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Highlights of North & West Iceland

(9 days / 8 nights)

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Adventure awaits in the north and west of Iceland

This journey takes you from the wondrous west coast to incredible natural sites of the north to the spectacular Snæfellsnes Peninsula. During this 9-day self-drive, you can experience some of the country’s best-kept secrets and natural wonders. Imagine geothermal hot spots offset by looming glaciers, unspoilt scenery, well-preserved cultural traditions and remote highland roads that few places on earth can match. This tour includes an F-road approved 4x4 vehicle to allow you to navigate the Kjolur route into the highlands.

Looking for the winter version of this tour?

9 days / 8 nights

Price p.p. from

The amount will be charged in ISK

Approx 296160 ISK

See Book With Confidence terms

— Why book this tour

  • Free private transfer from airport on arrival
  • Handpicked hotels by local travel experts with breakfast included
  • Reliable rental cars from our trusted partners Enterprise & Hertz
  • Comprehensive itinerary, personalised map and travel guide
  • 24/7 helpline throughout tour
  • Local travel experts with firsthand experience

— Book With Confidence

  • Optional cancellation insurance
  • Affordable deposits from 10%

Terms and conditions apply

Tour Highlights

  • Discover the volcanic Lake Mývatn and its beautiful surroundings
  • Visit the roaring waterfalls of Dettifoss and Goðafoss
  • Walk the quaint streets of Akureyri, the unofficial capital of north Iceland
  • Enjoy the striking nature of Snæfellsnes and its charming fishing villages
  • Roam the scenic canyon region of Ásbyrgi and walk its many trails
  • Drive the famous Golden Circle route with visits to Gullfoss and Geysir
  • Walk the quaint streets of the capital city, Reykjavik
  • Enjoy the waterfalls and hot springs of west Iceland

Travel style

Self-Drive i

Interest

Midnight sun i, Off the Beaten Path i

Season

Jun - Aug

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

1700/1056 km/mi

Itinerary

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

Download PDF
  • Day 1: Arrival & Exploring Reykjavik

    On arrival to Keflavik International Airport, you will be greeted by a driver who will take you to your accommodation in Reykjavík. After settling in, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the vibrant city centre with its abundance of museums, restaurants and bars to suit all tastes. If you're interested in checking out Icelandic design or experiencing the city's thriving coffee culture, head to the main street, Laugavegur, and enjoy its various shops and cosy cafes.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

    Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 2: Gullfoss, Geysir & The Kjölur Highland Road

    Start the day by collecting your rental car and driving to the Geysir geothermal region where you can watch geysers shoot water and steam metres into the air every few minutes, before driving to the picture-perfect Gullfoss waterfall.

    Next, travel to the Kjölur highland road – once notorious as a refuge for outlaws – located between the Langjökull and Höfsjökull glaciers to Hveravellir, a high-temperature geothermal area with smoking fumaroles and sky-blue boiling pools. There you can find stunning landscapes off the beaten track, as well as natural hot pools popular with bathers. Note: The Kjölur road is only accessible to "F-road" approved rental vehicles, so make sure to choose a 4x4 vehicle type when booking this tour if you wish to travel this route.

    Spend the night in Skagafjörður.

    Driving distance approx: 330 km/205 mi.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 3: Troll Peninsula, Akureyri & Lush Lake Mývatn

    The scenery on today's route is impressive, weaving along the beautiful mountains, cliffs and fjords of Tröllaskagi, "The Troll Peninsula". You may choose to take a break in the town of Hofsós for a soak in the geothermal pool that offers amazing views over the bay. Further ahead on your route is Siglufjörður, a colourful village that was once the prosperous herring centre of Iceland. It has a numerous interesting museums, a bustling harbour, and divine restaurants, as well as being close to well-marked hiking trails and pristine nature.

    Next up is Akureyri, the unofficial "capital of North Iceland" which you will have more time to explore on day 5 so today you will drive through the town on your way to Lake Mývatn. Enjoy a visit to Goðafoss (the Waterfall of the Gods) on your way to Mývatn, a region of surreal landscapes, hot springs and other unique geothermal and volcanic features. It's ideal to end the day visiting the Mývatn Nature Baths (optional; not included), where guests can relax in the soothing milky blue heated waters.

