Prepare to be astonished, as from day one you will get to experience all the best Iceland has to offer.
During these seven days, you will see anything from black sand beaches to powerful waterfalls, charming fishing villages, and spouting geysers, you will get to experience the true power of Icelandic nature through so many different ways, get to try glacier hiking on Europe’s most massive glacier and visit some of the filming locations Hollywood can’t stop raving about. Gorgeous canyons, mountains, glaciers, and volcanoes will surround you, and often the landscape will feel like you just stepped on the moon. You will get a chance to soak in some of Iceland’s most amazing hot pools and get to breathe in the history at locations that are truly unique even on a global scale.
Iceland will have you hooked and the memories will live with you forever!
Arriving in the land of ice and fire will be an exciting moment and what is ahead even more. You pick up your rental car, at the selected pickup location, and head right out for a road trip to the North East. There are numerous points of interest to explore for the day and the drive is quite the scenic one.
Driving through Reykjavík you will see colorful houses but soon you will be in the outskirts and under Reykjavík’s totem mountain Esja. You continue along the seacoast through an underwater tunnel in Hvalfjörður e. Whale fjord and make your way into Borgarfjörður known for exquisite beauty and picture-book-like settings.
In Borgarfjörður you will find the most powerful hot spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver a real must stop to take in the true power that lived in Icelandic nature. Then we have the outstanding waterfall brothers Hraunfossar e. Lava Waterfalls and Barnafossar Waterfalls. These stops are an absolute must and make sure that your camera is charged. You are going to want to remember these amazing views. For those you haven’t had enough of Borgarfjörður and want to go a little deeper, we recommend driving around the beautiful birch paradise Húsafell where you can join an Ice Cave tour with a monster truck to Iceland’s second-largest glacier. The Into the Glacier tours take about 2-4 hours.
Another recommended stop would be at Reykholt w. Smoky Hill where you can often find markets during weekends in the summertime. It is a historic place where the Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson lived in ancient times and it has a beautiful church and a hot pool, Snorralaug. Or at the Krauma geothermal baths and spa where you can relax in a newly built hot pool that takes its waters from the great Deildartunguhver hot spring. They also have a restaurant with great lunch or dinner options.
The night will be spent at a hotel in the Snaefellsnes peninsula in where lava surrounds you, deeply stunning.
The theme of the day will be the Snæfellsnes peninsula, a place that has often been nicknamed “Iceland in a nutshell” - as it has everything from waterfalls to grand mountains to lava fields and black sand beaches. You can drive the peninsula clockwise or counterclockwise but here the drive will be described clockwise. The first stop is at the amazing Ytri Tunga where you will find a seal paradise, where they relax and play at the beach surprisingly unafraid of the humans who often stop by to admire these cuties.
From Ytri Tunga you will make your way to Arnarstapi, the drive is very beautiful and you will want to make extra stops here and there just to take it all in (make sure to park well off road). Arnarstapi is a tiny charming fishing village on the coast of Snæfellsnes peninsula and close by another similar one called Hellnar. Between those two you will find a café, located down by the ocean with a great view and excellent food options. Perfect for a lunch stop!
Prepare for a ravishing vista as you make your way along the coast of the peninsula first stopping at the alluring Lóndrangar sea cliff and then at the movie looking Djúpalónssandur pebble rock beach with its high basalt columns. This place was once home to sixty fishing boats and was at that time one of the most prolific fishing villages in the West of Iceland but today it remains uninhabited.
Along the coast, you will continue driving up and down graceful hills and beautiful roads, over bridges, and past dazzling unnamed waterfalls. During the drive, you will see Snæfellsjökull glacier from all directions, the famous stratovolcano that Jules Verne wrote about in his book Journey to the Center of the Earth.
The reason for the next stop is hard to hide since as soon as you reach the town’s border you will see the towering mountain of Kirkjufell standing tall out on a peninsula. Right next to the mountain you will find the waterfall Kirkjufellsfoss which adds a magical charm to the scene and makes the overview otherworldly.
A dinner at Stykkishólmur, the neighboring town is a great idea before settling at the hotel for the night which will be in the area.
Today we wake up and enjoy our complimentary breakfast before continuing the route through the Hvalfjörður e. Whale fjord a fascinating drive in complete serenity. The drive will take you over a hill and into the valley where the National Park Þingvellir is located. Þingvellir, often spelled Thingvellir is a world-famous geological wonderland and a home to waterfalls, lakes, and stunning lava formations. It is where the continental plates meet and drift apart in an intriguing way adding to the charm of this historical site where one of the world’s first democratic parliaments was founded in the year 930. The park is a UNESCO protected world heritage site as it is truly unique and fascinating on a global scale.
Back on the route, you will drive past the local favorite Laugarvatn lake home to the Laugarvatn Fontana spa, where many like to make a stop and bathe. Other great stops before you get to the Geysir Hot Springs is at Reykholt, Flúðir geothermal village, the Secret Lagoon oldest swimming pool in Iceland or Friðheimar a tomato plantation where you can taste delicious greenhouse-grown tomatoes or tomato soup, a fantastic lunch or café stop!
