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12 days - Independent premium self-drive tour in Iceland

Iceland is where glaciers reach for the skies, deep blue mountain lakes fill steep valleys with sharp green peaks on all sides. Come with us to explore these iconic sights of Iceland. This self-drive journey allows you to explore the sights at your own pace and includes countryside boutique accommodation that let you fully recharge for each day’s adventures.

Let hot springs relax and calm you as you take in the spectacular views. This Iceland itinerary can be tailor made to suit your plans.

Read Tatyana's story about visiting the hot springs in Iceland last October with us here.

Highlights include

  • Drive the Golden Circle: erupting hot springs at Geysir, Gullfoss waterfalls and Þingvellir National Park
  • Stay for two nights between Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Visit the small village of Fáskrúðsfjörður on the east coast of Iceland
  • Whale watching near Akureyri on a silent electric boat
  • Stay at the Blue Lagoon to enjoy a soak in the hotel's own private bathing lagoon, not available to the general public
Day 1
Arrive Reykjavik, transfer to your hotel and guided tour
Day 2
Reykjavik - Sky Lagoon with a Pure Experience
Day 3
Explore the Golden Circle & Southern Iceland
Days 4 - 5
Glaciers & Lagoons of South East Iceland
Day 6
Journey further east to the small village of Fáskrúðsfjörður with Fjallsárlón glacier boat tour
Days 7 - 8
Lake Mývatn - endless possibilities; Viti, cave formations, Game of Thrones sites...
Day 9
Discover the Akureyri region before heading to your unique accommodation and special dinner
Day 10
Snæfellsjökull National Park
Day 11
Soak your cares away at the Blue Lagoon
Day 12
Departure day
Start Place
Reykjavik, Iceland
End Place
Blue Lagoon, Iceland , Iceland
Country Visited
Iceland
Duration
12 Days
Start Date
Flexible
Travel Style
Independent
Suitability
Independent holiday with moderately active activities and no luggage handling included
Code
50DN0155

Please note that all our itineraries, inclusions, dates and prices displayed on this website may change at any time. If you book an itinerary today and have this confirmed it will be the itinerary that is delivered to you. However, the online itinerary on our website may change in the meantime.

As a Certified B Corporation, 50 Degrees North has designed this tour using handpicked local hoteliers and suppliers who share our ethos of delivering services and activities of high social and environmental standards.

The CO2-e per person per day of all tours is carefully measured following each season. We fully offset all emissions of our tours on your behalf, and we constantly look at ways to reduce emissions where possible.

Details

Transportation

Transfers & self-drive car, Car Skoda Octavia or similar Automatic.

Included
  • Transfer from the airport
  • Hotel pick-up for car rental
  • Guided tour of Reykjavik
  • Sky Lagoon Pure Experience and transfers
  • Rental car for 9 days Car type S (Car Skoda Octavia or similar Automatic), with unlimited mileage, CDW insurance and GPS
  • Best available accommodation outside of Reykjavik in our recommended country hotels with private facilities and breakfast included
  • Blue Ice Glacier walk
  • Zodiac tour at the Glacier Lagoon
  • Forest Lagoon Entrance
  • 1 night at the Silica Hotel @ the Blue Lagoon, breakfast included
  • Whale Watching on day 9
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes and service fees
Not Included
  • Extra car insurance, such as S-CDW and gravel protection.
  • Flight tickets to/from start and end points, any airport taxes, travel insurance, visas, gratitudes and any items of personal nature.

Optional activities such as the Irarfoss horseback riding, GeoSea hotsprings, Puffin tour and Vatnshellir cave tour can be arranged before you leave. During peak season, they can book out early so please ask us for further details.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Reykjavik, transfer to your hotel and guided tour

On arrival, you'll be met by your private driver and taken to your hotel. After settling in, meet your guide for a private guided tour, exploring this lovely capital. Be sure to check out the design stores and cool cafes in central Reykjavik.

In the evening you can enjoy a gourmet dinner at one of Reykjavik's many fine restaurants - taste the fresh Atlantic seafood or free-range lamb that Iceland is famous for.

Accommodation
Superior room at stylish boutique hotel located in Reykjavik´s main district.
Director's Choice
Restaurants
Fiskmarkaðurinn
Sægreifinn
Matarkjallarinn Food Cellar and Cocktails
Optional Add Ons
Puffin Watching from Reykjavik

Day 2 - Reykjavik - Sky Lagoon with a Pure Experience

Reykjavik is an easy city to explore on foot or bike. Feel the fresh air on your face with a visit to the harbour and perhaps enjoy a food tour of this small capital. If you're interested in experiencing the city's thriving coffee culture, head to the main street, Laugavegur, to enjoy its various shops and cosy cafes.

