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8 Day - Ring Road With Golden Circle Self Drive Tour

The Perfect Iceland Self-Drive 8 Day Itinerary

An 8 day Roadtrip in Iceland | Iceland Itinerary

This fantastic 8-day self-drive package will awaken you to the adventurous desire of a captivating journey circling the phenomenal Iceland ring road, with glacier hiking and whale watching included.

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This eight-day self-drive experience via the phenomenal Iceland ring road is filled with countless spectacular attractions and overwhelmingly beautiful landscapes. Starting with the Golden Circle, you will drive through the South Coast to sensational waterfalls and dazzling glaciers, followed with the breathtaking east Iceland sceneries before you head to north Iceland where the alien land surface awaits. After the Diamond Circle, you will drive beside the northern fjords to the west for sighting amazing gorges and lava fields. In between, you will go hiking on the magnificent glacier in the south and go whale watching through the fjord in the north. Ultimately you will be back to Reykjavik relishing the unforgettable journey and incredible memories you have built along the way. The self-drive package covers the entire attractions circling Iceland where you will release your freedom in the land of fire and ice.

  • Availability

    All Year

  • Duration

    8 days

  • Level

    Easy

  • Pickup

    No

  • Meet on location

    No

  • Min. Age

    8 years

  • Price from

    236.000 ISK

Tour highlights
Self Drive Experience
The Golden Circle (Thingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss)
Ring Road
South Coast (Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Dyrholaey, Reynisfjara)
Glacier Hiking Experience
Vatnajokull National Park
Svartifoss Waterfall
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
The Diamond Beach
Vestrahorn
Hallormsstadaskogur Forest
Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss Waterfalls
Dettifoss Waterfall
Hverarond and Namafjall
Myvatn
Godafoss Waterfall
Akureyri
Dalvik Whale Watching
Kolugljufur Canyon
Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls
Akranes Lighthouse
Reykjanes Peninsula
Included
Rental Car for 8 days (w. all basic insurances: Collision Damage Waiver, Personal Accident Insurance and Theft Protection)
An Itinerary Pre-Planned by Iceland Experts
7 Nights Hotel Room with Private Bathroom
Glacier Hiking Tour
Whale Watching In Dalvik

Starting your exciting ring road tour by driving to the Golden Circle to the tranquil Thingvellir, unpredictable Geysir, spurting Strokkur and great Gullfoss waterfall. Then Faxi waterfall and cultural Skalholt with Kerid crater nearby are fantastic sites on your way to Selfoss to stay in the accommodation we arranged for you in Selfoss / Hella / Hvolsvöllur area.

After filling up your gas tank, you will drive besides the extraordinary mountain ranges on the rim of the South Coast where stunning Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui, and Skogafoss were created. You will also be gearing up for an exhilarating glacier hiking on Sólheimajökull that we booked for you. Later you will reach Vik area to visit the unparalleled panorama from Dyrholaey and remarkable Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. Puffins and other seabirds can be spotted in the summer. You will also pause in Vik to probe the village leisurely before you head to the hotel in Vik or Klaustur area.

Continue your journey on the southern lowland, you can make a stop at Skaftafell National Park to observe shimmering glaciers and witness the precious Svartifoss waterfall, on your way you will see two attractive waterfalls Hundafoss and Magnusarfoss. The climax of the day will be visiting gorgeous Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and the Diamond Beach. Accompanied by the seabirds and seals in the ocean, you will drive to Hofn later in the day to rest in a comfortable accommodation.

After taking a look at the brilliant Vestrahorn, you will drive forward to the east fjords where you will see the ancient glacier eroded fjord landscape elapsing by your windshield. Birdlife-rich Djupivogur and culture-rich Stodvarfjordur will welcome you with their open arms prior to driving by the largest forest Hallormsstadaskogur in Iceland, after that you will see the distinctive Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss waterfalls. The stop of the day will be near Egilsstadir.

You will be going to Akureyri, the capital of the north. On your way via the ring road, the almighty Dettifoss can’t be missed before you explore the Diamond Circle that includes Hverarond, Namafjall, Grjotagja, Dimmuborgir, Myvatn lake and the mesmerizing Godafoss waterfall. This eye-pleasing day will end in Akureyri.

