Top 10 Summer Self Driving Tours in Iceland


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Iceland has been chosen the best country in the world to go on a road trip. And no wonder why. Driving around Iceland is extremely beautiful. You will feel the freedom when you drive through the countryside and natural wonders everywhere you look. We can promise you that you will want to make stops every 2-3 minutes to breath in the fresh air, take a photo of the mountain or waterfall that you just saw, or to feed the Icelandic horses that will be watching you drive by all around Iceland.

We think of ourselves as professional Icelandic road trippers. We spend all day planning road trips for travelers that are coming to Iceland and are looking for the perfect itinerary. And when we are not planning road trips for others, we are on a road trip ourselves.

Planning a road trip in Iceland can be pretty hard and take a long time. There are so many beautiful locations that you will want to explore and it is hard to realize the best route so you can see and do everything on your bucket list. If you are having any problems planning your road trip or if you simply don’t have the time to do it, but you still want to make the most of your time in Iceland, you might want to check out our personalized road trip plans. Our personalized road trip plans are our signature product where you can have locals plan your trip from A-Z. Tell us about everything that you want to do in Iceland and we will make the perfect itinerary that is personally suited to you and your trip. With our personalized road trip plans you will also get a discount on all the activities listed below.

There are so many locations and activities that you will want to add to your self driving trip in Iceland. It doesn’t have to cost much, and you can see most of the pretty places without a guided tour. But you might want to add some guided activities to make your Iceland trip extra special.

Here below you can find the top 10 Summer Self Driving Activities in Iceland. Every activity is special in its own way and these activities are located all around Iceland. Some activities are experiences that you can’t get on any other place in the world, like snorkeling between Europe and north-America or kayaking between icebergs at the glacier lagoon.

10. Akureyri Whale Watching

Akureyri is the second largest city in Iceland, after Reykjavik. If you are driving the ring road you will probably stop at Akureyri for some time. Even though Akureyri is the second largest city in Iceland, it’s still pretty small with a population of around 18.000. You can take some time to stroll around the downtown area of Akureyri, visit some cafes or restaurants but after that you might want to find something interesting to do. That’s where you should go whale watching.

whale watching akureyri, whales in Iceland

North Iceland is the perfect place to go whale watching with almost 100% sightings of the whales. You will sail around Eyjafjordur bay which has incredibly high probability of spotting whales. It seems like the humpbacks of the North Atlantic ocean really likes this area which is abundant with wildlife and beauty. Go cruising through the prime whale viewing areas in a comfortable and safe boat that is custom built for whale watching.

9. Into the glacier

This ice cave in west Iceland has been very popular among travelers for years. Into the glacier features man made ice tunnels that will lead you underneath Iceland’s second largest glacier, Langjokull. Explore the glacier from inside on this unique experience. Ride in a specially modified glacier trucks on the glacier on your way to the ice cap. Enjoy magnificent views on the way before you head on into the glacier. 

into the glacier ice cave
Into the Glacier Ice Cave

This tour departs from Húsafell in west Iceland so it’s the perfect activity to add to your ring road self drive or if you are on a road trip in west Iceland. Add Krauma natural baths to your trip afterwards to get the warm back in you after being inside a glacier.

8. Thorsmork Super Jeep

Are you looking for extraordinary views on your trip to Iceland? There is no better place than Thorsmork!

Thorsmork is a beautiful valley in the highlands of Iceland and the dream for every hiker and adventure seeker. The valley is named after the Thunder God Thor and sits among three magnificent glaciers, Mýrdalsjökull, Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull.

Þórsmörk day tour, Thorsmork in Iceland, two people standing with a view over Thorsmork

You will want to go on a guided tour to Thorsmork because it’s very hard to drive there on your own. You have to cross some rivers and it is recommended to wear specially modified super jeeps to get there.

This tour departs from Hvolsvöllur in south Iceland so it’s the perfect tour for your self driving in south Iceland or around the ring road.

7. Horse Riding

Do you like the Icelandic horses? Would you like to get to know the Icelandic horses? Well obviously the answer is yes.

What better way to get to know the Icelandic horses, than going horse riding. Imagine sitting on back of the horse wile taking in the breathtaking views of south Iceland. The south coast is often told to be one of the most beautiful parts of Iceland and the Icelandic horse is often told to be the most beautiful animal in Iceland. In this tour you will get to enjoy both at the same time.

horse riding in Iceland, personalized road trip plan

This tour departs from south Iceland, only around 35 minutes outside of Reykjavik. This would be the perfect tour for anyone driving the ring road, the south coast, or looking for an activity day from Reykjavik.

You can find many different horse riding tours in Iceland but this is the most popular one. It is only around 1 hour so it’s great when you want to make the most of your time in Iceland.

If you would like to go on a longer horse riding tour you can take a look at all our horse riding tours here.

6. Glacier Hike & Ice Climbing in Skaftafell

Are you looking for that extra bit of thrill on your trip to Iceland? Do you want to see Vatnajokull National Park and hike on a glacier in one of the most beautiful location in the world? Then this is the activity for you.

This glacier hike & ice climbing tour is operated on Svínafellsjökull glacier. Svínafellsjökull is a part of the biggest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull glacier. It offers breathtaking views to the ice covered highest peaks of Iceland rising more than 2,000 metres (6,500 ft) over your helmets.

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Since the glacier is impermanent and ever changing, the guide often has to scout out a new crevasse for climbing each time. With this strategy we will be flexible and avoid the crowds on the glacier as well. Your guide will install massive ice screw and attach a rope to them before you are climbing up the ice walls or even rappelling into a crevasse and climb out again. This will be the adventure of your lifetime.

