8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Small Group Tour

8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Small Group Tour
On this 8-day guided tour you will travel from Reykjavík around the Ring Road of Iceland seeing attractions such as Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, many waterfalls, Akureyri and the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
There's nothing so magical as stepping inside of an ice cave for the first time.
The northern lights over Jokusarlon glacier lagoon.
Iceland's landscape is wild, eclectic and like no where else on earth.
Iceland is the land of a thousand waterfalls, with more being found every year.
An inner city park in Reykjavik during the wintertime.
Based on 122 traveller reviews

Join this all-encompassing, guided minibus tour, travelling the full circle around Iceland to explore and experience the country's most iconic natural attractions. This tour is tailored to travellers who are looking to maximise their vacation time, as well as those looking to experience the full breadth of Iceland's unmatched diversity.  

From the snow-wreathed mountains of the Eastfjords to the rugged, dried lava fields of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, there's no telling of the adventure that awaits. Throughout this eight-day winter journey, you will visit numerous towns and coastal villages, scale glaciers, discover charming lakes, marvel at cascading waterfalls, and so much more. 

There is also ample opportunity to add extra excursions to your trip during the booking process. You can go glacier hiking up Sólheimajökull, venture into a lava tube at Vatnshellir Cave, go horse riding, or partake in the incredible chance to go inside an authentic ice cave.

You will spend time in many of Iceland's national parks and nature reserves, including UNESCO World Heritage site Þingvellir and Vatnajökull National Park. For landscape photographers and nature lovers, these regions offer a fantastic opportunity to revel in Iceland's landscape and geology. 

This is a guided tour, meaning there will be plenty of opportunities to soak up the Icelandic culture, ask questions and garner a true understanding of the geological makeup and natural phenomena that make the country so attractive. 

Every night will conclude with a possible display of the celestial phenomenon,  the Northern Lights. Their appearance can never be guaranteed, but exploring the country in wintertime is one of your best chances of spotting them. You will also retire to the best available accommodation available throughout your entire stay.  

So don't delay—hop on this fantastic guided bus excursion and you too can experience the best of Iceland's natural delights! Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Sep. - Apr.
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Caving, Horse Riding, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Ice Caving
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 8 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Golden Circle, East Iceland, North Iceland, West Iceland , Reykjavík, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Goðafoss, Snæfellsjökull, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Þingvellir, Katla, Snæfellsnes, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Silfra, Sólheimasandur, Eyjafjörður, Borgarfjörður, Húsafell, Höfn, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Hellnar, Reykholt, Borgarnes, Skeiðarársandur, Arnarstapi, Vík í Mýrdal, Egilsstaðir, Hella, Akureyrarkirkja, Fáskrúðsfjörður, Kirkjufell, Reynisfjall, Snæfellsjökull National Park, Reynisdrangar, Öxarárfoss, Haukadalur, Skaftafellsjökull, Námaskarð, Lagarfljót, Vatnshellir Cave, Breiðavík, Lóndrangar, Djúpalónssandur, Hallormsstaðaskógur, Breiðamerkurjökull, South Coast, Diamond Beach, Ring Road, Kjarnaskógur
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : 08:00.

Pick up might take 30-40 minutes. Please be ready at your selected location. Read carefully if you will be picked up at your hotel or at the nearest designated area (Bus Stop). For walking distance to bus stops, please check busstop.is.

  • 8 day guided tour to the South Coast, East and North of Iceland as well as Snæfellsnes Peninsula, travelling via the Ring Route

  • 7 nights of accommodation in various country hotels with breakfast and a private bathroom

  • Northern Lights spotting

  • Taxes

  • Flights

  • Any additional activities (can be added when booking)

  • Lunch and dinner

What to bring:
  • Warm and waterproof clothing

  • Camera

  • A sense of adventure

  • Winter hiking shoes

  • Swimsuit and a towel

Good to know:

Customers travelling on their own will receive a single room. Reservations for 2 people will be allocated a double room. For bookings of 3 or more, triple rooms will automatically be allocated. For example, a group of 8 will receive 2 triple rooms and 1 double. If these arrangements do not meet your requirements, please contact the provider.

