Iceland Aurora self drive vacation

“Eight days immersing yourself in iceland. A tailor made trip taking in the golden circle, glaciers and volcanic greatness. The Aurora is the icing on the cake.”

Highlights

Reykjavik | Golden Circle | Viewings for Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis |Gullfoss waterfall | Strokkur Geysir | Thingvellir National Park | Secret Lagoon and Little Geysir | Thorsmork (Þórsmörk ) Nature Reserve | Reynisfjara beach | Vík | Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon | Reykjanes peninsula | Blue Lagoon

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
We encourage our clients to be responsible tourists and take the ‘Icelandic pledge’ promoted by Inspired by Iceland on www.visiticeland.com/pledge: 1. I pledge to be a responsible tourist; 2. When I explore new places, I will leave them as I found them; 3. I will take photos to die for, without dying for them; 4. I will follow the road into the unknown, nut never venture off road; 5. I will only park where I am supposed to; 6. When I sleep out under the stars, I’ll stay within a campsite; 7. When nature calls, I won’t answer the call on nature; 8. I will be prepared for all weathers, all possibilities and all adventures. All hotels/guesthouses seek to recycle any waste products – plastics, metals, paper and water. Due to the climate water is plentiful in Iceland, with tap-water not needing to be treated. However waste water is recycled for agriculture. All energy used is renewable – principally geothermally heated water and wind and water-generated electricity. All hot water is drawn from geothermally heated reserves for both bathrooms as well as any hot tubs. Farms use the geothermal heat for greenhouses to grow vegetables rather than gas/electricity.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Wherever possible locally-owned and family-run hotels/guesthouses are used and visitors are encouraged to visit locally-owned and run attractions, such as the Skogar Folk Museum or the Herring Museum in Siglufjordur. Visitors are encouraged to go on trips where the sustainability of the environment is emphasised, such as whale watching trips where the emphasis is to “meet” and not “eat” the animals. We do not recommend restaurants where eating whale is advertised and encourage clients to respect and preserve the environment. We pay our office staff a fair wage and encourage clients to stay in locally-owned and run accommodation supporting the local economy. Our trip notes include details of many locally-owned and run craft shops and museums and encourage clients to visit them. We emphasise the natural beauty and purity of the Icelandic countryside, stressing the importance of treating both the countryside and the locals with respect. Clients are told not to drive off-road which would damage the countryside and only to walk along marked trails.

Climate

8 Reviews of Iceland Aurora self drive vacation

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 23 Mar 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The most memorable experience I had in iceland was visiting the south
of Iceland. Amazing views, waterfalls, glaciers ect. Just remarkable country.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for rough changes in weather conditions. Also buy the extra
car insurance if renting a vehicle as the roads are very tough at times and
it is a good possibility that you will damage the vehicle. I personally got a broken windshield during a wind storm on the east of Iceland. Buy the insurance it is worth it.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely benefited the local economy as this is a very isolated country and tourism is one of their biggest economic influences in the country.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


This is by far one of the most spectacular country on the planet. Such a unique ecosystem that can only be found there. A truly special place. If i had to rate thia trip on a 1-10 base 1 being bad 10 being amazing I would rate it a 10!!!!! This is a place you should put on that bucket list.
Purely amazing.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your comments, Justin, it's great to hear from someone who loves the unique aspects of Iceland as much as we do!

Reviewed on 27 Jun 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


There was so much that was memorable but we particularly liked the Skogafoss waterfall and the Strokkur geyser.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If you are hiring a car in the summer months, don't bother with the sand/ash car insurance. Also, take some lightweight clothing in case you have lovely warm weather, as we did! Be prepared to travel long distances between towns and you may not see any other car or person for miles.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Certainly the hotel we stayed at in the Skaftafell area blended in incredibly well with the environment and there were 3 different types of recycling bin in our bedroom! In general, we saw no litter in Iceland and certainly no plastic on the beaches. Even the most well-known attractions were not overly commercialised.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Iceland is a fascinating country with spectacular scenery. The people are very friendly and we'd thoroughly recommend a visit.

Reviewed on 12 Feb 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Blue lagoon

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don’t use a travel agency, book
everything yourself

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


No

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Read the operator's response here:

Dear Monica, thank you for your comments, we hope you had an enjoyable time in Iceland. Regarding your comment that travelers should make their
own arrangements, we obviously feel that there are benefits to be gained from the knowledge and expertise of professionals, which can save a lot of time
and work researching the ingredients of a successful trip, as well as having a single point of contact and protection should something go awry. We are
sorry to hear that you feel that there was no benefit to the Icelandic people, the operators we use provide local employment and there is an increasing focus
on environmental sustainability within tourism which we work to promote and encourage.

