The Westfjords in a nutshell with Snæfellsnes and Highlands of South Iceland 16 days


This unique self drive tour gives you a luxurious opportunity to experience the massive contrasts of Iceland. Along the famous South Coast and Snæfellsnes you will visit the remote Westfjords and experience south Iceland highlands. A true 16 day adventure, packed with spectacular views and sites.

Due to limited availability of rental cars this summer we strongly advice planning your road trip timely and if you are looking to book a road trip with less than 5 weeks notice please contact us to check availability

Overview

Map for The Westfjords in a nutshell with Snæfellsnes and Highlands of South Iceland  16 days tour
  • Duration:16 days / 15 nights
  • By Car km/mi:2865
  • Season:July 5 to August 15
  • Operates:Daily
  • Price From:522638 ISK/Per Person
  • Tour ID:RT28

Not Included

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival



Following you arrival at the airport, you will transfer to your accommodation in Reykjavík, in a comfortable, Wi-Fi connected bus. Spend the rest of your day exploring Reykjavík, which offers a great variety of things to do and see.

Highlights:
Reykjavik city

Overnight:
Reykjavik city


Day 2. The Scenic Snæfellsnes Peninsula



Pick up your car in the morning and start your Iceland adventure by driving towards the town of Borgarnes. At Borgarnes you will find the Icelandic Settlement Centre where you can learn all about the fascinating sagas from the settlements times as well as a unique exhibition of the famous Viking poet – Egill Skallagrímsson. Continue to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where you will find numerous natural wonders. Cross the plains of Mýrar and head to the South Coast of the peninsula. In northern part of Mýrar you will pass quite a few stunning craters. Continue to the charming hamlets of Arnarstapi and Hellnar, where you will find an easy access to bird cliffs and unique lava fields. Continue around the tip of the peninsula at the foot of the mysterious Snæfellsjökull glacier and volcano. Snæfellsjökull is a popular destination for hikers, snowmobilers and skiers. For those not familiar with the glacier, a guide is recommended. Snæfellsjökull glacier was featured in Jule Verne´s story „Journey to the Centre of Earth“. Drive east along the north coast of the peninsula to the charming village of Stykkishólmur.

Highlights:
Borgarnes-Town
Hvalfjörður Fjord
Lóndrangar Rock Formations
Arnarstapi Village
Snæfellsjökull Glacier

Driving Distance:
225 kilometers

Overnight:
Stykkishólmur area


Day 3. Breiðafjörður Bay



We suggest a very special cruise from Stykkishólmur in the morning among the numerous islands of Breiðafjorður Bay with its unique birdlife. Puffins Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Eiders and many other bird species nest here in great numbers in summer. The White Tailed Eagles nest here too and are frequently seen. This is an unforgettable experience and takes a little more than two hours. The cruise is available daily at 11:00 from 14. May – 15. October and at 11:00 on Tuesdays and Sundays from 14. January - 13. May. In the afternoon, cruise with the ferry Baldur across Breiðafjörður Bay with it’s countless islands to Brjánslækur Port on the south coast of the Westfjords. Enroute to Brjánslækur, the ferry will make a short stop at the Flatey Island to drop off and pick up passengers. Drive from Brjánslækur to Hnjótur.

Highlights:
Stykkishólmur Town
Breiðafjörður Bay
Patreksfjörður Fjord

Optional Extra:
Viking Sushi Boat Tour

Driving Distance:
165 kilometers

Overnight:
Hnjótur/Patreksfjörður area


Day 4. Látrabjarg Cliff and Rauðasandur Beach



Continue to Látrabjarg, one of the most crowded bird cliffs in the world. In summer, the 444 m high sea cliffs are occupied by millions of Puffins, Gannets, Guillemots and Razorbills. Return to Hnjótur and further to explore Kollsvík, which is surrounded by magnificent scenery. Next visit the most famous beach of Iceland – Rauðasandur. The unique sand and shell mix gives the beach a spectacular yellow-read colour. This is a wonderful place to enjoy an amazing bird- and wildlife. During the summer time you may spot seals relaxing at the beach.

