7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave

Reserve this 7-day Northern Lights self-drive tour to see some of the best of West and South Iceland! During the day, you'll travel among the greatest attractions in Iceland, and you’ll spend your nights searching for Northern Lights.

This tour is for anyone who wants to visit as many beautiful locations as possible in a week in Iceland during the northern lights season. 

Since you are behind the wheel, you can pick and choose where to go and what to do, and take as long as you like at each location.

On the itinerary are highlights such as the Golden Circle, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Along your route you'll be visiting all three national parks in Iceland, each with its own distinct beauty.

A visit to the Blue Lagoon spa is also included, and you can add other activities to your itinerary during the booking process. These activities are ice caving, snorkeling, glacier hiking and snowmobiling.

Ice caving inside a glacier is a rare and unique experience in Iceland. Each cave is verified by experts for accessibility to ensure your safety. The crystal blue ice caves are only available to view for a few months each year, from November until March, before they melt away with the spring sunshine.

Snorkeling is possible all year round in the clear waters of Silfra, by Þingvellir national park. It's cold, but don't worry - you'll get a drysuit to keep you warm!

Glacier hiking is an incredible experience, where you can feel a strong respect for the nature, and learn a great deal about the dangers that glaciers impose and that are imposed to them.

Or if it's adrenaline you're after, then don't miss out on speeding across a glacier in a snowmobile, whilst taking in some breathtaking views!

Finally, don't forget to look out for the auroras! The Northern Lights are only seen when it is dark, and where there are clear skies. As you'll be driving to different locations within Iceland for a duration of a whole week, you'll have a great chance of seeing these stunning, but elusive lights.

As a bonus, if you want to go somewhere off the beaten path and find yourself completely alone in the countryside, then make sure you check the customised itinerary that we send you, as we've added a few local favourites to it.

Don't miss out on this winter adventure. Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible

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

  • Vehicle for 7 days (VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar. Upgrades available)

  • CDW and SCDW insurance along gravel protection for car rental

  • GPS System

  • Blue Lagoon standard entrance (upgrades available)

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

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

  • Ice caving tour (available between November and March)

  • Dinner

  • Lunch


What to bring:
  • Warm clothes

  • Driver's license

  • Camera

  • Swim suit


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 May, the ice caves are only accessible from November to March each year.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Blue Lagoon & Reykjavík


7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave


Your car will await you at Keflavík International Airport with a user-friendly GPS system. From there, you can explore some of the Reykjanes Peninsula and go to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing soak in the geothermal waters. If your arrival flight is late in the evening, you can choose to visit the Blue Lagoon on your final day in Iceland rather than on this day. It is your choice!

When you have rejuvenated yourself, there is a short drive to reach downtown Reykjavik, where you can explore museums, famous landmarks and the numerous downtown cafés and restaurants.

You will spend your first night in Iceland in a hotel in downtown Reykjavik. If you're lucky, you might spot the Northern Lights on your first night from the city!


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

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 - Snæfellsjökull National Park


7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave


On your second day, you will explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula where you will find the picturesque stratovolcano Snæfellsjökull. This volcano is also a glacier and is famous for being the entryway to the center of the Earth in Jules Verne's famous novel Journey to the Center of the Earth.

It is also the center of the surrounding national park that's full of steep ocean cliffs, beautiful rock formations, narrow canyons, small trickling waterfalls, cute fishing villages and the beautiful Djúpalónssandur pebble beach.

Nearby is also the famous Kirkjufell mountain, a popular spot for photographers to try their hand at their craft. On a clear day, you have a view over Faxaflói bay all the way to Reykjavík from Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Watch out for the auroras tonight as you'll spend the night in an area suitable for aurora hunting.

You'll find your accommodation in a country hotel in the Snæfellsnes area tonight.


Preferred accommodation by Snæfellsnes

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 - The Golden Circle


7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave


On your third day, you will drive the popular must-see attraction in the nation: The Golden Circle.

On your way there you will have the option to visit the Víðgelmir lava cave at Borgarfjörður. The massive cave is easily accessible and the dome-like tunnels are well worth a visit. If you'd like something a bit more hands-on, a snorkelling tour in Silfra fissure at Þingvellir is a wonderful choice. 

