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Fantastic 8-Day Guided Ring Road Tour with Glacier Hiking and Whale Watching from Reykjavik

Northern Lights hunters enjoy the view in Iceland.
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Description

Details

Tour starts
Reykjavík, Iceland
Duration
8 days
Difficulty
Easy
Languages
English
Available
All year
Minimum age
8 years old

Description

Explore Iceland's ring road in winter, focusing on finding the northern lights, by booking this incredible eight-day guided excursion. Those eager to see every region of Iceland, embark on a range of adventures, and marvel over the aurora borealis should book this small-group tour now.

On this unforgettable experience, you'll see the magical sites of the Golden Circle and South Coast, including the Geysir Geothermal Area, Reynisfjara beach, and the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. You'll even embark on a glacier hike while in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. 

You'll then traverse the Eastfjords, marveling over incredible bays, seeking out wildlife, and hiking to spectacular waterfalls. In North Iceland, you'll tour the Diamond Circle sightseeing route and go whale watching, and in West Iceland, you'll get to see a wealth of cultural and natural attractions. 

This package also has two days in Reykjavik, allowing you to make the most of the wonders of the capital. On the first night that you spend in the city, you'll set out on a northern lights cruise from the harbor in hopes of seeing the aurora borealis. 

On top of this, your guide will take you on northern lights hunting tours every other night of your trip if conditions are promising. As such, you'll have six additional chances of a fantastic aurora show. Furthermore, you'll stay in countryside hotels for five nights, increasing your opportunities.

Throughout your eight-day journey, you'll travel in a spacious, comfortable minibus that boasts free WiFi. The size of your vehicle also guarantees a smaller group. Your guide will be a friendly local expert, trained to keep you safe and entertained.

Don't miss this immersive eight-day experience encircling the ring road of Iceland, setting out on thrilling tours and hunting for the aurora borealis each night. Check availability by checking a date. 

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Included

Guided Ring Road tour
Seven nights of accommodation
Breakfast (excluding day one)
Northern lights cruise
Glacier hiking tour
Whale watching tour
English speaking guide

Activities

Glacier Hiking
Whale Watching
Sightseeing
Northern lights hunting

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Reykjavik is stunning by night.

Day 1 - Reykjavik and Northern Lights Cruise

On day one of your eight-day northern lights holiday in Iceland, you'll have a free day in Reykjavik until your aurora hunting cruise begins. The capital city has a wealth of attractions catering to a whole range of guests.

If you are interested in architecture, you should be sure to visit the mighty Hallgrimskirkja church and the beautiful Harpa concert hall. If your interest is in history and culture, you'll find a wealth of museums and galleries. Those who wish to relax can discover spas and pools, while those eager to shop will enjoy the Laugavegur shopping street.

Even travelers who want to immerse themselves immediately into the country's nature can do so at places such as the Seltjarnarnes Nature Reserve, the forest of Oskjuhlid, and the beach of Nautholsvik.

When evening falls, you'll have your first chance to hunt for the northern lights. You will head to the picturesque, central harbor to board your comfortable aurora chasing vessel, which boasts indoor areas, outdoor viewing sites, and a cafe. Once the time comes, you'll set out into the waters of Faxafloi Bay.

Watching the northern lights descend from a dark canopy of stars is mesmerizing no matter where you are in Iceland, but it is an extraordinary experience from the ocean. Hopefully, you'll be able to start your holiday with an incredible viewing.

Once you return to the capital, you'll be free to head out for a drink or can else return to your hotel for the night.

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Day 2
Seljalandsfoss pours from a cliff on a winter day.

Day 2 - Golden Circle and South Coast

On the second day of your eight-day winter holiday around the country, you'll enjoy breakfast at your hotel before your guide picks you up and escorts you on your first adventure. You'll start by heading around the Golden Circle sightseeing route before starting a journey along the South Coast to your next accommodation.

The Golden Circle is composed of three unique attractions. Thingvellir is a national park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and geological marvel between two tectonic plates. It has a millennium of fascinating history and spectacular nature, boasting forests, waterways, surrounding volcanoes, and lava fields.

