Golden Circle & Langjokull Glacier | Sightseeing and Snowmobiling Day Tour
See Iceland's most iconic attraction and take a wild snowmobile ride on this incredible day tour. You’ll take in the sights of the famed Golden Circle and then plant your feet on the pedals of a zippy snowmobile, to spend an hour whizzing across the colossal ivory snows of Langjökull Glacier, the second-largest glacier in Iceland.
After hopping on a tour bus at, or near, your hotel or guesthouse, your odyssey will take you to Þingvellir National Park; a place known for its exceptional beauty and historical importance. Þingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrating the world's longest running democratic parliament, the Alþingi, which was founded there in 930 AD.
The second stop is at the scorching geothermal area known as Geysir which is home to Strokkur, the most active geyser in Iceland, as well as countless steam vents and fumaroles, that characterise the area.
From there, you will head to the top of Langjökull for an exhilarating one-hour snowmobile tour on the vast snowcap. Hiking the glacier is refreshing and eye-opening, to be sure, but you’ve not experienced it fully until you hit the ice at high speed. The view from this location is breathtaking, and on a clear day, a major portion of the Icelandic highlands and several other glaciers are visible.
On our way back to Reykjavík, we will stop by the final location on the Golden Circle, the stunning Gullfoss waterfall. At Gullfoss, you will have the opportunity to take a path to the cliffs which directly overlook the immense falls, and see massive quantities of water plummet violently into a deep, meandering gorge. You can feel the brisk spray on your face and truly breathe in the experience!
Don't miss out on this tour which offers a peek into Iceland’s astounding history and geography, as well as the unforgettable feel of the frosty wind in your lungs as you speed across the glacial ice cap of Langjökull. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: Oct. - May.
- Duration: 10 hours
- Activities: Snowmobile, Sightseeing
- Difficulty: Easy
- Minimum age: 6 years old
- Languages: English
Geysir is a famous hot spring in Haukadalur valley in South Iceland. Part of the ‘Golden Circle', Geysir gives its name to hot springs all over the world.
Though Geysir itself is hardly active anymore, the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur, which spouts a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, around 15-20 meters into the air, Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
North of Geysir are fumaroles, i.e. unlike the hot springs that emit hot water, only steam and gas emanate from these. You may be able to observe bright yellow stains at the fumaroles, this is native sulphur, which crystallizes from the steam. At the southern part of the geothermal area, called Thykkuhverir, you‘ll find various mud pots. Such mud pots are actually fumaroles that boil up through surface water/groundwater and may become steaming fumaroles during dry spells, rather than the usual boiling mud pots.
About 2 km from Geysir is an old preserved natural pool called Kúalaug. One can bathe in it and it has room for 3-5 people at a time, but care should be taken, as the area around the pool is very delicate. The temperature is 39-43°C, depending on how you are positioned in the pool. The water is slightly muddy, as the pool is built on soil, and the bottom is slippery due to algae, so caution is advised.
In Haukadalur there has also been tree planting in recent times and today the forest Haukadalsskógur is one of the largest in South Iceland. Aspen, various types of pine, and other plants have been tried out there and experiments and research continue. We also recommend visiting the tree museum, built in the memory of forester Gunnar Freysteinsson. There are good paths and roads in the forest and the wood is specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
Haukadalur has been a church site since ancient time. The current wooden church was last rebuilt in 1938 but the variety and appearance of the church dates back to 1842, making it one of the oldest of its kind in Iceland.
Haukadalur is indeed a historical place. It was settled during the age of settlement and scholar Ari “The Wise“ Thorgilsson grew up there. The first pastoral school in Iceland was also built there.
For accommodation, Hotel Gullfoss is about 7 km from the Geysir area, and closer still is the Hotel Geysir.
The mighty Langjokull (“The Long Glacier“), in the midwest highlands is the second-largest glacier in Iceland, at 935 km2. For jeep and snowmobile trips, Langjokull is the most popular glacier in Iceland and skiing and hiking is possible as well. We stress that under no circumstances should one travel alone on Langjokull, as there are many cracks in the glacier. Experience of the area, whether that of yourself or of those traveling with you is all important.
