south iceland taking in the view at skogafoss istk

Essential Iceland

from £855 excluding flights

  • 7 nights
  • Year round


iceland south west strokkur geysir rth

See the natural treasures of Iceland’s iconic Golden Circle route

iceland south west seljalandsfoss summer rth

Walk behind Seljalandsfoss and enjoy the view from the top of Skogafoss

iceland south east jokulsarlon icebergs istk

Experience the ice wonders of Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon

south iceland reynisdrangar sea stacks sunset istk

Stroll along black-sand beaches at Vik

iceland south west blue lagoon summer sweeping view bl

Take a dip in the naturally-heated waters of the Blue Lagoon

iceland south west superjeeps daytours

Try exciting optional excursions, from snowmobiling to superjeep safaris

Why this trip...

norway north cape globe midnight sun istk nordic heritage white

Nordic Heritage

With over 38 years of experience in creating trips to Nordics we know this region inside out

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Well-researched route

We've put our years of experience into creating this well-paced itinerary that includes the places we know you'll enjoy

Aoraki Mt Cook National Park tailor made white

Tailor made

This itinerary can be tailor made to suit you and is intended to give you a guideline of what is possible in a given timeframe


Visit some of Iceland’s best-known natural wonders on this year-round self-drive adventure to the Golden Circle and South Coast. With a whole week to explore, you’ll see majestic waterfalls, mighty glaciers and the sublime iceberg lagoon of Jokulsarlon. It’s the perfect introduction to Iceland – summer or winter – for first-time visitors and independent-minded travellers.

The Golden Circle’s triple whammy

Iceland’s famous trio of natural wonders – Thingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir – are easily combined in an unforgettable day touring the Golden Circle. At Thingvellir you can stroll along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and visit Iceland’s ancient parliament. The 32m-high, twin-tiered waterfall of Gullfoss pours into a narrow gorge, while Strokkur erupts like a steaming exclamation mark at the geothermal site of Geysir.

Waterfalls, glaciers and icebergs of the South Coast

Driving to the east, two of Iceland’s most breathtaking waterfalls – bridal-veil Seljalandsfoss and thundering Skogafoss – lead a succession of natural wonders along the South Coast. From the frozen snout of the Solheimajokull glacier and Vik’s black-sand beaches to the basalt cliffs at Svartifoss and the icebergs of the Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, this world-class drive transports you into a head-spinning realm of volcanoes, icecaps and surf-raked beaches.


Fly to Keflavik and drive to Reykjavik for an overnight stay in Iceland’s vibrant capital city, perhaps stopping en route at the Blue Lagoon for a dip in the naturally heated waters. Overnight at Hotel Cabin.

Spend the day exploring Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area and two-tiered Gullfoss collectively known as the Golden Circle. Head south to Hveragerdi for an overnight stay at Hotel Ork.

Waterfall in Iceland
iceland south west strokkur at geysir istk
iceland south west thingvellir national park summer istock

Travel along the south coast past the impressive waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Road 1 then winds past the Myrdalsjokull icecap and over the moss clad Eldhraun lava field to Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Perhaps take a walk to the ‘Sister’s falls’ – Systrafoss and Kirkjugolfid (the church floor); a national monument of wind and sea eroded basalt columns. Overnight at Hotel Klaustur,

south iceland skogafoss spring day istk
iceland south west seljalandsfoss couple istk
south iceland vik and reynisdrangar rock stacks astk

Visit the turf church of Nupsstadur then drive across the outwash plains of Iceland’s largest icecap, Vatnajokull, to Skaftafell. Explore further east to the amazing iceberg lagoon at Jokulsarlon, not forgetting to walk across the road to catch sight of icebergs breaking up and heading out to sea or being washed ashore on the black sand beach. Spend two nights at Hotel Skaftafell.

Spend the day exploring the area hiking in the national park. One of the highlights is the 20m high waterfall Svartifoss, which cascades down a basalt cliff in the shape of a horse tail.

iceland svartifoss in skaftafell national park istk
iceland south east jokulsarlon view from shore early spring rth
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On the drive back along the south coast stop off at the stunning cliffs and beaches of Vik where the summer wildflowers are wonderful. Continue west to Myrdalsjokull Glacier (optional snowmobile tours on the glacier are available; please contact our team to book in advance) and visit Njal’s Saga country at Hvolsvollur en route to Hveragerdi. Spend another night in Hotel Ork.

Drive along the craggy coast to the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula. Visit the hot springs and fumaroles in Krisuvik, the cliffs at Grindavik. Return to Reykjavik for an overnight stay back at Hotel Cabin.

iceland reykjanes peninsula moss covered lava summer istk
iceland reykjanes peninsula krysuvik mud pools ap
reykjanes peninsula lavascape winter istk

Head to Keflavik, drop off rental vehicle and catch the flight home.

Accommodation Options

We have selected properties for this holiday as referenced in the itinerary. However, with a wide choice of accommodation in Iceland we can adapt to your preference and mix and match different grades and styles where available. Choose from hotels, farmstays and self-catering apartments to private villas and countryside properties ideal for aurora viewing between September and early April.

  • south west ork superior
  • ranga hot tub summer view
  • reykjavik konsulate hotel exterior

Prices and Departures

Price from £855 excluding flights

Airfares vary widely and are quoted separately to the holiday price, starting from around £250pp return with Icelandair and British Airways, though may be lower with Play or EasyJet. We'll provide the best fare available at the time of enquiry, which tend to be cheaper the earlier you book.

UK Airports with flights direct to Iceland are Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. We can also arrange flights from non-UK destinations. Discover more »

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Daily breakfast
  • Car rental throughout with unlimited mileage
  • No charge for additional driver
  • 24-hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

From prices per person

Based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom, including car hire. Prices may vary depending on departure date. Please contact us for a detailed quote based on your preferred travel dates, vehicle category and style of accommodation, or to tailor this itinerary.

Departure Duration Car Category* Twin Price
May 7 nights B - VW Golf £983
Jun - Aug 7 nights B - VW Golf £1,335
Sep 7 nights B - VW Golf £1,105
Oct - Apr 7 nights D- Skoda Octavia (4WD) £855

* Choice of Vehicles

We can offer a wide range of rental vehicles for this holiday – our team will be happy to talk you through the options and provide a quote for the most suitable category based on your individual requirements.

  • 4WD

    We would always recommend a 4WD for winter travel, but many clients also prefer the greater security and comfort that a larger vehicle provides year round – upgrade your vehicle from as little as £10 per person, per day.

  • Go electric

    With a selection of electric cars now available including the Kia Niro and Volkswagen ID.3, you can choose to upgrade from as little as £12 per person, per day. We recommend this option for summer only, due to the colder temperatures in winter affecting battery range.

Tailor made trips

As independent destination specialists, we are able to tailor make holidays to suit you, be that customising the itineraries shown on this website or creating something bespoke.


Travelling sustainably

We believe travel is about finding the right balance between minimising our impact on the environment and broadening minds through new experiences and cultural interaction.