Around Iceland

Self Drive TourIceland


From $1,595 USD
May 1 - September 30, 2020
10 Days / 9 Nights

Around Iceland, 10-day self-drive tour to Iceland's South, East and North, with Jökulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Thingvellir and Vatnajökull National Parks.

Overview

Around Iceland, a 10- day self-drive favorite explores Iceland's rich natural treasures, from National Parks to beautiful waterfalls, striking glaciers, magnificent volcanoes and hot springs. Enjoy Iceland's well-known sites in the South, East and North, visit Reykjavik city, Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir, Jökulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Thingvellir and Vatnajökull National parks. You have ample time to cover all the hot spots along the famous Ring Road.

Operation

May 1 - September 30, 2020

Departure

daily, May 1 - September 30, 2020

Price

  • May 1 - May 31
  • Our Rates quoted are based on Quality class
  • from $1,595 per person, based on 4 persons traveling together, 2 double rooms
  • from $1,950 per person, based on 3 persons traveling together, 1 double rooms & 1 single room
  • from $1,755 per person, based on 2 persons traveling together, 1 double room
  • Rates based on Comfort class
  • Car category 2.0, Compact 2wd, Toyota Auris or similar

Included

  • Accommodation for 9 nights, Quality class
  • Breakfast buffet daily (except arrival day)
  • Rental car for 9 days
  • CDW, unlimited mileage, VAT, theft protection
  • FREE GPS system and no charges for an additional driver
  • Car pick-up and drop-off at Keflavik Airport
  • Fuel discount card
  • Tablet with a new travel app called Iceland Travel Companion
  • The app includes:
  • Thousands of points of nature sites, historic places, and road side services
    The points of interest can be customized to suit your interests and individual route
  • In-app purchase feature to book day tours or activities directly into the app
  • Safety guidelines and the apps of the Icelandic Meteorological Office and The Icelandic Road Administration
    emergency numbers and more
  • Useful information about your booking, including detailed descriptions about confirmed hotels
  • Your hotel bookings with check-in and check-out dates
  • A map view of the Iceland road trip
  • Customer care service during office hours
  • 24-hour Iceland Travel emergency line assistance while you are in Iceland
  • Detailed pdf travel book about Iceland in English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and French

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Breakfast on arrival day
  • Fuel expenses
  • Tolls (tunnels, roads and other route tolls), unless specified
  • Admissions and activities other than those noted in itinerary
  • Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted
  • Guaranteed early check-in (check-in time for most hotels in Iceland starts 14:00 – 16:00 
  • Guaranteed late check-out
  • Any service not specifically listed under "included"

Please note

  • Children 2-11 years old: USD 836 per night when one child shares a double room with 2 adults.
  • Children 12 years and older pay full price as adults.
  • Children's accommodation consists of an extra bed/mattress on the floor
  • Our Quality Class self-drive holidays allow you to spend your days exploring rural Iceland, knowing your nights will be spent in the most comfortable accommodation each area has to offer. Throughout the tour you'll stay in quality guesthouses and hotels where all rooms have private facilities. Your final night will be in a 4 star hotel in Reykjavik.
  • You must be 21 years of age to rent a car, 23 years of age to rent car category 5.0 or higher.
    We recommend car category 2.0 or higher for this itinerary.
  • Tour also available as Comfort class, standard hotels, farmhouses and guesthouses. Your final night will be in a 3 star hotel in Reykjavik.
  • The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and sightings, therefore, cannot be guaranteed.

    Car types in Iceland 
    Driving in Iceland

Tour Options

  • Optional Activity bundles
  • Upgrade to higher car category available
  • Tour also available in Economy class, standard hotels, farmhouses of guesthouses with private facilities. Your final night will be in a 3 star hotel in Reykjavik., from  $2075 per person, based on 4 persons traveling together, 2 double rooms.

