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Relaxed Iceland Round Trip – 13 Days Self-Drive Tour

This great Iceland travel package is a relaxed version of our most popular summer self-drive tour. Take a step back, slow down and take yourself on a round trip to many of the island’s finest natural wonders. Places visited include Þingvellir National Park, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Gullfoss & Geysir, Lake Mývatn, and the amazing Snæfellsnes Peninsula. If you are looking for a slower-paced Iceland self-drive vacation, this itinerary is the perfect match for you!

If you are interested in receiving more information about this tour, please click on the “Request a quote” widget on the left side of the page. A quick form will open up where you will provide us with more information about your travel expectations. You will then be connected with your specialized travel agent who will assist you throughout the planning a provide a fully detailed quote.

Please note that this itinerary can be adjusted and customized to meet your travel needs and preferences. The package can also be offered as a privately guided tour if a self-drive option is not what you had in mind for your Iceland experience.

Tour Code

SD-16

Season

May - Sept

Travel Style

Self-Drive

Duration

13 days / 12 nights

Location

Iceland

Accessibility

Moderate

Included

  • 12 nights’ accommodation (budget/comfort/quality) with breakfast
  • Rental car of your choice for 11 days w/unlimited mileage, CDW & VAT
  • GPS unit for easier navigation
  • WiFi hotspot in your rental car for easy internet access
  • Unlimited drivers for the rental car
  • Transfer from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavik
  • Big, handwritten, detailed map with route, recommendations and accommodations highlighted
  • Written guides of the regions you will be visiting
  • Transfer from Reykjavík to Keflavík Aiport upon departure
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes and service fee

Not Included

  • Flights to/from Iceland
  • Meals, drinks at restaurants, and entrance fees (unless otherwise agreed upon)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gasoline
Day 1 | Arrival/Reykjavík

Welcome to your holiday in Iceland! It’s your time to explore this breathtaking country at a relaxed pace. After you clear customs, you will be transferred to your accommodation in the city center in Reykjavik. In the afternoon, you might want to explore some landmarks of the city like the Laugavegur shopping street, Hallgrímskirkja Church, and Harpa – Music & Conference Center. We recommend paying a visit to some of the many entertaining museums, such as the National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavík Art Museum, or Reykjavík Maritime Museum. Alternatively, you might want to soak in the geothermal waters of the newly opened spa just 15 minutes from Reykjavík – Sky Lagoon. In the evening, the restaurants will welcome you for a delicious, traditional dinner, which can be followed by celebrating your holiday by the Arctic Circle at some of the vibrant bars in the city center. Overnight in the heart of Reykjavík.

Day 2 | The Stunning Golden Circle

Today your Iceland travel begins for real! Pick up your rental car in the morning and start your day by driving to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, rich with its incredible natural beauty and history. There you will be able to see how the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates are diverging. Continue to the famous Geysir geothermal area and witness the great spouting spring, namesake of every other spring in the world. Even though Geysir itself has been dormant for decades, his brother Strokkur gets to erupt every 6 to 10 minutes, spouting water to the average height of 20 meters.
After a short drive, you are going to arrive at Gullfoss (Golden Falls), which has been voted as one of the 10 most beautiful waterfalls in the world. If you fancy grabbing some lunch, the area around both Geysir and Gullfoss is your place to go. From there, make your way towards the South Coast and drive through the farmlands, but make sure to make a stop at Kerið, a volcanic crater displaying its crystal-clear water. Stay the night in the area.

Day starts in

Reykjavík

Day ends in

Golden Circle area

Driving distance

~225 kilometers / 140 miles

Day 3 | The Hidden Gems of Golden Circle

Today you will get to explore the Golden Circle area a little bit deeper and enjoy the many natural beauties of this famous region. We highly recommend having a soak in geothermal waters at either Laugarvatn Fontana, a spa located right next to a lake with amazing saunas, or at Secret Lagoon, which happens to be the oldest pool in Iceland. If you’re up for an easy hike, it’s worth taking a 6km walk to Brúarfoss waterfall that never fails to amaze with its bright blue water hue.
Not far away from the waterfall, you have the opportunity to enjoy the freshest ice cream that you can get! Efstidalur used to be a dairy farm, but it has been turned into a café offering the most delicious ice cream. Don’t skip having a delicious lunch at Friðheimar, a huge eco-friendly greenhouse that grows tomatoes and cucumbers, famous for its hearty tomato soup. If you would like to enjoy a fine dinner, the town of Selfoss is your place to go. Overnight at the same hotel as yesterday.

