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Grand Discovery

The ultimate Iceland road trip
Fjadrargljufur Canyon, Iceland © Shutterstock

Discover all of Iceland’s magnificent regions on our longest self drive tour. From the ancient landscapes of the Westfjords to the remote fishing villages of the east; the volcanic landscape in the south, and beautiful Lake Myvatn in the north. Highlights include Snaefellsjokull glacier, Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and Akureyri. Along the way, pass many of the volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers, and seascapes that make Iceland’s landscapes so magical and unforgettable. Extra nights in Reykjavik can be added at the end.


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 we recommend driving the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula towards your first overnight stay in the charming village of Hveragerdi. 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. Overnight stay in Hveragerdi.

Day 2 The Golden Circle 165km

National Park of Geological Wonders (UNESCO) - Exploding Geysers - Massive Waterfall
Drive to Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic parliament and a jewel of nature. Visit the Golden Circle natural wonders, the famous Geysir hot-spring area and the mighty Gullfoss Waterfall. While in the area, perhaps relax in one of the hot spring-fed pools that make Iceland so famous. The Secret Lagoon is a historical swimming pool with an all-natural feel and its own little geyser and the Laugarvatn Fontana steam baths are a local favourite. Overnight in the Golden Circle area.

Day 3 South Shore - Vik - Kirkjubaejarklaustur 250km

Hekla Volcano - Thundering Waterfalls - Seabirds - Black Sand Beaches - Lava Fields
Drive along the spectacular south coast, viewing highlights such as Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, Myrdalsjokull glacier, Dyrholaey* and the black sand beaches of Vik. Continue towards the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur known for its fabulous trout fishing and is the former site of a 12th century catholic convent. *Please note that Dyrholaey is closed during nesting season, mid-May to late June. Overnight in the Kirkjubaejarklaustur area.

Day 4 Fjadrargljufur Canyon and Lakagigar Craters variable mileage

Spectacular Canyon - Crater Area - Historic Eruption Site
Enjoy the day exploring this little-known area, part of the Katla UNESCO GeoPark. We recommend a hike in magnificent Fjadrargljufur, one of the most spectacular canyons in Iceland. If you are travelling in June, July or August, a longer detour to the volcanic Laki craters (Lakagigar) is a great option (4WD drive car required for this, category 5.0 or higher). The drive takes you over unpaved mountain tracks to the site of a catastrophic eruption. The area includes unforgettable and beautiful sights such as Laki, the largest of the craters. Overnight in the Kirkjubaejarklaustur area.

Day 5 Skaftafell - Jokulsarlon - Hofn 215km

Europe's Largest National Park - Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs - Europe's Largest Glacier
Today you will be near Vatnajokull National Park. Visit the amazing Skaftafell area nestled between glaciers offering many hiking possibilities. One of the best-known trails leads to the basalt lined Svartifoss waterfall (the Black Falls). Continue to the shimmering icebergs of Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, nearby Diamond Beach. Continue on, perhaps detour past the mountain of Vestrahorn on your way to the harbour town of Hofn, also known as the lobster capital of northern Europe. Overnight in Hofn area.

Day 6 Djupivogur - Reydarfjordur - Egilsstaðir 295km

Narrow Fjords - Steep Mountains - Picturesque Coastline
Drive through the spectacular East Fjords with towering mountains and charming fishing villages to the fertile Egilsstaðir area. On the way, you might opt to visit the quirky egg sculptures in the harbour of charming Djupivogur village or visit Petra's famous local stone and mineral collection at Stodvarfjordur. You can either drive straight through Fagridalur to Egilsstaðir or head along the East Fjords, one of the oldest regions in Iceland, shaped by glaciers during the Ice Age. The natural harbours in the fjords led to the development of fishing villages that have still hung on to a degree of old-world charm. In the Egilsstaðir area, you can visit the beautiful Hallormsstadur forest and a river reputed to be the home of a friendly sea monster. Perhaps you'll end the day at Lake Urridavatn's Vok Baths, where you can unwind in untouched nature in distinctive floating geothermal pools. Overnight in Egilsstaðir area.

Day 7 Seydisfjordur and Borgarfjordur Eystri OR Eastern Highlands variable mileage

Artistic Fjord Villages - Elfin Folklore - Life on the Edge of the Wilderness
Explore the quaint village of Seydisfjordur, where multi-colored wooden houses are sheltered by a jaw-dropping backdrop of snow-capped mountains and tumbling waterfalls. Also visit Borgarfjordur Eystri, steeped in the folklore of elves. This area has excellent hiking paths in the mountains and along the sea. The charming town of Bakkagerdi offers locally guided walking tours. Another suggestion is to spend a day or half a day at the award-winning Wilderness Center on the edge of the eastern highlands. Here you can discover Iceland’s pioneer history and highland nature in a clever interactive way: take a guided horseback tour; join a locally guided hike into the majestic wilderness to view waterfalls along a glacier river, including a dip into a natural hot spring pool; relax at the cozy Wilderness Spa. Overnight in the Eastfjords.

