Guide to Iceland
Book your trip
Vacation Packages
Winter Packages
12 Day Winter Package | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

12 Day Winter Package | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Perfect travel plan
Fully customizable
24/7 customer support
Tour starts
Keflavík Airport, Flexible
Duration
12 days
Languages
English
Difficulty
Easy
Available
Aug. - Apr.
Minimum age:
8 years old

Experience the wonders of Iceland on this 12-day winter package that takes you to all the classic sites as well as some of the most enigmatic hidden treasures off the beaten track. This tour package is perfect for travellers who want to fully experience Iceland in winter without having to worry about driving the icy roads of the countryside. 

Allow your experienced and friendly guides to take you along to witness volcanic terrains, idyllic coastal towns, majestic glaciers and mighty waterfalls, as you explore everything from the highlights of the South Coast to the desolate and snow-covered fjords of the East, and the versatile wonders of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

After you've travelled around the countryside, there will be no need to leave the shores of Iceland right away, since this package includes two additional free days in Reykjavík City with accommodation. That means you can explore the Northernmost capital in the world to your heart's content. 

There are also plenty of possibilities to make your already action-packed trip even more adventurous, as you have the option of adding additional excursions during the booking process. These include visiting an authentic ice cave, venturing into a lava tube, embarking on a glacier hike, going horse riding and whale watching, just to name a few!

Seeing the country couldn't be easier. Prior to your arrival, your accommodations and transport to and from Keflavík International Airport will be sorted for you. While circling the Ring Road, your guides will do their very best to hunt down possible sightings of the elusive and hypnotic Northern Lights, the winter-phenomena that tops the bucket list of so many people.

So sit back and get ready to experience all the wonders of the Ring Road in a small group with this fantastic package. Don’t hesitate and book your winter adventure now! Check availability by choosing a date.

Included

Airport transfer on arrival/departure
4 nights of accommodation in Reykjavík (different levels available; breakfast not included for Super Budget or Budget levels; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)
8 day small group guided minibus tour of the ring road of Iceland and Snæfellsnes Peninsula
7 night of accommodation in various country hotels (breakfast included, private bathroom depending on availability)
Northern Lights hunting
Detailed itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland
Personal travel agent
Taxes

Activities

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

Attractions

Blue Lagoon
Golden Circle
North Iceland
West Iceland
Reykjavík
Akureyri
Jökulsárlón
Vatnajökull
Mývatn
Dimmuborgir
Snæfellsjökull
Skógafoss
Seljalandsfoss
Geysir
Gullfoss
Þingvellir
Strokkur
Snæfellsnes
Reykjanes
Sólheimajökull
Skaftafell
Silfra
Borgarfjörður
Höfn
Reykholt
Langjökull
Vík í Mýrdal
Egilsstaðir
Hella
Keflavik International Airport
Kirkjufell
Esjan
Öxarárfoss
Haukadalur
Skaftafellsjökull
Námaskarð
Lagarfljót
Vatnshellir Cave
Breiðdalsvík
Tröllaskagi
Hallormsstaðaskógur
South Coast
Diamond Beach
Ring Road
East Fjords

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Start your Iceland adventure with a soothing soak in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.

Arrival and Blue Lagoon

When you arrive at Keflavík International Airport, use your voucher to get a ticket to the bus. The timing of the transport is flexible so don’t worry about matching your flight schedule with that of the tour.

On your way to Iceland’s capital city, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colours 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 if you have extra free time.

Once you have fully enjoyed the benefits of the lagoon, your bus will take you to the capital city, Reykjavík where you can check into your accommodation. Before turning in, feel free to explore the charming downtown and its many sights, shops, restaurants and cafés.

You will spend the night in Reykjavík.

Day 2
Visit Gullfoss during winter time and see Iceland's most iconic waterfall flowing through a frozen canyon of ice and snow.

The Golden Circle

On your second day, you will leave the capital behind for the time being and board your minibus, where you will get to know the rest of the passengers and your friendly guides. You will begin by heading out to see the famed sights of the Golden Circle. This route is by far the most celebrated one in the entire country, and you will immediately understand why upon arrival. 

