By far Iceland Grand Discovery is our largest tour. This comprehensive road trip allows you to discover all of Iceland’s magnificent regions. You have amble time to explore and discover every thing Iceland has to offer. If you have time on your hands and you want a relaxing tour of Iceland then this is the self drive tour for you!

Our Iceland Grand Discovery circular route gives travelers both flexibility and time to spend at each of Iceland’s most popular attractions. Apart from experiencing all the natural treasures accessed via the Ring Road, this tour dedicates two whole days to the wonders of South West Iceland, including Borgarfjordur Fjord and the mystic Snaefellsnes Glacier, made famous by author Jules Verne as the entrance to the center of the Earth, and more recently voted the best region to visit in 2016 by the Lonely Planet.

Along the way, you’ll pass many of the volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers, and seascapes that make Iceland’s landscapes so magical and unforgettable.

Take to the open road and discover the natural wonders and welcoming towns of Iceland‘s Ring Road and Snaefellsnes Peninsula!

What’s in it for you?

  • Flexible, stress-free travelling. With our pre-booked hotel nights, comprehensive digital map and your own vehicle, you can choose your own stops and activities along the way.
  • Slow paced, allowing for more time to explore.
  • Digital itinerary with the Iceland Travel Companion App.
  • Thousands of points of interest with descriptions clearly displayed on your digital map. The points of interest can be customized to suit your interests and individual route.

Highlights

  • Visit all the well-known attractions along the Ring Road
  • Explore the lyrical beauty of the secluded and rugged Westfjords region
  • Furthermore, explore the magical Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the less known but incredibly beautiful Northeast Coast at the edge of the Arctic Circle
  • Visit the world-famous Golden Circle natural wonders
  • Walk on the black sand beaches and see Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls along the south shore
  • Take in the majesty of Vatnajokull National Park that includes Skaftafell, the Glacier Lagoon and the Diamond Beach
  • Explore the magnificent East Fjords, home of wild reindeer and a legendary sea monster
  • Discover tiny villages tucked in the fjords, each with its own character
  • View some of the most diverse wildlife in Iceland in nature reserves

**Please note that the package price is based on 18×24 hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 19 an additional supplement will be necessary unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 18 day rental is up and use our Flybus Plus departure transfer.

Included

  • Accommodation for 18  nights including breakfast (except arrival day)
  • Rental car for 18 days with CDW, theft protection, unlimited mileage, VAT (Types of Car recommended: car cat 2.0 or higher)
  • GPS system with car and no charges for an additional driver
  • Car pick up/drop off at Keflavik International Airport
  • Fuel Discount Card
  • Customer Care service during office hours
  • Emergency phone line open 24 hours, including weekends and holidays
  • Service fee and taxes
  • Tablet with a new app called  Iceland Travel Companion App . The app includes:
    • Your hotel bookings with check-in and check-out dates.
    • A map view of your entire trip.
    • Thousands of points of interest with descriptions clearly displayed on your map. The points of interest can be customized to suit your interests and individual route.
    • In-app purchase feature to book day tours or activities directly into the app
    • GPS Road Guide in several different languages, safety guidelines and the apps of the Icelandic Meteorological Office and The Icelandic Road Administration, emergency numbers and more.
    • Detailed Travel Booklet – Electronic version in English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and French

Not Included:

  • Breakfast on arrival day
  • International airfare
  • Personal travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Ferry across Breidafjordur Bay (can be added into the package- see price details) *
  • Petrol
  • Admissions and activities
  • Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted in itinerary
  • Guaranteed early check-in (check-in time for most hotels in Iceland is 2:00pm)
  • Guaranteed late check-out
  • Any service not specifically listed under “included”

* We highly recommend adding the one-way ferry to this tour.  Please let us know at booking time and we will be happy to set up the ferry booking for you.

Important

  • Must be 21 years of age to rent a car, 23 years of age to rent car category 5.0 or higher.
  • Car rental types 2.0 and higher recommended for this tour
  • Our road trip packages are designed by our team of travel experts. They are created for people like you who want to experience the very best of what Iceland has to offer. To get the best value Iceland Travel has to offer, book our road trips online. Please note that changes to the packages will incur a service fee.
  • With our exclusive road trip app you don’t have to worry about missing out and you will always find your way to your hotel after a full day of traveling. It is easy to book day tours and activities in the app when you are on the road.
  • Please note that changes to the packages will incur a service fee. Your Iceland Travel Companion app will also not reflect the changes.
  • Learn about packing essentials for your trip to Iceland here.
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Day 1: Arrival

Approximate distance: 100 km / 62 miles

Geothermal Lagoon – Flower Village – Geothermal Greenhouses

Pick up the car at the airport and start your Iceland experience.

