Iceland Fire and Ice - 5 days | Self Drive Tour | Car Rental


Fire and Ice - 5 day Self Drive Tour

Iceland's basics: Jokulsarlon and the Golden Circle

Iceland's basics: Jokulsarlon and the Golden Circle During this 5 days trip, you will explore the wonders and famous sightseeing of the South of Iceland. You will see Thingvellir National Park, geysers, waterfalls and glaciers, you can bathe in natural geothermal water pools and visit picturesque villages in the South.

Duration: 5 Days

Available: All year

Tour Description

self drive tour 4 days iceland

The route for this tour along the south coast

Explore Iceland’s rich natural treasures such as the glacial lagoon Jokulsarlon, waterfall Gullfoss and geyser Strokkur. You'll have time to check the geothermal spa at the Blue Lagoon as well.

A description of an itinerary along the south coast of Iceland with a duration of 4 days and 3 nights is to follow. This tour gives you plenty of time to cover all the major stunning attractions that Iceland has to offer when you are traveling to the south coast and the Reykjanes peninsula.

Check out these guided minibus tours: 
The Ring Road - 7 days with northern lights hunting.
The Ring Road - 6 day summer package.

Need activities?: 
A list of tours and activities around Iceland.

thingvellir national park iceland

The continental drift between the North American and Eurasian Plates can be clearly seen in Thingvellir

Day 1

From Reykjavik this tour takes you to Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic Parliament. The Althing (assembly) at Thingvellir (Þingvellir) was Iceland's supreme legislative and judicial authority. During the early Middle Ages many people of Norse and Celtic origin settled in Iceland. Early on, district assemblies had been formed, however, as the population grew the need for a general assembly became obvious. Why was this location chosen? At about the same time, the farmer and owner of the area was convicted of murder. His sentence was to pay a fine and abandon his land. It was on these lands, which then became public property, that the Althing was established in 930 A.D.

From Thingvellir the tour takes you to the hot spring village of Laugarvatn where it is possible to visit a geothermal spa, Laugarvatn Fontana. Next the tour continues to the famous Geysir hot-spring area and you really must not miss the mighty Gullfoss waterfall. Finally, this tour takes you to the hot spring village of Fludir; from there you need to head south back to road nr. 1 towards the villages Hella and Hvolsvollur, continuing to Fljotshlid and we recommend your accommodation be arranged close to this area.

Optional May-Aug: Snorkeling under the midnight sun

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

After breakfast your route takes you towards the central volcano Eyjafjallajokull, site of the 2010 volcanic eruption which disrupted European air traffic for several days. We suggest you stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall and Skogafoss waterfall before you drive to Solheimajokull glacier and then continue to see Dyrholaey, Vik and Reynisdrangar.

If you like bird-watching, Dyrholaey is a good spot to visit. There are lots of puffins in the summer season, as well as arctic terns and other migratory birds.

From Vik the tour takes you on a drive over Myrdalssandur where you will have a view up to the central volcano, Katla, which is under the ice-cap of Myrdalsjokull glacier.

East of Myrdalssandur you will discover the Eldgjarhraun lava field, which was formed from the earth’s largest volume lava flow in a single eruption in historic times. This lava field was formed in one massive eruption in the year 934 in the volcanic rift of Eldgja which is almost 60 kilometres long. The lava field’s size is somewhere between 18-19 cubic kilometres.

East of the Eldgjahraun lava field and the glacial river of Kudafljot, you will find the historic lava field of Skaftareldahraun which was formed by a huge eruption in the Lakagigar crater-row. The eruption started June 8th 1783 and lasted until February 7th 1784.

A lot of farms and their farmlands were destroyed in the aftermath of this eruption because of ash fall and most of the livestock subsequently died. This lava field covers an area of 656 sq. kilometres and contains 14 cubic kilometres. Your accommodation will be arranged in the area surrounding the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur.

Optional: Snowmobile Tour Myrdalsjokull glacier

svartifoss skaftafell vatnajokull national park

Hike in Skaftafell to see Svartifoss waterfall among columnar basalt rocks

Day 3

The tour continues to include Kirkjugolf (in Kirkjubaejarklaustur), Fossálar (waterfall), Dverghamrar and Nupsstadur, before continuing over Skeidararsandur to Skaftafell nature resort in Vatnajokull National Park. Here there is a great opportunity to spend some time viewing the Svartifoss waterfall falling from a wall of columnar basalt which has often inspired architects, Skaftafellsjokull glacierand Svinafellsjokull glacier, which are both a total delight to the eye.

From here you will need to drive to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon- more photos are available here.

The icebergs in the Glacial Lagoon of Jokulsarlon are slowly floating to the ocean which awaits them just 1 km away. Due to climate change and warmer temperatures this area has experienced a great transformation since the 1920s. A 260 m deep glacial lagoon began to form, with the greater part of it taking shape after 1950. The lagoon has been a setting for four Hollywood movies namely, 'A View to a Kill', 'Die Another Day', 'Tomb Raider' and 'Batman Begins', in addition to the reality TV series 'Amazing Race'.

After your visit to the icebergs do not forget to explore the beach by the sea before you drive to your accommodation in the area surrounding Kirkjubaejarklaustur.

Optional all year: Guided glacier hike in Skaftafell
Optional in Apr-Oct: Sailing Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon
Optional in Nov-Mar: Ice caves Vatnajokull National Park

jokulsarlon glacial lagoon floating icebergs

Glacial ice formations in Jokulsarlon Lagoon are colourful

Day 4

The route takes you back towards Reykjavik and gives you the opportunity to take stops here and there ... to revisit some of the places where you stopped before and at new locations. The drive takes you to Selfoss and then south to the fishing villages Eyrarbakki and Thorlakshofn (Þorlákshöfn), from here the road will take you along the south coast of Reykjanes Peninsula over lava fields and craters.

The Reykjanes peninsula has a lot to offer you. Lake Kleifarvatn is particularly picturesque, and there are also the hot springs of Krysuvik or Seltun which are definitely worth a photo stop. Visit Grindavik, a cozy fishing village at the tip of this peninsula. You could also visit the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa and/or drive to Reykjanesta to view the Gunnuhver hot springs.

Your tour continues to Reykjavik where you leave your car. If you prefer you may leave your car at the airport but you do need to book this. If you need to book accommodation for the night, let us know and we will arrange this for you.

Optional: Dining out in Reykjavik - Restaurants

snorkeling in silfra thingvellir

Snorkeling in the clear waters of Silfra in Thingvellir