Exciting 10-Day Winter Adventure Package with The Highlands and Ice Caves
Set out on the winter vacation of a lifetime with this ten-day vacation package in Iceland. If you wish to explore the country's spectacular nature, witness the northern lights phenomenon, and pack every day with an exciting range of seasonal adventures, then this tour is for you.
As this is a vacation package, all your accommodation, tours, and transfers will be organized before your arrival, allowing you to enjoy the build-up to your vacation stress-free.
You will be driven everywhere by experienced, friendly guides, meaning you don't have to risk embarking on Iceland's winter roads.
You'll have a personal travel agent at your disposal, 24/7, during your 10-day adventure. They're always ready to assist you.
On this immersive winter holiday, you will see many of Iceland's famous sites, such as the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the Golden Circle sightseeing route, and three national parks. What makes it particularly unique, however, is the remote areas you will spend time visiting.
Landmannalaugar, for example, is a Highland reserve on your itinerary that is usually only accessible in summer. You can bathe in its hot springs, surrounded by a winter wonderland.
The Thorsmork Valley, a spectacular valley renowned for its forests and glacier tongues, is another far-flung destination you can explore.
The second draw of this winter adventure is the fact that it includes an ice-caving tour. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will introduce you to the vividly colored world inside a glacier, an experience you can only enjoy in Iceland's coldest months.
Other than the ice caves, the most considerable appeal of Iceland in winter is the northern lights. On this vacation, you will have nine nights to seek them out, including an official tour on the first day of your trip.
The hunt for the aurora borealis can either be conducted on a bus, heading out into the stunning nature around Reykjavik, or a boat, setting out into Faxafloi Bay from the city's harbor.
You can retake the excursion if weather conditions prevent you from seeing the auroras.
Besides this guided tour, your best chance to see a beautiful display of the northern lights will be on the nights you stay in countryside hotels.
Meanwhile, the rest of your time will be spent in a hotel in Reykjavik, allowing you to immerse yourself in Iceland's culture each evening and have a convenient base.
If your plans change and you need to cancel, you are entitled to a full refund if you cancel your booking at least 24 hours before departure.
Experience Iceland in a different light with this unforgettable 10-day vacation package, where you can see waterfalls, mountains, and northern lights. Check availability now by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Arrival - Blue Lagoon and Reykjavik
You will arrive in the country on the first day of your ten-day adventure in Iceland.
Upon arrival to Iceland, you will land at Keflavik International Airport and go through customs. As soon as you have, you’ll find a Flybus waiting to escort you to your hotel in Reykjavik.
On your way to Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, you could stop at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments.
It is in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere.
Adding the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa to your itinerary will be arranged according to your flights. If there is no time to visit the lagoon today, you can add it to another day. Your travel consultant will be able to arrange this for you.
Once you reach Reykjavik, you can settle into your hotel and explore a little of the capital. After all, it is an increasingly renowned center for culture and the arts, with beautiful architecture and a wealth of museums and galleries.
However, reach the meeting point for your northern lights tour in good time. Two equally enticing adventures are available based on what you selected during booking.
The first of these is a bus tour. After being picked up by a friendly, professional guide, you will be driven into the dark nature surrounding the capital to find the lights.
After finding a spot far from the crowds, clouds, and city lights, you’ll be able to marvel over the auroras as they descend over a beautiful landscape.
Alternatively, you could set out on a boat tour into Faxafloi Bay. While any northern lights experience is magical, watching them from the still waters outside Reykjavik, surrounded by dark mountains and peninsulas, is particularly unique.
After marveling over one of the world’s most extraordinary phenomena, you’ll retire at a hotel in the capital for the night.
Day 2 - The Golden Circle Sightseeing Route
On the second day of your ten-day winter vacation in Iceland, you will set out on a sightseeing tour around the spectacular attractions of the Golden Circle route.
Not only will this allow you to witness some of the country's most famous sites, but it can also include one of three exciting adventures.
You'll be picked up by a local guide in the morning and first head to Thingvellir National Park. This beautiful valley, defined by forests, ravines, and springs, is located directly between the two continents that divide Iceland.
It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it’s the site of the world’s first parliament.
You can take a snorkeling tour in one of the springs in the Thingvellir National Park, Silfra.
Though this may seem strange in winter, your drysuits will protect you against the near-freezing waters, and the views between the tectonic plates are unbelievably spectacular, with vivid blues and visibility exceeding 328 feet (100 meters).
The Geysir geothermal area is the second site on the Golden Circle sightseeing route. Here, you can see the impressive Strokkur geyser erupt to heights of up to 66 feet (20 meters) every five to ten minutes.
There are plenty of other hot springs and steam vents to admire when waiting for eruptions, including the currently inactive Great Geysir.
