Beautiful 11-Day Winter Tour of the Ring Road with Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Likely to sell out soon
Free cancellation
Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable

Description

Summary

Tour starts
Keflavík Airport
Starting time
Flexible
Duration
11 days
Ending place
Keflavík Airport
Languages
English
Difficulty
Easy
Available
Aug. - Mar.
Minimum age
12 years old

Description

Join this fantastic 11-day winter package exploring the highlights of the Ring Road in Iceland, including the Snaefellsnes peninsula. This package is perfect for travelers looking to see diverse natural attractions and rich local culture while avoiding the hassles of winter driving in a foreign country. 

Planning a trip to the land of fire and ice takes time and effort, particularly during winter. You must consider daylight hours, weather forecasts, and road conditions that may challenge your adventure.

Fortunately, with this 11-day winter vacation package, you don't have to worry about these concerns. Besides a comprehensive itinerary, airport transfers, hotels, and transportation are all taken care of for you.

During the trip, your transportation will be in a comfortable minibus driven by an experienced driver. You also have a personal travel agent you can contact anytime for queries, assistance, and additional information during your tour.

More importantly, friendly guides will lead this winter trip. From these knowledgeable local guides, there will be ample opportunity to learn more about the country and gain a deeper understanding of its people, culture, and history.

During your minibus tour, you'll have an exciting time in Iceland's wild and untouched nature. 

You will visit the three national parks of Iceland: the UNESCO World Heritage site Thingvellir National Park, Vatnajokull National Park, which includes the beautiful Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its diverse natural landscapes.

Other highlights of this trip include the South Coast, Eastfjords region, Lake Myvatn area, North Iceland, and West Iceland. You'll also get a free day to explore Reykjavik, where you can visit the museums, galleries, and parks of this world's northernmost capital.

Each night, you can look out to the sky to glimpse the breathtaking northern lights, a dazzling display of green, purple, or red lights phenomenon in winter.

This package takes you around the country, and the itinerary includes many experiences apart from sightseeing. Glacier hiking, whale watching, and ice-caving excursions are all included in the tour price. These are excellent activities to spice up your winter sightseeing adventures.

Besides these three tours, you can also add more guided activities to your booking for an extra cost. Your options include bathing in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, taking an adrenaline-fueled helicopter flight, horseback riding on snowy landscapes, and exploring ice tunnels inside the Langjokull glacier.

Should your plans change, you can cancel your reservation and receive a full refund up to 24 hours before departure.

Enjoy Iceland's most iconic landmarks and attractions, including its three national parks, by booking this 11-day winter package. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Included

Airport transfer on arrival/departure
8-day small group guided minibus tour of the ring road of Iceland and Snaefellsnes Peninsula
3 nights of accommodation in Reykjavik (different levels available, breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels, more detailed information below)
7 nights of accommodation in various country hotels (breakfast included, private bathroom)
Northern lights hunting
Detailed Itinerary
Personal travel agent
Taxes
Glacier hiking tour
Ice caving tour
Whale watching tour

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Caving
Horse Riding
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Northern lights hunting
Hot Spring Bathing
Cultural Activity
Helicopter
Ice Caving

Daily itinerary

Day 1
The Blue Lagoon spa, the perfect place to start your tour of Iceland.

Day 1 - Arrival, Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa and Reykjavik

On the first day of your winter excursion, you will arrive in Iceland. 

When you arrive at Keflavik International Airport, you will have a voucher for the bus. Trade it in for a ticket to the bus heading to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, and your destination for the day.

The drive from the airport is beautiful. You will see the undeveloped and sparse volcanic fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula passing by on the right-hand side while the rolling blue of the Atlantic Ocean is on your left. 

You could stop at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa on your way to Iceland's capital city. 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, it can be added to another day. Your travel consultant will be able to arrange this for you. 

If you choose to add the experience of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa to your vacation, two options are available. The comfort entrance gives you all you need for relaxation, including a silica mud mask and towel use. 

The premium entrance provides extras like more silica mud masks, a bathrobe and towel use, and a table reservation at the acclaimed LAVA restaurant.

You'll then be taken to Reykjavik. Despite its small size, Reykjavik is a bustling city with many fantastic museums, art galleries, cafes, restaurants, and bars. 

You could also spend your evening exploring cultural landmarks in the city, such as the Perlan observation deck, Harpa Concert Hall, or Hallgrimskirkja church.

