14 Day Winter Self Drive | Clockwise Around the Ring Road with Snaefellsnes Peninsula

14 Day Winter Self Drive | Clockwise Around the Ring Road with Snaefellsnes Peninsula
The itinerary of the 14 Day Winter Self Drive going Clockwise Around the Ring Road with Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Ice clad yet still raging, Gullfoss is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland in winter.
Kirkjufell has the nickname 'the most photographed mountain in Iceland', due to how photogenic it is in both winter and summer.
A trio of Icelandic horses in winter.
Northern lights dance above a geothermal area in north Iceland in winter.
The depth of the blues and the brightness of the white makes the snow and ice cladding waterfalls such as Goðafoss in north Iceland even more beautiful in winter.

Enjoy a fortnight travelling around Iceland in winter with this fantastic self-drive tour. This relaxed journey, set clockwise around the Ring Road will allow you to fully enjoy this country’s wealth of incredible sites, along with guiding your path so that you avoid the crowds.

By booking a Self Drive package, you can enjoy Iceland as you want, spending as much or little time at each location as you wish. It includes visits to famed locations such as Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Lake Mývatn and the Golden Circle, and many hidden gems as well.

You can also tailor the travel to your interest, not only by controlling the sites visited but by adding optional adventures, such as caving, snorkelling and glacier hiking, without sacrificing essential sightseeing experiences. You can add these activities as you book, adding some incredible experiences to your adventure. 

The relaxed pace of the tour, and the route, which lets you stay more than a single night in many key locations makes it easy to both explore the area and have an adventure, without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Your travel journey will show you popular sites such as the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and South Coast, as well as little travelled regions such as the East Fjords and peninsulas of the North. Of course, as you are travelling throughout the winter season, which goes from September to April, you will have endless opportunities over the two weeks to hunt the elusive and ethereal Northern Lights.

You'll have a choice of different levels of accommodations, so you can tailor them to suit your budget and what you want from your vacation. All the vehicles will be 4x4 SUV's, fully equipped for winter driving, offering both comfort and safety as you explore Iceland in the magical winter season.

Book this once-in-a-lifetime holiday to enjoy the winter wonderland that is Iceland and all it has to offer. Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Sep. - Apr.
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Snorkelling, Caving, Snowmobile, Horse Riding, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Northern lights hunting, Dog sledding, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Bird watching, Ice Caving, Self drive
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, East Iceland, West Iceland , Reykjavík, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Vatnsnes, Goðafoss, Dettifoss, Snæfellsjökull, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Dyrhólaey, Þingvellir, Snæfellsnes, Reykjanes, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Silfra, Eyjafjörður, Höfn, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Jökulsárgljúfur, Hafragilsfoss, Gerðuberg, Grjótagjá, Vík í Mýrdal, Selfoss (waterfall), Seyðisfjörður, Egilsstaðir, Keflavik International Airport, Kirkjufell, Reynisdrangar, Hvítserkur, Mývatn Nature Baths, Lóndrangar, Tröllaskagi, Ytri Tunga Beach, Diamond Beach, Ring Road, Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge, Eastfjords
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible.

Please see day-to-day listings below.

Included:
  • 13 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 14 days (Toyota Rav4 4x4 SUV/Jeep or similar. Upgrades available)

  • CDW, SCDW and GP insurance for car rental

  • 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

  • Lunch and dinner

  • Optional excursions (can be added during booking)

  • Fuel

  • Flights


What to bring:
  • Warm and waterproof clothes

  • Winter hiking boots

  • Camera

  • Swimsuit & Towel

  • Driver's License


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.

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximise your chances to see them if weather allows.

It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is cancelled. If your chosen activity is cancelled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you. Please note that though the tour is available to book from September to April, the ice caves are only accessible from November to March each year. Dogsledding is, in the same, only available between November and May.

This self-drive is set to take place at wintertime. Conditions in Iceland can vary greatly during that season; snow and ice are commonplace, and Iceland has limited daylight hours. Please consider your ability to drive in winter conditions before booking this tour. If you feel insecure about driving in these conditions, we recommend a package tour instead.

Note that Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the wintertime. We recommend you bring shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers. The covers can be purchased in most supermarkets and gas stations around the country.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland


Reykjavík city downtown park, Hljómskálagarðurinn, in winter shroud.


Welcome to Iceland! You will land at Keflavík International Airport on Day One, where your car will be waiting for you. After picking it up, you will set off along the Reykjanes Peninsula, although not necessarily to your accommodation in Reykjavík city.

