Iceland Full Circle Self Drive Holiday in 14 Days

Iceland Self Drive Tours Summer

Iceland Full Circle Self Drive Holiday in 14 Days

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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 of Iceland’s three national parks.  You will also experience places such as the amazing Mývatn area, the village of Vík,  the charming town of Akureyri, Ísafjörður and the amazing Snæfellsnes area, to name a few. This is the ultimate self drive tour of Iceland.

 

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Day 1: Arrival to Iceland

Harpa - Music & Conference Center

Welcome to your self-drive holiday in Iceland! After you clear customs, you will be met by an Iceland Unlimited chauffeur. He will transfer you to your hotel in downtown 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 2nd floor). Following the meeting you can enjoy the beautiful and vibrant capital city, resting up for the night in your cosy hotel room. Central Reykjavík is quite compact and you can visit most sites by walking around, Laugavegur is the main shopping street and second to that is Skólavörðustígur that leads up to Hallgrímskirkja church where you have great views from the tower. Check out the colourful houses of the old town, the pond, City hall, the Parliament by Austurvöllur and more. Not far from Harpa concert hall, around the harbour area there are lots of new local shops, cafés and restaurants. Walk past the dry dock by the Marina hotel to the Grandi area to visit the Whale museum, Aurora museum and the Maritime museum at Víkin. Close by you will find and the famous Valdís ice cream and cupcakes at 17 sortir, for a fuller meal visit Kaffivagninn or Coocoo´s Nest.

Highlights of the day:

  • Reykjavik city

Day 2: Snæfellsnes peninsula

Hellnar in Snæfellsnes peninsulaAfter breakfast, you will pick up your rental vehicle and leave the capital heading for the mystical and powerful Snæfellsnes peninsula. Explore places such as Sönghellir cave, the spectacular Hellnar cove where you can have lunch at the beautiful Hellnar café before taking a ride up to Snæfellsjökull glacier. As you drive around the peninsula you can visit the peaceful and lovely coastal villages found along the tip and north side of the peninsula. Stay overnight in the area for a good night’s sleep. Approx. driving distance on this day is 250 kilometers/156 miles.

Highlights of the day:

  • Snæfellsjökull glacier
  • Arnstapi area
  • Hellnar cove
  • Sönghellir cave
  • Búðir area
  • Villages of Ólafsvík, Grundarfjörður and Stykkishólmur.

Optional activities:

  • Snow cat tours to Snæfellsjökull glacier
  • Hiking in the Snæfellsnes National Park

Day 3: The wild wild West Fjords

Today you will travel to the wonderful West Fjords region of Iceland. A ferry in South of Snaefellsnes peninsulaStykkishólmur will take you there along the picturesque Breiðafjörður bay.
The tour across the bay takes around three hours. Once ashore in Brjánslækur, head for the amazing Látrabjarg cliff. With a 444 meter vertical drop and 14 kilometers length, it’s the most awe inspiring bird cliff in Iceland and the westernmost point of Europe.  If you choose to drive to Rauðisandur red sand beach, prepare to be truly amazed by it’s spellbinding beauty. Return to the Breiðavík area for a stay overnight. Approx. driving distance on this day is 115 kilometers/70 miles.

Higlights of the day:

  • Breiðafjörður bay
  • Látrabjarg cliff
  • Rauðisandur red sand beach
  • Breiðavík cove

Day 4: Waterfalls and coastal villages

Dynjandi waterfallAnother beautiful day and time to continue your Iceland self drive holiday. Drive from the Breiðavík area to the charming old town of Ísafjörður. On the way, you will pass through the tiny villages of Patreksfjörður, Tálknafjörður and Bíldudalur. Continue to the Arnarfjörður fjord where you’ll find Dynjandi, one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls. A short hike up will allow you to appreciate it in all of its splendor. Continue to Hrafnseyri, where Jón Sigurðsson, one of our greatest independence heroes was born. Close by is Skrúður, a botanical garden with many types of scrubs and trees and the oldest in Iceland. Then on to Ísafjörður, a very charming town in the Skutulsfjörður fjord for a cozy overnight stay. Approx. driving distance on this day is 220 kilometers/137 miles.

