Our Express Iceland road trip is an ideal self-drive tour for those who want to visit all the major attractions in Iceland in a short amount of time. With pearls like Þingvellir National Park, The Golden Waterfall, town of Akureyri, Geyser Spouting Spring, Skaftafell National Park, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon that are all visited, this 8 day tour is one of the most popular of all our Iceland self drive holidays.
SD-01 Iceland road trip in 8 days
Day 1: Arrival/Reykjavik
Welcome to Iceland and to your Iceland road trip in 8 days. Once you arrive in Keflavik national Airport, you will be welcomed by our chauffeur who will transfer you to your hotel in the heart of Reykjavik. After you have checked in to your hotel and received your travel documents, we would like to have a optional private information meeting during office hours (located in Borgartún 27 second floor). Explore the pearls of the city in the afternoon before staying the first night in the capital of the north. If you arrive early, you might be interested in optional day tours such as whale whatching from Reykjavík Harbour or relaxing at the Blue Lagoon.
Sites recommended in Reykjavik: Hallgímskirkja church, National Museum, Kolaportið flea market (open during weekends), Laugavegur shopping street, Sólfar sculpture and more
Optional activities: Helicopter tour, Whale watching, Puffin watching (in summer), Horseback riding
Day 2: The Golden Circle
Today your Express Iceland self drive holiday, starts! You will pick up you rental car in the morning and start your day by driving to Þingvellir National park. Because of its beauty and its geological and historical value, Þingvellir was accepted as UNESCO’s heritage site in 2004. After exploring the treasures of the park, head south to see Geysir Spouting Spring and Gullfoss waterfall to complete the “Golden Circle”. Enjoy the afternoon seeing the sizzling hot springs and geysers and the force of the great waterfall. Make your way to the south coast of Iceland. Stay the night at a hotel/guest house/cottage in the Hvolsvöllur/Vík area. Approximate driving distance on this day: 290km/180 miles
Highlights of the day: Þingvellir, Gullfoss, Geysir area, Skálholt, Kerið crater and more
Optional activities: Snorkeling/Diving in Silfra fissure, River rafting (in summer), Horseback riding
Day 3: The South Coast
Today you will head to the famous Skaftafell National park. After breakfast and packing you will drive east to the picturesque waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss. Above the waterfalls looms the mighty Eyjafjallajökull where the great volcanic eruption took place in 2010. Drive along the south shore to Dyrhólaey natural reserve where you can find one of the best seabird colony in Iceland. You will cross Mýrdalssandur and Eldhraun which is the largest lava field ever to flow on earth. When arriving to Kirkjubæjarklaustur take a look at the amazing Fjarðárgljúfur, a narrow and beautiful canyon and one of our favorite hidden treasures in Iceland. After passing Skeiðarársandur you will arrive at Skaftafell in the Vatnajökull National Park. We recommend the easy hiking trail to Svartifoss waterfall, that is surrounded by beautiful and pitch black basalt columns. Stay the night in Skaftafell area. Approximate driving distance on this day: 266km/165 miles
Highlights of the day: Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Dyrhólaey, Fjarðárgljúfur, Skaftafell, Svartifoss and more
Optional activities: Snowmobiling on Mýrdalsjökull glacier, Glacier hiking on Sólheimajökull glacier, zodiac boat tour on the glacial lagoon
Day 4: East Iceland
Your Express Iceland self drive holiday continues by exploring the place many people consider being the greatest sight of Iceland, Jökulsárlón or The Glacial Lagoon. Jökulsárlón is a lagoon at the roots of Vatnajökull which is Europe’s largest glacier and on the lagoon are icebergs that has broken off the glacier floating around. During summer time you can take an optional boat tour on the lagoon that we highly recommend. After Jökulsárlón you will pass the village Höfn which is known for being the lobster (langoustine if you will) capital of Iceland so if you are passing by during lunch hour, we recommend stopping at the Hotel Höfn for a lobster feast or lobster soup. After passing Djúpivogur, you will explore the East Coast of Iceland. If you have time, you can drive up to Kárahnjúkar Dam, a project that caused a great stir in Iceland when it was being built. Near by Egilsstaðir, there is a small forest called Hallormsstaðarskógur, the largest forest in Iceland. Stay the night in Egilsstaðir. Approximate driving distance on this day: 423 km/262 miles
Highlights of the day: Jökulsárlón, Höfn, Djúpivogur, Kárahnjúkavirkjun, Hallormsstaðarskógur, Egilsstaðir and more
Day 5: Lake Mývatn
