8-Day Iceland Winter Minibus Tour | Northern Lights & Natural Wonders From Reykjavik

Exploring the wonders of Vatnajokull National Park, where icy glaciers meet rugged mountains.
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Description

Summary

Tour starts
Reykjavík, Iceland
Duration:
8 days
Difficulty:
Easy
Languages:
English
Available:
July - Apr.
Minimum age:
8 years old

Description

Explore Iceland's stunning landscapes and chase the mesmerizing northern lights on this unforgettable eight-day guided tour. Join this adventure that appeals to nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and photography lovers alike.

Your journey begins in Reykjavik, where you'll be picked up by a comfortable minibus and embark on a scenic drive along the ring road. As you make your way through Iceland's diverse regions, you'll have the opportunity to partake in a range of exhilarating activities.

You'll start with the famous Golden Circle route, visiting iconic landmarks such as the Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area, and the historic Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be prepared to be mesmerized by the power and beauty of these natural wonders.

Next, you'll head to the enchanting South Coast, where you'll discover the dramatic black sand beach of Reynisfjara and marvel at the floating icebergs of Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. As you venture further east, you'll explore the picturesque East fjords, known for their stunning landscapes and charming fishing villages.

Continuing your journey, you'll reach the North, where the mystical Lake Myvatn awaits. Explore the otherworldly lava formations of Dimmuborgir and keep an eye out for the captivating northern lights dancing across the sky. In the vibrant capital of the North, Akureyri, you'll experience the lively atmosphere and immerse yourself in local culture.

Heading south, you'll venture to Snaefellsnes Peninsula and discover hidden gems such as the iconic Kirkjufell mountain. Throughout the tour, your knowledgeable guides will share their expertise about Iceland's natural wonders, ensuring you learn everything there is to know about this fascinating country.

Each night, you'll have the opportunity to chase the enchanting northern lights. From September to April, weather permitting, you'll witness the dance of vibrant colors across the starry night sky, creating a breathtaking spectacle.

With a small group size and an English-speaking guide, this tour offers an intimate and personalized experience. Enjoy the comfort of your accommodation, including seven nights in a hotel with breakfast and a private bathroom. Stay connected with Wi-Fi on board the minibus and capture stunning photos at every turn.

Don't miss the chance to embark on this immersive eight-day adventure along Iceland's ring road. This tour promises to uncover hidden treasures and introduce you to the magic of the northern lights, creating memories that will last a lifetime. 

Secure your spot on this unforgettable winter minibus tour. Iceland's wonders await your discovery. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Included

8 day guided tour to the South Coast, East and North of Iceland as well as Snaefellsnes Peninsula, travelling via the Ring Route
7 nights of accommodation in various country hotels with breakfast and a private bathroom
Northern lights spotting
Taxes
English speaking guide
Wi-Fi on board
Glacier hike
Glacier equipment (harness, ice axe, crampons, helmet)
Ice cave on a Super Jeep
Boat tour and whale watching
Pick-up from & drop-off at Reykjavik

Activities

Caving
Sight Seeing
Northern Lights

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Strokkur geyser defies the cold, erupting in a spectacular display of steam and ice, a natural wonder of Iceland's icy season.

Day 1 - The Golden Circle

Begin day one with a convenient pickup from your designated location in Reykjavik, marking the start of your unforgettable adventure.

Your first stop is the renowned Golden Circle, a route celebrated as Iceland's most famous journey. Your initial destination is Thingvellir National Park, a historically significant site nestled in the southwest of Iceland.

Here, witness the remarkable convergence of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, resulting in a unique geological marvel. The interplay between these plates creates a dynamic boundary marked by frequent seismic activity and volcanic eruptions. Moreover, this geological phenomenon has given rise to some of the planet's most dynamic geysers and hot springs, fueled by the heat generated from the friction between the plates. 

As you delve into the Viking history of Thingvellir National Park, uncover the intrigue of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to pivotal Viking historical sites. Established in 1930, the park beckons you to explore archaeological wonders, bask in natural splendor, and learn about the rich Icelandic history. 