If you wish, you can elect while booking to go to the Blue Lagoon first. This world-renowned set of pools, saunas, steam-rooms and hot-tubs provide a fantastic place to relax and recharge, and there are many treatments available to restore health to your body, mind and soul. Alternatively, you can explore the otherworldly Reykjanes Peninsula and its strange lava fields and Geoparks.

Once you reach the capital, you can feel free to unwind and rest before your twelve days on the road, or else set out and explore Reykjavík’s many cultural hot-spots. You can also opt for an evening drive and start your adventure with a Northern Lights hunt.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

Reykjavík Budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

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 - Iceland in Miniature


Kirkjufellsfoss is a stunning falls, even if on the small side, that sits before the pyramid-peak Kirkjufell, in west Iceland.


You will start your clockwise road-trip with a bang on Day Two, by visiting a region often called ‘Iceland in Miniature’ due to its geological diversity: the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

There you will travel along the south side of the peninsula towards the Snæfellsjökull National Park. The sites along the way are diverse and beautiful, including the villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar with their stunning rock formations, the great basalt stacks at Lóndrangar and the black beach of Djúpalónssandur.

The National Park is named after the Snæfellsjökull glacier and volcano, which forms an incredible backdrop to many of the sites along the peninsula. This twin-peaked feature is well-known for a variety of reasons, including being featured in many renowned pieces of literature.

On the northern side, you can make a stop at the most photographed mountain in Iceland, the arrow-shaped Kirkjufell. This feature has a cute adjacent waterfall, Kirkjufellsfoss, which often sports a cape of ice in winter.

If you wish to add an adventure to the day, an exploration of a lava cave called Vatnshellir is a great way to explore a bit further, this time below the surface of the earth. 

You will reside for the night on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.


Preferred accommodation by Snæfellsnes

Snæfellsnes Super Budget

Grundafjörður Hostel is located in Grundarfjörður village. Dormitory accommodation with shared bathrooms. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Snæfellsnes Budget

Hof Guesthouse is situated on the southern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula, just a few hundred metres from the beach. Private bedrooms with shared bathroom, living room and kitchen. Free access to a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi in public areas. Breakfast not included.

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 3 - Heading North


Hvítserkur rock formation, standing out in the waters, just out the coast of North Iceland.


Today, you will leave west Iceland, and make your way towards the ‘Capital of the North’, Akureyri. This is a very scenic route, offering everything from wide valleys to steep and jagged mountain tops.

During your drive, you could visit the rock stack Hvítserkur. In spite of its original legend as a dragon or a troll, most visitors think it more resembles an elephant with its trunk in the water. Other interesting places to visit on this day are Borgvirki natural fortress and the strange little church at Þingeyrar.

You’ll then come up to Akureyri, where you can enjoy a meal or drink at one of the town’s fine restaurants or bars. Being so far north makes the town an ideal location to go for an evening stroll in the nearby Kjarnarskógur woodlands and try to spot the Aurora Borealis before retiring for the night.


Preferred accommodation by Akureyri

Akureyri Super Budget

Akureyri HI Hostel is a short walk from Akureyri's town centre. Dormitory accommodation with shared bathrooms. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Akureyri Budget

Hrafinn Guesthouse is located in the centre of Akureyri town. Guests have access to a fully equipped kitchen and fully furnished terrace. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

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 4 - The Capital of the North


Akureyri harbour in late winter.


With its wealth of architectural and cultural sites, Akureyri more than warrants a day’s exploration; after all, it is the largest settlement outside of the Greater Reykjavík Area. Those interested in Icelandic history will find museums, those who love art will find galleries and public artworks, and those who love shopping will find many boutiques.

Even those who love nature will find a wealth of things to do in the town. Those into flowers and botany will find the world’s northernmost botanical gardens, with its array of arctic plants, lovely in winter and summer alike. The dim-lit paths offer a dark spot in the town, making it an ideal evening location for Northern Lights spotting.

Animal lovers are encouraged to opt into a whale-watching tour from the harbour, for their chance of seeing humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. The lucky may also see blue whales, fin whales, and orcas.

Of course, as you have your car, you can use your day to explore the nature around the town. You’ll stay in Akureyri for the night.


Day 5 - Lake Myvatn


Goðafoss waterfall, northern Iceland, bound in ice in high winter.


Today you will head east along the Ring Road, continuing in your clockwise direction. The first site you will come to is a beautiful waterfall called Goðafoss, often garbed in ice and snow over the high winter.

