Iceland Self Drive Full Circle 8 days

Iceland Self Drive Full Circle 8 days

Bestseller

The tour covers all the most interesting sights along the main circular highway.

BP12 Map

BP12 Map

AVAILABLE:
All year

DURATION:
8 days / 7 nights

CAR RENTAL DAYS:
6 Days

DEPARTURES:
Daily

TOUR ID:
BP12

BESTSELLER
 

Included

Not Included

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival


Upon arrival at Keflavik airport, a meet and greet service is provided by a TOURIS representative. He will deliver travel documents and take you to your hotel in Reykjavik.

Highlights of the day:
ReykjavÝk

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Day 2. South coast & Waterfalls


Pick up the car in the morning and leave Reykjavik city and head for Hverager­i and the village Selfoss. Cross the plateau Hellishei­i, with a lot of geothermal activity and plumes of steam rising from the ground. Numerous boreholes have been drilled on Hellishei­i in the last years for hot water and steam, some of the cleanest energy available. Stop at Hellishei­i Geothermal Powerplant where natural hot water and steam pressure from the ground is used for generating electricity. Here, you can enjoy an optional tour through the power station and and learn about the eco-friendly geo thermal energy. In Hverager­i geothermal water is harnessed to heat greenhouses for cultivation of decorative flowers and vegetables. From Selfoss proceed east along the south shore, heading for VÝk. See the Saga Centre at Hvolsv÷llur and stop at the waterfall Seljalandsfoss, where a walk behind the falls is possible during summer, which can be a quite a unique experience. A little further east is Skˇgafoss, another pretty waterfall, the largest on the south coast and donĺt miss the interesting Folk Museum at Skˇgar, close to the waterfall.
The glaciers Eyjafjallaj÷kull and Mřrdalsj÷kull are towering above, capping the Eyjafj÷ll mountain chain. On March 20th 2010, a volcanic eruption started on Fimmv÷r­uhßls, a mountain ridge between the glaciers, Eyjafjallaj÷kull and Mřrdalsj÷kull. The eruption on Fimmv÷r­uhßls lasted a couple of weeks. After this eruption came to an end a new and bigger eruption started underneath the nearby icecap of Eyjafjallaj÷kull Glacier. This eruption came to an end on 23. May 2010.
Make a detour to the glacier Sˇlheimaj÷kull before continuing to Dyrhˇlaey natural reserve and a nesting colony of numerous seabirds (closed for all traffic during the nesting period until June 25th).
Make a short detour to the glacier Sˇlheimaj÷kull (passable only during summer). Continue further east and make a short detour to the headland Dyrhˇlaey, a natural reserve and a nesting colony of numerous seabirds. Next visit Reynisdrangar with spectacular coast and beautiful rock formations.

Driving distance
190 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Hverager­i Town
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Skˇgafoss Waterfall
Dyrhˇlaey Nature Reserve
VÝk Town
Reynisfjara beach

Overnight:
VÝk - KirkjubŠjarklaustur area

Recommended optional activity:
Glacier Walk
Snowmobiling on Solheimajokull Glacier

Day 3. Skaftafell National Park & The Great Glacial Lagoon


Drive across the Mřrdalssandur floodplains and Eldhraun, the largest lava field ever to flow on Earth in historical time, and to the small village Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Fja­rßrglj˙fur is a narrow and beautiful canyon a few km to the west from KirkjubŠjarklaustur, worth taking a look at. At KirkjubŠjarklaustur, see Kirkjugˇlfi­ (the Church Floor), a protected natural monument just east of the village. Kirkjugˇlfi­ is columnar basalt, shaped and eroded by water and wind. From KirkjubŠjarklaustur, continue over Skeidarßrsandur, vast tracts of black sandy desert washed down by numerous torrential glacial rivers. Stop at Skaftafell National Park, an oasis wedged between glacier and sand. Its natural beauty is a result of unusually favorable weather conditions and the interaction of ice and fire. Beneath the Vatnaj÷kull ice cap, towering above Skaftafell is GrÝmsv÷tn, one of Icelandĺs most active volcano. . In the afternoon of 21. May 2011, a sub-glacial eruption started in the GrÝmsv÷tn volcanic system underneath Vatnaj÷kull Glacier. Later the same day, the eruption broke the ice cover of the glacier and started spewing volcanic ash into the air. The amount of ash fall was the greatest close to the village KirkjubŠjarklaustur. The eruption went on for about a week. It ceased on 28. May 2011. See the interesting Visitors Center where you can learn the history of fire and ice in the region and a video of the volcanic eruption and the catastrophic flood in the area in 1996 can also be viewed. An interesting hiking trail takes you to Svartifoss, one of Icelands most picturesque waterfall, framed in by beautiful basalt columns that surround it. In the Skaftafell area are many other interesting hiking trails. Continue to J÷kulsarlˇn, the Glacial Lagoon where huge icebergs, sculptures of nature, float and grind together in the deep blue waters of the lagoon. An interesting cruise among the icebergs on the Lagoon is available in summer. From here, drive further east towards the H÷fn area for an overnight stay.