You will be on board to a whale watching tour in Dalvik. Back to the shore, you will drive through the northern fjords where many seabirds and seals call it home. Siglufjordur, Hofsos, Hvitserkur sea stack are all en route before you reach Kolugljufur Canyon. You will stay for the night in Vatnsnes area that has plenty of attractions to offer.

Heading back to Reykjavik via the west route is exciting because you will pass the amazing Grabrok crater and see the most powerful hot springs in Europe Deildartunguhver. Following that, two awesome waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, are close to each other. From there to the capital, you will pass Akranes where the old white lighthouses are overlooking the ocean. Finally, Reykjavik will embrace with the familiarity of a buzzy metropolis.

Your last day: Judging on your departure time, we recommend you to visit the Reykjanes Peninsula where you can relax in Blue Lagoon, and traverse the endless lava field where Hopsnesviti and Reykjanesviti located. You can also drive to and walk across the Bridge Between Two Continents before you head to Keflavik.   

Day 1 - Golden Circle - The Heart of Iceland

After arriving in Iceland, your self-drive ring road adventure begins immediately by picking up your vehicle at one of our designated points at Keflavik International Airport. The first scene you drive through is Reykjanes Peninsula where moss covers the entire lava fields with the shades of mountains visible from far away.

You can take a brief tour in Reykjavik before you head to the Golden Circle.

( OR: After arriving in Iceland, your self-drive ring road adventure begins the moment when you pick up your vehicle at one of our designated points, either at Keflavik International Airport or in Reykjavik. For afternoon arrivals, it is recommended to stay one night in Reykjavik before you hit the road to the Golden Circle. )  

On your way to Thingvellir National Park, you will pass by Halldor Laxness Museum where you can learn about the Nobel-Prize winning writer’s life and work.

Thingvellir National Park

Then you arrive at Thingvellir, where the world’s oldest parliament was established in 930 A.D. Once a national politic center, now as a UNESCO site, the area has transformed into a tranquil field for contemplation. In still weather, Thingvallavatn lake turns into a giant mirror reflecting the arctic purity in the chilling hours of dimness.

Silfra fissure is not far away, the unique point for you to explore the oddity of standing in the underwater canyon between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. If can also sign up for a snorkeling or scuba diving tour in which you can literally touch the edge of the two continents. Another popular activity nearby is horseback riding.

Moving on from the inspirational site, the next two scenes will be the opposite of stillness. Geysir and nearby Strokkur are two famous geysers, especially, the later one frequently erupts up to 20 meters high every 6-10 minutes, sometimes can be up to 40 meters high. The next site is the iconic Gullfoss waterfall. Through the huge rumbling sound, the overwhelming energy conveys the unequivocal power of nature to the infinite gorge of bliss, leaving the viewers standing in awe.

gullfoss waterfall

There are a lot of activity options besides immersing yourself in nature. You can sign up for a glacier snowmobile tour, find your certified guide who can take you to explore the crystal blue ice cave, or enroll yourself to a rafting adventure in Gullfoss Canyon.

 

After leaving the Golden Circle sites, you will be on your way to Selfoss for the night. There are a couple of ways to reach Selfoss when you resume your road trip at Gullfoss. Road 35 is the shortest. On the way, you can stop at Faxi waterfall, known in Icelandic as Vatnsleysufoss for its distinctive glacier streams and wide cascade.

The next stopping point can be a culture-rich town of Skalholt, where the first Icelandic bishop settled in Skalholt Cathedral in 1056. It would be a good driveby in the summer to hear and learn about Icelandic music there.

Kerid Volcanic Crater on the Golden Circle

If time allows, the next possible stop is a colorful crater named Kerid.

After that, driving through the countryside on Road 35 to the south, you will soon arrive in Selfoss. Along the way, you will drive across Olfusa river, short but the most voluminous in Iceland – 25 km (14 mile) long, a mix of glacier and clear water flowing into the Atlantic ocean.

Selfoss provides a lot for visitors in terms of getting proper rest and preparing for the road trip of the following day. Many restaurants and coffeehouses are here. And don’t forget about feeding your car with gasoline here.

After a day of driving and intensive sightseeing, a total relaxation in a hot tub would be ideal. You can visit Selfoss public swimming pool in the center of the town before you go into a good night sleep.  

