Home / Multi-Day Tours / Summer Self Drive Tours in Iceland / Express Iceland Road Trip: 8 Days

Express Iceland Road Trip: 8 Days

Our Express Iceland road trip is an ideal self-drive tour for those who want to visit all the major attractions in Iceland in a short amount of time. With pearls like Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss the golden waterfall, the town of Akureyri, Geysir spouting spring, Skaftafell National Park and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon that are all visited. This 8-day tour is one of the most popular of all our Iceland self-drive holidays.

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-01

Season

May - Sept

Travel Style

Self-Drive

Duration

8 days / 7 nights

Location

Iceland

Accessibility

Moderate

Included

  • 7 nights' accommodation (budget/comfort/quality) with continental breakfast
  • Rental car of your choice for 6 days with unlimited mileage, CDW & VAT
  • GPS unit for easier navigation
  • WiFi hotspot in your rental car for easy internet access
  • Unlimited extra drivers for the rental car
  • Transfer from Keflavík Airport to your accommodation in Reykjavik
  • Optional private information meeting with our travel consultant in Reykjavik before your tour starts
  • Transfer with pickup at your accommodation in Reykjavik upon departure
  • Big, handwritten, detailed map with route, recommendations and accommodations highlighted
  • Written guides of the regions you will be visiting
  • 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/Reykjavik

Welcome to Iceland and to your Iceland road trip in 8 days. Once you arrive in Keflavik national Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel in the heart of Reykjavik. After you have checked in to your hotel and received your travel documents, we would like to have an optional private information meeting during office hours (located in Borgartún 27 second floor). Explore the pearls of the city in the afternoon before staying the first night in the world’s northernmost capital. If you arrive early, you might be interested in optional day tours such as whale watching from Reykjavík Harbour or relaxing at the Blue Lagoon.

Day 2 | The Golden Circle

Today your Express Iceland self-drive holiday starts! You will pick up your rental car in the morning and start your day by driving to Þingvellir National park. Because of its beauty and its geological and historical value, Þingvellir was accepted as UNESCO’s heritage site in 2004.  After exploring the treasures of the park, head south to see Geysir Spouting Spring and Gullfoss waterfall to complete the “Golden Circle”. Enjoy the afternoon seeing the sizzling hot springs and geysers and the force of the great waterfall. Make your way to the south coast of Iceland. Stay the night at a hotel/guest house/cottage in the Hvolsvöllur/Vík area.

Day starts in

Reykjavík

Day ends in

Hvolsvöllur/Vík

Driving distance

~290 km/180 miles

Day 3 | The South Coast

Today you will head to the famous Skaftafell National park. After breakfast and packing you will drive east to the picturesque waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss. Above the waterfalls looms the mighty Eyjafjallajökull where the great volcanic eruption took place in 2010. Drive along the south shore to Dyrhólaey natural reserve where you can find one of the best seabird colony in Iceland. You will cross Mýrdalssandur and Eldhraun which is the largest lava field ever to flow on earth.  When arriving to Kirkjubæjarklaustur take a look at the amazing Fjarðárgljúfur, a narrow and beautiful canyon and one of our favorite hidden treasures in Iceland.  After passing Skeiðarársandur you will arrive at Skaftafell in the Vatnajökull National Park. We recommend the easy hiking trail to Svartifoss waterfall, that is surrounded by beautiful and pitch black basalt columns

Day starts in

Hvolsvöllur/Vík

Day ends in

Skaftafell area

Driving distance

~266 km / 165 miles

Day 4 | East Iceland

Your Express Iceland self-drive holiday continues by exploring the place many people consider is the greatest sight of Iceland, Jökulsárlón or The Glacial Lagoon. Jökulsárlón is a lagoon at the roots of Vatnajökull which is Europe’s largest glacier and on the lagoon are icebergs that has broken off the glacier floating around. During summer time you can take an optional boat tour on the lagoon that we highly recommend.  After Jökulsárlón you will pass the village Höfn which is known for being the lobster (langoustine if you will) capital of Iceland so if you are passing by during lunch hour, we recommend stopping at the Hotel Höfn for a lobster feast or lobster soup. After passing Djúpivogur, you will explore the East Coast of Iceland. If you have time, you can drive up to Kárahnjúkar Dam, a project that caused a great stir in Iceland when it was being built. Near by Egilsstaðir, there is a small forest called Hallormsstaðarskógur, the largest forest in Iceland.  Stay the night in Egilsstaðir.