After enjoying the site, you will move into the Lake Mývatn area. Actually a series of lakes, this place is well-known for its unique and beautiful geological features and otherworldly surroundings.

The area around Mývatn is packed with interesting destinations. These include the Víti crater, the Dimmuborgir lava fortress, and the Grjótagjá hot-spring cave. The latter two of these features was used as a setting in the Game of Thrones franchise.

As you are a few days into your travels, no doubt you will want to relax in some of Iceland’s beautiful geothermally heated waters. You can do this by adding a visit to the Mývatn Nature Baths, which are in a serene location by the lakes, as you reserve your holiday.

You will retire for the night in the Mývatn area.


Preferred accommodation by Mývatn

Mývatn Super Budget

Árbót HI Hostel is located in a traditional Icelandic farm east of the river Laxá. Dorm accommodation with shared bathrooms. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free WiFi. Breakfast is not included.

Mývatn Budget

Fosshóll Guesthouse is located just 500 m from Goðafoss waterfall and a short drive from Lake Mývatn. Free WiFI. Private Bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Breakfast not included.

Mývatn Comfort

Vogafjós is a family-run guesthouse in a unique environment on the shore of Lake Mývatn. Free WiFi. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Breakfast is included.

Mývatn Quality

Hótel Laxá is situated in a quiet area, 2 km from Lake Mývatn. The hotel has a restaurant and bar on site as well a garden and terrace. Free WiFi. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Breakfast is included.


Day 6 - The Land of Ice and Snow


Lake Mývatn, with snow-topped rock stacks standing in the now water-filled psudocraters that make up the area, reflecting the Aurora above, North Iceland.


On your sixth day, you will make more of the sites of the north, focussing on the waterfalls within the Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon, in the northern part of the Vatnajökull National Park.

The most notable of these waterfalls is the most powerful in Europe, Dettifoss, which falls from a height of over 40 metres, with a width of over a hundred metres. This is such an impressive landmark that it was used as the backdrop to the introduction of the movie Prometheus.

Dettifoss, however, is not the sole waterfall in the valley. Just a little upstream is Selfoss, while downstream is Hafragilsfoss. While not quite as awe-inspiring as their giant middle neighbour, both are more than worth a visit.

If you want a break from driving, or just an exciting and unique experience, you can elect to take a super jeep tour to these sites, as not all of them are accessible to standard vehicles. A second optional tour is a dog-sledding ride over the strange and alien landscapes.

You’ll stay another night in the Mývatn area.


Day 7 - The Eastfjords


When driving through Iceland at night in the winter, you have an excellent chance of spotting the Northern Lights.


Moving on from the strange north, you will begin your exploration of the spectacular Eastfjords today.

Due to its distance from Reykjavík, the Eastfjords are one of the least visited and thus least crowded parts of Iceland. This, however, says nothing of the unbelievable beauty that can be found here. The remote and sparsely populated area is also an ideal location to spot the Northern Lights, as there is little light pollution in the area.

The Eastfjords are best defined by towering mountains, deep fjords, historic and quaint fishing villages, and a wealth of wildlife. This wildlife includes birds, seals and most interestingly, reindeer. These animals were brought over to be farmed, but since the industry never took off, have roamed free for decades in large herds.

Winter is the best time to spot them, as in summer they tend to move into the eastern highlands.

There are two settlements of great significance in the Eastfjords. Seyðisfjörður is an idyllic place, surrounded by steep peaks and defined by old wooden buildings and a distinctly Icelandic charm.

Egillstaðir, meanwhile, is the largest settlement in the region with a wealth of services and cultural attractions. This town sits on the edge of the serene lake Lagarfljót, and it is here that you will retire for the night.


Preferred accommodation by Egilsstaðir

Egilsstaðir Super Budget

Guesthouse Olga is a family run guesthouse centrally located in Egilsstaðir town. Access to terrace and garden. Private rooms with shared facilities. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Egilsstaðir Budget

Guesthouse Birta is family run guesthouse centrally located in the town of Egilsstaðir. Access to terrace and garden. Private rooms with shared facilities. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

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 8 - The Deep East


Mt. Vestrahorn marks the turn between the east and the south in Iceland, standing proud over the Stokksnes peninsula on the South-Eastern Coast.


On your eighth day, you will continue travelling along the Eastfjords in the same manner as the day before, stopping off for plentiful photo opportunities far from the crowds, enjoying the magnificent views, and making stops at the pleasant towns en route.

By evening, you will reach the south-east of Iceland, and can spend a few hours admiring sites such as Mount Vestrahorn or visiting the charming town of Höfn. Worry not if you do not have time, however, as you will have all day to explore this area tomorrow.

