The Full Iceland Circle 9 days

The Full Iceland Circle 9 days

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

BP07 Map

BP07 Map

AVAILABLE:
All year

DURATION:
9 days / 8 nights

CAR RENTAL DAYS:
7 Days

DEPARTURES:
Daily

TOUR ID:
BP07

Included

Not Included

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival


Upon your arrival at Keflavik airport, a meet and greet service is provided by a TOURIS representative who will take you to your accommodation in Reykjavik. You will be free for the rest of the day to explore Reykjavik, visit museums, landmarks etc. You may want to join an optional daytour if you arrive early.

Highlights of the day:
ReykjavÝk

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Day 2. The Beautiful South Coast


Pick up the rental car in the morning and head for the eastern outskirts of the city. 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. After crossing the plateau, come to the small town Hverager­i, where hot spring water is used for heating greenhouses for cultivation of decorative flowers and vegetables. Drive further east, to the scenic South shore. See the interesting Saga Centre at Hvolsv÷llur. Continue across the lowland plains towards Eyjafj÷ll district. Stop at the waterfall Seljalandsfoss where in summer it is possible to walk behind the falls. This is a quite an interesting experience. A little further east stop at Skˇgafoss, another impressive waterfall and donĺt miss the folk museum at Skˇgar, close to the waterfall. The glaciers Eyjafjallaj÷kull and Mřrdalsj÷kull are towering above the area.
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 short detour to the tip of the Sˇlheimaj÷kull glacier tongue. Proceed further east to the headland Dyrhˇlaey, a natural reserve and a nesting colony of numerous seabirds. From there go to Reynishverfi, with spectacular coast and beautiful rock formations and thousands of nesting seabirds in summer. After a stop at Reynishverfi head to Vik the southernmost town in the country.

Driving distance
200 kilometers

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

Overnight:
VÝk / KirkjubŠjarklaustur area

Recommended optional activity:
Glacier Walk
Snowmobiling on Solheimajokull Glacier

Day 3. The South Coast, Skaftafell National Park & J÷kulsßrlˇn Glacier Lagoon


Continue across 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 beautiful canyon a few km. to the west of 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, only a few minutes walk from the road. Continue from KirkjubŠjarklaustur over Skeidarßrsandur, vast tracts of black sandy desert washed down by numerous torrential glacial rivers. Vatnaj÷kull, the largest glacier in Europe is to the north from here. 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. 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. One of the many interesting hiking trails takes you to Svartifoss, one of Icelandĺs most picturesque waterfall, framed in by beautiful basalt columns that surround it. Continue to J÷kulsarlˇn, the Glacial Lagoon where huge icebergs, sculptures of nature, broken off the Brei­amerkurj÷kull glacier float and grind together in the deep blue waters of the lagoon. Seals are frequently spotted swimming around in the lagoon. An interesting cruise among the icebergs on the Lagoon is available in summer.

Driving distance
270 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
VÝk town
Fja­rßrglj˙fur Canyon
KirkjubŠjarklaustur town
Kirkjugˇlf Basalt Columns - Skaftafell National Park
Svartifoss waterfall
J÷kulsßrlˇn Glacial Lagoon
H÷fn

Overnight:
H÷fn area

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

Day 4. The Tranquil East Fjords


Drive through the Almannaskard tunnel and past the colorful Lˇns÷rŠfi district, a mountainous wilderness traversed by glacial rivers. Drive past towering mountains, and to the charming East Fjords, some now deserted.
Stop at the small fishing town Dj˙pivogur and at St÷­varfj÷r­ur where the Stone Collection of Petra is an interesting place to visit.

Driving distance
250 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Egilssta­ir town
Hallormssta­askˇgur Forest

Overnight:
Egilssta­ir/HÚra­ area

Day 5. The Stunning Landscape of Lake Mřvatn


Continue across the highland desert plateau towards Lake Mřvatn. Enroute, make a detour to Dettifoss, the largest waterfall in Europe. Stop at Nßmaskar­ Pass, where boiling mud pools and flashing colors 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 great number of breeding duck species and the abundance of other birdlife. Visit its highlights, Dimmuborgir, Mt. Hverfjall, the pseudo craters of Sk˙tusta­agÝgar and Krafla volcanic system where the most recent eruptions were 1975 - 1984. In summer, visitors can have a guided tour through Kr÷fluvirkjun Geothermal Power Station where steam pressure is harnessed for generating electricity. The explosion crater VÝti is near Krafla and the Mřvatn Nature Baths are an outstanding attraction too.