From Keflavik International Airport, we recommend driving the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula towards your first overnight stay in the charming village of Hveragerdi. This village is one of the few sites in the world located directly on top of a geothermal area and, because of its many greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs, it is often called the “flower village.“

If your flight arrives early in the day, you might stop at the Blue Lagoon (a short distance from the airport) for a chance to relax in the soothing geothermal mineral waters.

Important:  Please note that admission to the Blue Lagoon must be booked in advance.

Overnight stay in Hveragerdi.

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Day 2: Golden Circle

World-Renowned National Park – Bubbling Geysers – Golden Waterfall

Approximate distance: 186 km / 115 miles

Drive to Thingvellir National Park, the site of Iceland’s ancient parliament and a real gem natural scenery. The park itself is situated in a stunning volcanic landscape of mountains and lava flows, on the border of Iceland’s largest lake. Continue to the famous Geysir hot spring area and the mighty Gullfoss waterfall.

Overnight stay in the Fludir area.

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Day 3: Black Sand Beaches of the South Coast

Approximate distance: 215 km / 133 miles

Southern waterfalls – Black sand beaches – Bird Cliff – Vast Lava Field

Drive along the spectacular south coast, viewing highlights such as Skogafoss waterfall, Myrdalsjokull glacier, the bird cliffs of Dyrholaey* and the black sand beaches of Vik. Continue across the vast Eldhraun lava field to the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur, which is known for its fabulous trout fishing.

Overnight stay in Southeast Iceland.

*Please note that Dyrholaey is closed during nesting season in spring, from around mid May until June 23rd.

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Day 4: Fjadrargljufur and Lakagigar Craters

Approximate distance: 120 km / 74 miles

Spectacular Canyon- Crater Area – Historic Eruption Site

Enjoy the day exploring this little known area. We recommend a hike in magnificent Fjadrargljufur, one of the most spectacular canyons in Iceland. If you are traveling in June, July, or August a longer detour to the volcanic Laki craters (Lakagigar) is a great option. The drive, for which you’ll need a rental car category 5.0 or higher, takes you to the site of a catastrophic eruption in 1783-84, and includes beautiful sights such as Laki, the largest of the craters, which is 818 metres (2684 feet) high and affords a breathtaking view over the craters.

Overnight stay in Southeast Iceland.

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Day 5: Skaftafell and Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Approximate distance: 204 km / 126 miles

Glacier-Rimmed Green Oasis – Glacial Lagoon – Europe‘s Largest Glacier

Today you will be in the area of Vatnajokull National Park, a vast area named after Europe‘s largest glacier. You will have many amazing views of this glacier as you head along your route. Visit the park‘s awe-inspiring Skaftafell area, a green oasis which is set between glaciers and offers many hiking possibilities. Continue to the shimmering icebergs of Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon and the harbour town of Hofn, also known as the lobster capital of northern Europe.

Overnight stay in Hofn.

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Day 6: Eastern Fjords and Highland Wilderness

Approximate distance: 187 km / 116 miles

Spectacular Fjord Views – Charming Fishing Villages – Ancient Rocks – Wilderness Center

Drive through the spectacular East Fjords region, past towering mountains and through charming fishing villages, to the fertile Egilsstadir area. On the way it is possible to take a boat tour to Papey Island, where thousands of puffins nest in the summer (mid May to early August), or visit Petra’s famous local stone and mineral collection at Stodvarfjordur. In the Egilsstadir area, you can visit the beautiful Hallormsstadur forest and a river reputed to be the home of a friendly sea monster. Visit the new Wilderness Center located at the edge of the hauntingly beautiful eastern highlands. Here you can discover Iceland‘s pioneer history and highland nature in a clever interactive way.

Overnight stay in Egilsstadir.

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Day 7: Seydisfjordur and Borgarfjördur Eystri

Approximate distance: 140 km / 86 miles

Artistic Fjord Villages –  Elfin Folklore – Amazing views of fjords and sky

Explore the quaint village of Seydisfjordur, the port for the the ferry from Europe. Here you can visit an artistic display where the wind makes a beautiful singing sound. Also explore Borgarfjordur Eystri, steeped in the folklore of elves. This area also has excellent hiking paths. Both villages are known for their friendly locals and rich artistic communities.

Overnight stay in Egilsstadir area.

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Day 8: Jokulsargljufur National Park

Approximate distance: 175 km / 108 miles

Vast highlands – Northern Vatnajokull National Park – Echo Rocks – Whale Watching Capital

Travel across the vast Modrudalsoraefi highlands, which are renowned for their stark beauty, to the mighty Dettifoss waterfall. Explore the many wonders of northern Vatnajokull National Park, such as the strange formations of Hljodaklettar (Echo Rocks) and the impressive horseshoe-shaped Asbyrgi canyon. Continue along Tjornes peninsula at the edge of the Arctic Circle to the fishing village of Husavik. This town is known as the capital of whale watching for its excellent sightings. Perhaps you will enjoy a whale watching tour on a beautifully-restored oaken boat.