Two main highland tracks, connecting the north and the south, lie alongside the glacier, Kaldidalur road and Kjalvegur (a.k.a. Kjolur road). The Kaldidalur road stretches from Thingvellir northwards to Husafell (in Borgarfjordur district), between Langjokull and Ok shield volcano. Kjalvegur lies east of Langjokull and west of Hofsjokull glacier, starting near the famous Gullfoss waterfall to the south and the Svartakvisl stream by the Hveravellir geothermal area to the north.
The landscape of Langjokull
Langjokull is about 50 km long and 15-20 km wide. The volume of the glacier is 195 km3 and the ice is around 580 m thick. The glacier reaches its highest point at the northernmost part of the glacier, which is called Baldjokull, rising around 1450 m above sea level.
Counting west and southwards from there, outlets extending from the main glacier are Thristapajokull, Flosajokull, Geitalandsjokull, Flosajokull, Geitlandsjokull and West- and East Hagafellsjokull furthest south, separated by Mt. Hagafell. On the eastside from north to south are Leidarjokull, Kirkjujokull, Nordurjokull, and Sudurjokull.
The glacier lies over a massif of hyaloclastite mountains that rise highest in the south and the east. The tops of these mountains can be seen in certain places on the glaciers. To the northeast are Hyrningur (1320 m), Peturshorn (1358) m), Fjallkirkja (1248 m) and Thursaborg (1315 m), a mighty series of immense rock pillars rising high to the sky. In the southern part of Langjokull, between Lonsjokull and Vestri-Hagafellsjokulll is the 995 high Klakkur.
Into the glacier
Deep within Langjokull lies a man-made ice tunnel, a true spectacle for any visitor passing by the glacier. This daring vision began in 2010, in the minds of Baldvin Einarsson and Hallgrimur Orn Arngrímsson. Designed and constructed by geophysicist and presidential candidate, Ari Trausti Gudmundsson, dreams of an ice tunnel beneath the glacier soon became a reality. Guests traverse beneath Langjokull's thick ice sheet, experiencing the blue ice within, and gaining an insight into the glacier's beauty inside and out. The Ice Tunnel Tour is available inside the glacier all year round.
Notable nearby mountains
The main mountains that lie close to Langjokull to the north are Krakur and the Burfjoll mountain range, slightly eastwards. East of Baldjokull are Hafjall and the Thjofadalafjoll mountain range. Hrutfell with the Hrutfellsjokull glacier cap (1396 m) lies east of Fjallkirkja and is the most impressive mountain of the Kjolur area, along with Kjalfell (1008 m), further northeast.
On the south eastern side of Langjokull, between the outlets Nordurjokull and Sudurjokull lies Mt. Skridufell (1235 m) and south of Sudurjokull is the shield volcano Skalpanes. Further east, i.e. south of Hvitarvatn is the 1204 m high Blafell and south of Skalpanes is the impressive palagonitic mountain range Jarlhettur. Among the most prominent mountains south of the Langjokull glacier is Hlodufell at 1186 meters and the Skjaldbreidur shield volcano further east.
Among the most prominent mountains to the west of Langjokull are Hafrafell, south of Eiriksjokull, North- and South Hadegisfell, Ok volcano, Prestahnukur volcano, and Stora- and Litla Bjornsfell.
Glaciers located near to Langjokull are Eiriksjokull, to the west, the highest mountain of West Iceland, and Thorisjokull, further southwest. Hrutfellsjokull lies on the east side of Langjokull.
Between Thorisjokull and Geitlandsjokull is a valley called Thorisdalur. Along with stunning views it features prominently in Icelandic folk tales and the outlaw Grettir the strong of Grettis saga fame is further reported to have resided there for one winter.
Glacier-fed rivers & lakes
Two glacier rivers, both bearing the name of Hvita (‘White River’) trace their sources to Langjokull. The first is the mighty Hvita in Arnessysla county, home to Iceland‘s most famous waterfall, Gullfoss, the beautiful Bruarhlod canyon and one of Iceland‘s most popular rafting rivers. The source of this river is Hvitarvatn lake, east of Langjokull. The outlet Nordurjokull reaches the lake and lends it a distinctly glacial colour. Sudurjokull used to reach it as well but has retreated in recent times.