Day 1 WELCOME TO ICELAND - HVERAGERDI

Geothermal Lagoon - Flower village - Geothermal Greenhouses
Approximate mileage: 100 km / 62 miles

Once you have landed at Keflavik Aiport, please pick up your luggage and head through customs. Collect your rental car at the airport and proceed to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time in Iceland, it may be ideal to stop and visit the renowned Blue Lagoon where you can relax in its geothermal waters. Important: admission to the Blue Lagoon needs to be booked in advance.

October and April: Drive to your hotel in Reykjavik, the colorful capital of Iceland. (Approximate distance: 50km/30 miles)

May – September: Drive along the southern coast of the Reykjanes Peninsula to the charming village of Hveragerdi for your overnight. This village is one of the few sites in the world located directly on top of a geothermal area and, because of its many greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs, it is often called the "flower village". 

Please note check-in for most hotels begins at 14:00.

Highlights: Reykjavik | National Gallery | Hallgrimskirkja | Tjornin | Perlan | Laugardalur

Optional: Standard Lava Tunnel Tour (from Basecamp) | ATV Black Beach Tour – from Thorlakshofn | Perlan – Glaciers and Ice Cave Exhibition

Day 2 GEYSIR - THINGVELLIR - BORGARFJÖRDUR (B)

Exploding Geysers - National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO) - Gullfoss Waterfall
Approximate mileage: 310 km / 193 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Enjoy a day visiting the natural wonders of the Golden Circle region. Gullfoss is considered by many visitors to be Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls. Geysir is an active geothermal field with many bubbling steam vents and spouting hot springs, including the famous Strokkur geyser. Visit Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic Viking parliament and a jewel of nature. Here you can see the meeting point between the North American and Europe continents. Many important historical events happened here. Several walking trails and hiking trails take visitors to historical points of interest.

Drive through the scenic area of Hvalfjördur fjord to Borgarfjördur, a region known for its Viking-age history and beautiful glacier-carved landscapes. Borgarfjördur is a popular local getaway for Icelanders from the Reykjavik area. It has been gaining popularity among international visitors for its special focus on home-made local foods and handicrafts. Visitors also enjoy outdoor activities such as caving, hiking and SuperJeep/snowmobile tours on Langjökull glacier.

Travel Suggestion: The areas you‘ll explore today are full of geothermal activity, and that means hot spring relaxation! We recommend taking a break during the day to relax in a hot spring pool. In the Golden Circle area, we recommend the Fontana Steam Baths in Laugarvatn or the Secret Lagoon in Fludir.

Mid-June through Mid-September: If you have a 4WD vehicle (we recommend category 5.0 or higher), you can also take the scenic highland wilderness Kaldidalur track alongside Langjökull glacier to Borgarfjördur. The road generally is open between mid-June and mid-September.

Overnight in Borgarfjördur area.

Optional Tours: The Cave People | Krauma Nature Baths | Glacier Tunnel in Langjökull | Into the Glacier – Classic Tour (from Husafell Hotel or Klaki Base Camp)

Day 3 BORGARFJÖRDUR - BLONDUOS - AKUREYRI (B)

Picturesque Waterfalls – Europe's Most Powerful Hot Spring – Viking Horses
Approximate distance: 420km / 261mi

Breakfast at your hotel. Spend part of the day exploring enjoyable activities In Borgarfjördur. Visit the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, and the enormous Deildartunguhver, the most powerful hot springs in Europe. Nearby is the lovely Krauma Natural Geothermal spa where you can relax in a variety of hot pools and take in the beautiful views. Enjoy adventure with a visit to the multi-colored Vidgelmir cave or take a guided trip up Langjökull Glacier to the fascinating, educational "Into the Glacier" ice cave. Walk in the footsteps of the Medieval chieftain and Saga author Snorri Sturluson at his home in Reykholt. Nearby is the friendly Sturlu Reykir horse farm, where you can tour the farm, meet Icelandic horses and enjoy a short introduction to the breed. (We also recommend trying the farm's excellent steam-baked rye bread at their cafe- they bake it in their farm's own hot spring area!). You can also try a horseback riding tour through the pretty countryside.