You will have the evening in Höfn, which is locally known for its langoustine fishing, and being the best place in the country for some serious lobster feasting. it's highly recommended to take the evening to enjoy this local speciality. 


Preferred accommodation by Jökulsárlón and Höfn

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Super Budget

HI Hostel Höfn is located in Höfn township. Dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Budget

Guesthouse Hvammur is located in the centre of Höfn town and a short drive from Vatnjökull National Park. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

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 9 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and the Ice Cave


The light refracting through the ice of the ice caves makes a journey to them in south east Iceland in winter even more magical.


The south-east of Iceland is home to two sites so incredible that many visitors make their way over to Iceland just to see them. The first of these is the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, which is accessible throughout the year, and the second is the blue ice cave, accessible with a tour guide from November to March.

The glacier lagoon is Iceland’s deepest lake, with a vast surface area that is ever growing; over the next few decades, it will slowly become a fjord. As it is, hundreds of giant icebergs, snapping from a tongue of the great Vatnajökull glacier, fill the waters, and can be admired for hours as they twist, turn and break apart. The area, as mentioned earlier, also attracts many seals, who rest on the ice and swim between the bergs.

The icebergs, when they eventually make it to sea, are pushed onto the nearby coastline, and due to the way the white ice glistens on the black sands, this stretch has earnt itself the name ‘the Diamond Beach’.

If you are travelling between the aforementioned months, it is highly recommended to take a trip into the ice cave, which you can elect to do while booking. These are incredibly rare features around the world and will provide memories to last a lifetime. If you have the time, you can remain at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon until after dark and hope to see the Northern Lights dance above the icebergs; a truly phenomenal sight.

You will stay in the south-east for this evening, as these sites warrant a full day’s admiration.


Day 10 - Skaftafell Nature Reserve


Hexagonal black columns surround Svartifoss waterfall in south Iceland, pictured here in winter.


Today, you will begin to make your way back to the west, on the penultimate leg of your clockwise journey. This route goes along the South Coast, although the main attraction for Day Ten is a little inland, in a nature reserve within Vatnajökull National Park.

Skaftafell was, in fact, a national park itself, before it was incorporated into a much larger protected area. This is because of its diverse natural features, which range from glacier tongues to lava fields, from lagoons to woodland. It is a favourite destination amongst photographers and hikers alike.

The best hiking trail, accessible for those with a decent level of mobility, is generally considered to be the route to Svartifoss waterfall. Surrounded by black, hexagonal basalt columns, its unique beauty has inspired artists and architects for generations; it was part of the inspiration behind Reykjavík’s two most notable buildings, Hallgrímskirkja church and Harpa Concert Hall.

To make the very most of Skaftafell, you could join a glacier hike and head up into the white ice cap, seeing the cracks and crevasses that seem to breathe on their own, filling the age-old glacier with life.

After enjoying Skaftafell, you will make your way west to the village of Vík, no doubt admiring the changing landscapes, of glacier tongues, black sand deserts, river systems, countryside and coastal views, as you travel.


Preferred accommodation by Vík

Vík Super Budget

Puffin Hostel is centrally located in Vík. Dorm accommodation with shared bathrooms and a common lounge area. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Vík Budget

Puffin Hostel is centrally located in Vík. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms and a common lounge area. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Vík Comfort

Hotel Katla is a 3 star country hotel that's situated 5km to the east of Vík. Comfortable private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a hot tub and a sauna. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Vík Quality

Icelandair Hotel Vík is a 3 star hotel centrally located in Vík. Stylish private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Ocean or cliff views from each room. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 11 - The South Coast


Ink black sands of Reynisfjara beach dusted with snow, just outside the village of Vík on the Icelandic south coast.


The South Coast of Iceland between Vík and Hella, where you will spend your eleventh evening, is littered with incredible sites, so you will want to rise early to make the most of them.

Adjacent to the village is a beach once voted one of the most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world, Reynisfjara. Here, haunting black sands stretch as far as the eye can see, with great Atlantic rollers crashing into them. As the many warning signs will tell you, do not be foolish with these waves, as many have been whisked out to sea by them before.

Jutting from the ocean, you will see two rock pillars, called Reynisdrangar. According to legend, these are all that is left of two trolls, who, while trying to pull a ship to shore, were frozen into rock. Near here is the Dyrhólaey rock arch, which curves magnificently into the sea.

