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3 Day Self Drive Tour - South Coast, Jökulsárlón & Ice Cave

South Coast Excursion

Make the most of a short break in Iceland by exploring the best of the South Coast. From black sand beaches to glacier lagoons and ice caves, this tour will leave you with unforgettable experiences!


This self-guided adventure is the perfect way to spend three days in Iceland with the comfort of your own car but an itinerary that will make sure you don’t miss out on any of the must-dos.

Get prepared to do a lot of driving on this 3 day south coast adventure! From Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach in the East to the jet black sands of Reynisfjara beach on the South coast, the 3 days will include a Crystal Ice Cave Tour, multiple waterfalls, and the best views and landscapes Iceland has to offer! Covering around 300 kms each day, this tour ensures you do not miss any highlights and hidden treasures of the South of Iceland.

Included is a rental car, accommodation and a Crystal Ice Cave tour.

  • Availability

    Nov. - Mar.

  • Duration

    3 days

  • Duration Overwrite

  • Level


  • Pickup


  • Meet on location


  • Min. Age

    8 years old

  • Departs from

    KEF / Reykjavik

  • Departs from Overwrite

  • Price from

    56.968 ISK

Tour highlights
Crystal Ice Cave Tour
South Coast
Skaftafell National Park
Diamond Beach
Svartifoss Waterfall
Kerið Volcanic Crater Lake
Skógafoss Waterfall
Reynisfjara Beach
Vík Village
Northern Lights (depending)
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Car Rental For 3 Days
Car Insurances: Collision Damage Waiver, Personal Accident Insurance and Theft protection
Crystal Ice Cave Experience
Accommodation for 2 Nights - Comfort Room
Perfect 3 Day Itinerary for Iceland + Info On Amazing Lesser Known Stops
Breakfast At Accommodation

Upon arrival in Iceland, you will instantly get that adventurous feeling. Keflavik airport is located right in the middle of a lava field on the Reykjanes peninsula, where you will be able to pick up your rental car! Alternatively, choose Reykjavík pick up for the rental car and arrange to book a night in the capital region before the tour starts.

You will start driving south, to the South Coast of Iceland! You can stop as many times as you like, but make a point to stop at the Kerið volcanic crater lake and Reynisfjara black sand beach – arguably the best beach in Iceland and possibly the best black sand beach in the world, along the way! If you want to explore further the Dryholaey Cape is not too far and well worth spending an evening.

Day two will consist of more exploring, taking in sights such as Skaftafell National Park, home of huge glaciers including Skaftafellsjökull and Svínafellsjökull. Highlights will include the Crystal Ice Cave Tour, where you will get to explore Vatnajökull – Europe’s Largest Glacier and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon- truly representing the ‘ice’ part of the Land of Ice and Fire.

The last day will consist of a long drive back to the airport to drop off your rental car, but make sure you visit points of interest like Seljalandsfoss (the waterfall you can walk behind) and the hidden, mysterious Gljúfrabúi Waterfall along the way! If you have pre-booked tickets for the Blue Lagoon, this is the best time to go, as this pool of mineral-rich, blue water is located only 20km away from the airport.

Detailed Itinerary Included

√ A detailed map of Iceland with all stops
√ Easily follow daily travel plans
√ Mobile friendly design
√ Descriptions & photos for all major stops
√ Print your itinerary or share with friends

Information for your rental car

Pick-up: Choose between pick-up locations at Keflavik International airport (KEF) or BSI Bus Terminal in downtown Reykjavik, at flexible times.
For the best experience, we definitely recommend that you pick your car up early on the day of arrival, and return it in the afternoon or evening on your last day.

Drop-off: By default, the drop-off location for your car will be at Keflavik International Airport (KEF), no matter which pick-up location you have selected.
You can, however, drop-off the car at BSI Bus Terminal in Reykjavik, on the last day of your tour. If you prefer this drop-off location you can change it afterward (details can be found in your confirmation email).

Practical information

Remember to bring: Warm layers, waterproof clothing, headwear, scarf, gloves, hiking boots are essential, drivers license and some sunglasses.

What if I don’t own all of these clothing items?

Don’t worry, you can always rent sturdy hiking boots, a waterproof jacket, and pants in the booking process.

Day 1 - The South Coast

Black-Beach-Reynisfjara-South-Coast-IcelandArrive at KEF airport at any time in the morning, pick up your rental car there and start your road trip right away. Alternatively or if you arrive later in the day, choose Reykjavík pick up for the rental car and stay 1 night in the city and pick up your car from BSI.

Make your way towards the South Coast. You can stop at the waterfalls and volcanoes along the way. It is a long route so it is best to get going earlier in the day – there’s a lot of Iceland to get in! Making your way through the city you will soon leave the busy streets behind and head into the quiet, sleepy towns and open roads. Along the route, you will pass Kerið crater, a spectacular volcanic crater lake in the Grímsnes area of Iceland, in the Western Volcanic Zone.

