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10 days - Circular highlights tour of Iceland - Book early for 2019

Experience the "Saga-Island" in the North Atlantic on a circle trip around Iceland being your own master to decide stops and highlights. You self-drive the detailed itinerary with unlimited mileage and all accommodation is arranged in local guesthouses, farm accommodation and small hotels. We can handpick our recommended accommodation for you.

Highlights include the Golden Circle region, National parks, whale watching, dramatic East Coast scenery and unique local accommodation.

Day 1
Arrival into Reykjavik
Day 2
Pick up your car and head South to the Golden Circle
Days 3 - 4
Drive the Southeast and East Coast of Iceland
Day 5
Explore the East Coast and the fjords.
Days 6 - 7
Lake Mývatn
Day 8
Whale Watching near Akureyri and the North of Iceland
Day 9
Explore the North and Southwest, return to Reykjavik
Day 10
Tour ends
Start/End Place
Reykjavik, Iceland
Country Visited
Iceland
Duration
10 Days
Type
Self Guided
Suitability
Independent self-drive tour with some basic accommodation
Code
ICC001

Details

Transportation

By car - self drive.

Enjoy this fun video about driving safely in Iceland with Elves.

Included
  • Transfer from & to airport
  • Individual transfers to car rental office
  • Iceland Road guide for the trip
  • Rental manual car for 8 days, with unlimited mileage and CDW insurance (pick up & drop off in Reykjavik).
  • GPS | Global Navigation System
  • Accommodation in local farm guesthouses and country cottages with private and shared facilities. Please note that the farm stays are in real working farms.
  • Whale Watching
  • Breakfasts included
  • Blue Lagoon Entrance
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes and service fees
Not Included
  • Flight tickets to/from start and end points, any airport taxes, travel insurance, visas, gratitudes and any items of personal nature.
  • Large paper maps
  • Activities are optional and you can choose those that you wish to enjoy. During the peak season, some can be very busy and need to be booked early.
  • Extra car insurance, such as S-CDW and gravel protection.
  • If you wish to hire an automatic car, these are 'on request' and can be difficult to request. Please seek further advice with us .

For a greener option, please ask us about changing your vehicle to a 'green' car; either a diesel or a hybrid.

Itinerary

Day 1

Individual transfer from Keflavik Airport or Reykjavik domestic airport by scheduled airport bus to your hotel in Reykjavik. Reykjavik is an intimate city with a big personality and some striking landmarks - stroll down to the harbour to visit the Armoury, the new concert hall, the design streets and city hall.

Accommodation
Kvosin Downtown Hotel
Restaurants
Fiskmarkaðurinn
Sægreifinn
Optional Add Ons
Puffin Watching from Reykjavik
Whale Watching from Reykjavik
Horse Riding in Iceland

Day 2

You will be given an individual transfer to the car-rental office in Reykjavik. Pick-up of the rented car. A description with farm guesthouses addresses and a detailed road directions and itinerary will be handed over to you on check-in at your hotel in Reykjavik.

Visit Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of great historical and geological importance, the Geysir hot spring area with its fabulous erupting Strokkur and the beautiful two-tiered Gullfoss Waterfall. Head to the South Coast travelling through the green farmland area known for one of Iceland's most popular Sagas, Njal's Saga. View Seljalandsfoss Waterfall which you can also walk behind if you wish!

Continue to the magnificent waterfall and interesting folk museum at Skógar and the Eyjafjallajökull Visitor Centre (advance bookings in winter), admiring the vast black sands and tall cliffs along the way.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Transportation
Approx. 250 kilometres
Accommodation
Guesthouse in the Vik area.
Optional Add Ons
Horse Riding in Iceland

Days 3 - 4

Breakfast at the guesthouse and then hit the road. Drive along the south coast, with black lava fields, waterfalls and glaciers. The southern coast of Iceland regularly comes up as one of the most beautiful coasts in the world so be sure to take your time and enjoy the trip.

Places of interest today include the Skaftafell National Park, the glacial lagoon Jökulsárlón and the Vatnajökull glacier. You can join a glacier tour if you book in advance.

You will reach Skaftafell National Park first this morning. Enjoy stunning views of Iceland's highest mountain, Hvannadalshnjukur. There is rich bird life and flora to see and lava fields, volcanoes and glaciers to explore. The uninhabited highlands at Skaftafell National Park span three glaciers on the southern edge of Vatnajökull. The vast expanses of the centuries-old forest and heath are excellent for hiking and glacier exploring.

Vatnajökull Glacier is the biggest glacier in Europe, covering about 8% of Iceland. Under the ice-cap are still active volcanoes and in Grimsvotn volcano, Iceland's most active since the Middle Ages erupted in 1996, 1998 and 2004. For this reason, this area of Iceland has had scenes from two James Bond movies filmed here. The glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón is only 40 minutes drive from your hotel this evening and large icebergs from the glacier float on the lagoon, so remember to take a boat tour and sail amongst the icebergs or try ice climbing.

