The Self-Drive Tour "Hikers Paradise in the South and the West of Iceland" takes you to well known highlights, such as Geysers, Glaciers and Waterfalls. Upon booking you get suggestions for great hikes along the way.
Travel Season: April-October
Highlights: National Park Þingvellir, Geysers, Glaciers and Waterfalls as well as volcanos Eyjafjallajökull and Hekla.
- 9 nights incl. breakfast in pre-booked accommodations.
- 9 days rental car of your choice.
- Unlimited driving, CDW and two drivers.
- Pick-up/drop-off at the international airport in Keflavík.
- Iceland Road Guide.
- Road Map 1:500 000.
- Detailed and personalised route description.
- Service telephone number while traveling in Iceland.
- VAT and lodging tax.
Esja Travel supports - the Icelandic Environment Association Landvernd with a EUR 5 donation for every traveller booked on a package tour.
Day 1: Arrival
Upon arrival at Keflavík International Airport, you pick up your pre-booked rental car. If you arrive in the morning or afternoon, you might want to stop by at the Blue Lagoon on your way into the city of Reykjavík.
If arriving late, you will find your accommodation near the airport.
Day 2: Hengill Geothermal Area, National Park Þingvellir, Geysers & Gullfoss Waterfall
You leave Reykjavík and drive to the geothermal area of the volcano Hengill, where you begin with a short walk, the first walk of the day, among the volcanic landscapes of Dyradalur valley.
Afterwards you follow the coast of Lake Þingvallavatn and enter the UNESCO World Heritage Site and national park Þingvellir, where you take the second walk of the day. Walk through the Almannagjá rift, visit the site of Iceland’s ancient parliament, the Althing and finish with the Öxarárfoss waterfall.
Drive through the small village of Laugarvatn to the Geysir geothermal area, home of the world famous geysers. Take a walk through the area and see the old Geysir, mostly inactive now, and the smaller but very active geyser Strokkur, that erupts spectacularly every five minutes or so.
The renowned waterfall Gullfoss is only a short drive away. Your accommodation lies in the vicinity.
Day 3: Panoramic View of the South
Drive to the small village Laugarás and onwards to the south bank of the Hvítá river, where you start a four-hour hike up the mountain Vörðufell. From the summit you will enjoy a fantastic panoramic view of the fertile agriculture areas of South Iceland, from the coast to the glacial interior.
You might want to drop by at one of the many open-air swimming pools in the area and relax in the warm water after your hike.
In the summer time you might be able to attend a classical concert at Skálholt cathedral. Head back to your accommodation.
Day 4: Hikes in the Saga Valley Þjórsárdalur
Driving along the glacial river Þjórsá, you enter Þjórsárdalur valley. At Stöng, an excavated farm that was buried under ash in the Hekla volcanic eruption in the year 1104 , you will start the short walk to the enchanting Gjáfoss waterall.
If you are feeling up to it, you can take the six-hour hike to the waterfall Háifoss, one of Iceland’s highest waterfalls.
Drive along the foot of the notorious volcano Hekla towards the coast. Fun sights along the way include the waterfall Hjálparfoss, the reconstruction of the Stöng farm,
Þjóðveldisbær, and a short walk to the waterfall Þjófafoss.
Day 5: Hike along the numerous Waterfalls of Skógá
East of the village Hvolsvöllur, just off the ring road, you will come across the waterfall Seljalandsfoss; walking behind the waterfall is an unforgettable experience.
Next stop is the Skógafoss waterfall. On the right side of the waterfall you start your hike by climbing the stairs to the top of the waterfall. Walk along the river and enjoy the view of the many waterfalls on the way up towards Fimmvörðuháls. If the weather is nice you can catch a glimpse of the infamous glacial volcano Eyjafjallajökull. You can either walk back the way you came, or follow a jeep trail to Skógar.
We also recommend a visit to the local folk- and transport museum, before driving back to the same accommodation as the night before.
Day 6: Hike & a Bath in a Warm Creek
Just north of the village Hveragerði you will begin the day’s hike by walking upstream along the river until you reach the Reykjadalur valley. Passing several hot mud springs, you come to a place in the river where the water is just the right temperature for a relaxing soak. Further up the valley you come across further hot springs nestled below the steep hillsides.
You can either ascend the hillside and walk through the next valley, Grændalur, back towards your starting point, or walk back the way you came.
Should you fancy a different style of travel, opt for a riding tour on an Icelandic horse to the Reykjadalur valley. Further information is available upon request.
