With freedom, mood, and passion, Iceland is one of the most desirable destinations for road trips. The seemingly unlimited daylight in summer only adds to the fabulous atmosphere that Iceland has to offer, ensuring your self-drive experience second to none.
Why Iceland Is the Best Road-Trip Destination
There are many famous road trips that claim to be the best for a self-drive tour. The United States has Route 66, Australia has the Great Ocean Road, and Scotland has North Coast 500. For grandeur, vastness and cinematic landscapes, Iceland is in a league of its own.
What do you want to see in Iceland? The silver-topped glaciers, or the unbelievably cool volcanoes? The overwhelmingly voluminous waterfalls, or the unpredictable but completely breathtaking gushing geysers? A therapeutic spa in the milky blue water with healing magic, or the raw nature spring in the middle of the untouched landscape? A casual walk on a black sand beach surrounded by breathtaking views, or an adventurous trek on top of an ice cap that’s potentially thousand years old? Don’t worry if it’s hard to make a decision, a self drive around Iceland will allow you the opportunity to experience it all.
The diverse sights of Iceland are incredible and unparalleled.
Flexible and Spontaneous Adventures
A road trip can easily access the popular attractions of Iceland so spontaneity on the road makes for a perfect adventure. If you take the Golden Circle route, you will see some of Iceland’s most famous natural attractions; the Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir Geothermal Fields, and Thingvellir National Park. But there’s more. So much more.
A self-drive trip offers the flexibility to make your dreams of adventure a reality, a chance to go off-the-beaten-path and explore the hidden gems on offer. Bruarfoss waterfall is famous for its myriad blue cascade. Kvernufoss waterfall famed for a beautiful single 30-meter drop from a concave cliff. Fjallsárlón is a serene glacier lagoon backdropped by a massive glacier tongue. The hidden gems found off the well traveled, popular paths are for adventurers steering a wheel! For wild animal lovers, you can stop at popular spots to see puffins in their natural habitat in summer and you might even encounter reindeers in the fall. By making a spontaneous stop at a beach, you could even see seals lying on some rocks basking in the sun.
An Icelandic road trip is freedom to experience the essence in its best shape and form.
Unique Midnight Sun for a Dreamy Vacation
Iceland’s unique geographic location makes the summer season quite marvelous. The daylight hours start to lengthen from April, and by June a 24-hour long natural phenomena takes place, peaking at Summer Solstice and ending in early July. If the weather allows, the entire sky is lit in fabulous shades of red and you will get the chance to see the amazing Midnight Sun.
An increase in daylight means longer time to travel, explore, and to see beautiful scenery in the soft, pink sky, an encounter that is rarely experienced in most parts of the world.
Iceland’s summer usually has mild weather; warm days accompanied with sunshine. The road condition is good, especially circling Iceland via the Ring Road, (Highway No. 1.) You can enjoy driving with the luxury and comfort your itinerary provides. It’s a dream vacation like no other.
Luxury Self-Drive Tours
Luxury travel experiences may conjure up images of excellent hotels, luxury vehicles, and exclusive venues. Indeed, they are all elements of a luxury trip.
What travelers fail to mention, is the team effort put into making your holiday a five-star experience, which is the key to real luxury. To be free from all the hassle of planning a trip, so you can enjoy the detailed itinerary, and see the destination with the help of the knowledgeable locals.
Free From the Hussle of Planning
As a luxury travel service, we strive to plan every itinerary with our client’s notes at heart. We understand how much time and effort it takes to plan a trip that exceeds expectations. On the road, we long for a delicious meal, a warm bath, some cozy time, and a restorative night’s sleep after a long day of sights and sounds. With the luxury resorts and hotels booked, all you need to focus on during the day is where you want to go and what you want to see.
A luxury self-drive package – prepared by experienced travel guides who have talked and welcomed thousands of clients with high expectations – frees you from all the hustle.
Privileged Experience Inspired by Knowledgeable Locals
Iceland might be a small island, but it’s a small island of complexity. There are glaciers and volcanoes, there’s natural hot springs and icy lagoons, and there’s gushing geysers and roaring waterfalls. So much to see, yet too overwhelming to plan from scratch for an outsider, even for those pro travelers. That’s when local guides come in.
Our guides have excellent knowledge and a stellar reputation. Over our years of expertise in taking customers to the most amazing places in Iceland, we have learned a lot about everyone’s dream vacation and their favorite spots and activities to do while in Iceland.
This powers us with excellent knowledge, with your best interest at heart. Not many traveling experiences can be more authentic and insightful than a self-drive package inspired by knowledgeable, local guides.