You can take guided tours to the bird sanctuary of Cape Ingólfshöfði or the lava fields at Laki to walk in the craters. Please talk to us about your optional activities here as they book up early.

Meals
2 Breakfasts
Transportation
Approx. 270 Kilometres
Accommodation
Guesthouse in Höfn area.

Day 5

A dramatic day of driving today in a remote and isolated area. Stop along the way to enjoy views of tall and often uniquely formed mountains on route to the East fjords. Quaint fishing villages and small farms are ideal places to stop for snacks and breaks.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Transportation
Approx. 250 kilometres
Accommodation
Guesthouse in Egilsstaðir area.

Days 6 - 7

After breakfast at the guesthouse, head off to explore the beautiful Lake Myvatn area. The main draw of Lake Myvatn is to simply drive around it, stopping along the way to enjoy a picnic lunch and for plentiful photo opportunities such as the lava formations at Dimmuborgir, Mt. Hverfjall, Krafla volcano and the geothermal area east of Námaskarður.

You have two days here to explore this fascinating region. Ask us about optional activities available in this region.

Meals
2 Breakfasts
Transportation
Approx. 240 kilometres
Accommodation
Guesthouse in Mývatn area.
Optional Add Ons
Cave Exploration Lofthellir

Day 8

This morning, we have included a whale watching sailing boat tour. After your tour, you can then meander back to the main road, take a short detour back to view the beautiful Goðafoss ('Waterfall of the Gods') en route to Akureyri town which has enjoyable goethermal swimming pools, parks and museums.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Transportation
Approx. 210 kilometres plus detour to the Whale Watching tour starting location.
Accommodation
Guesthouse in the Hrútafjörður/Skagafjörður area.

Day 9

Places of interest: The lovely Borgarfjörður district, Climbing the old crater Grábrók, Borgarnes the site of one of the most popular Icelandic sagas, Egla.

At the end of the day, you will be required to drop-off the rented car at the car-rental office in Reykjavik. You will then receive an individual transfer to hotel in Reykjavik. You will get details about the exact time you need to do this when you pick up the car.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Transportation
Approx. 200 kilometres
Accommodation
Kvosin Downtown Hotel
Restaurants
Fiskmarkaðurinn
Matarkjallarinn Food Cellar and Cocktails
Sægreifinn
Optional Add Ons
Whale Watching from Reykjavik

Day 10

The tour ends after breakfast. Transfer with the FlyBus shuttle to the airport via the Blue Lagoon. You can arrange to stop here at the Blue Lagoon for a soak and a pamper if you have time before your flight.

Meals
1 Breakfast

Dates & Prices

All prices listed are per person. It is possible to do this as a 8-day tour as well. Due to the current volatility of the Icelandic Króna (ISK), this price is indicative. We are happy to individually quote this tour for you.

Dates
Valid From
Valid To
Price
Status
Accommodation
1 May 2018
14 Jun 2018
1 May 2018
14 Jun 2018
USD 3,102
Available
Standard
20 Aug 2018
30 Sep 2018
20 Aug 2018
30 Sep 2018
USD 1,710
On request
Extra for Single
15 Jun 2018
30 Sep 2018
15 Jun 2018
30 Sep 2018
USD 3,372
Available
Standard
15 Jun 2018
30 Sep 2018
15 Jun 2018
30 Sep 2018
USD 1,974
Available
Extra for Single

Important Information

Farm Accommodation Standard:

Some farmers in Iceland supplement their low farming income and cater for tourists, and the most natural way of doing that is building cabins on their land. They are reasonably basic, with private facilities in the cabins and rooms. The meals offered on the farm stays are generally traditional home made food featuring locally sourced ingredients from their own farm or neighbouring farms, such as geothermally grown vegetables, organic beef and lamb, freshly caught fish and home baked bread.

Children's prices:

Children between the ages of 2 -11 yrs old, sharing with their parents, are an approx. additional $290 per child. Under 2 is free of charge.

Optional Activities:

Please let us know if you wish to prebook any optional activities before departure; some get very busy during the peak summer period.

  • Horseriding
  • 'Inside the Volcano' tour
  • Black Sand Beach ATV tour
  • Fly Fishing
  • Glacier walks
  • Kayaking
  • Seal Safaris
  • River Rafting
  • Bird Watching

Driving in Iceland:

The hire car cannot be driven in the Highlands area. In regards to gravel roads; technically you’re not recommended to take a hire car on gravel roads, but in Iceland you may not have a choice. Some guesthouses are located on gravel roads. Consider getting extra car insurance with gravel protection if it is something that might worry you. Ask us about what car would suit you - as it depends on the time of year and where you want to go!