    Spend the night in the Lake Mývatn area.

    Driving distance approx: 260 km/161 mi.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 4: Explore Impressive Natural Sites Of The North

    A trip to Ásbyrgi canyon is another can't-miss highlight. The lush surroundings in the horseshoe-shaped canyon are lovely to stroll, admiring the diverse birdlife, and rocky landscape. Next, drive to Vesturdalur in Vatnajökull National Park to see Hljóðaklettar, a collection of basalt columns that create an arched cave. There are two well-marked hiking paths around the region if you're up for some outdoor activities.

    Next, visit the thundering Dettifoss waterfall, the most powerful in all of Europe. It stands an impressive 45 metres high and 100 metres across, and it's thrilling to watch the roaring white rapids drop into Dettifoss' deep gorge.

    Spend the night in the Lake Mývatn area.

    Driving distance approx: 250 km/155 mi.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 5: Explore Lake Mývatn: Dimmuborgir, Krafla & Bubbling Mud Pots

    Spend the first part of the day exploring the last highlights you´ve got yet to cover in Lake Mývatn. Noteworthy attractions here include the sizzling mud-pots at Námafjall, the moon-like pseudocraters at Skútustaðir, the lava maze of Dimmuborgir and the Krafla volcanic area, just to name a few. Afterwards head to Akureyri where you have time to relax and enjoy the evening. Have dinner at one of Akureyri's many fine dining restaurants.

    Spend the night in Akureyri.

    Driving distance approx: 100 km/ 62mi.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 6: Charming Akureyri & The Rugged North West

    Spend the morning exploring the charming town of Akureyri. There are numerous museums, galleries and cafes to visit, as well as outdoor areas like the botanical gardens and the harbour area to roam. You could also stroll along the historical town centre on the streets of Hafnarstræti and Aðalstræti to view the old houses and visit the Nonni Museum.

    From Akureyri, you will drive to Skagafjörður, a region rich with culture, purebred Icelandic horses and numerous natural sites. In this area you can stroll along a black sand beach, explore the turf houses of Glaumbær, enjoy a horse riding adventure or join other optional activities.

    Spend the night in the Varmahlíð/Hvammstangi area.

    Driving distance approx: 200 km/124 mi.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 7: The Scenic Snæfellsnes Peninsula

    Today you will be driving to the dramatic Snæfellsnes peninsula. We recommend starting the day early as you have a full day of highlights ahead of you, ranging from black sand beaches, caves, waterfalls, glaciers and charming fishing villages. Snæfellsjökull National Park is well known for its rich birdlife, lush valleys and desolate lava fields. It's an ideal road trip to drive around the peninsula, exploring Dritvík Cove, Lóndrangar Cliffs as well as Hellnar and Arnarstapi Cliffs with its diverse birdlife and the small villages along the coast.

    You might also try lifting the heavy stones on the black volcanic beach of Djúpalónssandur like the sailors did in past times, to prove their strength and get choice roles on the fishing ships.

    Spend the night in the Snæfellsnes peninsula area.

    Driving distance approx: 270 km/168 mi.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 8: West Coast Adventures

    Head to Borgarfjörður, an area with very diverse attractions, including the twin waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss along with the Deildartunguhver hot springs and the Háafell goat farm. You have the choice of joining several optional activities in this area such as the Krauma geothermal baths, the lava tunnel of Víðgelmir, venturing inside a glacier or experiencing a snowmobile tour on top of an ice cap. For those interested in the Viking history of Iceland, a stop at the Icelandic Settlement Center in Borgarnes is highly recommended.

    Continue to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, where you will be spending your last night in Iceland.

    Spend the night in the Reykjavík.

    Driving distance approx: 290 km/180 mi.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 9: Departure From Iceland

    As your amazing holiday comes to an end, transportation to Keflavík International Airport is provided via shuttle bus in time for your departure flight.

    Optional Extras

Map

Here’s a map of your travel route, to help put things in perspective.

Essential information

Everything you need to know about this tour before you book

We recommend that you read carefully through the following information before booking this summer self-drive tour in Iceland. We’ve answered the most frequently asked questions here so you know what to expect. You’ll also find more practical advice and attraction recommendations in our online Iceland Travel Guide.