This glacier hiking & ice climbing tour is perfect for everyone that is looking for an adventure in Iceland.  You don’t have to worry if you are not an experience glacier hiker or ice climbing expert. The guides on the tour will adapt it to all needs and expectations so this tour is perfect for everyone, including beginners. The only thing you need to bring is patience and a small portion of endurance to climb all the way up the ice wall.

5. Glacier Snowmobile

Are you looking for some adrenaline in Iceland? This glacier snowmobiling tour is perfect for anyone that wants to have some fun while exploring the glaciers and seeing some magnificent views of Iceland.

While you snowmobile across Iceland’s second largest glacier (Langjokull glacier) you will get unbelievable views and an experience that you will not forget in a long time. Langjokull glacier is the home to several enormous ice filled volcanic craters, rimmed in by imposing volcanoes and set in the breathtaking Icelandic interior.

1 hour snowmobile tour express glacier views sunset when in iceland

From the glacier you will get view over Eiríksjökull, the highest mountain in west Iceland, Hofsjökull glacier and Kerlingafjöll Mountain range.

This tour departs from Gullfoss waterfall so it’s the perfect tour for anyone self driving the Golden Circle.

4. Sólheimajökull Glacier Hike

Do you want to explore the glaciers of Iceland up close and personal? Then you should go glacier hiking. Glacier hiking on Sólheimajökull is the best experience and the perfect add on to your self driving trip in Iceland.

Sólheimajökull glacier is located on top of Katla Volcano. In the beginning of the hike you will be aware of lots of ash on the ice. Since we have volcanoes under every glacier in Iceland it is common that eruptions are leaving big amounts of volcanic deposit right on the glacier. This ash is shaping the landscape of the glacier. On this tour you will be introduced in detail to the history of the glacier and how the ice is formed on top of the mountains.

glacier hike in Iceland, Sólheimajökull glacier

This glacier hiking tour is for anyone looking to experience one of the natural wonders of the earth, the glaciers. On your hike you will see lots of crevasses, deep cracks in the surface of the glacier, and so called moulins, often vertical shafts in the ice which are formed by melting water finding it’s way into fissures and cracks.

This tour is located on the south coast of Iceland so it’s perfect if you are driving the ring road or even if you are just driving the south coast of Iceland. The location of the glacier is perfect because it’s surrounded by so many beautiful locations that you will definitely want to visit on your self drive in Iceland. Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls are for example located close to the glacier, along with Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck, the black sand beach and the town of Vík.

3. Glacier Lagoon Kayaking

Is the glacier lagoon on your bucket list in Iceland? Well of course. It’s one of the most beautiful place in the world and considered as one of the natural wonders of the world.

What about kayaking between the glaciers at the glacier lagoon? At least this should be on your bucket list. This activity is one of the most unique experiences in Iceland and a once in a lifetime adventure.

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On this kayaking tour you will be paddling on the Glacier Lagoon between the floating icebergs. You will get the best views of the lagoon, the ice cap and the floating ice bergs while kayaking around. You might even get the chance to see a seal swimming around your kayak.

We do have two different tours that will take you kayaking between the glaciers of a glacier lagoon. The tours are operated on a different glacier lagoon and one tour is more private than the other one. You can take a look at both tours here.

Glacier Lagoon Kayaking
Glacier Kayaking

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2. Snorkeling Silfra

Snorkelin in Silfra is a once in a lifetime experience. Snorkeling is probably not the first thing that you think about when you hear about Iceland. You will probably think of some warm location where you can snorkel and take a look at the beautiful fishes in the sea. Snorkeling in Silfra is a totally different experience. Swimming between Europe and America is another thing that you will probably not think you will ever do. Well, you can do it in Iceland. When you go snorkeling in Silfra, you will be snorkeling between Europe and North – America. This is something you can’t do on any other place in the world so don’t miss the change while you are in Iceland and make sure to add this activity to your list.

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National Geographic has described Silfra fissure as one of the top dive sites in the world. You will swim between the tectonic plates and float on pure glacial water. The water in Silfra comes from the glacier and has been through the lava fields all around Thingvellir National Park before it reaches Silfra Fissure. The water in Silfra is the clearest water in the world and you can see more than 100 meters underwater.

We can promise you that you will be amazed by breathtaking shades of blue and incredible rock formations in this underwater paradise.

Silfra is located in Tingvellir National Park so it’s the perfect activity to add to your self driving trip around the Golden Circle.

1. Katla Ice Cave

Our absolute most popular summer self driving tour. It was a game changer when we were able to offer a tour to a natural ice cave all year. Before, there were only ice caves that were open during the winter time but now you can go to Katla Ice Cave during the summer time as well. Many people used to choose the winters to travel to Iceland only because of the natural ice caves, but now you can get it all during the summer time. Except the northern lights of course.

inside Katla volcano Ice cave

Katla Ice Cave is a natural ice cave located under Katla volcano. On this tour you will jump onto a Super Jeep and admire the mighty blue ice caves of ash and ice. You will drive in a Super Jeep up to the glacier and enter a natural ice cave. The view inside the Natural Ice Cave in Katla Volcano is truly spectacular and something you will probably only see once in your life. The combination of the colors of the ice are amazing, with the combination of crystal blue ice and black ice from the volcano.

The ice cave is located in Kötlujökull Glacier which is an outlet glacier of Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. Underneath the glacier waits the mighty volcano Katla where both the glacier and the ice cave takes their name from. This is definitely a once in a lifetime experience that you don’t want to miss on your trip to Iceland.

The tour departs from Vík so it’s perfect if you are on a road trip around the ring road, or if you are just driving the south coast of Iceland.
On this tour you can mark the volcano and ice cave off your Iceland bucket list.

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