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4 Day Self Drive Tour | Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes & The Northern Lights - SD04-NL

See the stars of Icelandic road trips in 4 amazing days

Explore the majestic Snæfellsjökull Peninsula, admire some of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls, feel the incredible power of the Earth around erupting geysers, and let the Northern Lights enchant your mind! This amazing self-drive tour is the best for those who do not want to worry about bookings and doing research about where to catch the Northern Lights. Let the experts take care of the details while you enjoy a relaxing vacation in Iceland!

Included is a rental car and accommodation. You will also receive a detailed itinerary and information package
All at the best price available.


Duration: 4 days

Available: All year

Age limit: 5 year

Difficulty: Easy

Tour Highlights:
  • Akranesvíti Lighthouse
  • Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Falls
  • The Deildartunguhver Hot Spring
  • Ytri Tunga Beach and Seal Colony
  • A View of Snæfellsjökull Volcano
  • Búðir Church
  • Arnarstapi and Hellnar Fishing Villages
  • The Lóndrangar Rock Formations
  • Djúpalónssandur Black Sand Beach
  • Kirkjufell Mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall
  • Stykkishólmur Town
  • The Gerðuberg Basalt Columns
  • The Gullfoss Waterfall
  • The Geysir Geothermal Area
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Reykholt and Flúðir Geothermal Villages
  • Secret Lagoon
  • Faxi waterfall
  • Reykjanes UNESCO Geopark
  • Blue Lagoon
  • Reykjavík, Iceland's capital city
  • Northern Lights Viewing (in the evening, if conditions allow)

Pick up: Choose between pickup at Keflavik international airport (KEF) or BSI bus terminal in downtown Reykjavik, at flexible times.
For the best experience, we recommend that you pick the car up early on departure day, and return it in the afternoon or evening on the last day.

Drop-off: By default your drop-off location is always set to Keflavik international airport (KEF), no matter which pickup location you select.

You can, however, drop-off the car at BSI Bus Terminal in Reykjavik, on the last day. If you prefer this drop-off location you can change the drop-off location afterward (details can be found in the confirmation email).

Included:

  • Accommodation for 3 nights with breakfast
  • Rental car for 4 days
  • Basic insurances: Collision Damage Waiver, Personal Accident Insurance and Theft protection
  • Detailed itinerary and information package

Not included:

  • Entrance fee to the baths (Secret Lagoon, Karuma, Fontana or Blue Lagoon)

 

Remember to bring:

  • Warm clothes
  • Hiking shoes
  • A driver's license
  • Sunglasses

from:
46 990 per adult

You have selected: From KEF

You have selected: From Reykjavik

Tour Description

A Four-Day Iceland Self-Drive Tour: The Northern Lights, Snæfellsnes, and the Golden Circle

Explore the majestic Snæfellsjökull Peninsula, admire some of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls, feel the incredible power of the Earth around erupting geysers and bubbling hot springs, and let the ethereal Northern Lights enchant your mind! This amazing self-drive tour is the absolute best for those who do not want to worry about booking accommodation and doing research about what to see in Iceland or where to catch the Northern Lights. Let the experts take care of the details while you enjoy a relaxing vacation in Iceland!

Arrival

This itinerary is perfect for morning arrivals. If you arrive in Iceland in the morning, you can pick up your rental car at the airport and start your road trip right away. If your arrival is in the afternoon, you should spend the night in the capital region then pick up your car in Reykjavík the morning before following the regular itinerary.

Day 1: West Iceland

Points of Interest:

  • The Akranesviti Lighthouse
  • Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Falls
  • The Deildartunguhver Hot Spring
  • Ytri Tunga Beach and Seal Colony
  • Northern Lights Viewing (in the evening, if conditions allow)

The Akranesviti Lighthouse

Start your journey by traveling through the beautiful Borgarfjörður region heading towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. After driving through the tunnel under the Whale Fjord, you will pass some spectacular mountains. There is a small town on the way to Snæfellsnes that features two gorgeous old lighthouses that we recommend you visit. The bigger one is an old, rustic lighthouse that is open to the public, so you can climb up and enjoy the view from the top! In good weather, you can see all the way across the bay to Reykjavík! Rich birdlife is also found in the area.

Borgarfjörður

Before taking the road that leads to the peninsula, take a detour to visit Borgarfjörður. This is a spectacular area that is especially popular with locals. Icelanders love to spend vacations and long weekends here.

First, explore the very unique Hraunfossar, also known as the Lava Falls, one of the most special natural wonders in Iceland. Its creeks and cascades mystically appear out of the ground, directly from the lava field. This is quite the unique natural phenomenon. The water continues streaming from the ground and cascades down into a blue river at a distance of about 900 meters (2,952 feet). This extraordinary sight makes it one of the most beloved waterfalls for those who visit it!

