This Self drive tour is for those who like relaxed travelling with modest driving each day. It takes you around all the country and with a bit more focus on the majestic Western Fjords than other tours.
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 via Hvalfj÷rur fjord 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. Drive towards Deildartunguhver hot spring, the largest hot spring in Europe. Continue a short distance further to the historic site Reykholt. Visit the interesting historical museum at Reykholt and see the hot pool Snorralaug. After a visit to Reykholt drive further inland to Barnafossar and Hraunfossar waterfalls. Make the waterfalls a turnaround point and return to Borgarnes town.
Head for the SnŠfellsnes peninsula. Shortly after leaving Borgarnes, continue towards Stykkishˇlmur to explore the countless natural wonders of the SnŠfellsnes peninsula that divides the west coast of Iceland into two large bays. Cross the plains of Mřrar, drive to the south coast of SnŠfellsnes and head towards the tip of the peninsula. In the northern part of Mřrar, you will be passing a number of volcanic craters on both sides of the road, Eldborg being the largest and most beautiful shape. At the farm Ytri Tunga, on the south coast of the SnŠfellsnes peninsula, only a few hundred meters drive from the main road, seals can often to be seen on land or in the water. Visit B˙ir, a pretty site located on a natural inlet. Continue to Arnarstapi and Hellnar to view beautiful and spectacular coast and interesting birdlife. There is an interesting museum at Hellnar. Continue around the tip of the peninsula at the foot of SnŠfellsj÷kull, a glaciated volcano, the backdrop for the famous novel ôThe Journey to the Centre of the Earthö written by the famous French author, Jules Verne. Many interesting geological phenomena and historic sites are found in the SnŠfellsj÷kull National Park, the most recent one in Iceland. Among many places of interest are DritvÝk, Dj˙palˇnssandur and Índverarnes, a former fishing station. Make a short detour to Dj˙palˇnssandur and take a short walk along a marked path to the beach. Drive east along the north coast of the peninsula, passing the small fishing towns Hellissandur, Rif and ËlafsvÝk. Continue to the charming town of Stykkishˇlmur situated by Breiafj÷rur Bay.
In the morning, take the ferry Baldur across the Breiafj÷rur Bay with its countless islands to BrjßnslŠkur port on the south coast of the West fjords. Enroute to BrjßnslŠkur, the ferry will make a short stop at the Flatey Island to drop off and pick up passengers. Drive from BrjßnslŠkur to Patreksfj÷rur town. The town was named after Saint Patrick, who was the spiritual guide of Írlygur Hrappsson ľ the original settler of the area. At Patreksfj÷rur you will find a geothermal pool where you can relax in a hot tub in the evening.
Day 5. Rauasandur Beach and Lßtrabjarg Bird Cliff
Today you will explore the area around Patreksfj÷rur. Start by heading to most famous beach of Iceland ľ Rauasandur. The unique sand and shell mix gives the beach spectacular yellow-read colour. This is a wonderful place to enjoy an amazing bird- and wildlife. During the summer time you may spot seals relaxing at the beach. Next continue to Lßtrabjarg, one of the most crowded bird cliffs in the world. In summer the 444 m high sea cliffs are occupied by millions of Puffins, Gannets, Guillemots and Razorbills kindly note that the seabirds leave their nests in the cliffs in late summer. Enroute, stop at the interesting folk museum at Hnjˇtur. Continue to explore KollsvÝk, which is surrounded by magnificent scenery.
Drive to the north towards ═safj÷rur town. The drive to ═safj÷rur, the largest town in the West fjords is characterized by stunning steep-sided mountain scenery and deep and narrow fjords. As you cross the Dynjandisheii pass, visit the picturesque Dynjandi waterfall. It is the largest waterfall in Westfjords. Continue to ═safj÷rur.
Today you have plenty of time to explore the town of ═safj÷rur and its surroundings, the neighboring towns of BolungarvÝk and Suureyri. Various day tours are available from ═safj÷rur ľ sea kayaking, horse riding, boat trips and even hiking trips to Hornstrandir area during summer. Hornstrandir is a nature reserve that was established in 1975. The nature reserve is accessible only by boat and foot; there are no roads for the cars.
Overnight: ═safj÷rur area
Day 8. The West Fjords & Witchcraft
Drive along the shores of the many fjords of ═safjarardj˙p with beautiful coastlines teeming with seals and bird life. Cross SteingrÝmsfjararheii Heath and head towards HˇlmavÝk town in the Standir 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.
Continue to explore the fjords of Strandir. Begin the day by exploring Bjarnarfj÷rur fjord, where you will find several farms, some of them no longer used. Visit the natural hot spring named Gvendarlaug and even take a bath. Continue to Reykjarfj÷rur fjord ľ this scenic road is usually closed during the winter time due to massive snow. Visit Dj˙pavÝk village at the end of the fjord. In the old days Dj˙pavÝk was busy fishing town - nowadays, however, the village is quiet as the fishing industry has left from there. Continue to Norurfj÷rur fjord where you will find a unique geothermal pool just by the ocean. You can take a hike around this beautiful area, as the road further north ends, drive back to HˇlmavÝk area where you will spend the night again. Please note because of the condition of this road you will drive slowly today and we recommend a 4x4 for this tour.
Highlights: HˇlmavÝk Town Drangsnes Town
Driving Distance: 220 kilometers
Overnight: HˇlmavÝk area
Day 10. The North West
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.
Day 12. H˙savÝk Town- ┴sbyrgi Canyon - National Park - Lake Mřvatn Area
Start the day by driving to town of H˙savÝk, which is known also as the Whale Watching Capital of the World. You might want to join a whale watching tour. Next continue to the massive, horseshoe-shaped ┴sbyrgi Canyon, from there head to see the strange Hljˇaklettar rock formations. Continue to the J÷kulsßrglj˙fur National park, where you will witness the raw force of the Europe┤s most powerful waterfall ľ Dettifoss. Standing near the waterfall you can┤t help but feel humbled by the devastating power of nature. Next head to explore the surrounding area of Mřvatn ľ hot springs and mud pools at Nßmaskar, the impressive volcano Krafla as well as mysterious lava formations at Dimmuborgir. After a day of sightseeing we recommend you to visit Mřvatn Nature Baths and relax in the mineral rich waters.
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 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.
Today you will 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 popular during the 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.
Spend some time in Skaftafell before continueing to KirkjubŠjarklaustur town and see Kirkjugˇlfi (the Church Floor), a protected natural monument with a floor that looks like man-made tile. 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. Visit the black beach of Reynisfjara where strangely formed basalt columns, cliffs, and caves are to be found. Local folklore says that the formations were once trolls attempting to reach shore in the cover of night, but when the sun came out, they were turned to stone.
Day 18. Black Beaches ľ Spectacular Waterfalls ľ Geysers
Continue your journey to the majestic Skˇgafoss Waterfall, situated at the foot of the infamous Eyjafjallaj÷kull Glacier and volcano that erupted in 2010.
Along the way stop at 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 19. Thingvellir 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 you have the option of just satying in Reykjavik but we recommend a a leisurely 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 late evening or early next morning.
Driving Distance: 200 kilometers (including Blue Lagoon)
Day 20. Free day in Reykjavik.
A full day in Reykjavik where you can visit one of the many museums, exhibitions and art galleries, take a tour of the city or simply relax at some of the down town cafes see our travel guide for more interesting things to do and see in Reykjavik What to see - Capital area
Day 21. Departure
Transfer in a comfortable Wi-Fi connected bus to the airport from your accommodation in Reykjavik to Keflavik airport
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.
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.