Finally, you will come to the waterfall of Gullfoss. Over 105 feet (32 meters) tall and pouring in two tiers, this is a beautiful feature throughout the year. However, it is even more spectacular in winter due to the ice that adorns the surrounding rocks.
You can embark on a snowmobiling tour of Langjokull glacier from the car park at Gullfoss waterfall. This thrilling adventure will allow you to race across the gleaming surface of one of Iceland's magnificent ice caps and introduce you to otherworldly views.
If neither snorkeling nor snowmobiling appeal, add a horseback riding tour to your Golden Circle trip.
Icelandic horses are a friendly, intelligent breed, and riding them is a fantastic way to witness the stunning landscapes of the southwest, regardless of your level of experience.
After your Golden Circle adventure, you will return to Reykjavik for the night.
Day 3 - The South Coast
On day three of your winter vacation to Iceland, you’ll be picked up in Reykjavik for a two-day tour along the South Coast.
While tomorrow will be focused on the once-in-a-lifetime exploration of an ice cave, today, you will marvel over the countless attractions this region boasts.
The first two significant sites you will witness along this stretch are spectacular waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss waterfall is narrow but tumbles before an enormous cavern from a 197-foot (60-meter) tall cliff, making it a breathtaking sight.
Skogafoss waterfall is just as tall but far more powerful, creating an enormous spray as it crashes into the ground.
As you continue along the South Coast, you’ll catch glimpses of other marvelous Icelandic attractions, such as the Westman Islands out to sea and the Eyjafjallajokull subglacial volcano inland.
The next site you will explore is the haunting and beautiful Reynisfjara Beach.
Reynisfjara Beach is renowned for having vast stretches of black volcanic sand, powerful waves, and stunning coastal geology. The Reynisdrangar sea stacks, for example, are impressive monuments just offshore, said to be trolls frozen when caught out in the sun.
A little further away, arching from a set of cliffs into the water, is the mighty Dyrholaey rock arch.
After leaving Reynisfjara black sand beach, you will continue eastwards until the tongues of the incredible Vatnajokull glacier begin to materialize on your left.
The landscapes moving forward will only get more dramatic until you reach your final destinations for the day, the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach.
The glacier lagoon has earned the nickname ‘the Crown Jewel of Iceland’ due to its unbelievable beauty. Located between a disintegrating glacier tongue and the ocean, the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon is the country’s deepest lake, filled with vast icebergs year-round.
It is a mesmerizing experience to watch and listen to them as they slowly make their way through the waters, made all the more enjoyable by the resident seals.
Diamond Beach is where these icebergs wash up when they finally reach the sea. Breathtaking due to the contrasts between the melting ice and black sands, this is a magnificent place to finish the day.
Before heading to your nearby countryside hotel, you may see the northern lights descend over one of these sites.
Day 4 - Ice Caving on the South Coast
The fourth day of your Icelandic winter vacation will begin with one of the country's most memorable experiences: exploring a crystal blue ice cave.
After being picked up by an experienced guide from your accommodation, you will be taken to a corner of Vatnajokull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. The glacier, also a national park, covers at least 10% of Iceland's landmass.
Before beginning your adventure, the guide will provide glacier equipment to ensure a safer and more comfortable caving experience. Included here are safety pieces of equipment like a helmet and crampons.
Then, the guide will take you deep into the Vatnajokull glacier. While en route to your destination, your small group will pass through some stunning landscapes in the national park.
Ice caves are most famous for their spectacular range of vivid blues, strange textures, formations, and the beautiful way the light penetrates them. Inside the cave, you can see different ice shapes and walls that are all stunning to see up close.
You'll have plenty of time to explore and take photographs as your guide tells you fascinating facts about the caves and glaciers. You can also ask them questions if you're curious about Icelandic ice caves, from their formation to associated folklore.
After an unforgettable experience, you begin your journey back to Reykjavik.
Though the drive will last a few hours, the landscapes around you promise to be mesmerizing, and you will also stop at some lovely locations to stretch your legs and enjoy some refreshments.
You will reach Reykjavik in the evening. If the sky begins to darken beforehand, you may see the northern lights dancing from the road.
After settling into your hotel in the capital, you could head to the bars to check out the live music scene or explore the wintry streets before retiring.
Day 5 - Landmannalaugar Super Jeep Day Tour
On the fifth day of your winter vacation, you will experience a super jeep trip to the Highlands of Iceland. This remote region is mainly inaccessible in winter, making this another unique opportunity that very few guests to the country get to experience.
The Icelandic Highlands is famous for its towering mountains, nature reserves, valleys, glaciers, and hiking trails. It’s an excellent place for travelers keen on having an off-the-beaten-track adventure surrounded by nature.
