5-Day Winter Self Drive Tour of South Iceland

Use this itinerary as an inspiration to design your own!

Duration

5 Days

Availability

September - April

Difficulty

Easy

Minimum Age

No age limit

Overview

See the beautiful colours of Iceland in the winter, from the green northern lights and silvery waterfalls to white glaciers and blue ice caves. This fantastic 5-Day Self-Drive Tour was designed for travellers seeking freedom, flexibility, and adventure.

On this amazing road trip, you’ll travel around southern Iceland, from Reykjavík to Vatnajökull National Park. Along the way, you’ll stop at the Golden Circle, the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, Reynisfjara black sand beach, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and more. Then at night, you’ll have plenty of free time to hunt for the elusive northern lights.

Your journey is fully customisable, meaning you can choose the level of accommodation and car, add extra nights and spice up your days with an additional activity. These include visiting the Blue Lagoon, snowmobiling, hiking up a glacier, and stepping inside an authentic ice cave.

Get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of Iceland in winter! Book your adventure today!

Included

  • 4 nights of accommodation (different levels available; breakfast included for all levels; more detailed info in accommodation tab)
  • Vehicle for the duration of the trip with unlimited mileage (VW Golf 2WD or similar. Upgrades available)
  • Medium Protection Package for car rental: CDW, SCDW, PAI, THW and GP (More Info Click Here)
  • Mobile WIFI including 3GB total
  • Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland
  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary
  • Taxes

Not included

  • Flights to/from Iceland
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gasoline/Petrol
  • Driving-Related Fees
  • Meals & drinks (unless otherwise stated)
  • Any services not listed as “Included”

Itinerary

Sun Voyager Sculpture on the coastline of Reykjavik

Day 1 – Arrival

Welcome to Iceland! You’ll arrive at Keflavik International Airport. Once you’ve picked up your luggage, find your rental car and head to this country’s vibrant capital city, Reykjavík.

Once you’ve settled into your hotel room, you can explore the city. We recommend visiting the Hallgrímskirkja Church, Laugavegur Shopping Street, and Harpa Concert Hall. The last of these is exceptionally beautiful once the sun’s set, as its facade is illuminated by multi-coloured lights.

  • Reykjavík
  • Harpa Concert Hall
  • Laugavegur Shopping Street
  • Hallgrímskirkja Church
  • Blue Lagoon Comfort Entrance: Includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel and 1st drink of your choice.
  • Blue Lagoon Premium Entrance: Includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel, 1st drink of your choice, second mask of choice, slippers, use of bathrobe, table reservation at Lava Restaurant, and sparkling wine if dining.
Erupting Strokkur geyser at sunset

Day 2 – Golden Circle

Today after breakfast, you’ll leave the city behind for the beautiful Icelandic wilderness. You’ll explore the three sites that make up the Golden Circle route before heading to your accommodations in South Iceland, perhaps with a few additional stops along the way.

First, you will visit Þingvellir National Park. Here is where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. The area’s rough and rugged terrain is the result of the movement of these massive plates. You can see their boundary at Almannagjá Canyon; it is one of the few places on earth where you can see edges exposed like that.

Þingvellir is also historically significant. For centuries, Icelanders would gather here for Alþingi, the national parliament, starting with the Viking settlers over a thousand years ago.

Next up is the Geysir geothermal area, where you can watch the geyser Strokkur erupt multiple times. Finally, a few minutes’ drive from Geysir is Gullfoss Waterfall. This stunning feature is fed by Langjökull, this country’s second-largest glacier. You can watch the frosty glacial water fall down 32-metres from one of two viewing platforms, ensuring you’ll get at least one fantastic photo of the falls.

Your accommodations today will be in or near the town of Hvolsvöllur in South Iceland. However, if you wish, you can make a few stops before you make your way there. En route to Hvolsvöllur is Kerið Crater Lake, Friðheimar Tomato Farm, and Selfoss Town.

  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Geysir Geothermal Area
  • Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Snorkeling in Silfra: Snorkeling between continents in crystal-clear water. Includes a tour with a certified PADI divemaster, all necessary snorkelling gear, Silfra admission fee, and hot chocolate to warm up after the dive. Minimum age 12 years.
  • Snowmobiling on Langjökull: An exhilarating tour on top of a glacier, no previous riding experience needed. Included is a one-hour snowmobile ride with a guide and use of overalls. Two people share a snowmobile and the driver needs to bring their driving licence. Age limit for passenger is 8 years.
  • 2 Hour Horse Riding Tour: Meet the friendly Icelandic Horse. Includes 1-1.5 hour guided horseback ride with a specially trained guide. Use of riding helmets, boots & rain wear. Minimum age is 8 years.
Skogafoss waterfall Iceland

Day 3 – Waterfalls & Black Sand Beaches

Today, you’ll explore the diverse attractions of Iceland’s southern coastline. You’ll see waterfalls, glaciers, and black-sand beaches.

