Perfect 10 Day Northern Lights Winter Vacation Package to Iceland with Glacier Ice Caving
Traverse the spectacular Ring Road of Iceland and explore its most magnificent sites in their winter colors with this ten-day vacation package. Travelers who wish to spend every moment of their holiday immersed in incredible natural landscapes should not hesitate to book this trip.
On this epic journey, you will fully encircle the Land of Ice and Fire, witnessing its most unforgettable regions, such as the remote East Fjords, the diverse Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and the iconic Golden Circle. All the features that make this country such a highly sought-after holiday destination, from hot springs to glaciers, volcanoes to waterfalls, are on your agenda.
You’ll also get to embark on a range of classic Icelandic adventures throughout your trip, such as horseback riding, glacier hiking, and whale watching.
Furthermore, you’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore one of the country’s crystal blue ice caves, phenomena that occur incredibly rarely around the world. Open only in the depths of winter, an exploration here will introduce you to an ethereal space of vivid color, surreal formations, and beautiful lighting effects which you will never forget.
Along with the ice caves, the greatest appeal of visiting Iceland in its coldest months is the chance to stand in awe as you watch the Northern Lights. As you will be spending seven nights in countryside hotels, far from any urban light pollution, you will have many chances to marvel over this polar wonder.
Furthermore, as you travel from destination to destination, your guide will stop should the auroras appear, allowing you to witness them over some of the country’s most stark and stunning landscapes.
The beauty of a vacation package is that all details, such as hotels, transfers, admissions, and tours, are taken care of before your arrival. Furthermore, the responsibility for researching and locating the sites, and all the driving are in the hands of your friendly guides.
This means you won’t have to stress about minor details distracting you from your incredible holiday, nor will you have to navigate Iceland’s icy winter roads.
Don’t miss this incredible, ten-day winter vacation package around the Ring Road of Iceland and Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Check availability by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Arrival
At the beginning of your ten-day winter holiday to Iceland, you'll land at the only international airport in the country, Keflavik. Once you have cleared customs and got your bags, you'll find a shuttle bus waiting for you.
On your way to Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It is located in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere.
If you add the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged according to your flights. If there is no time to visit the lagoon today, it can be added to another day; your travel consultant will be able to arrange this for you.
Once you reach Reykjavik, you'll find it a beautiful place to explore, with some impressive feats of architecture, spectacular views over the surrounding nature, and a wealth of attractions. If you have time and energy, it's recommended to spend at least a few hours exploring the city, as this is one of the only opportunities you'll get. The next eight days will be spent on the road.
You'll spend the night in the capital.
Day 2 - The Golden Circle
On the second day of your ten-day winter vacation, you will depart Reykjavik to begin your journey around the country. Your first destinations are some of the country's most famous, presenting you with a brilliant introduction to Iceland: the sites of the Golden Circle.
You'll be picked up nice and early by your friendly, local guide, who will spend the next eight days escorting you around the island. After introductions, they will drive you into the beautiful nature of the southwest to your first major attraction, Thingvellir National Park.
Thingvellir is located between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Its cliff-edges of which are clearly visible. The landscapes of this UNESCO World Heritage Site consist of stunning forests, waterways, and lava fields. Surrounding it are spectacular volcanoes and the country's largest natural lake.
As if Thingvellir needed any more appeal, it is also historically significant, being the original site of Iceland's first parliament, formed over a millennium ago.
After strolling through the park's walkways, you'll continue to the Golden Circle's second major attraction, the Geysir Geothermal Area. Named after its explosive geysers, you'll be most awed by the magnificent Strokkur, which erupts every few minutes, often ejecting water over 66 feet (20 meters) into the air.
Once you have had your fill marveling over the geothermal forces of Iceland's nature, you'll be driven just a short distance down the road to the Golden Circle's final attraction, Gullfoss waterfall. Over 98 feet (30 meters) tall and tumbling into a dramatic valley in two steps, you'll be left in little wonder as to why this is one of the country's most photographed and famous features.
Once your adventures for today are complete, you'll retire at a hotel in one of the countryside villages of the southwest. If the sky is clear, be sure to look out for the aurora borealis before you rest.
Day 3 - The South Coast
On the third day of your winter holiday in Iceland, you will explore the magnificent sites of the South Coast. Similar to the Golden Circle, the South Coast is an acclaimed sightseeing route in Iceland due to its proximity to the capital and the diversity of its attractions.