Highlights of the day:

  • Arnarfjörður fjord
  • Dynjandi waterfall
  • Skrúður botanical garden
  • Coastal villages of Patreksfjörður, Tálknafjörður
    and Bíldudalur

Optional activities:

  • Hiking
  • Riding tours

Day 5: Strandir and Hólmavík area

Hornbjarg cliffToday you have the opportunity to visit some of the most remote areas of Iceland. In the summer you can take a boat cruise from Ísafjörður and sail around the magnificent Hornbjarg cliff to the remote and isolated Reykjafjörður. From Ísafjörður, weave your way to the village of Hólmavík on a road characterized by steep fjords and towering mountains. Arrive in Hólmavík, and if you have time after checking into your hotel you can drive to the remote region of Strandir until the road ends. Then back to Hólmavík, the capital of ancient sorcery and mysticism and home of a museum dedicated to the history of sorcery and witchcraft in Iceland through the centuries. Overnight in the Hólmavík area. Approx. driving distance on this day is 230 kilometers/143 miles.

Highlights of the day:

  • Riding tours
  • Dip in a totally natural geothermal pool (all year round)
  • Boat cruises and sea kayaking from Ísafjörður (available in summer only)

Day 6: North West Iceland to Akureyri

AkureyriAs you continue your travel in Iceland, drive from Hólmavík passing fertile farmlands and barren mountain roads, to Akureyri, the northern capital. On the way, you can stop in Skagafjörður for a riding tour on an Icelandic horse or enjoy a thrilling river rafting adventure on a grade III/IV glacial river. Arrive in Akureyri and check into your hotel.

In the charming town of Akureyri, you will find a popular geothermal heated water park, with slides for the kids and hot pots for the grown-ups. Also noteworthy is the Botanical Garden, the majestic Akureyri Church with its huge staircase (over a hundred steps), the Hof Culture Center and Hliðarfjall, one of the most active ski slopes in Iceland. In Eyjafjörður fjord you’ll discover fertile farmlands and beautiful country churches. Stay overnight in Akureyri. Approx. driving distance on this day is 330 kilometers/202 miles.

Highlights of the day:

  • Skagafjörður fjord
  • Akureyri
  • Eyjafjörður fjord

Optional activities:

  • Riding tours in Skagafjörður
  • Whale watching from Ólafsfjörður/Dalvík
  • Deep sea fishing from Sauðárkrókur
  • Hiking from Akureyri to Súlur peaks
  • Flights to Grímsey Island (crossing the Arctic Circle)

 

 

Day 7: Mystical Mývatn area

Lake MývatnLeave Akureyri behind and head for the out-of-this-world beautiful Lake Mývatn area. When you’re half-way there make sure to witness the spectacular Goðafoss. Once you’ve reached Mývatn, begin exploring the surroundings. You will find attractions like the Skútustaðir pseudo craters, Dimmuborgir lava maze, Mt. Hverfjall, Krafla volcano and the Námaskarð high temperature area, to name a few. In the evening we highly recommend that you visit the Mývatn Nature Baths, for a relaxing dip in geothermal pool. While enjoying the warm water, enjoy overlooking the Mývatn area and then overnight in  the Mývatn area. Approx. driving distance on this day is 120 kilometers/ 75 miles.

Highlights of the day:

  • Goðafoss waterfall
  • Skútustaðir craters
  • Dimmuborgir lava maze
  • Mt. Hverfjall
  • Námaskarð pass
  • Mývatn Nature Baths
  • Krafla volcano

Optional activities:

  • Hiking tours
  • Guided caving tour
  • Sightseeing flights from Mývatn

Day 8: Diamond Circle and Egilsstaðir

Dettifoss waterfallLeave Mývatn and take on the Diamond Circle route (only passable in summer). First stop is Húsavík famous for it’s great success on its whale watching tours. Continue to Ásbyrgi canyon, a beautiful forested canyon forged, either by massive flash flooding or the hoof print of Sleipnir, Odin’s eight legged stallion. Continue along the Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall. Extreme caution is advised when exploring this waterfall as there are no barriers on the banks of the river. Drive from Dettifoss to Route #1 and continue to Egilsstaðir along black volcanic deserts and deep valleys. Then overnight in the   Egilsstaðir area, the hub of East Iceland. Approx. driving distance on this day is 305 kilometers/ 190 miles via the Diamond Circle route.

