3 Day Winter Tour on a Budget | Golden Circle & South Coast with Glacier Hike & Ice Cave

3 Day Winter Tour on a Budget | Golden Circle & South Coast with Glacier Hike & Ice Cave
On this 3-day tour, you'll visit Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the evening, perhaps you'll see the Northern Lights dancing above the lake.
Icebergs glistening like gemstones on the Diamond Beach.
The winter view from behind the curtain of water at Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
The geyser Strokkur is one of the most popular attractions of the Golden Circle sightseeing route.
Black sand, white snow and pink sky at Reynisfjara black sand beach.
Gullfoss waterfall combines both power and beauty.

Get the ultimate Icelandic experience and do so without breaking the bank with this three-day winter tour. See geysers erupt on the Golden Circle sightseeing route, the cascading waterfalls and black sand beaches of the South Coast, and explore glaciers with a glacier hike and a visit to a natural ice cave. Anyone looking to see the best of the Icelandic nature in winter should book this tour now.

This low-cost tour is perfect for those who wish to immerse themselves in the beautiful Icelandic nature, as you’ll visit some of the country’s most spectacular sights, including Þingvellir National Park, Reynisfjara black sand beach and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. If that is not enough, you will also step inside an ice cave, hike up a glacier, and hunt for the Northern Lights.

This tour will allow you to travel without a worry as transportation and accommodations will be sorted out prior to your arrival in the country, all the while avoiding unnecessary pulls on the purse string.

So don’t wait! See the best Iceland has to offer with this great value three-day tour. Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Nov. - Mar.
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Hiking, Super Jeep, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Ice Caving
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 8 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Golden Circle, Reykjavík, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Þingvellir, Strokkur, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Þingvallavatn, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Reynisdrangar, Öxarárfoss, South Coast, Diamond Beach
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : 08:00.

Please be at your pickup location in time for your departure. Should your pickup location be at a bus stop and you need assistance finding it, seek guidance in your Hotel's reception or contact your tour provider directly.

Included:
  • Three day guided minibus tour of the Golden Circle, South Coast and Vatnajökull National Park

  • Two nights in country hostels (dormitory rooms, breakfast included)

  • Glacier Hike

  • A visit to an ice cave

  • English speaking guide

  • Taxes

  • Lunch and dinner


What to bring:
  • Warm and waterproof clothes

  • Good 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.

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.

Please note that only pick up and drop-off from designated pick up locations in the greater capital area is available, not from Keflavík International Airport. Therefore, we do not recommend attempting to start this tour on your arrival day in Iceland. Arrival time back to Reykjavík at the end of your tour can vary depending on weather and traffic.

For your convenience, it is recommended that you pack lightly for this tour. Luggage storage in Reykjavík is available for your larger items if you need to repack to a smaller suitcase or backpack before your journey.

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.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - The Famous Golden Circle


The geyser Strokkur erupting in the winter.


The day begins early in the morning when you are picked up in a minibus and whisked away to Iceland’s most famous sightseeing trail, the Golden Circle.

The first stop is Þingvellir National Park, the birthplace of Iceland’s parliament. It is here where Viking settlers would gather to lay the laws of the land and settle disputes. The park is not only historically significant, but it is also a geological wonder as it sits in a rift valley between two tectonic plates.

Next up is the geothermal valley of Geysir where you’ll find bubbling mud pools, boiling hot springs and erupting geysers. Strokkur is one of those erupting geysers, and this powerful feature goes off every 5-10 minutes, creating a massive water column that reaches about 15-20 metres in the air.

The last stop on the Golden Circle route is the stunning waterfall Gullfoss. Fed by Langjökull glacier, the river Hvítá rushes south before plunging into an ancient canyon, creating this beautiful cascade in the process. The rumbling noise that is produced when the water hits the rocks below is not only mesmerising but also a great reminder of Mother Nature’s awesome power.

