Join this 12-day winter adventure package around the ring road of Iceland. On this epic trip, you'll get to visit some of the most incredible locations all across the country and can experience a complete list of once-in-a-lifetime activities such as glacier hiking, snowmobiling, and visiting a blue ice cave and lava cave. This tip is perfect for adventurous people keen to make the most of Iceland's incredible outdoors.
This trip will take you around Iceland anticlockwise. You'll get to explore the famous Golden Circle, the wondrous South Coast, the icebergs of Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, the rugged terrains of the Eastfjords, the geothermal north, the richly diverse Snaefellsnes peninsula, and the vibrant city of Reykjavik. Twelve days is the perfect length of time to enjoy all of these locations for their incredible beauty and sheer uniqueness.
Take the opportunity to make your already action-packed winter adventure that much more adventurous by adding some additional excursions during the booking process. These include visiting an authentic blue ice cave within Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajokull, venturing into a lava tube, challenging yourself to a glacier hike, horse riding in Iceland's rugged wild terrains, and capturing the sight of some of the great creatures of the deep with a whale watching tour.
This tour package is perfect for travelers who want to experience Iceland in winter without worrying about driving on the icy country roads fully. This package takes care of all the accommodation, tour, and transport details so you can focus on enjoying the adventures.
So don't hesitate and book your adventure package to Iceland to explore everything from mountains and waterfalls to glaciers and the most spectacular fjords. Check availability by selecting a date and book your Iceland adventure.
Welcome to Iceland! It's time to start your winter adventure into the spectacular land of fire and ice.
Once you arrive at Keflavik International Airport, use your voucher to get your bus ticket. Buses should be running roughly every 30 minutes, so you don't need to worry about missing your transport.
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. There is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik and the Reykjanes Peninsula if you have extra free time.
After enjoying a relaxing dip in the Blue Lagoon, you'll take your bus to the vibrant and quirky capital city of Reykjavik, where you can check into your accommodation. If you have a bit of extra time before dinner in the evening, feel free to check out some of the main landmarks and bustling streets of the charming downtown area filled with plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants for you to enjoy a lovely evening.
You will then retire for the night in your Reykjavik accommodation before your first adventure-filled day to Iceland's Golden Circle tomorrow.
Your second day will take you out of the city and into your first taste of Iceland's incredible nature at the Golden Circle.
In the morning, you'll be picked up by your minibus, join the rest of the passengers and head straight towards Iceland's most celebrated traveler trail.
The first stop on this route will be the geologically and historically rich Thingvellir National Park. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Thingvellir sits amid two tectonic plates and is also where the world's first parliament, Althingi, was founded in 930 AD. The area is a nature lovers' dream with a mixture of waterfalls, forestry and canyons, and the largest natural lake in Iceland, Thingvallavatn.
Your next stop takes you to the otherworldly Geysir geothermal area. This volcanic area is distinctly unique, with a mixture of bubbling mud pots, steam vents, and spouting hot springs. You'll find most of the crowds, however, surrounding the famous hot spring named Strokkur, which erupts boiling water up to 40m (131 ft) every 5-10 minutes, giving you ample time to witness this natural splendor several times.
A final stop on this route will take you to the thunderous waterfall, Gullfoss. Fed by glacier meltwater, this 2-part cascading waterfall roars down 32m (105 ft), leading to a stimulation of your senses as you walk along its cliff edges. A visit in winter brings the magic of the adjacent snowy hills and ice formations, helping frame one of Iceland's most magnificent of waterfalls.
If you selected to take a horse riding tour through the stunning south lowlands in the booking process, you would get to experience that today. Taking a ride on the charismatically unique Icelandic horse through the rugged winter terrains of the Golden Circle is a beautiful way to experience both Iceland's incredible nature and fascinating culture from another perspective.
As you head back towards your Golden Circle accommodation under the dark wintry skies of the evening, remember to keep your eyes peeled outside to get a glimpse of the beautiful Northern Lights when you have the chance. Just remember that to see the Aurora Borealis, you'll need the low levels of cloud cover and good solar activity, as well as a pinch of luck.
You'll then rest up for the night in your Golden Circle accommodation.