First up is Þingvellir National Park, both historically and geologically fascinating. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Þingvellir is the location where Iceland’s very first legislative body, Alþingi, was founded. The area is furthermore located on the continental rift where Almannagjá Fissure marks the meeting of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.

Once you have explored the enchanting valley, you will head on to the geothermal valley Haukadalur, home to spouting geysers and bubbling mud pools. There you can observe the grand geyser Strokkur naturally erupt every few minutes. Next up is the majestic waterfall Gullfoss—a cascading beast of unharnessed power as it plummets down two stages into the icy crevice of a glacial river.

If you chose to during the booking process, this day will also include a horse riding tour through the beautiful south lowlands. Icelandic horses are known for being both friendly and gentle and so this is the perfect tour for both new and experienced riders.

By the end of the day, you will retreat to a cosy accommodation in southern Iceland. Remember to look up in the sky for Northern Lights. 

Day 3
Although you can walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall in the summer, it is not safe to do so in winter because the ground is covered with ice.

South Coast with Glacier Hike

As you set out on your third day, you will trail along one of the country’s most beautiful areas belonging to the famed South Coast. You will pass cascading rivers and rural farmlands and stop at the two magnificent waterfalls Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

The sights on the menu today are numerous and sure to leave you in awe, but if you want to embark on an additional activity, you can opt for a thrilling glacier hike on top of Sólheimajökull during the booking process. There really is no better way of comprehending a glacier’s power than by strapping on boots and crampons and ascending its icy surface.

Your destination for the night is the coast near the village of Vík, home to the black sand beach Reynisfjara, frequently voted as one of the most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world. Offshore you can observe the castle-like structure of the basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. Enjoy the local food or go souvenir shopping before calling it a day.

You will spend the night at an accommodation near the village of Vík.

Day 4
The glacier ice caves on Iceland's South Coast are amongst the country's most stunning natural features.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon & the Ice Cave

On your fourth day, get ready for one of the ultimate highlights of any Icelandic Ring Road adventure, as you travel across the black desert Mælifellssandur, past Skaftafell nature reserve and under Iceland's tallest peak: Hvannadalshnjúkur.

Next, you will pay a visit to the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where massive icebergs that have broken off one of Vatnajökull’s outlet glaciers float in tranquil waters before drifting off to the Atlantic Ocean. This is a sight you will never forget, as well as the neighbouring Diamond Beach where chunks of ice glisten like gemstones on a blanket of black velvet sand.

Another adventure awaits you today if you opted for during booking; exploring a natural ice cave. The beauty of the cave will leave you in awe as you move past the icy inlets and frozen sculptures that line the walls of this ethereal wonderland. You'll start the day with a visit to a cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier if you are travelling before November, otherwise, you'll have an afternoon visit to a cave in Vatnajökull glacier.

By the end of the day, you will find yourself in the town of Höfn, which is where you will spend the night.

Day 5
When dressed in the cold costume of winter, Mt. Vestrahorn truly becomes stunning to behold.

The Wild Eastfjords

Today it is time to leave the south behind and head to the Eastfjords, one of the most untouched regions of wilderness in Iceland. As you trail along the fjords, you can experience the tranquillity of the nesting mountains and resident wildlife. Perhaps you will even spot roaming herds of wild reindeer.

There are several stops to be made en route, such as the stretch of black sand in Breiðdalsvík, the small and charming fishing settlements that nest in the fjords, and the majestic gabbro mountain Vestrahorn, along with some secret gems that your guide will arrange along the way.

You will spend the night in one of the Eastfjord's many lovely towns.

Day 6
Visit Námaskarð geothermal area by Lake Mývatn and see bubbling mud pots, steam vents, hot springs and fumaroles.

