Scenic 4-Day Northern Lights Tour of Vatnajokull Ice Cave, Jokulsarlon & the South Coast
Witness the marvels of Iceland in winter with this four-day package to the Vatnajokull ice caves, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, and South Coast. Anyone who wants to pack their time in Iceland with beautiful sightseeing, thrilling adventures, and opportunities to see the northern lights should not miss this trip.
Your four-day winter adventure in Iceland begins with a convenient bus transfer from Keflavik International Airport to Reykjavik.
Before reaching the Icelandic capital, you can wash away any stresses of your flight in the famous healing waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.
The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most famous attractions of Iceland, known for its milky-blue waters that are perfect for a relaxing geothermal bath.
While in the geothermal spa, you can also access world-class facilities such as saunas, steam rooms, in-water bars, and more.
The price of this winter package includes the standard or comfort entrance, but you can upgrade this for more luxury if you want for an extra cost.
You’ll join a small-group guided tour to the South Coast for the next two days. Visits to beautiful waterfalls, dramatic glaciers, black sand beaches, lava fields, and charming towns will all be included in your itinerary.
One of the highlights of your trip is the incredible Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, the ‘crown jewel of Iceland’s nature.’ This glacier lagoon is known for its many icebergs floating in icy waters.
Nearby, your guide will take you on an unforgettable adventure deep into the Vatnajokull National Park to explore an ice cave. Ice caves are one of the most remarkable features of the Icelandic winter.
Inside the cave, you’ll see stunning ice walls and formations with different colors and shapes.
What makes your trip extra special are the driver-guides accompanying your small group.
With their local expertise, emphasis on safety, and extensive knowledge of Icelandic attractions, you can fully appreciate the natural wonders of Iceland without the stress of navigating winter roads.
Also included in this winter package are three nights of accommodation, a detailed itinerary, airport transfers, a personal travel agent to contact for queries or assistance, and a northern lights hunting tour on your first night in Iceland by boat or bus.
After a satisfying time exploring Iceland, you’ll take a bus transfer from Reykjavik back to the airport, marking the end of your winter journey.
Should any unforeseen modifications arise in your travel arrangements, there is no need to panic, as you will be entitled to a full refund upon canceling your booking up to 24 hours before your scheduled departure.
Take advantage of this incredible four-day adventure in Iceland to see an ice cave, a glacier lagoon, the northern lights, and the South Coast highlights. Check availability now by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Arrival in Iceland
On the first day of your winter trip in the land of fire and ice, you will arrive in the country where enchanting experiences await you amidst Iceland's breathtaking natural wonders.
On your first day, you'll arrive at the Keflavik International Airport, ready to embark on your adventure. But before diving into Iceland's wonders, an unforgettable treat awaits you at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.
Immerse yourself in the healing azure waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a wonder surrounded by surreal lava fields. The warm, mineral-rich waters will envelop you, soothing your body after your long flight.
Remember to indulge in the silica masks designed to nourish your skin and explore the saunas and steam rooms that complete this blissful oasis.
Feeling fully recharged, you'll go to Reykjavik, the vibrant capital city. After settling into your cozy hotel, you will have a chance to see the northern lights in the evening.
Choose between a northern lights tour by bus or by boat.
On the bus tour, you'll have the advantage of mobility, allowing you to escape potential cloud cover and explore different locations, such as the Thingvellir National Park on the Golden Circle sightseeing route if the forecast is favorable.
On the other hand, the boat tour promises an enchanting experience, sailing away from the city lights, surrounded by darkness and an open sky that provides optimal conditions for witnessing the dancing lights of the aurora borealis.
Whichever option you choose, seeing the ethereal lights painting the Icelandic sky with vibrant green, pink, and violet hues will inspire you.
As the night draws in, you'll return to Reykjavik to rest and relish in the memories of your first day in this winter wonderland. Enjoy a good night's sleep in your hotel, as the next two days are packed with sightseeing in Iceland's countryside.
Day 2 - The South Coast
On day two of your tour of Iceland, you will travel across the length of the South Coast, taking in its diverse sights and landscapes and making many stops.
The first of these will be at Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This beautiful waterfall tumbles in a thin stream from a cliff over 197 feet (60 meters) tall, which arches inward for some unusual and unique perspectives.
