10-Day Winter Small Group Guided Tour of Iceland

Overview

Put on your knitwear and wrap up warm for this 10-Day Winter Package around Iceland. Travel around the Golden Circle, see the waterfalls of the South Coast, visit Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the town of Akureyri before discovering hidden wonders on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. 

With this package, a professional guide will lead you in a small but comfortable minibus around the island, showing you the most popular regions as well as a few hidden gems. 

Along the way, you can add a few adventures to spice up your journey.  You could unwind at the Blue Lagoon, meet the friendly Icelandic horse, go glacier hiking, visit an authentic ice cave, and step inside the crater of a volcano. 

Included

  • 8-day small group guided tour of the ring road Iceland
  • 7 nights in countryside accommodation (breakfast included, private bathroom)
  • 2 nights of accommodation in Reykjavik (different levels available; breakfast not included for Budget level; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more details in accommodation tab)
  • Northern Lights hunting
  • Airport transfers (Arrival and Departure)
  • Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland
  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary
  • Taxes

Not included

  • Flights to/from Iceland
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Meals & drinks (unless otherwise stated)
  • Any services not listed as “Included”

Itinerary

Sun Voyager Sculpture on the coastline of Reykjavik

Your plane will touch ground at Keflavík International Airport, located amongst the barren lava field of the Reykjanes Peninsula. After picking up your bags and checking out the duty-free, head out into the crisp winter air to find the bus that will take you to your accommodations in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík. 

If your flight arrives early and you wish to start your Iceland adventure right away, you can add a visit to the world-famous Blue Lagoon Spa during the booking process. The lagoon is located midway between the city and the airport and it is a great way to replenish your body and soul after a long flight.

Once in the city, you can choose to explore Reykjavík a bit. The vibrant downtown area is filled with charming cafés, exciting restaurants, and friendly bars. You can also find here a few quirky museums and galleries, great street art, and beautiful parks. Whatever you do, make sure to get a good night’s rest so you’ll be ready for your adventures on the road tomorrow.

Erupting Strokkur geyser at sunset

Now it is time to begin your journey around Iceland. You will be picked up in the morning by your friendly guide who will show you around this beautiful island over the next eight days. 

You will begin by travelling the Golden Circle route, stopping first að Þingvellir National Park, the birthplace of Iceland’s democracy. It is here where the Viking settlers would gather over a thousand years ago to lay the laws of the land. The park also has interesting geology as it is the meeting point of two tectonic plates. 

From there, you’ll head to the Geysir Geothermal Area where you’ll see bubbling mud pools, steam rising from the earth, and, most importantly, erupting geysers. The most active of which is Strokkur which goes off every 5-10 minutes, shooting bolts of hot water 15-20 metres into the air.

Lastly, you’ll visit Gullfoss Waterfall where a thundering noise and mist will greet you. This is a wide and powerful waterfall which will surely amaze you. The river Hvítá rushes forth from a nearby glacier before plunging, in two steps, down 32 metres into an ancient canyon. It is quite the spectacle so make sure you have a camera with you. 

Along the way you are bound to see a few horses trotting around by the local farmsteads. If you wish to get to know this gentle creature further, you can add a horse riding tour during the booking process. The Icelandic horse is very intelligent and friendly, making this excursion perfect for both expert and novice riders alike. 

At the end of the day, you’ll head to your accommodations in the Golden Circle area. If it is not a cloudy night, make sure to check the sky for signs of the elusive Northern Lights before heading to bed. 

Skogafoss at the golden hour in the winter

You will head out to explore South Iceland with all its attractions. Your first stop today will be at two vastly different but equally beautiful waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss.

The former falls down 60 metres in a narrow stream into a basin of water. In the winter, when the mornings are still very dark, it is illuminated by large spotlights which make the cascade look like it was plucked right out of a fantasy novel.

Skógafoss, on the other hand, is much wider and falls straight down onto the flat land underneath, allowing you to walk right up to its base. However, if you get too close, you will get drenched in the mist which clouds the bottom of the cascade. 

On your journey today, you will pass two glaciers, the mighty Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano and the larger Mýrdalsjökull ice cap. If you wish to learn more about glaciers and even scale one yourself, you can add a glacier hiking tour during the booking process. Armed with a pick ax and strapped in crampons, you’ll ascend the ice giant where you’ll get to look into ice crevasses and glacial moulins. 