You will spend your first night in comfortable accommodation in Reykjavik.

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Day 2
The mighty Strokkur geyser erupts, spouting enormous amounts of water high into Iceland's winter sky.

Day 2 - The Golden Circle Sightseeing Route

On the second day of your winter vacation in Iceland, you'll explore further afield with the fantastic Golden Circle sightseeing route. 

The Golden Circle sightseeing route is the most popular tour option for travelers in Iceland and is an excellent way to begin your tour of the country. This tourist route spans around 190 miles (300 kilometers) and is home to three world-renowned natural attractions.

Your first stop on the Golden Circle tour is the UNESCO World Heritage site, Thingvellir National Park. 

Being the original location of Althingi, the first democratically elected parliament in the world, Thingvellir National Park is an essential site to the history of Icelanders.

It is also a fascinating area for geologists and nature lovers. 

The Mid-Atlantic Rift runs through the Thingvellir National Park, and it is one of the only places in the world where you can see the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. 

After Thingvellir National Park, you will head to Haukadalur geothermal area, home to the bubbling hot spring Geysir, from which all geysers take their name. Although Geysir is dormant these days, its neighbor, Strokkur geyser, remains active. 

The photogenic Strokkur geyser erupts routinely every five to ten minutes, ensuring your chance to see this natural spectacle on display. On average, the dramatic water eruption reaches a height of around 66 feet (20 meters).

The mighty Gullfoss waterfall ("Golden Falls") is your final stop on this Golden Circle tour. 

The glacial river, Hvita, plunges approximately 105 feet (32 meters) down two tiers of this dramatic feature, creating a loud and misty experience that culminates into one of the most powerful sights in the country.

On-site are large viewing decks where you can enjoy admiring and photographing this majestic Icelandic waterfall.

You will spend your second night at accommodation in South Iceland. If the skies are clear, you might see the celestial display of the northern lights.

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Day 3
Reynisfjara black sand beach, looking out to the North Atlantic Ocean.

Day 3 - The South Coast

The third day of your winter holiday in Iceland takes you to the South Coast, one of the most visited regions in the country. 

The South Coast of Iceland is one of the country's most beautiful areas, with many ancient valleys, snow-covered mountains, cascading waterfalls, and delicate glacial rivers.

First on your itinerary are two of the country's most beloved waterfalls, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. Although both measure over 197 feet (60 meters) and are equally spectacular, they could not be more different. 

Seljalandsfoss waterfall has a narrow stream, falling over a concaved cliff you can fully encircle. A small cave behind its water curtain lets you see the waterfall from behind or at any angle you want.

Meanwhile, Skogafoss waterfall boasts a much broader and more powerful cascade at around 82 feet (25 meters). If you're visiting on a sunny day, you have a good chance of seeing a rainbow above its mist.

You will then try glacier hiking on the mighty Solheimajokull glacier, one of Iceland's most beautiful ice caps. An expert guide leads this adventure, so even first-timers can join. 

Your guide will also provide you with all the necessary equipment, including crampons and a helmet for your safety.

You will explore intricate ice sculptures and deep, pale crevasses. Those who reach the top will have access to a panoramic view of the surrounding scenery and region. 

You will then find yourself in the countryside near the sleepy fishing village of Vik, only a short distance from the black sand beach, Reynisfjara. 

Here, visitors are quickly fascinated by the strange basalt stacks that line the cliff faces and the tumultuous energy of the Atlantic waves. Don't get too close, however, as the waves at Reynisfjara black sand beach are unpredictable.

You will spend the night in South Iceland.

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Day 4
Great icebergs break from Breidamerkurjokull glacier, falling into Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon to tranquilly drift towards the open sea.

Day 4 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

On day three of your minibus tour around the Ring Road, your guide will take you to the Vatnajokull National Park. 

Vatnajokull National Park is Europe's largest ice cap, covering at least 10% of Iceland's landmass.

Inside Vatnajokull National Park, you'll discover some of Iceland's most prized natural features, including the Skaftafell Nature Reserve and the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.

As you travel across the black sand desert, Skeidararsandur, you will see Skaftafell Nature Reserve slowly appear over the horizon. The nature reserve is easily distinguishable by its forested slopes, jutting cliff edges, and static ice sheets. 

Passing lush green vegetation, you will travel under Iceland's highest peak, Hvannadalshnjukur mountain, in the Oraefajokull glacier volcano.

