7-Day Slow-Paced South Iceland Summer Self-Drive Tour | Golden Circle, Black Sand Beach & Glacier Lagoon

Use this itinerary as an inspiration to design your own!

Duration

7 days

Availability

May - September

Difficulty

Easy

Minimum Age

No Age Limit

Overview

Take your time exploring the waterfalls, glaciers, black sand beaches and glacier lagoons of South Iceland with this week-long holiday in the land of fire and ice. On this 7-Day Summer Self-Drive Tour, you’ll travel along Iceland’s south coast, exploring everything between the Golden Circle in the West and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon in the East.

On this tour, you are behind the wheel. So you get to decide where to stop and how long to stay at each location. Iceland’s southern coastline is filled with beautiful natural attractions, which can make deciding where to go a challenge. However, upon booking, you will get a personalised itinerary to help guide you. Furthermore, throughout your journey, you have your own travel planner on hand.

You will be able to book additional adventures to spice up your sightseeing days. These include relaxing in geothermal waters, riding the Icelandic horse, and exploring an ice cave.

Throughout your journey, you’ll stay at comfortable country hotels or guesthouses located close to the region’s major attractions. The driving distances for each day are moderate, making this trip perfect for both families and active travellers.

Spend your summer surrounded by Iceland’s stunning natural beauty. On this 7-Day Summer Self-Drive Tour, you’ll see an endless series of snow-capped mountains, verdant fields, silvery waterfalls, and glittering glacier lagoons. Book your tour today!

Included

  • 6 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 – Welcome to Iceland

As your plane begins to prepare for landing, make sure to look out the window to see the newly formed lava from the recent eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula. After you’ve picked up your bags, get your vehicle from the rental agency and make your way through the volcanic Reykjanes to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík.

Your next few days will be filled with adventure and incredible sights. If you wish to start your sightseeing early, you can drive past some of the city’s most beautiful landmarks on your way to your hotel. You can check out the historic Höfði House, Harpa Concert Hall, or the dome-shaped building, Perlan.

  • Reykjavík City
  • 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.
Skogafoss waterfall Iceland

Day 2 – Glaciers, Waterfalls, & Black Sand Beaches of South Iceland

Today, it’s time to explore the Icelandic countryside. You’ll drive along Iceland’s southern coastline, with massive glaciers in the North and the roaring waves of the Atlantic Ocean to the South. Ahead lie silvery waterfalls and black sand beaches.

Start by driving towards Seljalandsfoss, a beautiful and narrow waterfall that falls over a cave in the cliff. Make sure to wear waterproof clothes today because you can follow a path that leads into the cave, behind the falling water. However, doing so will get you slightly wet.

From there, travel to Skógafoss Waterfall. This cascade is much wider and more powerful than its neighbour Seljalandsfoss. There is a staircase next to the waterfall, which leads to a viewing platform, so you can take in Skógafoss’ beauty from above.

As you travel to your next destination, you’ll pass two glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. If you wish, you can have an icy adventure on top of one of these glaciers today. You can opt for a thrilling snowmobile on top of Mýrdalsjökull, where you’ll race across the ancient ice cap. You’ll feel the adrenaline surge in your veins while enjoying spectacular glacial landscapes.

Alternatively, you can opt for an exhilarating glacier hike on top of Sólheimajökull, an outlet glacier of Mýrdalsjökull. You’ll strap on crampons and follow a professional glacier guide to the top of the glacier, seeing deep crevasses and other ice structures.

Next, visit Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach near the tiny village of Vík. Here, white waves crash upon the jet-black sand and the massive Reynisdrangar sea stacks, which protrude out of the ocean like petrified trolls.

After an exciting day, find your accommodation in or near the village of Vík.

  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Skógafoss Waterfall
  • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
  • 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.
  • Snowmobiling on Sólheimajökull Glacier: Race across a glacier on a snowmobile. No prior experience needed and all you have to bring are warm clothes and good shoes. Use of overalls, helmets and balaclavas are included. Two people share a snowmobile, and the driver needs to bring their driving licence. Age limit for passengers is 5 years.
Diamond beach with glacier ice blocks on black sand close to Jökulsárlon in Iceland.

