SELF DRIVE HOLIDAYS
Family Adventure in the North of Iceland
Take your Family on the Road in Iceland
Travelling around Iceland with your family is fun and easy. You can rent vehicles of all sizes to suit your family The South Cost is a very popular route - with many of the most popular sights in Iceland.
On this fun-filled family self-drive holiday you’ll experience spectacular nature and take
part in activities with your favourite people. It’s time to forge stronger bonds and create memories that will last forever! Whether it’s snorkeling between continents, rafting on glacial rivers, whale watching in Arctic waters, soaking in hot springs, or riding gorgeous Icelandic horses, this holiday allows everyone to find suitable adventures. Iceland‘s rugged, unspoiled central highlands and Arctic northern coast provide an exciting variety of landscapes on this budget-friendly itinerary perfect for a family that loves exploring nature together.
Day 1: Arrival Day
Upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport pick up your car rental: Iceland awaits! This day is open to your inspiration with several options available, depending on your flight arrival time. We recommend a visit to the world renowned Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, located just 15 minutes from the airport. The Blue Lagoon has a mystical appearance, but its unique restorative powers are quite real and ideal for regaining your energy after a long flight. With a warm flowing waterfall, a hidden cave, and silica mud to apply to your skin, there is plenty of relaxation for the whole family to soak up. If heading to the capital of Reykjavik you may want to visit the newly opened Whales of Iceland exhibit, which is the largest of its kind in Europe. If you’re looking for a fun place to spend the day, look no further than the Reykjavik Family Park and Petting Zoo in Laugardalur Valley. This family-friendly complex that is part animal park, aquarium, theme park, and adjacent geothermal swimming pool is so elaborate that it could take several days to explore.
DAY 2: Golden Circle of Adventure
UNESCO National Park - Glacial Snorkeling - Waterfall Queen & Geyser King
Breakfast at your hotel. The Golden Circle of natural wonders begins with a visit to the dramatic volcanic scenery of Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO). In a massive rift valley you will see firsthand how Iceland is being pulled apart where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates converge. To fully appreciate the park’s wealth of geological formations you may want to try one of the world‘s most unique adventures: snorkeling in Silfra Gorge. Silfra is a deep fissure between two tectonic plates filled with glacial meltwater. You are literally swimming between continents. The crystal clear water provides a feeling of weightlessness made even more surreal by the bizarre underwater lava landscapes.
After an hour of snorkeling or exploring the ancient geology, your Golden Circle journey continues to the Gullfoss and Geysir area, where you are introduced to the Queen of Icelandic waterfalls herself, Gullfoss. This majestic waterfall of sparkling mist and golden charm is situated on Hvita (White River) which is fed by Iceland´s second largest glacier, Langjokull. King of all geysers, the great Geysir resides nearby in a steamy geothermal field of bubbling mud and hot springs. Geysir has not been active lately, but the nearby highly-active Strokkur geyser shoots steaming hot water high into the air every ten minutes. After the Golden Circle, enjoy excellent views of fertile farmlands and grazing horses as you wind your way through South Iceland to your overnight destination.
DAY 3: Kjolur Mountain Track
Uninhabited Interior - Nature Hiking - Hidden Hot Springs - River Wilderness
Note: If Kjolur is closed due to road conditions you will be redirected to take Route 1.
Breakfast at your hotel. Today, it's time to discover the undiscovered! The Kjolur 4WD mountain route is open during the summer (from mid-June) and is a straight north and south track through Iceland‘s uninhabited interior highlands. This unique trek through vibrant thermal areas between Langjokull and Hofsjokull glaciers reveals Iceland‘s true remoteness and nature at its rawest. Don‘t miss Hveravellir, one of the most beautiful geothermal areas in the world, with a natural pool under open sky perfect for relaxing after an invigorating hike one of the trails in the area.
Upon arriving on the other side of the Kjolur highland route, you will find yourself in North Iceland‘s Skagafjordur region, famous for its horse breeding. This area is also well-known for a wide variety of river rafting and kayaking adventures. There is a gentle rafting tour option that offers fun for the whole family, even a novice can pick up a paddle and thrill in Iceland’s stunning river wilderness.
DAY 4: The Troll Peninsula
Vibrant Fjord Villages - Arctic Whale Watching - Capital of the North
Breakfast at your hotel. Enjoy the peaceful mountain views and crisp Arctic air around Trollaskagi, The Troll Peninsula. Explore the colorful fjord villages of Siglufjordur and Olafsfjordur on your way towards Dalvik village. The dramatic landscapes here were carved by glaciers during the last Ice Age and provide a special sense of discovery as you thread along the edge of the inhabitable world.
Arriving in Dalvik, you may opt to board an oak whale watching vessel for a 3-hour sail into the pristine Arctic waters, which are ideal for encounters with the majestic blue whale. Marine-life frequently spotted in these waters includes humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, and small harbor porpoises.
On your first evening in Akureyri you may want to soak up the local ambiance of Iceland’s hip and happening ‘Capital of the North,’ with its 18,000 inhabitants, heart-shaped street-lights, free transit buses and perhaps the warmest temperatures in the country. Strolling along the quaint pedestrian areas filled with outdoor cafes and visiting local favorite Brynjuis for some delicious ice cream is the perfect ending to this day in a surprisingly green community located only 96 kilometers (60 miles) from the Arctic Circle.
