12 Day Self Drive Grand Tour of Iceland
This is a 12 day classic circle tour around Iceland, including all the major sights of interest along the ring road with the addition of Snaefellsnes peninsula, but at a slower pace, with more time each day to explore.
It includes all the classic highlights: the Golden Circle, Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Lake Myvatn and Dettifoss waterfall, Snaefellsnes peninsula, the south shore and more. This tour offers an even pace to enjoy the serenity of Icelandic nature without any rush.
- Golden Circle
- The South Shore
- Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon
- Dettifoss waterfall
- Lake Mývatn
- Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Day 1 – Monday: Arrival – Keflavik – Reykjavik aprox. 50 KM
Arrival to Iceland. Pick up rental car at Keflavik international airport and drive to Reykjavik to your accommodation.
Depending on arrival time optional visit to Blue lagoon is possible.
Day 2 – Tuesday: The Golden Circle – Selfoss aprox. 260 KM
We start the drive around the country by visiting three of Iceland’s best-known sights:
– Þingvellir national park, the site of the first parliament, founded in 930.
– passing Lake Laugarvatn we visit the Geysir geothermal area with abundance of hot springs. We wait for the most active of the geysers, Strokkur which spouts a steaming column of water into the air every 5-10 minutes.
– the Gullfoss waterfall which drops in two cascades deep into the gorge of Hvita glacial river.
Then continue towards the southern coast and end the day in Selfoss.
Optional tours available:
Day 3 – Wednesday: Seljalandsfoss – Skógar – Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach – Vík aprox. 190 KM
Drive east along the south coast making stops at the inspiring Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, Dyrholaey promontory and Reynisfjara, and explore the option of hiking or snowmobiling on Solheimajokull glacier. We drive on to the village of Vik with its black sandy beach stretching as far as the eye can see, with impressive views of the Reynisdrangar cliffs rising out of the ocean.
Accommodation in the area.
- Glacier Hike on Sólheimajökull Glacier
- Snowmobiling on Sólheimajökull Glacier
- ATV ride on the beach
- Horseback riding on the beach
- Katla Ice Cave Tour from Vík
- Zipline activity from Vík
Day 4 – Thursday: Vík – Kirkjubæjarklaustur – Skaftafell aprox. 160/250 KM
Continue the journey across the sands of glacier rivers and moss-covered lava fields further east. At Skaftafell – the green oasis surrounded by glacial outlets and sands of glacial rivers – we have a chance to take a walk to Svartifoss waterfall. Skaftafell also offers the best vantage point to view Hvannadalshnjúkur – highest mountain in Iceland. We drive further along the ring road with a view of Iceland’s largest glacier Vatnajokull.
Accommodation in Skaftafell area.
Optional tours available:
Day 5 – Friday: Jökulsárlón – Vatnajökull – East Fjords aprox. 250/350 KM
Continuing east we soon arrive at Jökulsarlon glacier lagoon where you can take a short amphibian boat tour among the icebergs. Just below the lagoon lies the “Diamond Beach”, where stranded icebergs litter the sands. If lucky, we might spot a seal near the shore or even in the lagoon. We drive further towards Höfn and continue to Djúpivogur and stay overnight in one of the villages of the Eastfjords.
- Amphibian Boat Tour on Jökulsárlón Lagoon
- Zodiac Boat Tour on Jökulsárlón Lagoon
- Kayaking on Jökulsárlón Lagoon
- Kayaking on Heinabergslón Glacial Lagoon
Day 6 – Saturday: Egilsstaðir – Dettifoss – Húsavík aprox. 370 KM
We drive further along the Eastfjords, through Egilsstadir and the green Jokuldalur valley with numerous waterfalls dropping from the top of the hills alongside the road. Then across the desert land of Modrudalsoraefi towards Dettifoss, Europe’s largest waterfall, in the gorge of Jokulsargljufur national park. We continue north towards Asbyrgi – a horseshoe shaped canyon created by the wild forces of glacial river in pre-historic times. Driving around the Tjornes peninsula we reach Husavik. Accommodation in Husavik or Lake Myvatn.