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 advised that there is no specific Northern Lights hunt on this tour, but your guide will notify you if the conditions are favourable and advise you on how to best spot them.

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.

It is highly recommended that you do not book your flight home the same night as bad weather or delays could affect your journey. Please be sure to arrange accommodation for this evening and an airport transfer the next day to take you to Keflavík International Airport for your departure.

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.

Cancellation Insurance

This insurance guarantees that you can cancel tour and package bookings and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person.

The cancellation must be made more than 48 hours before the listed starting time on your voucher. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact info@guidetoiceland.is and declare full cancellation.

Please note that this insurance covers the cancellation of the whole tour or package. Individual services cannot be cancelled and refunded separately, but are all covered and refunded in case of a full cancellation.

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - The Golden Circle

Strokkur blasting out boiling water at sunrise.

Today, you start your 8-day adventure. After being picked up, you will meet your experienced guide and acquaint yourself with the rest of the group. Then it's on to the real fun: the Golden Circle tour, one of Iceland's most popular attractions. First, you will discover Þingvellir National Park, one of only three national parks in Iceland, and the only site on the mainland with UNESCO World Heritage status.

The reasons for this are immediately apparent. First, this is the site where Iceland's earliest settlers formed what would later become known as the Alþingi, in 930 AD, making it the oldest surviving Parliament in the world. Second, the park is located directly atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge; both the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates can be seen here, standing out of the earth.

From Þingvellir, you will travel a short distance to two more attractions, Geysir and Gullfoss. The first is a geothermally active area where visitors can see the hot spring Strokkur, spurting out boiling water every five minutes or so—another intriguing insight into the country's geological activity.

From there, you will travel to Gullfoss ("Golden Falls"), one of Iceland's most iconic waterfalls. This powerful feature drops 32 metres over two rocky tiers, an incredible natural display.

If you wish to make this memorable day even more memorable, you can add on a horse riding tour during the booking process and ride the friendly Icelandic horse through the beautiful snowy countryside.

On your first evening, you will spend the night in an area near the Golden Circle, or in Hella village. Throughout your journey, you'll mostly be staying in countryside accommodations, providing excellent opportunities to witness the northern lights, should the skies be clear of clouds.


Below you can see our preferred partners for this night. In the case of these hotels not being an option, an alternative of the same standard will be arranged.

Icelandair Hótel Flúðir

Icelandair Hotel Flúðir is located in the golden circle and is close to Geysir and Gullfoss waterfall. All rooms have wooden floors and a patio with garden access. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Stracta Hotel Hella

Stracta Hotel Hella is a 3-star hotel in the town of Hella. The hotel has an on-site bar with a lounge for guests and a sun terrace. Free access to hot tub. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 2 - The South Coast & Glacier Hike

The black sand beach, Reynisfjara, during the winter.

Your second day will see you travelling down the South Coast of Iceland, one of the country's most beautiful areas. From your accommodations, you will pass scenery of great variety: rustic farmlands, cascading rivers and picturesque waterfalls, including Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

On your right side, the rolling blue waves of the Atlantic Ocean complement this Nordic paradise. There will be numerous stops to take photographs and soak up the scenery. There will also be a stop for an additional adventure: a glacier hike on Sólheimajökull (if you opted for that in your booking process).

On the hike, you will trek up the glacier, passing deep crevasses and jagged ridges, all the while taking in the incredible view of your surroundings. The ice itself is deep blue, but the glacier's snowy peaks are blackened by ash from volcanic eruptions.

Before you retire to your accommodations—either in or close to the small coastal village of Vík—you will visit the famous black sand beach of Reynisfjara where you will be able to get an up-close look at the naturally intricate basalt stacks.

The village is also an excellent stop to chow down on delicious, traditional Icelandic food and shop for homemade handicrafts.