Your first destination on the way to the Highlands is Thorsadalur Valley, a spectacular valley most famous for being home to the waterfall of Hjalparfoss. Here, two streams meet as they cascade into a beautiful basin.
Following this site, you’ll visit two spectacular lakes: Ljotipollur, which sits in a red-rocked crater, and the serene Frostastadavatn.
Your final destination is the Landmannalaugar Highland Reserve. As you head towards it, you will travel through the stunning landscapes of Iceland’s interior. Expect to see lava fields, towering peaks, and glacier views.
Once you reach Landmannalaugar Highland Reserve, you’ll immediately understand why it is considered one of the most beautiful parts of the Highlands. Beautiful rhyolite mountains and countless hot springs define it.
It is even more breathtaking in winter when untouched snow blankets the otherworldly terrain.
Your guide will lead you on a hike through the beautiful scenery, allowing you to witness winter landscapes far off the beaten track. Your trek will end at a geothermal spring, where you can take a refreshing bath immersed in nature.
After this incredible experience, you will return to the super jeep to visit two more sites: the beautiful Thjofafoss waterfall and the notorious volcano of Hekla. After marveling over these attractions, you’ll return to Reykjavik for the night.
Once again, you can look to the winter skies to see the aurora borealis.
Day 6 - Thorsmork Super Jeep Day Tour
On the sixth day of your Icelandic winter vacation, you will head to yet another location that few tourists reach this season, Thorsmork Valley.
The famous Laugavegur trail connects the Landmannalaugar nature reserve and the Thorsmork Valley, allowing you to see where this world-famous hiking route begins and ends.
A friendly guide in a super jeep will pick you up early again, taking you along Iceland's South Coast to your destination.
On the way, you'll make another stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall to stretch your legs, and if the conditions allow, visit the hidden waterfall of Gljufrabui.
Gljufrabui waterfall is lesser known than its neighboring South Coast waterfalls. However, it's just as beautiful as the rest. Fewer people frequent this area, so you'll have a better time exploring its beauty with weather conditions permitting.
The Thorsmork Valley is a forested valley sheltered by three magnificent glaciers. Its position protects the valley from the worst of Iceland's winter weather, making it a wonderful place to go hiking.
The trail you will be led along will take you up the spectacular mountain of Valahnukur, exposing you to incredible views of the south, Highlands, and ice caps.
As you make your ascent and descent, you'll discover and understand why the reserve was named after Thor, the Old Norse god of thunder and fertility. Thorsmork translates to 'Thor's Valley.'
While exploring the Thorsmork Valley, you'll see mountains, lush valleys, canyons, and glacial rivers. Every spot in this area provides an opportunity to take photos and bask in the peacefulness of nature.
After making the most of this incredible place, the guide will drive you back to Reykjavik. If you still have some energy, be sure to check out the city's nightlife, or if it is clear, find a dark spot in the town in the hope of seeing the northern lights again.
You'll spend the night at your accommodation in Reykjavik.
Day 7 - West Iceland
On day seven of your winter package, you will begin a two-day tour exploring the majestic nature and cultural sites of West Iceland.
You'll be picked up by your friendly guide early, driving north of Reykjavik through some beautiful landscapes, including the flat-topped mountain of Esjan and an abandoned naval base from World War II.
Your first significant attraction will be one of the oldest towns in Iceland, Borgarnes, home to the fascinating Settlement Centre museum.
After a brief stop here, you will continue to the highest-flowing hot spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver, where you can marvel over the geothermal forces at work just beneath the country's surface.
Following this, you will head to the waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, which are just a short walk apart. Even so, they are dramatically different.
Hraunfossar waterfall is a series of waterfalls trickling gently in little rivulets through a field of lava. Many of its cascades are frozen in the depths of winter. Barnafoss waterfall, meanwhile, is far too powerful to freeze, racing down a narrow canyon.
You'll follow up these beautiful natural attractions with a visit to another historical hotspot, the village of Reykholt.
This quaint settlement was once home to the legendary historian, chieftain, and writer Snorri Sturluson, who was instrumental in the beginning and end of Iceland's medieval civil war.
While exploring each attraction on your itinerary, you're free to ask questions from your guide. They can tell you exciting trivia and stories about West Iceland.
More importantly, they can tell you the rich history of Borgarnes and Reykholt associated with the Icelandic Sagas.
After enjoying all that today has to offer, you will head to a hotel in the countryside of West Iceland for the night. If the sky is clear and the forecast is good, you'll have a great chance to see the auroras over the landscapes here, far from Reykjavik's urban light pollution.
Day 8 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula - Iceland in Miniature
On the eighth day of your winter vacation in Iceland, you'll explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. The Snaefellsnes peninsula is one of Iceland's most diverse regions, with countless sights on its coasts. It's often called "Iceland in miniature" due to its wealth of natural attractions.