- Whale Watching from Húsavík
- Whale Watching and Puffins from Húsavík
- RIB Express Whale Watching from Húsavík
Day 7 – Sunday: Húsavík / Lake Mývatn aprox. 100/180 KM
Start the day by visiting the Whale centre or the Exploration museum. Then drive to Lake Myvatn and spend the day exploring the numerous natural wonders of the Myvatn volcanic area with several possibilities for short hikes and a chance for a relaxing bath in the Nature Baths geothermal lagoon.
Accommodation in Husavik or at Lake Myvatn.
Day 8 – Monday: Akureyri – Siglufjörður
Visit Godafoss waterfall in the late afternoon and then continue directly to Akureyri, via the recently opened tunnel (tunnel toll!), or by crossing the Vikurskard mountain pass. Spend some time to get acquainted with this charming town, explore its surroundings, visit the botanical garden or check out some of the interesting museums. Drive north along western coastal road of Eyjafjordur with panoramas of the alpine landscape with high mountains, glacial valleys and Hrisey Island, passing through Dalvik, Olafsfjordur and three tunnels we reach the charming fishing village of Siglufjordur. Accommodation in Akureyri or Siglufjordur.
- Horseback Riding
- Whale Watching from Akureyri
- RIB Boat Express Whale Watching from Akureyri
- Whale Watching and Sea Angling from Hauganes
- Whale Watching from Hjalteyri
Day 9 – Tuesday: Siglufjörður – Skagafjörður – Vatnsnes Peninsula aprox. 330 KM
Continue to Skagafjordur where you can visit Glaumbaer museum and drive further towards Blonduos. Drive around Vatnsnes peninsula and stop at Hvitserk, a solitary rock – monster emerging out of the sea near the shore. Driving around on the western side of the peninsula you might be able to spot seals bathing on the rocks in the sea not far from the coast. Continue towards Hvammstangi and accommodation at Laugarbakki or in the area.
Day 10 – Wednesday: Snaefelssnes Peninsula – Borgarfjörður aprox. 420 KM
A full daytour to one of the most beautiful parts of Iceland, the Snaefellsnes peninsula. It is often playfully called „Little Iceland“, as you can find all natural phenomena in Iceland there: lava fields, volcanic craters, glacier, waterfalls, sandy beaches, charming fishing towns, bird cliffs and more. On the Snaefellsnes peninsula you will also find one of the most photographed Icelandic mountains – Mr.Kirkjufell. Departing Snaefellsnes we continue to the Borgarfjordur area for overnight.
Day 11 – Thursday: Borgarfjörður – Hraunfossar – Reykjavik aprox. 200 KM
Today we explore the gems of Borgarfjordur area. Visit the historical Reykholt and learn about Icelandic sagas. Enjoy the nature surrounding the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls; check out Europe´s most productive hot spring – Deildartunguhver – and perhaps take a relaxing bath
at Krauma Spa next to the hot spring. There is also the option of doing the Into the Glacier excursion on Langjokull glacier or a visit to a lava cave before continuing the drive south towards the capital.
Accommodation in Reykjavik.
Day 12 – Friday: Departure day
Drive to Keflavik airport in time for check in for your international flight.
If your flight departs late afternoon, then you have the possibility to add an optional whale watching boat tour in the morning, drive around the Reykjanes peninsula or visit the Blue Lagoon before dropping of the rental car at Keflavik airport.
Dates & prices
Available dates with pre-booked accommodation:
Single room supplement: 176.900
Single room supplement: 148.200
Included in the package price:
- 11 days car rental with unlimited mileage, GP, TP, CDW, SCDW, tax; pick up/drop off at Keflavik airport
- 11 nights accommodation in double/twin rooms with private facilities, breakfast included
- Detailed itinerary with multiple daily options based on pre-booked accommodation
- Service and VAT
Not included in the package price:
- Optional tours
- Admissions fees
- Meals other than breakfast
Good to know:
- This tour departs on Mondays. On some departure dates, a reverse itinerary may apply, but follows the same program and route.