Highlights:
Látrabjarg Cliff
Rauðasandur

Driving Distance:
180 kilometers

Overnight:
Hnjótur/Patreksfjörður area


Day 5. Dynjandi Waterfall and towards Ísafjörður



Head to the north towards Ísafjörður town, the largest town in the Westfjords. The route is characterized by stunning steep-sided mountain scenery and deep and narrow fjords. On your way visit Tálknafjörður and Bíldudalur. Make sure you stop at the waterfall Dynjandi, after crossing Dynjandisheiði Pass. Drive along the shore of Arnarfjörður Fjord and across the steep Hrafnseyrarheiði Pass to the small fishing village Þingeyri.

Highlights:
Dynjandi Waterfall
Ísafjörður Town

Driving Distance:
230 kilometers

Overnight:
Suðureyri/Ísafjörður area


A day at Ísafjöður and surroundings



Return to the tunnel and continue to Ísafjörður. Today you will have plenty of time to explore the town of Ísafjörður and its surroundings. Various day tours are available from Ísafjörður – sea kayaking, horse riding, boat trips and even hiking trips to Hornstrandir area. In summer, an interesting boat tour to the picturesque Vigur Island is available from Ísafjörður, - a great experience. Hornstrandir is a nature reserve that was established in 1975. The nature reserve is accessible only by boat and foot as there are not any roads to Hornstrandir.

Overnight:
Suðureyri/Ísafjörður area


Day 7. Kaldalón - Drangajökull Glacier - Strandir



Continue on your journey towards Hólmavík, along the shores of the numerous and some uninhabited, fjords of Ísafjarðardjúp with beautiful coastlines, teeming with seals and bird life. Make a detour to Kaldalón at the foot of Drangajökull Glacier. At the end of the road, you will find a popular hiking route to Drangajökull area. Next continue across Steingrímsfjarðarheiði Pass heading for Hólmavík. After crossing Steingrímsjarðarheiði Pass, visit Drangsnes, a small fishing village. Boat trips for bird watching and sea angling are available from Drangsnes. Information is available at Guesthouse Malarhorn at Drangsnes. At Drangsnes is a hot outdoor pool with natural hot water, - popular for bathing, where you can take a dip and relax.

Highlights:
Drangsnes Town
Kaldalón Fjord and Drangajökull Glacier

Driving Distance:
300 kilometers

Overnight:
Strandir area


Day 8. The Beautiful Fjords of Norðurstrandir



Continue to explore the fjords of Strandir and visit Bjarnarfjörður fjord, where you will find several farms, some of them abandoned. Continue on scenic road by Reykjarfjörður Fjord which is usually closed during the winter time due to massive snow. Visit Djúpavík village at the end of the fjord. In the past, Djúpavík was busy fishing town - nowadays however, the village is quiet as there is no longer any fishing industry at Djúpavík. Continue to Norðurfjörður Fjord, where you will find a unique geothermal pool on the shore. Continue further to Ingólfsfjörður Fjörd where you will find an abanbdoned herring processing factory. Soon after construction the herring catches declined and the factory was closed in 1952. Continue further to Ófeigsfjörður Fjord where the road ends. There are numerous hiking opportunities in this area.

Highlights:
Hólmavík Town

Driving Distance:
160 kilometers

Overnight:
Strandir area


Day 9. Vatnsnes Peninsula - Hvítserkur - Skagafjörður Fjord



In the morning head for Hólmavík. We suggest a stop at the Witchcraft museum at Hólmavík. From there continue to Hrútafjörður Fjord. From Staðarskáli by the main highaway continue to Miðfjörður Fjord and along Víðidalur Valley towards the fertile valley of Skagafjörður, renowned for horse breeding. The Icelandic Seal Center at Hvammstangi town is an interesting place to visit. It is a research and exhibition center, investigating the lives of seals found in and around Iceland. Around Vatnsnes peninsula, you have a unique opportunity to watch both harbour seals and grey seals in their natural habitat. The main watching locations are Svalbarð and at Illugastaðir on the west coast and at Ósar on the east coast. The Icelandic Seal Center at Hvammstangi gives more information about these locations and how to approach the seals with care. It is usually best to see the seals at low tide since seals usually rest ashore during low tide, but feed during high tide. Next you will pass Blönduós town and drive further across Vatnsskarð Pass to the Skagafjörður district. Popular horse riding tours for beginners and experienced riders are available in Skagafjörður. Some of the best White Water Rafting in Iceland is available here too. We recommend a visis to the Glaumbær Folk Museum, open during the summer and the old church at Víðimýri, close to Varmahlíð is also well worth a visit. Hólar is an interesting historical place to visit as well as the town Hofsós with its old buildings and the Emigration Centre

