Circular Iceland - 13 days Self Drive
SELF13 - The Ring Road and even the wonderful West Fjords
We organize all kinds of self drive tours ... explore Iceland’s rich natural treasures, including national parks, beautiful waterfalls, striking glaciers, magnificent volcanoes and hot springs.
Following you have a description of a tour around Iceland with the duration of 13 days and 12 nights. This tour gives you plenty of time to cover all the major stunning attractions that Iceland has to offer when driving on the ring road. You will not only explore and experience all of the well-known attractions in south, east, north and west Iceland but also spend three days in the wonderful West Fjords - one of the most amazing part of Iceland with great scenery of steep mountains and narrow fjords.
In this tour you will see Reykjavik city, Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and some other hot springs, the national park at Thingvellir, volcano Eyjafjallajokull and Skaftafell nature resort in Vatnajokull National Park, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, the East Fjords, Jokulsargljufur canyon, Dettifoss waterfall, Akureyri town, Westfjords, Snaefellsnes Peninsula and much more ... Everything already organized for your convenience.
We can also book transfers to and from KEF Int'l Airport and accommodation before and after the tour if needed
July, August, September
13 days / 12 nights
Quality 4WD vehicle
Accommodation with breakfast
A detailed itinerary
Day 2: Snorkeling under the midnight sun (May-Aug)
Day 3: Snowmobile tour from Myrdalsjokull glacier (all year)
Day 8: Whale Watching in Husavik (Apr - Oct)
Day 10: Ferry to Flatey island (May - Aug)
Day 12: Ferry West Fjords to Snaefellsnes Peninsula (Jul-Sep)
Car collected at the international airport of Keflavik (you need to book this, and give us the specifics about your arrival, if you book this). Hotel check in in Reykjavik. Take an easy, relaxing day in town. You may want to check the comfortable thermal swimming pools that are open all year, or take a walk downtown Reykjavik. You have some buffer time to prepare for the trip that starts tomorrow.
Depending on your flight arrival's time, you may choose this day to visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, which is near the airport, or leave that for the last day.
Optional: Restaurants in the Reykjavik area
From Reykjavik you drive to Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic Parliament. From there you drive to the hot spring village Laugarvatn where it is possible to visit a spa. Continue to the famous Geysir hot-spring area and don’t miss the mighty Gullfoss waterfall. You drive to the hot spring village Fludir and then south to road nr. 1 again and towards the villages Hella and Hvolsvollur. From Hvolsvollur you drive into Fljotshlid valley where you stay overnight.
Optional: Snorkeling under the midnight sun (May - Aug)
Optional: Visit to Fontana Spa at Laugarvatn
After breakfast you drive towards the central volcano Eyjafjallajokull. You take a walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall and after a little longer drive to east you get to the mighty Skogafoss waterfall. You drive to Solheimajokull glacier and then to Dyrholaey and Vik village and Reynisdrangar. You can see volcano Katla which is under the ice-cap of Myrdalsjokull glacier.
East of Myrdalssandur you'll find Eldgjarhraun lava field, which happens to be the Earth’s largest amount of lava to flow from a single eruption in historic time. The lava field was formed in one massive eruption in the year 934 in the volcanic rift of Eldgja which is almost 60 kilometers long. The lava field’s size is somewhere between 18-19 cubic kilometers. East of Eldgjahraun lava field and the glacier river of Kudafljot, you will find the historic lava field of Skaftareldahraun which was formed in a huge eruption in the Lakagigar crater-row. The eruption started June 8th 1783 and lasted until February 7th 1784. A lot of farms and their farming areas were destroyed in the aftermath of the eruption because of ash-fall and most of the livestock died subsequently. Accommodation is offered close to Kirkjubaejarklaustur.
Optional: Snowmobile tour on Myrdalsjokull glacier (all year)
Optional: Visit the Skogar Museum
You stop at Kirkjugolf, Foss a Sidu (waterfall), and Dverghamrar rocks. You drive over Skeidararsandur to Skaftafell national park where you can spend some time seeing the Svartifoss waterfall, Skaftafellsjokull glacier and Svinafellsjokull glacier. Then you drive to Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, where you can have a boat tour among icebergs. You drive to your accommodation near the town Hofn.