There is a nice path along the river with a bridge that leads to another unbelievably blue waterfall, called Barnafossar, which translates as the Children’s Waterfall. It was named after a terrible accident in which a mother’s two children lost their lives in the fall.

At only a 20-minute drive from the waterfalls, you will find Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring. It produces 180 liters (50 gallons) of water per second at a piping hot 97°C (200°F)! This water is used for heating the houses of the nearby communities within a 60-70 kilometer (37-43 mile) radius.

The hot spring itself is very colorful and produces a huge amount of steam. Near Deildartunguhver is a newly built geothermal bath named Krauma. It is known for its great architecture and delicious restaurant. You can stop and take a relaxing bath here if you feel like! Pre-booking is not required.

Ytri Tunga

Next, head to Snæfellsnes and visit the seal colony at Ytri Tunga, a golden sand beach on the southern shore of the peninsula. It is very likely that you will be able to see at least a few seals from the colony as they usually rest on the rocks. They are quite friendly and curious. They can usually be easily spotted, but it is good to have a pair of binoculars on hand to bring them even closer into view.

When the evening comes, keep your eyes on the sky because you are at the perfect location to catch the Northern Lights, if the conditions allow for it. You will spend the night in a country hotel on the peninsula where there is no light pollution at all. Do not forget to bring a headlamp with you, though. Then just walk a few minutes away from the hotel building and wait for the show!

Day 2: The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Points of Interest:

  • A View of Snæfellsjökull Volcano
  • Búðir Church
  • Arnarstapi and Hellnar Fishing Villages
  • The Lóndrangar Rock Formations
  • Djúpalónssandur Black Sand Beach
  • Kirkjufell Mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall
  • Stykkishólmur Town
  • The Gerðuberg Basalt Columns
  • Northern Lights Viewing (in the evening, if conditions allow)

Búðir Church

After enjoying a complimentary breakfast at your accommodation in the morning, you will head out again. After only a few minutes’ drive, you will stop near the coast at a lonely, black wooden church standing in the middle of nowhere with a small hotel next to it.

In the past, this site was a landing place for merchant ships. The first church at Búðir was built in 1703 by a Swedish-born merchant. Later on, it was pulled down and the current one was built in its place. In 1816, the church at Búðir was desecrated by royal order. The place is so photogenic and romantic that many people come from all over the world to get married here.

Arnarstapi and Hellnar

Continuing your drive through the peaceful countryside, you will definitely enjoy the views of spectacular mountains and the aquamarine ocean. Soon, you will stop again at two lovely coastal fishing villages that are located only a few kilometers apart: Arnarstapi and Hellnar. These lovely sites feature a beautiful natural harbor and some truly impressive rock formations, including arch rocks and basalt caves. A cozy café with an amazing view awaits you here!

The Lóndrangar Rock Formations

After another few minutes’ drive, you will begin to see an odd rock formation off in front of you. The strange, giant Lódrangar Sea Stacks dominate the landscape even from a distance. The stacks are 75 and 61 meters (246 and 200 feet) tall and together look like a cursed castle from a dark fairy tale. As legend has it, the castle belongs to the elves living in the area, so no one dares disturb them. There is a perfect viewpoint that can be found within a few minutes’ walk of the parking lot. From here you will be able to take the perfect picture of the impressive cliffs.

Djúpalónssandur Beach

The next stop is the dramatic Djúpalónssandur Beach. This beautiful black sand beach stretches between jagged cliffs and lava formations. On the beach, you will find the famous lifting stones that were used by fishermen to test their strength. The picturesque British Trawler shipwreck is another gem of this beach. This captivating place is one of the top three most remarkable beaches in Iceland.

Snæfellsjökull Glacier Volcano

As you drive around the tip of the peninsula, you will pass by a few cute fishing villages, beautiful black beaches, and, of course, you will see the majestic Snæfellsjökull Glacier Volcano off to your right all along the way. Thanks to Jules Verne’s famous novel Journey into the Center of the Earth, Snæfellsjökull is one of the most well-known volcanoes in the world.

Kirkjufell Mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall

The most photographed mountain in Iceland is your next destination. This is the famous "arrowhead mountain" from Game of Thrones: Kirkjufell, the Church Mountain. A free-standing and almost completely symmetrical mountain, it is, without a doubt, one of Iceland’s most iconic landmarks. With its incredibly picturesque waterfalls in the foreground, it looks like an idyllic postcard picture.

Stykkishólmur Village

The largest town on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is Stykkishólmur, often referred to as the capital of the area. The is also the gateway to the Westfjords as the ferry departs from here. With its lovely, colorful old houses, the town has a very unique atmosphere. This fishing village is the perfect place to stop for a late lunch and taste some local specialties in one of the many excellent local restaurants.

