Essential Iceland Self Drive

Julien Ratel
Iceland must see
Your Self Drive

From
1000€/pers
Duration
10 days / 9 nights

Your Essential Iceland Self Drive

This essential tour of the country will show you all the wonders Iceland has to offer. From the black beaches to the white glaciers, the freezing cold icebergs to the steaming hot geothermal areas… Between sea and mountain, desert and fjord, volcanoes and green pastures, lakes and rivers, you will discover the incredibly wide range of panoramas of this “one of a kind” island. A land so raw that the great Jules Verne imagined it was even possible to start a “journey to the center of the earth” in Iceland. From the Snæfellsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glacial volcanoes and the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon to the smokey lava of the Krafla volcano, the explosive geysers to the mighty waterfalls, you might not see the center of the earth, but you will experience some of the most diverse and incredible landscapes.

Trip possible from May to September

The route
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Reykjavík

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Gullfoss

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Höfn

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Egilsstadir

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Myvatn

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Skagafjördur

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Stykkishólmur

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Borgarnes

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Reykjavik

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Keflavik

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Your Essential Iceland Self Drive day by day itinerary

Day 1

Keflavík – Reykjavík

Reykjavik Port
Reykjavik Port

Arrival at Keflavik international airport and rental car pick up. The first evening is spent at your leisure in the northernmost capital of the world. Option: If you have an early morning arrival, there is a possibility to go whale watching in Reykjavik, or visit the Blue Lagoon. (Not included)

Distance travelled: 50km – 1h

Staying overnight in Reykjavík.

Day 2

Reykjavík – Thingvellir – Gullfoss – Vík

Gullfoss
Gullfoss

Departure for the golden circle: Discover the oceanic rift at Thingvellir, the geyser Strokkur at Geysir and the Gullfoss waterfall where the HvÍta river has created an impressive canyon. Approaching Vík, the southernmost village in Iceland, drive south of the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull ice-covered volcanoes and stop at the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Further down the road, stroll along the black sandy beaches and cliffs of the south coast.

Distance travelled: 300 km approx. 5hrs

Staying overnight in Vík area.

 

4X4 option (in summer only): Take an extra day to discover the ever-changing landscapes of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, the lava fields around the Hekla volcano, the picture-perfect and colorful mountains of Landmannalaugar and the impressive Eldgjá canyon. Bathe in a natural hot spring in Landmannalaugar

Day 3

Kirkjubæjarklaustur – Skaftafell – Jökulsárlón – Höfn

Skaftafell
Skaftafell

Head eastward until the Skaftafell National Park. Numerous hikes are possible in the park, one of which leads you to the Svartifoss waterfall and its beautiful basalt columns, over-looking gigantic glaciers and endless plains. Further east, discover Jökulsárlón’s glacial lagoon and its Greenland-like landscapes complete with icebergs.

Distance travelled: 280 km approx. 5hrs

Staying overnight in Hofn area.

4X4 alternative (in summer only): Take an extra day to discover Laki and its amazing lunar landscapes sculpted during the biggest eruption since Iceland was settled.

Day 4

Höfn – Álftafjördur – Djúpivogur – Egilsstadir

Egilsstadir
Egilsstadir

From one fjord to the next, discover the wild landscapes shaped by the glaciers of the last ice-age, the seals of Lónsvík, the swans of Álftafjördur (depending on the season), the rocks and minerals museum of Petra at Stödvarfjördur, and the charming harbor of Djúpivogur.

 

Distance travelled: 260 km approx. 5hrs

Overnight in Egilsstadir area.

Day 5

Dettifoss – Jökulsárgljúfur – Mývatn

Myvatn
Myvatn

After crossing the desert-like landscapes of the northeast highlands, discover the powerful Dettifoss waterfall and further away, the astonishing Ásbyrgi canyon. In Mývatn, home to some of the most surprising and interesting geological and geothermal manifestations in Iceland, a large variety of bird life and odd lava formations … Here, you have the opportunity to relax in an outdoor geothermal pool.

Distance travelled: 300 km approx. 5hrs

Staying overnight in the Mývatn region.

4X4 alternative (in summer only): Add an extra day or two to your trip and explore the regions of Snæfell, Kverkfjöll and Askja volcanoes. You’ll be in the heart of the volcanic highlands, north of Vatnajökull icecap.

Day 6

Mývatn – Godafoss – Akureyri – Skagafjördur

godafoss
godafoss

Take your time to discover the surroundings of Lake Myvatn: Pseudocraters, explosion craters, recent lava flows and cauldrons of boiling mud. Continue driving west, stopping at the famous Godafoss falls before entering the city of Akureyri, the “capital of the north,” before finally arriving in the region of the Skagafjördur fjord. If time permits, visit the Glaumbær folk museum, situated on a renovated 19th century farm.

Distance travelled: 220 km approx. 4hrs

Staying overnight in the Skagafjördur region.

4X4 alternative (in summer only): Beyond the Aldeyjarfoss waterfall, explore the highlands north of the Hofsjökull glacier and bathe in the Laugafell natural hot spring.

