Experience the best 5 days in Iceland on this self drive tour. Take the Golden Circle at your own pace and spend the next few days exploring the highlights of the South coast. Beaches, ice caves, waterfalls and mountains, this tour highlights the best of Icelandic natural landscapes.
Included in your five-day tour is a rental car, accommodations, a glacier hike in South Iceland, and a crystal ice cave experience. You will receive a detailed itinerary and information package
All at the best price available.
Duration: 5 Days
Pick-up: Flexible (Morning)
Group maximum: 18
Available: Nov - Mar
Age limit: 8 Years Old
Departs from: Keflavik KEF or Reykjavik BSI
Included: 4 nights accommodation in comfort rooms, 5 days car rental, Glacier Experience & Crystal Ice cave
Not Included: Food
- South coast
- 4 nights in comfort rooms
- Self Drive
- Jökulsárlón Ice cave
- Northern Lights
- Diamond beach
- Reynisfjara beach
Accommodation: Comfort accommodation is included in the package. Good locations, breakfast included and you get a private bathroom.
Note: If you book for 2 or 4 persons you get twin / double rooms. If you book for 3 or 5 persons you get a combination of double/twin rooms and a single room.
Optional Extra: If your flight schedule allows, you can stop at the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa on your way to the airport on day 4, for a relaxing swim. The admission fee is not included and a pre-booking is required. We recommend you do so on bluelagoon.com. Remember to bring a bathing suit and a towel, if you don’t you will need to rent or hire them.
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 afterwards (details can be found in the confirmation email).
Bring with you:
- Warm clothes
- Hiking shoes
- A driver's license
You have selected: From Keflavik
You have selected: From Reykjavik
Explore the best Iceland has to offer on a 5 day south coast tour. Take in the sites of the famous Golden Circle, but also visit less busy villages and waterfalls along your way! Take in an ice cave, visit multiple beaches and spend time with your family! This Self Drive Iceland tour is the easiest way to relax on an an adventurous holiday! You will be taken care off and the hotels are pre planned, all you that's left to do is travel at your own pace to the most amazing sights, locations and experiences Iceland has to offer.
Day 1 - The Golden Circle
Whenever time you're ready in the morning, collect your rental car from the airport. If you are picking your car up from Reykjavik you will need to stay overnight in the capital, in order to collect your car from BSI in the morning.
The road trip starts now!
Make your way around the Golden Circle route, stopping as often as you like but being sure to call in at Þingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss waterfall.
The Golden Circle is the most famous road trip of Iceland - and for good reason! Thingvellir National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its history as the site of the world's first ever national parliament, Althing. Þingvellir translating as "Parliament Plains". The Alþing general assembly was established here in 930 AD and continued to operate there until 1798. Major events in Iceland’s history have taken place at Þingvellir including it’s movement for independence from Denmark.
The Thingvellir park incorporates part of a fissure zone situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, where small earthquakes occur frequently. It is possible and popular for tourists to snorkel between the 2 tectonic plates, at the Silfra Fissure to get a closer view at the lava rocks, with visibility at over 150 metres deep in some areas.
Geysir geothermal area is next on the trip and this is the area where the Great Geysir once erupted boiling water up to 70 metres (230 ft) in the air. While it is dormant now, Stukkar is also located within the geothermal area and is much more active! Every 5-8 minutes the spouting spring spouts water up to 30 m in the air! The geothermal area is located in Haukadalur valley, which has many other features that justify the visit. Fumaroles, mud-pits, hot-springs and smaller geysers are scattered around Haukadalur, while the ground itself is a color pallet of reds, greens and yellows.
The final destination on the main Golden Circle route is Gullfoss Waterfall- the most popular waterfall in Iceland. The Golden Waterfall is stunning and thunderous all year round, with plummets of 21 metres and canyon walls of 70 metres. On a sunny day, the fall is alive with rainbows and a golden hued spray!
Although not technically part of the golden circle, on the route you will pass Faxi waterfall and Kerið Crater and it is well worth taking a quick detour to explore and photograph this wide waterfall and volcanic lake.
After the day of sightseeing, you can arrive in your hotel, in the Golden Circle or Hvolsvöllur area, and rest up for another road trip tomorrow, or stay up and keep an eye out for any signs of Northern Lights!
- Geysir geothermal area
- Gullfoss waterfalls
- Faxi waterfall & Kerið Crater
- Possible Northern Lights
Day 2 - South Coast + Glacier hike
The South coast of Iceland offers some beautiful beaches, wonderful waterfalls and gorgeous glaciers.