Your third day will take you on an action-packed winter outdoors adventure along Iceland's dramatic South Coast. Synonymous with diverse and charming landscapes, this region is always a travelers' delight to explore.
On your journey, you'll make your first two stops at the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, both with a height of 60m (197 ft). The former sits uniquely with a cavern carved out behind it, giving travelers the ability to circumnavigate the whole waterfall. In contrast, the latter is much more powerful and thunderous with the added folklore of hidden treasure held behind its mighty waters.
You'll then head to Solheimjokull glacier, which protrudes as one of the many beautiful glacier tongues of the Myrdalsjokull glacier. For those of you who decided to take a glacier hike during the booking process, you will meet your guide here, get kitted out, and have a safety briefing before heading out onto the ice. Climbing up caverns and walking across the most dramatic landscapes on this creeping titan is the perfect, once-in-a-lifetime experience to have while in Iceland. Don't forget to bring a water bottle, as you'll have the chance to catch your breath with some of the purest water you'll ever have while on top of this glacier.
Once you've climbed down and compared snaps with some of your fellow travelers, you'll make the short drive to the famous Reynisfjara black sand beach. Renowned for its volcanic basalt columns and caves, as well as the Reynisdrangar sea-stacks, this photographers' dream is the perfect combination of intrigue and eerieness. Be sure to stay well away from the powerful waves, however, for your safety.
You'll then make the short drive to the quaint town of Vik, where you will retire for the night.
Your fourth day will see you exploring the rest of Iceland's South Coast with the added benefit of a unique ice cave adventure, by far one of the highlights of any Icelandic Ring Road exploration.
Your journey will take you past mountains, glaciers, and volcanoes as well as through lava fields and the nature lovers paradise of the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. If you keep your eyes peeled near Skaftafell to your left, you should easily catch a glimpse of Iceland's tallest mountain, Hvannadalshnjukur.
Your first stop of the day will take you to what has more recently become known as 'the crown jewel of Iceland', Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Here you'll get the chance to watch the enormous icebergs break from the glacier and wash through the tranquil lagoon on their way out to sea. This visit is enhanced further by the ability to walk amongst the washed-up icebergs on the famous Diamond beach, where they rest and glisten in the hours of sunlight.
After marveling at one of nature's greatest shows, you'll then get the opportunity to visit a natural blue ice cave carved into the Vatnajokull glacier. You'll start by meeting your guide by Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, who will kit you out with the necessary safety equipment before driving you up onto the glacier in an all-terrain monster vehicle. Your guide will then lead you through the ice cave's interior, where you will have plenty of time to explore, take pictures, and stand in awe at the perfectly natural shimmering blue colors of ice, so smooth to touch. As glaciers are constantly moving, no ice cave experience is ever the same, as these natural chasms open and close each year with the changing season, making your experience truly unique.
However, if you are traveling before November, you will instead visit the ice cave in the Myordalsjkull glacier, which caps Iceland's largest volcano, Katla.
You'll reach the picturesque peninsula fishing town of Hofn, where you'll stay for the night.
Today, you'll leave the south behind and head for the frequently underlooked Eastfjords. Known for the tallest mountain peaks, beautiful fishing towns, trails, and waterfalls to match, this is a sightseers' paradise to behold.
As you drive along the fjords with snow-covered mountains in every direction, you'll experience the pure tranquillity and peace of this part of the island. Also, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the resident wildlife, most notably the free-roaming Reindeers brought over from the Vikings who have kept this region of Iceland home for centuries.
There are countless stops you'll make adventuring through this section of Iceland's ring road. These include the stretch of black sand in Breiddalsvik, the incredibly unique selection of fishing towns nestled at the bottoms of each fjord, as well as the wonderfully picturesque mountains of Vestrahorn and Eystrahorn.
Your guide will also take you to a great number of hidden gems along this route, well away from the tourist crowds, so you're able to experience the very best of nature in this region. Be sure to keep your questions to hand as your guide will take pleasure in answering everything from Icelandic mountains, fjords, and nature to the country's culture, music, and incredible history.
You'll retire for the evening at your accommodation in one of the Eastfjord's many towns.
