Highland Express - 4 days | Self drive tour | Rental car

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Highland Express - 4 days Self Drive Tour

Explore the rugged highlands of Iceland

Explore Iceland’s bountiful natural treasures, including national parks, splendid waterfalls, striking glaciers, impressive volcanoes and hot springs. This tour gives you plenty of time to cover all the major stunning attractions that Iceland has to offer when driving in the highlands.


Duration: 4 Days

Available: July-Sept

Tour Description

self drive tour 4 days iceland

The 4 Day Highland Express Route

Explore Iceland’s bountiful natural treasures, including national parks, splendid waterfalls, striking glaciers, impressive volcanoes and hot springs.

This itinerary gives you plenty of time to cover all the most stunning attractions that Iceland has to offer when driving in the highlands.

for more information about car rental, please click here.

You can pick-up the car in Reykjavik or at Keflavik airport. Click here for information on airport transfers.

 hot spring area in hveravellir

The hot spring area of Hveravellir

Day 1

Sprengisandur highland pass
The route takes you out of Reykjavik in an easterly direction as you drive towards the highland road, Sprengisandur, which lies between two of Iceland’s most magnificent glaciers, Hofsjokull and Vatnajokull. There are many interesting places to visit during Day 1, these include Hveragerdi, a hot spring village, Thorsardalur valley, Hjalparfoss waterfall, Hrauneyjar Guesthouse, Thorisvatn Lake, Hagonguhraun Lava Field and Hagongulon Lagoon.

If you want some activity, at Nyidalur it is possible to hike to Vonarskard or up to Tungafellsjokull glacier which is a central volcano.

A mountain hut at Nyidalur is just an example of the sort of accommodation available for Day 1, we always recommend booking accommodation close to this area.

godafoss waterfall self drive iceland

Waterfall Godafoss has a very interesting history

Day 2

North Iceland
The excitement continues as the road takes you north through the Sprengisandur highlands and down into the valley of Bardardalur. Today there are many possibilities for interesting stops, for example, Hrafnabjargafoss Waterfall, Isholsvatn Lake, Ingvararfoss Waterfall, Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall, and you must not miss the magnificent waterfall Godafoss (the Waterfall of the Gods).

Accommodation can be arranged in Akureyri – the 'capital' of Northern Iceland, a friendly little town where there are many interesting recreation areas, hiking paths, and so many other places worth visiting.

hveravellir thermal pool

Thermal pool next to the hut in Hveravellir in the highlands

Day 3

Kjolur road / Hveravellir geothermal area
Today the tour takes you west from the town of Akureyri, through the most prosperous agricultural regions of Iceland in the Skagafjordur region, before you need to take the highland-road Kjolur which will take you between the Hofsjokull and Langjokull glaciers.

Your accommodation can be arranged in a mountain cottage at Hveravellir, a unique geothermal area in the middle of the highlands and the most beautiful hot spring area in Iceland.

Here you are able to enjoy various kinds of hot spring, to take the time to listen, see, feel … for many people it is really special to take a bath in the natural hot pool, in the evening, the morning or perhaps both!

The mountain cottage is just an example of the local accommodation available for Day 3, we always recommend securing accommodation close to this area.

Optional: Horse Riding along the Black River
Optional: River Rafting in North Iceland

thingvellir national park

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

Day 4

The Golden Circle
The final day of your tour takes you from Hveravellir along the south the highland-road Kjolur to the mountain lake of Hvitarvatn, to the amazing Gullfoss Waterfall (the Golden Waterfall) in river Hvita (the white river) to the remarkable geothermal area of Geysir with its world famous hot springs and finally through Thingvellir national park on the way back to Reykjavik.

There will be plenty of time to stop to take some stunning photographs before you return to Reykjavik.
Optional: Snorkeling in Silfra Fissure 
Optional: River Rafting in Hvítá (15 min from Geysir, available May-Sept)
Optional: Snowmobiling from Gullfoss