Additionally you should make a stop at Skógar, a small town village (25 people) located at the South of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. The town is home to Skógafoss waterfall,one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland, with a drop of 60 meters and a width of 25 meters.

Reynisfjara beach is arguably the best beach in Iceland and possibly the best black sand beach in the world! With a rich history of trolls and legends, Reynisfjara is recognised for its unique hexagonal, basalt columns which tower up the cliffs. This lava beach is jet black as a result of hot lava cooling instantly in the mighty waves of the Arctic ocean!

Last on your itinerary should be the town of Vík í Mýrdal, the Southernmost village in Iceland. Your  hotel will either be here or in Skogar.

In both villages there is ample darkness to be able to see the northern lights, should they appear!

Day Highlights
Kerið Volcanic Crater Lake
Skógafoss Waterfall
Reynisfjara beach
Vík Village
Northern Lights (depending)
Rental Car

Day 2 - South East Coast + Ice cave tour

Ice cave exploring in Iceland

Day 2 will be spent exploring Skaftafell National Park and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

Your day will start off at Skaftafell National Park, home of huge glaciers including Skaftafellsjökull and Svínafellsjökull.

Svartifoss Waterfall, “The Black Waterfall” and one of the most famous falls in Iceland is found within the park, recognised for its unique, hexagonal, basalt columns and crystal clear icy water which contrasts against the deep black darkness of the lava field.

Next up, you will partake in a Crystal Ice Cave Tour. Departing from Jokulsárlon Glacier Lagoon, on this small group experience you will get to explore Vatnajökull – Europe’s Largest Glacier, for a once in a lifetime experience to see the colours and textures of a crystal ice cave. New caves are formed each winter by the melt/freeze cycle of the glacier, they are always changing, both from year to year and within each winter.

The renowned Jökulsárlón Ice Lagoon, made famous by several blockbuster movies including Batman Begins and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, to name just a couple, is a totally mind-blowing place. On return to the glacier lagoon, you have the rest of your day to take in the sites of the floating glaciers and make your way down to Diamond beach, where several glaciers wash ashore onto the jet black sands.

Arrive at your hotel in Klaustur or Skaftafell, to either catch up on sleep for tomorrow’s long drive, or stay up and wait for the Northern Lights!

Day Highlights
Skaftafell National Park
Jökulsárlón Glacier lagoon
Svartifoss Waterfall
Crystal Ice Cave
Diamond Beach
Rental Car
Crystal Ice Cave Tour

Day 3 - Drive back to Reykjavík

Blue Lagoon, IcelandToday consists of a lengthy, scenic drive back to Reykjavik or the airport if you have an evening departure for this day. Driving back along the South Coast to Reykjavík you will pass many points of interest worth stopping for, if you have the time. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is one of the very rare waterfalls in the world, where it is possible to walk behind the narrow, cascading falls. Which is why it is so famous and popular amongst travelers. Gljúfrabúi Waterfall is very near, but is often overlooked as it is hidden behind a large cliff face. You have to wade through a stream to get a closer look, so take care in the winter.

Finally, if you have pre booked tickets for the Blue Lagoon, this is the perfect time to go! The blue mineral rich water leaves your skin soft and smooth after a relaxing visit and is located only 20km away from the airport.

After your relaxing spa session in the lagoon, drop-off your rental car at the airport and prepare for departure!

We hope you had an amazing few days exploring the South coast of Iceland!

Rental Car
Does the ice cave always look exactly the same as on the pictures?

The caves are in a constant change so they might look different from what you see in the picture. Air temperature, sunshine, precipitation, geothermal activity, and many other factors cause significant changes in the formation of the ice caves and this process is exclusively controlled by Mother Nature.

We will visit the best available naturally formed ice cave during this tour and the cave we visit is chosen based on conditions and safety each time.

What should I wear on our glacier trip in Iceland?

Iceland is known for colourful weather. It can sometimes show you all 4 seasons in one day.

Dressing for this sort of weather can be a challenge so we always recommend dressing in layers.  3 or 4 upper layers are highly recommended such as a light t-shirt (preferably wool) next to the skin, then a fleece or heavy wool garment, topped off with a waterproof windbreaker.

Jeans are not recommended for our trips as they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when they get wet.

Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are best and then wind/waterproof pants over. We also recommend using sunglasses and sunscreen even if it is cloudy due to the high UV and sunlight reflecting off of the glacier.

You will need sturdy hiking boots that fit crampons for the glacier hiking tours. If you do not own a pair then we rent out good hiking boots as well as a waterproof raincoat and trousers.