The other Hvita glacier river, in Borgarfjordur, also has its source in the area, by Eiriksjokull glacier. In this river are the beautiful waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. Indeed, many of the hot springs in Borgarfjordur receive ground water from Langjokull. Sub-surface water also flows south to Lake Thingvallavatn, reappearing in springs in and around the lake. A few rivers flowing north to Hunafloi bay also have their sources there.
To the south, Eystri-Hagafellsjokull feeds a lake called Hagavatn and several smaller river flow from there to lake Sandvatn. In turn, rivers flow from this lake to two major rivers i.e. Hvita in Arnessysla & Tungufljot. Tungufljot later joins up with Hvita and Hvita itself merges with Sogid river as Olfusa and this river then flows towards the sea.
There are at least two active volcanic systems under Langjokull glacier, whose calderas are visible from the air. The best known of these is the geothermal area of Hveravellir, east of Baldjokull. Also to the east lies the Kjalhraun lava field, which flowed about 7800 years ago.
To the northwest of the glacier is another system that produced the vast Hallmundarhraun lava field, through which Hvita in Borgarfjordur runs, with its stunning falls. Also in the area is Iceland‘s longest lava cave, the fascinating Surtshellir.
Southwest of Langjokull is the Presthnukur lava field, its fissures extending under Langjokull. South of the glacier is the Lambahraun lava field and further east, i.e. south of Thorisjokull, lies the Skjaldbreidarhraun lava field and the Skjaldbreidur shield volcano.
Compared to other regions in Iceland, the area is considered relatively calm, with only 32 eruptions in the last 10.000 years.
Langjokull is shrinking fast and concerns have been raised about the glacier due to the effect of global warming. Some researchers feared that if climate change continues at its current rate the glacier may be gone in about 150 years.
Starting time : 08:30
Guided bus tour and 1 hour guided snowmobile tour
Snowmobile (2 persons per vehicle)
Protective clothing and safety equipment for the snowmobile ride
Pick up is up to 30 minutes before departure
Meals and beverages
What to bring:
Clothes according to weather
Good to know:
A valid driver's licence is required.
2 persons per vehicle; single person per vehicle at extra cost.
Only one child is permitted per adult on this tour.
The operation of this tour depends on conditions on the glacier and the weather.
My wife and I had a blast! The tour was great. Our guide Svenni provided us with all the informatiom about the sights we visited and the cherry on the cake was the snowmobile tour we did on the glacier. Great experience that I recommend to everyone who wants to experience more of Iceland and its rugged beauty!
Fantastic day. Every member of the family loved it. Guide kept us entertained and informed throughout, and the snowmobiling was fantastic - with a high level of safety and warm protective clothing provided
It was an extraordinary experience. Everyone visits Iceland should join this tour. It will take you to a whole new level when travelling in Iceland. Our tour guide, John is the best guide and never let you down. The arrangement was good that allow us to have a good time in Iceland. TRUST ME! Join it WITHOUT hesitation.
This was a fine first excursion in Iceland. We had a knowlegable tour guide who informed us of interesting Icelandic facts and history throughout the trip. We enjoyed each stop and we're especially excited about the snowmobiling. It definitely made the trip more interesting. The only thing we would have changed would have been the size of the tour group and snowmobiling group. Having to coordinate/wait for others made the trip less exciting. Overall a solid experience.
We actually missed the tour bus the first day because we didn't see the label (and had expected the bus to be more obvious - like with other tour companies).It seems like other reviewers also experienced some confusion with boarding the bus, and it might help to add a blurb about what to expect to look out for in the future. Depsite this, the company was super helpful over the phone (quick customer service!) and quickly re-booked us at no fee. (Unfortunately we had to ditch one of our tours to make space for this, but the snowmobiling was totally worth it!). The tour guide was so useful for providing context to things we saw at and long the way to tourist destinations of the Golden Circle. And snowmobiling was so fun! Everything is as white as you can see - so it kind of looked like we weren't moving at all on the GoPro footage :P
This tour was a great introduction to Iceland! The snowmobiling was my favorite part. It was quite the adrenaline rush and I had the opportunity to see some breathtaking views on the mountain. I don't think the Golden Circle would have been as exciting without the snowmobiles. It was definitely a bucket list item.
