Iceland Ring Road & Snæfellsnes Grand Tour

12 days / 11 nights
Lush trees and lava formations next to Lake Mývatn
The Krafla crater
A woman next to the Svörtuloft lighthouse on the Snæfellsnes peninsula
Lush trees and lava formations next to Lake Mývatn
The Krafla crater

Explore Iceland, little and large

Spend 12 days discovering Iceland on this self-drive tour. Venture to the unforgettable Snæfellsnes peninsula, before continuing around the famous Ring Road.

On this trip, you’ll get to explore so much of Iceland in depth. Thanks to the relaxed pace of the itinerary, you have time to get to know each region you visit. And you can stop whenever you like, as you’re the one behind the wheel.

Travel styleSelf-drive
Trip length12 days / 11 nights
(1 May–30 Sep)
TransportRental car
Starts fromReykjavík
Tour codeSD25

On this tour you will...

  • Delve into ‘Iceland in Miniature’ on the Snæfellsnes peninsula

  • Head to North Iceland, home to hot springs and waterfalls

  • See the classic sights of the famous Golden Circle route

  • Get up close to glaciers and black sand beaches

  • Visit unspoiled national parks all round the country

  • Enjoy a full day in Reykjavík, Iceland’s cool capital city

Top attractions

The black sand of the Djúpalónssandur beach


A man standing below Kirkjufellsfoss


Gatklettur rock arch at Arnarstapi


The Snæfellsjökull glacier at sunset

Snæfellsjökull Glacier & National Park

The Hraunfossar waterfall in winter covered in ice

Hraunfossar and Barnafoss

Water coming out of colorful rocks at Deildartunguhver hot spring


The skyline of Akureyri, North Iceland


Lake Mývatn in its autumn colors

Lake Mývatn

The Dimmuborgir lava formations in North Iceland


The Goðafoss waterfall in summer


The Dettifoss waterfall in autumn


Trees in the lush Ásbyrgi canyon


View over the Fellabær neighborhood of Egilsstaðir


The village of Djúpivogur seen from a distance


Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon at sunrise with a pink sky

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

The edge of the Vatnajökull glacier

Vatnajökull Glacier & National Park

Vik Church with Reynisdrangar sea stacks in the distance

Vík í Mýrdal

The Seljalandsfoss waterfall covered in icicles


A rainbow over the Skógafoss waterfall on a sunny day


The Strokkur geyser erupting in winter against a sunset

Geysir and Strokkur

Þingvellir National Park, Iceland, in autumn colors

Þingvellir National Park

The Gullfoss waterfall in summertime


The Tjörnin pond in Reykjavík in summer

Downtown Reykjavík

Why book a self-drive trip with Iceland Tours?

  • Start your tour on the date that suits you

  • 24/7 emergency helpline in Iceland

  • Secure your booking with just a 5% deposit

  • New rental cars with 2 drivers as standard

  • Handpicked local accommodation options

  • Best Price Guarantee

Your 12-day self-drive itinerary

Staying inReykjavík
Driving distance50 km (31 mi)

Your memorable Icelandic adventure begins the very moment you arrive at Keflavík Airport. After picking up your rental car, you’ll drive to the capital, Reykjavík, for your first night in the Land of Fire and Ice.


The Tjörnin pond in Reykjavík in summer

Downtown Reykjavík

Extra activities

Riders on FlyOver Iceland above a virtual waterfallExtra

FlyOver Iceland

The Sky Lagoon at sunsetExtra

Sky Lagoon Pure Pass

Staying inSnæfellsnes area
Driving distance305 km (190 mi)

Today, you explore the natural wonders of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. They include the Eldborg volcanic crater, the Gerðuberg basalt columns, the quaint hamlet of Búðir, and Djúpalónssandur beach, with its historical shipwreck remains. Don’t miss the view up the majestic Snæfell volcano and surrounding glacier.

Staying inBorgarfjörður area
Driving distance230 km (143 mi)

From Stykkishólmur, you will head south-west toward the fjord of Borgarfjörður. This area is characterized by vast lands, sweeping views of the Langjökull glacier, and magnificent waterfalls. All set against a rich cultural background straight out of an Icelandic saga.

Staying inAkureyri area
Driving distance315 km (196 mi)

Today’s itinerary takes you to North Iceland. You’ll drive through farm fields and the Skagafjörður region known for Icelandic horse breeding. The landscape is dotted with the beautiful Icelandic horses. This will contrast well with yesterday’s experience.

You can take a detour along the way to the Vatnsnes peninsula, where you could spot seals in their natural habitat along the black sand beaches.

Staying inMývatn/Húsavík area
Driving distance120 km (75 mi)

Mývatn is rightfully one of the most visited spot in Iceland. It is home to some truly awe-inspiring sights. You could visit the mesmerizing lava field labyrinth of Dimmuborgir, or witness the 2,300 year-old pseudo-craters of Skútustaðir. Here, you’ll also find one of Iceland´s largest sulphurous hot spring areas, the solfataras of Námaskarð. And don’t miss out on the impressive Goðafoss waterfall, known as “the waterfall of the gods”!

Staying inMývatn/Húsavík area
Driving distance240 km (149 mi)

You have the day to explore the north of Iceland further. Venture to the Tjörnes peninsula as it offers some amazing experiences. Start in Húsavík, a seaside village known as the whale-watching capital of Iceland. You can then take in the beauty of the lush, horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi canyon. Finally, don’t miss the thundering power of Dettifoss waterfall, which can make the ground shake beneath your feet.

Staying inEgilsstaðir area
Driving distance200 km (124 mi)

It is now time to explore the east coast! Drive across the Möðrudalur highlands desert to experience its lunar landscape before reaching the fertile valley of Hérað where lies the village of Egilsstaðir. This town is home to the largest Icelandic forest where reindeer roam free. You might be lucky and spot one!

Staying inHöfn area
Driving distance260 km (162 mi)

The Eastfjords region is utterly picturesque, with its small villages nestled in the arms of narrow and dramatic fjord coastlines. Start the day by driving through Reyðarfjörður, where you’ll find the local World War II museum, before heading south-east.

Your drive down the east coast will take you through rugged landscape, at times, on high-perched roads on the mountains delivering breathtaking views down below. Finally, you’ll drive through the tunnel of Almannaskarð to arrive in the Höfn region.

Staying inVík/Skógar area
Driving distance315 km (196 mi)

Your next stop is Iceland’s scenic south-east. You’ll first pass by various outlet glaciers belonging to Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest ice cap. You’ll then arrive at the stunning Jökulsárlón, a lagoon famous for its bogging icebergs. This exceptional sight sits at the foot of Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnúkur, and you could even book an optional boat tour onto the lagoon.

Skaftafell is another must-see area. This oasis, surrounded by glaciers and black sand plains, offers a broad range of options for impressive hikes. Later, continue your drive to Vík/Kirkjubæjarklaustur for your overnight stay.

Staying inReykjavík
Driving distance300 km (186 mi)

Today, you will continue west to see some of the top highlights of the south coast. Start the morning by admiring the powerful Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.

Later, marvel at the attractions of the famous Golden Circle. First, the imposing Gullfoss waterfall, followed by the steaming power of Geysir. Here you can witness the Strokkur geyser propel warm water columns in the air every 5-10 minutes. Last but not least, the Þingvellir National Park. This is where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, creating this impressive landscape.

Later, you’ll reach Reykjavík.

Staying inReykjavík

Take the time to discover more of Reykjavík and its stunning surroundings today. In the city center, there are museums and art galleries, plenty of shops to pick up souvenirs, and incredible restaurants and cafés to savor Icelandic specialties. You may also like to go on a whale-watching tour or take a stroll along Nauthólsvík beach.

Driving distance50 km (31 mi)

It is now time to head back home after an amazing journey through one of the world’s most picturesque landscapes. Drive back to Keflavík Airport and return your rental car. If your flight is later in the day, you might want to enjoy a last stroll around Reykjavík or visit one last museum.

What’s included?

Detailed itinerary

Budget, Comfort, or Quality accommodation every night

Continental breakfast every day

Rental car of your choice for 11 days

2 authorized drivers as standard

Unlimited mileage

Unlimited in-car Wi-Fi

Collision damage waiver

24/7 emergency helpline when you’re in Iceland

VAT, taxes & service fees

Flights to Iceland

Fuel & parking charges

Food & drink, unless otherwise stated

Attraction entrance fees, unless otherwise stated

Personal travel insurance

Customer reviews

Read what real customers had to say about Iceland Ring Road & Snæfellsnes Grand Tour.

Overall rating for this trip
based on 5 reviews
Dennis - Singapore
September 16, 2023 - Verified booking
Service agent Paolo was very helpful and everything was well arranged. Didn't face any issues from the moment we landed, picked up the car and got on our way. Will highly recommend Iceland Tours to anyone considering travelling with them.
Julie - Australia
September 16, 2023 - Verified booking
Our tour was 12 days/11 Nights Iceland Ring Road and Snaefellnes adventure. We choose this tour as it was the most comprehensive tour and also travelled clockwise, so we could time with the Northern Lights. The tour was with Comfort Hotels and Dacia Duster car included. The route was exactly
Ken - United States
August 22, 2023 - Verified booking
We had a wonderful experience. The car rental all hotel reservations all went smoothly.

FAQs about our self-drive trips

On a self-drive trip with Iceland Tours, you’ll be at the wheel of the rental car of your choice and free to go pretty much where you want, whenever you want.

We provide a detailed itinerary to help you plan your route and where you want to stop along the way. But it’s up to you whether you want to stick to it or go your own way. If you do take detours, make sure that you aren’t too far from your accommodation on any given night.

That said, it’s a good idea to stick to the suggested itinerary if you’ve never visited Iceland before. Created by our Reykjavík-based travel experts, it contains plenty of things for you to and see and do on each leg of your trip. One thing’s for sure: you won’t be short on ideas!

You also get unlimited in-car Wi-Fi, so you can stay connected and use maps on your phone for navigation.

You have to be at least 20 years old to rent a car in Iceland, or 23 years old for larger vehicles like jeeps and vans. You’ll need to have held a valid driver’s license for at least 1 year and present a credit card when you collect your car.

You don’t need an International Driving Permit unless your license is not in Latin script (for example, Arabic or Chinese).

Find out more about car rental in Iceland.

Yes! It’s possible to add extra activities or extend your trip with additional nights in Reykjavík or the countryside. Check the itinerary above to see what activities are available on what day.

Once you’ve paid your deposit for your trip, we’ll finalize bookings for your accommodation, rental car, and any activities. As soon as we receive confirmation of everything, we’ll email your travel documents to you.

We aim to finalize everything within a few weeks of receiving your booking request, but in busy periods this might take longer. That said, you’ll always receive all of your documents before your departure date.

You’ll be able to pick up your rental car at Keflavík International Airport from the arrivals hall. Before your trip, we’ll send you information about where to go in the terminal to collect your keys.

Make sure you have your driver’s license and credit card ready when you collect your vehicle.

If you land late at night, you can use the out-of-hours phone at the pick-up desk to contact someone who will be able to help you.

You also have the option to collect your rental car in Reykjavík, if you’re planning to spend some extra days in the city before your trip starts. If you’d like to do this, please let us know in the ‘Special requests’ box at checkout.

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