You will then visit the beach of Reynisfjara where you can see the stark contrasts of the rolling white waves as they hit the jet-black sand. By the beach are the geometric lava pillars which make up the cliffside and in the distance is the strangely shaped rock arch, Dyrhólaey. 

You will spend the night near the little village of Vík. 

Diamond beach with glacier ice blocks on black sand close to Jökulsárlon in Iceland.

Now it is time to explore the wonders found along Iceland’s southern coast. As you travel between glittering waterfalls and hauntingly beautiful black sand beaches, you’ll be in the shadow of two mighty glaciers, Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull.    

If you’d like to explore glaciers, there are two icy adventures available to add on to this day. The first one is snowmobiling on top of Langjökull, the glacier which feeds Gullfoss waterfall. The second option is glacier hiking on Sólheimajökull, an outlet glacier of the larger Mýrdalsjökull ice cap. Both options provide you with a unique insight into the world of glaciers as well as spectacular views.   

You’ll end the day in or near the village of Vík on the south coast of Iceland. As always, your guide will let you know if there are signs in the sky of the beautiful Auroras.   

Highlights Today:

  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall — A high and narrow cascade which falls over a concave cliff.
  • Skógafoss Waterfall — A wider and much more powerful cousin of Seljalandsfoss. 
  • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach — Dark and beautiful beach surrounded by geometric cliffs. 
  • Vík Village — A charming and picturesque village with great ocean views.

  Optional Activities:

  • Snowmobiling on Langjökull Glacier — Adrenaline surging adventure on top of a glacier
  • Glacier Hiking on Sólheimajökull — Learn about the formation and dangers of Iceland’s ice caps

Vestrahorn mountain in the east of Iceland in the winter

Now it is time to head out to one of the most stunning but least visited places of the country, the Eastfjords of Iceland. Your view today will be characterised by tall mountains on one side and the open ocean on the other. 

East-Iceland is the only place in the country where you can see hoards of wild reindeer, so keep your eyes peeled as you zigzag these frozen fjords.

There are no schedules stops today but that doesn’t mean you will be sitting in the minibus all day. Your guide knows this area very well and even knows a few secret spots here. They will take you to some of their favourite places in the area where you can marvel at the remote but stunning landscape of the Eastfjords. 

Before you head to your accommodations, you will travel through the forest, Hallormsstaðaskógur, one of the few wooded areas in this mostly treeless country. Here, you will see the lake Lagarfljót, known as the home of the great wyrm-monster, Lagarfljótsormurinn, Iceland’s answer to the Loch Ness monster. Keep a camera ready, you never know if it will show up.

Hverfjall volcano crater in the region of Myvatn in northern Iceland covered with snow under a blue sky

After breakfast, you’ll hop on the bus and head to the Mývatn area in North Iceland, to a region which has been coloured by volcanic and geothermal activity. 

Your first stop is the Mars-like area of Námaskarð, where the ground has a reddish hue and fumaroles spew steam into the air. You will also find here grey and blue mud pools which bubble ferociously. It is hard to believe you are still on planet Earth when visiting this site. 

From there, you’ll walk amongst the lava stacks and caves of Dimmuborgir. The tall, volcanic rock formations create a sort of natural labyrinth in which you can wander around and look for trolls and elves.

If you wish to add a little luxury to your day, a trip to the Mývatn Nature Baths is highly recommended. Here, you can relax in geothermally heated water which have natural minerals said to do wonders for your skin.

Before going to your accommodations in the town of Akureyri, you will visit the waterfall Goðafoss. This crescent shaped cascade is known in English as “The Waterfall of the Gods” for both its beauty as well as history relating to the Christianization of Iceland, which your guide will tell you all about. 

Tail of a humpback whale coming out of the water

Today, you’ll explore North Iceland a bit further, starting with a visit to the little village of Hauganes. 

Here you’ll have free time to wander around the town, seeing its beautiful black sand beach and charming harbour area which are both surrounded by beautiful, blue mountains. You can also have a few unique adventures today.

North Iceland is known as a great area to go whale watching and during the booking process, you have the option of adding an excursion where you’ll set to the sea in search for these gentle giants. Seeing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is an experience you will surely not forget.

