Around Iceland

Circle Tour of the major Icelandic areas
Turf house Golden Circle, Iceland © Shutterstock

This self-drive circle tour explores Iceland's rich natural treasures, including national parks, beautiful waterfalls, striking glaciers, magnificent volcanoes and hot springs. The length of the tour means you will have ample time to cover all the sights you wish to see. Additional nights can be added in Reykjavik at the end of the tour.

Itinerary

Day 1 Keflavik Airport - Hveragerdi* 100km

Geothermal Lagoon – Flower village – Geothermal Greenhouses
Pick up the car at the airport and start your Iceland experience. From Keflavik International Airport drive the southern coast of the Reykjanes Peninsula towards your first overnight stay in the charming village of Hveragerdi, 45km south east of Reykjavik. The village is one of the few sites in the world located directly on top of a geothermal area and because of its many greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs it is often called the flower village.  * For departures in October & April, the first overnight stop will be in Reykjavik instead of Hveragerdi.

Day 2 Hveragerdi - Geysir - Thingvellir - Borgafjordur 310km

Greenhouses - Exploding Geysers - National Park with Geological Wonders - Massive Waterfall
Enjoy a day visiting the natural wonders of the Golden Circle region. Drive to the waterfall Gullfoss and the hot springs at Geysir. Visit Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic parliament, before driving through Hvalfjordur fjord to Borgarfjordur. Overnight in Borgarfjordur area.

Day 3 Borgafjordur - Blondus - Varmahlid - Akureyri 420km

Fertile Farmlands - Glacial Rivers - Iceland's Second Largest City - Viking Horses
Spend part of the day exploring enjoyable activities In Borgarfjordur. Visit the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, and the enormous Deildartunguhver, the most powerful hot springs in Europe. Nearby is the lovely Krauma Natural Geothermal spa where you can relax in a variety of hot pools and take in the beautiful views. Drive north through Borgarfjordur to the shores of Hunafloi bay and the towering mountains and horse breeding valley of Skagafjordur. Continue to Akureyri, the capital of the north. Overnight in North Iceland.

Day 4 Akureyri - Lake Myvatn 75km

Botanical Garden - Museums - 'Waterfall Of the Gods'
Spend the morning exploring the town of Akureyri. Continue your journey to the unique Lake Myvatn area. Stop en route to Myvatn to view the beautiful Godafoss Waterfalls, which has a unique connection to Iceland‘s Viking Age. Overnight in the Myvatn area.

Day 5 Lake Myvatn area variable mileage

Bizarre Lava Formations - Geothermal Activity - Rich Birdlife
Explore the natural wonders of Lake Myvatn and surrounding area, including the mystical lava formations at Dimmuborgir. Visit the volcanic area of Krafla along with the colourful sulfurous slopes of Namaskardpass. Overnight in the Myvatn area.

Day 6 Myvatn - Husavik - Tjornes - Dettifoss - Egilsstadir 315km

Whale Watching - Glacier Carved Gorge - Europe's Most Powerful Waterfall
Drive north to the fishing port of Husavik, where you might stop to enjoy a whale watching boat tour. Head around Tjornes peninsula on the edge of the Arctic Circle. Visit Asbyrgi, a magnificent horseshoe-shaped canyon, and Jokulsargljufur National Park. Proceed to the mighty Dettifoss Waterfall, the most powerful ones in Europe. Then head across the vast highland plateau to Egilsstadir in the east. Overnight in East Iceland. *It is not possible to visit Dettifoss in October and April, as the roads to the waterfall are not safe for winter travel.

Day 7 Reydarfjordur - Stodvarfjordur - Djupivogur - Hofn 309km

Narrow Fjords - Steep Mountains - Picturesque Coastline
Drive south through the spectacular East Fjords, where towering mountains plunge vertically into the ocean. The journey continues to the town of Hofn in Hornafjordur, also known as the lobster capital of northern Europe. Overnight in southeast Iceland.

Day 8 Hofn - Skaftafell - Kirkjubaejarklaustur 209km

Europe's Largest Glacier - Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs - Europe's Largest National Park
Today you will be in the vicinity of Vatnajokull National Park, named after Europe‘s largest glacier. Visit the shimmering icebergs and the still, milky waters of Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon and nearby Diamond Beach before continuing to the Skaftafell area of the park, a beautiful green oasis surrounded by glaciers. There are many great hiking trails here. Head onwards to the picturesque village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Overnight in Kirkjubaejarklaustur area.

