Menu

5 Day Self Drive Tour | Golden Circle, South Coast & Jokulsarlon - SD01

Explore The Amazing Landmarks Of The Golden Circle And The Sights Of The South Coast

Enjoy spine-tingling adventure activities and explore the most famous and stunning natural wonders of South Iceland all the way to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

Included is a rental car, accommodation and a glacier hike in Skaftafell.
You will receive a detailed itinerary and information package... all at the best available price.


Duration: 5 Days

Available: All year

Age limit: 10 years (for glacier hike)

Map (click here)

Tour Highlights:
  • The Golden Circle - Gullfoss, Geysir & Thingvellir
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
  • Vatnajokull glacier
  • Skogafoss waterfall
  • Seljalandsfoss waterfall
  • Eyjafjallajokull volcano
  • Dyrholaey
  • Reykjanes peninsula
  • Solheimajokull glacier
  • Skaftafell area
  • Silfra Fissure
  • Reynisfjara black sand beach
  • Vík í Mýrdal
  • Skogar
  • Kerið Crater
  • Diamond Beach

Pickup: 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).

Included:

  • Accommodation for 4 nights w. breakfast
  • Rental car for 5 days (with all basic insurances: Collision Damage Waiver, Personal Accident Insurance and Theft protection)
  • Glacier hike in Skaftafell nature reserve
  • Detailed itinerary and information package

Remember to bring with you:

  • Warm clothes
  • Hiking shoes
  • Driver's license

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 5, for a relaxing swim. The admission fee is not included, and we recommend that you book in advance at bluelagoon.com
Remember to bring a bathing suit and a towel.

Footage from the highlights on the South Coast.

South Iceland photo gallery

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon photo gallery

from:
79 990 per adult

If 4 persons - May vary depending on group size, season and availability.

You have chosen: From KEF

Instant confirmation & Low Prices

Pick-up & Drop-off at Keflavik international airport. Note you can change the drop-off location to Reykjavik (see confirmation email for details).

You have chosen: From RVK

Instant confirmation & Low Prices

Pick-up at BSI Bus Terminal in Reykjavik. Drop-off at KEF airport. Note you can change the drop-off location to Reykjavik (see confirmation email for details).


Please note: To offer the best price possible, this self drive package is fixed and cannot be changed or altered. The package has been optimized for the best experience.


Tour Description

self drive tour 5 days iceland

The route for this tour along the south coast

Explore Iceland´s most fabulous natural treasures including the epic Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall and watch Strokkur, an erupting geyser, energetically blasting every few minutes and fill your time with exciting adventure activities. Build memories to last a lifetime and even visit the Blue Lagoon (optional) before your flight home!

Your itinerary has a duration of 5 days and 4 nights, giving you plenty of time to enjoy all the major attractions in South Iceland. A glacier hike in Skaftafell nature reserve is also included.

This is perfect self drive Golden Circle and South Coast package itinerary for adventure loving travelers in Iceland. You will receive a detailed itinerary, map and and a self drive handbook. This self drive tour is optimized for the best possible experience, visiting all the highlights on the South Coast.

diamond beach tour iceland

At the Diamond Beach near the Glacier Lagoon

Day 1 - The Golden Circle and South Coast

You pick up your rental car and head straight out onto your road trip. Today's itinerary will take you to the Golden Circle sights of Thingvellir national park, Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall, with optional extra stopping points along the way. 

Your route takes you to Thingvellir National Park, birthplace of the ancient Icelandic Parliament, called the Althing (Alþingi), which means ‘assembly’ in English.

More information about Thingvellir

This area was formerly called Bláskógar but it was renamed Thingvellir (Þingvellir), meaning ‘Assembly Plains’ when Iceland's supreme legislative and judicial authority was established here in the year 930 CE / AD. During the early Middle Ages many people of Norse and Celtic origin settled in Iceland and early on the various chieftains formed district assemblies. However, the population quickly grew and it became clear a general or national assembly was required. Many visitors wonder why this location was chosen? It is probable that the decision was swayed by events which happened around the time when the search for a suitable place was being made. Þórir Kroppinskeggur, who owned and farmed these lands was convicted of the murder of his servant, he was required to pay a fine and his lands were confiscated and placed in public ownership. Þingvellir was, though, quite a suitable location for various reasons.