Day starts in

Skaftafell area

Day ends in

Egilsstaðir

Driving distance

~423 km / 262 miles

Day 5 | Lake Mývatn

Today will be a busy day so we suggest leaving early from Egilsstaðir. Drive from Egilsstaðir through Möðrudalsöræfi to Lake Mývatn. We recommend that you take route 864 and explore Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. A little further down the road, you’ll find Ásbyrgi Canyon that our forefathers believed was an ancient hoof print, made by Sleipnir – Odin’s eight legged horse. Then drive to Húsavík where you can take an optional whale watching tour before arriving at Mývatn. Around the Mývatn area, you will find amazing attractions such as the Námaskarð pass, the Lavafield of Dimmuborgir, Krafla Volcano and the Nature Baths of Mývatn. Stay the night in Mývatn.

Day starts in

Egilsstaðir

Day ends in

Mývatn

Driving distance

~308 km / 191 miles

Day 6 | North Iceland

Start the day early by exploring Mývatn and surroundings before heading for Akureyri. On your way to Akureyri (the “capital of the North”) stop and enjoy the charming Goðafoss Waterfall. Akureyri is a very charming town located in the Eyjafjörður Fjord. We recommend exploring the Botanical Garden, Akureyri geothermal swimming pool and water park, Hof Culture & Music Center and having ice cream in Brynja Store (the world famous in Iceland). From Akureyri, you can take a day tour to Grímsey Island and cross the Arctic Circle or go on a whale watching tour. Drive south from Akureyri into Eyjafjörður Fjord where you’ll find lush farmlands, beautiful churches, the Christmas Garden and a farm that produces its own ice cream! Enjoy a nice dinner at one of many gourmet restaurants to be found in Akureyri. Stay the night in or around Akureyri.

Day starts in

Mývatn

Day ends in

Akureyri

Driving distance

~91 km / 57 miles

Day 7 | West Iceland

Today you will be heading back to the capital. Before finishing your ”ring road”, you might want to take a look at the highlights of West Iceland. Sights along the way are the volcanic crater Grábrók, Hraunfossar waterfalls, Deildartunguhver (the largest hot spring in Europe) and the settlement center in Borgarnes. Please note that driving into Borgarfjörður fjord takes an additional two hours. Once heading back to Reykjavík, you can either take the route #1 via the underwater tunnel or the Hvalfjörður fjord route where you’ll find the Glymur waterfall (the highest waterfall in Iceland with 198 meter/650 feet drop). The hike up to the waterfall is not an easy one but very rewarding. Arrive back in Reykjavik late afternoon and return the rental car. Stay the night in central Reykjavik.

Day starts in

Akureyri

Day ends in

Reykjavík

Driving distance

~382 km / 240 miles

Day 8 | Departure

Your last day in Iceland! How time flies when you’re having fun.  Transfer to Keflavik airport in time for your departing flight. If you have an afternoon flight you can either do some last minute shopping or stop by the Blue Lagoon (optional) to relax before your flight.  Have a safe journey home and you are always welcome again for any of our tours or another Iceland self-drive holiday!

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.

Volkswagen Golf


or similiar

Type: Compact
Passenger: 5
Luggage: 2
Doors: 5
Transmission: Automatic
(Manual option available)

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)

Hyundai H1


or similiar

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

Highlights
Highlights
Highlights
Highlights
Highlights
Highlights
Highlights
Highlights

Related Multi-Day Tours

Iceland Round Trip: 10 Days Tour

This great Iceland travel package is our most popular self-drive tour to date.  It takes you on a round trip of Iceland to many of the island’s finest natural wonders. Places vi...

Iceland South Coast Sensation: 7 Day Tour

For an eventful and adventurous Iceland vacation, you should consider our Iceland south coast tour. The south coast has arguably, some of the most spectacular natural features that...

Guided Round Tour for 8 Days

This guided Iceland round trip follows a well-organized 8-day itinerary around the island in a small group setting. You will explore some of Iceland's most unique natural wonders, ...

Iceland Ring Road: 9 Day Tour

A mixture of our bestselling 10-day tour and the 8-day Express. ...

Keyword search

Contact Us

Please send us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.