Highlights of the North - 8 Days Road Trip Iceland

Iceland Self Drive Tours Summer

Highlights of the North – 8 Days Road Trip Iceland

Contact Travel Agent Proceed to booking

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.


SD-12 – Road Trip Iceland – Highlights of the North – 8 Days Summer Self-Drive Tour

Day 1: Welcome to Iceland

Welcome to Iceland. After you clear customs, you will either hop on the airport bus (budget) or be met by a driver from Iceland Unlimited in the arrival hall of Keflavík International Airport (comfort & quality). Transfer to your accommodation in the city center 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 to explore 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.

Highlights of the day: Reykjavík City, Hallgímskirkja church, Laugavegur shopping street, Harpa concert hall and more
Optional activities: Guided city walk, city boat cruise, helicopter tour, Inside the volcano, sea angling

Day 2: Head for North of Iceland

road trip icelandToday 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. Approx. driving distance: 350 kilometers

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 colors 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.

Highlights of the day: West of Iceland, Borgarnes, Deildartunguhver hot spring,and more
Optional activities: Into the glacier, guided lava cave tour

Day 3: Troll Peninsula and Akureyri

iceland road tripToday’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 amazing area. On the way, stop and visit Goðafoss (The Waterfall of the Gods). Approx. driving distance: 240 kilometers

Highlights of the day: Troll Peninsula, Siglufjörður, Akureyri with botanical garden, Goðafoss waterfall and more
Optional activities: Sightseeing flight from Akureyri, whale watching from Akureyri

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

highlights of north icelandToday 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. These pseudo craters are created by explosions of water and steam. As hot lava overflew 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 translates as “Dark Castles” and it was often told that it is the entrance to hell. You will find some well marked hiking trails of Myvatn Nature Bathdifferent 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. Approx. driving distance: 70 kilometers

Highlights of the day: Skútustaðir pseudo craters, Dimmuborgir lava park, Krafla with Víti crater and more
Optional activities: Mývatn Nature Baths

Day 5: The Diamond Circle with Ásbyrgi and Dettifoss Waterfall

north iceland road tripToday 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 to visit 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, Dettifoss Icelandbut 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. Approx. driving distance: 230 kilometers

Highlights of the day: Mývatn, Húsavík, Ásbyrgi canyon, Dettifoss, geothermal area in Námaskarð and more
Optional activities: Whale watching tour in Husavík

Day 6: Free Day in Myvatn

highlands of IcelandToday 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 get 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 it’s 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 live. During 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.

Highlights of the day: Mývatn, and more
Optional activities: Superjeep day tour to Askja, sightseeing flight

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 a great 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 Saga’s 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 (toll 1000 ISK per car). Continue to Reykjavik and drop off your rental car before checking into your downtown accommodation. Spend the night in the heart of Reykjavik. Approx. driving distance: 445 kilometers

Highlights of the day: Grábrók crater, Settlement Exhibition, Hvalfjörður fjord, Reykjavík, and more

Day 8: Blue Lagoon & Departure

Blue LagoonYour road trip in Iceland has come to an end. If your flight is in the afternoon, there’s still one twist in this tale. On your way to Keflavik International Airport via Fly Bus, 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, board the bus again for the transfer to Keflavik Airport in time for your flight home. We wish you a pleasant flight and hope to see you again in Iceland.

Highlights of the day: Reykjavik
Optional activities: Blue Lagoon

iceland grand tour 3 weeks Iceland grand tour whale watching iceland



Detailed Information about our Road trip Iceland in 8 Days


We have three different accommodation categories that you can choose between on this tour:

iceland tours, iceland holidays, iceland travel, iceland tourism, iceland vacationBudget
Budget accommodation includes shared facilities in guest houses, country hotels, farmhouses and etc. In some you might find a TV and a washbasin. All offer breakfast that is included in the price. In the country side some places offer optional evening   meals that you have to order with a couple of hours in advance.


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


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 requests within the Quality category.


Season: May until October

Car rental:

Rental Cars available for this road trip Iceland tour are:

A: Toyota Aygo (or similar) – Manual
B: Toyota Yaris (or similar) – Automatic
C: VW Golf (or similar) – Manual
D: VW Golf (or similar) – Automatic
E: Skoda Octavia Station – 4×4 (or similar) – Manual
F: Skoda Octavia Station (or similar) – Automatic
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


  • 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
  • Use of an Icelandic mobile phone with 1,500 ISK worth of calls
  • 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


Please contact us and get a price quote for this Iceland road trip in 8 days. Note that this tour is fully customizable and days and activities can be added upon request. This tour is also offered as a fully guided private tour. Our terms and conditions can be found here.

self-drive-tours-around-iceland Myvatn Iceland Lake Myvatn Myvatn Day Tour