Explore all facets of the mysterious Land of Ice and Fire with this immersive ten-day winter vacation around Iceland. Visitors who wish to encircle the Ring Road, embark on a range of exhilarating tours, and get to know the country’s quirky culture should not hesitate to book this adventure.
By choosing this vacation package, you can forget about all the stresses that come with organizing a holiday; your airport transfers, hotels, and tours will all be arranged to your preferences before you arrive. Furthermore, you’ll be escorted around Iceland’s Ring Road by a friendly, local guide, meaning you don’t need to worry about navigating any icy trails and will be privy to insider information about the country’s incredible sites.
On your journey, you will get to explore the country’s magnificent south, which is lined with countless attractions, such as Seljalandsfoss waterfall and the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. After this, you’ll navigate the Eastfjords, one of the country’s most untouched regions, allowing you to marvel over the unbelievable views far from the tourist crowds.
Once you reach north Iceland, you’ll be entering a world of geological and geothermal marvel, with attractions such as the hot springs and lava fortresses at Lake Myvatn. You’ll then pass through the rural bliss of the west before returning to Reykjavík.
You’ll have two full days in the country’s bustling capital, framing your Ring Road adventure; this provides you with plenty of opportunities to witness the city’s famous art and architecture, to explore its museums and galleries, and get a taste of the cuisine and nightlife. However, if you are eager to spend as much time in nature as possible, both days offer exciting tours out of the city.
Regarding the tours on offer throughout your trip, you’ll find something to your tastes regardless of whether you like adrenaline-pumping adventure, spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, or ultimate relaxation. Whale watching, glacier hiking, and ice caving are included, while horseback riding and even a trip into a volcano’s magma chamber are optional. There are also multiple geothermal spas and pools that you can book admission to.
The cherry on top of this incredible holiday is that it is conducted through Iceland’s winter, the Northern Lights season. Whenever the sky is dark and clear, this spectacular phenomenon has a chance of appearing, and considering you will spend five nights in hotels in nature outside the capital; you will have plenty of opportunities to hunt for them.
Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in Iceland’s culture and nature with this ten-day winter vacation package. Check availability by choosing a date.
On your way to Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavík, 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.
Regardless of whether or not you choose to enjoy the spa, you’ll still need to be escorted across the Reykjanes Peninsula to the capital. This drive provides a magnificent introduction to the nature of Iceland; so long as you’ve arrived in the sunlight hours, you’ll be privy to sights of volcanoes, lava fields, and beautiful stretches of coastline.
If you arrive after dark, look out of the window in the hope of seeing your first glimpse of the Northern Lights.
After settling into your Reykjavík hotel, you are welcome to enjoy the bustling city by admiring its public works of art and striking architecture, visiting a restaurant or bar, or booking an admission to a local swimming pool. However, there is no need to try to fit too much in, as you’ll also have all of tomorrow to explore.
As noted, Reykjavik is a lively capital city with a range of attractions. From geothermally heated pools to fancy boutiques, from spectacular nature reserves to museums on all facets of Iceland’s culture, you’ll be able to pack your day with fun regardless of the interests of your group.
Those with a passion for wildlife have a unique opportunity today to go whale-watching from the city’s Old Harbour. The waters of Faxafloi are teeming with life, with countless seabirds, dolphins, and porpoises feeding here throughout the year. If you are coming in the months framing the country’s winter (such as September and April), you’ll also have an excellent chance to see Humpback whales, Minke whales, and even Atlantic puffins before they set off on their migration south.
However, if you arrive before the end of October, you have an even more highly recommended tour. After being escorted to Thrihnukagigur volcano, you will board a mining lift and enjoy a spectacular descent into its vast magma chamber.
Colored by the elements of the earth and large enough to hold monuments such as the Statue of Liberty comfortably, you will be awed as you approach the chamber’s bottom. Once you reach it, you’ll have over half an hour to explore, marveling over the incredible features and the gravity of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Regardless of if you whale watch or descend into the volcano, you’ll still have plenty of time to get to know Reykjavík. If the sky is clear when the sun sets, you could find a park or nature reserve far from the city’s urban light pollution in hopes of a display of the aurora borealis.