Setting out on the Ring Road that fully encircles the country, the first major landmark you will come across is the waterfall of Seljalandsfoss. Though narrow and gentle, this is still a breathtaking site due to the fact it falls from a height of 197 feet (60 meters) and because of the enormous cavern that has been carved by nature behind it.
Skogafoss is the second main attraction of the South Coast; another waterfall, it is just as tall as Seljalandsfoss but far more powerful. It thunders to the ground with awe-inspiring force, tossing off great clouds of spray as it does. Those interested in folklore will be fascinated by the legend surrounding this feature. It is said to conceal a treasure chest just out of reach.
Today, you are welcome to embark on a glacier hiking tour shortly after your visit here. You'll be escorted to the glacial outlet of Solheimajokull, a tongue of the country's third-largest ice cap, Myrdalsjokull, where you'll be dressed in all the necessary safety gear before beginning your adventure.
Glacier hiking is a fantastic way to marvel over the phenomenon of the ice caps, which though rare around the world cover over ten percent of Iceland's surface. The crevasses, formations, vivid colors, and walls of ice are spectacular to admire up close, and if the weather is clear, you'll also be able to enjoy some marvelous views of the South.
Following this unforgettable experience, you will continue along the Ring Road until you reach some magnificent coastal attractions. Dyrholaey is, first, a gargantuan rock arch that curves from a set of dramatic cliffs into the ocean; the space here is so large that daring pilots have been able to navigate their small planes through it.
Next, you will come to the beach of Reynisfjara. With black volcanic sands stretching as far as the eye can see, this area has a haunting beauty, unlike anything else on earth. The site is made all the more spectacular and fascinating by the enormous sea-stacks that tower just off-shore: Reynisdrangar.
Like many of the rock monuments around Iceland, Reynisdragar is steeped in legend. It was said that they were formed when a pair of trolls attempted to pull a human ship to shore but were caught in and frozen by the light of the sun before they could finish the job.
Just adjacent to Reynisfjara is the village of Vik, where you'll retire for the night. If the conditions are right, you may be blessed with a beautiful display of the aurora borealis over the beach.
Day 4 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
On day four of your winter vacation in Iceland, you will get to delve deep into arguably the country’s most spectacular corner as you explore the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Diamond Beach, and, if you elected to do so while booking, an otherworldly ice cave.
Leaving Vik, your journey east will take you across lava plains and black sand deserts before glacier tongues of the largest ice cap in Europe, Vatnajokull, begin to materialize through the mists of the mountains to your left. After enjoying this beautiful journey, you will enter Vatnajokull National Park as you pull up to Jokulsarlon.
The deepest lake and largest glacier lagoon in the country, Jokulsarlon is often referred to as the Crown Jewel of Iceland for great reason. There are thousands of icebergs within its waters, some towering many meters above the surface, in gleaming white and electric blue shades. Marvelous in their own right, wildlife lovers will rejoice when they see that countless seals can also be found at this site.
Adjacent to the glacier lagoon is the Diamond Beach. Another black sand stretch of shoreline is renowned for being the place where the icebergs wash up after escaping the lagoon. The volcanic sands, gleaming ice, and foaming surf contrast dramatically, making this a marvelous place to take a stroll.
Despite how incredible these sites are, the beauty of today is just beginning. You’ll be picked up from Jokulsarlon’s car park in a super jeep and whisked to a remote corner of Vatnajokull, where you’ll be equipped with all the necessary safety equipment. Once everyone is ready, you’ll be led into one of the world’s most unreal and spectacular phenomena.
The crystal ice caves have shades of blue so vivid that they defy the imagination; the way light passes through the ice is mesmerizing. The various formations and textures add to the otherworldly experience. You’ll no doubt spend your whole time in the cave in absolute awe, feeling more like you have stepped into the pages of a fantasy novel than an Icelandic attraction.
If traveling outside of midwinter, you'll instead visit the ice caves under Katya at the start of the day.
Once you’ve marveled over the magical sites in this corner of Vatnajokull National Park, you’ll be driven to the town of Hofn. You’ll spend the night here, in a perfect position to explore the majestic East Fjords tomorrow.
Day 5 - The East Fjords
On the fifth day of your ten-day winter vacation around Iceland, you will set out to explore the mesmerizing East Fjords. On the far side of the country from Reykjavik, and during their off-peak season, you will be thrilled to find that the tourist crowds that can gather at some of the country’s more accessible locations are nowhere to be found here.
As you drive towards the East Fjords, you’ll first come to two mountains that, despite being very similar, are starkly different from other peaks in Iceland: Vestrahorn and Eystrahorn. Composed of unusual gabbro rock, both stand out for their ominously dark coloration and jagged peaks, making them particularly photogenic features.