Reviewed on 11 Nov 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Blue Lagoon Iceland.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Not applicable because mine was tailored made to Dubai, Scandinavia and Russia and was done by your associate/partner.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Our spending at the various destinations benefitted the local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Satisfactory.

Reviewed on 16 Oct 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The landscape and sea life.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Travel early on the touristy places to miss tour buses. Try not to fit too much in, give your selves time to look and go for hikes etc.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The hotels out in countryside. But, Iceland is building so many huge hotels in Reykjavik to cater for tourists.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Good experience, would go again to different areas.

Reviewed on 28 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Wow this is really hard to answer because honestly (and I do not tend to exagerate) this was the most amazing vacation we ever had. We were blown away every single day by the beauty of Iceland, the raw nature, constant changing scenery and wildlife. Our most memorable, exciting and beautiful moment would have to be the spectacular display of the Northern Lights. It was by far the most beautiful thing I've ever seen with glowing greens and even a little red dancing across the sky. Then watching the Geysir, the seals in the Ice Lagoon and the Humpback whales in Husavik. I could go on and on. It was truly magical!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Rent a good car with GPS especially for some of those gravel roads which can be quite bumpy. If you go after September and during winter, try to stay at a hotel which has 24 hour receptionists and they have a Northern Lights wake up call (if you're interested in seeing them). We got our amazing view of them because of such a wake up call and otherwise would have slept through it. Definitely budget in for expensive food anywhere you go.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Tourism is very beneficial to Iceland and supports their economy. As long as people respect and take care of the environment there should be no negative impact on it. If you go whale watching book a silent, nature friendly boat for example with North Sailing.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Incredibly awesome and amazing vacation!!!

Reviewed on 22 Sep 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The outstanding scenery and unique landscapes which greet you at every turn. Whale watching was possibly the most exciting especially as it was on the last but one day of their season. The Humpbacks, Minkes and white nosed dolphins put on quite an active display for us. We were 100% pleased with the travel company's choice of accommodation and route chosen. The night stops were excellent and varied which definitely added to the vacation. Also, one of the memorable facts about this trip was the exceedingly high cost of food and drink and even postcards with stamps ( yes I do still send these!) were almost beyond purchase. Petrol prices were marginally higher but we decided that was the case, so we " boxed clever" and were selective about our purchases. It certainly didn't spoil our wonderful adventure.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take a box of Pinot Grigio in with you from the duty free area at the airport
For peace of mind add additional insurances for hire car when offered.especially the ash and grit cover! Take your own satnav.

Bring snacks for the journey....we took a fruitcake and it certainly saved us money. Take a thermos flask and tea/ coffee! We did have the occasional coffee and sticky out cut it cost in the region of £10 each even in roadside cafes! Make use of the hotels offer to wake you up if the Aurora Borealis is active! Photographers, do take a tripod for the waterfalls and the Aurora ....might mean buying another travel sized one! Avoid establishments who offer Minke whale on their menu....meet the whales don't eat them!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


This is a hard Q to answer as there is always a compromise to be had when courting tourism and providing for them whilst desperately clinging on to preserving traditional ways and conserving the land. I visited the three main Golden Circle venues in 1999 and was astonished how "organized " each had become. No more muddy paths to the base of the falls but pleasant wooden
walkways to provide for the huge coach loads of tourists. These coaches were indeed huge....for the rather narrow roads I was somewhat surprised but realized it was economics! There are millions of acres of unspoiled landscape to be marveled at it's just a bit clogged at the popular sightseeing spots. One farm we stayed at had indeed embraced the opportunities to serve the increasing tourist trade and had done it very well.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Exceptional, and I want to return and do the northern area but I won't wait 18 years to come back!

Reviewed on 09 Jun 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The Snaefellsnes Peninsula was particularly lovely as was the prolific bird life generally. Food, though expensive, was almost universally superb, especially fish.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


With hindsight I would have booked a proper 4 wheel drive vehicle as on the normal roads stopping is only generally possible at specific tourist spots. Because of the number of coach parties these get very busy and much of the surrounding area is roped off for conservation meaning that you cannot venture from the paths. From a photographer's point of view this was very restrictive and made photographs without people taking selfies in the frame difficult.

It pays to get up very early to visit attractions wherever possible for the reason above. Carry only the minimum amount of cash as cards are used everywhere and are preferred by businesses.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Local business certainly benefitted from expenditure and hopefully contributed to the cost of maintaining and preserving the countryside.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent and very enjoyable but with the proviso of the point raised in question 2. All the travel and accommodation went very smoothly with the sole exception of the very, very long wait to collect the hire car. Avis had a massive queue, all
the other rental firms had no more than a handful of customers.

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