On a self-drive tour, Nordic Visitor supplies you with a quality rental car and a detailed personal itinerary. You act as your own tour guide and driver, and you get to pick the road trip music!

All your services will be pre-booked by your personal travel consultant at Nordic Visitor. This includes your rental car and accommodation in Iceland, along with airport transfers and planned activities, as specified in the itinerary.

And rest assured that we’re with you every step of the way. Upon your arrival, you’ll receive personalised information, including an itinerary, map, leaflets about driving in Iceland, and our very own Iceland Travel Guide. You’ll also have in-car Wi-Fi included in your car rental, meaning you’ll be able to stay connected and check things on the go.

Plus, you’ll have access to our 24/7 helpline during your trip should you need to contact us.

Yes, when you book your Iceland tour with Nordic Visitor, you always get airport transfers to and from Keflavík Airport included. This will be a private, shared or bus transfer, depending on your itinerary. Please check the details of your tour to confirm.

If you add extra nights to your stay before or after the scheduled trip, we’ll rearrange your transfers to fit your new itinerary.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your travel consultant if you have any specific requests about optional activities or services.

During your self-drive tour, you’ll stay in accommodation hand-picked by our local Iceland travel experts. We’ve partnered with local businesses and selected hotels and guesthouses based on excellent ratings, comfort and our personal experience.

On our self-drive packages, you can choose from single, double and triple rooms. Please note that in Iceland room types are based on European standard sizes, which means they are smaller than in North America.

For example, a double bed often consists of 2 single beds pushed together. Twin rooms are 2 separate single beds. Triple rooms include a double bed along with an extra bed, rollaway or sofa bed. And single rooms are often smaller than the standard double.

If you have anything specific in mind, please contact us to discuss customising your accommodation options.

By booking with Nordic Visitor, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that there’s always someone there for you throughout your trip.

For support and advice during the day, you can call our office. And if anything unexpected happens outside working hours, you can reach us on our 24/7 helpline. 

During your tour, there will always be a Reykjavík-based travel expert on call to handle any unforeseen situations, such as unusual weather or events.

If you’re arriving from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand, you won’t need a visa to visit Iceland. 

Visiting from another country? You can find the complete list of countries whose nationals require a visa to enter Iceland on the website of Iceland’s Directorate of Immigration. If you do require a visa, they maintain a list of local embassies that can assist you with the process. 

Your passport must also be valid for at least 3 months from your departure from Iceland. It’s good to check your passport expiry date early in case you need to renew it. 

Read more about visas, airports and airlines in the getting to Iceland section of our travel guide.

Travelling with your kids? No problem! You'll be able to enter your children's ages during the booking process. This lets us know whether to arrange either a baby cot or roll-away bed for your trip.

If you'd like us to arrange for a car seat to be provided for your trip, please let us know ahead of time. It's also possible to book this directly with the car rental agency. This will incur a small, extra cost.

Only you can pick the best time to visit Iceland for your trip. It’ll depend on how much time you have to explore, what you want to see in Iceland and any events you might like to attend.

In summer, June to August, you’ll have milder temperatures and longer daylight hours, compared to the winter. This is ideal for outdoor excursions and sightseeing. 

If you’d like to experience the top attractions with fewer visitors around then you could book your summer trip in May or September. These shoulder season months have more tour and attraction availability.

The winter months are also popular, but generally quieter, apart from the Christmas holiday season. This is the ideal time to try to spot the northern lights.

Find out what annual Icelandic events and festivals are on in our travel guide. Or read more about the best time to visit Iceland on our blog.

Driving in Iceland during the summer months might be slightly different than what you’re used to. For this reason, you’ll want to make yourself aware of local driving laws and potential road hazards, such as:

  • We drive on the right-hand side of the road
  • Sheep sometimes roam onto the roads
  • Most roads and motorways are single carriageways
  • The first car to arrive at a single-lane bridge has right of way
  • Iceland has quite a few tunnels, including one of the longest underwater road tunnels in the world
     

And finally, with all the beautiful scenery, you’ll want to take it slow and enjoy the drive!