The tour was ABSOLUTELY amazing! We arrived late for our original time due to traffic. We called the company and it was super easy to change the date to later in the week! Excellent guides, perfect stops, and the snow mobiling was out of this world! Do it, it's totally worth it!
A great day overall. Group of 4 adults did this tour, our friends absolutely loved snowmobiling and was the highlight of their whole trip but me and my partner preferred the gulfoss waterfall. Me and my partner fell off the snowmobile and it sort of ruined it for us both but was still a good experience, the views are beautiful.
Great day! A nice fresh coat of snow overnight meant for a transformed landscape from the last few days of rain. Our guide was very knowledgable, and managed the (fairly large) group very well, keeping us on schedule as best she could. Snowy conditions meant travel times were extended, and she did well to manage our expectations, and made changes to the schedule as necessary to ensure we were able to complete all activities. Conditions meant we couldn't fully enjoy the sights at Thingvellir and Geysir, but Gulfoss would look spectacular in any condition. For the last activity, the drive up the mountain was amazing, without another tourist in sight, and once again with the snowmobiling across the snowfield, great experience! The team at Mountaineering Iceland were fantastic. Coming back to Gulfoss at sunset was a bonus, and despite being behind schedule, we were given some time there before our journey back to Reykjavik to enjoy the view. This is a very experienced outfit, full marks to Reykjavik Excursions.
The trip was fantastic, the snowmobiling was like nothing I've ever experienced before, certainly something to remember! Guide was great too. My only issue was that there was a bit of a mix up and I didn't get collected. I boarded a Reykjavik excursion bus, showed the driver my voucher and he said that it wasn't the right bus and to wait, only to realise it was the right bus and I basically missed the first stop on the tour. Luckily Reykjavik Excursions admitted the mix up and sent a driver to collect me and took me to join the tour. The problem was the voucher I was given had "Guide to Iceland" printed on it, and the driver that collected me saw that and just assumed therefore I wasn't one of his pickups, when in fact if he'd noticed in very small print further down, it showed Reykjavik Excursions.
Great trip! Geyser was like stepping back to the time of the dinosaurs. Golden waterfall was tremendous. Snow mobiling was like being in a dream. Great staff and lovely people on the trip with us. (caution:wear both pairs of gloves they give you and take two headscarves from them to cover both forehead and chin)
This was my second time in Iceland, first time snowmobiling -- this was a great experience!! We were dressed very warmly and they still provide additional snow suits - but I HIGHLY recommend bringing very warm mittens/gloves. I've never been snowmobiling before, they prep you before, not too difficult. Even though visibility was not great, still had a blast.
Could not recommend this trip anymore, it was absolutely fantastic! Definitely book this trip if you're going to Iceland, it made our whole trip!! The snowmobiles are so exhilarating and the glacier was out of this world.
Amazing! I was impressed with the number of guides and the safety talk.
it was amazing. Snowmobiling is very fun. btw, the gopro camera is easy to get frozen. do remove the ice from gopro camera if you plan to use gopro
It was amazing! Going snowmobiling was so much fun and the landscape was gorgeous! The golden circle part was good too. The waterfall was my favorite on this tour too.
The snowmobiling was the best part of this tour. Snow everywhere! The Golden Circle tour portion was too short and not enough time. There was way too many people on this tour.
I was a little bit insecure so I decided to sit on the back of my boyfriend to start with. But when we started driving I found out that driving a snowmobile is much easier (and safer) than driving a car. But it is also A LOT MORE FUN. The golden circle was also amazing and we loved seeing the geyser and the waterfall. If you want to see some incredible nature and do an adventure at the same time, I can recommend this tour.
Unforgettable experience!!! Snowmobiling is highly recommended together with the rest of the tour!!
The whole trip experience is so wonderful especially the Snowmobiling. I really would love to come back for snowmobiling again.
Thrill of a lifetime ! Was the perfect birthday location and excursion. Snowmobiling across a glacier, geysers, waterfalls and seeing the tectonic plates... amazing trip
Not a good trip for winter when daylight hours are short. We had such a short amount of time that we didn't even get to see the waterfall because we had 10mins before going on the snowmobile. The snowmobile would have been fun in better weather but was stressful in the bad conditions we had. Don't do this trip. See less with more time and it will be much more enjoyable. Maybe the golden circle tour by itself would've been better.