8 Day Winter Wonderland | National Parks & Ice Cave

Based on 5 traveller reviews

Take home all the precious memories from this complete tour of Iceland, from north to south, east to west, in just eight action-packed days. This tour is for anyone who would like to see all Iceland has to offer, from the most famous spots to the lesser-known gems.

This is the perfect tour for those who want to relax, not worry about the road, and take in all the beauty of a new country around them. 

Customise the tour to your desires as you book, to create the perfect holiday for you. You can add various activities, such as horseback riding, snorkelling, and whale watching. See the daily itinerary below for details.

On Day 7, you have a choice to stay in Reykjavík and relax or to jet across the country to Akureyri, the "Capital of the North," for a tour of Lake Mývatn. This tour begins with a stop at the famous Blue Lagoon, and continues through highlights like the Golden Circle, the south coast, Vatnajökull National Park, and Snæfellsnes peninsula. You'll also have many opportunities to hunt the Northern Lights each evening.

You'll spend Day 4 ice caving, a rare treat for visitors to Iceland, only available in the deep winter. These ice caves are carefully searched out each fall by qualified glacier guides, experts who know when the ice is safe and ready to display its dazzling beauty. Each spring, they melt and disappear forever, so you must see them during this limited time. 

Delve into the magic of Iceland in winter, to Reykjavík and beyond! Check booking availability now, by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Nov. - Mar.
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Activities: Snorkeling, Caving, Hiking, Snowmobile, Horse Riding, Sightseeing, Boat Trip, Northern lights hunting, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Ice Caving
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 8 years old
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, Reykjavík, Jökulsárlón, Snæfellsjökull, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Hraunfossar, Deildartunguhver, Snæfellsnes, Skaftafell, Black Sand Beach - Reynisfjara, Stykkishólmur, Bjarnarhöfn, Hellnar, Borgarnes, Barnafoss, Gerðuberg, Arnarstapi, Vík i Mýrdal, Kirkjufell, Grundarfjörður, Thingvellir, South Coast, Diamond Beach
Pickup information:
  • Starting time : Flexible

Included:
  • Airport transfer on arrival/departure

  • 5 nights of accommodation in Reykjavik (different levels available; breakfast included for comfort and quality levels; more detailed info below)

  • Golden Circle sightseeing tour in a minibus (upgrades available with other activities)

  • South Coast 2 day minibus tour with ice caving

  • 1 night of accommodation in a country hotel in Vatnajokull National Park during the 2-day south coast tour (breakfast included, private bathroom depending on availability)

  • Snaefellsnes 2 day minibus tour with lava caving

  • 1 night of accommodation in a country hotel on Snaefellsnes peninsula during the 2-day Snaefellsnes tour (breakfast included, private bathroom depending on availability)

  • Blue Lagoon standard entrance (upgrades available) and return transfer

  • Northern Lights hunting

  • Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland

  • Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary

  • Taxes

  • Dinner

  • Lunch


What to bring:
  • Camera

  • Swimsuit

  • Warm clothes

  • Good hiking shoes

  • Good waterproof outer layers


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 to fit your arrival date and time better.

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.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival




Welcome to Iceland! On your first day on the island, you'll take the pre-arranged Flybus airport transfer and be driven through the lava fields and sandy geothermal plains on your way to Reykjavík, the capital city.

Once you have stowed your luggage and freshened up at your hotel in the city centre, you'll be able to spend the rest of the evening enjoying the city. If you like, you can hop on a Northern Lights tour on your arrival night. A visit to the Blue Lagoon can also be arranged on your first day if you arrive early.

There is a special Aurora forecast every night during the viewing season, so your guide will search out the most likely places to see these magnificent glowing lights in the sky.

If you would like to take advantage of this complimentary Northern Lights tour, you may choose what kind of Northern Lights experience you prefer: By boat or by bus.

Go for the boat tour in the Old Harbour, to see the dancing lights over the ocean while the wind plays with your hair, or choose a bus tour to head out into the countryside under cover of darkness and watch for glimmers of colour against a backdrop of the Icelandic wilderness.

Spend the night in Reykjavik.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

Reykjavík Comfort

The Centerhotel chain has six 3-4 star centrally located hotels in Reykjavík, with a short walk to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 2 - The Golden Circle




On your second day of vacation, you'll visit the Golden Circle, three locations that together form the most popular tourist route in Iceland: Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall.

You can choose to go on an optional horseback riding tour in the morning, before heading to Þingvellir National Park. You'll visit one of the largest horse farms in the Reykjavik area and make friends with the shaggy Icelandic horse, a breed known for its sturdiness in the winter and its smooth gait. You'll appreciate both qualities as you ride the trails, admiring views of mountains, volcanoes, and snowy plains.

