Iceland is well known for its beautiful nature – even more so during winter. This Grand Tour takes you to all the substantial sites all around the country. One region varies from another and reveals its own unique diverse landscape. It is needless to say that you will visit the Golden Circle, but apart from that, you will also explore dramatic volcanoes, looming glaciers, black beaches, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, stunning fjords, Mývatn lake, Snæfellsnes peninsula, and much more. If you are a hiker, you can try yourself on the hiking trails of Skaftafell, if you are a photographer, prepare a couple of extra memory cards, if you simply want to relax, soothe the senses in Mývatn Nature Bath. Despite of your hobby and interest, this tour covers it all. It is a real journey to the unworldly land.
Day 1 - Golden Circle
The tour begins at Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO site and a place of Icelandic Parliament foundation in AD 930. Thingvellir is also located in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge caused by the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates separation. You have a chance to walk along the part of it, called Almannagja gorge. Next you drive to Geysir, the famous hot spring that has given name to hot springs all over the world. Geysir had been remaining inactive for years now, but its neighbour Strokkur gushes regularly up to the air. In only 10-min driving distance there is Gullfoss, or “The Golden Fall”, spectacular double cascade waterfall. Overnight stay in the area. Overnight stay in Hvolsvöllur area.
The driving distance for this day is +- 205km.
Day 2 - Þórsmörk
Add an extra day to taste Iceland’s incredible interior highlands. You turn inland and drive on the rough gravel F261 road until you suddenly enter a green paradise of Þórsmörk Nature Reserve. It has one of Iceland’s most dynamic and beautiful landscapes, where active volcanoes and towering glaciers rise above the lush green valleys below. Feast your eyes on the breathtaking scenery and try out one of several hiking trails. You also have a chance to see an infamous Eyjafjallajökull that paralyzed air traffic in 2010, and affected by the eruption volcanic area of Gígjökull where its glacier lagoon was greatly diminished. Overnight stay in the area.
The driving distance for this day is +- 78km.
Day 3 - South Coast
Your first stop of today is by spectacular Seljalandsfoss waterfall. It tumbles over rocky scarp into a pool, leaving some room between the water and the wall, for the stirring walks behind the waterfall. Then head towards the East along the main road up to the point when you spot an impressive Skógafoss to the left-hand side, in a little distance from the road. You can take steep stairs up the mountain for a better view from above. Shortly before Vík you can turn up the hill to Dyrhólahey. It dramatically rises above the Vík neighborhood revealing the beautiful overlook of the coast. Puffins are keen on nesting in its bluff cliffs in summer time. After that drive back down the hill to Reynisfjara with its impressive black sandy beach backed by Reynisdrangar, basalt sea stacks emerging from the sea. You visit a little charming community of Vík, and continue driving to the East. Overnight stay in Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.
The driving distance for this day is +- 149km.
Day 4 - Skaftafell - Jökulsárlón
The first place of interest today is Skaftafell. It is a pearl of the whole Vatnajökull National Park. You might go there on a glacier walk with mountain guides that are based on the spot or simply hit one of the trails, and e.g. to famous Svartifoss waterfall surrounded by basalt columns. After about an hour drive, you finally reach Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. A surrealistic scene of luminous-blue icebergs floating between Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the North Atlantic Ocean through the narrow passage under the Ring Road will take your breath away. You can take a walk along the shore to be able to admire the view. Alternatively, you may take a memorable amphibious boat trip where you get really close to the icebergs as well as to the seals sailing around. Overnight stay in Höfn area.
The driving distance for this day is +- 204km.
Day 5 - East Fjords - Egilsstaðir
It is a day of the East Fjords exploration. If you prefer to reach your accommodation quicker, take a left turn in Breiðdalsvík, which goes behind the mountain straight to Egilsstaðir. Otherwise, drive along the fjords enjoying the little charming fishing villages backed by sheer-sided mountains with endless waterfalls. Either way, you can make a little detour from Egilsstaðir to Seydisfjordur. Despite of having less than a thousand inhabitants, it is a major port where the only passenger ferry comes from Denmark and Faroe Islands to Iceland. It is also incredibly charming town with its historical multicoloured houses and dramatic snow-capped mountains all around. Overnight stay in Egilsstaðir.
The driving distance for this day is +- 187km.
Day 6 - Dettifoss - Mývatn
Today you drive to the lake Mývatn, geological honeypot. On the way, you make a detour to the North to reach the gigantic Dettifoss, one of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls. The area of Mývatn serves you diverse landscape of the lake itself created in a large basaltic lava eruption, volcanic craters, ex. Krafla or Hverfell, and peculiar lava formations of Dimmuborgir. You can also soothe the senses in the Mývatn Nature Baths, geothermal natural pool, northern Iceland’s version of the Blue Lagoon. Overnight stay in Mývatn area.
The driving distance for this day is +- 214km.
