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Winter Self Drive in Iceland

©tawatchai1990
chunk of Ice at Sunrise in winter
Your winter self drive

From
1050€/pers
Duration
8 days / 7 nights

Who said Iceland was unreachable for a winter break?

Definitely not us! This island and 100% nature welcomes you with open arms all year and in winter it is still splendid. Of course, landing in Iceland is a little bit like landing on the moon: Lava fields, total isolation and the darkness of the arctic nights. But if you look closely, you find that life is around every corner in these volcanic landscapes: geothermal baths in the middle of nature or in the futuristic scenery of the Blue Lagoon, very low sunlight and snow that reveal every detail of these magnificent landscapes; waterfalls that become ice sculptures, Black sand beaches sprinkled with snow And then you have the charm of Reykjavík, a human size capital where nature is never far away. In winter you will have the chance to observe one of nature’s most beautiful phenomena: The Northern lights. This environment which is raw, but welcoming at the same time is varied and secretive. Making Iceland one of the best winter destinations you could hope for, especially for an intimate and unique vacation.

Possible between October and April

Regions visited during this trip to Iceland : Reykjavik | Golden Circle | South Coast | East

N.B.: This trip to Iceland is an individual tailor-made tour, to be personalized with our Iceland specialist advisors.

The route
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Step 1

Reykjavík

The first night is at your leisure in the world’s northernmost capital.

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Step 2

Golden Circle

Today you’re off to discover Iceland’s famous Golden Circle

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Step 3

Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Discover the marvels lying at the feet of the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers

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Step 4

Höfn

Driving east, you’ll reach the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

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Step 5

Vík

ontinue your discovery of the area surrounding the Vatnajökull glacier, Europe's largest

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Step 6

Reykjanes Peninsula

Return towards the capital by driving along the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula

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Step 7

Reykholt

Drive on the shores of the long and impressive Hvalfjördur, or "whale fjord" until you reach the valley of Reykholt

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Step 8

Reykjavik

Return your rental car at Keflavik International Airport for your flight home.

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Your Winter Self Drive in Iceland day by day itinerary

Day 1

Keflavik - Reykjavík

50 km. 1hr 

Arrive at Keflavik International Airport. Rental car pick up and drive to Reykjavik. Settle in to your accommodation. The first night is at your leisure in the world’s northernmost capital.

Staying overnight Reykjavík. 

Day 2

Reykjavík - Thingvellir - Geysir - Gullfoss

150 km approx. 2hrs 30min 

Today you’re off to discover Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. Your first stop will be Thingvellir to discover the effects of the oceanic rift and the site of the oldest parliament in the world. Then you’ll continue your drive passing through fertile farmlands to reach the famous Strokkur geyser in Geysir (the place that originally gave the phenomenon its name). A bit further is the Gullfoss waterfall, where the Hvítá River has created an impressive canyon.

Staying overnight in the Flúdir region. 

Day 3

Flúdir – Skógar – Vík - Kirkjubæjarklaustur

230 km approx. 4hrs 

Discover the marvels lying at the feet of the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers. Black sand beaches and bird cliffs on the ocean-side of the road. On the other side, innumerable waterfalls crash from cliff tops and glacial tongues drift down from the mountains higher up. Stop at the Skogar waterfall and visit its rustic museum. If you are in a 4×4 vehicle, drive down to the black sand beaches of Dyrholaey. In the Vik area, you can observe a large puffin colony in their natural habitat.

Staying overnight in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur region. 

Day 4

Skaftafell National Park– Jökulsarlon – Höfn

200 km approx. 3hrs 30min 

Hike around the Skaftafell area of the Vatnajokull National Park. Many spectacular trails abound, one of which will take you to the Svartifoss waterfall and its stunning basalt rock formations. Driving east, you’ll reach the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. You may think you’re in Greenland for a minute as you take in the sight of these icebergs that are cast off from Europe’s largest glacier and the lazy seals that sunbathe on them.

Staying overnight in the Höfn region. 

Day 5

Höfn - Vík

270 km approx. 4hrs 30min 

Continue your discovery of the area surrounding the Vatnajökull glacier, Europe’s largest. Then, move on to the verdant region of Kirkjubaejarklaustur: waterfalls, ancient lava flows left by Laki’s eruption in 1783 and covered today by a thick layer of moss. Stop at the canyon of Fjardrarglufur, a short walk from the road. Then you’ll cross through the long desert-like expanse of Mýrdalssandur.

