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Iceland Circle Self Drive
Want to visit the Ring Road with opportunities to visit other areas in Iceland but you have just 9 days? Try this Ring Road visit with discoveries in Snaefellsnes and West Iceland.
Enjoy an enhanced version of our popular circle tour, along with other areas of Iceland, in just 9 days. In addition to experiencing all the natural treasures along the Ring Road, youâll also have two days to indulge in the must-see wonders of West Iceland, including the photogenic Borgarfjordur Fjord, Kirkjufell Mountain, and Snaefellsjokull Glacier-Volcano.
Recommended Car Type: May â September: Category 2.0 (VW Golf manual drive or similar)
Approximate Distance:100 km / 62 miles
Geothermal Lagoon â Flower Village â Geothermal Greenhouses
Once you have landed at Keflavik Airport, please pick up your luggage and head through customs. Collect your rental car at the airport and proceed to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time in Iceland, we suggest that you take some time to explore the Reykjanes Peninsula (a UNESCO GeoPark site) before you head to Reykjavik.
Reykjanes is a great introduction to Icelandâs unique geology and volcanoes and the site of two of Icelandâs most recent volcanic eruptions in 2021 and 2022 in the Fagridalur area. Youâll see unusual and stunning craters, lava cliffs, fissures and the Mid-Atlantic ridge itself. You can even walk on a bridge that divides Europe and North America. We also recommend a stroll in the surreal Gunnuhver area where you can view quirky colorful mud pools and steam vents bubbling away. If you are a Viking history buff, we recommend the Viking World museum, famous for the Ăslendingur, a Viking ship replica that sailed between Iceland and North America in 2000.
Several charming fishing villages and lighthouses dot the peninsula, and the area has a reputation for tasty seafood fresh from the ocean. Reykjanes is also home to the renowned Blue Lagoon, and you might enjoy the chance to relax in the soothing azure waters. Important: admission to the Blue Lagoon needs to be booked in advance. We can help you with that.
Drive along mystical lava landscapes of the South Coast road to the charming village of Hveragerdi for your overnight. The road takes you past rocky beaches with thundering waves. Hveragerdi is perfect for getting to know typical small-town Icelandic culture, but with a unique twist. Hveragerdi is one of the few sites in the world located directly on top of a geothermal area and, because of its many greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs, it is often called the âflower village.â
Please note check-in for most hotels begins at 14:00 â 16:00 (2:00pm-4:00pm).
Approximate distance: 100 km / 62 miles, with Reykjanes Peninsula 130 km / 81 miles)
Blue Lagoon entrance
Panorama ATV Quad tour in Reykjanes Peninsula
Approximate Distance:345 km / 214 miles
National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO) â Exploding Geysers â Thundering Waterfalls â Black Sand Beaches
Today youâll visit two popular regions of Iceland: the Golden Circle and the South Shore. Start with a visit to the unforgettable Thingvellir National Park, where you can walk between two continents at the Mid-Atlantic ridge. Explore Gullfoss, the âGolden Waterfallâ, and the nearby Geysir hot spring area to see the famous Geysir and Strokkur, as well as numerous other hot springs and boiling mud pools. While in the area, take advantage of relaxing in one of the hot spring-fed pools that make Iceland so famous. The Secret Lagoon is a historical swimming pool with an all-natural feel and its own little geyser. The Laugarvatn Fontana steam baths are a local favorite; natural steam soothes away aches and pains, followed by relaxation in a series of hot spring pools.
Drive along the spectacular south coast and view highlights along the way such as Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls. If the skies are clear, you might even have a glimpse of beautiful Mt. Hekla, Icelandâs most frequently erupting volcano. The area offers great opportunities for guided glacier snowmobile or ice hiking tours.
Head to Vik, Icelandâs southernmost village. In the area you can view the seabird cliff of Dyrholaey* and the black sand beach of Reynisfjara.
Overnight in the Vik area.
*Please note that Dyrholaey is closed during nesting season in spring, from around mid-May until June 23rd.
Gullfoss Canyon Rafting
Silfra River Snorkeling
Kayaking at Solheimajokull
Solheimajokull Glacier walk
Zipline in Vik
Black Sand Beach ATV tour
Snowmobiling on Myrdalsjokull Glacier
Approximate Distance:280 km / 174 miles
Glacier-Rimmed Oasis â Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs â Europeâs Largest Glacier â Narrow Fjords and Steep Mountains
This morning, if you have time for it, we recommend a hike in magnificent Fjadrargljufur, one of the most spectacular canyons in Iceland. Please be respectful of the fragile nature in this beautiful nature reserve. Stay on the marked paths, both for your safety and to protect delicate vegetation.
Drive over Eldhraun, Icelandâs largest single lava flow, towards southern area of Vatnajokull National Park, named after Europeâs largest glacier. Youâll certainly have this magnificent glacier in view as you follow the route.
Visit the parkâs amazing Skaftafell area, a green oasis nestled between glaciers that offers many hiking possibilities.