Highlights of the day:

  • Húsavík
  • Ásbyrgi
  • Dettifoss
  • Egilsstaðir

Optional activities:

  • Whale watching from Húsavík
  • Hiking in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park

Day 9: East Fjords of Iceland

Drive through the rugged East Fjords of Iceland and visit tranquil fishing villages along
the Hreindýrway. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some reindeer (Rangifer
tarandus) here and there. The drive is beautiful and the route provides many excellent views of the east coast of Iceland. From the village of Djúpivogur, you may decide to go on a short boat tour to Papey Island, home of approx. 60,000 puffins and other birds during the summer. Then on to the peaceful town of Höfn in Hornafjörður, where you will stay overnight. Höfn is sometimes dubbed as the “lobster capital of Iceland”. We recommend you take full mouth watering advantage of this feature at a local restaurant. Approx. driving distance on this day is 290 kilometers/ 181 miles

Highlights of the day:

  • Eskifjörður fjord
  • Mt. Búlandstindur
  • Djúpivogur
  • Höfn in Hornafjörður

Optional activities:

  • Boat tour to Papey Island
  • Deep sea fishing from Djúpivogur
  • Visit to the Glacier Museum in Höfn in Hornafjörður

Day 10: Jökulsárlón and Skaftafell

Next coming days of your self drive holiday, feature some of Iceland’s most The famous glacier lagoon Jökulsarlon.spectacular sites such as Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and Skaftafell in the Vatnajökull National Park. Drive west from Höfn towards the glacial lagoon where in the summer, you can take a boat ride between the many beautiful icebergs  broken off the mighty Vatnajökull glacier and rising out of the clear cold waters. Continue to Skaftafell, a lush green oasis between the vast glacier and the black volcanic Skeiðarársandur desert. From there you might enjoy an invigorating hike (usually less than an hour each way) to Svartifoss (Black Fall), so named for the pitch black basalt columns that surround it. Continue from there to Kirkjubæjarklaustur where the Iceland’s first monastery was built in 1186, and where you can get good rest for the night. Approx. driving distance on this day is 200 kilometers/ 125 miles

Highlights of the day:

  • Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
  • Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park
  • Svartifoss waterfall
  • Kirkjubæjarklaustur
  • Systrafoss waterfall
  • Kirkjugólf basalt tiles

Optional activities:

  • Boat tours on the glacial lagoon
  • Riding tours
  • Snowmobiling on Vatnajökull
  • Hiking in Skaftafell
  • Hey-chart bird watching tour
  • Guided glacier hiking tours

Day 11: South coast of Iceland

skogafossStart your day early and travel along the south coast of Iceland. Make sure not to miss the amazing Fjaðárgljúfur canyon, just outside the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Continue through the rugged and moss covered Eldhraun lavafield, towards the village of Vík. In Vík, visit the black volcanic beach of Reynisfjara with a view of the Reynisdrangar ocean cliffs. Next up is Dyrhólaey peninsula where hundreds of thousands of sea birds nest in summertime. A little further east you’ll find Skógar and the picture perfect Skógafoss waterfall with little over 60 meter vertical drop. Close by is Skógar Folk Museum which displays many interesting artifacts and reconstructed turf houses from the old times. Drive to the village of Hvolsvöllur but on the way make sure you don’t miss the Seljalandsfoss waterfall and go on the walking path behind it. Overnight in the Hvolsvöllur area. Approx. driving distance on this day is 153 kilometers/ 95 miles

Highlights of the day:

  • Fjaðárgljúfur canyon
  • Reynisfjara beach in Vík
  • Reynisdrangar cliffs
  • Dyrhólaey peninsula
  • Skógarfoss waterfall
  • Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Optional activities:

  • Boat tour in Dyrhólaey
  • Guided glacier hiking on Sólheimajökull
  • Guided snowmobile tours on Mýrdalsjökull
  • Visit the Skógar Museum

Day 12: Golden Circle route

Gullfoss waterfallDrive from Hvolsvöllur to the village of Selfoss, where you will turn off Route #1 and drive along Route 35 towards the world famous Gullfoss waterfall and Geyser. On the way you might check out the Kerið crater, partially filled with crystal clear water and then continue on to the old Catholic Bishopry of Skálholt. From there, drive to the two tiered Gullfoss waterfall. For the closest thing to a home cooked meal we recommend the traditional Icelandic meat soup at Gullfoss café, before continuing to the Geyser area. Stick around for at least two spouts from the Strokkur geyser, that come every 8-10 minutes and don’t miss the chance to try some hot spring baked rye bread. Afterwards, head for Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. After exploring this amazingly beautiful area, finish your full circle self drive holiday in Iceland and head back to Reykjavik. Return the rental vehicle, check into your downtown hotel for the next two nights and get ready to enjoy the capital. There’s never a shortage of things to do in Iceland!  Approx. driving distance on this day is 237 kilometers/ 148 miles

Highlights of the day:

