Fairy Tale - 13 day Self Drive Tour in Iceland

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Fairy Tale - 13 day Self Drive Tour

Explore the greatest wonders of Iceland in detail

Take your time to see these well-known attractions of Iceland. These include Reykjavik City, Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir and some other hot springs, the National Parks at Thingvellir, and Skaftafell, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Jokulsargljufur Canyon, Dettifoss Waterfall, Snaefellsnes Peninsula and many more.

Explore Iceland’s rich natural treasures, including national parks, beautiful waterfalls, striking glaciers, magnificent volcanoes and hot springs.


Duration: 13 days

Available: All year

Tour Description

self drive iceland 13 days

The route for this tour around Iceland

Day 1

You collect your rental car either from Keflavik International Airport, or from Reykjavik. Your tour beings with a drive the south coast to visit the hot spring village of Hveragerdi giving you the opportunity to see lava, craters and hot springs along the way. Today involves driving only a conveniently short distance, this is good if you are arriving in the middle of the day and wish to stay in more affordable accommodation outside the capital area.

After check-in at your hotel or guesthouse in Hveragerdi you may want to relax for a time before you take a look around in the village. There is a very nice hot spring area in front of the village’s church, and most particularly the Sandholshver hot springs and a river of warm water.

Hvitserkur sea stack

Hvitserkur sea stack in the north

Day 2

From Hveragerdi your route will take you on a drive to see the crater named Kerid and from there to Geysir geothermal field. This field has hundreds of hot springs, such as the geysir Strokkur and the Great Geysir (which all other geysers in the world take their name from).

From Geysir geothermal field you will need to drive to Gullfoss (the golden waterfall), before continuing towards Bruarhlod and on to the village of Fludir, an area which has a lot of hot springs and greenhouses. Your drive will take you to Thjorsardalur (Þjórsárdalur) here you will see examples of Viking houses from the year 1104. That year Mt. Hekla erupted and some of the Viking houses were covered over with a layer of white ash a few metres thick. From here your route will take you up into the highlands and you will see a huge hydro power plant. Your drive will take you past Mt. Hekla, which is our most famous volcano, before you head south to the ring road (road nr. 1) towards the villages of Hella and Hvolsvollur.

Accommodation: book in the area surrounding Hvolsvollur.

whale watching north iceland

Take a whale watching tour in North Iceland

Day 3

After breakfast is a good time to visit to the Saga Museum at Hvolsvollur before you drive to the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss Waterfalls. At Skogar you could visit a nice folk museum and a little further to east you could take a snowmobiling tour on Myrdalsjokull glacier. From here your route will take you to the promontory of Dyrholaey, to Reynisfjara black sand beach and then on to the village Vik. From there you will need to drive east over Myrdalssandur sand with a view up to the volcano Katla that is sleeping nicely under the Myrdalsjokull glacier. On the way your drive will take you over some glacier rivers and over Eldgjarhraun lava field, the biggest lava field in the world from historic times (19 cubic kilometres) and then over to Eldhraun which is the second biggest lava field in the world from historic times (13 cubic km). Finally, you will need to drive to the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur which is situated in a very interesting landscape. We recommend you to take a look at the basalt rock Church floor (e Kirkjugolf).

Accommodation: book in Kirkjubaejarklaustur or its surrounding area.

flatey island

You can take a ferry to the island of Flatey

Day 4

From Kirkjubaejarklaustur your route will take you to see Foss a Sidu (a waterfall) and to Dverghamrar (cliffs). Next, you will travel on to the sand plains of Skeidararsandur where you will need to drive over big glacial rivers, there is a good view up to Vatnajokull glacier and other glaciers around this part. You could hike in Skaftafell, take a glacier hiking tour with a guide, or a walk up to Skaftafellsjokull glacier with a veiw to the Skaftafellsjokull and Svinafellsjokull glaciers. The next part of you tour today will take you on a drive to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon where you could take a boat tour and enjoy sailing between the icebergs! Finally, you will need to head towards Hofn in Hornafjordur.

Accommodation: book in the area surrounding Hofn in Hornafjordur.

northern lights self drive

If you are here in the winter, you may see the spectacular Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights

Day 5

Your tour begins today when you drive north from the fishing village Hofn in Hornafjordur to the east fjords. it is good to stop here and there, the villages Djupivogur, Breiddalsvik, Stodvarfjordur, Faskrudsfjordur and Reydarfjordur are all great places to stop and explore a little. Your drive will take you around Lake Lagarfljot where there are stopping places of historical interest and also places with special nature. In the afternoon you will need to head towards the Lake Myvatn.