Day Highlights
Reykjanes Peninsula
Reykjavik
Thingvellir National Park
Geysir
Gullfoss waterfall
Faxi waterfall
Included
Rental Car
Itinerary
Accommodation

Day 2 - South Coast

Starting your day with driving on the ring road alongside the endless mossy green near and far all the way extending to the hills and mountains.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall

The South Coast has contrasting topography. The innerland is home to many mountains that rise dramatically up to 1000 to 1500 meters, meanwhile the south rim prevails with the flat-laying foreground that we call southern lowlands.

The first stop is Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Falling down from a height of 63 meters, the cascade plunges into the pond creating a moving misty screen. With scents of fresh grass and floras in the balmy summer or metallic ice and snow in the crispy winter, you will immerse yourself in the dynamics, sounds, mists and damped ground.

Gljufrabui waterfall

The entrance to Gljufrabui waterfall is 10 minute walk to the north. The name means the canyon dweller. You can see partial cascade down in the gorge before you walk inside. It is best to have waterproof gear and rain boots with you.

The next waterfall Skogafoss is no more than 30 minutes drive away. It’s one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland with a width of 15 meters (49 feet) and a drop of 60 meters (100 ft). A cloudy day mutes Skogafoss to a moody spectacle. But in a sunny day, the waterfall will turn into a joyful chorus with single or double rainbow sometimes showing up in the broad view. The solemn combination of the colors and energy is simply unforgettable.  

Following that you can take a turn to Skogar museum and learn about the Icelandic cultural heritage.

Glacier Hiking in Iceland

Prior to driving to Vik, we have arranged a glacier hike on Sólheimajökull glacier for you. The glacier sits between the volcanoes Katla and Eijafjallajökkull has become popular to hikers and visitors for the accessibility and glorious view.

On your way to Vik, you can stop at Dyrhólaey, a promontory that stands 120 meters high above the ocean. Many wild birds come here to breed in summer, including the cutest bird Puffins. A thorough visit to this area includes the white lighthouse on top, the enormous lava arch rising over the ocean, and Reynisfjara Beach where silver waves brushing over the shore back and forth.

Dyrholaey Cape

Before you drive to your hotel and rest after a wonderful day in Vik area, you can stroll on the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach. The sand was formed by eroded volcanic rocks that eventually fragmentized into tiny ones. There are giant columns standing sporadically over the surface, whereas on the coast, the basalt columns forming up a wall yielding surreal geometric texture. They glisten like silver under certain angle.

Later in the day, you can visit Vik. It will be a change of the scenes after the day’s splendid natural images. With a population of 318 as of 2016, Vik is a small village located right in front of the ocean while Mýrdalsjökull glacier standing behind. There is a red-roofed white church that became a landmark on the hill overlooking the whole village.

Day 2’s route takes you to the ravishing and charming Icelandic coastal sceneries where you will find yourself mesmerized. At this point, you will be around 180 kms (110 miles) southeast of Reykjavík by road. Your accommodation for the night will be in Vik or the Klaustur area.

Day Highlights
Selfoss
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Skogafoss Waterfall
Skogar
Dyrholaey
Reynisfjara
Vik i Myrdal
Included
Rental Car
Itinerary
Accommodation
Glacier Hike

Day 3 - Skaftafell & Jökulsárlón

Waking up in the southern tip of Iceland on the third day of your ring road drive, you will continue the journey through the southern lowland to see major epic sites.

Passing through Mt. Kalfafell, you will reach Skaftafell National Park that has become a part of the Vatnajokull National Park. Skaftafell was once a manor farming area that discontinued in 1988. This area contains Morsardalur valley, a 10km-long glacial valley; Mt. Kristinartindar, an ice-free part where you can observe the primal glacier behind it; Skaftafellsjokull glacier, where the surrounding areas are popular among hikers. It’s the south entrance to Vatnajokull.

If you wish to explore the majestic glacier further, many glacier hiking and ice climbing tours start at the Glacier Guide Booking Center.

Svartifoss-waterfall-Iceland

Close to Skaftafell is the renowned Svartifoss (Black Waterfall). Its shape and style narrates the mythical and unearthly character of Iceland. There are two other waterfalls leading up to Svartifoss: Hundafoss and Magnúsarfoss. Both are attractive waterfalls that will enrich your walking time by their own sizes and forms.

