The Ultimate Iceland Road Trip

The Ultimate Iceland Road Trip

Explore Iceland in a 4x4 campervan from famous geysirs, waterfalls and National Parks to lesser known rhyolite massifs, lunar calderas and lava fields... This ultimate active road trip begins with the Golden Circle and Þingvellir UNESCO World Heritage Site, then you head to the lesser known ochre geothermal world of Kerlingarfjöll. From here, you continue north to the whale watching capital of Europe and the oldest settlement in Iceland, Húsavík. The North of Iceland has many secrets to reveal, lunar calderas, lava fields and thermal baths are waiting to be explored. Next, you journey south through the desert to the black sand beaches, icebergs filled lakes and characteristic National Parks of the south... Discover the freedom which comes with campervan travel and visit the best of Iceland - an iconic Icelandic adventure.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Arrival Keflavik

    Welcome to Iceland! Enjoy an evening at leisure to relax, explore and prepare for your road trip.

    Accommodation: Guesthouse in Keflavik

  • Day 2 The Golden Circle

    The Golden Circle Collect your campervan this morning and discover the famous Golden Circle. This includes the beautiful Þingvellir UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Mid-Atlantic fault and meeting place of the world’s oldest Parliament; Gullfoss waterfall (‘Golden Waterfall’), a gigantic two-tiered waterfall with impressive basalt columns and the restless geothermal area of Geysir and the extraordinary Strokkur Geyser. Take the 35 Kjölur road northwards to Kerlingarfjöll.

    150 miles

  • Day 3 Kerlingarfjöll

    Kerlingarfjöll Go hiking in the rhyolite massif of Kerlingarfjöll. Discover a magical geothermal world of hot rivers, steaming solfatares and bubbling fumerolles where bright orange hills contrast dramatically with enormous white glaciers... Very few tourists take time to visit this locally renowned destination - a truly wild Icelandic gem.

  • Day 4 Húsavík and the North Coast

    Húsavík and the North Coast The traditional fishing town of Húsavík is the Northernmost point of this adventure, it is the oldest settlement in Iceland and it is known as the whale watching capital of Europe! Take a boat trip to see these magnificent mammals, visit the iconic church and explore local museums...

    200 miles

  • Day 5 Husavik - Asbyrgi - Dettifoss - Grimstadir

    Husavik - Asbyrgi - Dettifoss - Grimstadir Discover the unique horse shoe shaped canyon of Asbyrgi and journey to Grimstadir. Stop en route to explore Jökulsargljufur National Park, home to the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss falls. Here, you can go hiking along the beautiful gorge of basalt columns accompanied by the roar of the mighty falls.

    75 miles

  • Day 6 Grimstadir - Askja - Myvatn

    Grimstadir - Askja - Myvatn Askja is one of Icelands most isolated and spectacular landscapes, a truly remote destination so ‘out of this world’ that it is where the first people to walk on the moon trained alongst the Dyngjuljöll mountains. You can explore the largest caldera in Iceland, it last erupted in 1961 and left behind an impressive lava field, 5 characteristic craters and a beautiful small island in the middle of the lake...
    The track to Askja can be quite long and tiring. For a more relaxing day we suggest a hike to Krafla volcano with its impressive lava fields and formations - Krafla erupted 9 times between 1975 and 1984! Overnight in volcanic area of the beautiful Lake Mývatn.

    150 miles

  • Day 7 Mývatn

    Mývatn Explore the active volcanic area of Lake Mývatn. Discover the views from on top of the impressive Hverfjall crater and visit the famous lava formations of Dimmuborgir. Explore Storagja fault, visit the pseudo-craters of Skutustadargigar and relax in the stunning Mývatn Nature Baths.

  • Day 8 Mývatn - Landmannlaugar

    Mývatn - Landmannlaugar Journey through the desert of Sprengisandur to the colourful area of Lanmannalaugar. Drive along the Sprengisandur track which follows the ancient pass through the highland desert: a mythical area of grey stone and black sand as far as the eye can see. Your route passes between the two enormous glaciers Vatnajökull and Hofsjökull.