Overnight stay in Lake Myvatn area.

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Day 9: Lunar Landscapes of Lake Myvatn

Distance is variable.

Volcanic Wonders- Dark Citadels – Colorful Thermal areas – Nature Baths

Spend the day exploring the natural wonders of Lake Myvatn and the surrounding area. Visit highlights such as the surreal dark citadels at Dimmuborgir, the pseudo craters at Skutustadir, the colourful sulphurous slopes of Namaskard and the Krafla volcano area. Get closer to the region with guided tours on bikes or horseback. After a fun day, you might relax in the peaceful Myvatn Nature baths, a favorite of both locals and visitors.

Overnight stay in Lake Myvatn area.

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Day 10: Explore North Iceland

Approximate distance: 91 km / 57 miles

Waterfall of the Gods – Iceland´s “Capital of the North” – Botanical Gardens

Spend the day driving from Lake Myvatn to the majestic Godafoss waterfall and onwards to explore Akureyri, the capital of the north. Explore the second largest town in Iceland, perhaps visiting the famous thermal swimming pool, the many museums, and the landmark church.  Activities are plentiful in the area, including horseback riding, hiking on local trails, a guided art gallery walk, fishing and whale watching.

Overnight stay in Akureyri.

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Day 11: The Troll Peninsula and Skagafjordur

Approximate distance: 250 km / 155 miles

Beautiful fjord coastline – Herring Boom Town – Infinity Pool – Saga and Horse Heritage

Drive to Siglufjordur along the Troll Peninsula, one of Iceland´s most beautiful coastlines, where you’ll get a unique view towards the North Atlantic. In the charming town of Siglufjordur enjoy discovering the history of the town at the award-winning Herring Museum.  This accounts the early 20th century days that transformed a small fishing village temporarily into a boom town.

Stop in Hofsos town, where you can visit the beautiful Infinity Pool and its unique optical illusion. Explore the fascinating area of Skagafjordur, renowned for horse breeding and many sites from Icelandic Saga History, before driving to Hrutafjordur. A recommended stop along the way is Vatnsdalsholar, a cluster of hills found in Vatnsdalur valley. Vatnsdalur is an area renowned as the home of a famous female Viking chieftain. It is also the haunting setting for the famous historical novel by Hannah Kent, Burial Rites, which describes the last execution in Iceland in the 19th century.

Overnight stay in Varmahlid/Laugarbakki area.

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Day 12: Strandir, Holmavik and Drangsnes

Icelandic Witchcraft Museum – Isolated Beauty- Spine of the West Fjords

Approximate distance: 250km / 155miles

Drive along the low hills of Hrutafjordur Fjord towards jagged mountains that rise straight from the sea in the area of Holmavik and Drangsnes. For centuries, this was one of the most isolated regions in Iceland. It is a region of remote and spectacular beauty. Here you can enjoy the peace and solitude that is rare in so many places. Strandir is literally the spine of the Westfjords, a place of spiky fjords and majestic crags. In ancient times, the inhabitants were reputed to have knowledge of magic. You can find out about these traditions at the Icelandic Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft in Holmavik town.

Overnight in the Holmavik area.

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Day 13: Westfjord’s Wonders - Isafjordur

Approximate distance: 221 km / 137 miles

Capital of the Westfjords- Rich Birdlife – Island in Harmony with Nature

Thread your away along the numerous uninhabited fjords of Isafjardardjup, which boasts a beautiful coastline alive with seals and birds. Continue to Isafjordur, the largest town in the Westfjords. This town has some of the oldest buildings in the country, many beautifully-restored. Enjoy a guided walking tour through back streets and history. Take a ferry to the island community of Vigur, where locals practice the sustainable tradition of eider duck farming. This is also the only place in Iceland with a traditional wind mill. If you enjoy activities, Isafjordur is well known for its sea kayaking in the glassy fjord waters.

Overnight in Isafjordur area.

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Day 14: Isafjordur – Bolungarvik - Sudureyri

Distance is variable.

Friendly towns – traditional and modern fishing heritage – Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

Spend time in Isafjordur and the surrounding area, including the neighboring towns of Bolungarvik and Sudureyri.  Sudureyri offers a friendly and informative walking tour focused on the town‘s eco-friendly fishing. Along the route you can sample gourmet and traditional fish delicacies. Discover older fishing traditions at the Osvor traditional fishing camp, a restored 19th century area where locals fished at sea using simple wooden rowboats.

