This Iceland Hiker’s Paradise 10 Day, 9 Night Self Drive itinerary is designed for people who are keen hikers and want to spend as much time out in nature as they can over the space of 10 incredible days. This hiking friendly itinerary is a combination of popular sights, nature and off the beaten path hiking. From the mighty glaciers in the south east to the Valley of Thor in the forgotten highlands to the dormant volcano in the south west.
This self drive tour was designed to include plenty of hiking opportunities in addition to all of the south coast’s treasured sites. You will experience some of Iceland’s most exclusive wonders accessible only on foot. This tour is packed with adventure but it also ensures you have ample time to spend in each area to get a true feel for the land. If you prefer a less hiking intense tour then check out our Self Drive 9 Day Best of Iceland itinerary.
The trip includes a glacier hike, dedicated days for hiking, the ever popular Golden Circle region, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon situated within Vatnajökull National Park, geothermal hot springs, rural villages, dormant volcanoes and even a day trip into Þakgil where you will find the aptly named Hidden Glacier.
The itinerary below lasts for 10 days and 9 nights, including arrival and departure day. If you have extra time, we also recommend adding one full day in Reykjavík before the tour starts to give you time to explore the city. Therefore, with arrival day, departure day AND a Reykjavík free day your total holiday will last for 11 days.
If you are super keen to extend your trip, we can certainly add on days. Or even travel around the entire island if you have 12 or more days. If so then jump over to our 12 + Day Ring Road tour or our 14 + day Extended Ring Road tour now. These tours still have plenty of hikes too but the focus is of course on making sure you get around the entire island at a leisurely pace. On the flip side, if you want a shorter hiking itinerary, we can certainly look to take some things out. Just let us know.
Please note that this tour is only offered during the summer months when hiking and weather conditions are at their best. At the start and end of the summer season we may swap some activities for others depending on conditions.
Where do we stay?
As you discover the best of Iceland, it’s important that the accommodation you stay in compliments your travel style. Therefore, we partner with some of the best and most authentic accommodations as you travel. From the cosy guest houses like at Hotel VOS and Hotel Lækur to the more luxurious hotels such as Skálakot Country Manor and Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon. Rest assured, we only work with accommodations that are clean, comfortable and authentic Icelandic. We believe your resting place each night should always add to your experience.
Hiker’s Paradise 10 Day, 9 Night Self Drive Tour
Please note that below we have only provided the highlights below to give you a snap shot of this incredible itinerary. We will provide you with a breakdown of the day to day itinerary and many other hidden additions after submitting the form at the bottom of the page. This allows us to tweak and customise the itinerary to your individual needs and desires.
South and South East Iceland
After spending some time in Reykjavík, you will start your best of Iceland self drive trip by travelling along the entire south coast, reaching as far as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vatnajökull National Park in the south east. A hiker’s dream location! This area is known for its breathtaking scenery, glacier lagoons, black sand beaches and mountainous landscape. Over the space of 3 days you will get the chance to explore this unique area intimately including a visit to the world famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon where you can watch the giant icebergs float around and wash up on the black sand shores of Diamond Beach.
On our hiker’s paradise tour, we’ll make sure to include extended nature hikes or glacier hikes. We can set the difficulty level to suit your needs but suffice to say, a glacier hike is often a top priority in this icy region.
We also love to add in zodiac boat tours and snowmobile adventures during this part of the trip depending on your budget and desire.
For those of you wanting to take it a little easier, there are uncountable nature walks that let you experience the breathtaking views, flora and fauna. Horseback riding, museums and even lava exhibitions are a mainstay here too. The choice is yours!
There’s a reason this area was crowned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.
Extended Hiking Adventures
The next few days is really where our hiker’s paradise itinerary gets its name! We’ll spend a couple of days going the path less travelled. We’ll offer shorter hikes in the Vatnajökull National Park and surrounding areas, before travelling back west and entering the often missed Þakgil Canyon with its hidden glacier and then head further into the highlands via Þórsmörk (Valley of Thor).
Þakgil (Thakgil)* is one of the hidden gems in Iceland that very few have heard of. But for hikers, keen to get away from the summer crowds on the ring road, this really is a one of a kind area. In fact, you’re far more likely to find local Icelanders on their summer holidays here than other tourists. One thing is for sure, the hiking in this forgotten part of Iceland are worth the added time. This area is only accessible during June through to mid-September. We will provide alternative hiking options if you are traveling outside of these days.
In Þórsmörk you will cross glacier rivers, hike to unbeatable views and truly understand what it means to be off the beaten path. Don’t worry, we’ll recruit some local experts to take you there.
Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon & Volcano Hike
To end your trip in Iceland, your last two days will revolve around the more celebrated parts of the country.
You’ll venture into the golden circle area to enjoy one of Iceland’s biggest waterfalls at Gullfoss, see the ever erupting geyser at Geysir and learn all about Iceland’s geological past at the Thingvellir National Park, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and much more in this incredible spot.
The following day you will visit the recently erupted volcano at Geldingadalur (now dormant) and take in some of the lesser known geological hot spots of the Reykjanes peninsula. Coincidentally this is also where the well visited Blue Lagoon is situated. Not a bad way to end your time in Iceland before your flight home the following day.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Accommodation for the duration of your stay, all activities, rental vehicle with wifi from arrival to departure (type of vehicle depends on group size and preferences), all taxes and booking fees, carbon offsetting of your fuel usage.
Custom itinerary for the duration of your stay. When we create your final itinerary we give you a very detailed itinerary which includes an interactive map, including a day by day map, trip breakdown as well as full detail on each stop with background information, facts, history etc on each sight. You can view it online, or can save as a pdf. You can also download a free app that allows you to have the itinerary on your phone, which then allows it to link to google maps to help with navigation.
Hidden Iceland support and assistance every step of the way.
You can request additional activities, additional days, a full extra day(s) in Reykjavík and suggested activities in the city. This tour is fully customisable to your needs under our guidance.
Flights to and from Iceland, meals unless otherwise specified.
Ready to make this your dream trip?
Please try to give us as much information as you can in the form below so that we can come up with the best private trip for you as quickly as possible. We will always do our best to respond to all messages within 3 business days, excluding weekends.