9 Day Winter Package | Minibus Excursion of Iceland with Akureyri

9 Day Winter Package | Minibus Excursion of Iceland with Akureyri
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.
The spray from Gullfoss waterfalls means that, in winter, all of its surroundings are coated in a thick armour of ice.

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 to along the South Coast and through the Eastfjords to the wonders of Lake Mývatn. 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 a 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 halfway around the island, starting with the Golden Circle, before reaching Akureyri and catching an inland flight back to Reykjavík.

You can even make your adventure more exciting by adding additional activities during the booking process, such as going glacier hiking or visiting 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: Sep. - Mar.
  • Duration: 9 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Cultural Activity, Ice Caving, Airplane
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 8 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Blue Lagoon, Golden Circle, South Iceland, East Iceland, North Iceland, Reykjavik, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Húsavík, 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, Capital Region, South Coast, Diamond Beach, Ring Road
Pickup information:
    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

    • 2 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)

    • Blue Lagoon comfort entrance (upgrade to premium level available) and return transfer

    • 7-day guided minibus tour of the south, east and north of Iceland.

    • 6 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

    • Flight from Akureyri to Reykjavík

    • Taxes

    • Transfer from Reykjavík Domestic Airport to accommodations

    • Additional activities (can be added during booking)

    • Flights others than stated above

    • 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,  find your shuttle that will 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 an 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 guides 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 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 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 as it cascades down two tiers into a glacial water crevice.

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


    Accommodation

    Fosshótel Hekla

    Fosshotel Hekla is a 3-star hotel in the Golden Circle area. The hotel has a restaurant which serves traditional Icelandic cuisine, a bar and a lounge. Free access to hot tub. 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 guest 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 is another magnificent waterfall, Skógafoss, that cascades off the cliffs of a former coastline, separating the Highlands from the lowland.

    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 third 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 ice crampons and embark on a thrilling glacier hike.

    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.

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


    Accommodation

    Puffin Hótel Vík

    The Puffin Hótel Vík is a country hotel and guesthouse situated in the coastal village of Vík. Located next to a restaurant, museum and swimming pool. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to outdoor hot tubs. 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 - Skaftafell & Ice Cave Adventure


    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 Skaftafell Nature Reserve, part of the greater Vatnajökull National Park. The area is dotted with numerous hiking trails, including one that leads you to the waterfall Svartifoss—a beautiful sight of white glacial water tumbling down a black wall of hexagonal basalt rocks.

    The next dish on the menu is one of the highlights of your journey, 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 a black beach nearby is rightfully called the Diamond Beach since bergs from the lagoon gather there to glisten like gemstones in the sun.

    Today you also have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to hop in a super jeep and go into a naturally formed ice cave if you opted to do so during the booking process. These caves boast of otherworldly beauty and spectacular ice formations, sure to satisfy your thirst for adventure and natural wonders.

    If you are visiting before November, you'll start the day exploring an ice cave in Mýrdalsjökull glacier, otherwise, you'll visit the icy world inside the glacier Vatnajökull.

    You will finally spend the night at a local accommodation in the south-east area.


    Accommodation

    Fosshótel Vatnajökull

    Fosshótel Vatnajökull is a country hotel situated near the coastal village of Höfn. Europe’s largest icecap Vatnajökull can be seen from the location. 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. 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 guides 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.


    Accommodation

    Fosshótel Austfirðir

    Fosshótel Austfirðir is a picturesque country hotel in the fjord of Fáskrúðsfjörður. Guests can enjoy Icelandic cuisine at the elegant restaurant L’Abri. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

    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. After exploring these sights, you will hop back on the bus and visit Húsavík, a coastal town by the stunning bay of Skjálfandi.

    The town offers a fascinating insight of Icelandic history, where you can explore the century-old resident church or simply unwind with a leisurely stroll, souvenir shopping or by getting to know the locals.

    You will eventually return to Lake Mývatn where you will spend the night.


    Accommodation

    Fosshótel Mývatn

    Fosshótel Mývatn is situated by Lake Mývatn in North Iceland. All rooms include a flat-screen TV with private bathrooms and a hairdryer. Breakfast is included. Free Wi-Fi.

    Vogafjós Farm Resort

    Vogafjós is a family-run guesthouse on the shore of Lake Mývatn surrounded by unique landscapes. Free WiFi. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Breakfast is included.


    Day 7 - Akureyri & The North


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


    Leaving Lake Mývatn on day seven you will visit one of the greatest fjords in the North. Eyjafjörður is the deepest fjord in Iceland and it is known for its incredible coastal scenery and idyllic farmlands. Your bus will take you right up to the very best vantage points to fully grasp and enjoy this magnificent scenery.

    Today, you'll also get to know Icelandic farming life with a stop at Kaffi Kú, or 'Café Cow'. Here you'll follow one of the farmers through this enormous cow farm and watch as the animals listen to music and are given a gentle massage. You'll even get to meet a few cows and taste the fresh milk.

    Next up is a charming boutique just outside of Akureyri town called The Christmas House. You'll be sure to get into a festive spirit, no matter what time of the year it is. Inside the fire-engine red house is an interesting collection of Christmas-related trinkets and decorative items for sale.

    Your final destination for the day is Akureyri, the largest settlement in the North which rests by the finest skiing slopes in the country. Feel free to explore the town’s charming streets, boutiques, museums, cafés and celebrated restaurants before retreating to your accommodation.


    Accommodation

    Hótel Kjarnalundur

    Hótel Kjarnalundur is located in a wooded area next to Akureyri town. The hotel offers an onsite bar, terrace, and a great mountain view. Free WiFi. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Breakfast is included.

    Hótel Akureyri

    Hótel Akureyri is located in the centre of Akureyri township, North Iceland. Rooms come equipped with luxury beds, private bathrooms, satellite TV, minibar and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


    Day 8 - Back to Reykjavik


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


    As you wake up in the 'capital of the North', you will have ample time to explore it further before boarding a plane heading back to Reykjavík City. This inland flight is included in the package and saves you much time, which you can use to explore the city. 

    Once you are back in the 'capital of the South', the rest of the day is yours as you will find your Reykjavík accommodation waiting for you come nightfall. You can spend your time sightseeing, strolling through town, visiting the geothermal pools that are open all year round, or simply relax with a pint in your hand at one of the numerous bars in the city centre.

    You will spend the night 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 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 the booking of this package and receive a full refund, minus the insurance cost of 5,000 ISK per person. The cancellation must be made within a minimum of 48-hours before the listed starting time. To cancel your booking and claim your refund, simply contact our service desk by writing to info@guidetoiceland.is no later than 48-hours before departure and declare the cancellation. Please note that this insurance only covers the full cancellation of this entire package. It does not cover cancellations of individual activities and services within the package. The cost of the Cancellation Insurance is neither refundable nor transferable.


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