Our Immersive South Coast 9 Day, 8 Night Self Drive itinerary is designed for those who want to see the absolute best things in Iceland in 9 incredible days. This itinerary is a combination of popular sights, nature and adventure. 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 shortened self drive tour was designed to reduce driving time and have as many activities and experiences as you can fit in without feeling rushed. In essence it covers the ‘Best of Iceland’. It is a perfect family friendly itinerary. So, rather than trying to race around the entire island, you get to take your time and immerse yourself in the Icelandic landscape. Don’t worry though, in this itinerary you’ll still venture all the way to the south east, into the highlands, visit remote islands and finish at the south-western most point. Not bad for only 9 days.
The trip includes a glacier hike, two of Iceland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the wonderful Volcanic Westman Islands, 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 the remote Highlands of Iceland at Thórsmörk.
The itinerary below lasts for 9 days and 8 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 10 days.
If you are super keen to travel around the entire island and have 12 or more days then feel free to jump over to our 12 + Day Ring Road tour or our 14 + day Extended Ring Road tour now.
Of course within this itinerary, if you want to add in some extra activities and locations, we can easily extend this trip by as many days as you have available without resorting to going around the island. Just let us know in the comments section on the form. Conversely, if you prefer the trip to be a little shorter let us know which day you want to take out and we’ll see what we can do to streamline your time in Iceland. At certain times of year we may need to swap some activities to cater for the changing seasons. We will notify you of any changes when your first query is made.
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.
Immersive South Coast 9 Day, 8 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 Vatnajökull National Park in the south east. 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.
If you are feeling adventurous you can add in a zodiac boat tour, hike on a glacier and snowmobile on top of one of the mighty ice caps.
For the less adventurous among you, there are uncountable nature walks to experience the flora and fauna, horse riding options, museums and lava exhibitions, and plenty of incredible views to make you forget the rest of the world exists for a few days. There’s a reason this area was crowned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.
Highlands & Volcanic Islands
Next up, for two unforgettable days we go the path less travelled. Namely, into the highlands via Þórsmörk (Valley of Thor) then ferry over to the volcanic archipelago of the Westman Islands. In Þórsmörk you will cross glacier rivers in modified super jeeps, 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.
On the Westman Islands, you will get a chance to zoom around the volcanic island by RIB boat, learn about the 1973 eruption that almost devastated the entire island and of course go in search of the Atlantic puffin which calls this quiet island home in the summer months.
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 to enjoy one of Iceland’s biggest waterfalls at Gullfoss, see the ever erupting geyser at Geysir erupt and learn all about Iceland’s geological past at the Thingvellir National Park 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.