Your journey then leads you to the Haukadalur Geothermal Area, where the Hot Spring Strokkur emerges every few minutes, offering perfect moments for photographs. Encounter the iconic Great Geysir, whose name has become synonymous with geysers worldwide, though it has remained dormant since the early 2000s.

Concluding the Golden Circle tour, you'll be transported to Gullfoss, an iconic and breathtaking waterfall. Nestled within the Hvita river canyon, Gullfoss is a captivating double cascade plunging into a deep ravine, standing at 105 feet (32 meters) tall and spanning approximately 65 feet (20 meters) wide.

Gullfoss has emerged as a must-see destination, impressing visitors with its power. Sourced from the Langjokull glacier, the waterfall's volume is awe-inspiring. Take in panoramic views from the canyon's viewing platform or venture down for an up-close exploration. 

Day one's activity holds an exciting possibility: the chance to witness the northern lights if weather conditions permit. The strategically located hotel, far from light pollution, enhances your chances of catching this ethereal display. 

If you miss the lights tonight, remember you have more days to encounter this celestial phenomenon, with viewing times spanning September to March weather-dependent.

Rest for the night in a nearby hotel, eager to embark on the journey that lies ahead.

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Day 2
A glacier hike takes adventurers into the heart of ancient ice, revealing the frozen history of Iceland's changing landscapes.

Day 2 - South Coast & Glacier Hike

Your second day in Iceland promises exciting adventures as you venture towards the captivating South Coast. 

First on the list is Seljalandsfoss, a magnificent waterfall nestled in the southern expanse of Iceland. This popular destination captivates with its distinctive feature – a pathway behind the waterfall, creating a magical experience like no other. 

Moving eastward, you'll encounter Skogafoss, a commanding waterfall boasting a width of 82 feet (25 meters) and a towering height of 196 feet (60 meters). This natural wonder stands as one of Iceland's largest and most visited waterfalls. The surrounding area is a photographer's delight, with lush green fields against the majestic mountains. 

Your journey then carries you toward Iceland's mighty glaciers. Vatnajokull, Europe's largest glacier, commands attention, home to iconic attractions like the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and Svinafellsjokull glacier. 

These colossal ice formations, carved over millennia, bestow beauty and ecological significance to the land. Beyond their allure, glaciers play a pivotal role in Iceland's environment by regulating climate and providing a valuable source of freshwater.

Prepare for an exhilarating adventure – a glacier hike on Solheimajokull! Equipped with gear and under the guidance of a certified glacier expert, you'll ascend to the glacier's peak. Safety measures are paramount due to the glacier's unpredictable terrain, but your guide will ensure an enjoyable and secure journey. 

(Please note that the glacier hike may occur on Day 3, contingent on the glacier guide's availability).

Your escapade continues with a visit to Reynisfjara, a stunning black sand beach along Iceland's southern coast. Formed from cooled lava, this distinctive shoreline captivates with its striking black sands and dramatic basalt columns sculpted by ancient volcanic eruptions. Wildlife thrives in this captivating habitat, ranging from seabirds to seals and even occasional whales.

The last highlight of the day awaits in Vik i Myrdal, a charming village perched along the southern coast. Renowned for its black sand beaches and dramatic cliffs, Vik boasts a unique charm. 

Situated in a volcanic hotspot, the village maintains vigilance due to the nearby Katla Volcano's activity. Should an eruption occur, Vik's church becomes a gathering point for safety. Your night's rest will be nestled within the embrace of this intriguing village.

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Day 3
Exploring a crystal blue ice cave unveils a breathtaking world sculpted by time and nature's frozen artistry.

Day 3 - Glacier Lagoon & Ice Caving

Today's journey takes you eastward into the heart of Iceland's natural wonders, a landscape defined by majestic glaciers, breathtaking mountains, and unforgettable vistas.

Your first destination is Skaftafell. Here, you'll pause for a photo opportunity by the remnants of a bridge that was swept away by a glacial flood back in 1996. This iconic site, Skeidar Bridge, was erected in the early 20th century and spans the Skeidar River, bridging the divide between the eastern and western riverbanks.

Next up awaits the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Gaze in wonder as large icebergs serenely drift toward the ocean's embrace. This glacial lake boasts a unique distinction as the deepest lake in the country and one of Europe's largest. 