Then it is off to the South Coast where you’ll begin by stopping at another stunning waterfall, Seljalandsfoss. The Icelandic winters are very dark, but you don’t need to worry about not seeing this remarkable feature, it is lit up by two spotlights, providing it with the glamour and grandeur it deserves.

In the evening, you’ll be driven to your accommodations on the South Coast which is near the beautiful waterfall Skógafoss. You’ll have the chance to explore this feature further tomorrow so don’t worry if it is too dark outside. However, the darkness does provide opportunities for spotting the Northern Lights. So if the sky is clear, make sure to look up before you go to bed.


Day 2 - South Coast & Glacier Hike


Icebergs glistening on the Diamond Beach near Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.


Now it is time to explore the South Coast fully. After a hearty breakfast, you’ll start by getting a better look at the waterfall Skógafoss. The land underneath this massive cascade is very flat, allowing you to walk right up to the veil of water. However, you might get drenched if you do so, so make sure you dress in waterproof clothes.

Watching over you on your journey today will be two mighty glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. You will have the opportunity to explore the latter with a glacier hike on one of its outlet glaciers.

Your guide will equip you with all necessary glacier gear before giving you a short demonstration on how to walk on the ice. Then, there is nothing left but to scale the massive ice cap for some fantastic views over the South Coast.

After you’ve descended the glacier, you’ll be transported to the village of Vík which sits on the banks of the beautiful black sand beach of Reynisfjara. Aside from the black sand, the beach is known for its strange hexagonal cliffs and the massive Reynisdrangar sea stack which rise out of the ocean like petrified trolls.

Then, you’ll be driven through imposing sand plains and lava fields into Skaftafell Nature Reserve which is part of the larger Vatnajökull National Park. It is here where you’ll find the ‘Crown Jewel of Iceland’, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

Jökulsárlón is a great, deep lake where massive icebergs, which have broken off a nearby glacier, float on the calm water before drifting off to sea. Nearby is the Diamond Beach where ice chunks from the lagoon have washed up on shore and now lie on the black sand, glistening in the low sunlight.

You’ll spend the night at a country hostel near the glacier lagoon. Remember to look up into the sky for a chance to see the elusive Northern Lights.


Day 3 - Ice Cave


Entering a natural ice cave is surely an experience you will never forget.


It is hard to top two full days of sightseeing Iceland’s best attractions but day three promises to deliver. Today, you’ll get to explore a natural ice cave inside a glacier. These incredible features only appear during the winter, and so this experience will surely be a one to remember.

You’ll be transported to the glacier in a specially modified super jeep which is capable of handling the rough drive up the ice cap. Then, after a short walk, you’ll enter the beautiful blue ice cave.

Inside you’ll see a frosty world of bright blue ice walls and strange ice sculptures which form naturally as the glacier melts and freezes again. You’ll be given plenty of time to walk around and explore the cave, and, of course, take plenty of photos. What's a better souvenir than a selfie inside an ice cave on top of a glacier?

After a while on the glacier, you’ll head back down in the super jeep to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. There, you’ll exchange vehicles, leaving the jeep behind for the minibus. You will then be taken along the beautiful South Coast back to Reykjavík with the guide pointing out to you anything you might have missed the previous days.


Accommodation

Below you can see our preferred partners for accommodation. For the first night, they are HI Hostel Skógar or Puffin Hostel in Vík. For the second night, they are HI Hostel Höfn or Stafafell Hostel. If not available, an alternative of the same standard will be arranged.

HI Hostel Skógar

HI Hostel Skógar is located by the spectacular Skógarfoss waterfall in the Skógar villages. Dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Puffin Hostel Vík

Puffin Hostel is centrally located in Vík. Dorm accommodation with shared bathrooms and a common lounge area. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

HI Hostel Höfn

HI Hostel Höfn is located in Höfn township. Dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Stafafell Hostel

Stafafell Hostel is an old farmhouse outside of Höfn village. Dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


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3 Day Winter Tour on a Budget | Golden Circle & South Coast with Glacier Hike & Ice Cave
 
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