Arctic Road Trip - Southlands & Highlands

6 day self-drive adventure & activity self drive tour

Activities included:



Sites visited: Reykjavik, the Golden Circle, Landmannalaugar, Skaftafell, Vatnajökull, Jökulsárlón & more.

This amazing arctic journey is a 6 day (5 nights) tour, aimed at exploring the highlights of the south of Iceland in a 4X4 car. In this self-drive tour you’ll be able to roam freely and visit the biggies of the south of Iceland like Gullfoss and Geysir, venture into the highlands following the famed Fjallabak mountain track and soak in geothermal springs of Landmannalaugar.  All this plus exploring Europe‘s biggest glacier, go snorkeling between the continents and raft a glacial river. And let’s not forget your chance to experience the midnight sun and the bright Icelandic nights in the best possible manner... out in pure nature!

Detailed itinerary:
DAY 1 :  You will start your tour early morning at Reykjavik Backpackers collecting the car and travel information. After leaving the city you‘ll visit the Golden Circle, starting with Þingvellir national park and the meeting of the tectonic plates and the site of the Viking parliament. In Þingvellir you will also go snorkeling in the Silfra fissure, before seeking out the Geysir hot springs and the spouting Strokkur.

DAY 2 :  The second day starts with river rafting. At Drumbó basecamp you will gear up for the rafting trip which takes place on the Hvítá river. Afterwards you’ll drive through the valley of the huge glacier river Þjórsá, where you will find the Hjálparfoss waterfall, the archeological Viking hut Stöng and one of Icelands highest waterfalls, the Háifoss waterfall before turning in to refuel at Hotel Highland (This is very important as you will need a full tank for the days that lie a head). From there you will undertake some 4X4 road adventures on your way to Landmannalaugar, passing Hnausapollur volcanic crater, the shimmering Frostastaðavatn lake and crossing a river to enter the famed mountain reserve. There you‘ll be able to bathe in a natural hot spring and enjoy the great outdoors. Your second overnight will be in the Landmannalaugar area allowing you to further explore the surroundings the following day.

DAY 3 :  Day three will be spent exploring the Landmannalaugar, the hot springs and the vast volcanic area that surrounds them, taking a day hike starting on the camping site through the vast rhyolite mountain theater, viewing the Southern Highlands from higher ground. The area offers plenty of possibilities for hiking, each one of different length and difficulty level, and you will find suggestions in your road-book. This is a place to spend some time at and remember to charge your camera…

DAY 4 :  This day has some more 4X4 adventures when driving Fjallabak Nyrðra, a famous mountain road behind the massive Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, over many rivers, passing bright blue highland lakes and under imposing mountains in an utterly unforgettable wilderness. When reaching route one you will continue east along the coast to Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park with its alpine spires and massive glaciers. The fourth and fifth night will be in the Skaftafell area.

DAY 5 :  On the fifth day you‘ll leave your jeep in the Skaftafell National Park and join the Glacier Guides on a day tour. This tour includes glacier hiking on an outlet glacier of the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull. After returning from the glacier hiking you’ll head over to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon for a magnificent boat tour among the floating icebergs. Another night will be spent in the Skaftafell area.

DAY 6 :  Use the last day of your road trip to travel back to Reykjavik. There are many interesting sights and stops on this 300 km route along the South Coast of Iceland. Among them are Dyrhólaey peninsula, Reynisdrangar cliffs, Skógar and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls and the black sand beaches of Sólheimasandur. The return back to Reykjavik in the afternoon marks the end of your road trip.

Details & Prices: Ask for a quote


Price includes: 

Accommodation (Choose Type A, B, C or D);  A rental car (Choose Type A, B or C);  GPS; The following tours & activities:
    DAY 1: Snorkeling in Thingvellir National Park.
    DAY 2: River Rafting on Hvítá River.
    DAY 5: Glacier Grand Slam (glacier hiking and Jökulsárlón Lagoon sailing).

Not included:  Fuel for the car Food & Supplies for your trip

Accommodation & Cars
We offer four types of accommodation and two types of cars.

  • Type A accommodation:  Camping Equipment: Tent, sleeping bag with liner, pillow, mattress and cooking gear. Camping site fee is not included. Suggestions of sites come with the road book.

  • Type B accommodation:  Sleeping bag accommdation in a room with shared facilities. Location and guesthouse or hotel depending on availability. Double/triple room or possibly a dorm in certain locations. Breakfast not included unless it is a standard with the room.

  • Type C accommodation:  Private room with made up bed and shared facilites. Location and guesthouse or hotel depending on availability. Breakfast included unless stated otherwise.

  • Type D accommodation:  Private room with made up bed and private facilities. Location and guesthouse or hotel depending on availability. Breakfast included.
  • Car type A:  The vehicle is old (between 5-15 years) but well maintained, clean and fulfills all governmental inspections and safety standards. Unlimited mileage and allows the drivers to drive on all roads and tracks, only dependent on vehicle type and a few general safety guidelines. GPS included and standard insurance. Gas not included.
    • For 2 persons: Small size 4x4 (Suzuki Jimny or similar).
    • For 3-4 persons: Small size 4x4 (Terrano or similar).

  • Car type B:  A new car from Hertz (maximum 2-3 years old) or a similar car rental. GPS included and standard insurance. Gas not included.
    • For 2 persons: Small size 4x4 (Grand Vitara or similar).
    • For 3-4 persons: Small size 4x4 (Toyota LandCruiser or similar).

Extras (not included but available upon request):
10% discount off accommodation at Reykjavik Backpackers for your stay in Reykjavik. See prices here.
Airport transfer from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik city (where you pick up your car and equipment on departure day). Includes a drop off at Reykjavik Backpackers or other hotel/guesthouse/hostel if needed.
Airport transfer from Reykjavik city on your departure day. Includes pick up at Reykjavik Backpackers or other hotel/guesthouse/hostel if needed.
Please note that the accommodation is often in rural areas where the selection of places is limited. Of the near 318.000 people who live in Iceland about 200.000 live in Reykjavik. Hotel and guesthouse owners in the country side do their best to keep the athmosphere cosy and nice even though they don‘t always have the latest technology or most modern enviroment (some do, some don‘t). Their emphasis is the welcoming feeling you'll have on your home away from home. The main attractions in Iceland are the nature, culture, and history of the island as well as the action that it has to offer. Hope you enjoy your stay!

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