Iceland in a Mini-Nature - 5 days self drive tour

SELF03 - A photographer's paradise

We organize a wide variety of self drive tours. Explore Iceland’s bountiful natural treasures, including national parks, splendid waterfalls, striking glaciers, impressive volcanoes and hot springs. Everything already organized for your convenience.

Here we present you with a tour description to Snaefellsnes in west Iceland for 5 days and 4 nights. In this tour you travel through the beautiful provinces of Borgarfjordur fjord where you can find the Hraunfossar Falls. In the picturesque Snaefellsnes peninsula you'll find the majestic Snaefellsjokull glacier and volcano that has sent lava fields down to the coast. If you love the ocean, and photography, then this is the route for you.

Car collect and drop off at KEF Int'l Airport or Reykjavik


Operation:

All year *

Duration:

5 days / 4 nights

Included:

Quality rental vehicle

Unlimited mileage

Accommodation with breakfast

A detailed itinerary

Excluded:

Fuel

Meals

International flights

Optional activities:

Day 2: Ferry to Flatey Island (May - Aug)

Day 4: Snorkeling under the Midnight Sun (May - Aug)

Day 5: Blue Lagoon geothermal spa


* The highland part of this tour is open in the summer only (Jul - Sep) and you'll need a 4x4. Otherwise drive by the coastline.


ITINERARY

Day 1

Car collect at the KEF Int'l airport (for a small extra charge), or in Reykjavik. You'll need to specify this clearly in your booking. Drive then north from Reykjavik through the tunnel at Hvalfjordur fjord to west Iceland and toward the village Borgarnes. There you can go to a swimming pool and relax a bit. You will drive pass the magnificent Eldborg crater on route to Snaefellsnes peninsula. There it is possible to hike up to the crater. Then you will look around in Hnappadalur. Even if you are in the mood for a bath in the nature there are two natural hot springs there.

Then you will drive towards Snaefellsjokull central volcano. The region at Snaefellsnes has a lot to see both during winter and summer.

Accommodation is offered on south coast of Snaefellsnes peninsula.


Day 2

Drive to Arnarstapi and Hellnar and other countless natural wonders of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The glacier-topped strato-volcano Snaefellsjokull is renowned for its mystical power and is one of the most famous sites of Iceland, primarily due to the novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” by Jules Verne, in which the protagonists find the entrance to a passage leading to the center of the earth on Snaefellsjokull.

Snaefellsjokull (Snaefell glacier) National Park was established on June 28, 2001. The Park's purpose is to protect and conserve the area's unique landscape, indigenous plant and animal life as well as important historical relics. At the same time, the Park is meant to allow visitors easier access as well as improved opportunities to get to know the area.

National parks are amongst Iceland's finest assets and everyone is free to explore them. Park Rangers operate in the area during the summer months, providing information as well as monitoring and tending the area. Visitors are encouraged to contact Park Rangers for assistance or information about the area.

Snaefellsjokull National Park – Iceland's only National Park to extend to the seashore – covers an area of 170 sq. kilometers. The Park's southern boundary reaches to Haahraun in the region of Dagverdara while the northern part reaches to Gufuskalar. The coast is varied and alive with birdlife during the breeding season. The coastal plain is mostly covered by lava that flowed from the glacier or nearby craters. The lava is covered with moss but sheltered hollows can be found in many places, filled with a sizable variety of thriving, verdant plants. The omnipresent Snaefellsjokull glacier towers majestically over the Park, with trails of lava and signs of volcanic activity clearly visible on its flanks. On its north side the Eysteinsdalur valley cuts a path up from the plain encircled by alluring steep mountains.

The geology of Snaefellsnes Peninsula is diverse with formations from almost every era of Iceland's past. The more prominent formations in and around the National Park mainly date from geologically "modern" times back to the last ice age. The hills to the north of the glacier, around Bardarkista, are of volcanic palagonite tuff, formed during eruptions under the glacier or below the surface of the sea. Svalthufa is most likely the eastern section of a crater that erupted under the sea, while Londrangar is a volcanic plug.

Lava is prominent on the landscape of this National Park with two types present – rough, jagged lava and smooth, ropy lava. Most of the lava emanated from the glacier, from the summit crater or from subsidiary craters on the flanks of the mountain. These lava formations are varied and fascinating, and there is a wealth of caves in the area. Visitors are advised not to enter caves unless accompanied by an experienced guide. Smaller volcanoes – Purkholar, Holaholar, Saxholar and Ondverdarnesholar – are in the Park's lowlands, surrounded by lava.

