5-Day South Iceland Summer Self-Drive Tour | Golden Circle, Black Sand Beach & Glacier Lagoon
Use this itinerary as an inspiration to design your own!
Experience the wonders of South Iceland, and so much more, with an exciting self-drive tour this summer. Over 5 days, you will visit some of Iceland’s most beloved attractions, including Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Valley, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Don’t hesitate to kick off this breathtaking adventure in Iceland!
Self-drive tours allow you to craft your perfect holiday in Iceland without having to worry about the difficult practicalities. We will organise a well-suited rental car for the trip, as well as overnight accommodation. Before you depart, you will be provided with a full itinerary that takes you past the country’s favourite attractions. Would you expect anything less of your dream holiday in the land of ice and fire?
You make all the decisions, from how long to stay at each point of interest to which detours, diversions and extra activities to include as part of your trip. Additional experiences include bathing at the world-famous Blue Lagoon, snowmobiling on Langjökull Glacier or snorkelling in the crystal clear waters of Silfra Fissure.
Behind every corner, another majestic attraction is just waiting to be discovered. With both the Golden Circle and South Iceland sightseeing routes included, you’ll be in for an unforgettable adventure on this epic 5-day tour.
Arrival in Iceland
Before landing, you might spot the dramatic lava fields of Reykjanes Peninsula from your airplane window. Keflavík International Airport is located amidst these rocky outcrops, making your very first experiences in Iceland unforgettable from the get-go. Here, you will collect your bags and rental car before making a scenic drive across this volcanic landscape to Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavík.
- Reykjanes Peninsula – An ancient lava field
- Reykjavík – Iceland’s vibrant capital city
The Golden Circle
Today, you will experience Iceland’s most popular sightseeing route, The Golden Circle. Composed of three major attractions—Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Valley and Gullfoss waterfall—this dramatic trail provides brilliant insights into this land’s culture, nature and history.
- Þingvellir National Park – A historical site which marks the boundaries of two continents
- Geysir Geothermal Area – Home of bubbling mud pools and erupting geysers
- Strokkur – Iceland’s most dramatic erupting geyser
- Gullfoss Waterfall – A stunning 32 m cascade
- Kerið Crater Lake – A small lake in the heart of a crater
- Skálholt Historical Site – Rich in history and beauty
- Efstidalur Farm – A fantastic stop for ice cream and coffee
On your third day in the country, you will be travelling down Iceland’s south coast. En route, you will discover beautiful promenades, fantastic waterfalls and stunning coastlines.
- Seljalandsfoss – A waterfall with a cave behind the cascade
- Skógafoss – A wide and beautiful waterfall, viewable from above and below
- Eyjafjallajökull Glacier – A stunning ice cap hiding a volcano beneath it
- Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach – Iceland’s most famous shoreline
- Vík Village – A quaint village that’s excellent for a lunch stop
Head back to Reykjavík
Start the day by visiting one of the most beautiful places in Iceland, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Surrounded by the mighty Vatnajökull glacier, Jökulsárlón is famed for its floating icebergs, ethereal ambience and happy seal population. Nothing beats following the icebergs on their journey from the lagoon down to the black shorelines of the Diamond Beach.
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon – An aquamarine water body filled with floating icebergs
- Diamond Beach – A black sand beach nearby to Jökulsárlón where icebergs wash ashore
- Skaftafell – A beautiful nature reserve beneath Vatnajökull Glacier
- Svartifoss Waterfall – A gorgeous waterfall enclosed by black basalt columns
- Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon – a twisted canyon of green cliff sides
- Dyrhólaey Promenade – Famous for its lighthouse, rock arch and puffins
Alas, your final day in Iceland has drawn in. Depending on the time of your flight, there may still be room for you to explore Reykjavík a little more in the morning. You could stroll through the city’s downtown parks, visit a local cafe or walk up the forested Öskjuhlíð Hill to Perlan Observation Deck for a final panoramic over the city.
- Hallgrímskirkja Church – Reykjavík’s most iconic landmark
- Laugavegur Shopping Street – Home to Reykjavík’s shops and nightlife
- Harpa Concert Hall – An architectural marvel in Reykjavík
- Perlan Museum & Observation Deck – A great place to learn about Iceland’s nature and get a panoramic view of the city
You’ll have a choice of three accommodations levels. See details about each one in the boxes below. All accommodations for this tour have been hand-picked by our local travel experts.
For budget-level, single rooms will be allocated to bookings for one person. Shared twin/double or triple room(s) will be arranged for two or more people. Groups with an odd number of participants will be allotted a single room in quality-level. Children and teenagers will be arranged in the same room as their parents. Additional cost may occur if additional room(s) is needed.
Please keep in mind that hotel quality in Iceland varies between regions and that not all locations offer quality-level accommodations. At those particular locations, comfort level accommodations will be arranged, which has already been calculated in the upgraded price. We do our best to accommodate special requests, but additional costs may incur.
Nice and comfortable rooms with shared bathroom facilities and shower located in farmhouses, guesthouses or hostels, in good locations with breakfast included. An example of this in Reykjavík would be Kex Hostel.
Comfortable rooms in three-star hotels or quality guesthouses, centrally located, very close to popular attractions. Private bathroom and breakfast included. An example of this in Reykjavík would be Fosshotel Rauðará.
Rooms in four-star hotels or superior rooms in quality three-star hotels at fantastic locations near popular attractions. Private bathroom and breakfast is included. An example of this in Reykjavík would be Icelandair Hotel Marina.
You’ll have a choice of three options for your rental car. See details for each option in the boxes below. We only work with highly reputable dealerships, ensuring you a smooth ride throughout your holiday.
The vehicles for all levels are current models, no older than two years. They all come standard with a medium protection package including CDW (Collision damage waiver), GP (Gravel Protection), Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) and a Theft Waiver (THW). They also come equipped with free Wi-Fi with 3GB total. You will also get 24-hour roadside emergency services from the car rental agency. In the wintertime, all cars have winter tyres.
The driver must hold a valid driving licence which they have had for at least 12 months before the date of the rental. Age requirement varies for each level, and you can find more information on that in the boxes below.
Please note that off-road driving is illegal in Iceland.
2WD vehicle such as a VW Golf, good for city driving and shorter trips. Fits up to 5 travellers & light luggage. No Highland capabilities. Driver must be at least 20 year old.
4x4 jeep or SUV. Fits up to 5 travellers and 2 large pieces of luggage. Decent for snow and off-asphalt driving. Basic highland capabilities. Driver must be min. 20 years old.
Large 4x4 like a Toyota Land Cruiser. Comfortable up to 5 travellers with 4 large pieces of luggage. Full highland capabilities. Driver must be min. 21 years old.
Good to know
What to bring
Need to cancel your tour? Don’t worry, with our Cancellation Insurance you can cancel your package up to 48 hours before the tour start date and receive a full refund — minus the insurance cost, of course.
The price for the insurance is based on the length of your package. The base price is 5,000 ISK per person, and it applies to all packages with a duration of five days or less. An additional 1,000 ISK per person will be added to the base price for each day after the first five.
With our Cancellation Insurance, you will be reimbursed for your package, whether you broke your ankle, got called to jury duty, or there is a global pandemic. Just let us know at [email protected] before 4 PM (GMT) to cancel your booking and claim your refund.