If you are happy to drive yourself, self-drive tours around Iceland are one of the best ways to see the country at your own pace. Be your own master to decide stops and highlights. Stay in charming farm stays and country hotels, or choose some of the more modern accommodation options. Our Destination Specialists have sampled the accommodation options and can book the perfect combination for your Iceland tour. Some of our favourite places to stay for 2021 are the new Retreat Hotel at the Blue Lagoon - splash out at this incredible new luxury hotel and then take it down a notch with a local fjord side stay out at the Skalakot Manor Luxury Hotel. Iceland is a great country to mix and match your accommodation between small local farm stays and luxury remote retreats.
Don’t leave your accommodation to chance though - the great places fill eary – having a satisfying breakfast each day, a comfortable bed each night and enjoying the small details such as which accommodation offers an outdoor hot tub, will make your Iceland tour beyond the ordinary.
Driving in Iceland is very easy. The road number 1 (‘ring road’) goes around the island and is easy to follow. Together with your GPS it is hard to get lost, although some farm stays are off the beaten track and require a bit of concentration to find. The ‘ring road’ is relatively small, and there is one part on the east side of the island that’s not sealed, but there’s not so much traffic either. Speed limit is 90km/hour most of the way. Conditions of the roads vary greatly between summer and winter. We don't recommend driving in the dead of winter as road conditions can be dangerous and slippery.
For a circle tour around the island, allow yourself at least 8 days. This will allow a couple of days in the beautiful capital Reykjavik and around 6 days for the circle route.
You will be amazed how quickly the sceneries change from volcanic landscapes to glaciers, and from beautiful fjords to forests.
Highlights along the circle route include the famous Golden Circle area with Geysir, Gulfoss and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Þingvellir National Park.
Continue east along the south coast and see the spectacular waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skogarfoss on your way to the Sólheimajökull Glacier. Stop in Vik where you’ll see the black sand beaches, before exploring the Vatnajökull Glacier and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.
Continue to the beautiful fjords of the remote eastern part of the island, and explore the interesting attractions in Lake Mývatn area. Why not hike up a 4000-year-old crater, see the geothermal fields of Hverir and relax at the Mývatn Nature Baths.
Continue to the capital of the north, Akureyri, and if you have time, spend an extra couple of days exploring the West Fjords area.
There are many activity options along the way too. Try horse riding on the unique Icelandic Horse; go on a whale watching tour; join an exciting glacier walking or climbing tour; or why not go snorkeling or diving in the Þingvellir National Park.
If you’d prefer a guided tour, there are coach tour and small group tour options available too. Join a comfortable coach tour with other traveller alike, or choose one of the smaller groups where you travel around by Super Jeeps or by a modified truck.
Some of the most popular small group tours use comfortable 4 wheel drive vehicles with a minimum 6 passengers and a maximum 16 people.
4WD Touring and Hotsprings soaking in Iceland
Iceland offers a great range of active tours too. Iceland’s most popular trek Landmannalaugar to Skógar combines the famous Laugavegur Trek and the Fimmvörðuháls to Skógar hike, and can be experienced on a 7-day group tour.
Adding snorkelling at Silfa, glacier walking and day hikes are the most common ways to make your typical tour of Iceland more active without a heap of planning.