Driving distance
270 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
KirkjubŠjarklaustur town
Skaftafell National Park
Svartifoss waterfall
J÷kulsßrlˇn Glacial Lagoon ľ H÷fn.

Overnight:
H÷fn area

Recommended optional activity:
Amphibian boat Tour on J÷kulsßrlˇn Glacier Lagoon

Day 4 The Tranquil East fjords & Lake Mřvatns surroundings


From H÷fn, drive through the Almannaskard tunnel and past the colorful Lˇns÷rŠfi district, a mountainous wilderness ringed by extinct volcanoes and traversed by glacial rivers. Continue to the magnificent East Fjords, some now deserted, each a world of its own. An interesting option is taking a boat tour to Papey Island near Dj˙pivogur where thousands of puffins and other seabirds nest in summer. Stop at the small fishing town Dj˙pivogur and at St÷­varfj÷r­ur the Stone Collection of Petra is an interesting place to visit. On to Egilssta­ir town and drive across the highland desert plateau towards Lake Mřvatn. Make a detour to Dettifoss, the largest waterfall in Europe. Stop at Nßmaskar­ Pass where boiling mud pools and flashing colors of the pass merge with ash and lava from nearby volcanoes. Explore the natural beauty of the Lake Mřvatn area. The lake area is known worldwide for its exceptionally many breeding duck species and the abundance of other birdlife. Visit highlights such as Dimmuborgir, Mt. Hverfjall, the pseudo craters of Sk˙tusta­ir and Krafla volcanic system where the most recent eruptions were 1975 - 1984. The explosion crater VÝti is near Krafla and the Mřvatn Nature Baths are an outstanding attraction too. The geothermal power station Kr÷fluvirkjun, where hot steam from the ground under high pressure is harnessed for generating electricity, is open to visitors during summer (free of charge).

Driving distance
430 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Egilssta­ir town
Hallormssta­askˇgur Forest
Lake Mřvatn
Nature Baths
Dimmuborgir

Overnight:
Mřvatn / H˙savÝk area

Recommended optional activity:
Nature Baths

Day 5. Akureyri The Capital of The North & North Iceland


Drive to H˙savÝk, sometimes called ôThe Whale Spotting Capital of The Worldö. H˙savÝk was the first town in the country to offer Whale watching cruises. The Whale Museum in H˙savÝk, is an information centre on marine wildlife and is ideal for learning more about the giants of the oceans. We suggest a Whale watching tour and a visit to the Whale Centre. Continue to Akureyri, the capital of the North and stop enroute at the beautiful waterfall Go­afoss, the waterfall of the gods. From Akureyri, drive through the majestic mountains and narrow passes which lead to the Skagafj÷rdur District, famous for horse breeding. Popular riding tours for beginners and experienced riders are available here. In the upper reaches of Skagafjordur you will also be able to join some of the best white water rafting in the country. We strongly recommend that you see GlaumbŠr Folk Museum, open during the summer and the tiny old church at VÝ­imřri, close to VarmahlÝ­.

Driving distance
290 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
H˙savÝk Town
Go­afoss waterfall
Akureyri
GlaumbŠr Folk Museum

Overnight:
North west area

Recommended optional activity:
Whale Watching From H˙savÝk

Different options for the route Akureyri ľ Skagafj÷r­ur only recommended in summer - optional:

Explore Tr÷llaskagi Peninsula. Take road 82 to the north along the western shore of Eyjafj÷r­ur Fjord to DalvÝk town. A short (15 min.) ferry ride is available several times daily (every 1-2 hours) during summer from ┴rskˇgssandur to the Island HrÝsey. HrÝsey has earned a reputation as a bird watching destination. There are no natural predators on the island, making it an ideal bird sanctuary. Drive further to the north to Ëlafsfj÷r­ur town. An approximately 11 km new tunnel has recently been opened that cuts driving distance between Siglufj÷r­ur and Ëlafsfj÷r­ur by about 47 km. It enables easy access to the isolated and pretty HÚ­insfj÷r­ur valley, that in the past used to be the most remote settlement in North Iceland. Due to the remoteness, the valley was abandoned in the middle of the 20th century.
The tunnel is in two sections: Siglufj÷r­ur to HÚ­insfj÷r­ur: 3.7 km and from HÚ­infj÷r­ur to Ëlafsfj÷r­ur 6.9 km. Drive to Siglufj÷r­ur fishing town, a remotely located fishing town that during the herring boom in early 20th century used to be the most prosperous fishing town in Iceland. Visit the award-winning Siglufj÷r­ur Herring Era Museum. It charts the rise and decline of the former "Herring Capital of the World" and the great Herring Adventure that lasted until 1968. Continue on 76 to the south along the shores of Skagafj÷r­ur Fjord to Hofsˇs town and further to Sau­ßrkrˇkur.