Day 7

Skagafjördur – Vatnsnes – Stykkishólmur

Iceland-Stykkishólmur-day
Iceland-Stykkishólmur-day

Today you are off to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Along the way, there’s the possibility to make a detour to the coast of the Vatnsnes peninsula to observe the seal colonies and enjoy its peaceful shoreline.

Distance travelled: 280 km approx. 5hrs

Staying overnight in Stykkishólmur area.

Day 8

Stykkishólmur – Snæfellsnes – Borgarnes

Borgarnes
Borgarnes

Discover the wild coastline of this peninsula under the ever-present Snæfellsjökull volcano, the site that inspired Jules Verne for the beginning of his classic novel: Journey to the center of the earth. Coves and cliffs alternate along the shore and are the homes of Black-legged Kittiwake Gulls and of Arctic Terns. You can also choose to discover the reefs of Djupalonssandur or the lava flow at Budahraun. There’s also the rocky out crops with its colonies of seagulls and guillemots on the Arnarstapi and Hellnar cliffs.

Distance travelled: 200 km approx. 4hrs

Staying overnight in Borgarnes area.

4X4 option (in summer only): Drive up to the edge of Snæfellsjökull glacier and gaze over the sandy shores of Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Day 9

Reykholt – Hvalfjördur – Reykjavík

Hvalfjördur
Hvalfjördur

Back to Reykjavik through the Reykholt valley where you will find the Deildartunguhver hot springs. Discover the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, and head back to the capital by the impressive Hvalfjördur fjord. Drive back towards Reykjavik to relax and enjoy your last night in Iceland

Distance travelled: 200 km approx. 4hrs

Staying overnight in Reykjavik.

4X4 option (in summer only): Take the Kaldidalur road along the Langjökull glacier on your way to the Thingvellir National Park

Day 10

Reykjavik – Keflavik

Keflavik
Keflavik

Return your rental car at Keflavik airport and enjoy your flight home.

Distance travelled: 50 km approx. 1 hr

Option: If your departure is in the afternoon or the evening, there is a possibility to visit Reykjanes peninsula and the Blue Lagoon. (Not included)

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Your accomodation during your Iceland Essential Self Drive

Take your pick: hotels, mountain huts, campsites…

The vast majority of Icelandic establishments are modest, but clean and comfortable. Most of the guesthouses, farmhouses and hotels offer catering. Your accommodation will fall under whichever category of establishment you choose. There is also a camping option (all camping equipment provided). With our voucher system, you’ll be able to camp when and where you want, giving you as much freedom as you want to adapt your itinerary based on the weather as well as your own location choices.  We recommend that your book your Iceland self-drive 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.

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Price range per person for this self drive: 1000€ to 2375€*

Pricing based on two persons, double room, with a regular car

In guesthouses, farms or country hotels, from May to September
– In room with private facilities: from 1925 to 2375 Euros/pers. depending on season
– In room without private facilities: from 1400 to 1775 Euros/pers. depending on season

In hut or youth hostel, from May to September
–  In dormitory or common room in the country: from 1250 to 1575 Euros/pers. depending on the season

In camping, from June to August
– With equipment provided: from 1000 to 1250 Euros/pers. depending on the season

Final price depending on the number of persons, the season and the vehicle category

Included in this travel

  • Transfer both ways from Keflavik international airport to your accommodation in Reykjavík.
  • 2 nights in Reykjavík in double room in guesthouse, breakfast included.
  • 7 nights in the country in double room, in common room or dormitory, or camping depending on which category you choose.
  • Breakfast included in guesthouses, farms and country hotels.
  • Travel documentation including road map and a detailed day-by-day road-book.
  • A rental car for 9 days, unlimited mileage, 24% VAT, CDW insurance, second driver fee included.
  • For youth hostels, huts and camping: 1 stove for 2 persons, kitchen equipment, one cooler, 1 thermos bottle for 2 persons, washing up equipment.
  • For camping: one tent for 2 and one mattress per person.

Not included in this travel

  • International flight to Iceland, airport taxes and travel insurance.
  • Meals, drinks and other personal expenses.
  • Breakfast in youth hostels, huts or camping.
  • Fuel for the vehicle.
  • Optional activities.
  • Access to sites when not free.
  • “Super CDW and gravel protection“ insurance (SCDW) that further lower the own-risk.
  • For trips in huts, youth hostels or camping, sleeping bags are available for rental, by request before your arrival.
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– If you have a small budget, you can take the option in camping with a category A rental car for 2 people in summer, or travel in May or September.

– If you want to hike, add some days at Skaftafell and Mývatn in your trip.

– To do in September, for the autumn lights, access to the mountains still open (4X4 only), have the chance to witness some northern lights and the peace of travelling after the high season.

Spring or Autumn in Iceland ?

Spring or Autumn in Iceland ?
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Your Self Drive

From
1000€/pers
Duration
10 days / 9 nights
Highlights

  • The complete range of Icelandic landscapes: fjords, country-side, glaciers, volcanoes, deserts…
  • Bird-watching from May to mid-August
  • In summer, many 4x4 detours in the highlands are possible, especially in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve
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