Fed by the Breidamerkurjokull glacier, a segment of the colossal Vatnajokull glacier, it's a natural spectacle that draws visitors from far and wide. Here, you can feast your eyes on icebergs, seals, and the breathtaking backdrop of towering mountains.

A mere two-minute drive from the lagoon lies the mesmerizing Diamond Beach. Glittering blue ice fragments adorn the ebony sands. This beach is a favorite of tourists and photographers for its enthralling beauty.

The day's hallmark activity awaits – a visit to the Crystal Blue Ice Cave. Running from October to April, this adventure is a must for anyone seeking to unearth the enchanting beauty of Iceland. 

Accessed via a Super jeep journey guided by a glacier expert, the Crystal Blue Ice Cave, nestled within Vatnajokull National Park, exudes a magical ambiance. This breathtaking natural wonder, shaped by the glacier's meltwater, presents a mesmerizing blue hue illuminated by sunlight filtering through the entrance.

Photographers flock here to capture the intricate ice formations and iridescent blue hues that set the cave aglow. The tour grants insight into the cave's various chambers and spaces, though do remember that an ice cave is ever-changing.

Depending on the weather and season, a secondary ice cave might also grace your visit.

The day concludes as you retreat to a nearby hotel for a well-deserved night's rest, surrounded by the splendors of the Icelandic landscape.

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Day 4
Vestrahorn's majestic peaks mirror their splendor in the tranquil waters, creating a symphony of mountains and reflections.

Day 4 - Exploring The East Fjords

Your fourth day in Iceland promises relaxation, scenic beauty, and unforgettable memories with a chance to witness rare wildlife, fjords, and towering mountain ridges in the East Fjords.

As you journey towards the East Fjords, you'll pass through peaceful fishing villages that showcase Iceland's rich history and fishing culture, an integral part of local life.

One notable stop is the Hallormsstadaskogur forest, Iceland's largest forest. This is rare in Iceland’s landscape as the weather here is cold and windy, and the ground isn't good for growing things like trees because it's rocky and not very rich in nutrients. 

Continuing on, you'll come across Lake Lagarfljot, the third-largest lake in the country and a popular tourist attraction. Legend has it that the lake is home to a mythical creature called the Lagarfljotsormur, a giant serpent that has been reportedly sighted since the 13th century, adding a touch of mystique to the area.

For an even more exhilarating experience, choose from two incredible activities for the day. The first is an optional horseback riding adventure in the Icelandic Wilderness. Icelandic Horses, known for their unique five gaits, including the distinctive "tolt," offer a comfortable ride through the picturesque landscapes. 

These horses are admired for their adaptability to tough terrains and harsh weather, as well as their friendly nature. No prior riding experience is necessary, but participants should weigh under 120 kilograms and be in reasonable physical condition.

Heading north, you'll discover the Vok Baths, a luxurious spa nestled in a geothermal wonderland. These natural hot springs are famed for their believed healing properties. 

The surrounding area is a haven for wildlife, including geese, ducks, and swans, making it a hotspot for bird enthusiasts. Additionally, the striking vistas and unique geothermal features make Vok Baths a favorite among tourists.

As the day winds down, you'll settle into a nearby hotel.

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Day 5
The mesmerizing northern lights illuminate the Arctic skies, painting a celestial masterpiece.

Day 5 - Exploring North-East Iceland

Step into the untamed beauty of Iceland as the wonders of the fifth day of your adventure unfold.

Starting off, you venture to Lake Myvatn and its captivating surroundings. This serene lake, nestled in the north of Iceland, captivates visitors with its untouched splendor and unique geological features. Framed by diverse volcanic formations, lava fields, and other geological marvels, Lake Myvatn is an ideal location for capturing breathtaking vistas and snapshots. 

Home to an array of bird species, the lake is a haven for birdwatchers. Additionally, the abundance of natural hot springs makes it a popular spot for leisurely swims and unwinding soaks.

Following a short drive, you encounter Namaskard Pass, a high-temperature geothermal expanse that bubbles and boils with the Earth's energy. Found within the Icelandic Highlands, Namaskard Pass nestles itself between the glaciers of Hofsjokull and Vatnajokull. 

