Explore the diverse landscapes of Iceland and hunt for the Northern Lights on this 6-day winter tour, departing from Reykjavík!
This guided small-group adventure by minibus will take you around Iceland’s famous Golden Circle to the South Coast, all the way to the pristine glaciers of Vatnajökull National Park. In addition, you’ll have a free day to spend at your leisure. You can use it to visit the wild and beautiful Snæfellsnes peninsula, pack it with exhilarating activities, or simply take your time exploring the charming sights within the northernmost capital city in the world.
Winter is an exciting time in Iceland. This is when the country experiences snowfall and the landscapes are blanketed in an enchanting layer of white. The days are characterised by ethereal Arctic light, while the nights are long and dark, meaning that you’ll increase your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.
You’ll get to see some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world as you hunt for the Aurora Borealis in Iceland. Enjoy stunning waterfalls, vast lava fields, steaming geothermal wonders, snow capped mountains and black sand beaches as you make the return journey from west to east. Visit small fishing villages by the sea, weave your way between icebergs upon the Diamond Beach and marvel at the sheer beauty of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Throughout this unforgettable experience, you’ll have the chance to learn all about Icelandic culture, history and more.
To make your trip to Iceland all the more special, this tour includes a visit to an incredible ice cave located deep within Europe’s largest ice cap. There are few places in the world where it is possible to explore these wonders of nature, so be prepared for a truly magical experience. In addition, you’ll receive entry to the world-class spa facilities of the Blue Lagoon, where you can take a relaxing dip in geothermal pools to unwind after a week of exploring.
If you’d like to maximise your adventure, then there is the option of adding extra activities during the booking process. Dive into the crystal clear waters of Silfra fissure, glide across a glacier on a snowmobile, go riding on the back of an Icelandic horse, take a whale watching tour on the bay, witness the Northern Lights by boat or enter manmade ice tunnels within Langjökull glacier. The opportunities are endless!
For the duration of this tour, all of your accommodation and transport will be arranged for you by our professional travel consultants, giving you absolute peace of mind during your vacation in Iceland. All you’ll have to do is to turn up with a sense of adventure and willingness to explore.
This 6-day guided tour of Iceland is the perfect way to see the country in winter. Do not miss out on the opportunity to chase the Northern Lights across the stunning landscapes and explore an ice cave. Check availability by choosing a date.
The adventure begins! You’ll arrive at Keflavík International Airport, where you will take a bus transfer to Reykjavík. If your flight arrives early in the day, then there is the option of stopping at the Blue Lagoon to bathe in the warm water of naturally-heated geothermal pools. Otherwise, you will continue onwards to your downtown accommodation, where you will have some time to explore Iceland’s capital at your leisure.
There is a lot to do and see in this small but charming city. Indulge in Icelandic cuisine at one of the many restaurants and cafés, mingle with the locals as you browse boutique stores and galleries, or wander by the Old Harbour and take a stroll by the iconic coastline overlooking Faxaflói bay. There is even a walking trail that will take you on a sightseeing tour of Reykjavík’s street art, as well as the Hallgrímskirkja church and other historically significant attractions.
In the evening, grab a drink at an eccentric bar or check out the city’s vibrant nightlife. To round off your day, there is the option of heading away from the city lights to hunt for the Aurora Borealis by boat or on minibus tour. While it is possible to see the Northern Lights from Reykjavík, you’ll have a much better view away from the urban glow.
You'll spend the night in Reykjavik.
Day two of your adventure will see you travelling around Iceland’s classic Golden Circle route. It is here that you will discover why we call this the Land of Fire and Ice!
At Þingvellir National Park, deep rifts and valleys hold significant geological, cultural and historical significance. This was the location where Iceland’s parliament, Alþingi, first convened in the year 930 AD. Situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, this area bears the evidence of continental drift which has reshaped the land over thousands of years. You can stand between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates or even take an optional snorkelling tour of the Silfra fissure, which will take you into crystal clear freshwater surrounded by the walls of the two continents.
Your next stop will be at the Geysir geothermal area, where volcanic activity bubbles and boils just beneath your feet. Be mesmerised by this otherworldly atmosphere as steam billows up from fumaroles and mud pools splatter forth. The highlight here is Strokkur, a fountain geyser that erupts with hot water every 5-10 minutes!
