Wonderful Iceland - 13 day Self Drive Tour
Icelandic landscape and natural wonders
Travel at your own pace and venture into Iceland’s untamed nature, including national parks, breathtaking scenery, awesome waterfalls, striking glaciers, magnificent volcanoes and hot springs.
Here's a splendid 13-day self drive around Iceland that gives you plenty of time to cover most of the attractions that the island has to offer when driving along the Ring Road. Besides that you take some loops out of it into the highland in the north east where you see stunning features of nature, such as volcano Askja, and drive to Sneafellsnes peninsula's picturesque landscape.
Check out these guided minibus tours:
The Ring Road - 7 days with northern lights hunting.
The Ring Road - 7 day summer package.
A list of tours and activities around Iceland.
* Note! Outside summer months, day 6 takes the main road
and not the highland road.
Your car is collected at Kelflavik International Airport (you will need to book this and to give us the specific details of your flight). Your tour begins with a drive to explore the Reykjanes peninsula which is the most south westerly point of Iceland and also the youngest part of the country. The North Atlantic ridge comes ashore here, visible signs of the volcanic activity which created the ridge can be seen all over this peninsula. Lava fields, lava tubes, rifts and hot springs can be found in a number of locations.
Before you drive to Reykjavik, you could enjoy a relaxing time in the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa. The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most unique and popular attractions. Guests enjoy bathing and relaxing in Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater, known for its positive effects on the skin. A visit to the spa promotes harmony between body, mind and spirit, and enables one to soak away the stresses of modern life. The spa’s guests rekindle their relationship with nature, soak up the scenic beauty and enjoy breathing the clean, fresh air. From the Blue lagoon you will need to drive to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik.
Accommodation: book in the Reykjavik area.
Optional: Dining out in Reykjavik - Restaurants
Optional: Visit the Blue Lagoon
The Golden Circle
Your route takes you on a drive to Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic parliament. Enjoy the landscape, the history and the wonders of nature in this place where the tectonic plates of America and Europe meet and the rift valley is clearly visible. From here it is a short drive to the famous Geysir hot-spring area. This is a great place to see geysers in action, take a look at the Great Geysir, although Geysir is not active nowadays, Strokkur will surely be active and spouting every few minutes. You must not miss out the mighty Gullfoss Waterfall which is just a five minute drive away.
Accommodation: book in the area surrounding Gullfoss and Geyser.
Optional: Snorkeling under the midnight sun (May - Aug)
After breakfast your route will take you south east to the villages of Hella and Hvolsvollur and a visit to the Saga Museum at Hvolsvollur. From there you will need to take the road to Fljotshlid, where on clear day you will have a very good view to Eyfjafjallajokull central volcano and other central volcanoes and glaciers around this part. From here you will need to drive to the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Take a walk behind Seljalandsfoss and enjoy the power and might of Skogafoss. At Skogar you could visit a nice folk museum before you continue to Solheimajokull glacier, an outlet glacier from Myrdalsjokull glacier - here it is possible to go snowmobiling. Next your route will take you to Reynisfjara beach and then to the village Vik. From here you will need to drive east over Myrdalssandur sand, giving you a view up to the volcano Katla which is sleeping nicely under the Myrdalsjokull glacier. On the way you drive over some glacier rivers and over Eldgjarhraun lava field which was formed from the world´s biggest volume single eruption lava flow in historic times (19 cubic metres). Next your journey will take you over to Eldhraun which was formed from the world´s second largest volume single eruption lava flow in historic times (13 cubic metres). You will come to the village Kirkjubaejarklaustur which is situated in a very interesting landscape. Here it is well worth taking a look at the columnar basalt formation of Kirkjugolf.
Accommodation: book in the area surrounding Kirkjubaejarklaustur.
Optional: Snowmobile tour on Myrdalsjokull glacier (all year)
Skaftafell in Vatnajokull National Park, Jokulsarlon Lagoon
From Kirkjubaejarklaustur your route takes you to Foss a Sidu (a waterfall) and then on to Dverghamrar and Skeidararsandur. Your drive will take you over big glacial rivers and give you a good view up to the Vatnajokull glacier and Hvannadalshnukur, Iceland’s highest peak, and other glaciers around this area. You could hike in Skaftafell, or take a glacier hiking tour with a guide, a walk to the edge of Skaftafellsjokull glacier which offers a view to Skaftafellsjokull and Svinafellsjokull glaciers. From here your route will take you to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon where it is possible to enjoy a boat tour. Finally, you will need to drive towards Hofn in Hornafjordur.
Accommodation: book in the area close to Hofn in Hornafjordur.