Meanwhile, the Geysir Geothermal Area is a stretch of hot springs, fumaroles, and, of course, geysers. Strokkur is the most famous and active, and you'll watch it blast a column of boiling water high in the sky several times before moving on to the Gullfoss waterfall. This breathtaking feature cascades in two enormous steps into a spectacular valley, throwing off blooms of spray that cakes the surrounding rocks in ice in midwinter.

After touring these three sites, you'll head towards the South Coast to start marveling over the features there. You'll have time to enjoy Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls and the Reynisfjara black sand beach.

Seljalandsfoss is gentle but unique due to the vast cavern behind it, while Skogafoss is immensely powerful, forming a testament to the forces of Iceland's nature. Both are around 200 feet (60 meters) tall. Reynisfjara, meanwhile, is known for its incredible offshore sea stacks, hexagonal basalt columns, and dramatic waves.

As the sky darkens, you'll begin to search for the northern lights if the sky is clear. After a hopefully fantastic viewing, you'll head to your comfortable South Coast accommodation for the night.

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Day 3
Jokulsarlon is a mesmerising glacier lagoon.

Day 3 - Skaftafell Glacier Hike and Jokulsarlon

After breakfast on day three of your adventure around Iceland, you will complete the South Coast sightseeing route by visiting the fantastic sites of Vatnajokull National Park. This magnificent location boasts the Skaftafell Nature Reserve and the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, two of the most inspiring spots in the country.

Skaftafell is surrounded by ice caps and filled with rivers, black sands, and lava fields. The trekking and photography opportunities offered here are unlike anything in the country, as there are countless hidden gems in the area.

While exploring this magical place, you will embark on a three-hour glacier hiking adventure. Your guide will supply the equipment and keep you safe as you marvel over walls of snow, gurgling crevasses, formations in the ice, and the unbeatable views from the slopes. Your pace will be gentle, allowing you to enjoy the experience without losing your breath.

After your experience in Skaftafell, you'll continue along the Ring Road to Jokulsarlon. This lake is one of Iceland's most iconic attractions due to its thousands of gigantic icebergs. They clutter the waters as they slowly break apart on their journey towards the ocean. You'll have plenty of time to admire them before taking the short walk to the Diamond Beach.

The Diamond Beach is named because the icebergs of Jokulsarlon wash up on the black sands here and glisten like jewels. Another mesmerizing spot, be sure to have your camera handy to capture the uniqueness and beauty here.

While at Jokulsarlon and the Diamond Beach, keep a keen eye for seals. If the conditions are right, you'll also stay here to marvel over the northern lights.

You'll then head to your accommodation near the town of Hofn.

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Day 4
Vestrahorn is a snowy peak in East Iceland.

Day 4 - Eastfjords

Day four of your winter adventure around Iceland will have you explore the mesmerizing Eastfjords. This region of Iceland is sparsely populated and little visited, so it provides some of the world's most beautiful untouched landscapes and breathtaking seascapes.

As you travel, you'll visit several viewing and photography points for some unforgettable panoramas and pictures. You'll also keep an eye out for seals and reindeer as you travel, as they are found in abundance in this region, stopping should they be seen.

Your first significant destination is Djupivogur, a beautiful fishing village on the coast. You'll get to enjoy the slow-paced way of life this settlement is renowned for and the Eggs of Merry Bay artwork.

You'll then pass the mystical lake Lagarfjlot and the largest forest in Iceland, Hallormstadaskogar, to the hiking path to Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss waterfalls. The former is the third tallest waterfall in the country, tumbling from a height of 122 meters (367 feet), and both tumble down unique cliffs. The cliff at Hengifoss is layered with vivid red strata, while Litlanesfoss cascades through hexagonal basalt columns.

The hike takes about three hours in all.

Once you have enjoyed this site, you'll head towards your accommodation in Egilsstadir. Keep an eye on the skies, as you have an excellent chance to see the aurora borealis in the usually clearer skies of the east.

