characterized by stunning scenery with narrow and deep fjords. After crossing Dynjandisheii Pass, stop by the impressive, 100 meter high Dynjandi Waterfall.
Continue through a road tunnel from Flateyri town to ═safj÷rur town and get acquainted to the quiet lifestyle of the locals in this charming town. ═safj÷rur is host to many festivals and cultural events making it a vibrant, yet quiet, place to visit. Kayak tours on ═safj÷rur Fjord are available during the summer and the Natural History Museum of BolungarvÝk is also worth a visit.
Drive along the shores of the many fjords of ═safjarardj˙p Bay with beautiful coastlines teeming with seals and bird life. Cross SteingrÝmsfjararheii Heath and head towards HˇlmavÝk town in the Strandir area known for its interesting history of witchcraft and sorcery. Visit the Sorcery and Witchcraft Museum for a closer look into witchcraft and witch hunting as it was practised here in the 17th century.
Before reaching HˇlmavÝk, take a detour to Drangsnes, a small fishing village at SteigrÝmsfj÷rur Fjord where the natural hot outdoor pool is popular with locals and visitors.
Today, you will head for the fertile valley of Skagafj÷rur, known for breeding of the Icelandic horse. Pass Bl÷nduˇs town, situated on the banks of Blanda River. Popular horse riding tours for beginners and experienced riders are available in the Skagafj÷rur district and some of the best white water rafting in the country is available here too. We recommend visits to GlaumbŠr Folk Museum and the tiny old church at VÝimřri, close to VarmahlÝ.
Your destination is Akureyri the largest town in North Iceland. Akureyri is a picturesque town and although it is situated only about 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, it enjoys some of the best weather in Iceland. See the Botanical Gardens and some of the many museums and art galleries. Akureyri is the trade and service centre of North Iceland as well as a centre of culture and education. This is truly a city where there's something for everyone.
A different option:
Drive around Tr÷llaskagi Peninsula to Hofsˇs town where you might want to visit The Icelandic Emigration Center built in honor of Icelanders who emigrated to North America between 1850 and 1914. Continue to Siglufj÷rur, a remotely located fishing town that was once the most prosperous fishing town in Iceland during the herring boom in the early 20th century. Enjoy the tranquility of Siglufj÷rur and other fishing towns on your way to your destination, the vibrant city of Akureyri.
Leave the Eyjafj÷rur area and head for one of Icelandĺs most beautiful areas surrounding Lake Mřvatn. Along the way, stop by the legendary Goafoss Waterfall where an historical event took place in the year 1,000 when Icelanders converted to Christianity. The story goes that a so-called law speaker named Ůorkell disposed of the pagan gods by throwing them into the waterfallŚthus the name, Goafoss, which means the "waterfall of the gods".
Continue your journey to explore the abundance of natural wonders Lake Mřvatn and the surrounding area, including amazing formations of geological interest. Visit the numerous highlights of the area: the Dimmuborgir lava field, the Nßmaskar geothermal area, the Sk˙tustaagÝgar pseudo craters, the nature baths, Krafla Volcano, and numerous other interesting spots.
Proceed to H˙savÝk town, the ôwhale watching capital of the worldö, where you can join a whale watching tour or simply relax after a day of sightseeing.
Day 9. J÷kulsßrglj˙fur National Park ľ ┴sbyrgi Canyon ľ Dettifoss Waterfall
Head for Íxarfj÷rur Bay and visit ┴sbyrgi Canyon, a strange and spectacular, horseshoe-shaped canyon carved by the mighty J÷kulsß ß Fj÷llum River. There is an excellent visitors' centre at ┴sbyrgi called Glj˙frastofa, where one can get detailed information on ┴sbyrgi and the national park, including maps for hiking trails. Head back and drive to Vesturdalur and Hljˇaklettar, also known as Echo rocks, a valley of extraordinary rock formations, carved by the river J÷kulsß ß Fj÷llum streaming from Vatnaj÷kull Glacier. There are numerous hiking trails for exploring the many wonders of J÷kulsßrglj˙fur National Park.
Continue south to Dettifoss Waterfall, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Proceed across the highland plateau to the town of Egilsstair, the largest town in East Iceland. Hallormsstaaskˇgur, the largest forest in the country, and the legendary Lake Lagarfljˇt are nearby. Across Fjararheii Pass is Seyisfj÷rur, a small and picturesque fishing town and a ferry port that is certainly worth a visit.
Drive to the long narrow fjords and with steep-sided mountain peaks. The East Fjords are famous for their colorful minerals and the stone collection of Petra at St÷varfj÷rur is an interesting place to visit.
Continue to the top of Almannaskar Pass for a spectacular view of the surrounding area. Continue to H÷fn, a fishing town in the realm of Vatnaj÷kull, the largest glacier in Europe. H÷fn located at the foot of Vatnaj÷kull is famous for its lobster catch, and the scenery is breathtaking.
Head for J÷kulsßrlˇn, the Glacial Lagoon and one of the major attractions in Iceland. Large blocks of ice constantly break off the edge of the glacier and drift about in the blue glacial waters of the lagoon at the foot of the glacier. Boat trips that take you sailing among the icebergs are available during summer.
