South Iceland & Westman Islands Geoexplorer

7 days / 6 nights
Aerial view of the 2023 volcano eruption near Litli-Hrútur.
The Eldhraun lava field showing moss-covered lava rocks
Elephant Rock cliff in the Westman Islands
Aerial view of the 2023 volcano eruption near Litli-Hrútur.
The Eldhraun lava field showing moss-covered lava rocks

Delve into the country’s geological history and see these forces in action

Discover South Iceland and the Westman Islands on this 7-day self-drive tour. You’ll see Earth’s geological forces at work, in the form of bubbling hot springs, giant glaciers, and jaw-dropping waterfalls.

This trip also includes a day of adventure in Reykjanes Geopark, home to the volcano that erupted in 2021, 2022 and 2023. You’ll see freshly formed lava fields alongside ancient ones. What’s more, you’ll tour the south coast with its mesmerizing black sand beaches and stunning glacier lagoon.

Included with this package is a ferry sailing to the Westman Islands, a lesser-explored corner of South Iceland. So whether you’re a geology geek or a puffin spotter, this trip packs it all in, in just 7 days!

Travel styleSelf-drive
Trip length7 days / 6 nights
VibeAdventure
SeasonSummer
(1 Apr–31 Oct)
TransportRental car
Starts fromReykjavík
Tour codeSD38

On this tour you will...

  • See freshly formed lava fields from the 2021, 2022 and 2023 Reykjanes peninsula eruptions

  • Look out for puffins on the geological gem of the Westman Islands

  • Explore the geothermal area at Geysir and watch the Strokkur geyser in action

  • Walk along Reynisfjara black sand beach, where you’ll see cliffs of basalt columns

  • Learn about the tectonic plate boundaries in Þingvellir National Park

  • Get up close to Vatnajökull glacier and stroll between small icebergs on Diamond Beach

Top attractions

The Tjörnin pond in Reykjavík in summer

Downtown Reykjavík

Elephant Rock cliff in the Westman Islands

Westman Islands

The Gullfoss waterfall in summertime

Gullfoss

Þingvellir National Park, Iceland, in autumn colors

Þingvellir National Park

The Strokkur geyser erupting in winter against a sunset

Geysir and Strokkur

The Seljalandsfoss waterfall covered in icicles

Seljalandsfoss

A rainbow over the Skógafoss waterfall on a sunny day

Skógafoss

Vik Church with Reynisdrangar sea stacks in the distance

Vík í Mýrdal

Mountains in Skaftafell on a cloudy day

Skaftafell

Aerial view of the 2023 volcano eruption near Litli-Hrútur.

Fagradalsfjall volcano

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 7-day self-drive itinerary

Your 7-day self-drive itinerary
Staying inReykjavík
Driving distance50 km (31 mi)

Land in Iceland and collect your rental car from Keflavík airport. Head towards Reykjavík, Iceland’s buzzing capital, to get settled into your hotel. After that, you can spend the rest of your day exploring the culture-packed city center.

Why not stop for a bite to eat at a local seafood restaurant or trendy food hall? If you arrive early enough, you might also be able to visit local museums or do a spot of shopping. 

Another option is to add a trip to the Sky Lagoon, a top-rated geothermal spa. The perfect way to unwind and recharge after your flight!

Highlights

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

whale breaching in front of orange and yellow sunsetExtra

Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavík

An Atlantic puffin perched on a cliff in IcelandExtra

Puffin Watching

Close up of a hand holding a hot dogExtra

The Reykjavík Food Walk

Group on a horse riding tourExtra

Horse Riding from Reykjavík

A group of people being lowered into a lava cave © Inside the VolcanoExtra

Inside the Volcano tour from Bláfjöll

Staying inHveragerði / Selfoss area
Driving distance180 km (112 mi)

On your way to Reykjavík yesterday, you will have had a tantalizing taste of the Reykjanes peninsula as you passed through its gigantic lava field. Today you’ll get the chance to get to know the area in depth.

The region is one of the most geologically active areas in Iceland, with a series of volcanic eruptions at Fagradalsfjall in 2021, 2022 and 2023. You can even see the brand-new lava field left behind by these eruptions.