On your sixth day, you will leave Iceland's immaculate Eastfjords behind and head towards one of the country's most volcanic regions, the Lake Myvatn area.
Along the way, you'll pass through the largest town in the east, Egilsstadir, before entering the reaches of Iceland's North. On your way from Egilsstadir to the Lake Myvatn area, you'll notice the most incredible landscape of Vatnajokull national park from the opposite side you drove past on your adventure along the South Coast. This makes for some incredible views for a delightful journey.
Once you reach the Lake Myvatn region, you'll stop at the famously bizarre Namaskard. Filled with a series of dramatic vents pouring out poisonous gases, this stop allows you to get up close and personal with one of the area's most obvious signs of volcanic activity.
You'll then head over the mountain pass and have the opportunity to take a relaxing dip in the warm, mineral-rich waters of the Myvatn Nature Baths. Though similar to the Blue Lagoon, this selection of natural geothermal baths also offers incredible views of the whole region and is well worth including in your package.
Afterward, you'll explore the eerie lava fortress of Dimmuborgir. Though not an actual fortress, the strange lava field and rock formations have created a scene of lava turrets, castles, and walls that look uncanny yet genuinely bizarre. It's also believed that there was the superstition that Dimmuborgir was one of the infamous gates of hell in centuries past.
You'll then drive past the region towards the capital of the north, Akureyri. However, before you check in to your accommodation, along the way, you'll also stop at the stunning Godafoss waterfall, known for its charming curvature and pouring falls as one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Iceland.
After resting up in the postcard Christmas town of Akureyri, you'll leave to explore some of the great sights and sounds the North of Iceland has to offer. This will be a day of adventure. You will have a series of off-the-beaten-track experiences and visit attractions well away from the crowds to both some natural and geological wonders.
Your first stop will take you to the quaint town of Hauganes, the perfect place to explore the black sand beach while taking in the adjacent mountain views for which the north of Iceland is renowned. You can also add some extra adventure by including a whale watching tour from here, where you'll get to explore the wondrous worlds of these amazing creatures of the deep. North Iceland is the best region to catch a glimpse of the delightful humpback whale.
A whale watching tour will take you straight out of the town's harbor in search of Humpback Whales, Harbour Porpoises, and Minke Whales, amongst a great number of other types of whales that your guide will point out.
Alternatively, if you're not interested in a tour taking to the seas, you could instead take a uniquely more relaxing start to the day by venturing into a Beer Spa. A local brewery opened a spa where guests can bathe and relax in the rejuvenating waters of hops and yeast while also enjoying a cold one. This bizarre and unique experience is a beautiful way to start the day.
Next, you'll drive away from the Trollskagi peninsula and towards the Hunafjordur fjord situated on the Vatnsnes peninsula, more renowned as one of the best places to watch seals in Iceland. Your visit here will take you to the 15m (49 ft) high Hvitserkur rock formation; it's frequently debated whether this strange rock formation more resembles a drinking elephant or a dragon.
After your stop in the Vatnsnes peninsula, you'll make your way towards the town of Borgarnes with a long scenic drive through Iceland's beautiful west. Don't be concerned; you will have numerous stops off along the way to take in some of the most dramatic scenic views of the region.
Before resting at your accommodation near the town of Borgarnes, look to the heavens in search of another glimpse of the Northern Lights. If you're lucky, it can create some dramatic and spectacular displays at this time of year.
There's no need to pack up your stuff this morning as you'll be staying in your accommodation in this region for another night. This will give you another great opportunity to search for the Northern Lights in Iceland's peaceful wilderness, or better yet, watch from the vantage point of a hot tub.
The first stop of the day will take you to Europe's most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver. The geothermal energy here is rife enough to supply the heat for towns up to 50km away. Having a second opportunity to wander amidst the strange and tantalizing Icelandic hot springs is a stop not to be missed.
Your guide will then take you further inland, along some quieter paths towards the historical village of Reykholt. As home to the medieval poet, scholar, chieftain, and Saga writer, Snorri Sturluson, one of the most prominent figures of the middle ages, this village retains a special place of cultural and historical significance in Icelandic hearts.