Hotel Dyrhólaey

Hotel Dyrhólaey is located 9 km from Vík. It has both a great view of the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier and the ocean. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Hotel Katla

Hotel Katla is a 3-star country hotel situated 5 km east of Vík. Comfortable private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a hot tub and a sauna. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 3 - Jokulsarlon & Ice Caving

The dazzling blue interior of Iceland's ice caves.

Your third day is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. As you travel across the black sand desert of Skeiðarársandur, the sight of Skaftafell National Park emerges before you in a display of steep mountain ridges, carved ice sheets and dramatic wooded slopes.

As you proceed, you will stop at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, one of the most iconic spots in the whole of Iceland. Here you will see icebergs of pure white and cerulean blue breaking off from the enormous glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull, then floating out into the lagoon to create an awe-inspiring natural spectacle. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might even spot some resident seals playing in the water or lounging on the icebergs.

On this day you will also have the unique opportunity to explore the insides of a glacier on a trip to one of Iceland's ice caves. The full spectrum of colours is bound to entice you, as is the sense of adventure that comes with descending these icy inlets. If you are visiting between November and March, you'll visit a cave in Vatnajökull glacier. If visiting at other times of the year, you'll step inside the frozen world of the glacier Mýrdalsjökull.

Your night will then be spent in the area under Vatnajökull glacier.


Hotel Edda Höfn

Hotel Edda Höfn is located close to a harbour in a town called Höfn. Guests can enjoy a great view of the ocean in rooms with modern decor. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Hótel Höfn

Hotel Höfn is a 3-star hotel located in Höfn town central. Guests can enjoy a great view of the glacier or the ocean from most rooms. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 4 - The Eastfjords

Vestrahorn, one of the East's most dramatic mountainscapes.

Today, you will continue towards the Eastfjords, one of the most spectacular and untouched wilderness regions in Iceland. The sense of peace and tranquillity that comes with exploring this diverse area can only be described as a true connection to nature.

Because of this region's lack of development, the East provides some of the best opportunities to potentially see wildlife, including herds of roaming wild reindeer.

There are a number of stops this day that, due to their natural splendour, are bound to defy the imagination, including the forest Hallormsstaðaskógur, the lake Lagarfljót, the sweeping fjords of the East and several charming fishing settlements.

Tonight, you will stay in accommodations in the Eastfjords area.


Icelandair Hotel Hérað

Icelandair Hotel Hérað is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Egilsstaðir town. Bright, private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included, with a focus on local ingredients.

Lake Hótel Egilsstaðir

Lake Hotel Egilsstaðir is a 3-star hotel located right by the lake Lagarfljót. It is also within a short walking distance from the centre of Egilsstaðir town. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Spa on site for an additional price. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 5 - Lake Myvatn & Dimmuborgir

Much of the area surrounding Lake Mývatn is geothermal.

At the beginning of your fifth day, you will head inward toward the scenic Lake Mývatn ("Fly Lake"). Thankfully, the flies are nowhere to be seen in the winter months, leaving you free to soak in the atmosphere of the lake and its dramatic volcanic scenery.

One point of interest here is Dimmuborgir ("Dark Castles"), an area characterised by its strange rock formations, some of which come together to resemble a dark, fantastical fort. Legends state that this is the home of the hidden people, but the harsh looking lava fields have also been used as mythical and otherworldly locations for film and television.

Another remarkable site is Námaskarð, a geothermal area of bubbling mud pools and steaming fumaroles. A local custom is to place dough of sweet rye bread in metal containers and bury them in the area overnight, leaving the land to slowly bake the most delicious meal.

During the day, you will also have the option to visit Mývatn Nature Baths, an excellent spa fed by warm and mineral-rich geothermal water.

On your way from Mývatn, you will stop at the waterfall Goðafoss, which is rich with history as well as beauty. As you drive through the Víkurskarð mountain pass, you can take in the stunning views of the surrounding Eyjafjörður fjord and snowy vistas. Soon you will enter Akureyri, where you can look forward to exploring the town, which is full of museums, shops and cafes.

You will spend the evening in the Akureyri area. 