Continue to the shimmering icebergs of Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, where you should take time to admire the views of the icebergs floating in the cool waters. You might even glimpse a few seals. Nearby is the Diamond Beach, an area of glittering bits of glass-like ice scattered across black sands.
Then head onwards to the charming harbor town of Hofn, also known as the lobster capital of northern Europe. Perhaps youâll try some of these tasty langoustines for yourself in one of the townâs restaurants.
Overnight in the Hofn area.
Zodiac boat tour on Fjallsarlon Ice Lagoon
Amphibian boat tour on Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon
Glacier Wonders-Glacier Hike in Skaftafell
Approximate Distance:250 km / 155 miles
East Fjords â Legendary Lake Monster â Largest Forest in Iceland
The scenery today will be stunning, so make sure your camera is charged and ready. Drive through the spectacular Eastfjords region with towering mountains and charming fishing villages. On the way, you might opt to visit the quirky egg sculptures in the harbor of charming Djupivogur village or visit Petraâs famous local stone and mineral collection at Stodvarfjordur. If youâre feeling thirsty for a local brew, we recommend a stop at the Beljandi microbrewery in Breiddalsvik. The brewery was a community project, so youâll definitely get a feel for local life in the Eastfjords here.
You can either drive straight through Fagridalur (the Beautiful Valley) to Egilsstadir town or head along the Eastfjords, one of the oldest regions in Iceland, shaped by glaciers during the Ice Age. Although many are uninhabited, each fjord has its own grandeur. The natural harbors in the fjords cradle fishing villages that have still hung on a bit of Old-World charm. Some of the unique villages include Faskrudsfjordur with its interesting French connection, Reydarfjordur and its World War II heritage, and Eskifjordur with its historical fishing heritage.
In the Egilsstadir area, you can visit the beautiful Hallormsstadur forest and a river reputed to be the home of a friendly sea monster. Perhaps youâll end the day at Lake Urridavatnâs Vok Baths, where you can unwind in untouched nature in distinctive floating geothermal pools.
Overnight in the Eastfjords.
Petra's Icelandic Minerals Museum
Vok Geothermal Bath
Approximate Distance:320 km / 199 miles
Highland Desert â Europeâs Most Powerful Waterfall â Bizarre Lava Formations
Travel across the Modrudalsoraefi highlands renowned for their stark, untouched beauty towards Dettifoss, Europeâs mightiest waterfall. Important: Road 864 is a gravel road, and you need to pay attention to warning signs in the area if road conditions are not good for drivingÂ
Explore the highlights of the Lake Myvatn area, including the colorful sulfurous slopes of Namaskard, the mystical volcanic formations at Dimmuborgir, the pseudo craters at Skutustadir, and the Hverfjall volcanic crater. Perhaps you might relax with a visit to the azure blue Myvatn Nature Baths, where you can enjoy the soothing waters and the natural steam baths and sauna.
Drive on to Godafoss, a lovely half circle-shaped waterfall with a connection to Icelandic Vikings. Continue on to Akureyri, the charming âcapitalâ of North Iceland.
After a day of amazing experiences why not relax in the geothermal waters of the new Skogarbod (Forest Baths) in a scenic nature area outside the town?
Please Note: The Ring Road route today contains a toll tunnel. More information on the tunnel and fees is here.
Overnight in the Akureyri area.
Myvatn Nature Bath
Approximate Distance:315 km / 196 miles
Fertile Farmlands â Folk Museum â Viking Horses
Travel to the horse-breeding valley of Skagafjordur fjord. If you are a history buff, we suggest a stop at the manor farm of Glaumbaer. This is a turf home that dates back to the 18th century. Visiting here gives a sense of life in Iceland in the old days. Glaumbaer was an inspiration for Hannah Kentâs famous novel Burial Rites.
This is a great area to try horseback riding, and there are several farms who offer guided tours in the beautiful countryside.
If you prefer a boat paddle to a saddle, you can also enjoy white-water rafting in glacier rivers flowing through the area. Rafting trips are available to suit different skill levels.
Continue to the shores of Hunafloi bay, an area rich in Icelandic history. The interesting medieval Vatnsdaela Saga took place in this area. Wildlife enthusiasts might enjoy a visit to the Seal Center in Hvammstangi town. There are also guided seal watching boat tours in the area. Head into West Iceland and the enchanting Borgarfjordur region. Depending on your travel schedule you might visit the interesting Grabrok crater. You can hike to the top of the crater for an amazing view.
Overnight in the Borgarfjordur area.
Day 7 Snaefellsnes PeninsulaMeals: Breakfast
Approximate Distance:335 km / 208 miles
Magical Glacier Volcano â Sea Cliffs with Birdlife â Volcanic Crater
Today you are for a treat: a whole day to explore the countless natural wonders of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, home of Snaefellsjokull National Park. Snaefellsnes is known as âIceland in a Nutshellâ since you can see samples of most Icelandic landscapes in one area.