Only a short distance further is "the crown jewel of Iceland," Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Here, enormous icebergs break away from the overlying Breidamerkurjokull glacier, falling into the lagoon below before drifting into the Atlantic Ocean.

Visitors here can enjoy viewing different sizes of icebergs, some as large as buildings. You may even see the lagoon's resident seal colony.

From the glacier lagoon, you can walk a short distance across the road to Diamond Beach, the shoreline on which some of the lagoon's icebergs wash up. As the ice chunks glisten in the sun on the black beach, they look like precious stones on a velvet blanket.

You'll then discover one of the country's dazzling ice caves. Stepping into this aqua-marine underground world is undoubtedly one of the more unique experiences available in Iceland, if not the world.

An experienced guide will take you on a super jeep ride to your destination, a blue ice cave in Vatnajokull. This crystal blue ice cave is open from October to April.

If traveling before these months or depending on the weather, you might visit another ice cave of the same beauty.

Overnight, you will be staying in an accommodation in South Iceland.

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Day 5
Vestrahorn mountain on the Stokksnes Peninsula looks dazzling in winter.

Day 5 - The Eastfjords

On the fifth day of your winter tour of Iceland, you'll explore the remote Eastfjords.

The Eastfjords is regarded as one of the country's most diverse areas. It is also untouched as few tourists visit here, so it's a great place to immerse yourself in nature. 

Today, you will travel through the fjords and vales of this mountainous area, stopping at some hidden gems that your guide will tell you about. 

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife throughout your journey around East Iceland. After all, it is the only region in the country where you can spot herds of wild reindeer. As with many locations in Iceland, there are plenty of opportunities to spot seals along the coastline.

The Eastfjords is also known for its charming fishing villages on its picturesque coasts. Visiting some of these settlements will give you an outlook on the local culture and rich history of the fishing industry in Iceland.

If you opt to during the booking process, this day will include a horse riding tour through the beautiful southern lowlands. The guide will take you to the stables of a local farm, where you'll get to meet and ride the friendly Icelandic horse.

Icelandic horses are renowned for their surefootedness and agility. Due to the isolation of Iceland, the breed has remained relatively pure and has not been mixed with other horse breeds.

Your last destination for the day is Egilsstadir, the biggest town in Iceland's eastern region. 

Before heading to Egilsstdir, you can also visit the breathtaking Vok Baths for the East's only geothermal spa experience. A geothermal bath is an excellent way to shield yourself against the cold weather in Iceland. 

Alternatively, you can check the forecast for the aurora borealis. If the conditions are right, you'll have a great chance to spot the lights dancing in the skies.

You will find your cozy accommodation for the night in East Iceland.

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Day 6
A steaming fumarole at Namaskard pass near Lake Myvatn.

Day 6 - Lake Myvatn

On day six of this 11-day winter package in Iceland, you'll head to the charming town of Akureyri. Akureyri is considered the unofficial capital of North Iceland, serving as the region's central hub for commerce, transportation, and tourism.

On the way, you will find fantastic photo opportunities and sightseeing stops in some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the region. The most prominent among these stops is Lake Myvatn.

Lake Myvatn is one of the largest lakes in Iceland. However, despite its massive size, the lake is unusually shallow, with average depths of only 8 feet (2.5 meters) and not exceeding 15 feet (4.5 meters).

It is considered one of Iceland's most unique and popular destinations due to its volcanic landscape, abundant birdlife, and geothermal activity. Its natural wonders and dramatic landscapes make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and geology enthusiasts.

During winter, the lake transforms into a snowy wonderland. Parts of its notable pseudocraters become enveloped by ice and snow during the cold season for the most breathtaking sight.

You will continue by stopping at Namaskard Pass, a geothermal area with steaming fumaroles, bubbling mud pools, and colorful mineral deposits. The scenery here resembles something otherworldly, which wouldn't look out of place in a sci-fi movie.

One of the most remarkable and well-visited spots around Lake Myvatn is the Dimmuborgir lava field, a space defined by the peculiar rock formations that decorate this volcanic landscape. 

Dimmuborgir means The Dark Castles, and the name came to be due to the rock formations resembling a fantastical, medieval fort.

Before you reach Akureyri, you'll stop at the beautiful Godafoss waterfall. This waterfall, referred to as the "Waterfall of the Gods," is renowned for its stunning horseshoe-shaped cascade and its significance in Icelandic history and folklore. 