Day 7: Waterfalls & Hot Springs of Borgarfjörður
Leaving the national park Þingvellir you turn onto the road leading to Uxahryggir and further through the Lundareykjadalur valley to the Borgarfjörður area. Here you should stop by the charming waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, learn about the sagas and Snorri Sturluson at the Saga Centre in Reykholt and see the powerful hot water spring Deildartunguhver.
Afterwards you drive to the volcanic crater Grábrók, where you start your ascent to the top of the crater. You might even want to add the easy hike to the Glanni waterfall before heading to your accommodation. If you prefer, you might even want to hike along the more challenging route through the Grábrók lava field. A route description is available upon request. You will find your accommodation in the vicinity.
Day 8: Glymur Waterfall
At the bottom of the Hvalfjörður fjord, you turn onto a gravel trail taking you to the Botnsdalur valley. Leaving your car at the car park, you begin your hike to Iceland‘s highest waterfall, Glymur (198 m/649ft).
If you are feeling up for a challenge, you can proceed to a further seven-hour hike around the Hvalvatn lake. Afterwards you follow the coast of the Hvalfjöður fjord towards Reykjavík, where you check into your accommodation for the next two nights.
Day 9: Hot Springs & Black Lava Coast of Reykjanes Peninsula
Leave Reykjavík and drive through the town of Hafnarfjöður towards the boiling hot sulphur mud springs in Krísuvík. There you can hike through the lunar landscapes of the geologically young lava fields of the Reykjanes peninsula.
Afterwards you follow the road further along the coast where we recommend a detour to the coast of Selatangar, an old embarkation point.
Drive through the fishing village of Grindavík to the Blue Lagoon, the famous geothermal Spa, where you can relax in the warm, mineral rich water, before heading to your accommodation in Reykjavík.
Day 10: Departure
The time of departure will determine your plans for the day. If you leave in the late afternoon or the evening, you will have time to explore Reykjavík and stop by at the Blue Lagoon on your way to the airport.
If your flight leaves in the early morning you will have to leave Reykjavík early for the airport, where you return your rental car before departure.
About the accommodation categories:
Rooms with shared facilities are booked in guesthouses, higher class hostels,l Bed and Breakfasts as well as in farm-guesthouses. In many cases the rooms do have a wash basin.
Rooms with private facilities are booked in middle class hotels, country hotels, higher class guesthouses or farm-guesthouses.
Many of the accommodations do offer their guests access to open-air jacuzzis.
PLEASE NOTE THAT DRIVING IN THE HIGHLAND IS PROHIBITED, this applies to Categories A, B, C, N and M.
CDW (Collission Damage Waiver), unlimited mileage as well as pick up and drop off at the Keflavík International Airport are included in our package prices.
Self risk for the categories A, B, C, D and N is € 1.325 and for the categories FG, H, I, J and K € 2.415
Further information about the CDW is availiable on request.
The driver must be at least 20 years old and must have held a drivering licence for at least one year. A valid driving licence must be presented when picking up the rental car.
Please note that a credit card must be presented when you sign your rental car lease agreement (MasterCard, Visa oder Diners).
Liability Insurance and passenger Accident Insurance are included in all packages.
Information about driving in the interior come with your travel documents.
Additional drivers € 29 per rental (two drivers are included in the package prices).
SCDW incl. Gravel Protection - Surcharge for categories A, B, C, D and M € 15 per day – Self risk € 350/ Surcharge for categories M FG, H, I, J and K € 19 per day – Self risk € 650Self risk in case of broken windows and lights (CDW and SCDW) € 170 or € 280 depending on car category.
SADW (Sand- and Ash Damage Waiver) € 15 per day
Baby- and infant seats € 7 per day or max. € 48 per rental.
GPS Navigation System € 12 per day – Self risk for lost or damaged item € 500
One Way Fee for pick up/drop of at Keflavík International Airport € 31 (included in package prices).
One Way Fee for other rental locations outside Reykjavík for categories A, B, C, N and M € 91 and for categories G, H, I, J and K € 151
After hours Pick Up Fee in the Winter Season (19:00-6:00 Uhr) at the Keflavík International Airport € 54
Cancellation fees for rental categories E, H, I, K:
3 weeks or more prior to arrival 50% of the total rental car price.
3-2 weeks prior to arrival 75% of the total rental car price.
Less than a week prior to arrival 90% of the total rental car price.