Day starts in

Golden Circle area

Day ends in

Golden Circle area

Driving distance

~200 km / 124 miles

Day 4 | The Breathtaking South Coast

After breakfast, it is time to travel further east along the beautiful South Coast of Iceland. Shortly after leaving the Hella area, you will reach the spectacular Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Take the opportunity to enjoy a 360° view of the waterfall, as it is possible to walk behind it but remember to wear a waterproof outer layer – it can get quite wet! Don’t forget to have a look above, as you can get a very good view of Eyjafjallajökull volcano, famous for its 2010 eruption. Don’t skip paying a visit to the majestic falls of Skógafoss, with the impressive heights of 60 meters. If interested, visit the Skógar Folk Museum where you can see reconstructed turf houses and ancient artifacts on display. From there, continue to Dyrhólaey promontory with its impressive stone arch and Reynisfjara beach, with its black sand, stunning cliffs, and basalt columns. If you would like to explore this view from a slightly different perspective, we recommend having a horseback riding tour. If you wish, grab something to eat at the adorable town of Vík í Mýrdal and spend the night in the area of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

Day starts in

Golden Circle area

Day ends in

Kirkjubæjarklaustur area

Driving distance

~200 km / 124 miles

Day 5 | The Immense Vatnajökull and Glacier Lagoon

Start your day by driving towards the direction of Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park where you’ll find many interesting hiking trails, including one to the waterfall Svartifoss, which drops from the edge of a wide cliff of basalt columns. Stop at Svínafellsjökull glacier fall, where the opening sequence of Batman Begins was filmed, to admire its sharp ridges and dramatic surface. The next stop on your itinerary is the jaw-dropping Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon that comes from the roots of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. During summertime, you can take an optional boat tour where you will sail between the icebergs while the local guides tell you the story about this great phenomenon. Don’t forget to go on the other side of the road to appreciate the beauty of sparkling icebergs on Diamond Beach. You stay the night close to Höfn.

Day starts in

Kirkjubæjarklaustur area

Day ends in

Höfn area

Driving distance

~210 km / 130 miles

Day 6 | The Remote East of Iceland

Time to explore the tranquil and beautiful East Fjords of Iceland,  a more secluded area, far from the crowds. Drive through the serene coastal villages towards the largest town in the east, Egilsstaðir. Keep your eyes wide open, as it’s not uncommon to spot some reindeer in this part of the country! Nearby Egilsstaðir, you can find the biggest forest that grows in Iceland, which is called Hallormsstaðarskógur. In ancient times, it was believed that a large worm monster lived in the lake by the forest, which happened to be our very own Loch Ness monster. It’s possible to take a 5km hike to a majestic waterfall called Hengifoss. With a height of 128 meters happens to be the third-highest waterfall in the country. If you fancy an optional detour, drive through a mountainous road to the village of Seyðisfjörður, a very colorful small town that many of our travelers have fallen in love with. Stay the night in the area.

Day starts in

Höfn area

Day ends in

Egilsstaðir area

Driving distance

~260 km / 162 miles (without the detours to Hengifoss and Seyðisfjörður)

Day 7 | The enchanting Lake Mývatn

Today you will drive North to the amazing and almost surreal Mývatn area. This shallow lake is known for its beauty and rich birdlife. Located in the zone of active volcanism, the lake was created by a significant lava eruption 2300 years ago. There is a variety of interesting sites to see around Mývatn. Visit the colorful Námaskarð geothermal area, explore the Skútustaðir pseudocraters, or take a relaxed walk between the extraordinary Dimmuborgir lava formations. If you wish, hike the crater Hverfjall, which towers 420 meters over mossy lava fields. An optional Lofthellir Lava Cave tour is possible to be booked with its greatest natural ice sculptures currently known in Iceland. After a whole day of exploring, make the most out of your Icelandic holiday and unwind in the warm geothermal waters of Mývatn Nature Baths. Stay the night in the area.