For more information, we strongly recommend taking a few minutes to read through our guide to driving in Iceland. Additionally, when you arrive on your tour, you’ll receive a brochure telling you more about driving in Iceland.

Because of its northerly location close to the Arctic Circle, Iceland enjoys long days throughout the summer. 

Around the summer solstice, from early June until mid-July, you’ll experience almost 24 hours of daylight. This phenomenon, known as the midnight sun, occurs within the Arctic Circle and is when the sun doesn’t fully set below the horizon. 

These long daylight hours give you plenty of time to drive around and explore. That said, you may want to pack a sleeping mask if you are a light sleeper or tend to wake up at dawn. 

Find out what the daylight hours will be during the month of your visit in this guide to time and daylight in Iceland.

Summer in Iceland is mild and boasts the best weather and longest days of the year. You can expect temperatures of around 10–15°C (50–59°F), with potential lows of 5°C (41°F) and highs of 25°C (77°F). 

It’s good to know that weather conditions are changeable in Iceland, so you should come ready for sun, rain and wind. For more information on the local climate, read the page Iceland weather conditions

Please note that sightseeing is dependent on weather and road conditions. This means that your itinerary might need to be altered if these conditions are not favourable during your visit.

Even in summertime Iceland’s climate can feel cool. As you’ll probably spend a lot of time outdoors, you should be ready for a variety of weather conditions.

Here is a recommended summer packing list for your trip to Iceland:

  • Durable insulated jacket
  • Rain gear, including sturdy wind and waterproof layers, like a jacket and trousers
  • Robust walking shoes with a good grip
  • Mid-layers such as a fleece or woollen jumper
  • A few pairs of warm hiking socks
  • Hat, gloves and scarf
  • Swimwear for visiting geothermal pools or spas
  • Backpack for daily adventures
  • Electronic equipment such as smartphone, external powerpack, and travel adapters
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and eye mask for the summer sun
  • And don’t forget your camera!
     

For more information, check out this Iceland packing guide.

There are limited laundry facilities along the Ring Road and in Iceland’s countryside. Some hotels do offer dry cleaning for an additional cost. 

If you would prefer not to use this service, we recommend bringing or buying a small pack of detergent. This way you can hand wash your items in your hotel bathroom.

On your Iceland road trip, you should budget for petrol costs of around 300-400 ISK per litre.

As for meals, your breakfast is included at all your accommodation in Iceland. For the rest of your meals, your spending money will depend on the standard of restaurants you decide to go to. 

Budget between 2,000–3,000 ISK for lunch per person, each day. Dinners at casual restaurants might cost between 3,000–6,000 ISK. Meanwhile at upscale restaurants, you can expect to pay 7,000 ISK or more. This does not include the cost of alcoholic beverages.

Yes, you can customise this tour online. During the booking process, you can add extra nights to your itinerary as well as optional day trips, excursions and upgrades. 

If you have something specific in mind, get in touch with your travel consultant and they’ll create your dream trip.

It’s best to book as soon as you can to secure your preferred travel dates. Once you have picked your tour, check the availability calendar to see which months are open for booking. Then, select the date you want and complete your booking. 

Nordic Visitor offers 10–20% deposits so you can reserve your trip as early as it’s convenient for you. The remaining balance is due 30 days before you travel. 

Many tours are also open for the following year if you like to plan well ahead. And if you have any questions or need advice, you can always contact us

After booking your tour package online, you will be contacted within 2 business days by your own dedicated travel consultant. They will be your point of contact for all your travel needs before, during and even after your trip. 

At that time, they’ll confirm the availability of your tour. Then the booking process starts, which may take a few weeks. Once this is done, your travel consultant will provide you with all the details of your trip. You will also receive more information about what to expect during your trip.

You can get in touch with our Iceland travel experts ahead of your trip if you have any questions. The live chat option is useful for getting a quick reply as someone answers live every day during office opening hours.

Once you’ve booked, we’ll provide you with a travel guide packed full of local tips and top attractions for your visit. You can also check out our online Iceland Travel Guide where we’ve compiled useful information about topics, including:

After you have booked your tour, it will only take a few days to confirm its availability. But it may take a few weeks to create your itinerary and book everything. Once your trip details are finalised, we’ll email you copies of your travel documents.

