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The Best Tips for Iceland Self-drive Tours

Having a plan mapped out and following it on your holiday will ensure that you can enjoy everything you want to do without having to worry about what comes next. Preparing itineraries for your Iceland self-drive tours are important to purposefully make time for the attractions you want to see and things you want to try. You can even plan it in such detail that you know exactly which car games to play along the way.

Knowing what to see and where they are is crucial when going on a road trip. But planning out one of the Iceland self-drive tours is easier said than done. Luckily, we have gathered everything you need to know (and more) in this article, so keep reading to become the hero of your next, northern holiday.

Iceland self guided tours

Exploring Iceland – Safety, and Know-How

Getting in a car and taking one of many Iceland self-drive tours is the best way to experience this magical country. An unbeatable landscape will accompany you along every stretch of the road you choose to travel.

Driving in Iceland can be tricky at times, though, so it pays off to have a good idea of what the traffic landscape looks like. Check out our article on the most frequently asked questions about driving in Iceland to prepare yourself for Icelandic traffic.

Most of the main roads on the island are paved tar roads, but some are a combination of gravel and dirt roads. Almost every rural road is also gravel or dirt, making them easily affected by the weather conditions.

You can keep an eye on the forecast on the national weather forecast website to avoid any unnecessary surprises. Safety should always be a priority on all of your Iceland self-drive tours, so be sure to know what to expect on the roads in Iceland.

Driving Around Iceland – How Long Does It Take?

If you have a weekend and want to make one of the quickest Iceland self-drive tours ever, then you can drive around Iceland in two days. If you do that, you will only spend time in your car, though, so we strongly recommend you to rather take a couple of days to explore the island and not rush. Alternatively, you can simply stay in the capital, as many others do over a weekend.

When it comes to how long it takes to drive around Iceland, we would recommend driving around the country in 7 days. A 5-day itinerary will do fine if you are there for a week and want to have a day to relax after landing and before you fly home, but it will be a bit hectic.

Iceland self-drive itinerary

There are many Iceland self-drive tours to choose from, and it all depends on how long you want to stay on the road. Iceland can be comfortably seen with a 7-day itinerary, but we will always encourage a longer stay when possible.

For example, if you are in the country for two weeks and want to stay in the capital for a day or two, a 10-day driving itinerary will be a good choice. You’ll be able to see much of the country, and still have time to properly relax in your Reykjavík hotel.

If you happen to be one of those people who gets excited about road trips and can’t wait to get out of the hotel room and out on the road, try out a 14-day Iceland itinerary. With this route, (or any of the others in this article), you will be your own best Iceland self-drive tour company, ready to compete with the pros.

Best Iceland Self-drive Tours

If you want to get rid of any guides with strict planning and minute-planned itineraries, here are some general ideas of what to do if you decide to create your own Iceland self-guided tours.

Golden Circle

By far the most famous and trafficked route in Iceland is the Golden Circle. This is one of the best Iceland self-drive tours you can take if you’re in the country for a shorter holiday. It takes you around sightings like the Gullfoss waterfall, Geyser Geothermal Area, and the unbeatable Thingvellir National Park.

Golden Circle Self-Drive tour

Ring Road

If you want to see as much of Iceland as possible and stick to only one route, Ring Road 1 is the one to take. It’s the road that goes around the island, so you can easily plan many different Iceland ring road self-drive tours with it.

Ring Road self-drive tour, Iceland

Diamond Circle

When you reach the northern part of your Iceland self-drive tours, we suggest you take a good look at the Diamond Circle route. It is the equivalent of the Golden Circle, but in the north. On this route, you will visit the northernmost part of Vatnajökull National Park, the Myvatn area, and Húsavik (the whale capital of Iceland).

Iceland ring road self-drive tours

South Coast Trail

This country is a coastal nation that has been relying on the sea since it got settled. Lighthouses have thus been incredibly important to keep sea vessels safe when they approach the shore, and on this Iceland south coast lighthouse trail, you can visit many beautiful lighthouses along Iceland’s south coast.

 Iceland self-drive tours, lighthouses

Trapped Itinerary

Take one of your Iceland self-drive tours through the locations of the world-renowned Icelandic TV-series. The Trapped itinerary will show you around Siglufjördur and other interesting filming locations in the northern part of Iceland. From there, you can go south and explore other pop-cultural sites, like the locations from the Call of Duty series.

Best Iceland self-drive tours

Touring Iceland on Your Own

Some of the most important things to consider on your Iceland self-drive tours are the choice of car, how to pack it, and how to behave on your trip.

There is always a trade-off when choosing a ride. Some vehicles are considered the best cars for a road trip, and others are better suited for city driving. Depending on how many people you bring with you on the Iceland self-guided tours, the size of the car will have a huge significance.

The never-ending discussion of standard vs. full-size car will have to be considered, and if you are doing one of the self-drive winter tours, snow tires in Iceland will be a must.

When you’ve chosen your car, it’s time to go through your Iceland packing list. What should come with you, and what stays behind when you embark on your journey? This is also a good time to look over the economy of the trip. Plan out the trip so you can travel Iceland cheaply and enjoy one of the cheap Iceland self-drive tours.

While we’re on the subject, traveling cheap often goes hand in hand with some sustainable measures. Aiming to be a green tourist in Iceland is a great way to make sure you leave the country better than it was when you came there. Buying local and making a positive difference is the icing on the holiday cake and ensures that others can keep enjoying all the things you enjoyed on your trip.

Time to Book!

While going through your Iceland self-drive itinerary, it’s good to have things to do when it gets boring in the car. Road trip games are usually the answer! First, however, you’ll need to decide which rental car in Iceland to book, so you’ll have a vehicle waiting for you when you step off the plane. Enjoy your trip!



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