From Thingvellir the tour takes you to the hot spring village of Laugarvatn which has Laugarvatn Fontana, a lovely geothermal spa you could visit if you want to. Your route continues to the famous Geysir hot-spring area, you must not miss out on the chance to witness Strokkur erupting, nor, the mighty Gullfoss waterfall which is your final Golden Circle attraction.

geyser strokkur hot springs iceland

The geyser erupts every 4–8 minutes and reaches 15 – 20 m high, sometimes up to 40 m high

Day 2 - The South Coast

After breakfast, your tour route will give you fine views of the central volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, whose glittering icecap, brings a reminder of the volcanic eruption in 2010 which halted with air traffic across Europe for a time. Of course, on a self drive tour it is entirely up to you where you stop, but we make a few suggestions to help you on your way.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall and Skogafoss waterfall are great places to visit before you continue your journey to Solheimajokull glacier, Dyrholaey, the black beach at Reynisdrangar and the charming village of Vik. Driving across the Sólheimasandur volcanic sand-planes will give you your first glimpse of the lunar-like scenery Iceland is famous for. Other interesting places to visit are the Skógasafnið Museum and Gljúfrabúi, a picturesque waterfall and beautiful hiking areas.

In summer there are a lot of puffins and Arctic terns around Dyrholaey, this is a great spot to visit at any time of year, as well as being a favorite with migratory birds

Your accommodation will be somewhere around the Vík, Kirkjubæjarklaustur or Skaftafell area.

reynisfjara black sand beach

At Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach

Day 3 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

You enjoy breakfast at your accommodation then hit the road for another day of exciting wonders! Your route continues with a visit to Kirkjugólf, the amazing basalt column ‘floor’ which is situated just outside of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. The lovely Fossálar (waterfall), Dverghamrar, Lómagnúpur, and the old buildings at Núpsstaðir are all great stopping points. Along the way to the Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Vatnajökull National Park you will cross Skeiðarásandur, a rugged volcanic desert area, you can also admire the Skeiðará Bridge Monument. We highly recommend you take the time to enjoy the short hike from Skaftafell Visitor Centre to Svartifoss, a waterfall which drops from a dramatic wall of black basalt columnar formations. Can you imagine how stunning this is? Shimmering white water pouring over dramatic black basalt, it is no surprise that these falls have inspired Icelandic architecture! In this area you will also find Skaftafellsjökull and Svínafellsjökull glaciers - both are an absolute delight to the eye. For many travelers a glacier hike is very high on their Iceland bucket list, in winter ice cave tours are also incredibly popular!

The next segment of your route will deliver you to the amazing Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. The glacial lagoon is vast stretching as far as the eye can see, the icebergs are all gliding towards the ocean less than 1 km away. This area has undergone an incredible transformation since 1934, when the lake started to form, although, by far the greater part of it developed after 1950. The scenery here is just like a film set, or rather it is a film set! Tomb Raider, the reality TV series, Amazing Race, Batman Begins and the James Bond movies, Die Another Day and A View to Kill all contain scenes which were shot here. We suggest you spend a little time exploring the Diamond Beach and admiring the sparkling icebergs as they float out to sea, or come to rest on the black sand.

Your accommodation for the night will be in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Skaftafell or Höfn area. Along the way you can stop off whenever you want for meals or to look at points of interest.

jokulsarlon glacial lagoon floating icebergs

Glacial ice formations in Jokulsarlon Lagoon are colourful

Day 4 - Glacier hike and return to Reykjavik

Today we explore the South Coast ever more! However, early in the day we will take a glacier hike in Skaftafell Nature reserve. Drive to the meeting point at Skaftafell and meet your expert glacier guide. Read more about the tour here.