Next along the route is the Skogafoss waterfall. You’ll pass the notorious Eyjafjallajokull volcano and glacier on the way, which your guide will point out.
Skogafoss waterfall is a similar height to Seljalandsfoss waterfall but with a much broader, more powerful flow. When you visit, you will see many rainbows springing from its spray if it is sunny.
The next stop will be at Reynisfjara black sand beach. Reynisfjara black sand beach is an incredible stretch of coastline with volcanic sands and some fascinating geology.
The Dyrholaey rock arch curves out into the ocean here. It is incredibly dramatic from a distance but even more attractive up close, where you can see its hexagonal basalt columns.
Rising from the tumultuous waters, you will also see the impressive Reynisdrangar sea stacks with exciting folklore your guide will tell you about.
After stopping for refreshments in the nearby Vik village, you will continue to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, one of Iceland’s crowning features.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon is an enormous lake littered with great icebergs that break off a nearby glacier tongue and slowly edge toward the sea. Watching them is a mesmerizing experience, made more charming by the seals that call the lagoon their home.
Before heading to your accommodation, you will visit Diamond Beach, where these icebergs wash up when they finally escape to the ocean. How the ice chunks glitter against the black sands in the evening light will tell you how the shoreline got its name.
You will spend the night in a country hotel nearby.
Day 3 - Vatnajokull National Park
On day three of your tour in Iceland, you will reach the highlight of your trip, the famous ice caves of the Vatnajokull National Park.
You will head to the edge of Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajokull, to wherever they have opened. Ice caves only occur under certain conditions in specific places and are not always reliable, so the chance to explore one is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Once on-site, you will board a super jeep, taking you high onto the glacier to where the caves are hidden. The ride is short, but it's an excellent way to enjoy the glacier's frozen landscapes in the comfort of an all-terrain vehicle.
Once there, you will put on safety equipment like crampons and helmets and be given a thorough safety briefing. With that complete, you will head inside this otherworldly place and begin your exploration.
The ice's spectacular formations and vibrant colors will take your breath away. As you stroll through the halls and corridors, wondering how nature could create such a marvel, your guide will tell you how these caves form.
You will have at least 45 minutes inside to appreciate and photograph this incredible location.
Ice caves are not permanent structures as they change and evolve with the passing seasons. Each year, new caves form, while others collapse or melt away, making each visit a unique experience.
These ice caves are formed by glacial movements and other factors, creating a unique and ever-changing environment.
Once you have enjoyed the ice cave, you will return to your vehicle and begin the beautiful drive back to Reykjavik, where you will spend another night.
Before reaching the city and with the favorable weather conditions, you may even see the northern lights illuminating the skies.
Day 4 - Departure
Day four of your Iceland tour is your departure day, so you can fill it doing what you like until it is time for you to return to the airport.
If you have a late flight, this is an excellent opportunity to explore the capital's diverse sights, visit the museums, and see the cultural landmarks for some great views.
If you want to share unforgettable moments of your trip on your social media channels, taking photos of Reykjavik's iconic cultural attractions is a must. Although the city is brimming with these sites, downtown Reykjavik hosts the most popular ones.
One of these famous landmarks is the Hallgrimskirkja church, the most beautiful church in Iceland.
Hallgrimskirkja church's architectural style takes inspiration from the basalt lava that flows throughout Iceland's landscape, particularly from the cliffs of the Svartifoss waterfall.
The soaring tower of the church reaches a height of around 74.5 meters (244 feet), making it an excellent place to get a panoramic view of the city and surrounding landscapes.
The church's interior is equally impressive, with high ceilings, clean lines, and a minimalist design.
Not far from here is another architectural wonder, the Harpa Concert Hall. It hosts various concerts, events, and conferences throughout the year. It's the place to be if you want to attend some cultural, theatrical, or musical shows.
Inside the Harpa Concert Hall, you'll see a stunning interior featuring a striking glass facade of over 700 panels. This design creates mesmerizing reflections of the surrounding landscape and the changing natural light.
Some other locations to add to your Reykjavik itinerary include the Perlan Museum, the Sun Voyager sculpture, and the Tjornin Pond.
You will return to the Keflavik International Airport with a bus ticket provided when you are ready. You can head home marveling that you have seen some of Icelandic nature's most rare and incredible wonders.
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.