Icelandair Hotel Akureyri

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri is a 3-star hotel centrally located in the town of Akureyri, right next to the swimming pool. Private bedroom and a private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Hótel Norðurland

Hotel Norðurland is located in the centre of Akureyri and is close to many restaurants and shops. Private bedroom and a private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 6 - Whale Watching or Beer Spa in North Iceland

Make sure you keep your eyes on the sky as you travel around the country in the winter, you might catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Today you will be making your way to the west part of the island. Before you leave the North, however, you will visit some of the region’s spectacular sites. 

First up is the peaceful, picturesque village of Hauganes. This tiny settlement is home to only about 140 people, but it is rich in charm. Here, you can spend some time strolling on the black sand beach found there or walk to the harbour to see the fishing boats bob up and down in the ocean.

If you are looking for some adventure, you could join a whale watching tour from the harbour and try and spot these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Of the many species found there, the great Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, Harbour Porpoise, and White Beaked Dolphins are the most commonly spotted, but there is always a chance to see other types such as Orcas or even Blue Whales.

If, however, you are in a mood for relaxation, but with a twist, the Bjórböðin Beer Spa might be the perfect option for you. There, you’ll have a chance to soak in warm beer and beer yeast, said to do wonders for both your hair and skin. If you wish, you can unwind with a cold beer in your hand as well. 

As you continue your journey, your guide will tell you the folklore about the unique-looking rock, Hvítserkur, which is your next stop. This massive monolith is said to look like a dragon or an elephant drinking out of the surrounding water.

You will then arrive at your accommodations near the town of Borgarnes. Before going to bed, you could spend the evening relaxing in the hotel’s hot tub and gaze up at the sky in hopes of catching a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights. 


Icelandair Hotel Hamar

Icelandair Hotel Hamar is a hotel just outside of Borgarnes. The hotel has great outdoor activities on site including an 18-hole golf course, outdoor hot tubs, and a great view. There is a restaurant on site. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


The hotel is located in Borgarnes and has impressive sea and mountain views from the rooms. Spa and fitness center are found on site. All bedrooms have private bathrooms that include shower or bath, hairdryer, and free toiletries. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 7 - West Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Iceland becomes a winter wonderland when it is blanketed in snow.

Today, you’ll get to explore the beautiful West-Iceland before making your way to the magnificent Snæfellsnes Peninsula. 

You’ll start the day by visiting Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring where boiling water bubbles up from the ground, which has been dyed red by the water’s minerals, and steam encompasses the area.

Then it is off to Reykholt, which is one of the most important historical locations in the country. It was the homestead of the poet, Saga-author, scholar, law-maker and chieftain, Snorri Sturluson, who was arguably one of the most significant figures of the Middle Ages.

From there, you’ll visit two vastly different but equally stunning waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. The former is actually a series of rivulets that seep through pores in the surrounding dark lava field. The latter, Barnafoss, is a bright blue colour and rushes rapidly through a narrow gorge.

You will then make your way back to your accommodation. Get a good night’s sleep as you will spend the whole day tomorrow exploring the wondrous Snæfellsnes. 


Icelandair Hotel Hamar

Icelandair Hotel Hamar is a hotel just outside of Borgarnes. The hotel has great outdoor activities on site including an 18-hole golf course, outdoor hot tubs, and a great view. There is a restaurant on site. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


The hotel is located in Borgarnes and has impressive sea and mountain views from the rooms. Spa and fitness centre are found on site. All bedrooms have private bathrooms that include shower or bath, hairdryer, and free toiletries. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Day 8 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula In-Depth

Kirkjufell is the most photographed mountain in Iceland.

This is the final day of your tour, sure to round off your trip to Iceland wonderfully. Today, you will explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula further. You will find here a world of dramatic mountainscapes, great cliff-faces, numerous bird species and ancient fishing settlements.

Your first stop will be at Gerðuberg, a stunning cliff made of hexagonal basalt columns. From there, you’ll head to Ytri-Tunga where you’ll see something unusual in Iceland, a white sand beach.