Day starts in

Egilsstaðir area

Day ends in

Mývatn area

Driving distance

~210 km / 130 miles

Day 8 | The Astonishing Diamond Circle (Optional)

Today you will get to explore the beautiful area of Diamond Circle. Start the day by driving to the charming village of Húsavík, the capital of whale watching in Iceland. The fruitful waters of Skjálfandi bay provide the best opportunity to see and admire these gentle giants. Continue to the natural wonder of the forested Ásbyrgi canyon, which is shaped like a horseshoe. Proceed South and admire a distinctive cluster of columnar rock formations called Hljóðaklettar. The next stop on your itinerary is the most powerful waterfall in Europe that will take your breath away – Dettifoss. Don’t forget to take a moment to admire its dramatic surroundings. Alternatively, if you are planning to enjoy an extra relaxing day in Mývatn, there are plenty of incredible highlights in this area to fill your day with excitement and adventure.

Day starts in

Mývatn area

Day ends in

Mývatn area

Driving distance

~210 km / 130 miles

Day 9 | The Capital of the North - Akureyri

Start the day by driving all the way to the town of Akureyri, which happens to be the second biggest city in Iceland and is often referred to as the “Capital of the North”. On your way, stop and enjoy the charming Goðafoss waterfall with its beautiful, bright blue waters. While in Akureyri, we recommend visiting the Botanical Garden, an oasis in the heart of this charming town. Take walk around the city center and stop by the Akureyri Church, situated on a hilltop overlooking the center of the town. If you wish, a horseback riding tour is possible to be arranged within close proximity from Akureyri. After a full day of sightseeing, it’s always a great idea to spend the afternoon in the town’s outdoor geothermal swimming pool & water park. Overnight in Akureyri or with the possibility of driving further west towards Skagafjörður.

Day starts in

Mývatn area

Day ends in

Akureyri or Skagafjörður area

Driving distance

~80 km / 50 miles

Day 10 | From North to Snæfellsnes Peninsula

It’s time to continue your Icelandic adventure! Leave Akureyri behind and start making your way to the beautiful Snæfellsnes Peninsula. If you are up for a long drive, you might want to take a detour through the magnificent and remote Tröll Peninsula. Alternatively, drive straight towards Snæfellsnes with a short stop at Hvítserkur, a distinctive 15 meters high basalt sea stack. Drive to the town of Borgarnes, where you can stop for a meal. Continue West to explore the fantastic Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which is often referred to as an “Iceland in Miniature”. It’s rich in mountain views, stunning beaches, or picturesque waterfalls, and a monumental glacier-capped volcano towers above it all. Snæfellsjökull glacier is often seen even from Reykjavík and it’s known for its supposed strong energy fields.
On this day, you have the opportunity to choose what kind of attractions you would like to see, depending on your energy levels and weather conditions. To find more about the must-see sites, please take a look at the next page. What’s more, Snæfellsnes has various tours to offer, such as: horseback riding, glacier hiking, whale watching, kayaking, or exploring lava caves. Alternatively, have a soak in one of the public swimming pools to relax after a long drive. You will find your accommodation in the area.