    200 miles

  • Day 9 Landmannalaugar

    Landmannalaugar Take time to explore this extraordinary area of rhyolite mountains and volcanoes. Follow winding trails and discover the volcanic massif Torfajökull, the valley of the Storihver hot springs and Brennisteinsalda Mountain, the most colourful volcano in Iceland. You can explore the vast Laugahraun lava fields and you can even climb to the top of Blahnukur for an exceptional panorama view. You can finish the day by swimming or relaxing in a warm river near to our camping spot.

  • Day 10 Kirkjubaejarklaustur / Skaftafell

    Kirkjubaejarklaustur / Skaftafell Go hiking in the National Park at the foot of the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull. There are lots of stunning trails here as well as the highest peak in the country Hvannadalshnukur (2119m) a summit with simply breathtaking views.

    50 miles

  • Day 11 Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón

    Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon is a truly magical place where strangely-shaped blocks of floating ice drift from Breidarmerkurjökull glacier towards the sea. Nearby you can find black sand beaches scattered with mini icebergs which glisten like diamonds in the sun... You can take a boat trip here through the ice filled waters where seals frequent.

    75 miles

  • Day 12 The road to Skógar

    The road to Skógar Explore the iconic black sand beaches of Reynisfjara - rated in the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world! With dramatic North Atlantic Ocean waves, black sands, impressive basalt columns, a huge cave, interesting folklore history plus the chance of puffin sightings this is a destination not to be missed. (This area has featured in many films and TV shows including Star Wars Rogue One, Star Trek Into Darkness and Game of Thrones) Arrival in Skaftafell National Park this afternoon.

    85 miles

  • Day 13 Skógar - Reykjavik

    Skógar - Reykjavik Enjoy an evening in the vibrant capital city of Reykjavik, on the way why not visit the iconic Skógar and great Skógafoss waterfalls? There is also an interesting folk museum at Skogar with ancient peat-roofed houses...

    100 miles
    Accommodation: Guesthouse in Reykjavik
    NB Night in Keflavik possible depending on your flights

  • Day 14 Farewell Iceland

    Return your vehicle and onwards travel.

The details in this indicative programme are updated regularly but imponderables and unpredictable circumstances may result in inaccuracies. In order to provide the adventure which is best suited to your demands, the weather and the operational conditions, changes to the programme may be made. For safety reasons, we reserve the rights to interrupt your participation in this programme at any time if your technical level or fitness are deemed unsuitable or if you are seen as a danger to yourself or to those around you. This will in no case give rise to refunds or compensation.

Other trips you may like

Family hiking in Landmannalauger 
 Highlands and Highlights of Iceland How would you like to go whale-watching, explore lava fields and discover enormous waterfalls? Bathe in nature baths and warm rivers, go hiking in the famous multi-coloured mountains of Landmannalaugar and discover Reykjaviks iconic landmarks and museums - this trip has it all!

Period & budget

When to travel?

The best period for travelling is during the following months:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Price

From 2784 EUR for 2 travellers

The budget is an indication of the price per person, subject to availability. Your local agent will send you a customized quote with the exact price. The price can vary according to availability, level of services, period of travel, number of participants, booking time frame and other items.

Included

  • 4x4 camper van vehicle hire
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) Insurance (self-risk: 2800 €)
  • Your Road Book: A complete itinerary and travel guide with maps and recommendations
  • 24/7 telephone assistance

Your campervan includes:
  • Sleeping space for 2-3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children, 2 beds
  • A sink with faucet
  • Freshwater 40 L tank
  • Refrigerator, gas/battery powered220v
  • City electrical connection
  • Gas-stove
  • Gas Heater
  • Cooking utensils
  • Linen including bed sheets, towels, blankets, dish-clothes
  • Kitchenware including washing-up tools, dinner-set, pan, pots, a kettle, a thermos and coffee making facilities

Not included

  • International flights
  • Registration fee: €18 (free for under 12s)
  • Meals

Additional Campervan Hire Options
  • Super CDW: 20 € with self risk limit from €800
You can purchase the following accessories for your campervan. Prices per rental:
  • Tents: €50
  • Camping chairs: €20
  • Camping tables:  €20
  • Porta potty toilet: €50
  • Baby chairs, booster seats: €30
  • GPS navigation system: €50
  • Tow rope: €5
  • BBQ Grill: €50