Next up on the 7 day Iceland itinerary is one of Iceland’s most famous landmarks, the Geysir Hot Springs. This must-do stop will bring you a memory that you will never forget as the geyser Strokkur bursts up into the sky like a rocket every 4-10 minutes creating a synchronized but unavoidable awe with the crowd watching.
This is a moment you will remember forever. Last but not least on the Golden Circle is the Gullfoss waterfall stop. The Golden Falls like the name would translate is a two-story water force that originated in Iceland’s second-largest glacier Langjökull. Some like to add a tour to this stop as a pick up for a Glacier Snowmobiling Tour on the Langjökull glacier can be booked from the Gullfoss waterfall parking lot.
Your hotel for this night is located within the Golden Circle route.
After breakfast at the accommodation, the adventure continues this time driving along the South Coast heading East. Along the route, you will be greeted with a view over the acclaimed Hekla volcano and the stratovolcano which so famously erupted in 2010, Eyjafjallajökull. You will drive through the town Hella and later Hvolsvöllur before getting up close and personal with a waterfall that originates in Eyjafjallajökull, Seljalandsfoss. This picture-perfect waterfall drops down a mountain hill that is carved underneath giving you a chance to walk behind it. It is a magical feeling to walk behind a glacier waterfall, an experience you never forget.
Right next to the Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a hidden gem, in a gorge in the same hill you can find the eerie Gljúfrabúi waterfall. Prepare to get a little wet when exploring it but it’s fully worth it! Continue the drive for about 30 minutes and you will find the powerful and marvelous waterfall Skógafoss, located at the historical Skógar. There you can hike up to the top of the waterfall but don’t do it without a stop in the middle to see the fairy-tale-like troll face that sits in the hill. Legend says that the troll lost track of time admiring the waterfall and its beauty and as a result turned into stone. Skógar also has a fantastic museum.
The drive will to you in the direction of the village Vík but before you reach it take a right turn towards the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. This mystical and staggering volcanic sand utopia is home to divine basalt columns that stand tall and strong against the ocean's strong waves. Be careful not to go too close to the ocean as the waves are known to be intensely powerful.
Dyrhólaey cape is not far off and for many a welcomed extra stop to make. From there you can see Reynisfjara and its columns, Reynisdrangar from a whole different angle. It is a place of angelic views and is known to capture people’s hearts and souls.
The night will be spent at the village of Vík.
Today the drive takes you from Vík over the lava, moss, and sand fields towards East. The landscape is sublime and you will want to stop a few times to take it all in. Today you will be making your way to the Glacier Kingdom of Skaftafell and Vatnajökull National parks. You will drive through the town on Kirkjubæjarklaustur about an hour from Vík and onwards until you reach the National Park Skaftafell.
Here, you will have the chance to join a glacier hike tour. (Please note that this is an optional extra. (Instructions are presented in the itinerary after purchase) You'll meet a glacier guide for an exciting glacier hike on an outlet glacier from Vatnajökull Europe’s largest glacier. There is yet another experience that you will hold on to and cherish.
If you haven’t had enough exercise after the glacier hike we recommend hiking up to the Svartifoss waterfall where you are in for a true visual treat. Fun Fact: Svartifoss was an inspiration for the Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík.
Next up is a location not to be missed, the stop that you have likely been waiting for. It’s the mighty, the heavenly Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon where celestial aqua blue icebergs float around and seals and arctic terns roam the area. There are no real words that can explain this vision. You simply must see the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Both Zodiac and Amphibian boat tours are available in the glacier lagoon. On the other side of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, you have the Diamond beach another must-visit where glistening icebergs have drifted ashore a pitch-black sand beach and sit perfectly creating a supernaturally beautiful scene.
The night is spent at a hotel in the Klaustur, Skaftafell, Höfn area.
Today you drive back to Reykjavík but not without stopping at even more beautiful locations you missed in the way out. Now it’s time to visit the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, a place even locals have a difficult time pronouncing the name of but everyone can agree on its insane beauty!
There are a few different ways to explore the gully and we recommend you take your time.
When back in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur village area many like to take a picnic stop somewhere in the Eldhraun lava field and take in the uniqueness of the area.
Near Kirkjubæjarhlaustur you will find the lesser-known waterfalls Stjórnarfoss and Systrafoss, truly hidden pearls. These two stops you will not want to miss. If you want to go fully local take a swim in the swimming pools at Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Vík, Hvolsvöllur or Hella and really use the time to enjoy the pleasing drive back to the capital.
The next night will be spent in the capital area.
Today is the day of departure and its itinerary is quite up to you and dependant on your flight’s departure time. We advise you on the route to Keflavik International airport to explore the lava-covered Reykjanes peninsula it stands on and hopefully you will have time to make a stop at the distinguished Blue Lagoon. If you are looking to take a dip in the silica-filled turquoise waters remember you need to book you in advance to make sure you get a spot as it is very popular.
Other great spots to see on the Reykjanes peninsula area:
When you arrive at the airport again you drop the rental car off, free from the hassle of busses or challenging luggage transfers or storing.
Have a safe trip back!
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.
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.
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.
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 of weather can always be demanding, so we 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 them. 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 boots 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.
Yes, the parking fee depends on your car category.
Category A - Passenger car, 5 seats or less: ISK 750
Category B - Passenger car, 6-9 seats: ISK 1,000
Motorcycles: ISK 300
You can always check the newest fees here.