Continuing along the Ring Road, the unbelievable beauty of the East Fjords will begin to unfold before you. Plunging bays with glistening seas; majestic mountains; views of Vatnajokull glacier; and countless minuscule fishing villages that feel as old as time will all make this drive unforgettable.
Each of these villages has its own unique charm. Djupivogur, for example, is a gorgeous settlement that stands out for its striking works of public art and its coastal hot pools.
Adding to the beauty of East Fjords of Iceland is the abundant wildlife of the region. It is, for example, the only part of the country where reindeer can be found wild, and winter is the best season to see them as they move to lower lands to graze. Furthermore, many seabirds clutter the spectacular cliffs, and the waters of the fjords themselves are bountiful with life; seals, dolphins, and even whales can often be spotted from the shore.
You’ll make plenty of stops at the most stunning coastal viewing points en route before turning inland to reach your final destination for the day, the town of Egilsstadir. To reach this settlement, you will drive by two more iconic features of the region: Iceland’s largest forest, Hallormstadaskogur, and the serene Lake Lagarfljot, which is steeped in folklore.
While sightseeing at these attractions is a wonderful way to spend the day, you can add a horseback riding adventure to further immerse yourself in Iceland's nature.
Icelandic horses are incredibly lovely animals, renowned for their curiosity, intelligence, and friendliness; riding one is a great way of experiencing what life was like for the early Vikings who first settled here. Furthermore, this tour can be tailored for you; if you've never ridden before, you'll have an easy introduction, whereas experienced equestrians will get to show off their skills.
Furthermore, you can visit the Vok Baths today. This spa is geothermally heated and surrounded by lake and mountain views.
Both of these will form beautiful backdrops for a display of the Northern Lights, should they materialize before you retire for the night.
Day 6 - Lake Myvatn
On the sixth day of your ten-day package to Iceland, you'll immerse yourself in the spectacular beauty of Lake Myvatn. To reach this geothermal region, you'll be driven through the dramatic lunar landscapes that define north Iceland.
A series of magnificent lakes, Myvatn is particularly spectacular in winter, when its waters are frozen, its surrounding landscapes are blanketed in snow, and its geological marvels are caked in ice. In terms of these geological monuments, the most impressive are the towers of twisted lava, the rows of perfectly formed pseudocraters, and the lava fortress of Dimmuborgir.
Dimmuborgir is particularly significant for its role in folklore; it is said to be the home of the Icelandic Yule Lads, otherwise known as thirteen Christmas trolls, adding to the festive feeling of your winter visit. Furthermore, it was featured in Game of Thrones.
The Lake Myvatn area is highly volcanic, and there are two places where you can best see these forces at work. Namarskard is a mountain pass littered with steam vents belching poisonous gasses into the sky in such volume that no life can grow anywhere around.
After marveling over the wonderful sites of Myvatn, you will head to the Waterfall of the Gods, Godafoss. Not only is this a spectacular attraction, roaring down a magnificent river surrounded by dramatic terrain, but it has a strange role in Iceland's religious history, marking the place where the Old Norse Gods were symbolically abandoned.
At the end of the day, you'll reach the largest town in north Iceland, Akureyri. After checking into your hotel, feel free to explore to get more of a taste of Iceland's culture; like Reykjavik, Akureyri has bustling bars and excellent restaurants, alongside some beautiful architecture and views of nature.
Day 7 - Whale Watching or Beer Spa
On day seven, you will get to know more about the spectacular region of north Iceland. However, before setting out on your journey, you'll embark on a whale-watching tour.
This journey will take you out into some beautiful waters, surrounded by colossal mountains, on the search for some of the world’s most incredible creatures. White-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoises, and orcas are all seen regularly here, and you may even see a few great whales that didn’t migrate, such as Minkes and Humpbacks.
Following your choice of tour, you will continue your journey through north Iceland, passing through quaint villages and dramatic landscapes. As you travel, you’ll make several stops, such as at the Vatnsnes Peninsula.
This underrated corner of Iceland is home to the massive natural fortress of Borgarvirki and the dramatic coastal monolith of Hvitserkur, which many compare to a drinking elephant. It is also one of the best places in Iceland to find large seal colonies.
Your guide will soon drive you into the rural landscapes of the west as you make your way to your destination for the evening: the coastal, historic settlement of Borgarnes. This is a wonderful place to seek out a display of the auroras over the ocean before retiring.