The first of the three attractions that make this route so renowned is Thingvellir National Park, the Icelandic mainland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Those with a passion for nature will marvel over the forests, waterways, and lava fields, as well as the surrounding volcanoes and views of the country’s largest lake.
History and culture buffs, meanwhile, will marvel over the fact that it was here that Iceland founded its still-ongoing parliament over a thousand years ago.
The second Golden Circle attraction is the Geysir Geothermal Area; as its name suggests, this is home to the country’s most famous geysers (one of which gave its name to all similar features worldwide). The most impressive of these is Strokkur, a hot spring that boasts just minutes between its eruptions, the heights of which often reach and even exceed twenty meters.
The third major attraction is Gullfoss waterfall. Standing at an impressive height of over thirty meters, you’ll marvel over it from the viewing platforms above as it cascades in two steps down an ancient valley. If you are traveling outside midwinter, there will even be a path to a deck where you will be close enough to feel the spray of the falls on your face.
Once you have completed Iceland’s most famous sightseeing route, you’ll travel to a hotel in the area for the night. Of course, should the conditions be promising, it is highly recommended to take a short walk from your accommodation in hopes of catching the aurora borealis.
The first two major attractions are waterfalls that you will undoubtedly have seen plenty of photographs of when researching Iceland for a holiday: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Both of them pour from a height of 197 feet (60 meters) from sea-facing cliffs but otherwise are completely different.
Seljalandsfoss tumbles in a gentle stream before an enormous cavern, making it one of Iceland's most unique waterfalls. Meanwhile, Skogafoss is much more classic in its appearance but far more powerful.
After enjoying both of these falls, there is an optional tour you can partake in. In clear weather, you can catch glimpses of the glaciers of Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull earlier in your travels but now have the opportunity to get up close to them by embarking on a glacier hike on a tongue the latter.
Glacier hiking is an incredible experience. The snow and ice terrain, dramatic formations, and unbelievable views make for an unforgettable adventure, and the sad reality that these glaciers are fast disappearing makes the tour that much more special.
After exploring the outlet of Solheimajokull, your journey along the South Coast will continue until you stop at Reynisfjara beach. Covered in black sands and beaten mercilessly by the waves of the Atlantic, this spot is as haunting as it is beautiful. The coastal geology here makes it all the more spectacular. The Dyrholaey rock arch curves out to sea on the horizon, and the Reynisdrangar sea stacks tower offshore.
These sea stacks are particularly compelling to those interested in Iceland's folklore. It is said that they were created when two malevolent trolls waded into the waters to grab a ship. Before they could drag it to shore for whatever nefarious purpose they intended, however, the sun rose, and both of them - as well as the vessel they had contact with - were turned to stone.
After enjoying Reynisfjara, you'll head to the adjacent village of Vik. Incredibly scenic, this is not only a wonderful place to retire in after a day full of adventure, but a fantastic spot to marvel over the Northern Lights.
After boarding a super jeep in Vik, you'll be escorted back to Myrdalsjokull glacier and driven to its summit. Here, unusual caves have opened, allowing visitors to witness the beautiful world inside an ice cap. To make this tour even more tantalizing, Myrdalsjokull covers Katla volcano, meaning you will be exploring over one of the most explosive peaks in the country.
If traveling between November and March, you'll instead ice cave later in the day under the crystal blue glacier of Vatnajokull.
After this excursion, you'll travel further east along the South Coast, through some beautiful scenery of volcanic deserts, coastal wonders, and colossal mountains. The further you travel, the more you will see glacier tongues creeping through the valleys on your left, all outlets of the largest ice cap in Europe, Vatnajokull.
Jokulsarlon is part of the national park that holds (and is named after) Vatnajokull glacier. The country's deepest lake is internationally lauded as one of the world's most beautiful places because it is filled with colossal icebergs throughout the year. Some icebergs tower many meters above the surface. Many are vividly colored an electric blue, and all are spectacular.
