10 Day Self Drive Tour | Top Ring Road Attractions & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

10 Day Self Drive Tour | Top Ring Road Attractions & Snaefellsnes Peninsula
A path by the picturesque Seljalandsfoss waterfall will lead you all the way behind the fall, even behind the cascading water.
On a self-drive tour, you can stop at off-the-beaten-path locations like at the dramatic Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon.
On a summer self-drive tour, you could stop at Mt. Kirkjufell on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and capture a dramatic photo of the mountain bathed in the rays of the midnight sun.
You will find many things to do in the northern town of Akureyri, such as horse riding tours and whale-watching excursions.
The dramatic Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafell Nature Reserve was the inspiration for the famous Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík.
On a summer self-drive tour, you can stop at the many puffin-watching sites in Iceland to see these adorable birds.

Make the most of your time in Iceland with this extensive 10-day, self-drive tour. Over the course of your adventure, you will discover all the popular natural wonders Iceland has to offer, and many sights you may not even know exist. 

This self-drive package helps you save money without sacrificing anything! It circles the Ring Road, taking you around the whole country, including the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and the famous Golden Circle. Better yet, it offers full comfort, - your accommodation will always have an ensuite bathroom and breakfast is included.

Best of all, you choose where to drive, and when to leave. There are no bus schedules or impatient tour guides to worry about. You're free to spend as much time in each spot as you'd like.

At Guide to Iceland, we want you to experience the best of the natural beauty this country has to offer. We hope you’ll leave feeling revitalised and exhilarated by the beauty of the Icelandic landscape. To help with this, we've handpicked hidden locations across the land where you can be almost entirely alone, far from noisy people or busy streets. These are included in our travel plan, which you'll receive after you book. 

Customise your vacation during booking so that it's exactly what you've been dreaming of. On your way around the Golden Circle, snorkel in the space between two continental plates, go snowmobiling on Langjökull glacier or explore the inside of a volcanic magma chamber (if you're here between May and November). You can also take a tour to an ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier, and visit the world-famous Blue Lagoon Spa.

Furthermore, you can hike a glacier, or board a ship to see the giants of the deep in the whale-watching capital of Europe. You can also get the lay of the land with a horse riding trek, journey into dark lava caves, or even walk inside man-made channels within Langjökull glacier. 

Check out how many stunning sights and activities you can see and do in Iceland on this amazing trip! Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible.

Your car will await you at Keflavík International Airport when you arrive. You will drop it off at Keflavík airport, too, when you depart from Iceland.
Included:
  • 9 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included. More detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 10 days (VW Polo or similar. Upgrades available)

  • CDW, SCDW and gravel protection insurance for vehicle

  • GPS system

  • Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

  • Blue Lagoon entrance (can be added during booking process)

  • Fuel

  • Dinner

  • Lunch


What to bring:
  • Driver's License

  • Warm clothes

  • Swimsuit

  • Hiking shoes


Good to know:

Self-drive tours begin either in Reykjavík City or at Keflavik International Airport. A valid driver's license is required, along with a one-year long on-road experience. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to better fit with your arrival date and time.

Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Reykjavík


The last rays of the summer sun over the mountain Esja, just outside of Reykjavík city


Collect your car at the international airport in Keflavík before driving to your accommodation in downtown Reykjavík. The world-famous Blue Lagoon spa is in between the two, so you may want to check it out if you aren't too excited to get to the capital city.

After settling in your hotel in Reykjavík, make the most of your proximity to one of Europe's most vibrant city centres. Explore the abundance of museums, galleries, restaurants and bars to your heart´s content.