Lake Myvatn

Today you will leave the East behind and head North. Your first stop will be in the Lake Mývatn area, a stunning region characterised by geothermal and volcanic activity. Highlights of the area include Dimmuborgir, a lava field that made up of ghostly rock formations, and Námaskarð, where fumaroles, mud pools and sulphur pits rumble with geothermal activity.If you'd like, you can add a spa visit to this day during the booking process and take a dip in the warm, mineral-rich waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths, a smaller sister site to the Blue Lagoon. It is the perfect place to try and spot the Northern Lights, so keep your eyes peeled.

You will then make your way to the town of Akureyri where you will spend the night. En route, you'll stop at the beautiful waterfall Goðafoss where you can snap a few amazing photos as it is cloaked in its wintery beauty. 

Day 7
Sometimes the northern lights shine so bright in Iceland's skies that one has a hard time distinguishing between dream and reality.

North Iceland, Beer Spa & Whales

After breakfast, you’ll set out to explore northern Iceland further before making your way West where you will spend the night. Today, your guide will take you to some hidden gems and geological wonders, so have your camera ready!

Your first stop will be at the charming, picturesque town of Hauganes. Here, you can stroll along a black sand beach and enjoy the surrounding mountain view. You could also decide to spice up your day with an adventure out to sea by partaking in a whale watching excursion.

On this tour, you’ll head out from the town’s harbour to search for Minke Whales, Humpback Whales Harbour Porpoises or one of the many other species of whales found in the waters just outside of town. 

If you’d rather have a relaxing day, there is also the option of bathing in beer. The local brewery has opened the unique Beer Spa where guests can unwind in warm beer, said to do wonders for both your hair and skin. 

You will then head to Húnafjörður fjord to snap some cool photos of the rock Hvítserkur. This 15-metre high monolith is a popular stop for both professional and amateur photographers alike as it stands tall out from the ocean. 

From there, you’ll have a long but scenic drive to your accommodations near the town of Borgarnes. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of stops along the way, for snacks and exploring hidden gems only your local guide knows about. In the evening, you can search for the Northern Lights while relaxing in the hotel’s hot tub.

Day 8
Icelandic horses are friendly, sturdy, reliable and good tempered animals that are loved by all Icelanders.

The West Coast

You don’t have to worry about packing before you leave today as you’ll be ending your day back here, providing you with another opportunity to hunt for the Northern Lights while soaking in a hot tub.

Your first stop today is at the hot spring Deildartunguhver. It is Europe’s most powerful hot spring and it generates heat for towns up to 50 km away. Watching the water bubbling is a great reminder of the powerful forces that lie just underneath the Earth’s crust. 

Then, you’ll make your way to the village Reykholt in Borgarfjörður, an area rich in fascinating settlement history. Reykholt was the home of Snorri Sturluson, a poet, scholar, chieftain, writer of Sagas and arguably one of the most prominent figures of the Middle Ages.

Your driver will then take you to the waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. The former looks like it appears out of nowhere as the water hides underground before it trickles down cliffs in the surrounding lava field.

The latter is located only a few steps from Hraunfossar but couldn’t be more different. Barnafoss sometimes appears unbelievably blue as it cascades down a jagged gorge in a violent stream. 

Then it is time to head back to your accommodation.

Day 9
Mt Kirkjufell is as stunningly beautiful in winter and in summer.

The Snaefellsnes Peninsula

On day nine, you will find you’ve just about made a full circle in exploring the island of ice and fire. The destination for today is a fitting one, as it is the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, an area famed for boasting of such diverse Icelandic terrain that it is often dubbed ‘Iceland in minuscule’.

Tall cliffs, ancient fishing ports, black beaches, caves and coastal lines make up the landscape of the peninsula, crowned by the jewel of Snæfellsjökull—the volcano glacier that Jules Verne used as the subterranean entrance in his classic adventure novel 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth'.

The area is also home to Mt. Kirkjufell, decidedly the most photographed mountain in Iceland. Besides sightseeing, you will also make time for a caving tour into Vatnshellir. The cave in question is one of Iceland’s largest, and the underground dome that greets you inside will provide you with your very own Verne-esque adventure.

Finally, you will head back to Reykjavík where you will spend the night.