Afterward, you'll continue to your next stop visiting the waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. Both are fed by the meltwater of the nearby Langjokull glacier but have entirely different characteristics. Hraunfossar hosts a grand spectacle of colors as the gentle waters run through rivulets carved by the lava flows of an ancient eruption. In contrast, Barnafoss is a much taller and more powerful thunderous waterfall filling the canyons beneath.
After this, you'll head back to the same accommodation you stayed at the previous night. Take your chance to spot the Aurora Borealis before resting up for the night.
On your ninth day, you'll adventure into the wild and spectacularly diverse Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Often referred to as 'Iceland in Minature' for its sheer variety of mountains, glaciers, valleys, lava fields, craters, and delightful fishing towns, this is frequently considered one of the best parts of the country to explore by travelers.
Your first stops will take you to the charming fishing villages of Hellnar and Arnarstapi, where you'll have plenty of time to marvel over the cliff edges as the sea carves caves and basalt columns below.
Next, you'll head towards the centerpiece of the peninsula, Snaefellsjokull. This titanous glacier sits atop a dormant volcano and is known as the famous subterranean entrance in the classic 19th century Jules Verne novel 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth'.
You will then come to visit the most photographed and famous mountain in Iceland, Kirkjufell. Though the name translates to 'Church Mountain', its appearance in the hit HBO show, Game of Thrones, is now more known as 'the mountain shaped like an arrowhead'. Make sure you walk above the small Kirkjufellfoss waterfall for the best spot to capture the perfect photo of this distinguished mountain.
Aside from sightseeing, you also have the opportunity to add an incredible adventure to this day by exploring an underground lava cave. Valnshellir is situated near Snaefellsjokull and offers the most breathtaking experience of color and geological wonder within this incredible underground dome. This is the perfect way for book lovers to put themselves in the characters' shoes of those from 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth'.
After a day of exploration, adventure and sightseeing, you'll make your way to Reykjavik, where you will rest at your city accommodation for the night.
You've now fully circumnavigated Iceland, explored some of its hidden gems, and tried some of the most incredible outdoor adventures. In the next couple of days, you will have time to either rest and enjoy the capital's sights or opt for some more adventure.
Explore the city streets of Reykjavik and check out some of the many art galleries and museums, as well as the boutique and souvenir shops and some of the city's most beautiful parks and swimming pools.
Whichever way you would like to spend your two days in Reykjavik is entirely up to you. However, we recommend including a couple of other adventures for the thrill-seekers amongst you, provided you reserve them during the booking process. These include a snowcat adventure into Langjokull glacier, taking you up on the glacier and through a spectacular man-made ice tunnel filled with a variety of caverns, as well as the opportunity to take a helicopter ride over the rooftops of the city and land on the peak of the adjacent mountain, Esjan.
Alternatively, if you'd prefer to do some sightseeing, feel free to explore the city's many landmarks or have a slower day walking through Reykjavik's Family Park and Zoo and charming botanical gardens.
Whichever option you decide to take, you will have a fantastic selection of experiences to suit your preferences.
You'll then retire for the evening in your Reykjavik accommodation.
Today is your last full day in Iceland, and again you can decide how you would prefer to spend it.
If you missed your opportunity to go whale watching in the north, you could opt to include a tour straight from Reykjavik harbor. This tour will take you out to explore Faxafloi bay in search of a glimpse of some whale breaches and diving flukes, giving the perfect last opportunity to experience some of Iceland's enchanting wildlife.
Alternatively, you could join a horse riding tour just outside the city for an ultimate experience in the rugged terrains of Iceland's nature. Experience the unique and relaxing gait of the Icelandic horse and take an adventure with this stunning creature.
For those looking for a last thrill, join a 2 hour ATV adventure just outside of Reykjavik. Once your kitted up and have received a quick safety briefing, you'll set off and zoom across the dramatic snowy landscapes on an Icelandic winter's day.
If you prefer to take a slower pace and check out some of the city's sights, sounds, and smells, you can choose to wander around Reykjavik at your own pace.
Spend your last full day the way you would like, with restful relaxation of thrilling adventure before retiring to your Reykjavik accommodation for the night.
Sadly, all adventures must come to an end, and today you will take your complimentary ride to the airport with ample time to catch your flight home.
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. If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey.
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.
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.