Optional: Guided glacier hike - Blue Ice Experience (Feb - Oct)
Optional: Boat tour in Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon (Apr - Oct)
Drive through the spectacular East Fjords with towering mountains and charming fishing villages to the fertile Egilsstadir area. You follow the road up north the east fjords, stopping here and there, like in the villages Djupivogur, Breiddalsvik, Stodvarfjordur, Faskrudsfjordur and Reydarfjordur. You drive around Lagarfljot lake where you stop at both historical places and places with special nature, like the museum Skriduklaustur and the waterfall Hengifoss. Accommodation is offered in the area near Egilsstadir.
Travel across Modrudalsoraefi highlands to Jokulsargljufur National Park. The Jokulsargljufur canyon and its surroundings are thought to have been cut into the bedrock through a sequence of catastrophic glacial floods. Several enormous, catastrophic glacial bursts have carved out the deep ravines and rocky basins, the most famous of which is Asbyrgi canyon, 3.5 km long and over 1 km wide. This is one of the wonders of nature, a wide, horseshoe-shaped canyon with sheer cliff faces up to 100 m high. When walking in Asbyrgi you can imagine how it was carved by enormous water flow and see in mind huge waterfalls flowing down the cliffs down to the now silent ponds Botnstjorn and Leirtjorn surrounded by luxuriant vegetation. You will see the unique series of waterfalls in the river Jokulsa a Fjollum - Selfoss, Dettifoss, Hafragilsfoss and Rettarfoss - and they have few equals on earth. Falling 45 m with a width of 100 m, Dettifoss is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe.
Take a hike in Hljodaklettar, outcrops that are the cores of ancient crater row, revealed when the river swept away all the loose volcanic material. A little further to the north are the Raudholar cliffs, the original scoria cones and longest fissure row on earth. Then you drive around Tjornes to the town of Husavik for accommodation.
Optional: Whale watching from Husavik (Apr - Oct)
Drive to Myvatn lake, and stop for a while at the geothermal area at Hverarond and Krafla where the boiling and spiting sulphuric mud and clay springs may make you feel like you have gone back in time to the creation of the world itself. It's an experience not just for your eyes and nose, the place also provides music for your ears as you can hear the scream of steam as it escapes the holes. Take a hike in this remarkable place. Spend the Day exploring the natural wonders of Lake Myvatn and the surrounding area. Visit highlights such as Dimmuborgir, the pseudo craters at Skutustadir, the colorful sulfurous slopes of Namaskard and Krafla volcano area. Drive to Akureyri, the capital of the North.
Explore the fascinating town of Akureyri, the biggest town in north Iceland. There you can take a walk and enjoy the sight of its location by a scenic fjord and streets winding their way through gorges. Spend some time walking around the town centre, see the impressive church and check out Listagilið ("The Art Canyon") a home to a number of arts and crafts galleries and shops. The tranquil municipal botanical garden, Lystigardurinn, is worth visiting, as are the several small museums dotted around down town. You head west from Akureyri through the valley of Horgardalur and over the heath of Oxnadalsheidi to the region of Skagafjordur with fertile farmland and renowned for horse breeding. Accommodation is offered in Hrutafjordur.
Optional: Horse Riding along the Black River (all year)
Optional: River Rafting in North Iceland (May - Sep)
Drive to the village Holmavik. It has often been said that the people of this area, Strandir, know a bit more about witchcraft and sorcery than most others, and to underscore that claim the Museum of Sorcery & Witchcraft has been set up that takes one on a magical tour into the mystical world of the supernatural. The museum covers magic practiced during the 17th century, as well as folktales, in a most informative and enjoyable way. From there you drive across Steingrimsfjordur plateau and get to Isafjordur fjord. Drive the road along the beautiful uninhabited fjords Mjoifjordur, Skotufjordur, Seydisfjordur, Hestfjordur and Alftafjordur , watch carefully if there are seals around ... and drive all the way to the town Isafjordur for your accommodation. 1st night here.