  • Kerið crater
  • Skálholt
  • Gullfoss waterfall
  • Geyser area
  • Þingvellir National Park

Optional activities:

  • Rafting on Hvítá river
  • ATV Tours in Haukadalur valley
  • Snowmobiling on Langjökull glacier (takes three hours)
  • Scuba diving/snorkeling in Silfra lava fissure
  • Hiking in Hengill volcano

Day 13: A full free day in Reykjavik

Enjoy a full free day in the vibrant and lively capital city, you’ve earned it! Go shopping or sightseeing or simply relax at a nice cafe or in one of many helicopter tour icelandoutdoor swimming pools that are to be found within the city limits. Visit some of the major landmarks of Reykjavik, such as the Hallgrímskirkja church, Perlan dome, the Solar Voyager sculpture or Harpa – Music & Conference Center. In the evening, we recommend that you award yourself with a gourmet dinner at one of many high quality restaurants in the city. In the later hours, explore the world famous nightlife of Reykjavik. Stay at the same hotel as the night before.

Highlights of the day:

  • Hallgrímskirkja church
  • Perlan dome
  • Solar Voyager
  • Harpa
  • Laugavegur shopping street

Optional activites:

  • Whale watching/puffin tour from Reykjavik harbor
  • Rent a scooter and drive around the city
  • Visit a geothermal swimming pool
  • Take a city sightseeing tour
  • Do nothing, just relax!

Day 14: Departure day

Blue Lagoon spaLast day in Iceland and your Iceland self drive holiday has come to an end. Check out of your hotel and hop on the Fly Bus that takes you directly to Keflavik. If your flight is in the afternoon, we recommend that you stop at the Blue Lagoon where you can enjoy soaking in the algae rich earth sea of the Blue Lagoon. After a nice dip, catch the next Fly Bus to Keflavik International in time for your afternoon flight. Thank you for traveling with us and have a very safe and enjoyable trip back home!

Optional activities:

  • Bathing in the Blue Lagoon
  • Private departure tour via the Krýsuvík high temperature area

 

Deatailed Information Iceland Full Circle Tour

This tour can be modified into a private fully guided tour.

Accommodation details:

We offer three different accommodation categories for this tour:

Self Drive Holiday in Iceland, iceland tours, iceland holidays, iceland travel, iceland tourism, iceland vacationBudget
Budget accommodation includes shared facilities in guest houses, country hotels, farmhouses, etc. In some you might find a TV and a washbasin in your room. All offer breakfast that’s included in the price. In some places in the countryside you can order an evening  meal as long as you give at least a couple of hours of advance notice.

 

Self Drive Holiday in Iceland, iceland tours, iceland holidays, iceland travel, iceland tourism, iceland vacationComfort
In Comfort accommodation you will have access to private facilities (shower and WC). These would be 3 star hotels and better guest houses many of whom have their own restaurant. All offer a continental breakfast that is included in the price.

 

Self Drive Holiday in Iceland, iceland tours, iceland holidays, iceland travel, iceland tourism, iceland vacationQuality
Rooms with private shower/bath and WC. These are the best available rooms in 4 star hotels or the best hotels in each  region.  Suites and Jr. Suites are available upon request within the Quality category.

 

Car Rental:

Rental Cars available for this self drive holiday are:

E: Skoda Octavia Station – 4×4 (or similar) – Manual
G: Dacia Duster – 4×4 (or similar) – Manual
H: Skoda Yeti – 4×4 (or similar) – Automatic
I: Toyota RAV4 – 4×4 (or similar) – Manual
J: Kia Sportage – 4×4 (or similar) – Automatic
K: Toyota Land Cruiser – 4×4 (or similar) – Automatic
L: Land Rover Defender – 4×4 (or similar) – Manual

Included:

  • 13 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
  • Optional private information meeting with our travel consultant in Reykjavik before your tour starts
  • Big, handwritten, detailed map with route, recommendations and accommodations highlighted
  • Written guides of the regions you will be visiting
  • Private pick-up at Keflavík Airport and transfer to Reykjavik
  • Ferry across Breiðafjörður bay
  • Shuttle bus transfer with pickup at your accommodation in Reykjavik upon departure
  • Use of an Icelandic mobile phone with 1,500 ISK worth of calls
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes and service fee

Not Included:

  • Flights to/from Iceland
  • Meals, drinks at restaurants
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gasoline

This itinerary is fully customizable.  Please contact us to arrange a tour that fully meets your needs, including adding extra days, altering the schedule and destinations, or even making it a fully guided tour.

Here are our terms & conditions.

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