Day 10
Reykjavík is home to over 30 parks and public gardens that deserve a visit.

Free Day in Reykjavik & Adventure Tours

Welcome back to Reykjavík. As you have now circumnavigated the entire island, you can enjoy the open arms of the capital for an additional two days before your departure, so there will be no need for hectic last minute shopping or sightseeing. To make it even better, we offer a discount on activities added upon the time of booking.

How you spend these two city days is entirely up to you. The available adventures on hand, provided you reserve them during booking, are two thrilling experiences. One is to hop on a snowcat and venture into Langjökull Glacier through a man-made ice tunnel, and the other is to enjoy a panoramic view of Reykjavík City from a helicopter that takes you to the peak of Mt. Esja.

If you prefer to sightsee the city from within, there is plenty to do. You can visit some of the city's museums and galleries, as well as the Reykjavík Family Park and Zoo and the delightful geothermal swimming pools that dot the city.

No matter how you choose to spend your day, you will spend the night at your accommodation in Reykjavík.

Day 11
Visit one of Reykjavík's public gardens during winter time and take in the peace and stillness of the environment.

Free Day in Reykjavik & City Sightseeing

Day eleven will be your last full day, and again how you spend it is up to you. If you would like to get better associated with the wildlife of Iceland, you can choose to go on a whale watching tour from Reykjavík harbour, or a horse riding tour in the nearby countryside. The Icelandic horses are world-known for their gentle and friendly nature and getting acquainted with them is a genuine Icelandic experience. 

You could also choose to go on a 2 hour ATV adventure. In this experience, you will be picked up and taken to the ATV base camp just outside of Reykjavik. You will then be given a safety briefing and fitted with all you need, then you will set off to discover the incredible landscapes of the surrounding area.

You can also stay in town and enjoy the city’s restaurants, shops and cafés, as well as additional tours that all set out from the city centre.

Spend your day shopping, sightseeing, adventuring or relaxing, before retreating to your city accommodation for the night.

Day 12
A tour of Reykjavík would not be complete without a visit to Lake Tjörnin in the city centre.

Departure

All adventures must come to an end, so say farewell to the city and catch your complimentary ride to the airport in time for your return flight.

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.

Map

What to bring

Warm and waterproof clothing
Winter hiking shoes
Camera

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 due to weather and conditions. It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is cancelled. If your chosen activity is cancelled, 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.

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.

Meals

You can now add meals to your booking. Select to include dinner on every night as an optional extra, and we will provide you with vouchers as part of your booking confirmation. We will choose from top-rated restaurants that fit with your vacation itinerary and make your reservations for you. At the restaurant, you will be offered a set menu, from which you can choose from meat, fish or vegetarian options. If you would prefer something else, the voucher will act as a credit that you can redeem at the restaurant against menu items that are not part of the set menu. Please notify the restaurant on arrival about any dietary requirements. Vouchers are non-refundable.

Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost. The cost of your cancellation insurance depends on the duration of your tour or package. A base cost of 5,000 ISK per person is applied to all tours and packages with a duration of 5 days or less. An additional 1,000 ISK per person will be added to the insurance cost for each day after. The cancellation must be made more than 48 hours before the listed starting time on your voucher. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact info@guidetoiceland.is and declare full cancellation. COVID-19 Related Cancellations If you need to cancel your booking due to COVID-19 related reasons, the cancellation insurance provides further protection for your booking. If you purchase a self-drive tour or guided tour package along with the cancellation insurance, you will also get a full refund. If you test positive on arrival, to get the full refund after arrival, please email us at info@guidetoiceland.is with your booking details and your test result within 4 hours after you receive the test result. If your flight gets cancelled due to COVID, to get the full refund, please email us at info@guidetoiceland.is with your booking details and your flight cancellation confirmation prior to your scheduled flight departure time. Please note that this insurance covers the cancellation of the whole tour or package. Individual services cannot be cancelled and refunded separately, but are all covered and refunded in case of a full cancellation.

Terms of service

Verified reviews

Similar tours