Day 8 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula
On your penultimate day exploring the nature of Iceland, you will get the pleasure of touring the many sites of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Considered a microcosm of the country, this region has something to appeal to all kinds of travelers.
You will come across geological marvels on its southern shore, such as the Gerduberg Cliffs and the Raudfeldsja Gorge. The former is a cliff face decorated with hexagonal basalt columns so geometrically perfect they seem like they were carved by hand. In contrast, the latter is a striking cleft through a mountainside.
Wildlife lovers will find Ytri Tunga beach and the Londrangar basalt plug just a short distance from both of these attractions, which are renowned for their birdwatching and seal-watching, respectively.
If you are interested in culture, you’ll find a wealth of fishing villages around the Peninsula, some still surviving as they have always done, off the bounty of the seas, and some long abandoned, slowly being reclaimed by nature. Many natural attractions are also steeped in folklore, associated with legends of giants, wizards, and berserkers.
However, the highlight of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is Snaefellsjokull, the subglacial volcano that adorns its tip. Its two peaks dominate much of the scenery, gleaming a pristine white, leaving visitors in no doubt as to why artists, novelists, and mystics have long been drawn to and inspired by its beauty.
Due to its natural and cultural importance, Snaefellsjokull is protected in a National Park of its own name.
Finally, on the northern shore of the Peninsula is Kirkjufell mountain, a feature that has become almost as famous as the glacier itself since its appearance on Game of Thrones. It is shaped like a pyramid and sits next to a waterfall that freezes in midwinter. Its dynamic presence makes it a favorite stop for photographers.
If you would like to fit another adventure into your holiday, you can choose to partake in a thrilling caving adventure into Vidgelmir. Lava caving allows you to marvel over the otherworldly, subterranean world beneath Iceland’s landscapes, which boasts vivid color and mesmerizing ice formations.
You'll head to accommodation in West Iceland.
Day 9 - West Iceland
On day nine of your Icelandic winter holiday, you’ll tour the sites of west Iceland; you’ll even be waking up in one of the region’s major attractions, Borgarnes. This is one of the first places in the county to be settled and is home to the fascinating Settlement Centre museum. The town also has some stunning views over the surrounding nature.
After enjoying Borgarnes, you’ll pass through some gorgeous countryside to visit the twin waterfalls of Barnafoss and Hraunfossar. Though just a minute’s walk apart, their differences are stark; Barnafoss is narrow, rapid, and dramatic, whereas Hraunfossar is spaced across a plateau of lava, pouring in gentle rivulets.
Another incredible attraction in the west is the highest flowing hot spring in all of Europe, Deildatunghver. Not only is this an unusual and spectacular natural phenomenon, but it fuels the adjacent Krauma Spa and heats many of the surrounding towns and villages.
The next major site of west Iceland is Reykholt, an idyllic village with far more history than its quaint appearance would first suggest. As the town’s Snorrastofa Museum details, this was once the home to Snorri Sturluson, one of the medieval era’s most important writers and historians and one of the country’s most historically significant chieftains.
After a full day of exploration, both above and below the surface, you’ll return to Reykjavik for your final night. If you want to toast to the end of your epic trip, you’ll find the city has a wealth of lively bars and esteemed restaurants to do so in.
Day 10 - Departure
On day ten, you’ll take your pre-planned shuttle bus back to the airport and catch your flight home. However, if your flight is not until later, you can use the time to explore Reykjavik or relax in the Blue Lagoon.
The museums and galleries of the capital city are great places to visit for a final perspective on Iceland; whether you are interested in the country’s music, nature, history, or artists, you’ll find a fascinating place to go. Otherwise, the streets are a wonderful place to take a stroll, with beautiful views over nature, some striking buildings, and a festive, wintry spirit.
For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you will finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice.
If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey.
What to bring
Good to know
The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximize your chances to see them if the weather allows. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to better fit your arrival date and time.
Some optional activities might need a valid driver's license, or you might need to send additional information to your travel planner. Please note that you need to know how to swim and present medical documents should you choose to go snorkeling or diving.
It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is canceled. If your chosen activity is canceled, 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.
Accommodation in Reykjavik
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.
Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostels. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.
Private rooms with shared bathroom in guesthouses or hostels such as Capital Inn Guesthouse. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.
Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels such as Hótel Klettur, or quality guesthouses. Located in the city center or in close vicinity. Breakfast is included.
Rooms at four-star design hotels in the city center with a private bathroom at the absolute best locations downtown such as Hotel Alda. Breakfast is included.