Home / Multi-Day Tours / Summer Self Drive Tours in Iceland / Highlights of North Iceland Tour: 8 Days

Highlights of North Iceland Tour: 8 Days

Follow your compass north and explore towering mountains, sizzling hot springs and thundering waterfalls on this 8 day/7 nights road trip focusing on north Iceland. On this journey, you will travel through beautiful fjords where you’ll find rustic fishing villages and friendly locals. You will explore the otherworldly Lake Mývatn area and enjoy optional activities like horseback riding, caving, whale watching or treat yourself for a sightseeing flight over the highlands of Iceland. This is an ideal self-drive tour for those who are visiting Iceland for the second time and want a more in-depth experience of the beautiful north.

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-12

Season

May - Sept

Travel Style

Self-Drive

Duration

8 days / 7 nights

Location

North Iceland

Accessibility

Moderate

Included

  • 7 nights’ accommodation (budget/comfort/quality) with 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 Keflavik International Airport to your accommodation in Reykjavík (private or by bus)
  • Optional private information meeting with our travel consultant in Reykjavik before your tour starts
  • Transfer to Keflavík International Airport with pickup at your accommodation in Reykjavik upon departure (private or by bus)
  • Big, handwritten, detailed map with route, recommendations and accommodations highlighted
  • Written guides of the regions you will be visiting
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes & service fee

Not Included

  • Flights to/from Iceland
  • Meals & drinks at restaurants apart from what’s stated in the itinerary
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gasoline
Day 1 | Welcome to Iceland

Welcome to Iceland. After you clear customs, you will be transferred to your accommodation in the city centre in Reykjavík where you’ll stay for the first night. Today you will receive your travel documents. We also invite you to come by our office for a private information meeting to go over your travel plans. We recommend exploring the famous landmarks of the city such as Hallgrímskirkja Church, Harpa Music & Conference Centre and the Sun Voyager sculpture to name a few. In the evening, enjoy a nice dinner at one of many nearby restaurants. Overnight in the heart of Reykjavik.

Day 2 | Head for North of Iceland

Today is when your self-drive adventure begins. Collect your rental car in the morning and head north towards Borgarnes. There you’ll find the most voluminous hot spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver. If you’re up for an adventure, drive towards Húsafell and stop by the beautiful Hraunfossar on the way. In Húsafell you can join a super truck tour which takes you up to Langjökull glacier. Once there, explore a man-made ice cave which gives you a unique opportunity venture deep into the bowels of a glacier, truly a once in a lifetime experience. Continue your drive to north-west Iceland in the afternoon.

Between mid of June and mid of September, it would be also possible to go North via the famous Kjölur highland road. A 4×4 rental car is needed for this trip since you will travel right across the heart of Iceland. The road starts right by Gullfoss waterfall so it would be possible to have a quick stop at the famous waterfall and the geyser area close-by. On your way to the North be sure to make a stop at the high-temperature area at the Kerlingarfjöll mountain range. It is a paradise for hikers and the colours of the mountains are simply stunning. Another must-see is the Hveravellir hot temperature area where you can bathe in a natural hot spring. You spend the night in the Skagafjörður region.

Day starts in

Reykjavík

Day ends in

Skagafjörður region

Driving distance

~364 km / 226 miles

Day 3 | Troll Peninsula and Akureyri

Today’s drive is a scenic one through the impressive mountains of Tröllaskagi or the Troll Peninsula. You might want to start off by visiting the tiny village of Hofsós and enjoy a dip in their geothermal infinity pool with an amazing ocean view. Continue to Siglufjörður, a thriving fishing village, where we recommend that you enjoy a nice lunch in one of the colorful restaurants by the harbor. Continue to Akureyri, the hub of North East Iceland, where we recommend to explore the Botanical Garden, Hof Culture House or simply enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the charming Hafnarstræti street. In the afternoon you head East for the beautiful Lake Mývatn region where you’ll spend the next days exploring this beautiful area. On the way, stop and visit Goðafoss (The Waterfall of the Gods).

Day starts in

Skagafjörður region

Day ends in

Lake Mývatn region

Driving distance

~271 km / 169 miles

Day 4 | Highlights of Mývatn – Pseudo Craters, Real Volcanoes and More

Today you have a full day to explore the highlights of the Mývatn area. You should not miss the impressive Skútustaðir pseudo craters. The craters are not due to volcanic eruptions. centre. As hot lava overflow the ground and heated up the water below the ground, the steam could not find any exit and forced its way through the lava. It is possible to walk on the rim of the pseudo craters. The view from there of Lake Mývatn and the surrounding areas is very beautiful. When you visit Mývatn, don’t miss to go to Dimmuborgir, where you find a huge lava field and very interesting formations. The name Dimmuborgir can be translated as “Dark Castles” and it was often told that it is the entrance to hell. You will find some well-marked hiking trails of different difficulties there. You can also visit Krafla caldera where you’ll find the smaller of the two Víti craters found in Iceland, a volcanic crater with an opaque teal green lake. The trail to the crater goes through a hot spring area east of the crater and takes about 40-60 minutes. After a long but rewarding day, we highly recommend that you take a dip in Mývatn Nature Baths where you can relax and unwind in the mineral-rich geothermal water while enjoying a cold beverage. You stay for a second night in the Mývatn area.

