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Iceland's Hidden Highlights self-drive

10 days from CAD5,970pp

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Audley Travel specialist Carly

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Tour highlights

  • Take a privately guided superjeep tour to Þjórsárdalur in Iceland’s southern highlands, exploring its verdant valleys and dramatic waterfalls.

  • Climb a volcano and catch views of the south coast’s glaciers from the Westman Islands.

  • Explore the verdant, craggy landscape of Eldhraun: the world’s largest lava field.

  • See one of Iceland’s largest puffin colonies and learn more about Icelandic folklore in the Eastfjords.

Price includes

  • Fully insured vehicle rental
  • All accommodations

Itinerary idea in detail

Private customized tour. Ask us about booking your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • On arrival at Keflavík airport and collect your rental car. All insurances have been included for you, and a GPS navigation system can be added locally. To navigate Iceland’s more remote rugged landscape, we’ve booked a 4x4 for you. Drive to your hotel, located in the heart of the Reykjadalur valley where geothermal activity causes steam to rising atmospherically from the surrounding hills.

  • Meet your guide this morning and embark on a full-day, private superjeep tour to the Þjórsárdalur valley in Iceland’s remote southern highlands. This region is celebrated for its impressive waterfalls, including Háifoss and Gjáin, and its verdant meadows, which bloom with wildflowers during the summer. You’ll also stop at the Stöng farmhouse – one of Iceland’s few Viking archaeological sites.

  • Drive to Landeyjahöfn where you’ll take the half-hour ferry across to the Westman Islands. Formed thousands of years ago by submarine volcanoes, the Westman Islands are scenically and culturally different from the rest of Iceland, and you’ll have the full day at leisure to explore. You might like to visit the Eldheimar Museum to learn more about the devastating impact the 1973 eruption had on the island community, or hike to the top of Eldfell volcano and take in the views across the sea of the glaciers on the Icelandic mainland.

  • See the renowned south coast from another perspective, joining a local Icelander on a small-group quad-bike tour. Along the way, your guide will share stories of Iceland’s past, and cook a meal for you in an ancient cave that was hand-carved by Irish monks over a millennia ago.

  • Continue your self-drive tour east towards the town of Kirkjabæjarklaustur and the vast Eldhraun lava field, which was created by a huge eruption in the 18th century and is the largest in the world. Your 4x4 will allow you to access some of the area’s more rugged roads and explore the waterfalls, canyon and lava formations of this extensive wilderness area at leisure.

  • Your focus today is the vast Vatnajökull National Park, whose mammoth ice cap covers 20% of Iceland. Most visitors flock to the much-celebrated Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon; instead you’ll take a small-group, guided boat tour on its nearby sister lagoon Fjallsárlón, and watch huge chunks of ice, which have calved from the glacier above, float beside your boat.

  • Your self-drive tour continues along the coast to Iceland’s spectacular Eastfjords. This region is one of the least visited in the country, and you can expect some of Iceland’s best scenic driving opportunities as you weave your way through this remote fjordland area, passing towering mountains, alpine lakes and tiny fishing communities that are scattered along the coast.

  • Continue your drive through the Eastfjords to the village of Borgarfjörður Eystri. Here, take a guided tour with a local, learning more about traditional folklore and the way of life for Icelanders in this remote corner of the country. If visiting between May and August, you can also visit a thriving puffin colony, whose residents come to nest on a rocky outcrop just outside the village. Spend the rest of your day at leisure, exploring the region’s wide array of hiking trails, visiting some of its museums, or simply taking in the rural scenery by car.

  • Drop off your car at Egilsstaðir Airport and take a short flight west to Reykjavík. On arrival, take a taxi to your hotel, which is a short distance away in the heart of the city. You’ll have the afternoon to explore Iceland’s compact capital under your own steam; stroll through the town’s Old Harbour, browse the shops of Laugavegar, admire the architecture of the Harpa concert hall or get sweeping views from the top of Hallgrímskirkja cathedral.

    More Accommodation options below
  • You’ll be met at your hotel this morning and transfer by private car to Keflavík International Airport in time for your flight.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
July is one of the best times to visit
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Reykjavík
 
Westman Islands
 
South Coast
 
Audley Travel specialist Carly

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