Alternatively, you can book a visit to the Beer Spa where you get to bath in —you guessed it—  beer! You’ll soak in warm water filled with hops and yeast which is said to be great for your hair and skin. The beer in which you will bathe is undrinkable but there is a beer drought at every tub for those over the age of 20 should you wish to quench your thirst. 

After an eventful day, you’ll return to your accommodations. 

Hraunfossar waterfall with turquoise glacial water from Langjökull forming the Hvítá river

You’ll continue your journey around Iceland and make your way west today. The day starts with a trip through the mountainous region of Skagafjörður and although the route is long, it is very scenic. 

Once in West-Iceland, you will make a stop at Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver. Before you arrive, you’ll see the white billows of steam rising upwards into the air from far away. As you near the hot spring, you’ll see it bubble vigorously and splash boiling water around. Don’t worry, there are rails which will keep you at a safe distance from the scalding water.  

From there, you’ll visit the historical place Reykholt where you can learn about the historian, lawmaker and poet, Snorri Sturluson, and a violent period in Iceland’s history known as Sturlungaöld. 

Then it is off to see two waterfalls, Hraunfoss and Barnafoss. The former is quite unique. Water which travels underground through holes in the surrounding lava fields emerges at the top of this waterfall in a series of small rivulets. The process makes it looks like the waterfall appears from nowhere. 

Barnafoss, on the other hand, is vastly different. The river Hvítá rushes fiercely down a narrow gorge. Over time, the power of the water has broken through the surrounding rocks face and sculpted it into arches. 

You will then make your way to your accommodation in the area. As always, your guide will let you know if the sky looks like it might be filled with Northern Lights tonight.

Kirkjufell-under-the-snow-on-Sneafellsnes-itinerary

Today is the last day of your circle trip but it will be packed with wonderful sights and adventure. 

You’ll start the day by heading to Gerðuberg, a large cliff made out of columns of geometric patterns. The place might look like a medieval fortress, however, it is all natural created by volcanic activity thousands of years ago. 

From there, you’ll visit something unique in Iceland: a white sand beach. Most beaches in Iceland have black sand and very few have white or gold. But you didn’t come all this way to look at sand! The beach, Ytri-Tunga, is also a well-known seal colony and here you are likely to spot these curious creatures lounging on shore or swimming in the ocean.

The next stop is another beach but immensely different from Ytri-Tunga. Djúpalónssandur is a black pebble beach and to get to it, you have to walk through a natural maze of lava pillars. Once at the beach, you’ll see pieces of iron scattered amongst the smooth black pebbles. These are the remains of a British trawler wished shipwrecked by the shore in the 1940s. 

Looking over you today is the mighty Snæfellsjökull glacier. In 1864, Jules Verne published a novel where the main protagonists journey to the center of the Earth through tunnels inside Snæfellsjökull. Today, you can have your own subterranean journey with a visit to the cave Vatnshellir. 

This 8000-year-old lava tube is 200 metres long and lies 35 metres below ground. Although it is unlikely you’ll find prehistoric creatures like the characters of the famous sci-fi novel, you will amazing colours, lava formations and sparkling walls. You can reserve your spot on this underground adventure during the booking process.

No visit to Snæfellsnes can be complete without a visit to the famous Kirkjufell mountain. It is believed that the feature is the most photographed mountain in Iceland and its popularity has only increased after it was featured in the HBO series, Game of Thrones. 

At the end of the day, you’ll return to Reykjavík city where you can unwind at your accommodation after 8 fun-filled days on the road. 

Women in the silky blue waters of the blue lagoon in Iceland with smoke in the background

It is now time to bid farewell to the land of ice and fire. If you have an afternoon or an evening flight, you can squeeze in some sightseeing in Reykjavík before you leave.

You can visit the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church and after seeing the view of the city from the top, walk across the street to admire, for free, the art at the Einar Jónson Museum’s sculpture garden. 

After that, you can check out the shops on Skólavörðustígur street. This stretch of road has recently earned the nickname “Rainbow Street” because of the rainbow which has been painted on the pavement. It is a great spot to take photos of the majestic Hallgrímskirkja church.

If you are looking for some pampering today, you can book a visit to the Blue Lagoon on this day instead of your arrival day. It is a sure way to arrive at the airport rested and relaxed.