Day starts in

Akureyri area

Day ends in

Snæfellsnes area

Driving distance

~420 km/ 261 miles (excluding the Tröll Peninsula detour)

Day 11 | The Picturesque Snæfellsnes Peninsula

It’s your day to explore this magnificent part of Iceland! Start your day by driving towards Ytri-Tunga beach, which happens to be a home for a seal colony. Drive towards Búðir black church, which has turned out to be an iconic photo location. Make sure to visit Arnarstapi and Hellnar, where you will find dramatic coastline and rock formations, with waves crashing through their holes. Don’t skip exploring both Djúpalónssandur and Skarðsvík beaches. The distance between them is not big, but the contrast of their characteristics is mesmerizing. Drive through the charming fishing villages of Hellisandur and Ólafsvík up to the famous mountain of Kirkjufell. It made it to the Game of Thrones series, where it has been referred to as “a mountain shaped like an arrowhead”. Finish the day of exploring by strolling around the beautiful town Stykkishólmur and don’t skip hiking the cliff next to the harbor. Enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the restaurants with the freshest seafood you can get. Overnight at the same accommodation as the night before.

Day starts in

Snæfellsnes

Day ends in

Snæfellsnes

Driving distance

~200 km / 124 miles

Day 12 | The charming West of Iceland & Back to Reykjavík

Before finishing your “ring road”, explore the gems and highlights of West Iceland, often referred to as the Silver Circle. Visit the Settlement Center in Borgarnes to learn more about Iceland’s earliest days and make sure to stop by the most powerful hot spring in Europe called Deildartunguhver. If you would like to take a dip in geothermal water, the sophisticated Krauma Baths is your place to go. West Iceland is also home to the country’s second-largest glacier Langjökull, which is perfect for exciting snowmobiling tours or exploring a network of man-made ice caves. Don’t skip paying a visit to Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, picturesque waterfalls powered by the glacial water from Langjökull. Hraunfossar is truly a unique waterfall, with bright blue waters flowing straight from underneath a lava field. Make your way all the way to Húsafell, a beautiful birch oasis with glaciers towering above the valley. Make your way to Reykjavík through an underwater tunnel, return the car and stay the night in central Reykjavik.

Day starts in

Snæfellsnes

Day ends in

Reykjavík

Driving distance

~270 km / 168 miles

Day 13 | Departure

Your Iceland travel is coming to an end. How time flies when you’re having fun! You will be transferred to Keflavik airport in time for your departing flight. If you are leaving in the afternoon you can visit Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon before making it to Keflavik Airport (optional). Finish your Icelandic adventure right by soaking in the restorative geothermal waters and relaxing both your mind and the body. After that, you will be dropped off at Keflavik International Airport. Have a safe journey home!

Budget

Budget accommodations include shared facilities in guest houses, country hotels, farmhouses, etc. In some cases, the rooms might be equipped with a TV and a washbasin. The in-room amenities are limited and basic but they all adhere to a high standard of cleanliness.
Breakfast is included.

Comfort

Comfort accommodations offer access to private facilities (shower and toilet). This type of lodges belongs to the 3-star hotel category. Most of these properties have an in-house restaurant. This section offers an upgrade in comfort and service compared to the budget category. Breakfast is included.

Quality

Quality accommodations offer private rooms with en-suite shower/bath and toilet. These rooms are the best available accommodations in 4-star hotels or the highest quality lodges in each region. Luxury accommodations - the highest class of lodges, suites, and penthouses - are available upon request. Breakfast is included.

Kia Ceed Wagon


or similiar

Type: Intermediate Wagon
Passenger: 5
Luggage: 4
Doors: 5
Transmission: Automatic
(Manual option available)

4×4 Hyundai Kona


or similiar

Type: SUV Economy
Passenger: 5
Luggage: 3
Doors: 5
Transmission: Automatic
(Manual option available)

4×4 Kia Sportage


or similiar

Type: SUV Full Size Intermediate
Passenger: 5
Luggage: 4
Doors: 5
Transmission: Automatic
(Manual option available)

4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser


or similiar

Type: SUV Full Size
Passenger: 5
Luggage: 4
Doors: 5
Transmission: Automatic
(Manual option available)

4×4 Land Rover Discovery


or similiar

Type: SUV Full Size Luxury
Passenger: 5
Luggage: 4
Doors: 5
Transmission: Automatic
(Manual option available)

Hyundai H1


or similiar

Type: VAN
Passenger: 8
Luggage: 5
Doors: 5
Transmission: Automatic
(Manual option available)

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