Has anyone done any of the self-drive tours that are available? Were you happy with how it was planned for you, hotels provided, driving time between stops? We'd love to go to Iceland, but many of the tours are pretty pricey. We thought that the self-drive options looked attractive.
It is very easy to self drive and plan it all yourself. We did that for 12 days last summer, and are in the midst of planning for next summer for 16 days. We have been two other times, but not big road trips like these two.
I agree with the above post. Check booking.com for accommodations. Last September we stayed at a combination of hotels, guest houses, and apartments/cabins during our 12 night "Ring Road and more" trip. I checked out Lonely Planet and DK Eyewitness guide books from the local library to complement my RS book. We used Blue Car Rental and were happy with the rental process and the car. Try planning the trip on your own...you can always come back here with questions!
We had heard a couple of years ago that accommodation was at a premium throughout Iceland, and very difficult to find, hence looking at the self drive tours that had an itinerary and hotel bookings at part of the package. Now this information is from a few years ago, so things may have changed. We have a Lonely Planet book, but haven't acquired RS's book yet. Thanks for the info.
Iceland is a small country and there aren't a lot of accommodations, especially when you get outside of Reykjavik and Akureyri. However, I agree with everyone else that if you plan well in advance you shouldn't have any trouble finding lodging. We used a combination of AirBnb and Booking.com to find most of ours. Plus, there are many scattered guesthouses and farmstays that show up if you go to Google Maps and zoom in on an area.
And with all of the resources on the internet, including this site and TripAdvisor Iceland forum plus numerous blogs, it's easy to plan your own self drive. We also used a couple of guide books including Lonely Planet.
I agree with the Blue Car Rental recommendation. We used them for our ring road trip as well as last February. They are great to work with and don't play games like some of the other agencies do.
We booked our lodging through booking.com as well as a couple that we knew we wanted to stay at so booked directly through them. Those were Vogafjos Farm in Myvatn and Northern Light Inn in Grindavik. I have read great things about bungalo.com for Iceland, but have not used it myself yet.
Iceland With A View is an excellent source for Iceland planning. She has ebooks, an online planning course, and her you tube channel and this source is actually what we used the most for our planning. For actual books, we really liked the Lonely Planet Iceland book. Which, Jeannie from Iceland With A View has partnered with them, FWIW.
We are in the process of planning a self drive tour in Iceland, but using NordicVisitor.com for the convenience it provides. Our planned 2020 trip to Iceland and Norway was cacelled due to pandemic and we were very pleased with the customer service we received from this company. It probably would not be difficult to plan everything on your own, but if you go during the height of the travel season, (July-August) i understand accomodations get booked quickly.
We just returned from Iceland that we planned on our own for 12 days. We used Blue Car rental and they were great. We primarily stayed around the southern section & Reykjavik as we wanted to go on hikes around the volcano eruptions from 2021 & 2022 to the Skaftafell National Park in the southeast. . I would highly recommend Gundi Kristinsson (contact email@example.com, www.2goiceland.com) as he led us on a private tour at our own pace to see the volcanos. I'm so glad that he was with us. He is very knowledgeable, brought new hiking poles for us to use and answers any questions about the volcanos and other questions. We met him in Grindavik since we were in the area which is close to the volcanos.
He also is listed under Trip Advisor...Amazing Tour Private Hike to Fadradalsfjall Volcano at your own pace.
He plans other trips (like the Golden Circle) and his tour was one of the highlights of this visit.
We are planning a trip to Iceland March 21-29, 8 adults and a4 year old. Trying to decide rent 2 cars and self drive part of the south coast or do tours out of Reykjavik. What are the roads usually like at this time of year. Thinking of staying in Reykjavik 4 nights,- doing golden circle, vik area 2 to 3 nights, driving to the ice caves and by the airport 1 night. Would we be ok driving these areas? Any advise would be appreciated
Heic, March is still winter in Iceland. Very good chance that your trip will be affected by snow, ice, and high winds. Any of the roads that you mentioned could be closed or restricted due to weather. I suggest that you read about driving in winter on the TripAdvisor Travel forum.
We have driven there in February as wells late October/early November, so in winter. Weather can be anything. We have had both, as the Feb trip was back to back storms except one glorious day, and then Oct/Nov we had fantastic weather. So you really need to have flexibility and have plans A, B and even C. You also need to really assess your winter driving and whether you know what you are doing and how comfortable you are. You also need to keep an eye on road and weather conditions, multiple times per day.
One thing that stands out to me is you mention Ice Caves and a young child. Definitely look at any age requirements for that.
If this were my trip, I would be renting a car and then if roads/weather are not good, then do a tour. But honestly if conditions are bad, then the tour companies cancel anyway. We had that happen in February.
We got a rental and drove around the Ring Road for about 2 weeks. It's really easy to plan yourself. We traveled in September and it was just stunningly beautiful even though it did rain nearly every day. I would not want to drive in winter and we live in a cold climate here in the US.
Hi everyone, would anyone mind sharing their driving itinerary? We are planning 13 days this summer, I have Rick Steves book so probably should just follow his recommended itinerary. What do you think about his suggested itinerary? Would you do anything different?
Thank you for any help
Maja--Overall his ring road trip route is good, except he leaves off the Snaefellsness Peninsula. I would not skip that. Our RR trip was 12 days and we included that and then did the rest of the route he has mapped out. The places we stayed were dependent upon our activities. Figure out just want you want to do (quick stops as well as excursions etc) and then plan your stays based on that. For instance, when we did the Glacier Lagoon zodiac boat tour, we knew we were going first thing I the morning so we stayed nearby the night before. It is easier to plan this way for Iceland.
In other countries I pick towns to stay in and then figure out what we will do, but in Iceland reversing the planning process works much better.
This is very helpful, thank you!
Yes, we used Nordic Green Travel last March. March is still winter and weather is extremely unpredictable. Cannot say enough good things about the expertise, customization and peace of mind this gave us. We were in country for 5 full days and many plans were adjusted because of weather. Communication was as prompt as you desire it. We felt watched out for yet loved the freedom that having our own car, Blue Car Rental, gave us to alter our itinerary. They also plant much needed trees as part of using their services.