Highlights:
Glaumbær Folk Museum

Optional Extra:
Horse Riding

Driving Distance:
345 kilometers

Overnight:
Skagafjörður area


Day 10. Kjölur Highland Road



Leave Skagafjörður and head south towards the Kjalvegur (Kjölur) highland route. Fill up the tank before you go (Varmahlíð) and take along some food for the day, - there is no filling station and no food available along this route. Drive past the man made Blöndulón Lake, a lake reservoir for Blönduvirkjun Hydro Electrical Power Station and take 35 south across the centre of the highlands between the glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull. On a fine day, - an unforgettable drive of breathtaking magnificence and beauty. The route traveled is an ancient south and north horse trail artery. You will be coming to the colorful geothermal area Hveravellir between the glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull, a picturesque hot spring area at an altitude of 672m. The springs are surrounded by multi colored sinter terraces and display different colors and a variety of forms. There is a mountain hut and a warden station at Hveravellir, open during the summer.
Next to the mountain hut is a small warm water pool, ideal for a dip in the thermal water. Along the uninhabited highland route, there are extensive views of mountains of all sizes and shapes, the two ice fields Langjökull and Hofsjökull, a black desert and to Kerlingarfjöll, a colourful range of rhyolite mountains, their highest peak rising 1477m. There is a short detour on F347 to Kerlingarfjöll. This is a true mountain wilderness of spectacular peaks, canyons and hidden here are strange and colorful thermal areas. Proceed south and past Mt. Bláfell. After that, you will be descending towards the edge of the highland plateau. Come to the waterfall Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfall. Continue a short distance further on 35 to the Great Geysir area. Explore the Geysir hot spring area on foot and see the famous Great Geysir and Strokkur, a geyser that spouts every few minutes. Remember the water temperature is close to boiling, - so be careful. The Geysir Service Centre offers a restaurant, hotel, swimming pool, souvenir shop, snack bar, gas station, horse riding tours, quad bike tours, and more. Continue to the school centre Laugarvatn, where you will find a popular geothermal spa, - Laugarvatn Fontana.

Highlights:
Hveravellir
Kerlingafjöll Mountains
Gullfoss Waterfall

Driving Distance:
210 kilometers

Overnight:
Geysir/Laugarvatn area


Day 11. Geysir Geothermal Area - Þingvellir National Park



Continue across Lyngdalsheiði Heath and head to the National Park Þingvellir, a unique place from a geological point of view. Research has shown that Þingvellir is a natural wonder on an international scale, where evidence of continental drift and the rifting of the earth's crust can clearly be seen. There are few places on the planet, - if any, where evidence of continental drift is as clearly visible as it is at Þingvellir. Þingvellir is also the most historical place in the country and a place of exceptional beauty. After exploring the many sights at Þingvellir, continue to the south and later east along the lakeshore of Lake Þingvallavatn and drive to Nesjavellir, one of the largest geothermal area in Iceland. Numerous boreholes have been drilled at Nesjavellir for natural hot water that is piped from Nesjavellir to Reykjavik, a distance of about 30 km for heating the city. There are many interesting marked hiking trails in the slopes of Mt. Hengill above. Continue your toad trip to Selfoss, the largest town in south Iceland and further to Hella town.