Spend the night in the beautiful city of Reykjavík.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Comfort

The Fosshótel chain has four 3-4 star Hotels located in and around the city center of Reykjavík. There is a short walk from all of the hotels to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 2 - The Golden Circle


In the Geysir geothermal area, you'll feel a thrilling moment of anticipation right before the geyser Strokkur erupts


Day two sends you off to some of the best-known natural phenomena in Iceland on the Golden Circle route. The first stop on the Golden Circle tour is Þingvellir National Park. Here, you can walk between the rift valley of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and explore an area which played a huge role in Iceland's heritage; its history as the site of the world's first representative parliament has warranted its place on the UNESCO world heritage list. You can even opt into a snorkel in the crystal clear fissure Silfra, which runs right between the tectonic plates.

Next up is the geothermal valley of Haukadalur, where you can see the geysers Strokkur and Geysir amongst many beautiful hot springs. Only a few kilometres away is Iceland's most popular attraction, the powerful waterfall named Gullfoss. A pathway takes you right to the water's edge, where you can get a real sense of the enormous, natural power of the falls.

You also have the chance to go on an optional snowmobile tour on Langjökull glacier; you'll be picked up at Gullfoss waterfall. This is an excellent way to add some adrenaline to your trip - and to see some sweeping glacial vistas. You can also book a horse ride on this day, if neither of these appeal to you. 

Spend the night in or near the quiet town of Hvolsvöllur.


Preferred accommodation by Hvolsvöllur

Hvolsvöllur Comfort

Hotel Hvolsvöllur is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Hvolsvöllur village. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Hvolsvöllur Quality

Hotel Rangá is a 4-star hotel situated between the towns Hella and Hvolsvöllur. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Views towards Rangá river or Hekla volcano. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 3 - South Coast


The dark cliffs of hexagonal basalt columns lend Svartifoss its name; 'The Black Waterfall'


On day three, you will take in the sight of two majestic waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Further down the coast near the town of Vík, take a slight detour to admire the black volcanic beach, Reynisfjara, and the dramatic Dyrhólaey and Reynisdrangar rock formations. This is also a great place for puffin watching. 

Today, you have the opportunity to have a glacier adventure! You can race across Sólheimajökull glacier tongue on a thrilling snowmobile tour or, if you'd like, you can visit a natural ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Only accessible via super jeep, this is the only cave that is open to visits all year long.  

You’ll also have the choice of two glacier hikes today. You can either start early and breathe in the fresh mountain air on top of Sólheimajökull glacier; nothing will wake you up and get your adrenaline pumping like a morning visit to a glacier. Or you can end your day with a late afternoon hike at Skaftafell Nature Reserve where you can walk through the white expanse of an outlet glacier in the beautiful Vatnajökull National Park.

Skaftafell Nature Reserve is great for any outdoor enthusiast, particularly if you enjoy hiking. There are many excellent tracks and trails, including one that leads to the stunning Svartifoss waterfall, which plunges over a wide cliff of hexagonal basalt columns.

On your way to your accommodations in the Vatnajökull area, you’ll pass the beautiful Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon where enormous icebergs that have broken off a nearby glacier float peacefully on the serene lagoon. Don’t worry; you will have plenty of time tomorrow to explore this area further if you are too knackered after today’s adventures.


Preferred accommodation by Jökulsárlón and Höfn

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Comfort

Hotel Höfn is a 3-star hotel centrally located in the town Höfn. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Quality

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is a 4-star hotel located right between Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Ocean or mountain views. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 4 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon & Eastfjords


On a self-drive tour, you'll have the freedom to spend as much time as you like watching the giants icebergs on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon


Explore the stunning Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon today, one of Iceland’s most beautiful spots. Here you can hop on an optional boat tour, which takes you on a meandering path through the lagoon, amongst stunning icebergs of all shapes and sizes. You can choose between an amphibious boat and a smaller zodiac.

Make sure you stroll down to the black sandy beach nearby, affectionately named Diamond Beach due to the number of sparkling icebergs that are scattered along it.

Finally, you'll start on a zigzagging journey along the Eastfjords, passing tranquil fishing villages and sweeping coastal landscapes along the way.

Spend the night in the secluded Egilsstaðir area.