Thereafter, you’ll head to Gullfoss waterfall, one of the most popular attractions in Iceland. This waterfall originates at the Langjökull glacier, flowing across lava fields until it plunges across two tiers into a steep crevasse. It’s an extraordinary sight, particularly in winter when it becomes partially frozen over.
If you’d like to continue the adventure, there is the option of taking a horse riding tour that departs from Gullfoss. This is your chance to ride on the back of an Icelandic horse across the spectacular, wintry countryside. Otherwise, feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins on an exhilarating snowmobiling tour on Langjökull glacier! It’s the best way to get up close and personal with Iceland’s wild and rugged nature.
After a long day of exploring, you’ll finish up with a relaxing dip in the mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon. If you have arranged additional activities during your Golden Circle tour, such as snorkelling, horse riding or snowmobiling, then your visit to the Blue Lagoon will be scheduled on your arrival or departure day instead.
You'll spend the night in Reykjavik.
The next two days will be spent exploring the famous South Coast. This is one of Iceland’s most scenic drives, culminating at the Vatnajökull National Park in the south east.
Starting from Reykjavík, this drive will take you by sheer cliff faces, vast lava fields and through black sand deserts. Your first stop will be at the spectacular Seljalandsfoss waterfall, a 60-metre tall beauty that cascades before a shallow cavern with icicles hanging from its roof.
Nearby, its neighbour Skógafoss is just as breathtaking. On a sunny day, rainbows can often be seen here in the mist. A short stroll up a staircase will take you to the top of the waterfall, for awe-inspiring views of the surroundings.
Afterwards, you’ll head to the Reynisfjara black sand beach, where tumultuous waves of the North Atlantic Ocean crash ashore. The cliffs that line the beach are astonishing – tall and dark grey, they are shaped like columns and are basaltic in nature; remnants of hot lava that once cooled quickly following a volcanic eruption. From here, you’ll have a sweeping view of the Reynisdrangar sea stacks rising from the ocean, as well as the Dyrhólaey rock arch in the distance.
There will be time for a short break in the seaside village of Vík, before you continue on the journey to the Skaftafell within Vatnajökull National Park. This nature reserve contains many fantastic hiking trails, some of which will take you to waterfalls, while others offer great vantage points of Hvannadalshnúkur, the highest peak in Iceland.
You’ll reach the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the evening, just in time to witness the beautiful icebergs that float in these tidal waters before the sun sets. Nearby is the Diamond Beach, where icebergs that have drifted out to sea are deposited back onto a stretch of black sand. It is often said that they resemble jewels glistening in the sun.
Tonight, you will stay in accommodation within the vicinity of Skaftafell or the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Be sure to look towards the sky when it gets dark for the chance to see the Northern Lights.
On day four, you’ll get up bright and early for the penultimate highlight of your trip – an adventure inside one of Iceland’s astonishing ice caves!
You’ll be picked up in a super jeep that has been modified to withstand the rugged and harsh terrain of Iceland’s wintry landscapes. The ascent onto Vatnajökull glacier may be a bumpy ride but you’ll be rewarded with incredible views all around.
Upon your arrival, you’ll disembark from the super jeep and receive a safety briefing from your glacier guide. They’ll equip you with the appropriate equipment required for ice caving, including a helmet to protect your head and crampons, which will make it much easier for you to walk upon the ice. Be sure to wear sturdy, waterproof hiking boots, as there may be water inside the ice cave.
A short walk upon the glacier will take you to the mouth of one of Iceland’s natural wonders. You’ll have around 45 minutes to explore the ice cave, as your guide shares their knowledge about the glacier and how ice caves are formed. Depending on the light, ice caves can shimmer with crystal blue hues or gleam in shades of white and black. Being surrounded by the solid walls of ice is an incredible experience that will surely leave you with extraordinary memories to last a lifetime.
Afterwards, you’ll be transported by super jeep back to the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. It is worthwhile revisiting in different conditions, as the icebergs here can look completely different from one day to the next. If you’re lucky, you may spot seals hauled out upon the ice or spot seabirds hunting for fish. You’ll also have another chance to wander along the black sandy shores of the Diamond Beach for some final photo opportunities before you make the return journey back to Reykjavík.