Today your route will take you on a drive through the spectacular East Fjords with its towering mountains and charming fishing villages to the fertile Egilsstadir area. Your route away from the town of Hofn in Hornafjordur will take you north through the east fjords, it is good to stop here and there, the villages Djupivogur, Breiddalsvik, Stodvarfjordur, Faskrudsfjordur and Reydarfjordur are all good places to stop. Driving around Lake Lagarfljot it is possible to stop at many places of historical interest or places with special phenomena of nature.
Accommodation: book in the area surrounding Egilsstadir.
Askja and the North East Highland
We suggest you wake up early because today will involve a long day of driving. Your route will take you to the mountains of Upptyppingar and Askja where you will experience the unique nature caused by volcano eruptions. Hikes to Lake Oskuvatn and the crater Viti are recommended where you could also take a bath. However, you do need to be careful because the water can be much hotter in some places than in others in this unique natural pool. From here you will need to drive to Herdubreidarlindir before heading north to Myvatn.
Accommodation: book in the area surrounding Lake Myvatn.
Today you have time to explore the highlights of Lake Myvatn and the unique attractions of its surrounding area such as Dimmuborgir, the pseudo craters at Skutustadir, the colourful sulfurous slopes of Namaskard and Krafla volcanic area. The hot spring area of Namaskard is probably the most interesting in the country.
You could take a bath in the cave of Grjotagja which has a thermal spring, or enjoy a visit to the geothermal spa at Jardbodin (also known as Myvatn Nature Baths).
Accommodation: again, book yourself something in the area surrounding Lake Myvatn.
Jokulsargljufur National Park
From Lake Myvatn your tour takes you on a drive to the geothermal areas at Hverarond (Namaskard) and Krafla and then to Iceland’s major waterfalls in Jokulsargljufur National Park: Dettifoss Waterfall, Hafragilsfoss Waterfall, Rettarfoss Waterfall, Vigabjargsfoss Waterfall, Holmatungur, Hljodaklettar and Asbyrgi. Your route will then take you around Tjornes to the town of Husavik.
Accommodation: book in Husavik or its surrounding area.
Optional: Whale watching from Husavik (Apr - Oct)
North Iceland and Akureyri
You could enjoy a whale watching tour from Husavik in the morning before driving to Godafoss Waterfall, your journey then continues to the town of Akureyri. Nicknamed the Capital of North Iceland, Akureyri is an important port and fishing centre, with a population of almost 18,000 inhabitants. Spend the day exploring Akureyri and its surrounding area before you drive west to the horse-breeding valley of the Skagafjordur fjord. In Varmahlid you may go horse back riding and/or river rafting.
Accommodation: book in the area of Skagafjordur fjord.
North West Iceland
From Skagafjordur fjord your tour continues to the shores of the Hunafloi bay, an area with a great deal of history and lot of interesting places such as Borgarvirki, the picturesque sea stack Hvitserkur in the Vatnsnes peninsula and many more. Your drive will take you to the small village of Bordeyri and then onto road 59 to the village of Budardalur and from here on to the town of Stykkisholmur, a nice friendly little town in beautiful surroundings with old houses and a peaceful harbour.
Accommodation: book in Stykkisholmur or its surrounding area.
Your day begins with the chance to explore Dalir, the region of the Viking Eric the Red, before driving to Snaefellsnes peninsula with its countless wonders such as the rocky beach of Djupalonssandur and Arnarstapi sea cliffs. You can also start your day by taking the ferry to Flatey island and explore it before continuing your drive along the peninsula (then, this would be a long and exciting day). Enjoy a hike in Snaefellsjokull (glacier) National Park - discover Snaefellsjokull glacier or Saxholl, and visit places such as Djupalon, Dritvik, Londrangar, Hellnar, Arnarstapi, Budahraun and Budir. Your tour continues to the Borgarfjordur area, it is good to take a look at Reykholt, a historical place.
Accommodation: book in the area surrounding Reykholt.
Optional: Ferry to Flatey island, from Stykkisholmur (all year)
West Iceland to Reykjavik
Today your tour will take you on a drive south through Borgarfjordur where are a lot of places worth visiting such as the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls and Iceland´s largest natural hot spring, Deildartunguhver. Your route will take you along the road the road around Hvalfjordur fjord to Reykjavik. Hvalfjordur (Fjord of Whale) is a long fjord, very peaceful and with beautiful nature.
There is an opportunity to explore Reykjavik in the evening.
Accommodation: book in Reykjavik.
If your flight schedule allows, you can use this day to visit the famous Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa, where you could relax for some time. The Reykjanes peninsula has such a lot to offer. You could drive along Lake Kleifarvatn on your way to see the hot springs of Krysuvik or Seltun. If you have already been to the Blue Lagoon on Day 1, you could spend more time exploring the capital area of Reykjavik with its many possibilities, specially if you have some final shopping in mind. You will need to drop off your car at Keflavik International Airport, which is very close to the Blue Lagoon.
Option: Restaurants in Reykjavik