The Snaefellsjokull glacier is 1446 m (4745 ft) above sea level. It was first climbed in 1754. The mountain is an active volcano, having been built up through numerous eruptions during the last 800,000 years. The summit crater is 200m (650 ft) deep, and full of ice. The glacier has shrunken somewhat in recent years. The flanks of the glacier are particularly attractive with intertwining lava streams forming long "plaits" down the slopes. The latest eruption was very large and took place around 1800 years ago. Light-coloured ash covered the northern half of Snaefellsnes Peninsula and was carried over much of the West Fjords. Lava flowed down the southern slopes of the mountain and the Haahraun lava field was formed during this eruption.

The glacier has been a never-ending source of inspiration for poets and artists from around the world. Indeed, more than a few people say they feel a powerful influence from the glacier and consider it to be one of the world's seven most potent energy sources.

On the way you will see lot of craters and lava, the Snaefellsjokull glacier nearby, visit fishing villages like Hellissandur, Rif, Olafsvik, Grundarfjordur and Stykkisholmur and there you will spend the night.

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 and life on Breidafjordur.

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. Souvenirs and handicrafts are sold there, and there are often special exhibitions put on by the Museum or artists.

The ferry Baldur makes regular journeys over Breidafjordur. In summer, it sails twice a day between Stykkisholmur and Brjanslaekur, with a stop in the island Flatey where travellers can spend some of the day in a peaceful village which has a long and noteworthy history.

The Seatours passenger boats offer trips through a nearby strait between islands and across Breidafjordur from Ondverdarnes to the Latrabjarg bird cliff, during which you will get to know the inhabitants of the deep sea, from the smallest creatures to the largest animals on earth. There is a fitness studio and swimming pool in the Sports Centre, both of which are open all year. The swimming pool contains an enjoyable chute for children, as well as hot pots with certificated pure water that comes straight from the borehole. The water is famed for its healing powers, as it is full of minerals and works well for all sorts of skin problems. Besides the football field and athletics track, a tarmac basketball field and playing field can be found on the grounds of the primary school and are open to all. Accommodation in Stykkisholmur.

Ferry to Flatey Island


Day 3

From Stykkisholmur you drive to south part of Snaefellsnes again and enojoy the beauty of nature. You drive to the town of Borgarnes and from there to Deildartunguhver hot spring which is one of the biggest hot springs in the world ... then you 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 saga writer and historian, Snorri Sturluson, who lived in Reykholt between 1206 and 1241.

The greatest attractions are Reykholt's famous antiquities (pool, passageway, old farmstead and hot water and steam channels dating from Snorri's time), which Snorrastofa and the National Museum of Iceland supervise and introduce to visitors. The main buildings at Reykholt are the old church, built in 1887; the old district school, built in 1931; the hotel facilities, built in the years 1965-88 as student quarters; the new church; and Snorrastofa.

The annual Music Festival and other conserts held all year round in the church, conferences throughout the year and archaeological excavations, together make Reykholt a remarkable cultural centre.

From Reykholt you drive to the waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss before you drive to Husafell where you can enjoy a bath in a nice swimming pool.

Surtshellir lava tube cave, close to Eiriksjokull and Langjokull glaciers, the best known cave in Iceland ... even go in and look around.

Accommodation is offered in a cottage, guesthouse or hotel nearby.


Day 4

After breakfast you drive up to the highland ... take road 550 and drive to Langjokull glacier. It is possible to have a ride on the glacier on a huge truck. Then you drive south Kaldidalur road to Thingvellir national park. In the evening you can take a walk downtown Reykjavik or go to the thermal swimming pools, which are often open until 10 PM. Accommodation in Reykjavik.

Optional: Drive in a glacier truck on Langjokull glacier

Optional: Snorkeling under the Midnight Sun (May - Aug)

Optional: Dining out in Reykjavik - Restaurants


Day 5

After breakfast you head for the Reykjanes peninsula which truly has a lot to offer. Lake Kleifarvatn is particularly picturesque, and there are also the hot springs of Krysuvik or Seltun which are definitely worth a photo stop. Check Grindavik, a cozy fishing village at the tip of the peninsula.

You can also visit Reykjaviknesta where you can see the Gunnuhver hot springs. Then there's the world famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa which is very close to the airport. You can relax there for some time before you drive to Keflavik International Airport in time for your flight out after good days in Iceland. Car drop off at the airport.

Optional: Blue Lagoon geothermal spa

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Meet on location - Activities around Iceland
Why not add a little adventure to your road trip? Our trusted travel partner Extreme Iceland offers diverse activities all around Iceland.

See the selection of activities around Iceland, at Extreme Iceland

The route for this tour (summer version)
One of the most iconic mountains in Iceland, Kirkjufell
You can stop as long as you wish in front of nature's splendor
Waterfall in Snaefellsnes peninsula
Basalt rock formations in the Snaefellsnes peninsula
Flatey is a pearl in the ocean of time. Take the ferry from Stykkisholmur to get there
You can opt for a ferry to Flatey Island
The geyser Strokkur erupts every 5 - 8 min
The world-famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa

 

Iceland in a Mini-Nature - 5 day self drive tour

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