Day starts in

Lake Mývatn region

Day ends in

Lake Mývatn region

Driving distance

Optional

Day 5 | The Diamond Circle with Ásbyrgi and Dettifoss Waterfall

Today you embark on the Diamond Circle, a magnificent route that includes some of the most stunning sites and landscapes on the entire island. Start by heading towards Húsavík where you might want to enjoy an optional whale watching tour (duration 3 hours) or visit the whale museum of Húsavík. Drive to Jökulsárgljúfur National Park and thereafter visit Ásbyrgi canyon before continuing your drive to the amazing Dettifoss waterfall, the most powerful waterfall in Europe.

In the afternoon we recommend visiting the huge geothermal area Námaskarð where you’ll find a number of fumaroles, mud pools and mud pots. You can walk around in that area, but be careful, the fumes and of course the mud pools are very hot. Continue back to Lake Mývatn region where you can enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants in the area before making your way back to your accommodation.

Day starts in

Lake Mývatn region

Day ends in

Lake Mývatn region

Driving distance

~ 220 km / 136 miles through the Diamond Circle

Day 6 | Free Day in Myvatn

Today you have a free day and we recommend that you use this opportunity to visit the Northern part of the Icelandic highlands. We can arrange a unique guided tour that takes you all the way up to the Askja caldera. On the way, you will be driven through the lunar-like landscape that characterizes this stunning region and gets to visit sights such as Drekagil canyon and Herðubreiðarlindir, from where you can enjoy views to the majestic Herðubreið mountain. Once in the Askja caldera you will hike to the larger Víti crater and if conditions allow you may even be able to bathe in its opaque blue waters.

It would be also possible to join a sightseeing flight from Akureyri. It would be possible to visit the small island Grimsey, the northernmost inhabited Icelandic territory, by plane. Grimsey is not only famous for lying on the Arctic Circle but also for its rich bird life. During the summer, thousands of puffins (and other seabirds) nest on this island. It would also be possible to fly over the magnificent highlands and towards Askja, Mývatn, Herðubreið and Vatnajökull Glacier.

Day starts in

Lake Mývatn region

Day ends in

Lake Mývatn region

Driving distance

Optional

Day 7 | Return to Reykjavík

Time has come to say goodbye to the beautiful North and return to Reykjavik. We recommend leaving early as you have a long journey ahead. On the way back to Reykjavik, we recommend stopping at Grábrók crater in Borgarfjörður which offers an exploring vantage point of the rugged lava field all around. In Borgarnes, you will find the interesting Settlement Exhibition where you can get to know some of the heroes of the Icelandic Sagas a little bit better.

Once heading back to Reykjavík, you can either take the scenic Hvalfjörður Fjord route where you can stop and hike up to the famous Glymur waterfall or if you want to return directly to Reykjavik take the Route 1 underwater tunnel. Continue to Reykjavik and drop off your rental car before checking into your downtown accommodation. Spend the night in the heart of Reykjavik.

Day starts in

Lake Mývatn region

Day ends in

Reykjavík

Driving distance

~486 km / 302 miles

Day 8 | Blue Lagoon & Departure

Your road trip in Iceland has come to an end. You will be transferred to Keflavík International airport in time for your departure flight. If your flight is in the afternoon, there’s still one twist in this tale. On your way to Keflavik International Airport, you can stop for an optional dip in the geothermal waters of the world-renowned Blue Lagoon geothermal spa (your luggage will be stored safely for a small fee during your visit). After a rejuvenating dip in the lagoon, continue to Keflavik Airport in time for your flight home. We wish you a pleasant flight and hope to see you again in Iceland.

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 Round 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...

The Best of South and West: 9 Days Self-Drive Tour

For a real Icelandic vacation, consider our best-seller tour – the Snæfellsnes and south coast in 9 days tour. Snæfellsnes being one of the most spectacular places in Iceland c...

Iceland Full Circle Tour: 14 Days

This adventurous Iceland full circle tour takes you on the extended ring road, with its rugged and starkly beautiful west fjords region. During these two weeks, you will visit each...

Wonderful Westfjords: 9 Day Tour

Capture the amazing beauty of the rugged Westfjords of Iceland in this 9-day self-drive tour. Along the way, you will experience towering mountains, cascading waterfalls and deep f...

Keyword search

Contact Us

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