The Most Awesome Self-Drive Road Trips in Iceland

With its amazing landscapes and incredible natural wonders Iceland really lends itself to a road trip. In fact cruising through the island’s wide-open spaces is one of the best ways to experience the country. You’ll get that real sense of excitement that comes with planning your own adventures. Having the freedom to set off when you like and take any number of detours along the way. With your own vehicle you can always stay an extra day or two if you fall in love with a place. Hiring a motorhome gives you even more freedom. With a camper van or motorhome you’ll have everything that you need with you. There will be no hotels to book and no restaurants to track down. If you need a snack or a snooze you simply find a place to park up.

Smiling young couple stand at back doors of a cute camper with fairy lights. View from inside. Self-drive road trips in Iceland.

One of the wonderful things about driving in Iceland is that the roads are pretty quiet. Iceland has a famously small population so there just aren’t that many cars on the road. It is also a relatively compact country. You don’t have to drive too far to see sight after amazing sight. So you get to cruise some beautiful roads but don’t need to spend too long cooped up in the camper either. In this guide to Iceland we take you through the country’s top self-drive road trips. Some of these road trips can be combined to create longer itineraries depending on how long you have to explore Iceland.

The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle route is the classic South Iceland sightseeing tour. Many companies offer one-day guided tour packages around the Golden Circle. Buses head out from Reykjavik and cover all three sights in one long day. However you could easily make this a leisurely 2-4 day self drive tour. There is so much to see and do along the way and there are some lovely campsites to park up at. You’ll be able to take your time, go hiking and sleep out in nature.

The must-see sights are the Þingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss Waterfall and the Geysir Geothermal Area. These three diverse and fascinating natural wonders are essential on any trip to Iceland. This road trip can be undertaken year round. The Golden Circle’s proximity to Reykjavik means that even in winter the roads should usually be open and passable. As always the best time of year for sightseeing in Iceland is during the summer or the months either side of it. The midnight sun shines into the night from June to August giving plenty of daylight hours. The weather is also milder and less likely to hinder your adventuring with a storm.

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Just a two-hour drive northwest from Reykjavik you will find the lovely Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Most of the western portion of the peninsular is a designated national park of the same name. This is one of the three national parks in Iceland. It is a beautifully compact area to explore if you are short on time. This part of the country has been dubbed Iceland in miniature. There is such a diverse collection of sights in a relatively small area. Within its borders are mountains, waterfalls and a stunning volcanic coastline with cave networks and fascinating rock formations.