When you arrive in Iceland, you’ll receive a welcome bag with hard copies of your itinerary, attraction and tour vouchers, the Nordic Visitor Iceland Travel Guide and more.

So when do you check in? And what can you expect upon landing in Keflavík?

After picking up your luggage, you will be greeted by a driver holding a sign with your name in the arrivals hall. The driver will hand over your welcome package with hard copies of your travel documents. You’ll then be driven to your hotel in Reykjavík.

Check-in times vary between hotels and guesthouses, but it normally starts between 2 PM and 4 PM. 

You are welcome to request an early check-in for an additional fee. Although this isn’t always available, you’ll be able to store your luggage at the hotel so you can start exploring before check-in. Please contact your travel consultant well in advance of your arrival if you’d like an early check-in.

When you depart may depend on the time of your return flight. Check out early if you’re heading to the airport for a morning flight. On the other hand, if you’re flying home later in the day, you might like to enjoy a leisurely day or visit one more attraction.

You will need to check out from your room, but will be able to store your luggage at the hotel reception. Simply return later to collect your bags before catching your transfer to the airport.

All bookings are billed in Icelandic Króna (ISK), the official currency of Iceland. 

Prices displayed in other currencies are indicative only and based on the daily exchange rate as issued by the Central Bank of Iceland. This means conversions from ISK to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day.

Reviews

We don’t like to brag, so we’ll let our happy customers do it for us.

I can't wait to go back!

All of the communications, the website, the guides, and the overall service from Nordic Visitor were absolutely first class! We had a wonderful time in Iceland. There is so much to do and see and thanks to you everything was taken care of and we could just relax and enjoy our trip. I can't wait to go back!

Excellent assistance

Excellent assistance and communication from Jennie and wonderful accomodation. 
 
Outstanding thank you.

Will book with Nordic Visitor again

This was the first time I've booked a trip like this- with reliance on an agent to handle the booking- and it was a wonderful experience. The amount of information provided to us for the trip, and the detailed notes as well as the insider recommendations made the trip incredibly special- and I'm already looking at another one for next year! It was also invaluable to have a local agency plan this: the insight and details as a result of my trip being handled by someone who is from the destination, made the difference. Dagný was great- and I will absolutely be booking with NordicVisitor again, and- have a friend already planning a trip for next May and she will be booking with you!

Gave a great sense of what the country is all about

Excellent diversity in accommodations -- upscale hotel to farmer's guesthouse -- gave a great sense of what the country is all about...Were also very pleased to visit the Nordic Visitor office in Reykjavik on the last day, before we departed. Did a video interview and shared some ideas. It was very nice to personally visit the staff, who were all very friendly.

Accommodation

Stay in well-located hotels and guesthouses that are highly rated by visitors and handpicked by local travel experts.

Look forward to getting a good night’s sleep after each day of driving in Iceland. All your accommodation will be conveniently located near your driving route, with ample parking. Rest assured that you’ll stay in the best possible properties, which have all received excellent reviews from previous customers.

Economy

Rooms with shared bathroom facilities in farmhouses, cosy guesthouses or well-appointed hostels.

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Comfort Plus

Standard rooms in good quality and comfortable three-star hotels in combination with well-appointed guesthouses or country hotels.

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Superior

Standard rooms in four-star hotels in combination with Deluxe or Superior rooms in premium three-star hotels.

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Rental car

Enjoy the journey in the rental car of your choice, with two authorised drivers and free in-car Wi-Fi.

Hyundai Tucson AWD (Automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Hyundai Tucson AWD (Automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Intermediate SUV
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Mitsubishi Outlander AWD (Automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Mitsubishi Outlander AWD (Automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Standard SUV, AWD
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 (Automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x5
  • A

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 (Automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Premium SUV, 4WD
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Land Rover Discovery 4x4 (Automatic)
or similar
limited availability

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Land Rover Discovery 4x4 (Automatic)
or similar
limited availability

  • Description: 4x4
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Price per person from

The amount will be charged in ISK

Approx 296160 ISK

Book with confidence

Monthly price comparison

Our best price per person when booking for two.

2023

Optional extras

Customise your adventure with these Optional Extras.

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