Iceland Self-Drives and Itineraries

Iceland's topography, with its famous ring road and domestic airports connecting remote fjords, waterfalls, and volcanoes, make for a challenging but rewarding puzzle to solve for travelers who want to make the most of their visit. Most travelers like to combine an epic road trip, with some amazing hikes while experiencing Iceland's unique wildlife and natural features. Browse our optimized itineraries below, or get in touch to work on a customized trip with our local travel specialists. 
Amazing colors in Landmannalaugar, Iceland
Landmannalaugar - Day Tour

Landmannalaugar is an otherworldly, sprawling landscape of lava fields, geothermal pools, steaming hot springs, volcanoes, and multi-colored mountains. In other words, an exquisite setting for a day trip. This tour offers an excellent introduction to Landmannalaugar and the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in Iceland's remote Central Highlands. Go off the beaten path and spend the day exploring and hiking around the area.

Bright Lights over Hvolsvöllur
Winter Northern Lights Adventure - 4 Days

This 4-day itinerary offers an introduction to the highlights of southern Iceland, keeping the active adventurer in mind. Experience awe-inspiring landscapes like glaciers, lava-flows, cascading waterfalls, and geothermal pools and rivers, ending each day in search of the Northern Lights. Hike, bike, and stroll as you traverse the rugged lands of Iceland, on foot or in a Super Jeep outfitted for the rough terrain.

Un-bridged river crossing in Thorsmork
Iceland Summer South Coast Adventure - 4 Days

Short on time? This jam-packed 4-day adventure tour was designed with you in mind! Experience Iceland's famed, awe-inspiring landscapes, ice walk on a glacier, and off-road in Þórsmörk, the Valley of the Thunder God, Thor. The summer's long hours of sunlight make it easy to pack even more adventure into your stay.

View into Þórsmörk when coming down from the Volcano
Fimmvörðuháls Hike - Day Tour

If you're looking for a classic Icelandic adventure but are short on time, the Fimmvörðuháls trail in southwestern Iceland does not disappoint. The moderate-to-challenging trek will take you through three distinct landscapes in just one day, making it one of the best options for a single-day excursion. You'll hike past more than 20 waterfalls, before coming to a moonscape-like expanse. You'll then trek between active volcanoes and glaciers, and see some of the most recent geological activity on earth up close.

Icelandic hidden waterfall
Hiking & Camping in Þríhyrningur - 2 Days

Go off the beaten path on this moderately easy hike around Þríhyrningur and its incredible, historic landscape. Camp out overnight at the foot of the mountain and share your favorite stories from the day as you sit around the campfire. Explore the stunning Þórsmörk valley, see remote farmsteads, and discover the Vikings' former hiding spots.

Sunset in camp near Alftavatn Lake
Trekking Off the Beaten Path in the Icelandic Highlands – 7 Days

The Icelandic Highlands are home to some of the most spectacular scenery and breathtaking landscapes on the planet. Trek the famous Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trails, camp in the Valley of Thor, and walk through volcanic valleys and canyons on this epic week-long adventure.

Hiking in Thorsmork - 2 Days

Explore Thorsmork, the valley of the mighty Thor. Cross rugged terrain in a Super Jeep and hike in the remote wilderness of southern Iceland on this 2-day itinerary. Discover ice-capped volcanoes, deep canyons, and stunning black sand beaches — all while breathing in the fresh mountain air on this adventure tour.

Ice climbing on glaciers
Iceland Multisport Adventure - 4 Days

Adventurers get ready: this intense 4-day Iceland itinerary was made just for you. Ice climb, camp, trek, cycle, and Super Jeep your way across the island in small groups, experiencing the best outdoor adventures the country has to offer.

Stunning views of Þórsmörk
Hiking and Biking Adventure in Southern Iceland - 3 Days

Perfect for the more active adventurer, this high-octane itinerary takes you through beautiful southern Iceland. Explore some of Iceland's most stunning sites on a partially self-guided hiking and biking tour from the Thórsmörk Valley to the black sands of Reynisfjara to the must-see Skógafoss waterfall. Discover impressive coastlines, thunderous waterfalls, towering ice-caps, and glistening glaciers.

Best Local Experiences in Iceland

As a destination, Iceland is absolutely booming — and that means the list of crowded, tourist hotspots is getting longer and longer. If a more authentic take on this island country is what you're after, veer off the Ring Road. Skip the popular tourist attractions, and explore in all directions. Here are five of our favorites ways to get a deeper look into the Land of Fire and Ice.

Highlights and Beyond: How to Spend 2 Weeks in Iceland

Glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife like you've never seen: fourteen days is plenty of time to experience Iceland beyond what you'll find in any guidebook—both on and off the beaten path. Here are two itineraries that make the most of two weeks in the Land of Fire and Ice.

How to Spend 7 Days in Iceland

Iceland doesn't need a London, Paris, or Rome to fill any travel itinerary — budget, luxe, adventure, or otherwise. With no shortage of beautiful landscapes, untamed wildlife, and plenty of both nature and nightlife, you'll have no trouble keeping busy and entertained throughout your week-long vacation.

Vik blanked with a light snow
Winter Self-Drive in the West, Golden Circle, & South Coast: 5 Days

This chilly, scenic self-drive tour is perfect for nature lovers and adventure fiends alike. Visit the famous Golden Circle, explore vibrant Reykjavik, and get off the beaten path for tours of ice caves and craters, snorkel trips between tectonic plates, and walks behind ice-covered waterfalls.