Highlights:
Geysir Geothermal Area
Þingvellir National Park


Driving Distance:
145 kilometers

Overnight:
Hella area


Day 12. Landmannalaugar and Fjallabak Route



Today you will head once again to highlands of Iceland. Drive along Mt Hekla, which is also called “the queen of Icelandic volcanoes”, to the stunning highland oasis – Landmannalaugar. On the way to Landmannalaugar you will visit the scenic Frostastaðavatn and impressive Ljótipollu crater. The breathtaking scenery in Landmannlaugar is a mixture of the colourful Rhyolite mountains, black lava fields, yellow and green moss, and hot springs. One of Iceland’s most famous natural pools is located in Landmannalaugar, ideal for a relaxing bath after hiking and exploring this highland pearl. The area is an absolute paradise for hikers and nature lovers. From Landmannalaugar continue south via Fjallabak route, which is one of the most scenic highland paths in Iceland. On the way, visit Eldgjá Canyon and Ófærufoss Waterfall.

Highlights:
Landmannalaugar
Eldgjá Canyon

Driving Distance:
200 kilometers

Overnight:
Kirkjubæjarklaustur area


Day 13. Kirkjubæjarklaustur Area and Laki Craters



Start your day by exploring the surroundings of Kirkjubæjarklaustur town. Stop by Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon located just west from Kirkjubæjarklaustur and the Kirkjugólfið (the Church Floor), a protected natural monument just east of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Kirkjugólfið's basalt columns have been eroded and shaped by wind and water, but they look man-made. Next head inland to Laki craters. From the main highway, it is about 80 kilometres to Laki on a rugged mountain road. The rewarding scenery at the end of the road makes the bumpy ride worthwhile. There are few wild and rugged natural wonders that equal the beauty of the Laki area. The enormous lava field is now covered with green moss, but the volcanic debris and colourful craters provide the Laki area with a grim, natural beauty. After exploring the lunar-like landscapes, head back to your overnight location in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.

Highlights:
Lakagígar
Kirkjugólf - The Church Floor
Kirkjubæjarklaustur Town

Driving Distance:
185 kilometers

Overnight:
Kirkjubæjarklaustur area


Day 14. Skaftafell National Park - Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon



By the roots of Vatnajökull glacier lays the stunning Skaftafell National Park. This is a fantastic place for short hikes and to enjoy the tranquillity of the national park. Skaftafell contains numerous breathtaking hiking trails including a walk to the elegant Svartifoss Waterfall, which is one of the parks most inspiring treasures. After a visit to Skaftafell National Park, continue along the roots of the glacier to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon where gigantic icebergs the size of houses float around and slowly drift towards the sea. A boat tour on the lagoon amongst the icebergs is available and is highly recommended. Head back to Kirkjubæjarklaustur for an overnight stay.

Highlights:
Skaftafell
Svartifoss Waterfall
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Optional Extra:
The Glacier Lagoon - Amphibian Boat Tour

Driving Distance:
250 kilometers

Overnight:
Kirkjubæjarklaustur area


Day 15. The Scenic South Coast and the Blue Lagoon



Drive towards Reykjavík enjoying the spectacular views of Iceland´s south coast. Visit the charming town of Vík, where you can buy various Icelandic wool products. Just outside Vík you will find the Black beach Reynisfjara with it´s strange rock formations rising from the sea, and Dyrhólaey Nature Reserve where you will find abundance of bird species including the puffin. Make a detour and visit Sólheimajökull glacier tongue, which is a part of the bigger Mýrdalsjökull. Stop at two majestic waterfalls – Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. If you are not afraid of getting wet, you can walk behind Seljalandsfoss falls. Pass towns of Selfoss and Hveragerði and continue to Reykjavík and further to the Blue Lagoon.

Highlights:
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Skógafoss Waterfall
Vík Town
Reynisfjara Beach

Optional Extra:
Glacier Walk
Snowmobiling on Mýrdalsjökull Glacier
LAVA Centre

Driving Distance:
370 kilometers

Overnight:
Reykjavik City


Day 16. Departure



A Flybus transfer from the hotel to Keflavik airport in a comfortable Wi-Fi connected bus.





Accommodation

Comfort Accommodation
Comfort Accommodation


Private rooms with private WC facilities and shower/bath in hotels or well appointed guesthouses.
Breakfast is included.
Double rooms at most Icelandic hotels are twin rooms with two single beds. In most cases the two single beds can be put together to make a double bed. However this varies from one hotel / guesthouse to another.
Triple rooms are in most cases double rooms with an extra bed and therefore floor space may be limited when an extra bed has been added.