Day 9 Vik - Skogar - Reykjavik 345km

Lava Fields - Black Sand Beaches of the South Shore - Puffin Colony - Thundering Waterfalls
Drive along the spectacular south coast, a sweeping landscape of sandy deserts, rocky shores and rolling farmlands sandwiched between snow-capped glaciers, mountains and the ocean. Stop to admire the black sand beaches and cliffs at Dyrholaey*. There are also vast bird colonies here, including puffins (generally seen mid May to early August). Also visit the beautiful waterfalls of Skogar and Seljalands, each with its own character. You will also see the mighty Eyjafjallajokull volcano, famous for its 2010 eruption. An interesting volcano centre at the base of the mountain tells the story of this event. Reach Reykjavík in the late afternoon. *Dyrholaey is closed for nesting season between mid-May and 25 June.

Day 10 Reykjavik Departure 52km

Your tour concludes with car drop-off at Keflavik International Airport.


2021 departures:
Winter season daily April & October
Summer season daily May to September

Notes:

For May-September departures, the first night of your tour is spent in the Hveragerdi area, a small town about 45km from Reykjavik, to enable you to then head off into the countryside the next day without having to go through Reykjavik. Additional nights can be added in Reykjavik at the end of the tour.

Choose from three different levels of accommodation:
Budget: standard rooms with shared facilities in budget hotels, farm houses and guesthouses
Comfort: standard rooms with private facilities in standard hotels and guesthouses. Last night at 3 star hotel.
Quality: standard rooms with private facilities in quality hotels and guesthouses or superior rooms in standard hotels and guesthouses. Last night in 4 star hotel.

The names for individual accommodations are not available prior to booking, as the tour package is based on specific hotel/price categories and not on specific hotels/accommodations. The exact location of the countryside hotels will vary according to availability - the itinerary indicates the region for each overnight stay (with the exception of the last night which is always in Reykjavik itself).

The price is based on 9 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of car pick up and finishing at the same time. Additional use of the car beyond this time frame will incur additional days rental fee.

Please note that Winter departures (October + April), rental car must be a 4WD.

For other car types and accommodation prices please enquire.

Tour Overview

  • Summary

    Circle Tour of the major Icelandic areas
  • Tour Category

    Self Drive
  • Duration

    10 days

    Departures

    Apr - Oct

Tour Prices

    • Double pp from:

      $ AUD

      Single from:

      $ AUD
    • Prices shown are for comfort accommodation and a category 2.0 compact 2wd manual rental car for travel in May 2021

      Prices may vary according to dates of travel

      INCLUDES: 9 nights' accommodation including breakfast; compact 2wd manual rental car for 9 x 24 hour days starting from time of pick up, CDW, unlimited mileage, VAT, GPS system, theft protection, and additional driver; car pick-up and drop-off at Keflavik Airport; travel guide; 24/7 Emergency phone line; tablet with travel app which includes nature sites, historic places, road side services, safety guidelines, info from the Icelandic Meteorological Office and The Icelandic Road Administration, detailed itinerary including hotels and GPS road guide to each hotel, map view of the road trip, detailed pdf travel book about Iceland (N.B. the tablet does not have internet connection capacity).

    • Double pp from:

      $ AUD

      Single from:

      $ AUD
    • Prices shown are for quality accommodation and a category 2.0 compact 2wd manual rental car for travel in May 2021

      Prices may vary according to dates of travel

      INCLUDES: 9 nights' accommodation including breakfast; compact 2wd manual rental car for 9 x 24 hour days starting from time of pick up, CDW, unlimited mileage, VAT, GPS system, theft protection, and additional driver; car pick-up and drop-off at Keflavik Airport; travel guide; 24/7 Emergency phone line; tablet with travel app which includes nature sites, historic places, road side services, safety guidelines, info from the Icelandic Meteorological Office and The Icelandic Road Administration, detailed itinerary including hotels and GPS road guide to each hotel, map view of the road trip, detailed pdf travel book about Iceland (N.B. the tablet does not have internet connection capacity).

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