Þingvellir National Park is a wonderland of natural beauty and historical significance. It is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in honour of the world's first parliament, founded there in the 10th century. Remnants of Viking booths and assembly structures can still be seen on the grounds here.

In addition, you'll find Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland, with Silfra fissure on its shores. Silfra is a deep crevasse filled with sparkling water from an underground river, and a popular diving and snorkelling site. If you like, then you can book a snorkelling tour here and explore the crystal clear waters.

You can also stroll the divide between the two tectonic plates, the North American and Eurasian plates. The forces of the earth have created great cracks here, visible in the steam vents, rivers, and waterfalls which have been carved into the land.

The theme continues at Geysir geothermal area. Here, the pressure of the earth shifting throughout the ages has burst forth in features like the famous geysers, steam vents, fumaroles and mud holes, all fizzing with energy.

The Great Geysir, for which the place is named, has almost gone silent after 10,000 years of activity, but Strokkur is a large geyser which erupts every few minutes, spewing hot water as high as 40 m (131 ft).

Gullfoss waterfall is the final scheduled stop of the day, a beautiful waterfall fed with the power of glacial meltwater. You can get as close to the waterfall as you would like, admiring it from afar or taking the walking path along the falls to feel the spray on your face as the water forces through the winter freeze, past blocks of ice and piles of snow.

If you're looking for some thrill, then give snowmobiling a try! Zoom across the ice cap of Langjökull glacier, snowball fight with your fellow travellers and admire the views of Iceland, dressed in her winter finery.

However, if you'd rather relax, on the way back to the city, you can make a stop at the Blue Lagoon, for a sensory experience unique to Iceland. Release all your tension, letting the azure water soothe tired muscles and joints.

Please note that if you have arranged additional activities with your Golden Circle tour, such as snorkelling, horseback riding or snowmobiling, your visit to the Blue Lagoon will be scheduled on your arrival or departure day instead, so you will have time to take full advantage of its restorative powers. The Lagoon is world-famous for its healing, mineral-rich waters - This is not a place you want to rush.

Again, if you are still longing to see the Northern Lights, you can add another tour in the evening. You'll go beyond the city limits, away from the lights and noise of civilisation, to search for these wonders of light.

You'll return to your accommodation in Reykjavik for the evening. Get plenty of rest, for tomorrow is filled with non-stop action!


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

Reykjavík Comfort

The Centerhotel chain has six 3-4 star centrally located hotels in Reykjavík, with a short walk to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 3 - The South Coast




The south coast of Iceland is the most popular location for sightseeing because it contains so many beautiful features. Today, you'll begin a 2-day exploration of its marvels down south.

Departing from Reykjavik, you'll make your way along the coast, past the lava fields and black cliffs that provide the austere backdrop of Iceland in the winter months. Farmland abounds here, though most of the sheep and horses may be inside for the season.

You'll visit two spectacular waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Seljalandsfoss is best known for the walking path which extends behind the falls, allowing you to look out at the hills beyond from behind a veil of softly flowing water and trailing icicles. Just be careful when walking the path; in winter, it can become quite icy.

The second waterfall, Skógafoss is equally beautiful and is supposedly the location of buried treasure (according to local legend)!

Reynisfjara black sand beach is next. The ocean waves hammer the black sand beach just as viciously in winter as they do in summer, and should be respected as such. We encourage all guests to be cautious and keep a 20-30 metre distance from the dangerous waves. Black basalt cliffs rise high over the sand and imposing black columns loom over the shore. These are said to be the remains of two trolls who were caught in the light of the rising sun after leaving their cave to investigate a shipwreck.

Beyond the beach, you'll make your way to Skaftafell Nature Reserve, part of Vatnajökull National Park. A beautiful wooded area, rare in Iceland's barren terrain, full of hiking paths which criss-cross the land. Skaftafell is nestled just beside Vatnajökull glacier, giving you a great view of the icy tundra, cracks, crevasses and all. From the trail, you can see Iceland's highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur.

Finally, you'll stop at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Chunks of ice crack away from the edges of Breiðamerkurjökull glacier high above, floating down to the lagoon and eventually out to sea.

The ice is stunning, not only because of its enormous size, but you'll be able to see the pure blue ice from the heart of the glacier, untouched by the UV rays which turn the rest of the ice white. Seals and gulls often play here, as well. Keep your camera ready!