Additional Activities
Please let us know if you would like to reserve any of the following optional activities:
  • A one hour boat trip among glaciers in Jokulsarlön lagoon: from €70 (discounts for children)
  • Mývatn Nature Bath: From €20
  • Museums in Húsavík: From €9
  • Whale-watching and or puffin watching boat trip from Húsavík: prices vary, from €80

Notes

You will need a valid driver's license, issued for at least 12 months before the rental date. Minimum driver age: 20

Please also note that campervan rental is priced per calander day rather than per hour so depending on your flight times, alternative accommodation like guesthouse accommodation in Reykjavik at the beginning and or end of your trip may be less expensive.

Terms and conditions

Please see our terms and conditions and information for insurances by clicking the following link: iceland.altaibasecamp.com/en/terms

Practical info

Staff

Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of knowledge our professional Icelandic team know the country inside out. You can call us 24/7 during your trip - we are here to ensure you have the best holiday.

Food

Breakfast is provided when staying in guesthouse accommodation. Your campervan is equiped with cooking equipment and gas. Lots of recommendations of where to eat out and where to purchase food can be found in your Road Book.

Typical Icelandic Cuisine
A wide variety of foods from around the world are available in Iceland. Lamb and fish dishes are widely eaten; popular local foods include skyr (protein rich yogurt), rúgbrauð (rye bread) and preserved foods: Pickled, dried or smoked. Brennivín (a spirit) is considered the national distilled drink.

Accommodation

Discover Iceland by 4x4 campervan - our detailed roadbook includes all the best possible camping spots for nights in your 4x4 campervan. You can hire tents as an additional option if you wish.

Your first and last nights will be spent in guesthouse accommodation with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities, hot showers and heating.

Transportation

Iceland has a fabulous network of scenic roads which connect its most amazing destinations. Some 'roads' are however more like 'tracks' and fjord crossings are not uncommon - a 4x4 vehicle is necessary for this route.

In general you can expect to find petrol stations, shops and accommodation options around every 70 miles. Fuel is not included in the car rental rates but prices in Iceland are fair.

Budget & exchange

The currency in Iceland is Icelandic Krona (ISK). Please budget for:
  • Meals, drinks & personal expenses
  • Museum entry fees and additional activities
  • Fuel & additional insurance options/car accessories

Tips

Although the custom is not widespread here, if you are satisfied with the services of your local team, tipping is always appreciated - it is not obligatory and should be left to the discretion of each individual.

Supplied equipment

A detailed Road Book with maps, information and recommendations.

Your campervan includes:
Linen: towels (two sizes), tea towel, Duvet or sleeping bags, pillows, blankets.
Kitchenware: pots, pans, plates, glasses, cups, kettle, knives, forks, spoons, ladles, can opener, bottle opener, simple coffee maker, cheese grater, lighter.
Liquid soap, washing up liquid, new kitchen brush, sponge, rags, dust brush.
Propane gas 9 kilos. Cleaning, Inverter (12V to 230V).

Vital equipment

  • A warm sleeping bag
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket (with a hood)
  • Waterproof trousers
  • A warm jumper or two
  • Suitable underwear, t-shirts and walking trousers
  • Thermals - top & long johns
  • A swimsuit
  • Warm gloves and hat (even in the summer - evenings can be chilly)
  • Sunhat and sun cream
  • Sunglasses (UV 400)
  • Any personal medication
  • Towel & toiletries
  • A water bottle
  • A small rucksack to use as a day bag
  • Warm pyjamas
  • Head torch & spare batteries (although it is nearly always light in the summer months)

Material

We prefer that you do not wear cotton clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and it does not dry fast. The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool. The most powerful materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or Nikwax.

