Self-drive adventure to the highlights of the highland areas

Rent a 4WD to travel off the beaten paths, start by crossing Kjölur and visit the highlands of the north

The Highlands Adventure

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In the highlands of Iceland

Tour ID: ID76

Tour Duration: 11 days / 10 nights

Highlands great adventure tourVisit the northern highlands and enjoy the experience of driving off the beaten track, testing your driver's skills as you navigate across unbridged rivers, travel through desert land of the  highlands and lava fields. Fascinating panoramic views of glaciers, lakes, volcanic mountains, waterfalls and natural hot pools in the geothermal areas of the interior.


  • The Gesyir
  • Kjölur highland road
  • Hveravellir and Laugafell geothermal areas with natural pools
  • Sprengisandur highland road
  • Views of glaciers Hofsjökull, Langjökull and Vatnajökull
  • Aldeyjarfoss waterfall
  • Lake Mżvatn area
  • Heršubreišarlindir, an oasis in Ódįšahraun
  • Askja caldera and Vķti crater
  • Mt. Snęfell
  • Hengifoss waterfall
  • Jökulsįrgljśfur national park with Dettifoss and Įsbyrgi

Departures: July, August 2018

Prices include:
- 9 days car rental: unlimited mileage, CDW, "Thef Waiver" PAI and tax; pick up in Reykjavķk, drop off at Akureyri airport
- Road map
- 7 nights hotel/guesthouse accommodation in double or twin rooms including breakfast
- 3 nights in mountain huts, sleeping bag accommodation, self-catering 
- Flybus transfer Keflavķk airport-Reykjavķk-Keflavik airport
- Flight Akureyri – Reykjavķk with airport taxes
- Taxi transfer Reykjavik airport - hotel in Reykjavik
- Detailed itinerary
- Reference guide about Iceland
- Service and VAT

A) With accommodation in rooms with private facilities:

Car type group Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK
  with 2 pax with 4 pax with 6 pax with 8 pax
FG / DFNN 345.900 257.000    
G / DFAN 356.500 262.200    
I / FFBD 448.500 308.300    
R / LFBD 488.100 328.000    
J / SVNQ *   328.500 275.000 240.900 *
K / PFNQ   341.500 283.700  

B) With accommodation in rooms without private facilities:

Car type group Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK
  with 2 pax with 4 pax with 6 pax with 8 pax
FG / DFNN 330.300 241.300    
G / DFAN 340.800 246.600    
I / FFBD 432.800 292.600    
R / LFBD 472.300 312.400    
J / SVNQ   312.800 259.300 240.900
K / PFNQ   325.800 268.000  


Car type groups  (suitable for highland roads) :
J /SVNQ * : TOYOTA HIACE 9 SEATER 4WD BUS (* when rented with 8 pax, the price includes trailer for luggage!)

Discounts may apply for self-drive packages after 20 August.

The itinerary will include following sights of interests:

Day 1: Keflavķk - Reykjavķk:
Arriving at Keflavķk international airport. Flybus transfer to your accommodation in Reykjavķk. Overnight in Reykjavķk.  
Day 2: (ca. 390 km)    
Rental car delivered at hotel in the morning and drive southeast out of the city.  * Geysir area where hot springs are in abundance, one of them, Strokkur, is spouting regularly every few minutes; * the Gullfoss or “the Golden Waterfall”  which cascades down into the deep gorge of Hvķtį glacial river; * Kjölur highland route; * views of Langjökull glacier and the glacial lagoon of Hvķtįrvatn which is the source of Hvķtį river; * views of Kerlingarfjöll mountains and Hofsjökull glacier; * Hveravellir hot spring area  with a possibility of bathing in the natural goethermal pool which is cooled down by the fresh water; * possibility for a hike on the trail of the outlaws who have been hiding out in this area; * Blöndulón and other artificial lakes of Blanda river; * Varmahlķš

Day 3:  (ca. 110 – 160 km)
Chance to visit the town of Saušįrkrókur and Glaumbęr museum (well preserved turf houses from mid-19th century);  * A short ride on Icelandic horses is also one of the possibilities; * the Višimżri turf church - the oldest of its kind and one of the few that are still preserved and in use; * highland road to Laugafell geothermal area: drive through a furtile farming land in the valley following the course of the glacial river before the landscape turns to a rocky desert of the highlands with sparse Arctic vegetation; * overnight stay in a mountain hut at Laugafell; * chance for a dip in the natural geothermal pool - a perfect way to end the day in the highlands.
Day 4: Laugafell – Mżvatn (ca. 290 km)
Drive from Laugafell oasis through the Sprengisandur highland desert with a view of Hofsjökull glacier towards southwest, while to the southeast there are the Tungnafellsjökull and Dyngjujökull glacier, the latter being part of Vatnajökull - Europe’s largest glacier; * Aldeyjarfoss and Hrafnabjargafoss waterfalls on Skjįlfandafljót river; * Bįršardalur valley with its reen fields and pastures while the hillsides covered by birch forest; * The day end in Lake Mżvatn area where you will stay for 2 nights.