Staying overnight in the Vík region.

Day 6

Vik – Reykjanes Peninsula - Reykjavík

300 km approx. 5hrs 

Return towards the capital by driving along the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula. Savage coasts and lunar landscapes formed by numerous volcanic eruptions. Iceland’s Geothermal activity manifests itself here in many forms: the bubbling cauldrons of mud and steam at Krýsuvík as well as the thermal turquoise waters of the Blue Lagoon.

Staying overnight in Reykjavik. 

Day 7

Hvalfjordur – Reykholt

300 km approx. 5hrs 

Drive on the shores of the long and impressive Hvalfjördur, or “whale fjord” until you reach the valley of Reykholt. Here you’ll find the hot water springs of Deildartunguhver that are often said to be the fastest flowing in the Europe. Stop at the waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss and continue back to the capital to enjoy a relaxing last night in Reykjavik.

Day 8

Reykjavik – Keflavik

50km approx. 1 hr 

Return your rental car at Keflavik International Airport for your flight home.

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Your accomodation during your Winter Self Drive in Iceland

In hotels, guesthouses or farmhouses 

With this itinerary you have many various and very different accommodation choices, as different as accommodation gets in Iceland in any case! The vast majority of Icelandic establishments are modest, but clean and comfortable. Most of the guesthouses, farmhouses and hotels offer catering. Meanwhile, keep in mind that we cannot guarantee specific accommodation before booking; however, your accommodation will fall under whichever category of establishment you choose. We recommend that you book as soon as possible in order to have to the most choice when it comes to the establishment itself and the type of accommodation you stay in. In winter, the absence of tourists allows us to offer you a choice of quality accommodation in each region without having to pay for luxury.

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Price per person from 1050€ to 1300€

In guesthouse, farm or country hotel

  • In room with private facilities: from 1200 to 1300 Euros/pers. depending on season
  • In room without private facilities: from 1050 to 1100 Euros/pers. depending on season

Extra-cost 4×4 

  • for a category D vehicle: from 155 Euros/pers. highly recommended for driving in winter.
  • for a category FG vehicle: from 210 Euros/pers. 

Final price varies depending on the number of people, the season and the category of vehicle.

Included in this travel

  • Three nights in Reykjavik in a guesthouse with a double room and breakfast included
  • Four nights in the countryside in private or shared rooms or a campsite depending on the option you choose
  • Breakfast is included in guesthouses, farmhouses and country hotels
  • A travel folder full of road maps and detailed day by day road book full of tips and tricks
  • Rental of a category a two wheel drive vehicle for 7 days, unlimited distance, CDW insurance and second driver

Not included in this travel

  • Your international flight
  • Meals, drinks and personal expenses
  • Fuel
  • Optional visits such as Blue Lagoon and activities
  • Super CDW insurance and gravel protection including liability
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Friendly advice for your Winter Self Drive in Iceland:

  • A great family trip for the festive, winter and spring seasons.
  • Best between February and April so you can enjoy the days as they get longer.
  • It’s the best season for glacial hiking.
  • Rent a D or G 4×4 vehicle for better access to the country during the winter months.
  • For a trip based at one location, check out our Chalet/Summer house in the south
  • Take a group tour before or after your self-drive trip to access the highlands with a snowshoe hiking trip in and around the huts at Landmannalaugar. Landmannalaugar Winter Retreat
  • Take advantage of your trip in Iceland to visit Greenland for 4 to 7 days.
The options
surf in iceland

Surfing the Artic waves

Surfing in Iceland ?

Of course it is possible, come surf the cold Arctic waves !

Discover one of the most surprising activities to do in Iceland!

This 8 hours excursion starts with a visit of the wonders of the Reykjanes peninsula before jumping onto your surfboard ! To surf the best waves in the best conditions, keep an ear out to the precious local advices, they always love to share their tips for this unique experience!

This unique experience is an Iceland Like A Local finding

From

380 € / 8 heures
ice cave iceland

Sleep in an ice cave

A unique experience!

Do you long to experience the deep cold? Well put on your crampons and helmet, grab your ice pick and traverse a glacier to explore an ice cave that will also be your accommodation for the night.

The exact location is confidential, but we can tell you that it is located 25 km from the Skaftafell region.