Our advice for keeping warm:
Winter in Iceland can be very cold, please think carefully about what clothes you bring, although we will provide warm outer layers, the layers you wear next to your skin make the biggest difference.
We recommend: No cottonBring dry spares of everything, even underwear and gloves
Wear multiple layers including:
  1. warm breathable base layer
  2. second thermal layer
  3. Wind and waterproof protective out layer

Helpful equipment

You may also consider packing
  • Your camera
  • Binoculars
  • A notepad and pencil
  • A thermos flask
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing
  • A comfortable evening outfit
  • Walking poles
  • Inflatable pillow
  • Insect repellant

Luggage

Please bring a small rucksack to use as a day bag. You can bring this as hand luggage on the aeroplane. You will carry your lunch, water, spare layers and any personal medication with you each day in this bag. You will also need a larger bag to store your other clothes and belongings in, please ensure that this is a soft bag like a rucksack or holdall rather than a hard cased suitcase because it is more practical to transport. We recommend packing all of your clothes in plastic bags so that they stay dry in the event of wet weather.

Medicine

Your companion has a first-aid kit during the tour. However, we recommend that you bring your medications:
  • Personal medication
  • Anti pain medication Paracetamol
  • Diarrhoea drugs
  • Intestinal dressing
  • Sun screen with strong protection for the lips and the skin
  • Eye drops for the eyes
  • Moisturizing cream for the treatment of superficial burns (blisters and sunburns)
  • An adhesive elastic band
  • a box of adhesive plasters and disinfectant compresses
  • Double skin for blisters

Passport

Most travellers require a passport that is valid for at least three months after the return date. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific passport requirements and please be aware that proof of onwards travel may be required. You can check your requierements by clicking the following link provided by the Icelandic government: www.utl.is/index.php/en/

Visa

EU citizen do not need a visa as Iceland is part of the Schengen cooperation.
Travellers of other nationalities please check the following link of the Icleandic government to check: www.utl.is/index.php/en/visas

Mandatory vaccines

There are no specific health risks.

Weather

Contrary to the name 'Ice-land' the weather in Iceland is relatively mild considering its location. In summer the average temperature is 10-13°C (50-55 °F) but warm summer days can reach 20-25°C

From June to September it is nearly always light with the return of night and the first Northern Lights appearances towards the end of August.

Electricity

Iceland uses Northern European electrical standards (50Hz/220 volts)  and the standard Europlug socket with two round prongs.
Please be aware that some remote campsites and refuges charge for electricity use.

Local time

Iceland uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) like the United Kingdom but does not observe daylight-saving time in the summer

Topography

Area: 39,768.5 m²
Population: 334,252 inhabitants (2016)
Capital: Reykjavik
Languages: Icelandic (English is widely spoken)
Regime: Parliamentary Republic

Iceland is 20 million years old and is a volcanic island with around one eruption every 5 years. 11% of the island is covered with ice, 1% of the land is cultivated, 20% is grassland, 2% is lake, 40% is sand and the rest is desert.

Sustainable tourism

 As adventure and wilderness travel experts who run trips to some of the most remote parts of the world, we take responsible tourism very seriously. We respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethical code and try to explore this beautiful location whilst causing minimal environmental damage.

The Leave No Trace policy can be summarized in 7 simple steps which we hope you will follow during ourtrip...

1.    Be prepared
2.    Stick to trails and camp overnight right
3.    Stash your trash and pick up waste
4.    Leave it as you find it
5.    Be careful with fire
6.    Respect wildlife
7.    Be considerate of other visitors

Over the years we have built up good relations with our local suppliers and we are keen to support local businesses as much as possible. We are a small company and we pay our local partners and suppliers directly insuring fair rates. 

Our small group sizes not only provide a more intimate adventure but also cause less impact on the environment and local communities.

We expect all who travel with us to support and uphold our Sustainable Tourism philosophies.


If you have any questions regarding how to be a responsible traveller or concerning any other subject, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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Isabelle

My local agent
Isabelle

  • Outdoor activities enthusiast
  • Adventure travel expert
  • Graduated with a UK First Class Honours Degree in Outdoor Leadership
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Region
Northern Iceland Reykjavík & Reykjanes South Iceland The Highlands
Activity
Hiking Self-Drive Summer
Duration
14 days
Code
EISLL4WD
Price
From €2,784
Level
2/5
Comfort
2/5

Strengths

  • A 4x4 campervan road trip - the best way to see Iceland
  • Go hiking in rhyolite massifs, though lava fields and in National Parks
  • Black sand beaches, icebergs and volcanoes...
  • Your detailed Altai Road Book includes a travel guide, maps and recommendations

Required level

This trip includes long days of hiking a driving.
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