You will spend the night in North Iceland.

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Day 7
The impressive sea stack, Hvítserkur, located in North Iceland.

Day 7 - Exploring North Iceland

On the seventh day of your winter vacation in Iceland, you’ll explore the wonders of North Iceland.

Before continuing your minibus trip further north, don’t miss your chance to explore Akureyri. The town is home to numerous shops, boutiques, and restaurants where you can immerse yourself in the local culture by buying souvenirs and sampling local dishes.

As you bid farewell to Akureyri, the minibus will drive you on a scenic drive along Eyjafjordur, the longest fjord in Iceland. Along the way, you’ll discover a hidden gem, the little village of Hauganes. 

Although this tiny town is home to only about 140 people, it is packed with unique charm and beauty. Here, you can walk on a black sand beach and admire the surrounding seascape and idyllic harbor.

If you’d like a better view of your surroundings, a whale-watching tour is the best way to do that. Not only will you be able to take in the stunning vistas, but you’ll also be searching for the majestic whales that make the North Atlantic Ocean their home.

Eyjafjordur fjord is home to numerous wildlife species, from whales and dolphins to seabirds. The most common sightings here include humpback whales and white-beaked dolphins.

Then, you’ll be off to visit the peculiar rock stack known as Hvitserkur or ‘White Shirt.’ The unusual name comes from the amount of guano on top of it, for this is a favorite rest stop for birds looking for food in the surrounding water. 

The rock resembles an elephant drinking from the water and makes an excellent subject for photographers. 

You’ll then head to the Borgarnes region in West Iceland to spend the night. You will find a nice hot tub at your hotel, which you can unwind in after a day on the road. The northern lights may also make an appearance.

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Day 8
Kirkjufell mountain, one of Iceland's most uniquely shaped mountains.

Day 8 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula

On day eight of this winter adventure in the land of fire and ice, you will discover the attractions that make up the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. The peninsula is often called "Iceland in miniature" due to its diverse landscapes, featuring glaciers, lava fields, waterfalls, and coastal cliffs.

This enchanting region has inspired many books and works of art. Today, you'll find out why many prominent writers have referenced this area in their literary works. Some have even been adapted into movies.

First is a stop at the Gerduberg cliffs. This impressive wall of hexagonal basalt columns looks like something out of Game of Thrones, and you can walk right up to rocks for photos.

Then, it is off to the golden sand beach of Ytri-Tunga. Golden sand beaches are a rarity in Iceland, as most are volcanic and feature black sands. However, the seals are the main attraction, often swimming in the ocean or relaxing on the shore.

You'll be able to see the Snaefellsjokull glacier throughout your journey across the peninsula. This glacier stands at 4,744 feet (1,446 meters) above sea level.

Snaefellsjokull glacier volcano will grow larger and larger before your eyes as you navigate toward your other stops for the day, including the Djupalonssandur black beach and Mount Kirkjufell. The glacier inspired Jules Verne's novel "Journey to the Centre of the Earth." 

If you want to, you can also visit Vidgelmir cave. Vidgelmir cave is one of the country's largest lava caves, featuring an underground dome with various colorful volcanic rocks naturally decorating the interior. 

You can add this optional experience during the booking process.

You'll then return to your accommodation in West Iceland. 

You can spend another evening searching for northern lights while unwinding in a hot tub, the perfect way to relax after a day of sightseeing.

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Day 9
The beautiful Hraunfossar waterfalls, one of the attractions of the often overlooked West Coast of Iceland.

Day 9 - West Iceland

On the ninth day of your winter vacation package in Iceland, you'll explore the diverse attractions of West Iceland.

This Icelandic region is a captivating area that showcases Iceland's diverse natural beauty and historical significance. 

It offers the perfect blend of dramatic landscapes, historical landmarks, and charming towns or villages, making it an exciting destination for travelers.

You'll start the day by heading to Europe's most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver. If you want a great selfie here, you must be patient and ask for assistance from your guide. 

The hot spring's boiling water comes bubbling out of the earth accompanied by a massive amount of steam.

Besides its visual treat, Deildartunguhver's thermal energy is vital to Icelanders as it provides heating for nearby communities and settlements in West Iceland.

