Iceland's Scenic South Coast: Drive & Hike

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.4 Read 10 reviews
  • Explore the dramatic south coast of Iceland by car and on foot.
  • Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, filled with huge icebergs of turquoise hues.
  • Walk through the great rifts of the earth's crust at Thingvellir National Park.
  • The thundering waterfalls of Gulfoss, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss.
  • Getting up close to the mighty Vatnajökull, the largest glacier mass in Europe.
Explore Iceland’s dramatic south coast on an action-packed drive and hike tour starting and finishing in the capital city of Reykjavik. Taking in glaciers, thundering waterfalls, lava fields and hot springs, this tour is a great introduction to the ’Land of Fire and Ice’. Iceland’s quiet, scenic roads are a true pleasure to drive, with plenty of time allocated to getting on those walking boots to see Iceland at its best! Enjoy the charismatic café-culture of Reykjavik, before exploring the Golden Circle trio of Gulfoss waterfall, Geysir geothermal area and Thingvellir National Park. Continue to Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, and then on to the mighty Vatnajokull glacier and Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, before returning to Reykjavik. Read about journalist Fiona's experiences on the South Coast Drive & Hike tour in her blog posts Iceland: Myths, Magic & Magnificence, and 12 Must Sees in Southern Iceland. This tour was also featured in an article in Scotland's Sunday Mail Too Cool for School.
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What To Expect

If you want to experience the best of the popular south coast, but also want to discover a less-travelled, more rugged side to Iceland, this is the trip for you. Both areas are spectacularly beautiful and this trip shows off the vast contrast of landscapes which Iceland is home to. You will drive east from Reykjavik all the way to the East Fjords, and fly back to Reykjavik from there.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Drive & Hike | Enjoy the best of a large region by car and on foot. Day hikes in the best places. Itinerary usually inn to inn, with mapping provided. No bag transfer. Car hire offered as an option or included.

This trip is suitable for:

Families, First Timers, Avid Adventurers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Personal Growth
  • Coastal & Island
  • Special Occasions

Inspiration:

Activity Level & Terrain

We grade this tour as easy-moderate as the suggested walks are all optional. They are between 1—6 hours in length, and up to 500m ascent/descent (most are less than 200m ascent/descent.

Navigation

We provide detailed route notes and maps to allow you to navigate the recommend walks without any problems. Footpaths are not always clearly marked but with the above you should not have any issues navigating. Paths can be slippy and rocky underfoot, so a good pair of walking boots is essential.

Accommodations

3 Night’s accommodation is included in a 3-star city hotel in Reykjavik. 4 Nights are in comfortable, countryside hotels and guesthouses. We have carefully chosen traditional countryside hotels which offer a warm Icelandic welcome, comfortable rooms and fantastic food! They are in spectacular locations and generally have great views of the surrounding countryside.

Alternative Accommodation

The hotels we normally use are detailed below but subject to availability we may accommodate you in alternative hotels/guesthouses of a similar standard.

Meals

7 breakfasts are included. You can pick up lunches during the day from many cafes or shops. All of the countryside hotels have a restaurant where you can have dinner as there are not usually many other options for places to eat nearby. Food is generally of a very high standard, and local specialities include Hangikjöt (a delicious smoked lamb dish), Saltifiskur (salted fish) and the delicious Arctic Char. For the more adventurous, there is also Hákarl (cured shark commonly accompanied by schnapps), only for the very brave!

Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

Single rooms are available on this trip and a supplement will apply. It is also available to solo travellers but prices are on a request basis.

Included
  • 3 Nights at a 3* Hotel in Reykjavik
  • 4 Nights in countryside hotels and guesthouses
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 5 Days Group B car hire (from Day 2 to Day 6)
  • Return transfers betweeen Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik accommodation
  • Road Map
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • Route notes, maps and driving instructions
  • 24/7 support from our local partners and UK office
Excluded
  • Travel to and from Iceland
  • Lunches and evening meals
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Fuel and oil
  • Personal equipment
  • Mountain rescue
  • Optional activities
  • Travel Insurance
Extras
  • Additional nights before, during or after the tour
  • Glacier Hike
  • Car Hire Upgrades

When To Go

You can start this tour on any day of the week between the beginning of May and end of October. From June through to August is the most popular and best time to travel to Iceland due to the long hours of sunlight and the fact that the weather is at it’s driest and warmest then. This is also the best time for wild flowers. During this time,  the main tourist sights such as the most popular waterfalls will get quite busy but you shouldn’t notice it too much whilst on the walks or driving.

If you prefer a quieter experience, then we would recommend either May or September. The weather isn’t quite as reliable then but it is quieter, and the price also comes down during those months.

The accommodation in Iceland fills up extremely quickly for the summer months between June and August. For this reason, your accommodation may change according to availability and your itinerary may be adapted so that we can secure accommodation. It may also take up to 2 weeks to confirm your booking but we will try to confirm as quickly as possible for you.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo travellers but a supplement is applicable and is on request. Single rooms are also available on request and again a supplement will apply.

Getting to the Start

Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital city and located in the south west of the country.

Air - Fly into Keflavik International Airport, which is served by numerous airlines from UK, European and International destinations. Keflavik is just a 3 hour flight from the UK and just a 5 hour flight from Boston, with Icelandair and Wowair offering many direct flights from various US airports.

An included transfer will collect you from Keflavik Airport and take you to your hotel in Reykjavik, and you will also be collected and transferred back to Keflavik at the end of your holiday.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, (for example, proper rain gear jacket and pants, sun hat, sunscreen). Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes or the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.

Car Hire

We include Group B Car Hire from the morning of Day 2 up to the afternoon of Day 6. Group B Car Hire would be based on a Volkswagen Golf or similar and is suitable for 2-3 people with luggage. For parties of 4, we will automatically include an upgrade to a CAT N Car Hire (similar to a Skoda Octavia) and this is already included in the cost. For parties of 5-8 people, we will provide 2x CAT B for 5-6 people, and 2x CAT N for 7-8 people. If you choose, you can also upgrade to a CAT FG Car Hire which is similar to a Suzuki Grand Vitara 4WD.  Select this option when making your booking. Car hire includes unlimited mileage, VAT, CDW insurance, 1 additional driver, Pick up and Drop off fees. No insurance in Iceland covers the underside of vehichles and excesses can be expensive. For this reason we suggest you take out an excess reimbursement policy in advance of your arrival, or upgrade your insurance locally. Fuel and oil are not included in the rental of your vehicle.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Reykjavik Day 2 Golden Circle—Thingvellir, Gulfoss and Geysir Day 3 Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss Waterfalls Day 4 Skaftafell National Park Day 5 Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon Day 6 Hveragerdi, Drive to Reykjavik Day 7 Free Day in Reykjavik Day 8 Onward Travel

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