Once you have arrived at the Vatnajökull glacier, it’s time to meet your equipment! Helmets, crampons and ice picks will make sure you are properly prepared! Enter the ice cave and be amazed by the many focal points as you discover the various shades of blue created by the varied density of the ice.

After a local Icelandic diner, set out your sleeping bag and enjoy your night under the glacier. What an adventure!

 

This activity is available from mid-December to mid-March.

Note: This activity is not recommended for families and seniors.

This unique experience is an Iceland Like A Local finding

From

1475 € / 2 days / 1 night
sleep in a yurt

Sleeping in a yurt in Iceland

An unexpected experience!

Thinking of sleeping in a yurt in Iceland? Well, it may seem unbelievable, but yes it is possible!

Make your trip to Iceland unforgettable spending a night in a yurt!

Embark on a zodiac tour to be able to reach a small isolated island in the middle of a glacier river (south Iceland).

You will find several yurts there. It’s time to reconnect with the nature and enjoy every second of this experience : it all starts off by turning your phone off, taking the fishing nets out of the water and season the fresh salmon for tonight’s bbq.

After stargazing and perhaps get the chance to see northern lights, slip under your sheepskin cover in your yurt for a lovely night..

This unique experience is an Iceland Like A Local finding

From

655 € / 2 days / 1 night

Icelandic cooking class

Create an Icelandic gourmet meal!

Participate in preparing and enjoying a mouth-watering Icelandic style 3-course gourmet meal using fresh local ingredients, all under the supervision of skilled and entertaining local chefs. Afterwards you will have plenty of time to enjoy, in a relaxing atmosphere, a well-earned glass of wine.

You will sample local delicacies such as homemade Icelandic rye bread, dung smoked Arctic char, dried Atlantic wolfish, smoked free-range lamb and selected local beers. The class does not require any prior culinary experience and is enjoyable for gourmet cooks and novices alike.

This Icelandic cooking class is an Iceland Like A Local finding

From

228 € / 3 HOURS AND A HALF
Tent in the mountain

Night on a glacier cap

Have you experienced a polar expedition?

From Reykjavík to the Lanjökull glacier, your guide will drive you in a 4×4 that is specially equipped for the glacier. Once off the main tracks, you’ll exchange your comfort for an exceptional experience. Your driver-guide will drive on the glacier and then find the perfect shelter for the night. When you have set up camp, you’ll have time to appreciate this white desert. Like an explorer, you will truly experience these polar conditions.

In the morning, you’ll take a short glacier walk to discover your icy surroundings. Then it will be time to head back to Reykjavík and the comfort of the city.

This unique experience is an Iceland Like A Local finding

From

2000 € / 2 days / 1 night
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Your winter self drive

From
1050€/pers
Duration
8 days / 7 nights
Highlights

  • You have the country virtually to yourself in the winter months!
  • You see some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country
  • Visit Jokulsarlon and its Icebergs
  • You cover the essential sites of Iceland, including the Golden Circle, the Blue Lagoon and the Skaftafell area
  • Northern lights season is from September through to April
Our Guarantees

Icelandic Pioneer
Based in Reykjavik
Secure Payment
Value for Money
Les avis de nos voyageurs

Priscilla was so easy to work with! I told her all of my wishes and ideas as to what and where we wanted to go, and she fit it all in our 8 days. When we arrived, a few things were cancelled due to weather, but she was able to reschedule everything a few times for us. She responded immediately when I needed her. Despite cancellations, some road closures and rescheduling, she was able to fit everything in.
I would highly recommend everyone going to Iceland to use Priscilla!!
What a gorgeous island!
Debbie and her family
December 2022

Hi Trent,

In a nutshell, Nicky and I have  had a fantastic time all week except may be for the long queues at the airport so early on a Friday morning which was a bit of a bore but we got home O.K.

You asked me for feedback which I am happy to do so but all is positive.

From the beginning that I spoke to you over the phone, I felt that I had chosen well and you are a credit to ‘Iceland like a local’.

Your advice was taken and now as I realise how big Iceland is and with so much you could do, I am glad that I took on board all your advices.

If we come back, which I hope we will, we will fly to the North and base ourselves there for another enthralling week or more.

So here is the feedback.

A great start last Friday being upgraded to Business Class with Icelandic Air given that this was our first trip with them. I thought that you had arranged this as this was my first flight with Iceland Air and no previous history with them.

Unfortunately only economy on the way back but all was good.

