Iceland Glacier & Hot Spring Winter Road Trip

8 days / 7 nights
The Strokkur geyser erupting in winter against a sunset
Northern Lights over Kirkjufell mountain in West Iceland
An interesting view of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
The Strokkur geyser erupting in winter against a sunset
Northern Lights over Kirkjufell mountain in West Iceland

Fire meets ice on this wintry adventure

See all the best of what Iceland has to offer in the wintertime on this 8-day self-drive tour. Frozen waterfalls, gigantic glaciers, and snow-capped mountains. Iceland has all this and more!

Follow the south coast to Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier, and the magnificent Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. Loop back to the Geysir hot spring, where you can see earth’s incredible geothermal might in action.

Witness steam rising out of the ground at Deildartunguhver. Head west to Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula and catch a glimpse of the Snæfellsjökull glacier. Finally, arrive back in Reykjavík for some city culture before heading home.

Travel styleSelf-drive
Trip length8 days / 7 nights
VibeIn depth
SeasonWinter
(1 Oct–31 Mar)
TransportRental car
Starts fromReykjavík
Tour codeSD12

On this tour you will...

  • Explore the nature-packed Snæfellsnes peninsula

  • Gaze at majestic and powerful waterfalls

  • See Earth’s forces in play at active hot springs

  • Walk between tectonic plates at Þingvellir National Park

  • Have the chance to bathe in geothermal pools

  • Stay in Iceland’s capital and out in the countryside

Top attractions

The edge of the Vatnajökull glacier

Vatnajökull Glacier & National Park

The Strokkur geyser erupting in winter against a sunset

Geysir and Strokkur

Water coming out of colorful rocks at Deildartunguhver hot spring

Deildartunguhver

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon at sunrise with a pink sky

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Mountains in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve on a cloudy day

Skaftafell

The Seljalandsfoss waterfall covered in icicles

Seljalandsfoss

A rainbow over the Skógafoss waterfall on a sunny day

Skógafoss

The Gullfoss waterfall in summertime

Gullfoss

Þingvellir National Park, Iceland, in autumn colors

Þingvellir National Park

The Hraunfossar waterfall in winter covered in ice

Hraunfossar and Barnafoss

Gatklettur rock arch at Arnarstapi

Arnarstapi

A man standing below Kirkjufellsfoss

Kirkjufell

A kittiwake flying above cliffs in the Breiðafjörður bay

Breiðafjörður bay

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 8-day self-drive itinerary

Your 8-day self-drive itinerary
Staying inReykjavík
Driving distance50 km (31 mi)

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

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

Staying inVík / Kirkjubæjarklaustur area
Driving distance260 km (162 mi)

On your way along the south coast you will pass two spectacular waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, two stops you must not miss. At Skógar, you will find a folk museum showing how people lived in past centuries in Iceland. The black sand beaches of the south coast are famous and you can take a walk on them in the little village of Vík or in Reynishverfi. If you wish you can go swimming in one of Iceland’s oldest swimming pool, the Seljavallarlaug, a naturally-heated thermal pool located in a beautiful hidden valley.

Staying inVík / Kirkjubæjarklaustur area
Driving distance250 km (155 mi)

Today you will visit one of the most popular and beautiful sights of Iceland. Enjoy the breathtaking sights of Skaftafell, an oasis surrounded by glaciers and black sand with many hiking possibilities and at the spectacular Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Enormous icebergs drift where you can walk along the banks of the lagoon to admire the fantastically-shaped icebergs. Drive back to Vík/Kirkjubæjarklaustur area for a second night.

Staying inGeysir / Laugarvatn area
Driving distance280 km (174 mi)

Today it is time to visit some of the most interesting and famous areas of Iceland: the famous geothermal area of Geysir where the Strokkur hot spring ejects its water column high into the air every 5–10 minutes and where numerous small springs boil and bubble. After this you only have a short drive to reach Gullfoss, surely the country’s most famous waterfall. If you wish you can continue to Lake Laugarvatn for a nice thermal bath at Laugarvatn Fontana spa, composed of a series of interconnected baths and steam rooms that complement each other to create a healthy, natural and unique spa experience.

Staying inBorgarfjörður area
Driving distance245 km (152 mi)

Now you will continue your drive to Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir), considered 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. It was here that the Icelandic parliament was founded in the 10th century. Today you will take the time to explore the region along the Hvalfjörður to Borgarnes. You can make a stop at Deildartunguhver hot spring (the biggest in Iceland in terms of water production per second), Reykholt where the famous medieval writer Snorri Sturluson lived and the Hraunfossar waterfalls where the water flows out from beneath a lava field into the river below. The Barnafoss waterfall is just a short walk away from Hraunfossar.

Staying inBorgarfjörður area
Driving distance340 km (211 mi)

Today you will be exploring the natural wonders of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, which is known for the stunning Snæfellsjökull National Park and the Snæfellsjökull glacier that towers above the region. Today’s itinerary takes you through lava fields and fertile farming land. Explore the charming village of Arnarstapi where basalt columns have been eroded by the pounding waves, Hellnar, Djúpalónssandur, Snæfellsjökull glacier and the crater Eldborg. Drive through the north part of the peninsula passing through Stykkishólmur, a charming fishing village beautifully situated overlooking the Breiðafjörður bay. Return to Borgarnes for a second night.

Staying inReykjavík
Driving distance180 km (112 mi)

Drive back to Reykjavík. Take some time to explore Iceland’s capital, with its cool cafés and restaurants, interesting shops, and captivating museums and galleries. And why not relax and unwind in a “hot pot” at one of the city’s many pools? This is a great way to experience authentic Icelandic culture.

Driving distance50 km (31 mi)

It seems as if your journey to fabulous Iceland only began a moment ago, but now it is time to head back home, driving back to Keflavík Airport for your flight. Depending on your flight’s time, you may be able to squeeze in a last day in Reykjavík or an extra night in there to experience all the amazing things that 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 7 days

2 authorized drivers as standard

Unlimited in-car Wi-Fi

Unlimited mileage

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 Glacier & Hot Spring Winter Road Trip.

Overall rating for this trip
5.0
based on 6 reviews
M
Madelaine - Canada
December 24, 2023 - Verified booking
So. Much. Fun!!! We had a magical time in Iceland over Christmas and New Years. Iceland is blessed with so many beautiful things to see and do; I was grateful Iceland Tours did all the trip planning for me! (otherwise I would've been too overwhelmed planning this trip myself). We felt that
J
Judy - United States
October 20, 2023 - Verified booking
Our overall experience with Iceland Tours was exceptional! My daughter and I did a self-drive tour and the team was very responsive throughout the planning process and provided all the necessary information to make our trip to Iceland an amazing adventure! The daily itinerary was well planned.
M
Mark - United Kingdom
March 17, 2023 - Verified booking
Our 4WD car was upgraded at the airport which was very useful as we had some quite treacherous driving conditions following a day of adverse weather! Our hotel plans had to change due to road closures. This was sorted by Iceland Tours and communication was good with no extra charges.

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.

Although Iceland’s weather can sometimes get in the way, it’s perfectly possible to have a safe self-drive trip in winter. The main roads are cleared regularly and there is good 4G coverage in most of the countryside if you need it.

That said, roads can sometimes close in winter if there are storms or heavy snowfall. When you book with Iceland Tours, you’ll get access to a 24/7 helpline while you’re in Iceland. Rest assured that help is at the end of the phone when you need it.

We’ll often contact you proactively if we think your trip will be affected by bad weather and adjust your plans accordingly. This means you’ll always stay safe and get the most out of your trip, no matter the weather.

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