Day 8 Dettifoss - Asbyrgi - Husavik 280km

Europe's Most Powerful Waterfall - Glacier Carved Gorge
Travel across Modrudalsoraefi highlands renowned for their stark beauty to the mighty Dettifoss Waterfall. Discover the horseshoe shaped Asbyrgi Canyon in Vatnajokull National Parks northern area before continuing around the fossil rich Tjornes Peninsula to the fishing village of Husavik, famous for whale watching. A great way to end the day is with a relaxing swim in the warm sea waters of Husavik's GeoSea Baths. Overnight in North East Iceland.

Day 9 Lake Myvatn 95km

Volcanic Wonderland – Birdwatching and Adventure Paradise – Surreal Landscapes
Spend the day exploring the natural wonders of Lake Myvatn and the surrounding area. Visit highlights such as the lava shapes at Dimmuborgir, the pseudo craters at Skutustadir, the colourful sulfurous slopes of Namaskard and Hverfell volcano crater. We recommend taking a relaxing dip in the azure blue geothermal waters at Myvatn Nature Baths. Overnight in the Lake Myvatn area.

Day 10 North Iceland 80km

Waterfall of the Gods – Iceland´s “Capital of the North” 
Depart Myvatn and drive westward, visiting beautiful Godafoss, the “Waterfall of the Gods.” Enjoy views of the falls from different angles on a walking trail in the area. Head on to Akureyri, a colorful town set against the dramatic Eyjafjordur fjord. Spend the day exploring Akureyri and its surrounding area. This charming town is small in size but has a vibrant cultural scene. If you enjoy outdoor recreation, Akureyri is great for whale watching, fishing, horseback riding or hiking in the trails around the fjord. There is even a Zipline course outside the town. After a day of fun in the area, why not take a relaxing soak in the beautiful Forest Baths (Skogarbod). These geothermal pools are in the Vadlaheidi nature area, surrounded by small trees and the mountains of Eyjafjordur fjord. Overnight stay in the Akureyri area.

Day 11 The Troll Peninsula and Skagafjordur 370km

Fjord Coastline – Herring Boom Town – Saga and Horse Heritage
Drive to Siglufjordur town along the Troll Peninsula, one of Iceland’s most beautiful coastlines. You’ll be treated to a unique view of steep mountains overlooking the North Atlantic. Thread around the peninsula, heading from Eyjafjordur in to Skagafjordur, a renowned area for horse breeding and medieval history. Another interesting place to visit today is Borgarvirki, a natural rock formation that has been used as a citadel since Viking times. Overnight stay in Northwest Iceland.

Day 12 Strandir - Holmavik - Drangsnes 250km

Icelandic Witchcraft Museum – Isolated Beauty – Spine of the Westfjords
Today you will head into the spectacular region of the Westfjords, the oldest part of Iceland. Drive along the low hills of Hrutafjordur Fjord towards jagged mountains that rise straight from the sea in the area of Holmavik and Drangsnes. For centuries, this was one of the most isolated regions in Iceland. It is a region of remote and spectacular beauty. Here you can enjoy the peace and solitude that is rare in so many places. Strandir is literally the spine of the Westfjords, a place of spiky fjords and majestic crags. You can discover tiny villages tucked away into the mountains, each with a special history and wonderful views of the area. In ancient times, the inhabitants were reputed to have knowledge of magic. You can find out about these traditions at the Icelandic Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft in Holmavik town. Overnight in the North Westfjords area.

Day 13 Westfjord Wonders: Isafjordur 225km

Capital of the Westfjords – Rich Birdlife – Island in Harmony with Nature
Thread your away along the numerous uninhabited fjords of Isafjardardjup, a beautiful coastline alive with seals and birds. Head to Isafjordur, the largest town in the area, with some of the oldest buildings in the country. You might enjoy a guided walking tour through back streets with a focus on history and daily life. Another interesting activity is to take a ferry to the island community of Vigor, where locals practice the sustainable tradition of eider duck farming. Isafjordur is well known for its sea kayaking in the glassy fjord waters. Overnight in the North Westfjords area.