Then, it is off to the beautiful Hraunfossar waterfall. Meltwater from a nearby glacier travels underground through pores in the surrounding lava field before it emerges at Hraunfossar waterfall as a series of rivulets. 

During winter, some parts of the waterfall and its cliffs become frozen.

A short walk away, you'll find Barnafoss waterfall, an equally beautiful but vastly different waterfall. The river Hvita rushes rapidly through a narrow gorge, creating this spectacular cascade. 

Barnafoss Waterfall has a famous local tale you'll hear from your guide as you marvel at its beauty.

Besides these natural features, you'll have a chance to visit the historic settlements of the region, particularly Borgarnes and Reykholt.

Reykholt, although small in size and population, is steeped in historical significance. It was the former residence of Snorri Sturluson, a famous medieval Icelandic writer and politician. 

Borgarnes is an excellent base for travelers exploring the region because of its shops, amenities, and coastal location. 

At the end of your time in West Iceland, you will return by minibus to Reykjavik, where you will spend the night.

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Day 10
Reykjavik covered in snow during winter in Iceland.

Day 10 - Free Day in Reykjavik

On your penultimate day in the land of fire and ice, you will have some free time to explore the world's northernmost capital, Reykjavik.

Reykjavik offers many opportunities for laid-back sightseeing or more thrilling adventures, depending on your mood today. If you want a more relaxing day, stroll around the city to see its cultural attractions and popular restaurants.

If you prefer to be more active, you can join optional tours providing you with more unique experiences and perspectives of Iceland.

For example, you could join a whale-watching tour from the Old Harbor of Reykjavik if you still need to take one during this trip. It is one of the surest ways to see Icelandic wildlife up close. 

The Faxafloi Bay, the coastal waters around the island, are home to many marine species, including minke whales, humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, and sometimes even orcas.

If you can't get enough of Iceland's frozen beauty, you could also board a bus heading to Iceland's second-largest glacier, Langjokull, to tour the intricate tunnels carved into the glacier. 

These tunnels give you a unique perspective of the world of glaciers as you move through the white and blue ice chambers underneath.

Alternatively, you could opt for a one-of-a-kind adventure where you fly high over the city and its nearby surroundings. Seeing the Reykjavik area by helicopter is a brilliant experience, presenting you with a rare perspective and understanding of this small, northern city.

With weather permitting, the helicopter will even make a quick stop-off on the summit of a nearby mountain. 

Regardless of what you choose to do today, you will, without a doubt, be blown away by this quirky little city and all it has to offer. Remember to look out for the northern lights on your last night in the city and the country.

You will spend your last night in Iceland at your accommodation in Reykjavik.

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Day 11
Lake Tjornin in central Reykjavík frozen over during winter in Iceland.

Day 11 - Departure Day

Day 11 of your winter vacation package is your last day in Iceland. It is time to head home.

If you have the time, there's still much to explore in Reykjavik, including the Tjornin City Pond, the inner-city parks, and the eclectic Reykjavik flea markets. 

Before departing, stroll down Laugavegur Street, Reykjavik's bustling high street. This vibrant thoroughfare is the ideal spot to hunt for those final souvenirs commemorating your time in Iceland. 

Along Laugavegur Street, you'll find a diverse array of shops, boutiques, and specialty stores catering to a range of budgets, from affordable trinkets to luxurious items.

Downtown Reykjavik is also a haven for coffee and food enthusiasts, immersing you in a rich culinary culture. The city boasts numerous remarkable restaurants and cafes, offering delectable dishes and a cozy and inviting ambiance.

While exploring the area, take advantage of the chance to savor some iconic Icelandic snacks and dishes. One must-try delicacy is the pylsur, the Icelandic hot dog.

For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa today, you will finish your stay unwinding before heading to the airport. 

The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters while looking back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. 

You will ride a bus through the volcanic plains of the Reykjanes Peninsula towards the Keflavik International Airport, where you will catch your flight back home. Your transfer will give you plenty of time to check in for your flight and drop off your luggage. 

Relax in one of the airport’s restaurants or bars while waiting for your flight.

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What to bring

Warm and waterproof clothing
Camera
Winter hiking shoes
Swimsuit and towel
Reusable water bottle
Snacks

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.

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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.

Super Budget

Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostels. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.

Budget

Private rooms with shared bathroom in guesthouses or hostels such as Capital Inn Guesthouse. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.

Comfort

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.

Quality

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.

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