9 Day Winter Package | Minibus Excursion of the Ring Road of Iceland

9 Day Winter Package | Minibus Excursion of the Ring Road of Iceland
Experience Iceland in Winter and see the Golden Circle, the South Coast and the North of Iceland all covered in snow.
The thin cascade of Seljalandsfoss, photographed here in winter, is fed by meltwater from the notorious Eyjafjallajökull glacier.
The spectacular Jökulsárlón is a glacier lagoon in the south-east of Iceland that, year-round, is filled with mighty, breathtaking icebergs.
A window through crystal clear ice in Jökulsárlón reveals just a slither of the glacier lagoon's immense beauty.
A pyramid of snow sits within one of Iceland's most beautiful locations, its blue ice cave, beneath Vatnajökull.
Route 1, or the Ring Road, is lined with features along the South Coast, such as the Reynisdrangar sea-stacks, and is as navigable in winter as it is in summer.
4.8
Based on 4 traveller reviews

Embrace the Icelandic winter on this 9-day tour package, where you’ll see the most iconic sights of the island while sitting back and allowing the experts to plan the journey and drive the icy roads.

This package, which includes a guided bus tour, will see you hunt for the Northern Lights while taking you along the South Coast and through the Eastfjords to the wonders of Lake Mývatn, and finally completing the full Ring Road of Iceland. This excursion is perfect for adventurous travellers that want to experience the wonderland that is Iceland in winter with ease and comfort.

Your journey begins with an included pickup at the airport and an optional visit to the Blue Lagoon, after which you will be transported to the capital city, Reykjavík. You will then embark on a thoroughly planned journey around the island, starting with the Golden Circle, before reaching Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, the remote Eastfjords, and Akureyri town. Your journey ends back in Reykjavík where you'll spend your final night in the land of ice and fire.

You can make your Ring Road adventure more exciting by adding additional activities during the booking process, such as going horse riding, glacier hiking or visiting geothermal baths or an authentic ice cave. 

Each day will end with a possible display of the magnificent phenomena that is the Northern Lights—although they can never be fully guaranteed, travelling around Iceland in winter provides the best chance of spotting their incredible and colourful display.

This package includes all the comforts of a winter journey and takes you to some of the most famed highlights of the island, as well as lesser-known hidden gems off the beaten track. Don’t hesitate in booking your Iceland adventure now—check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Aug. - Apr.
  • Duration: 9 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Ice Caving, Airplane
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 8 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, East Iceland, North Iceland, Reykjavík, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Þingvellir, Katla, Strokkur, Reykjanes, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Skútustaðagígar, Vík í Mýrdal, Svartifoss, Egilsstaðir, Hella, Keflavik International Airport, Reynisdrangar, Haukadalur, Hauganes, South Coast, Diamond Beach, Ring Road
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : Flexible.

You will have a voucher to take the airport shuttle to your hotel in Reykjavík. And the fun starts right away!

Included:
  • Airport transfer on arrival/departure for Keflavík International Airport

  • 3 nights of accommodation in Reykjavík (different levels available; breakfast not included for Super Budget or Budget levels; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)

  • 6-day small group guided minibus tour of the south, east and north of Iceland.

  • 5 night of accommodation in various country hotels (breakfast included, private bathroom depending on availability)

  • Northern Lights Hunting

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

  • Taxes

  • Blue Lagoon entrance and return transfer (can be added during the booking process)

  • Additional activities (can be added during booking)

  • Flights

  • Lunch and dinner


What to bring:
  • Warm clothes, layers of wool and fleece. Windproof and rainproof clothing.

  • Winter hiking shoes

  • Camera

  • Swimsuit


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 in case of bad weathers.

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.

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 - Arrival & Blue Lagoon


One of the best ways to introduce yourself to Iceland is by bathing in the magical waters of the Blue Lagoon, the famous spa on the Reykjanes Peninsula.


Welcome to Iceland. When you arrive at Keflavík International Airport, you will board a shuttle to take you through the stark lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula to Reykjavík City.