We have included a visit to the Sky Lagoon with a Pure Experience with transfers. Follow the seven step step ritual including saunas and the signature Sky Body Scrub.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Superior room at stylish boutique hotel located in Reykjavik´s main district.
Restaurants
Traditional Icelandic Fare - Matur og Drykkur

Day 3 - Explore the Golden Circle & Southern Iceland

Pick up your hire car at 9.00am in the morning.

Today is known as driving the Golden Circle: erupting hot springs at Geysir, Gullfoss waterfalls and Þingvellir National Park. The Gullfoss waterfalls are Iceland's most popular and easily accessible from Reykjavik, therefore, rather crowded in the peak season. These two-tiered waterfalls are spectacular and involve a short walk from the car park.

Þingvellir is one of the most frequently visited tourist sites in Iceland where you can become better acquainted with Iceland's history and traditions. You can join guided tours of the site and also find short hiking trails to help you explore Þingvellir National Park.

Tonight, stay in manor house located in the very heart of southern Iceland, surrounded by stunning nature in the tranquility of the countryside. Just under the wide expanses of the Icelandic highlands and in the vicinity of glaciers and volcanoes, overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Grand Standard room in a manor hotel of the Golden Circle

Days 4 - 5 - Glaciers & Lagoons of South East Iceland

This morning, before departing your manor hotel, for those who enjoy riding horses, there is the option to book a 1-hour easy horseback ride on the gentle pure breed Icelandic horse, around the beautiful surroundings of farm to Írárfoss waterfall.

Spend two nights exploring South Iceland - in a hotel located perfectly for nature lovers. Right between Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, you have time to explore two of Iceland's most spectacular natural attractions.

We have included a zodiac boat tour on the Fjallsárlón Glacier Lagoon during your stay as well as a blue ice glacier walk.

Meals
2 Breakfasts
Accommodation
Superior room
Director's Choice

Day 6 - Journey further east to the small village of Fáskrúðsfjörður with Fjallsárlón glacier boat tour

Be surprised by the small village of Fáskrúðsfjörður. The French had heavily fished Icelandic waters since the 16th century and street signs here are in Icelandic and French. There is a French cemetery outside town filled with too few of the many thousands of French sailors who lost their lives in 100-plus shipwrecks, and the former French hospital is now a fine hotel with an excellent museum detailing France’s long history of Icelandic miseries.

This village is on the Iceland's east coast, renowned for magnificent nature and landscape.

Included today is a classic boat tour on the glacier lake, Fjallsárlón.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Superior room

Days 7 - 8 - Lake Mývatn - endless possibilities; Viti, cave formations, Game of Thrones sites...

After breakfast, head north to Lake Mývatn’s eastern shore. On the drive this morning, we suggest you take a detour to Seyðisfjörður and the Gufu waterfall. Stop at the Vök baths for a dip and lunch. Alternatively, plan your day to stop for lunch at Nielsen Restaurant (midweek only).

Continue on to the Lake Mývatn region where you have two days to explore this otherworldly area, a hotbed of volcanic landscapes such as the Námaskarð Pass, the Skútustaðagígar pseudo-craters, the Dimmuborgir lava formations and Mt. Krafla, one of Iceland’s most interesting volcanoes.

Included on Day 8 is a silent whale watching tour and the option to go to Geosea hot springs resort.

End the day at Mývatn Nature Baths (optional) in a pool of geothermal water drawn from depths of up to 2,500 metres, a great way to relax after sightseeing, and enjoy the midnight sun.

Meals
2 Breakfasts
Accommodation
Berjaya Mývatn Hotel King Superior
Optional Add Ons
Cave Exploration Lofthellir

Day 9 - Discover the Akureyri region before heading to your unique accommodation and special dinner

Drive towards Akureyri, enjoy lunch in the small town centre, or head to the art centre on the harbour for a panoramic lunch before travelling further east. Included today is the Forest Lagoon spa resort.

Tonight, you will enjoy special accommodation with magnificent views across the open North Atlantic Ocean to the Westfjords peninsula beyond, delicious home-cooked meals, and authentic Icelandic hospitality.

A 3-course meal is included with your accommodation, served from 7.30pm.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Double room with breakfast

Day 10 - Snæfellsjökull National Park

Before departing the region today, an optional experience is to join a Drangey island boat and puffin tour, departing at 10am. Drangey island is a birdwatching paradise. The island is a nesting colony for thousands of seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, gannets, kittiwakes, fulmar, shearwaters along with ravens and gyrfalcons. The island is a sheer-sided palagonite rock approximately 180m high and provides a wonderful view over the whole fjord.