Day 6. The West Coast & Thingvellir National Park


The Icelandic Seal Center at Hvammstangi town is an interesting place to visit. It is a research and exhibition center investigating the lives of seals found in and around Iceland. Around Vatnsnes peninsula you have a unique opportunity to watch both harbour seals and grey seals in their natural habitat. The main watching locations are Svalbar­ and at Illugasta­ir on the west coast and and at Ësar on the east coast. The Icelandic Seal Center at Hvammstangi gives more information about these locations and how to approach the seals with care. It is usually best to see the selas at low tide since seals usually rest ashore during low tide but feed during high tide. Drive to Borgarfj÷r­ur district and visit Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in Europe. Continue a short distance further to the historic site Reykholt. Visit the interesting museum at Reykholt and see the hot pool Snorralaug. Further inland are the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafossar Waterfalls. Make the waterfalls a turnaround point and head back to road 1.

In summer it is possible to take the Kaldidalur highland road to Thingvellir from this point if you are driving a 4x4, but this road is impassable due to snow and closed for all traffic during the winter.

In Borgarnes town you will find the interesting Settlement Centre. The prime objective of the Icelandic Settlement Centre is to dramatically recreate the fascinating sagas surrounding the birth of this island nation where Multi-media and theatrical techniques are employed to help the visitor experience firsthand the trepidation and excitement of setting off over the open ocean for lands unknown. Drive along the shores of Hvalfj÷r­ur Fjord towards Reykjavik. Continue to Ůingvellir National Park, a unique place from a geological point of view. Research has shown that Thingvellir is a natural wonder. The faults and fissures of the area are evidence of the rifting of the earth's crust. Thingvellir is one of the most historical sites in the country and a place of exceptional beauty. Overnight in the south west area.

Driving distance
400 kilometers


Highlights of the day:
Vatnsdalshˇlar mounds
HvÝtserkur Cliff
Reykholt town
Deildartunguhver
Hraunfossar
Borgarnes town
Ůingvellir

Overnight:
Laugarvatn area

Recommended optional activity:
Horseback Riding
The Settlement Exhibition and The Egil Saga Exhibition

Day 7. The Great Golden Circle & The Blue Lagoon


Head on to explore the great Geysir hot spring area and see the famous Great Geysir and Strokkur, a hot spring that spouts every few minutes. The Geysir Service Center consists of a restaurant, hotel, swimming pool, souvenir shop, snack bar, gas station, a geo-center multimedia show, horse rental, quad bike tours, and a camping area. From here, drive to the majestic waterfall Gullfoss one of Icelands most beautiful waterfall. Head back to see Faxi, a pretty waterfall, situated a few steps from the road. Drive further to the volcanic crater Keri­ for a picture stop. Continue to the main circular highway, and head for ReykjavÝk across the plateu Hellishei­i. Before crossing Hellishei­i, stop for a drive around the small town Hverager­i where geothermal water is harnessed for heating greenhouses for cultivating decorative flowers. There is a lot of geothermal activity on Hellishei­i, where numerous boreholes have been drilled in the last years for hot water and steam under high pressure, currently harnessed for generating electricity. Head to the amazing Blue Lagoon. Filled with mineral-rich waters, the Blue Lagoon has become famous for providing soothing relief for sufferers of skin disorders, as well as others looking for a sensational bathing experience. Stop for a refreshing bath before ending the tour at your hotel in ReykjavÝk. If you plan to take a bath at the Blue Lagoon, we strongly recommend that you book your ticket in advance. It can be booked at www.bluelagoon.com Return to Reykjavik and drop off the car.

Driving distance
260 kilometers


Highlights og the day:
Gullfoss Waterfall and Geysir Hot Springs
Keri­
Hverager­i Town
The Blue Lagoon

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Day 8. Departure


A Flybus transfer from the hotel to Keflavik airport.

ACCOMMODATION

Cat 1

Cat 1

Rooms in guesthouses with shared facilities but sometimes with washbasins in the rooms. Breakfast is included.
Double rooms at most Icelandic hotels are twin rooms with two single beds. In most cases the two single beds can be put together to make a double bed. However this varies from one hotel / guesthouse to another.
Triple rooms are in most cases double rooms with an extra bed and therefore floor space may be limited when an extra bed has been added.

Cat 2

Cat 2

Rooms in guesthouses or hotels with private shower or bath and WC. Breakfast is included.