Located between the airport and the capital is the world-renowned Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa of azure waters rich in minerals like silica and sulphur. A soak in the spa is a rejuvenating experience and the ultimate jet-lag cure. The visit to the lagoon is included in the package so enjoy your soak to the fullest before heading to the city.

Depending on your arrival time, you can explore the charming downtown of Reykjavík, lined with numerous local cafés, restaurants, shops and museums.

You will spend the night at accommodation in Reykjavík.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

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 Fosshótel chain has four 3-4 star Hotels located in and around the city center of Reykjavík. There is a short walk from all of the hotels 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 - Geysers & Waterfalls of the Golden Circle


Bursting against the sunrise, Strokkur is a geyser that can be marvelled over throughout the year.


Your journey begins as you board the minibus and get acquainted with your guide and the rest of the passengers. On the agenda today is Iceland’s most esteemed sights of the Golden Circle route, and you’ll soon see what all the hype is about.

First up on the Golden Circle route, however, is Þingvellir National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage site since it marks the original site of the world’s longest-running democratic parliament, Alþingi, where Icelanders of the Viking Age would gather to establish and discuss national law and order.

The scenic park is furthermore located in a rift valley between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. As the continents drift apart, they tear up the ground in the valley and create fissures and gorges that traverse the region.

After having explored this unparalleled site, you will head on to the geothermal valley of Haukadalur, home to bubbling mud pools and active geysers. There you can observe the hot spring Strokkur mightily erupt boiling water some 20-40 metres into the air every few minutes.

The final site of the popular circle route is the grand waterfall Gullfoss, a magnificent display of unharnessed power cascading down two tiers into a glacial water crevice.

If you chose so during the booking process, your day will also include a horse riding tour through the wild Icelandic nature. Icelandic horses are both friendly and gentle, making this the perfect tour for beginners and expert riders alike.

You will spend the night nearby but before turning in, remember to check the sky for the green veils of the Aurora Borealis.


Accommodation

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 3 - South Coast & Glacier Hike


In the cave behind the south Iceland waterfall Seljalandsfoss, you can find icicles dangling in winter.


Day three will see you set out to traverse along the South Coast of Iceland. There are a wealth of sights and places to visit on this route, so zip up your warmest jacket and get your camera ready.

The first stop of the day is Seljalandsfoss, a narrow wonder with a 60-metre drop and one of the most visited waterfalls in Iceland. Next up is another magnificent waterfall, Skógafoss, which cascades off the cliffs of the former coastline, separating the Highlands from the lowlands.

You will pass gigantic glaciers on your drive today, including the infamous Eyjafjallajökull that so memorably erupted back in 2010, putting a stop to European air traffic due to the incredible amount of ash the volcanic ice cap produced. You will also pass the alluring Mýrdalsjökull, the fourth largest glacier in the country.

One of Mýrdalsjökull’s outlet glaciers is called Sólheimajökull, and your bus will go right to its icy edges. If you opted to during your booking process, you can strap on a pair of crampons and embark on a thrilling glacier hike. On top of the ice, you are confronted with astounding views of the coast and surrounding mountains.

Your final destination for the day is the coastal village Vík, where you will visit the black sand beach Reynisfjara and admire the castle-like structure of Reynisdrangar sea stacks where they nest just offshore in the freezing Atlantic Ocean. Marvel at the peculiar basalt columns that make up the cliffs of the beach as well as a fascinating cavern.

You’ll spend the night in accommodation close to Vík, relaxing or hunting for the Northern Lights before turning in.


Accommodation

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 4 - Jokulsarlon & Diamond Beach


This unique image of Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon reveals the intensity of the blues that can be found in many of the icebergs here.


On day four you will continue along the South Coast until you reach the acclaimed glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón—a serene display of majestic icebergs that have broken off Vatnajökull and float in a still blue lake.

The stretch of black beach nearby is rightfully called the Diamond Beach since bergs from the lagoon gather there to glisten like gemstones in the sun. You can walk through a field of ice chunks, standing in stark contrast to the black sands they rest on.

On this day, you will also have the unique opportunity to explore one of the South Coast’s beautiful ice caves. If you are visiting between November and March, you will explore one of the ice caves located beneath Vatnajökull glacier. If instead you are visiting outside of these months, you will discover an ice cave beneath Mýrdalsjökull ice cap. Both options are truly out of this world! 

These glittering blue tunnels are a must for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike, providing a fascinating insight into how glaciers come to form. You will be amazed by the variety of blue shades found inside, as well as the intricate ice sculptures and sweeping moulins.

Finally, you will spend the night at local accommodation in the south-east area.


Accommodation

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 5 - Eastfjords Wilderness


Even under a dusting of snow, the south-eastern mountain of Vestrahorn looks ominous.


Day five of your adventure will see you zigzagging through the wild and desolate fjords of the East, home to incredible landscapes of untouched nature, steep mountains and sharp coastal cliffs.

The mythical sense of isolation one feels when travelling through here is sure to entice any visitor looking to experience authentic and stark Icelandic terrain. The stops you make today will be dependant on the weather, but rest assured your experienced guide will make the best of this unparalleled route.

After driving through Iceland’s largest forest, Hallormstaðarskógur, your final destination will be Egilsstaðir. This friendly town rests on the banks of Lake Lagarfljót, the alleged home to a legendary sea monster whose sightings outdate those of Scotland’s Loch Ness monster.

You will spend the night in a charming town in eastern Iceland. If you find yourself with a little extra time, why not check out the local swimming pool, or go out for dinner in one of the town's restaurants.


Accommodation

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 6 - Lake Myvatn


Námaskarð Pass in north Iceland never freezes over due to the intensity of its geothermal activity.


On your sixth morning, you will leave the Eastfjords behind and head up North. The destination of the day will be Lake Mývatn, which offers an array of natural wonders to behold.

The area surrounding the lake is bustling with geothermal activity, and the sights include the sulphurous mud springs of Námaskarð Pass, the rocky lava fortress at Dimmuborgir and the enchanting pseudo-craters of Skútustaðagígar.

If any parts of this geothermal paradise look familiar, it is probably due to many of the wildling scenes of HBO’s Game of Thrones having been filmed here. Its otherworldly landscapes are well suited to stand in for pure fantasy, - and science fiction too, as this place was used to train astronauts for the moon landing back in the sixties.

Today you will have the opportunity to grasp the geothermal power of the area and unwind in the mineral-rich waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths. Lay back in the soothing waters and admire the views of the surrounding plateau.

On your way to Akureyri, you will make a stop at the stunning waterfall Goðafoss which is rich in history as well as natural beauty. When Iceland officially declared itself as a Christian nation, the local law-speaker cast the idols of the pagan gods into this waterfall.

As you make your way over the mountains, Akureyri will come into view across the bay. Explore the town’s charming streets, boutiques, museums, cafés and celebrated restaurants or pay a visit to its luxurious public swimming pool at the top of the hill. Akureyri is the largest settlement in the North which rests by the finest skiing slopes in the country. 

You will spend the night in the Akureyri town area.


Accommodation

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 7 - Adventures in the North & West


Icelandic horses in their shaggy winter coats, in the snow-coated farmlands on north Iceland.


Fasten your seatbelts, day 7 is sure to provide plenty of adventure! From Akureyri, you’ll visit the small village of Hauganes, in Eyjafjörður, the deepest fjord in Iceland. Here you will have the opportunity to partake in exciting extra activities.

First, you could opt for a thrilling whale watching expedition, allowing you to get up and personal with Iceland’s gentle giants. There are over twenty species of cetacean in Icelandic waters, making this the optimum choice for wildlife lovers and landscape aficionados.

Alternatively, you could choose to visit the local Beer Spa, complete with its excellent restaurant and stunning mountain views. If instead of an optional activity, you’d rather explore Hauganes village freely, then you are free to do so.

Following your time at Hauganes, you’ll visit the “Troll of the Northwest,” Hvítserkur rock stack. Comprised of basalt and standing a towering fifteen metres high over the ocean, this is one of the most peculiar natural rock formations in the country.

Finally, you will travel back to Reykjavík, where you will spend the night.


Preferred accommodation in Reykjavík

Reykjavík Super Budget

Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostel. Located in the capital region. Access to cooking facilities on premises. Breakfast not included.

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

Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels such as Fosshotel Baron or Lind, or quality guesthouses. There is a short walk from all of the hotels 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 - Reykjavik and Beyond


Even though its cold, many winter days in Iceland are clear and sunny, if only for a few hours.


On day 8, you are free to enjoy Iceland’s gorgeous capital city, Reykjavík. As the country’s central hub for the arts, retail and recreation, the city is sure to provide you with countless options on how best to spend your day.

For those looking to continue the action, there are several tours that can be embarked upon, the first of which is whale watching if you missed it from the day before. Faxaflói Bay is famed as a fantastic feeding ground for Iceland’s whales and dolphins, providing the perfect opportunity to photograph and appreciate these majestic creatures at their best.

Another option is hopping on a bus and visiting the intricate ice tunnels that weave beneath Iceland's second largest glacier, Langjökull. Not only will you be walking directly beneath one of nature’s greatest feats, but you will also learn interesting information about the glaciers themselves. You won’t believe the incredible shade of blue that glimmer throughout these stunning, subterranean halls.

Perhaps most thrilling, most VIP of all, is the third option for added activities; a helicopter sightseeing flight over the colourful tin rooftops of Reykjavík, complete with a landing on a nearby mountain. A helicopter ride over the city is sure to provide you with perspectives quite unlike anything you’ve seen before and is by far the best way to appreciate the cultural gem of the capital surrounded by wild nature.

If you would rather spend the day freely exploring the city, make sure to check out its most beautiful spots, including Lake Tjörnin or the viewing deck at Perlan Museum. If you have time, make sure to stop by some of the city’s favourite coffee houses and bars, or even take in a park or two.


Day 9 - Farewell


The capital of Iceland has a beautiful, glowing skyline throughout the winter, seen here across the downtown pond of Tjörnin.


Today your adventure comes to an end for the time being. Pack your bags and catch your complimentary ride to the airport in due time for your flight home.

Know that you just experienced the Icelandic winter in all its glory as you leave the island’s shores, providing you with memories and wonderful photographs that will last you a lifetime.

Have a safe journey home and come back soon.


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.

Super Budget

Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostels. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.

Budget

Private rooms with shared bathroom in guesthouses or hostels such as Capital Inn Guesthouse. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.

Comfort

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.

Quality

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.


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.


Map


Verified reviews

Average54 reviews
English
All ratings
Edit review
Super amazing trip we did. Our guide Carlos tried always to help us to have a very good experience. We couldn't see northern lights because of the weather but he tried always to help us to have that experience. We only had one bad experience with one of the hotels where the hot water stop working and didn't do anything to fix it but all the others hotels, where so confortable and good service an specially very good food!. We enjoy so much this experience that certainly in a few years we will come back on summer to see the other part of Iceland and the summer landscapes. Very good service from Carlos and all the other guides and staff from Guide to Iceland!. Thank you!.
Edit review
There were 13 of us in the group and we all got along really well. We also have a very good Icelandic driver who knows the culture and history of the places that we visited. He is very knowledgable and really learnt alot from him during the trip. He took care of our safety and is very jovial. The hotels that we stayed are all well nominated and comfortable. It was all like a big family while on the tour and the sights are awe inspiring. However, the let down was that we were unable to visit the Ice Cave due to whatever the reason that was given which we found that it was unacceptable. Overall, it was a good trip and would recommend it.
Edit review
The trip does not start well with a delay of 9 hr flight to iceland. But that does not stop the enjoyment our guide from aurora hunting carlos provide. He is very knowledgeable and explained to us the landscapes and introduce in details all attractions. He also make effort to stop at supermarket for all members to grab some snacks. The whole plan was great. Only setback was the return flight from Akureyri to Reykjavik was mess up. But carlos manage to negotiate with the front desk staff and manage to solve the issue. Generally the hotel stay was great, selected comfort. As the weather in iceland was not good during my stay there, northern light tour was cancelled but Jonathan manage to rearrange another trip on our last night. Still we missed it. As we leaving the next day, no luck to catch aurora. Still recommend this tour but choi e the right period to travel, as it affects the views.
Loading best prices
Free pickup
No credit card fees
No booking fees