Best Way to See Iceland – Self-Drive or Tour Guide?

Iceland is a unique country for many reasons. It has glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs, horses, and one hell of a hot dog. Yes, the country has much to experience but if you are looking for the best way to see Iceland, you’ll have to hit the road.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Beyond Rejkjavik you will find a diverse country with moon-like landscapes and head-scratching beauty. Like any new destination, you might be struggling to decide between a self-driven experience or a tour guide, so we’re here to help.

Here are the pros and cons on the best way to see Iceland, self-drive or tour guide.

Self-Driven Guides: Pros and Cons

The Best Way to See Iceland - Self Drive or Tour Guide??

Let’s start with the self-driven route. It’s more likely that confident travellers who are working their way through multiple countries will choose to guide themselves through Iceland. The independent aspect alone can be enticing. Here are the main pros and cons of a self-driven road trip.


  • Not limited to visiting places that have been chosen by the tour guide agency
  • You can change your travel plans as you please
  • Add or remove stops from your travel itinerary
  • You won’t be surrounded by people you don’t know
  • Stop where you like to take photos for the album
  • Freedom!
  • More time to play with the Icelandic Horses!

The Best Way to See Iceland - Self Drive or Tour Guide??


  • You run the risk of getting lost in Iceland’s countryside
  • You must plan the travel routes yourself before hitting the road
  • No guidance from an experienced guide
  • You may encounter bad weather or poor road conditions that you may not be experienced with

Like anywhere, the main attraction to a self-driven experience is the freedom. You’ll be in control to go where you want, do as you please, and explore Iceland on your own accord.

Tour Guides: Pros and Cons

How to do Reykjavik in 3 Days 18

Tour guides have just as much to offer and can be a great way to take in the highlights of Iceland.


  • You’ll meet other people who are interested in travelling Iceland
  • A knowledgeable tour guide will show you the way around
  • There isn’t the risk of getting lost
  • You can ask the tour guide any pressing questions you have about the country’s landscape, culture, or history
  • The entire tour is already planned out for you to enjoy
  • You can rest instead of drive
  • You won’t have to personally deal with any unexpected maintenance or driving issues.
  • You may visit places that you did not know existed like the Laugarvatn Geothermal Baths!


  • Less flexibility over the tour (e.g. where you travel to and how long you stay there)
  • Tour guides usually have a schedule to stick with
  • Travelling with people you don’t know can result in an awkward experience.

A tour guide takes a lot of weight off of your shoulders when it comes to a day of exploring somewhere new. All you have to do is pick from one of the agency’s packages and turn up at their meeting point on time. There’s absolutely no need for you to research a route and plan a journey.

Unable to Decide?

How to do Reykjavik in 3 Days 2

If you still don’t know if you should self-drive or pay for a tour guide, check out these cheap Iceland deals and find one that you like the look of. Taking a guided tour is a great choice if it is your first visit to the country. It will open you up to other options for your return…and you will return.

To Conclude…

All in all, when thinking about the best way to see Iceland self-driving gives you full control over the experience. You can wander around the barren landscape at a pace you’re happy with. This is great for an experienced traveller, but if all you’re looking for is a holiday where you can relax and experience some of Iceland’s sights, hiring a tour guide puts the stress on their shoulders instead.

Which way would you go?
Thoughts on the best way to see Iceland?
Let’s hear it!

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The Best Way to See Iceland - Self Drive or Tour Guide

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