Day 5: Lake Myvatn and Dettifoss
Protected Nature Reserve - Geothermal Spa - Europe’s Mightiest Waterfall
Breakfast at your hotel. The day begins with the picturesque ‘Waterfall of the Gods’, Godafoss. Your journey continues onwards to explore the Lake Myvatn Nature Reserve, a geological wonderland of wildly contrasting nature with a number of easy walking paths the whole family can enjoy. Summertime during peak birding season is a good reason to have the binoculars ready for the diverse species and rare sightings like the barrow’s goldeneye. You can take a light hike in the “dark castles” of Dimmuborgir with its rugged crags and towering rocks. Afterwards, relax those muscles in the soothing geothermal waters at the Myvatn Nature Spa with views over the lake and its tranquil surroundings. The grand finale of this eventful day is a visit to Europe’s mightiest waterfall, Dettifoss, a thundering cascade of glacial water and mist among shattered cliffs in Jokulsargljufur National Park.
Day 6: Ring Road to Reykjavik
Botanical Gardens - Viking Horses - Seal Center
Breakfast at your hotel. The drive between Akureyri and Reykjavik is approximately 4.5 hours. Before departing for Reykjavik along the Ring Road, take in some of the northern charms Akureyri has to offer. This small city is ideally explored on foot, and a stroll through the oldest part of town, Innbaerinn, reveals colorful timber hous restored to their original glory. Other interesting sights are the northernmost botanical gardens in the world, an adorable Christmas Shop open all year round, and the Kjarnaskogur Woods with backcountry trails, playgrounds and picnic areas.
Approximately halfway back to Reykjavik, you may want to take a break at the lovely Gauksmyri Lodge, located on a former farmstead. The owners are horse enthusiasts, and they offer demonstrations of the Icelandic Viking Horse breed and short riding tours in the incredible surrounding nature. Nearby is the Icelandic Seal Center, which provides a fun and interactive learning experience on the six seal species found in Iceland. Continue onwards to Reykjavik and a final night spent in the ‘Capital of Cool.’
Day 7: Departure Day
Breakfast at your hotel. Depart with plenty of memories and an adventure that will certainly impress and entertain your friends and family for years to come! We recommend you depart your hotel no later than three hours before your flight. The car rental return is located at Keflavik International Airport.
Optional: If you are departing on an afternoon flight, a wonderful way to say goodbye to Iceland is with a relaxing dip in the soothing waters of the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, located just 15 minutes from Keflavík International Airport. Facilities also include a gift shop, cafeteria, and an excellent restaurant with lagoon views.
Day 3: Borgarfjordur – Reykholt – Haafell Goat Farm - Saelingsdalur
Picturesque Waterfalls – Europe's Most Powerful Hot Spring – Icelandic Goats - Viking Heritage
Breakfast at your hotel. A drive through Borgarfjordur reveals a region proud of its legacy. It was the setting for most of the Icelandic Sagas. While in Reykholt, you'll be walking in the footsteps of Snorri Sturluson, famed Saga poet and author. Drive to Hraunfoss (Lava Falls), where the water seems to magically appear from the moss covered lava rocks and shiver down into the rushing turquoise blue waters below; its neighbor Barnafoss (Children's Falls) resembles a pale blue milkshake of short, fierce rapids that cut through a narrow canyon.
Nearby is Europe's most powerful hot spring, Deildatunguhver, where visitors can buy organic tomatoes grown using geothermal heat in the nearby greenhouses. On your westward route take a short detour to Haafell goat farm. Here your family will take part in the protection of the rare Icelandic goat breed, as we have adopted a goat for a one year support on your behalf* We also recommend a stop at Erpsstadir dairy farm, where you can get an introduction to Icelandic farm life, pet the bunnies and taste the freshly-made ice cream.
Head onwards to Laugar in Saelingsdalur for a relaxing evening and overnight accommodation
*Please note, you do not bring the goat back home with you. While you will be the “adoptive parents/family”, the goat will remain in Iceland with its friends at the farm.
Day 4: Explore Saelingsdalur
Relax - Quality Moments - No cell phone reception
Breakfast at your hotel. Enjoy having no plans at all! Relax in the outdoor pool and hot tub. Go for a hike to the Elf Church at Tungustapi or maybe a ride on one of the mountain bikes available at the hotel. Best of all, there will be no interruptions from the outside world as Laugar has very limited cell reception.
If you do decide to go for a drive, the shoreline of Fellstrond and Skarðsstrond leading into Saurbaer offers a picturesque view of Breidafjordur Bay, the largest nesting grounds of the White Tailed Eagle in Iceland. The peaceful remoteness gives you the chance to feel like the only person in the world.
Day 5: 'The Valleys' - Stykkisholmur
Coastal Route - Viking Heritage
Breakfast at your hotel. Drive the coastal route to the town of Stykkisholmur. Make a detour to Eiriksstadir, where you'll see the Viking Age home and turf-covered replica longhouse of Erik the Red and his son Leif Eiriksson, two of the most celebrated Vikings in the world. As you reach Stykkisholmur, we recommend you explore the beautifully preserved town center or join a boat tour on Breidafjordur Bay (approximately 2 hours) to admire the rich birdlife and sea life of the area. During the boat tour, a shellfish plough is lowered into the ocean, and a wonderful selection of shellfish and sea life is caught for viewing and tasting: scallops, sea urchins, crabs, starfish, sea cucumbers and much more.
Important: You must be 21 years of age to rent a car, 23 years of age to rent car cat. 5.0 or higher.
**Please note that the package price is based on 6 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 7 an additional supplement will be necessary unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 6 day rental is up and use our flybus departure transfer.
Optional (at extra cost)
Discounts & special offers
Included in package: