South Iceland Glacier Whistlestop

4 days / 3 nights
A rainbow over Reynisfjara black sand beach
The edge of the Vatnajökull glacier
A rainbow over Reynisfjara black sand beach

Experience the south coast’s jaw-dropping natural wonders

Whisk yourself off on a short break to remember. Discover Iceland’s breathtaking south coast and Golden Circle route at your pace. Take the wheel and you’ll find dazzling glaciers, tumbling waterfalls, and bubbling geysers waiting for you.

Arrive in Iceland early enough, and you could enjoy a visit to the Blue Lagoon on your way to Reykjavík. After a night in the buzzing capital, it’s time to marvel at waterfalls and geysers on the Golden Circle. Then travel along the south coast, where you’ll find vast glaciers, along with black sand beaches, volcanoes, and striking sea cliffs.

Travel styleSelf-drive
Trip length4 days / 3 nights
VibeShort & sweet
(1 Apr–31 Oct)
TransportRental car
Starts fromReykjavík
Tour codeSD31

On this tour you will...

  • Get up close to Vatnajökull glacier, the country’s largest ice cap

  • See the Golden Circle’s top sites: Gullfoss waterfall, Þingvellir National Park and Geysir

  • Soak up the beauty of Skaftafell Nature Reserve as you walk one of its many hiking trails

  • Marvel at icebergs bobbing on the breathtaking Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

  • Stroll along black sand beaches near the charming fishing village of Vík

  • Visit iconic waterfalls, such as Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss

Top attractions

The edge of the Vatnajökull glacier

Vatnajökull Glacier & National Park

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon at sunrise with a pink sky

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Mountains in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve on a cloudy day

Skaftafell Nature Reserve

Vik Church with Reynisdrangar sea stacks in the distance

Vík í Mýrdal

A rainbow over the Skógafoss waterfall on a sunny day


The Seljalandsfoss waterfall covered in icicles


The Tjörnin pond in Reykjavík in summer

Downtown Reykjavík

The Gullfoss waterfall in summertime


Þingvellir National Park, Iceland, in autumn colors

Þingvellir National Park

The Strokkur geyser erupting in winter against a sunset

Geysir and Strokkur

Mountains in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve on a cloudy day

Skaftafell Nature Reserve

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 4-day self-drive itinerary

Your 4-day self-drive itinerary
Staying inReykjavík
Driving distance50 km (31 mi)

Your memorable, Iceland adventure begins the very moment you arrive at Keflavik Airport. Once you pick up your rental vehicle, you’ll head directly for Reykjavik and your exciting, first night in Iceland.


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 inVík/Kirkjubæjarklaustur area
Driving distance400 km (249 mi)

You can start by a drive to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the geological wonders of the world, where you can see the effects of the tectonic plate movements which have opened various cracks and fissures in the earth’s crust. 

You continue to the famous Geysir area where the Strokkur hot spring ejects its water column high into the air every 5–10 minutes and where numerous small springs are boil and bubble. Afterwards you only have a short drive to reach Gullfoss, surely one of the country’s most beautiful waterfalls.

On your way along the south coast, you will pass the Seljalandsfoss waterfall and you can actually walk behind it. 

A little further you pass Skógafoss waterfall, one of the highest in Iceland. Next you can stop at the magnificent Dyrhólaey cape. You can either take the road up to the top of the cape, and have a look at the bird cliff there or drive to a beautiful black sand beach at the foot of the cape. 

Please note that Dyrhólaey is closed during nesting season from 14 May to 23 June  and from mid-August the puffins will have gone to sea.

Staying inReykjavík
Driving distance500 km (311 mi)

Your next stop is Iceland’s scenic southeast. After passing various, outlet glaciers belonging to Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest ice cap, you’ll arrive at the stunningly surreal beauty of Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon. This exceptional sight sits at the foot of Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnúkur.

Skaftafell Nature Reserve is another area definitely worth a visit. This oasis, surrounded by glaciers and black sand plains, offers a broad range of options for great hiking. 

You will now head back to Reykjavík through the south coast towns of Selfoss and Hveragerði. You can visit the places you missed on the previous day if you still have time.

Please be aware that this itinerary has long driving distances, but will allow you to see all the highlights of the south coast of Iceland in a short time.

Driving distance50 km (31 mi)

Now it is time to head back home, after an amazing journey through one of the world’s most picturesque landscapes. You will drive back to Keflavík Airport for your flight back home. Depending on your flight time, you may be able to enjoy your last day strolling around Reykjavík. Or, even better, consider booking an extra night in Reykjavík to really give yourself time to experience all the amazing things Iceland’s capital city has to offer.

What’s included?

Detailed itinerary

Budget, Comfort, or Quality accommodation every night

Continental breakfast every day

Rental car of your choice for 3 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

Don’t take our word for it

See what hundreds of fellow travelers have to say about their trips with Iceland Tours.

Read customer reviews

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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