Drive north and pass Hunafloi bay, a great area for seal watching. If you're interested in learning more about seals, we suggest a visit to the Seal Center in Hvammstangi. You can learn about these enchanting sea mammals and also book a guided seal watching excursion. Located just above the Icelandic Seal Center is a charming seafood restaurant with great fjord views and a great local menu.

The scenery changes to towering mountains and fertile valleys as you head into Skagafjördur, an area known for horse breeding and some of Iceland's best preserved historical buildings. Some of these are at the Glaumbaer (Skagafjördur Heritage Museum), where you can visit a turf manor farm dating back to the 18th century and two charming 19th century timber houses. Australian author Hannah Kent used the design of the turf manor farm as a model for her description of the farm depicted in her best-selling novel Burial Rites (now in production as a movie).

Continue to Akureyri, the capital of the north. Overnight in north Iceland.

Highlights: Hraunfossar | Barnafoss | Deildartunguhver | Snorrastofa – Reykholt

Optional Tours: Seal and Nature Watching (from Hvammstangi) | Family River Rafting (from Skagafjördur)

Day 4 AKUREYRI - LAKE MYVATN (B)

Botanical Garden - Museums - Waterfall of the Gods
Approximate mileage: 75km / 47 mi

Breakfast at your hotel. Spend the morning exploring the town of Akureyri. The town has some of the finest timber buildings in the country, beautifully restored to their original glory. If you're interested in culture, check out the trendy Listagil, the "Art Canyon". You can stroll the street here, browsing art galleries and stopping in at one of the friendly cafes or pubs for delicious, locally sourced food. Several museums are worth a visit, including the Akureyri Art Museum and Nonnahus, the childhood home of a 19th century Icelandic author who enchanted European children with his stores about growing up in Iceland. You can also visit the symbol of the town, Akureyri Church. It was designed by the same architect who designed Reykjavik’s Hallgrimskirkja Church. Akureyri church has a beautiful design and stained-glass window. The botanical garden is open year-round; many visitors find it interesting that a garden so close to the Arctic Circle has such a large variety of plants. Akureyri also has one of the best swimming pools in the country. It's a great way to enjoy both hot spring relaxation and check out the daily life in Akureyri.

Continue your journey along Eyjafjördur, taking in spectacular views of the sea and fjord. The road leads towards Myvatn, but first stop to view the beautiful Godafoss waterfalls, which has a unique connection to Iceland's Viking Age. Overnight in the Myvatn area.

Highlights: Akureyri | Godafoss | Myvatn

Please Note: The Ring Road route today contains a toll tunnel.

Optional Tours: Akureyri Food Walk | Game of Thrones Air tour | Whale Watching (from Akureyri)

Day 5 LAKE MYVATN AREA (B)

Bizarre Lava Formations - Geothermal Activity - Rich Birdlife
Approximate mileage: variable

Today you are in for a treat: you have a wonderland of fantastical volcanic features you can explore in Myvatn Nature Reserve. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge you saw earlier in Thingvellir also runs through Myvatn, but it's resulted in a completely different type of landscape. Stroll along footpaths circling the mystical lava formations at Dimmuborgir. Visit the surreal area surrounding Krafla, the volcano whose natural forces provide geothermal power to the area. Check out the otherworldly setting and colorful sulphurous slopes of Namaskard pass—it's almost as though you are walking on the surface of Mars! Explore the Skutustadir craters and the strange lava columns rising out of the lake itself. This area was used in filming Game of Thrones. If you enjoy bird watching, Myvatn is a popular resting spot for migrating birds from Europe and North America. May and June are the best months for bird watching, but there are water birds in the lake throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Myvatn also offers outdoor adventure. You can rent out bikes and follow trails along the lake (summertime) or take a guided horseback ride through lava-lined paths. SuperJeeps can take you into the wild majesty of the highland wilderness. And, after a day of exploration and fun, why not relax with a soak in the Myvatn Nature Baths. Here you can join area locals and enjoy the pools and the natural steam baths in a spectacular setting. The area also has several great restaurants that feature a local taste treat: Lake Myvatn smoked arctic char on steam-baked rye bread.