After the glacier hike we continue the journey. You will see Eldhraun, an enormous lava field produced by a famous and magnificent eruption which is often referred to as the Skaftá-Fires (Skaftáreldar). From the 8th June 1783 to the 7th February 1784 lava poured out of lakagígar, a massive volcano crater row. This wreaked great destruction in the area around Kirkjubæjarklaustur, the ashfall destroyed huge areas of farmland and caused the deaths of local livestock. There are so many exciting places to stop at today, before you travel too far towards Reykjavík you could check out Fjaðrárgljúfur, a sensational canyon near Kirjkjubæjarklaustur.

You will get more views of Katla, a famous central volcano nestling under the ice-cap of Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, the views are spectacular. The road takes you over Mýrdalssandur, a volcanic desert region with lunar-like scenery and the vast Eldhraun lava field. This was formed in an enormous eruption in the year 934, when lava spewed from the rift of Eldgjá, which extends for almost 60 km. This volcanic event produced the largest single-eruption lava flow on the planet in historic times, 18 to 19 cubic kilometers.

Your accommodation for the night will be in the capital area (Reykjavík, Kópavogur, Hafnarfjörður).

Read more about day 4 here

Perhaps you want to explore more of the areas close to Reykjavík, you could detour along the coast a little to visit Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki? Both are charming and atmospheric coastal villages, with delightful brightly painted wooden houses. Þorlákshöfn is another little village with the kind of scenes and atmosphere seaside places used to have - unspoiled but fabulous.

Selfoss and Hveragerði are both great little towns to explore, with lovely riverside walks. From Hveragerði you could hike the hot spring valley above the town, which leads to a hot spring river where you can bathe. Hveragerði is famous for its flower-filled gardens and geothermally heated hot houses, a lot of Iceland´s vegetables are produced in this area.

You could continue around Reykjanes, a lovely peninsula, or, if you have a late flight, leave that delight for tomorrow. For more info about Reykjanes please see the departure day information below. Your accommodation will be in the capital region, so you can enjoy an evening in this vibrant city on the edge of the Arctic. Reykjavík has a wide selection of restaurants - See our dining out in Reykjavík guide here - new places open up fairly frequently, though!    

seljalandsfoss waterfall iceland

Seljalandsfoss waterfall on the South Coast

Day 5 - Departure

Reykjanes has far more to offer you than just being the peninsula where the international airport is situated, very convenient though that undoubtedly is! There are mossy lava fields, volcano craters and cones, the silhouette of one particularly elegant cone, Keilir, is very prominent on the horizon. Lake Kleifarvatn, is especially picturesque with some nice hiking paths if you have the time. You definitely should see the hot springs at Krýsuvík, for one last look at the surreal steam wafted Icelandic landscapes. The Gunnuhver hot springs, the location of a famous ghost saga, and the bridge between the continents are also well worth a look. There are so many great and photogenic places! You could visit Grindavík, a traditional and remote fishing village at the tip of the peninsula, or take a walk along the coast by Eldey, an island which is a well-known bird habitat, kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, cormorants and eider ducks are very plentiful.

If you have the time, we certainly recommend a visit to the Blue Lagoon at Grindavík, an iconic and now world famous geothermal spa. Note that the entrance fee to the lagoon is not included, and we recommend that you buy it in advance at bluelagoon.com. Enjoy relaxing in the incredibly silica rich water, and the free white mud mask - a bar, cafeteria and restaurant offer drinks, snacks and good quality meals - all with lagoon views. 

Vatnajokull glacier hike

A glacier hike in Skaftafell nature reserve is included

---

Map - click to enlarge
self drive itinerary map

Note: The route for this tour along the south coast all the way to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in South East Iceland.


Disclaimer: To offer the best available price this self drive package is fixed and cannot be changed or altered in any way.
See our terms and conditions for the cancellation policy.


Related Tours: