South & West Iceland In Depth

7 days / 6 nights
A woman looking at Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland
The ferry to the Westman Islands sailing past a small island
Hraunfossar waterfall with autumnal colors
A woman looking at Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland
The ferry to the Westman Islands sailing past a small island

A road trip packed with epic natural sights

Take the wheel on a self-drive adventure where you’ll get to explore hidden gems and top attractions in South and West Iceland. Traveling at a more laid-back pace is perfect if you really want to delve into the natural wonders and culture of these jaw-dropping regions.

Throughout your trip, expect views of dazzling glaciers and epic volcanoes. Plus, along the way you could walk along black sand beaches, see plunging waterfalls, and discover remote regions like the Westman Islands and Snæfellsnes peninsula. You’ll also be able to soak in geothermal pools, visit Skaftafell, and stand on the shores of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

This, and so much more, is waiting for you in the Land of Fire and Ice.

Travel styleSelf-drive
Trip length7 days / 6 nights
VibeIn depth
(1 Apr–30 Sep)
TransportRental car
Starts fromReykjavík
Tour codeSD19

On this tour you will...

  • Explore South & West Iceland at a laid-back pace

  • Venture to the volcanic Westman Islands

  • Circle the nature-packed Snæfellsnes peninsula

  • Get close to icebergs and glaciers in national parks

  • Have the chance to bathe in geothermal springs

  • Roam beneath waterfalls and along black beaches

Top attractions

Mountains in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve on a cloudy day


The edge of the Vatnajökull glacier

Vatnajökull Glacier & National Park

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon at sunrise with a pink sky

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

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 Strokkur geyser erupting in winter against a sunset

Geysir and Strokkur

The Gullfoss waterfall in summertime


Þingvellir National Park, Iceland, in autumn colors

Þingvellir National Park

Gatklettur rock arch at Arnarstapi


The black sand of the Djúpalónssandur beach


A man standing below Kirkjufellsfoss


The Tjörnin pond in Reykjavík in summer

Downtown Reykjavík

A man floating in the Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon

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

Staying inReykjavík
Driving distance50 km (31 mi)

Touch down in at Keflavík Airport and, once you’ve collected your rental car, you can head straight for Reykjavík, Iceland’s buzzing capital. 

Or, if you arrive early enough, you could indulge in a little R&R on your way to the city. The soothing, geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon are a couple of the best places to try. 

Once you get to Reykjavík, take a stroll around the old town and check out the city’s cultural attractions. Or you could try some Nordic cuisine and experience the local nightlife.


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

An Atlantic puffin perched on a cliff in IcelandExtra

Puffin Watching

whale breaching in front of orange and yellow sunsetExtra

Classic Whale Watching from Reykjavík

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 inBorgarfjörður area
Driving distance430 km (267 mi)

Now the adventure really begins! Take the wheel and get ready to discover the natural wonders of Snæfellsnes peninsula. 

Begin your drive by heading towards Stykkishólmur, a charming fishing village on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. From here, on the peninsula’s northern shore, you can gaze out over countless islands in Breiðafjörður bay. On a clear day you might even spot the Westfjords in the distance!

Venture west from Stykkishólmur, and you’ll be able to explore all that Snæfellsnes has to offer. Some of the highlights include Snæfellsjökull, a glacier-topped volcano and Djúpalónssandur black pebble beach. There’s also the striking peak of Kirkjufell mountain, which you’ll recognise from Game of Thrones if you’re a fan of the series. 

Plus, you could check out the black wooden church at Búðir. Or why not go for a short hike along the stunning clifftop trail between the villages of Hellnar and Arnarstapi? 

After a day of exploring, head south to spend the night in the area around beautiful Borgarfjörður.

Staying inHveragerði / Selfoss area
Driving distance390 km (242 mi)

This morning, leave Borgarfjörður behind and head inland to tour the iconic Golden Circle route. It’s a must-do on any trip to Iceland!

Before getting to the Golden Circle, start the day by stopping off at Deildartunguhver hot spring. When it comes to water production per second, this is the biggest in Iceland. 

Or visit Reykholt village, which was once home to the famous medieval writer Snorri Sturluson lived. Not far from here you’ll also find Hraunfossar falls where water flows out from beneath a lava field into a river. 

Now it’s time to begin discovering the natural wonders on the Golden Circle. The top three highlights are Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and the Geysir geothermal area. 

First, you’ll come to Þingvellir National Park. Here you can see plate tectonics in action, in the form of cracks and fissures at the Earth’s surface, making it one of the world’s geological wonders. 

Then, there’s the Geysir geothermal area. Prepare to be amazed by active hot springs, including Strokkur and Geysir, the area’s namesake. Strokkur is the most active though, and it shoots a super-heated jet of water about 20 m (65 ft) into the air every 5-10 minutes. 

Your last stop on the Golden Circle will be Gullfoss waterfall, or ‘Golden Falls’. Go for a short hike to one of the viewing platforms to really get a feel for the power of this incredible tiered falls. 

Later, head for the Hveragerði/Selfoss area where you’ll spend the night.

Staying inVík/Kirkjubæjarklaustur area
Driving distance143 km (89 mi)

Today is all about exploring the rugged beauty of Iceland’s south coast. 

Driving east you’ll soon arrive at Seljalandsfoss waterfall. You may have heard of this one before – it’s known as the waterfall you can walk behind. Continuing from here, you’ll pass Skógar village and Skógafoss waterfall. With a drop of about 60 m (200 ft), Skógafoss is one of the highest falls in Iceland. 

Then, trace the south coast all the way to the fishing village of Vík í Mýrdal. There are a few places for you to grab a bite to eat before carrying on. But while you’re here, you won’t want to miss taking a walk along Reynisfjara’s black sand beach. 

Close to Vík, you’ll also find Dyrhólaey cape, Iceland’s southernmost point. Follow a minor road to get to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the beaches below. From here, there are mind-boggling views of towering sea cliffs stretching out in both directions. 

In summer, Dyrhólaey is a great spot to see puffins. But bear in mind that it’ll be closed during the nesting season (May 15 until June 23), to protect these charismatic birds. And by mid-August most puffins will have returned to the sea.

Staying inHvolsvöllur area
Driving distance471 km (293 mi)

Now it’s time to venture further east along Iceland’s south coast.

Drive past numerous outlet glaciers belonging to Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest ice cap, before arriving at Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. This turquoise lake, complete with bobbing icebergs, sits at the foot of Iceland’s highest mountain, Hvannadalshnjúkur.

More natural wonders are waiting for you in Skaftafell. This haven is surrounded by glaciers and black sand plains, not to mention plenty of hiking trails for you to explore.

After a day of immersing yourself in nature, trace the coastline to Hvolsvöllur village for your overnight stay.

Staying inReykjavík
Driving distance230 km (143 mi)

On your way to the Westman Islands ferry crossing, you’ll have another chance to stop by Seljalandsfoss waterfall. 

Then it’s time to experience the island of Heimaey. This hidden gem is located in the volcanic Westman Islands archipelago. During your visit, learn about the island’s history and the 1973 volcanic eruption. 

You could hike to the top of Mount Eldfell, discover the elephant rock formation, or sail around the islands. Plus, you might even glimpse whales, seals, or puffins from the islands.

Driving distance50 km (31 mi)

Now that your unforgettable Icelandic adventure has come to an end, it’s time to say goodbye and return to Keflavík Airport. 

Depending on your flight time, you might be able to wander around Reykjavík before leaving. Or you could stay an extra night to soak up more of what the 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 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.

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