Day 14 Isafjordur - Bolungarvik - Sudureyri variable mileage

Friendly Towns – Fishing Heritage – Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
Spend time in Isafjordur and the surrounding area, including the neighboring towns of Bolungarvik and Sudureyri. Perhaps visit Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. It is remote and off limits to all motorised traffic, so you can only access this pure and wild nature by boat. This is a good area to spot Arctic foxes, and there are eco-friendly locally guided day tours to view these beautiful creatures. Like outdoor adventure? Mountain biking, hiking, paragliding, mountaineering — the Westfjords has it all. For calmer activities, there are several golf courses in the region, and sea kayaking is a peaceful way to spend the afternoon exploring the picturesque fjords and viewing the bird life. Overnight in the North Westfjords area.

Day 15 Thingeyri - Dynjandi - Latrabjarg - Patreksfjordur 295km

Small Picturesque Villages – Striking Waterfall – Red Sand Beaches – Sea Cliffs with Birdlife
Drive from Isafjordur through the beautiful northern part of the Westfjords. The town of Bildudalur has a curious and entertaining Sea Monster Museum. Visit the stunning multi-tiered Dynjandi waterfall, one of the symbols of the region. Visit Latrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point in Europe. In the summer, these high sea cliffs teem with millions of puffins, gannets, guillemots and razorbills. Overnight in the South Westfjords area.

Day 16 Raudisandur - Stykkisholmur variable mileage

Red Sands – Picturesque Islands and Coastline – Charming EcoVillage
Continue along the southern coast of the Westfjords. Raudisandur is a gorgeous stretch of beach where you can see different colors of sand ranging from white to yellow to red to black. Depending on your schedule, maybe stop to take a dip in the Hellulaug natural geothermal pool in Vatnsfjordur fjord. Drive along the coast of Bardarstrond and into West Iceland and Stykkisholmur town. You can choose to explore Dalir, the region of Eric the Red and birthplace of his son, the great explorer Leif Eiriksson at a living replica museum. Overnight on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Optional (must be pre-booked): Sail with the car ferry Baldur from Brjanslaekur ferry dock across Breiðafjordur bay. Pass by the island of Flatey, countless islands and rich birdlife. Arrive in the charming village of Stykkisholmur. Overnight on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. The ferry generally departs at 18.00hrs and the journey is approx 2.5hrs duration. Please note after September 01, the ferry Baldur departs once per day and does not sail on Saturdays. Ferry schedule subject to change.

Day 17 Stykkisholmur - Arnarstapi - Borgarfjordur 240km

Glacier Volcano – Sea Cliffs with Birdlife – Volcanic Crater
Today explore the Snaefellsnes peninsula and Snaefellsjokull National Park. Pass the small fishing villages of Grundarfjordur and Hellissandur. Keep an eye out for Kirkjufell, Iceland’s most photographed mountain. Make a stop at the rocky beach of Djupalonssandur and the magnificent columnar basalt rock formations at Arnarstapi. The crown jewel of the region is Snaefellsjokull, a glacier-topped volcano. You can enjoy locally guided activities in the region such as glacier hiking on Snaefellsjokull, visiting Vatnshellir lava cave, whale watching near Olafsvik, and sea kayaking in the vicinity of Kirkjufell. Pass by Eldborg, a volcanic crater you can climb to get a beautiful view of the area. Overnight stay in the Borgarfjordur area.

Day 18 Borgarfjordur - Husafell - Hvalfjordur - Reykjavik 225km

Picturesque Waterfalls – Europe’s Most Powerful Hot Spring – Iceland’s Capital
Head through Borgarfjordur, one of Iceland’s lesser-known gems. It contains a charming mix of miniature forests, waterfalls, caves and views of Langjokull Glacier. If you want to add some adventure to your day, visit the colorful Vidgelmir caverns or the unique Into the Glacier ice cave. The Husafell area has a mix of hiking trails and the Husafell Canyon Baths. Visit Hraunfoss waterfall and nearby Barnafoss waterfalls. Stop at Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring, and Krauma natural geothermal spa. Continue via Hvalfjordur (the Whale Fjord) to Reykjavik for overnight stay.

Day 19 Reykjavik - Keflavik Airport 52km

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

2024 departures: daily 01 May - 30 September


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.

Choose from three different levels of accommodation:

- Shared facilities
- Standard rooms in budget hotels, guesthouses and farmhouse accommodation
- First night in Hveragerdi includes private facilities

- Private facilities
- Standard rooms in comfort hotels, guesthouses and farmhouse accommodation

- Private facilities
- Standard rooms in quality hotels and guesthouses
- Superior rooms in comfort hotels and guesthouses

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 18 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.

For other car types and accommodation prices please enquire.

If you would like to have dinner in the hotel restaurant, we recommend making a reservation with the hotel reception desk at the time of check-in at each hotel en-route.

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