Travel tip: Many visitors find it helpful to bring a fly head net during the summer months because of midges around Lake Myvatn. (The midges are harmless but having a face net can make your visit more comfortable.) Overnight in the Myvatn area.

Highlights: Myvatn | Dimmuborgir | Krafla | Myvatn Nature Baths | Hverfjall

Day 6 HUSAVIK - TJ

Ö

RNES - DETTIFOSS - EGILSTADIR (B)

Whale Watching - Vatnajökull National Park – Vast Eastern Highlands
Approximate mileage: 315 km / 195 mil

Breakfast at your accommodation. Remember to make sure you have a full tank of gas and some snacks to eat, as travel services are more limited on today's route. Drive north to the fishing port of Husavik, where we suggest you stop to enjoy a whale watching boat tour (available Mar- Nov). The Whale Museum and the new Explorers' Museum are also both worth a look. If you want to indulge in some hot spring relaxation, we definitely recommend the unique geothermal sea bathing at the new GeoSea Natural Baths.

Head around the fossil rich Tjörnes peninsula on the edge of the Arctic Circle to the northern entrance of Vatnajökull National Park. The visitor's center has helpful information on the wildlife and geology and trail conditions. Visit Asbyrgi, a magnificent horseshoes-caped canyon in the park. Trails lead through peaceful forested areas to a hidden canyon lake. The park paths take you through dramatic canyon lands created by a river flowing from Vatnajökull glacier. The crown jewel of the area is surely Dettifoss waterfall, the most powerful ones in Europe.* Continue across the vast highland plateau to Egilsstadir in the east.

*If you are traveling between May and September, roads would be open for visiting Dettifoss, the Europe's most powerful waterfall. Overnight in East Iceland.

Highlights: Husavik | Asbyrgi | Dimmuborgir | Jökulsargljufur National Park

Optional Tours: Classic Whale Watching from Husavik | Husavik Original Whale Watching and Puffins

Day 7 REYDARFJÖRDUR - STODVARFJÖRDUR - HÖFN (B)

Narrow Fjords - Steep Mountains - Picturesque Coastline - Unique Mineral Collection
Approximate mileage: 309 km / 192 mi

Breakfast at your hotel. A great way to start the day is a visit to Hallormsstadur, Iceland's first reforestation project and its largest woodland. It's so peaceful to spend some moments here enjoying the sound of the wind in the trees and that special sense of nature unique to East Iceland.

Drive alongside Lake Lagarfljot, home to a legendary monster. Perhaps you'll also catch a glimpse of this elusive beast. Visit the award-winning Wilderness Center located at the edge of the hauntingly beautiful eastern highlands. The Wilderness Center has picked up quite a following on social media for its unique experiences, and it is worth a visit. Here you can discover Iceland's pioneer history and highland nature in a clever interactive way. Wilderness Center guides can take you on a hiking trip around beautiful Hengifoss falls or a horseback riding trip to the scenic remains of an old farmhouse. The Center is also famous for its excellent cafe. You can chat with the hosts as they prepare a meal made from historical recipes and with ingredients gathered from the highlands and area farms.

Drive south through the spectacular East Fjords, where towering mountains plunge vertically into the ocean. Leave yourself plenty time, both for safe driving and for amazing views of the coast and Vatnajökull glacier. The journey continues to the town of Hofn in Hornafjördur, also known as the lobster capital of northern Europe. Several restaurants offer you the chance to try some of the famous langoustines for yourself. Overnight in Southeast Iceland.