The beach at Ytri-Tunga is not made from black volcanic sand like most beaches in the country but golden sand. Impressive as that is here in this country, the most remarkable sight at Ytri-Tunga is actually the seal colonies which can often be seen lounging about on the beach

From there, you'll head to the black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur. To get to the beach, you will have to walk through a natural maze of free-standing lava pillars. The scene looks like it was taken straight out of a fairytale. 

Watching over you throughout your journey today is the massive Snæfellsjökull glacier. This natural feature was used as the entrance to the centre of the Earth in Jules Verne's classic sci-fi novel and today, you can go on your own underground adventure. One of Iceland's most extensive lava caves, Vatnshellir, is the next stop. This underground dome is easily accessible and explorable with a good guide.

No tour of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is complete without a visit to the iconic Kirkjufell mountain, your next stop. This picturesque mountain was featured in Game of Thrones as the 'mountain like an arrowhead', located beyond the Wall. Don't worry, there are no White-Walkers in Iceland (anymore). 

When your excursion of this 90 km long peninsula comes to an end, you will head to Reykjavík, bringing your journey to an end. You can expect to arrive in Reykavík in the early evening, but it is highly recommended that you do not plan to fly out the same night in case of any delays or bad weather. Take the opportunity to explore the world's most northern capital Reykjavík and its exciting nightlife.


