4-Day Summer Self-Drive | Golden Circle & South Coast with Home Base in Reykjavik

4-Day Summer Self-Drive | Golden Circle & South Coast with Home Base in Reykjavik
Travel the most popular tourist routes in Iceland: the Golden Circle and the South Coast.
A cavern behind the South Coast waterfall Seljalandsfoss allows it to be encircled.
Hallgrímskirkja church in the Reykjavík city centre painted gold by the rays of the midnight sun.
You might spot a few puffins on your summer self-drive tour in Iceland.
Icelandic horses in front of the roaring cascade of Skógafoss waterfall by the Ring Road of Iceland.
The midnight sun illuminating an abandoned house in a field of flowers.

Enjoy a relaxed summer holiday in Iceland with this 4-day self-driving tour centred in the city of Reykjavík. With a rental car in your possession, you'll visit both the major sites and hidden gems of the South Coast's rural countryside while spending your nights in the capital's urban comforts. This immersive tour is the perfect bet for both families and travelling friends.

Your journey begins as you arrive at Keflavík International Airport, where you will find your rental car waiting for you. What you do during your first day is entirely up to you and depends on your flight schedule, but you can choose to kickstart your Iceland experience by visiting the mineral-rich waters of the world-famous Blue Lagoon Spa. 

During the next three days, your personal itinerary will guide you to the world-famed natural attractions of the Golden Circle and South Coast, enabling you to witness first-hand the magic of geysers, glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs and black sand beaches. 

This tour also includes a hands-on travel agent who can alter your itinerary and redirect you to such wondrous locations as the Snæfellsnes peninsula or Hvalfjörður fjord, in case this is your second time in Iceland, and you've already seen the sites listed above.

You can also add exciting extras to your trip during the booking process. These include snowmobiling, hiking on a glacier, horseback riding, snorkelling between continents, hot spring bathing, ice climbing and ice cave exploring. Summer is the season of the midnight sun, so you don’t have to worry about reaching your destinations in time as the days are long and the nights stay bright. Adventure will be at your fingertips during this holiday, and to top it all off, all these activities come at a special discounted price if you add them to your Self Drive upon the time of booking.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you realise just how much of Iceland you can see while based in Reykjavík. Staying overnight in the capital for the duration of your trip is arguably the most relaxed way to travel, and your nights will never be dull due to the city’s buzz and charm.

So don't wait! Book this four-day self-drive now, and witness the beautiful nature of Iceland while staying in the comfort of the city. Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

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

Please consult your itinerary for further information.

  • 3 nights of Reykjavík accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included for comfort and quality levels. More detailed info below)

  • Vehicle for 4 days (Hyundai i10 or similar. Upgrades available)

  • CDW insurance for super budget level vehicle; other levels also include SCDW and gravel protection insurances

  • 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)

  • Lunch and dinner

  • Optional excursions

  • Fuel

  • Flights

What to bring:
  • Warm and waterproof clothing

  • Good waterproof shoes

  • Swimsuit and towel

  • Camera

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

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival

The statue in front of Hallgrímskirkja church is of Icelandic explorer Leifur Eiríksson, who was the first westerner to discover the Americas.

Welcome to Iceland! Upon your arrival at Keflavík International Airport, you will pick up your rental and begin the short but scenic drive to the capital city of Reykjavík, passing rugged lava fields and majestic mountains along the way.

Between the airport and the city is the world-renowned Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, often quoted as the ultimate jet-lag cure. You can purchase an entrance ticket during the booking process. Depending on your flight arrival time, you can also opt to visit the spa on your last day before your departure. Our customer service team will help you to fit the Blue Lagoon visit into your itinerary in the most desirable way. 

Once in Reykjavík, you will have reached home base for your trip. Explore the buzzing downtown, visit the museums and galleries, take a dip in one of the city’s many pools, or go for a stroll along the pier―it’s entirely up to you.

You’ll spend your first night at your accommodation in Reykjavík.

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 - Golden Circle Sightseeing

Þingvellir National Park is not only historically and geologically fascinating, but stunningly beautiful and lush.

You'll be keeping a base in Reykjavík, so you do not have to start the day by packing up your bags and loading them into your car, you can instead just begin your second day by driving Iceland’s most famed sightseeing route, the Golden Circle.

First up is Þingvellir National Park, a continental rift valley and the sole UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Icelandic mainland.

Here, the park's many canyons, lakes, and gorges showcase how the earth is continuously pulling apart, and today, you can opt to go snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the Silfra, a fissure created by this movement of the earth.

