Based in the heart of the south west's beautiful countryside, this 3-night fly drive could be the ultimate summer break in Iceland. What’s not to love about spending a few nights in a stylish country hotel, enjoying fine food and exploring some of Iceland’s most enigmatic natural wonders – bathed in the glow of the midnight sun? We've known and loved Hotel Ranga's supreme comfort and welcoming charm for many years.
- Spend three nights at the superb Hotel Ranga in the heart of rural South Iceland
- Make the most of long summer days to discover a wealth of natural wonders
- Try optional activities, such as snowmobiling or a superjeep tour to Thorsmork
- See the sun and moon in close-up using Hotel Ranga's high-tech observatory
- Experience long, beautiful sunsets while relaxing in Ranga’s outdoor hot tubs
- Use our digital travel guide iDiscover to explore the Golden Circle and South Coast
- Extend your holiday to include a visit to the dramatic Westman Islands
Your place in the country
Drive 90 minutes from Reykjavik and you will find the luxury, ranch-style Hotel Ranga nuzzled by a river on the green plains of Southwest Iceland. You’ll be instantly struck by the peace and tranquility. Every room has a view of the river or towards Mt Hekla. Ranga is also renowned for its charming hospitality and superb food. Prepare to be wowed by seriously fresh seafood, mountain-reared lamb and a flavour explosion of Icelandic wild mushrooms, berries and herbs. You'll want to linger over dinner, but afterwards it will still be light during mid-summer thanks to the glow of the midnight sun. Time perhaps for a relaxing dip in one of Ranga’s outdoor hot tubs, enjoying the long, beautiful sunset?
Exploring nearby natural wonders
With the freedom of a rental car – plus the extra insight from iDiscover – you will be able to make the most of the long summer days by exploring the Golden Circle and South Coast. Geysir, Thingvellir and the waterfalls of Gullfoss, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss are all within easy reach. Optional activities range from horse riding to 4WD superjeep tours exploring the wild and beautiful Thorsmork valley deep in the Highlands. Ranga’s state-of-the-art solar telescope, meanwhile, provides an opportunity to observe the sun in glorious detail, studying sunspots and other features of the midnight sun.
iDiscover digital guide
If you book any self drive in Iceland with us you will also get free use of our exclusive digital travel guide, iDiscover. Your personalised itinerary will be pre-loaded onto an iPad air which you will get with your hire car and includes all the information you need for your trip.
Itinerary & Accommodation
- Day 1: arrive Iceland
- On arrival at Keflavik international airport collect your rental vehicle and iDiscover digital travel companion before driving the scenic coastal road to Hotel Ranga – your home for the next three nights.
- Day 2: explore the Golden Circle
After enjoying one of Hotel Ranga’s famous buffet breakfasts, drive north through beautiful rural countryside towards the Golden Circle – Iceland’s celebrated trio of natural wonders. Easily visited during a day’s gentle touring, the triple whammy of Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir showcases Iceland’s rugged, volcanic beauty.
At the geothermal hotspot of Geysir, you can follow paths between bubbling springs and watch the obligingly regular Strokkur shoot scalding water 30m into the air. There’s wild water at Gullfoss too. This twin-tiered waterfall is a thunderous concoction of rapids, cascades and spray, squeezed into a narrow canyon and garnished with a rainbow.
Calm and serene by comparison, Thingvellir has mysterious pools of gin-clear water. The flooded Silfra fissure is actually a rift between the Eurasian and North American plates – talk to us about booking a once-in-a-lifetime snorkelling or diving adventure in this beautiful, bewitching place. If you prefer politics to plate tectonics, Thingvellir is also the site of Iceland’s first parliament, founded in 930.
With plenty of summer daylight available, you may also want to consider other optional activities during your Golden Circle odyssey. For an adrenaline rush, race snowmobiles across the Langjokull ice cap (pick up from the café at Gullfoss). For chilling out, flop into the geothermal pools of the Fontana Spa near Lake Laugarvatn. The Secret Lagoon is another fine spot to gently poach yourself on a long summer’s evening in Iceland.
Return to Ranga for your second night’s stay, and perhaps use the hotel’s solar telescope to study the sun in startling close-up before it sets. At this time of year, you will often be treated to long, beautiful sunsets.