The drive will take several hours and you can expect to arrive back to the city late in the evening.
You'll spend the night in Reykjavik.
You’ll have the choice today of either exploring Reykjavík city at your leisure or taking a day trip to the wild and windswept Snæfellsnes peninsula.
If you choose to do some sightseeing in Reykjavík, there are a myriad of wonderful cafés where you will be able to relax and have a lazy brunch. Afterwards, you can go for a stroll about town. The city is famous for its quirky street art, some of which spans several storeys high on the sides of buildings dotted around charming alleyways. Breathe in the fresh ocean breeze by the Old Harbour, where colourful boats and ships are docked, or take a walk by the coast to the Sun Voyager sculpture. This fascinating piece of art resembles a Viking ship pointing out to sea.
For an added bit of adventure in the afternoon, you can join an ATV tour for some off-road action in Iceland’s rugged landscapes or take a boat out into Faxaflói bay to do a spot of whale watching. If the conditions are favourable in the evening, then you’ll be able to see the Aurora dancing in the sky above Reykjavík. There is also the option of joining a Northern Lights tour, which will take you away from the city lights to a location in the countryside, where you will be able to view them in all their glory.
If you choose to head out today to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula instead, then you will be picked up early in the morning by your guide. From there, you will be whisked away to the north west, surrounded by undulating snow and with the Snæfellsjökull volcano looming upon the horizon.
You’ll spend the day travelling around the entire peninsula, exploring everything from quaint fishing villages that line the spectacular coastlines to glorious black sand beaches, pretty churches, snow capped mountains and more. At Djúpalónssandur, the sand resembles large black pearls, while the conical peak of Mt Kirkjufell is often a drawcard for photographers, no matter the weather.
In the evening, you’ll return to Reykjavík where you will spend the night.
This will be your final day in Iceland. When you are ready, you will take a bus transfer back to Keflavík International Airport, where you will be able to catch your flight home or onwards to your next destination.
If you have some time today, you can do some last-minute souvenir shopping in the quirky boutiques of Reykjavík, wander through the charming streets and savour the fresh air by the mirrored façade of the Harpa Concert Hall on the iconic waterfront. There are many fascinating museums and galleries to be found around town, some of which are artistic and others which are downright quirky.
On your way to the airport, you may like to drop in to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing dip in steaming geothermal pools. It’s a great way to unwind before a long flight. This world-class spa facility offers a number of luxurious massage treatments, while the restaurant on-site prepares delicious local Icelandic fare. Just remember to leave enough time to return to the airport and to check in for your flight.
We hope you’ll have had an exciting winter trip, chasing the Northern Lights in Iceland!
The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximise your chances to see them if weather allows. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.
It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is cancelled. If your chosen activity is cancelled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you.
Note that Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the wintertime. We recommend you bring shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers. The covers can be purchased in most supermarkets and gas stations around the country.
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For budget and comfort levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. If you are travelling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur. For multi-day guided tours, accommodation cannot be upgraded and the levels below do not apply. Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.
You can now add meals to your booking. Select to include dinner on every night as an optional extra, and we will provide you with vouchers as part of your booking confirmation. We will choose from top-rated restaurants that fit with your vacation itinerary and make your reservations for you. At the restaurant, you will be offered a set menu, from which you can choose from meat, fish or vegetarian options. If you would prefer something else, the voucher will act as a credit that you can redeem at the restaurant against menu items that are not part of the set menu. Please notify the restaurant on arrival about any dietary requirements. Vouchers are non-refundable.
This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost. The cost of your cancellation insurance depends on the duration of your tour or package. A base cost of 5,000 ISK per person is applied to all tours and packages with a duration of 5 days or less. An additional 1,000 ISK per person will be added to the insurance cost for each day after. The cancellation must be made more than 48 hours before the listed starting time on your voucher. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact email@example.com and declare full cancellation. Please note that this insurance covers the cancellation of the whole tour or package. Individual services cannot be cancelled and refunded separately, but are all covered and refunded in case of a full cancellation.