Day 5:  Lake Mżvatn area
A chance for a relaxing day with little driving, yet there are many sights to be seen in the fantastic nature of Lake Mżvatn area:  * scenic views of the lake * chance to observe the thousands of birds that inhabit the area during summer months; * volcanic craters and mountains of various kinds, such as Mt. Hverfjall; * lava fields and formations; * the lava maze of Dimmuborgir; * pseudocraters; * solfatara field with boiling mud pits and steam vents; * Various hiking trails offer unlimited possibilities for experienced hikers as well as those who just want to take a shorter relaxing walk in beautiful surroundings; * Nature Baths geothermal lagoon.
An optional lava cave tour is also a possibility while staying in the area (check out tour IN09 - 

Day 6:  (ca. 170 km)
Time to leave the area of Lake Mżvatn and head for the volcanic region of the Askja caldera in the northern highlands; * drive through the sand desert, winding your way across the Ódįšahraun lava fields; * crossing unbridged rivers;  *  the green oasis of Heršubreišalindir over which towers the Mt Heršubreiš, often referred to as the queen of the Icelandic mountains; * the lunar landscapes; * Dyngjufjöll mountains and the Askja caldera; * Hike to Lake Öskjuvatn and the crater Viti, filled with warm water (If you decide to take a dip in the lake it will require descending down a rather steep slope from the rim of the crater); * overnight stay in a moutain hut near Askja in sleeping bag accommodation.  

Day 7:  (ca.180 km)
Chance to drive to the Holuhraun lava field formed in the latest volcanic eruption (2014-15); * Kreppa glacial river; * views of the Vatnajökull glacier; * the Lake of Hįlslón which flooded large portion of the land around Jökla river as the dam for the Kįrahnjśkar power station was built. The view over the gorge below the dam is breathtaking; Mt Snęfell; *
Overnight stay in a mountain hut

Day 8:  (ca. 100 km)
Time to descend from the highlands by the steep and winding road towards Fljótsdalur valley;  * Lake Lagarfljót;  * the Hengifoss waterfall which drops down from the top of the Fljótdaslehiši moutain plateau; * chance for a short hike along the stream up to the waterfall; *  Hallormsstašur - the largest Icelandic forest; * Egilsstašir.

Day 9:  (ca. 260 km)
Drive through the green valley of Jökuldalur with numerous waterfalls dropping down from the hilltops; the desert area of Möšrudalsöręfi  and the most remote farm at Möšrudalur; * the National park of Jökulsįrfljśfur; * Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall, which is over 100m wide and plunges 44 metres deep down into the gorge of Jökulsįrgljśfur; * Įsbyrgi, a horse-shoe shaped canyon with lush vegetation; * coastal road around the Tjörnes peninsula; * the delightful fishing town of Hśsavķk. Apart from the famous whale museum there is one of the finest wooden churches in the country just above the harbour.
Day 10:  (ca.100 km + domestic flight)
A chance for an optional 3-hour whale watching boat tour from Hśsavķk; * Gošafoss waterfall; * Lake Ljósavatn; * Fnjóskadalur valley; * Eyjafjöršur, the longest fjord in Iceland; * the town of Akureyri which is often referred to as the capital of the north: it is an important cultural, educational and administrative centre. It is worth taking the time to explore this charming town with its old wooden houses, northernmost botanical garden, beautiful church, several interesting museums and cosy cafés.
Late afternoon or early evening drop off the rental car at Akureyri airport and flight back Reykjavķk.
Day 11: Reykjavķk- Keflavķk:
Flybus transfer from Reykjavķk to Keflavķk international airport in time for your flight home. If your flight is in the afternoon the flybus transfer can be changed (against surcharge) for a tour to the Blue Lagoon which ends at Keflavik airport.

We can also arrange tailor-made itinerary according to your preferences and interests. Additional activities we can be added to the programme, e.g. horseback riding, sea-kayaking, river rafting, whale watching, glacial hike, etc.

Note: The itinerary depends or road conditions. For information about opening times of different highland roads check this on the website of The Icelandic Road Administration:$file/Opnun_fjallvega_en_2015.pdf

In the Icelandic highlands weather can change suddenly. The level of water in rivers may vary due to rain or long winter.

Off-road driving in Iceland is illegal.

Print trip information


Nonni Travel

Brekkugata 5
600 Akureyri, Iceland

Tel. +354 461 1841
nonni (at)


Authorised Travel Agency





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