This is the perfect self-drive Golden Circle and South Coast package itinerary for adventure-loving travelers in Iceland. You will receive a detailed itinerary, map, and a self-drive handbook. This self-drive tour is optimized for the best possible experience, visiting all the highlights on the South Coast.
Your adventure begins with the famous Golden Circle sights of Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. We start at Thingvellir National Park, the birthplace of the ancient Icelandic Parliament or the Althing (Alþingi...)
Your adventure begins with the famous Golden Circle sights of Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. We start at Thingvellir National Park, the birthplace of the ancient Icelandic Parliament or the Althing (Alþingi). This area was formerly called Bláskógar but it was renamed Thingvellir (Þingvellir), meaning “Assembly Plains” when Iceland's supreme legislative and judicial authority was established here in 930 CE. Your route continues to the famous Geysir hot spring area, where you will get the chance to witness the iconic Strokkur eruption. The Golden Circle tour is capped off with a visit to the mighty Gullfoss waterfall, in addition to some hidden gems nearby. Included in your itinerary are optional visits to stunning attractions you won’t want to miss.
After breakfast, your tour route will give you excellent views of the volcano, Eyjafjallajökull. The volcano’s glittering icecap is a reminder of the volcanic eruption of 2010, which halted air traffic across Europe. Of course, on a self-driving tour...)
After breakfast, your tour route will give you excellent views of the volcano, Eyjafjallajökull. The volcano’s glittering icecap is a reminder of the volcanic eruption of 2010, which halted air traffic across Europe. Of course, on a self-driving tour it is entirely up to you where you stop, but we’ll offer a few suggestions to help you make the most of your trip.
Seljalandsfoss waterfall and Skogafoss waterfall are great places to visit before you continue your journey to Solheimajokull glacier, Dyrholaey, the black sand beach at Reynisdrangar, and the charming village of Vik. Driving across the Sólheimasandur volcanic sandplains will give you your first glimpse of the lunar-like scenery Iceland is famous for. Other interesting places to visit are the Skógasafnið Museum and Gljúfrabúi, a picturesque waterfall with beautiful hiking areas.
Early in the day, we will take a glacier hike in Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Drive to the meeting point at Skaftafell and meet your expert glacier guide. At Falljökull, we will strap on our ice crampons and get ready for the magical moment of setting ...)
Early in the day, we will take a glacier hike in Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Drive to the meeting point at Skaftafell and meet your expert glacier guide. At Falljökull, we will strap on our ice crampons and get ready for the magical moment of setting foot on the glacier!
After the glacier hike, we highly recommend you take the time to enjoy the short hike from the Skaftafell Visitor Centre to Svartifoss, a waterfall that drops from a dramatic wall of black basalt columnar formations. With shimmering white water pouring over black basalt, it is no surprise that these falls have inspired Icelandic architecture!
The next segment of your route will deliver you to the amazing Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. The glacial lagoon is vast and stretches as far as the eye can see. The icebergs are all gliding toward the ocean less than 1 kilometer away. The scenery here is just like a film set... or rather it is a film set! Tomb Raider, the reality TV series Amazing Race, Batman begins and the James Bond movies Die Another Day and A View to Kill all contain scenes which were shot here.
Today we explore even more of the South Coast! Your route continues with a visit to Kirkjugólf, the amazing basalt column floor which is situated just outside of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. The lovely Fossálar (waterfall), Dverghamrar, Lómagnúpur, and the o...)
Today we explore even more of the South Coast! Your route continues with a visit to Kirkjugólf, the amazing basalt column floor which is situated just outside of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. The lovely Fossálar (waterfall), Dverghamrar, Lómagnúpur, and the old buildings at Núpsstaðir are all great stopping points.
If you want to explore more of the areas close to Reykjavík, you can visit Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki. Both are charming and atmospheric coastal villages with delightful brightly-painted wooden houses. Þorlákshöfn is another little village with the kind of scenes and atmosphere historic seaside villages used to have. It’s unspoiled and beautiful.
Reykjanes has far more to offer you than just being the peninsula where the international airport is situated. Although this does make it very convenient! There are mossy lava fields, volcano craters, and unique cones. The silhouette of one particula...)
Reykjanes has far more to offer you than just being the peninsula where the international airport is situated. Although this does make it very convenient! There are mossy lava fields, volcano craters, and unique cones. The silhouette of one particularly elegant cone, Keilir, is very prominent on the horizon. Lake Kleifarvatn is especially picturesque and boasts some nice hiking paths if you have the time. You should definitely visit the hot springs at Krýsuvík for one last look at the surreal steam emanating from the ground. The Gunnuhver hot springs (the site of a famous ghost saga) and the bridge between the continents are also well worth a look.
If you have the time, we certainly recommend a visit to the Blue Lagoon at Grindavík, an iconic and now world-famous geothermal spa.
Still got questions about the tour? Hopefully you will find the answer here.
It is a package tour that includes accommodation, car rental, and suggested itinerary. We provide you with all information to make sure you know where to go and what to see in Iceland along with general practical information about Iceland, as this is a self-guided tour.