The route includes the mighty Gullfoss Falls ("golden waterfall"), the Geysir geothermal area, where the geyser Strokkur erupts 20-40 m (65-131 ft) high every few minutes, and Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Your accommodation will be close to the Lake Laugavatn, where there is no light pollution and where the Aurora is often spotted. We recommend a visit to Laugavatn Fontana Spa, with a luxurious hot spring-heated sauna and baths!


Preferred accommodation by the Golden Circle

Golden Circle Budget

Héraðsskólinn Boutique Hostel is centrally located within Laugarvatn village. Private rooms with private or shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast not included.

Golden Circle Comfort

Hotel Litli Geysir is a 3 star hotel located right across from Geysir geothermal area. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Golden Circle Quality

Hotel Grímsborgir is a 4 star hotel in the countryside, south of Þingvellir National Park. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms and a terrace. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 4 - South Iceland


7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave


On your fourth day, you will head down to the south shore of Iceland. There, you will have a view of Eyjafjallajökull volcano and can visit two spectacular waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss.

A bit further lies the Sólheimajökull glacier tongue, towering over the black sands below. The glacier is the perfect place for adventure, and glacier hiking and snowmobiling is on offer for those willing to get the blood pumping a bit. 

Along the south shore of Iceland, you will also find black sandy beaches and the Reynisdrangar sea stacks. You will reach your accommodation near the village of Vík around dinner time.

At night, you can drive to many good locations close by to view the Northern Lights.


Preferred accommodation by Vík

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 5 - Jökulsárlón & Vatnajökull National Park


7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave


On your fifth day, the journey continues eastward towards the beautiful Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, in Vatnajökull National Park, which is Europe's largest nature reserve, containing Europe's largest glacier!

While journeying towards Vatnajökull, you will drive past the charming village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, the waterfall Foss á Síðu, Skaftafell Nature Reserve and some beautiful glacier tongues that crawl down narrow valleys. Glacier hiking is a possibility today, with a fully qualified guide to fill you in on the history of the glaciers as you make your way across the ice.

At the end of the day, you will spend the night in a countryside hotel near Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, which is popular among landscape photographers for extreme sightings of the northern lights and stunning vistas.


Preferred accommodation by Jökulsárlón and Höfn

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Budget

Gerði Guesthouse is located about 13km east of Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Private bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi in main building. Breakfast not included.

Jökulsárlón and Höfn Comfort

Hotel Höfn is a 3 star hotel centrally located within 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 6 - Ice Caving & Reykjavík


7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave


On your sixth day, you can choose to explore an ice cave by Vatnajökull National Park, before heading back to the capital city of Iceland. Ice caving tours begin in November and end in March and are very weather dependent. This activity needs to be booked well in advance but is very much worth your time and effort because the crystal clear blue ice is absolutely stunning!

In the afternoon, you will start your drive back through the south coast to reach Reykjavík before your departure the next day. You can take the time to stop at some of the places you didn't have much time for on your way to Jökulsárlón, such as a visit to Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon.

Spend your last night in the city center of Reykjavík, and remember to look up in the sky as it's your last night to spot the green, dancing auroras.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

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 7 - Car Drop Off at Keflavik International Airport


7 Day Northern Lights Self Drive Tour | Destination Ice Cave


After some last minute shopping in Reykjavík's charming shops, drive to Keflavík International Airport where you will return the car in time for your departure flight. If you didn't go to the Blue Lagoon on your first day, then a visit to the Blue Lagoon can be arranged for today if your flight leaves in the late afternoon/evening.

After this best value trip, you will have seen some of the most amazing attractions in Iceland and hopefully the Northern Lights, as well. We hope you'll have many great memories to take back home.

Enjoy your flight and come back soon!


Accommodation

See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Single person bookings will be arranged in a single room, while bookings of 2 or more people will share twin/double room(s) or triple room(s). Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available hotels and guesthouses 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. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. The sooner you reserve the higher quality accommodation we can provide. Press choose a date at the top to find availability.

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

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, free of charge. All cars have winter tyres. For all winter driving, we highly recommend a Comfort level 4x4 vehicle or Luxury 4x4 to combat possible heavy winter conditions.

Budget

A small 2WD vehicle fit for basic travelling in everyday conditions, such as VW Polo, Toyota Yaris or similar.

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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