Then it is time to head to the airport to catch your flight home. We hope to see you again here soon, or as we would say in Icelandic: “Sjáumst seinna!”. 

Accommodation

You’ll have a choice of three accommodations levels. See details about each one in the boxes below. Accommodations in Reykjavík have been hand-picked by our local travel experts.

For budget-level, single rooms will be allocated to bookings for one person.  Shared twin/double or triple room(s) will be arranged for two or more people. Groups with an odd number of participants will be allotted a single room in quality-level. Children and teenagers will be arranged in the same room as their parents. Additional cost may occur if additional room(s) is needed.

For this tour, the levels reflect the choice of accommodations in Reykjavík. Accommodations outside of the capital cannot be upgraded and therefore the levels below do not apply. The accommodations outside of Reykjavík all include a private bathroom and breakfast. We do our best to accommodate special requests, but additional costs may incur.

Rooms with shared bathroom located in farmhouses, guesthouses or hostels. Located near the popular attractions. Breakfast not included.

Rooms in three-star hotels or quality guesthouses, very close to popular attractions. Private bathroom and breakfast included.

Rooms in four-star hotels or superior rooms in quality three-star hotels at fantastic locations near popular attractions. Private bathroom and breakfast is included.

Map

Optional Activities

Women in the silky blue waters of the blue lagoon in Iceland with smoke in the background
Blue Lagoon Comfort Entrance
Includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel and 1st drink of your choice.
 
Blue Lagoon Premium Entrance
Includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel, 1st drink of your choice, second mask of choice, slippers, use of bathrobe, table reservation at Lava Restaurant, and sparkling wine if dining.
The beautifull and very gentle Icelandic horse
 
2 Hour Horse Riding Tour
Meet the friendly Icelandic Horse. Includes 1-1.5 hour guided horseback ride with a specially trained guide. Use of riding helmets, boots & rain wear. Minimum age is 8 years. 
 
Glacier Hiking on Solheimajökull
A fun and easy glacier hike. No previous experience needed. Tour includes an English speaking glacier guide, use of helmet, crampons, ice axe and other necessary safety equipment. Minimum age is 8 years.
 
Crystal blue ice cave under a glacier
Ice Caving in Vatnajökull
Explore a cave in Europe’s largest glacier. Includes a tour with a certified glacier guide and all necessary glacier gear such as crampons and helmets. Minimum age is 8 years.
Tail of a humpback whale coming out of the water
Hauganes Whale Watching tour
See the whales in their natural habitat. Includes professionally guided tour and warm, floatable overalls for your safety and comfort. Also included is a second try in case of no sightings. No age limit.
 
Bathing is beer is possible in Iceland
Beer Spa
Soak in hops and yeast at the Beer Spa! Single and double tubs available. Bathwater is undrinkable, so there is no age limit but 16 years or younger must be accompanied by adults. Beer on draught at every tub for anybody over the age of 20.
Inside Vatnshellir lava cave on the snaefellsnes peninsula with stairs going down the cave
Vatnshellir Cave
Visit an 8,000-year-old lava tube created in a volcanic eruption.  This is a 45 minute guided tour to Vatnshellir cave. It is easily accessible, but you need to be reasonably fit to participate; i.e. be able to walk up 2-3 stories and walk on uneven surface. Bring warm clothes, good shoes and gloves. Minimum age is 5 years.
Person floating in the Myvatn Nature baths in the winter
Myvatn Nature Baths
Unwind in geothermal water just South of the Arctic Circle.  Please bring a swimsuit and a towel. However, you can also rent a towel if you don’t have one with you. Alcoholic beverages available to purchase for those over 20 years of age.

Good to know

  • Please note that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, so sightings cannot be guaranteed. However, outside of Reykjavík, you will be staying at rural hotels which increases your chances of seeing them when the weather allows.
  • Note that the itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.
  • The itinerary is dependent upon road and weather conditions and so it may be altered if conditions are not favourable. This includes optional activities as well. If extreme weather affects your travel plans, you will be notified and we will be our best to assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when applicable.
  • Some optional activities may need a valid driving licence, or you may need to send additional information to your travel agent. For snorkelling, you will need to know how to swim and fill out an online medical document.

What to bring

  • Warm and waterproof clothes
  • Good winter shoes that have soles with a good grip, or crampons
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Camera

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