The first major attraction you will come to is the hexagonal basalt columns that decorate the cliffs of Gerduberg. Such formations only occur in volcanic hotspots such as Iceland.
Following this, you'll head to the Ytri Tunga beach, home to a resident seal colony, already showing you how contrasting the appeal of the Snaefellsnes peninsula is.
The next site you'll visit is the enormous basalt plug of Londrangar, which towers over the ocean and is home to countless seabirds. As you continue along the road, you will enter Snaefellsjokull National Park, named after the twin-peaked glacier.
Snaefellsjokull Glacier is the most famous site of the peninsula, towering over many other attractions and gleaming a shimmering white. Its beauty has inspired many works of art, such as Jules Verne's novel 'A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.'
It has many incredible surrounding attractions, such as Djupalonssandur Beach and the hamlet of Arnarstapi.
As you continue your journey toward the peninsula's northern shore, you will encounter many historic fishing villages, which have changed little in centuries.
In clear weather, you will also have great views of Breidafjordur Bay, across countless islands, to the dramatic mountains of the Westfjords.
The most famous natural attraction along this stretch is Kirkjufell Mountain, a pyramid-shaped peak featured in the TV show Game of Thrones. The mountain towers over the surrounding coastal settlements at around 1519 feet (463 meters).
Beside this breathtaking feature is a picturesque waterfall named Kirkjufellsfoss, which completes the site's beauty.
After circumnavigating the spectacular Snaefellsnes Peninsula, you will return to Reykjavik for your penultimate night.
Day 9 - Relax in Reykjavik
You'll spend the ninth day of your winter adventure in Iceland in the capital city, Reykjavik.
On your final full day in Iceland, you have many equally appealing options for what to do.
Those who want to explore Reykjavik can choose to stay in the city. Staying in Reykjavik will allow you to explore the local museums, galleries, pools, and boutiques and admire the local architecture and public art.
Reykjavik is a compact city with pedestrian-friendly streets, so strolling around downtown is an excellent activity today.
If you still have a taste for adventure, there are many tours you can embark upon on this day.
The first option is to visit far-flung North Iceland to explore the spectacular Lake Myvatn region. Here, you can see geological and geothermal marvels amongst landscapes that appear to be from another world. You can fly from a domestic airport.
Another option is to take a tour of the Langjokull Glacier. You will board a super jeep designed to scale the glacier's slopes, escorting you to the Ice Tunnel, the world's only artificial ice tunnel of such scale.
Though not naturally occurring like the ice caves you visited earlier, it is still beautiful, with gleaming blue corridors and chambers.
If you'd like to spend part of the day adventuring and some of it in the city, whale watching or horseback riding are excellent alternatives.
The former tour departs from Reykjavik's Old Harbour and will allow you to marvel over the animals of Faxafloi Bay. Even in winter, dolphins are plentiful. You may even see a few minke whales that have yet to migrate.
The latter, meanwhile, will take you through the beautiful valley of Mosfellsdalur, just outside Reykjavik. Despite its proximity to the city, you'll still feel immersed in rural nature as you take a leisurely ride.
You'll spend your final night in Reykjavik.
Day 10 - Reykjavik and Departure
Day ten is the last day of your ten-day winter vacation in the land of fire and ice, and it’s time to head home.
A Flybus will pick you up from your hotel and escort you to the airport in good time for your flight.
If you have a late departure, pick up some last souvenirs along Reykjavik’s main shopping street or enjoy a delicious lunch in one of its esteemed restaurants.
Laugavegur Street in downtown Reykjavik is the best place to visit for some last-minute shopping. You’ll find top-rated souvenir shops, specialty stores, and boutiques along the street of Laugavegur. You can find many items in this area that will match your budget.
If you want to sample more local dishes, Laugavegur Street and the surrounding streets offer a wide selection of restaurants and cafes. Don’t miss out on trying the famous Icelandic hot dogs from different stalls all over the city. The most famous one is called Baejarins Beztu.
Alternatively, you can spend your remaining day in Iceland exploring Reykjavik’s most iconic landmarks or cultural attractions.
Towering over the city center is the Hallgrimskirkja church, Iceland’s tallest and most famous church. The church measures around 240 feet (74.5 meters) and boasts unique architecture inspired by the basalt columns of the Svartifoss waterfall.
Not far from Hallgrimskirkja church is another architectural landmark called Harpa Concert Hall. This cultural hub features around 714 glass panels to mimic the beauty of the aurora borealis.
Finally, if you could not arrange a Blue Lagoon geothermal spa visit on your first day, you could schedule it before your flight home.
It is a wonderful way to unwind from an action-packed vacation to bask in its azure waters and make the most of its luxurious steam rooms and saunas.
What to bring
Good to know
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 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.