Do I need to bring a backpack on a glacier trip in Iceland?

We recommend bringing your own backpack on our full day or 1/2 day tours. It’s great to carry a small lunch and some extra clothing.

Can I bring my camera along on an ice cave tour?

You can bring your camera along, and you should definitely bring one since the setting on the tour is full of amazing, scenic views.

I am pregnant, can I still join a glacier hike?

This is, of course, a personal choice, we have often had pregnant women on our trips. We recommend you take a close look at our trip description and difficulty rating, they will hopefully give you a better idea. It is also good to contact your physician, pregnant women’s health can be quite different. Feel free to contact us if you have further questions or concerns.

Do I need to bring a lunch with me on the ice cave tours?

We do not provide lunch on any of our trips, so we recommend you bring your own lunch (for the longer trips), snacks and a bottle of water (you can refill it on the trip).

What are crampons?

Crampons are metal spikes that we attach to the soles of your hiking shoes, these enable you to walk on the glacier ice without slipping.

Is there a guide on each Arctic Adventures ice cave tour?

Yes, there is a specially trained and certified glacier guide on every ice cave tour that we offer.

Where can I find more information about Ice Caves?

The Ice Caves in Iceland are truly magical. If you want to learn more about them this information page on Ice Caves will be a great help.

What is a self-drive tour?

Self-drive tour is a package tour that includes accommodation, car rental and suggested itinerary. The tours are self-guided but we provide you with information to make sure you know where to go and what to see, as well as general practical information about Iceland.

Included with our tours are accommodation and car rental, as described for each tour, itinerary with suggested points of interest along the way, GPS points for each stop (accommodation, activities, points of interest), and a detailed self-drive handbook with lots of practical information.

Which hotels will we be staying in? What category are they?

We use a very varied mix of local accommodations.

Comfort rooms are private rooms with private bathroom in guesthouses, hotels, motels, lodges, etc. Approximately 3-star rating.

Budget rooms are private rooms with shared bathroom at guesthouses, hostels, hotels, etc. Approximately 2-star rating.

Which type of vehicle do you recommend?

4WD vehicles are recommended during winter months (October – April) but it doesn’t need to be a jeep, it is safest to drive a vehicle that you are comfortable with so if you’re not used to driving large cars then a smaller, but 4WD, might be a better option. In summer any vehicle is good, depending on how many are traveling together, how much luggage you carry along and how much you’re willing to pay.

How much time will we spend in the car every day?

This depends on the itinerary, some are faster paced while others are more relaxed. Days can range from 200-400 km, though very few days exceed 350 km. Of course you are your own driver and guide while on a self drive tour so you are free to make detours as you wish.

What kind of insurance do I need?

It is always a good idea to make sure you have good travel insurance, as you never know what might happen while in a foreign country. Sure it costs a bit extra, but it can take a load off the mind and end up being totally worth it in case something should happen.

Take a look at what type of insurance is provided with your credit card, alternatively buy special travel insurance from an insurance provider.

As for the car rental, you can opt to buy extra insurance at the time of collecting the car. It may be wise to buy extra insurance such as windshield protection, as a cracked windshield from a stone being thrown off another car is among the most common incidents on Icelandic roads.

Other extra car insurances would be for example sand and ash protection, or additional insurance to lower the self-risk in case of an incident.

Can the itinerary be changed?

Our self drive adventures have been optimized for the best value experience, which includes doing some thrilling activities in the amazing Icelandic nature. As the packages are offered at the best possible price no partial refunds or modifications to the itinerary can be permitted. That includes opting out of an included activity and getting a refund for that activity. You can, of course, choose not to do the activity but as mentioned there would be no partial refunds of the package price.

What do I do when I have a problem while traveling?

You should contact the service provider in question: If there is a problem with the car, contact the car rental. If you have troubles finding the hotel (which shouldn’t happen as you will be provided with the address and GPS coordinates), you should call the hotel.

If you have questions about an activity, contact the activity provider. You will receive all the necessary contact information from us.

Can I add twin bed for my accommodation?

We cannot guarantee twin beds but a large majority of our hotels can accommodate twin bed arrangements and clients can contact the hotels directly after purchase to request a twin bed arrangement.

Book this tour

Price from: 56.968 ISK

You have chosen: From KEF airport

Instant confirmation & Low Prices

Pick-up & Drop-off at Keflavik international airport. Note you can change the drop-off location to Reykjavik (see confirmation email for details, extra fee may apply).

You have chosen: From Reykjavik

Instant confirmation & Low Prices

Pick-up at BSI Bus Terminal in Reykjavik. Drop-off at KEF airport. Note you can change the drop-off location to Reykjavik (see confirmation email for details, extra fee may apply).

Book now