Its popularity among tourists arises from the vivid orange and red landscapes that dominate the area. The distinct hue results from the presence of sulfur, saturating the landscape with remarkable color. Your hike through this region offers a spectacle of colorful hills, steaming hot springs, bubbling mud pools, and fumaroles.

Moving ahead, you’ll witness Dimmuborgir, a realm of lava pillars rising from the earth like fantastical creatures from myths. Positioned in Iceland's northern expanse, Dimmuborgir's dramatic landscape of lava fields and caverns originated from volcanic eruptions over two millennia ago. 

Next is the Godafoss waterfall, a majestic spectacle residing in northern Iceland. Among the country's most remarkable waterfalls, Godafoss, meaning "waterfall of the gods," earns its name from Iceland's conversion to Christianity in 1000 AD. Stretching around 40 feet (12 meters) in height and 100 feet (30 meters) in width, it stands as one of Iceland's largest waterfalls, boasting a distinctive form.

As the activities for the day end, Akureyri, the captivating Capital of the North, awaits. This urban haven, the country's second-largest, flourishes amid striking mountains, glaciers, and fjords. Renowned for its natural splendor and vibrant culture, Akureyri beckons outdoor enthusiasts with a plethora of pursuits, from hiking to skiing. 

By nightfall, the town transforms into a hub of entertainment, offering an array of eateries, bars, and clubs. Amid this lively atmosphere, museums, galleries, and cultural sites promise insight into Icelandic heritage.

Before retiring to your accommodations in Akureyri, be sure to steal a glance at the mesmerizing northern lights, provided clear skies grace the night. An enchanting close to your journey lies ahead as you settle in for the night in Akureyri.

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Day 6
Whale watching in Hauganes offers a front-row seat to the majestic marine world of Iceland's northern coast.

Day 6 - Exploring North Iceland

Get ready for an exciting day of adventure as you dive into the enchanting world of North Iceland's natural wonders. Today, you'll be exploring the captivating fishing village of Hauganes, a place of serene beauty and home to a remarkable whale-watching experience that awaits you.

As the sun begins to rise, your day starts with a satisfying breakfast that fuels your anticipation for what lies ahead. Once you've packed your essentials, your journey takes you to the charming Hauganes, a quaint village that holds a treasure trove of marine marvels. 

This village is renowned for being the base of operations for the oldest whale-watching company in Iceland, setting the stage for an authentic and unparalleled encounter with the majestic creatures of the deep.

Upon your arrival at Hauganes, your heart is sure to quicken with excitement as you step onto a boat that will gently carry you into the vast expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean. 

The purpose of this expedition is as thrilling as it is awe-inspiring: to witness the magnificent Humpback Whales and a diverse array of other enchanting marine life in their natural habitat. The tranquil beauty of the ocean, combined with the anticipation of spotting these gentle giants, creates an atmosphere of wonder that is truly unmatched.

Although warm extra clothing will be provided to ensure your comfort during the adventure, it's a good idea to bring along your own warm and waterproof attire. This ensures that you are well-prepared to fully savor the experience without any discomfort. The weather might be unpredictable, but your eagerness to witness these stunning creatures in action will surely keep you warm from within.

As you bid farewell to the mesmerizing world beneath the waves, your journey continues toward the charming town of Borgarfjordur, where your cozy hotel awaits. Here, you can relax and reflect on the incredible moments of the day, all while being surrounded by the serene beauty of the Icelandic landscape.

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Day 7
Kirkjufell stands tall, adorned in a shimmering cloak of snow, a breathtaking sight in Iceland's icy embrace.

Day 7 - Exploring Snaefellsnes Peninsula

As the sun rises on your 7th day in Iceland, after a hearty breakfast at the hotel, you'll set out on an exciting adventure from the northern part of the country to the scenic western region.

Today's destination is the captivating Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a place of remarkable geological wonders and raw natural beauty. It's renowned for being Iceland's most volcanic area, showcasing a diverse landscape adorned with mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, and stretches of mesmerizing lava fields. This region also holds a special place for wildlife enthusiasts, with a chance to spot the graceful seals in their natural habitat.