When driving in Iceland, plan that all your destinations are going to take longer to reach than planned. Most of the time it is because you are going to make unanticipated stops to check out a waterfall, a viewpoint, a museum, or a shop. Sometimes it is also that traffic is just slow, animals may be crossing the road, or there is bad weather. If you build some extra time into your day, you won’t have to be rushing around at the end of the day.

For more Iceland driving rules and tips and to stay up to date on road conditions, check out the Road Conditions website and for all kinds of safety and travel information in Iceland check out the Safe Travel website. Bookmark both of these websites before you start your drive in Iceland.

Please note that the authorities of Reykjavik City has announced changes to the current arrangement for tour bus traffic in Reykjavik City Centre, effective from 15th of July, 2017. The area where buses are not allowed to drive has been increased in size, and locations, numbers and names of the designated bus stops have been changed.

This may affect the pick-up and drop-off locations for your activities and transfers. If you have airport transfers with FlyBus, you will need to carry your luggage (200 metres to 300 metres) to / from the bus stop to your hotel.

Interactive Tour Map

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Tour Details
Accommodations
Traveller 1
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Traveller 3
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Emergency Contact Details
Travel Insurance
Travel Documents
Travel Agent Details
Comments & Booking Conditions

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/

Self Drive holidays in Iceland

Practical information about self drive holidays in Iceland

Driving Conditions:

Conditions in Iceland are in many ways unusual and often quite unlike what foreign drivers are accustomed to. It is, therefore, very important to read about driving conditions and if this type of tour suits you.

Road conditions in Iceland vary substantially. Highway 1 (Þjóðvegur  1) is mostly paved, but other country roads are often very narrow, steep and unpaved. Those unfamiliar with such conditions often find it difficult to drive on Icelandic roads, especially in winter. We advise all travellers to gain information before heading off to the roads and recommend driving a 4wd during the winter (October - March). Please visit the website www.safetravel.is for further information.

Before you get in your car and have to dial 112, please check the road conditions en route to your destination with this very informative map.

This atlas/guidebook/crazy facts book is also recommended.

Finding your Iceland accommodation:

Most of the farms and guesthouses have good signs on the roads and are marked on detailed maps. However we advise all travellers to buy good maps (e.g. 1:500 000) and to go over the route before the journey. If lost do not hesitate to call the accommodation and ask for directions.

The most useful map in the car and essential companion to the Iceland Road Atlas is the KORTABOK, beautifully designed by Hans H. Hansen, on a scale of 1:300 000. It can be found in all good bookstores and the better gas stations.

There are also some new mobile Apps that you can use to guide you.

**Just a note: you often stay at a different accommodation each night on these self-drive itineraries. Be sure to pack with this in mind. **

Check in and out times:

Check-in is usually after 14:00 and check-out before 12:00 but it can vary between the accommodation. The farmers should be notified if you intend on arriving later than 18:00.iceland self drive

Dinner arrangements and other meals:

Dinner is available in most of the farms and guesthouses. Some of them have fantastic restaurants with well known chefs while others offer more traditional meals in their own kitchen! Lamb and fish are amongst the most common dishes in Iceland.

Accommodation places we book for you do evening meals. When staying in the smaller farms it is often a good idea to give them a call in the morning if you wish to have dinner in the evening. This way you will also know what time dinner is served (on smaller farms there's usually a set time, around 7-8pm or so). Some of the bigger places have a restaurant that might be open for a few hours each night. Cost for a basic soup & bread dinner is around ISK2000 (roughly AUD20), 3 course meals (which are usually excellent) are around ISK4000-6000 (AUD 40-60), depending what you order. Glass of house wine was around ISK1100 (AUD11) in most places.

For lunch you can stop at petrol stations for example (they usually serve little sandwiches etc.), but I would probably recommend having some snacks (fruit, biscuits, nuts etc.) in the car, as the more remote locations won't necessarily have too many options.

Petrol stations also sell coffee and hot chocolate. Be sure to find the 'self heating' hot chocolate (and coffee) cans that you can get in some places ( Buy a few of these if you see them, and have them in the car).

Horse riding options:

Usually, horseback riding can be booked on the spot. Day tours and longer tours however must be booked in advance.iceland Tours

Car types:

It is not necessary to drive a 4 wheel drive car in summer unless you are crossing the highland and F-marked roads.

Best time to visit Iceland:

The summer months, June, July and August, is the most popular time to visit Iceland. However spring and fall can be just as nice, especially for those who want to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside. If you are looking for a unique experience, a winter visit will be unforgettable with the northern lights and a magical landscape.

Farm Accommodation Standard:

Some farmers in Iceland supplement their low farming income and cater for tourists, and the most natural way of doing that is building cabins on their land. They are reasonably basic, with private facilities in the cabins and rooms. The meals offered on the farm stays are generally traditional home made food featuring locally sourced ingredients from their own farm or neighbouring farms, such as geothermally grown vegetables, organic beef and lamb, freshly caught fish and home baked bread.