South by Southwest Iceland
- Luxury self drive

The Country Side under the Vatnajokull glacier

Enjoy a luxurious vacation in West- and South Iceland, where you have plenty of time to explore each area at your own pace. Stay at the best, most luxurious hotels available in each area and dine at their gourmet restaurants whilst enjoying a magnificent view of the unspoilt countryside.

Note: This tour can be started and ended either in Reykjavik or at the international airport

Included:
Rental car for 7 days
Unlimited mileage, GPS & CDW insurance
Accommodation for 6 nights
Double room w/private facilities at luxury hotels
Breakfast

Not included:
Meals other than breakfast
Airport service fee
Accommodation in Reykjavik before or after the tour
International flights

Please contact us for different number of people or car groups

Of course this tour can be adjusted to suit your needs and wishes, be it for a longer or shorter holiday.

Optional: Upgrade to a Super Jeep with a driver guide, get a more in-depth view of Iceland, travel on mountain tracks and go off-roading on glaciers.

Available:

All Year

Price: Ask for quote

Itinerary for the South by SouthWest Self-Drive

Day 1: Arrival Station 4wd rental car
Drive along the scenic south shore of Snaefellsnes peninsula.  Visit an olkleda and try the clean, natural, carbonized water coming out of the ground.  Explore Snaefellsjokull national park with its magnificent glacier.  End the day at Budir timber church.
Accommodation: Hotel Budir, a luxurious rural hotel close to the ocean

Day 2: Snaefellsnes & Breidafjordur
Travel along the rocky north coast of Snaefellsnes.  See the village of Stykkisholmur, the lighthouse and the numerous islands off the harbor.  Walk along the sandy beaches from Hellnar to Arnarstapi and see Gatklettur cliff (lot of bird-life in the summer).
Optional: Adventure cruise on Breidafjordur Bay
Accommodation: Hotel Budir

Day 3: Borgarfjordur Barnafossar waterfalls in Borgarfjordur, west Iceland
The scenic Borgarfjordur holds many natural pearls; Deildatunguhver geothermal spring, Hraunfossar (lava waterfall) and Barnafoss (children's waterfall), as well as Reykholt
Optional: Visit the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes and see a Viking exhibition
Accommodation: Hotel Glymur luxury hotel in Hvalfjordur.

Day 4: The Golden Circle
Take the scenic route through Hvalfjordur fjord and to Thingvellir National Park, where the Icelandic parliament was founded and the tectonic plates meet.  Next stop is Geysir hot spring area, where Strokkur erupts every 5-7 minutes.  Close to Geysir is Gullfoss, "the Golden Waterfall", the most photographed waterfall in Iceland.
Accommodation: Hotel Ranga 4* rural hotel in south Iceland.

Day 5: South Coast
Explore the area around Eyjafjallajokull glacier.  Walk behind Seljarlandsfoss freefalling waterfall and feel the spray and drizzle on your face.  Photograph the beautiful Skogafoss waterfall and visit Skogar Folk museum.  See the black sand beaches around Vik, Reynisdrangar lava formations and Dyrholaey cliff.
Optional: Glacier hike on Solheimajokull
Accommodation: Hotel Ranga

Day 6: Easy day in the south
There are several options for this day. For example:
Visit the Vestmannaeyjar Islands (puffins in the summer). Take an ATV tour around Hekla. Take a Super Jeep tour to Thorsmork or Landmannalaugar. Pamper yourself at the hotel, enjoy the hot tubs and get a massage
Accommodation: Hotel Ranga

Day 7: Departure Land Cruiser rental car
If you have a late flight we recommend stopping at the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing soak, it is close to the international airport.  Of course you can extend your stay if you wish.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Icelandic weather like?
Weather in Iceland unpredictable, so we strongly advise our customers to check the weather report each day, especially in winter. Weather forecasts for the whole of Iceland can be found on the Icelandic Met Office website.

What are Icelandic roads like?
We also strongly recommend that you check the overview maps showing road conditions and the current situation for all main roads at a given point, provided by the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration. Attached is a representative photo of such a map, showing that some roads are closed, others icy or very icy, etc.