Picked up the car O.K. with your road/information book and the car was perfect for our needs .We left it with one small stone chip which the Euro Car Rep suggested that we would not be charged for it.

Drove into Reykjavik  O.K. but must have missed The Kringlan Mall traffic lights turn off . Are these traffic lights mentioned on the overhead gantries as we missed the Mall again the following day?. No harm as when I realised that I had made a mistake, saw a sign for The Centre, followed my nose and found the hotel quite easily with the town map.

With regard to all of our hotels . All great choices by you and especially your last one, Hotel Duss that serves  breakfast from  4.a.m. for the  early booked in air passengers such as us.

Just one point. The Foss Hotel Hekla ,would not suit the infirm as there is no lift  and we also had to negotiate two sets of small steps before reaching the stairs to our first floor room. Those with heavy bags to carry may have a problem. However, we did see the start of the Northern lights as we did the previous day at Husafell.

On Saturday we went on the Whale watching tour. We saw white nosed dolphins and Mink whales. It was a pity that some visitors did not listen to the guide with regard to use of  sick bags etc but maybe there was a translation problem here. The guide was very knowledgably and his talk on the whale species very enlightening.

In fact Nicky said he was brilliant!

After the tour and walking back to the Hotel Skuggi to pick up the car at about 1 p.m. ish  we left for Husafell for the ‘Into the Glacier Tour’.

Unfortunately, although we followed your detailed route instructions onto and over The Snorrabraut intersection and over what we though was the bridge and  took the first left as advised , we ended in a business park and a dead end. We knew we were wrong as we didn’t loop under the bridge. Our fault.

Got back onto the main road ,looped to the left onto the A1 at all times looking for signs to Mosfellsbaer but soon  realised that we were heading back to Keklavik. Also got confused early on when I saw an airport with Icelandic Air planes not realising that there was another airport  at Reykjavik. Anyway turned around ,called into a N1 petrol station and we were  put back onto the right road.

We probably lost around 45-50 mins here.

From now on we never got lost and your directions were perfect. I think my problem was the big city and  trying to not crash the new hire car in the busy streets.

On reflection, two activities in a day was a hard ask given that we were new to the country and road system but it was our choice to do this.

When I realised that we would be late for the 3 o’clock tour I pulled over and rang the tour office. The guy there was very understandable and when I suggested that if there was any places for the 10 o’clock tour could we join it. He said no problem and another bonus was there was no extra cost for us.

Next day we went on the tour which was fantastic. Again the tour guide Emilia was very informative.

We left Husafell and followed your directions but as we had effectively lost 3 hrs, I decided to miss the volcanic crater at Bifrost and also the The Whale Fjord by going back under the tunnel and got to the hotel o.k. but visited The Thingvellir National Park, Geysir etc onto Fosshotel Hekla.

However, when I was checking the next day’s itinerary  with the road book stating our snow mobile tour was at 15.00 (page 26) I did not fancy driving in the dark over the desert and lava field.So I made a decision as were in the area to pop in to see if we could get on an earlier tour. Imagine my surprise when the girl on the tour reception stated that there was no tour at that time. I went back to the car and retrieved the voucher which in fairness did state the tour time as midday. No harm done and we were able to drive thorough the desert and lava field in daylight.

Again the snowmobile tour was wonderful, again with another excellent guide.

On Tuesday we had the scenic flight. Although the weather was now poor, the excellent pilot Aaron took us over as much as he could in an hour  and again an excellent guide.

We both thoroughly enjoyed this flight as it gave us another perspective of the desert, glacier etc from the sky.

Wednesday was just a sightseeing tour  with the Golden Gate etc and seals playing beneath it.

Brilliant!

Thursday and our last day ‘Inside the Volcano Tour’ .

Again brilliant!

Final night at Hotel Duss and a lovely evening again to finish with.

In summary we have had a brilliant time, your organisation and planning was perfect for us.

Thank you from both of us.

Regards

Phil and Nicky

Phil and Nicky
November 2019

Hello all,
A magical destination for the new year.
We were a little worried about heading to such a different destination despite your excellent information and advice. But Iceland won us over in every way. The Christmas decorations in Reykjavik, the science fiction like geothermal activity, the comfortable guesthouses, the stunning landscapes under the snow. We experienced very unpredictable but totally manageable weather (from 14 to 46 degrees). We also got the feeling that Icelanders are easier to get to know in low tourist season. We met some great people.
Se you soon (in the summer).

Theo & Anna
January 2010
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