On the way to the peninsula, pass by the volcanic crater, Eldborg. You can hike on a trail up to the top of the crater for some amazing views of the area and of the crater.
Visit Arnarstapi sea cliffs where many types of seabirds live. If you enjoy hiking, there is a great nature trail you can hike between Arnarstapi and Hellnar villages. (About 4.3 km/2.7 miles). Crowning the area is the glacier topped Snaefellsjokull volcano, legendary home to a guardian spirit. Driving through the park gives you a chance to view the mountain from many different angles.
Visit Djupalonssandur with its mysteriously shaped rocks and black pebbled beach. Then head along the north coast through lively fishing villages. Keep an eye out for Kirkjufell, the photogenic Church Mountain. In eco-friendly Stykkisholmur, you might join a boat tour in Breidafjordur Bay (approx. 2 hours) to admire the rich birdlife and sea life of the area. During the boat tour, a shellfish plough is lowered into the ocean and a wonderful selection of shellfish and sea life is caught for viewing and tasting scallops, sea urchins, crabs, starfish, sea cucumbers and much more.
Overnight stay in the Borgarfjordur area.
Whale Watching from Olafsvik
Approximate Distance:215 km / 134 miles
Picturesque Waterfalls â Europeâs Most Powerful Hot Spring â Whale Fjord
Today explore Borgarfjordur, one of Icelandâs best kept secrets. This is a beloved vacation spot for Icelanders from Reykjavik. It contains a charming mix of miniature forests, waterfalls, caves and views of Langjokull Glacier. If you want to add some adventure to your day, a visit to the colorful Vidgelmir caverns or the unique Into the Glacier ice cave is an unforgettable experience. The charming Husafell area has a mix of hiking trails that suit all skill levels, including a history-themed trail. Scattered around Husafell are rock sculptures created by a local artist. A unique experience is a visit to the hidden Husafell Canyon Baths. A local guide takes you on an easy hike into a beautiful highland canyon with stone-lined hot spring pools built in the old-fashioned way. You can relax in natural hot spring water and enjoy amazing and secluded views.
Visit Hraunfoss waterfall where the water seems to burst from lava formations into the cerulean blue river below. The nearby Barnafoss waterfalls have a mysterious secret to reveal. Be sure to stop at Deildartunguhver, Europeâs most powerful hot spring, where you can buy sweet organic tomatoes grown using geothermal heat. Deildartunguhver you can also enjoy the Krauma natural geothermal spa, which uses a blend of the hot springâs water and glacier cold springs. The spaâs restaurant specializes in dishes made with ingredients from area farms and greenhouses.
Continue via Hvalfjordur (the Whale Fjord) to Reykjavik.
Overnight stay in Reykjavik.
Into the Glacier
Krauma Nature Baths
Sky Lagoon pass
Approximate distance: ca52km / 32miles
Drive back to Keflavik International Airport and even stop at Blue Lagoon as it is on your way to the airport, if you did not have time to do it on you arrival day.
**Please note that the package price is based on 8 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 9 an additional supplement will be necessary unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 8 day rental is up and use the FlyBus departure transfer.
Price Is Based With Car Grp 2
Grp 1.0 Economy 2wd Toyota Yaris or similar
Grp 1.1 Economy 2wd Toyota Yaris Automatic or similar
Grp 2.0 Compact 2wd Vw Golf Or Similar
Grp 2.6 Compact 2wd VW Golf Automatic or similar
Grp 3.0 Intermediate 2wd Toyota Corolla Sedan or similar
Grp 3.1 Intermediate 2wd Toyota Corolla Sedan Automatic or similar
Grp 5.0 Medium 4wd KIA Sportage, 4wd or similar
Grp 5.1 Medium 4wd KIA Sportage, 4wd Automatic or similar
Grp 5.2 Medium 4wd Dacia Duster or similar
Grp 5.3 Green Collection Medium 4WD, Hybrid, Automatic, Mitsubichi Outlander or similar
Grp 5.6 Medium 4wd Kia Sorento Automatic or similar
Grp 7.1 Large 4wd Toyota Land Cruiser GX 4WD Automatic or similar
Grp 9.9 Full size 4wd passenger van VW Caravelle 9 seater or similar
LATE ARRIVAL SUPPLEMENT FOR PASSENGERS ARRIVING LATE EVENING/NIGHT. YOU STAY THE FIRST NIGHT AT AIRPORT HOTEL AT KEFLAVIK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT INSTEAD OF HOTEL IN HVERAGERDI.
Please note that the package price is based on 8 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 9 an additional supplement will be necessary unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 8day rental is up and use our flybus departure transfer.
Price IncludesHotel Accommodations 3 Nights
Rental Car, Cat. 2, Unlimited Miles, Cdw, Tp & 2 Drivers
24-Hour Iceland Travel Emergency Line Assistance While You Are in Iceland
Our Unique Iceland Travel App
Price Does Not IncludeOptional Excursions
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