Celebrate the New Year in Iceland: A Week of Festivities and Winter Fun

Iceland has plenty to offer all year-round, but if there’s one holiday worth planning a trip around, it's New Year’s Eve. Check out this self-drive itinerary idea that starts with Reykjavik's famous year-end festivities and continues with a week of the winter activities Iceland is known for.

Northern Lights & Snowboarding on Iceland's South Coast : 6 Days

Looking for an eventful winter vacation? The South Coast of Iceland is chock-full of fun winter activities, from glacier hiking to snowboarding, snowmobiling and more. If you're lucky, you'll have the chance to witness the unparalleled beauty of the Northern Lights that often grace the crisp Arctic sky. Here's our recommended way to spend the winter on Iceland's South Coast.

7 Alternatives to Iceland's Most Popular Sights

Planning a trip to Iceland in the high season? Skip the most crowded sights on Iceland's South Coast and along the Golden Circle, and visit these equally breathtaking spots throughout the country instead.

West Iceland Road Trip: Waterfalls & Saga Towns

Often overlooked by visitors traveling the famed Ring Road, West Iceland is packed with photo-worthy natural features and cultural history. Get off the beaten path on your next trip to Iceland and take in the waterfalls, geothermal pools, and cultural lore that make this region special.

Guide to Landmannalaugar: Where to Hike, Stay, and Play

Landmannalaugar is a geothermal wonderland in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, home to lava fields, hot pools, and steam puffs that rise from the earth. Hike among vibrantly hued mountains and explore highlands dotted with glaciers, black sand beaches, geysers, and waterfalls. Stunning and remote, this area is a perfect representation of all the Icelandic landscape has to offer.

An endless view over Iceland's east coast
A Week in Iceland: 4 Unique Road Trips Filled with Highlights & Hidden Gems

With 7-9 days in Iceland, we recommend you hit the road and explore the incredible wonders further afield from Reykjavik. We’ve put together these unique one week Iceland itineraries which let you explore a variety of landscapes: volcanoes and lava fields, green pastures and farmlands, scenic vistas above fjords, beaches of every color, glaciers and ice caves, and the rugged interior. Here are our recommended drives, an option for all travelers and seasons.

Ultimate Iceland Road Trip Guide: The Ring Road & Other Popular Drives

The Ring Road is the most popular way to see and experience a variety of landscapes and sights all over Iceland. Route 1 starts from Reykjavik and circles to Akureyri in the North, to the small fishing villages in the East Fjords, passing Vatnajökull National Park and the South Coast. From this highway, you can also get to all the main detours like Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the remote Westfjords, Thorsmork, and the Highlands.

Iceland Off The Beaten Path: A 10-day Escape to the West and North

This example driving itinerary is great for the summer when the crowds of the south coast and golden circle area are at their peak and accommodation can be hard to find. Instead, escape to the more remote areas of the country to experience some of the best that Iceland has to offer, with few other people to share it with.

Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfalls with Kirkjufell in the distance
Reykjavik and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula - 4 Days

If you have 4 days in Iceland you can enjoy Reykjavik's city life and then leave the masses behind by heading north to explore beautiful Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its waterfalls and volcanoes. This way you'll get a great sampling of all Iceland has to offer. Day 1: Arrival, Reykjavik Day 2: Glymur Falls, Borgarnes, Snaefellsnes Peninsula Day 3: Snaefellsnes Peninsula, back to Reykjavik Day 4: Blue Lagoon, Departure

3 Days in Iceland: Blue Lagoon, South Coast, Reykjavik - 3-day itinerary

If you are short on time, or perhaps you are looking for an extended layover on your way from Europe to North America or vice versa, your options in Iceland are limited to closer to Reykjavik. Here is a 3-day itinerary that will still let you experience some of the spectacular beauty of Iceland.

Hverfjall Crater rises in the distance of the Dimmuborgir lava fields
5-Day Tour of the North: Akureyri, Lake Myvatn, Waterfalls, and Geothermal Hotspots

For a unique Iceland experience, avoid the crowds of the south completely. This trip has it all: volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs, nature baths, whale watching, fjords and more. Below are 2 great ways to experience the north: all the highlights with only a fraction of the people. You can maximize your time by taking a domestic flight over the beautiful highlands of the interior to Akureyri, or you can drive one way and fly from Akureyri back to Reykjavik.

2-Week Ring Road Self-Drive Itinerary: Highlights of Iceland and the Remote Westfjords

With 2 weeks in Iceland, you can complete the entire ring road and add some great detours. This grand tour will take you to all the best places giving you plenty of time to hike, explore, and soak it all in. This 14-day itinerary covers all the major regions except the highlands, which you can see with a couple more days or by spending less time in some of the areas below.

Skaftafellsjokull Glacier cuts through the mountains in the south of Iceland
5 Action-packed days in South Iceland (+ extensions)

Pack your short trip to Iceland with adventures away from the crowds while still experiencing the most popular sights. This itinerary is perfect for travelers who have lots of energy and want to make the most of a short visit to Iceland.

Self-Guided Iceland Grand Tour by Land Rover

Iceland is a rugged place, with much of it inaccessible by a standard vehicle. Drive a Land Rover through unique terrain, over lava fields, and through scenic mountain roads. With these modified vehicles you will explore parts of Iceland not possible with a normal rental car. Explore the dramatic landscapes without the big crowds.

Thingvellir national park
Introduction to the Land of Fire and Ice in 5 days

This 5-day itinerary lets you experience the main highlights of Iceland: Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, the scenic South Shore, the famous Golden Circle, the popular Blue Lagoon, many other glaciers, waterfalls, natural formations, and if you’re lucky the elusive Northern Lights.