Your first stop takes you to Gerduberg, a truly unique geological marvel. Here, you'll encounter an assembly of hexagonal basalt columns that form a picturesque natural formation. Comprising over 600 basalt columns, Gerduberg's steps of columns stand as a testament to the volcanic upheavals that shaped Iceland's terrain millennia ago. 

Situated near the town of Isafjordur in the Westfjords region, Gerduberg offers a spectacular panorama of the surrounding landscape, making it a favorite among travelers and photographers alike.

Continuing your journey, you'll arrive at Ytri-Tunga, a haven of white sands that is a rarity in Iceland's beach scene. Unlike the prevalent black-sand beaches, this gem is distinguished by its pristine white sands. 

But Ytri-Tunga offers more than just its unique color, it's also a gathering place for a seal colony. Observing these elegant creatures basking on the rocky shores is a heartwarming experience that adds an element of wildlife encounter to your exploration.

The adventure takes a turn as you make your way to Djupalonssandur Beach. On your way, you'll weave through a captivating maze of standalone lava pillars, an unparalleled sight that's sure to captivate your senses. This unique path leads you to the beach, where the imposing presence of Snaefellsjokull glacier casts a watchful eye from a distance. 

Your next destination, the magnificent Vidgelmir lava cave, offers a chance to delve into Iceland's volcanic history. While it won't take you to the center of the Earth as in Jules Verne's tale, the lava path you tread was created thousands of years ago, revealing the ancient forces that shaped this land.

Before concluding your exploration, an iconic sight awaits, the legendary Kirkjufell mountain. This majestic peak has earned its place as one of Iceland's most popular attractions, drawing visitors with its stunning beauty. 

Recognizable to Game of Thrones fans as the "arrowhead mountain" beyond the Wall, Kirkjufell is a testament to the rugged allure of Iceland's landscape.

And if you're up for more adventure, consider the optional extra activity of exploring the Vídgelmir lava cave. This additional experience promises a deeper insight into the geological wonders that have shaped Iceland over the eons.

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Day 8
Hraunfossar reveals a mesmerizing display of countless waterfalls emerging from beneath ancient lava fields in Iceland.

Day 8 - Exploring West Iceland

As you embark on the final day of your Iceland adventure, get ready for more captivating discoveries as you further explore West Iceland.

Your day begins with a visit to the incredible Deildartunguhver, a natural marvel that holds the title of Europe's most powerful hot spring. As you approach this geothermal wonder, you'll witness the astonishing spectacle of hot steam and boiling water gushing from the earth. The vibrant red hues that encircle the spring are a result of the rich minerals and swirling steam, painting a vivid picture of nature's raw power.

Moving on, your next destination is Reykholt, a place that resonates with historical significance. This locale was once home to the renowned Snorri Sturluson, a multifaceted figure whose influence on Icelandic history is immeasurable. Snorri's legacy as a poet, scholar, and law-maker is deeply woven into the fabric of the Middle Ages, and the echoes of his contributions can still be felt throughout the region.

For those entranced by the beauty of waterfalls, today's itinerary has more in store. You’ll be mesmerized by the enchanting Hraunfossar, where a series of crystal-clear streams emerge like a living work of art against the backdrop of dark lava fields. The contrast is striking and truly a sight to behold, showcasing the unique ways in which nature can surprise us.

But the exploration doesn't stop there. Barnafoss, with its striking blue waters that rush through a narrow ravine, awaits your eager gaze. The vivid colors and dynamic energy of this waterfall create an unforgettable experience, leaving an indelible mark on your journey through West Iceland.

As the day progresses, it's time to bid farewell to West Iceland and head back to the vibrant capital city of Reykjavik. Depending on weather conditions and road travel, you can anticipate arriving in Reykjavik around 8 pm. This final leg of your journey offers a chance to reflect on the awe-inspiring natural marvels, rich history, and unique experiences that West Iceland has generously shared with you.

Your eighth and final day sums up the diversity and wonder that make Iceland an unparalleled destination for adventurers like you.

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What to bring

Warm clothes (first layer)
Waterproof outdoor clothing (second layer)
Hiking boots (available for rent when booking)
Swimsuit and a towel
Camera

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