Just around the corner is Krýsuvík, a cluster of mud pots and hot springs lining a small valley. This geothermal area is nestled on the shores of Kleifarvatn lake, which offers stunning panoramic views.

Staying inGeysir area
Driving distance200 km (124 mi)

After waking up in the heart of South Iceland, you’ll hit the road headed for Þingvellir National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site delivers on both nature and culture. It’s here that you can walk between the European and North American continental plates. 

Þingvellir was also the place where Viking-age Icelanders would gather for Alþingi, the annual parliament. The site is steeped in the legacy of this ancient tradition. Follow signs in the park to the most significant historical locations and to learn what happened where.

Next set your sights further north, to the Geysir area. In this geothermally active valley, you’ll find the Strokkur geyser. It erupts every 5–10 minutes, sending a jet of warm water high into the air. Finally, take a short drive to the nearby Gullfoss waterfall. This multi-tiered cascade is named ‘Golden Falls’ and is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country.

Staying inVík area
Driving distance200 km (124 mi)

Today enjoy the stunning scenery that Iceland’s south coast has to offer. On your way from Geysir area, you can stop off at Kerið, a small lake in a volcanic crater. The rock here is a striking red color, rather than the usual black, and is around 3,000 years old.

Now continue south towards Seljalandsfoss, one of Iceland’s funnest waterfalls. Walk behind the powerful plume as it pours over the mountainside, feeling the refreshing spray on your face. A 10-minute stroll away you’ll find Gljúfrabúi, another waterfall, concealed in a small canyon. Many people skip this one, but you won’t regret a detour here!

Afterwards, you’ll continue to Skógafoss, the big brother to Seljalandsfoss. Follow the trail up the mountain beside the waterfall for a captivating top-down view.

Finish your day by driving to Vík. On the way, you can pause to roam along Reynisfjara black sand beach and admire the hexagonal basalt columns. The Reynisdrangar sea stacks just offshore will compete for your attention with the sheer lava cliffs on the beach. It’s up to you how long you spend taking in the majesty of them both.

Staying inVík area
Driving distance390 km (242 mi)

Venture to Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland’s largest, which covers almost 15% of the country. The park is named after the vast Vatnajökull glacier. Its dozens of smaller branches, known as outlets, are primed for guided adventure activities (available as optional extras).

The Skaftafell area, just off the Ring Road, is a great jumping-off point for exploration. Here you can choose from its many hiking trails, including one to the Svartifoss waterfall. This hidden gem cascades over a rock face made of hexagonal basalt columns, a truly unforgettable sight.

A short drive away you’ll find Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Fellsfjara (aka Diamond Beach). Witness the magical interplay of ice and water here, where glistening icebergs drift out to sea or wash up on the jet-black shore.

Staying inReykjavík
Driving distance230 km (143 mi)

This morning you’ll turn off the Ring Road, near Seljalandsfoss, to catch the ferry to the Westman Islands. You’ll sail to the largest island, Heimaey, with its cute harbor town and impressive cliffs home to thousands of seabirds.

Return ferry sailing to Westman Islands with car included.

Heimaey is an ideal destination for a day trip. In 1973, a volcanic eruption swallowed half the main town and today you can walk on top of the lava with buried streets below you. Learn all about this historic event at the Eldheimar museum.

The Westman Islands are also one of the best places in Iceland to spot puffins. Drive to the southern tip of the island to boost your chances of seeing them. Along the way, you can admire the stunning formations in the cliff faces.

Driving distance50 km (31 mi)

It’s time to drive back to Keflavík airport, where you’ll drop off your rental car before your flight home. 

You’ll have explored the best of what South Iceland has to offer. Leave the Land of Fire and Ice with memories of its unique nature and culture, and a longing to return in your heart.

What’s included?

Detailed itinerary

Budget, Comfort, or Quality accommodation every night

Continental breakfast every day

Rental car of your choice for 6 days

2 authorized drivers as standard

Unlimited mileage

Unlimited in-car Wi-Fi

Collision damage waiver

Tickets for Herjólfur ferry to Westman Islands

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.

Best price

Adults

Ages 12+

2

Children

Ages 2-11

0

Infants

Ages 0-1

0

#icelandmyway

See what travelers like you have been up to lately on Instagram.