Map of Icelandic road conditions

Be well prepared when planning to drive in Iceland:

  • Get accurate, up to date information about the area
  • Check the weather forecast - in Iceland, the weather can change suddenly
  • Always leave your travel plan with someone who can react if needed
  • Remember to bring the right equipment for the type of travel
  • Always use maps, compass, GPS when travelling outside the urban areas
  • Most of the Icelandic Highland roads are closed in wintertime


Where can I find information about driving in Iceland?

Iceland Private Tours provides you with a Self Drive Package which contains useful information about travelling safely in Iceland. The package includes a Road Atlas, Iceland's Big Map (that has your route marked out) and an Icelandic mobile phone with prepaid call credit. A list of interesting highlights that you might wish to explore on your route is also enclosed.

The Icelandic Road Traffic Directorate (Umferðarstofa) has produced a video entitled "How to Drive in Iceland", as well as a downloadable brochure in English, German and French, which can be accessed on their website.
Additionally, the Icelandic Association for Search & Rescue, ICE-SAR (Landsbjörg), provides vital information for safe travel in Iceland. It is essential to be well informed when travelling around Iceland, especially in the Highlands - the combination of unfamiliar terrain and the abrupt weather changes can prove hazardous.

What happens if I don't reach my hotel due to weather, or if I find myself in some distress on my route?
If you are unable to reach your destination due to an event of force majeure nature, then the force majeure clause, cited below, will apply.

Should you find yourself in distress, or in any uncertainty, you can call us at any time using the Icelandic mobile phone included in your Self Drive Package. If your arrival to your hotel is likely to be delayed, please give them a call and let them know. All the necessary phone numbers are included in your Self Drive Package. The 24 hour emergency phone number for ambulance, police and fire services in Iceland is 112.

If a road is closed and I can't make it to my next hotel – will that hotel still charge?
The usual minimum cancellation time for hotel bookings is 48 hours so technically they can charge, but give us a call and we will try our best to sort it out so there is little or no cost if possible. This is one of the advantages of having a local travel agency plan your Iceland tour. Most hotels are very understanding when it comes to changes due to weather.

I will then need another hotel - who pays for that?
Customers are responsible for covering any additional costs themselves but if we got the hotel cancelled without a fee, then of course that refund goes into covering the cost of the other hotel. We always try our best for our customers and it has always worked out with a few phone calls – remember, with us you will have an Icelandic mobile phone with our number that you can ring any time and the numbers of all your hotels.

Winter driving in Iceland is perhaps not for everybody and might not be everybody's idea of a carefree holiday. In wintertime, many of our customers opt to go first on a private Super-Jeep tour with us, to get a good sense of the Icelandic roads and conditions (as well as good insider tips) from our expert driver guides, before venturing on their own. Our experienced driver guides can take you anywhere you would like to go. You can have any tour as a privately guided Super-Jeep adventure.

Force Majeure
It is possible that an eruption, a flood, a storm or another form of Force Majeure might affect your tour in a way that is beyond human control. The standard Force Majeure or 'Act of God' clause applies and frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstances beyond the control of the parties (clients / tour operator) prevent one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract.

Your plans may need to change in such circumstances. We will, of course, help in any way we can; however, it is expected that the clients understand that driving, especially in a foreign country, inherently involves a degree of personal risk.

Insurance
Iceland Private Tours considers appropriate travel insurance to be essential. Please familiarise yourself with the details of your insurance policy and take it with you on holiday. It is a matter of personal responsibility to ensure that the insurance you have purchased covers you for the holiday activities in Iceland, whether they be driving tours, riding tours, snowmobiling tours, winter sports activities or other.

Disclaimer
Iceland Private Tours disclaims responsibility for any loss, damage, accidents, sickness or changes in schedules caused by weather, strikes or any other irregularity beyond the control of Iceland Private Tours. Iceland Private Tours reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or departure times, without prior notice, should the necessity arise.



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