Driving distance
190 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Lake Mřvatn
Nature Baths - Dimmuborgir
Sk˙tusta­agÝgar Pseudo Craters
Hverfell Crater
Nßmaskar­

Overnight:
Mřvatn/H˙savÝk area

Recommended optional activity:
Nature Baths

Day 6. H˙savÝk The Whale Watching Capital of The World & Skagafj÷r­ur fjord


Proceed to H˙savÝk, sometimes called ôThe Whale Spotting Capital of The Worldö. H˙savÝk was the first place in Iceland to offer Whale watching cruises. The Whale Museum in H˙savÝk, is an educational information centre on marine wildlife. In the morning we suggest a Whale watching tour and a visit to the Whale Centre at H˙savÝk. In the afternoon, head on towards Akureyri, the capital of the North and stop at the beautiful waterfall Go­afoss. Akureyri town, situated at the Eyjafj÷r­ur Fjord is the northern centre of education, culture, trade and industry. One of the most extraordinary aspects of Akureyri is its warm climate. Although its sits only 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, it has some of the best weather in the country. Visit the Botanical Gardens and some of the many museums and art galleries. Continue to Skagafj÷rdur, renowned for horse breeding. Popular horse riding tours for beginners and experienced riders are available here. In the upper reaches of Skagafj÷rdur, you will also be able to join some of the best white water rafting in Iceland. We strongly recommend that you see GlaumbŠr Folk Museum, where you can learn how Icelanders used to live in the past. The museum is open during the summer and the tiny old church at VÝ­imřri, situated close to VarmahlÝ­ is also worth a visit. Hˇlar is an interesting historical place to visit if time allows.

Driving distance
310 kilometers

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

Overnight:
Skagafj÷r­ur area

Recommended optional activity:
Whale Watching From H˙savÝk

Day 7. The West & Thingvellir National Park


After driving through the fertile farmlands of H˙navatnssřsla continue and along the Hr˙tafj÷r­ur fjord, drive across the Holtav÷r­uhei­i plateau to the Borgarfj÷r­ur district. 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. Stop at Deildartunguhver hot spring, 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 visit the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafossar Waterfalls. Make the waterfalls a turnaround point and head to Borgarnes town.
A visit to the Settlement Centre at Borgarnes is interesting. The prime objective of the Icelandic Settlement Centre at Borgarnes is to recreate the fascinating sagas surrounding the birth of this island nation. 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.

(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).

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. Thingvellir were accepted as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2004.

Driving distance
350 kilometers

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

Overnight:
South west area.

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

Day 8. The Golden Circle & The Amazing Blue Lagoon


Start the day by driving to the Great Geysir area. Explore the Geysir hot spring area on foot and see the famous Great Geysir and Strokkur, a geyser that spouts every few minutes. The Geysir Service Center offers a restaurant, hotel, swimming pool, souvenir shop, snack bar, gas station, horse riding tours, quad bike tours, and more. From Geysir, about 10 minutes drive takes you to the majestic waterfall Gullfoss one of Icelands most beautiful waterfalls. Make Gullfoss your turnaround point and drive back the same road a little further than Geysir. Rafting on the HvÝtß River is available from Drumboddssta­ir during summer. Continue to the volcanic crater Keri­. Proceed to the main circular highway and head for Hverager­i, a small town where hot spring water is harnessed to heat greenhouses for cultivation of decorative flowers. Cross the plateau Hellishei­i where numerous boreholes have been drilled for hot water and steam, currently used for generating electricity. Close up the circle to ReykjavÝk. Head on to the famous Blue Lagoon, situated in the geothermal area Svartsengi. Filled with mineral-rich waters, the Blue Lagoon has become well known for providing relief for sufferers of skin ailments, and 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 rop off the car.

Driving distance
310 kilometers

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

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Day 9. 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 8.

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.
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.

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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.

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/
Map displayed is only for quick reference and is not to scale.

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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