Preferred accommodation by Egilsstaðir

Egilsstaðir Comfort

Lake Hotel Egilsstaðir is a 3-star hotel located within a short walking distance from the centre of Egilsstaðir town, by the lake Lagarfljót. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Spa on site for additional price. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Egilsstaðir Quality

Icelandair Hotel Hérað is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Egilsstaðir town. Bright, private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included, with focus on local ingredients.


Day 5 - Mývatn Area


The geothermal area near Lake Mývatn is filled with bubbling mud pools and fumaroles


The driving on day five brings you north to Lake Mývatn, which is known for its geothermal landscapes, including the Námaskarð hot springs, the Skútustaðagígar pseudo-craters, the Dimmuborgir lava formations and Volcano Krafla, one of Iceland’s most visited volcanoes.

After exploring these many wonders, relax by taking a dip in the soothing geothermal waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths. Afterwards, head to the town of Húsavík for a whale-watch, or the capital of the north, Akureyri, where you'll spend the night.


Preferred accommodation by Akureyri

Akureyri Comfort

Hotel Norðurland is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Akureyri town. Spacious and bright private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Akureyri Quality

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri (Deluxe room) is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Akureyri town, right next to the swimming pool. Private bedroom with a living room area and a private bathroom. Great views from the 5th floor. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 6 - Dettifoss Falls - Ásbyrgi Canyon - Húsavík


In northern Iceland you can find Dettifoss, a roaring and awe-inspiring waterfall, rumoured to be the most powerful cascade in Europe


Use the sixth day to explore a little more of Lake Mývatn and its unique surroundings. A drive through the Jökulsárgljúfur part of Vatnajökull National Park, with a visit to the Ásbyrgi canyon and Dettifoss waterfall, is highly recommended.

 Alternatively, explore the fantastic Eyjafjörður area, and climb the Súlur peak.

There are two tours you can add on to today: a whale-watch from Akureyri, and an hour-long horse-ride.

Stay another night in the charming town of Akureyri.


Day 7 - More of Akureyri - Fishing Villages and Historical Settlements


1The beautiful Goðafoss waterfall in North Iceland is a favourite among photographers due to the several great photo spots surrounding it


On day seven, you'll have more time to explore the area around Akureyri. You will then pass through the beautiful, mountainous area of Tröllaskagi, to the old herring-fishing village of Siglufjörður, and then to Hofsós, where you can enjoy the wonderful scenery while relaxing in the town’s thermal pool.

If you like local Icelandic handicrafts or if you are traveling with children, then we recommend a stop at Stórhóll farm where the gallery Rúnalist is located. Children can play with and pet some sheep, goats, horses, ducks, chicken, rabbit, dogs and cats while you browse the crafts showroom, filled with handmade items of natural wool, salmon leather or cod skin.

Spend the night in nearby Blönduós.


Preferred accommodation by Blönduós

Blönduós Comfort

Hótel Mikligarður is a 3-star hotel located in the town of Sauðárkrókur in northern Iceland. The hotel has private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included and served at Hótel Tindastóll.

Blönduós Quality

Hótel Tindastóll is a 3-star hotel located in Sauðárkrókur town; just a short walk from the beach. It has an on-site bar and outdoor geothermal hot tub. Private bedroom with private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 8 - The Snæfellsnes Peninsula


With the trickling waterfall in the foreground, Kirkjufell mountain on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of the best spots in Iceland for a magical photo


Head to Snæfellsnes peninsula today. On the way, you will pass the rolling hills of Vatnsdalshólar and the beautiful Þingeyarkirkja church.

You might also want to stop at a longhouse at Eiríksstaðir, home of the infamous Viking Erik the Red, father to Leif the Lucky who was the first European to sail to North America. You can also pay a visit to Stykkishólmur, a picture-perfect fishing village overlooking Breiðafjörður Bay.

Here, you can travel out to a small island, accessible from the harbour. This is Súgandisey, and you'll see a wonderful panorama of the town, the sea, and the surrounding mountains from here.