It’s about 40 minutes of hiking to see Svartifoss plunging over the dark cliff up close. Iceland’s prevailing volcanism produced the columnar-jointed basalt in large scale. Same to the rocks on the Black Sand Beach, the stage of Svartifoss has the same design, but by integrating a moving waterfall, those dark lava rocks look ceremonial.

During summer, you will notice there are quite amount of trees of decent size and heights in this area. The forest land ratio in Iceland is very low due to its harsh near-arctic latitude, which makes the trail to Svartifoss a blessed path to beautiful things.

 

The southern highland created copious of natural wonders. Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, as one supreme example, was created by Breiðamerkurjokull glacier retreating since 1930s. The lake continues to expand its size. Now it’s about 18 km2 (7 sq mi). It is also considered as the deepest lake in Iceland with a depth of 248 meters (814 ft). Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon is 50-minute drive from Skaftafell parking on Highway 1.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Jokulsarlon stands out among the myriad sights and scenes because of its timing, location and narrative. The lake was developed when the temperature increased between 1920 – 1970. It lead to part of the glacier shed away. The drifting icebergs began their floating life on the lake until they diminished into small pieces. Eventually they melted into the lake before rushing through the pathway to the North Atlantic. The varying ice forms you see in Jökulsárlón is the different phases in their short life.

Many small ice pieces stranded sporadically on the shores on their way out to the ocean. When the sunlight radiates through, they transform into iridescent gems spreading over the sand. Therefore, people named it the Diamond Beach. You can visit the Diamond Beach by walking. It is about 600 meters away from Jokulsarlon.

Although cold, the lake is nevertheless a haven for many kinds of wildlife. Seabirds, such as the Great Skuas, the Arctic Terns and Seagulls, choose to sejourn at Jokulsarlon. You can also spot the seals relaxing on ice chunks on the lake.

By booking an amphibian boat tour, you can pass by some large floating icebergs, which allows the transitory intimacy between you and the awe-inspiring ancient icebergs.

Before driving to Hofn for the night, you can choose to stop at one cultural venue with a restaurant attached to get some food. It’s built to celebrate the brilliant work from one of the most well regarded Icelandic authors Þórbergur Þórðarson.

You will be replenishing in Hofn after 65-minute drive from Jokulsarlon glacier lake. Over the years, Hofn has developed into a blooming harbor that hosts plenty of recreational venues and nice restaurants, shops, swimming pools and a “lobster festival” during each summer.

Day Highlights
Skaftafell
Vatnajokull National Park
Svartifoss Waterfall
Jokulsarlon
The Diamond Beach
Hofn
Included
Rental Car
Itinerary
Accommodation

Day 4 - Eastfjords

Mountains in the East Fjords in Iceland

On day 4, you can start your day by driving to see the phenomenal Vestrahorn. The panorama of Vestrahorn has been increasingly photographed for the unique posture. During winter, the starry sky forms a natural black drop, where the snow-capped mountains standing under the gorgeous dancing aurora borealis, the still water beneath symmetrically mirrors all of the above. In the morning golden hours of all seasons, Vestrahorn is a sublime spot to see how sunlight colors the earth with its temporal radiance.

This is also a view switching point in the midst of the 8-day self-drive ring road tour. From this point on, you will see the fjord landscapes that only exist in limited countries on this planet.

Discovering the Icelandic fjord by car will enable your car windows turn into slides of everchanging vista. The passengers in the car will have such a blast, when the driver must fully concentrate on the road.

Djúpivogur After 95 kilometers, you will arrive in Djupivogur, a nice town good to do some birdwatching. Puffins like to nest in this area, along with many other kinds of migrating birds. In good weather, you may also spot a colony of seals.  

The plan for the night is to stay near Egilsstaðir. The straight line distance between Hofn and Egilsstaðir is 120 kilometers, but to get there via ring road, it’s a 3-hour 30-minute drive during which you will pass 256 kilometers following the outline of the east fjord. As you almost reach the eastmost point of the ring road self-drive trip, you have travelled the entire south and grasped the Icelandic nature and culture in your heart.

puffins in iceland

Next you can visit Stöðvarfjörður, a village of 200 habitats that’s home to numerous culture sites, including the artsy Petra’s Stone Mineral Collection. It’s a red roof house presenting the solid proof of a woman’s persistence and the geological history, in which you can also glimpse how life and society in Iceland has evolved over the years.