Included with our tours are accommodation and car rental, as described for each tour, itinerary with suggested points of interest along the way, GPS points for each stop (accommodation, activities, points of interest), and a detailed self-drive handbook with lots of practical information.
During winter months (October-April) we recommend 4WD vehicles but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a jeep, it is safest to drive a vehicle that you are comfortable with so if you’re not used to driving large cars then a smaller, but 4WD might be a better option.
In summertime any vehicle is good, depending on how many are traveling together, how much luggage you carry along and how much you’re willing to pay.
We use a very varied mix of local accommodations.
Comfort rooms are private rooms with private bathroom in guesthouses, hotels, motels, lodges, etc. Approximately 3-star rating.
Budget rooms are private rooms with a shared bathroom at guesthouses, hostels, hotels, etc. Approximately 2-star rating.
That depends mostly on the itinerary, some are faster paced while others are more relaxed. Days can range from 200-400 km, though very few days exceed 350 km. You are of course your own driver and guide while on a self-drive tour so you are free to make detours as you wish.
You never know what might happen while in a foreign country so we highly recommend you to have good travel insurance. Sure it costs a bit extra, but it can take a load off the mind and end up being a totally worth it in case something sudden could happen.
Take a look at what type of insurance is provided with your credit card, alternatively buy special travel insurance from an insurance provider.
As for the car rental, you can opt to buy extra insurance at the time of collecting the car. It may be wise to buy extra insurance such as windshield protection, as a cracked windshield from a stone being thrown off another car is among the most common incidents on Icelandic roads.
Other extra car insurances would be for example sand and ash protection, or additional insurance to lower the self-risk in case of an incident.
Our self-drive adventures have been optimized for the best value experience, which includes doing some thrilling activities in the amazing Icelandic nature. As the packages are offered at the best possible price no partial refunds or modifications to the itinerary can be permitted. That includes opting out of an included activity and getting a refund for that activity. You can, of course, choose not to do the activity but as mentioned there would be no partial refunds of the package price.
You should contact the service provider in question: If there is a problem with the car, contact the car rental. If you have troubles finding the hotel (which shouldn’t happen as you will be provided with the address and GPS coordinates), you should call the hotel.
If you have questions about an activity, contact the activity provider. You will receive all the necessary contact information from us.
Iceland is known for unforeseeable weather. It is likely that you can see all 4 seasons in one day.
Dressing for that kind sort of weather can always be demanding so we always suggest dressing in layers. 3 or 4 upper layers are highly recommended, for example, a light t-shirt (preferably wool) next to the skin, then a fleece or heavy wool garment topped off with a waterproof windbreaker.
Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they are not suitable for the weather conditions, they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet.
Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are convenient and wear wind/waterproof pants over. There is high UV and sunlight reflecting off on the glacier so we highly recommend using sunglasses and sunscreen even if it is cloudy.
You will need sturdy hiking shoes that fit crampons for the glacier hiking tours. If you do not own a pair then we rent out suitable hiking boots as well as a waterproof raincoat and trousers.
It is good to bring your own backpack on our full day or half day tours. It’s the best carry-on for a small lunch, extra clothes and other necessary items.
The scenery on the tour is full of stunning, scenic views that are photographable so you should definitely bring your camera along.
This is surely a personal choice, we do not deny pregnant women on our glacier trips but we highly recommend you to take a closer look at our trip description and difficulty ratings, they will hopefully give you a better idea. We also recommend you to contact your physician, as pregnant women’s health can be quite different. If you have any further questions or concerns then feel free to contact us.
Lunch is not provided on any of our trips, therefore we recommend you to bring your own lunch especially for the longer trips, snacks and a bottle of water (you can refill it on the trip).
Crampons make you enable to walk on the glacier ice without slipping. They are metal spikes that we attach to the soles of your hiking shoes.
Yes, we have specially trained and certified glacier guide on every glacier tour that we offer. And for our 3rd party tours we only partner with operators that meet our quality and safety standards.
Yes, we provide you with all the necessary glacier gear for our glacier hiking tours. Ice axe, crampons, harness, and helmets are provided. This will help you to complete the tour safely. The minimum shoe size to attach crampons is EU 35.
Iceland is known to have a lot of snow and when the snow stays long enough in one place than it turns to ice. Over long periods of time, the ice layers up becoming huge blocks called glaciers. It forms to create ginormous glaciers that sweep across huge masses of land. Iceland is home of the largest glacier in Europe that is called Vatnajökull. The Glacier Guides can tell you more about and everything you need to know about the Glaciers.
Rain is common in Iceland but we never let the rain be in our way to go forward with our tours.
That’s why we highly recommend appropriate clothing so you can be warm and dry on the tours.
Nature is out of our control and therefore we need to adapt to the weather. Your safety is our first priority so if your safety is compromised by going on the tour then we will cancel it and you will get full reimbursement.
The guide on your Glacier Hiking tour will provide you with all the information you might need when preparing for a glacier hike.