Optional Tours: Reindeer Safari (from Egilsstadir, East Iceland)

Highlights: Egilsstadir | Reydarfjördur | Djupivogur | Petra's Minerals | Seydisfjördur | Hengifoss | Höfn

Day 8 HÖFN - SKAFTAFELL - KIRKJUBAERKLAUSTUR (B)

Europe's Largest Glacier - Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs - Glacier-Ringed Oasis
Approximate mileage: 209 km / 130 km

Today you will be in the vicinity of southern Vatnajökull National Park, and you'll get great views of Vatnajökull glacier as you drive along the Ring Road. Visit the shimmering icebergs and the still, milky waters of Jökulsarlon Glacial Lagoon before continuing to the Skaftafell area of the park, a beautiful nature area surrounded by glaciers. There are many great hiking trails here. Head onwards to the picturesque village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Overnight in Kirkjubaejarklaustur area.

Highlights: Jökulsarlon Glacial Lagoon | Skaftafell National Park

Optional: Amphibian Boat Tour on Glacial Lagoon (from the lagoon)

Day 9 VIK - SKOGAR - REYKJAVIK (B)

Lava Fields - Black Sand Beaches - Seabird Colony - Thundering Waterfalls
Approximate mileage: 345 km / 214 mi

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive along the spectacular south coast and Katla Geopark, a sweeping landscape of sandy deserts, rocky shores and rolling farmlands sandwiched between snow-capped glaciers, mountains and the ocean. First you will cross over vast black sand plains created by the outwash from glacial floods Drive alongside Eldhraun, a massive and eerily beautiful lava flow covered in moss. It is the largest recorded single flow of lava in world history. Stop to admire the black sand beaches and cliffs at Dyrholaey*. There are also vast bird colonies here, including puffins (generally seen mid-May to early August). If you're interested in volcanoes, the Icelandic Lava Show in Vik is a new exhibit that safely lets you see the impacts when molten lava erupts underneath a glacier-capped volcano, something that has happened in this part of Iceland.

Today you'll also visit the beautiful waterfalls of Skogar and Seljalands, each with its own character. Skogafoss is one of Iceland's most photographed waterfalls and has stairs that take you to the top for an amazing view. Seljalandsfoss has trails that take you behind the waterfall. (Always check the trail conditions to make sure they are safe). If the skies are clear, you can also get a glimpse of the mighty Eyjafjallajökull volcano, famous for its 2010 eruption, and Hekla, Iceland's most frequently erupting volcano. The interactive Lava Center in the town of Hvollsvollur shows how powerful volcanoes and earthquakes have created Iceland. A stop here will give you a great (and fun) insight into Icelandic geology; we also recommend checking out the Lava Center's film.

Drive to Reykjavik in the late afternoon.

*Dyrholaey is closed for the bird nesting season between mid-May and 25 June.

Highlights: Vik | Seljalandsfoss | Skogafoss | Dyrholaey

Optional: Snowmobiling on Myrdalsjökull Glacier (from Basecamp)

Day 10 REYJAVIK DEPARTURE (B)

Approximate distance: 50 km / 30 mi

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive back to Keflavik International Airport.  We recommend departing your hotel in Reykjavik no later than at least 3 hours before your flight departure. It takes approximately 1 hour to drive to the airport, and check-in will start 2 hours before your departure.

If you did not visit the Blue Lagoon on your way to the city on your first day but have some free time today, you might want to use the opportunity en route to the airport. For this detour, please be sure to allow for at least 2-2,5 hours extra so you’ll have ample time at the Lagoon. Your rental car should be returned to the airport service area, which is located only 2 minutes from the airport building. A shuttle will then transport you to the departure hall.

**Please note that the package price is based on 9 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 10, an additional supplement will be charged unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 9-day rental is up and use our our Airport Direct departure transfer.

Please note: The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and sightings, therefore, cannot be guaranteed.

Highlights: Reykjavik | The Blue Lagoon

Optional: Blue Lagoon Entrance and Extras

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