Your first stop today is at Seljalandsfoss, a beautiful waterfall that falls off a 60-metre-tall cliff. A short drive away is another equally impressive feature, Skógafoss Waterfall. Skógafoss falls off a similar height as Seljalandsfoss but is much wider and more powerful.

From Skógafoss, you’ll continue your journey of the south coast, stopping next at Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. Here, you can watch the unruly waves of the North Atlantic Ocean crash upon the shore. There is no landmass between Reynisfjara and the Antarctic, so the waves here can get quite intense. Towering over the beach are grey cliffs made of natural columns, and the massive Reynisdrangar sea stacks stand out in the ocean.

From Reynisfjara, you’ll go to Vatnajökull National Park, named after a glacier of the same name. Vatnajökull is Europe’s largest glacier and the world’s second-largest. You will spend your night here, in the realm of this massive ice cap. If the sky is clear of clouds, check it for signs of the northern lights before bed.

  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Skógafoss Waterfalls
  • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
  • Vatnajökull National Park
  • Katla Ice Cave: Visit an authentic ice cave in a glacier that covers an active volcano! Don’t worry, all volcanoes in Iceland are monitored so this is perfectly safe. Includes a tour with a certified glacier guide and use of all necessary glacier gear such as crampons and helmets. Minimum age is 6 years.
  • Glacier Hiking on Sólheimajökull Glacier: A fun and easy glacier hike. No previous experience needed. Tour includes an English speaking glacier guide, use of helmet, crampons, ice axe and other necessary safety equipment. Minimum age is 8 years.
  • Black Sand Beach & Plane Wreck ATV Tour: Hop aboard an ATV and explore the black sand beaches of South Iceland and stop at the hauntingly beautiful DC plane. En route, you’ll cross rivers and get magnificent views of the nearby glaciers. An English-speaking guide will provide you with a helmet, insulated coveralls, and baklavas, but bring with you good shoes. The minimum age for passengers is 8, but drivers need to be at least 17 and hold a valid driver’s license.
Diamond beach with glacier ice blocks on black sand close to Jökulsárlon in Iceland.

Day 4 – Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach

Now it is time to head back to Reykjavík. However, you will, of course, make a few stops first.

Iceland has some amazing natural wonders, but none compare to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. This stunning glacial lake sits at the foot of the Vatnajökull Glacier and is filled with massive icebergs that have broken off it.

A short walk away from the lagoon is Diamond Beach. This is a stretch of a black sand shoreline littered with crystal-like ice chunks that have washed up from the lagoon. This is a fantastic spot for photographs, especially in the wintertime.

As you drive back to Reykjavík, you can choose to visit again any of the sites you saw in the previous days. During the winter, these attractions are ever-changing, so seeing them in a new light will provide new photo opportunities. Alternatively, you can explore some new sites such as Hjörleifshöfði Cape or Eldfell Lava Field.

  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Diamond Beach
  • Ice Caving in Vatnajökull: Explore a cave in Europe’s largest glacier. Includes a tour with a certified glacier guide and all necessary glacier gear such as crampons and helmets. Minimum age is 8 years.
Women in the silky blue waters of the blue lagoon in Iceland with smoke in the background

Day 5 – Departure

Today, you will bid farewell to this land of fire and ice. Then, in good time for your flight, you will drive across the Reykjanes Peninsula to Keflavík Airport, where you will return your rental car and board your plane.

If your flight leaves in the evening or afternoon, you can spend some time exploring the city. We recommend walking around Tjörnin Lake, one of the most scenic spots in the city. You can also head to the Old Harbour and watch the boats bob up and down with the current.

  • Reykjavík
  • Tjörnin Lake
  • Old Harbour
  • Blue Lagoon Comfort Entrance: Includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel and 1st drink of your choice.
  • Blue Lagoon Premium Entrance: Includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel, 1st drink of your choice, second mask of choice, slippers, use of bathrobe, table reservation at Lava Restaurant, and sparkling wine if dining.

Accommodation

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. 

Budget

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. 

Comfort

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. 

Quality

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. 

Car

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.

Budget 2WD

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.

Comfort 4x4

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.

Luxury 4x4

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.

Map

Good to know

  • Please note that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, so sightings cannot be guaranteed. However, outside of Reykjavík, you will be staying at rural hotels which increases your chances of seeing them when the weather allows.
  • Note that the itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.
  • The itinerary is dependent upon road and weather conditions and so it may be altered if conditions are not favourable. This includes optional activities as well. If extreme weather affects your travel plans, you will be notified and we will be our best to assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when applicable.
  • Some optional activities may need a valid driving licence, or you may need to send additional information to your travel agent. For snorkelling, you will need to know how to swim and fill out an online medical document.