Adding to this site are the countless seals that call the waters home. They can often be seen swimming through the milky waters or hauling out in their colonies on one of the larger icebergs.
Hours can be spent walking up and down the shores of Jokulsarlon, watching the bergs slowly cruise towards the sea and listening to them groan as they gradually break apart. The area's mesmerizing ambiance can barely be described. Be sure not to lose track of time too much, however, as you'll also want to visit the adjacent Diamond Beach, where the ice washes up and contrasts splendidly with the black sands.
Your hotel for the night will be in this area; if you are lucky, you'll be able to enjoy the unforgettable experience of watching the auroras over the lagoon before retiring.
In terms of natural landscapes, you can expect enormous bays of sparkling water framed by great tabletop mountains; inland, you will get glimpses of Vatnajokull glacier and Snaefell, the country's tallest freestanding peak. Vestrahorn and Eystrahorn are two other dramatic mountains you will see, renowned for their ominously dark rocks and jagged twin peaks.
Further on your journey, you will also be privy to less classically Icelandic landscapes, such as those at Hallormsstadaskogur. However, Iceland has little woodland. You'd never think so when looking at the country's largest forest.
Regarding wildlife, this is likely to be the favorite region for animal enthusiasts. In the cliffs and islands of the Eastfjords are countless seabirds, with many staying over the winter months; along the shores, those with a keen eye have a great chance of spotting seals. Furthermore, herds of wild reindeer, which are not found anywhere else in Iceland, roam in this region and are easiest to find in winter when they move to lower lands to graze in.
Culture enthusiasts will also find plenty to keep them entertained throughout the journey. You will pass through many tiny fishing hamlets and villages that feel as if they have barely changed in centuries; despite this, each has its own distinctive charm. Furthermore, the East boasts a wealth of folklore, and your guide can tell you about the legends of each elf rock and tales of the monster said to reside in the serene Lake Lagarfljot.
Another adventure is on offer today: a horseback riding trip through the landscapes of Iceland’s southwest. Except for the puffins, Icelandic horses are the country’s most famous animals, renowned for their small stature, friendliness, curiosity, and abundant intelligence. Meeting one is a pleasure, and riding one through beautiful nature like a Viking of old even more so.
After this, you can bask in the healing waters of the Vok Spa, which sits just outside Egilsstadir.
Once you have explored the magnificent, untouched Eastfjords, you'll head to Egilsstaðir, the region's largest town. After exploring the vibrant settlement and looking out for the auroras from one of its dark corners, you'll retire here for the night.
The area boasts some of the country's most striking and diverse geology, with towers of lava rising from the waters, pseudocraters arranged in neat lines on the shore, and the basalt fortress of Dimmuborgir.
Dimmuborgir is a monumental natural feature and one of the many Icelandic sites steeped in folklore. The thirteen Yule Lads, the nation's alternatives to Santa Claus, are said to make their home here with their evil child-eating mother, Gryla. If traveling around Christmas, a visit here is a great way to get into the festive atmosphere.
If you are visiting in the months surrounding midwinter, Lake Myvatn has quite a different ambiance. When not covered in a blanket of snow, the landscapes are fertile and bursting with wildflowers. Similarly, when the lake is not caked in a thick layer of ice, it is home to thousands of freshwater birds.
The entire region is famous for its volcanic activity. When you head to Namaskard Pass, you will see this at its most dramatic; across a lifeless mountain plateau are many steaming vents and fumaroles pouring poisonous gasses in spectacular columns into the sky.
Once you have enjoyed the Lake Myvatn area and its surrounding sites, you will head to Akureyri, the capital of the north, where your hotel awaits. En route, however, you will make one final stop at the beautiful waterfall of Godafoss. Over a millennium ago, it was at this location where the country's law speaker tossed his idols of the Old Norse Gods to symbolize its conversion to Christianity.