The scarcity of forestry land in Iceland makes the next stop Hallormsstaðaskógur so special since it is the largest forest on the island.

Hengifoss Waterfall

On your way to the final stop for the day, there are two waterfalls that asserts Iceland as a geological wonderland. Unlike the vertical basalt cliff of Svartifoss, Hengifoss is a 128 meter falling stream in the context of colorful rocks layered up horizontally. The history of Iceland’s formation resulting from volcanic eruptions is fossilized in red clay and black basalt strata. On your way there, you will pass another beautiful waterfall Litlanesfoss, which neatly exemplifies how versatile the hard basalt can be. The best angle to see Litlanesfoss is on top. The cross sections of basalt crowded together and formed a geometrical legion diverting the water to the bottom.

Driving to Egilsstadir, you will pass Lagarfljót lake, an innermost section of the 140 km Lagarfljot river consisting mostly glacial water and running north to the ocean. There is local boat trip operator offering tours on the lake.

Finally, you arrive in Egilsstadir, a town situated at the northeast corner of Lake Lagarfljót. It has plenty of fun venues like golf, mini golf, horse riding tours, spa and hot tub, and several culture centers telling the synopsis of East Iceland Heritage. Variety of dining places are also close to the center.

Tonight’s accommodation is at one of several local guesthouses or country hotels in the nearby farmland area.

Day Highlights
Vestrahorn
Djupivogur
Stodvarfjordur
Petra’s Stone Collection
Hallormsstadaskogur
Hengifoss
Litlanesfoss
Egilsstadir
Included
Rental Car
Itinerary
Accommodation

Day 5 - To Akureyri, The Capital Of The North

The magnificent Dettifoss waterfall is on top of your list today. To reach there, you will be driving cross the vast mountainous upper eastern region where the wild animals live. Reindeers, arctic foxes or the hardy Icelandic horses have been paving their way, as well as the cruising licensed hunters from all parts of Iceland.

Reindeer in Iceland

After driving in desolation for a while, the most powerful Dettifoss waterfall will be expecting you. The road to the waterfall is however closed during the high winter. Carrying the most voluminous flow in Europe, Dettifoss extends over 100 meters and plunges from 45 meters over the edge of basalt. The waterway mysterized the valley as the mist moving up of the dry cliff. The sheer force dwarfed many waterfalls in the world.

After the mighty king of the waterfalls, you will be driving to the Diamond Circle of Iceland,  an area with stunning landscapes in an artful mix of textures and tones.

Myvatn Area in North Iceland

Via Highway 1, first, you enter a massive desert area enclosing Hverarond and Namafjall. It’s an infertile land with mind-blowing surroundings bordering the surface of Mars. The barren reddish hot ground constantly produces sulfuric mud pits and steamy springs through the small opening in the earth’s crust. But beyond the picturesque landscape, it’s the smell that won’t get away from your head. Be prepared! You will know when you get there.

 

To the horizon, you can see Lake Myvatn greeting you with small volcano bumps above the ground. Lake Myvatn is a 2300-year-old lake created by repeated intense volcanic activities. You can circle the Myvatn lake by your car or a rental bike. Bird life thrives in the lake area, where it is said that more species of duck live than in any other place on Earth. Myvatn also owns a lot of fish, such as Arctic char, river trout, brown trout and salmon.

To continue appreciating this area, you can walk up to the rim of the Hverfjall Crater that’s 396 meters (1,300 ft) high. On top, the panorama is fabricated with unpolished black ash formation and adjoining kaleidoscopic land textures.

There is also a younger crater in the neighborhood named Viti (hell). Before it has the calm temper in shade of turquoise today, the crater has been a bubbling mud pit for decades. In contrast with delicate water, the peculiar shape of Dimmuborgir rocks is throwing out a dark gothic taste 7 minutes away.

Myvatn Nature Bath is perfect for you to relax and continue exploring the area before you drive to Akureyri. Dipping yourself in the northern blue lagoon, all of your senses will go free into the exquisite nature.

After you are charged in the milky blue Myvatn bath, the next stop on ring road will be the ethereal Godafoss waterfall. The astonishing symmetrical presence of Godafoss is the single formidable prove of nature’s unintentional creation can be so well fashioned. It is neither the tallest or the widest – only 12-meter high and 30-meter wide – but, among countless waterfalls in Iceland, it is the dreamiest.