What to bring

  • Warm and waterproof clothes
  • Good winter shoes that have soles with a good grip, or crampons
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Camera
  • Driving licence
  • More information on what to pack HERE

Looking for Luxury Travel?

Visit MEILI EXPERIENCE for Luxury Travel Experiences

Other tours you might be interested in

From: 71.620 kr. /pp.

Per person based on 4 persons travelling together
(Discounts applied in cart – Amount charged in ISK)

Or Plan Your Own Trip...

Scroll to Top

Terms of Service

For further information, please see our Terms and Conditions.

  • More than 24 hours before scheduled tour departure time: 100% refund. Some day tours might have a different cancellation policy, in which case it will be clearly mentioned in the “Good to know” section of the tour.
  • Less than 24 hours before scheduled tour departure time: 100% cancellation fee. Some day tours might have a different cancellation policy, in which case it will be clearly mentioned in the “Good to know” section of the tour.
  • More than 7 days before scheduled tour arrival date: 15% cancellation fee
  • Less than 7 days before scheduled tour departure date: 75% cancellation fee
  • Less than 72 hours before scheduled tour departure date: 100% cancellation fee
  • 45-30 days before scheduled tour arrival date: 50% cancellation fee
  • 29-15 days before scheduled tour arrival date: 75% cancellation fee
  • 14 days before scheduled tour arrival date: 100% cancellation fee

Scheduled international and domestic flights are non-refundable, be they a part of a package, multi-day tour, or any other service purchasable on the Traveo website, unless the Cancellation insurance is purchased. If a cancellation insurance is purchased, a full refund is given.

If flights are a part of a tour listed as a Day-Tour, standard terms of cancellations of day tours apply to a full refund. For cancelling and refunding of private flights (flights specifically arranged and scheduled for you personally or your group in specific), please contact your service agent.

If your tour is cancelled by the tour provider due to weather conditions or any other environmental circumstances you will always receive a full refund. Exempt from this are any rescheduled second tries of tours which already have been serviced as a first departure. In the case of a volcanic eruption taking place on Icelandic soil stopping you from getting to Iceland, you will also receive a full refund on all products booked on Traveo.

All booking change requests must be made via email by the person who submitted the original booking request.

Changing the number of people in a booking to a smaller number is considered cancellation for the change in number of participants.

  • Packages: 

For multi-day tours and packages, all requests for changes must be made minimum 7 days in advance. Please note that we might not be able to fulfil your changed requirements due to lack of availability, though we will always do our best, and do offer alternative options.

Depending on how far in advance a tour package has been booked and when changes to a booking are requested, an administrative fee of 5000 ISK may be charged each day/night of the itinerary that is modified. Additional supplier costs may still apply depending on the changes requested.

For bookings made within 60 days of arrival, changes can be made without incurring the administrative fee until services have been confirmed and the travel documents have been issued. However, for bookings made 30 days or less before arrival, the administrative fee and any applicable supplier fees may be charged due to the short processing time.

  • Day tours and activities: 

Day tours and activities booked on the Traveo.is that are serviced by independent operators can be changed up to 24 hours before departure.

  • Transfer of bookings: 

A booking may be transferred from one party to another, provided that the new party upholds the terms and conditions of the booking. An administrative fee of 5000 ISK will be charged for the transfer, and both parties must assume joint liability for this fee and any other costs that may be incurred by changes to the booking.

  • Parties travelling together: 

Should two parties wish to book separately but travel together, they should inform travel agents of this prior to booking. If a co-travel request is sent after the booking process has been finished, the change to a package is counted as a tailoring and is subject to a 5000 isk service fee.

  • Significant changes to packages: 

If a package is significantly changed from the original package setup/route as offered on the site, the product will be considered to be a tailored tour and might be subject to a 15% service fee of the total price of the package. This does not apply to added nights at the end or at the beginning of a package as this does not change the original package setup/route.

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.

During the booking process you will be able to choose a pickup location and starting time. If you do not show up for the scheduled pickup time and location stated on your booking, your reservation is non-refundable.

If you do not know your pickup location at the time of booking, you can choose to update your pickup location later, up to 24 hours before tour departure. Please call the number listed on your voucher if you do not receive a confirmation of your pickup location.

Traveo cannot be liable to any loss, damage, accidents, injuries, death or sickness during your tour. The same applies for any changes in tour schedule due to weather, strikes or any other force majeure. Tour operators reserve the right to change routes, schedules and itineraries if needed because of weather, road conditions or should the necessity arise because of unforeseen reasons or circumstances.

We advise all travellers to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance to minimize possible losses due to unforeseeable situations during your travel. Traveo does not offer any travel insurance, so please contact your preferred private travel insurance company.

If you have a complaint about any of our partners please contact us at [email protected] and we will protect your rights.