The Gerðuberg Cliffs

As you have completed your route around the peninsula, you will now take the same road as you took to enter Snæfellsnes. Here, you will stop at the stunning Gerduberg Cliffs, a natural heritage site that is home to some truly astonishing rock formations. Gerðuberg is a wall of amazingly geometric basalt columns, some of them reaching 14 meters (46 feet) in height and 1.5 meters (5 feet) in width.

After a long day of sightseeing, you will spend the night in the Snæfellsnes area at a place that is, again, the perfect location for chasing the Northern Lights. Keep your head up and fingers crossed!

Day 3: The Golden Circle Route

Points of Interest:

  • The Gullfoss Waterfall
  • The Geysir Geothermal Area
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Öxarárfoss
  • Laugarvatn Fontana Spa
  • Kerið volcanic crater
  • Secret Lagoon
  • Reykholt and Flúðir Geothermal Village
  • Faxi waterfall

After breakfast on your third day, you will hit the road again to tour Iceland’s most iconic natural attractions. You have an exciting day ahead of you full of ravishing waterfalls, epic historical sights, and extraordinary geological wonders. You will be completing Iceland’s famous Golden Circle.

Thingvellir National Park

Your first stop will be Þingvellir National Park (often spelled Thingvellir). It is a UNESCO Heritage Site and a place of amazing historical significance and extraordinary beauty. The world’s first democratic parliament was founded here in the year 930 AD.

The park is also famous for being the location of a rift between the tectonic plates. Here the continental plates drift apart and you can actually walk in between them! Thingvellir also hosts a beautiful waterfall, Öxarárfoss, that can freeze completely during the winter, making it even more stunning!

From Thingvellir, you will head towards the Geysir Geothermal Area. On the way, you will drive past the stunning Laugarvatn Lake where you will find a geothermal pool called Laugarvatn Fontana Spa. Many visitors like to stop here and take a dip. The view over the lake from the pool is gorgeous. No pre-booking is required and they also sell refreshments.

Geysir Geothermal Area

The Geysir Hot Spring area is located in a marvelous valley. While the Great Geysir is no longer active, its little companion Strokkur puts on a magical show every 5-10 minutes. Spouting up into the sky like a firework, it earns a synchronized “wow” from its audience. There is no true way of explaining the vision, suffice it to say that you simply cannot miss it.

The Geysir Geothermal Area has plenty of bubbling hot springs and steaming puddles on display. There is a large service center next door where you can purchase warm meals and gorgeous souvenirs.

Gullfoss waterfall

Not far from the geothermal site, you will find a different kind of a wow factor. The next stop is Gullfoss Waterfall, the Golden Fall. The river flows from the nearby second-largest glacier in Iceland and falls into a majestic canyon, creating a truly unforgettable sight. At this waterfall, the water does not go up. It goes down a little over 30 meters (98 feet) over several steps and is even curved. Gullfoss is often topped off with a rainbow or two in sunny weather.

Extra stops on the Golden Circle - optional

There are some great extra stops you can make after finishing the Golden Circle Route if you have time. The staggering Kerið volcanic crater, which today is filled with water, looks absolutely pretty and is full of colors and charm. In the historic town of Reykholt and Flúðir Geothermal Village, you will find Iceland’s oldest swimming pool: the Secret Lagoon. Faxi waterfall is a real hidden gem with a truly idyllic look. Any of these locations are perfect for a lunch stop. We really recommended that you visit them!

In the evening, you will have another chance to see the Northern Lights. Your accommodation for the night will be in the capital region: the Reykjavík / Kópavogur / Hafnarfjörður area.

Day 4: Reykjanes Peninsula, the Blue Lagoon, and Departure

The fourth day is the day of departure, so your itinerary will depend on your outbound flight. Keflavik International Airport is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, giving you the perfect opportunity to explore this moonlike landscape.

Depending on your flight schedule, you may have time to stop at the thrilling Blue Lagoon. Located only fifteen minutes by car from the airport, it is probably the most famous attraction in Iceland. It is a man-made geothermal lagoon in the middle of a jagged lava field. Its milky-white warm water is rich in silica, precious algae, and minerals that have an amazing healing effect on your skin. Just remember to pre-book your ticket in advance as the lagoon is tremendously popular.

If you have a whole day to spend on the peninsula, you can drive around and explore the matchless landscapes of the splendid Reykjanes UNESCO Geopark. Furious hot springs, impressive geothermal sites, dramatic coasts, gloomy lava fields, Martian landscapes, and ultimate peace await you there!

When you arrive at the airport, you can drop off your rental car and head to your check-in gate.

Have a safe trip home!

 

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