After a quick lunch, drive to the edge of the Snæfellsjökull National Park, the first national park that was established in Iceland, the boundaries of which reach out into the sea. On the water's edge, your hotel this evening is a small boutique hotel with a lovely restaurant & relaxed ambience.

Visit the lovely little country church in Búðir, just a short walk from the hotel. It is extremely picturesque & a well known wedding spot. Activities depending on your time of arrival and departure tomorrow can include golf, horse riding, snow mobile tours & glacier walking.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Deluxe room at Búðir Hótel

Day 11 - Soak your cares away at the Blue Lagoon

This morning, make your way to the Blue Lagoon, the ultimate hot spring experience. Set in the heart of a stunning lava landscape, Silica Hotel is just a ten-minute walk from the Blue Lagoon. The hotel offers its own private bathing lagoon, which is available for hotel guests every day from 09:00 to 22:00.

You have the option to include the Vatnshellir Cave tour today.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Deluxe room at Silica Hotel

Day 12 - Departure day

Drive to Keflavik International Airport and return your hire car before flying out.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Dates & Prices

Price per person. Due to the current volatility of the Icelandic Króna (ISK) and car hire costs, this price is indicative. We are happy to individually quote this tour for you. Hotels are in very short supply in Iceland during the peak of summer. Please contact us early.

Dates
Valid From
Valid To
From Price
Status
Accommodation
1 May 2024
30 Sep 2024
1 May 2024
30 Sep 2024
GBP 4,910
On request
Standard
1 May 2024
30 Sep 2024
1 May 2024
30 Sep 2024
GBP 4,047
On request
Extra for Single
1 May 2025
30 Sep 2025
1 May 2025
30 Sep 2025
GBP 5,302
On request
Standard
1 May 2025
30 Sep 2025
1 May 2025
30 Sep 2025
GBP 4,370
On request
Extra for Single

Important Information

The accommodation in this itinerary comprises Iceland’s best countryside boutique properties, which are in short supply during the peak summer season Jun-Aug. Booking early is essential. Should our selected properties not be available for your specific dates, we will look for alternatives, which in most cases will mean a downgraded standard.

Please note that the authorities of Reykjavik City has announced changes to the current arrangement for tour bus traffic in Reykjavik City Centre, effective from 15th of July, 2017. The area where buses are not allowed to drive has been increased in size, and locations, numbers and names of the designated bus stops have been changed.

This may affect the pick-up and drop-off locations for your activities and transfers. If you have airport transfers with FlyBus, you will need to carry your luggage (200 metres to 300 metres) to / from the bus stop to your hotel.

Driving in Iceland:

A hire car cannot be driven in the Highlands area. In regards to gravel roads; technically you’re not recommended to take a hire car on gravel roads, but in Iceland you may not have a choice. Some guesthouses are located on gravel roads. Consider getting extra car insurance with gravel protection if it is something that might worry you. Ask us about what car would suit you - as it depends on the time of year and where you want to go!

When driving in Iceland, plan that all your destinations are going to take longer to reach than planned. Most of the time it is because you are going to make unanticipated stops to check out a waterfall, a viewpoint, a museum, or a shop. Sometimes it is also that traffic is just slow, animals may be crossing the road, or there is bad weather. If you build some extra time into your day, you won’t have to be rushing around at the end of the day.

For more Iceland driving rules and tips and to stay up to date on road conditions, check out the Road Conditions website and for all kinds of safety and travel information in Iceland check out the Safe Travel website. Bookmark both of these websites before you start your drive in Iceland.

Interactive Tour Map

Inspiration
Hvammsvík geothermal sea baths - Image: Saga Sig

Visiting Hvammsvík Hotsprings

This new hot springs centre has eight natural hot springs that evolve into the ocean with temperatures ranging from ocean temperatures (around 10°C) to 42°C in the old original hot spring. It is included in many of our tours and has been awarded 'best thing to do in the world' by TIMEOUT magazine, 2023.

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Giorgia Romiti

Self drive Iceland Circle touring review

Our guest, Barry Stone, spent 8 days on our Iceland Circle self-drive this year. Here is his story.

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Ultimate Guide to Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

No-one has missed the beautiful black beaches of Iceland on Instagram. Wanting to know more about how to visit this spot? See our ultimate guide to Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland.

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View all Inspiration

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