When snowfall covers the entire wilderness in winter, the coldness could freeze partial cascade surface where the streams rush besides the rigid ice. Mountains illuminate in far away as the sun goes up or sets down. Wordless as who stand before Godafoss, the river Skjálfandafljót runs in violence and diminishes the world with its unparalleled beauty that makes one’s heart ache.

The 5th day of your self-drive tour will pause in Akureyri, the capital of the north. You are only 98 kilometers (61 miles) away from the Arctic Circle, and about to enter the second largest municipality in Iceland. Plenty of attractions and activities are offered in Akureyri. Especially, if you thirst for nightlife, roaming in the center you will easily find something to your liking.

Tonight’s accommodation is at one of several local guesthouses in Akureyri or in the nearby area.

Day Highlights
Dettifoss Waterfall
Hverarond
Namafjall
Myvatn Lake
Myvatn Baths
Dimmuborgir
Godafoss Waterfall
Akureyri
Included
Rental Car
Itinerary
Accommodation

Day 6 - Whale Watching And Troll Peninsula

Akureyri Capital of North

Embracing your morning in Akureyri is wizard. No matter it’s in summer or in winter, the town of 18,000 residents dazzles the whole island nation with its vibrant life at the head of Eyjafjordur. Summer days are filled with blooming botanic charm and winter days are for exhilarating skiing fun. Numerous cultural festivals and events are held around the year, including the annual Airwave Music Festival in early November. It’s exciting to kick start your day by driving through the pearl of north Iceland.

Driving forward, we are going to take a detour off the ring road to go whale watching and experience the Icelandic spirit up north. Via Route 82, you will drive alongside Eyjafjordur, the longest  (60 km) fjord in Iceland. In the fjord, tiny Hrisey Island is laying beautifully with colorful houses scattered on the isle.

Whales in Iceland

Next stop, Dalvik, is always ready to take you on adventures. We have booked a wonderful whale watching tour for you at 9 a.m. To see those giant mammals thrashing in the blue ocean, while the white mountains and azher sky coming together, is simply awe-inspiring. Dalvik is also a heavenly place for ice climbing, alpine climbing, sailing and heliskiing.

You will be driving in the Héðinsfjarðargöng or Héðinsfjörður Tunnel opened in 2010. Cutting through the mountain ranges in the northeastern region, it transport travelers from the vibrancy of land life to the tranquility of the Greenland Sea. The small town of Siglufjordur has nurtured many great cultural gems like Herring Era Museum.

Continue driving along the coast, you will reach Hofsos, one of the eldest trading centers in Iceland. Sitting on history, Hofsos has a population of 200 and is renowned for the long-standing log-built warehouse and one of the oldest Icelandic buildings used for National Museum. The museum gives a good place to learn about the life of those who emigrated to North America. Hofsós also has a fantastic swimming pool with views over the ocean! 

Hofsos Village in North Iceland

With endless turns and curves, the northwest route through Troll peninsula finally guide you to Hvitserkur, a dragon-shaped 15-m basalt stack standing alone on the eastern shore of Vatnsnes peninsula. A symbol testifies the wind and water are slowly but effectively scraping away things once were, while seabirds hold onto it and actively attribute to its recreation in man’s oblivion.

Back on the ring road, we recommend you to pay a visit to Kolugljúfur, an unusual canyon where the Kolufossar waterfall flowing over the stony slope that disperses the cascade into small streams. The water continues to flow forcefully in the 40-50 meter deep gorge. When you drive by, the view from the bridge can be quite spectacular.

Seakayaking-with-seals
After that, you will stay in Vatnsnes area in a comfortable room we booked for you. Vatnsnes area is a beautiful town with vivid living creatures like seals and seabirds. It’s also the best viewing location to see seal colony in Iceland. The peninsula inland has many historical architectures worth a visit. Nearby crater Borgarvirki is a formation of basalt strata used as a fortress for centuries. This area is a wonderful option for a night walk in the glow of midnight sun or northern light.

Day Highlights
Dalvik
Whale Watching
Siglufjordur
Hofsos
Hvitserkur
Kolugljufur Canyon
Vatnsnes Area
Included
Rental Car
Itinerary
Accommodation
Whale Watching

Day 7 - Borgarfjörður & Reykjavík

The 7th day on ring road will take you back to the nation’s heart in the outstanding route with impressive sceneries and enjoyable activities to explore.