Then, you’ll visit the Geysir geothermal area to witness the hot spring Strokkur spew boiling water high up in the air every few minutes before moving on to the last sight of the Golden Circle, the beautiful Gullfoss waterfall. You'll be sure to be in awe as you watch this dramatic cascade hurl down, in two tiers, into an ancient canyon below. 

You can top your day off by opting to go snowmobiling on Langjökull glacier or horseback riding in the beautiful South Iceland countryside. If you’d rather do something more relaxing, you can visit the magical Secret Lagoon to soak away in geothermal waters amidst natural surroundings. All of these activities are great for kids as well, although the age limits vary slightly.

Once you’re ready to head back to the capital, know that you can take a different route than before, ensuring you new sights along the way. Spend another night exploring Reykjavík before settling in at your accommodation.

Day 3 - South Coast Marvels | Waterfalls and Black Sand Beaches

The magical cascade of Seljalandsfoss waterfall bathed in the light of the setting summer sun.

On day three, you will have a full buffet of activities and attractions from which to choose. Today, you can head out of the city to explore the many natural and cultural marvels of Iceland’s renowned South Coast.

Stop at the famous waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, or strap on your hiking boots and visit the hidden waterfall Gljúfrabúi. A bit further along the coast, you’ll find the village of Vík and its resident black beach Reynisfjara, where the eerie but picturesque Reynisdrangar sea stacks stand steadfast out in the roaring Atlantic Ocean.

If you’re an ambitious driver, start the day early to drive all the way to visit the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, one of the most beautiful and celebrated natural sites of the country. The experience is complete with a stop at the Diamond Beach, where the lagoon’s icebergs have washed up to glisten in the sunlight on a blanket of black sand.

If you want less driving and more action, you can instead opt for tours on Sólheimajökull glacier where you'll go glacier hiking or ice climbing. You can also visit an authentic ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier, the only one of its kind accessible all year round.

If you feel like heading out even further, you can drop off your car at a meeting point and board a modified Super Jeep that will take you on an adventure in the otherworldly Highlands. 

Other options include visiting the DC-3 plane wreck, swimming in the old pool Seljavallalaug, visiting puffin colonies or scouting off-map locations to your heart’s content. The midnight sun in summer Iceland ensures that you will have enough daylight to complete a fulfilling day trip.

After a full day of sightseeing and adventure, you’ll make your way back to the city to spend your final night.

Day 4 - Departure

The city of Reykjavík is a true minuscule metropolitan and the Northernmost capital in the world.

Today is the time to say goodbye to Reykjavík. After you've packed up your bags, it is time to head back out to the black lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula to catch your departing flight at Keflavík International Airport.

Depending on the time of your departing flight, you can fit in some last-minute sightseeing or shopping in the city. If you missed it on your arrival day, you can visit the Blue Lagoon to unwind before your flight. Just remember to give yourself plenty of time to drop off your car at the airport and check-in.

Have a safe journey home and know that Iceland eagerly awaits your return.


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.


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


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


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.


Below you can see the car rental options available for this self-drive tour. All our vehicles are new or current models. Super budget 2WD vehicles are maximum 5 years of age, and come equipped with a GPS and standard CDW insurance. Budget 2WD, Comfort 4x4 and Luxury 4x4 level vehicles are maximum two years of age, and come equipped with a GPS, CDW, GP and SCDW insurances. You can also upgrade to an automatic model.

Super Budget 2WD

A small 2WD vehicle such as Toyota Aygo, Hyundai i10 or similar, fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions. Compact and comfortable for up to 2 travellers with very little luggage. No highland capabilities.

Budget 2WD

A basic 2WD vehicle such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar, suitable for travelling in everyday conditions. Comfortable for 3 travellers with light luggage. This vehicle does not have highland capabilities.

Comfort 4x4

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

Luxury 4x4

A large sized 4WD (4x4) jeep such as Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, fit for nearly all travelling. This vehicle has full highland capabilities to drive on accessible mountain roads. Note that off-road driving is illegal.


You can now add meals to your booking. Select to include dinner on every night as an optional extra, and we will provide you with vouchers as part of your booking confirmation. We will choose from top-rated restaurants that fit with your vacation itinerary and make your reservations for you. At the restaurant, you will be offered a set menu, from which you can choose from meat, fish or vegetarian options. If you would prefer something else, the voucher will act as a credit that you can redeem at the restaurant against menu items that are not part of the set menu. Please notify the restaurant on arrival about any dietary requirements. Vouchers are non-refundable.

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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No credit card fees
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