12 Day Winter Package | Circle of Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Experience the wonders of Iceland on this 12-day winter package. The trip takes you to all the classic sites and many hidden treasures off the beaten track. This tour package is perfect for travelers who want to experience Iceland in winter fully without worrying about driving the icy roads of the countryside.
Your experienced and friendly guides will take you to witness volcanic terrains, idyllic coastal towns, majestic glaciers, and mighty waterfalls. You will 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 traveled 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. Ice caving, whale-watching, and glacier hiking are included in the price, and you have the option of adding additional excursions during the booking process.
Seeing the country couldn't be easier. Your accommodations and transport to and from Keflavík International Airport will be sorted for you prior to your arrival. 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.
Day 1 - Arrival and Blue Lagoon
When you arrive at Keflavík International Airport, use your voucher to get a ticket to the bus. The transport timing is flexible, so don't worry about matching your flight schedule with 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 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 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 - 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 where Iceland’s first legislative body, Alþingi, was founded. Furthermore, the area is 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 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.
By the end of the day, you will retreat to cozy accommodation in southern Iceland. Remember to look up in the sky for Northern Lights.
Day 3 - 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 on 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. For example, get ready for a thrilling glacier hike on top of Sólheimajökull. There 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 - 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 neighboring Diamond Beach, where chunks of ice glisten like gemstones on a blanket of black velvet sand.
Another adventure awaits you today - 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 traveling 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 - The Wild Eastfjords
Today, it is time to leave the south behind and head to the Eastfjords, one of Iceland's most untouched regions of wilderness. 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.
If you choose to during the booking process, this day will also include a horse riding tour through the beautiful south lowlands. Icelandic horses are both friendly and gentle, so this is the perfect tour for both new and experienced riders.
If you'd like, you can also add a spa visit to this day and take a dip in the warm, mineral-rich waters of the Vok Spa.
You will spend the night in one of the Eastfjord's many lovely towns.
Day 6 - Lake Myvatn
Today you will leave the East behind and head North.
Otherwise, your first stop will be in the Lake Mývatn area, a stunning region characterized by geothermal and volcanic activity. The area's highlights include Dimmuborgir, a lava field of ghostly rock formations, and Námaskarð, where fumaroles, mud pools, and sulfur pits rumble with geothermal activity.
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 - North Iceland & 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, but the highlight is your whale-watching excursion.
On this tour, you’ll head out from the town’s harbor 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 49-foot (15-meter) high monolith is a popular stop for 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 - The Snaefellsnes Peninsula
On day eight, 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 peninsula's landscape, 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.
You can enjoy a thrilling lava caving adventure today in Vidgelmir cave today if you elected to do so while booking.
Then it is time to head back to your accommodation.
Day 9 - West Iceland
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.
Finally, you will head back to Reykjavík, where you will spend the night.
Day 10 - 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 monster truck 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.
To get discounts at restaurants, museums, and galleries across the capital, book a 24-hour Reykjavik City Card.
No matter how you choose to spend your day, you will spend the night at your accommodation in Reykjavík.
Day 11 - 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 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 can also arrange the snorkelling tour for Silfra fissure today. A guide will pick you up from the capital, guide you through the breathtaking waters between two continents, and drop you off once you're done!
If you want to stay in the capital, you can embark on a walking tour in the capital, tasting local delicacies and drinks along the way. You could also bask in the beautiful waters of the Sky Lagoon, a geothermal spa with an infinity pool and sea-facing sauna.
Spend your day shopping, sightseeing, adventuring or relaxing, before retreating to your city accommodation for the night. Again, you can book a Reykjavik City Card to help you explore today.
Day 12 - 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.
What to bring
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.
Accommodation in Reykjavik
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For budget and comfort levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. If you are travelling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur.
For multi-day guided tours, accommodation cannot be upgraded and the levels below do not apply. Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level.
We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.
Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostels. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.
Private rooms with shared bathroom in guesthouses or hostels such as Capital Inn Guesthouse. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.
Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels such as Hótel Klettur, or quality guesthouses. Located in the city center or in close vicinity. Breakfast is included.
Rooms at four-star design hotels in the city center with a private bathroom at the absolute best locations downtown such as Hotel Alda. Breakfast is included.