The Self-Drive Tour "Through the Southwest of Iceland" takes you to well known highlights such as Geysers, Glaciers and Waterfalls in the beautiful southwest part of Iceland. This tour is perfect for northern lights hunting from September to April.
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Travel Season: All year
Highlights: Borgarfjörður in the West of Iceland with its Hot Springs, Waterfalls and Lava-Cave, National Park Þingvellir, Hot Spring Area by Geysir, Waterfalls Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, Hekla Volcano, the Blue Lagoon and Reykjavík. NORTHERN LIGHTS (September-April).
- 7 nights incl. breakfast in pre-booked accommodations.
- 7 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.
Not included: International flight or ferry, fuel, extra driver (€ 29 per driver/rental), meals besides breakfast, SCDW (add 7 x € 14), road toll (Hvalfjörður Tunnel), entrance fees and activities.
Day 1: Arrival
Picking up your rental car upon arrival at Keflavík International Airport, you start your journey by driving to the capital, Reykjavík. You can start by taking a stroll in the city centre.
If you arrive late, you will find your booked accommodation close to the airport.
Day 2: History, Hot Springs, Waterfalls & Lava Cave in Borgarfjörður
Leave the city on the northern ring road and drive through the tunnel under the Hvalfjörður fjord to the Borgarfjörður area. We recommend a visit to the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes village before you drive upcountry. A stop by the hot spring Deildartunguhver is highly recommended.
Not too far from the hot water spring you will find the charming waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. Furthermore you might want to stop by the lava cave Víðgelmir, guided tours of the cave are also available.
Húsafell is also a nice spot with walking and hiking routes available, and those interested in the Icelandic Sagas might want to pay the Saga-Centre, Snorrastofa, in Reykholt a visit
You will find your accommodation for the next two nights in the vicinity.
Day 3: Shark Museum & Glacier Snæfellsjökull
At the farm of Bjarnarhöfn, just outside Stykkishólmur, a privately-owned museum dedicated to shark catching in Iceland is well worth the visit.
From the harbour in the fishing village of Grundarfjörður you can go on a boat tour during which you can try sea angling, spot puffins (May to mid-August) and, if you are lucky, see whales.
Afterwards you drive on around the glacier Snæfellsjökull towards the south coast of the peninsula. On your way, you should check out sights such as Dritvík and the coast of Djúpalónssandur, the bird cliffs of Lóndrangar and the small fishing villages of Hellnar and Arnarstapi. Your accommodation is located on the south coast.
By the farm Ytri-Tunga, you will almost certainly spot seals resting on the rocky coast. The basalt columns in Gerðuberg are also worth a stop on your way back to your accommodation.
Day 4: National Park Þingvellir, Geysers & Gullfoss Waterfall
Today you leave the Borgarfjörður area through the valley Lundareykjadalur along the route of Uxahryggir to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and national park Þingvellir, where a walk through the Almannagjá rift, passing the site of the ancient parlament site, Althing, is a must.
From here your journey takes you to the Geysers, where the hot spring Strokkur erupts every five minutes or so. From here it is only a 10-minute drive to the great waterfall Gullfoss. Your accommodation for the night is nearby.
Day 5: Þjórsárdalur Valley & Hekla Volcano
In the Þjórsárdalur Valley, you will come across the beautiful waterfall Hjálparfoss and you might want to stop at Stöng, an excavated farm that was buried under ash in the Hekla volcanic eruption in the year 1104 before visiting the reconstruction of the farm, Þjóðveldisbær, located close to Stöng.
Then drive along the foot of the volcano Hekla through a desert-like landscape of pumice to your accommodation near the south coast.
Day 6: Waterfalls & Activities on the Glacier
A drive along the south coast brings you first to the waterfall Seljalandsfoss, and onwards to Skógar. Here you will come across the picturesque waterfall Skógafoss as well as the highly recommended local folk- and transport museum, Skógasafn.
If you have time for further activities, you can join a guided glacier hike, or go on a snow scooter tour on the Sólheimajökull glacier nearby before heading to your accommodation for the night.
You might want to spend the afternoon on a detour to the black south coast, Reynisfjara, where you'll enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean, the magnificent glaciers of the south coast and the black basalt columns.
Day 7: Fishing Villages & Geothermal Activity on Reykjanes peninsula
The Ring Road takes you to the village of Selfoss, where you turn towards the south coast and pass the fishing villages Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki on your way to the Reykjanes peninsula.
After a drive along the rough black lava landscapes of the coast, complete with boiling earth and sulphur mud springs in Krísuvík, a warm and cozy soak at the Blue Lagoon might be an inviting thought. Your accommodation is in Reykjavík.
Day 8: Departure
If your flight leaves in the early morning you‘ll have to leave Reykjavík early for the airport, where you return your rental car before departure. Otherwise you can take more time to explore Reykjavík before heading to the airport.
You can also add a few days, switch from a normal rental car to a 4WD and head to the highlands of Iceland.
Information available upon request.
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.