In the evening, if the sky is clear and conditions are right, you might get lucky with the Northern Lights.

You'll spend the night near either Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon or Skaftafell Nature Reserve.


Day 4 - Ice Caving at Vatnajökull




Today's activity will be one of the rarest and most wondrous in Iceland: a chance to explore a natural ice cave. You'll jump into a modified Super Jeep which is built to handle the icy winter driving, to take you to Vatnajökull glacier.

There is a short hike from the parking area to the cave itself, so be prepared to walk and wear sturdy hiking boots. It's best if they come up over the ankle, to ensure that your feet stay dry during the experience.

Every year, specialists scour the area around the glacier, looking for ice caves which can be safely entered. Some say they listen to the "breathing of the ice," as the melting and freezing of the ice occurs daily, and can change the layout of the cave rapidly.

No two ice caves are the same, and there is no telling where or when one might appear. The same is true for when they melt in the spring. Once a cave is gone, it is gone forever, creating a one-of-a-kind experience for each cave.

The cave walls are formed out of beautiful, crystalline blue ice, decorated with frosts of lace, spiky icicles and ice sculptures formed by the whims of Nature itself. You'll spend around 45 minutes in the ice cave so make sure that you dress warmly! You'll get a helmet, so wear a winter hat that is not too bulky, so that it will fit under the helmet.

After the breathtaking experience of the ice cave, it is time to head back to Reykjavík. On the way, there will be another stop at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon to admire the midday light. You might also see seals playing on the ice in the sunshine.

As always, in the evening you will be on the lookout for Northern Lights, and your guide will make every effort to find them. You’ll return to Reykjavík for the night.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

Reykjavík Comfort

The Centerhotel chain has six 3-4 star centrally located hotels in Reykjavík, with a short walk to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 5 - Tour of Snæfellsnes Peninsula




Today, you're off to the western coast, to the beautiful Snæfellsnes peninsula. You'll be picked up at your accommodation and whisked along the coast to Ytri-Tunga, a beach with a well-known seal colony where dozens of seals sun themselves on the rocks.

You'll visit Rauðafellsgjá, which is a big narrow crack reaching deep into the roots of the mountain Botnsfjall.

After that, you'll view the charming homes of two fishing villages, Arnarstapi and Hellnar. At Hellnar, you'll spend an hour or so walking along the picturesque cliffs by the sea.

After taking in the sights of Snæfellsjökull National Park, you'll have another caving experience, this time with a lava cave, called Vatnshellir. You'll be able to go deep into the ground and explore the cave which was created by volcanic eruption 7,000 years ago, walking past lava flakes and rock formations.

After exploring the dark, you'll get some sun on your face at Djúpalónssandur and Dritvík, two beaches which were once fishing centres in Iceland. You can discover incredible rock formations and the strangely shaped pebbles which cover the beach. Finally, you will hike to Lóndrangar, a pair of black basalt columns which soar to a height of 70 m (230 ft).

You'll stay in another seaside village, Ólafsvik, for the night.


Day 6 - Snæfellsnes Tour Continues




On Day 2 of your Snæfellsnes adventure, you'll return for a tour of other photographic opportunities like the unusual Kirkjufell mountain. You'll also visit Gerðuberg basalt column.

Next, the Shark Museum at Bjarnarhöfn is an opportunity to see (and taste) Iceland's rich history in fishing. The museum is filled with historical artefacts and boat parts, and Bjarni, who runs the project, is happy to share his wealth of experience from a lifetime as a fisherman. He will also share with you the legendary hákarl ("rotten shark") and a taste of local Icelandic schnapps to wash it down!

After that, you'll visit the Borgarfjörður area to see two waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming over a lava field, created by an eruption of a volcano lying under the glacier Langjökull.

To end the day, you'll admire Deildartunguhver, the highest-flow hot spring in Europe.

Then, you'll be driven through the town of Borgarnes on the way back to your hotel in Reykjavík.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

Reykjavík Comfort

The Centerhotel chain has six 3-4 star centrally located hotels in Reykjavík, with a short walk to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 7 - Your Choice: Reykjavik vs. Myvatn Day Tour




On this day, you have the option of slowing down and taking it easy in the capital for the day … or exploring the far north!

Option 1 - The Quirky & Stylish Reykjavik

Spend your time sightseeing in Reykjavik. Find your favourite exhibition at a museum such as the National Museum or the Saga Museum, both of which are dedicated to history and culture. If you are thirsty for more, there are many art museums in the city to satisfy your taste.