Day 3 – Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Your destination today is the glittering Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. If you wish to start your day with an adventure, you can opt for a visit to the Katla Ice Caves shortly after breakfast.

These caves are the only one of their kind open year-round. You’ll meet your guide in Vík Village, and they will take you to the glacier, lend you a helmet, headlight, and crampons before leading you inside these beautiful caves.

Continue your journey East towards Vatnajökull National Park, where you will find the beautiful Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach.

Floating on the water, you will see massive icebergs at the lagoon that have broken off a nearby glacier. They drift slowly towards the ocean while resident seals swim between them. If you want a closer look at the bergs and the seals, you can book a boat tour on Jökulsárlón.

You’ll have a choice between a faster zodiac boat tour or a slower amphibian boat tour. The former is perfect for those looking for a little thrill while the latter is great for families and photographers.

A short walk away from Jökulsárlón is a stretch of black sand shoreline known as the Diamond Beach. Scattered on the beach lie small icebergs which have washed up on shore, glistening under the Midnight Sun.

At the end of the day, make your way to your accommodation in the area.

  • Vík Village
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Diamond Beach
  • 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 8 years.
  • Jökulsárlón Zodiac Boat Tour: Get a front-row seat to see the giant icebergs at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. The small Zodiac boat can get closer to the icebergs than the larger amphibian boat, providing you with a unique perspective over the bergs. Includes use of floatation overalls and lifejackets. Minimum age is 10 and children must also be taller than 130 cm (4’3”).
  • Jökulsárlón Amphibian Boat Tour: Sail amongst the enormous icebergs on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. This tour is especially suited for families with young children as well as photographers looking for a great shot of the ice. Included is a guided tour in English and use of lifevest. No age limit.
A shot of Svartifoss waterfall

Day 4 -Skaftafell Nature Reserve

Today, you’ll explore the wonders found in the South-East corner of Iceland. Beautiful waterfalls, rugged canyons and massive glaciers will be the centre of attention for today’s journey.

If you want, you can head back to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon after breakfast to see the glittering icebergs in the morning light. Alternatively, you can head straight to Skaftafell Nature Reserve to explore the wonders found there.

Skaftafell is a site of stark contrasts. Here, black sand, green flora, and white glacier meet to create this beautiful nature reserve. Here, you’ll find many trails and tracks leading to such breathtaking places as Svartifoss Waterfall, Kristínartindar Peaks, and Sel Turf House.

If you wish, you can opt for a glacier hike here. You’ll meet your professional glacier guide at the Skaftafell Visitors Center, who will lead you up a glacier tongue of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. Once up, you’ll have fantastic views of the area, and you will be given plenty of time to take amazing photos.

Once you’ve explored Skaftafell to your heart’s content, continue your journey West until you find the beautiful Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. After a short walk from the parking lot, you’ll find a look-out point overlooking this magnificent canyon created by the movements of glaciers during the last ice age.

Continue your journey West until you reach your accommodation in or near the village of Vík.

  • Skaftafell Nature Reserve
  • Sel Turf House
  • Svartifoss Waterfall
  • Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
  • Glacier Hike in Skaftafell: Easy glacier hike, suitable for most people. 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.

Day 5 – South-West Iceland

Now it is time to explore those sites on Iceland’s south coast that you missed on your first day on the road. Of course, you are also free to revisit some of your favourite spots if you prefer.

If you are looking for something new, start the day by making your way to Dyrhólaey Peninsula. Here, you’ll find a strangely shaped rock arch and a beautiful lighthouse. Not only that, if you are travelling between May and August, you might also spot puffins there.

Near Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, you can opt to join an ATV tour where you’ll travel across black sand beaches and small rivers to the wreck of a military plane that crashed in 1973. Nobody was hurt in the crash, but the remains now serve as a cool photography spot, looking like something from a post-apocalyptic movie.

Continue your journey, stopping at Kerið Crater Lake next. Kerið is approximately three thousand years old, but it is not its age but its vivid redness that contributes to most of Kerið’s appeal. This is especially true of how contrasting the crimson rocks look against the azure colour of the waters within the crater and the burst of green vegetation from on the crater’s walls.