In no particular order, we recommend checking out Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúiwaterfalls, located by Route 1 and from the road that leads to Þórsmörk Road 249. Seljalandsfoss is the main waterfall in the area and it is possible to walk all the way around. The fall has a drop of 200 feet and has its origins underneath the glacier Eyjafjallajökull. Gljúfrabúi is nearby, partially hidden behind a rock face. Because of the extreme popularity of Seljalandsfoss, Gljúfrabúi is the hidden gem of the area, often overlooked overlooked by tourists focusing on Seljalandsfoss.
Skógafoss is another popular waterfall also on the South coast. It has a similar drop of 60 metres and a width of 25 metres and if you are prepared to get wet, you can walk right up to it! On sunny days you can see vivid rainbows and you can also climb the steps to the top and see it from above. Close by the waterfall, 3 miles, is the small village of Skógar, which is popular with tourists. Despite its population of 20, the village runs a popular regional museum.
At some point in today's busy itinerary you must make time for a glacier experience on Sólheimajökull. Sólheimajökull glacier is an easy walk along the glacier, surrounded by some of Iceland’s grandest volcanoes. During summertime, a glacier lagoon forms in front of the glacier only adding to the charm of the location. This glacier hike is an adventure like no other, and with the rapid rate of global climate change, this popular activity is only available in very few parts of the world. Remember to bring warm outdoor clothing, a waterproof jacket and pants, headgear and gloves. Good hiking boots are recommended.
Finally, you should make time to visit Vík í Mýrdal town. The village of Vík is the southernmost village in Iceland, located on the main ring road around the island. The village is very popular amongst tourists and contains many beautiful views and landscapes. The village is set opposite Reynisfjara black sand beach which is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful non-tropical beaches.
If conditions allow, this is a great place to catch the Northern Lights, before arriving at your hotel in either Klaustur or Skaftafell.
- South Coast
- Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi
- Skógafoss and Skógar
- Glacier Experience on Sólheimajökull
- Vík í Mýrdal town
- Northern Lights viewing in the evening (if conditions allow)
- Arrive at your hotel in In Klaustur/Skaftafell
Day 3 - Skaftafell, ice cave & Jökulsárlón
Day 3 will take place in and around Skaftafell national park. Skaftafell is a preservation area has landscape very similar to some of the Alps, yet has been formed through fire and water - volcanoes and glaciers.
Svartifoss is a famous waterfall attraction within the park, measuring 20 metres tall and surrounded by unique dark basalt lava columns. If you’re lucky, you may be the only one there! It is not possible to see Svartifoss from the road and the hike up to it takes around 45 minutes if you include time for photo stops! Most of the walk is through a low branched forest which is just beautiful. You can walk straight down to Svartifoss to see it up-close or climb the stairs to get to the top. While you could spend a few hours of your day here, there is much more to be in South East Iceland!
For instance there will be a crystal ice cave tour which you do not want to miss! The Crystal Ice Cave tour departs from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and is up to 3 hours in duration. An off-road jeep will drive you to a large ice cave found near Breiðármerkurjökull Glacier. This tour offers you the chance to venture inside the crystal ice cave and take photos of its picturesque crystal surroundings. Once inside the Crystal Cave, you will have about 40 minutes to explore its wonders at your own pace.The blue light seeping through the dense ice is unique and it gives the cave an adventurous atmosphere. This is definitely a must see for all and especially photographic enthusiasts!
Last on today's itinerary is Jökulsárlón, a captivating glacial lagoon, bordering Vatnajökull National Park. The lagoon is one of the most awesome natural wonders of the world and so much more than the ‘standard’ coastal or coral expectation.The glistening blue and white icebergs washed up on the black, Diamond Beach are mind-blowing. Action scenes of A View to Kill and Die Another Day were shot here, as well as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Batman Begins. You will see icebergs, some as large as apartment blocks bumping into one another in the lagoon, while the beach offers one of the most surreal sights ever seen! Blue and white icebergs of all shapes and sizes glide in silent procession as they sail off in the wild waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
After a day of spectacular landscape and nature, arrive at your hotel in either Skaftafell or Höfn to prepare for tomorrow's adventure.
- Crystal ice cave tour
- Diamond beach
- Northern Lights viewing in the evening (if conditions allow)
Arrive at your hotel in Skaftafell/Höfn
Day 4 - Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Day 4 will be spent sightseeing and hiking in South East Iceland, in Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
Starting with a trip to Lómagnúpur mountain- arguably the most photogenic mountain in Iceland- a subglacial mound located between the Kirkjubæjarklaustur village and Skaftafell area, with an elevation of 764 metres and prominence of 166 metres. arguably, one of Iceland’s most recognisable mountains The mountain was formed over 1 million years and is largely made of palagonite.
