“A day at the beach in Iceland?” “Impossible!” Well no, thanks to Mother Nature and modern technology it is possible to experience an Iceland self drive with geothermal bathing every day. Either during summer or winter, you’ll bath in natural geothermal springs or man made geothermal pools. What can be better during your Iceland travel than to bask in the warmth of these welcoming silky waters as they emerge from Iceland´s volcanic depths all the while being surrounded by the most amazing landscapes on the planet? This Iceland self drive discovering natural springs and hot pools can also provide a great opportunity to meet locals in their favourite activity and one that we fully appreciate! How about a real beach resort in Iceland …Well maybe not, but in Reykjavik it is possible to swim at a geothermal beach a short distance from the downtown area.
Iceland Travel possible all year
Arrival at Keflavik International Airport. Rental vehicle pickup and embark on your Iceland self-drive. A detour is possible at the Blue Lagoon before heading to Reykjavik or you can keep the pleasures of bathing in this futuristic setting for the end of your stay. Check into your accommodation and spend the evening at your leisure in the world´s northernmost capital.
Distance travelled: 50 km, 1h
Night in Reykjavik
On this day of you Iceland selfdrive you embark upon the south coast to discover the volcanic glaciers of Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull. Black sand beaches and cliffs of columnar basalt that guard them as well as waterfalls and glacial tongues that slowing make their way towards the waiting shore. Stop at the Seljaland and Skogar waterfalls and visit the charming folk museum and then enjoy a swim in the outdoor swimming pool at Seljavallalaug. At a temperature of (30-37°c) Seljavallalaug is an outdoor geothermal swimming pool located a few kilometres east of Skogar. It was built in 1923, and as such, is one of the oldest pools in Iceland. At 20 m long and 5 m wide, it was for many years, the largest in Iceland! In 1990 a new pool nearer the road was built, but the more intimate old pool is always accessible … and free! It is also maintained every summer! Now continue on to Vik, a small coastal town sheltered by cliffs upon which a colony of puffins has made their nest.
Distance travelled: 200 km, 4h
Night in the Vik area.
Heading first west and then north, we go further inland and cross the most fertile farmland in Iceland. During summer, if you have a 4×4, you can “push on” to Landmanalaugar and swim in an extraordinary river of geothermal water as it runs along the edge of an old lava field. If you have a regular car, you´ll go to the Hrunalaug hot spring near the village of Fludir. Hrunalaug is a natural hot spring hidden in a small green valley. A small stone-walled pool enclosure approximately 2 meters long and meter wide was constructed upstream. From there the water flows through the changing shed to a second smaller pool that runs a bit cooler. The temperatures range from 35-37°.
Distance travelled: 160 km, 3h
Night in Fludir area.
Your first stop is the Gullfoss waterfall where the Hvita River has created an impressive canyon. In summer, if you have a 4×4 you will go swimming in nature at Hveravellir and/or Kerlingarfjoll where you are almost smack in the middle of the country. If not, you have the opportunity to visit the Fontana spa at Laugarvatn for a bit more luxury! – Fontana is a spa that is modern and well designed, built over a natural hot spring the spa is situated on the shore of Lake Laugarvatn. Recently completely renovated, it offers all the facilities you expect for the pleasures of a new complex; sauna, steam baths and swimming pools with a water temperature of 32° to 40° and a superb view of the lake. If you’re brave enough you go even take a dip in its “slightly colder” waters. – Hveravellir is one of the must do open air hot pools/springs in Iceland! The pool is set in a geothermal area with fumaroles, sulphur springs and turquoise waters. Relatively large, with a capacity of around twenty people, its temperature is controlled by a supply of both hot and cold water and offers a splendid panorama of the surrounding geothermal area including the Langjokull and Hofsjokull glaciers!
Night in in the regions of Laugavatn or Hveravellir.
Spend the morning to visit Geysir and Laugarvatn if you did not the day before and then observe the effects of oceanic rift at Thingvellir, the historic site of Iceland’s ancient parliament and the largest body of freshwater in the country. Next a very nice drive will take you to the Hvalfjordur “whale fjord” and its hot spring at Hvammsvik where you can enjoy a soak in the midst of this picturesque fjord before continuing on to you accommodation a little further north towards the Snaefellsness peninsula. Hvammsvik is a unique place: a small stone-walled pool which is well hidden along the fjord. It is a circular stone construction, supplied with hot and cold water that you can moderate. If you enjoy contrast, the salty waters of the fjord are a tempting 5 meters away for the brave to experiment.
Distance travelled: 120 km, 3h
Night in Borgarnes region.
This day of your Iceland self drive is devoted to exploring the southern shore of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, a spectacular region of contrasting landscapes. Follow this flat, then later, rugged coastline of sandy beaches and rocky coasts flanked by the ocean and leading to the small port villages of Arnastapi and Hellnar that sit at the foot of the Snaefellsjokull glacier´s snowy. One of Iceland´s natural icons, it was immortalized by Jules Verne in his novel – “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. Several bathing opportunities are available on this section of your Iceland self drive: The Landbrotalaug hot spring and the Lysuholl pool over the summer. During the winter months, if the hot spring at Landbrotalaug is unavailable, there is the accommodation at Hof with its pool and hot tub. The Landbrotalaug hot spring is an interesting natural hot pool, easily accessible from the main road. It is a natural hot spring set in rock about a meter in diameter and one meter deep. The temperature can vary from 30° to 40°. There is also another hot pool a little further upstream that is shallower but with a slightly warmer water.
Distance travelled: 200 km, 4h
Night in Borgarnes region.
Back to Reykjavik but if you feel there is unfinished business you have plenty of time to re-visit the Reykholt valley or the impressive Hvalfjrdur, “Whale fjord” where you will find a hidden valley and Iceland´s highest waterfall, Glymur. Return your rental car by 17:00 and the rental company will shuttle you back to the guesthouse or the Laugarspa. Entrance to Laugarspa includes access to the Laugardalur swimming pool. – Laugarspa is Reykjavik´s luxury Health and spa resort and is located in the Laugardalur valley which offers calming walking paths at the end of your spa session. All the expected facilities in this type of institution are available; 3 swimming pools with different temperatures, several hot tubs, saunas and steam baths … so Scandinavian.
Distance travelled: 180 km, 3h
Night in Reykjavik or Reyjanes.
Transfer to the Keflavik International Airport to end your Iceland travel in time for your flight home.
Distance travelled: 20-50 km
Take your pick: hotels, mountain huts, campsites…
If you have a backpacker’s soul, a small budget, or are travelling to Iceland alone, this may be a good option for you.
Whether they are someone’s actual home or an establishment more like a cosy and simple inn, Reykjavik guesthouses most often offer the best access to downtown.
3 STAR HOTEL
Three star hotels are often in the middle of downtown areas. When they are not, they are about ten minutes away by taxi or bus. The accommodations are simple but many offer possible upgrades and triple rooms if travelling as a family.
4 STAR HOTEL
Since extravagance and 5 star hotels are hard to come by in Iceland, these are the most deluxe options for your stay. The downtown hotels are comfortable, centrally located and reasonably spacious. They have quality restaurants and excellent efficient service.
If you chose to do this Iceland travel with your family or in a group of friends, you can rent apartments in Reykjavik by the day or by the week.Request quote
Pricing based on two persons, double room, with a regular car
In guesthouses, farmhouses or countryside hotels, year long
In huts, or hostels from May to September
Camping, from June to August
4WD vehicle supplement (category G): from 280 to 450 Euros per person. Required to access the interior during summer.
*Final price varies depending on the number of people, the season, the accomodation and the category of vehicle.