This self drive tour in Iceland focuses on the beautiful South Coast and the highlights of the Golden Circle. Follow the footsteps of the Viking Sagas while visiting many striking waterfalls, magnificent geysers and infamous glaciers and volcanoes along the way. Rental car is included in the tour price.
This tour can commence in: Reykjavik
Arrival at Keflavik airport, Iceland, according to your own itinerary. The rental car will be waiting for you at the airport. We recommend starting your tour by visiting the Blue Lagoon which is in only a 15 minutes' drive from the airport (pre-booking recommended to secure space). From there you can head straight towards Hveragerdi, the town you will be staying in this night, or drive an alternative route that will take you to the capital Reykjavik before continuing to Hveragerdi. Hveragerdi is a small town surrounded by many natural hot springs which explains the name: "Hver" means hot spring in Icelandic. Accommodation in the Hveragerdi area.
Breakfast at the hotel. From Hveragerdi you will drive towards the South Coast, passing through a few small towns and villages along the way. As you continue along the South Coast you will reach the picturesque Seljalandsfoss waterfall, a waterfall you can walk behind. Other highlights you will see along the South Coast are Skógafoss waterfall and the famous Eyjafjallajökull glacier area where the volcanic eruption took place in 2010. We recommend a stop at Thorvaldseyri volcano visitor center where you can learn more about the eruption. From there you can head towards Dyrholaey, a rocky headland where thousands of sea birds and puffins nest during the summer (closed during nesting season from mid-May until late June). From there you head to Vik, Iceland’s southernmost village. Accommodation in the Vik area.
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will explore Thjorsardalur valley and its landscape of sharply contrasting birch woods, sandy lava fields, rivers and waterfalls. Close by you will see the volcano Hekla, one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland. We recommend a stop at Thjodveldisbaerinn museum where you can see a replica of an old Viking farm and learn more about the way Icelanders lived back in the days. Continue towards Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls and Geysir hot spring area with geysers that spout water up to 40 meter in the air! Accommodation in the Golden Circle area.
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you drive to one of the most important places in Icelandic history, the Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic parliament. Thingvellir has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2004. The area is surrounded by mountains and encompasses a vast lava plain of green moss and wild flowers. From Thingvellir you drive via Hvalfjordur fjord, a route many skip due to the tunnel that opened under the fjord in 1998. However, we recommend that you take the detour and drive along this beautiful fjord. Continue to the Borgarfjordur region and Borgarnes, the largest town in the area. Here you can visit the Settlement Center which tells the saga of the settlement of Iceland. From Borgarnes you head towards Reykholt, home of a known Icelandic historian from the 13th century. Close by you you will find Europe’s largest geothermal spring named Deildartunguhver. It boils up at a temperature of 97°C, at a rate of 180 litres per second and supplies nearby towns with water for central heating. We also recommend a stop at the breathtaking Hraunfossar waterfalls before heading to the capital, Reykjavik, where your tour will end. On the way to Reykjavik you can save time by driving through the tunnel that goes under Hvalfjordur fjord.
Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital. Legend says the Norse gods themselves guided Iceland’s first settler, Ingolfur Arnarson, to make his home in what is now the capital area. He named the settlement Reykjavik (“Smoky Bay”) after the misty geothermal steam he saw rising from the ground. Today, this geothermal stream heats homes and outdoor swimming pools throughout the city – a pollution-free energy source that leaves the air outstandingly fresh, clean and clear. Although 60% of Island’s inhabitants live in Reykjavik, it is a small capital by international standards. Even so, the Icelandic capital is known for its vibrant nightlife and its unique boutiques and shops. Why not add an extra night in Reykjavik to have the next day to look around the city. Accommodation in Reykjavik.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure from Reykjavik according to your own itinerary. You can drive the car to the airport and return it there.
However note that only 4 x 24 hours rent is included. If your arrive early on day 1 and depart late on day 5 an extra rental day needs to be added. Another option is to return the car in Reykjavik on day 4 and take the airport bus on your departure day.