Today will be a busy day so we suggest leaving early from Egilsstaðir. Drive from Egilsstaðir through Möðrudalsöræfi to Lake Mývatn. We recommend that you take route 864 and explore Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. A little further down the road you’ll find Ásbyrgi Canyon that our forefathers believed was an ancient hoof print, made by Sleipnir – Odin’s eight legged horse. Then drive to Húsavík where you can take an optional whale watching tour before arriving at Mývatn. Around the Mývatn area you will find amazing attractions such as the Námaskarð pass, the Lavafield of Dimmuborgir, Krafla Volcano and the Nature Baths of Mývatn. Stay the night in Mývatn. Approximate driving distance on this day: 308km/191 miles
Highlights of the day: Mývatn, Dettifoss, Ásbyrgi, Húsavík, Námaskarð, Dimmuborgir, Krafla and more
Day 6: North Iceland
Start the day early by exploring Mývatn and surroundings before heading for Akureyri. On your way to Akureyri (the “capital of the North”) stop and enjoy the charming Goðafoss Waterfall. Akureyri is a very charming town located in the Eyjafjörður Fjord. We recommend exploring the Botanical Garden, Akureyri geo thermal swimming pool and water park, Hof Culture & Music Center and having ice cream in Brynja Store (world famous in Iceland). From Akureyri you can take a day tour to Grímsey Island and cross the Arctic Circle or go on a whale watching tour. Drive south from Akureyri into Eyjafjörður Fjord where you’ll find lush farmlands, beautiful churches, the Christmas Garden and a farm that produces it’s own ice cream! Enjoy a nice dinner at one of many gourmet restaurants to be found in Akureyri. Stay the night in or around Akureyri. Approximate driving distance on this day: 91km/57 miles
Highlights of the day: Mývatn, Goðafoss, Akureyri, Eyjafjörður and more
Day 7: West Iceland
Today you will be heading back to the capital. Before finishing your ”ring road”, you might want to take a look at the highlights of West Iceland. Sights along the way are the volcanic crater Grábrók, Hraunfossar waterfalls, Deildartunguhver (the largest hot spring in Europe) and the settlement center in Borgarnes. Please note that driving into Borgarfjörður fjord takes an additional two hours. Once heading back to Reykjavík, you can either take the Hvalfjörður fjord route where you’ll find the Glymur waterfall (the highest waterfall in Iceland with 198 meter/650 feet drop). The hike up to the waterfall is not an easy one but very rewarding. Arrive back in Reykjavik late afternoon and return the rental car. Stay the night in central Reykjavik. Approximate driving distance on this day: 382km/240 miles
Highlights of the day: Grábrók, Settlement Exhibition in Borgarnes, Reykholt, Hraunfossar, Deildartunguhver, Hvalfjörður (Glymur waterfall) and more
Day 8: Departure
Your last day in Iceland! How time flies when you’re having fun. Transfer to Keflavik airport via Flybus. If you have an afternoon flight you can either do some last minute shopping or stop by the Blue Lagoon (optional) to relax before you flight. Have a safe journey home and you are always welcome again for any of our tours or another Iceland self drive holiday!
This tour is rated as Moderately Difficult for disabled travelers.
We offer three different accommodation categories for this tour:
Budget accommodation includes shared facilities in guest houses, country hotels, farmhouses, etc. In some you might find a TV and a washbasin in your room. All offer breakfast that’s included in the price. In some places in the countryside you can order an evening meal as long as you give at least a couple of hours of advance notice.
In Comfort accommodation you will have access to private facilities (shower and WC). These would be 3 star hotels and better guest houses many of whom have their own restaurant. All offer a continental breakfast that is included in the price.
Rooms with private shower/bath and WC. These are the best available rooms in 4 star hotels or the best hotels in each region. Suites and Jr. Suites are available upon request within the Quality category
Rental Cars available for this tour are:
A: Toyota Aygo (or similar) – Manual
B: Toyota Yaris (or similar) – Automatic
C: VW Golf (or similar) – Manual
D: Skoda Octavia Station (or similar) – 4×4 – Manual
E: Dacia Duster – 4×4 (or similar) – Manual
F: Toyota RAV4 – 4×4 (or similar) – Automatic
G: Land Rover Defender – 4×4 (or similar) – Manual
To get a price quote for your tour, please contact us and state how many are traveling and what type of accommodation and rental car you would prefer.
- 7 nights’ accommodation (budget/comfort/quality) with continental breakfast
- Rental car of your choice for 6 days with unlimited mileage/CDW
- Personal pick-up at Keflavík Airport and transport to your hotel in Reykjavik
- Flybus transfer with pickup at your hotel upon departure
- Private information meeting with our travel consultant in Reykjavik before tour starts
- Maps and driving instructions
- GPS unit in your rental car for easier navigation
- Icelandic mobile phone with 1000 ISK worth of calls
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fee
- Flights to/from Iceland
- Meals, drinks at restaurants and entrance fees (unless otherwise agreed upon)
- Personal travel insurance