Next along the road you see the spectacularly powerful Skógafoss waterfall. This waterfall throws off such a vast amount of spray that rainbows often spring from it when the sun is shining, allowing for some great photo opportunities. Even in inclement weather, it is beautiful, with an ominous air.

Your day will also take you past the massive Mýrdalsjökull glacier cap. If you wish, you can take one of two tours here; you can take a thrilling snowmobile ride across its surface, or a hike on one of its tongues, Sólheimajökull, in the shadow of Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano.

Meltwater from this glacier feeds the next attraction, Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This well-photographed falls will likely be familiar to those with a vague knowledge of Iceland’s features, as it can be fully encircled and many pictures have been taken from behind it.

This is your last evening in the countryside, so make sure to take an evening drive and enjoy the crisp, winter silence, and watch the sky for the Aurora Borealis.

For the night, you will stay in the Hvolsvöllur area, in one of the villages scattered there.


Preferred accommodation by Hvolsvöllur

Hvolsvöllur Super Budget

Árnes HI Hostel is located close to the village of Hella. Dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Hvolsvöllur Budget

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 not included.

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 12 - The Golden Circle


Öxarárfoss is a waterfall in south-west Iceland, pictured under the northern lights in winter.


By your twelfth day, you will have all but completed your tour around the Ring Road of Iceland. There is, however, a glaring omission from your journey so far: a trip around the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is the country’s most famous route, going to three classic Icelandic destinations, Gullfoss, Geysir, and Þingvellir.

Gullfoss is the country’s most renowned waterfall, and perhaps its most renowned feature altogether. Falling in two tiers, it has awesome power, a strange milky colour due to the fact it is composed of glacial meltwater, and like Skógafoss, throws off many rainbows in the sun. From there, you can opt for a high-speed tour, and fly across the Langjökull glacier on snowmobiles.

Next, you will see Geysir. This geyser is the one that lent all others their names, although is currently experiencing a period of inactivity. Worry not, however, as beside it is the very active Strokkur, which goes off every five to ten minutes. A similarly active geyser can be found at the Secret Lagoon, a beautiful spa that you can opt to visit duing booking. The geyser here, however, is much smaller, with the most defining aspects of the lagoon being its serenity and comfort.

The final site of the Golden Circle is Þingvellir National Park. The area is a national park due to its history, being the original site of the Icelandic parliament. However, its beauty is what captures most guests, as it is nestled in a valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, both of which are visible.

As these plates pull apart, they tear ravines open throughout the park, which fill with springwater. One of these ravines, Silfra, can be snorkelled in; though it is cold, you will be provided with all necessary gear to protect you, and the views through the crystal clear water are unmatched.

After enjoying the Golden Circle, you will return to Reykjavík, having completed the Ring Road.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

Reykjavík Budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

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 13 - Reykjavik City and Surroundings


A child learning how to skate in the settling winter sun, on the Reykjavík pond, Tjörnin, in the city centre.


On your penultimate day, you can explore Iceland’s capital, shopping along Laugavegur, eating in Michelin Star restaurants, or drinking in one of the many lively bars. The city also has many museums, on everything from Iceland's history, its whales, its punk subculture and, for those seeking a bit of a laugh, the anatomy of the phallus across the animal kingdom. 

If your spirit for adventure has not been exhausted over the past two weeks, you have the option to take a helicopter tour over the geothermal areas around Reykjavík for some spectacular urban and natural views. Otherwise, you can take a charming ride aback an Icelandic horse through some beautiful countryside.

The possibilities are endless on this day. You can always contact your personal travel planner if you have a specific activity in mind, and they will do all they can to assist. Regardless if you take the day off to relax in the city or head out on an adventure, your last day in Iceland is sure to be a blast.


Day 14 - Departure Day


Grótta lighthouse in the greater Reykjavík area, striking an imposing wintery image on a northern lights filled night.


Unfortunately, today is the day you will leave Iceland, but no doubt, your journey home will be spent reminiscing over the amazing things you saw the last fortnight. You’ll drop your car off at the airport in good time, before enjoying your flight away.


Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For budget and 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.

Super Budget

Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels. Located in the region of the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.

Budget

Rooms with shared bathrooms in farmhouses, guesthouses or hostels, with good locations near the best attractions. Breakfast is not included.

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

The vehicles offered for our winter self drive tours are 4WD jeeps or SUVs to counter Icelandic winter conditions. They are new or current models, maximum two years of age, and come equipped with a GPS, CDW, SCDW, and GP insurances. You can upgrade to an automatic model. All cars have winter tyres.

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.

Luxury 4x4

A large sized jeep with 4WD (4x4) such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all traveling.


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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