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!
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
Þingvellir National Park
Geysir and Strokkur
Vík í Mýrdal
Skaftafell Nature Reserve
Why book a self-drive trip with Iceland Tours?
Start your tour on the date that suits you
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New rental cars with 2 drivers as standard
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Your 7-day self-drive itinerary
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!
Sky Lagoon Pure Pass
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.
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.
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.
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 Breiðamerkursandur (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.
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.
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.
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 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