10 km east of the Kirkjubæjarklaustur village right on the Ring Road you will find the unmistakable Dverghamrar cliffs. This canyon is small but impressive! The Dwarf Cliffs are one of the most stunning rock formations in Iceland with hexagonal columns of basalt, topped with cube-jointed basalt, curved like a horseshoe. It’s a great pit stop to take a break and stretch your legs for half an hour or so, before carrying on to The Church floor.
The Church floor or Kirkjugólf is just east of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, eroded basalt columns shaped by the weather, glaciers, and the sea give the appearance of a man-made tiled floor. The floor is well worth visiting if you are passing by the area.
Next to visit we recommend Kirkjubæjarklaustur village, off of ring road 1. The village houses several shops and services and is a popular destination for tourists. Roughly 250 km (155 miles) east of Reykjavík, ‘Klaustur’ is one of the few villages providing amenities, such as fuel, shops, a bank and a supermarket. Packed with history and tradition, Kirkjubæjarklaustur village is a fascinating town to spend a few hours.
Before traveling back to Reykjavik, you need to check out 2 more places; Fjaðrárgljúfur and
Reynisfjara beach. Fjadrargljufur Canyon is a great place to hike and take in nature and worth the time and effort.The views are phenomenal and the canyon doesn’t look real! The hike is an easily accessible 1.25 mile trail that leads to an incredible lookout point, which overlooks a waterfall and canyon walls reaching a height of 328 feet tall!
Finally, an evening stroll on the world famous Reynisfjara beach cannot be missed. This black-sand beach, just beside the small fishing village of Vík is famous for huge basalt stacks, it’s Atlantic waves and captivating panoramas.
After another busy day, arrive at your hotel in the capital area. Reynisfjara is around 180 kilometers (112 miles) from Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavík, roughly a 2.5 hour drive.
- Lómagnúpur mountain
- Dverghamrar cliffs
- The Church floor
- Kirkjubæjarklaustur village
- Reynisfjara beach
Day 5 - Departure Day
Depending on the time of your flight, there’s still some activities you should so in Iceland if you have the chance!
Points of Interest include Kleifarvatn Lake, Hópsnesviti Lighthouse, the Blue Lagoon, Hópsnes peninsula, Reykjanesviti Lighthouse and the bridge between the continents. Leaving time to get to the car rental drop-off and getting to the airport with time to spare! Prioritise what works for your schedule.
Kleifarvatn Lake is about 10 km² and the largest of Reykjanes peninsula. It is about 97 m deep which makes it one of the deepest lakes in Iceland! In the southernmost part hot water from several hot springs run into the lake and warm it up, but elsewhere the lake is very, very cold! The nature of the volcanic surroundings make the lake a great place for photographers, the surroundings of the lake are uniquely beautiful.
Another option is Hópsnes viti Lighthouse. Hópsnes is a small peninsula in Grindavik which was formed during an eruption. Hópsnes lighthouse was built in 1928 as from the road you will be able to see many shipwrecks which have been stranded. The lighthouse has a great view of Eldey island on clear days and is a nice place to take a walk on a sunny day.
You may want to head to the Blue Lagoon, as it is near to the airport and one of Iceland’s best tourist attractions! Entry fee is not included in this tour, but it is well worth going to the lagoon for the instagram selfie alone! The lagoon is not just a pool, but treated more like a spa and there is both a sauna and a steam bath. The water is a blend of sea-water and geothermally heated water which is rich with silica, minerals and algae, really good for your skin, mind, body and soul.
You may wish to see the Reykjanesviti Lighthouse on Bæjarfell hill instead. The light signal height is 69 meters above sea level and the actual height of the lighthouse is 26 metres. Reykjanesviti is close to the geothermal area Gunnuhver, which is famous for the largest mud pot in Iceland. As the lighthouse is on the Peninsula, it is relatively close to the Blue Lagoon, while also near to the Bridge Between the Continents.
The Bridge Between Continents is a small footbridge over the fissure of the Mid Atlantic Ridge, providing clear evidence of the presence of a diverging plate margin. The bridge serves as a symbolic gesture representing the connection between Europe and North America. A great photo opportunity, you can stand either side of the North American and Eurasian plates simultaneously.
Make sure you leave plenty of time to return your rental car at the airport. When you arrive at the airport again you drop the rental car off at the car rental, free from the hassle of busses or challenging luggage transfers or storing.We hope you enjoyed your time in Iceland and have a safe flight home!
- Kleifarvatn Lake
- Hópsnes viti Lighthouse
- Hópsnes peninsula
- Blue Lagoon (entry not included)
- Reykjanesviti Lighthouse
- Bridge between the continents