The crown jewel of Snæfellsnes peninsula is the Snæfellsjökull glacier and volcano, nestled in the heart of a national park. Nearby are many beautiful attractions, such as Djúpalónssandur beach and the picturesque towns of Hellnar and Arnarstapi.

Spend the night at charming accommodation on Snæfellsnes Peninsula.


Preferred accommodation by Snæfellsnes

Snæfellsnes Comfort

Fosshotel Stykkishólmur is a 3 star hotel centrally located within the town Stykkishólmur. Spacious hotel with a view towards the bay. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Snæfellsnes Quality

Hotel Búðir is a 4 star hotel on the southern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula, with a view towards Snæfellsjökull glacier and to the sea. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 9 - West Iceland


With a self-drive tour, you can visit some of the hidden gems of Iceland, like Hraunfossar waterfalls


On day nine, you can explore West Iceland with its diverse attractions, including the Icelandic settlement exhibition in Borgarnes, and Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe.

Further along, be sure to visit the captivating Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls.

History buffs may also enjoy a visit to Snorrastofa, the medieval research institute in Reykholt, where the politician, poet, and historian Snorri Sturluson wrote the saga of the Norwegian kings, Heimskringla, in the 13th century. He is also famous for writing the bible of old Norse mythology, Edda.

On this day, you can opt into one of two exciting caving tours. You can explore the incredible, man made ice caves at Langjökull, or else take a lava tube adventure into Viðgelmir cave. You can also explore the inside of a magma chamber on the incredible 'Into the Volcano' tour.

On the way back to Reykjavik, take a short break at Fossatún, a waterfall said to be guarded by a troll woman named Drifa, before spending another night in the capital.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Comfort

The Fosshótel chain has four 3-4 star Hotels located in and around the city center of Reykjavík. There is a short walk from all of the hotels to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 10 - Farewell to Iceland


The geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon is rich in minerals that will surely rejuvenate you after a long journey


Drop off your car at Keflavík airport in time for your departure. If you are taking an afternoon or evening flight, you have time to fit in one last fantastic Icelandic experience. You can visit the Blue Lagoon.

Of course, a revitalising visit to the world-famous Blue Lagoon spa is a great way to end your Icelandic adventure. The water is rich in silica and blue-green algae, which gives the lagoon its reputed healing powers, as well as its captivating turquoise tint. It is sure to set you up for a great flight, and leave you aching to come back for more!


Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Comfort levels bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur. Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies among locations and availability is highly limited. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level. Please note that not all locations offer quality level accommodation. Comfort level accommodation will be arranged at those particular locations, which is reflected in the quality level upgrade price. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.

Comfort

Rooms with a private bathroom in three star hotels or quality guesthouses. Very close to the best attractions at each location. Breakfast is included.

Quality

Rooms with a private bathroom in a four star hotel or superior rooms in a quality three star hotel at the best locations in Iceland. Breakfast is included.


Car

Below you can see the car rental options available for this self drive tour. All our vehicles are new or current models, maximum two years of age, and come equipped with a GPS, CDW, GP, and SCDW insurances. You can also upgrade to an automatic model.

Budget

A small 2WD vehicle fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions, such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.

Comfort 4X4

A medium sized jeep or SUV with 4WD (4x4) fit for most travel, and good for snow and off-asphalt travel, such as Toyota Rav4 or similar. This vehicle has basic highland capabilities.

Luxury 4x4

A large sized jeep with 4WD (4x4) such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all traveling. This vehicle has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads.


Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel the booking of this package and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person. The cancellation must be made within a minimum of 48-hours before the listed starting time. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact our service desk by writing to info@guidetoiceland.is no later than 48-hours before departure and declare the cancellation. Please note that this insurance only covers the full cancellation of this entire package. It does not cover cancellations of individual activities and services within the package. The cost of the Cancellation Insurance is neither refundable nor transferable.


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