Spend time in Isafjordur and surrounding area including the neighboring towns of Bolungarvik and Sudureyri. You can even take a boat tour to Vigur Island or Hornvik, a kayak tour in Isafjorður, visit the natural history museum of Bolungarvik or just walk around in Isafjordur - which is one of the oldest towns in Iceland with the largest collection of old timber frame houses in Iceland. The houses were mostly constructed by foreign traders in the late 18th century.
Accommodation is offered in Isafjordur, 2nd night.
Optional: Boat tour from Isafjordur, kayak tour
The Westfjords region has sometimes been dubbed “the most famous unknown place in Iceland”. Enjoy it as you drive the road along the scenic fjords Sugandafjordur, Onundarfjordur, Dyrafjordur and Arnarfjordur. See the waterfall Dynjandi, one of the highlights of the Westfjords. It is a must to visit and see with your own eyes. You visit Dynjandi by driving over the Dynjandi pass from the bottom of Arnarfjordur. This region boasts of a unique nature that attracts visitors, it is untouched and almost uninhabited. The cliffs and valleys are packed with birds, the fjords offer a moment of silence and tranquility, and the Arctic fox proudly roams the mountains and inlets. The waterfalls are high and the streams pure. The distances are long and the fjords are deep. And then there are places where there are no roads at all.
You get to the villages Bildudalur, Talknafjordur and Patreksfjordur. Drive to Latrabjarg, the western-most part of Europe. It hosts millions of birds and is vital for their survival as it hosts up to 40% of the world population for some species like the Razorbill. It is Europe's largest bird cliff, 14km long and up to 440m high.
You have accommodation in the area.
You drive to Brjanslaekur village where you take the ferry over Breidafjordur Bay to the town Stykkisholmur. Because of its location, Stykkisholmur became a centre for trade, transportation and services on Breidafjordur early in Iceland’s history. The town is still an ideal destination for those who wish to experience diversity of nature. Stykkisholmur is in fact a museum of old houses which have recently been renovated, giving the town a charming look, such as Kuld‘s House, Norwegian House, Egill‘s House, Clause‘s House, Tag and Rig and of course the Old Church. The oldest building, the Norwegian House (Norska Husid), is the Snaefellsnes Folk Museum.
You drive to Grundarfjordur and Olafsvik and then into the Snaefellsjokull glacier National Park.Snaefellsjokull National Park – Iceland's only National Park to extend to the seashore – covers an area of 170 sq. kilometers. The coast is varied and alive with birdlife during the breeding season. The omnipresent Snaefellsjokull glacier towers majestically over the Park, with trails of lava and signs of volcanic activity clearly visible on its flanks. Stop at places like Djupalon, Dritvik, Londrangar, Hellnar, Arnarstapi and Budir. Accommodation in the area.
Optional: Ferry West Fjords to Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and it's possible to stop by at Flatey Island
Visit Reykholt, one of Iceland's major historic sites, a cultural centre of past and present. The cultural heritage of the place is mainly based around the residence of the saga writer and historian, Snorri Sturluson, who lived in Reykholt between 1206 and 1241. You will see famous antiquities like the pool, passageway, old farmstead and hot water and steam channels dating from Snorri's time.
You drive to the waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss which are beautiful and unusual natural phenomena. The Hraunfossar falls are clear, cold springs that well up through the lava and run in falls and rapids into the Hvita River. Barnafoss has been evolving through recorded history, as the river has dug itself down through the lava and runs in a deep and narrow ravine. There used to be a stone arch spanning the river, forming a bridge between the districts at both sides of the river. The name "Barnafoss" (Children's Falls) is related to the local folk story that two boys from nearby lost their lives when falling into the falls from the stone bridge. The mournful mother had the bridge destroyed to prevent similar grievances. But actually the stone bridge was destroyed in an earthquake.
You drive to Husafell, a beautiful area with a great view to glaciers and mountains and you can visit the swimming pool there. Then you drive towards Reykjavik and on to the Blue lagoon, which is located on the Reykjanes peninsula.
After you have relaxed in the Blue lagoon for some time you drive to Keflavik for dinner and accommodation. Let us know where you want to return the car.
---Meet on location - Activities around Iceland
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