Mountain biking, hiking, paragliding, mountaineering, you name it, Westfjords can serve it all. For calmer activities, there are several golf courses in the region, and sea kayaking is a peaceful way to spend the afternoon exploring the picturesque fjords

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is another place worth visiting. It is remote and off limits to all motorized traffic, so the pure and wild nature can only be accessed by boat and is ideal for hikers and nature lovers alike.

Overnight in Isafjordur area.

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Day 15: Tingeyri – Dynjandi - Latrabjarg

Approximate distance: 287 km / 178 miles

Multi-tiered waterfall – Europe‘s Westernmost point- Europe´s largest bird cliff

Drive from Isafjordur through the beautiful West Fjords. En route, enjoy provincial charms in the fishing villages of Thingeyri before arriving to the beautiful Dynjandi. At Dynjandi waterfall, the thunderous power of the main cascade drops 100 meters (329 ft) off the edge of a mountain. The waterfall base provides views seaward over lush valleys, making it an ideal picnic stop.

Outdoor bathing in natural hot springs is a common activity enjoyed in the Westfjords, which has many hidden bathing spots in remote locations.

Visit Latrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point in Europe. The remarkable 441-meter-high (1,447 ft) sea cliffs are alive with millions of playful puffins, gannets, guillemots and razorbills.  This beautiful natural sculpture has been recognised by both Lonely Planet and National Geographic as one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in the world. The cliffs make a stunning viewpoint to the beautiful beaches below during the Midnight Sun of summer.

Overnight in the southern part of the Westfjords

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Day 16: Raudisandur - Breidafjordur - Stykkisholmur

Approximate distance:  100 km / 65 miles

Raudisandur beach – Ferry Ride across a Bay of a Thousand Islands

On the southern shore of the Westfjords is the Raudasandur beach, meaning ‘The Red Sand Beach‘. A lot of people associate Iceland only with black beaches, but Raudasandur beach throws that assumption out the window, with its golden and red colours set in magnificent surroundings of blackcliffs and blue ocean.

Sail with the ferry Baldur across beautiful Breidafjordur Bay, with its countless islands and rich birdlife. You will pass by the island of Flatey and its timber buildings on the way to the charming village of Stykkisholmur for an overnight stay. You might recognize the town from movies such as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Pawn Sacrifice. The Museum of Water – featured in author Rebecca Solnit’s memoir The Faraway Nearby – is a popular place for visitors with its unique architecture.

Overnight in Stykkisholmur.

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Day 17: Stykkisholmur – Arnarstapi - Borgarfjordur

Approximate distance: 300 km / 186 miles

Magical Glacier Volcano– Sea Cliffs with Birdlife – Picturesque Waterfalls

Continue around the Snaefellsnes peninsula, passing the small fishing villages Hellissandur and Grundarfjordur. Make a stop at the magnificent columnar basalt rock formations at Arnarstapi, as well as the rocky beach of Djupalonssandur. Pass Eldborg crater en route to the agricultural region of Borgarfjordur.  Explore the history-rich Borgarfjordur area and visit the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls and Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring area.  Delve into Icelandic Saga folklore with a visit to Reykholt, the home of Medieval chieftain, poet and Saga author Snorri Sturluson.

Overnight in Borgarfjordur.

 

 

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Day 18: Borgarfjordur – Borgarnes – Reykjavik

Approximate distance:  200 km / 125 miles

Viking Settlement – Second Highest Waterfall – Picturesque Fjord

A unique experience in the Borgarfjordur area is the chance to go into the very heart of a glacier with an Into the Glacier experience. Tours depart from Husafell village. Take a ride in a monster-sized vehicle up the sides of Langjokull Glacier and into a glacial ice tunnel.  Here you can learn about glaciers and how they formed in a setting with a great focus on environmental conservation and education.

Borgarnes is located near the homestead of a famous Viking saga hero, Egill Skallagrimsson. You can learn more about him and the first Viking settlers in Iceland at the Settlement Museum in the town of Borgarnes. Continue via Hvalfjordur fjord, a scenic fjord where you might stop to visit Glymur, the highest waterfall in Iceland.  Then continue to Reykjavik.

Overnight in Reykjavik.

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Day 19: Departure

Approximate distance: 52 km / 32 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive back to Keflavik International Airport. * We recommend departing your hotel in Reykjavik no later than  at least 3 hours before your flight departure. It takes approximately 1 hour to drive to the airport, and check-in will start 2 hours before your departure.

If you did not visit the Blue Lagoon on your way to the city on your first day but have some free time today, you might want to use the opportunity en route to the airport. For this detour, please be sure to allow for at least 2-2,5 hours extra so you’ll have ample time at the lagoon. Your rental car should be returned to the airport service area,  which is located only 2 minutes from the airport building. A shuttle will then transport you to the departure hall.

**Please note that the package price is based on 17×24 hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 19 an additional supplement will be necessary unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 17 day rental is up and use our flybus departure transfer.

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