Akureyri is a cultural hub that many guests will wish to explore before retiring. With boutiques, restaurants, bars, public art, dramatic architecture, and amazing natural views, it is somewhat of a compact version of Reykjavík with an appeal to all sorts of guests.
If you select a tour today, the first detour will come as soon as you leave Akureyri. Rather than join the Ring Road, you'll head north up the magnificent fjord of Eyjafjordur, renowned for its gargantuan surrounding mountains, bountiful life, and plentiful fishing villages. If you book a whale-watch, you will head to Haukanes, whereas if you picked a visit to the Beer Baths, you'll go to the adjacent Arskogssandur.
North Iceland is considered one of the best whale-watching locations in the world, and by taking a tour from Haukanes, you'll soon see why. Not only are the backdrops to your viewings magnificent, but the range and scale of the creatures are astounding. Humpback whales are most common outside of midwinter, whereas in the colder months, you're more likely to see pods of dolphins and even rare creatures such as orcas and belugas.
After enjoying one of these great opportunities, you'll continue along the Ring Road towards west Iceland. Before reaching the region, however, you'll detour to the Vatnsnes Peninsula. This area boasts the offshore rock monolith of Hvitserkur, a beautiful structure many say resembles an elephant drinking from the shadows. In folklore, it is, in fact, a troll who was frozen when lobbing rocks at the nearby basalt fortress of Borgarvirki.
Vatnsnes is also popular amongst wildlife lovers because it is the most reliable seal-watching location in the country.
As you continue towards Reykjavík, you'll pass through beautiful countryside and lava fields, with plenty of mountains, rivers, and historical settlements to marvel over. After passing beneath the Hvalfjordur tunnel, you'll soon arrive back in the capital.
Feel free to celebrate the end of your road trip around the entire island with a few drinks at one of the city's lively pubs before you retire.
If you'd like to mix city sightseeing with an adventure in nature, there are two half-day tours you can choose from.
A snorkeling excursion will take you back to Thingvellir National Park, to the ravine of Silfra. Filled with crystal-clear springwater, the views and colors you can find in this fissure between the continents are absolutely spectacular, and you'll stave off the freezing water with insulated drysuits. As these float and the spring has a gentle current, winter snorkeling in Iceland is surprisingly relaxing.
Alternatively, you could take a snowmobiling tour on the slopes of the second-largest glacier in the country, Langjokull. Snowmobiling is not just a wild experience that gets the adrenaline pumping as you glide across plains of ice and snow; it is also one of the best ways in which you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Highlands, south, and west in clear weather.
If, however, you would rather spend a full day outside of Reykjavik, you can book a tour to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula or 'Iceland in Miniature'. How it earned such a nickname will be apparent as soon as you begin to explore; it is jam-packed with diverse sites, boasting appeal to all sorts of travelers.
Wildlife enthusiasts will love the seals at Ytri Tunga Beach and the birds on the islands of Breidafjordur bay; those interested in Iceland's volcanic geology will find greater appeal in the Gerduberg hexagonal columns and the basalt plug of Londrangar. If you are fascinated by Iceland's history, there are many fishing villages, both thriving and long-abandoned, to admire. Anyone interested in folklore will be captivated by the countless tales associated with the natural sites.
However, the highlight of the peninsula is Snaefellsjokull National Park, named after the twin-peaked subglacial volcano at its tip. Dominating much of the area's scenery, this magical feature has inspired writers and artists for centuries; most notably, it was a key location in the novel 'A Journey to the Centre of the Earth' by Jules Verne.
However you spend your last full day, you'll no doubt want to find a dark city spot for one more incredible display of the Northern Lights before you retire.
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 your flight is later, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik.
You can visit the Arbaer Open Air Museum, which is particularly festive over the holiday season. Alternatively, take a dip in Laugardalslaug, the largest pool in the country, or go shopping in the boutiques along Laugavegur.
We hope you enjoyed your stay and that you come back to Iceland soon!
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.
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.