Starting from Vatnsnes, you will be driving through the vast arctic landforms ranging from rugged shores, flat coastal plains and rolling hills to the inland of tundra and plains. The urban life familiarity is beckoning not so far away. But before you return to the buzzy metropolis, you will divert your zeal to visiting some terrific sites.

Grabrok Volcanic Crater

Grabrok crater, sitting near the neck of Snæfellsnes peninsula is right en route of the ring road. The 170-meter height is a nice point to look over Borgarfjordur. The flourishing surroundings beautifully adorn the sterile crater with Icelandic fauna.

After seeing so many hot springs in Iceland, today you are going to observe the most powerful one in Europe – Deildartunguhver thermal spring. The steamy waterways emerging above the ground have been attracting visitors and academics for years, when the hot underground flow benefits the local population. You would agree that Iceland is never an icy place.

 

Moving on to the south on Highway 1, you will visit Hraunfossar (lava waterfall) that has distinct features in different seasons, which is quite rare due to the short summer and long winter in Iceland. The viewpoint you have near the parking place gives a complete glimpse of how water finds its way in the middle of growing trees and plants, and then brim over the lava edge forming the wide cascade.

Barnafoss waterfalls

A famous folk saga derived the name of the next waterfall Barnafoss (children’s waterfall). The story said a mother had lost her children in the water, so she destroyed the arch to ensure safety ever after. But in reality, the arch can collapse due to the powerful force generated by the rapid streams.

The vicinity of these two waterfalls best proves how water can adapt the base and transform itself into thousands of beautiful facets.

Driving close to the capital, you will be passing farms and grassland at the foot of mountains where the clouds lay low. After about 90-kilometer drive, you will reach a port town Akranes, where on the west part Breið, two lighthouses are standing at the tip of the harbor.

Reykjavik Iceland

Back to Reykjavik, you could look at the nation’s capital differently. Because you have seen how Iceland transcends climate rigor, terrain desolation and geology adversity, then fosters such amazing landscapes and versatile livelihood. The self-drive ring road package maximize your traveling experience and guarantees the most freedom to see Iceland up close.

Day Highlights
Grabrok
Deildartunguhver
Hraunfossar waterfall
Barnafoss waterfall
Akranes Lighthouse
Reykjavik
Included
Rental Car
Itinerary
Accommodation

Day 8 - Complete The Loop For Your Ring Road Drive

If your flight is not until the afternoon. On your way to Keflavik International Airport, you can depart early in the morning from Reykjavik through the exotic Reykjanes Peninsula.

Blue Lagoon

Acres of moss land will extend your vision far far away in the green harmony. The amazing Blue Lagoon will be on your way. Take a look at your flight schedule, and then you can decide your perfect time for this delicate treat. It is acclaimed to be the 8th wonder of the world. Please not that the entrance fee to the Blue Lagoon is not included in the price and admission must be booked in advance.

Nearby, the port town Grindavik is sitting near the spit formed 2800 years ago. If time is abundant before your departure, you can drive to Hopsnesviti and Reykjanesviti to see the lighthouses, cliffs with seabirds hovering over above. You can also drive to and walk across the Bridge Between Continents feeling you are above the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. These sites together make a small circle of short day tour on Reykjanes Peninsula that ultimately leads to the airport.

Keflavik

8 days of twists and turns, driving in Iceland will be the once-in-a-lifetime experience rewarding you with the most dramatic landscapes, incredible waterfalls and so much more.  This self-drive package completes the loop and covers all must-see sights and scenes in Iceland so you will be content boarding on your departure.

 

Notes:

Day 8’s itinerary can be done on the first day for those who arrive in Iceland in the afternoon. You can pick up your car at the airport and probe leisurely through the peninsula before arranging a night in Reykjavik. The following day you begin the trip to the Golden Circle and stay at Selfoss for the night.

 

Day Highlights
Reykjanes Peninsula
Blue Lagoon
Reykjanesviti
Bridge Between Continents
Included
Rental Car
Itinerary
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.

Is there a refund if we don’t want to join an activity? // I want to change something about my itinerary.

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.

Disclaimer
All our tours are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. Arctic Adventures does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions. Participants have to sign a waiver before undertaking all trips stating that they realize that all outdoor activities carry an inherent risk.

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

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