Cat 3

Cat 3

Rooms in the best quality accommodation available with private shower or bath and WC. Breakfast is included.
Double rooms at most Icelandic hotels are twin rooms with two single beds. In most cases the two single beds can be put together to make a double bed. However this varies from one hotel / guesthouse to another.
Triple rooms are in most cases double rooms with an extra bed and therefore floor space may be limited when an extra bed has been added.

CARS

01.A - Hyundai I10 or similar - Manual -

01.A - Hyundai I10 or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 4
Suitcases: 1
Doors: 5

02.D - Hyundai I10 or similar - Automatic -

02.D - Hyundai I10 or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 4
Suitcases: 1
Doors: 5

03.N - Hyundai I20 or similar - Manual -

03.N - Hyundai I20 or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 2
Doors: 5

04.O - Hyundai I20 or similar - Automatic -

04.O - Hyundai I20 or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 2
Doors: 5

05.B - Hyundai I30 or similar - Manual -

05.B - Hyundai I30 or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 2
Doors: 5

06.L - Hyundai I30 or similar - Automatic -

06.L - Hyundai I30 or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 2
Doors: 5

07.E - Hyundai I30 station or similar - Manual -

07.E - Hyundai I30 station or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 4
Doors: 5

10.P - Dacia Duster 4WD or similar - Manual -

10.P - Dacia Duster 4WD or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 3
Doors: 5

11.H - Suzuki Vitara 4WD or similar - Automatic -

11.H - Suzuki Vitara 4WD or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 3
Doors: 5

12.J - Kia Sorento 4WD or similar - Automatic -

12.J - Kia Sorento 4WD or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 3
Doors: 5

13.K - Toyota Landcruiser 4WD or similar - Automatic -

13.K - Toyota Landcruiser 4WD or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 4
Doors: 5

14.XE - VW Transporter 2WD or similar - Manual -

14.XE - VW Transporter 2WD or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 9
Suitcases: 4
Doors: 4

15.XG - VW Transporter 4WD or similar - Manual -

15.XG - VW Transporter 4WD or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 9
Suitcases: 4
Doors: 3

Optional Extra: Would you like to do some extra activities? Below activities can be added to this tour.

Useful Information: Here you will find other information for this tour.


Pick up of rental car is the morning of day 2

Drop off is in ReykjavÝk the day prior to your departure ľ day 7. An extra day will be charged if the car is returned later.

Due to road conditions routes may have to be altered without prior notice. The highland tracks of Iceland are usually not expected to be open until early June and due to road conditions some routes may temporarily not be passable without prior notice.

Types of car recommended: Any. During winter, usually September through May, snow and ice can be expected. Although the route of this tour is usually passable by any car type, driving conditions can occasionally become difficult and we strongly recommend 4x4 during winter.


During winter, road conditions can quickly change. Information on weather and road conditions are available at http://www.vegagerdin.is/english/road-conditions-and-weather/

Accommodation is according to your choice in farmhouses, guesthouses or hotels, cat. 1, 2 or 3. including breakfast. Due to limited availability of accommodation in the Icelandic countryside and a great demand for summer, we are only able to confirm specific category but not a specific hotel in each locality until booking has been made and confirmed.


Early morning arrival: Check in time at hotels is usually between 14:00 - 16:00. If you arrive early morning, you may not be able to check in immediately on arrival.
A credit card imprint will be taken at the start of all rentals for security reasons, even when a voucher covers the cost of the rental. Cash and debit card deposits will not be accepted. This credit card imprint may be used to pay all extra charges, including extra driven kilometres if applicable, extra insurance, parking fines, damages or any costs due to the car rental company as a result of the hirer's use of the car.

Self Drive tours can often be modified according to the clientĺs wishes. If you want to change or extend the tour, add days etc, please contact our office.

Please note that some activities described may only be available during summer.

Travel Insurance: To avoid dispute in case of cancellation, we strongly recommend that our clients purchase a comprehensive travel insurance in their home country, that covers your cost should you have to cancel your tour. This kind of travel insurance is usually not expensive and it frequently covers other risks too.

Price Calculator: There are several factors that determine the price of self drive packages:

1. Time of the year.

2. Number of people traveling together

3. Type of car (we offer more than 15 different types of cars)

4. Type of accommodation (we offer 3 different categories of accommodation)

There is a special Price Calculator button at our website with every self drive tour package where you can enter your choice of type of accommodation and car, number of people and when you want to begin the tour (arrival date) and the Price Calculator will calculate and display the price of different options.

Note: Day(s) can be added before and / or after if your arrival and departure does not fit the itinerary of this tour. Additional day tours can be added for the additional day/s. If you have any questions please don┤t hesitate to contact us by email to tour@tour.is and we will be more than happy to advice.

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