A short drive from Kerið is the Secret Lagoon, a warm, geothermal spa in the small town of Flúðir. If you opt for a visit, you can unwind at this natural pool which was built in 1891 around a hot spring. Drinks are available for purchase there, and you are free to walk around to see the small geyser erupting nearby (you’ll see a bigger geyser tomorrow!).

At the end of the day, make your way to your accommodation in the region.

  • Dyrhólaey Peninsula
  • Mýrdalsjökull Glacier
  • Kerið Crater Lake
  • ATV tour on Black Beach: Drive across black sand beaches, glacial streams, and rugged hills to the DC3 Plane Crash on this thrilling Quad Bike Tour from South Iceland’s Myrdalsjokull Glacier.
  • Secret Lagoon: Unwind in the warm, geothermal waters of the Secret Lagoon. The natural hot springs are located only a short distance from Iceland’s famous Golden Circle, providing a relaxing respite for weary travellers. Swimsuit and towel can be rented onsite if you do not have your own. Snacks and drinks are also available for purchase.
Erupting Strokkur geyser at sunset

Day 6 – Golden Circle

Now it is time to explore Iceland´s most popular sightseeing route, the Golden Circle. Today, you’ll see geysers erupt, a stunning waterfall, and follow in the footsteps of Vikings.

The first stop is Gullfoss Waterfall. This stunning cascade is fed by Langjökull, Iceland’s second-largest glacier. As you step out of your car, you will be greeted by the thundering noises of water plunging 32 metres into an ancient canyon. The sight is also breathtaking, and you can take in Gullfoss’ beauty from three viewing platforms.

From there, you will travel to the Geysir Geothermal Area, where you will see the geyser Strokkur erupt every 5-10 minutes. Here, you’ll also find bubbling mud pools and hissing steam vents.

The last stop on the Golden Circle Route is at Þingvellir National Park. Here is where the Viking settlers of the country gathered in 930 AD to create the world’s oldest parliament. The park is also geographically fascinating; it is located on the boundary between two tectonic plates. So it is neither on the European continent nor the North American one.

Suppose you want to add some adventure to your day. In that case, you can opt for a snowmobiling tour on Langjökull, the glacier that’s responsible for Gullfoss. You’ll meet your guide at the parking lot of Gullfoss Cafe, and they will take you into the Highlands to the glacier. There, you’ll put on warm coveralls and a helmet and whizz across the frozen landscapes of the glacier on a snowmobile.

Alternatively, you can opt for a horse riding tour in the countryside. Icelandic horses are small and gentle creatures, making this trip a great family adventure. Your guide will introduce you to your furry pure-bred companion (the horse). Then you’ll be off exploring Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes.

The third adventure option is a snorkelling tour in Silfra Fissure. Þingvellir National Park is filled with rifts and fissures. One of these fissures, Silfra, is filled with meltwater from Langjökull Glacier. Here, you can snorkel in crystal clear water between the continents.

After exploring the Golden Circle to the fullest, you’ll return to Reykjavík, where you will spend the night.

  • Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Geysir Geothermal Area
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • 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.
Women in the silky blue waters of the blue lagoon in Iceland with smoke in the background

Day 7 – Departure

Now it is time to bid farewell to Iceland. When the time comes, you’ll drive across the Reykjanes Peninsula to Keflavík Airport, where you will return the car and board your plane. Make sure you arrive in good time for your check-in.

If your flight leaves in the afternoon or evening, you can store your luggage at the hotel and explore Reykjavík. You could walk down Laugavegur Shopping Street, where you’ll find countless shops, restaurants, bars, boutiques, and galleries.

If you wish to arrive at the airport calm and relaxed, we recommend a trip to the world-famous Blue Lagoon. The Spa is located midway between the city and the airport. You can store your luggage there and unwind in warm, mineral-rich waters before your flight.

See you later, or as the Icelanders would say: Sjáumst seinna!

  • Hallgrímskirkja Church
  • Laugavegur Shopping Street
  • Reykjanes Peninsula
  • 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

  • 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 do 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.
  • The weather in Iceland is very unpredictable, even in the summertime. Make sure to be prepared and bring both warm and waterproof clothing.

What to bring

  • Warm and waterproof clothes
  • Good walking/hiking shoes
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Camera
  • Driving licence

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From: 138.091 kr. /pp.

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

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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.