Sample the wares of the local cafés, coffee shops and restaurants throughout the day. Don't forget to try a traditional Icelandic hot dog, the pylsur. Remember: Ice cream is the perfect treat for an Icelander, no matter what time of the year.

You can add a whale-watching tour on this day, leaving from the Old Harbour. The waters are active with minke whales and porpoises, while birds nest on the cliffs of the small islands in the bay.

Option 2 - The Geothermal Wonder of Lake Mývatn

You'll fly from Reykjavík Domestic Airport to the "northern capital" of Iceland, Akureyri. Once there, you'll witness North Iceland's most stunning sights, such as Lake Mývatn and Goðafoss waterfall, and the Námaskarð geothermal area.

You'll be picked up by your tour guide in Akureyri and taken to the famous Goðafoss waterfall, named after a local legend in which the law-speaker of Iceland threw his carved idols of the Norse gods into the water on his way home from the Þing parliament meeting in 1000 AD. That year, Christianity was lawfully declared as the official religion in Iceland.

Lake Mývatn is next: a winter wonderland of craters and the frosty lake, which in warmer weather is home to thousands of birds. You'll pass through the geothermal area by Námafjall mountain, called Námaskarð.

Vast sandy plains, emptied by the sulphurous energy of the huge geothermal field, dominate the landscape. You'll find the ground beneath your feet pleasantly warm as you wander among the hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pools.

The tour includes 2 flights: one to get you to Akureyri in the morning, and the one which returns you to Reykjavík in the evening. It's all arranged for you, so everything is hassle-free.

Before you go to bed, once more snug in Reykjavík, you can try one final time to catch the Northern Lights in all their glory by booking an additional bus tour.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík budget

Capital Inn is a 2 star hotel 3 km out of the city centre, with a short walk to Kringlan shopping mall and Nauthólsvík geothermal beach. Private bedrooms with a washbasin but shared bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is not included.

Reykjavík Comfort

The Centerhotel chain has six 3-4 star centrally located hotels in Reykjavík, with a short walk to attractions, cafés, restaurants, museums and the nightlife. All offer private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Reykjavík Quality

Alda Hotel is a 4 star hotel situated on Laugavegur, Reykjavík's main shopping street in the city centre. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a fitness room with a sauna and a hot tub. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 8 - Farewell to Iceland & Departure




On your last day, take one last look at the quirky shops of Iceland, have a bite to eat, pick up last-minute souvenirs and take a few final photos of the landmarks around town.

If you have a later flight, you may want to stop at the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport if you haven't fit it in your schedule already. It is the perfect way to say goodbye and relax before your flight home.

We hope you've had a wonderful time in Iceland, and come back soon!


Accommodation in Reykjavik

See our accommodation levels below. Single person bookings will be arranged in a single room, while bookings of 2 or more people will share twin/double room(s) or triple room(s). If you are traveling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. For multi-day guided tours, accommodation cannot be upgraded and the levels below do not apply. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs.

Comfort

Rooms with a private bathroom at three star hotels such as CenterHotel Skjaldbreið, 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 centre with a private bathroom at the absolute best locations downtown or seaside locations such as Fosshótel Reykjavík. Breakfast is included.

Luxury

If you prefer to travel in high style and stay at high end luxury accommodation, please contact us after booking, and we will offer a customized upgrade. Please note that special requests will incur additional cost.


Map


Reviews

Average rating 4.6 / Number of reviews 5

Everything was planed, that was really awesome to not have to think about the schedule qnd the trip was amazing :) thanks

It was an amazing organised trip through the highlights of Iceland. I visit Iceland now for the 5th time and normaly i plan the whole trip by myself. But this time it was my owen birthday present to myself and i don´´t want to spend time into organisation. So i booked this Winter Wonderland Tour. Because of bad luck with the weather (a lot of wind and rain) whale watching, horse riding and northern light trips were canceled and money was quickly refunded. It was a pity but honestly in this heavy rain and wind i don´t want to go out by boat or horse. So it was fine and we found something other to do. The Icecave was amazing. Also the flight to the north was a highlight for me, because there we found snow. :-) The booked accommodation was greate and also all tour-guides were more than friendly. Thanks for all to Guide to Iceland! Especially for the little birthday present (chocolate and a little bottle sparkling wine), that was waiting in my room at my firth night in Iceland, my birthday.

Reserve this tour

Continue to reserve a spot on this trip. You can contact us any time to change your booking. Choose a date to find availability and see prices
per person when 2 travellers
Free pickup
No credit card fees
No booking fees
Inquire about this tour
Best price guaranteed by Guide to Iceland

Other tours you might like

Inquire about this tour
Real Time Analytics