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The trip is simply amazing and relaxing. Our tour guide Ingolfur Matthiasson (https://www.facebook.com/ingolfur.matthiasson) is super nice, professional and passionate. He is the guy you want to travel with, he knows all the stories about Iceland wherever we go and makes great arrangement every day. I enjoy every single minute with him during the tour. I definitely would like to visit this magical island again in the future and ask for Ingo's company as well.
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Absolutely fantastic trip! Enjoyed it all - scenery, glacier hiking, horseback riding . . . . . even the crazy weather. We've never experienced such bitter cold and wind before, even though the temperature was above freezing. Our guide Jakob Gudjohnsen was very knowledgeable and entertaining. He went above and beyond the call of duty several times for us. He drove us around one evening searching for the northern lights. Everyone on the tour was keen to go as we had not seen them yet and we were nearing the end of the 8 day tour. We did manage to see the northern lights the next day. Jakob was out with us that evening, and he took photos of us and the northern lights. Thank goodness he did that, as our cameras were unable to capture the northern lights. He emailed the photos to us the next day, and we are so grateful for the memories! That was my main reason for wanting to go to Iceland-the northern lights. Jakob also returned to the site of an excursion one evening to retrieve a cell phone we had left behind earlier in the day. He also arranged for the return of a pair of sunglasses we left behind as well. We can't thank Jakob enough. He was truly a life saver on this trip. Our son loved the trip so much he said he is going to move to Iceland (but we said he has to finish high school first).
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One of the most amazing trips me and my wife have ever taken. Jon was our guide and I can’t say enough about how awesome he was and extremely knowledgeable about all things Iceland. We were picked up right on time at the location we were assigned. We were lucky enough to see the northern lights two times on our trip and all the lodging we stayed in was top notch. We hit all the highlights and were also shown a lot of extras. By the end of the trip our group was like family including our guide Jon. If you like to stay busy and see as much as possible this trip is for you. If you need a slower pace book a self drive but I highly recommend taking the 8 day winter tour if you really want to learn about Iceland and there culture. We absolutely love Iceland and will be back for sure!
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My husband and I took the 8-day full circle excursion with Guide to Iceland. We had a fantastic experience and an amazing holiday. We traveled in March 2019 and experienced all types of weather on our first day itself! Starting with a bright sunny day, to rain, snow, chilly wind and then being pleasant again - in a span of just 3 hours! Each day on this tour was a different experience - we hiked on top of glaciers, went inside ice caves, saw natural geysers, black sand beaches, natural lava caves, hot springs, lava fields, waterfalls (Can't count how many we must have seen on our trip!) and even experienced a wind storm with speeds of more than 130 kms/hour!! Booking ourselves on Guide to Iceland was the best decision we took and our entire stay there was stress-free. Circling the country can require a lot of planning and bookings, if one has to do it all by themselves, but Guide to Iceland made our trip completely hassle-free. Our Guide Omar was a really friendly guy who made sure we knew the history and significance of each place we visited. We were 15 people on our tour and we went around in a mini-bus which was quite comfortable (free wifi on board). All the hotels we stayed at (different each night) were comfortable and cosy. Icelandic people are extremely warm and friendly and would go out of their way to help you if needed. As a nature lover, I fell completely in love with the raw beauty of Iceland and what all unique sights and experiences it has to offer. I would definitely recommend Guide to Iceland for your trip to this unbelievable 'heaven on earth'!
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Our group of six recently completed the 8 day tour of Iceland. The tour was very well planned with incredible sights and experiences on every day. Our tour guide, Thor was outstanding. Throughout the trip he shared Icelandic history, geopgraphical information and wonderful stories of the "Sagas" and folklore of Iceland. Thor's"Icelandic" pride was infectious. During our eight days together he worked very hard to make sure that all of the members of our group were having a good time. We did several of the excursions; the glacier hike, the ice cave, the lava cave and the hot springs. On the days we did not do the excursions, Thor took our group to see other sights. All of the hotels were lovely. At many of them the dinners were delicious. We would highly recommend this tour to others!
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My husband and I recently celebrated his 50th birthday and took an 8-day "Aurora Hunters" small group tour in Iceland in February. Iceland is a stunning country and so very raw. It was a privilege to see. Snow, ice, mountains and valleys formed and sculpted by volcanic activity, glaciers, waterfalls and the "NORTHERN LIGHTS"!!!!!!!!! Yes, we were lucky to see these on two nights and whilst the activity was only medium, we were enchanted. The photos have turned out well and we have been showing these off to friends and family! The tour was well organised and our guide Jon was great. We really had a sense that he was invested in showing his homeland off to us and ensuring we had the best experiences. We was a wealth of knowledge. We enjoyed all the add-on activities. We will be back! Like Carol, we would recommend the purchase of slip on spikes for your shoes unless of course you come from a country/city/town where snow and ice are regular events. They certainly made us feel more confident on our feet!!