Continue to Skaftafell National Park, nestled at the foot Europeĺs largest glacier, Vatnaj÷kull. Hike to Svartifoss, one of Icelandĺs most picturesque waterfalls, framed in by hexagonal basalt columns. Skaftafell has a network of excellent hiking trails, and guided treks are available.
Continue to KirkjubŠjarklaustur town and see Kirkjugˇlfi (the Church Floor), a protected natural monument with a floor that looks like man-made tile floor but is a nature made. Stop to take a look at Fjarßrglj˙fur Canyon, just west of KirkjubŠjarklaustur on your way to the black sandy floodplains of Mřrdalssandur and the charming town of VÝk.
Day 12. Black Beaches ľ Spectacular Waterfalls ľ Geysers
Drive to Reynishverfi with its black beaches and the beautiful pinnacles Reynisdrangar. Thousands of seabirds nest here in sea cliffs in the summer. Continue to the majestic Skˇgafoss Waterfall, situated at the foot of the infamous Eyjafjallaj÷kull Glacier and volcano that erupted in 2010.
Continue to the mesmerizing Seljalandsfoss Waterfall where you can gain a unique perspective by walking behind the waterfall.
Continue to Hvolsv÷llur town where the surrounding area is the scene of Njßls Saga, one of the most famous Icelandic sagas. Continue on to the Keri Volcanic Crater and the beautiful Faxi Waterfall. Next on the agenda is the famous Great Geysir and Strokkur, an active geyser that spouts boiling hot water up to 20 meters in the air every few minutes.
Continue inland to the awe-inspiring Gullfoss Waterfall (the Golden Waterfall) one of Icelandĺs largest and most beautiful falls.
Day 13. Ůingvellir National Park - The Blue Lagoon
From Gullfoss head back to visit Ůingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ůingvellir National Park is an historic site where the Icelandic Parliament was established in 930. Ůingvellir is also hauntingly beautiful with its rugged lunar-like landscapes on the spot where two continental plates meet creating a fascinating rift valley. Head back to ReykjavÝk across Mosfellsheii Heath. Drive to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing bath in an otherworldly setting in the middle of a recently formed lava field. Filled with mineral rich warm water, the Blue Lagoon provides a sensational bathing experience out in the open air all year round. Apply some silica mud to rejuvenate and soften your skin or get a relaxing message. Dine at the Lava Restaurant or the Blue Lagoon CafÚ before dropping off the car in Reykjavik.
This tour can be customized to your specifications and needs, so if you have any special requests, please donĺt hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to help you arrange the perfect Icelandic vacation.
We are arriving very early. What is the check in time?
Check in time is usually between 14:00 - 16:00 for accommodation in Iceland. The only way to secure an early check in is to book the night before as well. However if a room is ready you should be able to check in early.
Where to eat during the tour?
In the small towns around Iceland you will find restaurants, bakeries and cafes where you can get something to eat. If you are going to the highlands we recommend purchasing something to take with you as there are very limited options for meals in the remote highland areas.
Are there any hidden charges?
There are no hidden charges or fees you should be aware of. Note that fuel and meals other than breakfast are not included.
What type of car is recommended?
During summer (May - September) any type of vehicle is sufficient for this tour.
In winter between mid September ľ mid April we recommend a 4x4 vehicle as there is a chance of some snow or ice on the road. The cars are equipped with good winter tires during winter.
Do I need an international driverĺs license?
No you do not need an international drivers license but you need a valid driverĺs licence, which you will have held for at least two years. Travellers from overseas will need a licence issued in their country of residence along with an English translation (where appropriate). Some form of picture Identity is required, e.g. Passport, ID card etc. A valid credit card is also required.
How far is it between gas stations?
Gas stations can be found in almost all towns around Iceland so running out of gas is not a likely scenario. However before going to the highland areas we recommend filling up the tank as there are no gas stations in the highlands.
Do hotels and guesthouses offer Wi-Fi internet connection?
Most hotels and guesthouses in Iceland do provide free access to Wi-Fi internet. Some hotels and guesthouses do charge a small fee for access to the internet.
How do I book and what is the process?
There are several factors that determine the tour price:
Ľ Time of the year you plan on visiting
Ľ Number of people travelling together
Ľ Type of car Car Info (Only applicable with self drive trips)
Ľ Accommodation type (we offer 2 categories of accommodation or you can choose mixture of both)
Ľ Optional Activities (Various optional activities are available with each trip)
There is a special Price Calculator button with every self-drive tours and private guided tours where you can enter your choice of type of accommodation, car, number of people and your arrival date. The Price Calculator will calculate and display the price according to your specifications. This way you can see how different choices in car and accommodation types affect the price of the package.
Once you are confident about your trip selection proceed to press the book now tab. Here you will fill in the required information and proceed through the booking process.
We require a 15% deposit at the time of booking. Full payment is due 5 weeks prior to arrival.
Once a booking is made an automatic e-mail is sent informing you that the order has been placed and is currently being processed by the IcelandRoadtrip.com team. You will then be contacted with by one of our trusted travel agents with further details.