The Most Popular Self-Drive Routes in Iceland
The most famous route in Iceland is the Ring Road, the national road No. 1. The ring road encircles the island, connecting all major towns around the island and passing through many popular sights and unforgettable destinations.
The Golden Circle route is a competitive one to follow. It takes you to Iceland’s three renowned natural wonders, the Gullfoss waterfall, the Thingvellir National Park, and the Geysir Geothermal Fields, with a hidden gem named Bruarfoss waterfall that you are free to stop by when you self-drive.
The Silver Circle route has been gaining some fame in recent years, as it depicts Iceland in a different, yet memorable way. Hraunfossar waterfall is a myriad of cascades which spread through arctic fauna and lava fields before they meet in the running river of blue. Into the Glacier is a once-in-a-life-time experience, exploring the inside of Iceland’s second-largest glacier; Langjokull. It is also close to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, nicknamed “Miniature Iceland,” another region you can visit on the same trip.
The Diamond Circle route is another celebrated trip when it comes to self-drive tours in Iceland. It starts in the north, where you will greet Akureyri, the northern capital of Iceland, and before visiting the Myvatn lake area, the Godafoss waterfall, and experience whale watching from Husavik, (a town you might have heard from the movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams).
The South Iceland route is another highlight that must not be missed. Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss are two magnificent waterfalls, right along the Ring Road, whilst the legendary Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach is close to the southernmost point of the main island, the sea-front town, Vík í Mýrdal.
The Reykjanes Peninsula route takes you to the wonderful Blue Lagoon, along with many other iconic sights in Iceland – especially with the most recent volcanic eruption, which took place right in the middle of the peninsula.
If you plan to self-drive in winter, we highly recommend you go for the Golden Circle, the South Iceland, and the Reykjanes Peninsula Route. These regions are fairly close to the capital, which encompasses most landmark highlights and signature landscapes. It is also a very convenient base, if you need to change plans if there is bad weather.
Activities To Participate In When You Self-Drive in Iceland
Iceland is an island filled with many adventures for every fun-searching soul.
As the fabulous diverse landscapes reveal as you drive further away from Reykjavik, you will come to realize that in each kind of a landscape awaits a type of adventure.
Sitting between North America and Europe, Iceland is surrounded by ocean, making it a perfect spot to see a wide range of marine wildlife. Jump on board a luxurious yacht and set out to the sea for a whale watching tour, right at the historic old harbor of Reykjavik. Your view is backdropped by the glorious Mount. Esja and the fabulous skyline of the world’s northernmost capital.
Many volcanoes can be found in Iceland, with the most famous one being Eyjafjallajökull, of which the notorious eruption stopped Eurpean’s air traffic in 2010 and stuttered international broadcast journalists with its tongue-twisting name. But did you know that snowmobiling on Eyjafjallajökull is actually a popular activity? It is a superb landscape with a spectacular view. Definitely try it if you get the chance.
Iceland makes for a wonderful extreme sports destination for many tourists, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the same exhilarating experience without physical exhaustion. Taking a walk on the surface of a glacier with a glacier guide comes highly recommended, the easiest one being glacier walking on Sólheimajökull glacier, in South Iceland.
The land of fire and ice is rich in geothermal energy, which feeds into countless natural geothermal pools and hot springs. The most well-known one, billed as therapeutic and healing with its milky blue water, is the Blue Lagoon. To make the most of your visit, get the five-hour exclusive access to the Retreat Spa at the Blue Lagoon, where you can enjoy all the privacy, leisure, and exclusivity.
A visit to a local farm can be packed with surprises. Iceland’s pure and clean nature nurtures many types of farm animals, making your visit to one of the local farms a great opportunity to understand how Iceland operates its meat and dairy production. The local farmers will tell you some insights in Iceland’s tradition and farm culture.
Besides what we mentioned above, a visit to the lava tunnel, to explore inside a volcano magma chamber, or to fly over the magnificent Icelandic landscapes on a helicopter, and more, your self-drive vacation in Iceland is never short of excitement.
Good to Know About Driving in Iceland
- Always check the weather forecast, as Iceland’s weather can change very quickly. The official weather information in Iceland can be found on the MET website.
- Everything you need to know about road conditions in Iceland can be found on road.is.
- The Ring Road is about 1330 km (825 miles) long, and takes between 12-14 hours to drive through, without any stops.
- To fully experience a self-drive tour along the Ring Road, the best itinerary will take between six to 10 days.
- These Apps are best to have in your smartphone while you drive in Iceland: SafeTravel Iceland, our Driver Guide Web App that will assist you through every step of your journey,
- For more driving information in Iceland, please visit the info section.