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What an amazing trip. Our guide, Orri, was one of the best that I have ever experienced. A wealth of information and knowledge and an excellent driver in the difficult Icelandic winter weather. Our group of 14 was always comfortable in van and always had an excellent view of the countryside,regardless of where we sat. The 8 day excursion was well planned and executed. Lodging and breakfasts were al top notch, and well appreciated at the end of each fun filled day. A must trip when visiting Iceland in the winter. Saw the northern lights 3 nights out of 7....SIMPLY OUTSTANDING.. Thanks again, Orri...!
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I went on this tour recently, and I loved it! Iceland is a stunning country and I feel like this tour was very comprehensive and showed us all of the highlights of the country in winter. All of the sights are absolutely beautiful, especially the waterfalls. Our guide (Eythor) was great, he was friendly and attentive, and obviously very knowledgeable about the country. He went the extra mile for us and made some extra stops along the way so we could enjoy some more sights/landscapes . He also told us lots of Icelandic stories/folklore. Great experience.
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Our tour was arranged by Aurora Hunters, their response time was top notch and the entire trip was fabulous. Bára, our tour operator, made sure everyone was ok after we visited each place and cracked some jokes whenever possible. She also has a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding Icelandic history and nature. She even went extra miles to take us to her favorite waterfalls to make sure we would not be bored by checking in early at the hotel. Thanks to her knowledge and experience in driving around Iceland, we had the most memorable traveling experience. Also, she made sure we could experience Northern Lights during the stay in Mývatn by asking the front desk to notify us when we stayed there. One thing I would suggest is that maybe allocate more time in each place, or break up groups into small teams that want to spend more time in certain places. Overall, I will recommend this tour to everyone who doesn't feel confident drive during winter in Iceland and/or simply want to enjoy everything Iceland has to offer.
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-Guide to Iceland 8-day Minibus Tour was easy to book. The single room supplement was only $200 extra. Communication after booking was minimal, I got a little nervous about that. But if I emailed, it was responded to promptly. Our tour operator was Aurora Hunters. -Our driver/tour guide, Carlos, picked up me (and one other person) at Bus Stop 8 (Hallgrimskirkja). Can’t miss it, it’s the tallest building in Reykavik. It was 45 minutes late, but it was due to circumstances beyond his control. He picked up two other people at a different bus stop, and we were on our way. The mini bus is a new comfy Mercedes with wifi, luggage holder in tow. Carlos (and later some of the guys) loaded and unloaded the heavy bags each day. Carlos is a wealth of knowledge about Iceland. He was on time each morning and greeted us at breakfast with a smile. He called each of us for the Northern Lights if they were visible. The weather was cooperative, and we saw the Northern Lights THREE times! Very lucky. He took a picture of each of us separately with the Northern Lights in the background and sent to us. He certainly went above and beyond his job description. Thank you Carlos! -I cannot say enough about this beautiful country. We had beautiful weather. I opted to take all excursions, except for the horseback riding. Geysers, waterfalls, black sand beach, lava fields, 100-year old moss, Diamond Beach are all beautiful. -The Ice Cave Tour and leader (forgot his name, began with K, sorry) were interesting. The monster truck ride to get us to the ice cave was fun but stunk of diesel fuel the whole time. It was a small ice cave, and I couldn’t get a picture without a person in it. But, no matter, it was still cool. -The highlight of my trip was the Glacier Hike on Sólheimajökull. Donned with crampons, pick axes, harnesses, and helmets, we set off on a 3.5km hike. Hard to believe we were walking on ice for 3.5km. Nico was a great guide, very knowledgeable and concerned for our safety. -The boat ride to Whale Watching at Akureyri was pleasant, though cold, and we really had to hang on when walking the decks because it was iced up. We did however see one whale’s whole tail. No big dives.  Bring waterproof pants, you will need them for glacier hike, whale watching, and ice cave. -Another cool outing was a trip to Kaffi Ku, a fascinating dairy farm where the cows are actually pampered. Waffles, cream, fresh milk, jam and coffee were included in the price. -There is a lot of driving involved, so it could get boring, but the scenery was so beautiful I was not bored. Good time to take a nap too if you want to be up and alert for the Northern Lights. On the long drives, Carlos would stop on the roadside (if allowed) and let us take pictures. Easy check-in at all hotels. All were well-appointed, all beds were comfortable, and I got 7 good nights of sleep. Hearty breakfasts and coffee every morning were included in price … the homemade breads were delicious. And Fosshotel Myvatn was especially gorgeous! Hotel restaurants can be expensive, so Carlos stopped at the petrol stations or at Bonus, Kronan or Netto stores on the way to each hotel. Bring a plastic fork, knife and spoon, and some plastic bags. The stores charge 30-40 kronas for each!! You cannot find a bad cup of coffee in all of Iceland … for a price of $3.50 a small cup!!! - The day of the Myvatn Nature Baths was snowing and freezing. We put on our swimsuits and ran thirty feet through the cold and snow into the warmer water. If you go into the baths in the winter, wear a hat or your ears will freeze. However, Guide to Iceland deemed that the water was not warm enough for its tour participants, so we were all given a refund for the Nature Baths! Very nice touch! -The Lava Cave tour was ok, but no big deal. We were equipped with a helmet and a flashlight (to see where we were stepping), as we descended down a 52-step spiral staircase. One person had to go back up because she was claustrophobic. If you have a headlamp, bring it, much more convenient. I did not skip it because I had never seen a lava cave before. The last day of the tour was to Snafellnes Peninsula. It is so pretty, especially with all the snow. Our tour ended as the sun was setting on a clear day. -A few stops to drop off people before my drop off. Great pictures, great time, great memories!
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