Day 7 - Akureyri
This day is dedicated to the capital of the North. As you drive from Mývatn lake, in a little distance from the Ring Road, before the town, there is a spectacular waterfall. It is called the waterfall of the gods, Góðafoss Waterfall, definitely worth a stop. Then you drive to Akureyri, Iceland’s second city, nestled at the head of Eyjafjördur. It is rather a charming town than a city though, which makes it a perfect location for a romantic wander. There is several cozy cafes and gourmet restaurants in the center. Despite of its size, Akureyri is a vivid town hosting many festivals in the summertime. Afterwards, you drive through the mountain passage to your accommodation in Skagafjörður area.
The driving distance for this day is +- 244km.
Day 8 - Snæfellsnes
You head to the magnificent Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Stykkishólmur is the first stop worth a little detour. It is an old fishing town with charming colourful houses and fairly good choice of restaurants. The views of dramatic volcanic peaks from one side and lush fjords from the other represent the northern part of the peninsula. You pass by an impressive pyramid called Kirkjufell, one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. Snæfellsjökull National Park is located at the end of the long arm of the peninsula. There has been numerous legends about this looming glacier and its surroundings, but its main fame was gained thanks to Jules Verne’s novel “Journey to the center of the Earth”, where Snæfellsjökull was believed to be a gateway. You can visit Búðir, a small historical hamlet seated on the westernmost tip of the peninsula. Then pass impressive rock formations at Arnarstrapi and Hellnar. You continue driving along the broad coastal plain that greatly differs from the northern landscape. Overnight stay in the area.
The driving distance for this day is +- 381km.
Day 9 - Borgarfjörður - Reykjavík
Before returning to Reykjavík, you explore Borgarfjörður region. There is an option to visit an interesting Settlement Centre in Borgarnes. Then you drive inland to Europe’s biggest hot springs, Deildartunguhver. Just around the corner, further to the East, there is a little town of Reykholt. It used to be one of the most important medieval settlements in Iceland. You continue driving to Hraunfossar, a series of waterfalls formed by a collection of the streams from the lava field from an eruption of one of the Langjökull volcanoes. The nearby area of Húsafell, with its mild weather, forest and hot springs, attracts many visitors, incl. Icelanders keen on camping in here. You arrive in Reykavík in the evening.
The driving distance for this day is +- 285km.
What is Ísafold Travel’s cancellation policy?
All cancellations must be made by e-mail or letter. In conformity with business practices within the Icelandic travel industry, the travel agent is obliged to charge cancellation fees to passenger(s) as follows, in addition to the non-refundable deposit:
More than 6 weeks prior to arrival: No additional charge
Less than 6 weeks and more than 2 weeks: 15%
Less than 2 weeks and more than 72 hours: 50%
Less than 72 hours and more than 24 hours: 75%
Less than 24 hours notice, and no-shows: 100%
We recommend that all passengers take out comprehensive travel insurance.
Does Ísafold Travel handle domestic/international flights?
Ísafold Travel does not handle or book international flights from and to Iceland for our clients. However, flights between Iceland and Greenland and domestic flights in Iceland can be arranged by us.
What is a self-drive/self-guided tour?
A self-drive or self-guided tour is a packaged tour that allows you to travel at your own pace – by yourself or in a group. We arrange everything from the vehicle to accommodation so you don’t have to worry about anything. You can just go and enjoy your own private road trip through Iceland.
Do kids get a discount on some of the activities?
Yes, depending on their age they might be eligible for a discount on some of the activities. Please write their ages in the comments while booking and the discount they are eligible for while be deducted from the remaining balance.
Is it possible to customise my tour after booking?
Yes! It’s absolutely possible to further customise your tour after booking through our website. We only require a 20% deposit to be paid up front before we start customising your tour.
Am I required to pay the full amount upon booking?
No. It’s possible to pay only a 20% deposit upon booking. The remaining amount will be required no later than 30 days before your tour starts.
Can’t find an answer to your question?
Can’t find an answer to your question? Please feel free contact us!
Prices & Availability
Please note that you can further customize your tour after paying the deposit.*
*It’s possible to pay a 20% deposit in advance and customize the tour you booked before requiring a full payment. However, this only applies if you are booking more than 30 days in advance of the starting date of your tour.
- Pickup & return from hotel in Reykjavík area (8:00 – 18:00)
- Rental car with unlimited mileage, CDW insurance
- Breakfast (except for dormitory accommodation)
- Winter transport to Þórsmörk
- WiFi connectivity in the car
- Map of Iceland and detailed itinerary of your tour
- Pamphlet about driving in Iceland
- Optional meeting with travel consultant
- 24 hour emergency service
- Taxes & service fees
What’s not included?
- Gasoline / Diesel
- Personal Travel Insurances
- Additional activities
- Meals or drinks
- Entrance fees unless otherwise stated
- Parking and road tunnel fees
- Any services not listed under list of included items