Accommodation: book in the area surrounding Lake Myvatn.

ice caving iceland

Also for the winter time, ice caving tour in Vatnajokull glacier

Day 6

Today you are able to spend the whole day at Myvatn which has lot to see and do, for examples, see here. Lake Myvatn and its surrounding area is a place where you could spend a lifetime. Some of its unique attractions are Dimmuborgir and the pseudo craters at Skutustadir. Do not miss Hverfjall (also known as Hverfell) which is a tephra cone or tuff ring volcano. Its crater is approximately 1 km in diameter and it is a very easy hike to the rim (with a great view of the whole area). It is also good to take a look at Grjotagja, a small lava cave with a thermal spring inside. The water is about 42°C. If you want your bathing to be a little more sophisticated you could try out the Jardbodin Geothermal Spa (also known as Myvatn Nature Baths).

Accommodation: book in the area surrounding Lake Myvatn.

glacier hike skaftafell

Glacier Hiking in Skaftafell - just amazing!

Day 7

Today your route will take you on a drive from Myvatn to the geothermal area at Hverarond and Krafla hot springs and then to Iceland’s major waterfalls in Jokulsargljufur canyon, Dettifoss, Hafragilsfoss, Rettarfoss, Vigabjargsfoss, and also to see the cliffs at Holmatungur and Hljodaklettar, and the canyon Asbyrgi. From Asbyrgi you will need to head to Husavik.

Accommodation: book in Husavik or its surrounding area.

seljalandsfoss waterfall

Seljalandsfoss is the waterfall which you can walk behind giving you a unique view

Day 8

You could start the day with a whale watching tour from Husavik before you drive to see Godafoss Waterfall and on to Akureyri (the biggest town in north Iceland). You route will take you on to Eyfjafjordur, and then to the area of Skagafjordur Fjord. There are a lot of interesting places to look at including historical places, museums and places with special nature.

Accommodation: book in the area of Skagafjordur Fjord.

thinvellir national park

At the National Park of Thingvellir where the continents split - here you can see waterfall Oxararfoss

Day 9

You could begin today with a 1 hour horse back ride, the Skagafjordur area is well known for its horses. You could then visit the Glaumbaer Folk Museum near Varmahlid before you drive on to Langidalur, Blonduos village, and on to the Vatnsnes peninsula where you may take a photo stop by the sea stack Hvitserkur (look out for seals in this area). You will then need to drive further south through Budardalur bringing you into the Snaefellsnes peninsula.

Accommodation: book in the area surrounding Stykkisholmur.

strokkur geyser

The geyser Strokkur erupts every 4 - 8 minutes

Day 10

Today we recommend you to take a boat tour to the islands in the bay of Breidafjordur which will give you a great chance to see the thriving bird life and beautiful rock formations. You drive from Stykkisholmur to Grundarfjordur and Olafsvik and then on to the Snaefellsjokull (glacier) National Park. It is wonderful to hike inside the National Park to Snaefellsjokull glacier, Saxholl, and also to Djupalon, Dritvik, Londrangar, Hellnar, Arnarstapi, Budahraun and Budir.

Accommodation: book in the area surrounding Snaefellsjokull (glacier)

geothermal camping

Camping by the hot springs outside Hveragerdi

Day 11

From Budir your drive will take you to Hnappadalur to visit a natural bathing place. You could hike in the lava field, Gullborgarhraun, and could also do some caving if you wished, for more information see here. Next your route will take you to Borg a Myrum (a historical place), to the village of Borgarnes and then to Deildartunguhver hot spring (which has more water flowing up than any other hot spring in the world). Your drive will then take you to the waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, to Husafell and up to the Hallmundahraun lava field where there are great caves.

Accommodation: book in Reykholt or its surrounding area.

Grjotagja  secret canyon geothermal

Grjotagja is a lava cave with a thermal spring

Day 12

From Reykholt your drive will take you around the fjord Hvalfjordur (Fjord of Whale) before you head to Thingvellir national park. Thingvellir is a fantastic location and has many aspects of great importance. Geologically, it is a rift between two tectonic plates - and this is a very rare thing to see. Historically, it is the site where the Althing, the early Icelandic parliament was established in 930 AD. You will probably want to take a good break there because there is much to see.

Accommodations: book in Reykjavik.

geothermal namaskard

Namaskard hot springs near Myvatn

Day 13

You could opt for a sightseeing tour in and around Reykjavik or maybe try out one of the thermal swimming pools. Maybe you would like to seize the chance to hit the mall for some final shopping, or to savour the local cuisine in one of the capital's many restaurants. Reykjavik also has many museums, galleries and parks or gardens worth visiting. You will need to return your car either in Reykjavik or Keflavik, whichever option you have booked. Let us know if you wish to have accommodation for this night in Reykjavik.

hallgrimskirkja church

The streets of Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik