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.
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.
On your way to Iceland’s capital city, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colours and luxurious treatments. It is located in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere. If you add the Blue Lagoon it will be arranged according to your flights. If there is no time to visit the lagoon today it can be added to another day, your travel consultant will be able to arrange this for you. There is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik if you have extra free time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The third option for added activities is 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.
Two of the options for excursions today are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to visit the same spectacular site: the ongoing volcanic eruption at Fagradalsfjall. Firstly, you can explore it on a 5-hour evening tour, in which you will trek with an experienced guide through the haunting landscapes of the Reykjanes Peninsula to its fountains of fire and network of lava rivers. Secondly, you can marvel over it from the sky with another 1-hour helicopter journey departing from Reykjavik Domestic Airport; this excursion even includes a short landing!
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.
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.
For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you will finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. If your flight is later there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik. If you have an early flight back home, we wish you a pleasant journey.
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.
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.
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For budget and comfort levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. If you are travelling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur. For multi-day guided tours, accommodation cannot be upgraded and the levels below do not apply. Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.
Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostels. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.
Private rooms with shared bathroom in guesthouses or hostels such as Capital Inn Guesthouse. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.
Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels such as Hótel Klettur, or quality guesthouses. Located in the city center or in close vicinity. Breakfast is included.
Rooms at four-star design hotels in the city center with a private bathroom at the absolute best locations downtown such as Hotel Alda. Breakfast is included.