This self drive tour is a longer and more leisured version of our Iceland Express tour. You will have more time to explore geysirs, glaciers, waterfalls and volcanoes, and also visit the spectacular West Fjords. 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 only a 15 minutes' drive from the airport. From there you can head straight towards Hveragerdi, the town you will be staying this night, or drive the alternative route that will take you to 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 drive towards Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic parliament and a jewel of nature. The park itself is situated in a stunning volcanic landscape of mountains and lava flows, on the border of Iceland's largest lake. From there you continue the drive to Laugarvatn town where you can visit Fontana Spa and Wellness Center, offering bathing in warm geothermal pools that are built over a natural hot spring. Continue towards the famous Geysir hot spring area where you will see Strokkur hot spring spout water up to 40 meters into the air. If you are interested to go for an easy river rafting tour you can do that close to the Geysir area. From there you continue to one of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls named Gullfoss. Accommodation in the Golden Circle area.
Breakfast at the hotel. From the Gulfoss area you will drive along the spectacular south coast. One of the first highlights is the Seljalandsfoss waterfall which you can walk behind. We also recommend stopping at Thorvaldseyri visitor center located just beneath Eyjafjallajökull glacier which erupted in the year 2010. Continue to Skogafoss waterfall and the Skogar Folk Museum. We recommend visiting Dyrhólaey nature reserve (closed during nesting season from mid-May to June 23). Dyrhólaey is a 120-metre high promontory and got its name from the massive arch that the sea has eroded from the headland. From there you can enjoy the amazing views to Myrdalsjokull glacier in one direction and black lava columns in the other. The area around Dyrholaey is also very rich in birdlife, and the puffin is to be found here. Continue over Eldhraun lava field to the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur known for its fabulous trout fishing. Accommodation in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.
Breakfast at the hotel. From Kirkjubæjarklaustur you drive towards the amazing Vatnajökull National Park which is nestled between glaciers and offers many hiking possibilities. We recommend joining a glacier walk on Vatnajökull glacier (more details under add-ons). Continue to the shimmering icebergs of Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon where we recommend you try the boat tour among the icebergs (to be booked and paid on spot). As you continue you will come to the harbor town of Höfn, known as the lobster capital of Northern Europe. We recommend a delicious lobster meal this evening. Accommodation in the Höfn area.
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will drive through the spectacular East Fjords with towering mountains and charming fishing villages. When you reach Djupivogur village it is possible to take a 4-hour boat tour to Papey Island where thousands of puffins nest in the summer. In another small village named Stödvarfjorður, we recommend you explore Petra’s renowned collection of local stones and minerals. We also recommend a stop in Faskrudsfjördur village which was originally a base for French fishermen who came every year in large numbers to fish the abundant Icelandic waters. Accommodation in the Egilsstadir area (Eastfjords).
Breakfast at the hotel. Travel across the Mödrudalsöræfi highlands, renowned for their stark beauty. You will not see any man-made structures during the 2-3 hour drive through that area except for the road. After the drive over the highlands you come to Dettifoss Waterfall, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. A little further you will find Ásbyrgi Canyon that is shaped like a hoof print. Continue to the fishing village of Húsavík that has become famous for whale watching tours. From there head towards Lake Myvatn where your hotel is located. Accommodation in the Lake Myvatn Area.
Breakfast at the hotel. Spend the day exploring the natural wonders of Lake Mývatn and the surrounding area. Visit highlights such as the lava shapes at Dimmuborgir, the colorful sulfurous slopes of Námaskard and Krafla volcano area. We recommend trying the nature baths at Myvatn before you head towards Akureyri, the second biggest town in Iceland after Reykjavik. Accommodation in Akureyri or surroundings.
Breakfast at the hotel. Use the day to explore the fascinating town of Akureyri. We recommend trying the famous “Brynju” ice cream in Akureyri and visit the Arctic Botanical Gardens which has specimens of almost all native Icelandic plants as well as hundreds of foreign ones. From Akureyri continue the drive through the fertile valley of Skagafjörður fjord, renowned for horse breeding. In the Skagafjordur area you can visit the Glaumbær museum to see an old turf-farm and learn about how Icelanders used to live in last century. Accommodation in Saudarkrokur or surroundings.
Breakfast at the hotel. From Saudarkrokur you head towards Hólmavík village located in the West Fjords, the oldest part of Iceland. It will take approx. 3 hours to get there but you can make some stops on the way for example at Kolugljufur, a deep gorge with a waterfall, and in Bordeyri village which has only 25 inhabitants. In Holmavik village you can visit The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft. From Holmavik you continue the journey to Isafjördur village. You will pass numerous uninhabited fjords of Ísafjarðar-djúp with a beautiful coastline alive with seals and birds. Ísafjörður is the largest town in the area and here you will stay for two nights. Accommodation in the Isafjördur area.
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you have the whole day at leisure. Spend time in Ísafjörður and its surrounding area including the neighboring towns of Bolungarvík and Suðureyri. Among the things to do is a boat tour to Vigur Island, a Kayak tour in Ísafjörður fjord or visiting the natural history museum of Bolungarvík. Accommodation in the Isafjördur area.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive from Ísafjörður and continue your journey through the beautiful West Fjords. A stop at the stunning Dynjandi waterfall is recommended as well as driving to the famous bird cliff Látrabjarg which is teeming with millions of puffins, gannets, guillemots and razorbills during the summer time. Continue to the Flókalundur area. Accommodation in the Flokalundur area (Patreksfjördur).
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy the morning at leisure. Around noon (during summer season), the ferry “Baldur” will take you and the rental car across Breidafjördur bay to the charming village of Stykkishólmur located on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The sail takes approx. 2,5 hours. From Stykkishólmur you drive towards the small fishing village Grundarfjördur. We recommend you make a stop at the rocky beach of Djúpalónssandur where you can see ruins of a shipwreck and find big stones which people tried to lift and test their strength back in the days. Another interesting stop is by the magnificent columnar basalt rock formations at Arnarstapi. Accommodation on Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive along the Snæfellsnes peninsula and head towards Borgarfjordur Fjord. Drive towards Reykholt, a small village that has played a big role in Icelandic history. We recommend making a stop to see Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver. We also recommend you to explore the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls. From there you head towards Hvalfjörður fjord. This fjord used to be a part of the main ring road but in the year 1998 a tunnel opened, going through the fjord that shortened the driving time to north about an hour. However we recommend that you take the detour and drive along this beautiful fjord. Continue to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland,which consists of only 320.000 people and almost 60% of them live in the greater Reykjavik area. Even though Reykjavik is not a big city compared to other capitals of the world, it has everything a cosmopolitan city should offer; great dining, unique boutiques, shops, museums, theaters and a vibrant nightlife during weekends. Accommodation in Reykjavik.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure from Reykjavik according to your itinerary. You can drive the car to the airport and return it there. However note that only 13 x 24 hours rent is included. If your arrive early on day 1 and depart late on day 14 an extra rental day needs to be added. Another option is to return the car in Reykjavik on day 13 and take the airport bus on your departure day.