- Day 3: discover the South Coast
Another sensational drive beckons today. This time you’ll head southeast, following Iceland’s iconic Ring Road along a narrow coastal plain between black sand beaches and towering cliffs, volcanoes and icecaps. After crossing the Markarfljot river, stop to admire Seljalandsfoss – a delicate 60m-tall horsetail plume cascading from an ancient sea cliff. Walk behind the waterfall into an overhang dripping with emerald-coloured mosses.
Back on the road, the infamous Eyjafjallajokull volcano looms to your left. Don’t miss the visitor centre in Thorvaldseyri where a 20-minute film portrays the spectacular eruption of April 2010 and how a local Icelandic farm ‘rose from the ashes’.
A little further on, Skogafoss catches your eye. A similar height to Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss also cascades over the edge of former sea cliffs. However, this is an altogether mightier beast – a 25m-wide curtain of thundering water. As you walk towards the spray-smudged base of the falls, look out for a rainbow – sometimes two.
Beyond Skogafoss, the road crosses wide gravel plains scratched by rivers. Look west and you might see the Westmann Islands offshore. To the north, however, looms a far more overwhelming presence – Myrdalsjokull. This 600 sq km ice cap slumps over the Katla volcano, but a tongue of ice – the Solheimajokull glacier – snakes tantalizingly towards the coast. It’s a wonderful opportunity for a guided glacier walk. Ranging from an hour to half-day, you’ll feel like Jon Snow exploring beyond The Wall in The Game of Thrones as you hike across ice fields, peer into cerulean-coloured crevasses and catch sight of the ice cap looming above you. Talk to our team about pre-booking this unforgettable adventure.
How far you want to continue along the South Coast is entirely up to you. Your iDiscover guide will do its best to lure you onwards with other attractions like Vik where you can walk along dramatic black sand beaches towards troll-like sea stacks.
As with the previous day, however, don’t worry too much if you stay out later than planned. During mid-summer it remains light long into the night! Returning to Hotel Ranga, relax in one of the outdoor hot tubs, enjoying one of Ranga’s extraordinary sunsets, before dinner.
- Day 4: Hotel Ranga - Keflavik
- Head back to Keflavik, perhaps stopping along the way for a relaxing dip at the Blue Lagoon or enjoying some sightseeing on the Reykjanes Peninsula before returning your rental car and checking in for your flight.
Extend your stay
As tailor made specialists to Iceland, we can easily add extra days to your holiday. With just one additional night at Hotel Ranga, you could not only enjoy the self-drive days exploring the Golden Circle and the South Coast, but also have a day being driven in a superjeep to reach Thorsmork – a spectacular valley named after the Viking God of Thunder. Surrounded on three sides by volcanoes and ice caps, you’ll ford rivers and scale ridges to enter a truly wild and remote part of Iceland.
Accommodation OptionsThis itinerary is based on the hotels shown below in rooms with private facilities. We offer a wide range of accommodation from farms to self catering cottages, budget hotels to luxury properties, ask our Iceland experts for recommendations.
An excursion that takes you out onto the frozen glacial ton…
Prices & Dates
Prices from, in £ per person based on 2 sharing a room with private facilities, unless otherwise stated.
|B - VW Golf||£652|
|D - Skoda Octavia (4WD)||£682|
|F - Suzuki Grand Vitara||£704|
|H - Kia Sorrento||£716|
Price includes flight credit of £250*; accommodation in rooms with private facilities on a breakfast basis; car rental for the agreed period on an unlimited mileage basis (includes semi-comprehensive insurance and no charge for additional driver); use of iDiscover iPad for the duration of the holiday with free WiFi; all airport taxes.
Price excludes travel insurance, fuel, personal expenses, tips and gratuities
* Flight credit is based on a typical airfare with checked in luggage and is for budgeting purposes only. The actual cost of the flight with taxes will be advised to you when enquiring about the holiday. We will always state the lowest fare available for your route and travel dates which may mean that the price of this element may be more or less than the credit. Booking early usually means the lowest price.
How to book
So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.
We will always offer the best price available at the time of booking and guarantee no surcharges - see our 100% Guarantee for full details.
Speak to a specialist: 01737 214 250Book this trip
Our team of Travel Specialists have extensive first-hand knowledge of our destinations and are passionate about travel.