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Day 5
Dettifoss thunders into an ancient valley.

Day 5 - Diamond Circle

On day five of your eight-day trip around Iceland, you will head to the sites of North Iceland. The attractions you will see are on the Diamond Circle sightseeing route, the most popular trail in the region.

First, you'll travel to Dettifoss waterfall. This wonder is the most powerful feature of its kind in Europe, with a flow of 6,816 cubic feet (193 cubic meters) per second. The canyon it cascades into is bleak, dramatic, and home to several more waterfalls.

Next, you will travel to the Lake Myvatn area, a place renowned for its frozen waters and breathtaking snowscapes in winter, as well as its geological marvels. You'll get to see pseudocraters, basalt pillars, and the dramatic lava fortress of Dimmuborgir, which is steeped in history. Furthermore, you'll head to the nearby Namaskard Pass to witness hissing fumaroles and steaming vents.

You are recommended to choose admission to the Myvatn Nature Baths while booking, as your guide will make a stop here and allow you to revitalize by basking in its healing waters.

Godafoss waterfall is next on your schedule, a beautiful feature pouring through stunning volcanic landscapes. You can learn about the fascinating history of this place from the signs here.

As the sky turns dark, you'll hunt for the northern lights before arriving at your hotel in Akureyri.

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Day 6
Humpback whales leap from the waters in Iceland.

Day 6 - Whale Watching and North Iceland

After breakfast on day six of your trip around Iceland, you will depart Akureyri and drive up the breathtaking fjord of Eyjafjordur to the village of Dalvik. This beautiful settlement is renowned as one of the best whale watching ports globally, and an adventure is included in this package.

On this trip, you are almost guaranteed to see creatures such as white-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoises, and even great whales such as humpbacks. Though these larger creatures are rarer in winter when most migrate, you are more likely to see rare animals such as orcas and belugas in this season.

After a hopefully fantastic trip, you'll return to the road to explore some of the more remote attractions of North Iceland, away from the significant tourist crowds.

First, you'll head to Seydisfjordur, a magnificent village with a rich history and splendid harbor. You will then tour the Trollskagi Peninsula. This part of the country is renowned for its stunning coastline, dramatic mountains, and abundance of Icelandic horses. If possible, your guide will stop and allow you to greet them, as they are renowned for their friendly personalities.

You'll end your day on the cusp of west Iceland in the beautiful, rural area of Laugarbakki. Be sure to look out for the northern lights before you retire.

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Day 7
Hraunfossar pours through a lava field.

Day 7 - West Iceland

On the penultimate day of your northern lights trip around Iceland, you will explore the magical sites of West Iceland. After breakfast, you'll head to the spectacular crater of Grabok and hike up its rocky slopes for some incredible panoramas before heading on to the Deildartunghver geothermal area.

Deildartunghver is the highest flowing hot spring in Europe. Its boiling waters make for a unique natural attraction, and these waters heat homes as far away as Reykjavik.

You'll then reach the waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, which are just a minute's walk from each other. Hraunfossar is peaceful and gentle, contrasting dramatically with the stark power of its much more ominous neighbor. Barnafoss is also associated with a history of lost lives, adding a dark ambiance to the site.

After photographing these features, you'll continue to the quaint village of Reykholt. Here, you can learn all about one of Iceland's most famous and notorious chieftains, writers, and historians, Snorri Sturluson, whose actions shaped European history and whose writings are crucial to our knowledge of it.

As you return to Reykjavik, you'll take the long route around the beautiful fjord of Hvalfjordur. You'll also go on a final hunt for the northern lights before being dropped off at your hotel.

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Day 8
Harpa is a magnificent feat of Icelandic architecture.

Day 8 - Free Reykjavik Day

After breakfast at your Reykjavik hotel on day eight, your incredible package around Iceland is complete. If you have planned to head home today, you'll make your way to Keflavik International Airport. Otherwise, you can continue your holiday with a fantastic day in this vibrant capital.

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What to bring

Warm, waterproof clothing
Sturdy hiking boots
Camera

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