Economy Accommodation
Economy Accommodation


Private rooms with shared WC facilities and shower in guesthouses.
Breakfast is included.
Double rooms at most Icelandic hotels are twin rooms with two single beds. In most cases the two single beds can be put together to make a double bed. However this varies from one hotel / guesthouse to another.
Triple rooms are in most cases double rooms with an extra bed and therefore floor space may be limited when an extra bed has been added.

Mixed Accommodation
Mixed Accommodation


Combination of both Economy and Comfort accommodation.
With 50/50 distribution of nights you get the best from both categories, economy and comfort. For tours with odd numbers of nights, the additional night is booked in Comfort accommodation.
Breakfast is included.
Double rooms at most Icelandic hotels are twin rooms with two single beds. In most cases the two single beds can be put together to make a double bed. However this varies from one hotel / guesthouse to another.
Triple rooms are in most cases double rooms with an extra bed and therefore floor space may be limited when an extra bed has been added.

Quality Accommodation
Quality Accommodation


Rooms in the highest quality accommodation available with private shower or bath and WC.
Breakfast is included.
Double rooms at most Icelandic hotels are twin rooms with two single beds.In most cases the two single beds can be put together to make a double bed. However this varies from one hotel / guesthouse to another.
Triple rooms are in most cases double rooms with an extra bed and therefore floor space may be limited when an extra bed has been added.

Rental Cars

13.K - Toyota Landcruiser 4WD or similar - Automatic -

13.K - Toyota Landcruiser 4WD or similar - Automatic -

  • Passengers:5
  • Suitcases:4
  • Doors:5
  • Operation:Automatic

Other Information

This tour can be customized to your specifications and needs, so if you have any special requests, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to help you arrange the perfect Icelandic vacation.

*FAQ*

We are arriving very early. What is the check in time?
Check in time is usually between 14:00 - 16:00 for accommodation in Iceland. The only way to secure an early check in is to book the night before as well. However if a room is ready you should be able to check in early.

Where to eat during the tour?
In the small towns around Iceland you will find restaurants, bakeries and cafes where you can get something to eat. If you are going to the highlands we recommend purchasing something to take with you as there are very limited options for meals in the remote highland areas.

Are there any hidden charges?
There are no hidden charges or fees you should be aware of. Note that fuel and meals other than breakfast are not included.

What type of car is recommended?
For this tour you require a 4x4 vehicle suitable for highland driving. On this tour you will be driving on both paved roads as well as rough highland tracks with river crossings.

Do I need an international driver’s license?
No you do not need an international drivers license but you need a valid driver’s licence, which you will have held for at least two years. Travellers from overseas will need a licence issued in their country of residence along with an English translation (where appropriate). Some form of picture Identity is required, e.g. Passport, ID card etc. A valid credit card is also required.

How far is it between gas stations?
Gas stations can be found in almost all towns around Iceland so running out of gas is not a likely scenario. However before going to the highland areas we recommend filling up the tank as there are no gas stations in the highlands.

Do hotels and guesthouses offer Wi-Fi internet connection?
Most hotels and guesthouses in Iceland do provide free access to Wi-Fi internet. Some hotels and guesthouses do charge a small fee for access to the internet.

How do I book and what is the process?
There are several factors that determine the tour price:
• Time of the year you plan on visiting
• Number of people travelling together
• Type of car Car Info (Only applicable with self drive trips)
• Accommodation type (we offer 2 categories of accommodation or you can choose mixture of both)
• Optional Activities (Various optional activities are available with each trip)

There is a special Price Calculator button with every self-drive tours and private guided tours where you can enter your choice of type of accommodation, car, number of people and your arrival date. The Price Calculator will calculate and display the price according to your specifications. This way you can see how different choices in car and accommodation types affect the price of the package.

Once you are confident about your trip selection proceed to press the book now tab. Here you will fill in the required information and proceed through the booking process.

We require a 15% deposit at the time of booking. Full payment is due 5 weeks prior to arrival.

Once a booking is made an automatic e-mail is sent informing you that the order has been placed and is currently being processed by the IcelandRoadtrip.com team. You will then be contacted with by one of our trusted travel agents with further details.

For more practical information please visit our Travel Guide
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Photos

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